3.30.2016

What Happened When I Quit Facebook Cold Turkey

quit facebook


Every year when Lent comes around, I routinely give something up. Whether it's sugar, caffeine, meat, or laziness, the forty days are an exercise in will power, self-restraint, and (to a very mild extent) sacrifice. This year, I did something a little different. I gave up Facebook for Lent.

Yes, Facebook. Forty days of no Facebook. I allowed a few small exceptions to check in on my professional groups once in a while but even on those occasions there was no scrolling through the newsfeed or glancing at my notifications. Admittedly, I thought I was kind of cheating on Lent this year. It seemed like I'd given up something that wasn't really going to be that hard to give up. Not like my drug of choice, sugar. Apparently I underestimated the level of my social media addiction.

The first few days were actually quite a challenge. In order to minimize temptation, I removed the Facebook app from my phone, turned off email notification alerts, and deleted the little F icon from my bookmarks toolbar. And yet ... I still found myself reaching for my phone and mindlessly navigating to the spot where the app was previously saved. I'd grab my phone and almost instinctively, as if finding my way to that blue and white F was ingrained in my muscle memory, I'd click on over to where it should've been then stare at my phone for a few seconds before I remembered, "Oh yeah. No Facebook right now." I'd sit down at my computer, open my browser to work or check email, and find myself hovering the little mouse in the area where the F used to be on my tool bar before giving myself a mental slap on the wrist. No Facebook right now!

After about a week or so, I didn't really miss it as much. The little pockets of time previously wasted on mindless scrolling were now gloriously free. Instead of reaching for my phone during the bits of downtime I had here and there, I found myself reaching for my book instead. I actually managed to finish the book I'd been reading since October and start a new book that I'm now about a third of the way through. I watched new photography tutorials and stayed caught up on emails instead of frantically stressing about them after Rico goes to sleep for the night, and found time for exercise. I even found little bits of time to unwind with my favorite grown-up* coloring book. All those things I thought I didn't have time for were now becoming a part of my daily life. Turns out, I did have time after all. I was just wasting it all on Facebook.

I also, admittedly, watched a little more TV than I usually do. My old buddy Netflix, the only one who kept me company during late-night pumping sessions months ago was keeping me company once again during bouts of insomnia. But I noticed a difference even in my show preferences. Instead of being drawn to all the reality TV shows I previously knew and loved, I was repulsed by them. My favorite Real Housewives of Beverly Hills annoyed the crap out of me the last six weeks! I wanted interesting plot lines and deep, well-developed characters. I wanted to see fascinating new perspectives on real life situations and experiences. I wanted fiction and documentaries. As if eliminating the reality tv-like noise from my online life meant I didn't really want it as part of my real-life downtime either. I didn't want tidbits and snippets of other people's crazy or chaotic lives. I wanted to more.

Now that Easter has come and gone, Lent is officially over. I hopped back on Facebook Sunday evening and sifted through six weeks' worth of notifications, messages, and friend requests. I'm still working my way through some of it. The one downside to being off Facebook is that I missed out on a lot of things happening in my friends' lives. There were pregnancy announcements, new babies born, business changes, engagements, and other life happenings that may not have been huge milestones but were still important and worth noting. And I missed most of them because I wasn't on Facebook (the Husband updated me on some of our mutual friends' news bits though). It's sad to think that taking time away from one social media platform to have a richer and fuller experience in real life means that I'm out of the loop when it comes to announcements and special occasions, but that's the world we live in now, isn't it?

After this forty-day social media experiment, I've decided not to add the app back to my phone. And I'm not adding the bookmark short cut either. I will still check Facebook from time to time and peep in on friends here and there, but I'm not going to make it easy for myself to get lost in that blue hole again. Going forward, it will now have to be a conscious decision to open a browser tab, type in the web address, and be conscious of how much time I'm actually giving away to such a passive form of socialization. But honestly, isn't that how it should be anyway?

xo

*I prefer the term "grown-up coloring book." "Adult coloring book" sounds like a porn coloring book to me!

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3.28.2016

Easter Sunday

Rico got all decked out in his finest (slightly too big) tie to celebrate his first Easter. We had an egg hunt with the cousins and munched on bagels with all the fixings, drank mimosas and soaked up a little sun. It was relaxing and easy and warm in every way. You really couldn't ask for more from a Sunday in the spring.

family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos
family easter photos

xo

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3.25.2016

Hoppy Easter!

From our weird and cheesy family to yours, Hoppy Easter, Everybunny! Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

family easter photos


Photo credit: The Amazingly Talented and Awesome Cristal Veronica

xo

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3.18.2016

San Francisco Engagement Session | Kendra & Dan

north beach engagement sessionI was prepping for this duo's wedding in a few weeks and realized I never shared their engagement session with you! When I arrived at their apartment on a sunny fall afternoon, Kendra was putting the finishing touches on her outfit and Dan was hanging out in the living room with their little fur baby. I was welcomed the minute I arrived with kind hospitality ("Something to drink? A little snack?") and curious sniffs and kisses from the pup. That vibe -one of warmth, openness, and kindness- is quintessentially Kendra & Dan. It carried over into our session and made the afternoon feel like we were just three old friends, hanging out and catching up.


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3.17.2016

An Irish Blessing

irish blessing for st patricks day


For every storm, a rainbow; for every tear, a smile; for every care, a promise; and a blessing in each trial.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

xo

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3.14.2016

Eight Months

eight month baby photos update


LOVES

Bath time, eating, swinging at the park, hanging upside down, climbing on the couch, getting into everything he's not supposed to (wires & outlets, the liquor cart, house plants, dresser drawers), chasing the piggies

HATES

The snot sucker, having his face wiped after meal time

Less than two weeks away from his 9-month check-up, I realized that I haven't posted his 8-month update! His personality is really on display these days and now that he can crawl and pull up on furniture he's more active than ever. For this month's update, I attempted a "Day in the Life of an 8-Month Old" series. That lasted approximately two hours: from the end of his morning nap until the end of lunch! I just couldn't keep up with taking care of him and trying to take photos at the same time. Plus, I really wanted it to be more documentary in feeling and every time I picked up the camera, he'd look right at it and often try to grab it from me! So instead of "A Day in the Life" it's more like "A Little Tiny Slice of a Few Hours in a Day in the Life of an 8-Month Old."

We've been following the 2-3-4 sleep schedule and it's working beautifully. Two hours after he wakes up in the morning, he goes down for his first nap. Three hours after waking from that nap, he goes down for his second nap. Four hours after waking from that nap, which is almost always around 3/3:30pm, he goes to bed and is usually asleep by 7pm every night. For a long time, I thought he would just be one of those babies that would always hate naps. Turns out, he just needed a little less napping and a little more wake time in between. He's so set in this schedule now that he actually smiles when I put him down in his crib to sleep! He goes to sleep within 5-10 minutes of being put down and usually wakes up in a good mood - and he almost always smiles when I enter the room to get him.

documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos

Since his wake time first thing in the morning is so short and usually involves both a bottle and a solid food breakfast (berries, yogurt, toast, etc), he's not typically hungry right when he wakes up. So we have a little play time first. Shape sorters, stacking bowls, wooden puzzles, and anything he can either a) make noise with or b) fit in his mouth are his favorite toys right now.

documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos

And now that he has mastered the art of crawling, he carries out a thorough exploration of the apartment multiple times a day, just in case anything changed since before nap time.

documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos

Book time! After a diaper and outfit change, he set his eyes on his books. When he first started moving around, he was immediately drawn to our bookshelves. One day I caught him pulling the dust jackets off some books and trying to eat them so we pushed our books back and put his out front on the lowest shelf. He LOVES being able to access his books whenever he wants. Sometimes he flips through them, sometimes he brings them to me to read, and sometimes he just chews on them. Whatever he chooses to do with them, I'm just happy he's into books!

documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos

Finally, time for lunch. I made carrot soup using veggies and herbs from our csa delivery that week. He hasn't quite mastered the spoon yet so I used these nifty reusable pouches a friend gave us. Rico has mastered drinking through a straw and took to these pouches pretty easily so they're quite handy for things like soups and yogurt. Add in a few veggie rice crackers and some hummus (not pictured) and you have a nice baby-friendly meal

documentary baby photos
documentary baby photos

"Alright, enough with the photos, Mom!"

documentary baby photos

He went down for his afternoon nap shortly after lunch and when he woke up, we met up with a friend for ice cream! I took my camera with me with high ambitions but between trying to eat my ice cream and trying to keep him happy with blueberries, photos just didn't happen. I'm okay with that though. The fact that I got too busy with him to take photos the rest of the day is actually a pretty accurate indicator of what life with an active 8-month old is really like. He's so much more fun now that he can do things, though, and we're finding plenty of opportunities to get out and show him the world so I'm sure there will be many more Slice of Life photos to come.

xo

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3.08.2016

International Women's Day

quote for international women's day


"The woman who follows the crowd usually goes no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before." -Albert Einstein

Here's to all the women who've wandered away from the crowds, who've forged paths no one had tread before, and who've made the world an all-around better place just by being themselves (that means you!).

Happy International Women's Day!

xo

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3.01.2016

Hello, March

spring roses in bloom


Lovely to see you again, March. February was actually quite kind to us and kept it sunny and 60s most of the month. Which makes me wonder what you have in store for us. In like a lamb, out like a lion this year? I mean, you are off to a pretty good start. Sunny skies, warm temps, longer evenings, cool breezes. Can you keep it up when you do the big hand-off to April? I sure hope so because there are lots of flowers to smell, oceans to dip our toes in, and general adventuring to be had this spring. You've made a good impression so far, March. Let's not spoil this budding relationship with ridiculous drops in temperature, okay? I can handle a few rain days. In fact, I welcome them. But let's not get out of control or anything, alright. Just keep it cool. Stay calm and Spring on, March. We've missed you.

xo

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