Now that I’m not doing monthly baby updates, I have nothing to get keep on task with blogging so I thought I would check in.

It seems like many folks have decided to give up blogging in light of social media. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook all seem to fill that gap for a lot of people.

That is true for me in many ways but I enjoy the blog and have no plans to end it. I have even seen a few people “quit blogging” only to return a few months later. I admit, many things I want to write about don’t fit in this space. But that’s why I use the Medium platform — and of course National Review when applicable.

So here’s what’s been going on with me…

1. Book writing. I started working on a book nearly 6 years ago. I know…what’s happening. Well, I went about a whole year at one point without writing a word. Then I’d write two pages and not touch it for six months. I finally got the inspiration to finally do this thing. I have about 55,000 words written (you need at least 60,000) and can thank Elizabeth Gilbert and the “Magic Lessons” podcast for giving me the courage to finish it. I’m not done yet but getting a lot closer.

Gilbert said something that just clicked for me: You know that old question, “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” Well, she turned it into this: “What would you do even if you knew you WOULD fail?” The podcast is about creating and doing for the sake of fulfillment — and because you can.

Chances are, this book will not be a New York Times bestseller but I finally realized that finishing it is important to me. I have something to say and I believe the message is God-given now. I’ve always thought God gave me a writing ability, to some extent. I don’t know what is going to happen with this book, but I’m going to finish it. And one day, whether I self publish or put it online, you will be able to read it. I hope you will, but even if you don’t, I will have made my own magic.

2. Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I have a heart for foster children, as you might know. I’d love nothing more than to be a foster parent and/or adopt my second child. That’s not a possibility right now — and maybe someday we can talk more about it — but I’ve been searching high and low for a place I could mentor foster care youth, like I started to do with DC-FYI in DC. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent place here in Indy. I hadn’t considered BBBS until last week, when someone mentioned it to me, and told me some of the kids in the program are also in foster care. I have contacted them and next week will speak with them about becoming a mentor. I am specifically going to request a girl that is in foster care if that is available. I can give money to organizations all I want but I feel the need to be physically invested and this is the best I can do right now. Looking forward to it.

3. Christmasing. I think I spend more on Christmas presents every year. I know sometimes husbands & wives don’t get each other presents (like they will say, we bought a new couch for eachother this year) but I enjoy exchanging gifts with Rick. We aren’t lavish but we don’t go cheap either. The truth is, he always makes me open my presents early and so I already have. It wasn’t a disappointment. He was so thoughtful, he got me “experiences” because he knows I’m not into “things” as much. So…I’ve got a massage, haircut, mani/pedi, 2 sessions at the new Orange Theory in town, as well as a dinner out with Rick at Ruth’s Chris. I’ve never gotten so much at Christmas in my life but I love this. Also, we have been to Ruth’s Chris one time 5 years ago — LOVED it — but said we’d never go back because $$$. This is will be a once in a five year occasion and I’m pumped to order my medium rare filet already!

4. Stocks & Investing. I have gotten really interested in investment in the past year so I’ve been listening to “So Money” with Farnoosh Tarobi podcast, reading investment books (My Dad says if you read one, let it be this one!), watching CNBC and becoming fascinated with the financial world. I’m pretty bad at it and don’t understand a lot but…my Dad gives me a lot of advice and inspires me to investigate and experiment a bit. I’m on a mission now to find a financial advisor I can trust. I’m very skeptical, though…I feel like there aren’t that many out there that really know what they’re talking about. It’s so hard to trust someone when it comes to investment. I’m currently reading “The Art of Money” by Bari Tessler, who is — get this — a financial therapist. It’s fascinating to think about all the emotions we connect to money. One of the biggest ones? Shame. And it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor — we all have it and it comes from a million places. So interesting.

5. Photo Printing. I’m currently uploading a gazillion photos to mPix, my preferred printing platform. I thought about getting Chatbooks but…I like printed photos, not printed in books. My phone keeps saying I have too little storage so I need to clear this thing out but…even when I print the photos, I seriously don’t need another 10 photo albums. I’m just not sure what to do with all my photos or how to keep them organized. Does anyone have anything they love for prints? I guess I’m going to put all these phone photos into my Google Drive and hope the Internet never blows up and erases my memories.

6. CrossFit. Duh, I mean, this is always part of it right? My back has been so good lately so I’ve been able to go to CrossFit about 3-4x/week consistently lately. As i wrote earlier, I’m getting so much stronger and it feels amazing. I’m still confused as to why I can’t squat more, it seems weird when other people at my level in other areas can squat like WAY more than me — like 40 pounds or more. But hey, I’m happy with my upper body strength and it feels so great to be able to do pull ups and never have to resort to ring rows during workouts. I could NEVER do that back in the old days but this year as been totally different. I only wish my gym was 2 minutes away like it was when I lived in Virginia!

Generally speaking, things are good. Work is always a struggle but I enjoy what I do and am always optimistic. Mom guilt is always present but I realize I’m in the same boat as many, many others. Not loving the cold weather (and missing my daily walks with Jacob) but we are making do. I have so much more to write but limited time because who knows how long this nap for him will last? See ya next time!

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