New Mercies

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DISCLAIMER: Before I go any further, I should probably warn you: I am so sleep deprived right now that it’s not even funny. Except… it is funny, because now I’m at the slap-happy stage (this comes immediately after the hysterical crying stage and is shortly followed by a state of semi-animated sleep-walking. I have this whole thing down to a science, guys). You have been warned. Continue at your own risk. END DISCLAIMER.

After two nights of waking every hour and a few days of near-constant crying (from the baby, haha… although, to be honest, there was definitely some crying on my end too), I decided to cut dairy from my diet this month, to see if it makes this poor little guy feel any better. Crushingly, this means no heavy cream in my coffee. Coffee without cream is pointless and gross, but I need coffee to avoid system failure, so… how will I survive?!?

Sleep deprivation without caffeine makes me very over-dramatic.

However, on my way home from picking up peaches at Whole Foods (annual one-day sale!), I decided that I was determined to find a coffee shop with a drive-thru that could make a creamy, highly-caffeinated latte without milk or soy (the other thing Charlie’s pediatrician told me to avoid), come hell or high water!

I pictured this as a sort of quest that might take some time and heroic determination, but apparently Starbucks makes coconut milk lattes, and so the quest ended happily almost as soon as it began. Incidentally, I think I like Starbucks’ coconut latte even more than their regular sort, and Charlie likes hanging out on the porch while big sister naps… so here we sit, listening to the cicadas and sweating gently in the TN heat. :)

So grateful for this chance to take a breath and redirect my thoughts to hope, beauty, and thankfulness in the midst of this crazy week.

His mercies are new every morning. :)
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We’ll return after these messages.

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Miraculously I actually did finish the list by the end of the day… but first, coffee.

When I wrote my last post I didn’t intend to take an almost 3-month break from blogging, but, well… these things do happen. :) Summer has been nice but it has FLOWN by in a whirlwind! I’m glad summer days are long or else I don’t know how we would have packed everything in. June was filled to the brim with friends and family, and I did intentionally take a blogging break for that month, but then July was bustling with travel plans and a beautiful wedding in MA for my brother and new sister-in-love, and then the days kept pushing in all in a pack with their own smaller events and errands and outings so that I never had a chance to slow down with a cup of coffee to get my bearings and see a bit further ahead and greet them one at at time. :)

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My attempts at blogging this summer.

Still, I’ve been taking as many moments as I can to enjoy our first beautiful Tennessee summer. :) I’ve been enjoying all the visits with family and friends – some new, and some I hadn’t seen in years! I’ve been soaking up all the warm, green smells of plants growing in the sunshine, flowers nodding and cicadas rasping, and enjoying the dark, warm, thundery days of rain-scented wind and steady downpours in a wet, blue-green world. I’ve tried to keep up with my boisterous herb garden, and made ratatouille and fresh herb bread and oregano pesto (Not a success, by the way. Even in pesto, oregano is bossy and yells OREGANO! in your mouth until you cough). I’ve enjoyed the fireflies and bumblebees who politely stay outside and mind their own business, and been at war with the flies and spiders trying to take over my home. I’ve enjoyed summer evening drives and library trips and Culver’s dates with Will (who has been playing volleyball all summer and diligently running 20+ miles a week, to the awe of his exercise-hating wife, haha), and I’ve loved watching Beatrice’s personality continue to blossom over the past few months. Every day she pulls all her books off the shelf and then lies in the middle of the pile, flipping through them. She is on a never-ending quest to pull out all the cans of tuna from under the buffet and roll them across the floor. She loves when we sing and dance around the room with her, and when Will makes the stuffed animals talk to her in funny voices her laugh is the most bubbly, contagious, joyful sound I’ve ever heard. I’m completely biased and I completely don’t care.

Beatrice Collage
I mean… look at that face.

In any case, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this summer, but it has felt crazy and helter-skelter and a little exhausting at times in it’s joyful exuberance. Just in the last week or so I’ve begun to feel things slow down and settle back into their more normal routines, and I’ve been beginning to feel the vaguest tugs and hints that autumn is around the corner. Then yesterday morning as I was taking Beatrice for a stroll around the neighborhood, the air was actually cool and crisp, and we passed children waiting for their school bus, and a tree with it’s leaves turning a bit yellow and beginning to fall, and I felt that autumn is really on it’s way. I almost felt like baking some molasses cookies to celebrate, but then it was 80+ degrees that afternoon so I decided I’d better wait. But it DID feel like a good time to end my blogging hiatus. I’ve missed keeping in touch with you all (all three of you, haha), and I’ll try to post at a more usual rate again.

I’ll be back next week with a quick catch-up of our summer adventures, mostly because I have a lot of photos to share (and mostly of Beatrice, obviously), and then… hopefully another post before Thanksgiving, right? ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday Inspiration: Summer Hairstyles

Ah, spring… when a young woman’s fancy turns to chopping off her hair. Just thinking about it makes me nervous (but excited)! ;) I’ve almost always had long hair, and although I play with the idea of getting it cut shorter every summer, I inevitably chicken out. A few times I’ve been super adventures and gone as high as my collarbones (so reckless! so edgy!), but that’s about it. ;) I enjoy wearing my hair long, and it will probably always be my go-to style. Still, every spring I get that itch that maybe I should try something shorter.

Haircut Collage

This spring, as usual, I’ve been researching shorter cuts, so I thought I’d share some of the styles I’ve been perusing for inspiration. Apparently the long bob (aka “lob”) and blunt-cut hair are actually pretty popular styles this year, so I was able to find plenty of pictures of the length and shaping I’ve had in mind.

Longer bob

Here are a few shoulder-skimming cuts with long layers. I still don’t really understand how to use a blow dryer or curling iron properly (I KNOW), so I like cuts that require minimal styling. If I can scrunch it and go, or (when it’s longer) put it up in a braid or bun, that’s what I’ll do. I like that these cuts look like they require pretty minimal effort if your hair has a natural wave.

Hair cut shaping

I love how the blunt bob and long layers give hair some texture and body. Again, maintenance looks pretty minimal.

Shorter bobs

Slightly shorter bobs I’ve been eyeing… in case I feel extra adventurous. As you can maybe tell from EVERY set of pictures thus far, I have a little bit of Scarlett Johansson hair envy, haha. Every time I looked up a different variation of “long blunt bob”… there she was again. Eventually I gave up and embraced the fact that she just really pulls off this hair style. Now if only my hair was that red, right?

Longer cutsAnd here we have my safety net, in case I don’t have the courage to make the chop. ;) Or if I do, maybe some styles to transition to in the fall and winter as my hair grows out. I love the long layers and loose waves. Gorgeous.

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What about you all – do you get the itch for a shorter style as summer approaches? Do you have a favorite go-to cut, or are you thinking of trying something new? I’d love to see what styles you all love – feel free to comment with a link to your own blog with some ideas you’d like to try this summer. :)