All The Things, June 2023
A totally unoriginal link round-up
Well, hello there! Long time no chat.
Let me start off by saying I woke up at 3am positively ravenous. Did I not eat enough dinner? Am I going through a growth spurt? I’m not sure. All I know is this: I woke up at 3am with a growling stomach and promptly fixed myself a bowl of cereal, which I ate on the couch in the dark like a total creep while my family slept. Normally when I wake up at 3am, I am awake for hours, but this time around, I miraculously fell right back asleep (?). Had it not been for the cereal bowl sitting on the coffee table this morning as evidence, I might have thought the whole thing was a dream.
I was up for the day at 6am, slightly groggy after the sleep-eating. After logging two hours of work, I accidentally set off the smoke alarm making breakfast, which isn’t super relevant to the rest of the story, other than to paint a picture of me in a somewhat frazzled state. I was so flustered getting out the door an hour later, I dropped Presley off at my Friday babysitter share 36 minutes late with exactly one thought in my brain: MUST BUY TOILET PAPER. Did I just place a Target drive-up order two days ago? Yes, yes I did. Am I the only one who goes to the store what feels like 12 times a week and somehow, some way, still manages to wake up with exactly one roll of toilet paper in the house?1
I pulled into the parking lot at roughly 9:52am, completely forgetting I had a Zoom meeting at 9:45.
(Note to self: do not schedule Zoom calls on Fridays.)
(Note to self #22: figure out how to be an adult and stop constantly running out of toilet paper.)
Anyway. How’s your day going?
I didn’t mean to take a month off from Substack, but here we are. First and foremost, thank you for your kind words on this post. I haven’t had the mental bandwidth to respond to the comments yet, but I’ve read each and every one. Quick shoutout to Jamie, who may or may not have brought a single tear to my eye with this comment:
I am still wrestling with a whole bunch of things re: being online, social media, blah blah blah, but I’ll spare you another melodramatic post and save those complicated musings for another week.
The last 30 or so days have been filled with the regular stuff of life: end-of-school festivities, Everett’s elementary graduation, a kick-off summer trip to visit my grandparents (+ see Yosemite!), several work deadlines, and let’s not forget—coming down with a fever that lasted eight full days. I took two Covid tests and they were both negative, so I am left to believe this random illness was some kind of let-down effect after book launch season? My darling immune system was working overtime January-May and apparently needed a week off (praise the Lord I am finally fever-free and feeling better!).
We are officially in summer mode now, and parenting is going great:
Shoutout to all the other working moms trying to cobble together various summer camps for three children of different ages that only last a couple hours/day and cost a million dollars.
And now, onto the links!
Currently reading and loving: Forgive / A Living Remedy. Just finished: A Hungry Heart / The Story Within. Books on deck: Momfluenced / Hedge / Dickins & Prince. More book recs here, if that’s your thing!3
In this-is-how-we-summer news, two things currently blessing my boys’ attention spans (and thus, my work hours): 1) hosting daily paper airplane contests in the backyard, and 2) this stop motion video app which they are using in the garage with Lego City. I’m not the kind of mom that hails her kids as creative geniuses, but if you could see the videos these boys are making—complete with soundtracks and audio narration—I think you’d be impressed. (Seriously, should I save these little movies in case one of them tries to get a job at Pixar someday?)
After many years of trying to get my skincare regimen just right, I am proud to announce I have finally landed on a winning combo: this vitamin C serum, followed by a base layer of this invisible sunscreen4, followed by this tinted sunscreen5. Yes, that is two different sunscreens on my face. The Internet told me it was fine and the Internet is never wrong!6
My friend Katie’s story about finding the perfect swimsuit is too relatable. FWIW: I gave up two-pieces a number of years ago, and have personally fallen in love with the Becca line at Nordstrom. They’re not cheap, but I file swimsuits under the umbrella of worth-the-investment (see also: denim). I may not do bikinis anymore, but I consider this to be quite the Sexy Mom Swimsuit.
I am definitely in my wide-leg pants era, and cannot say enough good things about this pair (on sale!).
Hard pivot—if you need a good post-documentary palette cleanser, this Nate Bargatze special had Brett and I cackling more than once.
Related: last night approximately one hour before the Southwest sale ended, I sent a string of frantic texts to my parents (BLESS THEM FOREVER FOR AGREEING TO WATCH THE CHILDREN) and booked a trip to Seattle for Brett and I to see NB in October. (Happy father’s day and very very very early birthday to Brett!) We haven’t been to Seattle since 2012? 2013? So if you have any recs near the Paramount theater, I am all ears!
Some fun news (!)
That’s all for now. Give me all YOUR links! What are you reading? Wearing? Cooking? Watching? Tell me all the things!
Currently blessing my inbox:
A friend gave me your book, and OH MY GOSH. I've followed your writing for years, and it is honestly so incredible to see so much of what you've clearly been working toward come to fruition in this book. It is a masterpiece. Your words have pulled me out of a massive creative rut. I've avoided my newsletter for months and stalled on a much larger project I've been working on for more than a year. That ends now. It's my time to create anyway and trust that these gifts God has given me are not just a throw-away, a stupid hobby, an audacious dream that other people roll their eyes at. My work matters.
Big favor alert: if you read and loved Create Anyway, would you consider leaving an online review or telling a friend about the book? I’ve been sprinting hard these past few months and *so* appreciate the continued word-of-mouth recs as I start to slow down on the marketing/PR efforts. ❤️
Not rhetorical; I am really asking.
No pun intended.
Speaking of book recs, I leave for vacation (!) with an actual beach (!) later this month and am actively seeking all of your easy breezy vacation reads. Hit me up in the comments!
This stuff retails for $45 at Colorscience and Amazon but randomly is only $28.69 at Walmart (?) which is why I linked there. I have actually bought a bottle from all three retailers and can assure you they are all the same product.
That’s a joke.