The Good Stuff

Lately I have been a little frustrated and bummed about all of this new budgeting stuff. I hate not having extra cash to do the fun things I want. I haaaate it. And I know that this month is a weird month with a change in my pay schedule and the paying off of some credit cards, and and and. But ugh. So I am in desperate need of some happies.

1) I love how this week is only 4 days. FOUR DAY WEEK! YES!

2) Hot pink toes.

3) A clean bathroom and fresh sheets. It makes me feel like I’m staying in a hotel.

4) Getting closer closer closer to not being pregnant anymore and to having a real life BABY in my house!

5) Getting back on the veggie bandwagon!! Now that I feel less like puking and less massively bloated and in pain, I am back on the quinoa, roasted veggies, and salads. Plus fruit! I was starting to forget how to not live in bread-land, and now I am getting back on it and it makes me feel so much more in control of my body – when in reality I have about 1% control over what pregnancy is doing to me.

6) Long walks in the sunshine with Kamel. I may be slow and lumbering, but we do our best on the weekends to make it happen.

7) Maternity leggings. Even when I’m not pregnant, I’m never buying a different kind. They are so soft and the band doesn’t cut in and they just make me SO HAPPY.

8) Greek food. Yum.

9) Finding tops that still zip closed.

10) Top Chef!! Modern Family!! The Daily Show!! I’m not a big TV person but sometimes, watching my stories on the TV are the best part of my day.

What is your list of happies today? I need some inspiration while I grumble (or try not to grumble) about not being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes when this is all said and done and not having the money to buy any new ones, or movies, or dinners out, or wiggle room on our grocery budget, sigh (but having money for daycare and bills and student loans and rent so all is not lost!!…. or so I keep saying). But perspective is on the important stuff, and the good things. Right? Right.

16 thoughts on “The Good Stuff”

  1. Happies:
    – Writing the very first words in a brand new notebook. So many adventures might be happening very soon in all of those white pages…
    – Related: beginning “Black boy” on my morning train today. Jumping, eyes closed, into a new story.
    – The new mint chocolate next to the pot of tea in our office’s break room.
    – Reading new posts from my favourite blogs while having aforementioned chocolate and tea.
    – Putting on my favourite jumper-dress on a very cold day.
    – Tomato soup and goat cheese on bread. With some almonds. And a drop of honey.
    – Babbling with friends about anything.

  2. Happies:
    Working from home today while my cat sleepily snoozes on the couch and Harry Potter plays in the background. Also ALL THE POTS OF TEA! And having a generally fulfilling job when lotsandlotsandlotsandlots of folks don’t.
    No longer being sick so I can run again and not feel like my life is falling to pieces.
    Relatedly, workout clothes and sweat pants for the foreseeable future today.
    Buying a train ticket home to witness the birth of my niece (due, I believe, around the same time as young Gabe). It’s really so soon!

  3. I was feeling super bummed about moolah and then this hit my reader. Seemed like good timing!

    My happies today:
    -my teapot and Christmas tea
    -Not having to go outside to work when it’s so cold that salt isn’t melting snow and all of our windows are completely frosted over.
    -Indoor plants
    -Finally getting art on the walls.

  4. – Spending a day home with a pot of decaf tea
    – Having weird crazy dreams that get my imagination going
    – Seeing the ultrasound pictures of my soon-to-be nephew
    – my husband coming back to bed for extra cuddles in the morning
    – making vegetable soup for dinner
    – watching my crafting projects progress
    – looking at the budget and realizing the situation isn’t as bad as I thought
    – not quite turtleneck sweaters with super cozy and warm necklines

  5. – I picked up a sketchbook and colored pencils this weekend, and remembered that I can draw a little. I’m re-living a meditative sunset hour I spent sitting on a hill in the woods peering through my binoculars and sketching ducks.
    – New haircut that happens to be The Best Haircut ever!
    – Snow! It finally snoooooowwed!

  6. * Muffins! They are delicious.
    * My TOMS shoes are perfect to walk to work in this chilly January Seattle weather that is neither rain nor snow.
    * Neither my boyfriend nor I have been super stressed lately, which has been good for improving our communication when neither of us is irritated about Every Little Thing. Also, talking while sitting on the couch with a warm, soft blanket and cuddles under the winter duvet? Best. Things. Ever.
    * Also! I’m trying a paper planner for the first time since college. I have high hopes for this. I mean, it was perfect in college, so why won’t it still be now?!

  7. These posts always seem to come at a time when I need to focus on the positive:

    *finally having art up on the walls of my place and plans to make a few more pieces to hang this weekend when I am back in the burbs
    *being able to spend the night on the couch under a blanket with my pup and not feel guilty that I should be doing other things
    *Homemade tuna melt that tastes the same as my favorite one from a cafe in MI
    *Going to bed at 9pm

  8. Thank you! Money things have also been pressing down and suffocating me lately. Need to focus on the happies!

    – Like almost everyone here, hot tea makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

    – In my effort to make 2013 about others, I’m doing this:

    – It was 72 degrees this weekend. Beautiful and sunny and I didn’t even have to wear a sweater.

    – I made a quick, easy recipe for the first time, and D (who is way picky) said it was the best thing I’ve ever made for him!

    – My new laptop means I get to Skype with my family and besties. It feels so much more like quality time than talking on the phone.

  9. -Making Fresh pasta for your mom. She is so happy that it is a real joy.
    -Watching Downton Abby on DVD with my headset on and totally emmersed in the program.
    -Being on vacation at some warm, sunny place and playing a round of gold with your mom. The best in the world… especially when I am shooting better than her. Ha. Ha.
    -Seeing my daugther and her husband, “Stupid in Love”.

    love you

  10. – Snowy London… looked straight out of the pages of a book.
    -All kinds of herbal tea: lemon ginger, camomille vanilla, blood orange-cranberries
    -Being home under a blanket in the couch
    -A stack of books 🙂 so excited to start reading
    -Walks with the boy everywhere
    -Visiting all the museums, so much to learn

  11. Oh Lauren, I really need to try to focus on the good stuff today but I just can’t. Today is full of disappointment for me, but reading about everyone else’s good stuff is helping a little.

    1. With the whole day to reflect and a day to give me good things, I’ve found some good things:

      – impromptu lunch with a dear friend who always brightens my day
      – realising that internet friends care a whole lot more than you realise
      – a wonderful yoga class that always heals my soul, just a little bit.

  12. Hi Lauren,
    I know that the recession has hit your family hard, and I am worried about you guys. I am afraid that you (and Kamel) might be woefully underpaid. In your budgeting post you said that you aren’t going to have much wiggle room at all after the bills are paid. That is fine when you are saving for something big (wedding, vacation, new car) where there is an end date. This is for the foreseeable future. That is a whole ‘nother ball game.

    I have worked both union jobs and in the corporate world – the biggest difference is the culture of secrecy that happens in the corporate world. As someone who is not trying to build a corporate career, I have been able to talk with coworkers about how much I make and it is so freeing. For me as well as my coworkers. I hate how secretive people are about money, and once a few people start opening up it is crazy how others start to share too. If you don’t know what the people around you are making you can be taken advantage of very easily. You might be thinking that you are just thankful to have a job, but in a capitalist system, the businesses will pay their workers as little as possible. They get away with underpaying when the workers don’t talk to each other. You might be surprised to find out how much they are willing to pay for your skills, and how valuable you are as an employee. You are a woman and Kamel is an immigrant – two classes of people who (even when highly educated!) are traditionally underpayed.

    You live in an expensive area, the pay has to reflect that. You can’t compare what you make to your friends who live in less expensive cities. I live in a nice part of Los Angeles – almost anywhere else my income would be solidly upper middle class – here I am just hoping to keep the ford focus running a few more years. Also, anywhere else I wouldn’t make nearly as much. That’s the trade off.

    I know you have a lot going on and maybe this isn’t the best time to ask for raises, but put it under your hat, think about it for a few months. Maybe start figuring out what other people are making and what you are actually worth. I have a hunch it is more than you are making now.

    Anyway, long way of saying that I hope you can find a way to make a little wiggle room in the budget. You are going to need to have a date night every once in a while! Just working to pay the bills has a way of sucking the soul right out of you.

  13. What are maternity leggings? I haven’t seen these things of wonder.
    I’ve been wearing my old Top Shop leggings that I paid way too much for (I thought that at the time) to work out and they’re not workout pants but they’re SAWFT.

    I’m so grateful that I’ve been able work out as much as 2x a week now.
    I’m grateful that we have had some sunny days.
    Squishing doggy’s face makes me happier.
    Squishing him with hugs, period, makes me happy.
    Having an appetite is super.
    NCIS marathons forever.


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