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On My Mind This Week: 12.9.21

10 Things: What’s On My Mind This Week 12.9.21

This post took way too long to write. My sister messaged me at 9AM to see if I had watched thew new SATC because naturally, she watched it at 5AM. 🙃 So I took a real lunch break to watch it and had to outline the creative direction for an upcoming campaign. I have a lot on my mind this week so let’s get to it. 

You can shop Margot’s candy cane sheets here, by the way. 

10 Things: What’s On My Mind This Week 12.9.21

1. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but with the girls getting older and how different life looks than it did last year, I am feeling especially grateful.

Margot has been taking elf classes online (yes, you read that correctly). The course was gifted to us and is really cute. We had a video call with Santa, there’s been holiday baking and crafts, and I’ve planned a few safe outings, too. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to the zoo lights, this drive-thru light show, and the Amaze light festival, too. It’s so fun making things magical for the girls. 

We’re going to start watching some new Christmas movies, too. Here are the ones that were recommended for toddlers. 

The Grinch (2018 – it’s SO good)
Elf
Curious George
Snowy Day (we love this)
Klaus
Mickey’s Once (and Twice) Upon a Christmas 
Arthur Christmas
Claymation Rudolph
Muppets Christmas
Charlie Brown Christmas
The Polar Express

2. It’s a strange time for us but things feel better than they have in a long time.

We’re still pretty isolated and definitely went into bubble mode with the girls once cold and flu season hit. I’ve shared this but if Margot gets sick or has a fever, we’re in the ER and face a potential hospital stay and in some cases, we’d need to hold her meds for a week or two (or more). All things I want to avoid, so we’ve been laying low to keep her safe. Fortunately, she’s young enough that she doesn’t know any different, and we don’t really talk about it. The good news is we are able to get out a little bit when things are masked, so I’m doing everything I can, and just trying to create some normalcy for my girls.

I am definitely introverted and like my alone time, but I’m someone who used to see my friends pretty regularly, and that can’t really happen now. I’ve touched on this, but like many of you, some of my friendships took a big hit over the last year or so. I can’t say I’m entirely over it, but I’m not holding any grudges anymore. My friend Dr. Miriam Kirmayer’s content has been especially helpful, and she’s helped me realize that this is happening to all of us. I see it with my mom’s group – everyone is going through the same thing.

Friendships shift, but it’s hard when it happens with someone you were close to.

It’s a two-way street, and last night, I had a chat about this with a friend who reached out to a friend after over a decade of not speaking. I never hesitate to reach out, but if it’s not reciprocated, you have to move on. It’s just hard when someone completely lets you down or tries to benefit off of your misfortune, but not all relationships were meant to last forever.

The good news is that I know who my real friends are, and I have some very, very good ones. Can’t really ask for more than that, right? I’m looking forward to being able to see them normally next summer. We’ll be meeting a friend we haven’t seen in months at the zoo lights since it’s outdoors and masked. 

For a long time, I wasn’t myself.

Last year was really hard on me, and understandably so. I felt pretty broken, anxious, and like everything was out of my control. Watching your baby get sick to get better is a mind fuck. There’s no other way to say it, and to see her now, one year later, happy, healthy, stronger, and thriving, is everything. Once we finished frontline at the end of January, like most moms going through this, I was hit really, really hard, but slowly, started to feel like me again. It’s strange though, and not in a bad way, because I feel like me again, but I’ll never be that old me.

I’m what I think is a better and strangely happier but slightly more broken me, but don’t mean that negatively. Does that even make sense? It’s so complex and unless you’ve gone through it, tough to explain. My point in all of this is, it’s been so nice to have my blog, all of you, to see my girls happy, and to get to experience the holidays with them. Things look different and sometimes, it feels really sad, but I really try to focus on the good. 

Even though we’re not able to live normally, things still feel good, and I can’t help but think about how different life was a year ago.

Instead of being a year and-a-half away from treatment, we’re 226 days away from being done. That might sound like a long time to most of you, but each month is approximately 30 days and we’ve been in treatment for 572 days (holy shit). So we’re getting closer and closer to the end, and once we’re there, can start to live normally. That feels huge! 

Finally, going through all of this really helped me move on from my relationship with my very unstable mom. After everything, I don’t have it in me, and her nonsense doesn’t break me anymore. It took a long time to get here, but I’m here. It is my hope that for those of you with complex parental relationships, and ones that included years of emotional and verbal abuse, that things can get better. I still have work to do, but I’m in a really good place. If sharing this makes just one person feel less alone, it’s worth it. 

Wow, that was long. See? I have a lot on my mind. 

3. Sometimes, I’ll talk about important or controversial issues.

Like I said in this post, I am not an expert and I do not expect what I share to resonate with everyone. Every so often, I’ll receive a message from a woman who has a complex relationship with a parent or a mom who’s child was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing I can help them feel less alone means a lot. It’s why I do what I do. These topics are the ones I struggle to share, and it’s a balance figuring out what I’m even comfortable saying, but I’ll never not talk about what matters. 

Someone told me discussing kindness is “basic” but it’s not how I was raised.

I was not shown kindness by my parents. As my girls grow up and experience life, struggles, etc. they will be loved. It’s healing to see my girls happy, but I feel sad for my younger self. Years ago, I found out from one of my dad’s ex-wives that the way he treated me was the reason she moved across the country with my half-sister. I had no idea. I have very little memory of him and most of it is him yelling at me or forcing me to spend time with him, but the reality is that I was raised by people who were/are not kind. My mom’s first instinct was to belittle and be cruel, and I was often her target. The things that were said to me, I could never say to anyone.

My dad had some issues with drugs which I touched on the other day on instagram, and it’s something I don’t like to talk about. I had no control over any of it so there isn’t any shame, but now that I’m a mom, it makes me really sad to think about all of it. I’m rambling. My point is that I want other women to feel less alone and these are the reasons I focus on kindness and tell my girls I’ll always love them no matter what. 

4. Alternatively, sometimes, I’ll work on gift guides because they’re fun and helpful.

The other night, I stayed up until 2AM and was about halfway through my final gift guide. Yesterday, I picked up where I left off and a total of ten hours later, I had a gift guide with over 115 items (added 2 more right after it went live!) for everyone on your list. Each recipient is someone you were hoping to shop for this year. I really hope it helps. And just like that, my holiday gift guides are done. 

5. I cannot believe the number of people that clicked on my face serum. 

I got botox once five (or so) years ago but never did it again. I’ll share all my favorite skincare items soon, but this is the one product that I would never give up. I use it twice a day religiously, and my skin has never looked or felt better. 

6. Margot got her first real hair cut and it felt like such a big milestone.

One year ago, she didn’t have any hair because of treatment and now, a hair cut. In case it will help anyone to hear this, I want to be honest about an unexpected and confusing trigger. Her hair is on the finer side since she’s still getting daily chemo, and the length was pretty wispy. The wispy ends reminded me of when she first started to lose her hair. I know it’s not the same, and I’m so happy her hair is growing, but you just never know what’s going to hit you. We don’t really talk about treatment day-to-day – she takes her meds and has the occasional question, but our days are pretty normal. It’s just hair, but it’s also so much more.

7. My sponsorship with Emma Mattress did not include a blog mention, but I wanted to remind you that you can get 45% off the Emma Original with the code DANIELLE45 through the end of the year.

I don’t get anything if you use my code, but it’s such a great deal and we love our mattress.

8.  This may be my favorite video ever. 

9. So my new computer came and I spent a few days avoiding opening it because I wasn’t married to just uploading a backup off my old one on to the new one.

It felt like time for a fresh start. And that’s what I did. I’ll keep the old one for a little bit just in case I realize I forgot something. My photos are 90% organized, but I have a few I need to edit and then save the edited versions of, and I definitely don’t need this many photos on my computer. Does anyone else pine over things like this? Just me? 🤓

10. Demo is in full swing at the new house, and as soon as I get all my photos uploaded and edited, I’ll work on a post on our plans for the house.

Haven’t mean to leave you all hanging. Window restoration begins soon, and I’m excited to see it come together.