Friday, February 5, 2016

5 Things - The Sleep-Deprived Self-Acceptance Edition (Sort of)

I mostly just wanted to use all those S's.

photo credit: passing time via photopin (license)
1. This post on learning to accept how life has changed your body from Addie Zierman.

Addie is a writer I've only fairly recently gotten into. Her first book, When We Were On Fire, is a searingly honest look at what happens when everything you felt was certain in life (marriage, faith, community, and family) start seemingly tumbling away from you.

This new post of hers, "Size Up", is a post about buying a new pair of blue jeans. It doesn't necessarily seem like something to turn into poignancy; no one likes having to admit they've gone up a size or three from the clothes they used to wear.

Addie turns this moment into a rumination on how life changes us inside and out, and there's something to the acknowledgement and acceptance that your body must evolve alongside you, and sometimes that means accepting that the number on the tag is going to change, too.

It's a beautiful post, and I highly recommend it.

In fact, go click and read it now.

I'll wait.

2. This dress.

I haven't ordered from Boden in a long while, for a variety of reasons, but this. dress.

I don't even wear dresses, and I love this dress.

I love the color, and the longer arms, and the drawstring and and and and.

Love it all.

So I'll go back to staring wistfully at it.

3. This post from Sarah Bessey, "The Nightwatch", on the way that parenting a non-sleeping baby is horrible and also simultaneously full of perfect sweetness.

The thing about parenting is that to have a baby who just. won't. sleep. is to have everyone tell you that you just haven't tried the right thing, yet. And it doesn't matter how many things you have tried, and it doesn't matter how many times you tell people you have tried everything, they will all try to tell you that the problem is just that you haven't tried hard enough.

Audra isn't a good sleeper. And neither is Sarah Bessey's girl Maggie, who is nonetheless a smile-all-the-time pile of happiness, the fourth child and the subject of no small amount of sibling adoration.

Reading this, I just kept nodding my head.

We are tired, in our house, and have been tired since she was born. (I've been tired since I was four months pregnant, granted, but it became a team effort in August 2014.) She sleeps through the night usually only just enough to throw us off guard before three more days of waking up again.

Sarah writes so well the way that sitting with your little one at midnight... and 3... and 6... can involve such moments of exhausted desperation and simultaneously be so full of happiness. Which I suppose is parenting, in a nutshell.

Exhausted, desperate happiness.
4. These shoes from Target, which would just go perfectly with that Boden dress above, right?

... right?

I don't do much window-shopping these days... or at least not for me. I do a ton of window-shopping for toddler clothes, but when it comes to my wardrobe I'm basically just living on blue jeans and cardigans out of the back of the closet. But I think with the dress and the shoes? I could be pretty damn adorable this spring.

You know, the two weeks of spring South Carolina has before it's suddenly blisteringly hot and summer.

In April.

5. I'd like to end with a post from my friend Rachel, "Snapback". I've already shared it ALL OVER Facebook in like six different places, so a lot of you have probably already seen it.

Here's how it starts: "I look rough these days. That's not fishing for compliments, I promise."

Rachel has a little one a few months younger than mine, and we've been kind of right alongside each other in becoming first-time moms. We even both live in the South, although she's a bit further down there than I am.

Her thoughts on postpartum bodies meaning more than just "get your body back six weeks/six months after baby" and being a little more of acknowledging how you are changed, and no Insanity workout takes that change away. About accepting the bit of stomach that is perfect for your little one to rest on, about acknowledging that maybe you have become that mom, wearing yoga pants and a T-shirt while your child is impeccably dressed.

About acknowledging that that's just part of the journey.

If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. It's just perfect. I know all my "reads" in this roundup have been parenting-related, at least somewhat, although I think Addie's resonates for anyone going into their thirties or forties and facing the changes in our bodies and in the mirror.

But I adore Rachel, and I saved her post for last for a reason. Go read it, and get to know her, and you'll adore her frank, honest take on motherhood, too.

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