I know I wasn’t the only one who was glad to see 2020 end. It was a crazy year for us, and we were hopeful that 2021 would bring a different pace. We were building our forever home, had a baby on the way, and looking forward to planning life post-COVID.
The first six months of 2021 have been just about as exciting as the last nine of 2020. I was teaching “concurrently” which meant that I had a full class of students, half in person and half virtual who I taught at the same time. Our class was finally settling into our routine and I was furiously planning for my maternity leave.
Then in mid-February, the day we were supposed to close on our house, they found an issue with the plumbing. In the foundation. Y’all. I was due in nine weeks. While we were waiting for the construction company and plumbers to decide how they were going to address the issue, a winter storm blew in. We were not going to close that day.
Uri hit us hard in Central Texas. We were lucky though. While others were without power for a week or more, the longest we were ever without power was three hours, though we did have to explain to Emma that no power meant no internet as the “rolling blackouts” lasted through the week. We had to boil our water, but we had running water (many did not).
After the snow melted (my poor child now thinks it snows each year in Texas by the way), the plumbers decided they could fix the issue without having to tear up my beautiful brand new kitchen (thank God!) but that it would be yet another month before we could move in. Well, at least the problem was found before we moved in, we told ourselves.
Five weeks before my due date, we finally were able to move into our house. It was a fury of activity. For everyone but me. By that point I was giant and exhausted and not much help to anyone. In what can only be called a miracle of epic proportions, the house was pretty liveable two weeks later when, to our surprise, it was baby time! The birth was beautiful, she’s perfect, and we’re both healthy.
Sometimes it feels like the Universe is just trying to see how much we can candle (or show us how strong we are?). When the world is crazy I know that I need to stop and think about the good things, my life-savers, that ground me. Safe things and places I can go to unwind, turn off the chaos, and find my footing once again.
At the end of each of her podcast episodes, Jen Hatmaker asks her guests the question posed by Barbara Brown Taylor, “what’s saving your life right now?” So, what’s saving my life right now?
1. “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix.
I came into this show a couple of seasons in, and I have to tell you that I’m glad I did. Phil Rosenthal (the creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond”) is the most delightful human being on the planet. On his show, he travels the world meeting great people and eating the most delicious, and at times adventurous, foods. When I tune in for an hour-long episode it’s like I’m there with Phil, and I can’t help but smile and feel a little lighter by the end.
Whether he’s diving in to specialty hot dogs (yes, hot dogs) in Hawaii, sampling the delicacies of the Mississippi delta, or exploring international cuisine (Israel, Singapore, and Lisbon just to name a few) Phil is 100 percent in with the locals, showing us that food can bring cultures together from across the globe. He recently announced that now that the world is opening back up they are getting ready to film the fifth season. Bring it on!
2. My aloe-based skincare.
I’ve been using L’BRI for several years now and I absolutely love it! I was looking for a skincare line that was gluten free and I met Audrey at an event. She introduced me to the products and it turns out that aloe is just what my skin needed! Pure aloe is the first ingredient in all of their skincare products, and it’s present in the cosmetics as well. The skin care is gentle and effective, and my face looks and feels a million times better than it did before. I used the body butter religiously during my last pregnancy (cucumber is my favorite scent), and we use the pure aloe jelly for everything from bug bites to burns to any kind of “owie” our four year old presents.
3. Curbside everything.
I picked up my first curbside grocery order about two weeks after our four year old was born. It was life-changing. As a new mom I didn’t want to enter the sea of people inside the grocery store and it was so easy just to pull up and pick up my groceries without even having to exit my air-conditioned vehicle. I was already a seasoned curbside grocery shopper when COVID hit, and now you can pick up pretty much anything sitting in your car at the curb. I like to think I’ve saved so much money at Target by not going in the store (though my husband might disagree). Curbside is this introvert’s delight!
So, there you have it. What’s saving your life right now? Leave a comment to let me know!