Tonight, I talked on the phone with a friend for three and a half hours. I don’t think I’ve done that since high school. It was cathartic.

After I wrote about anger the other day, I felt like I had diffused the bulk of it. Blogging is a great release, sometimes of emotions you haven’t yet fully identified until you finally manage to find the words for them. But in talking to her, I realized that a lot of what I needed to vent off hadn’t fully dissipated by writing about it. It all came back up to the surface and felt, suddenly and surprisingly, wholly unresolved. But she, true to form, was an excellent listener and validator (it really doesn’t hurt that we see the same therapist so my friend and I both use and love the same sort of reframing and validating language that we’ve learned from her). There really is something to be said for confiding in friends. I should do more of that. I felt like a wrung-out dirty rag afterwards, it was good. I felt good.

So in the vein of feeling good, I am going to share some things that bring me joy.


Bear-Bear, a treasured find from my parents’ attic. Of course, I cannot find a second Bear-Bear anywhere on the internet, so M and I will have to exercise constant vigilance lest Bear-Bear ever find himself misplaced.

The only thing cuter than Bear-Bear is how much Chicken loves him. Despite having a small army of soft and cuddly things at her disposal, Chicken had no more than a fleeting interest in any previous stuffed animals or loveys. My mother gave me a big bag of old beanie babies that floated around our house for months, but it was only in the past few weeks that Chicken found and immediately latched onto Bear-Bear. She brings him to bed at night and clutches him tightly when we extract her from her crib in the morning. He has accompanied us on outings and been toted around the house. He sits at the table when Chicken eats.

It’s an encouraging sign to us that she has an attachment to a special toy. And it’s really, really cute.


Birthday ukulele. Isn’t it pretty? I’m counting this as a form of the “self-care” everyone keeps making such a big deal of. I’m pulling up tabs online and plucking away some buzzy-sounding songs. It’s pretty quick and easy to learn!


I do not find joy in dry, cracked winter skin, but I’m enjoying these Sesame Street bandaids. (We ran out of the boring adult ones.)


A new toboggan from Uncle Joey! It’s not for tobogganing, mind you; we tried it outside in the snow and it was not a hit– snow is too compelling all on its own. It’s great for sitting and curling up in, though. (We’ll try again.)


Staying warm and watching a show together with my Hammy.


Sushi with my best friend while watching Charmed. We ate all of this, but barely. I always over-order sushi.


Soft girls, soft blankets. Hammy is all wrapped up in M’s old Star Wars sleeping bag.

(I know, another TV-watching photo. Shhh…)


A nice, natural, Pinterest-worthy “rocks and wooden things” activity. Very popular with the toddlers. I love watching them explore new things, and this particular activity chimes the bells in my heart a little… in the same way that I sometimes feel little moments of heartbreak watching my plans for the girls slowly unravel, this activity is something that has always matched my general style and educational philosophy, and I like seeing that the girls find it compelling. I’m also guiltily aware of how little outdoors time we get these days between ABA and the bitter, bitter cold of a New England winter, so it’s nice to know they can still get their sticky little fingers on a few rocks during the day. (Can you find the Bear-Bear in this photo?)


Kermit and Kermit 🙂


Hey, Tom Robbins fans: Half-Asleep in Frog Pajamas.


Connections to the outside world. On Saturday we had big, heavy snowflakes falling outside our windows, and the girls stood on their little green step stools looking out the window for over ten minutes. Ham learned two new words on her iPad that she’s been using frequently since, together: “Snow. Cold.”


Chicken is very attached to me, and she’s a tactile/kinesthetic kid, so I get a lot of (somewhat aggressive) hugs and face-smushes. I’m pretty okay with it. ❤


There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. Nothing. (Hammy and Nana, watching football.)


And crazy hats. Crazy girls in crazy hats.

Not pictured:

My husband.

Hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows.

Roaring fireplaces.

Warm feet.

Netflix marathons.

5 thoughts on “joy

  1. *wuh*

    (I loved talking to you, too, and I’m always happy to listen.I’m glad it helped, even if it made you feel rag-like.)

    (It feel weirdly narcissistic to comment on this post, just sayin’.)

  2. I am so happy that you got that chance to talk to your friend and let it all out… and that it helped!! I never do this but sometimes I know I should. It does help.

    Love all of this happy photos!!! So much joy! 🙂 It is so sweet that Chicken has made that attachment to bear-bear. I even had a look around the world wide web for you to see if I could help in the search for another bear-bear, but no luck. I guess he really is one of a kind 🙂

    Mmm sushi!! Oh how I miss it and dream of it daily! 😉 I always over-order too, believing that anything less just won’t be enough.. and then I get sooo full… and have left-overs which is nice too.

    I know you are really busy pretty much every moment of your life right now and things can be incredibly incredibly stressful but it makes me so happy to see these special moments of joy that you are still experiencing everyday with your beautiful family. xoxo

  3. What a beautiful post! It makes me think of Anne Frank and how she used to write about how beautiful the tree outside her window was: “Look at all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” I need to take a page from this book for myself 🙂

  4. Oh SUUUUUUUURE you “ran out” of regular band-aids! 😉

    As a Canadian, I APPROVE that toboggan and am insanely jealous of it! WANT. Those photos of the girls watching the snow are just gorgeous. ❤

  5. Conversations like that leave me so refreshed. That’s awesome that you were able to take some time for yourself and catch up. Your list of things that make you happy made ME happy, especially looking at all the sweet pictures.

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