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because life is full of twists and turns

Month: April 2016

the best of the month: March 2016

My plan for March was to bring back the “best of the month” series where I share my favorite reads from around the web.  I was on track collecting interesting links when influenza completely derailed the last week of March (and the first week of April).  We’re well into April, but I still wanted to share these links with you today!



One of my favorite Instagram pictures from March shows just how baby obsessed we are around here!

Laura Turner at Elle || Why I Plan to Get Pregnant on Anti-Anxiety Meds

When my husband and I began to think about having a kid, I was faced with a choice: Stay on the drugs, possibly hurt the unborn baby, but remain relatively calm; or go off the drugs, reduce the risk to the baby, but potentially become a prisoner of my own anxiety.

Tracy Gillett at Raised Good ||  Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues

When children are overwhelmed they lose the precious down time they need to explore, reflect and release tension. Too many choices erodes happiness, robbing kids of the gift of boredom which encourages creativity and self-directed learning. And most importantly “too much” steals precious time.

Anu Partanen at The Atlantic || What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries

The choices Nordic countries have made have little to do with altruism or kinship. Rather, Nordic people have made their decisions out of self-interest. Nordic nations offer their citizens—all of their citizens, but especially the middle class—high-quality services that save people a lot of money, time, and trouble. This is what Americans fail to understand: My taxes in Finland were used to pay for top-notch services for me.

Eleni Pinnow at The Washington Post || I told the truth in my sister’s obituary, so that others might choose to live

 I went on to share with everyone — friends, family, students, and work colleagues — the cause of my sister’s death: depression and suicide. I told them that my hilarious, kind, generous, helpful, silly and loving sister couldn’t see any of that in herself and it killed her. I told them that her depression created an impenetrable fortress that blocked the light, preventing the love of her friends, her family, and any sense of comfort and confidence from reaching her.

My loneliness and terror on the front porch was nothing compared to the absolute isolation that depression had imposed on my sister. I had to tell the truth.

Lara N. Dotson-Renta at The New York Times || The Only Girl at Her Science Camp

Rather than deciding for themselves the scope and use of a toy, children are being limited in their play by gender-specific designations and marketing. We’re simultaneously telling kids that gender doesn’t matter and opening doors professionally and educationally, but telling them it doesmatter (and in fact, more or less defines them) in the way they dress, in the toys they play with and how they engage with them, in the television programming they watch, and in the activities they pursue.

Arielle Bernstein at The Atlantic || Marie Kondo and the Privilege of Clutter

Of course, in order to feel comfortable throwing out all your old socks and handbags, you have to feel pretty confident that you can easily get new ones. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle is an act of trust. For a refugee, that trust has not yet been earned. The idea that going through items cheerfully evaluating whether or not objects inspire happiness is fraught for a family like mine, for whom cherished items have historically been taken away. For my grandparents, the question wasn’t whether an item sparked joy, but whether it was necessary for their survival.

My own writing from March: To my son, the grandchild of immigrants 

Together let’s rectify the wrongs that were done to our ancestors.  I want you to honor your great-great-grandparents’ sacrifices and their memories by speaking up when others try to malign foreigners.  Instead of treating immigrants or refugees like those on the outside, let’s welcome them in.    Rather than spreading malicious rumors about their ways of life or their religion practices, let’s take the opportunity to get to know them.  And instead of seeing them as the downfall of American, let’s notice the ways that they make our country stronger.


What’s your the best thing that you read (or wrote!) this month?



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life lately: third trimester + influenza

I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the earth (err…internet) last month, but that’s what ended up happening.  Here’s a quick recap of the end of March and the beginning of April.

Over Caleb’s spring break, we took a quick trip to St. Louis where we joined up with some of our dearest friends for the weekend.  We met this couple soon after we moved to Omaha, when our babies were just 5 and 7 months old.  Fast forward to present day when we’ve become even closer and we have five children between our two families (albeit two of them are still in utero).  Since our husbands have very different jobs in the Air Force, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be stationed together again.  I’m so glad that we were able to make that weekend trip work and that we got to spend time with our favorite people again.  It was AWESOME!

For the remainder of Caleb’s spring break we stayed busy, filling the days with all the extra things that slip through the cracks of normal weeks.  We got haircuts, worked on the lawn and did some deep cleaning.  Hadden had a few extra appointments that week and I took a friend out for a birthday lunch.  That week I also spent a morning with Hadden’s preschool class since I knew I wouldn’t have time to do that once this baby comes.

Saturday night (the eve of Easter) I suddenly started feeling sick, but I chalked it up to third trimester and having a busy week.  I went to bed early.  But the next day I was even sicker.  That evening I ended up calling my OB’s emergency line (something I’ve never done!) because in addition to the respiratory issues I’d had since Saturday, I now had aches and a high fever and couldn’t keep food or liquids down.  It was awful.

Monday morning, at the advice of my doctor’s office, I went into the ER since I’d only gotten sicker through the night.  There we learned that I’d caught the flu so I was rehydrated and given a prescription that they hoped would reduce the symptoms by a day or two (spoiler alert: it didn’t work).  I am so thankful that a new friend, who babysits Hadden for us, was able to meet us at the ER and watch him for a few hours so he didn’t have to spend the whole time sitting next to my hospital bed.  Later, when Caleb had to leave to make it to his first class of the new semester, another friend very graciously left work to drive me home from the ER and ended up staying to watch Hadden so I could sleep that afternoon.  On Tuesday my mom came to help out for a few days, which was so wonderful since I was still too sick to get out of bed.  I’ll spare you the details of the sickness and just say that it was the sickest I’ve never been in my life which makes the help of these three people even nicer.  I don’t know how we would have made it through those days without their help.

It’s been over two and a half weeks since I got sick and I am still recovering, which is why there has been radio silence around here.  Thankfully this week we’ve been able to get back into a normal schedule.  Even though I’m not feeling like I’m at 100% yet, with Caleb’s help we’ve gotten Hadden to all of his activities, I’ve been able to finish up an article I had due and we’re getting back into the swing of cooking and cleaning after a long two week break.

In the next week or so, I’m planning to get back into a normal blogging schedule and will hopefully also start queuing up some posts for after the baby comes in May.

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