And so we’ve arrived at September, so it’s time for a monthly(ish) Three Good Things post. Of which September counts as on its own, hugely, for me. We’re on the cusp of fall (yes, I’m one of those annoying “I love fall” people), with our wedding anniversary and Teddy’s birthday coming in the next few weeks. “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire was one of my must-play songs at our wedding (yes, I was one of those people with a must-play/do-not-play list at my wedding) because, well, September, and also because it just makes me want to dance.
September’s here. Let’s dance.
Three things I loved in the last month:
- The Coffee + Crumbs crew hiding “momma you’re doing great” cards (including gift cards!) around Target. How nice would it have been to find one of those right as you were weighted down with a full carriage and a kid having a tantrum? One venti latte, please.
- The Royal We. Okay, I’m not completely done with the book yet, but man, I love it so much that I don’t want it to end. When was the last time you read one like that? Or maybe it’s just been so long since I’ve actually read a whole book that I’m reveling in it. Plus, a little Kate Middleton fan fiction from the Fug Girls has been a perfect coda to summer.
- Lists of quotes from Joan Didion and Anna Kendrick. Two very different women, but both with a lot to say. Like this, from Didion: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” And this gem from my slightly less-of-a-doppleganger-than-she-was-in-Up in the Air: “If the frosting has cream cheese it counts as breakfast, right?”
Three things I learned in the last month:
- How wedding dress styles have changed over the last century. I was a wedding addict in high school and college. I mean, I wrote my biggest research project for my magazine journalism degree on Brides. And then, strangely, when it came to my own wedding, I was kind of like “let’s just make sure there’s booze and food and dancing.” But I also loved my dress – even if it’s long since been sent to Goodwill – and I still love to look at others.
- How reading to kids changes their brains. This study got picked up and shared all over the place, so you’ve probably already heard about it, but it’s fascinating to me. And it makes me want to do a better job of reading to Katie, even as she quickly scoots away from me. But wait, there’s more: another study showed how reading to babies in the NICU helps their development, too.
- This list of how to break device addiction. I love #1 on this list, to keep a running list of things to google later. We don’t need to know what else that random actress has been or whether we can buy air filters on Amazon right that second. I’m trying, really I am. Do you use any of the apps to help monitor your own device usage that are mentioned in this list? Do they help?
Three things I was grateful for in the last month:
- That other sites thought my writing was worth posting, and reading. The Greatest Gift was a story that had been brewing for a long time (literally) and made me nervous to tell; The Dresses I Can’t Dump came to me as I made another pass at my closet and realized why I was hanging on to some pieces that I’ll never wear again. Big thanks to Mamalode and Project Underblog for sharing them with their readers.
- Lots of Teddy smiles. July was a tough month. August was better, and the frequent smiles on Teddy’s face told me it was a better month for him, too. He smiled while riding the train at the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania, while climbing on the fire engine at a friend’s birthday party, while reading Blue Hat, Green Hat and getting the jokes, while seeing the zebra and the elephants and the lions at the zoo. But, um, not while riding the flying panda ride at Dutch Wonderland amusement park. Because flying pandas are no joking matter, obviously.
- Teddy’s teachers. They came to the house to introduce themselves to us, and to him, and to learn more about his fascination with puzzles and all things Thomas. They’ve been familiar faces in a big crowd to him over the last week, and they’ve made us feel better about leaving him somewhere he knows hardly anyone, after spending so long in a place where he’d known everyone forever. And today, I felt happy and proud and a little sad as I left him happily playing with the legos, with none of the tears or tough goodbyes of the earlier days. Happy, and proud, and grateful.
What have you loved, learned, and felt grateful for in the last month?