A Book I Read

I'm happy to say I am now part of two book clubs! I have decided that book clubs are difficult to start and difficult to maintain. But very much worth it if you can keep it up and running. Maybe we should start an AdriLars book club here on the blog? Would anyone be interested in turning these posts into more of a discussion? Let me know.

So for one of the book clubs I'm in we read Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. I didn't know this book existed until Ash suggested it, which is actually the truth about most things I read. I may have been an English major and English teacher but I'm probably the worst-read English major and English teacher there ever was.

For full disclosure I will say that I didn't read the book with my eyeballs, I actually listened to it on Audible. I turn my subscription on and off all the time (which is probably not how they want you to use it, but oh well) because sometimes I like to listen but other times I really want to read the book so I can write notes in it and mark things. If you want to try it there is a link over on the sidebar right under the popular posts box.

This was one of the books I'm glad I listened to because Firoozeh reads it herself and it was so fun to hear her voice telling all the stories. So many hilarious things happened to her and her family living in America, I actually snort-laughed several times.

Some favorite quotes:
It's not what we eat or don't eat that makes us good people; it's how we treat one another. As you grow older, you'll find that people of every religion think they're the best, but that's not true. There are good and bad people in every religion. Just because someone is Muslim, Jewish, or Christian doesn't mean a thing. You have to look and see what's in their hearts. That's the only thing that matters, and that's the only detail God cares about.
I truly believe that everyone has a story and everyone's story counts.
Is that boy from your country?” she asked me. “Why, yes,” I wanted to tell her. “In my country, which I own, this is National Lose Your Child at Disneyland Day.” “No,” I told her. “He’s not from my country.

Firoozeh has such a sarcastic sense of humor, which speaks to my wannabe-comedian heart. On a more serious note the book addresses the racism and discrimination that she and her family and thousands and thousands of other immigrants have faced living in America.

It made me question myself. It has added to a list of events, texts, and experiences that have made me think about my own racist tendencies, how I think of others and how I treat others. I asked myself if I had ever treated people the way that people treated Firoozeh and her family. And the answer, unfortunately, was yes. I feel I have a long way to go in order to be the accepting, kind, Christ-like person I want to be. I'm learning that it is important to question myself constantly and make efforts to change.

Has anyone else read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post them here, comment or DM me on instagram or email me directly as well.

I definitely recommend reading this book if any of the above strikes a chord with you. Here is the link to the book on Amazon. Turns out it is also on sale!

My Mom Jeans

This probably isn't worth writing an entire blog post about but oh well. Since having Alice, my old pants, my hip-hugging, low-rise jeans don't quite 'fit' right. And when I say 'fit' I mean some of them don't button and some of them feel like what it probably feels like to be a sleeping bag bag. Trying to fit so much into such a small space.

I told myself that I just needed to lose the last pounds of my pregnancy weight and then they'd fit. Well I lost those pounds and guess what, they still didn't fit.

At first I was a little put off. That's annoying that just because I had a baby I now have bigger hips and I couldn't make them shrink back to the way they were before a bowling ball sized human went through them.

And then I thought, why would anything ever be the same after that? That's insane.

Here are what I would like out of my pants. Is this too much to ask? I don't think so.

I need jeans I can sit down in without my intergluteal cleft showing, or having them slide halfway down my butt.
I need jeans that let me dance.
I need jeans that don't hinder me chasing tiny baby feet.
I need jeans in which I can bend over and pick up the same thing a thousand times.
I also need jeans that make my butt look good, or like I still have a butt.
I would like jeans in good washes and with a little bit of built in wear and tear.
I would also like jeans I can take a nap in and lay on the floor in, and do other lethargic things in.

So then I went to a store and found me some jeans that didn't make me feel like stuffed sausage. Now some would classify these as mom jeans. Well that's fine cause I'm a mom, but that doesn't mean that only moms can wear jeans that fit and stay on and fill the above requirements.

So can we stop calling them mom jeans. Because I think the regular jeans would be offended that nobody really likes them or needs them anymore. And that's just sad. Why would you make the jeans feel bad like that? What did they do to you? Just let the regular, crappy, not fitting well jeans live, okay?

Let's just call them all jeans.

Did I make Tyler take a bunch of pictures of me in my new jeans solely for this post? Yes.
Do I look like a fool? Yes.
But do I look good in these jeans? Yes.

When I don't know what to do sometimes I do the 'can-can.' Poorly.
I call this one, 'Did the modeling agency call yet?' 
And this one, 'I'm just me, being me. No pictures. Okay, you can take one picture.

This was part of the 'do something fun so you look fun' idea.

Are you tired of these pictures yet? Cause there are more. 

Tyler said, "Do a toe-touch!" Nailed it.

In Default

In church several weeks ago, someone said something that pricked my little brain so sharply that I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. Probably because I grew up with a computer in our home and later a phone in my hand.

Everyone has a default.

We're familiar with default settings. We've all adjusted the default settings on device after device to make it function the way we want it to. Because the default settings, if we're honest, are crap.

They are the most basic of the basic. The default settings do allow your device to function. However,  until you start adjusting the settings, your device won't fit your needs or function efficiently for you.

If you never adjusted your device from its default, eventually you may not even notice that everything is still on default. You sit in and eventually sink into those settings and they don't seem that bad to you.

Until you see someone else's device that has been adjusted and then you realize you didn't change your settings.

Okay enough with the device metaphor.

I have stayed in or reverted to my default self many times in my life. As a matter of fact for the past couple of years it feels like I've been at my basic functioning level, my default. Only recently am I starting to feel like I can adjust.

And it actually is not fun. It feels heavy and tiring. However, after several days of dragging my feet in the 'I don't want to change' mud, there appears a tiny glimmer of hope and something I have been trying to adjust or fix finally sticks. One day I don't actually dread my attempt to exercise. Or maybe I remember to read some scriptures or something spiritual before the reminder on my phone goes off. It starts to get a little easier and I feel a little more like the person I want to be.


That doesn't mean that adjusting from here on will be simpler or easier. Maybe the best part of having a default and something better than default, is that they both exist.  That is the most comforting part of trying to change is that I can literally change. I can choose to do more. I can choose to act differently. I can change my own patterns, feelings, reactions, and actions.

So if I can do it, you can do it. Sincerely, I am a very lethargic person. Like use the same dishes all day because I don't want to get new ones kind of lethargic. So you can do it, I know you can.

You and I can be different each day. We can change who we are and what we do.

Everyone has a default. But you and I are better than our default.

Would You Like to Read About My Dirty Laundry?

Forcing myself to write a blog post because that's what the experts say.

Why do I have to do all this work before I can have my dream? I don't want to just write to write. I don't want to write things that don't feel well-written, clever, funny, or original. I don't want to write about what I do every day because frankly it's probably the same thing that a lot of people do every day. Would I want to read about how someone else also forgot to switch the laundry to the dryer and just remembered and now doesn't want to open the washer because it is going to STANK?

Maybe? Why would I read that? Because it's clever? Ha. Well-written? Maybe. Funny? Yes, but not really because that actually sucks. Original? Certainly not, because everyone else is doing it. Because it's keeping me from having to switch my own laundry? Maybe? Or would I read it because it makes me feel better knowing that someone else forgot, too? So many questions marks.

I dream of writing stories. And then giving those stories to hundreds (dare I dream thousands?) of people to read. The path to get there however is covered in moldy laundry and a whole lot of courage that I'm still trying to get out of the bottom of my gut.
Here's a nice picture of the ocean.

Alice's Birth

Alice was born. I probably read hundreds of birth stories before I was pregnant and probably hundreds more while I was pregnant. And thank you, internet people, for writing down those stories and posting them. I am grateful I was able to read such a wide variety of experiences. There were maybe only a handful that really mentioned how they *felt* whilst having that baby. There were a lot of summary feelings like "crazy experience," "overwhelming," and "unbelievable." And I thought, "okay self, be prepared to feel overwhelmed and crazy and dumbfounded." Check.

I love this photo. The Mother-Baby sign, our baby bag, Tyler's school bag that we used for our stay, and his full hands.💛

Probably the most annoying phrase I heard, but also the most true, in hindsight, was that "you'll just know when labor starts, you'll just know." Every time I heard or read that I just made a gagging noise in my head, and thought in my most sarcastic voice, "mmhhmm thank you so much that's sooo helpful."  Now I understand that you just know.

But I feel like someone also should have said PAIN, REAL PAIN means you're in labor. When the real pain started it felt like I was trying to grasp something that was speeding past me just out of my reach. I was coping, but it kind of felt like I was chasing a train alongside the tracks. You're obviously not going to catch that train unless your Wonder Woman powers suddenly engage. Which I think is what actually happens when you have a baby. Your Wonder Woman powers manifest and you push a baby out.

So after I channeled Wonder Woman, out came Alice. And everything was weird. And then I held her and I just felt confused as to why she wasn't attached to me anymore and how she was going to live without living inside me. I was dumbfounded at how she came to exist. And we just started playing parents. I'll be the mom, you be the dad, and this will be our baby. Oh the baby cries, the baby sleeps, the baby eats. Oh what a cute baby she is. What a nice family we are. And scene.

All of these photos were created by Esther Edith.  We will forever be grateful for this reminder of the day we met our little girl and everything we felt. Esther is not only a talented photographer but a warm and kindhearted friend.