You Guys Would Tell Me If I Were Growing Into A Bitter Old Woman, Right?

So, I’ve been stressed. Like, really stressed. Feeling like I’m drowning, I can’t keep up with anything, snapping at my husband and 3 kids, angry at everyone (mostly myself). Last week, I was volunteering to run a Sunday morning young family service that involved making pancakes and I ended up setting off the church fire alarm. #Wow #Whyme #Everythingthatcangowrongwillgowrong. I think I’m going to have to blame my youngest. Through no fault of his own, he’s now in the stage where he can get around really well, he wants to get into EVERYTHING, and he’s FAST. So, I spend most of my time turning from the right to the left, bending down, standing up, and doing somersaults and side blocks on repeat. Side note: would have been manageable if my husband could have come with me, but he had to work, as people have to do.

Transitioning into working mom (though only part time) has been a huge challenge. I didn’t really realize it the first six weeks or so, but slowly, things started to catch up to me. And it was just a snowball. Everything started to slip: laundry piled up, dishes piled up, library books piled up, headaches piled up.

I realize I need to get organized if I’m going to survive this. I can’t wing things anymore (That was basically my mode of operation up until now). I have to really sit and think and plan and write down each and every step. I need a meal system, a cleaning system, a bathing system, a discipline system, a kids’ chores system, a clothing system, a shopping system, a phone call system, a meditation system (and while we’re at it, a medication system HA), a system for floor towels vs. table towels vs. kitchen towels vs. bathroom towels, a system for eating my kids’ leftovers (eyeroll), a system for not losing the work lunches I pack for myself deep into the abyss that is my work backpack, etc. etc. – you get the idea. Lord help me; if any veteran moms have any life hacks they can share, please, please, do, I beg of you! A couple of things I’ve learned: it’s ok to eat frozen food, it’s ok to send bottled water instead of refilling thermoses, kids need to do as much on their own as possible so Mom doesn’t lose her mind trying to be in six places at once. An example of that last one: I have on my list to buy small pitchers to fill with milk and water, so my two eldest can pour for themselves when they’re thirsty (which is a lot). I learned this trick from my job, actually (I work at a pre-school!). I mean it seems like it should be obvious…but I never thought of it. *Shrug. Also, I finally got myself a real full size broom and dustpan and mop and stopped with the cave woman style: on hands and knees with a tiny handheld broom and dustpan and wet towels. Life changer. What was I thinking??

I’m on a schedule now. Kids need to be up a certain time, fed a certain time, out the door a certain time; I need to be up/fed/out a certain time too. I have to be Captain Organized. I start today. Pray for me. Will let you know how it goes.

Random, Unimportant Facts You Don’t Really Need to Know About Me

Because all my avid fans asked (ha), I’ve put this list together to give them a glimpse of who I really am. In no particular order of importance or relevance whatsoever, here’s what kind of person I am:

1. I don’t have any notifications set up on my phone. Lord knows I don’t need something constantly dinging or popping up – or worse, squealing “katalk!” at me (the Asians will get that one) – I have enough noises startling me and begging for my attention as it is.

2. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Ever since I can remember, the thought of running around raising babies seemed blissful and fulfilling to me. (Yup, I was crazy! But also, I was right πŸ™‚ )

3. I am borderline obsessive-compulsive. I like having certain foods together in one mouthful in bite sized portions. For example, chocolate (or anything sweet) must go with milk. One bite chocolate, one sip milk. If I’m out of milk, but I still have one remaining bite of chocolate, I have to go to the fridge and pour myself exactly one more sip of milk. Very similar with Chinese food (or any Asian food really). The ratio of savory food in my spoon to plain rice (to balance out the flavor) needs to be 1:1. I could go on, but I won’t. *Shrug. Beats me. We all have our quirks.

4. I have been known to finish entire bags of baby carrots and tubs of hummus in one sitting. Yes, one tub of hummus is 8 servings. But I’m eating all those carrots!! They cancel each other out, right?

5. I will carry every single grocery bag I have in my trunk into my home in one trip, or I will die trying. I mean, two trips?! Back and forth?! Seriously, what a waste. I have more important things to do.

6. I officially found my first white hair six months ago, thought about writing about it, and then forgot. Anyway, it was a sad, sad day. It’s these kids, I tell you! Darn them! *Sigh… The things we go through for those little pudgy faced rascals… Oy, they’re really so cute though…

7. I really enjoy scheduling time with people. I literally gain satisfaction (maybe even a rush of endorphins? Would have to get my brain scanned and come back to you) fromΒ  going into my calendar and writing down “Lunch with Leslie” or what have you. I guess that’s why I’m pretty good at keeping in touch with people (well, admittedly it’s getting harder the more kids I have…). But I’m usually the one to send that extra text asking, “Hey, you said you were free next week? What day is best for you?”

8. My world came alive when I had kids. I see everything in more vivid colors now. Basically, everything is beautiful to me. I find beauty in everything….except….those decorative cabbages hotels like to plant in their yards…I just can’t…cabbages as flowers? I don’t get it.

9. I am very good at ignoring and shrugging off small, insignificant details. Most of this came about since becoming a parent. Some things simply don’t matter to me. Whether baby’s socks match, whether my hair is properly styled on any given morning, whether I’m wearing pajamas as I rush to get my son to school the second before he has to sign a late slip. Having children (also, losing my mom) has made me really come to the decision that some things just aren’t worth stressing over. Like, at all. A good segue into…

10. I’m a “no frills” mom, as you may or may not have noticed.Β I am usually sleep deprived, stiff, sore, late, AND anxious or stressed about something. Despite all this, I’m actually very happy, but here’s an anecdote that I think paints a pretty accurate picture of my mom style.

— at an outdoor bazaar, a while ago, back when I only had two kids —

Friendly, well meaning vendor: Hello! Here is our selection of children’s socks! Are you looking for boy’s or girl’s?

Me: Boy’s. My daughter will just use his when he grows out of them.

Nice lady: Ok! What does he like? We have Spiderman, Paw Patrol, Ninja Turtles…

Me: Oh, we’re not picky.

Nice lady: Any particular colors?

Me: I’d really like just a bunch of the same – like 20 of the same exact sock. No colors or shapes is fine. Actually, black is good. That way the stains don’t show. The short kind that he can pull on and off himself.

Nice lady: Here you go!

Me: Perfect, thanks!

Yup! My mantra in life is essentially: “Keep it as easy and simple as possible”.

And that about wraps it up! Ooooh, speaking of presents! Happy early Christmas!! And whoever loves me the mostest, please buy me for Christmas 1) a dishwasher 2) 10 pairs of women’s large socks in blue, 10 pairs of big boys’ socks in black, 10 pairs of medium girls’ socks in pink, and 10 pairs of baby socks in green. (My most updated genius idea for sock organization – they’ll take 2 seconds to identify, right? Total time saver!) oooor choice 3! Paper towels!! Loads and loads and loads and loads of paper towels!! Thanks, you da best πŸ™‚

Steady Improvement

For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m on child number 3 now. It’s been….real. It’s been real. Humbling and excruciating and glorious.

But considering I feel my level of sanity (insanity) being home every day has on average, stayed about the same despite the fact I have ADDED A KID I think says something!! πŸ˜‰

I’m getting the hang of this parenting thing. I’ve learned a few tricks. Gotten faster. Gotten smarter. Definitely gotten cooler. 😏😎

And here’s a picture of my third doing yoga in wolf ears, just cause. πŸ˜‚

Theft

Image result for iphone 5S

So, while I was in CA, I had my bag stolen. My Handy Dandy Helpful (anyone know that book?) diaper backpack from Lullababy (Thanks, guys! And…sorry, guys…). What happened was we were wrapping up our little exploration of the downtown San Diego area, and were getting loaded into the car, when Y said she had to pee. You know how we are when our 3 year olds say they have to pee: we drop everything, grab their hand, and run. So, I quickly said to my husband YoungJoon (Ooh P.S. Congratulations to him for becoming a citizen! You can call him Kai now! hehe…), “Can you put the stroller and the backpack in the car?” and he said “Yeah”.

I had left the bag on the floor (Cue eye roll. Yes, yes, I know, I’m setting myself up) right next to the tree we were parked in front of. So, Y and I use the bathroom at some random business I walk into that I happened to actually study a bit while I was waiting – it’s called Hostel on 3rd (anyone ever stayed there?) and it looks pretty interesting, but I’m not sure I would ever trust staying at a place like that. Anyway, we walk the 15 steps back to our car, jump in, and leave. When we get to our destination, an In N Out about 20 minutes away, I ask my husband for my bag.

“What bag?”

“My gray backpack with all W’s stuff in it”

“Oh I don’t know; did you leave it in Hwajeong’s car?”

“No…I left it by that tree…and I asked you to put it in the car…”

“You never said anything about a bag, just the stroller”

“…”

“…”

“… If you didn’t pick it up and put it in the car, then it is not in our possession. We’re going back.”

“Are you sure you brought it from the house? Or did you leave it somewhere while we were walking around?”

“No, I didn’t. I’m 100% sure. I know sometimes I forget things and can be absent minded, but in this instance, I have 100% recollection that I took the backpack off and placed it next to that tree back where we parked.”

So, I pray the whole drive back that the guy that told me Californians are all heroically friendly and kind (certainly nicer than New Yorkers) was right.

Doo doo doo doo doo

*Twiddling thumbs*

Pulling up to previously parked at spot

Exiting vehicle… hoping… praying…Β NOPE. Nada. The bag is gone.

*Sigh. I mean, of course it is. Life is cruel. People are heartless and pathetic. Oh well, nothing surprises me anymore. So, I start to accept my fate – the most valuable things in there were my $300 Benz key and my iPhone. I waved a symbolic goodbye. It does sting when people take things from you, but at least I still had what really mattered – my husband and my kids. At the end of the day, that’s truly, truly all that matters – the people. I hugged my baby extra tight when we got back to the In N Out.

But then! My brother in law is so smart. He reminded me of the Find My iPhone feature. So, we went to a Best Buy and tracked it down. Found an approximate location. The police said they would be willing to meet me and just supervise as I approached the house and asked if they would please return my phone. That’s all they could do.

We decided it wasn’t worth the trouble and tried going ourselves. My husband and his friend knocked on the door and asked and were denied. Not sure it was the right house, cause the location is only approximate. BUT they proceeded to use the Play Sound feature (that works even if the volume on the phone is off) and lo and behold, the phone started moving, so hmmm. The phone was speeding down the highway and ended up at a shopping center with a Starbucks and a sky diving place and I don’t remember what else. There was no point going into the Starbucks and searching for someone looking guilty…where would we start? How would we even do that? Walk up to each customer and yell menacingly, “You! It was You! Give me my diaper backpack!” Actually, I did have this idea that I thought was pretty smart: Run into Starbucks in a huff, make a huge scene, scream something like “Everyone, stop! Freeze!” until the place was quiet, and then play the sound on the phone and try to figure out where it had come from or look for someone jump out of their chair (we totally should have done that!)

At this point, I leave and my husband and his friend and brother stay to search. They said the phone did move around a bit, and then finally, it just stayed still, at which point they searched in the bushes where the navigation seemed to indicate.

Two hours later, we’ve all given up. It’s 6 pm. We all reunite and move on with our lives.

Then, around 10:30 pm, we’re all in our hotel room after our dress rehearsal (our trip to CA was mainly for my sister in law’s wedding) hanging out and chatting, when my sister in law hands me her phone and says, “Diane! You’re calling me!”

???

“Hello?”

“Hi, yeah, I just found this phone, so I’m calling you.”

“You found it? Where did you find it?”

“After work when I was walking out to my car, I found it in the bushes.”

“Oh wow, thanks for calling me! Can I get it back from you? Can I come meet you now?”

He agreed and gave me an address, but then I was waiting in the car with my brother in law and friend (I’m not a total idiot), and we look at each other and are like hmmmm let’s think this through. It’s late, it’s dark. What if this is the same person who stole the phone and this is part of his plan? What if he’s a professional phone thief that just goes around looking for phones, then calls people to meet him in the middle of the night, then when they show up, he jumps them and takes their money- or worse?”

We decided to call him back and say listen, it’s late, can we meet tomorrow. He said sure. The next day, however, was my sister in law’s wedding, and it was just crazy. I had no spare moments to call or to meet anyone. That afternoon, he calls me asking so are we going to meet? I say I’m really sorry, I’m so busy, can we meet tomorrow? We decide to meet at his job (a restaurant) right before he starts his shift.

Next day. It’s around 12 pm. I call from my husband’s phone (which I’ve been using to communicate with him the past 2 days) when I arrive, and walk out with my brother in law to meet him. He explains again how he was just walking to his car and saw the phone in the plants. (For the record, throughout the course of our smattering of short conversations, I did ask if he had also “found” a gray backpack, but he said no)

My best guess is that whoever took the phone originally got nervous somewhere along the line, whether it was from seeing the same car following him/her around, or seeing a bunch of guys searching in the bushes, or hearing the alert sound play a thousand times as the phone spastically switched between Lost Mode and Found Mode. The location Caesar (the phone returner’s name) found the phone at was the same approximate location we had tracked the phone to earlier that day – the same shopping center as the Starbucks. Maybe the thief really did decide to just toss it and be rid of the stress.

I dunno; I believe Caesar. He never acted suspicious and he was very communicative. I never felt like he was hiding anything. I mean I guess when I saw him in person, he didn’t say much, and barely looked me in the eye, but maybe that’s just his character?

So, Yay! I got my phone back! The thing that made me the most sad was the thought of losing all the great photos and videos from our trip so far (SeaWorld, Lego Land, San Diego Zoo, etc.) I have a really cute video of W clapping to one of the songs during the dolphin show.Β  I’m super grateful!

Also, fun fact: my phone had a smudge of chocolate on it. At least I hope it was chocolate… didn’t care to taste test it. But how weird is that?? That was not my chocolate… I didn’t have chocolate the day I lost the phone (hard to believe, I know). But like what kind of person doesn’t even do a quick wipe on a phone if they spill something on it?… Or maybe when he found it in the bushes, the chocolate was already on it. And he didn’t want me getting pissed that my phone wasn’t exactly how I had left it and blaming him like, “Hey, where’s my chocolate?!! I was saving that!!”

I’ve noticed I have a pattern of stubbornness when it comes to being a theft victim. I instinctively put on a defiant face, hold my head up high, and proclaim to the universe that I will not let these instances affect me. It reminds me of the way the Divine Principle (my church’s main Scripture) explains that God simply cannot acknowledge anything evil. Evil is not in His Plan, and therefore he has no choice but to ignore it. Addressing it is acknowledging its legitimacy. (Not calling myself God, ha! Just noticed the comparison. Also, I’m actually very forgiving of criminals. I try to consider what may have happened in their lives that caused them to resort to crime. And I hope with all my heart they somehow find a better way and find real meaning and real love.)

But to sum up my philosophy, I refuse to change my life in any way (besides what’s necessary, like canceling my credit cards and getting a duplicate driver’s license). I am NOT going to spend money on a new diaper bag when that money rightly belongs to something else. I’m going to make due with what I have. I have enough bags lying around. One of them will be my new diaper bag – right now I’m just using a plain tote bag I got free from Victoria’s Secret last year. Not the sturdiest thing, but it’ll work fine if I don’t stuff it to the brim or put a brick in it (maybe I should start carrying bricks around seeing as how thieves seem to be drawn to me…) I will not let this experience affect me emotionally or financially any more than it needs to. I will not buy a new diaper bag, because then the thief wins!! Never! Over my dead body.

Any ex phone thieves out there? Care to weigh in? Was it Caesar?! Am I completely naive?

The Winds of Change

I recently realized I totally take for granted the fact that I can enjoy four distinct seasons. (Fact you already know #139: Some states essentially have only one season!) That’s one great thing about living in the Tri State area (among many other things! No, that’s not the ONLY good thing about New JerseyΒ ha ha very funny…)

I love the transition between seasons. It feels mysterious and expectant. One period ends and another begins. My heart flutters with hope. Possibility. Like the possibility of buying new clothes… what did you think I meant? πŸ˜‰

I wouldn’t mind moving, though. During our recent Thanksgiving trip to Alabama to see my sister in law’s family (Congratulations on Baby #3!), I found myself retracting what I had said during our first visit about never even considering moving there because it was just too dang hot. I realized that was probably because I was pregnant and my body temp was off the charts. Also, my logical brain and emotional brain were scrambled up like a bunch of eggs.

I love the idea of experiencing life in different parts of the country and the world. I seem to thrive on change actually. I get restless/antsy if things stay the same for too long. I noticed this especially when I was pregnant with my first, and then had my son, and then went back to work, and then stopped and became a stay at home mom. All of these four events were about 9 months apart. The consistent changes kept me engaged and excited. It all worked out perfectly actually.

Ah good ol’ New Jersey. Snow in March. What else ya got, Mother Nature? Bring it on! (But just let it be Spring before April, please. Thanks.)

IMG_3831

Good Ol’ New York

Ah, New York. I’ve gotten used to people saying thank you when I hold the door for them (leave it to Jersey). Not the case here! Things to do, places to go, people! Ok, I’m exaggerating. It was one woman. And oh, look, that guy said thank you. He must have read my mind.

I just got off the bus and walked through Port Authority. Meeting up with a friend in Times Square today! Yay! Grown up time!

I just now realized how slow I’ve gotten accustomed to walking. When I used to work in Manhattan, every morning, I was on a mission. Get up, get out, on and off the bus, and book it to my office. There’s just too many people in Times Square. I can’t deal. Gotta get through.

All right, here it comes. I’m picking up the pace. Gotta keep up. Seriously, everyone walks so fast! At least the natives. I did feel like a tourist of some sort rambling my way through leisurely a minute ago. Get in the zone, Diane! You’re still a New Yorker! 

Anyway, now I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs at Villa, waiting for my friend. We ordered something online together through my Atomy business (learn more on my About page) and I’m delivering her hand creams personally! Also, I’m craving New York pizza. Thank God I can eat wheat again (more on that later).

Oh God. Oh God. They’re playing Call Me, Maybe. I think I’m going to be sick. I think I have to leave. Ahhhh pins and needles. Breathe. Breathe. It’s just a song. It will be over in 3 minutes. Ugh, the horrible part is that eventually you start singing along anyway πŸ™„.

Ok, this pregster needs to eat! P.S. Whoever loves me the most, please buy me this shirt:

My Philosophy: When you have nothing else to write about, write about Chocolate

Being the sugary goodness connoseuir that I am, I think it’s only fair that I share some of my infinite wisdom with my beloved readers. The fourteen (hard as I tried, I couldn’t narrow it down to ten) best (not surprisingly mostly all chocolate) desserts on the planet:

1. Pecan pie and apple pie by my aunt C (homemade ALWAYS makes the top of the list!)



2. Chocolate chip cookies by my uncle J – top secret recipe (wondering what I have to do to get it out of him!)


3. Tiramisu by my sister in law H


4. Manner Original Neapolitan Wafers (to DIE for Viennese hazelnut chocolate cookies which if you haven’t tried, you absolutely MUST. I think they may actually warrant a trip to Europe, however, you can also find them for a hiked up price on Amazon or an international food market someplace)


5. Coldstone Founder’s Favorite (this founder clearly knows what’s good). Sweet cream ice cream chock full of pecans, brownie bits, chocolate syrup, and caramel syrup. My mouth is watering talking about it… 


6. Ferrero rochers (I mean I hate to be so predictable but I think we can all agree)


7. Glutino gluten free chocolate covered pretzels (where my gluten free folk at?)


8. Godiva everything (practically)


9. Lindt Lindor “Irresistibly Smooth” dark chocolate truffles (though nearly ALL the flavors I’ve tried are pretty darn irresistible!)


10. Those big variety boxes of “specialty”  European chocolate cookies that I’ve seen anywhere from BJs to my local Chinese supermarket 


11. Pepperidge Farm Geneva Dinstinctive cookies (ooh, not just any cookies, distinctive cookies)


12. Entenmann’s rich frosted doughnuts (you may recall). Oh great, they spell them “donuts”. *facepalm


13. Nutella (something about hazelnut with chocolate! Those Europeans know what they’re doing!)


So I first found this image, and then I found this one:


and I thought Thaaat’s more like it πŸ˜‰ (Found this pic at divyakumar.com – pretty hilarious blog by the way)

14. Riesen chocolates


And that, my friends, concludes my list of all time best (mostly chocolate) sweet tooth satiators! Hope you enjoyed! Comment below if you think I left out something really crucial!

Truth

In this video, Simon Sinek speaks on “Millenials in the Workplace” and the four major problems with this generation: parenting, technology, impatience, and environment. Ironically (but not surprisingly), I initially discovered it on Facebook. 

Simon Sinek Millenials in the Workplace
[I wish I could embed the actual video here, but I think I need a paid subscription for that (something to work up to πŸ˜‰).]

The message is clear and simple, yet eye opening and profound. As it happens, I am a Millenial myself. In my opinion, the realities described in this video need to be understood by all Millenials/young people of today. The points that hit home with me the most are Technology and Impatience. As Simon says, technology can be addictive and can seriously stunt the emotional, social growth of adolescents especially. Facebook is great, but its use should be carefully monitored. Before I was a parent (because being a parent just changes EVERYTHING), I did have a certain attachment to Facebook. On more than one occasion, I found myself a little too quick to log in, almost automatically, as if my mind couldn’t handle 5 idle seconds. I certainly experienced what many experience: As I scrolled, I subconsciously compared my job, my face, my partner, my clothes, my partying (or lack thereof) to those of my friends. As we all probably know, Facebook is completely one sided. The vast majority of posts on Facebook are of the happy moments, the accomplishments, the victories. People don’t post nearly as much about their struggles, their worries, their failures. For the most part, photos are all carefully selected and edited.

I love that this guy suggests removing temptation. One easy way is charging your phone in a room other than your bedroom. Facebook in itself is a harmless, useful tool (or form of entertainment at the least). We just need to pay attention to how we feel when we use it and whether or not we are relying unhealthily on it.

Next, impatience! Instant gratification is the devil. People have got to learn to WAIT. I am so insanely aware of the danger of instant gratification that I keep myself up at night worrying about how I’m going to teach my 4 year old son patience and the necessity and beauty of delayed gratification. Most of this generation’s unhealthy expectation of immediate gratification is a product of the Internet, obviously. The Internet is genius and powerful and freeing and dangerous. As a parent, it is my number one worry.

As I sign off tonight, I want to ask you this: Please don’t be afraid to talk about the ugly, to show the ugly. Life is made up of just as many disappointing moments as joyful moments, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Challenges and failures teach us to be resilient, to be appreciative. Imperfection makes us compassionate, makes us human. Be true to yourself and embrace the people in your life for all their perfect imperfections (Thanks, John Legend πŸ˜‰).

Blah

So, I’ve been really overwhelmed by a lot of things (some of which I’ll go into at a later time) and this week, everything was just magnified because I have both the kids because of Winter break. I swear I feel like I’ve been non stop screaming. I am trying so hard to teach my four year old patience, respect, and Number One: Refraining-From-Hitting-The-Sister. It is super freaking hard! I’m hoping things will cool off once he’s back at daycare, but it’s like it takes literally two seconds for him to snap at her. I’ll admit, I snap too! So maybe I’m contributing to the problem! Aghhhhh what am I doing with my life?!?! My friends have tried to comfort me, and they’ve helped. “We all go through this”, “You’re a good mom”, “They’re just kids”. And yet I still feel so desperately worried that I am scarring my children for life by doing something wrong.

No solutions today. Just venting. 

Bedtime used to be my favorite time of the day. Y would go down into her crib without a fight while T stayed patiently in the other room playing by himself for 5 minutes. Then, all of a sudden, he decides he WILL NOT stay in the other room. And almost simultaneously Y decides she WILL NOT go down into her crib without a very loud fight. So for a few weeks, I struggled with them and tore my hair out trying to figure out what I should do (my husband works nights, so I’m alone). After some contemplation, I decided I shouldn’t force my son away from me if he just wants to be close to me. So I let him stay with Y and I in her bedroom. Our current set up is just the three of us all lying next to each other on the big bed. T is still pretty calm and falls asleep relatively easily (I miss my sweet alone time with my sweet boy), but Y, oh my God, she is a hot mess when she’s trying to fall asleep (like T used to be…so I guess it’s normal). Just the tossing and turning and rolling on us and the whining and crying UGHHH for like an hour (at about the halfway point, her brother usually falls asleep). And just like that, bedtime is now my LEAST favorite part of the day. I pray to God it changes again (well, yeah, of course it will, but we don’t know when).

I also had a really uncomfortable (ok, infuriating) conversation earlier today with some family members, and I am just so done at this point.

I love parenting. I share many, many inspiring, life giving moments with my children. Today, it’s just really hard.

Sorry for the doom and gloom post… In case you missed it the first couple times, I am having a sh*t day. Just keepin’ it real, folks. Hope y’all are feeling better than I.

Maryland

I just worked out for an hour and a half, so now I can eat chocolate for an hour and a half, right? The math checks out, yes?

It’s so nice to have munchies to eat while you write.

I never got a chance to tell you about my little Mommy Daughter road trip to Maryland to see my bestest friend! C moved to Maryland like a half a year ago, and I have been PSYCHED ever since, counting down the days that I could actually go visit her. Maryland is so much closer than North Carolina!

Little girl and I left the house  bright and early- around 6 am. I was hoping she would fall back to sleep after being in the car for a bit, but no such luck! She wanted to be in on all the action! Thankfully, she was pretty satisfied with the random toys, stickers, snacks and/or animated conversation I threw at her every twenty minutes. Part of the time, she was satisfied just to hear me singing (Yes!).

She did finally start to get restless when we hit like the three quarter mark, so I let her have a nice, long break while I got gas around 8:45.

I arrived at my final destination at 9:30 am! Not bad, I say! C and I went to church together, where I saw lots of people I haven’t seen in a while, so that was really nice.

For the rest of the day, we did what best friends do best- blissfully enjoyed each other’s simple company. We strolled leisurely around adorable downtown Annapolis right by the marina- drinking coffee, listening to the water, taking pictures, picking up trinkets at a street bazaar, and chatting as if not a second had passed since we last saw each other. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to recharge my batteries and “fill my bucket” (If you’re scratching your head, check the children’s book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” out at the library)

My little one was smitten with the dogs at C’s place, but not enough to want to be within 2 feet of them. She seems to like the idea of dogs better than the actual dogs. She enjoys keeping a safe distance and watching them from afar, squealing “Mongmongy mongmongy!” (Doggie, doggie!). Once I shuttled her off to bed, I was able to enjoy a little grown up time with C and her hubby and in laws- playing Bananagrams of course! Super fun. I have so many good memories playing that game. A big thank you to C’s mom in law for a DELICIOUS dinner of veggies and dip (I’m going to text C for that recipe right now!), scalloped potatoes, roast lamb and apple pie!

I honestly want to make this a regular thing! Driving down like once a month or so? Traveling is good for my soul.