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    June 15, 2014

    I updated, meh, why am I even bothering OH LOOK COOKIES

    Oh HELLO THERE. I am feeling crankypants towards the blog - I wrote this super huge post last week - a post I actually tried to WRITE WELL and put THOUGHT INTO - and Typepad ate it. @)#%*#$)%*#!)%$!)#*!)@#*%!#()_$*%

    And having to rewrite an already perfectly written blog post is a HUGE BUMMER so I didn't bother. And now you will never know all the GOOD things that happened on my Colorado trip, you only get the return trip drama. And I suppose you only get that if you follow me on Twitter. And now I wonder how many sentences I can start with the word 'And'? Clearly I am not working hard on writing THIS post well and/or thoughtfully. 

    I suppose my Colorado post boiled down to the following points: 

    1. Always, ALWAYS, meet up with your internet friends. @kate_welsh and I had a great time in a hotel bar in Charleston, but now we've had a great time at a restaurant bar in Denver and now I want her to live next door. 

    2. Hanging out with 9th Grade BFF was exactly what I thought it would be, only a frillion times better. I am not kidding. I was weirdly un-nervous (I AM ALWAYS NERVOUS!) but it honestly never occurred to me that seeing her again would be anything but fantastic, and I was right. I love being right! I'm a quasi-military brat, she's a true one, and it was so fun for both of us to realize that HEY we DO have someone who "lasted". I am busy getting the guest room ready for when she visits. (WHEN ARE YOU VISITING?)

    3. Colorado Springs is a WEIRD PLACE, YO. I don't use 'yo' lightly, but there's really no other way to say it. What a weird WEIRD place. I felt that way the first time I went, about 8 or 9 years ago, but it's exactly how I remember it. Only more of it. It might be my inner city girl, but I swear it's not just me. 

    There you have it. Only there was a lot more in my previous post. Perhaps you are relieved. 

    As I type this out, all my internet buddies are retweeting my super casual comment about Thumbprints introducing a monthly cookie subscription box. And... well, my corner of the internet has proved its extreme awesome over this last week, but I never dreamed they'd love the FPC's and my little bakery as much as they do. There's no way I could have started a bakery without you guys and you're showing that there's no way we'd be moving forward without you either. I planned to do some obnoxious tweeting tomorrow and the next day, some Facebooking, etc., but you are doing it for me. I'M GOING TO CRY NOW.

    ALSO today is Father's Day. I suppose I should write something shmoopy about fathers. 

    I know I've told you this before, but I'll tell you again. When we were in college, Phillip and I did a camping trip with some other friends (possibly the last time I went camping). We weren't dating yet. In the morning I crawled out of my tent looking and feeling like Death On Toast. I caught Phillip's eye - he was looking at me kinda weird, but never said anything. A few years into being married he told me that when I crawled out of that tent I looked like a mom and he'd had this flash of some day in the future when we'd be camping with all our kids. (ALL OUR KIDS. HE SAID THAT.)

    I COULD have taken that the wrong way, but I didn't. And I'd always sort of known he'd be an amazing dad to the bunch of kids we'd have. In the future. When we got married. If we ever started dating.

    As for my adopted dad, the sainted FIL, not sure I know a cheerier, friendlier, takes-care-of-absolutely-everything-you-need sort of person. Really. I mean that one zillion percent. 

    And MY dad... I would write something about him, but that would probably make him feel WEIRD and while he thinks it's lovely that *I* have internet friends, he's not sure that HE wants internet friends and could I just please leave him alone in his library? Unless I would like to talk about the article on Ukraine I just read, or Israel, or have I read that book he gave me about education yet, did I see what so and so wrote about that, maybe we just need to sit down and discuss what is wrong with US foreign policy? That sounds good. Do we have an entire afternoon? Did I bring enough Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars? Excellent.  


    March 16, 2014


    I did a bunch of things this weekend that gave me a whole bunch of thoughts and part of me wants to record them all here and part of me is totally over blogging. Weird, huh? I think, at this point, it makes more sense to just keep a journal, but I've grown accustomed to the Typepad interface and also the occasional interaction. I never got tons of comments here, I was never Popular, and I no longer think about how I *could* be Popular - that seems like an era of blogging that is long over. (Is it?) And now so much of the "community" takes place on Twitter and I love Twitter. I am constantly defending Twitter to the people who are all, "No one cares what I ate for breakfast!" Whenever someone busts out the Internet Is A Dangerous Place thesis I am quick to announce that the internet can be used for good - in fact, I have heaps of personal experience. Would they like to hear my stories?! Which is weird, because I am rarely quick to defend anything. That's one thing I could never quite do when I was considering shooting for Internet Popularity. Having opinions is something I do much better one on one, or in my own living room. Never on the internet!

    But here I am, because I just can't QUIT you, Typepad, and I think about how Third Baby will have ninety-five percent fewer stories than her siblings. It's not like I keep an ACTUAL baby book. Also I worry that if I stopped writing here - and I don't think it would be a sudden stoppage so much as a drifting away and forgetting - I would lose contact with all of YOU. I am better at reading Twitter than participating, and Facebook isn't the nice self-selected group I have here... you see what I'm saying. 

    A few weekends ago I visited Blondie and Blondie is one of the very first people I ever wrote about on this website. I STARTED this thing one million years ago when Phillip and I went to China for three weeks. It was my excuse to start my own blog. Blondie was a friend of friends and we were basically going to China to keep her company while most of her coworkers (our friends) were on vacation and that sounds really weird, I know, but it worked. INSTA-FRIENDS. Maybe the three of us were absolutely determined to like and enjoy each other. Maybe we somehow knew there just wasn't enough time to do the usual get-to-know-you type stuff. Whatever it was, it worked, and those were three of the best weeks of my life. In no small part due to Blondie. 

    (I call her Blondie because she's, well, blond. A super white blond girl who spoke fluent Chinese. In China.) 

    BUT ANYWAY. She lives stateside now. She's married with two kids. Life is SO DIFFERENT. For both of us. That WAS ten years ago and we sped through those ten years in the two hours I spent at her house. We are older and tired and even though hanging out with her was, again, the easiest thing in the world, those ten years had made a difference in us. 

    And my great-aunt passed away last week and my mom is calling me and talking about Big Stuff and getting older and I keep wondering what I'll be thinking ten years from NOW. And ten years after THAT. Jack is going to be seven in May. Seven! Remember when we were all having our first babies and writing about the horrors of breastfeeding and how to get them to sleep and baby gear and whoa. Sometimes I think that if Phillip and I were to have another one (CALM DOWN, PHILLIP CHEUNG, IS RHETORICAL) I wouldn't even know what to do. And my youngest is only 2 and a half! I just feel BEYOND that, for some reason. Ready to bring on the big kid activities. We went to Molly's dance studio's "Afternoon of Dance" today and it just felt like YES. This is what we do now. We do this. 

    Blogging isn't the thing it was when I started, but I'M also totally different. If anything I'm MORE open and transparent and not at all bothered by anyone knowing any of these things I write about myself... I just don't know if I need to write it all out anymore. I don't know if I always need to explain myself to me, or hope that the comments section reflects me back to me. I've wanted to be funny, I've wanted to be a terrific writer, I've wanted to have Deep and Amazing thoughts, and maybe I've been all three of those things at one time or another. But mainly what I've done here, I think, is write everything out so I know what I think. I might be doing that now. I guess the difference is, this isn't the first place I think of or need when I want to do that. Not anymore. 

    I hope this is a nice big sign that I Am A Grown Up. I was thinking that in my 20s I was still the same person I was when I was 16 and 17, I just had much better friends (and a boyfriend, heh.) But in my 30s I think I'M different. I have those same friends (how great is that?) (and the boyfriend stuck around), but *I* am different and by that I just mean I've shaken off so much of the stuff I tried on in my 20s. Turns out I like makeup and I have an appointment to light-ify my hair. Turns out I don't need to read every important book and see every important movie. I have politics. I have opinions. (I just don't write about them!) I care SO MUCH LESS about what people think of me. 

    (Since I cared SO MUCH, this is still not enough not-caring. But it's a start.) 

    (And is this a reason I'm not compelled to blog every night?)

    I have less time. That's the biggest reason. But you make time for the things you want to do. I keep surprising myself at the things I choose to do over sitting down at the computer. And you know I'm not saying that all the reasons I write here and all the reasons I'm not writing here so much are also YOUR reasons. Right? I would very much like to read your blog posts about how and why you started and why you're still here. I find this fascinating! 

    I was going to write "I am just finding myself LESS fascinating!" Except, GOD, would that be the lie of the century. Surely that is not the reason I am slowing down on the blog front. It just must be that I am finding other ways to navel gaze. Or other ways of navel gazing are a better fit for me at this stage of life. God forbid I ever stop poking around for lint, right? 


    December 15, 2013

    An update that is more like an update about updating soon.

    Oh Internet. I am SO TIRED. And I have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU. But I am SO TIRED. I know being too tired to update your blawg is a first world problem of the utmost degree, but it's not like you expect me to be above such things. 

    There was a Party, the start of a New Job, and a Mysterious Ailment; there's the continuation of the Shower Saga, a few existential thoughts on Should We Continue To Throw This Christmas Party, and then a whole heck of a lot of Bakery Lessons. I reeeeeally want to get your opinions, but I went to bed at 2am last night and you guys, I'm pretty sure the last time I saw 2am I was in high school. Even in college I went to bed at Reasonable Hours, to the massive irritation of my various roommates. I had to put part of a bakery order together after the party, then I had to assist my sister in delivering that order to Tacoma by 9am this morning, and I was so tired I fell asleep in the car on the way home and dreamed I was dating Macklemore. I KNOW. That is VERY TIRED. 

    I know that you are not particularly dying for me to share any of these stories, but I feel like I'm forgetting things and this is the only Baby Book/Journal I've got and I have to keep it up. For ME. So, if you are still reading, stay tuned for more first world problems, more starting-a-business-while-having-absolutely-no-experience ruminations, and eloquent explorations of All The Stuff Going On. (Also, I plan to start reading what you are writing again. Sheesh.)

    Tenterhooks, folks. Be on them. 


    October 06, 2013

    I believe I can FLYYYYYYY

    There are a couple Charleston moments I want to capture here before they disappear into the murky mist that is my brain, but the only one I feel capable of doing justice tonight is this one:

    Everyone wanted to know about the bakery and everyone wanted to help. Everyone. Marketing, graphic design, relatives who started coffee shops who'd love to email with me, Kickstarter campaigns, fundraising - Noemi even knows a local coffee distributor. 

    POSSIBLY I am tearing up as I write this. I didn't expect anyone to think this was something that might actually happen. Least of all myself, right? Right now this bakery only exists in the imaginations of my sister and me and chances are high it doesn't go anywhere else. But every time I talk about it - which is hard, because ACK, I am publicizing my future FAILURE - it gets a little more real. I have yet to talk to anyone who doesn't think it's a good idea, but you guys make me feel like we could actually pull it off. You're our customers, you're the people we want to be there, you want to come, and you want to help. It's just amazing to me. 

    I MIGHT burst into song. 

    We're going to call it Thumbprints. I bought a URL. (Don't look. Nothing there.) I started a Twitter account and a Facebook page. I looked into branding packages on Etsy. We know what we want it to look like. (All the visioning Katie and I did two weeks ago came to life when I stepped into the Sugar Bakeshop in Charleston to pick up the Friday night cupcakes. Seriously. I took pictures of their set up. I pestered the staff.) 

    I feel like it's a good idea that can only go sour because of the vast inexperience and naive optimism of the CFO, a totally unqualified and un-profit-oriented English major. But thanks for believing in us, Internet, especially you Blatheringers. I am really truly touched. 

    October 01, 2013

    Support my friends! Go Internet!

    Hey guys! I'm totally packed, but my house is a DISASTER and I have to print out my boarding passes and important Blathering documents and make a big list of How To Do Everything At Home for my husband and in-laws and ACK. 

    But before I go panic about that, let me show you: 

    Shalini's book cover! My friend [Shalini] wrote a book [a real one] and this is the cover [actual cover]. I KNOOOOOWWWWWW. It's amazing. 


    Also, the pseudonym is an anagram of her kids' names. SO SWEET. SIGH. 

    Also, lovely blog reader Sara asked me to share this information with you:

    I have a four-year-old son Max. My fifteen-month-old daughter Lucy died of dilated cardiomyopathy last Mother's Day. Pediatric CM is rare, but deadly, and there is a desperate need for increased research and awareness. Here is a link to a blog post I wrote that explains it better:

    I have formed a team for the Austin (TX) Heart Walk. Team Lucy is doing so well, but every dollar we make will help American Heart and the world sit up and take notice and help the kids still suffering from this disease. It is a terrible disease and you feel so helpless and isolated as a parent watching your child suffer from this disease no one knows about. 

    Here is the link to our page:

    Here is a video tribute we made to Lucy:

    I am determined to take out the disease that took my daughter. 

    GO TEAM LUCY. I hope this helps. 

    To Katie, who emailed me about her cousin, I will get back to you! But for now: yes! I'd love to! 

    To the Internet: I wish you were ALL going to Charleston. 



    September 29, 2013

    A Not Stressy Post About The Blathering!

    Everything was going okay until I remembered I have to bring snack for kindergarten tomorrow. Last year the teacher would put out a general plea for preservatives and the parents would haul in a box of graham crackers or an industrial-size bag of Goldfish. THIS year the teachers have gone all healthy on us and are requesting fresh fruit and vegetables on scheduled days. IRRITATED PRO-SUGAR EYEROLL. 

    We have apples at home, but I'd have to cut them all up in the morning to minimize the browning and I can barely accomplish what's necessary in the morning let alone extra snack tasks. Also, they are honeycrisps and they are MINE. So I just drove to the store to get something that is NOT apples and I saw cantaloupes and "Hey!" I think to myself, "that's a kid-friendly yet not-always-in-the-lunchbox fruit!" And I bought three. Even though they were expensive. And out of season. 

    And when I cut one up just now it was half green and tasteless and I will be cutting up all my apples tomorrow morning DAMMIT. 

    Otherwise I've been feeling pretty good about, you know, deserting my family on Wednesday when I leave for the Blathering. I still think of it that way. Maybe it would be different if I were a working mom, but being a SAHM who always feels like she's getting away with something, it feels EXTRA indulgent to jet off on a long weekend alone. THAT SAID, I am ready. Childcare is in place, my brother-in-law has been badgered into driving me to the airport, and I even know what I'm packing. Mostly. As I type there is a Twitter conversation going about humidity and temperatures and water breezes and it's getting confusing. Maybe I need a bigger bag. 

    I have asked myself if I'm nervous about the Blathering this year and the answer is No. I wasn't particularly nervous last year either, though. I chalk this up to several things. First: the wine is plentiful. Second: everyone is seriously always so NICE. CHARMING, even. Third: I no longer seem to have mini nervous breakdowns over whether people will like me or want to spend time with me. The first thing, the liking me thing, well, the truth is that I AM A NICE PERSON and WHAT IS THERE NOT TO LIKE? RIGHT? As for the second thing, I have some designated people to whom I shall velcro myself in insecurity emergencies, whether or not they consent. 

    I used to write Things That Are Stressy About Going To A Big Internet People Gathering posts, but eh. It's not stressy! I mean, I suppose I could MAKE it stressy (I have extraordinary skill in that department), but I am working hard at NOT being that way? So! Here are some Not Stressy Things About Me, In Particular, Going To A Big Internet People Gathering. 

    • I am an introvert, but I LIKE PEOPLE. I am VERY INTERESTED in people! You have stories! I want to hear them! Especially that thing you wrote about that one time - I want to know more about THAT. 
    • I am an introvert, but I am not SHY. Well, I used to be. But then I decided that being shy was lame and actually not really me and remember the part where I AM A NICE PERSON, WHY WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME? That helps. I'm not saying I'm not AWKWARD or WEIRD and I'm DEFINITELY not saying I'm good at conversation, but there is limited time to become best friends with everyone and I will not be wasting that time hugging the wall and staring at the floor. 
    • I AM easily embarrassed. I MIGHT spill a drink (or break a glass) and then I will want to die, but probably by this time I'll have had some of the plentiful wine and this will be No Big Deal. 
    • I already KNOW that I will not be the cutest lady there. This helps IMMEASURABLY with my stress level. 
    • I am completely and totally Unstressed about who will be taking care of my kids. Phillip will take them to school in the mornings and then their devoted Nai Nai and Ye Ye will come up, spend the day with their Precious Emma, pick up the big kids at school, and make dinner for everyone. Each day I'm gone. It will be NICER for my family with me gone. Someone is going to COOK for them! At dinnertime! More than one day in a row!
    • All of my real life people know I am going to hang out with my Computer People. I didn't have to lie to my parents or avoid the truth with my in-laws or make embarrassing confessions to my real life friends. I am totally OUT re: The Internet and even my hairstylist knows you guys. (And she thinks you're cool.)
    • Ordinarily, when visiting a New City, I would be all, "Now what are the historical locations of interest! What do I need to read! How many guide books will I need!" But when I go to the Blathering it always seems that at least one person knows where to go and I will always choose Conversations over Sights. (This is why I have to go BACK to Chicago and New Orleans.)

    Does that make anyone feel better and/or want to be my friend? Maybe? Remember: NICE PERSON! 

    I still have a couple days before I leave. I don't know why I'm writing this now. Especially when I could be writing about my son's new haircut (a cross between Punk and Hitler Youth) and how my husband is extra cheery today (the Seahawks made a comeback AND the Breaking Bad finale is tonight!) and the best parts of my conversation with FIL about starting a business (I should have recorded it, it was that good) but BLAH BLAH BLAH I am thinking about my TRIP. YAY!


    May 02, 2013

    Time again for the overly earnest love letter to the Internet

    Earlier this year I volunteered to be on the prayer team for a regional for-college-students retreat. Whenever we'd meet we'd spend a little bit of time sharing how we're doing, what we're feeling, what' we're SENSING - prayer team people can truly be touchy feely weirdos. Anyway, this one woman, who up to this point I had put on a pedestal*, busted out with something like, "I don't know guys, I just feel like our ONLINE CULTURE is something we should concentrate on, just how people aren't having REAL relationships, it's all FACEBOOK and whatever that Twitter thing is, and we're not leaving our homes and engaging with REAL PEOPLE -" I may have tuned her out at that point, lest my blood boil over and I Explode With Rage in the quiet peaceful prayer room. 

    Well, not really. I'm more of a Seethe With Rage type who then blogs about it later. And I took her point. We all know icky stories, right? But that whole viewpoint hasn't rung true for me at ALL, in fact it's been quite the OPPOSITE, and it was my love for my online community that caused me to break character and blurt out, "BUT IT'S BEEN SO LIFEGIVING FOR MEEEEEE." 

    Seriously, I think most of us here would say that the internet has UN-isolated us, right? Every single time a real life mom friend tells me she's struggling I say, "HAVE YOU TRIED TWITTER?" (Not helpful.) (Except it WOULD BE.) (Anyway.) 

    These last few days I've been helping figure out some Blathering stuff and once again I'm totally overjoyed by the flurry of sign ups. Caused, of course, by the fact that we decided to reduce the number of attendees and maybe that lit a few fires under a few undecided butts. GOOD. 

    Something else that was out of character - I loved the 60 person head count last year. Put a little wine in me and I become an extrovert, what can I say. And these were 60 people I REALLY wanted to meet! But it always helps to be one of the people throwing the party (why do you think I'm so devoted to my Christmas party and terrified of going to YOUR parties?) and also it was my third time. I was not afraid! I had great faith in awesomeness of the ladies of the internet!

    We cut it back to 40 mainly because the logistics were creating nightmares, but I'm pretty sure I'll love 40 even more than I loved 60. It totally absolutely sucks to not have everyone there who wants to be, but I'm hopeful I'll have more time with the people who ARE there. And just a note, for those of you who can't make it: I have a big house and several barely used air mattresses. That was a Hint. 

    I kind of want to drag Formerly On A Pedestal Prayer Lady to the Blathering (by her hair) and be all, "APPRECIATE THE AWESOME." Because of this group of ladies I have people who can answer questions when my kids are sick, who know how anxiety feels, who love the same books, who love to write, who send me presents when I'm bummed, who text me when they have a funny story, who chat with me during naptime, who un-isolate me. And they are always game for another glass of wine.

    Anyway, I felt like I was due for a Rah Rah Internet post. There you go. I should probably go do what I SAID I was going to do tonight, which is update the attendee list. FINE THEN. 


    *On a pedestal because, well, she's basically the sort of Pacific Northwest hippie mama I sometimes want to be, with the most beautiful voice, fantastic hair, a great sense of humor, kick ass mother of FIVE, wise, compassionate (except about the internet) AND SHE HAS A NOSE RING. 

    January 24, 2013

    I figure we're due for a little blog angst, yes?

    Okay guys, so here's the problem with the blog. Or, the many problems with the blog. (This one. In case you were wondering.)

    I don't know what it's about anymore. 

    Well. ME, obviously. MEEEEEEEEEEE. My favorite subject. 

    And not that I ever felt like it had to be ABOUT something before. Like Emily said her blog post a few weeks ago, which has obvs inspired this post, I started this thing because I was BORED. And back then I didn't have 9.5 years (OMG) of archives, so everything was fresh and silly and all of it was interesting (to me). 

    Now the blog is more a means of procrastination than time-filler. Now I do more "considering" before I write about my kids, especially Jack. And you know how smitten I am with Emma, but let's face it, babies have not slept and not walked before and I repeat myself - have you noticed? I stopped writing for (I quit and they said, "well, we were going to get rid of you anyway") because I didn't have anything new to say. That's sort of how I'm feeling here. 

    But this is not a post about Not Blogging Anymore. I'm not sure I could stop! I have always kept a journal and you know what? Journals are way more fun when people comment on them and then you get to meet those people in real life. SUPER COOL.

    In the last year or so, though, I've been starting to feel like: what is to keep people reading this? And not in the "I have to have lots of readers!" way, but in the "why would my FRIENDS want to read this?!" way. I have made some beloved internet friends and if this is the prime way I communicate with them and share my world, OH GOD. I AM SO SORRY FOR THEM. I can't STOP writing, because I love it and because I want to be part of the community, but WHAT IS THERE TO SAY? 

    Things I have considered: 

    • blogging less often, like once a week. So that it COUNTS and it's GOOD and it MATTERS. 
    • becoming a Churchy Blog
    • becoming a Blog That Documents The Creation Of Our Bakery/Playroom
    • become one of those people who only Twitters
    • magically getting funnier/wiser/more original

    Unfortunately I am a very average boring person who wants to write about ALL the average boring things whenever I feel like it. So. Those things are not going to work. 

    I guess this is more about my fear of maintaining my online friendships. Because guess what: I DON'T have as much time to dork around online as I used to and it appears I gave up reading blogs instead of writing one. Most people tend to do it the other way around, I suppose because they are much nicer than I am. But I can't tell you how many days I go between opening up Google reader, or how many times a friend (A GOOD INTERNET FRIEND!) has to inform me that she wrote something about that exact thing I'm talking about two weeks ago FOR SHAME. 

    Since the new year I've been trying harder. I weeded out my reader and at least once a week I make a concentrated effort to not only read my friends' blogs but COMMENT ON THEM. I've become lazy and dependent on Twitter and Instagram, even Facebook sometimes! I feel like I know what's going on with you! But then I open up your blog and oops. I don't. 

    I used to sit at the computer and type URLs into the address bar from memory and read your stories for hours. I can't do that anymore. But I want to do better than I'm doing now. I used to think blogging would be a phase or something, and then I'd find something better to do, but no. I don't think I'll do this FOREVER but to stop means... well, it'd be like moving away. I HATE MOVING AWAY. Would we stay in touch? WOULD WE REALLY?

    And THEN, Internet, I feel stupid for having BLOGGING ANGST. HOW RIDICULOUS. 

    Okay, so this is what is going on right now. Ready? Today I:

    • found out how to get Molly into kindergarten next year even though she was born (one day) past the cut off date (YES THIS IS HAPPENING)
    • ate snap peas and Ranch dip for a snack instead of chocolate chips
    • made plans with the FPC to leave our kids with our husbands Sunday afternoon and price out bakery ingredients and equipment at two different stores (THIS ALSO APPEARS TO BE HAPPENING)
    • could not figure out which part of Mexico is the best part of Mexico to go to if your husband reeeeeeeeeally wants to sit on a beach and do absolutely nothing to celebrate his 10th anniversary (I'm thinking Puerto Vallarta because the flights are cheaper?)
    • decided I could wait another week or two for a haircut


    I love you. Have a good weekend.

    November 13, 2012

    All of my new (and old) best friends

    Sometimes I'm all, "Hmm, self, how in the world did you get involved in this Blathering thing?" 

    I am not a party planner extraordinaire, with exquisite taste and grand vision, like EBJ.

    People don't naturally gravitate towards me, finding themselves welcome and comfortable in my circle of hurts-your-stomach laughter, like Emily. 

    I don't communicate like Jennie, who leads with kindness and gentleness and clarity. 

    I don't think about the options, the details, the ways to improve, the ways to grow, the heaps of potential, like A'Dell. 

    I have absolutely no useful business skills (or amazing accessories), like Kristie. 

    No one has ever considered me instantly approachable and warm, like Manda, whose smile and tension-easing cheer fills a room. 

    But because those guys do what they do, I got to waltz into a gorgeous party last Friday night and discuss enneagram types and murder mysteries and yes I HAD seen the sign for the WWII museum in town. I went from recognizing barely any faces at brunch Friday morning (thanks Sarah, for matching the names to bloggers!) to feeling that let down sadness at the airport on Sunday because I could count at least five or six people I hadn't even said HELLO to. 

    I knew that going in. I knew I wouldn't be able to meet and chat with everyone. I knew it would be a bummer - for ME not for YOU, obvs - but man, I didn't realize how MUCH of a bummer. For most of today I've been wondering whether the fact that I don't currently have any expensive habits means I can start one, namely jetting about the country for long weekends all year. 

    (Phillip is away this week and unaware that I am busy distributing all his frequent flyer miles between Sacramento and Chicago and Austin and A Tiny Town and DC and OMG EVERYWHERE ELSE.)

    Thanks for the Sazerac and the French75, the brownies for breakfast, the exciting news you shared, for laughing at my gnarly rug burn tale. Thanks for excitedly telling me your enneagram type, for the rides, for the stories that made me cry, for hugging me back when you're not a hugger (I knew and I hugged you anyway). I won't forget your FedExed dress or your amazing and generous sister or that thing your in-laws did. I loved sitting at that table with you. I already miss cheese fries, a stripe of glitter on my nose, all the conversations in beautiful courtyards. Oh, and thanks for not cuddling.

    I'll see you all in Charleston next year, yes?

    October 15, 2012

    In which I get Inappropriately Overemotional about the INTERNET OF ALL THINGS

    Because October suddenly got real with the rain and the darkness and the cooped-up-inside-ness, herewith is a list of Things I Am Looking Forward To: Blathering Edition. 

    1. TIME TO BE ME. I'm a mom, I love being a mom, I don't do anything else except be a mom, I would choose exactly what I do over and over again, it's definitely the place and thing for me. However! It will be so nice, so invigorating, so reenergizing to spend a few days being me without the momness. Conversations uninterrupted by demands for snacks. Dinners out minus the package of wipes and kid menu crayons. An extra glass of wine because I won't have to make a bottle in the middle of the night. Getting invested in someone's story, and that someone is not in preschool and uses big words. And for longer than just a night out at a bar or an afternoon in a coffee shop - this will be several DAYS' worth of being all of me minus the sandwich making and the butt wiping and OH GOSH it sounds magical. 

    2. SIGHTSEEING. I know zilch about New Orleans. I know the words 'Cajun' and 'Creole', I'm vaguely aware of Bourbon Street, I know what Mardi Gras is, and I like jazz. I have heard of this small piece of heaven on earth called a beignet and I intend to consume as many as possible. But I haven't spent any time at all researching New Orleans or figuring out what I want to see and do. Mainly because I'm jealously guarding my Internet Friends Time and I will pretty much do whatever my internet friends want to do because I am all about them, right? It's a little unlike me, this total lack of research and spreadsheets, but I also know that I WILL get to see and do a lot, even if I don't have it all planned out ahead of time. I'm from the Pacific Northwest by way of overseas military bases, and there's so much about my own country - ESPECIALLY THE SOUTH - that's not even on my radar. Speaking of, is New Orleans considered The South? See, I don't even know that. I'm one of those accent-less, lives-in-a-bubble, West Coasters who really has no idea about anything. This is exciting. 

    3. THE FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY. It might be my favorite part of the Blathering, when everyone's in the same room for the first time and it's all DUDE, THESE ARE REAL PEOPLE. I think it's much easier for me to be excited about this part than other attendees, mainly because I'm one of the people organizing the whole thing and therefore I'm not that nervous about meeting people. It's kind of like how I infinitely prefer hosting my own giant parties to attending someone else's: if I get overwhelmed, if I get nervous, if I start saying the wrong things, if it seems like no one wants to come stand with my in my little corner, if it looks like everyone wants to talk to Emily Cassee instead (which they will, she's much cuter and infinitely funnier than I am) it's not a big deal! I can always head into the kitchen and find a job to do. I can always go around pouring wine. I can force myself to go meet someone on my own, not because I'm brave and confident, but because I'm hosting and that's my JOB. But honestly... maybe it's the wine, I don't know, but I'm sort of dying to throw myself at my favorite internetters, to go all fangirly, and give all the hugs to all the people. Fair warning: I can be inappropriately overemotional, but it's only because I LOVE YOU!

    4. NEW FRIENDS. I'm introverted, I'm quiet, I'm terrible at chatting, I get embarrassed easily, I can't figure out how to participate in group conversations, I am (see above) inappropriately overemotional, BUT! I am always on the lookout for new best friends. Really. I almost always assume I will get along great with everyone and I have spent considerable amounts of time trying to figure out how to have deeper relationships with people who maybe shouldn't even BE my friends: the girl who cuts my hair, my OB, Jack's kindergarten teacher. Maybe I don't NEED to be best friends with everyone, but if I WAS it would be AWESOME. 

    5. SEEING OLD FRIENDS. You know who you are. I am so excited to see you. You seriously have no idea. I might spend the entire weekend crying because I'm so happy to see you. I mean, I'll try not to, because I understand how that would get annoying, but I will WANT to be happy-crying the whole time.

    6. DRESSING UP. I know everyone gets anxious about what to wear what to wear what to wear and honestly, I don't know what to wear EITHER. But I know what I LIKE to wear and those things are usually sparkly and/or shiny and/or have very high heels. (OR ALL THREE. OOOOH!) And because it's the Blathering and I'm gonna have fun, you bet I'm wearing my sequinned dress to dinner Saturday night. SEQUINS ALL OVER. If you're the sparkly type yourself I encourage you to bring your own glitter because honestly, if you can't wear it with Internet ladies in New Orleans, where CAN you wear that dress?

    7. GOOD STORIES. At the first Blathering I roomed with Liz, Emily, and Manda and I can't repeat half of what we talked about. (See above: embarrassed easily.) I can't repeat the other half either- I missed it because I was laughing so hard. 

    8. HAVING FOUND MY PEOPLE. So the tagline on the Blathering website is 'Find Your People'... I think those of us who started this thing felt like maybe we sort of knew who our people were? And the first Blathering just cemented it and that was amazing. It's like... ok, here's a tiny example. My real life friends know I like to write, but they don't read my writing. That's not how we're friends. But that's how WE are friends, right? Because you read my writing and I read yours and it's this other part of me that doesn't come out so much in my "real" life, but is such a real and huge part of me. And the things I write ABOUT - you know those things too! You know me! Oh God this is starting to sound WAY dorky, now NO ONE will want to talk to me in NOLA... WHATEVER! Seriously, I relate to people who express themselves in writing. And people who write tend to get ME. And going to a gathering where pretty much everyone is a writer, where everyone understands how Twitter is a lifesource, where everyone's already put their story out there just like you have - it's different than "real" life! Here is where I get inappropriately overemotional, also embarrassingly introspective and sentimental and loopy. But I just think it's a really spectacular opportunity. I thought I found my people the first year, but I found my people the second year too. I missed out in Austin, but I bet I'll find more of you in New Orleans.

    Although, honestly? Even the plane ride is starting to sound like a day at the beach right now. No kids? A bag of books? Snacks galore? Hours to myself? SIGN ME UP.