If we met for coffee this afternoon (wouldn’t that be fun?!?), here are five things I’d probably talk about in no particular order…
If this seems unimaginable to you, think of how I feel. My baby is most definitely NOT a baby anymore (though she refers to herself as “baby” 100% of the time for reasons I can’t understand since we have never called her that out loud). She is the wildest girl. Since her first birthday party was cancelled last year due to everyone being sick for forever, I’m making a bigger deal out of this birthday than I probably should. Honestly, I’m trying to keep it simple with just our closest friends and family at an adorable local cupcake shop, but it is so hard to resist all the cute strawberry party accessories I keep finding. I’ll share more about the party (and, likely, more about my girl) later, but here’s a peek at the precious invitations my friend Alison designed —
Fun Fact: All the girls in our family – me, Nora, and even Addy – have birthdays in March; AND, since I started this blog on my 30th birthday, it (she?) has an anniversary in March too! March is a serious month for celebrating at the Chapman house.
Did you watch? Of course you did.
I like Vanessa, and I waffled between really liking and really not liking Nick, but I mostly liked him. I’m also all about couples “keeping it real” and acknowledging that relationships take HARD WORK, and – believe it or not – I actually DO believe in The Bachelor “process” (somewhat). But this finale? Meh.
This season was mostly ruined for me once Rachel was named as the next Bachelorette (which I’m thrilled about, to be clear). Seeing her go all the way to the final three but knowing she wasn’t going to win just made me less invested in general. I thought Raven seemed like a totally random pick for Nick (her “fantasy suite” storyline was just plain ridiculous – a weak move, even for The Bachelor), and though I appreciated that Vanessa seemed like a genuine and mature adult – ready for marriage in most “normal” circumstances – I just never saw the chemistry with she and Nick… It also bothered me that the rumor mill says there was bad blood between Vanessa and Rachel and there was that whole episode where Vanessa was no where to be seen. There’s something fishy going on in Bachelorland if you ask me…
I’ve heard two theories that I actually think could be true:
1.) Nick wanted to pick Rachel (duh!) but the producers made him let her go because they needed her to be The First Black Bachelorette.
2.) Nick is being groomed to take over for Chris Harrison.* I don’t really know what that would have to do with his picking Vanessa nor do I have any evidence to support this idea, but I like it. What do you think?
Anyway, my final thoughts? I hope things work out for Nick and Vanessa, but I don’t really think they are going to. I think Nick genuinely gave this season a valiant effort: he tried to “be good,” and “be wise,” and choose someone who was really “wife material;” but, in the end, it was just too late. He’s too “produced” now. He’s a serial dater, a game-player… I think this season, overall, was a flop. Agree?
I signed Sam up last week. I put it off long enough, but the time has come. This “bonus year” of preschool has been such a blessing for all of us, but he is ready. I am SO excited to see him thrive in his new school next year.
My biggest worry: How in the world am I EVER going to get him up, fed, dressed, and at the bus stop by 7:05 when I can’t even get myself ready most days?
His biggest worry: Will I still be able to color a lot of pictures? and Can I have a Lunchable for my lunch?
Oh to be five and a half.
When Jeff and I bought our house, we were 24 years old and had ZERO idea what we were doing (to be fair, Jeff may have had some idea, but I had exactly none). We cared about things like having parking for our friends when we had parties and a fenced-in backyard for our new puppy. The fact that the house had a gigantic tree in the backyard and only one full bathroom was charming. After all, we only planned to stay there 3 – 5 years.
Fast forward nine years and two kids, and here we are — in that same house (with plenty of parking behind it and crayon marks on the walls). It’s been a constant discussion lately over whether we will stay or go; but, for all it’s negatives, we’ve fallen in love with our neighborhood and – frankly – we can’t find anything we like better. So, we’re staying. For now.
As such, we’ve decided to finally give our old home (which was built in 1923, FYI), some of the TLC its been needing for a while now… We started by having our floors re-finished, as you know, and I have all sorts of other plans for this spring (most of which will probably NOT actually happen, but a girl can dream).
We aren’t doing a full renovation by any stretch. No knocked down walls or heavy-duty projects, just some paint, maybe new hardware on our kitchen cabinets, a new light fixture or two — little things that will, hopefully, make a big difference.
Anyway, I’m pretty excited about it to say the least. And, I admit, I’ve spent FAR too much time searching Pinterest for “inspiration” lately.
In case you’re curious, here are a few looks I’m particularly loving from some of my favorite home bloggers…
Not that my love for podcasts is anything new, but I’ve been especially into them lately. In particular, I started two new ones this week that I’d been hearing about for a while but resisted because, frankly, neither topic was that compelling to me. Nonetheless, I heard SO many people rave about both of these that I eventually caved, and I’m hooked…
Blue Babies Pink: A Southern Coming Out Story in 44 Episodes – The title pretty much gives you all the info you need to know to get started; but, basically, the writer/creator Brett Trapp told his story of growing up gay in the Christian south in one blog post each day for 44 days. These original posts are still available to read (and include great photos, etc.), but if – like me – you have more time for listening, Trapp has also turned it into a podcast where he simply reads each of the 44 entries. (The “episodes” are only about 10 – 15 minutes long and the writing is great. It’s like listening to an audiobook read by the author with lots of short chapters.) Same-sex attraction is a hot topic in our world today – especially among faith circles – and I think his story is an important one to hear and know. It will probably upset some people, but I think it will surprise those same people too. Brett calls himself a “follower of Jesus” AND “a gay man.” It doesn’t bash the church or attempt to define “right and wrong,” it’s just one person’s experience. It is vulnerable and beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful; and, it’s also quite funny – especially for those of us that grew up in the evangelical church in the 90s and early 2000s (a la McGee and Me and I Kissed Dating Goodbye). I’m only about 11 episodes in, so I have quite a ways to go, but I like it way more than I thought I would.
Update (3/22/17): I finished this and LOVED it. Basically, I want to be Brett Trapp’s best friend, and I want everyone I know to read (or listen to) his story.
Missing Richard Simmons – Yes, that Richard Simmons. Here’s the gist: After more than 40 years in the public eye (and reputed as one of the accessible and upbeat celebrities out there), on February 15th, 2014 Richard Simmons didn’t show up to teach his regular exercise class at his gym, Slimmons. He also quit communicating with friends, making celebrity appearances, and responding to any form of communication. It’s been three years now, and no one has seen or heard from him… In this podcast, filmmaker and Slimmon’s regular Dan Taberski digs deep into all the theories etc. surrounding Simmon’s disappearance and searches for answers we may never get. This is so weird, but strangely good. The podcast is also really well done. I don’t know what else to say about it really, but I guarantee you’ll agree after just the first episode.
For the record, I’m also all subscribed and ready to go when Sarah Koenig (of Serial)’s latest podcasting endeavor debuts later this month. Isn’t that a pretty logo?!? S-Town is, apparently, hosted by Brian Reed (produced by Koenig and This American Life) and investigates the son of a wealthy Alabama family who’s been bragging about getting away with murder (and a lot of other twists and turns). The whole season releases on March 28th, and I’ve got high hopes it will redeem Serial Season 2. Consider my calendar marked.
So, there you go… I certainly wouldn’t be the most interesting coffee date ever, but this pretty well catches you up on my life these days… Despite what it may seem like from all the words above, I promise I’d also ask lots of questions about your life too! Speaking of which, what are YOU talking about these days?!?! Fill me in!
Happy Friday!! (And a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day to my fellow freckle-faces!!)
P.S. In honor of Nora’s birthday month/ my two-year Maternity Leave Anniversary (that’s a thing, right?), I’m running another deal on my maternity leave eBook for teachers. For a limited time, you can get it for only $5.99 when you use the code MARCH2 at checkout. If you are having a baby this spring or know someone who is (or even if you just think you will probably have a baby some time), go grab a copy!! (The whole last third of the book is about returning from maternity leave and making the transition from teacher to mom to teacher-mom, so it would definitely be useful even if you’ve already had your baby or don’t need help prepping for leave. FYI.) I’m really proud of it and would love to get it in your hands!!