Wednesday, March 12

Why I'm Fasting From Social Media

See this photo?
Before I began weekends of social media fasting, or media-free weekends, I missed this.
I was sitting next to them, endlessly scrolling through instagram, pinterest or facebook. With no reward.  Without any real pleasure.
And I missed this
I was staring into other people's homes and lives, and missing my own.

After an unexpected facebook conversation which left me feeling professionally uneasy a few months ago, I deleted my facebook account.  And honestly?  I felt lighter.  Although I'm sad to miss the pictures of old friend's weddings and new babies, it felt good to free up some time in my life.

Then Lent approached.  I try to challenge myself with a real, true fast.  Something that seems impossible for 40 days.  Initially, I referred back to my usual snacking fast- chocolate, ice cream, wine.  But after my husband challenged me, I turned to what was left of social media.  And I love pinterest.  And instagram.  So I was afraid I wouldn't do well without them.  These are so accessible, after all- just a touch of my phone!

But on Ash Wednesday, I started the real social media fast.  Jesse listens to talk-radio daily, and hears many perspectives on social media, and it's presence in our lives.   I think he fears that I've gotten caught up in comparision and envy, which he worries will only lead to unhappiness.  Honestly, he may have been right (not that I'm eager to tell him- not yet).

After just one week of social media fast, I find myself enjoying my free time as I had, pre-iphone days.  (Seriously, that was pre-July 2013, it's really not that long ago!)  Then I read this article, and it sealed my decision.  I've enjoyed more books, more quiet time in thought, more yoga and exercise, more baking, more gardening/planting, enriched conversations with my husband, a better idea of the news, more dreaming.  And although I've had the worst two weeks of work (I'm the sole provider in a three-provider clinic for 2 weeks!), I can't say I'm as unhappy as I may have been, had I cherished the instagram-friendly lives of those with less stressful careers, more flexible hours, or those without careers at all.

I'm obviously aware that this blog is also a form of social media, and I'm not trying to pretend it's not.  But I really do use this as my journal, a record of my family's life. And I hold myself accountable to at least one post per week.  So I kept this, and my husband agreed.  And I thought I'd document my journey here, too.  So that if or when I pick up instagram and pinterest again- I'll know I can skip a few days, and I'll be just fine ;)

We're seven days into Lent.
And just 3 weeks from my sister's due date!
I've got so much to be thankful for.


Tuesday, March 11

A Weekend of Birthdays

Daddy's birthday was yesterday, and Grandma's was the day before that.  And anyone who knows our Molly can feel the excitement of birthdays, in the cake!

Molly, my trusty kitchen assistant, measured precisely, mixed furiously, and watched the oven patiently as that chocolate cake was created.  But it was during the creation of chocolate buttercream that her good nature caved.  I didn't happen to catch the moment with my camera, but you can imagine the child, both hands covered in chocolate buttercream, awaiting to taste!  "mmm, yummy!"

I have a spare bottle of amaretto sitting around, so I created my own version of Amaretto Cream- basically, some butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and a generous portion of amaretto.  Imagine this cake:  it's the Hershey's perfect chocolate cake (on the Hershey's cocoa container), cut into 4 portions of an 8" round.  Plate the first layer, top with Amaretto Cream.  Second cake layer, top with chocolate buttercream.  Third cake layer, some more Amaretto Cream.  Fourth and final cake layer- all smothered in a healthy portion of chocolate buttercream.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours (seriously, moistens that thing up so nicely).  Yum-o!

This shot- a test of patience!  She climbed up that stool and stared at the cake every chance she got ;)

Please get a look at Molly's face.  This is the sheer determination of a good tickle.  Even on an undeserved, non-cooperative boy cousin,  who is fighting to get away.  But that face- she is something else.

 That girl can blow out some candles, look at those cheeks!  Daddy's so proud of teaching her the proper "chipmunk method" to a forceful blow.  It only took 2 tries to get those candles out!

Our Sunday, a picture of perfection, if you'd ask me.  The Sunday paper, hot coffee, couch snuggles.

The two year old who fight her nap.  This girl.  I really can't understand, and I try to tell her how much she's going to regret this.  Not taking advantage of an hour or two daytime nap.  But she fights and fights.  And that thumb gets the brunt of it.

And this, a sure sign that spring is coming!  We were late to start the seeds this year, and finally finished this weekend.  I'll tell you, it's my fault.  We started last week, in the basement (I really dislike basements).  I lasted 42 seconds, then saw a mouse.  Jesse corrected me, it was a mole.  Either way, he picked it up and put it outside.  As it turns out, the next morning that little guy was in the mouse trap.  We retraced his little tracks in the snow right back through the door (where there is apparently an opening?).  Jesse keeps asking why I'm afraid of a mouse, or a mole.  Does anyone else fear it running up their leg?!  Ugh, that just gave me chills.

I haven't been back to the basement since.  

We'll keep you posted on the progress of the seeds!
And the prospect of more cake (it's a week with two birthdays, after all)!

Have a great week.