January. WHAT A MONTH. What a month.

How are you? That question has depth. I really would love to know: how are you??

It’s been a while since my last Friday Thoughts post, and considering they are some of my favorite posts (simply based on everything you guys share with me in the comments), I knew I wanted (needed?) to get one up today.

It might be just past midnight on Friday night but we’re still calling this a Friday Thoughts post! 🙂

1. New Year’s Resolutions

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s basically February, but how are those new year’s resolutions going?

Confession: I don’t set them. I learned years ago that I hated new year’s resolutions because they just made me feel guilt, pressure, and failure. I like goal-setting, but I don’t like the pressure of setting all.the.goals on January 1.

I started out this year young and full of hope. I was going to finally write a cookbook! And tackle several other projects (blog and not-blog related).

I was days away from signing a contract for a cookbook when January really hit. It’s hard to sum everything up, but let’s just say that 2022 hasn’t been the greatest start to a year in the history of ever for me and my family.

Unexpected illnesses. Unexpected job losses. Unexpected commitments. Unexpected reasons to take deep breaths and also look for blessings. Unexpected deep-reaching, soul-searching (and soul-sucking) challenges at every level, it seems.

So, I’ve had to regroup a little and really believe in the words: there is a time and season for everything. And right now, right in this moment of January 28, my time and season is to just make it through. And I can do that.

How is 2022 going for you? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW.

real time documentation of me hiding in my closet on a Sunday afternoon after really, really, really messing up on the organ at church and trying to avoid all the chaos in my house

2. Microblading

Very unimportant question here, and yet I’d really love to know. Eyebrow microblading? Have you done it? Do you recommend it?

I have a history of thyroid disease (I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Disease and thyroid cancer in 2008; I had surgery, radiation, and have had a lot of struggles regulating my thyroid hormones since then).

Among the many (!!) areas of life it affects is my eyebrows. That might sound strange, but thyroid + eyebrow thinning or hair loss is really common. And it’s frustrating and annoying.

My poor little eyebrows have gotten worse in the last year and I’m considering microblading but I’m skeered.

My sister has had it done (she has many of the same thyroid issues I do), and hers look natural and amazing, but I’m nervous, because I just know I’m going to end up looking like Bert from Sesame Street (no offense, Bert, you’re my favorite).


Thoughts? Advice? Pros and Cons?

Any other eyebrow tips? I don’t wear a lot of makeup so trying to pencil in eyebrows with some kind of “tool” has me more nervous than microblading, tbh.

3. Things I’m Loving

This gurgle pot {aff. link} my mom gave me for Christmas. It is honestly the most clever and fun gift. My kids have never drunk (drank?) so much water in their lives. The pot gurgles as you pour, and that gluggety-glug sound apparently never gets old. So fun. I have a white one but there are some color variations online (here and on Amazon if you search “gurgle pot”).

Gurgle pot.

These sugar cookies. They are next level delicious. I have made them probably eight times in the last two weeks for various events, and they just never get old. A sweet friend told me last week that when she eats one it is like taking a bite out of a fluffy cloud and a rainbow at the same time. So. I made an Instagram reel dedicated to that.

Top down view of frosted sugar cookies with colored sprinkles.

This sweet and sour licorice. {aff. link} I posted on Instagram about it last fall. But I’m still over here, four months later, inhaling bag after bag. Sweet and sour candy is my fave. And these little nubbins of licorice with their sweet and sour coating are just downright amazing. I buy 12 bags at a time on Amazon and occasionally share.

A bag of Wiley Wallaby sourrageous drops.

4. Winner of a Christmas Gift

While we are on the subject of winning items…this year for Christmas I decided to give each of the kids a 3-month subscription box. It was hands down the unexpected big hit of Christmas. Turns out, my kids get giddy at getting a package in the mail with their name on it (instead of the daily Amazon prime delivery updates all addressed to, ahem, me).

Subscription Snack Box.

We’ve only gotten through one month but every single one has been a hit and perfect for the kid who got it.

The snack box has been SO fun and unique (and yummy!).

I’ll admit one of the ramen flavors in J’s box had me side-eyeing (but he loved it).

The Kiwi crates kept the kids busy for hours, and Cade, the resident chef around here, was thrilled about his make-your-own breakfast (although I should have thought this one through because I think there might be coffee in most of the boxes – we don’t drink coffee, although it’s one of my favorite smells ever, so it looks like he’ll be gifting the coffee to a few of his favorite teachers at school).

PS: the other big hit of Christmas was the homemade puzzle boxes Brian made each of the kids and the Comfy they each got on Christmas Eve. We’ve had to have a few talks about where and when it’s appropriate to where said Comfys. As in, not church.

5. Wordle

I almost don’t even dare ask, but have you gotten on the wordle train yet?

We are recent converts (it took me one day to become obsessed – I love word games). While we aren’t “those people” (haha) sharing our stats on social media…and actually since my teens don’t have social media…we are keeping the sharing to a family group text.

I have a feeling it’s about to get very competitive. 🙂

6. Wrestling + Volleyball

We are a wrestling family. And this time of year is busy, busy with high school wrestling.

All three of my high schoolers are wrestling. It’s the best of times (I love watching them, even if I cringe a lot and sometimes, even after 12 years of being a wrestling mom, still shout things like “rip his arms off!!” despite them telling me that is NOT helpful wrestling advice and could I please just watch quietly or stick with half nelson encouragements?) and the worst of times (this season has been plagued with injuries and a lot a lot of stinky wrestling gear).

Don’t worry, they’re much more excited than their facial expressions show in this photo. (Sidenote: teenage boys and photos, amiright?)

In case you follow wrestling and care (it’s ok if you don’t), we have a 98-pounder, 145-pounder, and 120-pounder.

It brings back memories of these years when they were much younger and had no qualms about running around our 950-square foot house in northern Minnesota in their singlets all.day.long. Oh wait, they still do. Again: TEENAGE BOYS, AMIRIGHT??

And while we’re on the subject of nostalgic wrestling pictures (this is my blog, and I guess I’m going down a wrestling rabbit hole today and no one can stop me), this is one of my favorite pictures of all time a few years ago when all four of the boys were wrestling in the club season. I think I’ll put this on my phone as my desktop to remind me that on the hard days of parenting and life, there have been a lot of great times, too.

In other news, little sis is playing volleyball for the first time and loving it! It’s a new experience for all of us (don’t worry, I keep my mouth shut and haven’t yelled the same alarming phrases as I do at wrestling tournies), and it has been so much fun.

AND she gets to be on the same team as her cousin who happens to have her exact same birthday so in the language of 9-year old girls: ohmygoshthisisthebestthingeverrrrr!!!! and I concur: it is the best thing ever.

7. Losing Friends

In the midst of everything January has brought to us, good and bad, we lost our incredibly dear friend, next door neighbor, and adopted grandmother this week. 💔

You’ve seen her here on the blog (on this cake post) and here on this Friday Thoughts post talking about her son, Jared, who was fighting a battle with early onset Alzheimers disease (and who passed away last fall).

Carol has been an integral part of our lives for the last 7 1/2 years since we’ve lived here.

Her loss was sudden and unexpected. I’m sitting here looking through teary, glazed eyes trying to write this. It doesn’t seem real yet. And it doesn’t seem fair.

Carol was the wisest and kindest of women. Over the years, she became a treasured friend and confidante. I will miss her tremendously (so will all of us, particularly Cam, who walked over and sat on Carol’s back deck several times a week to talk with her about kittens and school and how to deal with pestering brothers).

Her family meant everything to her. 12 children. Over 70 grandchildren. And 10+ great grandchildren.

I hope I can be like her as I grow up. She was remarkable and we will miss her fiercely.

Friday Thoughts

8. Fill in the Blank

How would you finish this?

I WISH ________________________________

I think I’d go with:

I wish I could have the self-control to freaking go to bed before midnight.


I wish I could take away the pain and injustices in this world for those I love.

This was a long Friday Thoughts post. If you made it to the end…well, like I always say, you deserve a prize. A cookie. 12 1/2 cookies! I appreciate you. So very much.