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    October 20, 2014

    Why don't you all come over and we'll eat our way through the bakery leftovers

    I thought the anxiety was getting better, and I think it WAS, for a while, but not so much anymore, and I don't really know what to do about it. I mean, eventually I will call my doctor and she will probably put me on something else because I'm at the max dose of this one, but I sort of dread making that call and it will take a few days for me to actually do it. That call means the thing I was most nervous about is the thing that happened - that the meds wouldn't work, that I would still be anxious months out, that I have to start over on something else, that maybe NOTHING works - and I haven't wrapped my brain around it yet. 

    In the meantime I am making lunches and going shopping and shipping cookies and writing emails and having friends for dinner. I can do my life. It's just in the quiet alone moments my body is on big time high alert and the rest of me is totally stymied as to why. As long as I don't think about it too much, it's only a massive drag. If I think about it too much, it becomes something a lot worse. 

    I feel like... well, if I'm going to feel like I'm about to go on stage at any moment or give a very important speech, I would like to, you know, ACTUALLY GO ON STAGE. Because 1. there would be a reason and 2. I've always wanted to be a Broadway star. 

    That said, anxiety has rarely stopped me from doing the stuff I want to do. There was that one time where I didn't quit a job I knew I should quit, because I needed that safe, predictable, known place to be every day. But that was a million years ago and now I just DO stuff because no way is anxiety going to shut me down. I mean, it might, maybe, but this is why I carry a bottle of Klonopin everywhere I go, right? HA. 

    So I am looking at invitations for the Christmas party we throw every year, even though 1. I will probably still be anxious come Christmas party time and 2. isn't the holiday season a manic time for bakery owners? I've heard this is the case! Perhaps I should not block out an entire week in December for decorating my house! But I think I would be tremendously SAD if we canceled the party this year, even if we just turned it into a, I don't know, an Ides of March party or whatever. This probably means that I will for SURE bust the party budget because dudes, we ARE going to be bakery busy and in order to pull off a party I must HIRE OUT. (Not that I have a REAL problem with this. It just looks bad on the Excel spreadsheet.) 

    And also I continue to book social occasions for myself, along with Asking Random People To Do Them With Me. The great testimony of my life, as I see it, is that once I was a desperately lonely and unhappy 15-year-old, crying in her closet from the shame of eating lunch by herself every day, praying for just one single friend, and now I am abundantly miraculously blessed with the most amazing friends I could ever hope to have. Ever. I swear it. Plural! MANY. And where it seems many women my age are despairing about making new friends with other adult women, I am supernaturally driven to seek out Potential Friends and pester them until they break down and hang out with me (out of exhaustion? perhaps.) I say "supernaturally" because OH MY am I NOT AT ALL "naturally" outgoing or extroverted or brave or confident in knowing other people want to get to know ME. I think better of myself than I used to - I suspect this is a product of getting older and I enthusiastically welcome it - but I am still wracked with insecurity when I meet someone new. ...it's just that I then invite them to a party. HEY. PARTIES ARE FUN.

    I say that I fake extroversion well? But really I just honestly do like KNOWING people and I very much enjoy GATHERING them, especially if wine and snacks are involved, and when it seems like someone should enjoy something I enjoy, I compulsively invite them along. Sometimes this doesn't have the desired results. See: my OB and my hairstylist are not my best friends. I've had to get over that, alas. And sometimes it does. See: I agonized over how to invite my kid's teacher to a thing and then I just finally DID it and she immediately and excitedly said yes and omg we are totally going to be besties. 

    ANYWAY. Sometimes the anxiety makes me MORE like that. Because the more time I spend with Other People, the less time I have to sit alone in my house and wonder why I am anxious, which then makes me more anxious. 

    Blargh. I just don't know what the next steps are. Try another med? What if that one doesn't work? I know it's bad news to start thinking too far out, but it's HAAAAAARD to keep yourself in check all the time. I am asking for help when I think I need help, I am seeing the appropriate professionals, I make sure I don't spend EVERY day at home with only children for company, I keep myself busy with household stuff and bakery stuff. But I don't feel like I'm getting better. I've always, eventually, felt better. But then I've always, eventually, felt anxious again. And at this point it just sounds EXHAUSTING. And I'm already exhausted. I'm being challenged to look at this as a chronic thing, accept it even, and I'm trying and finding that to be a better perspective than my usual Fight Fight Fight stance. That IS helpful. But I think right now I feel sad about it too. Maybe the other part of that testimony is that God knew what a rough time my brain chemistry was going to be and gave me the people I needed when I really needed them. And they include you guys, too. xo

     

     

    October 15, 2014

    Dinner/Bakery/Books/Decrepit Mental Health Update

    Dinner Update

    Dinner 1: chicken schnitzel type thingies, quinoa/brown rice from Costco (and a nice microwaveable bag), spinach sauteed with bacon and mushrooms. Everyone ate the chicken, no one ate the quinoa/rice except for me, grown ups ate the spinach while the children choked down one bit after considerable wailing and rending of garments. 

    Dinner 2: I made a soup with shredded chicken and wild rice. I put heavy cream in it to increase the chances of people under the age of 30 giving it a chance. Nobody wanted to eat it, but I stopped caring since Family Dinner was preempted by my BIL surprise in town for business and stealing Phillip for dinner out. Pretty sure kids ate saltines for dinner. I ate the soup for lunch today, though, and *I* liked it, so there. 

    Dinner 3 (tonight): cheese and spinach tortellini with a creamy tomato sauce (basically diced tomatoes, onion, herbs, and cream cooked down and immersion blended into Tasty Sauce of Indeterminate Origin) and sauteed grean beans. Big kids had fourteen servings of pasta, little kid kept shouting, "MORE BEANS! MORE BEANS!" We ate together, we took turns sharing the Good Thing about our day and the Bad Thing, and I felt like I won a peace prize. 

    I've spent some time looking at my old recipe book, adding recipes from Pinterest, and planning out meals for the rest of the week. (I know. It's Wednesday. We are starting small.) I am feeling good, but I tend to feel good at the beginning stages of Attempting Success At Something, and we shall have to see how long I am motivated to, you know, keep planning ahead. 

    Also, I've read a few responses to Virginia Heffernan's article which 1) take things ENTIRLEY too seriously and 2) do NOT get the "not big on cooking" point of view. But whatever. *I* have a sense of humor even if I am seriously lacking in the ability to roast a chicken department. 

    I KNOW ROASTING A CHICKEN IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE EASIEST THING EVER. BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO TOUCH A WHOLE RAW CHICKEN. NOPE!

    Bakery Update

    We have a thing or two going on, including a whole big discussion about an Actual Wedding in June, complete with cake and favors ETCETERA. Most of our orders lately have been from (gasp) strangers! And I would like to say that we are getting these orders without me having done a single stupid marketing thing. That said, we would like MORE orders which means I should probably DO some marketing things. So while Katie was doing the wedding discussing and pricing out, I was doing some, shall we say, Market Research. And looking for opportunities to get our stuff out there and after about 20 minutes I just got SUPER intimdated. I was super intimidated by the wedding industry when I was GETTING married, and now it is just as intimidating (if not more so) now that I'm thinking of possibly joining it. I keep telling myself that the four or five dessert vendors that pop up on all the sites are not the only people in the world doing cakes or desserts and there IS a place for us. I keep telling myself that not everyone WANTS a to-scale model of the Eiffel Tower for a party cake and there is a place for our very simple, very clean, very delicious cakes. I also keep telling myself that everyone loves a teeny tiny sister act when it comes to small business and we're nice and fun and cute and willing to do whatever and WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN. But sheesh, there's stuff out there that really makes you feel like we'll never belong and shouldn't bother trying. 

    The idea of opening a shop, at this point, and with everything we've learned so far, is pretty pie in the sky. It would take a lot of money, we'd go into a lot of debt, and even if we were willing to do that, we have NO EXTRA TIME. Our husbands have jobs that make actual money so those come first, and we take care of kids and do everything on the side. From what I know now, there's just NO WAY we could open a shop on our own. That sounds kind of defeatist or down on women or whatever, but it's just truth. But I think... not necessarily the shop itself, but what we would SELL in a shop is what we'd still like to do. We still both really love the idea of having a case of little cookies that people could pick and choose, we'd arrange them on a platter, wrap it in our logo-printed wrapping paper, and they'd take it to the family gathering. Do people do this in the states? I don't know. And God knows if that's an idea that would ever make any money! That's why I feel like we need to explore this wedding and catering stuff. Maybe I need to just make a date with the chamber of commerce folks and let them give me the terrible news so we know once and for all. 

    Dudes, who ever thought I'd be all entrepreneuring on my BLOG. 

    Book Update

    Finished The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. Loved it. World War 1, love stories, art, mystery, England, intrigue, did I mention WAR? 

    Now I'm reading Zoo Station by somebody Downing... David? Anyway. Just before WWII begins in Berlin. English/American reporter with a German ex-wife and a son. Contacted by the NKVD, the Germans, AND the Brits about spying. It feels a little slow, but I expect greatness. And it's a SERIES. I LOVE SERIES.

    Anxiety Update

    I am nearing the end of my three-month "your meds should start to work within this timeframe" trial period and I'm feeling a little nervous because I don't feel ALL better. I feel MUCH better, but I feel enough bad for it to be noticeable and something I probably have to talk about with the brain doctor, even though I don't have another appointment scheduled until January. (Because, me, at the last appointment: I'm doing so well! I'm sure I'm on the upswing! I don't need to come back any time soon! HA HA HAAAAsob) That said I've been trying VERY HARD to change my general outlook on Having Anxiety. Like... instead of viewing it as Me Vs. Anxiety, I'm trying to think of it more as Regular Me Attempting To Better Tolerate And/Or Have More Compassion For The Anxious Me, which I'm hoping will create less of the anxiety about anxiety. Which sounds crazy, I know, but sometimes I think the having anxiety about having anxiety is the absolute worst part. 

    THE END. (FOR TODAY.)

     

     

     

    October 13, 2014

    Family Dinner NEVERENDING FAIL!

    There was a time when I made weekly menus, shopped for only things for that menu, and then more or less adhered to that plan for the week. We ate half decent meals and kept to our budget. I mean, I'm no fantastic cook or anything and these were not at all impressive dinners, but it is good to remind myself that at ONE point in time, I WAS capable of making dinner! 

    HOWEVER!

    I feel like... I feel like my "capable of making family dinner days" were either when the kids were babies or when they were just weren't in school yet. Or something. I don't know. And honestly I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with anything? Although maybe when they were babies I only had to think about Actual Dinner for Phillip and me, because honestly, it's the What Will Everyone Eat that has driven me into a deep and depressing dinner HOLE. 

    I flat out loved the NYT article by Virginia Heffernan: What If You Just Hate Making Dinner?  It was hilarious and tongue in cheek and the comment section took her entirely too seriously, but the truth remains: some of us just don't like to cook! I AM NOT ALONE!

    And it's not that I HAAAATE cooking or that I'm particularly terrible at it - there are times when I quite enjoy it and there are meals I think I pull off pretty well. But the neverending undying FIGURING OUT OF WHAT EVERYONE IS GOING TO EAT is a massive weight I drag around every day. And I suck at it. I think of myself as someone who doesn't wallow, who makes a plan and follows through and gets it done, but DUDES. Every day. 4:00 PM. I open the fridge. I peek in the freezer. I open the pantry door with a heavy sigh. I wonder what in the WORLD I am going to make for dinner tonight. 

    My other issue is this: The kids usually want to eat between 5 and 5:30. Phillip doesn't get home until 6. There are some days the kids are hounding me for dinner at 4:30 and I throw a frozen pizza in the oven because come on, and then Phillip and I forage for sustenance after they've gone to bed. There are days I've thought ahead and planned a family meal and Phillip texts me at 5:55 to say he hasn't left the office yet. SOME DAYS I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WIN. 

    But I've been feeling like... I mean, I WANT to have family dinner. I would say it IS very important to me. I just feel so DEFEATED by it. I mean, no one else in my family is really cooperating, right? My kids pretty much never want to eat anything grown ups want to eat, so I know a Half-Nutritious Dinner With Vegetables is going to be a Spend Half An Hour Insisting They Try One Bite Of Squash Dinner. Not particularly motivating! And Phillip isn't super reliable about getting home on time. It is so eeeeeeasy to set the kids up with chicken nuggets or macaroni or pizza or something else reliably eaten, along with a for-looks-only side of broccoli, and pass out on the couch until Phillip gets home and we eat leftovers. (Or rather, he eats leftovers and I eat cereal. Which is another one of my problems: I DON'T CARE ABOUT DINNER. Seriously, give me a bowl of cereal or a pile of sliced apples and a spoonful of peanut butter or a hunk of bread, some cheese, and a glass of wine - DINNER!) 

    I was whining about this to a good friend, who happens to be a terrific cook and for whom food is joy, and she gave me some tips for making quick easy weeknight dinners. And all of these tips were TERRIBLE for the sort of person who is 1) not a terrific cook and 2) food is a slog, seriously, except for the one where on Wednesdays you can get an entire cooked family meal at Whole Foods for fifteen dollars. Sold. 

    I think I need to make a list of dinners that all of us are willing to eat, or at least choke down with minimal fuss, and tape them to the pantry door or something so I am not starting from scratch every night. I think I need to stop worrying about trying to eat fewer carbs or less red meat or whatever and just aim for Balanced Boring Family Dinner. Whoever is attempting to "eat healthy" will just have to be responsible for doctoring their own dinners, right? (This is usually me anyway.) 

    THEN I think I need to make sure I always have the components of those boring family dinners on hand. Pasta. Canned tomatoes. Ground beef. Chicken. Broccoli. Rice. And cheat where I can. My in-laws bought us a bunch of garlicky quinoa and brown rice that comes in packets at Costco? That stuff is YUMMY. And cooks in the package in the microwave in 2 minutes. 

    THEN I will try to feed my kids a giant snack after school and not go crazy waiting until six to feed them dinner so we CAN all eat together. Because I really do want this. This part is just me wanting to shear an hour off the dreaded afternoon/evening shift by sticking them at the dinner table and escaping to watch the local news until Phillip gets home. I'm not sure how crazy it will make the evening/bedtime, but we need to try. It's not like we can just keep waiting until they get older - I hear that when they get older they start having things like after school activities (shudder) and are never home for dinner anyway.

    AND if all else fails, make sure I have a stack of cheese pizzas in the freezer. 

    (NOTE: the "cook all day on Sunday and pack your freezer full of casseroles for the week" is not a gamechanger for me. I hate doing that much cooking all at once and my kids will eat, at most, two varieties of freezer casserole type meals. I'd much rather spend half an hour every night throwing something together. And! I do have a crock pot and I do try to use it, but I have yet to find a truly awesome slow cooker recipe that everyone enjoys. I feel the "meal that everyone enjoys" only exists at restaurants anyway, where we all get to pick what we want.)

    Anyway. Today I considered dinner at 10am rather than 4pm. I took some chicken out of the freezer to defrost. I fed the kids a giant snack. As soon as I finish this blog post I will get started on pounding the chicken flat for panko breaded pan fried chicken, which I will serve with a packet of the above mentioned quinoa and rice, and some sauteed spinach with bacon, which requires no skill or time yet is 1) green and 2) delicious. We will all sit down as soon as Phillip gets home and I will insist on one bite of spinach, but otherwise not engage in a food battle. We shall see how it goes. PRAY FOR ME. 

     

    October 07, 2014

    The only thing that really matters in this post is that I placed my first Boden order YAY

    I bought a Rainy Day Mac, you ENABLERS!!! I have never ordered anything from Boden, but it helps that 1) I've always wanted to order something from Boden and 2) they were having a sale. I mean, it's still a pricey rain coat, but I LIVE IN SEATTLE. Right? Right. Sad part is that I bought the plain black one because: cheapest. But still. Black goes with everything! AND I ordered two clearance dresses. I told myself that this is my Does Boden Work For Me order, since that's what has always held me up before. 

    (You know, like J Crew? J Crew does not make clothes for people with my body shape. I mean sometimes? If I get really lucky? But otherwise, they're a big nope. I strongly suspect Boden requires a JCrewish body, but WE SHALL SEE!) 

    It's been a weird day. I took a very long nap. Even though I didn't really NEED to nap or WANT to nap, it just sort of HAPPENED. And then there was the whole "what huh smrph" jolted wake up when my alarm went off. (I have an alarm now. Remember when I slept through school pick up? I told you about that, right? GAH) And then Emma has been Constipated (and yes, with her it is a capital C) meaning that the phrase "I mixed her prune juice with Miralax" was uttered at dinnertime. The kids are on a big string game kick and ate dinner an hour later than usual because they were busy making videos of themselves demonstrating Cup and Saucer and Cat's Whiskers. Dorks. 

    I had a weird cake order today too, with an out of state customer wanting it delivered to someone who just happens to live in my neighborhood and the phone kept cutting out and I was toeing the line between Cheery Positive No Problem! and OMG GET THIS OVER WITH. Also I continue to feel like I pull information out of my ass. How much? What flavors? UHHHHH. I need to make myself some sort of cheat sheet and tape it directly to the wall above my desk. It's embarrassing. 

    Katie and I met up yesterday to talk about Halloween treats. We're pretty sure no one will order them, but we need some new fun pictures for the website. I don't think anyone's ordered cupcakes from us (are we coming off the cupcake trend?) but we're going to do a bunch of Halloweeny ones and they're going to be SO CUTE. We also thinked up the menu for a tasting we're doing for another catering company this month and staaaarted talking about Christmas. Right now we are just ASSUMING Christmas will be nutballs, but as soon as we start talking about how busy we'll be, we're both like, "Oh, but maybe no one will order anything from us and we'll feel REALLY STUPID." So. Super professional over here, making all the right businessy decisions, totally prepared, extra chipper. That's us!

    Oh, I wanted to tell you that we went to the Home Show over the weekend because (VERY EXCITING) we are probably going to remodel the kitchen in the next two years (okay, maybe that isn't that exciting, two years is kind of a long time, EXCEPT I CAN COUNT IT ON ONE HAND I DIDN'T THINK I'D EVER GET TO DO THAT) and Phillip was curious. The Home Show was not half as fun as I thought it would be, more boring convention than crazy people state fair, but we did pick up a whole bunch of flyers and business cards and got some good advice. Like no one would think we're crazy if we called them 6 to 9 months before we wanted to start our project. And also that we should probably start thinking NOW about what we want. I mean, beyond a Pinterest board. So. Right now all I've got are solid slab of something countertops and an undermount sink. Did you remodel? Is there a feature you cannot live without? Like one of those hidden mixer cupboards with the shelf that moves up to counterheight? SO COOL. 

    September 30, 2014

    Wishlist

    Phillip is making me dinner tonight. Phillip! is making dinner! It's 8pm and the kids are in bed which is how this can possibly happen, but YAY and ALSO! Let's look at what else is on my wishlist! 

    The Lorac Mega Pro Palette

    LMP

    Swoon. I forget when I bought the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette (earlier this year I guess). I was ashamed to spend that much money on MAKEUP, but YOU GUYS, I will never buy drug store eyeshadow again. For serious. And since eyeshadow is really the only kind of makeup I like to play with, and cool purples and golds are made for ME, I think I need this Lorac palette. @temerityjane, Queen of What To Buy At Sephora, highly recommends and yeah, I just think this should be mine. I am happy to work with one blush, two mascaras, a handful of drugstore lipglosses I almost never wear, a few different shades of foundation, and my trusty Maybelline dark circle concealer, but I NEEEEEEED nine dozen flavors of eyeshadow, yes? 

     

    Rain Boots

    Rainboots

    I've lived in Seattle how long? but only bought my first pair of rain boots last year. And guess what. They don't fit around my calves. I ordered them with points from Amazon and I was too embarrassed to send them back and maybe I would lose a few pounds and WHATEVER. I need rain boots that don't cut off my circulation when I stuff my legs into them and dash to school pick up. These LOOK like they'd be forgiving for the wider-calved ladies, but looks are deceiving and also they are seventy dollars NO. But cute! 

     

    New Countertops

    Countertops

    I know I should just be happy I have a house with a functional kitchen and it IS functional and it WORKS and except for the doll-sized oven all its issues are cosmentic but I HAAAAAAATE the tile countertops. Hate hate hate. I didn't hate them until I began to use the kitchen and who in the WORLD thought a countertop with a million little grooves in it was a good idea?! OR the oak trim at the edge and the oak trim "backsplash"? I'm not a germaphobe at all and I'm seriously grossed out thinking about how many years of crud have built up in the teeny gaps and grout lines. UGH. My kingdom for a solid slab of SOMETHING with an undermount sink. The above would do quite nicely. In fact that whole design and look would fit my house perfectly. Now to harvest my money garden! 

    A New Winter Coat

    Coat

    I love this coat. I stared it a good long time when Garnet Hill was doing 25% off women's fashion. I LURVE IT. But... not really sure how this would look on someone with boobs and no waist and ill-fitting rain boots. So I let it go - SIGH - but I actually really do need a winter coat. Last year when I was so angry and upset with myself for gaining weight, the only coats that fit me were the two puffer jackets my FIL of all people had brought home from two different trips to China. One was a knock off Prada! FAWNCY!And I wore the HECK out of those coats (the biggest size, because I am much bigger than Chinese ladies remember), so much so that I broke the zipper on the one I liked best and I can't wear it anymore. I NEED a new coat. And I am maybe five pounds under what I was last year, but! I am not (as) angry and upset and I FREAKING NEED A NEW COAT SO FIND ME ONE, INTERNET!

    All right, I could go on, but dinner (rice noodles! YUM!) awaits. What would YOU like to spend your imaginary money garden money on?!

    September 29, 2014

    In which I fix my daughter a gimlet

    Emma is going to be Anna for Halloween. DUH

    Jackson, after going around and around all the costumes at Target (because they were 40% off on that Cartwheel app for one day and DARN IT I WAS GOING TO DO SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME), decided on a bow and arrow. Actually he decided on a bow and arrow and a super ugly Skylanders costume, but his mean horrible mother said he couldn't have both. It's not like they WENT together or something. So he whined and pouted and eventually picked the bow and arrow. I am ashamed to tell you how long it was before I thought of Robin Hood. But whatever, Jack is going to be Robin Hood and my mother is going to make his costume THIS WORKED OUT GREAT FOR ME. 

    Molly was going to be Elsa. DUH. Nai Nai and Ye Ye bought the girls Anna and Elsa costumes sometime this summer (to go with the other Anna and Elsa dresses) but at the time the kids were sort of off Frozen and I stuffed the dresses in the back of the closet and no one remembered them. Until I decided that they would be Anna and Elsa for Halloween since that would work out great for me. And I bought Molly a blond wig at Target to make her feel like she was also getting something exciting and new out of this deal. 

    UNFORTUNATELY she caught sight of the ARIEL DRESS. 

    Now. What is the deal with Ariel? Why do my girls like ARIEL? I don't get it. It was also the skimpiest costume, which wasn't really a modesty problem so much as a "you're going to freeze your bottom off on October 31 in Seattle if we don't throw a giant coat over that costume, thereby negating the costume part of Halloween" problem. And I wouldn't buy it. I AM A MEAN AND HORRIBLE MOTHER. 

    Whine whine whine. She forgot about it. Or resigned herself to Elsa and the blond wig. Molly is pretty good at resigning herself to things. She and Emma often sleep in the same bed now that they share a room (Emma sleeps in the full bottom bunk, Molly gets the twin bunk on top) because Emma loooooooves Molly and wants to be near her every second of the day. Phillip went down to check on them last night and saw Emma rolling around, thumping her head around, basically being obnoxious and Phillip hissed, "Emma! Stop doing that! You're going to wake up Molly!" And Molly moans, from underneath her sister, "I'm not sleeping." We're always like, "Molly! You don't HAVE to do everything Emma wants you to do!" But she does anyway. Because she is resigned. Is this Middle Child Syndrome? 

    Anyway. Fast forward to the weekend and we're at Grandma's house talking about costumes. I say Molly is going to be Elsa with a blond wig. Molly says, "But I WANTED to be Ariel." And I say, "But ARIEL has a STUPID DRESS." And then there was a great This Is What It Might Be Like When She's Fifteen Standoff. But then I decide to be generous and start thinking of other things she could possibly be. A farmer. A baker. Queen Lucy from Narnia. A MOM. Ooooh, said Molly. I want to be a MOM. 

    This was... unexpected. But we went with it! I told her she could push one of the toy strollers with a baby doll inside. And if she was going to be a TRUE Seattle mom she needed to wear yoga pants and a cute ponytail and chat on her cell phone - I was going big on this whole local mom thing. But then, and I want to say out of nowhere but possibly this was my mother's suggestion, Molly says she wants to wear HEELS. And the thing is, one of my mom's friends always gives us her granddaughter's old clothes and the last bag of stuff contained LITTLE GIRL HIGH HEELED SHOES. Which: No. No no noooooo. I let Molly keep them, because she saw them before I could get rid of them, but they're with the dress up stuff. Not the actual stuff-we-wear stuff. And because I did not want to buy a stupid ARIEL dress, I said FINE. WEAR THE HEELS. 

    But then. Oh you guys. It all got very exciting. We started talking heels and then some kind of grown up lady dress and makeup and painted nails and before you know it I've decided my six-year-old daughter is going to be Betty Draper for Halloween. Pushing a stroller in one hand and smoking a cigarette with the other. I cannot decide if this is twisted or the best Halloween costume EVER. So! Anyone know where I can get a size 6X retro dress with apron and crinoline?! 

    I am going to be... well, I'm actually pretty bummed I didn't buy that godawful sky blue prom dress at Norstrom Rack that one time because *I* could be Elsa. 

    September 24, 2014

    Keep on keeping on

    Yesterday was rough. The day before that was rough. Today is rough. I THINK things are getting better? On the whole? But yesterday and today instead of getting on the stupid treadmill (and just WALKING FTLOG) I crawled into my bed and slept. I just wanted to escape. Naps don't make me FEEL better. I feel terrible, all groggy and out of sorts when I wake up. But I can disappear for that half hour or hour... 

    We are trying to figure out our trip to Italy and perhaps other parts European this May and June. Phillip is working things out with his job and I won't really know what our options are until November, but every time I scout plane fare, each ticket is as much as our mortgage payment. All my Alaska miles (and the $750 in vouchers I received from that disaster trip to Colorado) are not going to help me on an international flight booked through Alaska mileage plan partners. So I'm feeling stupid about trying to go that route in the first place and just defeated in general. We will make it work (I am nothing if not a We Will Make It Work kinda person), but [shakes fist at Expedia.com].

    I haven't seen my friends in forever. I miss Liz. I take kids to school. I go to Target. I have conversations with my sister about bakery work. I watch a lot of cable news. I fold laundry (sometimes). I clean up the kitchen (sometimes). I think about planning a date with Phillip or meeting friends for happy hour and then I worry that doing something out of the ordinary in the evening will mess with how I get ready to go to sleep, a very important part of Anxiety Management. And then I get mad about that. 

    I've been on this weird tear to BUY stuff. I keep going to my usual clothing store websites, piling things in carts, being shocked by the total, not entering my credit card info, moseying over to another site. I've bought a few oversized sweaters at TJ Maxx. I bought Emma a whole bunch of cute stuff at Old Navy yesterday. Navy sweater with white stripes and red heart-shaped elbow patches SWOON. But the hole I am attempting to fill is not filled. Maybe if I splurge on a gorgeous pair of boots? But boots never fit around my wide [AVERAGE SIZED, FTLOG] calves and whenever I wear them I look in the mirror and suspect tall boots aren't the best look on my stubby legs anyway. So maybe not. 

    The best part of my day is reading books to my kids before they go to bed. I KNOW. Phillip used to do all of that. I used to get away with not doing bedtime at ALL. Then we had Emma and I would usually put Emma to bed (easier/quicker) than putting big kids to bed. But this summer it started to be the time that I would sort of "make up for" being a distant crappy mom during the daytime [read: anxious] and for whatever reason it was calming and comforting to be with them. Just in general my kids have been a huge consolation to me during this latest episode. But I've read two Narnia books to them, that they really loved (me: ugh) and Jack and I tore through a Jack-appropriate book on the Revolutionary War the last two nights and I just feel like YEAH! I love reading, even though I haven't done much of it lately (everything I read stresses me out somehow and I don't need more of that) and my kids haven't been super excited about reading, but we finally found a book they WANTED to keep reading and it made me SO EXCITED. And Jack wanting to keep reading about Paul Revere and George Washington: YES. Weird, maybe, but these times at night and the looking for books they'd like has been a balm to my soul the last couple of months. 

    Usually I'm pretty upbeat, Internet, but tonight I just want to cry it out. God I'm tired. 

    September 22, 2014

    Three months later...

    Even though today is turning out to be not that awesome, in the last week and a half I've had more good days than bad, and yesterday was practically normal. We were driving somewhere yesterday and I realized that I had not been "managing" myself all morning and I was suddenly heartened and exhausted. I told Phillip that feeling better somehow made me tired, like now I had time or energy to realize how hard I've been working and now I have the time and energy to feel the fatigue. Early last week, when I was exhausted from bakery stuff and irritated with my kids, was when I realized I was feeling better - I had the time and energy to have awareness of a feeling that wasn't anxiety. 

    I'm at the full dose of my new medication now (it's been about a month) and I am EXTREMELY SUPER HOPEFUL that I continue to feel better and more normal. I am fighting the voice in my head that says having to try another SSRI - my third - is a failure of some sort, that the naturopathic route did not work, that I maybe "made" this happen. My new Professional Talking About Things person is helpful on that front, pointing out that all the "anxiety roads" are well worn in my brain, and going down them doesn't mean that I've failed or fell prey to something I know to stay away from, only that those roads are THERE and it makes SENSE that I would go down them and maybe I can just say to myself, "Self? You are going down a Road. Let's go back." 

    I think I've missed writing here, although the longer I stay away, the more I wonder what to say! Emma turns THREE tomorrow, which is horrifying (and amazing - we are, like, full on potty training and it's going well and we're entering this world where we don't have babies and baby schedules and baby stuff - also horrifying and amazing). Molly is having a rockstar kickoff to first grade. Jack is doing well, but also saying he's bored all the time and I'm conflicted about how much of it is Jack being a twerp and how much of it is me needing to have a chat with his teacher to find out more (ugh, that feels potentially icky.) Everyone is all settled in their new rooms and I am wandering around in the evenings constantly remembering that all the kids are on a different floor and I can holler at my husband on his fourth Daily Show in the living room. 

    The bakery continues to be nutballs. Last week was cookie box week and then suddenly 12 dozen macarons by Friday morning AND 250 cookies next day for BIL's catering company who didn't order enough from their usual supplier. So it was a PROFITABLE week, if not particularly conducive to mental health. I just got a call from a lady who wants a two tier jungle-theme cake for a baby shower and I had to pull a price out of the air because WE ARE NEW and I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU PRICE ANYTHING and I had to call Katie in a panic to ask if I'd just promised a cake for basically free. (I did not.) And it was only after all of that that I realized it was an order from a stranger and YOU GUYS we now get orders from STRANGERS. We continue to not do things the Right Way, by which I mean the Smart Savvy Business Owner Way, but we continue to CONTINUE. I know at some point that won't be good enough, but HEY, the other day I got a letter in the mail reminding me it's time to renew my business license. WHAT THE WHAT! It's been that long already?!

    Anyway, that is all what has been Up around here. I want to feel better and then I want to sleep for about a week, although I'm told there is no sleep during the autumn season when you own a bakery, SO. But I think I might get the 'feel better' part, so things are looking good. At some point we will need to discuss the Blond and where I am going with this whole look, but I'll have pity on you, Poor Reader, and save that for another post. 

    September 15, 2014

    In which the bakery requires clonazepam

    HELLO THERE!

    Things are getting better. Thank you for thinking good thoughts about me, because I've needed them. And I still need them, but things are getting better. I'm not going to say more about that because many years of internetting have taught me that declaring something online means the opposite will be true the next day. SO. 

    I actually tried to write something here the other day, but then I accidentally yanked out my power cord. And ever since I doused my laptop with a giant glass of water in July, the battery no longer works and if my computer isn't plugged in, it's dead. As soon as the power cord disconnected, my [boring] [pointless] blog post went kaput. I took this as A Sign. 

    But whatever, the kids are in bed and I have wine and Phillip is making a mental health run to Costco (do YOUR husbands need retail therapy like mine?). And also I've been sitting here clicking refresh refresh refresh because Thumbprints just received and confirmed and invoiced our first wedding order in the last two hours - a bride called and ordered 12 dozen macarons for Saturday. THIS SATURDAY. Poor Katie. We pushed back the cookie boxes a week (sorry) because we were busy this weekend, and now this week we're doing cookie boxes AND 12 dozen macarons. And I should say KATIE is doing those. I am... sending emails. Poor Katie. Did I already say that? 

    On one hand: SUPER BIG FAT FIST BUMP because DUDE! Our first wedding! It's not a HUGE order, by which I mean we are just delivering 12 dozen macarons, not boxing them up for favors or setting them out on a buffet table. But still. It's our third in a row of Orders From Total Strangers and that makes a new business owner feel pretty darn good. I don't know if I told you about the event we did with the catering company? I have a friend who's an event planner at a catering company and they do vendor open houses once a month. So we got in for September (along with a DJ and a photographer and an invitation-maker) and got some serious interest and great feedback. That was a bad week for me, so I was glad to stay home with Temperamental Niece while Katie did all the work. But a lot of times Katie isn't around to get the feedback so this was fun for her! (At least, this is what I told myself while I sat at home watching TV.) 

    On the other hand: OMG SO MANY COOKIES. I mean, this is good! Very good! Go us! But whoa, there are only two of us, and only one of those two knows how to make macarons. (Or anything else, really. I am in charge of red wine brownies. Everything else I make may TASTE okay, but looks like garbage.) I am also sitting here thinking about how busy we were at Christmas last year, when we were NOT official and had NO website and NO customers and NOTHING and... well, I guess it's good that I still have a mostly-full bottle of horse tranquilizers, yes? Enough to share with Katie, even. 

    I REEEEEEEEEALLY want this to be REAL. You know?! Like a THING! A real THING! A BUSINESS! And at the same time I am all... how? HOW? 

    I guess we just keep going. And then at some point I write a business plan. My excuse up to now has been, "But we don't even know what we want to do! We are EXPERIMENTING!" Eh. (This website is not responsible for inspiring YOU to leap ahead without a business plan. We exempt ourselves from any inspiration that is not Responsible and Sensible.)

    Anyway. I miss you, Internet, and I feel like I have a lot to say, but it's only bakery stuff that's coming out. Hope that's ok for now. 

     

    September 03, 2014

    What's been up

    SO YEAH. Lots and lots has been happening over here - nothing especially blogworthy, but that's never really kept me from writing it all out before. Basically I am Beyond Anxious and 99% of my energy goes towards Keeping On Keeping On. Writing about it hasn't felt like something that would help, so I haven't. It just sucks and it still sucks and it's never going to stop sucking, except if I think that way then it quickly spirals into All Is Lost territory and that's just the worst. Keeping On Keeping On is all about steering clear of that mindset. 

    I am doing all the right things. I have started a new medication, which actually might be the problem, you know, that pesky "oh, at first you might get MORE anxious!" side effect. I am seeing a Professional Talking About Things person. I have all the right people checking in on me, offering to bring dinner, coming over at a moment's notice, OFFERING TO VISIT ME OVER THE WEEKEND FROM A DIFFERENT CITY YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. If I wasn't absolutely determined not to get into a shaky emotional state, I might sob over the amazing friends and family who are taking care of me and making sure I don't fall over. 

    But I can't do that because I have to do laundry and make lunches in the morning and we have a pretty big bakery thing going on tomorrow - a vendor open house at a catering company! I made sample party favor boxes! Katie is making cake bites with PASSIONFRUIT CURD OMG - and you know, STUFF TO DO! People to take care of! I can't go around breathing into paper bags every ten seconds! 

    It was a particularly nasty weekend, in spite of it being our annual couples' weekend. Or maybe I should say, "Thank God it was our couples' weekend" because my friends rallied around me in a way I haven't needed... ever. Really. One emergency horse tranquilizer prescription later and I'm cautiously hopeful. I mean, it's always gotten better before, it has to get better this time too. Right? 

    Think good thoughts for Phillip, who is having a stressful time at work and doesn't need the Crazy Wife on top of it all. Think good thoughts for my kids, who don't seem to realize how much I neglected them this summer. Think good thoughts for me, that this mess works itself out soon. I feel like I can't keep this up much longer. Except, I mean, I can. I have before. 

    At some point I will show you pictures of my daughters' absofreakinglutely adorable new room. Hopefully soon.

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