Happy belated blogaversary to me!
Yes, dear friends and readers (and others of you who have just stumbled upon this blog today while looking for stories about Christmas cards and life while radioactive and life after miscarriage and life with two small kids), A Storybook Life turned five last week. (For a trip in the way-back machine, here was my first post.)
Does that mean the blog gets to go to kindergarten and do circle time and sing songs? If so, I’m all for it. Even better if it means that as A Storybook Life’s bloggess, I get to eat cake. (Even dairy-free cake is still cake.)
I also like that idea because kindergarteners aren’t supposed to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. (Or maybe I’m wrong. It seems like they keep wanting kindergarterners to know more and more, like advanced calculus and how to translate the whole of Les Miserables.) But I digress. I’m going to assume we’re still living in a rational world where five-year-olds get to play and run and jump and try on different parts of their personalities to see how they fit, because that’s very much what I’m still doing with this blog, and I hope that’s ok.
I’ve learned a lot in the last five years – some lessons I’d just as soon not have had to learn at all – but chief among them is how helpful it’s been to have had this forum as a place to share news, successes and disappointments, strange things that make me belly laugh, and universally sad things that make me cry.
For now, that’s what I’m going to keep doing. So, without further adieu, here’s what I’ve loved, learned, and felt grateful for lately.
Three things I’ve loved:
- Watching Teddy and Katie together. She reserves her widest smiles and her biggest laughs for him — please tell me how watching him pretend to open the window yesterday was a source of continuous giggles for 10 minutes — and she’s the first (and only, really) person he wants to see when he wakes up. There’s no more “hi, mama!” but only “where’s Katie?” and the all-time heart melting “I love you, Katie.” I’ll have to remind them of these times a few years from now when they’re beating each other up.
- Celebrities who give it right back to the haters who try to body shame them. Nicely done, Kelly Clarkson and Pink.
Amy Schumer, in all forms. I’m so happy her filthy show is back for a new season, and doubly happy that she picked the first episode to do a Friday Night Lights send-up (“Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Don’t Rape.”), complete with giant glasses of wine white, a la Mrs. Coach. All she was missing was the aviators. And Kyle Chandler, but I nitpick. Her “Last F**kable Day” sketch with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette was hilarious and decidedly NSFW; her appearance on Ellen was hilarious, way more suitable for work than anything else I’ve ever seen her do, and introduced me to the idea of an at-risk chin. So great.
Three things I’ve learned:
Pret a Manger gives away free food to loyal customers every week. I love Pret – have since we found it in London a bunch of years ago – and faithfully go there over Starbucks for a latte, in part because they don’t charge extra for soy and their regular milk is all organic. So where are my freebies?
- This week was National Infertility Awareness Week. I know we’re drowning in awareness days and weeks and months for pretty much every cause under the sun, but I read some moving stuff this week. This post on what it means to be a fertile infertile struck a chord with me; I feel a lot of survivors guilt and don’t know quite where I fit within the infertility community. I have these two beautiful children, but they don’t change the reality of what I went through before they arrived and what it took to get them here. Anyway, more on that for another day, but if you’ve found this by way of #NIAW, you’re not alone.
Stop asking this question to help bridge the pay gap. I hate telling my salary history, because your previous salary — including working for an organization that had pay freezes, taking a job for less money than you needed because you just needed a job, dammit, or mistakes you may have made in not negotiating higher – shouldn’t determine the value of your next position. And because women, on average, earn less than men, that gap gets baked into their salaries. Annoying. Do away with this question, employers!
Three things for which I’ve been grateful:
- Curt Schilling’s letter to his younger self about the dangers of dipping. I have plenty of things for which I can (and do) criticize Curt Schilling, but they’re not the World Series wins or his brutal honesty about his cancer diagnosis. It takes a lot of bravery to be as public as he has been about his regret for dipping, but I believe that the louder and wider that he shares his story will help some kids make the decision not to pick up the dangerous habit. And that’s worthy of thanks.
- The continued good work of the Rock and Play. Single best piece of baby gear I’ve had in the last three years. Yes, someday soon we will have to finally get Katie out of it, but when it’s the only place she’ll sleep…I’m just grateful that she’ll sleep. (Sleep, baby, SLEEP.)
For friends who respond with “no” when I pose the question “Am I the only one who…” This week that question was “Am I the only one who feels like I’m getting less quality time with baby #2 than I did with baby #1?” In other weeks, I’ve asked whether I’m the only one going completely nuts, or ready to fall asleep at my desk at noon, or thankful that Costco sells chicken nuggets in an economy-sized bag. And in all cases, I’ve been met with friends who remind me I’m not the only one.
What have you loved, learned, and felt grateful for lately?