Friday, December 16, 2016

A Year in Review 2016

I don't blog much anymore, it's true. And while I am not sorry to say good-bye to 2016, it didn't seem right to skip my annual Year in Review post. You know, because Facebook just doesn't seem to tell the whole story. So here it is. No filters, no apologies, this is my (totally self-centered) look back on 2016. My so-called Birthday Fun Year was not the best.
  1. Successfully made it to Will's 5th birthday which we celebrated in the backyard nary a bounce house in sight.
  2. Wept and mourned the loss of Tim's father, my father-in-law, while becoming acutely aware of my own parents' mortality, something I hadn't allowed myself to consider before. 
  3. Began my first non-consultant, full time role at Microsoft & thought it wouldn't be that different than before. Was wrong. 
  4. Worked hard, learned constantly, grew professionally, made mistakes, made change, made strides, made more mistakes, and finally felt like I have made it. 
  5. Ran another half marathon, better time, better run, but overall didn't feel the joy that running brought me in 2015.  
  6. Struggled with the loss of the election, the loss of family, the loss of faith, the loss of hope, the loss of the will to fight. 
  7. Watched the sun come up on many quiet mornings sparking the memory of my faith, my hope, and my will to fight for equality, justice, and love.  
  8. Celebrated my 40th birthday with Girls Weekends to Austin and Herron Island plus a Vegas weekend with Tim, and a family weekend to the Washington coast. 
  9. Celebrated my 40th birthday with a (preeeetty hazy) Greenwood pub crawl. 
  10. Realized that a birthday fun WEEK is a much more manageable celebration for someone in their '40s. 
  11. Deeply embraced my feminism and began a path of learning about inclusion, unconscious bias, microaggressions, and equality. 
  12. Started making plans for our home remodel and truly became a fully formed adult. 
  13. Bought my dream car.
  14. Fell on some black days.
  15. Willed my kid strength and courage as he struggled - and continues to struggle -  through his first few months of Kindergarten. 
  16. Swelled with pride as my kid demonstrated empathy and emotional intelligence by offering
    money to the less fortunate, choosing to help the homeless, and understanding that classroom bullies are sad. 
  17. Seethed with frustration and irritation at that same kid taking his own good fortune for granted, suggesting he "could just buy a new winter coat" after losing his at school, or asking for food he doesn't eat. 
  18. Reveled in the conversations I had with my kid, the things he shared with me, and the path our relationship is taking as he changed from preschooler to gradeschooler. 
  19. Marked the year of the extended Family Vacation visiting my family in Florida in February, Tim's family in Folly Beach in July, and then back to Florida for a Disney trip with my family in November.& decided that was too many extended Family Vacations for one year. 
  20. Felt the hole in my long-dusty gypsy soul rip a little wider as yet another year passed without any international travel. 
  21. Struggled with balance as usual, but this year it was balance between career and parenthood and battling feelings that I'm really not doing either one very well. 
  22. Wept and mourned the loss of two of the composers of the soundtrack of my life, Prince & Bowie, not because I knew them, but because "they helped me know myself". 
  23. Deeply appreciated and celebrated the women in my life & the way they inspire me, challenge me, and make me a better person each & every day. (You know who you are.)
  24. Often felt busy and overwhelmed leading me to seek more quiet and solitude and space than usual. 
  25. Even on my darkest days, remembered that I am the luckiest person in the world & was grateful for all that I have, all that I am, and all that's to come.
Non, je ne regrette rien. Except for running out of room before I could include "Drank a lot of great wine" on this list. xx

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An open letter to my son on his first day of Kindergarten

September 12, 2016

Dear Will,

Today is your first day of Kindergarten. You are smiling and amped up, but I know you. I know that's anxious energy pulsing through you this morning.

I ask if you are excited, and you say yes, but I hear the catch in your voice. I know there is a big part of you that wishes you were spending another year where it's comfortable, where you know what to expect, where you're the Big Man on Campus.

I understand this, Boo. Change is hard. It will continue to be hard, even when you're 6. Even when you're 16. Even when you're 36. And, I imagine, even when you're 66.

When you are older, I will tell you how I lied awake, tossing and turning, the night before starting school or a new job. I will tell you how I ate lunch in my car the entire first week of a new gig because I didn't know where else to go. How I skipped parties and happy hours and events because I didn't know anyone else. I will tell you how I cried on the way home from work, in my office, during a conference call, in a meeting. How I quit a job after two weeks and went back to the place where I felt comfortable. How I resisted change time & time again, even when I knew it was inevitable. I will tell you those things later.

But today, I will tell you that I understand.

I know you need to observe a situation before making a move. I understand.
I know you like to be alone and sometimes need space. I understand.
I know you don't take friendship lightly, and it can take you time to make friends. I understand.
I know that you don't always want to talk about things with me because that makes them feel too real. I understand.
I know you are a brave, independent, wacky, bold, sensitive spirit who needs to do things in his own time, in his own way. I understand.

When you are older, I will tell you how I traveled and adventured and jumped off high things and took risks and faced my insecurities and learned lessons and saw the world and made a difference and made mistakes and swallowed my fears and swallowed my pride and took chances and took giant leaps of faith and fell down and got up again and loved deeply and hurt deeply and changed and changed and changed again. One day, I will tell you those things. And you'll understand.

But for today, I will tell you this. You are brave, you are bold, you are loved.

Go get 'em, kid.


"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How old do you have to be to....?

My kid turned five earlier this month. He is utterly and thoroughly delighted at becoming another year older.

He is constantly asking, "How old do you have to be to [insert something awesome here]?"

Or he'll say, "Can 5 year-olds [insert something rad here]?"

He is completely bought into the idea that each year older means more opportunity, more fun, and generally, more awesomeness.

If only this was the case for all of us.

I am approaching a milestone birthday this year as well, and while I love Birthday Fun Week and all of the fanfare that goes along with a big birthday, I've still been feeling kind of blah about it. But then, suddenly, last weekend, a few things occurred to me.
  • Would I really want to be, say, 30 years old again? Nope.
  • Are there amazing things I can do now that I couldn't do at 22...or 28...or even 35? Absolutely. 
  • Could it really be true that, even at my age, each year older might mean more awesomeness? Hmm. I think I'm on to something here. 
And so, here is a list of some (not all) of the awesome things you can do because you are (almost) 40.
  1. You know a little something about wine, you don't choose (usually) based on pretty labels, and you can afford the bottles you want to drink.
  2. You embrace change and know that, even when it's scary, charting new courses is a part of finding success. 
  3. You know and value your true friends, and you make time for each other. 
  4. But you also know that you do not have to be friends with anyone who isn't bringing positivity to your life. 
  5. You can eat bacon any time you want.
  6. You know that life is short, and taking risks is necessary to take full advantage of the time we have here. 
  7. But you also know that life is long, and it's best to surround yourself with the people that make you the happiest. 
  8. You are brave. And not the silly, blind braveness of your '20s. The strong, confident, I can-kick-the-shit-out-of-life kind of brave that changes lives. 
  9. You can buy the shoes or the handbag or the diamond earrings for no special reason at all. 
  10. You decide what looks good on you, rock whatever you want, and show off whatever body part you choose simply because it makes you feel good.
  11. You can say no.
  12. You make pain-free sacrifices for your family because what makes them happy makes you happy.
  13. You can be wrong, say you're sorry, admit your faults. And then you learn from it and move on. 
  14. You take long weekends with your partner or your girlfriends and go big in a way you never would have dreamed when you were in your '20s. 
  15. You make good choices, you make bad choices, you make miracles, you make missteps, you make great things happen, you make massive mistakes, but always, you own it all. 

One thing to note: Can 40 year-olds drink like they did in their '20s without any repercussions? Unfortunately, this is is a no. 

However, can 40 year-olds look ahead to another decade that just keeps getting more awesome? Absolutely yes.

I'll take that trade-off. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Won't Be Punished

As I'm sure you all know, on Tuesday, Donald Trump said, in no uncertain terms, that women who have abortions should be subjected to "some form of punishment". He has since retracted the comment, backpedaling as he's known to do, but what's said is said.

And this is what I have to say.

I have already been punished over and over again for a choice that I made when I was a 19 year college student, unable to care for neither myself nor a cactus at that point.

I am punished every single time the legality of abortion comes into question, every time old white men discuss whether my decisions relating to my own body are valid.

I was punished when 3 different clinics stipulated that I had to go through "counseling" to ensure that I was "making the right decision" even though there was no doubt in my mind that I was doing what was right for me.

I am punished when I drive past Planned Parenthood on a beautiful Saturday afternoon & see protesters shaming women just like me.

I was punished when those same protesters, 20 years ago, yelled and screamed obscenities at me as I made my choice, even as I cried.

I am punished by others who think that I am not worthy of respect, that I am a criminal, that I am somehow a lesser human being than they are.

I am punished by my own silence these past three days, wanting to speak up, but afraid to share my story.

Twenty years ago, I made a choice that was legal. I made a choice that allowed me to pursue the life I have today. I made a choice that was right for me. I made a choice that I do not regret.

This is where it ends. I refuse to be ashamed any longer. I won't be punished anymore. By anyone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Year in Review - 2015

Because Facebook just doesn't seem to tell the whole story, it's time for my annual no-filters, totally self-centered reflection on the year past. In no particular order, here's a look back at the somewhat bittersweet year of a full time social media manager, a full time mommy, and a full time part time party girl.
  1. Successfully made it to Boo's 4th birthday, Tim's 45th birthday, and my 39th birthday, all of which were celebrated with over the top Birthday Fun Weeks.
  2. Completed - with zero cheats - the Whole 30 in January, a 30 day detox that cut out sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol & legumes. I felt amazing .
  3. Consumed all of the sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol and legumes in the greater Seattle area in December. I felt feel un-amazing.
  4. Participated in and blogged about the Complaint Project & realized how much of an impact our words & outlook really have on ourselves...and each other.
  5. Struggled with a pretty serious case of summertime ennui resulting in bad choices & self-destructive behavior which, let's be honest, trickled into the fall too.
  6. Made the long, adults-only, weekend cool again and travelled to New Orleans, Vegas, Vancouver, and Sonoma & loved every second of my kid-free holidays.
  7. Took our first family vacation in 2 years to Kauai and relished every second of a peaceful, relaxing and totally family-friendly holiday.
  8. Felt enormously grateful to have the flexibility & the means to prioritize travel.
  9. Got with the program and stopped double-spacing after periods. (I'm a writer, people, this something worthwhile to note.)
  10. Swelled with pride, emotion and hysterical laughter as I watched my kid grow & become his own hilarious, intelligent, quirky, independent little weirdo.
  11. Seethed with irritation, impatience and frustration at my stubborn, bratty, ungrateful little monster.
  12. Ran. And ran. And ran. And then I ran my first half marathon, beating my goal by 17 minutes
    and my stretch goal by 2 minutes. And finally felt like I could call myself an athlete.
  13. Haven't run more than 5 miles at at time since then.
  14. Was consistently consumed by thoughts of work. First, unhappiness and unfullfillment. Then, struggles with Imposter Syndrome and self-doubt. Slowly, not only acceptance of myself and my role, but a total embrace of where I am in my career. And finally, pride in my accomplishments & total excitement of what's to come.
  15. Did not appreicate my husband enough for the amazing man that he is & everything he does for me and our family.
  16. Drank a lot of wine with my girls. Felt both hungover and yet rejuvenated. 
  17. Continued my neverending struggle with balance, still teetertottering from one extreme to the other. 
  18. Cried and cried and cried and felt something inside me change when my Aunt Gina, my godmother, died of Lewy Body disease in September. Cried while delivering my reading at the funeral. Cried for a lot of October. And November. And December too. 
  19. Became totally irritated and frustrated by anything that seems or feels inauthentic, often having trouble hiding my annoyance.
  20. Talked about penises, poop and tooting more than I ever could have thought possible.
  21. Laughed so much. Hopefully as much as I cried.
  22. Felt inspired and empowered during the Grace Hopper Women in Computer Conference in Houston. Realized that I am, in fact, a woman in technology, and that is pretty badass.
  23. Marked the 10 year anniversary of Tim's and my relationship & celebrated the fact that, overall, despite the tough times and our challenges, we are still in love. 
  24. Took risks, allowed myself to be uncomfortable, stayed up too late, said yes, did things that scared me, spoke my mind, looked like an idiot, and embraced the absurdity of life. 
  25. Discovered that even with my ennui, my struggles and my sadness, overall, the life I lead is pretty incredble.  
All I can say is....what's next? 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Myself Unbound

Summertime makes me wild. 
The days are so long, there's so much more time available to me now. The heat is oppressive, it pushes me out of the confines of my home & into a place that's untamed & lush. With sweat shining on my bare shoulders and legs, I'm greedy for experience, thirsting for a drop or two of adventure. I join my pack, running wild with bare feet and acting like I was never domesticated in the first place. 
I want to feel everything, do everything, make every mistake, say every ridiculous thing that comes to mind, drink every drop, set every fire, be everything, run every mile, bask in every ray of sunshine, say yes every time, choose experience over sleep every night, feel everything, do everything. 
For three months, I want to experience myself unbound. Self-restraint seems impossible; I am feral. Be careful, don't get too close, don't make any sudden moves; I bite. 
And then suddenly, the heat will be replaced by a comforting chill in the air. The days will shorten. The sunshine will cease its unrelenting pursuit. I am still running, but I am slowing down. I am still wild. but soon I will be caught. Closer & closer, I can feel it coming up behind me, order is returning. Summertime will come to an end. My thirst will be curbed, and I will be satisifed with routine and the quiet comfort of domesticity. Bare skin will be covered and replaced by thick and cozy armor. Soon, very soon, my lupine soul will be lulled back into hiberation. Soon. 
Autumn's closing in.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Are You Ready For Your Close Up?

Yes, Gentle Reader, it's been awhile since we've connected. Summertime rosé drinking while chasing naked preschoolers in my backyard just seems to be consuming more time than planned. However, it's Friday, and it's been a long week, and it's high time that we discuss the burning question that seems to be on everyone's mind.

How do I take an actually sexy, sultry, possibly saucy, selfie?

If you are like my group of friends (and as my only readers actually are my group of friends, you're in luck), the topic of sexting is something that comes up quite often. We want to know who's doing it. (All of us.) What are the best tips & tricks? (Be patient already, that's what this post is for.) What reaction are they getting? (Ranges from "Oh hell yeah" to "I'll be home in 15 minutes. Get ready.") Trust us - if you haven't already jumped on the sexy selfie train, it's time to get on board.

Choo choo!

Tip 1: Take a look around
Toys and laundry are not sexy. Open pizza box and crumpled napkins? Not sexy. Pretty sheets, a wine glass? Yes, those work.

Tip 2: Speaking of wine glasses...
Go ahead and fill that one up. Yes, I know that drinking wine is my answer to pretty much every question. But that's because it always works! Especially when you need to relax & put yourself in a comfortable, laissez-faire frame of mind. Enjoy the process - which also includes anything else that makes you feel sexy. Red lipstick, lingerie, your man's shirt, a song, a fantasy, you get it.

Tip 3: Lighting is important
Mood lighting during the sexy selfie session is a little different. Try and shoot in the daytime/early evening. Natural light works best. Steer clear of harsh yellow or floursecent overhead lighting. Not even a filter can save you there.

Tip 4: And speaking of filters....
Oh, you're absolutely gonna want to filter that selfies are pretty much the reason why filters were invented. Make yourself a little tanner, a little glossier, a little fuzzier. You're still you, only more so.

Tip 5: Use your assets
Got sexy bee-stung lips? Rock that red lipstick, open your mouth and sigh. Amazing cleavage? Shoot high & capture your lacy bra and a glimpse of a thong. Great ass? Mirrors are your friend for capturing that booty. Arch your back a bit & let it pop. You could also show off that cleavage at the same time if you're so inclined.  Legs for days? Pull on those thigh highs, lay on your back & kick your legs up to show them off. A great option for a day that you feel sexy, but you don't feel like primping? On your back, shoot down to capture your pretties or sheerest undies. And when all else fails, shoot from above. Very helpful in slimming certain areas and highlighting others. It's a process though, take your time, enjoy your wine, you'll find your best angles.  

Tip 6: Less is more
Show your face or show your body. Do not show both. Sadly, you just never know, and having some plausible deniability is in your best interest.

Tip 7: I woke up like this
Another fun, not as risque, but still certainly very sexy option is the "I just woke up, I'm laying in bed & I'm thinking of you" shot. You don't need to show off your goodies if you don't want to - a tank top and shortie shorts go along way here. Plus you've got the early morning lighting on your side. Another option is to go topless, but go for the headshot so he/she can see your cute bedhead hair, maybe a smudge of last night's red lipstick and your bare shoulders. "Wish you were here."

Tip 8: Don't be so hard on yourself!
You are gorgeous. Whomever is on the receiving end of that sext is going be beyond thrilled to see what you've got for them. Own your curves, rock your sexiness, you are a freaking goddess.

And one final tip for the guys out there....for the love of all things sexy, do not send us a dick pic. Never. No, not ever. Like ever.

Did I miss anything? I'm always ready to up my sexy selfie game!