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    March 19, 2015

    Conversation In Front Of My Mirror

    "Hey, I look GREAT in this shirt! Sure, it's got a giant Captain America shield on the front, but it isn't see through, it's long enough, it doesn't completely highlight my jiggly muffin top - "

    "Helps that you finally found some pants that fit - "

    "Right, okay, but still, I can leave my house in something other than a dress and leggings. Yay me!"

    "It doesn't really look that great from the back. Kinda shows off your mounds of back fat."

    "Well, yeah..."

    "Is that really your back, even? It's so... lumpy!"

    "I HAVE gained a lot of weight in the last year or two. I'm just thankful it dispersed itself somewhat evenly."

    "Yeah, I saw you in those pictures from Christmas. And you thought you looked bad in LAST year's Christmas pictures."

    "I thought I looked... half decent in those pictures? My makeup was awesome."

    "Makeup can't hide 40 extra pounds, dear."

    "Oh shut up, I know, okay? I KNOW ABOUT THE EXTRA POUNDS."

    "Then how come you're not doing anything about them? Don't you care? Aren't you ashamed?"

    "It's just... it's not as easy to lose the weight as it was before."

    "Are you blaming your crazy pills again?"

    "......... maybe?"

    "What about that ice cream you ate last week? What about the cake you ate last night when company was over? What about all the wine? What about that GYM YOU JOINED?"

    "I couldn't go this week! Sick kids! I said I'd babysit Rosie! I couldn't go!"

    "Right. Sure."

    "I look good in this shirt. I wanted to feel good about looking good in something."

    "If you feel good about looking like this, what's to stop you from feeling good about 10 pounds more? And 10 pounds after that? You can't ACCEPT yourself like this. You have to DO something about it."

    "What if I told you right now that I am the happiest and most myself I have ever been in my life?"

    "Even with all this weight you've gained?"

    "Even with all this weight I've gained. Is not looking as good in clothes going to cancel out how well I'm doing? How not anxious I am right now? How happy I feel about my life? How much my husband doesn't care?"

    "He's lying."

    "Not being able to fit into my old jeans should not weigh more than all of the positive things in my life right now."

    "WEIGH more, HA HA HA, good one."

    "I'm not doing this. I'll go to the gym when I can. I LIKE going to the gym. And I'll try to eat better. And I'll just TRY."

    "You've been trying for two years now. It's not happening. And you THINK everything is going well and moving forward in your life, but when other people see you, they see a Chubby Girl Who Can't Stop Eating Cookies and no one takes you seriously."

    "..."

    "People who knew you when you lost all that weight are secretly laughing at you now."

    "..."

    "And you think you can lead things. Be in charge of things. Be respected. Be loved. HEH."

    "God doesn't care about my pant size."

    "Everyone else does."

    "What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "What the hell is wrong with YOU?"

     

    March 10, 2015

    SAHM, Entrepreneur, Official-Macaron-Taster, and now Art Teacher

    Tomorrow I'm starting something completely out of character which is Teaching Small Children. Never in my LIFE have I EVER wanted to be a teacher of small children, work with small children, or supervise small children. Even as a teenager, babysitting was my least favorite (though often only) way to earn money. BUT TOMORROW I'M GONNA DO IT. 

    See, my kids are poor, deprived, public school students and our particular school seems particularly deficient in art and music. They do art projects in class and I think 4th and 5th graders get to do band, but it bums me out that these aren't subjects that are taught anymore. Or should I say, that there isn't enough money for these subjects to be taught at OUR school. It's why I spent a not insignificant amount of time mooning over and hoping to send our kids to the Catholic school. THAT SAID, I really truly super duper stinking love our little neighborhood public school. I will just have to teach them art at home. 

    So yes, I did a bit of research and bought an actual factual Art Curriculum. It's called Meet The Masters and will do just dandy for not just my kids but the handful of my friends' kids I've invited to do it with us. (Because my kids are going to be more sold on this extracurricular if OTHER kids come and it's MORE like a REAL THING. You know? Instead of mom beating them over the head with a copy of The Starry Night?) 

    Tomorrow we're going to do a little introductory lesson where we make a portfolio to hold our masterpieces. But then it's 5 weeks of learning about a particular artist's life, learning a technique, and then trying it out on our own. I know nothing about art, which is not IDEAL, and I cannot draw or paint to save my life, but oh well. The thing is, absolutely everything I know about art I learned in 3rd and 4th grade when I was in a program called 'Challenge' and we did a similar art curriculum. Seriously. This is the only reason why I know any famous painters at all. I can APPRECIATE art - I absolutely love art museums, to the detriment of my poor husband - but I was too busy filling my schedule with poetry classes in college to take a single Art History course. (Art History, History, and Philosophy WHY DIDN'T I TAKE ANY OF THESE?) 

    Anyway. I am hopeful that my kids will come out of it at least being able to recognize a famous painting or two, maybe even know what the world "pointilism" means. We'll see. I mean, there are a million things I'd love to expose them to - dead European painters is just the beginning, yes? 

    I was telling Molly's teacher about it today and she said, "Oh, and then you can do it as an after school program here!" and I said, "YOU ARE TAKING THINGS TOO FAR, WOMAN!" 

    Groups of small children and art supplies - it can only be awesome, right? 

    March 07, 2015

    The cure for jet lag is gelato

    My mom and dad keep asking what plans we've made for our Europe trip, have we figured out what things we want to do in Italy, and I keep saying DEAR GOD, Parents, I am only SLIGHTLY aware of what I have to do NEXT WEEK! 

    Which isn't very nice, since my parents are fronting a large portion of our Europe trip (HELLO, LODGING!) and "we'll tag along with whatever you're doing!" is not anyone's favorite response to "What do you want to do?" Right? I hate those people. 

    AND YET. I want to block out a day or two for Airplane Ride Recovery and then a week-ish later when Phillip and I go to Paris my parents are taking all three of my kids on a road trip to Austria and Bavaria (I KNOW, THEY ARE THE BEST) so it's not like I'm going to immediately pack them in a rental car and zoom off to Florence or Pisa or something. I figure the local surroundings plus plentiful train rides to Venice plus a beach trip will be more than enough. They will get museumed within an inch of their lives in London, might as well spend our small town Italy days hitting the markets and eating gelato. 

    When we moved to Sicily when I was 10 years old, we flew from (and I remember this OH SO CLEARLY) Seattle to Detroit. Detroit to Philadelphia. Philadelphia to the Azores (where I spent grades 7-9). Azores to The Base Where I Eventually Graduated From High School in northern Italy. That base to a naval base in Sicily. (This was on military flights which were 1) free, but 2) shrouded in cigarette smoke and 3) stopped absolutely everywhere). AND THEN when we finally landed in Sicily, someone picked us up in a rental van and drove us either 2 or 4 hours, this part I DON'T remember) to the base where we would actually LIVE and 25 years later (omg 25 years) I can STILL smell the sickly sweet smell of SOMETHING (this is what rural Italy smells like - gas? sewage? rotten SOMETHING) and feel the nigh unbearable heat and experience the intense car sickness intensified by the smell, the heat, and the windy wackadoodle rural roads HELLO CULTURE SHOCK. 

    I have no idea what my kids are going to think or feel and I'm VERY CURIOUS! Maybe it will be no big deal! We will have a MUCH easier flight and northern Italy in May is no Sicily in August. But that first time flying to Europe (age 10) and the time I flew to Asia (age 25), those were the most mind bending moments of my life. The time is not what the time is supposed to be! The air is different! The sun is different! (Or, in the case of Beijing, non-existent!) EVERYTHING IS STRANGE AND FREAKY AND WHAT IS GOING ON. 

    Ooooh, I am so excited. At some point I will even start planning. 

    February 24, 2015

    Out of Office Message

    Hey Internet! I felt like I should tell you I'm headed out of town in the morning. EARLY in the morning. My friend and I are road tripping to Redding, CA for a church conference and while I love my friend, I am strongly doubting her claim that she will be here at 5am. Nonetheless I shall be up and ready to go because WHAT IF SHE IS?

    Don't ask me what the church conference is about. I actually don't know. I honestly have no idea what sort of thing I'll be attending for 3 days. All I know is that my friend has been before, raaaaaaaved about it, and told me I should go. And now I am! I am easily swayed. 

    But I feel like the amount of work it's taken to enable me to be away from my house for 4 days was INSANE. Maybe I didn't have to make a freezer meal and do all the laundry in addition to figuring out every single logistical detail, but I did and it has lessened the guilt somewhat. What is this guilt about? I guess it's because I don't HAVE to go to a church conference for four days? 

    This morning I'm telling the kids what's happening and what to expect and how Aunt Katie is going to pick them up from school and Jack said, "Things don't work very well without you!" If he hadn't been all the way in the back of the van I would have smothered him with kisses. Things WILL work well without me, and even though I'm sure he doesn't really know what he meant, I felt his meaning and I loved it. Then he said something about how Daddy should just not work while I'm away because who is going to take care of everything? And THAT'S ABOUT RIGHT, KIDS. I take care of EVERYTHING. 

    I'm so tired. I still have to eat dinner and pack my shampoo and make sure I don't forget my contact solution like I do on every other trip and OH I should probably call my mother. But I felt like I should say HEY, I'LL BE AWAY I don't know. You = whatevs. 

    P.S. The bakery had a great February. Without us doing a Dang Thing. I absolutely cannot wait until this presentation to other catering managers (in April) LOOK OUT! WORLD DOMINATION!

    February 18, 2015

    The Annual Lenten Whine

    Long time blog readers are well aware that this is my absolute favorite time of year, a solemn and profound forty days of reflection, sacrifice, and personal growth. I am so looking forward to sharing my many insights and revelations with you during this season of penance and fastHA HA HA NOPE. 

    Oh Lent. You're here again. 

    One thing that is a teeny bit different about THIS Lent as opposed to all my other Lents is that I actually DID think about it BEFORE it arrived. I wondered what to do with the kids, what I should give up, what I should add to my life, and wondered all of it BEFORE this morning. Progress!

    Which isn't to say I came up with any ideas or made any decisions. Of course. I am still not sure about the kids, for example. I have read a bunch of suggestions from helpful People Who Observe Lent Properly and I hope I can put a few of those into action. As for myself, I deleted the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone, as a way to be more present in my real life and with my kids. And I decided to give up chocolate. Real chocolate. Actual chocolate. Chunks and bars and bites and bags of bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips, aka Maggie's Lifeline When The World Is Going Kaput. 

    I spent a long time trying to figure out what I would give up. Giving up food always seems so EXPECTED. Heaven forbid I give up something boring, right? Giving up social media seemed like a good idea until I thought about all the people with whom I communicate purely through social media, and how those are IMPORTANT people, not people I can ignore for 40 days. So deleting the apps from my phone makes it possible to keep in touch with those folks while curbing the actual issue, which is the incessant scrolling through Twitter whenever I have a free five seconds. But it wasn't like I felt EXCITED about my sacrifices, right? There was nothing I thought of that burned brighter in my brain, all, "YES! I am the thing you should sacrifice! Giving ME up will be the MOST meaningful!"

    But when I thought about this a little more I realized that there was probably NOTHING in my life that was going to stand out as The Thing I should sacrifice because (dum de dum dum ) I DON'T WANT TO SACRIFICE ANYTHING. Duh. This is why it's called a sacrifice. I am not going to be EXCITED to give up ANYTHING. And so I decided to go with something that, while embarrassingly un-original, would definitely be the most day-to-day sacrificial, and that would be my handfuls of medicinal chocolate. It's going to be horrible. Prepare yourself for plenty of whining. 

    What are you doing? I bet you're DOING something. (Let me copy?)

     

     

    February 09, 2015

    In which I tell my own self how fast it goes

    I forgot about our big trip there for a second. Then yesterday I realized we have no tickets for Venice to London and I should probably get on that and then I got frustrated with my options (suuuuuper cheap for an 11pm flight, nearly 3x as much for a daytime flight) and now I'm done again. My dad keeps asking me about cars and car seat regulations and of COURSE I haven't figured that out because that's got to be the most boring part of our trip to research. But we booked the London apartment. We have tickets to cross the Atlantic there and back. The Paris flights are purchased. Big stuff accomplished. 

    (Except for the packing. Oh my God, the packing. Every time I start to think about what suitcases or what kind of carryon bag or how many pairs of underwear or if I need to buy the kids new things because maybe they've grown out of their summer clothes I MAYBE start to cry. A little bit. Paging Emily Cassee.)

    I was thinking February was going to be a nice drifting back into routine, but NO, have you heard of Valentine's Day coupled with 100 Day and (imagine Jack motormouthing excitedly) PAJAMA DAY TOO! I did not think about Valentine anything (except for bakery stuff, I suppose, and barely even that since I took our store down and we're not shipping anymore SORRY), until maybe yesterday. Oh right! I have to get the kids valentines! (See how I didn't even CONSIDER helping them MAKE valentines?) 

    Also 100 Day. Yippee. And Pajama Day is stupid. There. I said it.

    Also there are LOTS of February birthdays I 1) have already forgotten and 2) am bound to forget. And did I tell you I'm going on a little road trip with a friend at the END of February? Which is actually not that far away? I did plan out the whole thing and everyone's been notified and I know what's going on, but still, whoa. That's coming up quick. (Church conference. Redding, CA. DRIVING. God help us.)

    My parents took Emma overnight last week and it was freakishly quiet for almost 48 hours in my house. I could THINK! I started to wonder if this is what it will be like when she goes to kindergarten. Preschool, when she starts, will just make everything worse. I want very much for HER to go, but it's not a convenient schedule and will involve lots and lots of driving back and forth for pick ups and drop offs. But it can't be worse than the year I had a kindergartner and a preschooler and a BABY, so chin up, Maggie. No, the rest of this year (we're attempting to start her in preschool at the end of February, early March, just until we go on the trip) and all of next will be all about the Annoying Schedules. MAYBE the following year, if we decide not to test her for early entrance to kindergarten (born 3 weeks past the cut off). But the year she DOES go? Whatever shall I do with myself? 

    MAYBE the bakery will be ready for world domination and I'll be very busy indeed. Even if it isn't, our hope is that we get busy THIS year and will need a sort of on-call additional baker. That's the goal. So it's entirely possible that even a regular baby bakery will keep me busy. 

    But what if it doesn't? Or what if we don't HAVE the bakery then? 

    See how I was all whiny about being busy at the start of this post and now I'm freaking out about NOT being busy? I must be excruciatingly difficult to live with. 

    My big kids are getting SO. BIG. and my little kid is getting big too - she wanted me to hold her in church and my arms wanted to die. I keep thinking about how when JACK was 3 he was a BIG BOY and I sent him to preschool and he had to be nice to his little sister. And now his littlest sister is 3 but she's still my BABY. Junior high me is severely unimpressed with my lack of attention and care for birth order unfairnesses. 

    I was telling my mom how it suddenly got hard staying home with just Emma. I think that has MUCH to do with the fact that she stopped napping, if not EVERYTHING. But also the not being potty trained, the not having a preschool or class or regular outing we do (besides, ah, coffee and pink cake pops.) I've been thinking so much about preschool and mother's helpers and childcare at gyms and stuff like that, but I know from having the older two, once it starts it just keeps going. No more little kids at home with me. 

    It hasn't even happened yet and I'm still marveling at how fast it went. 

     

    February 03, 2015

    Things At Which I Do Not Suck Volume One Million

    Today, which is not yet over, was a TERRIBLE HORRIBLE DAY. Many many things went wrong today, including: 

    • my treadmill flat out STOPPING in the middle of a RUN! And it was quite possibly the slowest run I've ever run on that stupid treadmill! What gives, Treadmill?! Has my girth finally become too girthy for you? Do you completely reject the notion that I will ever lose any weight? I GET TO REJECT THAT NOTION, NOT YOU. FTLOG Treadmill, GET IT TOGETHER.
    • Emma was a huge PILL. Clingy, whiny, and forevermore un-potty-trained. On the frillionth changing of the pull up I groused at her, made a few unnecessary Vehement Gestures, snapped, complained, whined back, and made my three-year-old cry. WELL DONE, ME! That's a surefire way to encourage using the potty! 
    • I bought this wire shelf thingy that was going to be the reason why I could bring myself to clean the bathroom. I was going to put all my daily lotions and potions in it, thereby permanently-ish clearing off the bathroom counter, aka one of the most tedious cleaning-the-bathroom-tasks. But when I drilled the hole it wouldn't go all the way through. I could put an anchor in the second hole, but the first hole wasn't deep enough. In my frustration I stuck in the anchor in there anyway and whaled away with a hammer, thereby BENDING THE ANCHOR and now I have two useless holes in my bathroom wall and it's still filthy.
    • I forgot to buy the next level piano book. And then I forgot that we HAD piano today.
    • Emma fell asleep in the car on during the two-minute ride to school pick up. This means she will not go to bed until, oh, midnight.

    I am feeling VERY FAILY, Internet friends. I have FAILED at exercising and will wear leggings FOREVER. I have FAILED at potty-training and Emma will be wearing Doc McStuffins pull ups FOREVER. I have FAILED at keeping my house clean and my family is going to live in squalor FOREVER. I have FAILED at a home improvement project AGAIN which means Phillip has another thing to add to his forever-long list of WIFE HOUSE FAILURE. I have FAILED at keeping track of my kids' one and only extracurricular activity and now they are NEVER going to get to play soccer or learn Russian. And I have VERY MUCH FAILED at this new no-nap situation and I am NEVER going to figure out how to get my stuff done with Emma 1) playing iPad all day or 2) randomly falling asleep during the day when I am helpless to prevent it. EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE. 

    It is most definitely time for A List Of Things At Which I Do Not Suck (And Some At Which I Am Downright Ass Kicky.) 

    • Ordering Costco groceries from Instacart. It took me about five minutes to place my order. It will be here at 7pm. ROCK ON.
    • Not following through on Potty Training Threats. "I know I said you don't get a marshmallow, but you look so pathetic, here, have four."
    • Typing one-handed on account of holding a mopey clingy three-year-old in my lap. 
    • Not freaking out about cutting all my hair off. (GOODBYE, LONG DEAD-ENDED BOB! HELLO UNDERCUT WITH SUPER SHORT SIDEBURNS!)
    • Planning Europe trips. 
    •  Accruing frequent flyer miles I cannot use. 
    • Calling my mother when I have a spare 5 minutes and cutting her off when I have to go pick up a kid.
    • Binge-watching television. 
    • Collecting stuff for Goodwill. 
    • Not waking up when Phillip's alarm goes off. 
    • Scrounging enough food to compose two grade schooler lunch boxes. 
    • Texting despairing messages to my friends. 
    • Sending invoices for macarons. 
    • Saying, "Huh! Wow! Neat!" when repeatedly asked to admire a Minecraft creation/drawing/interpretive dance to 'Let It Go'.

    SEE I'M NOT ALL DISASTER AND HOPELESSNESS! 

     

    February 01, 2015

    On losing

    Because I am only interested in football to the extent which my husband is emotionally invested, and as it is a begrudging, reluctant, and generally suspicious-of-rabid sports-fans interest, I will not be writing about The Big Game that just finished a bit ago. I hoped you'd humor me for one more post about my grandmother - her funeral was Saturday afternoon and I wanted to write down some thoughts. 

    At some point my grandma disappeared into herself. I didn't see her often enough to know when it happened or what it was like - I was very busy with my own life an hour away from hers. When I saw her it tended to be at my parents' house, usually with other people around, and she sat in her chair with a cup of coffee and a cookie - or, if she was lucky, one of the new babies that keep showing up in my family - and didn't speak unless spoken to. And even then you couldn't be sure that she actually heard you. It wasn't that I didn't remember the grandmother that used to cook massive meals for her giant family, or the grandmother who spent all her time sewing her granddaughters' wardrobe or playing cards with her neighbors or writing us cards. I just... well, that wasn't her anymore and while I missed that grandma, I wasn't around as much to have cause to WANT that grandma back. If that makes sense. I hope it doesn't sound harsh. I think I'd grown up and I didn't need or even necessarily want a giant dish of ice cream and a card game or black and white movie on a Saturday afternoon. 

    I would also add, though, that I still liked and enjoyed this older more forgetful and frail grandma. She was sweet and loved my babies and I could still make her laugh. I also spent my senior year of college working in an adult family home where I saw dementia and loss of independence and dignity and degenerating bodies to an extent that was sobering and sometimes frightening and I was always very VERY thankful my grandma did not need the level of care that these ladies did. Always in my mind was, "Well, at least she's not like THEM."

    So it's been strange for me to spend the last couple of days thinking about my grandma the way she USED to be. I had to think back to those times in order to write the reflection I was asked to give at the funeral. What memories did I want to share? What stayed with me? 

    It honestly wasn't until I'd written what I wanted to say and then actually said it - so, halfway through the funeral - before it hit me that this was a whole person who left us. A busy, competent, productive woman who, in the last years of her life, was none of those things. As I listened to my own self speak I realized how I'd packaged my own grandmother into a nice White Fluffy-Haired Forgetful Old Lady box. A TV grandma. A character. And while I'd loved that grandma, she had been so much more. She'd been so much more in my own life

    I don't know why or how I did that. Maybe it was easier to think of her this way when my parents would sometimes seem angry or grieved about the things she no longer was. Maybe I was too busy to be sad about it. Maybe it just wasn't something that affected my present day life. Oh, that sounds awful.

    I think this is why I was so relieved when she died. Relieved because I believe in Heaven and eternal life and she was free from that frail body and Alzheimered brain. I was only a little bit sad. A little bit affected. I mostly felt happy for her and not much like I'd lost anyone. 

    Then, at the end of the ceremony, when the priest waved the incense around her casket and laid his hand on the top while he prayed, when they began to wheel it out of the church, that's when everything became blurry and terrible. This was it! This was the end. And she was gone now and I saw my sister crying in the pew behind me and I thought, Oh, we don't have a grandma anymore. 

    We had such a good grandma, you guys. 

    This is what I shared at the funeral. I'm typing it here because I will for sure lose the paper I scrawled it on and I'd like to remember what I wrote. 

     

    Just wanted to share a few memories of my grandma.

    Because of her, my favorite movie star, for a very long time, was Shirley Temple. And Shirley Temple movies at her house were accompanied by ice cream cones. There really was no better place to be than Grandma's house, where there was always a beater full of frosting, just for me. And then when I was older, when I'd grown out of the frilly dresses she used to make for me, we played cards - usually Spite & Malice. I know she taught my sisters Hand & Foot, but with me it was Spite & Malice. Always with a dish of candy nearby to keep up our strength. 

    But what I really associate with Grandma is Christmas. When I was a kid, Christmas wasn't about Santa or the Baby Jesus, it was about Grandma and Grandpa's house. Her crazy red tree, the piles of presents - half of which were slippers, the coffee table covered in snow globes and music boxes, the nativity scene surrounded by that weird angel hair stuff, and a table extended as far as it could possibly go. My Christmas attire was always, of course, a Grandma Original. One year she made a matching Christmas dress for my Cabbage Patch Doll. It was taped to one page of a scrapbook full of doll clothes, like a mini fashion portfolio of all the outfits she'd ever made for me. Christmas, in my mind, was tied so closely to Grandma that when my family moved overseas when I was 10 years old, I wasn't sure what we would DO at Christmastime. I strongly doubted a holiday without my grandmother was possible. 

    Earlier today my mom reminded me that she sent cards for every holiday - Valentine's Day, Easter. It really WASN'T possible to celebrate without her. 

    Many years later I've learned there are lots of ways to celebrate holidays and special occasions, but Grandma's style continues to be the one I prefer. I've been known to color coordinate a tree and I often buy two bags of candy - one for my guests and one for me. As I reflect on what my grandmother meant to me, I'm reminded that in my home there's no such thing as too many decorations or too many slices of cake, and there are never too many people. 

     

     

    January 27, 2015

    I wrote this instead of napping

    It's not normal to want to take a nap evvvvery day, right? I don't have tiny babies, I am not up all night, I do not go to bed fantastically late or get up horrifically early. But I am tired ALL. THE. TIME. I started taking iron pills again. Well, I started last night. So only one so far. 

    I'm also trying to figure out when I can get some exercise. And I'm not even talking a run or a TV workout in my living room. Just WALKING, at this point, would be good enough. I think I've identified my pitfalls. The biggest one is that I absolutely hate changing out of my clothes into workout clothes. This sounds really stupid, but I HATE IT and in the time it takes me to change I can almost always talk myself out of whatever I planned to do. I hate ruining whatever hair and makeup I did that morning. I hate exercising WITH a kid, ie: a workout video that they "do" with me, a kid in a stroller, etc. I have to make exercising as easy as it can possibly be.

    What worked for me in the past was exercising during nap time BUT! That was when I had absolutely nowhere to be, no school schedule to adhere to, no reason to put real clothes on ever. And I may have had two babies then, but they both took hours-long coordinated naps, leaving me a half hour to run and another two hours to sit around doing whatever the heck I wanted. The child at home with me NOW has recently quit her nap and alone time is PRECIOUS. 

    I haven't wanted to work out in the mornings because after I buckle all the kids in the car and drop them at school, Emma and I are ready for our DAY. We grocery shop or regular shop or coffee shop. We visit friends. We do our thing. 

    THAT SAID. Mornings are getting rougher for me (see: Always Tired) and it occurred to me that I don't HAVE to get ready before I have to take the kids to school. I COULD drive them to school in my pajamas. Or pajama-like workout clothes. I don't HAVE to wash my hair or layer concealer over the dark circles under my eyes. I COULD take those kids to school, stick Emma on the playroom couch with the iPad, and get on my treadmill. Which is what I did this morning. An hour of that, a shower, and there was still time to sweep the kitchen floor and write bakery emails and let Emma write all over a kindergarten workbook. Was it as awesome as going to Target? Not really. But we hung out with friends after lunch and went to the library during piano lessons and I was still Really Freaking Tired, but I exercised! 

    Maybe this could be what works? For now? 

    I've got a lot going on this week. I'm helping Katie with my grandma's dessert table. My house is pretty gross since I fired my housecleaners. I'd normally ignore the squalor for another week or so, but my Colorado brother is flying in for the funeral and staying with me Friday night at least, and while his bed has clean sheets, the shower situation is not so stellar. I need to pay my kitchen rent and write whatever I'm going to say at the funeral. (Something short and sweet, nothing big, but still, I need to come up with whatever that is.) The kids don't have school on Friday, but Phillip is going to take a bereavement day and I'm going to get my hair cut. I'm not sure this is a wise or thoughtful thing to do, but the fact is that this long-ish bob STILL feels foreign on my head and the more grown out it gets, the more I hate it. I feel like my face has grown too fat for short hair, but so be it. Short hair is for me. Oh, and a brow wax, because I feel my most confident right after my eyebrow hairs have been forcibly ripped out by the roots.

    Morning exercise. Iron. Faking experience and know how in bakery emails. I GOT THIS.

     

    January 23, 2015

    Grandmas and beaters full of frosting

    My grandmother passed away early early this morning. I woke up to an email saying she went quietly and calmly and then I laid in bed a while longer feeling... relief. Joy, even. I keep wondering if I'll cry and I haven't yet. I did so much crying last week, just over the messiness of dying, and I've cried before over how old age and Alzheimer's slowly turned my grandmother into someone near-unfamiliar. But today I am relieved and a sort of tiredhappy. Last week I had a dream about a cathedral with its doors wide open and I feel like my grandmother went through those doors this morning. She's there. She's in peace. She's in Love. 

    And then I had to do a bakery event. A pretty big one. It went so well, you guys, SO WELL. I said a lot about it on Twitter and Instagram, but I didn't know how to say anything about my grandma. Or if I should. But I wanted to say something eventually - I know many of you helped pray her through this.

    Thumbprints is in charge of funeral reception desserts (which, if we're truly honoring my grandmother, will be the only food there.) I hope to write much more about my grandma and what she means to Thumbprints. (Katie: "She taught me how to bake." Me: "She taught me to appreciate a good batter-laden beater.") 

    Phillip just left for his ski weekend which means there's no one here to judge me if I make a batch of Grandma's fudge frosting (from the recipe book my aunt made for all the grandchildren several years ago) and eat it with a spoon. I bet my grandma would. 

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