Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Phone Challenge 2014

I'm going to describe two situations that occur in my life - more regularly than I'd like to admit - and I want you to consider them. 

(Before we get going, I'll just say that no, this post is not about Jack Johnson, despite my fondness for his beachy tunes.) 

Situation #1 - I forget a lot of things a lot of the time, so I regularly give myself the pat-down. Pat the coat pockets, jeans pockets, purse pockets...I only disrupt what I'm doing to retrieve what I've forgotten for two things: my keys - because I literally have to go back for them - and my phone...because...why?

Situation #2 - I need to contact my mom/brother/dad/husband, so I call/text them...but they don't answer.  I deal with this by calling/texting them over and over and over and over and over and over and over again until I reach them or give up hope. 

So what do you think?

I'll tell you what I think.  I think I have a problem.  

My name is Jessica Higginbotham, and I'm addicted to my phone. Even worse than that, I live in a culture that promotes phone addiction, and I expect everyone to be able to be contacted all the time. I need to be able to reach you, and you need to be reachable. Right. Now. 

I have been aware of the exhausting tether that is a cell phone ever since I got one at sixteen.  Before then, I had been free as a bird.  I had conversations when I was with people, or when I was pleased to have them over the house phone.  Beautiful.  Blissful freedom.  Of course, I thought myself incredibly lame for not having one...you never know what you've got til it's gone, right? Right.  Once I had a cell phone, I was caged.  I had to be reachable.  I had the ability, and therefore the responsibility. It was nothing but accusation if I missed a call. Once upon a time, if you couldn't reach me...hey, that's life! But no more. 

No more. 

Yeah, I know.  I totally wanted to have my cake and eat it too. At sixteen, I just wanted freedom without resonsibility, not understanding yet that that is simply not how it works.  Yet, while I've become considerably less selfish and immature, I can't help but know that there was a certain amount of truth in those moments of loathing the tether that was my dull gray, free, not-smart flip phone.  There's a goodness in being disconnected, or at least in learning how to handle connectivity.  

What's the first thing you reach for in the morning? Your glasses? Your spouse? 

I reach for my phone. 

Sure, sure, it starts with turning off my alarm (which is my phone)...but then it grows. Suddenly I need to see if I missed any calls or texts overnight, and then it's emails, and then how about Facebook messages? And then I'm lost. 

I think it comes down to being a bit self-obsessed...at least it does for me. Does anybody want to talk to me? Am I important? Have I been validated, needed, wanted in the last eight hours of slumber? Girl. Get over yourself.  

And let's not even talk about the self-obsession that is social media. Oh boy. 

And I expect everyone else to be this way.  Let me tell you, nothing ticks me off like not being able to get one of my family members on the phone, which is really not good, since my family is sort of notorious for not answering. Hence the calling over and over and over and over again. Seriously? Call once! Chill out! Nothing in my life has been SO important that I needed to talk to them RIGHT THEN.  Sure, sometimes it comes down to whether or not I'm supposed to bring an extra side for Sunday lunch at my mom's house but...is it really that big a deal if we don't have it because we couldn't connect to communicate?


I'm really really really not the first person to consider this. In fact I was inspired to write this post and start this challenge because of something my brother posted. There are studies on it, and articles, and great videos, like this one - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nfUD0WhE264&autoplay=1&desktop_uri=%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DnfUD0WhE264%2526autoplay%253D1 - and this one - https://m.youtube.com/watch?autoplay=1&v=OINa46HeWg8&desktop_uri=%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DOINa46HeWg8%2526autoplay%253D1 - which you should watch!

So I'm not having a revelation. 

I'm posting a resolution. 

BAM! Wordplay. 

You saw it coming. It's the last day of 2013, and we're all thinking it over, and considering how to do 2014. For me, I want to go phone free in 2014. Do you want to join me?

I searched some hashtags, and found a few people on Twitter that commented on a #phonefree movement, but it was more of a feeling, nothing specific on HOW they were going phone free.  Knowing that the best way to achieve an idea is to be intentional and specific, I'm committing to a couple of different ways to going phone free in 2014:

1. I'm taking one day a week and going completely phone free. I know. It's bold. (The font, and the idea.)  I'm going to turn off my phone, possibly even give it to my husband to take away, for a full 24-hour period one day a week. What if I there is an emergency? What if I have to be reached? What if I'm in a car accident? It will be fine. I will use someone else's phone if need be. I am conceding to the fact that I am not so incredibly important that anybody HAS to reach me immediately for anything. And let's be honest, we're all probably safer and less prone to accidents without phones in the car. 

2. I'm not going to be on my phone when I'm in a social setting. There were several times over the holidays where I felt rather hurt and a little stumped when someone shut out everything by getting into their phone.  It was especially apparent on car rides...everyone else's company and conversation couldn't be tolerated for even 15 minutes? Whoa. I suddenly understood why my husband is constantly asking, "Whatcha looking at?" when I have my phone out while he's driving. Let me in! Talk to me! Let's play! I don't want to make other people feel that way anymore. If we're at dinner, the movies, bowling, playing games, in the car...I'm going to be there.  If I have to take or make a call, I'll step away from the group.  I think we can leave an exception for maybe one or two pictures...but of the group, not the food. 

3. I'm going to have a specific time for phone cruising. Time management...oh baby. Talk about difficult and important. My phone ruins time management.  Or rather, my habits with my phone ruin time management.  Pausing quickly to check my email or Instagram or Facebook in between the laundry and dishes sometimes turns into the dishes not even getting done. I am so lame.  So I'm thinking for 2014, I will get my phone-cruising in between 4pm & 8pm, and otherwise use my phone like a regular phone. For calls and texts...not for browsing Facebook stati for two hours. Blech. 

That's it.  Three things.  I think I can handle it...I certainly hope I can, anyway.  I know I'm going to blow it, and I will have *exceptions* and whatnot...but this is something important that I want to address.  I don't want Babyhig growing up with an addict for a mother, satire aside.  I used to think he would reach for my phone because it was glowing and hey, who wouldn't? It glows! But what if he's reaching for my phone because he's imitating me, and I'm always reaching for my phone? I stick out my tongue, he sticks out his tongue. Monkey see, monkey do?

I would like to invite you...hmmm, no, I'll challenge you to join me. New habits are helped along by accountability; I need you! If you see me violating one of my commitments, please (gently) help me get back on track! I don't want to be tethered.  I want to take advantage of the technology and connectivity that's available to me without having it rule me. Don't you? I want that for you. 

If you decide to join, please let me know.  And write it down! Comment with some specific ways that you are going to go phone free in 2014! Maybe you can't do a phone free day a week, but how about once a month? Try it!!!

And, yes, I realize the irony in this, but i'm going to use the hashtag #phonefree14 to keep track of my efforts on this front. 

So. Challenge extended. Will you accept?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fleece Carrier Cover - Made It!

So, obviously, a lot of my little diy projects are going to be baby-oriented now. I mean we're still in the grind of a remodel, but that has slowed down a lot since Babyhig was born.  It kind of had to since we were screaming through some major renovations, rushing madly to make our house comfortably livable so that waking up for 2am feedings wouldn't end up in our tripping through our makeshift bedroom or impaling ourselves on 2x4s and power tools.


So anyway, I'm excited to be able to continue sharing our renovation progress (and I will!), but believe you me, I am also excited about the baby projects. That is especially true in the case of this fleece cover that I made to go over our carrier. It's probably the only time in my life when something has turned out exactly as I envisioned and I haven't had to make two, three, twelve attempts, AND it came out of my little head only! No pattern or tutorial to follow, and it wasn't a complete mess!

Let me hear you say it: Hallelujah!

Thanks. Now we can move on. 

If you ask me, having a baby-carrier or two on your preggo-registry is completely necessary.  There are certain times when baby just needs to be with you, and those times seem to regularly coincide with when you need to use your hands. Enter the carrier. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spinach, Goat Cheese & BACON Frittata

Is it weird if I post about food? Can that happen here? I know I haven't really done it before, but that doesn't mean it's off limits, right? After all, cooking is a pretty major part of my "new job," a part that I really enjoy, and the only part on which I regularly get feedback. And if you don't mind my saying so, that feedback is generally positive. Plus, posting it here means that my desire to talk about this recipe will be satisfied, and I won't drive Dan crazy yammering on about it.

So I'm going to vote yes. I can post about food. I can post this delicious frittata recipe. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brand New Three

So...I'm a mom now. My husband is a dad. My baby...well, he's a baby. A perfect baby. 


We're a family. Higs[cubed]. Musketeers. A brand new three. 

When I named this blog, I was all dopey over the amazing, confusing unity that takes place in marriage. I was reeling over the redefinition of "we" and what it would mean in my life. 

And now here we are...a whole different kind of we. A brand new three. 

I don't even care if you think that's cheesy...even though I know it is, it's still blowing my mind. 

We're about two months into this now ("this" being parenthood) and I think I'm finally getting past the this-is-entirely-surreal stage.  For the first few weeks I found myself repeatedly thinking, and saying, "I can't believe we have a baby. Can you believe we have a baby? A baby. How did we get a baby?"

I think my husband was fairly concerned about my belief in the existence of our child.  And about the Health Education class I must have skipped in high school. 

Of course I know how we got a baby but...I mean, you know?! This whole life, this entire person who will have experiences and memories and opinions and thoughts...we started it. We did this.


Okay, no, I'm not past it.  I still can't believe we had a baby. 

He's an incredible little guy. He's really strong, and serious. Everybody says he favors his dad, and that's fine with me. I'm pretty fond of his dad. He's starting to really respond to us--following us with his eyes when we walk across the room, smiling and gushing when we lean close to talk to him, staring at us like we're his only lifeline if he's handed to anybody else. 

We had a baby. A person. A third. 

And he's great. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Stenciled Floor

***Hello Pinners!! I'm really flattered by all of the action this has gotten on Pinterest, thank you!! If you were brave enough to paint your wood floor, too, I would love to see it! Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, or email me a picture!! (Click on the "Comments & Contact" tab for more details.)***

Alright, it's finally here. The one you've been waiting for. The one where I show you the fruit of my labor. The one where that itchy curiosity can finally get scratched.

Did that just get a little weird? Sorry. 

A few weeks ago I gave you a sneak peek of several projects that had gone on/were going on around the house, and inquired about which ones piqued your curiosity. I got several responses...most of them about the stencil project. It probably seemed, after that, like I just totally ignored you, but don't worry. I didn't forget. There were a couple of other things i was waiting on before feeling ready to post this, but I'm here now, ready to do a tell all.

For those of you that guessed floor, you were right. I stenciled the wood floor in one of our upstairs rooms, the room that is slowly becoming our home office. Now that it's done, it is one of my absolute favorite things about our house. Let me take you step by step through my process.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Minute Spring Cleanings

Okay, I know that technically, it's already summer. I know that you're already wearing flip flops, grilling out, getting sunburned...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY Bon Appetit Fridge Topper

Back for the second time in a week! Are you proud of me? Aw, thanks. It's a lot easier to be consistent with content since Dan and I have been kicking butt at home and getting all sorts of projects done! Blogging about finished projects is much easier than blogging about ongoing projects.  Today I am excited to show off a really fun DIY project that I was able to pull together in the course of one evening, this DIY Bon Appetit sign!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

I feel like the majority of my social circle (and certainly all of my blog-readers) already know this from Facebook...but since the news hasn't officially debuted yet on Brand New We...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Some Changes...

I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but don't fret, I'm still here, and just about ready to go again.  We've got some changes that are in the making, and you'll find more all about those in upcoming posts.

First, though, I'm going to do a little sprucing up around here.  I'm also going to post Brand New We on Bloglovin'.  If you use Google Reader to follow blogs, and, like me, are really upset at the fact that Google will be discontinuing it, prehaps you can, also like me, switch to Bloglovin'.  It's got a great, simple interface for blogs. If you do switch to Bloglovin', please follow me! You can do so by clicking on this link:

If you don't know what Bloglovin' is, or what it means to "follow" someone's blog, let me take a minute to explain.  Be warned, this will be the simplified, laymen's explanation...nothing fancy here. 

If you read several different blogs, you could definitely benefit from having them all be accessible from one place, right? For instance, I read eleven different blogs. (It might sound like a lot, but it's child's play, really.) I could type in their individual URLs every time I wanted to read a new blog, but that would involve remembering to check on eleven different websites every time I wanted to catch up on my reading.  That's no good.  It would be far better to be able to access all eleven blogs from one website, right? Right.  That is exactly what Bloglovin' does.  I choose to follow my blogs, click one button to do so, and from then on, all of my blogs are available to me with just one click...instead of eleven.  Every time one of my favorite blogs posts something new, that post comes to my Bloglovin' page, all shiny and new and easy to read. 

To use Bloglovin' you do need to create an account, but it is as simple as an email and a password and you're in. Bada boom.