Thursday, December 19, 2013

Socially Inclined Gratitude

Something I truly love about the holiday season is the outpouring of love and appreciation that comes along with it.  I love that, as we deck the halls & trim the trees & jingle the bells, we also reflect on all of the things that make us thankful.  'Tis the season for gratitude.

With that in mind, I am about just going to go ahead and say it.  I am thankful for social media.  

Go ahead, laugh.  Provide me with links to all of the articles condemning social for being a time suck or for offering us a distorted view of our "friends'" lives or how a woman, so distracted by Facebook, fell into the ocean.*  Tell me I'm trivial.  Go ahead.  But I stand by my social praise.

Of course, there's the obvious reason for my devotion:  social puts food on my table & clothes on my back (thanks, Microsoft!). But my benediction does not stop there.  

Thank you, social media, for reconnecting me with old friends & distanced relationships.  Without you, it's very unlikely that we would have mended those fences, cleared up those misunderstandings, and received friendships do-overs.  

Thank you for the visual showcase of my friends' and family member's lives.  My heart is full when I see my feeds full of photos of weddings and births, of smiling children going back to school and sitting on Santa's lap.  My twinge of jealousy is more nice than naughty as I read their travel blogs and peek in on their far-away adventures.  Their gratuitous food porn not only makes my stomach rumble, but also makes me a better cook and more well-versed in Seattle-area restaurants.  The bikini pics & Nike running apps inspire me to put down my bagel & get my ass to yoga - an ass, I might mention, made by said improved cooking & dining.  And when my entire Facebook feed of profile pics turns red in support of equal rights, I am moved to tears.  

Thank you, social, for connecting me with family members, those separated from me in age & distance, and giving us a place to get to know each other - and their spouses and children too.    

Thank you for providing me with a home for this blog.  Because of the readership and positive feedback I have garnered through social, I am inspired to continue to write.  

Thank you for being a place where we can find new jobs, solicit parenthood advice from a network of experts, share music, books and culture, celebrate births, grieve deaths, engage with colleagues, re-meet long lost friends, stay in touch with far away loved ones, receive support and champion others, and share inspiration and gratitude.   

And thank you, my friends, my communities, my networks, for allowing me to be a part of your lives. It's a privilege for which I'm deeply grateful.   

*Public Service Announcement:  This is a true story.  Please don't Facebook near ledges.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Favorite Things 2013

Another holiday season is upon us which means it must be time for another edition of My Favorite Things!
Again, I should remind you, Gentle Reader, that while you won't be gifted with many any of these things this year for being a loyal follower of this blog, you WILL receive riches and wishes beyond your wildest dreams when I, along with Baby In A Bar, become revered across the land.  I expect this to happen just as soon as I find time to write regular bi-weekly blog posts.  You do the math.

My Favorite Things 2013

1.  Pomegranate Seeds

I was first introduced to these little beauties by my friend Nicole of Savory Pear Catering, early in the year, and I had had no idea what I was missing.  Not only are they delightful little pops of yumminess in your mouth, they are also incredibly good for you.  I love them mixed into Green yogurt, tossed in a salad along with oranges & beets, or thrown into a morning smoothie.  Don't be scared of seeding a pomegranate - it's really not hard.  But if you'd prefer the lazy convenient way as I often do, you can buy the seeds prepackaged.


Full disclosure:  I would not have purchased these sheets if I didn't have a gift card that needed to be used up.  Not generally a Bean Girl, I had a dig deep into the website to find something to spend it on when lo & behold, I came across the bedding.  The weather had started to change, and a new pair of flannels sounded mighty fine.  I would not normally pay this much for sheets, but again, the gift card!  Gentle Reader, these sheets are like sleeping in a hug.  So soft, so warm, so inviting.  Plan on spending more time in bed - never a bad thing. (Winky smiley.)

3.  Parenthood (TV series, streaming on Netflix)

Ah, yes, I realize that I am officially acknowledging that I am old when I tell you that one of My Favorite Things of the year is a television show about being a parent.  But this show is so good, I don't care.  If you're like me and binge-watching is usually reserved for shows that involve drug production or vampire-slaying, a family dramedy is probably not in your Netflix queue.  Watch an episode.  Suddenly it will be 3am, and you'll be wondering how you can get the Bravermans to adopt you.


My friend Davia preached to me about this BB Cream for a good hour, and I will preach the same - although slightly abridged version - to you.  Girls, go out and yourself some of this SPF 35 miracle cream.  Your face will look smooth, even & glowing. I expect to see a lot of selfies in the near future.  


I am completely & totally in love with New Roots Organics, our CSA delivery.  My favorite day of the week is produce delivery day.  Yes, I'm a total veggie whore.  You can customize the size of your bin, the frequency of your deliveries, as well as what you receive.  I love that I can sub out kale for yucky fennel.  I love that I can add additional items.  I love that it comes directly to my door just like a yummy bi-weekly present.  I love their customer service.  Oh, and if you sign up, use me as a referral, okay? I'll make you some kale chips in return. 

6.  Books

I want to read my books in book form.  I want to love them up and crease their spines and fold corners of their pages.  I want to tuck them under my arm while I look for a seat at my coffee shop.  I want to feel the weight of them in my carry-on.  I want that new book smell from a hot-off-the-presses novel from a first time author.  I want that musty, moldy aroma from a classic that hasn't been checked out of the library in years.  I want to see row after row lined up on our many bookshelves and stacked in piles next to our bed.  My son will inherit beat-up copies of The Runaway Bunny and Good Night Moon, and, later, The Hardy Boys and Harry Potter.  We will run our fingers over the yellowed pages of the final The Ends.  And then we'll read them again.  

7.  BevMo!

Oh, BevMov!, where have you been all my life?  BOGO wine deals, incredible coupons. both cheap & spendy options, craft beer & hard A, you are my kind of party store.  Let's stay together.


I received a tube of this hand cream in one of my Birch Boxes this year, and I was completely hooked.  It's literally the best hand cream I've ever used.  And it smells delicious.  Oh, and a what a lovely stocking-stuffer too! 


If you know me at all, you know that I love me some popcorn.  My favorite bachelorette dinner is a giant bowl of popcorn and an equally giant glass of wine.  Although I usually bust out my own trusty airpopper, sometimes I really don't want need that much popcorn.  This is where the SkinnyPop comes into play.  First, it's effing delicious.  Second, it only has 39 calories per cup.  Third, it's effing delicious.  And if your child has inherited your incredible love of popcorn as mine has, you might want to start buying in bulk.

10.  My Girls

And last, but certainly not least, My Favorite Things of 2013 are My Girls.  My gang, my club, my confidantes, my strength, my mirror, my sounding board, my champions, my fellow Mommies in the Bar, my BFFs, my girls.  Distance may separate us.  Our busy schedules may keep us from each other.  Miscommunications may create some challenges.  Disagreements may occur.  But after everything is said & done, you are my heart.  

Happy Holidays!  May Santa bring you all of YOUR favorite things this & every year.
xo

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Autumn Haiku

Not ready to leave
Flip flop weather behind yet
Yes, my feet are cold

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Autumn Love Story

October is here which means fall is here which means I long for Michigan.

I love Seattle, but every year when the seasons begin to change and the smell of fall is in the air, I really miss Michigan.  I miss my family and my friends and the seasons and the friendly and the accents and the Lakes and the smells.  Each season has a distinct smell in Michigan.  You can step outside, breathe deep and know exactly the time of year.  Fall is the best, it's my favorite season, my favorite smell.  It's pumpkin pie and crisp leaves, tart apples and Halloween, thick tights and bittersweet endings, spicy bourbon and Friday night football games, family and fireplaces, chilly mornings and melancholy nights.  It's a little sad, a little disappointing, a little gray.  And then, just as quickly, it becomes warm and delicious and bright.  Sunny and shiny, chilly, but with the promise of an evening fire.

This is every day during autumn in Michigan.  It doesn't happen as often here.  It is a lucky day, and ever-so-slightly sad day, a day made for a glass of Cabernet, to smell fall here.  And then suddenly, there's that familiar tug, that pull towards the middle.

No matter where I am, no matter how deep I travel, my compass always points towards Michigan.  Always my home, forever fall.  


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lights Out!

A few weekends ago, Boo & I took a little trip out to a place called Herron Island where our bestie, Abra, had rented a house, and, another bestie, Laetitia was visiting from Prague.  Herron Island is pretty remote. No stores, no bars, no nothing on the island except for lovely homes & beautiful water views.  Ahhh.

The weekend we were there, the beautiful views were marred by a little bit of rain.  Okay, a lot of rain.  No big deal!  When you've got good friends, a box of wine, and Team Umizoomi on Amazon Prime, you're in good shape.  We spent the day working, reading, playing blocks, cooking, watching bad TV & crappy movies.  (Well, only if you qualify "Dude, Where's My Car" as crappy which I most definitely do not.)  We watched as the rain grew progressively harder, and we cheered as some rare lightening lit up the Pacific Northwest sky.  All in all, it was the kind of relaxing awesomeness you can only achieve on an island with no nothing.

And then it happened.

One of those rare bolts of lightening lit up the sky, and our little island house turned dark & silent.  Yes, the power had gone out.  Shit.

We had just settled in!  We had just queued up Umi on the laptop for Boo.  We had just started a "Project Runway" marathon.  We had just laid out our dinner plans which most definitely required electricity.  And - OH MY GOD - our mobiles weren't working and neither was the WiFi!  This was a true emergency.

After the realization that we could not check Facebook for an unknown amount of time had fully sunk in, we knew what we had to do.  We all took a different floor of the house to search for candles & flashlights.  We pulled out all of Boo's toys & books to keep him entertained.  We lit candles & placed them strategically around the house.  We corked(?) the box of wine.  And for three hours, we talked to each other.  We played pillows with Boo.  We watched the rain.  We weren't distracted by a text or a tweet.  We didn't pause midway through a conversation to check our email.  We didn't sit in silence for a straight 42 minutes while Tim Gunn & Heidi Klum ran commentary.  We enjoyed both the silence & the dark.

But, three hours later, when the electricity popped back on, we all cheered.  We celebrated that we could once again catalog our every move on social.  We rejoined the "Project Runway" marathon, and we all checked our phones.  Boo watched one more episode of Umi before bed.  But it felt a little like the end of something.

The lit candles were the one indication that the power had ever been off.  And, as we drank our boxed wine and watched the flickering of the flames, we made a decision.  The power would go out again the next day too - whether it wanted to or not.

And so, on our last night on the island, we enjoyed a self-imposed 2-hour blackout.  No phones, no WiFi, no TV, no laptops, no lights - just 3 good girlfriends (and a little Boo too), a box of wine, and a cutthroat game of Monopoly.

Sometimes you can just see everything so much better in the dark.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It Was A Great Day

I found some old journals while cleaning out my closet the other day, and I starting thumbing through a few of them.  There was an undated entry from what I'm guessing was my sophomore year at Albion.  It was titled, "Perfect Moments:  days I would like to live over exactly as they were." (Um, I know I'm talking about myself here, but seriously, how cute is that?)

As I read through the list, it occurred to me that nothing on it was really earth-shattering.  These were not the *BIG* moments, the supposedly life-changing events that mark most of our histories.  Birthdays, graduations, proms, holidays, "firsts", they were not included on the list.  No, instead, the most Perfect Moments of my 19-years were made of simpler stuff.

A particularly perfect sunny August day spent at the lake.  A trip to an amusement park. Wasting away an afternoon doing nothing with my BFF while waiting for what we thought was the "real fun" at a party later that night.  Three college buddies walking for miles, on a road to nowhere, talking about nothing & everything all at the same time.  Spilling secrets while sitting on the side of a lake drinking High Life from a can.  An impromptu dance party under the stars.

I smiled as I read this list.  Some of the Perfect Moments I remembered clear as day.  Others I had to dig deep to place.  Some of them I can't find again at all.  And yet, I'm still smiling.

I'm smiling because I knew then that happiness could be found in a cup of coffee at Silverman's or a shared laugh or a real & true conversation.  I knew that I had something special in the good friends that I had found.  I knew that life's Perfect Moments weren't those that were photographed & stuck in albums or those with their own recurring space on the calendar or those that required a special outfit.  Even at 19, I knew better.

While I've been wasting my time waiting for the "something bigs" and the "super-excitings", the for real Best-Days-Ever are taking place right now.  And suddenly, I know now what I knew then.  Millions of Perfect Moments are happening every day.

Now, let's start up that list again, shall we?    





Friday, August 16, 2013

I Am All Of These Things

*Yes, it's been 2 months since I've written.  Let's call it summer vacation*.

I've been thinking a lot lately about different sides to our personalities, the various ways that we can behave or react depending on the moment, the many hats we all seem to wear.  We may be one person to a work colleague and someone entirely different to, say, a close friend.  We can even change throughout the day.  For example, I always call out my own "work personality", and she is someone very different from "Mommy" or "Party Girl".  But when I'm at work, does that mean I cease being Mommy?  Does my goodtime girl nature just disappear during those 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?

Of course not.

This is the wonderful thing about being a woman.  We are all of these things, all of the time.  Sometimes one part of who we are is just a little bit more obvious, it's visible, floating on the surface while the rest of our life experiences, our personal DNA, is pushed down, a little less clear, but still there nonetheless.  And, more than that, we own who we are.  I am exactly who I say I am.  And no one has the authority to tell me otherwise.

I am a full-time mother. I am a full-time marketer.  I am a full-time wife.  I am a full-time best friend.  I am a full-time party girl.  I am a full-time daughter.  I am a full-time perfectionist.  I am a full-time maker of mistakes.  I am indecisive and quick and lazy and motivated and loving and hurtful and open-minded and judgmental and smart and silly and sensitive and unthinking and joyous and blue and wonderful and weird.

I am all of these things, all of the time, simply because I am.

(I am, however, a part-time blogger.  I know I can't slip that one past you, Gentle Reader.)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One Time At A Party...

Introducing a new weekly feature on Baby In A Bar, it's....

One Time At A Party....

Yes, folks, each week I will regale you with a hilarious, weird, heart-warming, wild, or just plain sloppy story that occurred - you guessed it - one time at a party!  Some names may be changed to protect the guilty.  (But you'll probably know who they are anyway.)  And, by all means, if you've got a great memory of us one time at a party, email me about it!  Some of those party scenes are a bit, ahem, blurry.

Let's start with an oldie, but an oh-so-goodie, shall we?  I believe the statute of limitations has run out on this one, so I'm naming names.

It was our Freshman year of college.  Katie & Christine went to UM in Ann Arbor, I was at Albion, and Rene was at UM Dearborn.  Although we'd only been away from each other for a few weeks, after that Summer of '94, it felt kind of like the umbilical cord had been cut.  The girls picked me up, and we headed west to Kalamazoo to hit up a party at Katie's ex's house at Western.

We were 18 years old, and there was beer.  In kegs.  Unlimited beer in kegs.  One time at a party, we were 4 best friends, and we were 18 years old, and there was beer in kegs.

After enjoying a bit of that keg beer, Katie went looking for her ex, James.* Where was James?  No one knew.  Obviously, she employed me to help her look for him.  We ended up outside, and still, he was nowhere to be found.

"I know where he is," says Katie with a wild look in her eye.  "He's in his room, hooking up with another girl!"

She sounds almost triumphant about it.

"C'mon!" she yells.  She leads me to the garage over which James' bedroom is conveniently located.  She hops up on the stairs, then the banister, and she stomachs her way onto the roof of the garage, ready to catch him mid-hook-up.

I am waiting safely on the ground, red Solo cup in hand.

She's completely on the roof now, and she stomps her way over the window.  She peers in, ready to...ready to....

"Oh", she says, turning around.  "He's not in there. Hmm."

Nope, he wasn't in there.  However, Katie is still, in fact, on the roof.  She walks to the edge, gets back down on her stomach and shimmies to the end trying to reach the banister with her foot.  It doesn't reach.

"It's okay!" I yell.  "Don't worry!  Just jump!  I'm going to catch you!  Don't worry!"

I don't even put my red Solo cup down.  Possibly, it's time to worry.

I stand on the stairs, reaching out, (beer in hand), waiting for Katie to fall gracefully backwards into my arms.  Yes, Gentle Reader, Katie did fall.  But not into my arms.  She fell on the banister.  Then she fell on to the top stair.  Then she fell down each stair individually.  Then she fell on to the ground.

I look down at her from the top stair where I stand and say, "You missed."

One time at a party, my best friend, Katie, missed.

*Yes, I've changed his name.  I don't know why.  It seems like the thing to do.  I'm calling him James cause he was the first person to introduce me to the band James.  I still really like them too.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wanderlust


We are leaving for Hawaii on Friday, and while I'm unbelievably excited & grateful to be taking this trip with Tim & Boo, I can't help feeling a little nostalgic for the old days of travel.  The days where the goal of visiting all 7 continents before age 40 was actually within reach.  We haven't left the country, in, what, 5 years?  (Oh my god, can that really be true?)  No wonder I'm becoming all numb and ethnocentric and "U-S-A!" like. 

Yes, I am still a travel snob at heart.

I need culture.  I need menus that aren't in English.  I need walking all around a new city, miles and miles, just because it's fun or I'm lost.  I need mispronouncing words to the locals and being laughed at by food truck workers.  I need beaches and mountains and smoggy cities.  I need dogs running around in places they most certainly should not be running.  I need museums and monuments and all of the wonders of the world.  I need hanging on so tight to my purse so a guy on a moto doesn't snatch it off me.  I need rickshaw drivers taking me to shady sex shows that I (probably) did not request. I need color and vibrance.  I need sketchy, but oh-so-delicious street food and questionable "burgers".  I need boarding passes and carry-ons.  I need sleep deprivation and jet lag.  I need dirty hair and dirty clothes and a make-up-free face.  I need drinking local beer and eating lobster with my hands on the beach.  I need dancing and hiking and bungy-jumping and cliff-diving and tandem-biking and glacier-walking and zip-lining and thrill-seeking and adreneline-running.  I need to be that person I am when I travel all of the time.

I need to go away. Now.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Summer of 1994

June of '94.  We had finally graduated from high school, and we spent all of our time together, in one combination or another.  Days were whiled away at Silver Lake, working on our tans and practicing our flirting.  Weekends were spent in white sundresses, driving from one graduation party to another, making sure that we were seen.  We had jobs, yes, but it seemed like we never worked.  We drank Zima with Jolly Ranchers and sometimes shots of vodka. We wore disco clothes to the Nectarine and danced in the grass at Pine Knob.  We could drink pots of coffee at Silverman's and never run out of conversation.  We were best friends.    
All Midwestern fresh-faced innocence and charm, we were wore our teenage angst like sequins.  We knew that, like all of the others that came before, this summer of 17 wouldn't, couldn't last.  Change was coming soon, it was visible on the horizon.  We could see frat parties and the Freshman 15 in the distance.  But, like all teenagers, we could close our eyes to that which we didn't want to see.  Tipsy from our own youth, drunk on summer, buzzed from too many Clove cigarettes, nothing mattered except us.

The friends that we have in high school are incomparable to any others that we'll ever have again.  We've seen each other through first kisses and broken hearts, eating disorders and parent fights, acne and terrible prom hair, mix tapes and bullies, failed tests and life-changing decisions .  We hurt each other - intentionally & otherwise.  We wear necklaces to publicly declare our friendship.  We celebrate bad decisions together.  We tell each other everything.  And I mean, everything.  We are open wounds, walking nerves, our arms constantly reaching out for each other, seeking someone else who understands.  And, in the summer of 1994, we found those someones.  

"And even when we're old, and beer isn't our beverage of choice anymore, and a phone call from a boy is just a phone call, and we hate microwave popcorn and processed cheese, and the world turns a lot slower than it used to, I'll remember us, singing too loud and off key, basking in the glow of our youth, and we were the only people on earth."  (August 1994)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Join The Club

I had a conversation on Friday about being a parent.  I was chatting with someone without kids about what it's like to have kids.  

"Tell me the truth," he said.  "The only thing anyone ever says is, 'It's the best thing I ever did.'"

I laughed and immediately replied, "It's the best thing I ever did."  Long pause.  "And it's the hardest thing I ever did."  

I'm going to speak honestly here.  Are you ready?

There are certainly been times that I have thought to myself, or even said out loud to Tim, why in the hell did we decide to have a kid?  Being a parent is unbelievably hard - especially when you are as selfish as I am.  It is not about *you* anymore, not ever.  (Well, maybe on Mother's Day, but you're probably committing at least 407 selfless acts on that day instead of your usual 907.)  There are the really hard days where nothing is right and no one is happy and many tears are shed.  There are the days when you just want to run away and do only what you want to do when you want to do it.  There are the days when you feel like you haven't been alone in years, and you just want to have 5 freaking minutes by yourself to silently pound a glass of wine.

And then there are the other days.  The days of baby laughs and beaming smiles.  Days of cuddles and kisses, new experiences and pure joy.  The days of growth and excitement and change.  The days of seeing the world for the first time through your child's eyes.  And these days come so much more often than the others.  

So here's the thing that I didn't say to him but should have:  Becoming a parent gives us this outrageous capacity for love.  You will love this little person more than you ever thought possible.  I think our hearts must grow 3 sizes on the day that we first see our baby's face.  And along with that love come this new & incredible compassion for others.  We are more empathetic, we are more patient, we are more kind.  I believe that, for me, being a parent has made me a better person.

(It also makes us absolute freaking superheroes.  There's something pretty cool about that too.)  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Raise Your Glasses, Girls


It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I really understood the importance of female friends.  I mean, I *had* them, but they were few & far between, and I definitely took them for granted.  I always preferred the company of men (ahem), and I simply didn’t appreciate the importance, nay, the necessity of best girlfriends.

Fortunately, my old friends didn’t give up on me during those dark years, and, in my late 20's, I was lucky enough to find myself part of a true gang of girlfriends.  After all those years, I finally got it.  And then, I moved to Seattle, away from the comfort of the chicks that knew me…and loved me nonetheless. 

Lucky for me, I already had one built-in Seattle girlfriend, so I was doing much better than most that are new to the land of the Deep-Freeze.  And now, 6 years later, I am fortunate enough to belong to another gang.  And a badass gang at that. 

But today, one of us is going away.  She is pursuing her dreams, her goals, what feels right for her.  And we’re so happy for her.  But we are sad for us.  We know that our lives will go on. Wine Club Book Club will still meet.  We will still celebrate together, hurt together, laugh together, gossip together, round-table together.  But now, there will be a little Laetitia-sized hole in our hearts. 

Still, here’s the thing about this gang.  Once you’re in, you’re in.  You can’t get away from us that
easily.  We're badasses, remember? 

And so, with this glass of Happy Wine, I toast you, Laetitia.  You little French-speaking, ass-kicking, sextopus-making, American bikini-wearing, wine-drinking, marathon-running, truth-speaking, Chinese perm-getting, booty-smacking, ghetto grocery store-shopping, Cherry Pie-dancing, party-instigating amazing girlfriend, you. 

Here's to you, my dear one.  We love you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Validation Street


I said to someone the other day that I "don't normally need validation" in my life. When I said it, I actually believed it. For some reason, though, this statement has been nagging at me. And so, as I often do when I'm obsessing learning about something, I looked up the definition.

val·i·date   [val-i-deyt]

–verb (used with object), -dat·ed, -dat·ing.

1. to make valid; substantiate; confirm.
2. to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness of [xxx]
 
Now I realize what a ridiculous statement that actually was - not for everybody, but for me.  Of course I need others to substantiate my work or my thoughts or my feelings.  Of course I need confirmation that I am a marketing dynamo, that I look cute in my new top, that my blog is funny.  Of course I need you to recognize that I am good mother, a witty writer, a worthy contributor. 

Of course, I do. 
 
Someday, I will be that sort of woman who is so strong and so confident and so self-assured that she doesn't need any validation from anyone, any place, any time.  Someday I will always be the sort of woman that I can sometimes be, that woman that validates her own beliefs, that recognizes her own truths to be self-evident.  Someday I will be this woman 100% of the time.  
 
But, for today, just tell me you like me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time After Time

Margaret Atwood, my favorite author, says in Cat's Eye, "Time is not a line but a dimension. You don't look back along time but down through it, like water.  Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing.  Nothing ever goes away."

This makes sense to me.  Good sense. It also helps me justify time travel in my head.  And I love the idea of time travel.  (Side note:  God, I miss LOST.)

But even so, isn't it strange how, after a relationship ends, it's so hard to remember the details later on.  The edges are blurry, like you forgot to put your contacts in that day.  It's almost like a dream, or a story you heard from someone else a long time ago.  Like it never really happened to you at all.

But every once in a while, all of a sudden, something reminds you of him.  A song, a smell, a voice, and there it is.  There he is, in your face, clear as day, all sharp edges and detailed lines.   So I guess Margaret is right.  Nothing ever goes away.

Even when you wish it would.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cult of Personality


I took a personality test the other day.  The questions were of the usual personality test variety - lots of "I always" and "I never" and "I am" and "I feel".  There were, like, 500 questions or something, and many of them were repetitive.

4.   I am a happy person and always in a good mood.  TRUE
27.  I am a moody person and often irritable.  TRUE
209.  I am patient with others.  TRUE
355.  I feel frustrated at others lack of understanding of a situation.  TRUE
400.  I do not like confrontation.  TRUE
415.  I can be quick to get angry and will easily express it. TRUE

What does this tell you about my personality?  Now you know who I am?  Now you understand me? 

I am exactly who I say I am, and tomorrow I am someone else entirely.

Woman - untraceable by tests, uncageable by categories.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shhh, This Is My Favorite Part!

If you know me well, you probably know I have some weird quirks.  Several of these quirks involve music.

First, I have a favorite part of pretty much every song, and I will point it out to you - even if we are deep in the middle of conversation.  I will expect you to remember my favorite parts of my favorite songs and anticipate when a pause in our conversation should come.

Next, I like lyrics, and I like to analyze them to no end.  I will expect you to actively participate in this process.  I will ask you, "What do you think he meant by XXXX?"  You should think about it for a moment and then contribute something interesting.  "I don't know" or "I wasn't really listening" are not acceptable replies.

Finally, I am a fan of theme music.  I insist that the correct song be playing for both major & minor  events in my life.  In addition, if it's not acceptable to be playing music in a certain situation, I can still hear it in my mind.  Or, if I'm listening to a particularly good song that would be *perfect* for theme music, I will conjure that scene up in my head.

Some current faves:
Walking down my front steps to start my run?  This small town heroine's perfect moment for the beginning of "Don't Stop Believin'".
Finishing up the same run?  "Don't You Forget About Me", fist raise included.
Getting pumped up for a big work thing? "Can't Hold Us"
Excitement over girls night? "Leave Your Boyfriends Behind"
Channeling the angst from my '20s? Always, always "32 Flavors". 
Being in general awe of all of the amazing women in my life?  "Girl on Fire"

What music is providing the soundtrack to your life right now?  Let me hear too.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Badges of Honor

The other day I was at the hair salon, and I was eavesdropping - as you do - on the women at the station next to me. 

"I cannot believe that's BeyoncĂ©.  She's way too skinny.  That's airbrushed to hell."
"Do you think she really had her baby?"
"NO."
"I don't either."
"There's no way that girl would have only gained that tiny bit of weight.  If BeyoncĂ© was pregnant, she would've been HUGE.  She would have had fat freakin' arms.  Her face would be all bloated and huge.  Girlfriend puts on WEIGHT.  You just know she'd be that pregnant woman with the nasty gas, zits and a mustache."

It was at this point that I began to interrupt to say, "And clearly, you have children too.  Cause that's the only way you're allowed to even comment about pregnancy...and get away with it."

I was thisclose.  But I chose to keep my mouth shut.  Hey man, I really like this place, and I am not trying to start fights with random strangers.  Especially as I was 99% sure that this woman did not have children have her own. 

Okay, Gentle Reader, here's the thing.  If you haven't been there, you don't know.  And if you don't know, you need to shut the hell up.  Pregnancy is a messy business.  Yes, some of us get huge.  Our bodies do crazy things, make crazy sounds, turn crazy colors.  And the horrors that come along with giving birth?  Yikes.  And the post-baby experience - even years later - is still no picnic. 

Listen up - We were GROWING A PERSON inside us. Perhaps we could be cut a little bit of slack as we're rocking meaty arms, swollen faces, and acne better suited to a 13 year old boy.  Just a little bit?

And later, after that little person has officially joined our world, I say we wear our new bodies like uniforms - and with pride.  My little(ish) tummy pooch?  An achievement medal.  My less-than-perky breasts?  Life-saving gear.  Thick arms?  Necessary for combat.  Stretch marks?  Service ribbons.   

Our imperfect bodies are worthy of this recognition.  They went above and beyond the call of duty, my friends.  They are heroes.    

So what if we need a little camouflage every once in a while?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dirty

I like to mess up beauty.  I like to get clean things dirty.  I like to create chaos where there would otherwise be sameness.  I like to muddy the perfect. 

I want to casually knock over rows and rows of carefully placed dominos.  I want to kiss a perfectly made-up cheek with sexy hot pink lipstik.  I want to f*ck wildly on a well-made bed.  I want to smudge newsprinty fingers on important work documents.  I want to spill coffee on white linen pants.  I want to use the black crayon to color not only outside of the lines, but on the floor and the walls too.  I want to fondle all of the sculputures and caress all of the paintings in the Louvre.  I want to chip my purple dishes with purpose as I wash them.  I want to splash in a mud puddle while wearing my wedding dress.  I want to scream while flying a silent redeye.

I want imperfection.  I want faults and flaws.  I want snags and defects.  I want disorder and commotion 

In imperfection, we find true beauty.  And in chaos, we find comfort.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hottie Hot Hot!

"I think I reached my hotness plateau awhile back, and I'm now on a slow & steady decline from here on out," I said to Tim a few weeks back.

He disagreed because he is a good man.  (He is also not stupid.)

I feel like it's true though.  And it pisses me off.  Aging is brutal - especially when you have lived the (ahem) party girl lifestyle that I have led.  And don't even get me started on having a damn baby.  Your body isn't for you (or your partner) anymore, that's for sure.  And as the years go by, it seems to take a lot more time, money and energy to make myself look halfway decent when 5 or 6 years ago, I rolled out of bed looking pretty damn cute. 

This decline of hotness also seems to be in direct correlation with the decline of men hitting on me.  I mean, yeah, I'm married and I have a kid an all that, but STILL.  It's nice to be hit on once in awhile, right?  It's always nice to know that someone besides your husband finds you attractive.  And maybe, as a liberated woman, I shouldn't say this out loud, but it feels a little like validation.  Or at least it makes me feel like the 2 hours and 45 minutes I spent getting ready were worth it. 

Which leads me to last night....

I went to a party last night.  A work party.  I did not plan on staying out for long.  I didn't think much of it really.  I still spent some time trying to improve my hotness, but nothing crazy.  Well, I did get a spray tan, but so what?  I'm in Austin!

I don't know if it's because SXSW is like Spring Break for grown-ups.  (And geeks.)  I don't know if it's because I was away from my every day life, or if it's because my tramp stamp lower-back tattoo was peeking out of my jeans.  Or maybe it was simply the 4 glasses of wine I had on a empty stomach.  Whatever the reason, it was a good night for hotness.  I was asked for my number three times.  Two different guys asked me to have drinks with them after the party was over.  And another guy - out of the blue - said to me, "You are really sexy."  I wasn't even flirting with him.  No, seriously.

And, later that night, alone in my hotel room after leaving the party alone (hello, I'm married!), I realized something.  Hotness is a state of mind. 

And I am back on the upward climb.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

Why, yes, I think I *will* have it all, thank you very much.

The other day, I received an email from a Dude I went to college with in Michigan.  It was the basic, hey, how are ya, where did you end up kind of email.  I told him that I have an 18-month old son.  (I left out the part about bringing him to bars.)  In Dude's follow-up email, he said, and I quote, "Wow, I didn't expect you to become a mother. I always thought you would be some high-powered executive with an amazing job."

Dude.

Shockingly, women can now have *both* children *and* amazing careers.  I know.  I am in disbelief as well.

C'mon, ladies.  Let's go buy our own damn cake.




Friday, February 15, 2013

"In Wine, There's Truth." (And also awesome hilarity & insight)

Yikes, it's been a month since I last posted.  What in the world have I been doing with my time?

I had someone ask me the other day about my "process" for writing or blogging.  I had to think about it.  I don't really have a process.  (Yes, Gentle Reader, that may be the reason why I only blog once a month. You are right.  Now knock it off.)

Well, I might have a process.  It kind of goes like this.


  • 545am:  Wake up.  No, I'm not Michelle Obama.  I have an 18-month old, yo.  
  • 546am - 8am:  Tend to said child.  Check emails.  Watch Yo Gabba Gabba and wonder how Jack Black can wear that outfit without being self-conscious.
  • 8am:  Wake up Tim so he can take over parenting duties.
  • 830am - whatever time I am done:  Work.  Think to myself a variety of times throughout this time frame, "Oh, that would make a great blog post" while immediately forgetting what that might be.
  • Whatever time I am done - 4pm:  Grocery, clean, laundry, work out (possibly), catch up on gossip news, continue to be inspired to write something awesomely hilarious or insightful which I then, once again, forget.
  • 4pm - 7pm:  Pick my child up and begin my other job where my title is "Mommy, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Mo, Mo, Mo".  Have complete creative brain freeze involving anything besides making up awesomely hilarious songs and games to keep my child calm and amused.  
  • 7pm:  Make dinner.  Think about nothing except that I forgot to eat all day.
  • 8pm:  Finally time for a glass of wine!  Drink 3 1.5 glasses while watching TV.  Repeatedly think to myself, "Oh yes! I'm definitely writing about [insert awesomely hilarious or insightful topic here] tomorrow.  I definitely don't need to write it down because clearly I will remember this amazing idea."  No, really, I *actually* think that.
  • 11pm:  Go to bed without recording any of said ideas.  Remember nothing the next morning except that I had an awesomely hilarious or insightful idea last night.


Is it a process?  Yes.  I never said it was a good one.  Imagine what an awesomely hilarious & insightful blog this would be if I just drank wine while writing.

Hey....I might be on to something here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's the Skinny?

The word "skinny" is really beginning to irritate me.  It's everywhere, and it always relates to women.  Jump on the social network of your choice and see how many times you encounter the word "skinny" in a 5 minute period.  Skinnygirl Cocktails, Skinny Bitch, Skinny Mommy, Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker (!), the list goes on.

Why are we always talking about skinny?  Why do I not see any blogs by Fit Bitch?  (Apologies to Jillian Michaels' if this is the name of her blog.)  Granted, Healthygirl Cocktails just doesn't sound right, but Healthy Mommy has a nice ring to it.

It's time this conversation stopped thinking thin and started focusing on fit.  Let's let go of the skinny and embrace the strong.  Let's start naming our blogs and Twitter handles after our real accomplishments in life, instead of something that signifies we were born with good genes.  Let's stop weighing our self-worth in calories and fat grams.  And for the love of Jillian Michaels, let's stop beating ourselves up over numbers on a damn scale.

You can keep your Skinnygirl Margarita.  This Pretty-Healthy, Fairly Fit Mommy is having a martini.