Sunday, November 15, 2015

#FindJoyinNovember, Week 2 Recap

(If you haven't already, make sure you take a look at Week 1's recap and enter the giveaway! There's lots of great products, many created right here in Greenville where we've made our home. The giveaway runs all the way through the month, so you have plenty of chances to enter!)

I'm still loving all the photos! We broke 200 photos for our tag on Instagram this week, and it's a tag full of coffee and babies and books and everything that is good and wonderful in the world.

This week has also been a lesson in my own good fortune. The purpose of #FindJoyinNovember has been, from the start, to remind myself of how good the day-to-day can be, no matter what. This week there was a moment, standing still in my kitchen, where I realized that I was, in fact, incredibly lucky.

For everything that has gone wrong, there is wonder lurking underneath, behind, or within it. A kind of good luck that I cannot account for.

My mother fought cancer - and alongside her own innate strength she had the support and love of her husband and family.

A tree fell on my car - and the car we ended up with afterwards is a hundred times better for our lifestyle than the last one and our loan for the car is actually less than for the last one (plus, it's green! I wrote an ode to it!).

My husband lost his job - and became considerably more content and less stressed out than he's been in years. He even was laid off at the perfect time, after I had been able to leave my former job and start work with a wonderful company that allowed us to live on my income alone. This week, he began working at a new place, with hours that still let him pursue his blacksmithing.

My father suddenly died - I was able to make it home to my family in Illinois less than 36 hours later. Since he was no longer working with his previous employer, Jason was able to come with me. My whole little family and I were able to stay for more than a week, far longer than any previous job would have been willing to let me go. I had friends within four hours of my father's death offering to keep our animals so that we wouldn't need to worry about them while we were gone. My amazing co-workers stepped in to pick up many of my work projects so that I could focus on being with my family.

My in-laws had their arms open to hold Audra while I worked to hold myself together long enough for Jason to get back home. They kept her so Jason and I could pack a suitcase faster than we ever have before. My husband's parents drove across four states to be there to keep Audra for the visitation and funeral so that she would not be in a strange place with strangers while I shook the hand of seven hundred well-wishers, and they have helped in innumerable other ways.

My family in Illinois continues to be subject to an outpouring of love, sympathy, stories, and support that is still ongoing two months later. Seriously. My sister is still filling out new thank-you cards.

My longtime cat became ill and died - and the vet came to our house and we were able to give her a few moments of feeling truly okay for the first time in months.

Through it all, I have watched a baby that began as kind of a warm squinty potato-in-a-blanket turn into a tiny little person, full of complex emotions and discovering through us how life is to be lived. Although she is apparently getting her first set of molars this week, so our parenting skills are definitely getting a workout.

Thoreau said "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation", and I was reminded this week that no matter what has gone wrong, there is so much that has gone right. I do not lead my life in quiet desperation, but with the strength and goodwill of a community of people that truly know me and still love me. I've entered a career field that I had never really known was an option and am happier at work than I have ever been in my life.

I have ended this second week of #FindJoyinNovember in a place of abject gratitude for every good thing that was connected to the bad. There are so, so many good things.

So even if I didn't post another picture this month for the tag, I think I'd still call this project a pretty raging success.

This Week on Instagram:

This Week on Facebook:

And This Week, in a Text!

I have a box of Christmas presents that need a-wrappin'. I'm over halfway done, which is great, since I'm usually pushing it right to the very last minute. Also, I love Christmas. Also, it's less than two weeks until my Mom is here visiting. Also also, I am nearly finished with Sarah's Bessey's book Out of Sorts, which has taken me forever since I can only read it during naptimes on the weekends or that scarce two hours between Audra's bedtime and mine on weekdays. It's a book I'd recommend to just about anyone who asked me, and probably a good many people who didn't.

Finally, this week we began to really interact with our neighborhood in a way we haven't really before. I think I even made a new mom-friend. I might have plans for Starbucks with her next Saturday! I am excited and vaguely terrified.

The truth is, I have a lot to be grateful for.

(I'd like to end this with a little bit on the tragic act of war just waged on France Friday night. After 9/11, France was one of our strongest allies and gave us some of our most comprehensive aid and support. We should return the favor. You can donate to the French Red Cross here or Secours Populaire Francois here, both on-the-ground right now helping people in Paris.)


  1. I'm glad this project is helping you focus on the good things in your life. I think your mindset is great! You were able to see the good among the bad things that have happened in the last few months. That's so amazing. Thanks for featuring one of my pictures. I am having a lot of fun with this project as well. It's helpful to find the small moments of joy amid the crazy, busy days. Thanks for hosting!

    1. This is really the first week that i have felt my mindset starting to shift in any real way. It's strange and unfamiliar to find myself starting to try for optimism :)

  2. This year hasn't been so great to you but I'm glad you can still see the sun shining even when it's hardest to find. It's been so much fun having you at Waypost and I'm glad you are a part of our team! Way to let us all remember how important it is to love life!

    1. Oh, Danielle, no one has to remind you to love life. You are the most carpe diem person I've ever met! :)

  3. Katie ... these words are golden --> 'For everything that has gone wrong, there is wonder lurking underneath, behind, or within it.'

    And for this truth I am grateful ...


Comments make the world go round - please leave your thoughts and I'll make it my goal to answer!