Friday, April 29, 2011


It was this picture that started it all:

The downward spiral into shame. Disbelief. Disappointment. And need.

For decades I’ve been meandering around in my happiness, focused on instant gratification and the emotional turmoil that comes with the basic human need of eating. A bag of Sour Patch Kids at 600 calories a pop meant nothing but a tough day at the office. Two Hersheys and a stack of licorice was a quick jaunt around the hallways for a mental break. A small cheese Minsky’s pizza was enjoyed in front of the TV after a fulfilling but exhausting day with my family. And any drive through was a Band-Aid on whatever feeling that was surging through veins. So although I have yet to go fully armored and head on into this battle, I have made a commitment.

A $600, three days per week, 8-person team commitment called TEAM at Lifetime Fitness. Plus a fourth date with Weight Watchers…this time between me and the PC vs. a bunch of strangers, a scale and the same lectures I just don’t have the stomach for these days. Wait, yes I do…did I mention the girl in the picture?!

It’s nearly week three (I missed the first week) and I’m down four pounds, up in energy and feeling that sense of addiction and self-focus that comes with what I imagine others call “taking care of themselves.” This contrary to how I’d been thinking I was doing myself some good with all the overs: overeating, overindulging, over-worrying, overthinking, overdoing, overanalyzing…you name it…I over.

And now, like so many years before, I’m overweight.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to stay committed. Try hard – real hard. Put my big girl panties on and deal with it. Suck it up. Huff and puff. Succumb to the accountability. Sacrifice time away from my family and friends. And likely despise most of it all.

But deep down – I think it will be worth it.

Because wouldn’t it be nice to have my physical presence match my spiritual one – healthy, happy, and outrageously blessed.

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and a little Zumba in between.

So put me on your prayer list or whatever you got goin’ on, won’t you?

And I’ll stay committed if this doesn’t commit me first. I’ll keep you posted…

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Totelly" Cute

When the going gets tough, the tough…avoid real life by shopping?

Yah, that seems to be my mantra these days. After all, it’s way more doable than cleaning the house or worrying about disasters occurring in the world.

My focus this week: totes. Because they’re easy, breezy, beautiful and I have a few killer trips, including local ones to the pool planned. So these little babies will be perfect:

The short jaunt to daycare or the grandparents – check. Family picnic at Loose Park – check. And they’re KU colors, so really, the hubs can carry them too.

“Totelly” cute, right?!

Speaking of totes, I’m obsessing over customizing a Longchamp Le Pliage bag for spring and summer. But girl, I have no idea where to begin. I’m thinking bright and sassy, and of course to include a tiny monogram.


Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Really Happening

My little, teeny, tiny brother is getting married. This October. You know, the same kid that I paid a dollar to diligently clean my room or car. The one that wrote me adorable poems as I went off to college. And the only boy I truly felt comfortable sharing my life’s secrets with over hotdogs and Cheetos.

Now he’s almost 27 or something like that…

and he’s definitely not falling for that dollar trick anymore…that’s for sure.

The fabulous thing? He’s marrying an AMAZING girl. A southern bell. A gal I can’t wait to call my sister.

Needless to say, they need a family soiree thrown by me and the mister. Ok, well, me…but his name can go on the invite because it is, after all, a “his and her” event.

So let the planning begin!

Think black and white theme with touches of lime green. Fresh flowers for the May date. A room filled with glowing faces near tables of appetizers filled with all the things they love. D├ęcor that shows off their amazing taste and sentiment. And of course a playlist you can shake your rump to. With a few surprises along the way.

It’s going to be a darn good event, and one we’re crossing our fingers we hope they enjoy. Low-key, family-filled and complete with joy.

Because, after all, this is really happening…

And We're Booked!

Yes – our trip to Hilton Head island in June is finally coming to life!

The plane tickets have been paid for, including seats selectively acquired for toddler tendencies. The swimsuit shopping has begun (gulp). Daydreams of white sand, nearly clear water with white-capped waves and a four-bedroom beachside house are in progress.

And we couldn’t be more excited.

Because thestateoftheworld.companymerger.interpersonalconflictatwork.theneedtolose30pounds.adisasteroushouse.worlddisasters.skewedpriorities.familyandfriendillness.sleeplessnightsandsleepydays.growingpains.carrepairs.hospitalbills., etc.etc…..

Well, it’s all becoming a little…much.

So HH is exactly what we need. Right here. Right now.

Just a week away with no worries, not a care in the world and time with the beloved.

Let the countdown begin…

Monday, April 18, 2011


“I don’t know babe, he’s at that age where he may not be so sure…not to mention the Easter Bunny tends to lean a bit on the creepy side, don’t you think?” Mike said as we packed the car, inevitably still fighting the trek to the mall. Though I secretly agreed (those big beady eyes!), I continued to load all the items it takes to convince a 19-month old to wander through a shopping center, complete with snacks, drinks, distracting toys, a lovey and of course, a stroller. Because the combo of TOMS and a brisk stroll carrying 24 pounds plus a 10-pound purse just wasn’t going to cut it…

We made our way from one end to the next, asking sets of apathetic, joking employees that stood outside of their storefronts looking bored exactly where the dude (dudette? Always thought the Easter Bunny was male?) was located. Finally, we spotted him down the way tucked outside of Macy’s, his figure as still as if he really didn’t exist at all. A gently lady with kind eyes guided our way down a small lane lined with a white picket fence and all the Easter necessities: gaggles of chicks, bright, colorful pastels, large painted eggs and more faux grass than the eye could see. We had been talking about the EB for days and the little man had even mastered his name and the concept of his purpose this upcoming weekend. Which, given the story we shared of him sneaking in while he was sleeping and leaving tracks suddenly seemed to be not so comforting…even if the creature did leave presents. Which likely led to the babe’s reaction:

And this was a good shot.

Note: I was never meant to be in this picture, but the velcro attached to my sides convinced me otherwise. At least I was sporting my new lip if only I had a similar token to offer the bunny for having a plus-size gal perch on his knee...

Needless to say, his reaction was similar to that of a mouse running from a snake. But there were no tears…so that’s a bonus. And we can always try again next year.

Meanwhile, we are keeping some other traditions alive and introducing new ones such as the Easter tree:

Placing “Happy Easter” ornaments on the mantle:

Putting out our baskets:

And placing an egg holder as our table’s centerpiece:

Most of all, we look forward to a meaningful time with family and friends over the weekend, complete with an egg hunt and all.

And no bunny.

So yah, should be a good Easter. Wishing you and yours the same!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


“Ok, sounds good – I’ll grab my calendar and give you a call to schedule the 2-year…” I said, carefully balancing my overflowing bag with all 24 pounds of my son on the other hip. Not to mention my brain simultaneously trying to wrap itself around itself at the mere mention the little guy was going to hit another birthday this year…two? Really? Wow…

The checkup had gone well, with a clean bill of health, magazines to tear up, doctor’s chairs to twirl and a humorous bout of nakedness down the hallway. Stats: 33” tall, 24.10 lbs and a 19/5” head. That’s my boy!

Except really, his weight has been the same for about a year now. Which is totally cool besides the fact I’m insanely jealous of his hollow leg. I mean, his doc even called him “long and lean.” The only thing even remotely in my life that has any description of that is the jeans I buy from GAP. Damn genes. Note: genes, not jeans. LNLs from GAP are fantastic…but I digress…

The only hitch is that we need to see an opthamologist at Children’s to get the tear duct situation figured out. In general, most kiddos are born with blocked ducts that repair on their own by age one. Unfortunately, ours are still pooling with puddles of water and salty streams down darling, chubby cheeks are part of our everyday, so potential, minimal surgery is in our future to avoid any damage to his sight or the eye. We will see what the specialist says in 3 MONTHS. Yeah, that’s the wait time at Children’s for CONSULT. Which is exactly why I work at the job I do in the field I adore. Sure, I could pull some strings, but that just adds to the access problem and how awful would I feel if I stole an appointment time from an oncology patient? Pediatric nonetheless??? More to come on this…

Meanwhile, here are some of the fun things this “cool guy” has been saying these days:

1. “Cool guy!” coupled with a head nod when he places his sunglasses on his nose
2. “FART!” when his tummy rumbles or he is working some magic in his diaper. I’m not sure this is fun, but it’s funny. Don’t judge – you know you still laugh at potty talk…
3. “Lawson does this or that…” talking in third person about his charming self
4. “I see you moon!” as he watches it rotate through the car windows
5. “Yeths” – yes, in the most unique fashion and many times, in quite, precious whispers as a response to questions
6. “GOOOOBYE!” impersonating Jack Black’s final note, complete with the tall standing pointer finger and finishes with “yah” and jazz hands
7. “Aw, maaannn!” in correlation with a head shake when he is puzzled about something
8. “Dirt!” when he accidentally gets poop on his hands or in this case, when his diaper slipped off during nap and he politely placed a pile behind his crib, only for me to find it days later. Now when he wakes, he says “dirt – all gone!” Yah, and may we never find it there again!
9. “Loading!!! Silly Ryan…” stealing a word his Uncle taught him, then labeling him as silly afterward…
10. “Thank you Mommy” – some of the most precious words to fall onto these ears

He’s also throwing wicked dance parties. Going crazy. Lovin’ on his pets. Suffering from separation anxiety. Getting a few bites at school. Hugging like crazy. Mowing the lawn. Obsessing over cleanliness. Creating beautiful art. Singing. Running. And loving life to it’s fullest.

By the way, the 18-month growth and development sheet the pediatrician sent us home with had a first line that read: "Child mimics household chorels like sweeping, dusting, etc." So I guess I can give up feeling guilty about all of this:

And with him, my life is full too…in the most remarkable, magical, unforgettable, loveable ways. So amazing in fact, there are no stats to put to it…

Taking a Risk

No, it’s not something cool like swimming some channel. Moving to another country. Joining the military. Becoming a MD saving orphanages of children. Or swimming with sharks.

But I did try a bright, bold lip color in the daytime. That’s worthy of the title, “risky,” right?!

Thanks to my new gal pal at Nordy’s NARS counter, I’m now the proud wearer of the velvet lip pencil in “Red Square” topped with the lipstick “Niagara.” And you know what…it makes me happy. Makes me feel a bit edgy. And it’s getting quite a few looks…

From women, looks of surprise and support. From my husband and son, not so much. In fact, I think my husband responded to my email that the girls had voted I keep it something like: “I really liked you in your “Batman” movies. But really, how much clout can a man who can’t support silver sparkly TOMS have??? And my 19-month old? – keeps smearing it and calling out the word “lollipop.”

But it was a desperate purchase to fill a little void. And it’s working.

So I’m going to keep rockin’ the lip color of the season and call it a risk. Without judgement. Without shame.

Just risk…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 20

Past when your taxes are due. Not my birthday or anniversary. And nope, not a holiday.

But it is an event I’m hosting at Talbots in Leawood at Hawthorne Place and I’d love to see you there.

For you it means sassy outfits (think fashion show like on SATC2), checking out the store's updated look, free adult beverages and snacks and time away to be mindless with the girls and focus on fashion. Plus, you get 20-percent off your purchases. And yes, I get it’s pricey and in this day and age it’s tough to stretch a dollar, but this stuff lasts literally for decades, is timeless and classic and can be altered to fit the ups and downs of life, both physically and emotionally! And if you’re not so much classic and more into trends and sparkles (ahem), there is something for you too to snazz it up.

No pressure. A ton of fun. Me helping out a friend. You enjoying time with gal pals.

So, I’ll see you there?

Soul Mates

This is why I firmly believe that if Mama Bird and I ever crossed paths, we would be the bestest.friends.ever:

That and she totally tweeted about our night terrors from her large following for some killer advice.

Oh, and that she's got Bieber fever. Loves vodka. Would pack her child if she could. Leaves her dresser scattered. Loves a loose pony and "trophy wife" tees. Can pack a suitcase while literally carting a small child (named Harlowe nonetheless). And totally gets the whole SVH saga.

She's my soul mate friend...I just know it...

And no, I'm not planning on stalking her at Mom2.0.

But don't think I didn't think about it...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leaving on a Southwest Plane

Thanks for your patience as I take a little hiatus to hop a plane and make my way to my last meeting in St. Petersburg at the ever-fabulous Vinoy with the Radiology Directors. Because hey, if you're going to leave your kiddo in a middle of an emotional crisis, it might as well be to help other chronically ill children get the best care possible, right?!

So for the next few days, no guest bloggers. No late night posts. And I promise no more whining about how much my heart aches leaving my family for even a mere three days.

Because I'm leaving on a jet plane, I know when I'll be back again, and I hope you'll wait for me. Thanks for reading, dear friends and have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Lately includes: his head. His flailing, pudgy little feet and scrawny arms. His loveys as they hit the wall. And my heart. My oh so heavy heart as it makes it way from my chest and falls ferociously to the floor…

For nearly two weeks now, our nighttime menu has quickly gone from stories, milk, teeth, 3-minute pass out and 12-14 hours of solid sleep to a trifecta of night terrors, nightmares and separation anxiety. And these seasonal specials? Are a recipe for sickness…creeping like a poison into our home and filling the once-precious hours with unnecessary fear, exhaustion and worry where there shouldn’t be none. I’ll take it to-go please…

So while it thankfully isn’t a long-term disorder, serious disease or life-long battle, it is ours to fight right now in our blessed lives, and fight we will…

Fight to bring protection and comfort to those eyes that well with tears now at the first sign of a parent leaving the room.

Fight to bring compassion and understanding to emotions so deep that surely a 18-month old simply cannot comprehend.

Fight to bring joy and relaxation into part of health’s most important prescriptions: sleep.

Fight to remind him the world is a beautiful place filled with spectacular people that will love him like their own.

Fight to right-size those saucer-like eyes as they stare into the dimly lit room that was once surrounded in the peaceful comfort of the night.

Fight to let him know we’re here. We’re never going to leave. And that we’ll always be there. As parents. As guidance. Full of unconditional love.

And finally, we’ll fight the fight inside ourselves. The one that leaves you curled up in the fetal position at 2 a.m., sobbing, as you hear your name bouncing off the walls in a blood-curdling scream that leaves you helpless, alone, guilty, fearful, anxious, scared, unloving and every awful word you can find in the dictionary. And remind ourselves that this too, shall pass. We’re doing the best we can. This is normal, and actually healthy. And right on target with his age range…yeah…none of this is helping…

So I guess we’ll stay on our knees with our hands folded and ask for comfort. Joy. Love. Patience. Gratitude. Contentment…

And the only things to go bump in the night to be the soft beating of our hearts…

Dear GAP Kids,

Please stop designing such stinkin’ cute clothes for toddler boys at nearly half-price. I’m fearful that Nana and Papa will no longer be able to retire at that dream age.