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    March 04, 2014

    Lent is here AGAIN?

    Yesterday I went to World Market and came home with a wine rack. A serious wine rack, with room for 25 bottles and hanging glasses. A piece of FURNITURE. As soon as I brought it home it became apparent that I have no PLACE for a serious wine rack, no matter how industrial-chic and desperately needed I think it is. I'm going to return it this weekend, if I can force myself to do it. 

    And this is what happens, folks, when there is a Lull. I think I have identified the last week and probably the four or five upcoming weeks as a Lull and I HATE LULLS. Lulls are the worst. There's no big baking holiday to slightly push (slightly on account of being ILLEGAL, STILL) and I don't have enough pictures to update the website yet and we're having trouble finding the just right commercial kitchen space to rent. So the baking is sort of sitting right now. Annoying. 

    No vacations any time soon, no important weekends or birthdays. No big plans of any sort, no obligations, and I'm starting to get itchy about my house again. I'm eyeing the downstairs bathroom and telling myself I'll go ahead and paint the cabinets now, why not? I want to rearrange furniture and hang a light fixture above the bathtub and press BUY on the bed I've picked out online (which I can't do yet because we're potentially spending Bed Money on Getting Rid Of Bats In Our Eaves instead. WOE.) 

    I don't do well without purpose. I just sit and eat too much and refresh Twitter every five seconds. It's terrible. I also sit and stare blankly at the Typepad compose page. HMMMM, WHAT DO I SAY NEXT? 

    Lent starts tomorrow. OF COURSE IT DOES. I have to say, I was greatly cheered by my friend Dr. Maureen who recently confessed that she ALSO dislikes Lent and that she's stopped trying to get something OUT of Lent and is content to suffer through it instead. This was so helpful for me. Every year I think: I should try and have a productive Lent! A meaningful Lent! A purposeful Lent! But Lent, for me, always seems to be a depressing Lull. 

    I'll take Emma with me to the 9am Ash Wednesday service. We'll go to the church near my house and all the schoolkids will be there, which is good because that means the homily won't go over my head. And I will be thinking the whole time that I need to give something up and what should I give up (because we all know I won't be able to come up with anything BEFORE Lent) and I'll probably settle on doing something positive, knowing I'll crap out towards the end, or giving up something delicious, knowing that I'll most likely cheat. 

    Daily I will send up "God, Lent is just so... LENTY" prayers and feel guilty because GOD KNOWS, you know, HE WAS THERE. I will attempt bouts of grown up spirituality, perhaps some important reading here and there, a group discussion if I'm really proactive. But mostly I will sulk and count down the days until I get to eat Easter candy in public instead of hidden in my bedroom because IT'S STILL LENT, FTLOG.

    So! I wouldn't recommend this website for any great and holy Lenten insight these coming weeks! But if you're into complaining about Lulls and wondering if it's time to eat candy yet, I'm your gal. 


    January 06, 2014

    All the bits of random bouncing around my head

    I haven't seen Downton Abbey yet. Don't tell me about it. SHHHH! I was going to watch it tonight, but then Phillip decided to go to the APPLE STORE of all places, at 8:45 at night, with our friend who I will rename Apple Store Enabler. And Downton Abbey is a show we watch toGETHER so... harrumph. 

    Friday night Phillip went to get a massage. (I got him a membership at Massage Envy for Christmas. Do you think that's weird? My family thought that was weird. Phillip was elated, which is what counts.) Saturday he hung out with friends and watched some dumb movie about robots and the world ending. SUNDAY he spent the whole afternoon watching the Hobbit and eating burgers with my brother-in-law. And now he's out again? Phillip has had entirely too much social interaction lately. Unfair. 

    I am going out tomorrow night. I meant to cancel my hair appointment and then it got too late to cancel my hair appointment and now I am going to my hair appointment tomorrow night. To get it colored. Which I have never done before. I was definitely going to dye it blond until the girl at the salon was all, "Yeah, you'll spend $300 to have blond hair for a week." That just made a lot of SENSE, you know? But I'd already sold myself on having New Hair so I made an appointment to do SOMETHING and now I just feel SILLY. And self-indulgent and spoiled and NERVOUS. As soon as I publish this I'm going to spend the rest of the night on Pinterest pinning short-haired brunette celebrities.

    Tomorrow Katie and I are going to make a bunch of Valentine baked goods and take pictures of them with Phillip's new camera that I have absolutely no idea how to use. Because we're going to be legal by Valentine's Day. RIGHT, WASHINGTON STATE?

    I went to Whole Foods today to buy one of the hippie supplements my hippie doctor wants me on and a protein powder thingie, but then I ended up buying blueberries (Emma wanted blueberries!) and some fancy yogurt and cookies (obvs) and bacon from Applegate Farms. That took ALL of my money. Jeez, Whole Foods. And I am having a HECK of a time figuring out whether the meat I am purchasing was happy before it ended up in the store. Do you know what I mean? The "cage free" label was simple enough for eggs, but at my regular store there are no helpful labels on beef and pork and I've recently discovered that the humane raised label on the chicken I buy may or may not actually mean humane raised. I know for sure that Applegate Farms is a-ok when it comes to this stuff (as if I couldn't tell by the price) but I have seriously considered vegetarianism a time or two in the last couple months. It would be EASIER. Except for the part where my FAMILY likes to eat meat. I don't know. I'm doing my best. I've also decreed the bakery will be getting its ingredients from happy and preferably local animals. 

    I went for half a walk around the lake today with Emma and my FitBit was all, "FINALLY."

    I feel like I haven't seen my friends in eons. I'm turning into a huge grump with nothing to say on her website. THIS IS TERRIBLE.


    November 06, 2013

    In which I take two terrible selfies

    SO. One thing I DO really like about myself is my hair. 

    Photo (6)

    Wow, that is big. Ok then. This is me, just now, taking a picture of myself. (I'm shutting my eyes because I feel silly. If you don't look, you don't see how silly it is. Until you post it on your blog. ANYWAY.)

    I haven't cut my hair since a week before the Blathering, at the end of September. 

    Photo (7)

    See? (Still embarrassed, but this time my hair is hiding my shame. Also I have no idea why this is sideways. Who cares!)

    I need a haircut and I am STRESSING because if I get my hair cut NOW, then what do I do 5 weeks from now when I throw a Christmas party and need Fabulous Hair? 5 weeks is the earliest I like to go back, but I know from experience that I will not be feeling all leisurely and haircutty the morning before the party. THERE IS DECORATING TO BE DONE! So I could go the weekend BEFORE, but then that would only be 4 weeks and that feels too soon. Hair cuts are not cheap, for one thing, and you want them to COUNT... Sigh. First world problems, etc. 

    While I was debating when to schedule my hair cut (the jury is still out) I started googling around for pictures. Except I've sort of explored all the short cuts I'm comfortable with and the short/tight in the back with long bangs seems to be the one that works for me. I toyed with growing it out this summer and no. So I'm a tiny bit BORED with my hair. I like it, I even like how you go from one style to a much different style in the span of 5 or 6 weeks. But, well, wouldn't, you know, wouldn't going BLOND be kinda FUN?

    Yes, I'm back there. Again. The platinum blond pixie has been sweetly singing my name for years. And I've ignored it because, dude, ME? My hair is so dark people think it's black. (DARK BROWN, PEOPLE.) I've never colored it. I never thought I COULD color it. It would look so FAKE!

    But I have to say, fake sounds kinda FUN. And there's a colorist at my salon whose hair is naturally dark like mine and SHE'S a near-platinum blond. And it looks awesome. SO YEAH, I'M BACK HERE AGAIN. 

    This article, by pixied platinum blond Joanna Coles, editor of Cosmo (I know her as a Project Runway judge) did not help. 

    Neither did this article, which spoke to my fears about attention and reminded me that a change can INSPIRE!

    And shoot, you guys. If Jennifer Connelly can go blond...


    August 27, 2013

    Two things I'm terrible at, a big list of things I'm awesome at

    I made a super huge deal about getting a housecleaner while we were in Cabo. We were going to have houseguests immediately upon our return and it was honestly all I could do to make sure all the sheets and beds were ready. I knew I would be infinitely more stressed out if I also had to make sure the kitchen and bathrooms weren't embarrassing. But it caused this huge fight because we were both tired and out of time and Phillip didn't want someone having a key to our house while we were gone and it wasn't until our second to last day in Cabo when I emailed the maid service and begged for a late notice housecleaner. 

    It worked out, and even though the appointment window was confusing and we ended up hanging out with our friends while the housecleaner was still here, it was DONE and CLEAN and PERFECT and I was so relieved. It didn't last long because see: Houseguests. But it was this huge weight off my shoulders and I'm not sure Phillip really understood that until it was finished and we were both all, "OOOOOH, SHINY!"

    And today I feel like: WHAT WAS THE POINT? Which is, basically, why I'm not a great housecleaner to begin with. It doesn't last. It doesn't even last a few hours. Someone has a bloody nose, someone dumps a bowl of crackers on the rug, someone wants to play with play dough, someone trashes the bathroom just washing their hands, and people ALWAYS need to eat. I get so discouraged trying to keep my house clean, and not even CLEAN but just above College Student Shared House Standards and it's so hard. 

    I cleaned up all of breakfast and lunch, started the dishwasher, wiped down the counters, and was feeling pretty good about everything. Then I decided I would make a Real Dinner. Salmon, quinoa with veggies, ACTUAL FOOD. So I'm getting it all prepped and I even text my husband to see if he'll be home at his regular time and all is going well. Until he texts me later to say oops, a crisis came up, and the kids are starving, and EJ spills her milk all over the kitchen floor, and everyone wants snacks, and WHY DIDN'T I JUST GIVE EVERYONE A BOWL OF CEREAL?

    It's when housecleaning combines with cooking that I am MOST discouraged. The two pillars of Housewifedom and I shall never ever manage them. 

    I'm tired, so much to do before school starts, and it's getting dark again. Up here during the summer it will stay light until 9pm, but it's getting DARK and the weather is overcast which adds to the DARKNESS and my mood is DARK. Overwhelmed, frustrated with children, feeling like I can't accomplish anything because someone always needs something. ARGH.

    So this is when it's good to think about things I AM good at. Things I AM getting done. Shall we?

    • Making pina coladas.
    • Making beds.
    • I have yet to kill a houseplant this year.
    • Even if we are not eating together, I made salmon and quinoa with veggies. Boom.
    • Hanging out with friends. (Part of why I am not getting anything else done.)
    • Shopping. Specifically: birthday gifts for Molly and a Skylanders Giants backpack for Jack. Even though I told him he was not getting a new backpack this year. And especially not a Skylanders Giants backpack. BUT HE LOVES IT AND $15 BOUGHT ME A WHOLE DAY OF DEVOTION SO THERE.
    • Changing diapers.
    • Finding pacifiers.
    • Remembering everything going on, even if it makes me bite all my nails off.
    • Keeping up with Twitter.
    • Randomly texting friends.
    • Visiting grandparents.
    • Straightening bookshelves.
    • Finding places for everyone to sleep. House Tetris.
    • Imagining how my house would look if I were independently wealthy.
    • Sleeping light so I can help the nosebleeders and band aid needers and bed-faller-offers. 
    • Reading books.
    • Monday through Wednesday crosswords. (I'm working on the other days.)
    • Remembering lyrics to childrens' television show theme songs.
    • Liking to dance. Which is different from Dancing. (I am trying to figure out how to do salsa lessons on Wednesday nights. WITH my husband. OOH LA LA.)
    • Wearing overly large earrings. 
    • Ordering things from

    OKAY I FEEL BETTER. A little bit. A friend just texted me about shopping at the Rack tonight after the kids go to bed. Some big clearance sale? That might make me feel even better. 

    So! Are you having a rotten WHAT IS THE POINT sort of day yourself? I would very much like to read the things YOU are good at. 

    August 13, 2013

    The time I hit a poor sweet doggie

    First things first: the dog didn't die. 

    But yes, this morning, on my way to the freeway to head down to my parents' house for the day, I hit a dog. A tiny shaggy little thing. From the corner of my left eye I saw it dart into the street. I thought: I'm going to hit that dog. And then I did. 

    I have often wondered what I will do when I (inevitably) hit and kill someone's pet. It has to happen sometime, right? There are a lot of cats around my street (and in my yard, always in my yard) and I often think about what I would do if I hit one. How would I find its owner? What would I do with IT? What would I do at ALL? 

    But I never hit a pet until today, on a busy street made smaller by road work cones and barriers. I might have swerved or slammed my brakes - if I had I would undoubtedly have hit another car, or caused a string of fender benders. Would that have been better? Instead I hit a dog before I thought of another option. And then, because I didn't know what else to do, I kept driving until I found a safe place to pull over. 

    It wasn't that safe - it was basically a little used side road and I barely pulled over to the shoulder before I jabbered some explanation to the three kids in the car, leaped out, and looked for the dog in the road. 

    I saw the dog lying there. But the driver behind me, a man in a white truck, was already out of his truck and picking up what I thought was a very dead dog. He held it like a baby, gingerly placed it in the bed of his truck, and slowly drove into the blocked off area of road. And I just stood there like an idiot because ohmyGod I've just hit a dog and it's dead and someone has picked it up and what do I do I don't know what to do what should I do what is happening? 

    I just stood there - this is the part I feel ashamed of - while this sainted guardian angel of a man tried to help the dog I hit. I finally moved towards him when he got out of the truck again. I was sobbing by that point and I think the first thing he said was, "It's okay, I saw him run out, you couldn't have done anything" which made me cry harder. And he carried the dog across the street to the house where it appeared he'd come from. I stood there because ohmyGod I killed that dog and now this strange kind man is going to do my dirty work for me. 

    But that house didn't own the dog. The white truck man came back, laid the dog down on the bed of the truck, and started calling the number on his collar. That's when I realized the dog wasn't dead. I wasn't sure what he was. I mean, he'd just been hit by my minivan, but he wasn't bleeding, he wasn't making any noise, his body seemed to be in one piece, so I just cried and rubbed his head and said, "I'm so sorry, doggie" over and over because GOD AM I USELESS OR WHAT? What would I have done without that driver behind me? 

    (Things the driver said to me: It's not your fault. I saw it happen. It's not your fault. Little dogs like this, they're like children. People need to watch them. They shouldn't have let him get out. You couldn't have helped it. It's okay. It's not your fault. It's okay. It's okay.)

    No one answered the number on the dog's collar. It was clear he was well-loved - in addition to a nice collar he was wearing one of those harnesses that you clip to a leash. And he was so cute and tiny and OHMYGOD WHAT DO I DO? The truck guy told me what to do. "You stay here with him, I'll try and see if he belongs to any of these houses over here." 

    The truck guy took off on the other side of the street and I stood there behind his truck, with the poor injured doggie, crying and wondering what was going to happen. I kept thinking: why are we not rushing this dog to a vet?! So I think that's what I would have done if I was alone. I would have wanted to find the owners, but I felt like we had seconds to save the dog's life. I don't know. The truck guy was in charge. And he was gentle and nice to me, he carried the dog like a baby, he seemed to know what to do. 

    I don't know how long it was before I heard voices. People were coming out of the house right next to where the truck was parked - frantic upset voices. I think I heard one of the voices say something like, "Why did you leave it open?!" Along those lines. I realized these were probably the dog's owners, and they were. An older woman was on the phone, a younger man (her son? brother?) was racing toward the dog in the truck. Neither of them paid any attention to me or the situation - they were both so focused on the dog. And distressed. The distress was totally unnerving to me, and now, hours and hours later I feel their distress and wonder how much worse it would have been if I was standing over a dead dog instead of a hurt one. 

    The dog, who I'd been petting and praying over this whole time, had his eyes closed and had sort of relaxed. Somehow. He seemed calmer, not so stunned and stiff (the way that made me think he was dead.) I kept track of his pulse, terrified he was going to die on me. Then as his owners rushed towards him his whole body lurched, his eyes popped open- almost like he leaped up at the sound of their voices. And I think that is why I am not a quivering mess of tears right now. That one movement made me think he was going to be okay. Hurt, but okay. They scooped him up into their arms without a single glance or question. They didn't appear to hear a single thing I said about how hit happened, how I was the culprit. They were gone before the white truck man returned, who I thanked, over and over and over again. Really, if he hadn't been there? If he hadn't helped? I am so grateful for his affirmation that it was an accident. I know it was an accident, but it helps so much that an eye witness validated that for me. 

    I got back in my car, took a deep breath, and drove to my parents' house. Whereupon Jack threw up in the car, two minutes before we reached their house. I think I have a prone-to-carsickness kid on my hands. It was a great way to cap off the morning. 

    I very much feel like the dog is okay. I mean, WILL be okay. I'm almost positive he's still with us, home from his ER visit even. I won't really know, I suppose, but while I am shaken, upset, sorrowful, and yes, guilty, I don't feel overcome with horrible sickening responsibility, I'm not berating and blaming myself. Things I'm very good at. At first I thought I should bring flowers to that house and check on the dog. I don't know, some gesture. My mom thinks this is a bad idea. You just don't know what people will do. And I'm not sure what it would do. Too many things could happen, I can see that. I'm okay right now. Pretty sure the dog is too. Why open up okayness to disruption? 

    I've come out of this sort of wishing for a dog of my own. That's weird, right? 

    Thank God for that driver behind me. I swear he was PUT there.

    And I really do think the dog is going to be okay. 

    All right, thanks for letting me spill this story. I can go to sleep now. 


    August 12, 2013

    It's not you, it's me

    This blog is stupid. All I have to say is: ZOMG SO BUSY and then as soon as that busy thing is over OH WAIT NO STILL BUSY plus MY HOUSE IS A STY and MY PANTS ARE NEVER GOING TO FIT FTLOG. 

    Seriously. There is nothing else to say. BOR. ING. 


    July 29, 2013

    On photography, hair, and inspiration.

    Oh you guys, I just wrote a million-word post on hair. HAIR. And what does it say about me that I can post million-word posts on anxiety and personality tests and churchy stuff, but cannot bring myself to publish the post that uses the word "inspired" about hair? 

    So I'm going to tell you about my photography consult instead, and maybe I will meander around to the word "inspired" because really, these were similar experiences. In my head. JUST GO WITH IT. 

    Last week? Two weeks ago? (WHO KNOWS? I am losing track of EVERYTHING.) I went for my photography consult (consult!) with the absolutely adorable Lindsay Kennedy. And I am not just calling her adorable because she is taking pictures of my family for free. Lindsay's short haircut? Pretty darn perfect if you ask me. (Go check out her website. She's in there somewhere, amongst all the other pretty people. Do you think she'll make me look pretty too?!) 

    Lindsay lives in this pretty fabulous downtown apartment, like, DOWNTOWN downtown, and here I am, dragging my baby into this fabulous apartment lobby and it's super hot and I'm super sweaty and Emma's kind of had it with me and WHATEVER. PICTURES. DOING IT. 

    We have done kid portraits at good ole JC Penney (I actually like those, so hush) and one time Phillip's dad got us a Groupon for Yuen Lui (is that just a local place?) and another time I bought a Groupon for a local photographer who took pictures of my kids in a park. That's about it for pictures. I've been pretty bad about portraits for Emma and, as you know, there's next to nothing of Phillip and me. No engagement pictures, hate our wedding pictures, one or two family studio portraits, that's it. Sad sad sad. 

    Except, I kind of hate having my picture taken. I'm just extremely aware of my un-photogenic-ness, like, NEGATIVE amounts of photogenic, and why bother? Also, in my head I look like a Disney princess and when I see my actual likeness in a picture I'm rudely awakened. I hate being rudely awakened. 

    But I should get over this, yes? And am I going to say no to an absolutely adorable local photographer offering to take pictures of my family? AWESOME pictures? (Have you looked at her website? My favorites are the mom and daughter at the library. SO SWEET.) 

    AAAAANYWAY, all this to say, I felt silly having a consult about pictures. The same way I feel silly writing about my hair. What difference will it make? So poor Lindsay is asking me all these questions: what does your family like to do together? What makes your family special? What kind of memory do you want to preserve? When you look at your pictures on the wall how do you want to feel? And I'm all, "Uhhhh, we like to... eat?" 

    But for Lindsay, clearly, expression through photography is REAL. A THING. It's beautiful and forever and it says something about you and your life and your world. And you know what? It was inspiring. The prints hanging in her living room, the crazy amount of care and time and precision in the materials I took home, the exquisite photo albums she creates... I just, it was super inspiring getting to participate in someone else's art. Someone else's GIFT. Really. That's what I felt like when I left. Well, that and some mortification over the fact that EJ dropped bits of cookie all over this nice lady's child-free apartment. GAH.

    I left feeling like, "Okay! Maybe I won't feel like a total dork! Maybe I'll just hang out with the kids and this adorable little person will flit around in the background taking pictures of us and I just won't even notice!" And then, when it's over, I'll have something really beautiful for my home. Because that's what Lindsay was really concentrating on during the consult - not just the pictures, but the creation of something meaningful to hang in your space. 

    (And you guys know I have a lot of wall space.)

    We're just going to do it at our house. We could go anywhere, but I chose our house with the brown carpet with the hole and the 1980s kitchen cabinets and the baskets of toys in every corner. Going somewhere else felt like acting. One of her questions was something like "what's the most important thing about your photos?" and "magazine quality" was one of the potential answers. And yeah, I would certainly not complain if Lindsay's magic produced magazine quality images, but mostly I wanted our pictures to be real. Playing with the kids. Making cookies. Shooting down the new slide. Watering the plants. Cutting and pasting and coloring. (All right, let's be honest: watching television.) 

    I don't know. I've been spending inordinate amounts of time thinking about how things LOOK lately. The kitchen, Emma's room, fitting into my clothes, whether or not I'm growing out my hair, getting a nose ring. I think Phillip wonders what is up with me. Is this my midlife crisis? What is this talk about dying my hair BLOND? Am I for SERIOUS? 

    But... I am. I think. Maybe it is a "gee, I'm getting older, let's switch things up!" or "let's do the things I didn't do when I was 20!" Maybe it is just boredom. But I think there could also be a piece of missing inspiration in there too. I want to be inspired by my space, I want to make art, and when I look the way I feel it's right somehow. I don't know if that makes sense. I was going to grow out my hair, but you know, I feel more like me when it's short. I don't know what that means either, but it's the reason I went to get it cut this weekend. And after a loooong conversation about going blond with my stylist and she said, "I think you'll be INSPIRED by it" I totally knew what she meant. I want to be me. I want to be inspired. I think I can do both of those things without feeling like a dork. MAYBE.


    June 05, 2013

    Ultimately Not Meaningful Surface-Level Body Angst

    I'm having a string of ugly days. As in, the days themselves aren't ugly, but *I* am. It's unpleasant. 

    It's about not being able to lose 10 pounds - like seriously, I cannot shake them. I'm waiting until the fall, when I see myself having (finally) the sort of schedule where I CAN exercise on a regular routiney basis to say, "Hey, maybe the crazy pills aren't helping." I don't feel like I've done my best yet. I'm either exercising well or eating well, I have yet to be doing both at the same time, the three kids on three different schedules doesn't help me take care of my own self, so I haven't gone there yet. I'm open to the idea that the crazy pills make it HARDER, but not IMPOSSIBLE. I'm waiting on that one. I managed to lose most of the baby weight before I was on my full dose of meds, so it's a definite possibility. 

    It's about growing out my hair. The other day I said to Phillip, "I think I'm going to grow out my hair" and he got this look on his face that will make it very very hard to go back on that comment. My husband has never EVER said a single solitary thing about how I cut my hair or what I wear or how much I weigh (unless I'm asking him!) and he would never ask me to grow it out. But that look... I mean, you want your husband to think you look nice, right? And if he thinks I'd look nicer with long hair... EXCEPT GROWING OUT YOUR HAIR POSITIVELY SUCKS. It's only been a few weeks of "maybe I'll grow it out!" and I already hate everything going on on top of my head. People with super fine super straight hair should not be in a shaggy in between place. It seems like it will be eons before I reach the goal, which is my friend taking me to the Korean hair salon where they will put a very slight permanent wave in my extra long no-more-grays hair and I turn into a Disney princess. 

    It's about not getting outside. Emma's walking which is SO SO SO SO SO GREAT. I mean, it's super great. Everything is so much EASIER now that she's walking. But she's still not that confident outside so even when I want to go water the plants in the front yard I have to wait until Phillip gets home or she's super occupied with Molly inside, because she shrieks and hollers at me if I leave her standing alone in the grass. We can't go on the deck because it's not really a deck right now. We can't play in the backyard because it's full of dangerous deck-building things. We don't go for walks because our neighborhood is lame. And if it's none of those things it's raining. 

    It's about watching all the super fit athletic moms check their kids into childcare at the Y so they can go kickbox something or work on their ab definition. And I can't even TRY because my kid throws a holy fit if I leave her in childcare. 

    It's about realizing there's no stinking way I'm going to reach my weight loss goal (Fit Into Old Pants!) by our trip to Cabo in August. 

    It's about being the fat friend, the fat sister, the fat daughter-in-law. It's about how even though I used to be nearly 30 pounds heavier, I am ashamed and embarrassed that I can't lose another 10. 

    I hate thinking that the only thing that will make me feel better is losing the weight, finding a good way to wear my hair, fitting into my favorite post-Molly skirt. That there's nothing else, not my husband saying flattering things, not my friends looking at me like I'm crazy, not knowing that God is uninterested in my pant size. I hate feeling so vulnerable to this, Get away from me, Ultimately Not Meaningful Surface-Level Body Angst! 

    Photo (49)

    Two beautiful ladies. 

    May 30, 2013


    Best day, you guys. BEST.

    First thing: Jack comes home from school and is telling my mom (who babysat while I went to the work lunch thingy) about his friend who had to go to the nurse's office. Apparently she ate something she was allergic to and she got sick. Quoth Jack, "She farts. She farts a lot if she eats something and she's allergic." Me, only after he'd said "farts" about forty seven times: "Jack, do you mean 'barfs'?" Jack, nodding: "Yes. Barfs." 

    Second thing: my deck is getting fixed. Finally! Turns out it doesn't look half bad under that plywood. (Check my instagram feed if you just went, "plywood? huh? what kind of deck IS this?") There are definitely rotting places, including a beam that is holding up a WALL, but apparently there are ways to fix this and the contractor tells me it looks good, and tomorrow morning we're meeting before Phillip goes to work to Discuss The Options. This is how it will go:

    Contractor: Blah blah blah blah blah

    Phillip: Blah blah blah how much blah blah what about blah blah 


    Third thing: remember I was all, "aiiiieeee my old boss just invited me to a THING!" So I went to the thing today and it was SO GREAT. I mean, it wasn't heaps of fun or super fantabulously interesting and I didn't even see half the people I would have liked to see, but it was so good to see the people I DID see and bringing Molly along was a touch of brilliance. I always had someone to talk to, I always had something to do, and eeeeeveryone wanted to say hello to Molly. I know this will sound weird and creep you out Internet, but the guy who sat across from us, who was just smitten with Molly, PICKED HER UP as we were leaving. If he hadn't said how much Molly reminded him of his grandkids about a million times over lunch I would have been, you know, uncomfortable, but instead it was just super sweet. Which is basically how I feel about everyone in this particular local industry. THEY ARE JUST SO NICE. I thought this when I worked for them too. There are the unpleasant ones, but at these industry get togethers everyone is so friendly and kind. 

    I used to go to this thing every year when I worked for my old boss. It's not fancy or a big deal, but it honors an industry person of the year and raises money for an industry-related charity and everyone supports it big time. So there are lots of people there and all the companies donate items for a huge raffle. The grand prize is always a TV and ONCE I WON THE TV. I did not have this blog then or I would have told you about it. My boss bought me raffle tickets AND THEN I WON THE TV. Phillip was super duper impressed. 

    I did not win the TV this year. DISAPPOINTING. But I bought a crap ton of raffle tickets just so Molly would win something and feel like it was worth her time and effort escorting her silly mother to this boring social event. WE DIDN'T WIN ANYTHING. 25 raffle tickets people and not even a HAT. Some dude who worked for the charity, though, he won FOUR TIMES. Super bad ticket pickers, right? ANYWAY. They finally pull the ticket for the TV and it's not us and it's this young kid who I assume is part of this other group and he's flustered and I'm all WHATEVER and getting ready to go - 

    then my old boss comes up to me and says, "THAT'S MY ASSISTANT. MY ASSISTANT WON THE TV. AGAIN." So. He's the one to take to Vegas. But! I'm leaving and saying goodbye and the assistant, who I will call College Kid, is standing nearby having absolutely no idea how he's going to get his new television home. He lives in the U District like a proper college kid and that's on my way so I offer to take him home. And you GUYS. This kid. He was a TRIP. He was the chattiest, cutest, flabbergastiest, chipper little guy in the WORLD. And I am not exaggerating when I say he was just like the Fred Armisen character on SNL who can't form a sentence. I shall quote from wikipedia: 

    • Nicholas Fehn – a political commentator whose mind races and wanders so much that he is incapable of finishing a sentence without starting a new one.

    You know that guy? OMG THIS KID. I couldn't tell if he's ALWAYS like that or if he was just SO! EXCITED! about winning a television that he couldn't emit a coherent thought. IT WAS ADORABLE. 

    Last thing: It was sunny. You seriously cannot underestimate the power of sunshine around these parts. I swear, there's forward movement on a house project, I caught up with a former life, my daughter was absolutely perfect, my mom was here helping all day, sunshine, GOOD WORK EVERYONE. Let's make it happen again tomorrow. 

    P.S. THANK YOU FOR THE DINNER HELP. I will write a Dinner Update, I just had to get that farts story out of my system first. 

    April 23, 2013

    I blame my parents

    It all started when my parents would say, "OH, JUST IGNORE HIM!"

    This in reference to my cretin of a little brother whose one pure joy in life was pushing all of my buttons, all at the same time, on a regular and maddening basis. How do you ignore such a thing, I ask you? HOW IS IT DONE? 

    I'm willing to let that go, I am. After all I'M a parent now and therefore deeply appreciative of the "OH, JUST IGNORE HIM!" as a go-away-and-leave-me-alone tactic. And there were plenty of times my brother actually DID get in trouble, like the time my dad actually DID leave him on the side of the road, and that other time when they told him he couldn't live with us anymore and my mom started packing his backpack - at age six or seven. 

    BUT. It was, indeed, my terrible misfortune to grow up sensitive, easily intimidated, beholden to a monstrous guilt complex with parents who were Tough, Did Not Suffer Fools, Not Afraid Of Confrontation, and valedictorians of the Eye Roll Master Class. 

    If I hated the basketball team so much why didn't I just QUIT? WHO CARES?

    In a gross misuse of justice did Mrs. So and So publically lecture me in the senior hallway about something I was totally allowed to do? BLOW HER OFF! WHO CARES! YOU'RE GRADUATING IN TWO WEEKS!

    I hurt someone's feelings and I may die of the shame and sorrow and failure to be the perfect friend? OH FOR GOD'S SAKE, MAGGIE, SHE SOUNDED LIKE A NUTJOB ANYWAY. GOOD RIDDANCE.

    So yeah. I have spent the better part of 33 years trying to ignore, quit, not care, roll my eyes, and suck it up, and GUESS WHAT. IT HASN'T WORKED.

    I am still the sensitive, easily intimidated, beholden to a monstrous guilt complex creature I've always been, with my giant nose stuck in multiple personality analysis books. I write about my feelings on the internet, people, and have been doing so for YEARS. At this point I might as well throw in the Suck It Up Towel and own the fact that when my neighbor rings my doorbell with no purpose other than to chew me out about how my guest has parked in front of her blessed mailbox, I WILL FEEL LIKE WARMED OVER CRAP. FOR A LONG TIME. AND WRITE ABOUT IT ON THE INTERNET.

    It's not that I feel bad that my friend (OKAY IT WAS LIZ! IT'S ALL HER FAULT!) parked in front of the mailboxes, it's that I honestly do NOT understand why my neighbor's first response is "Spew Vitriol!" rather than "Apologetically Yet Firmly Notify!" Perhaps I should walk around with a sign around my neck: GUILT TRIPS WORK BEST.

    We figured out the unspoken mailbox parking rule a while back, but the absolute very first time this particular neighbor mentioned it, it was when my parents had JUST driven up and parked and we weren't even out of the cars yet and she zooms into my own garage to tell me my parents better not park there. (OR ELSE.) So yeah, this was the second time, but she was mean about it the FIRST time and today it was like I'd spent my entire two years in the neighborhood spitting on her rose garden and BY GOD she was TIRED OF TELLING ME TO STOP!

    And I'm also sad that we don't have any friends on our street. The one other family with children never appears and the others are a combo of never there/retired/renting/not interested. There is one house with an older couple who is VERY sweet and kind to us, but we rarely see them. I would LOVE to have good relationships with my neighbors, but I have NO relationship with my neighbors, for the most part, and it bums me out. So I'm sensitive to that too, I guess. 

    And also SHE LIVES NEXT DOOR! It's not really like I CAN ignore her! 

    I should, though. Except for the two Christmastimes where she brought us delicious cookies (and who knows what instigated THAT), she's been pretty unfriendly and/or uninterested in us. And once she complained about all the pine needles when she doesn't even own the trees and I was like, "Seriously? You're mad because you live next to my tree?"

    CLEARLY THIS REALLY ISN'T MY PROBLEM. And in these situations I try to make myself feel better by reminding myself of True Things. Like "at least I am not so desperately unhappy that I am compelled to stomp over to my neighbor's house and complain that someone she knows has parked in front of the mailbox without so much as a howdoyoudo." 

    Should I let this sort of thing ruin my day? NO! Does it anyway? YES! Does kicking myself for being affected by someone else's crotchety mood help at all? NOOOOO. 

    And after 33 years I'm beginning to suspect that The Ability To Blow It Off is simply something you're born with. My parents? EXCELLENT blow offers. Me? The opposite. And it's not my fault, it's THEIRS for not passing it down. Maybe it would just be better that, having been sniped at on my own front porch, I crawl back inside and dedicate the next several hours to couch, television, and ice cream. You know? Just ACCEPT the fact that I will feel Crappy. And then write a cathartic blog post that will make my parents roll their eyes.