If you and I were to sit down for a coffee date, I’d definitely order a cucumber lemonade (that’s a thing at our local coffee shop, I hope they have it on the menu at this place, too). I’m all about the cold drinks right now because it is SO HOT OUTSIDE.
Summer showed up on our doorstep last week, kicked in the door, and then punched us in the face with brass knuckles. How did you manage to ride your bike to the coffee shop without getting all sweaty? You’re like a wizard or something.
Speaking of the heat, I’d tell you that we bought a new swimming pool for Juniper’s birthday. Our old pool was getting up in years and was costing more to maintain than it was worth, plus, we really wanted to get something shallower so Juni felt more comfortable (and we did, too) while she was learning to swim. We ended up ordering this pool, and ohmygosh, it is AMAZING. I doubt it’ll last more than a few summers, but it’s just the perfect size for our little nugget.
You stop me and say, “Whoa. Wait. Juni’s birthday?” and I probably start crying while I remind you that my little, tiny, squishy baby turns TWO YEARS OLD on Monday. TWO! I know I’m a big, fat cliche, but how in the hell did that happen? Where did the time go?
Because you were such a great friend and came to Juni’s first birthday party last year (and brought an awesome gift—you’re so sweet), you’d ask what we were doing for the big 0-2. I’d tell you that we’re going party-less this year. Juni won’t care—this might be the last year that she won’t mind—and because of how her birthday falls right around Father’s Day, it would be so inconvenient for folks to come, anyway.
You’re sweet and empathetic, so you say, “awwwwww” and look me with pity because you think it’s a bummer that Juni isn’t getting a party. I assure you that it’s totally not sad at all! We actually have a fun weekend trip planned that involves children’s museums and zoos and aquariums and gifts and cake and ice cream. She’ll get to spend three straight days with her two favorite people looking at animals and eating sweets. Don’t worry, Juni will be adequately spoiled—just not in party form.
Because it seems to be the question everyone wants to ask when your kid hits two years old, you’d then ask me if we plan on having any more kids. The answer is a firm “no.” Both Craig and I have been in the one-and-done mindset since I was pregnant, and we haven’t really wavered since.
People keep telling me “you just wait, you’ll totally want more,” but it hasn’t happened yet. The thought of going through another pregnancy or having another baby in the house just doesn’t seem right for us (so much so, when friends announce they are pregnant with a second, third, fourth, etc. kid, my first thought is, “That’s surprising.” And then, “Oh wait, no it isn’t, most people have more than one kid.”).
If a surprise happens, of course we’ll be happy, but I feel like our family unit is complete just the way it is, and I would be thrilled to go through life as a mom of an only. Of course, we reserve the right to change our mind, because—hello, our business—but I really don’t see that happening.
You have the memory of an elephant and then ask me what I’m doing for my birthday. I can’t believe you remembered that my birthday is the day before Juni’s! Well, we’re going to be on our road trip, and I asked for exactly one thing for my birthday—to go on an IKEA shopping spree. Weird request? Possibly. But Mama is in desperate need of some affordably-priced storage solutions for her home office.
When you’re turning the ripe ole age of 33 years old, boring things like shopping for Swedish furniture are really a super exciting way to spend your birthday. We don’t have an IKEA nearby, so getting to go to one is like Christmas on my birthday. I’m sure there will also be beer involved in my birthday celebration (although hopefully post-IKEA—I’m on a mission and need a clear head to tackle those four floors of homegoods).
Since I’ve been rambling on for 10 straight minutes about IKEA binges, I’d then change the subject and ask you how your kids are doing. You’d tell me they were great and that one of them just started in a summer baseball league. That’s so fun! We tried Juni in a gymnastics class a few weeks ago, and it just wasn’t a great fit so we pulled her out, but I’m excited to one day see her wearing cute little sports uniforms and getting to cheer my head off on the sidelines like my parents did with me. We’ll try again when the nugget is a little older.
I’d love to come to one of your kid’s games! Maybe I can sneak in a bottle of wine and we can have a “wine date” while we cheer on your kid? Is that frowned upon? Do we care?
Okay, enough about our families, amirite? I ask you to tell me about your work. What new, fun projects have you been working on lately? Anything fun you’re doing on the side? Spill!
After you told me all about your amazing career (you’re my hero), you’d then ask me about my work, and I’d tell you that I had to be honest—I’m a bit burnt out right now. I love my job. I literally have my dream job, but that sometimes, running your own show can get pretty heavy. I think I have too many balls in the air businesswise, and it’s starting to wear on me.
I also have a bit of wanderlust going on, and I honestly just want to play hooky and hang out with my awesome family all summer and drive around and see lots of beautiful things. I tend to get this way every summer. Readership plummets on websites in the summer because people are outside having fun, so sometimes it can be really hard to find the motivation to put my heart and soul into content when not a lot of people are tuning in.
But then I remind myself that I do what I do because I love what I do, ya heard? Not because there is an audience or money or notoriety. I love cooking healthy food. I love telling annoyingly verbose stories. I love taking pictures. I love working with brands. I love connecting with readers. I get excited when I “get” to go to work every Monday, and man, that is worth more that I could put into numbers. And beside all of that, this is all just a (literally and figurative) season. By September, folks will be cruising Pinterest for pumpkin recipes while they watch Monday Night Football, and I’ll be back in business again.
I think the fact is that everyone needs a break from time to time (even those of us who adore our gigs). I took a month off last year, and it was the best thing I ever did for my business, my family, and myself. I’ll be repeating that this year. I already have it scheduled in my planner with big, thick washi tape—so I can’t write in any appointments or deadlines. I’m excited (and nervous, because stepping away from a business for a whole month is petrifying).
You’d then ask me if I have any new cookbooks coming out soon, and I’d tell you I actually have a few things in the works (see the previous note about balls in the air). Right now, I’m working super hard to finish up a book all about healthy lunch-packing for adults. It’ll be a book with tips, tricks, recipes, printables, and TONS of sample lunches that you can either copy directly or use as inspiration. I’m excited about it!
Other projects that are in various phases: a book with healthy menus that cost less than $100 per week, a vegetarian slow cooker cookbook, and a whole, big, giant scary project that I’m hoping to launch just in time for New Year’s 2017. But first, I need to stop juggling so many damn balls. Doing a bunch of things half-ass is so much less efficient than doing one thing whole-ass. I think I need to cross-stitch that onto a pillow and put it in my desk chair.
Oh gosh, look at the time! We only have a few minutes left. Quick, give me a quick run down of how everything else in your life is going. Go. GO. GO!
Phew. Okay, my turn.
Garden: small but producing well. Chickens: super entertaining and making more eggs than we can eat. Husband: college graduate (with honors!) and as sweet, compassionate, and cute as ever. Dog: old and grumpy (but adorable). Cat: really loves being picked up by the toddler (except not). Current beverage of choice: margaritas, preferably frozen. Dinner tonight: Sesame Soba Noodles. Current state of my office: a complete disaster (follow me on Snapchat while I step you through my office remodel—it gets worse before it gets better, right?).
Alright, I gotta jet. It’s been so great catching up with you. Let’s do this again soon, k? Stay cool!