Design

Have a Wonderful Weekend.

playing cards by nikaela marie

What are you up to this weekend? We’ve been getting into card games this fall, and Alex and I are also going on a daytime date to this hydrotherapy garden. I’m excited to hang out in a hot tub in the chilly weather. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

These toothpick sculptures are amazing.

2019 dating in a nutshell.

Japan’s mundane Halloween costumes, including “a girl who just gave blood and now can’t do anything for a few minutes.”

The scariest Halloween party, haha.

A marriage mantra.

How beautiful is this guest bedroom?

When a soccer player’s hijab fell off, other players gathered around her while she fixed it.

The chocolate cake that saved a vacation. (NYTimes)

My kids would flip for this bath hack.

Skillet ravioli for the win.

Psst, I’m in love with this amazing vibrator. Dame is offering 15% off site-wide with code CUPOFJO15, until November 15th.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says A.S. on what sounds do you love: “The sound of dishes being put away by neighbors with their windows open. It’s oddly soothing, and I always wonder what they had for dinner.”

Says Anna on how to raise kind children: “I’ve thought SO MUCH about this as a parent. For all the parents out there struggling with their ‘tough’ child and wondering what they’re ‘doing wrong,’ I would offer that I have two children quite close in age and that they are very different people and have been since birth. My two-year-old is naturally kind in all the ways everyone is mentioning and hopes their children will become. She’s aware of other’s emotions, waits very patiently for her turn, will give her sister or a stranger her very favorite toy, etc. She is my heart’s resting place. My four-year-old is very self driven. She wants the most of everything (food, toys, crayons) and when she was her sister’s age would push random children on the playground for no obvious reason. She is dynamic, gorgeous and…not always kind. My point is, if I had just had one or the other, I would have thought myself either an exceptional parent or a fairly poor parent, based on their individual behavior. But neither read would have been true. My daughters are on their own unique paths as humans. As their mother, I have the great gift and responsibility to meet and join them on their path with a sense of curiosity and zero expectations. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it and has made me a better person. So, for all the other kind mamas out there with tough kids who may not always be kind, hang in there. It’s not you! It’s them living out their journey. And they probably picked you as their mom especially because you are the one who could best meet them there, with her whole self.”

(Photo by the wonderful Nikaela Marie.)

  1. Anna says...

    This is the Anna from the reader comment. I saved all the kind comments from other mamas on this post and have them in a Word doc now to look at when I’m feeling down. Really, really, really made my whole week to feel so connected to so many. :)

    Also wanted to share a sweet moment from my eldest (the tough one) that happened in the week after my original comment.

    In the middle of post-dinner clean up she brought to me a ragged babydoll and asked me to please fix the side where the seam was coming undone. Cue stressed out thoughts of “We have 85 baby dolls and you never play with this one, I am throwing this away when you go to sleep, etc. etc.”

    Nevertheless I agreed to stitch it, pulled out the needle and thread and sewed it up as my oldest sat on my lap. Right then she leaned into me and kissed my cheek and said “We’re being nice, mama.”

    It was such a rare, soft moment with her. Reminded me of the line from Brandi Carlile’s The Mother:

    “The first things that she took from me were selfishness and sleep
    She broke a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep
    She filled my life with color, canceled plans, and trashed my car
    But none of that was ever who we are”

    None of the tough stuff has ever been who me and my girl are, and wishing for sweet moments for all the mamas who commented that they’re also in the thick of it.

  2. Stephanie says...

    Anna’s sentiment on raising kind children is beautiful. It is so true that they are living out their journey! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that amongst the wreckage.

  3. Sarah says...

    Those Japanese Halloween costumes are my favorite thing the internet has turned up in ages.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i know! such a funny approach.

    • Noelle says...

      I LOL’ed at basically every one. Hilarious!

    • Andrea says...

      Has anyone asked the soccer player if she needed shielding? We’re all cheering it, but I see people adjust their hijabs when they slip at work, on the subway or on the playground all the time. NBD, so why are commenters making it one?

  4. I have recently moved back to Italy and we play cards games here too. At Christmas we play Mercante In Fiera, which is a game where you auction cards so it can get tense with money involved :) we enjoy it! Might be worth a look if you want to try something new! Love your blog!

  5. M says...

    I love what Anna said there. So true.

  6. Jessica says...

    I don’t know why, but that marriage mantra article made my blood boil.
    Like, what kind of child expects another person to magically change because they said “I do?” Why would you marry someone who you expected to act fundamentally different than they do in your current relationship? And, even if you did, what kind of privileged little existence do you live when you feel CHEATED or “sold a bill of goods” because another person continues to be who they always were? The other person didn’t “sell” you anything other than a lifelong commitment and love – woe is you!
    I’m glad she got around to feeling lucky. And maybe my shock that she felt these disappointments at all reflects why I was single for so long before I found my person. Because I wanted to be with someone who was kind, and who communicated in a way that worked for both of us, who loved me in ways that I needed and who I wanted to be with *as they are* – warts and all. For all of that, and not a little bit less, I waited to 38.
    So, yeah, this is just to say: my lord, other people’s magic princess fantasies around marriage drive me insane.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Taylor says...

      SAME. I felt the same way reading this! I never understand the (usually hetero couples) that are always like IT’S BEEN HORRIBLE and i HATE MY HUSBAND but we MADE THIS MARRIAGE WORK like this sentiment is commendable? I guess overcoming delusion is good? But I just feel bad for her husband who had all these projections about marriage thrust onto him?

      I married my husband loving and accepting everything about him, and our relationship has not changed since we’ve been married. Will we go through hard times? Of course. Will our relationship change in reaction to those circumstances? Of course. We married because we want to be partners through loss, chaos, pain, doubt. We put in the work of a partnership before we married to make sure we can weather storms together.

      There’s nothing novel or brave about hating your spouse and later realizing that marriage is a partnership. I don’t think the author is promoting healthy ideas about commitment and it frustrated me so much reading it too!

  7. Chloe says...

    Just wanted to mention, the video of the soccer player whose hijab fell off is so beautiful because it was the members of the opposing team who gathered around her, not her teammates!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh wow you’re so right! I hadn’t realized that. Really beautiful moment.

    • Abigail says...

      This video made me tear up, and understanding that it’s the opposing team gathering around her makes it all the more powerful. <3

  8. Steph says...

    I have taken a screenshot of Anna’s comment and will put it on my wall – brought tears to my eyes. I have the exact same experience with my two girls. Thank you xx

  9. Kate says...

    You might look into the card game Dixit to play with the boys – no reading, some simple story telling, and fascinating pictures to look at!

    • Laura Patten says...

      Dixit is the most fun!!! We played it all during Christmas last year and everyone loved it!

  10. elizabeth r says...

    The soccer video was actually the opposing team, not her teammates which, in my opinion, makes the video even sweeter.

  11. SusieG says...

    Lovely and perfect. Today is my birthday and reading this has made for a wonderful start, especially the “marriage mantra” and notes re raising kind children. My family — with all their quirks, trials, and tribulations — are my gifts.

    • Sasha L says...

      Happy birthday Susie! I hope you had an amazing day.

    • Tina says...

      Happy happy birthday!

  12. Victoria says...

    Thank you so much for sharing Lydia’s marriage mantra. It’s so true, isn’t it? Ten years in with my husband, and god, have we struggled at times. I love how this word “gift” came to her. It is a gift to be so refined by another person. Who else would do that for us?

  13. Em says...

    The video of the soccer player whose hijab almost fell off almost made me cry. So kind xo

  14. I love this!

  15. lindsay says...

    I want the chocolate cake recipe, but I don’t have subscription to NYT, I am looking for it elsewhere…

    • lindsay says...

      I still cant find it anywhere!! Now I really want it. anyone?!

  16. Allegra LaViola says...

    That “bath hack” has traumatized my husband since he had to wear one as a kid! Ha!

  17. B says...

    What I thought was especially special about the hijab moment is that it looked to me like the opposing team surrounded her to protect her privacy. I loved seeing that moment of camaraderie and respect among women who were playing for opposite teams but kept sight of the bigger picture.

  18. Alexis S. says...

    Lydia Sohn’s article is beautifully-written and so wise, but I am concerned with her statement that any two people can have a beautiful marriage. In cases of addiction and mental, verbal, and physical abuse, that simply isn’t the case. No one should be made to feel she should stay in a bad marriage no matter what, and as a minister, it behooves Lydia to make that clear. As an early-30s something woman who is recently separated from a toxic marriage, the assertion that most people aren’t happier after divorce is not only woefully discouraging, but also untrue.

    • Angela says...

      Respectfully, I feel like there were several times in the article she mentions these exceptions.

    • Melkorka says...

      I loved the essay and related to so many points but I also wholeheartedly agree that ‘try harder’ is such a dangerous sentiment in regards to abusive relationships. I also wanted to say that I am sorry about all you have been/and are going through and I think it is an extremely brave, courageous & hard (but so worthwhile!) thing to leave a toxic relationship. Wishing you luck & much happiness.

    • Anne says...

      You are absolutely right Alexis. You made the right decision for yourself and your situation – not all marriages can (and should) be saved.

      Here’s a funny fact. In Danish when you are married you are indeed “gift”. In Danish however, the word “gift” also means potion:-)

  19. *Quick little note…
    on the “soccer player who’s hajib fell off”…-it was actually her opponents & not her teammates who formed the circle to conceal her (which makes it even more fantastic & special)! It is shown in the video, if you feel like double checking me :)
    Anyway, I have loved your blog for a literal decade! Keep up the spectacular work ladies!

  20. Oh goodness, the hijab clip is even better than it sounds: it’s the OTHER team who encircles her. * sniff *

  21. Whoa! That spa place looks incredible! #jealous And that reader comment about our children being who they are was very much needed. Thank you! Have a great weekend, Everyone!

  22. perla says...

    hello ladies

    well i just broke up with a friend (we have known each other for almost 10 years) a couple of days ago and i’m not sure how i feel about it . she said that my anxiety disorder makes me very irritable . she couldn’t handle it anymore because ” friendship is supposed to be simple and enjoyable”..

    i could definitely use some comforting messages

    love xx

    • Alla says...

      Hi Perla:
      I couldn’t pass your plea for some comforting messages and here’s mine: although you are saddened by the loss of your 10 year friendship, appreciate the friendship for the length of time and don’t dwell on its end :) people come and go from our lives for various reasons and sometimes things aren’t meant for forever.
      And your friend’s reasoning for the ending of your friendship is true for her- not you. You continue to be you, and as your authentic self, the right people will come into your life once more :) wishing you happiness and “new” friendships :)) from here on.

  23. Jo says...

    Oh my goodness, Lydia, if you are reading this- THANK YOU for your article on your marriage. It’s like you read my mind today and wrote exactly what I needed.

  24. Kara says...

    Thank the universe for Anna! Wow I really really REALLY needed to read that this week. It should be required reading for every parent/grandparent/caretaker/etc 💜

    • Mona says...

      Seconding this.

  25. Anna F. says...

    You always know just the right things to post! Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful, kind, and inspiring content.

  26. Vianne says...

    Hi lovely ladies, I’m a long time reader but don’t comment much. I love the community that has formed here though and always read the comments too. I’m in a difficult time in my life and in my long term relationship. I was reminded of a piece I think I read here somewhere from someone who described how love changes and how beautiful that is, and that it is not just losing that first crush. I can only find it nowhere. I know the description is very vague, but perhaps it also made an impression on someone else who can lead me to it.

    • Anonymous says...

      I am not sure if this helps. I know it’s not from Cup of Jo, but your description reminded me of this post I read from another blog. This part in particular . . .

      “It seems true love gives all it has, breaks down, then reconnects to heal. A new love begins where the old love left off. Perhaps love is a journey of holding on to each other, even when you want to let go? True love is more about forgiveness than feelings. It’s more about giving than getting. It finds it’s hope in humility. Love begins, it breaks down, it begins again. Where love began is not where it will end. We will be broken and changed and hopefully over the years, with a lot of grace, we will find ourselves in a marriage that has lasted, defined by a love that has been renewed again and again.”

      https://www.lisaleonard.com/blog/thoughts/finding-love/what-is-the-meaning-of-love-and-maybe-it-doesnt-last

      I hope things get better and this rough season comes to an end soon.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh Vianne, I don’t remember the title either, but I know which one you mean. It was about how later into a devoted love, the author didn’t miss infatuation, and the nerves of new love, she was so glad to gain everything that came with a mature developed relationship. I just combed the archives but I’m not seeing it. I wonder if it was a link on a Friday round up? I can say at least I found a lot of other older cup of Jo posts that were quite delightful that I bookmarked ;).

  27. Sally says...

    Off the subject, but will you be doing a post about your Charleston trip? Would love to hear about it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we actually didn’t take enough photos for a post (we were mostly just biking and relaxing!) but here’s a small recap of places on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4H40C5HSZp/

      hope that helps! xoxo

    • nadine says...

      I was wondering the same, I would have been curious to know more about Charleston. But good for you Joanna! It sounds like you had a lovely trip. :)

  28. Amelia says...

    Wanna hear something random (re: the bath hack)? I have a four year old and we wash his hair **maybe** twice a year (literally! Maybe less!) and it is… totally fine. Beautiful, soft, non-greasy. I had heard of the “no ‘poo” community (people who stop using shampoo and let their hair get into a natural equilibrium with oil) and while I never attempted it myself, when my kid had huge freakouts with any hair stuff we tried it out and… turns out it’s even easier with pre-pubescent scalps / bodies! Turns out it’s true… without soaps our hair just develops it’s own oil regulation.
    Anyway, just a random factoid from our life! Thanks, as always, for the great links and have a great weekend!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that’s fascinating to hear! and much nicer for the kid :)

    • Tara says...

      Amelia, we also do very little poo in our family, but how do you handle gross things in your kid’s hair (food, paint, etc.)? Or swimming pools? Just rinse with water? I’d love to hear!

    • Alex says...

      Yes, we are the same! My four and a half year old daughter got her hair washed with shampoo maybe three times in her lifetime :D. Her hair is totally fine. Tara, as for your question, I noticed that most of the food in her hair just falls out with brushing after it gets dry. I know it sounds gross, but her head doesn ‘ t even smell bad – just a regular nice child’s smell :)

  29. Jenny says...

    Another thank you to Anna for her wisdom, so beautifully expressed!

  30. K says...

    those are her opponents not her teammates. which makes it even more respectful.

    • Whitney says...

      YES!! It was the OTHER TEAM who stopped play to protect their opponent when she needed help quickly. Women are amazing.

    • A says...

      yes! blew me away when I saw the video.

    • Cora says...

      It definitely made me tear up. Such a beautiful act of kindness.

  31. LH says...

    Jo – what card games are you playing? I find it so hard to find something for two people that isn’t too easy or repetitive :/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we have been playing poker with the boys, funnily enough! they’re really into betting with chips (obviously not real money because they have none, haha). and with just alex and me, we like gin rummy.

    • Lana says...

      When we were kids my dad (who was divorced from my mom) would play poker with us. He had a giant jar of pennies we would use as “betting money” and he’d put kool-aid into shot glasses for us to “shoot”. When we were done taking a “shot” we’d have to slam the shot glass on the table and yell, “RED EYE!!” My sister and I still laugh thirty years later about how wildly inappropriate it all was, but it made for the best time and memories. Dads being dads, man. 😂

  32. Anna thank you for making me feel better. My 3rd little one is the pusher and a v intense little one! Today I was reading a book about a little character asking another character to be his friend and she screamed NO GO AWAY to the fictional character which symbolizes her life and little friendships. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

  33. Brooke says...

    Any place where I can tear up seeing women on a soccer field protect a competitor, soak in the yummiest guest bedroom ever, be moved by fellow women’s insights and tenderness about kids and partners and friendship, learn about and be intrigued about amazing vibrators, and drool over skillet ravioli is KINDRED SPIRIT LAND (autumn makes me feel extra Anne of Green Gables ;). Love you Cup of Jo gals and CoJ community-at-large. 💕🧡🙌🏽

  34. Forty-seven says...

    1) I have been married for 22 years, and I just read about “dating in 2019”. Oh boy… I actually couldn’t even understand what the last two points meant! It is probably best for me to stay married through my mid-life crisis. I have no chance in today’s dating world! Lol! ;)

  35. Jules says...

    Love the comment from Anna about raising kind children. I have four and my oldest two are exactly like her two. Nature vs nurture….our job is to bring out the best by nurturing them and giving them all they need.

    Having four kids, I have learned that I was pretty judgmental when I just had one. Once I had my second, I learned that maybe it wasn’t my stellar parenting that was the source of all their good qualities and behavior, but that’s just who they are…but I still like to think I helped, ha! Every kid is different!

  36. Courtney says...

    Anna’s comment is lovely. And honest. And just what I needed after a difficult week.

    • Courtney M says...

      I am another Courtney who needed Anna’s comment today. Beating myself up over my tough one today

  37. Sara says...

    Anna’s comment is lovely and so, so true. It made me recall a somewhat similar comment made to me by a parent of twins when my DD was ~ 13 months old and still not sleeping through the night. He told me that despite doing the exact same things with his twins regarding sleep, one was a champion sleeper and the other was not. We might convince ourselves that what we do or don’t has a significant impact but perhaps it’s sometimes just nature and biology.

  38. KP says...

    Wow this roundup gave me all the feels! The soccer players and the comment on raising kids both made me tear up. The best, though, was the article on marriage. Wow Lydia’s writing is so beautiful and so full of wisdom. I find myself in such a similar situation that she has put to words better than I ever could have. What a sweet shift in thoughts, to think of my polar opposite husband as a gift. I just hope he might see me that way too. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful writing, Joanna.

  39. Lauren E. says...

    Wow that article on marriage… My husband and I are SO different. But through the beauty of therapy (both individual and a couple sessions together) we’ve learned to be super communicative and super thankful of each other. We express our gratitude all the time–everything from “thanks for emptying the dishwasher” to “thank you for making dinner tonight even though I know you were tired”–and it truly makes the biggest difference. It makes each of us feel seen and appreciated.

  40. Lynn says...

    The marriage mantra made my heart smile. I am obsessed with her blog…can’t wait to dig into all the nooks and crannies of her posts. Thanks for sharing this gem.

  41. Jill says...

    Toothpick sculpture?! Oh my goodness who has the patience?! Pretty amazing.

  42. McNeill says...

    That is such a beautiful comment from Anna. I don’t have children yet, but hope that if & when that happens for us, my husband and I can remember to meet them as and where they are. Thank you!

    • Katie G says...

      Me too! I forget they’ll have their very own little personalities.

  43. Y says...

    So cool that it was Anna’s comment you shared today because it spoke so much to me that I sent it out to most of my mama friends that day! It is just such an honest look at our place in our children’s lives.

  44. Sally says...

    The comment from Anna made me tear up because I often feel that I have the “tough kid”. What a wise woman and parent. I needed that today and I will remember that perspective on other days when I need it. Thank you

  45. Heather says...

    The reader comment on raising kids…thank you..needed that perspective shift so badly.. ❤️

  46. M says...

    Anna’s comment on raising kind children was just exactly the mama encouragement I needed today as I’ve struggled so much with my own “tough” kid.

  47. Mags says...

    I love that reader comment on parenting. I too have a difficult child. Yes, she bites. Yes, she pushes. Yes, she does things just because she loves to see how being naughty will make you react. And yes, it seems that half of her day is spent in a tantrum and thus half of my day is spent questioning my parenting: am I being too lenient? Am I being too strict? Am I giving mixed signals? It is so hard being her parent much of the time. The bonus: it always amazes me how my older child is such a kind, giving person and is learning to be even better around this younger, wild child.

  48. Sam says...

    Wow that soccer player video made me cry quick!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!

    • Carly says...

      and it wasn’t her teammates, it was the opposing teams players

  49. Kristen says...

    PSA – I made those skillet Ravioli and added Italian sausage crumbles… all I have to say is WOW. My bf fought me for the leftovers. Do yourself a favor and make them ASAP.

    • Erin says...

      Making those this weekend, and love the idea of adding Italian sausage. It’s finally cold-ish in California and this seems like a great idea for an easy and yummy fall meal!

  50. Amy K says...

    The soccer player whose hijab fell off was actually surrounded by her opponents while she fixed it, not her own teammates. Truly an amazing display of sportsmanship.

  51. E. says...

    For the hijab link, it was actually her OPPONENTS who covered her, which, is even better.

  52. Nadia says...

    It wasn’t her teammates who gathered, it was the opponents! Even BETTER!

  53. Lauren says...

    re: the link about the soccer player – it was actually her opponents who gathered around her, not her teammates! thank you for sharing such an inspiring video this friday xoxo

    • JMB says...

      I was going to comment the same thing! It was an incredible moment, especially since it was her opponents!!

    • Katy says...

      That’s almost my favorite part!

  54. Audrey says...

    The reader comment on raising kind children made me tear up. Such a lovely perspective on parenting.