I’ve ordered our family holiday cards, a process that always seems like one of the Seasonal Big Bosses. Every year I toy with the idea of choosing self-love and skipping the MF card but I always talk myself into it; this year I had the thought that this would be our LAST card with Riley at home so obviously it needed to happen. I’ve been going with a collage option the last several years because we never have one terrific group shot, we did get this picture at Thanksgiving but aside from my prominent forehead vein (obvs feeling super relaxed and breezy!!!) the fact that the kids TOWER over us now is just kinda comical. It’s giving Bidens/Carters in the Oval Office.

:::

One of my prior workplaces (where I did not feel very recognized for my contributions) is quite clearly writing every blog post via ChatGPT now, which vaguely pleases me. Marketing writers, who needs ‘em? Your brand does, bucko, because all-LLM copy is LLAMESAUCE.

:::

Update on my toxic morning routine: I stopped taking magnesium glycinate at night and I think it is helping a bit. My theory is that part of the stressy feelings have to do with Imminent Poop Feelings. I also bought a SAD lamp (specifically a “Verilux® HappyLight® Lumi Plus Light Therapy Lamp with 10,000 Lux of UV-Free, LED, full-spectrum light”) and so my oh-dark-thirty coffee-and-phone-scrolling habit now includes being visually assaulted with a very bright rectangle. No noticeable effects so far, although I do feel more alert/awake right afterward.

:::

This is random but if you personally have been on the fence about an Apple Watch, I heartily endorse it. I’ve had mine for 18+ months or so and I can honestly say it changed my relationship with fitness. Getting in my workouts each day feels non-negotiable to me now, which partially has to do with my studio — having a place to myself has been a game-changer when it comes to exercise at home — but is also the result of habit-building through the watch. I feel like the ability to call something a workout and then observe your own heart rate throughout is incredibly freeing: truly, anything can be a workout. You don’t need a video or a class or even a single piece of equipment to build strength and cardio endurance.

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I have entered my Birding Era. And by “birding” I don’t mean “going around with binoculars and a notebook and maybe a pith helmet” because that sounds like a real hobby, and what I’m into is more like, “dumping entire bags of peanuts on my studio deck and watching the absolute fucking CHAOS that ensues.” It all started with a crow fascination (yes from TikTok) and has expanded to other semi-obnoxious birds, specifically Steller’s Jays and Scrub Jays. They’re braver than the crows and will come to my deck any time as long as I’m putting out the feed, and I love them so much. The Steller’s jays are the boldest (also they imitate a hawk’s cry which is amazing), but the Scrub jays are my favorite – their sleek smart heads remind me of tiny velociraptors. I get a lot of squirrels, too, which are always wildly cute and cheery to observe as long as you don’t overly focus on their hella-creepy toes.

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Kate
Kate
7 months ago

as long as you don’t overly focus on their hella-creepy toes.”
Thanks, I am never going to be able to unsee this!

BJP
BJP
7 months ago

I think we’ve spent more $ on bird feed than cat food, but they are fun to watch. The Blue Jays are my favorite because of their size and boldness, but there is something about the bright yellow titmouse and friends that come around that is very appealing. And the hummingbirds are fascinating little boogers that we enjoy for the few months they are here. We have way too many squirrels to enjoy, so I opt for the chipmunk family that appears briefly during the day.
Great family photo! Wish we’d thought to do one every year.

Nine
Nine
7 months ago

Your baby boys are so tall now. Which one of you is carrying the recessive sasquatch gene?

I feel you on faking I’M BREEZY during holiday times. I’ve discovered xmas music makes me anxious. Not sure how I never noticed that before. This time of year is difficult for low social battery introverts. I kinda want to skip it all.

Karl
Karl
6 months ago

I’ve been away for some years and tried the URL on a whim, and holy crap, who are these tall monsters? :-) and one of their parents looks pretty much just the same if you ask me. Well done you lot.

Phil S.
Phil S.
6 months ago
Reply to  Karl

I, too, have been away for years. I was a regular reader back when Riley was born. Where’d the time go? But it sure is good to see everyone all grown up and doing well.

Lisa
Lisa
5 months ago

I started following you back in the old school blog days and when you had Riley in a backpack. We even met a BlogHer one year. My oldest is headed off to college next year too and seeing your family picture just brought up all the sad feelings of “where did time go”? Anyway, just writing to say that I’m glad to see you are still blogging.

Karen
Karen
3 months ago

I was going through bookmarks and saw the link to your blog. I thought gosh, I haven’t dropped in for forever! Been longer than that I guess, because these aren’t the little boys I remember playing in the river waters! Beautiful family!