an ode to group texts

Over the last few weeks, I've been sharing a slew of memes every Monday on Instagram. It's a fun way to get through Mondays, a day exactly like the weekends except James is behind a laptop most of the time. I shared this one and it cracked me up, because this is a very niche type of stress I feel daily. I'm in several group texts that I love. A couple different ones with friends, one with family, and then a really awful one that I keep muted that I won't get into here.

Then my mom sent the following meme last night, and chaos ensued. I'm sharing it because it was a much needed bright spot after a very rough day. Plus, puns and all forms of word play are my love language.


There's another text that got lost in the shuffle in which I also threw out Cake and The Black Eyed Peas, lest you think I forgot about those.

What would you add? And as I'm sitting here typing this, I'm suddenly full of more ideas but I'll spare you. 

Ok one more---Smashing Pumpkin Pies. Because it's festive. 


currently, november ed.

reading: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner. I’ve been working through a lot of the unread books I own, but I finally made a library trip for something other than picture books. This one is about life in the internment camps during WWII for those who were accused of possibly being enemies of the US. So far, it’s very depressing. Like, she’s trying to make it as agonizing as possible which is not what I need right now. I’m going to push a little further but I may not finish this one. 

watching: we just watched 60 Days In on Netflix, and now going to jail is at the top of my Worst Fears list. 

annoyed: that everything is breaking. Our baby monitor stopped charging unless you hold the charger just right, stand on your head, and say a prayer in Swahili. I sat on our bed Saturday afternoon and it CRASHED TO THE GROUND. Our garage door is only opening halfway. Our internet modem died. James works from home, so this is a problem. He grabbed a new one on his lunch break which opened a whole can of worms of internet issues including our Nest thermostat not connecting. And our power went out during a windstorm. All of this in 48 hours. It was a very 2020 kind of weekend. I almost added my Kitchenaid mixer to the list. I plugged it in three times and it still wouldn't work. Turns out, I had been unplugging and plugging in the toaster three times in a row. I also had to rewrite this entire blog post because I clicked saved and then exited, but save it did not. So that's how I'm doing lately.

weary of: Zoom. Zoom is going to be a trigger word for all of us once this *gestures broadly* whole thing is over. A few weeks ago, during a particularly bad day, I was doing Zoom BSF when one of my children was sent to timeout and was screaming “LET ME OUT” right as I was forced to unmute myself and answer a question because I was the only one who did my lesson. Once the class ended, I realized Clara had grabbed my pen, clicked it open, and drew all over her face and onesie. Last week I did my BSF class while holding a squirmy baby and homeschooling. I needed a nap afterwards. I did not get a nap. This is what I get for poking fun at the girl folding underwear on camera.  

drinking: raspberry tea with lemon and honey. My neighbor makes a pot of raspberry tea whenever we visit, and she always puts fresh lemon and honey in it. Now Gracie and I make it all the time. It’s so good. But right this minute, I’m drinking lime sparkling water out of a tiny pink plastic Disney princess teacup, courtesy of my 5 year old. 

eating: I made a butternut squash, kale, white cheddar, sausage quiche with homemade raisin cinnamon bread. I’m trying to make new things. I made chicken shawarma the other day and it was amazing. I also made lactation cookies less for my milk supply and more for an excuse to eat cookies.

feeling: grief over life. This is not how I’ve wanted Clara’s first year to be. This is not how I wanted Gracie's kindergarten year to be. While sick and pregnant, I sustained myself with thoughts that a year later we would be going to library storytime, homeschool groups, church, playdates, etc. Literally none of that is happening. Clara has only ever seen strangers with masks on, and I am just NOT ok with that. We had just made the decision last week to start going back to church (a long story there), and the next day we got an email that church would be meeting over Zoom. I cried. I love church the very most during the holidays. I have been so excited to take Clara to church at Christmas time. Now the restrictions are piling on again with likely a lockdown in the future. The people screaming for shutdowns clearly do not have young children. This is no way for anyone to live. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health. I was keeping my chin up fairly well during most of this, but with winter on the way and having to stay inside more due to the cold and lack of light, I've been in a royal funk.

buying: BOOKS. So many books! Thanksgiving books! Christmas books! Winter books! Seasonal kids books are my love language. Not much gets me really excited, but festive books? Sign me the heck up. I'm a Thriftbooks frequent flyer these days.

staring at: my Christmas tree. Yes, it's up. And honestly I don't feel that jolly about it, though I love the glow in the morning when I'm reading and it was cozy when we got some snow flurries this morning. As we were decorating it, I suddenly felt very Blah about all our ornaments. We have some special ones and vintage ones that I adore, but most are ones we got when we were first married, and I'm over it. I also don't have a budget for a whole tree full of new ornaments. What a 2020 thing to feel. Maybe it's just my funk. I also have pumpkin decorations out right next to the tree still, so I need to pull it together and get the rest of my Christmas stuff out. It will help. 

snapping photos of: this stuff. Here's some random photos of what we've been up to:

We love tromping through the woods behind the house. And then our neighbor usually spots us and invites us in for tea and snacks. 

Dunkin' has a surprisingly good gingerbread latte. I impulse ordered one on the way to the library sans kids over the weekend. Was it amazing to get coffee and books alone? It's hard to say. But yes.
Some homeschool stuff: Gracie dug up dinosaur bones in kinetic sand and classified them (number, upper and lowercase letters) for school. And yes, she's in her pajamas because Fridays are school in pajamas days.
The girls are sharing a room, which is a whole thing I have thoughts about. But I love this wall over Clara's crib. It makes me so happy to look at when I'm rocking her.


7 months old and perfect in every way. I can't get enough of her.
Now that it's dark early and cold out, the evening hours are looooooooong.
Surviving Till Bedtime with a Fussy Baby: A Portrait
James put Clara in the doll stroller. 

Anyway, are you feeling festive? How are you planning to survive the winter? How many books is too many? Why am I so hungry? How do you entertain an energetic 5 year old when it's freezing? If you're one of those with all your family and friends around and life is normal, you can buzz off. I mean that nicely....ish :)


october in the hood

If you ask how my October has been, I'll probably just send you this meme:

The baby got her first two teeth, multiple shots, and is on the verge of crawling. As all moms know, each of these means many nights of excellent sleep. On opposite day. We are reacquainting ourselves with sleep training after I got so little sleep the other night that my Fitbit registered it as a nap.

Throw in some 5 year old hijinks, murder mosquitos, my 10 year old Macbook circling the drain, car problems, and whatever else has happened that I've forgotten for sanity purposes, and I'm eating a Little Debbie's pumpkin spice roll with ZERO GUILT because I have earned it.

Gotta make that milk, ya know?

Yes I am wearing my maternity pants today at 6 months pp, but at least I have to start pulling them up now. So that's something!

With that said, it has been a BEAUTIFUL October. 2020 has owed us that, at least. We've had a lot of chilly, rainy days, but when it's been nice I've gone on walks to admire the ~foliage~. 

The photo below is our backyard. I have a love/hate relationship with my house, but my backyard in the fall covers a VAST multitude of sins.


some books

My life has changed a lot this year, and in turn I've changed my reading habits. I drastically lowered my reading goal, I've gotten VERY choosy about what I read, and I'm taking my time to work through books. I realized that I had been stressing myself out trying to keep up on my to-read list and get through it as fast as I can. Life is too busy for that, and I no longer have the brain power to speed read books. I'm lucky to make it through a chapter before bed these days. I want to keep reading a happy hobby and not make it a chore. With the library shutdowns, I've also been reading a lot of books I've had on my shelves that I hadn't made it through yet. 

Here are some of the books I've read this summer that I've really enjoyed. I've also read some I didn't like very much, but who cares about those.


the zoom diaries

I made it 6 months into this *censored* pandemic before using Zoom. I don't have to use it for work, my kids aren't doing virtual school, and I use Facetime to talk to my family. But I've now earned my Zoom badge and can say I took place in this cultural moment that has been fun for no one.

My BSF group started up again last week, and sure enough, it's via Zoom. It was supposed to be over Zoom last spring, but all the older women panicked over technology, so they just shut the whole thing down till fall. Now it's fall, and things are...


....so the old ladies are having to get it together until we're allowed to breathe each other's disease germs again.

We had a practice run early last week. My leader was very confused, as she is in the group of women terrified of technology. Which is FINE. But not fine when you need to use it to lead a group. Somehow she was logged in on both her computer and phone and therefore we had two screens of her and two different angles of her telling me that her dog shares my daughter's name (this is unfortunately not the first time I've been told this, as if it's something I'd be excited about), and then showed us 5 minutes of her dog walking through the house.

On Thursday morning, I timed my life perfectly, had the baby down for a nap, and was ready and waiting at 9:30 with my laptop propped up on a stack of books so as to present the most flattering angle of myself. By 9:45, the group text was going wild with people asking for the meeting link, which hadn't been sent out. We got a very strange text in response, telling us she was too busy with other things to send the link to the meeting that was 15 minutes late. 

By 10:00, Clara was awake from her nap and our meeting still hadn't started. It wasn't until 10:15--45 minutes after our meeting was supposed to start and 5 minutes after it was supposed to end--that we finally started. Come to find out, one of the women literally drove herself to our leader's house to get her signed on. She explained that we all had ourselves on mute since many of us have little kids, to which the leader responded "But why can't I hear anyone?"

Off to a flying start.

I was bouncing the baby, who swiped at my laptop and knocked it over thrice, attempting to keep my feral kindergartener from setting the house on fire, and trying to sort of pay attention when I suddenly heard someone mutter "This is so stupid, I'm over this, I'm never doing this again." The woman who had gone to the leader's house to help her was walking outside to her car and talking to herself, not realizing her phone had the Zoom meeting open.

"Jan, we can hear you."

"Oh ladies! I am just so glad we're doing this!" she autocorrected in a syrupy sweet voice.

I had to duck out of frame because I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Either no one else noticed this, or they all have a lot more tact than I do.

We went in fits and starts of mass confusion over the mute button, while the group text continued to explode with people who couldn't seem to log into the meeting, and then the cherry on top--a woman who was new to the group, but was so frustrated over everything that she went ballistic on us all, telling us to never text her again because we interrupted her business calls and have thusly ruined her life.

By the end of it, I no longer wondered what a modern day episode of The Office would be like.

This week, I went ahead and blocked off my entire morning because I didn't know what to expect. It of course started right on time, but it was no less entertaining, especially the lady who aired her dirty laundry to all of us. I don't mean that figuratively; she was literally folding her underwear on camera. And then she got in her car and drove while participating. 

We're studying Genesis this year, and the leader went on and on about new beginnings and creation and said "It's like the magic of birth. It has nothing to do with us...well it does, there's, you know, the action that creates the baby...."

And there I was, sitting with my fairly fresh baby on my lap like 


Let's hope everyone also muted their imaginations this morning.