5 things I learned in 2018

1. Leopard print footwear is a closet staple.  Throughout much of my adult life, my day to day wardrobe has felt uninspired.  I had to do some major closet clean-out this summer as I prepared for a new school year approximately 20 pounds lighter.  I did a lot of shopping at Thredup and found some fabulous deals on pants, but also decided to update my footwear.  One item I have LONG wanted, probably since season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy first aired, was a pair of leopard print flats.  I can’t tell you how many times I longingly walked by the same pair at DSW before finally mustering up some courage to buy them and let me tell you, that was probably the best $30 I’ve spent in a long time!  Leopard print shoes are the perfect way to perk up an otherwise “blah” outfit.  They immediately take an “8” to a “10.”  If you are lazy in terms of accessorizing, like me, buy yourself a pair of leopard print shoes!5things

2. I only really need to wash my hair twice a week.  I probably should edit this to say that I really only need to wash my hair AT most twice a week.  I’ve been growing out my hair since Nora was born, mostly because I haven’t felt like dedicating the time to get regular cuts.  I spent the better part of my 20s and early 30s with my hair in a ponytail.  My hair is pretty thick with some serious wave and loose curls.  I am not a morning person and have little interest in styling my hair daily.  Then, I found a fabulous blog post  from Merrick’s Art that explains how to go longer between washes.  One of the best reason’s Merrick gives for washing less frequently is her desire to style infrequently.  Like, me she has small children at home and the idea of styling (drying, curling/ironing) daily is unappealing.  I started this in August and never looked back.  At first, I could only get away with 2-3 days, but I’ve found that I can go 4-5 comfortably and without dry shampoo!  Eventually I breakdown and wash my hair mostly because it does feel nice!

3. Aldi is my favorite grocery store ever.  I have loved Aldi for a long-while now.  Obviously the prices are awesome (and without the need to coupon).  I like the limited selection.  I don’t need 10 kinds of ketchup to choose from.  The streamlined design is helpful when trying to shop with two littles.  My favorite products are their German Roasted Coffee, their unbeatably priced cheese sticks, nonfat greek yogurt, and their light bread.  I also am a huge fan of their season mint mocha coffee.  Their selection definitely varies by store, but ours was recently remodeled and that made a tremendous difference.  I love you, Aldi.

4. Memories are made during bath time.  I saved my deeper thoughts for last.  When you have little children, it is so easy to become lost in the monotony that is racing to pick up children from pre-school or daycare, strapping them into carseats, fighting to cook dinner while people are wanting to be held or asking for snacks, cleaning up after dinner, baths, and bedtime only to repeat the entire process tomorrow.  There have been too many nights that I am just racing to get the kids in bed to feel like I can finally enjoy some time myself.  I understand that these are natural feelings for any parent.  One night during bath time, one or both of my children were happily playing in the tub when something powerful dawned on me.  Bathtime is something my children will remember about their childhood.  While for me, this is just another task to accomplish, they are making memories among the bubbles.  Keeping this in mind has helped me to let some things go a little.  Live in the moment.  Lighten up.  Enjoy the bubbles.

5. Real communication is best done face to face or at least voice to voice.  Yes, yes, we all know this is true, but I have short personal story to share with you.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a teacher.  My parent interactions are 99% awesome and positive, but occasionally, issues crop up.  I received a very unhappy email from a parent that largely indicated we had a miscommunication.  It was rather lengthy and I’ll spare the details.  I responded to her email and tried to explain myself, but there were still many questions that clearly were unanswered.  She responded again, rather hotly and in that moment, I desired some real resolution and closure.  I asked if I could call her and promptly did so.  We had a great conversation over the phone, resolved our issues and misunderstandings and moved forward.  There is definitely a place for email and text communication, but I fear we rely on these two forms to indefinitely respond to each other without really reaching resolution.  I have DEFINITELY been guilty of this.  Earlier this year, I made the mistake of passive aggressively using “…” in an email and man, did I regret it later.  Moral of the story: check yourself, your motives, and your intentions and when in doubt, call or talk in person!

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