Friday, January 27, 2023

Currently: January 2023

I don't know how this is possible, but I haven't done a currently post since last April! I used to do these monthly as it's a good way to share a bunch of random updates on my life. So here goes!

Reading: The Four Treasures of the Sky, a debut novel by Jenny Tinghui Zhang. It's historical fiction set during the late 1800s in the western region of the US. The protagonist is kidnapped in China and brought to the US. The treatment of her is abhorrent! I am learning a lot about the Chinese Exclusion Act which was a ban on Chinese immigrants that was passed in 1882. It's sad to see that, over 200 years later, the Asian population in the US is still being treated poorly. I went to HH with a friend of Korean descent earlier this week and she said she does not take the subway in NY when she travels for work because she does not feel safe given how those of Asian descent are being treated. :( When will true and lasting change happen? 

Loving: the mild winter we've had so far in January. Typically this can be a bitterly cold month for us Minnesotans. I'm going strong on my 23 in '23 challenge and have really enjoyed my outdoor walks and runs. That said, the mild weather is coming to a crashing halt this weekend. Sob! Luckily it looks like it will warm up while my friend Kyria visits us next weekend! Phew!

This is the screenshot I sent Kyria. I'm glad she's missing the bitterly cold weather!

Feeling: sad that my colleague and mentor will be retiring at the end of March. I've known about this for a long time but it is finally public so I can talk about it! We met in a writing class when I worked in corporate finance at a previous employer back in 2008. He liked that I had a degree in math and was a good writer (it's kind of a rare combination). He eventually hired me in early 2011 but we only had 1.5 years together before he was recruited over to our current firm. Then I joined him here in 2015. I'm glad we've had almost 8 years together here but I know we will always stay in touch. It will be a big adjustment to me,though. I'm glad I've worked on elevating my profile with our salesforce over the last year because I will be taking on a lot more client calls when he leaves. All that said, I'm very happy for him! In our industry, it's kind of rare to go out on your own terms!

Anticipating: Kyria's visit next weekend! I met Kyria through blogging 10+ years ago. I've visited her in California several times, either on work trips or to meet up for races, and Phil and I visited her in 2016. Phil and her get along super well since they both enjoy craft beers and have a sense of frugality ingrained in them. She came to our wedding in 2017, and when we walked in the door from picking her up at the airport, Phil asked her to grab him a beer from the fridge - that's the best way for me to sum of their level of comfort with each other. ;) She visited us when Paul was 6 months but I haven't seen her since!! While she's here we will go to the zoo and see the dolphin training demonstration and the 2 of us plan to do a 10k snowshoe "race." I put "race" in quotations because I can't imagine we'll be fast in snowshoes! I'm so glad we have a great guest room set up and can easily host people now. Our house has a guest suite in the basement with it's own ensuite bathroom. I'm really looking forward to catching up in person and introducing her to our kids! All this is to say that you can develop wonderful friendship through blogging!

Struggling: with toddler meltdowns/big emotions. I know I don't have to preface this by saying I adore Will, but I want to emphasize that! And I know this is developmentally appropriate, but it's still a really hard stage. I thought 2 was going to be an easier age since it was pretty easy with Paul... but Jenny, whose oldest is also named Paul, was right when she warned me that 2 might be harder with Will as that was the case with her second child. 

Grateful: that we've had a pretty healthy stretch recently. I know so many people who've been sick recently. I fear that writing this will result in one of us getting sick. Will does have a minor cold so we aren't completely healthy but the last couple of months have been much better than September-November when one of the kids and me were sick on and off (I tend to get everything they catch at daycare). 

Working: on lots of puzzles! Buying a puzzle mat last year was a game changer. I usually work on a puzzle when the kids are in bed while we watch a show. Then I roll it up and put it away each night. I could NOT have a puzzle out on a table with my 2 young kids around. I am sure many pieces would go missing.

My latest puzzle - a gallison brand puzzle of houseplants! To be clear, I do not own any houseplants. I have a black thumb. But it was a pretty puzzle to work on!

Thinking: about my 2 trips I'll be taking in 2023! I bought the tickets for my trip with Paul to Tucson to visit my sister and her family in April. I'm super excited to do a one-on-one trip with him! And I'm starting to plan my August trip to the Banff/Canmore area of Canada. I'm meeting up with my friend Amber, who I also met through blogging (she no longer blogs, though!). We haven't seen each other since my wedding so I can't wait to hug her in person and catch up on life while going on gorgeous hikes! And hopefully I'll also get to see Nicole and hug her in person! 

Watching: nothing of note these days. But I am very very excited for the new season of Top Chef that starts on March 9th! It's an all-stars season and includes winners from other country's Top Chef! I love Top Chef soooo much!

Wishing: that this cold stretch will be our last for the winter? This is truly wishful thinking! I can handle snow but bitterly cold temps are such a drag, especially when you have little kids!

What are you anticipating, struggling with, and grateful for?


Nicole said...

Oooh I love these posts!
I hope we can hug too!!! I think you're going to absolutely love our area of the world. It's just so beautiful, I think Banff is just such a special place.
That puzzle looks challenging! I understand about having a puzzle out. When Barkley was in his last years, he got pretty naughty and did things that he would have never done as a younger dog, because what were we going to do? Discipline him? No. He stole - and ate - more than one puzzle piece. We would be doing a puzzle and bam, blank spot.
Have fun with your friend! I'm glad the Californian is missing the really cold weather!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Yay for meet ups! I am looking forward to ours and am really happy that you and Amber are going to get to have some time together as well! I really love the Canmore/Banff area; it is beautiful. I think you are really going to enjoy it and it will be so great to see Amber after such a long time! I actually rode the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco the other day and it really made me think of you guys and how much fun it was when all of the girls came to the city to visit!

Bummer that your mentor is leaving; I hope that it creates lots of opportunities for you and not too much extra work! You and I will have to talk about my situation, which has been both frustrating and interesting over the last year plus since Ed left. Even though he brought challenges of his own, sometimes it is a struggle and I just want to go back to the way it was before.

Elisabeth said...

If you're doing all these blogging meetups, you know this means you HAVE TO COME TO NOVA SCOTIA, right?!

Toddlerhood is no joke. It will pass (everyone tells you it will pass and logically your brain knows it to be true), but it can feel like an eternity. I'm in a similar place right now - my kids are older, but parenting is still so, so hard for me, admittedly for different reasons, but sometimes I'm like: Am I doing it all wrong or is it just a really tough job?!

Katie said...

I can't believe how many bloggers you meet/know IRL, that is utterly amazing!!! Come on over to England!!

Jeanie said...

Molly had the same experience with Carson and Cam (who embraced the terrible twos, unlike his older brother!) It will pass and I know you know that. The upcoming trips sound wonderful.

I'm anticipating a visit from my friend Suzanne in February, struggling with body parts that aren't being cooperative of late and grateful that it isn't so very much worse.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

So fun that you are getting together with your friend! And a snowshoe race sounds really fun -- I love snowshoeing, but I agree that "racing" sounds difficult.

So sorry that two is so trying. I hope this phase passes soon and that you and Phil are each able to give each other plenty of breaks.

I am anticipating my kiddo's first swim meet and grateful that she and I and my husband get so much time together.

Kat said...

My second child was waaaaaayyy more difficult as a toddler and still is at 5 yo! So I feel that frustration big time! It's hard not to compare and not be disappointed when the second kid is harder. Ugh so hard. Love all your friend trips! So important and rejuvenating, especially to get a break from said toddler 😉

NGS said...

Oh, no! Those are cold temps. We're going to be 10-15 degrees warmer and I bet I'll STILL complain about it. Good luck to you starting your cars!

I was a second child and my mom swears that both my sister and I were good babies and toddlers. I honestly don't know if she'd tell us the truth, though! Once we got to be school aged, though, we were definite challenges for multiple reasons. Let's hope this means Will will be an amazingly easy elementary-aged child!

Grateful Kae said...

So cool that you are getting together with Kyria! I am also so impressed that you were able to take so many blogger friends and turn them into real life friends! That's awesome! I've had a few email exchanges with Kyria lately and she seems so great! I hope you guys have so much fun. Too bad you're not just a LITTLE closer or I'd pop up and join you guys. ;)

coco said...

it's sad to see colleague friends leave... I still miss my PH folks, so badly. it takes times to build those professional friendships. the good thing is you know they are a text away when you need them. but I know... it's sad to stop seeing them a regular basis.
I'm grateful of not having to deal with sick kids for a while, knocking woods. I'm anticipating for my solo trip to Buenos Aires, which is fun and not so fun. fun to be alone for a while visiting my second hometown, not so fun because it's over 30 hrs flight and I'll literally spending half of the week traveling.

Sarah said...

OMG. Minnie has decided that she HATES to wash her hands. Like, there is a big screaming horrible to-do every time she needs to wash them, and it is A LOT. Toddle are tricky. Our forecast almost made me sob-- I have been ruined by this mild winter and can no longer hack the upper midwest.

Jenny said...

Well, I'm glad you're enjoying your milder winter, although your weather still looks pretty cold to me! I guess above zero is much better than below zero. How fun that you have a blogger-turned-IRL friend coming to visit! I'm envious of your great guest setup- that's one thing we lack here. Someone could come and stay if they really wanted to, but they'd be sleeping in my son's room and sharing a bathroom with my daughter- so it's not idea.
I have no words of wisdom other than- hang in there. I know how draining and defeating all those meltdowns can be. It really will end! I will say though that my daughter is still much more prone to drama than my son. I don't know if that's a girl thing or part of her personality. Oh and the funny thing is, she hates babies and toddlers- she finds them super annoying. Oh REALLY? That's funny because you were the most annoying toddler in the world, missy! It will be interesting to see how Will's personality evolves.

Stephany said...

Oof, I'm sorry that your mentor is retiring! I know how much he meant to you and how much he has championed your career growth. Hopefully this will lead to more growth for you!

How fun that Kyria is coming to visit! I can't wait to hear what you guys get up to. :) She's a brave soul for coming to Minnesota in February, haha, but at least the weather won't be TOO bad.

The terrible twos! Ugh. Mikaela has really been struggling with Olive these days - she turned 3 in November but it's been going on for a while. They are just so strong-willed!

San said...

I am so excited for you that you're going to see Kyria and Amber this year (and hopefully Nicole!). Blogger friendships that go from URL to IRL are just so wonderful :)

Shoshanah said...

I had no idea Top Chef was starting soon, nor anyt of the details from the season. That does sound really exciting though!

Anonymous said...

I love my friendships that started in the blog world!!! I’m so thankful for them!!! Toddler emotions are hard! It’s been interesting to see the big difference between Brian and Jenny’s 3 boys. Their youngest is WIDE open!!!!! I know you will have so much fun when Kyria visits!!!