Feel Good Fridays

Feel Good Friday: On Being Left Handed

Feel Good Friday: On Being Left Handed

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

On Being Left HandedI was filling out a form about my son the other day, and it asked whether he’s right or left handed. As of today, at two years and two months old, he hasn’t decided.

We’re leaning toward left handed, but he still goes back and forth quite regularly. I’m left handed (at least partially—I do the important stuff like writing and eating with my left, everything else with my right), so if he turns out to be too he’ll be in good company!

While I wait to see if my son’s going to claim the awesome identity that is Lefty, I’ll share these fun facts about being left handed.

8 Interesting Facts About Being Left Handed

1. Lefties are generally more creative.

2. Four of the last seven U.S. presidents were left handed. (President Obama, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald Ford).

3. We lefties are often better at multi-tasking than right-handed people.

4. But at the same time, left-handed folks have more trouble processing their emotions.

5.  People used to believe being left handed was a mark of the devil. 

6. Women who give birth after the age of 40 are more likely to have left-handed children.

7. Lefties are more prone to allergies and asthma.

8. Famous lefties include Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Angelina Jolie, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Jon Stewart.


Parents of older children, when could you confirm your kids were right or left handed?

Feel Good Friday: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Feel Good Friday: The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

God Can't Put Something In Your Hands If They're Already Full“God can’t put something in your hands if they’re already full.” Tweet this quote!

If you’re anything like me, you know that you need to slow down—that you can’t survive much longer feeling so overcommitted and over scheduled—and yet you keep finding reasons to delay putting on the brakes.

I’ll slow down once this season’s over/this project’s finished/this goal is met.

It’s as if the promise of less stress, better wellbeing, and more peace—all of which come from a gentler pace of life—isn’t enough motivation for us to make a change.

Well, then, here’s another motivator.

When we’re living our lives at 100 miles an hour, opportunities are certainly going to come our way: in our careers, in our personal lives, in our relationships. But we won’t be able to capitalize on them because we’re too busy buzzing past them in a blur. We’ll end up saying no to the best things in life—or worse, saying yes but only giving partial effort—because our attention is too fixed on other stuff that doesn’t really matter.

This weekend, take a moment to look at your hands—at your schedule, at your relationships, at your to do list—and ask yourself this question: If the opportunity of a lifetime came along today, would I be able to hold it?


Are your hands too full today? Can you make space for unexpected opportunities?

image via GLady

Feel Good Friday: Amusing Ways Kids Get Boo-Boos

Feel Good Friday: Amusing Ways Kids Get Boo-Boos

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

amusing ways our kids get hurt“Something happened to Luke this morning,” my mom said slowly on the phone to me.

“What happened??? Is he alright???” I practically screamed, already out of my chair and grabbing my keys to head to the hospital.

“Don’t worry, he’s fine, it’s just…”

My mom proceeded to tell me that after she took my 2-year-old for a round of mini-golf and some ice cream, they strolled to a nearby field where there were chickens running around.

Before my mom could stop him, Luke reached out to “pet” one of the chickens.

“And that’s when it kicked him in the face,” my mom said.

“So it pecked him in the face???” I again practically screamed.

“No, no, it kicked him, like with its foot.”

Yep, my child got kicked in the face by a chicken.

Once I was certain he was fine, I let myself sneak a grin. Does that make me horrible? I mean, it is pretty funny, right?

That night at dinner Luke told Daddy the story, which was especially heartbreaking and sweet because he told it in the third person, ending with, “Luke scared. Luke cried.”

I gave him a hug and again discussed why we need to be extra careful around animals.

And then I laughed some more.

My mom, of course, will be horrified to read this post, as she’s already told me a million times how upset she is that this happened under her watch. 

“It could have happened to anyone!” I keep telling her. 

Yes, having your kid get kicked in the face by a chicken could happen to anyone.


Tell me, what is the most amusing way your child has gotten a boo-boo? And more importantly, were you able to contain your laughter? 

Feel Good Friday: A Labor Day Reflection

Feel Good Friday: A Labor Day Reflection

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of the upcoming Labor Day holiday in the U.S., I’ve been reflecting on the fact that being free and able to work—without physical limitations or cultural restrictions on my choice of field, and with the full assurance of a reasonable wage—is a privilege.

It’s a fact that’s easy to forget amidst Monday morning grumblings or post-work venting sessions.

I love this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not only because it reminds me not to take my work for granted, but also because it encourages me to do all my work to the best of my ability—with “painstaking excellence.” Because it matters. Even when it feels like it doesn’t. Especially when it feels like it doesn’t.

Here’s the full quote:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

No work is insignificant; no labor is in vain. That’s certainly something to celebrate.

Do you ever get caught up in moaning and grumbling about your job? 

What are your plans for the Labor Day weekend?

Feel Good Friday: My Interior Decorator is a Two-Year-Old

Feel Good Friday: My Interior Decorator is a Two-Year-Old

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Home Decorating Before and After KidsYesterday I looked around my house and thought, “You know, this place used to look nice!” For a moment I wistfully remembered the day when stuffed animals weren’t strewn across my living room floor and sippy cups didn’t dominate my sink. 

And then I smiled, knowing that given the choice between a pristine house and one littered with toys, I’d choose the latter every time.

And then I tripped over a pint-sized Thomas the Tank Engine and immediately changed my mind. 

Just kidding.

Sort of.

How has your living space changed since having kids?

Feel Good Friday: Never Compare Your Beginning

Feel Good Friday: Never Compare Your Beginning

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle.If I had to guess, I’d say that the comparison game is as old as time. A prehistoric woman probably worried that her neighbor’s cave was tidier or her sister’s son was better with a club.

These days, however, comparing ourselves to others is easier than ever before. In a five-minute span I can scan my college roommate’s Facebook post about buying a new house, read a tweet from my old colleague about her huge promotion, and salivate over my neighbor’s Instagram pic of the amazing dinner she cooked last night.

Then I can look around at my own cluttered home, my barely-off-the-ground freelance business, and the PB&J I assembled for dinner and think, whoa, I am so not measuring up.

There are, however, two major problems with this line of thinking.

First, no one’s life is as perfect as it appears on social media. We are all projecting an image, and more often than not we’re putting our best foot forward—and glossing over the hairy parts.

Second—and this is really important!—we are all at different points in the journey. Sure, that mom of three appears to have all the answers, that blogger is already working on her second book, and that woman is finding the time to complete two half-marathons a year.

But none of them started out that way.  

That mom experienced her fair share of uncertainty as a first-timer, that blogger stressed over her initial measly page views, and at one point that runner trained for her first 5K.

As author Jon Acuff said, “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Tweet this quote!

There will always be someone ahead of you and someone behind you. All you have to do is keep moving forward.

Do you struggle with the comparison game? Do you tend to compare the beginning of your journey to the middle of someone else’s?

image via denelan

Feel Good Friday: Lately on Instagram

Feel Good Friday: Lately on Instagram

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Do you hear that pitter patter? It’s my heart when I look at this picture!

 

At BlogU in June, Ilana Wiles of Mommy Shorts declared that Instagram is the new Facebook. She said that people in their teens and early twenties are way more plugged into Instagram—some don’t even have a Facebook account, believe it or not!

So to keep up with the times, I’ve been busy snapping away with my iPhone and playing around with different photo editing apps. Here are some of my recent favorites.

Are we connected on Instagram yet? If not, we should be!

We went blueberry picking earlier this week. Get in my freezer!

 

PLEASE nobody tell him that sweeping the sidewalk isn’t actually supposed to be fun!

 

Domino lounging outside our old place in Baltimore. #catsrule

 

Loving our new picnic table, which allows me to get some fresh air while I’m writing!

 

Finally trying out the maxi skirt trend with help from Target!

 

epic ball-throwing shot

 

When it comes to artsy photos, my husband takes the cake. Here are some of my favorites from his feed.

Do you use Instagram? Do you think it could dethrone Facebook in the kingdom of social media?

Feel Good Friday: Family Is What You Make It [An Unfolding Open Adoption Story]

Feel Good Friday: Family Is What You Make It [An Unfolding Open Adoption Story]

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Meet Zach and Brit.

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Zach and Brit are two incredible individuals who together make a pretty incredible couple. They also share the most incredible dream—to become parents.

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Zach is an old and dear friend of mine, and when he shared with me that he and his wife are looking to adopt a child, I felt my heart swell. He told me they believe a family isn’t required to look a certain way or be formed through particular means—family is whatever you make it, whatever you desire it to be. The love of a family shouldn’t be limited by boundaries. 

A beautiful and noble perspective, indeed.

The rest of that week I looked at my son through fresh eyes, imagining what would have happened to him if life had dealt me a totally different set of circumstances—ones that kept me from caring for him the way I wanted to, the way I knew he deserved.

Would another set of parents love him, really love him? Would their hearts quadruple in size at the first sight of him? Would they shift their entire lives to make his care and wellbeing the center?

I now know the answer to those questions is yes.

I know it because even though Zach and Brit haven’t been matched with a birthmother yet, they already love their future child with a fierce love. No doubt they pray for their future child every day, and dream of what her first word will be or what his first steps will look like.

Zach and Brit have thoughtfully chosen the route of open adoption. This gives birth families control in choosing an adoptive family that shares their same values, and it gives the child the opportunity to fully know the history of his/her family, culture, and identity. The idea is that the birth and adoptive parents form a relationship of trust and friendship, which the child is then able to witness and experience. 

Most of you reading this blog post are already parents. You know firsthand the madness and the gladness of raising a child, and I’d place bets you wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Here are two lovely people whose hearts are ready for that experience, too.

Will you consider helping by spreading the word? Who knows, a simple Facebook share or a two-second tweet could bring together two families who have been desperately searching for one another—and change the life of a child forever.

More info on Zach and Brit and their desire to expand their family through open adoption can be found on their websites and Facebook page:

http://britnzachfamily.com
https://www.facebook.com/britnzachfamily
http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/britnzachfamily

Has your life been touched by adoption in some way?

Feel Good Friday: Will You Choose to See the Flowers?

Feel Good Friday: Will You Choose to See the Flowers?

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where even though nothing major went wrong, you still feel totally drained because about a million minor things did? 

The kind of week where burning dinner on the stove feels like a tragedy, only because it was preceded by three days straight of takeout and you wonder why you even bother trying to make a homemade meal.

The kind of week where trying to be on time to anything seems like a complete waste of effort because you know it is never going to happen.

The kind of week where you lose your patience with your whining toddler every other minute, only to learn he’s had an ear infection and you didn’t realize it (guilty…)

Eventually you throw up your hands and declare that if one more thing goes wrong, you’re just going back to bed. 

I think we all have weeks like that, and they make it really tough to see the beautiful flowers all around us.

We become blind to the sunshine peeking through the clouds.

We fail to notice the kind smiles of strangers.

We start living in flustered-autopilot-mode, and we start looking at our kids without really seeing them

If you had one of those weeks, try to start the weekend with the knowledge that even though you may have missed seeing the flowers the past few days, they’re still there, just waiting to be marveled at and appreciated. And you can choose to start appreciating them right now.

How will you choose to see and appreciate the good stuff this weekend? 

image credit: My husband!

Feel Good Friday: All You Need Is Love and Ice Cream

Feel Good Friday: All You Need Is Love and Ice Cream

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

All you need is love, and maybe a little ice cream

This week I learned that there’s some disagreement over the official date of National Ice Cream Day. The horror!

My friend cited Wikipedia and celebrated this all-important holiday on July 15, while the International Dairy Foods Association says it’s July 20 this year. 

The solution? Focus on the fact that all of July is, without discrepancy, National Ice Cream Month, and enjoy some cold, creamy goodness as often as your taste buds would like.

Here are a few random facts about the beloved summer dessert.

  • In America, the average person consumes 48 pints of ice cream per year (and I’m thinking I might be above average!).
  • The largest ice cream sundae weighed in at 24 tons. 
  • Ice cream cones were invented during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The high demand for the treat forced the ice cream vendor to seek assistance from the nearby waffle vendor. Oh, happy coupling! 
  • Over her lifespan, a single dairy cow will produce enough milk for 9,000 gallons of ice cream.
  • That’s because a cow’s udder can hold between 25 and 50 lbs. of milk! Say it with me, breastfeeding mamas: OUCH! 
  • A brain freeze happens when the cold ice cream touches the roof of your mouth, causing blood vessels in your head to dilate.
  • Ben and Jerry’s has an actual graveyard in Vermont for retired ice cream flavors, so you can go mourn Peanut Butter and Jelly or leave flowers for Rainforest Crunch. 
  • The most popular ice cream flavor? Plain jane vanilla.
  • February 4th is National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (which I’ll probably be combining with my regular Breakfast for Dinner celebrations!).

Are you celebrating National Ice Cream Day/Month? What’s your favorite flavor? Favorite topping? 

Feel Good Friday: Kindred Spirits

Feel Good Friday: Kindred Spirits

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

Feel Good Friday: Kindred Spirits

Last week my husband arrived home from work and declared that he was really, really happy.

When I asked why, I was expecting to hear about positive feedback at the office or maybe a really great lunchtime jog.

“I’m really happy because on the drive home I saw a guy wearing business casual clothes picking mulberries from a bush next to the road.”

My look of confusion drew a further explanation.

“I felt like he was a kindred spirit!”

For this to make any sense at all, you have to understand that my husband is a fascinating cross between Henry David Thoreau and Steve Jobs. He equally enjoys being as far away from technology as possible and as intimate with it as he can be—a true lover of nature and gardening and berry-picking who simultaneously loves sitting at a computer all day designing websites for a living.

So for him to see another 9-to-5 kind of guy picking mulberries in his work clothes—as my husband has undoubtedly done many times—was quite satisfying, and in some ways reassuring.

We often feel relieved when we meet our kindred spirits, don’t we? We feel a connection that’s inherently different than the one we feel with our family members or co-workers or acquaintances. There’s somebody out there who gets it, we think.

When my son was a newborn I felt that way almost every time I met another mom with young children. She gets it.

I felt that way when I attended BlogU and met other women writers and bloggers who are all grappling with this relatively new platform for our words. They get it.

I feel it every time I read a comment from one of my blog readers who emphasizes with me, commiserates with me, or even challenges me. You get it.

There’s so much comfort in finding a kindred spirit who gets it. Be sure to find yours.

When have you met a kindred spirit? What did it feel like? 

image via lusi

Feel Good Friday: America’s Values—Mommified

Feel Good Friday: America’s Values—Mommified

Feel Good Friday is a regular series to give you a smile, a chuckle, or a nugget of wisdom to get your weekend off on the right foot!

American Values Mommified

In honor of the Fourth of July holiday here in the U.S., I thought I’d take some of our country’s founding values and reinterpret them mommy-style. Tweet this post! 

Freedom: Going to Target without any children in tow.

Equality: “I changed the last stinky diaper, this one is all yours.”

Democracy: Yeah, right. This is a dictatorship, and mama’s at the helm.

Individualism: Praising your child’s artistic expression, even though you can’t tell if his drawing is of you working at Home Depot or engaging in a more questionable profession.

“Manifest Destiny”: “You’re rolling your eyes now, kids, but remember that in 30 years you will wake up and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve become my mother.'”

Bravery: Taking a child under the age of 4 on a transatlantic flight.

Independence: Potty training, dressing themselves, the first day of kindergarten…and on and on from there…

How would you “mommify” one of America’s values? Any exciting holiday plans?