This has been the weirdest week you guys. We got back from a 6 day trip to the Dominican late Monday night, and when we woke up Tuesday morning we were thrust back into reality in a way that honestly felt a little violent. I'll share some photos from the vacation next week, but for now, I'll just say that as incredible as it was to be in an absolutely gorgeous place with absolutely perfect weather and a huge group of our best friends and their kiddos, it was also exhausting. This vacation is an annual work trip for Robbie (a festival that has been held for the last 10 years in Jamaica, Mexico, and now the Dominican Republic). When I took Essley in 2014 when she was 11 months, it was my favorite of them all because I got to experience it through her eyes. Last year I was 9 months pregnant so I couldn't make it, and I was majorly bummed. This year, I was so excited to get to go again, especially with both kids - but man was the experience with an "I'm in a testing you every chance I get" phase 3 year old and a 10 month old who hates sitting still a whole new world. During the periods where Robbie was working, trying to wrangle both of them myself around a huge resort full of potentially dangerous situations (swimming pools meant for kids who know how to swim, concerts with partying adults, etc.) and even just normal activities (food buffets, small kid pools, etc.) was challenging in ways I never anticipated. Most of my friends were smart and brought helpers or nannies, and I get it now. And yes, I feel like a complete jerk whining about being in a tropical place in December (poor baby!), but man. It was amazing and beautiful and the kids had so much fun and I'm so grateful, but it was hard. The flight back was especially interesting (the highlight was probably Emmett whipping two cups full of ice into the air and subsequently in the laps of those sitting in the two rows behind us; good times), and Tuesday morning we woke up before the sun even rose to Emmett coughing and sneezing his way through a high fever, Essley jet lagged and half asleep and ultra crabby for her first day back at school, and a pile of work that was infinitely more difficult for me to tackle than it should have been. And since then I've just sort of been walking through a haze, trying to get the kids back on schedule, catch up with work, get holiday cards sent, get birthday parties planned (both kids were born within two weeks of Christmas), and just make some sort of sense out of our current level of household disorganization. Boy have the times changed since the days when I planned trips 2 days before I left and came back feeling rested and renewed. HA. Hahahahaha.
(I also feel the need to say that despite my complaining over something that is about as far from a real problem as you can get, every time I look in the mirror and see the tan on my face and remember how lucky we are to get to do things like that, I mentally slap myself back into reality and express gratitude over and over. Tired or otherwise.)
And now that that rant is over, let's get to the topic of the post. While this week has been nonstop in every way, I did have moments (like a 5 hour flight with wifi and several nights where I stayed up way too late just to have some kid-free time) where aimlessly browsing the internet allowed for me to come across some great links to share via a Links I Love post. So here they are:
Yes, it's complicated and it's not over, but it was pretty awesome to get to read that the Army Core of Engineers halted construction of the Dakota Pipeline.
Will someone please please please buy me this dress (as seen in top photo) to wear for New Year's Eve? New Years Day is my birthday so it can be a birthday present too! Isn't that a great idea? Huge, huge thanks in advance for such a thoughtful gift. Love you. (I would totally take this one too.)
I was recently introduce to Tessemae's ridiculously delicious organic salad dressings and now I can't stop. I've been drooling over all of their recipes this week. I want to eat every single one of them.
Check out this awesome gift wrapping hack that lets you wrap your holiday presents in 15 seconds each. Pretty neat.
I ordered this scarf on sale over Black Friday weekend. It was waiting for me when I got home from our trip and now I want it in ALL THE COLORS. Robbie has been side eyeing me like WTF babe because I've been wearing it around the house nonstop, even when I have my pajamas on. #BlanketScarvesForever
As you may be aware from my big post about Emmett and IS last week, this past week (from the 1st through yesterday) was Infantile Spasms Awareness Week. I read tons of articles and posts on the topic, but this one about a new study that shows that over half of kids with IS go misdiagnosed for an average of a month before they're properly treated (which can cause profound long-term affects) really struck a chord with me. I am hugely passionate about parents and doctors making themselves aware of the symptoms, and hope that studies like this prompt the healthcare industry to take action at making IS awareness and education a priority.
Here are some things other countries describe as "American," and they're hilarious. Cool American Doritos, man.
While this post is now a couple of weeks old, I keep revisiting it. I'm so happy for my friend Elsie and her adoption plan via a special needs program in China. It brings genuine tears of joys to my eyes. I can't wait to follow along.
Have you guys heard of Dr. Pops? I just got a box of their Honey & Eucalyptus and Zinc + Vitamin C pops for Essley for cold season and am stoked to try them. They're basically suckers with supplements in them. Brilliant, right?
Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love IKEA more (for those who missed it, we filmed an IKEA Home Tour episode with them over the summer and they are genuinely the best company ever), they decide to give their employees up to four months maternity leave. Other companies, TAKE NOTE.
I can't stop looking at National Geographic's 50+ best photographs of the year.
In my mind, Essley and I will be making a whole bunch of these super cute Christmas cookies over the next few weeks. (Translation: probably won't happen, but a mom can dream.)
So, so shameless of me to post this link, but I really do love it: The 2016 Bubby & Bean Art holiday card line is currently shipping in 1-2 business days. Just saying.
There won't be a post tomorrow because if I haven't hinted at it enough so far in this one, it's been a crazy freaking week and I need another catch up day. So have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday, hopefully much more bright eyed and with it than I've been this week.
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