Monday, April 25, 2016

He's On To Me

It started as an innocent homework assignment. One that was easy enough for him that I didn't have to help in any way other than nab the crayons from the mud room.

On the scramble to the car, my eye caught a certain worksheet word as it was forcibly stuffed into the camo back pack. Yep - you see it. Line three.

"Wine." And an innocent lady sitting all alone at the table.

Next it kind of went like this:

"Laws - tell me more about this word and picture on line 3? It's very nice, but I'm concerned that Mrs. G may think it's not appropriate for school since kids are not allowed to drink wine."

He goes on to assure me this is an adult (read: his Mom) and the he will share that with Mrs. G.

It's now 7:43 and we're late. Mrs. G? She's gonna see this. And I'm going to have some explaining to do.

The first chance I have to write Mrs. G is close to lunch, which is ok, since she's been teaching for nearly 30 years. Surely she's seen some of this debauchery in her long career...

The email is sent, explaining we frequently have guests and family over and indulge in healthy amounts of the good grape juice. Her response:

"Thank you for letting me know. I did see his 'W' homework and he pointed it out to me that there was an adult sitting at the table with a glass of wine. So no worries. The adult looks like a very responsible wine drinker." End: smiley emoticon.

Mrs. G  - she gets me. I mean, to teach Kindergarten, a solo wine drinker at the kitchen table cannot be a foreign concept to her.

And, as my principal friends reassure me, it's better than another four-letter "w" word he could have written...



Kendra's Killin' It

Ping! "Sneak Peek of the Summer Collection," my inbox screamed at me. Seeing it was from none other than Kendra Scott, it had to be opened, teleconference or not.

And deliver she did, once again...
Gold trimmings, sunbursts, vibrant colors, pieces that can be worn multiple ways...swoon!!! At a recent stop to the Plaza location (shout out to those fun girls!), I walked away with these little beauts:
I had no business purchasing them and nearly made it out the door, but won't they be fab in Meh-he-co in a few weeks?! Add the necklace and I'm be really set to go.

Thanks to the most giving girlfriends and a few investments of my own along the way, I have about six pieces that are core to any outfit. With her style on hand, I never have to try and piece things together or guess what looks good with what.

And did you know they host small and large parties?! So grab your favorite girls, request your bottle of wine and start daydreaming which stones you want placed into your favorite baubles.
So if KS isn't part of your regular ensems, stick it on your Mother's Day list or just go splurge yourself. It will be worth it!

Happy shopping...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Road to No Rails

"There's no crib in this house. I mean - there's NO CRIB in this house!" I half mumbled, half shouted to my husband after a late night check in on the wee one.

I think his response sounded something like a grunt of gratitude, for any "stuff" that leaves this house only delights him.

But the CRIB?!

Seven years ago we shopped for that crib, running our palms against the different woods, dreaming of  snuggly nights perched in a glider, a burrito of a babe tucked in our arms. For hours we dissected spindles and heights, espresso vs. eggshell, contemporary vs. traditional. No drop down of course. Invest or save. Transitional or no.

Weeks later it arrived in all of its espresso glory, fully assembled and ready to hold all of our dreams come true.

Nearly four years later, a few teeth and kick marks worser for the wear, it protected the second son who stole our hearts.

And now, here it sits, leaned against the study wall, ready for it's next baby to have and to hold. Love and protect. Serve as a play thing. Take a licking or two. This crib...

Tossing old onesies, donating no longer loved toys and removing all that's been outgrown has generally been an easy task, making room for the new and exciting while the rest was captured in pictures.

But this crib...

The road to no rails has been an incredible one. I'll never forget all of our sleepless nights, leaning down into it to grab the loves of our lives, their faces as they peer between the bars for the morning greeting, the peeking in to find them more peaceful than you ever imagined...

So that rocker. It's gotta stay for awhile. Because that crib...

Boy, I'm going to miss that crib.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Bye Bye Bonus

"Yeah - the sensible thing to do would be to tuck some away and do an extra mortgage payment. Soooo...I'll meet you at Nordy's around 1?" I said to my Mom as we plotted an afternoon away, free of guilt and full of frivolity.

Like any other year, the spring bug had bitten, the catalogs of shiny, flowery items convincing me that nothing in my closet was up to snuff and the whole house needed redecorating. Given we'd checked one of those boxes by moving into a completely new home, it was time to tackle the daily wear stuff, starting with the basics:

A new, fresh face for spring:
MAC Lipglass in Heroine - for that pop of color I adore
in spring and a good second to my usual bright pink
MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze - because a cubicle chic
still needs to look like she gets some Vita D

MAC Eye Shadow pods in Purple Times Nine - a good variety for
making those greenish eyes pop 
Vince Camuto's Lavette Peep Toe Booty - the go with everything, comfy, on-trend
from work to weekend and comfortable splurge
Updating the underwires: with Natori's Feathers Contour and a
the Hidden Glamour underwire - comfy, feminine and...unstretched!

Couple this with the desire for some cute activewear, some Anthro candles and sandals and say buh-bye to that bonus.

But hey - YOLO - right?!

Happy spring shopping!




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Missed Fix

"Yes please. Let's postpone it by a week to ensure it arrives at the new house," I said hurriedly into the phone, another message from the movers beeping through on the other line.

In just minutes the ever-so-helpful customer service team at Stitch Fix was working its magic, moving my package arrival date to accommodate the new digits just a mile away. Thrilled to see it was anticipated on my birthday, I counted down the days, looking forward to the brown box's arrival.

Hey - a girl has to have priorities in a move.

Needless to say, when I went to tear it open, practically ignoring our cake guests, I was quite bummed to find:
Skies are Blue Kinzi Henley Knit Top: Note the darling gal wearing this is
about 1/3 of my size and has a short torso and great arms. When I pulled this
baby out, it looked remarkably like my third grade photo with my
white jean shorts. Plus it requires a tank underneath. Pass.
Though the pattern seemed promising, put it all together
and it felt maternity or fetched from hip Grandma's closet. Pass.
This one was so crazy I can't even turn the pic correctly! Accentuated my
already significant hips, bland colors and felt outdated. Pass
Also in the beautifully branded box were the Tyran open cardigan that could've fit in the category of "wore in grade school" with some Kut distressed jeans that could have been promising had they gone beyond my calves.

So, either my regular stylist and I are off, I'm just not digging this spring's trends (I didn't even adore Nordy's spring catalog - gasp!) or my plan to stick close to Abby Wood Wear to make me look presentable is coming into play. Either way, SF and I are on a break for awhile. And more to come on Abby - swoon!

Here's hoping your boxes continue to be full of delight! And thank gah for multiple styling options...since these suckers were introduced, a gal forgets how to dress herself.

Happy dressing!

Same Ol' Stunt

"Mom - hey mom! It's only one more day until St. Patrick's Day! That means the leprechaun is going to come back! And bring us some gold! I hope it's in my bed this time..." the Big said excitedly, zero breaths escaping between sentences.

Recently I attended a home party meant to inspire and sell products to enhance family traditions. Mid-way through the event, I think I blurted out something like: "Wait - where's the lesson on how you get them to CARE?!" which was met with some giggles of understanding and perhaps a few blank stares. Living in a household of three boys, there's a quota on hugs, sentiment and talking about days. But the party planner happened to be a BoyMom who had this same experience gave the advice: "You may not think they're into it in the moment, but you'll realize it when they say 'where's the birthday plate we always use?' or 'we can't start Easter dinner without saying what we're thankful for,' you know you've created a tradition."

Remember this and aligning it with the fact the printer still isn't assembled in the new house, I got to work in handwriting the exact same notes as last year, with hopes the Big with the steel trap mind wouldn't recall exactly what they said.

They're sloppy, the shamrocks look slightly phallic and I had to make two trips to the store to actually remember the pot of gold (Rolos), but it will all be worth it come morning. The joy on their faces, the excitement in their voices bouncing off the walls and the millions of questions around how big a leprechaun actually is and how did he get into the house will be something we won't forget.

So just remember, when you're pulling the same ol' stunt, it's called a tradition. And someday they may thank you for it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

36

"Tipping point, huh sis? You're getting closer to 40!" my brother said with his teasing laugh, the one that always makes me giggle no matter what words like behind it.

This year's special day snuck in and by, cradled between the big move last week and our potential plans for our first married vacation since we've had kids. And since waking up Christmas Day, deciding to list the house, updating the whole thing in 1.5 weeks, selling within two and moving within a month all occurred, not much thought had been put into welcoming the new year besides how many perfect vacuum strokes you can get in a dining room.

That's why now that we're "settled" (does 50 unpacked boxes but in the house count?!), I'm taking a quick moment to reflect on how to be the best version of me at this new age, despite still feeling the strange mixture of 18 and clueless and 55, tired but wise.

Here's some things I hope the "new year" brings:

1. Better health: for decades my diet has consisted of none other than fast food and restaurant visits, Thin Mints and cherry sours at any sign of stress, diet soda and simply no restrictions. Though I don't know what this looks like quite yet, I know it means more energy so I can show up for my family and smaller pants sizes so I can feel attractive and feminine again vs. embarrassed. Right now I feel like a constant "before" picture and my soul feels it too. Time for some small steps toward big change. End goal: to want to play baseball each time they ask and actually be up for running the bases.

2. Gentleness: though there were so many magical moments at 35 and more joy than I ever anticipated, there seemed to be a third personality that developed out of fatigue, impatience and insecurity. Honestly, I don't like her. She doesn't match the flowers, pink and sparkles that everyone perceives her as. And she's taking it out on the ones she loves the most. I want to start at gentle, stay there and understand it. I read the most beautiful article the other day on how gentleness is a gift, and I want to give it to everyone I encounter. Those gentle people - they are some I admire the most. To be gentle is to be strong and have a quiet spirit. I'll take some of that.

3. Choosing him: "Your loved one deserves to be enthusiastically chosen. Every day." The husband and I have gone on with too many disconnected days. I will work feverishly to have him know why I choose him everyday. Because he deserves it.

4. Moments of adultness: as a Pisces, I tend to want to only live where the fun is happening. So things like laundry, understanding our finances and actually giving a solid consequence vs. using that sucker to bribe the toddler are generally not high on my priority list. Though party central is fun, it just feels like time to balance it a bit more and perhaps even model responsibility for the wee ones.

5. More acceptance: there's that old adage that you shouldn't compare yourself to others, and it's one I've been fighting for as long as I can remember. Immediately upon meeting another woman, I'm asking her a million questions so I can learn to be more like her, vs. working to be the best version of the lady that I am. She's always more organized, pulled together, gentler, more loving and successful in life. And I admire her for it and am awed by her daily existence. But I too, get up at 5:00 a.m. with the best intent, focused on the health and well being of my family, working diligently at my career, celebrating my friendships and cherishing my loved ones. Maybe I'm doing ok too?

6. Giving back once the sons entered, the focus was happily on rocking, dance parties, school and sports. Those moments of volunteering and making an impact in the community kind of fell by the wayside, filled with the healthcare and mommy work I was doing in and outside of the home. Now it's time to set an example for these same sons and show them what compassion, giving time and giving back can mean in helping others and shaping one's self.

I hear once you hit 40, some of this gets easier. Or, you just don't give a sh*t. So cheers to 36 and all it's opportunities. And to you for being part of this journey - you make me better everyday.