Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Keepin' It Real

"It was just so...depressing!," my girlfriend's social post stated as she reminisced on last night's
season finale of "This is Us." And while many of her gaggle of pals agreed with her, all I could thinking while watching it was:

Thanks for keeping' it real.

Because let's face it - marriage isn't all rainbows and sunshine. It's not always stolen kisses after the kids are asleep or slow dancing in the living room. Thoughtfulness in the deepest moments of fatigue. Shared eye contact. Meaningful conversations. Creating life plans together. Following your dreams. Sacrificing with grace. Calmly managing conflict while your children play quietly nearby. A wife who always wakes up looking like a super model and her husband the same (sorry - had to throw that one in there. I mean, they never show either of them working out...)

Marriage can be feeling like a ghost. Tears in your car before you pull all the way into the drive. Nights on the couch. Vices and addictions you either find a way to fight through together, apart or simply tuck under the rug. Temptation and questioning of this lifelong commitment you made. Figuring out how to take turns in your careers, passion and raising children. Forgetting why you fell in love in the first place. And struggling to create that list when the other person asks.

So when Rebecca and Jack take a departure from all of their warm smiles, kindness in the face of adversity, etc. - I breathe a sigh of relief. I watch this TV show and know that's why millions of us tune in. So that we too can say:

That's me.

Though no one is certain what will happen next, it's highly likely they will reconnect and show the world their great love that inspires us to keep coming back week after week. And in these stories, the good, the bad, the ugly - may the writing move you to reflect and find little pieces of your life along the way.

Because that, my friends, is great TV. And who doesn't need a bit of that when your spouse is making you crazy?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Still Hot for Mamas

"Hm, I just read the gorgeous, smart, fabulous Melanie's post about Evereve, and it's right up the street. Pretty please can I pop in for a sec? I can meet you at JCrew?!" I begged the husband, another portion of date night stolen by shiny objects vs. connecting over cans of beers and darts. That is before the meal we'll spend entirely too much on but thoroughly enjoy (without children.)

"Sure, sure - pop in. I'll catch up on some emails."

So plopped he did, right next to their tank of gold fish crackers and dangling necklaces, while I immediately clicked with a super friendly sales gal. What started as a "man, that tank is cute!" ended with a purchase of these two dynamite items:
The back of this is cut out and draped, adding the
perfect flair. And it's sooooo soft. 

Finally, a cold shoulder that has a bit of structure,
enough thickness to hide the mom pooch and a kick of
flair to balance out curvier hips.

And I could've kept going.

While I was there, I asked about the TrendSend deal they have (thanks again, Melanie!) and went home and quickly committed via PC. For no styling fee, Evereve will send you five items on your schedule and only charge you a dollar to return the package of whatever you did not prefer. Sounds pretty good to me. I can't wait to share my first box with you!

Catching the Style Scout's post came at the perfect time - winter is wrapping up, I've packed on the pounds and not enough self-tanner in the world can make me feel even mildly attractive. Evereve has the an excellent solution - some on-trend, but uber comfortable and totally mom-appropriate for nearly any occasion. Prices range to fit almost anyone's budget and the styles too to meet even a pear-shaped gal's requirements. Plus the store smells amazing, everyone is over-the top kind, they don't work on commission and you can say things like "saggy boobs" and "c-section skin" and the gal knows exactly what you mean and can style around it.

I'll take it.

Next time you're on the Plaza or near Leawood - pop in. They're just as fabulous as "Hot Mama" ever was and there is someone just waiting for you to feel like the hot mama you are. Enjoy!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Spring Break"

"SNOW and -2 degrees?! We gotta call it," my husband said, tossing his work bag across the wood floor, his body language indicating he'd clearly had enough for the week.

Round three of a stomach virus had hit our home, Mommy took a hard fall down the stairs, the house was a wreck and both of our works required the best of this week. In other words, we were not winning.

So just like that, we cancelled our trip to Minnesota, our hearts sinking in our chests with disappointment on not seeing our loved ones and visiting a new city when we needed it most. And while visiting MN in March is always a risk (super northern, yah?), we were nearly out the door and now had to make the transition to try and appreciate our very own town.

Breaking out some paper, I quickly went to work, asking the boys what they'd like to do and madly scheduling, like many women do when they've lost all control. Our list started shaping up pretty well, with things like:

  • Lawrence
  • Indoor swimming
  • Zoo
  • New Dave and Busters
  • Date night with mom; another with Dad
  • Beauty and the Beast movie 
  • Parents vs. kids basketball game
  • Kids' cooking night
  • Auto show
Snowing on our first day of spring break?!
We'll bring the fun inside! 
Ok, and a shopping day meant just for Mommy. Oh - and we're surprising them on Monday with a giant trampoline that will now live in our backyard.  That should get us to winning. 

As a Pisces and a planner, I was extremely attached to our plan, idealizing snuggles with my boys, lots of laughter and a neighborhood a bit quieter that made time for just the four of us.

Truth be told, the first night I had to make the damn Hamburger Helper myself (gross - 7 yo picked it) and ended up locked in our master with a glass of wine. Outside the door were two little toddler feet kicking it violently, demanding I retreat, with a husband and an older child looking dumbfounded on what exactly was going on. 

But today's a new day! And while I psychotically demanded some taking back of the house occur, then promptly went to Cycle Bar to release some mom rage, I returned to a house full of boys clad in trunks ready to cross swimming off our list. At the pool we did do the laughing, the dunking, the smiling, the connecting. May there be much more of this to come.

Do you do this? Do you get attached to an idea of "I took three days off work so we better love unconditionally and hang out with no fights, dammit."?

Some days I find myself so stressed by how quickly they are changing and how we're constantly chasing time, that I can barely breathe. So I plan. I create romantic, ideal visions of a family of four in my head. And then I latch on. And then everything that was living in my little brain goes completely opposite of how I daydreamed it. Then all the grumpiness happens. 

Until the third day when they've woken us by 5:15 a.m. and I have to return to work the next day. Then I weep in my car after I drop them back at school, missing our messy, better-without-any-expectations life.

Happy spring break my friends. May it include beaches, connecting or a whole lot of nothing that brings you utter joy.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

It's not just today...

It's everyday I'm thankful for the ladies in my life.

To those that have gone before me, to create more opportunity than I can even imagine.

To my Mom who I talk to every single day and understands furniture needs rearranging on Sundays.

To my mentors, who lead by design and tell me nothing is too far out of my reach.

To my tribes, who love so unconditionally they can be called nothing but family.

To mothers, who take on the impossible job of loving their children so fiercely, while also letting them find their own way.

To leaders, who inspire us all to be better and do the things people used to ask permission for.

To my colleagues and friends, who leave little notes on my trail when a day was a little less sunny.

To providers, who spend a little more time asking you about your symptoms, fluffing your towel or holding your anxious child's hand as he enters new territory.

To strangers, who make conversation on a crowded train, because you know, we're women.

Today was interesting as one of the initiatives being pushed forward was for others to experience "a day without women." But in my experience, all my days have been better because all of these women?

They show up.

And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

The world is a better place, with you, woman.