Casual Friday + Sometimes the Goal Is Just To Show Up

  • Monday I woke up…not ready. John had left overnight for the airport and I didn’t feel prepared to face the day. I pushed through responsibilities – walked the kids to school, answered work calls, ate breakfast. By mid-morning I ended up taking a scalding shower and then crawled into bed for an hour. It was that sort of day. But then a friend stopped by with soup at lunchtime and I cried and she hugged me and I felt ready to move on. I systematically tackled work tasks, our teenage babysitter came over after school and baked with the kids. We ate my friend’s delicious soup for supper. Once the kids were in pajamas, we warmed up magic bags and snuggled on the couch with the mantle twinkle lights and talked until bedtime. A good end to a tough day.
  • I really missed John this week. I can’t believe I used to solo-parent almost 50% of the time for the better part of a decade! Every time he went away it felt hard (in an additive way, really), but it did start to have an air of abnormal “normalcy”. But having him home virtually nonstop for 2 years (this was only his 3rd trip since March 2020) has made me realize how hard it is to be apart. Working together at home, we’re literally around each other almost 24/7 x 365; I don’t think everyone’s relationship could thrive in that environment. Yet I missed him more than ever this time when he was away. He’s my best friend, and brings me great joy (and yes, frustration, too – it is a marriage between two flawed people, especially me; thankfully we agree on the correct way to hang a toilet paper roll and other similarly critical matters). I have friends that have been widowed and others that are separated and I recognize how blessed I am to be in love with my spouse.
  • As of last week I’m back on iron and hormone supplements to help offset my period issues, but they both come with side effects and I can’t decide which state is worse – life with or without them? Someone asked recently if my head is always fuzzy. It’s tricky to answer because I’ve grown so used to this resting state and I wonder if what I’m experiencing is actually normal? But then I remember the fact I can specifically pinpoint the last time I didn’t feel this way. It was an afternoon in late May 2021 when I was taking the kids to the zoo. We’d been cooped up for a month of lockdown and were a few days away from schools reopening. We booked a slot at the zoo and on the car ride there I suddenly realized I wasn’t tired. At all. Sadly, I woke up in my normal tired/fuzzy state the following day, but it does show me that there is a very real juxtaposition between my “normal” level of fatigue and how, I assume, many other energetic people feel moving through their days. And catching a glimpse of it definitely left me wanting more!
  • I’ve talked before about our beloved water cooler. The only downside to this apparatus is the biweekly need to replenish our water supply. We typically do this at a nearby spring (price = free). But since it has been approximately 1 million degrees below zero, the last two weeks we have used a local filling station (price = $2/bottle = 100% worth it). Ever since we started carting around giant jugs of water I’ve been worried about them spilling. It has never happened and I was finally getting lulled into a false sense of security. Then BAM. Sunday we arrived home to a trunk FULL of water. The entire contents of the water jug had spilled out – much of it into the spare tire bay. The trunk mats were soaked and I spent 20 minutes in my church dress (new-to-me Ann Taylor, see below) and snow pants (very classy combo) bailing water out of the trunk with a blue plastic child’s IKEA cup. My hands were like solid blocks of ice by the end, but the trunk has never looked cleaner.

News from the week…

BUYING | I haven’t been to my favourite thrift store in several months and I convinced Abby to join me last Friday for a quick trip. It is a small store nestled in a little strip-mall; for the majority of the time we were the only people there (aside from the cashier).

For $23.58 (including tax) I got: 2 bathing suits (including one new with tags), an Ann Taylor dress, a belt, a pair of comfy capri pants, and a Star Wars t-shirt for Levi. Hard to beat. I really needed a new bathing suit; the black one is Roots and is in great shape but pretty boring. But…my parents lake has quite a bit of sediment and my last bathing suit – with lots of white – has not fared well. A practical black bathing suit felt like a very adult decision.

The dress needed a belt and Abby picked out this polka-dotted, slightly metallic one. I’m saying it works and love that she is proud of her choice! I think a bright red or fushia one would be fun, too…
This is likely the only time you will see a bathing suit picture on my site, but this was NEW with tags and a liner. I paid $3.75 and it is adorable; look at those ruffles!! Now all I need is a sunny destination…

WATCHING | I almost never watch American football, or any sports for that matter. Growing up I was an obsessive Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) fan and for several years early in our marriage, I watched A LOT of Toronto Blue Jays (MLB). For the most part, though, I have moved on from sports. We don’t have cable and John does his own thing with checking stats, so watching sports is not on the regular roster. But on Sunday we were able to watch the end of the Rams vs. Buccaneers game.

I had heart palpitations, I kid you not.

I must have had extra anxiety to spare when I was younger, but I definitely don’t have the stomach for sports now. Important facts to keep in mind: outside of the last Superbowl, I have not watched a football game in several years. I didn’t know a single player on either team except for Tom Brady, and it’s not like we’re exactly on a first-name basis. In short, I had zero skin in the game and I STILL couldn’t stop involuntary sweaty-palm syndrome and high anxiety. It was an especially exciting and tense final quarter, but still…it’s a game. For a sport I don’t even follow. At all.

We started watching the Chiefs and Bills game but I had the foresight to go to bed long before it was over, thereby avoiding more damage to my heart. The experience gave me flashbacks to the nail-biter Stanley Cup final from 1999 when Brett Hull scored an (admittedly contentious) goal at 14:51 of the third overtime. Everyone else in the house had long since abandoned the game and went to bed but I was a big Dallas fan and sat rocking back and forth from nerves until the wee hours of the morning to see how it would all pan out. Clearly I had the same issue back then…I just had the option of sleeping in after a particularly stressful sporting event. I’ll have to pace myself with the upcoming Winter Olympics

We also watched Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski on Netflix over the weekend. A bit grittier than the previous art documentaries I’ve mentioned, but an incredible, crazy story…as they all seem to be. Tortured geniuses there are many – see below with my thoughts on Lucy Maud Montgomery.

WORK | Meh. Most of my work was not that exciting and had a lot of tedium to navigate (troubleshooting new upgrades to a custom software program I drive development on, creating meeting agendas and poking people on action items, and very boring but important budget discussions). Coming off feeling so productive the previous week, I dragged my feet more than I’d like. I got everything done that needed doing but it felt decidedly like “work” – which is fine, but not necessarily fun/motivating.

CHEQUE WRITING | An odd category for a Casual Friday, I know. I’ve mentioned several times how much I like writing cheques. I have two different sets of cheques to manage; business and personal. I was giddy because Monday was cheque day…until I went to write a cheque to a contractor mid-afternoon and realized I had written a series of cheques earlier in the day from the wrong pile (meaning, I wrote several business expenses on personal cheques). Facepalm. Thankfully there was no harm done because I discovered my mistake quickly, but maybe it’s time to hang up my cheque-writing hat?

EATING | This week was all about easy meals. With John away for work, I quickly reverted to even simpler meals than usual. Homemade mini pizzas one night, my lovely friend’s soup, pasta and more of those beloved green beans (equally delicious this week) to get us over the Wednesday hump; Thursday was supper out (I had thirds), and tonight is soufflé (Dutch/German) pancakes.

READING | It was a bit of a rough week for reading. First, I moved on to Anne’s House of Dreams. It’s still a great book, but is much darker than the preceding books; it contains lots of “hard” coupled with regular joyfinding, but I missed Anne’s group of friends and carefree life on the island.

This was made every harder by my ill-timed Google rabbit-hole searches about Lucy Maud Montgomery. I knew a tiny sliver of her biography but, wow, she led a tragic life – culminating in her death of suspected suicide via overdose. She was raised by grandparents (her mother died, her father essentially abandoned her), the man she loved died, then her best friend died, she lived through WWII, and she and her eventual husband were bitterly unhappy and plagued by depression for most of their lives together.

I made the same mistake after reading the Little House series; I read a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and let’s just say the books were very whitewashed; there was a lot of tragedy, mental illness, abject poverty, and deep family tensions behind-the-scenes. I can appreciate that their books served as a form of escape from their harsh realities, but it leaves me feeling so dreadfully sorry for these authors.

On another sour note, I read The Midnight Library. I know many, many, many people love this book. I could not stand it. The only character I felt I could tolerate was Volts, the cat, and even he had a sad part to play in this book. I did not find the premise engaging (reminded me a bit of the movies Inception, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Groundhog Day all rolled into one – an odd combination of films, I admit and all films I enjoyed). I found the ending predictable and unoriginal. The library itself seemed like a cross between The Matrix and the Hall of Prophecy from Harry Potter. And, I know this is nitpicking, but even the title character’s name irked me. Nora is lovely enough, but the last name of Seed? Somehow that just never fit for me. And I wanted to like Mrs. Elm, I really, really did. But I didn’t.

I wanted to go to the end and skip the middle, but I thought surely it must get better? Sadly, not for me. I found the book depressing and forgettable and decidely not fun. Bad timing for me, maybe? Or perhaps I am right in my assessment that most modern fiction is not for me. That said, I assume this book will be made into a movie at some point and people will rave about it.

Oh hello there purple Crocs – the footwear was more joyful than the book.

I’m now slightly terrified to get The Lincoln Highway; after loving A Gentleman in Moscow so much and then really not liking Rules of Civility, I’m wondering if I should just call it a draw with Amor Towles?

On a lighter note, my mother does NOT read this blog and has no idea I have been recently discussing this very topic…but remember the gnashing of teeth over my father’s habit of skipping to the end of books. Perhaps some of you thought I was making this up. Check out this text from my mother earlier in the week (she group texts the whole family every day; it is adorable and I love these daily texts about everything and nothing):


  • A solo walk last Sunday, complete with sun and flurries. To me the snow looked like little fluffy hellos from God. I’m not a big fan of winter, but it does blanket the world in white which gives it a feeling of hope and the longing for springtime renewal, which feels so relevant to me right now.
  • I really enjoy talking with seniors (more than with peers much of the time) and as I was navigating a tricky patch of ice on the way home I stopped to say hello to someone I didn’t recognize (be kind to strangers!). The person happens to be someone from our neighbourhood who is 82 and has lived in the same house for 41 years. We talked about parenting in the modern world and winter weather and COVID. Seniors have so many insights about what we should prioritize in life and I always leave these conversations feeling inspired.
  • I do loathe winter but have to admit our commute to school can be downright magical some mornings. We were running late and took a shortcut through the woods (header photo above), and I stopped to get a picture of Abby because it was Monday and if I was going to find joy I knew I needed to actively hunt for it and we all found it in knee-deep powdery snow.
  • When Levi suggested reading to me. I had to sneak a picture while we snuggled. Soon he’ll be reading to himself and I don’t want to forget that watching your child learn to read is a joy and privilege. The fact that he still fits on my lap; those little fingers that keep getting bigger but still fit inside my hands – this is joy.
  • When a friend knew it was a rough week and offered to bring over a meal and then hugged me when I started crying over both the kind gesture and my health frustrations. Mostly I can hold it together, but how joyful to have friends and family to hold you up when you can’t. It’s okay to cry, folks!
  • When this same friend was up for a last-minute walk and then, the next day, invited us over for supper (this being the meal where I had thirds; homemade Mac n’ Cheese at it’s finest). She is a true gem, and a huge source of Joy (*wink).
  • Cuddling a toddler and hearing him say “Wow.”
  • Living in a town where I ended up walking partway home from school dropoff with my family doctor and we talked about kids and COVID and even my health.
  • Coming home from our ski adventure and spotting this hot air balloon. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was colourful and so fun to have it end up flying right over our neighbourhood. This isn’t wholly unusual – we see a handful each year – but in the dead of winter it was definitely an unexpected burst of joy.
  • Tickling Levi at bedtime and listening to him laugh and laugh. Also, playing hallway soccer with him.
  • Sitting on the couch and talking with the kids. They’re getting so big and they have a lot to say, much of it shockingly insightful and profound. I love when our conversations get deep and I take the time to really be there to hear their words and opinions.
  • A last-minute meet-up with a friend at my favourite cafe (decaf Americano for her; Earl Gray for me, of course) where we had one of those conversations you never want to end. Also, embracing the joy of having friends at a different life stage; this woman has recently retired from a demanding entreprenurial career which happened alongside raising a young family. She has so much wisdom to share, but our discussions are also a lot of fun (and this time we actually discussed the specific topic of having fun).

SOMETIMES THE GOAL is to just show up

We got ski passes for the 2021/2022 season.

We are not skiers. I have been a total of 4 times in my life, ditto for Abby; Levi and John have skied 3 times.

To say I feel out of place – as we pull into a parking lot swarming with people confidently strutting around in ski outfits and gear I can only imagine cost roughly the amount of a house downpayment – is a dramatic understatement. We show up with our $300 (Total. For 4 people!) hand-me-down/thrifted gear that works just fine, thank you very much…well, it didn’t, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

First let’s rewind. The weather when we left home was a balmy -21 degrees Celcius. That’s -5.8 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Google, for any American readers. Plus windchill, of course.

I told John: I just want to get to the hill.

That was my goal. My goal was not to do 5 runs. My goal was not even to keep everyone happy. I just wanted to show up. Good thing.

Levi ended up having issues with his bindings that took a long time to sort out. While John tended to that, Abby and I did a few runs on the bunny hill to warm up.

Abby begged to take the chairlift to the top, so we navigated over and got on. Once we were in the air, she started shivering. A lot. It was -21, remember. Unfortunately, there is only one way to get back down.

At one point we went through a spot where they were making snow and it was like a whiteout (interestingly when we skied down this exact run below the chairlift a few minutes later it was clear and sunny on the ground)!

By the time we got to the top her eyelashes were partially glued together with ice (this is why she owns goggles but, of course, as the mother I know nothing about these things and the suggestion to use the goggles that are on top of one’s head is a ludicrous idea as they are clearly just meant for use as a helmet decoration – duh).

I was elated to get to the bottom in one piece, but Abby was crying by the time I caught up to her. Her feet were frozen, she said. Levi had just emerged from the lodge very toasty, and anxious to do some runs on the bunny hill. So the girls went to the car and defrosted toes and fingers, while the boys managed to fit in a few quick trips down the bunny hill.

It was a lot of work for a few runs down the bunny hill and one exhilarating, though freezing, trek from the top. There were tears and equipment hiccups.

But we showed up. And that was the goal. We worked out kinks. We got our POV stickers to go with our passes. We dug out the balaclava’s and we adjusted the bindings.

When I got home I searched my quotes document; I knew I’d written down a “just show up” message somewhere along the way. The example I had came from a Brené Brown book when she described her child (I might be getting the details wrong, but I think she had a neck injury of some sort?) who had been a competitive swimmer and was now impaired by injury. Brown said to her daughter: “‘What if your goal is to show up and get wet.Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”

It wasn’t overly brave to go to the ski hill last week, admittedly, but when the goal was just to show up, it relieved a lot of pressure and I think this has broad applications to so many situations in life. I’m preaching to myself here…lest you think I’ve come anywhere close to mastering this wisdom.

How about you? Was it a good, bad, or medium week? Did joy find you, or did you have to do some hunting around to find it? Either way, I’d love to hear what’s making you joyful right now.

P.S. In case you were wondering, the only correct answer to how to place a toilet paper roll is with the trailing end over the top. For any Bible scholars out there, I believe this directive shows up in Leviticus somewhere…

I try not to assign labels of “good” and “bad” to subjective things. But this topic is not subjective. Over is the only civilized way to roll.

30 thoughts on “Casual Friday + Sometimes the Goal Is Just To Show Up”

  1. This sounds like a very hard week, but you are DOING IT. The spate of difficult-subject books is rough though — that’s why I read murder mysteries: I know going in they will be dark but that there will be JUSTICE. Or at least, a solution. LOL. (Still marveling at people who skip to the ending!)

    Love the photo of your kiddo with that book — it used to be a favorite in our house! Especially because I used to make a ridiculous raspberry sound every time Minnie (that’s the monkey, right?) plopped onto the ground. My daughter thought it was HILARIOUS. Small joys, right?

    Your ski adventure sounds difficult but satisfying. Good for you all for pushing outside of your comfort zone!

    Hoping your weekend is lovely and full of joy.

    1. It is Minnie! Great memory. Levi has adored the book, but recently moved up a “letter” in reading books and Minnie is now behind us, rather sadly.
      Hope you have a great weekend, too!

  2. Ha ha… I always have the toilet paper going under- but I think I read somewhere that you use less of it if it goes over… so I’m probably wrong.
    You had quite a week! All I can think is… winter is hard. Everything is just more of a struggle, from getting out of bed, to getting dressed, to getting out the door… and having your husband gone most have been extra challenging. But you did it, and now you’re one week closer to spring.
    Last weekend was definitely a time to watch American football. There were four games which were all decided in the final seconds- it was crazy! I have to say I enjoyed it immensely, but I wasn’t overly invested in any one team. I had slight preferences in each game but if I had had a strong emotional attachment to the outcome, I would have had a heart attack.
    Your skiing story is making me shiver. You get extra points for getting out there- I think I would have suggested a day of crafts in a toasty warm house.
    Happy Friday!

    1. Crafts sounds like a harder sell for me than skiing!
      I hadn’t heard the bit about using less if it goes over; interesting.
      This winter has been cold, but we’re almost through January and it + Feb are always the roughest months. Even if we have a string of bad weather in March, there are usually at least some days that end up being spring-like. And, the flip side is we have lovely spring/summers/fall to compensate for cold winters!

  3. First off – I whole heartedly agree about the TP roll placement. And since I am the loan girl in the house, so use TP more than anyone else, I get to make that decision, thank you very much!

    I am sorry you had a rough week. The combo of not feeling well and then solo parenting when you are not used to doing that is a tough combo. I am glad a friend came by with a meal – and a shoulder to cry on. We all need that once in a while. A good cry can be so cathartic.

    I so rarely solo parent. If I do, it’s for short blocks of time, like a couple of hours at most. And it’s so hard, especially with our kids at these ages. I am fortunate that neither of us travel for work. I used to pre-kids but had told my boss I wanted to stop traveling once I had kids and he was fine with that. And now work travel will be forever change, IMO, thanks to covid. I think that is a good thing on multiple fronts. I always say that there’s no reason to brag about having status with an airline. It’s a sign that you have a poorer quality of life than others and that getting upgraded to first class or being able to pick exit row or bulk head seats isn’t an adequate trade off for what you give up. I will never have status with an airline again and I am THRILLED about that.

    My week was meh. I got really sick again and got tested for covid and it was negative. So I guess it was just a cold, but it really leveled me, so much that I actually took a day off work which I felt guilty doing since I “could” work. But it was best to lean into how bad I felt and just lay around and nap as much as I could. I’m feeling better now so things are looking up, but these non-stop viruses have worn me out.

    1. I think I came off like the week was harder than it was; after Monday things looked up (though today has been a bit tougher with the kids on a planned day off school and then everyone around seeming to be coming down with COVID – HOW DO WE NOT HAVE IT YET?!).

      What an interesting take on airline status (my husband might partially argue because he really does deeply appreciate his status. It is all carried over because no one has been able to travel, so he’s retained the old status for 2 years despite no travel. To him, the status – the highest one can reach with Star Alliance – makes a big difference in the quality of travel – especially access to lounges, boarding first etc…but it is 100% not enough of a tradeoff to make it a pleasant way of life). I agree, though, that things will never be the same again in terms of travel and I’ve loved having him home.

      You must be exhausted – you’ve dealt with a decade worth of viruses over the last year. Glad the test was negative…again, and hope you have a great weekend!!!

      1. Yes there are definitely perks to status, but they all accrue to the traveler of course, and not the person at home handling everything while the traveler is away! But they do make travel more tolerable. I am just very glad to not be the traveler anymore as I think it would be a major source of stress in my marriage now that we have kids! I know couples that do it, but they seem to have family support or the other parent doesn’t work full time. That is not our set up at all, and it doesn’t sound like it was yours when your husband traveled. So it would just be SO HARD!!!

        1. Great points. I just sent a much more detailed email by way of follow-up. I also think we go for this “status” in life and it can definitely leave us over-taxed – with some undeniable perks, but it’s all about balancing the tradeoffs.
          So appreciate your insights 🙂

  4. I have read and researched the lives of both LM Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder, and boy, I am glad to be living in the modern age, pandemic and all. Very difficult lives they both had, in very different ways. I mentioned that House of Dreams is one of my favourite of the Anne books, because it is dark and sad and deals with some really hard topics. It also shows a very different side of female friendship, especially when compared to Island.

    I liked the Midnight Library OKAY, but just okay. I hated all the Thoreau references. It immediately turns me off when there is a lot of Thoreau worship in anything. I will not rant about it because I have done that enough. But yeah. Everyone around me loved it and I thought, meh, it’s fine.

    1. Such tough lives and so very different from the characters they portray.
      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who wasn’t thrilled with The Midnight Library. I went in with VERY high hopes, but reading is definitely subjective which does make it exciting and uniquely personal…

  5. What a hard week. I am sorry you’re finding the fatigue so challenging. It makes it even more impressive that you convinced yourself to go skiing when it was so very cold!!! Nice job!!

    Also, that dress is super cute and I think the belt is perfect.

  6. Impressed with the skiing in those temps!! We do not ski. I would like for the boys to know how, but the whole thing seems very daunting since, we don’t ski. Ha. I went skiing on a group night thing with our church when I was in middle/high school a few times, so I could probably get down a hill in one piece (albeit a pretty easy hill, and probably wouldn’t be super pretty.) I would greatly benefit from some lessons, too. I also feel like if we were to attempt to skiing, we would not have a single item of appropriate clothing and I would have no idea what we were supposed to wear- the boys have some snowpants (but probably not the right kind for skiing? They are from Target, and they wear them sledding). Neither really has a “ski jacket” (they have winter jackets, but their current styles aren’t really the ski jacket type). I do not own snowpants or skipants or whatever they are called for adults, nor does my husband- not to mention goggles or helmets or anything else. I don’t actually think I personally own waterproof gloves!! (I own lots of gloves, but again…not the ski type. Noticing a trend??) So, we’ve never even tried it. But then again, I do like the idea of them learning, taking some lessons perhaps, etc. My husband is pretty on the “leave it” side of wanting to take it or leave it when it comes to frolicking around in the snow, anyway (he’s a Mexican guy, remember)- although I am certain he would have fun skiing. I think he went once a long time ago with some friends, when he was newly living in Wisconsin and he did like it. But he’s never brought up the idea, either. It is one of those life sports though that I think would be good for the boys (you know, along with things like tennis and golf- things that people “do” as adults/ in groups/ etc, but are tricky to learn once you are older unless the right opportunity arises! I actually don’t really know how to do any of those things, and I’m still here, so I guess it’s not essential. lol! But it would be nice.) My oldest does play tennis/ has taken lessons, so +1 for us.

    1. I really appreciate the fact that skiing is a sport that the whole family can do together basically at the same skill level. There just aren’t many other sports that’s possible (I guess hiking, to some extent). Little kids can zoom down the hill just as fast as adults (often faster), and it’s a pretty quick learning curve for kids, too. We do walk a lot as a family in the summer, so this gives us something for the winter. That said, I really do mind the cold so don’t see me ever wanting to do a big ski vacation? But never say never, I guess.
      We’ve done some tennis lessons before, but no one is overly enthused. I think tennis is a great sport for kids to learn and we have a VERY active tennis club in town that is just full of older people playing and it makes me so happy to see people that are clearly in their 70’s and 80’s out on the courts.
      I guess the other hassle with skiing – as you’ve so rightly pointed out – is all the gear. Tennis you basically just need some sneakers, a racket, and some balls. Skiing requires a lot of stuff. We already have the right gloves and other outer-wear and as I mentioned sourced everything second hand, but it is a big commitment in terms of space in the house + resources if you buy everything new!

  7. sorry to hear that you had a rough week, I guess that’s single parenting norm.
    book is so personal and timing makes a big difference. I read midnight library this month and actually liked it. not deep, predictable, but was somewhat creative and the underlying message of loving our life for what it is is a good reminder. But I do think that in another period of live, I wouldn’t like it. overall, I don’t like fiction but more often than not I enjoy the experience of being in some other world.

  8. Total agreement with you on the toilet paper issue! I had to laugh (sympathetically) at your distress watching football last weekend. I love college sports (football & basketball), but don’t care much for NFL… but we watched both games last weekend. They were exciting & crazy! The final minutes, of both, were so stressful!

    1. The toilet paper “issue” boggles my mind. We met a couple once who disagreed so whoever went to replace the roll got to decide. I know I would have totally cheated and switched out rolls at like 3 am.
      Thankfully, we’re in FULL agreement on this. When company visits and might sometimes put it on the WRONG way, I will take it off the holder and switch it back to rolling over…

  9. I hear you on the solo parenting thing. My husband used to go away a lot when the children were little, I remember her was away for three weeks about two months after our second child was born I went and stayed with my mum for the whole period as I knew I would not manage on my own. He has changed jobs now and rarely goes away which I am grateful for. I love that he is your best friend, that is my marriage too. It was the only advice my dad gave me at my wedding, stay friends he was so right, my parents have now been married for 55 years so it has worked for their marriage.

    It sounds like your friend has been a good one for you this week, those kind of friendships are so important aren’t they? Those people who scoop us up and care or us when we most need that, I am glad to hear that you have someone like that in your life, we need those kind of friends.

    Showing up is a great goal to have, I love that that worked for you. There are times when that is enough and knowing our limitations is so important.

    I have had one of those weeks where joy has been hard to find, but some weeks are like that aren’t they. Like you I have had some lovely support from friends who have been on the end of the phone when I needed it.

    I smiled at your toilet paper placement, I have no idea how our is hung, in fact there is none in the bathroom right now it only comes out for guests. We use washable cloths for family use.

    1. Great friends (and a great spouse) are true blessings! Especially on those weeks when it feels like all you can do is “just show up”…

  10. Sounds like a tough week but how wonderful you have such a caring friend. Those are the best. Just dropping in and hugging. Hope you can settle your health issues some time.
    And through all thes struggle though there have been so many fun and joyful moments too. Ist it great that life is never really black and white and that even inn dark moments there are light sparkles.

    1. I love spotting the hot air balloon (usually see them in the mornings in the fall), so this was a joyful surprise!

  11. I couldn’t love the fact that you bought season tickets for skiing any more if I tried (I grew up skiing in the Alps and I wish I had a more regular routine where I could get to the mountain, but Jon doesn’t ski and I rarely take the opportunity to go by myself. You’ll remember these outings (where you just showed up!) for decades to come 🙂

    I love that you’ve made it a habit to look for joy in your week. I had a bit of a rough week myself (lots of work, not much progress and a couple of frustrations along the way) and I am glad you had a friend’s shoulder to lean on. That makes such a difference.

    1. I know. One friend, in particular, is just such a solid rock for me (has been for years) and it makes a huge difference. Knowing there is someone that knows the good, the bad, and the ugly and is there to celebrate AND to lament.

      Yes – just showing up last week was definitely the right call. I’m so glad we did it, and Abby seemed to have recovered the feeling in her feet and I’m hoping we make it out again…maybe this week. We just got a HUGE snowfall, so the trails should be in great shape.

  12. Oh, I am so glad I found another person who didn’t like The Midnight Library! I also kinda hated this book, especially because it seemed like the overarching premise was “hey, just be grateful for your life and your depression will be gone,” and that’s not how depression works – and Matt Haig knows that! So it was just rather lackluster for me, and I’m so surprised every time I see another 5-star review of that book.

    That dress is so cute! What a great find! I love the way Abby dressed it up. 🙂

    1. Yup. Definitely not a big fan and also didn’t understand the hype. But everyone gets different things out of the same books, I guess, and some people mentioned really understanding the importance of not regretting decisions/wishing one’s life away?
      Oh well. I’ll just agree to disagree with the people who gave this 4 or 5 stars!

  13. Oh, Elisabeth. What a tough week. And yet! You found so much joy in it. I’m amazed at your ability to see beyond the immediate challenges and find the joy and beauty that are there if we just know where to look. I don’t know what it is about hot air balloons, but they are an instant mood-lifter for me. I’ve never been up in one (my parents have, several times) and I’d love to do that some time. Can you imagine floating (with some help, of course) above the earth, but not in an airplane? (Side note: I paraglided – with a guide! – when we visited Grant Tetons National Park in Wyoming and it was one of those life highlight reel experiences that I will never, ever forget… )
    Anyway! I digress. I don’t have kids – or, now, a spouse – so I cannot understand what it’s like to be a single parent for a week, when one is used to one’s partner being around, available, and willing/able to take on some of the burden. I’m glad that it sounds like John is now home – albeit perhaps still thawing out from the ski trip.
    I hope you continue to give yourself grace as you manage your fatigue and other symptoms, along with being an involved and amazing mom to two very energetic kiddos… Treasure the quiet moments, breathe through the difficult ones, and picture all of us standing behind you when it gets to be a lot. (And remember the power of the hottest shower possible… followed by PJs and a Magic Bag… or two…)

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