8 months of Josie

This little elf is 8 months old! 8 months is one of those ages that sounds “so old” to me. When she was born I couldn’t fathom her being 8 whole months old, just like how now I can’t fathom her being 12 whole months old. I have the sneaking suspicion that this will keep happening.

Things that are new in the world of Josie Rosie:

  • She is loving purees finally! It took awhile for her tongue thrust reflex to relax and suddenly one day she was just… eating. Swallowing! Zach’s coworker had given us a case of baby food that their kids hadn’t gotten through so we’ve been working our way through that. Her favorite so far has been chicken and apples. I was hopeful that the protein would maybe help her sleep through the night without needing to eat but alas, she still wakes up pretty reliably between 3-5am.
  • Except for last night, in which she slept from 7pm-6am!!!!!!!!!!! First time ever sleeping through the night.
  • Feeding her in general is something that stresses me out. I feel like I’m pretty confident/relaxed in a lot of aspects of baby raising so far but food, man! I have no idea when she’s supposed to be able to eat real food, and when she is, how am I supposed to prevent her from choking to death?!
  • Her little bottom teeth continue to grow and her toothy new smile is the cutest.
  • Josie spent her first Thanksgiving at Zach’s parents’ in Williamsburg! We had a nice long visit as opposed to our usual 48 hour weekend trips, and it was finally enough time for her to start warming up to GiGi and Grandpa. By the end of our trip she was happily playing in my mother-in-law’s lap which was such a joy. Zach and I even had a date night one evening after Josie went to bed! Our first real time alone together since she was born. We were exhausted and could have gone straight to bed but we toughed it out for some quality time together and it was so worth it. We got Starbucks and did some Christmas shopping, and it was perfect. We can’t wait to be back to the ‘burg for Christmas soon!
  • JoJo laughs so easily. The best laughs come from tickling and when Zach puts her on our bed, and takes a running start to jump on the bed. She LOVES it. She also laughs whenever people around her seem to be laughing.
  • She got her over her clinginess of last month a little bit and is happy with daddy again. Not strangers though!
  • Although, she has done better and better in the church nursery. This past Sunday she was happy the whole time and it did my mama heart good to hear that she is getting used to playing with others there. Just in time for us to leave…
  • Josie’s favorite toys are anything that is not a toy. If I act really interested in something and then set it down, she goes right for it. Cue me acting like a measuring cup is the coolest thing in the world so that she’ll want to play with that instead of a cell phone.
  • Her desperation to play with a cell phone makes me more acutely aware of my cell phone usage in front of her, so I’ve been trying to really limit that. It’s hard!
  • She loves our Christmas tree. Yes, we are moving in 10 days but we still put up and decorated our Christmas tree. I was reluctant but Zach insisted, and now I’m glad because it makes our apartment so cheery in the midst of packing and boxes everywhere. We may not have a pot to cook with but at least there is a Christmas tree!
  • She is terrified of the sound that the packing tape makes. This makes it difficult to pack boxes with her around!
  • She loves Duncan. She is starting to really notice when he’s around and reaches her hands out to him. When he comes up to sniff her out and lick her face she cracks up. He has been very good with her still, and we give him lots of treats for being a gentle boy. Josie’s version of petting is grabbing a fistful of fur and ripping it out, so he’s really earning those treats!
  • No signs of crawling yet! She rolls all over the place and eventually gets to wear she wants to go that way.
  • At night when I sing her a song right before I put her in her crib, she makes these soft, high pitched sing-songy noises. She only does it during this time and I finally realized she is trying to sing with me. Cue heart explosion.
  • Josie is not the snuggliest baby right now and doesn’t enjoy being cuddled or hugged and kissed too much. She is our Miss Independent! It does make it extra, extra sweet when she lays her head on our shoulders or lays still on our laps every once in awhile. Sometimes her last nap of the day is way too short and the only way I can get her to sleep a little longer is by jumping in bed with her. This has been working less and less but when she does fall back asleep, her warm little body cuddled up against mine – there is just nothing better.

Well Josephine Rosephine is about to have her first Christmas and big family move! She is getting harder and harder to photograph because she is always on the move, our little squirmy wormy. And yes, I had to cut her Santa hat so it would fit over her 99th percentile head. Merry Christmas!


 

Being Intentional

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 My main goal in this season of life lately has been to be intentional. It’s something that sounds so simple but it’s something that I struggle with sometimes. Ok…. a lot. I get overwhelmed kind of easily and I often catch myself going through the motions just to get to the end of the day, week, month, whatever. But what then? Congrats, me! I made it to the end of the week! And I have hardly anything meaningful backed up in my memory hard drive to show for it. I want to live less out of habit, and more out of intent.

I mean, these are some of the most beautiful, wonderful days of my life. My whole life. Right now.

Some things that help me to be more intentional:

  • Take photos. Taking lots of pictures helps solidify an event in my memory.
  • Conversely, put down my phone. An obvious, but often difficult one to master.
  • Keep little notebooks around so I can jot down things that are meaningful to me in the moment. And  pens. I can’t ever find pens when I need them.
  • Utilize this very blog for cementing those moments every once in awhile.
  • Be more organized in all areas.
  • Plan my free time. When Josie takes an unexpectedly long nap, I usually end up wasting the time on my computer or watching Hulu, because I can’t think of anything else in that moment I’d rather be doing. But I know if I had thought about it beforehand I could be productive in a way that still is restful and rejuvenating to me.
  • Throw myself 100% into the commitments I make without spreading myself too thin.
  • Pray often and hard. I have been looking for a daily devotional to start in the new year. Any suggestions? I would really love one that was geared towards women, even better if it is geared towards mothering.

What are some things you do to be intentional in your day-to-day life?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Packing

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I’m a little behind on getting these pictures up but for posterity, here they are.

I’m experiencing the freedom of naps longer than 25 minutes and I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

I know what I should be doing. We terminated our lease at this apartment for the end of year – Zach has some extended training to attend for work and while he is gone Josie and I will hang with my parents. What I should be doing is packing up our place so we can put everything into storage for awhile. It’s hard though, because I’m not only reluctant to pass up the quality “me time,” I’m also a just little reluctant to pack up our lives in this place.
So much has happened while we lived here.

I go to pack the junk drawer. It is full of odds and ends that have been in there since we moved in. This was the first place we have lived for longer than a year. We made it over two years! That’s kind of a big deal when you’ve only been living together four years.

I move to the china hutch. It used to be my great-grandmothers and I painted it a bright happy mint color while we lived here. It houses -shocker- our china. I pull out the big platter and remember serving our first turkey on it. We had all our new friends over for Friendsgiving and carved that sucker like old pros. Having people over right when we moved in ensured we unpacked and decorated in a timely manner.

Speaking of decor, I could pack the drapes. It took me forever to decide on them and I bought and returned several before settling on these. I didn’t even love them but we needed to have something up before we had 20 people over for Friendsgiving the next day. I still don’t love them and I know for a fact Zach hates them, but now I like that about them. They’re The Drapes We Hate. They’re our drapes we hate.

I could pack everything I’ve shoved under the bed. I’m the messy one in our marriage and we’ve had countless “discussions” regarding my wonderful tendency to do things like leave my shoes scattered all over the entryway or use the bedroom floor as my closet. Or shove everything in sight under the bed in a last minute clean-up and then forget about what’s under there. I’m proud to say I’ve gotten much better at these things while we’ve lived here! More importantly we have gotten so much better at communicating and forgiving each other for our faults.

I could pack the bookshelf. Our bible study workbooks are stacked and the pages are folded and stained. We joined our first adult bible study while we lived here, and didn’t miss a single week. It was quite the commitment. Many of the weeks I would read aloud our assignments last minute in the car as we sped to the church, but every week we would use the car ride home to talk about what we were learning and we grew so much together during that time.

I could pack the throw pillows. Zach always gives me a hard time about needing 400 throw pillows. They remind me of countless hours of couch lounging and netflixing. Falling asleep on Friday nights and waking up at 4am to go to bed, pre-baby of course. One of them has the corner chewed off – one of the only things Duncan has ever chewed in our apartment. He did it the week we brought him home.

I could pack the shoe closet. There is all of our winter stuff. The ski mask that I wore when I would walk Duncan every single night during the polar vortex of 2014. If you ever need to sentimentalize anything just give me a call, I mean its a hideous face mask for crying out loud but it reminds me of Duncan’s first months here. Realizing he was a complete lunatic and having to adjust to sharing this place with a feral 80 pound animal. But! It also reminds me of learning to love him and adapt to his needs. And also learning not to leave my leather boots out.

I go to Josie’s room, and just stand in the doorway. Don’t even get me started. This is the place where we brought our first child home. Our first CHILD! Zach drove us the most carefully he’s ever driven home from the hospital. I watched him become a father here, and an incredible one at that. We bounced our Joey on the yoga ball and walked her around the kitchen while she wailed in her first weeks, we learned how to confidently give her a bath in that kitchen sink and change her diaper 10,000 times on that bed. We’ve played for so many hours on the floor with her activity mat and talking Octopus. I wonder if the next tenants will hear the phantom “YELLOW!”‘s and “PURPLE!”‘s coming from this room like we do. It smells like her. I want to bottle up the smell of this room and keep it with me forever. I rock her in that corner and sometimes when she falls asleep on my shoulder I prolong putting her down in her bed because she never does that and I can’t think of anything more important I could be doing at that exact moment. I said don’t get me started!

So yeah. I’ve got 3.5 weeks to get this place boxed up.

I just don’t know how to fit it all.

7 months of Josie

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Josie’s 7th month has been a busy one!

After we got home from Green Bay we were pretty busy at church getting ready for their “Trunk or Treat” event. I had never heard of this kind of thing before but I’m pretty sure that’s because I was formerly not a parent and couldn’t have cared less about things like this. In case anyone reading this is not a parent, a “trunk or treat” is where people (usually from a church) get together in a parking lot and decorate the trunks of their cars with a theme/dress up, and hand out candy to trick or treaters going from car to car. It provides a safe place for kids to trick or treat and is more popular in rural areas or big cities where there is a lot of apartment living (like DC). Our theme was rubber duckies, and Josie was the opposite of thrilled to be my rubber ducky.

It could have had something to do with me wrapping her in an itchy yellow feather boa and strapping a duck bill to her face, but I doubt it.

She sure was cute anyway.

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My last update we had just started sleep training JoJo and I am pleased to say that has continued to be the best decision we ever made. It was not easy in the beginning but boy has it been worth it. We have our evenings back and I sincerely believe the whole family is happier for it – Josie included. Now that she’s learned to fall asleep on her own she is sleeping almost through the night most nights and that has to be better for her than waking up every 45 minutes all night long! We have our little pre-bed routine, which ends with us putting her in her crib fully awake and walking out of her room. She typically will fuss or talk to herself for 10-15 minutes and after that she’s asleep for 8-10 hours. I still feed her when she wakes after that long and then she’ll sleep for 1-2 more hours after that. I call it my snooze button. She’s even started waking up happy again in the mornings – something I had forgotten was possible. Interestingly, as soon as her nighttime sleeps improved, her great naps went out the window… but I do not care one bit. As long as we’re sleeping at night, I can deal with the cat naps! It makes such a huge difference to me not to have to dread the nights and anticipate being up so much.

We’ve kept at it with trying solids, but our Joey is still not super into it. She’ll take a few bites and get bored. I’ve given her chunks of banana to play with and she’ll take bites of it and spit it out. We’ll just keep trying! She does like those little mesh pouches you can stuff fruit in. She doesn’t enjoy rice cereal, which I’m ok with because I hate the pumping in order to mix it with breastmilk. We have been practicing sitting her in her big girl high chair and she will sit and play with toys while we’re in the kitchen cooking or cleaning.

She’s got two little bottom teeth!

Jo has a little rattle ball that we will roll to her and she will roll it back to us – this morning we played catch for a solid 15 minutes!

She has a little piano toy that plays a short tune every time you hit a key. Josie will hit a key, play with another toy while the music plays, and then when the music stops she will hit it again and repeat. It cracks me UP and I just sit there astonished that she is so intentional about certain things now! I told Zach that it used to really annoy me when parents would “ask” their toddlers if they wanted to do things they’d have to do anyway, i.e. “do you want to go brush your teeth now?” “do you want to take a nap?” etc. Like why give them the option to say no if they’re going to have to do it no matter what?! But seeing my child become so intentional is really fascinating to me and I get it more. It’s amazing to watch your kid develop wants and opinions so I bet I won’t be able to help “asking” her if she wants to do things later on because it’s just so darn crazy that she will be able to answer me. Does that make sense? Parenting is weird.

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Josie says “dada” and about a third of the time we think she means Zach. Whenever she is upset she’ll go “MMMMMA” while looking right at me so I feel like that’s the beginning of “mama”?? She babbles all day and especially when she sees Duncan – she has very deep and meaningful conversations with her dog friend.

She likes going on long walks with me during the day. Zach’s parents found us a great jogging stroller and she likes getting all bundled and cozy in it. Zach took her for a few actual runs. She faces forward in it too which she hasn’t liked much in the past, but seems ok with it now.

She looooves to FaceTime! When the outgoing FaceTime sound beeps she lights up and gets so excited to see who pops up on the screen. Usually it is a grandparent! Anyone want to FaceTime us?

I reported before that she army crawled and she has literally never done it again after that one time. She tries though!

She came to vote with us and got a “Future Voter” sticker!

Josie also does much better in the car these days. She will either play with a toy or fall asleep back there usually which makes going places SO much less stressful! We can walk around the mall together for awhile now without much fuss and I probably look like a loony toon because I talk to her the whole time and narrate everything I see, accompanied by exaggerated crazy facial expressions. If I want to actually shop and try things on I have to either have Zach come with us or go alone since she gets bored sitting in one place for long. This does help me in my decision making though because I famously take forever to decide if I really want something.

We took a family trip to Harrisonburg last weekend for the wedding of my oldest friend. I sucked it up and pumped for the week prior because I knew I would have to be away from Josie all day Saturday and she had a great day hanging out with Zach and her Nana, Grandpa and Uncle Kev. We stayed at an AirBnB at Massanutten with my parents and brother and it was really nice having the whole family together for a little vacay weekend. Attending the wedding of two of the best people I know wasn’t too shabby either! Josie did just fine sleeping in a new place. It took longer for her to fall asleep but she eventually did and only woke up slightly earlier than usual. She looked so adorable in her little wedding outfit! I can’t wait to see those pictures.

She started reaching for mama and daddy and it melts our hearts – especially Zach’s because for awhile there she wanted only me me me all the time! I think spending all the time with him during the wedding weekend helped a lot with that. I should probably leave them alone more often to do really awful things like get my nails done or go to Target by myself…. I guess I’ll have to take one for the team!

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Had to include this one because even when she’s tired Josie is just the cutest dang thing.

Half a year of Josephine Rose

dsc_0172Hard to believe Josie has been out of my belly for over half a year now. As I type this she is sitting up next to me on the floor playing with toys and I’m in denial that she’s grown up enough to do so. She had her 6 month check-up yesterday and she weighed in at 17 lbs 11 oz, 26 inches long – 75th and 50th percentiles respectively! Her head measured a little more proportionately this appointment and instead of being “off the charts” is now the 98th percentile. Our doctor said he saw her on the books for the day and thought to himself, “oh the big head baby is here!”

She sits up really well unassisted and our ped was impressed! He said only 10-15% of 6 month olds sit up that well. Did I just sneak in a brag about my baby?? Yep.

She is close to army crawling and has done it once by accident. Mostly she just pushes with her legs and scoots on her face, which she really enjoys! Kidding, she hates it.

She likes to hold her hands together in front of her when she’s just sitting, and it looks like she’s calmly and patiently observing the world around her. It is adorable.

She is just growing out of her 6 month clothes, fitting into 9 monthers and still in size 4 diapers. She thinned out a little and got taller recently so I’m missing her rolls but I’m sure she’ll chunk up again soon.

She rolled to her tummy two nights ago in her crib and slept much better! She actually fell asleep in less than 10 minutes which was a huge victory for us in our sleep training adventure. Then last night she did it again. Hoping we are turning a corner!

dsc_0176At the beginning of Josie’s 6th month, she started to have some serious issues when it came to sleeping. From when she was about 3 months old she would go to bed, wake up 6 hours later to eat, and then sleep 5-6 more hours. It was a dream! Sadly it didn’t last. She was up more and more often, until she was literally waking up every 30-45 minutes. All. Night. Long. She could not get back to sleep unless we rocked her, but mostly unless I nursed her. She wasn’t really eating, so I knew she wasn’t that hungry. It was making Zach and I complete zombies. I was an emotional mess, and started dreading the evenings. I read an article about object permanence and how she was developing at that moment, and it made perfect sense. Everything the article mentioned described us perfectly, and I was texting my mom that I was sorry, Josie was going to be an only child. So we decided to do a little sleep training and while we’re still working on it, she is doing pretty well. We took her out of the stupid Merlin suit I posted about before; it worked for awhile until it absolutely did not. Now she is just in long footed jammies and that’s it. She finally falls asleep when she figures out how to roll to her side or tummy, and every night she figures it out quicker and quicker. I am just so incredibly thankful to be getting some consistent sleep here and there again and MAYBE Josie will get a sibling one day. Maybe.

Josie looooves Mommy right now. When someone else is holding her she’ll be just fine until she sees me and then starts the crocodile tears and reaching for me!

We started solids, beginning with sweet potato! She seemed to like it. Next was carrots; not a fan. We just tried green beans and she liked it more than carrots? But still isn’t super interested in anything. She’ll take a few bites and not want anymore to do with it. She does however love her baby spoons. Last night she was playing with it after she was done eating green beans and when Zach took it away, she was a MAD BABY! It was the first time she’s been peeved that we took something away and it was a glimpse into the terrifying reality that soon we will have to start actually parenting rather than just keeping her alive. Lord help us.

dsc_0183Josie is generally very happy and smiley. She likes to laugh and will sometimes fake laugh when a bunch of people around her are laughing and it’s so cute!

She loves exploring her vocal volume when playing with her toys. She’ll hold a toy up in the air and study it while growling or yelling. She is quite the chatterbox! She says “dadadadada” all day long.

She turned 6 months officially while we were on a trip to visit my parents in Green Bay, but I’ll have to do a separate post on that trip! She is a great little traveler and didn’t cry at all on either flight. She also does much better in the car now and will sleep much longer stretches or entertain herself with toys for a good while. My days of having to sit with her in the back seat are getting fewer and fewer.

We are so excited for the rapidly approaching holidays and experiencing everything through the fresh eyes of a baby. Starting with our little kitty cat at Halloween!

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Patio: Before and After

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We have lived in this apartment for 2 years now. It’s been great, albeit horrifically expensive, and I’ve really enjoyed making it feel like a home! For some reason though, I never tackled the back patio and I’m not quite sure why. I’m leaning towards laziness… but another possibility is it was kind of our catch-all for storing what didn’t fit in the closets and I just couldn’t visualize it ever looking nice with all that crap sitting in it. Please note the snow discs, because we are 8 years old after all! It was dirty – and infested with huge spiders, which as everyone knows is reason enough to burn any house to the ground.

Well now that the sweltering hot summer is behind us and this glorious beginning-of-fall weather is upon us, I got a bee in my bonnet to make the patio a place that we could *gasp* enjoy. Since I’m home with Josie every day, let’s just say some days I wish we had more square footage to throw into the daily rotation! So I decided to add some. I had a quick deadline and a tight budget. The quick deadline because I wanted to use it while it was nice and cool, and who knows how long this weather will last before we’re in winter mode here in good ol’ Virginia? The tight budget because I thought it’d be fun. And also because oddly enough, when you quit your job you also stop getting paid….

Zach was the husband of the year and cleared away all the nasty spider webs and he organized the shelves/random odds and ends we keep out there. I already had the baller Mexican tablecloth so I decided to build everything else around that. I got the rug on Amazon, a few things on sale at Hobby Lobby, and a few things from the local thrift store. In the before picture you’ll notice a door beyond our railing and that is for the maintenance guys who are in and out of there all day. So, I hung a tension rod and some sheer curtains I had laying around.

I only spent $30 total! It looks like a totally new space and I’m so happy we have another spot to hang out. It’s cozy and romantic, and the string lights make for the perfect post-baby-bedtime atmosphere. Duncan clearly approves. It’s great for coffee in the morning and wine at night, anyone want to join me?

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Fall in Winchester

dsc_0866Last weekend Josie’s Gigi and Grandpa came up from Williamsburg to visit and we took a big family trip to Winchester for the day on Saturday. Winchester is where Zach and I lived when we first got married (and where I started this blog!) and we have such fond memories of our first year of marriage there. It’s a quaint little town that we certainly took for granted while we lived there – it seemed sleepy and we couldn’t wait to get closer to the city. Now that we’re here, we can’t wait to live somewhere like Winchester again! Oh, life.

It was a rather dreary day but it was cool outside and the wet air accentuated the fall smells. We came to this farm market all the time when we lived here and my favorite, absolute FAVORITE thing sold there is apple cider donuts. You better believe I bought a family sized case of those babies to take home and Zach’s going to have to really sweet talk his way into getting any of them.

dsc_0900 dsc_0901 dsc_0909 dsc_0903We loaded the car up with donuts, cider, Josie’s first pumpkin, homemade jerky, homemade pumpkin butter, squashes…. it was a big day at the market. They have a cute pumpkin patch and little trains for the kids to play on. I can’t wait to bring Josie back next year when she can climb all over everything!

I just can’t get enough pictures of Zach and his JoJo. She is a daddy’s girl in the making for sure. But I am thankful for Zach grabbing the camera away from me every once in awhile so I can get some photos too!

dsc_0894 dsc_0884 dsc_0888 dsc_0880 dsc_0877 dsc_0870 dsc_0869 dsc_0874After filling up on as many free cider donut samples as humanly possible, we left the farm market and headed to Old Town Winchester. The walking mall was just the same and we strolled around for awhile, stopped for lunch and reminisced about life before Josie. I look at the picture below of Zach pushing the stroller down the mall and it’s incredibly surreal to think we walked this way countless times when we were freshly married, talking about one day having kids! I remember the first time we ever went exploring. We took a break from unpacking our little house and walked to a coffee shop. Latte’s in hand, we wandered around aimlessly until we decided to go home and take a (probably 3 hour long) nap. That was the life!

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Until next time, WinChaCha!

Nap buddies

img_6739 img_6741Duncan’s favorite nap spot is in Josie’s room, under the window sill, also underneath part of the bed. He does not fit back there, but has this way of hurling his body into the tiny space so the bed gives just enough to squeeze him in. Then he better be in it for a long haul because it takes some serious effort on his part to get out of there.

Every morning, 1-2 hours after Josie wakes up, she is ready for her first nap. Duncan knows the signs: we go into her room, draw the curtains, turn the white noise on, lights off. And every morning, Duncan follows me in there and goes right to his special spot. I lay Josie in her crib, give him a pat and walk out, closing the door behind me.

Two hours later (on a good day) Josie wakes up and I hear her talking quite loudly so I go in to get her. When I open the door, Duncan is usually sitting next to the crib looking at me like, “hellooo we’re awake, where have you been??”

It cracks me up that my dog and my daughter are on the same nap schedule. Some days, generally those that were preceded by a night with not much rest, they look so cozy in there together that I just have to climb into the guest bed and join them.

A mental ride in the mustang

dsc_0450When I went to visit my family in Green Bay this summer it felt like a whirlwind trip, even though I was there for a week. I was the only hand on deck when it came to taking care of Josie because she was having a bout of “I love mommy more than anyone” at the moment and though my parents got a lot of good snuggles in, it was challenging having a little velcro baby!

At that age JoJo was a fan of 30-40 minute naps. One morning, I put her down for one of those naps and when I came downstairs my dad grabbed me and said we were going for a ride in his 68′ bright red Mustang convertible. I hadn’t had a ride in his baby yet and taking advantage of the nap window, we left Nana at the house and jumped into the car.

It was a perfect “Ephraim day” as my family calls them. Clear skies, 75 degrees and zero humidity. My dad got out onto the rural back road and before I knew what was happening he gunned that sucker and we started flying down the road. Scenes of barns and farmland whipped by, my shrieks of delight drowned out by the roar of the engine. The air smelled fresh and clean and natural, a welcome departure from the crowded city air we share with 1.1m people back home. I practically gulped it in. The sun warmed my shoulders and we rode in a blissful bubble of non-conversation until the fields narrowed and suddenly we were on the water. Green Bay is not green at all – it’s the deepest, most refreshing looking blue and that day was no exception. The faintest hint of baby white caps brought me back to my sailing camp days and it would have been the perfect day to get out on the water with a Flying Scot. The ride lasted about 30 minutes and we were home just in time for Josie to wake up, but it was 30 perfect minutes. And perfect minutes don’t come around all that often so one must give them the respect they deserve. It was enough for a mental vacation and I returned rejuvenated.

Up until then, my mental “happiest place” had been on the bow of my grandparents boat, Renegade, bouncing through the waves on an “Ephraim day.” That’s the scene I pictured when I was stressed about college tests, when I was feeling overwhelmed at work, when I went into labor. It’s still a good one will remain in my arsenal, however now it shares that space with a ride in the mustang. And I feel like it’s not a bad thing to have multiple happy places to choose from.

Sometimes you just need a mental ride in the mustang.