I have been in such an ill mood the past couple of days – and ill moods are pervasive and contagious – so I’ve been leaning hard on Spotify to serve up a soundtrack to boost my spirits. My go-tos have been this selection of songs from How I Met Your Mother, the soundtrack to Little Women (the musical), and this sweet collection of Love Songs. Any recommendations for other songs to add to my pick-me-up playlist?
Since I chopped off half of my hair, I’ve gotten lazy with styling it. I’m loving this messy messy bun from The Small Things. (She has a LOT of amazing hair tutorials.)
I don’t always have time to fix my hair in the morning, but I can usually find one night a week to do my nails. I think I could swing a variation of this sweet design.
I’m super excited to have discovered The Charlotte Social, a network of local QC bloggers. They have meet ups and everything! (Next step: work up the chutzpah to attend one.)
There are plenty of things easier than writing.
It’s easy to read a book and think “I could have written this.” To feel all righteously indignant over a typo as you sit propped up in bed, trashy reality TV playing in the background while you halfheartedly flip through whatever book you picked up on impulse on your last trip to Target.
It’s easy to daydream on the treadmill about how much you would rather be a writer than whatever your day job actually is. It’s easy to fantasize about the “life of a writer.” You can close your eyes and picture yourself sleeping in, leisurely getting ready, pulling up a chair to a sun-drenched table in the window of the “good” Starbucks in town…or, if you’re not a morning person, maybe you see yourself working from the slippery vinyl booth in the corner of the 24-hour-diner in the wee small hours, served by a waitress who knows your regular order and keeps your coffee topped off. While the rest of the world sleeps, you do something better. You write.
It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re a writer. To pick up a journal every once in a while or jot down some pithy observation for twitter. To blog on and off sporadically and without any discernible purpose for oh, let’s say FOUR AND A HALF YEARS.
It’s much tougher to actually just sit down and write.
Where am I going with this?
It’s time to renew my domain name. When I got the automated reminder email, it struck a chord with me. Why am I paying for this website? What’s it worth if I only hit “Publish” once every few months, and if the only posts I’m writing are apologies or excuses for not writing more? Why have a public blog when most of what I write is private, lurking in the drafts folder, unpublished and unseen for fear of what other people might think? What good is a blog called “Life is happening” if you’re not writing about your life? Or anything at all?
Wanting to be a writer is far easier than writing. That’s why there are so many people who want to do the thing, and so few people who actually do.
I said I had three chapters done – I lied. When I opened up the Google Doc tonight (for the first time in far too long), I saw that I have two. Two chapters and a rough outline of where I want to go.
Here are the stats this week:
Chapters – 2
Words – 1028
Check in next Thursday to see how far I’ve come. It’s high time I start “doing the thing.”
Henry snuggles up to his dad. So sweet and sleepy this morning!
Starting my commute. I decided to be extra efficient and wear curlers for my drive – a great decision for such a rainy morning. The curls fell out in less than an hour – but I think the funny looks I got from my fellow commuters more than made up for my hair’s lack of va-va-voom.
I’m usually pulling into the office parking lot by now, but the weather is making my drive way longer this morning. At least I have a beautiful blue sky to enjoy on the road! Oh. Wait.
Dreary, dreary morning meeting. I took the easy way out and drove down to campus for this one – nobody wants to hoof it across the fields and parking lots in this kind of weather.
Meeting: over. Brain: scrambled. I needed emergency coffee, so I made my way to the closest drive through with a decent cup of coffee. When I opened what I thought was a bag of cream and sugar, I found cream, sugar, AND a free bonus donut! Are you flirting with me, Krispy Kreme?
Opened my office door for a quick breath of fresh air. As you can see, my quarters are a little tight – when I start to feel claustrophobic, I open the door until I feel a little less closed in.
Trying to figure out a way to make the web page I’m building work the right way. Projects like this can be frustrating, but it’s satisfying to get scrappy and figure out a way around the problem.
Stopped by Whole Foods for lunch – look at this cute little snack pack! Filled with my favorites – it’s like they saw me coming.
While I was at Whole Foods, I ran into my old friend Roy G. Biv hanging around the produce section:
I see you, sunshine on my staircase.
My office has a fire escape! It’s like West Side Story, but with less snapping and gang violence.
It’s the final countdown! Trying to keep focused and wrap up the day so I can peace out of this popsicle joint at 4:30.
Stoplight snapshot of my latest manicure. I told Josh after I painted them that these are “the fanciest my nails have ever been.”
Hanging out with the puppies! While I was unloading my car, I heard one loud bark. When I looked up, I saw these two goofball faces gazing at me through the front window, waiting for me to open the door. Dogs are the best.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to hang out with this little chubby cheeked chipmunk.
We had a rough night last night. Henry had his 6-month vaccines yesterday morning, and those four shots were a lot for his little body to handle. As soon as he got tired, he cried like I have never seen him cry. He was nearly inconsolable for hours until he finally fell asleep on my chest. As I crept up the stairs as quietly as I could, I wondered how I would ever get him laid down and settled in his crib without jostling or waking him. I caught myself asking Can I do this? And then I realized I can, and I will. I’ve been doing it all along.
To past Corley, from future Corley:
From the day you first see that positive pregnancy test, and every day on after that, you will wonder if you can do this.
You will wonder it often, and in a hundred different ways.
When you feel the first twinge of your first contraction, it will be a tightening in your belly that steals your breath and stops you in your tracks, just for a moment, before it passes and you wonder if that was it. And later, when your contractions graduate from that uncomfortable tightness to an unbearable pressure from inside your bones, pushing your body to expand from your spine to your ribs to your hips until you feel like you might just break in two, you will think I can’t do this. And then you will do it anyway.
When you hold your newborn baby to your chest, both of you crying and blinking at each other, completely unsure of what do do next, the other people in the room will congratulate you and say “You did it!” In the hustle and bustle of that room, you will look at your baby and think about how this little person is your little person, to feed and protect and care for, and you will wonder.
When the nurse leaves you alone in your cramped room for the first time, your legs still numb from your epidural, a brand new baby in the bassinet beside you, crying and squirming and looking to you for comfort, you will catch your husband’s eye and both of you will be thinking that you don’t know what to do now. You won’t sleep that night, or the next night – but you’ll get there.
When you are rolled through the hospital in a wheelchair, baby in your arms and husband pushing your bags on a cart behind you, you will wonder. He will go get the car, and together you will strap your new little person into the car seat, tighten the straps more than you thought you would need to. You will both marvel at how small this baby seems compared to the great big world around him. Everything will seem too big for your baby: the seat, the clothes, the hat, the car, the drive home. Your husband will make eye contact with you in the rearview mirror, anxious to get your family home safely. He is wondering, too.
You will get home. The days will turn into weeks and months. You will figure it out, wondering as you go along – bath time and diaper rash and sleep regressions and teething. One day, you will find yourself camped out on the couch, your baby sleeping in your arms because he won’t sleep anywhere else. You will balance your computer on your knees, arms stretched under him, typing with the tips of your fingers and praying you don’t wake him before he’s ready. And you will realize that at some point, you shifted from wondering to believing.
You can do it. You’re doing it already. And you’re doing just fine.
Happy Monday Morning!
Henry’s been sleeping through the night most nights, but every once in a while he’ll still give us trouble going to sleep or he’ll wake up for a middle of the night feeding. He woke us up this morning at around 3:30, and while he and Josh were able to fall promptly back to sleep, I’ve been wide awake since then. I finally decided to be productive instead of grouchily watching the clock from bed, so here I am. Laundry’s going, coffee’s made, and I’m blogging this week’s little bit of inspiration.
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” One of my favorite snippets from Peter Pan, illustrated by the wildly talented Marta Harding. Check out the rest of this series here.
Spruce up your desktop with this pretty February calendar by Oana Befort.
I love the promise of warmer weather in these pretty fruit prints by Sarah Abbot and etsy user joreyhurley.
These valentines from Emily McDowell are like little paper Sweet Tarts. My favorites:
• Love Pie Chart
• I’m so glad we’re a thing
• I Found You Love
All right – I hear the baby stirring, so it’s time to start the day. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
I can hardly believe it, but here we are. Six months.
I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of diaper changes or loads of laundry or outfits ruined by spit-up. I can’t possibly describe the joy I felt when I first saw your grouchy little face in August, or when you first smiled at me in the wee small hours of that September morning, or when you mastered the art of rolling over from back to belly, belly to back. I can’t manage to express how excited I am to see you learn your next trick, and the next one after that, and the one after that, forever and ever amen.
You are so happy. So affable, so easy to please. You smile easily, laugh a little more judiciously, and cry only for a really good reason. You grab me by the hair above my temples and pull me close and squeal right in my ear as if your little body can’t contain all the joy you feel, so you have to scream a little bit to relieve the pressure. The triumphant feeling I get when I manage to earn a giggle from Henry is enough to warm my whole chest, to light up my face, to make me feel weepy with happiness.
All I want to do is take care of you. Make sure you’re happy. Make sure you’re healthy. Make sure you know just how loved you are. You’re growing every day, and I’m torn between looking forward to the future and wishing I could just pause right here.
You are delightful, little man. Thank you for every single day, every laugh and every cry. You light up my world and I love you so very much.
Good morning and happy February!
We’re all a little stir crazy in this house. Snow days and sick days have kept us from getting up and around, and we’ve reached our limit. Hoping to get out today, even if it’s just a walk around the block or a lap around the mall.
What am I hoping to do for the rest of the month?
I took advantage of the $10 down and $10 a month deal at our local Planet Fitness. I was doing pretty well for a while, but I jumped at the chance to blame the weather for my recent lapse in exercising. Josh and I are running with my mom’s team in the Roanoke, VA Color Run in April, and I don’t want to embarrass myself by having to walk the entire thing. I started Couch to 10k in January, and I want to pick back up where I left off. Since I’m still breastfeeding Henry, I’m not able to really diet (gotta keep those calories up, WHAT A BUMMER) – but that’s not an excuse to sit around not doing anything to take care of my body.
I’ve developed a nasty chicken-biscuit-and-a-large-sweet-tea every morning habit, which is terrible for three reasons: the drive through is a waste of time, daily breakfast is sapping all of my monthly “fun money,” and chicken biscuits are not good for me. Like I said, I’ve got to keep my calories up – but I need to adjust my daily breakfast to be more egg whites and yogurts, less butter and fried poultry.
I met up with Josh and some of his work friends at Whole Foods after work yesterday, and we came around to the topic of our writing works in progress. I admitted to them (and now I’m admitting to you) that I’ve had three chapters written for about as many years. Telling the group about my book, the characters, their history – I got excited about my book again. So while I love (and I mean LOVE) my Veronica Mars marathons, I’m hoping to start swapping out that time for writing. I want at least another chapter under my belt by the end of this month.
Are you setting any goals for this month? Link them in the comments and we can hold each other accountable!
I’m changing up my theme – some older posts may seem wonky or out of line. Please bear with me!
A few of the things that caught my eye and my attention this week:
• This amazing tote bag by Gemma Correll. And this perfect coffee mug.
• This story of kind strangers joining forces via the internet to reunite a sweet lost teddy bear with the little girl who loves him.
• The entire Paddington Bear collection at Baby Gap. Henry needs ALL OF IT. But especially this, this, and this.
• This inspirational February desktop wallpaper from coco/mingo.
• These fun bird sheets and this beautiful, plush quilt.
And last (but NOT least), shout out to my freshly thawed pipes and their glorious running water! Never again will I neglect to leave my faucets dripping all the frozen night long. Lesson learned. Sorry, pipes.
And on Thursday, in the 45th minute of the 4th hour of the p.m., The Lord said “let there be water.” And the pipes unfroze. And it was good.
— Corley (@corleymay) January 30, 2014