five things | the first week of 2017

All in all, the first week of 2017 was a fairly good one. Here are the weeks' highlights:


1. Edie shit on the bathroom floor last night immediately after telling us she needed to go "poo poo." Might be time to start testing the waters of potty training because if I wanted to clean up shit off of bathroom floors, I'd have insisted on a puppy instead of another baby which is to say that it isn't something I care to do very often. 

2. NC is expected to get 3-6 inches of snow tonight. I've made no secret that I FUCKING HATE SNOW. I mean, it's just frozen rain so forgive me for not being able to care. Especially when that frozen water manages to shut down the city I live in, sending people into apocalyptic maniacs who think they need to buy every loaf of bread and gallon of whole milk in the state. Meanwhile, the whole wine aisle is left untouched and I'm just standing there wondering how bread and milk are going to help them survive 48 hours of being cooped up inside with two toddlers. Their misstep is just an added bonus to my arsenal of winter survival tactics so whatever, people. WHATEVER. 

3. I'm starting a round of Whole30 on Monday and I can feel your eye rolls from here. I am absolutely NOT doing this to lose weight. I don't believe in diets or counting calories and never have. However, my body is struggling with the post-holiday sugar and booze fest I put it through and my skin has been an absolute wreck for about six months or so. I am also dealing with post-IUD removal hormonal rage that has me feeling rather manic and sluggish. My hope is that by giving my body a reset and cutting out so many those inflammation-causing foods, I will be able to kick the lethargy and figure out what exactly I'm not tolerating. What am I going to miss most? Cream in my coffee, wine, avocado toast, and lentils. Not necessarily in that order. 

4. I finally posted some food recipes-- a carrot + red lentil soup and a homemade chicken bone broth-- under the FODDER tab at the top of the page. Food is my love language and cooking for the people I love brings me an immense amount of pleasure. I've got a Thai lettuce wrap recipe to post today or tomorrow and I'm working on compiling a list of my weekly pantry and fridge staples that help me make spur of the moment meals for me and the fam. It's not always easy to take photos of food when two hangry tiny tyrants are yelling at you but I'll do my best to post what I can as consistently as I possibly can. But, in the meantime, if there is anything in particular that you'd like for me to post here in more detail that I've ever documented on the gram, don't hesitate to ask for it! 

5. I just discovered GoodReads and find it utterly addicting. I now have a list of forty-and-counting books in my 2017 To Be Read list. Do you have any good book recommendations that I must read? I'm an equal opportunist when it comes to preferred genres so don't hesitate to send me your suggestions! 

Christine's books

The Girl on the Train
Magical Thinking: True Stories
Possible Side Effects
Running with Scissors
Love Warrior: A Memoir
You'll Grow Out of It

Christine Fadel's favorite books »

a look back at 2016 + intentions for the new year

Commissioned painting of our family done by my incredibly talented and dear friend,  Emily . You can see the colorful version of the painting  here.

Commissioned painting of our family done by my incredibly talented and dear friend, Emily. You can see the colorful version of the painting here.

Do you, like me, roll your eyes the moment someone declares the upcoming year to be THE year they embrace a new, better, healthier version of themselves? I mean, it's well-intentioned, of course. It's just that that kind of declaration is bound to set you up for failure. Living under the impression that all one needs is the turn of a calendar page to miraculously possess the discipline to do whatever it is you're convinced you need to do differently from years past seems kind of ridiculous. Does January 1st demand something different from us than... say... June 13th?


I digress.


I will admit that I do appreciate any opportunity to reflect. I also find it a healthy dose of perspective to process where I've stood, where I'm currently standing, and where I'd like to be. As I look back on 2016, I have ultimately decided that 2016 mostly felt like a battle of extremes where the majority of my energy was devoted to adjusting and assisting the girls' adjustment from our move from NY back to NC. It was a foggy, messy, blur of a process, of which I'm not all-together confident is actually over. When I wasn't explaining to Marlo why "I was the worst person in the world for moving her away from her best friends and favorite playground" (yes, that was an actual reoccurring conversation), I was merely trying to survive a level of physical exhaustion I've yet to previously experience thanks to Edie's malfunctioning ear canals.


Coincidentally, 2016 was also the year that made me question if I was had any fucking clue whatsoever what I am doing as a parent. By mid-September, I came to the annoyingly obvious conclusion that I remain as moderately ill-equipped to be any of the things that are expected of me as a mom as I was before I actually birthed a human. How enlightening!


But I kept on keeping on, trying like hell to figure how to be the mom my girls needed me to be. And, though the process was painstakingly difficult and often punishingly futile, admitting to myself that I have approximately zilch figured out gave me the boost to keep pushing onward and upward. In my mind, if the job wasn't done, neither was I. 


I fucked up a lot in 2016, too.


I lost my temper over the most embarrassingly ridiculous things. I let the unimportant details of the everyday get the best of me. I wasn't always grateful. I threw tantrums and behaved like a brat. I let the poor behavior of others affect my emotional well being when they weren't even worth an ounce of my energy to begin with. I went against my better judgement which bit me in the ass EVERY SINGLE TIME. I didn't always give it all I've got to give because either a) I was too tired or b) I simply didn't want to. I wasn't always kind to myself nor did I give myself the amount of I grace I pass out to everyone else like candy. 


And, when you know better and choose to not do better, there are no worthy justifications or excuses. You just have to own the fucking up. 


Looking forward into the year ahead, I will make no grand declarations or bold statements about about what I hope 2017 to hold for me or my family. I only want to continue being the best possible version of myself/wife/mother/friend/daughter I can be because my people and I deserve that.


That means following my gut instincts instead of ignoring them, standing my ground when pressed to back down, giving my kids more space to be themselves and not allowing them to be shamed for being human, embracing the messiness of the everyday because the message lies somewhere deep within that mess, blocking out the noise of what others may think, accepting the crazy but not engaging it, giving myself permission to rest without the guilt trip, taking up verbal/physical/emotional space without apology, holding myself as accountable as I hold others, writing as often as I feel I have something to say, treating my body and mind as though I love myself because I do, and remaining grateful to wake up every morning and have the opportunity of living and loving the amazing, abundant, complicated, beautiful, messy life I am so, so fucking lucky to lead beside the three other souls in that picture.


Trying harder to be our best, even when the effort feels impossible or the outcome proves pointless, counts for something because continued effort in the face of obstacles fucking matters. That level of tenacity should be worn as a badge of honor because it sure as shit isn't easy. At the very least, the degree to which we put forth effort should be enough to detract from our endless list of shortcomings.... Right?!


Happy 2017, y'all. I hope it's a beautiful one.

christine x