34. Changes

 
Photo by  Juliana Amorim  on  Unsplash
 

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all had a great week!

It’s been a good six weeks since I’ve had the energy or desire to write here, but I’m very happy to be back! I took some time off in July and August to take care of myself and my family. I basically just went to work and went home - I wasn’t writing, wasn’t knitting, wasn’t hanging out, nothing. Basically, I was just trying to make it day by day.

Don’t worry, I’m not sick - I’m pregnant! Apparently going off the grid in the first trimester is just what I do, LOL. I did the same thing when I was pregnant with Josephine.

William and I have been trying for baby #2 for a long time, but it actually caught me by surprise when it actually happened. I learned I was pregnant the same week as my birthday, so birthday drinks for me :-( The first few weeks were easy but then beginning in week 8 I started getting really sick. So far this pregnancy has been harder on me than when I was pregnant with Josephine, but I’m surviving. I did have to go on medication for my morning sickness, and my heartburn has kicked in super early which is super fun #sarcasm. I’ve done a lot of sleeping on the couch and eating the most random things (when I can stomach eating anything). Thank goodness for William - he’s been so amazing taking care of me and Josephine as I’ve been sick so far in this pregnancy.

So far we don’t know what we’re having, but Josephine ordered a baby brother, LOL. Also we’re due 2/29 so we may have a Leap Year baby, which is pretty cool.

My energy is coming back so I’m excited to make my way back to writing, and knitting too.

Things I Read Recently:

I Found the Outer Limits of My Pro-choice Beliefs (The Atlantic)

Well this is bizarre - my new employee ran a background check on me and asked me about what he found (Ask A Manager)

A Tissue Sample From 1966 Held Traces of Early HIV (The Atlantic)

Remember That Trump Speech at the Pennsylvania Plant? Workers Had to Attend, Take Paid Time Off or Lose a Day of Pay (The Root)

Why the Coors Light "bra ad" is groundbreaking (The AV Club)

The New York Times 1619 Project is reshaping the conversation on slavery. Conservatives hate it. (Vox)

Hard seltzer is this summer's biggest scam (SF Chronicle)

Lack of diversity in genetic databases hampers research (MPR News)

Brazil's President Is Full of Shit (Gizmodo)

How white women’s “investment” in slavery has shaped America today (Vox)

The Angle: What Happens When Hundreds of Parents Vanish (Slate)

The Car Seat Industry Helped Delay a Child Safety Regulation — Again (ProPublica)

Why Some Doctors Purposely Misdiagnose Patients (The Atlantic)

Leashes Are a Great Solution to Dangerous Runaway Kids. So Why Do Some Parents Judge Them So Harshly? (Slate)

By far the most heartbreaking story I’ve read in a long time - The New American Homeless (The New Republic)

Other Stuff:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the Internet lose their minds over this new chicken sandwich at Popeye’s. I’m here to tell you, it is 100% worth the hype. Both the classic and spicy versions are good, but I prefer the spicy. I live down the street from a Popeyes and I may have had three of these sandwiches in the last two weeks, #dontjudgeme. If you haven’t tried them yet, do yourself a favor and get one, stat!

Did you see the season finale of Pose? It was sooooooooo good! I may have shed a few tears at a couple of scenes. Really this entire season has been so good, with the exception of them killing off Candy - I didn’t Stan for her but we barely got to know her! Overall I adore this show and i’m so excited that we’re getting a third season. Also Billy Porter is a national treasure and deserves all of the things.

And speaking of TV, I highly recommend you watch the new season of Dear White People. The reviews were mixed but I really enjoyed it. Same with The Boys on Amazon Prime which I binged in two days. And i’m also 5 seasons into Nurse Jackie - I wish I had watched it when the show was airing, it was so good!

It’s the last weekend before Labor Day weekend - where did the summer go?

Have a great weekend!

29. Lazy Summer Days

 
Photo by   Ylanite Koppens   from   Pexels
 

Happy Friday!

I must admit - I’m writing this post on Friday morning, from my day job. Normally I write this post on Wed evening and finish it on Thursday evening, but I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with having a consistent writing schedule. since I took my staycation. Basically I’ve been lazy, LOL. But it’s summer so there should be some level of slowness and chill time, right?

My chillness has even extended to my knitting - I’m trying to add stock to my Etsy shop but I’ve lost the motivation to knit!

Hopefully next week I can get back to actually writing in advance and also regain my knitting mojo. Send me some motivation and less heat!

Things I Read This Week:

‘Blown Away’, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and the Joys of Craft Based Reality TV

Hustlers looks like it's gonna be amazing - check out the real story that inspired the movie

22 Side Hustles You Can Start, Like, Yesterday

Farai Chideya shares her story of three failed adoptions on her quest to motherhood

Next Billion-Dollar Startups: Rothy's Makes This Year's 'It' Shoe. But Can It Keep Growing Amid A Flood Of Copy Cats—And A Founder's Departure?

New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered.

Twitter Reacts To The Abject Insanity That Is The 'Cats' Trailer

Other Stuff:

William and I started watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix - this show is hilarious! Looks like it will be our new show to watch together.

While everyone will be seeing The Lion King this weekend, I think I’m going to see The Farewell instead. All the reviews of the film have been excellent, and I loved the original This American Life story that inspired the film.

Enjoy your weekend!

28. Reunion

 
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Happy happy Friday friends! We made it to another weekend!

This week I got invited to a new Facebook group, for my high school 20th reunion. I graduated in 2000, so next year will make 20 years.

In some ways, tt doesn’t feel like I graduated 20 years ago tho. Like I just became an adult a hot second ago. It’s only been in the last five years that I got married, had a baby and bought a house. I didn’t feel like an adult for a very long time, and there are still times when I don’t, like when I remember that I still need to rollover two 401ks. It’s so weird to that almost twenty years ago, I was fresh out of high school and embarking on my (sort of) adult life.

Right now I’m on the fence about going to my reunion. I didn’t go to my 10 year because I didn’t want to buy a flight to catch up with folks that I could just catch up with on Facebook. Also (surprise surprise) I was pretty nerdy and awkward back then. I was an ugly duckling who blossomed once I left my hometown and moved away for college and grad school. In the past twenty years, I’ve grown and changed a lot and so have my old classmates, so maybe it’s worth taking a trip back home for next year’s reunion. And even if the reunion itself is trash, we can spend our time visiting with family, which is a plus.

Did any of yall go to your high school reunions? Was it worth it or was it just a waste of time?


Things I Read This Week:

Vox asks a good question: “What does an engagement ring signify?”

Wardrobe Oxygen provided a good breakdown of how blogs make money - as a blogger I found it super helpful!

Chief Mom Officer paid off her mortgage and shares how life is going post-mortgage

MEL Magazine has advice on how to correct people who mispronounce your name (this is something I’m an expert at!)

In The Atlantic, Emily Oster breaks down a new study focusing on marijuana and pregnancy

Did you know that the BeautyBlender was invented on the set of Girlfriends?

Black Lady Sketch Show is coming to HBO and I’M HERE FOR IT!

Did you know there are Facebook groups where you can pretend to be a Baby Boomer? I’m intrigued

A Detroit music festival charged white people more than BIPOC and people are mad (I find nothing wrong with this btw)

Vox digs into the explosion of tourists in Antelope Canyon, one of the most Instagrammed places in the world.

A Canadian official said something stupid & Twitter rightly dragged him

Two great posts from Design Mom about the Jeffrey Epstein story and how we should do-over social media

This week’s life tip: hand wash your delicate clothes with a salad spinner!


Other Stuff:

I had a very delightful birthday! I spent time with my family and also with a good group of girlfriends, and it was the perfect way to spend my birthday - low-key, chill and relaxing. William got me a Sephora giftcard which was perfect since I currently have twelve items sitting in my cart. Josephine also spent the entire weekend saying “Happy birthday Mommy!” which was adorbs every single time.

A few months ago I saw this jumpsuit featured on Putting Me Together and I put it in my cart…and then sat on it for awhile. I finally pulled the trigger back in June, and I wore it for the first time for my birthday dinner. Listen, this jumpsuit is the holy grail. It’s like wearing pajamas out but still looking cute. Highly recommend! Two thumbs up!

Do you read Refinery29? I skim it cause they publish A LOT and a lot of it is salesy/clickbaity, but they have some good stuff mixed in. They recently launched a new vertical focused on Black women called R29 Unbothered, and they have a fantastic IG as well. Definitely follow if you need Black woman inspo & love in your IG feed.

Enjoy your weekend!

You Aren't Entitled To A Wedding Invite

 
 

One of my dearest friends got married recently. She and her wife had a beautiful destination wedding, surrounded by less than 30 of their closest friends and family. My friend and her new wife had the wedding they truly wanted and enjoyed it fully, so imagine her surprise when she came back from her honeymoon to hurt feelings and disappointed friends. Why? Because some folks were not invited to her wedding, and they expected to be. The minute she mentioned that people were hurt over not receiving an invitation, I instantly knew why they were upset. I experienced it myself as a bride and had to deal with people who assumed they would be receiving an invite to my wedding. I had folks that I barely knew excitedly telling me how they planned to attend my wedding…and that led to an awkward conversation.

People, I want you to say it with me - no one is entitled to, or “owed” an invite to anyone’s wedding.

Wedding planning involves a never ending list of decisions that must be made, but deciding on a guest list is one of the hardest decisions a couple has to make. There are so many factors that go into it, from family politics to impact on your budget. Even if you have a limitless budget, that doesn’t mean that you want everyone and their mama invited to your wedding - some couples are intensely private and don’t want a ton of attention. Every couple makes their own criteria for who gets invited to their wedding, and they shouldn’t have to apologize for not inviting someone.

But no matter their reasoning, or guest list criteria, it doesn’t matter, because once again, you aren’t entitled to an invitation.

I already know what you’re thinking - "Of course there are situations where I should get an invite! What about when my relative or child or BFF gets marred?” Sorry, but you aren’t entitled in an invite to any of those weddings either. Really, the only time you absolutely should be invited to a wedding is when you’re one of the people engaging in said marriage. Otherwise, an invitation is a gift, not a requirement or expectation.

The lack of invitation results in hurt feelings when one of two things happens: when the invitation (or lack thereof) is viewed as an indication of the relationship, or when the invitation is viewed as some type of transactional exchange. While some couples make their guest lists based on who’s closest to them, it’s not always a guarantee, and you shouldn’t assume that the lack of invitation is an indication that they don’t care about you. Similarly, just because you invited someone to your wedding, it doesn’t immediately obligate them to invite you to theirs. This isn’t a ti for tat situation.

The best thing you can do is to detach any type of meaning or expectations to the invitation. And you definitely should not hint for or outright ask for an invitation to someone’s wedding (or really any type of event). It’s rude and tacky. Wish your folks well, and if you get invited to celebrate with them, I hope you get to attend and enjoy the experience. But even if you don’t, don’t let that change how you view the relationship or the couple.

Tell me, have you ever had an experience expecting an invitation that you never received? Did you have folks thinking they were invited to your wedding? Share in the comments!

27. Another Year Around The Sun

 
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Happy Friday friends!

Tomorrow is a great day, because it’s my birthday! I’m one of those people who loves their birthday, because it’s the one day that you truly get to feel special. As a kid, I didn’t have many parties but my parents always made my birthday special and fun. In my 20s, I was really into doing it big for my birthday with trips & stuff, but now in my (late) 30s I’m more chill about my birthday. Honestly, I just feel blessed to have made it another year and to get the opportunity to do better and be better.

This year I turn 37 and I’m really chill about it all. Life is legit great - I have a beautiful family (both immediate & extended), good friends, a good job with lots of perks, and the ability to indulge my passions. The only thing that I’m less than happy about is my weight/body size, but I’m working on loving myself as I am and sustaining the motivation to get myself where I want to be. It’s a process and I continue to remind myself to give myself grace through it all.

A lot of people do New Year’s resolutions but I like to do them on my birthday - I prefer to think about what I want to accomplish or experience in the next year of my life. This year I’m thinking about what I want to start, stop and continue.

i want to start and maintain a regular yoga practice; making regular time for necessary self-care; actively advertising for clients.

I want to stop devaluing my skills and experience; bombarding myself with negative thoughts; letting fear stop me from pursuing the things I want in life.

I want to continue growing my businesses; sharing my story on JTM Writes; deepening my relationships with family and friends; being a good wife and mother.

I’ll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow with friends, my family and food - all my favorite things!

Here’s hoping that this next year will be just as excellent as the last one.

Things I Read This Week:

Paris Is Burning Is Back—And So Is Its Baggage (Vanity Fair)

The Photographer Who Captured 20th-Century Queer Life (The Atlantic)

22 Perfect Dresses for All Your Summer Invites (Shondaland)

Female sports journalists still face rampant sexism on the job (Quartz)

These Donors Helped Give Beto O'Rourke A Historic Start. They're Disappointed With What Happened Next. (Buzzfeed)

Where to Find Petite Clothes Over Size 10 (Wardrobe Oxygen)

Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like (Vox)

The Hidden Cost of GoFundMe Health Care (The New Yorker)

The Worst Question You Get Asked When Applying For A Job (And What To Do Instead Of Answering) (Chief Mom Officer)

The Problem With Diversity in Computing (The Atlantic)

The Boomers Ruined Everything (The Atlantic)

10 Women Talk About HOW to Learn From Failure (Design*Sponge)

How to Find Better Podcasts (Lifehacker)

For all the mamas who need it: A thread of only happy viral videos 😍 (Motherly)

Alanis Morissette's "four boundaries" are so good (Just Good Shit)

Why Those Plus-Size Model Mannequins Matter (Glamour)

Search And Destroy: How Google Search Results Are Being Manipulated By Shady Online Reputation Consultants (Buzzfeed)

When Fandom Is the Problem (The AV Club)

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients' access to care (STAT)

Other Stuff:

My staycation is coming to an end, but its been a glorious week at home! I really enjoyed the time off.

This week I started knitting new items for my Etsy shop! If you wear knits during the colder months, I’d love to know what kinds of things you wear! Right now I’m making scarfs, hats, mittens and maybe some earwarmer headbands.

Have an awesome week!