Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Love Hate Relationship

Trying to listen to the radio with the kids in the car is becoming increasingly difficult. I find myself hovering over the volume button- ready to censor the rogue news story about how thongs are dangerous to your health or the latest casting for "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

Have you heard Pink's latest song? The one where she wants to punch you in the face, and you need to shut up but it's "true love....truuuue love?" My kids think that is hilarious. They shake their heads, and giggle and talk about how insane that is.

I remember in high school my English teacher told us the opposite of love was not hate. It was indifference. I didn't get that at all. Indifference? How could that be? 

Fast forward 23 years and I completely understand. There is a fine line between love and hate. You can't feel that deeply about anything, or anyone without coming from a place of reckless abandon. My favorite line from John Greene's Fault In Our Stars is when he talks about not just choosing who you love, but "who you allow to hurt you." I loved (and hated?) that. 

It was 55 degrees this morning- and delicious. My dogs kept running around my postage-sized stamp of a backyard, wondering where the heat went. The windows in the house are open, and I feel like my house just farted out 4 months of stale air. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Breaking Bad


hello. Hello! Hello?

It's been a while. A few days ago, my girls and I were making a list of things that make us happy. They wrote about Rainbow Looms, I wrote about television shows that teach me how to cook meth in the desert. I loved "Breaking Bad." I love "Downton Abbey," "Newsroom," "Orange Is The New Black" and "Madmen". Why? The writing. I love, love good writing. I like the act of writing. I like savoring my words, or just throwing them up and walking away and never looking again. It is good therapy.

Side note about "Breaking Bad"---- I just finished reading the book Heidi with my youngest kid. After we finished, she said, "Mom? You know what I didn't like? I don't like how good Heidi is all the time." Heidi needed a little bit of Heisenberg in her.... I guess we all do. I find myself having conversations with my kids to encourage them to make mistakes. Go ahead- get the tally on your behavior chart. Know what it feels like. Learn from it. If you're not comfortable testing the waters in 2nd and 4th grade- you could suddenly be 50 and find yourself in an RV in the desert, cooking meth. I don't think anyone wants to grow up to be Walter White.

Lots of people are spending the month of October by writing 31 posts. I can't commit to that, but I can promise myself that I will return here frequently. 

We are knee deep in a new school year. The newness is no longer there, and the morning routine is starting to feel drudgery. I find myself with pockets of time that are boring- and then hours of non-stop running that leave me tired and cranky. This year's theme is apparently, manic depressive.

My oldest child just left for a four day, school chaperoned camping trip. Four days. That's a long time to be away. It will feel like minutes to her, because that's how things roll. It's a harbinger of things to come-  the delicate dance parents must do to let go when you need to, and hold on when you have to.

I already miss her.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling It

On my birthday, I toasted a thank you to the friends surrounding me (before the table caught on fire), and drunkenly emoted that I still felt like the same 7th grade girl on the inside.

For the most part, this is still true. My sense of humor is the same (lucky is the husband that gets the brunt of this). I part my hair on the same right side, and I still love the book Little Women on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

But, I am starting to feel my age in different ways. "Risky Business" was on tv the other night, and I suddenly found myself cringing during the party scenes. I felt empathy for Tom Cruise's parents when the crystal egg was tossed through the air. I'd kill my kid if they threw that kind of party in my house. Same reaction with "Weird Science" and "Ferris Bueller". Old age is cinematically creeping in.

I no longer associate with Laura Ingalls- I'm more a Ma girl now. Why didn't she tell Pa to go soak his head when he wanted to leave that little house in the big woods? Who willingly lives in a house made out of a grass hill? Who makes their dog walk UNDER the wagon and practically drown? Oh, Ma- you needed to give Pa a day or two of the prairie silent treatment.

I remember picking my grandmother up at the airport when I lived in Honolulu. I was 15, and had an orchid lei in my hand when I gave my grandmother a big hug at baggage claim. In her french twist and travel pantsuit, she was the grandmother I had always loved. She asked me if I had any bubblegum in my purse. I raised my eyebrows in surprise as I handed her a piece of watermelon flavored Bubble Yum. Despite her Revlon lipstick coated lips (Cherries in the Snow), she blew the biggest bubble I have ever seen, and laughed when I clapped my hands in surprise. "Don't you forget..." she said. "Every woman has a young girl inside of her. The trick is not to forget her."

Thursday, January 3, 2013


New year.

It's the last night of my holiday vacation- wrapping up an eight day California gorge fest of family, friends, food & fun. You know you've done it right when you're craving quiet, kale & a can of Slim Fast.

I've been thinking of my new year- and the resolutions it brings. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what I want to focus on, but this year, it didn't come easily.

For the last few days of my vacation, I'm at my parents' house. Along with my 2 girls, we are helping them babysit my little brother's children. They are on a much anticipated cross country jaunt to wedding. Their children are 13 months and 3- and adorable. It's the first time they've been away from their parents, so we were all a little nervous.

The first night- my year old nephew woke up around 1:45am- crying. My parents and I took turns walking him. We tried various pacifiers. Warm milk. Lullabies. He was pissed.

I took him into a bedroom and laid him on the bed. He instinctively grabbed a nearby teddy bear and gave it a hug. In my weariness, I told my nephew, "Teddy needs to go to bed. Help him go night night."

To my surprise, my nephew immediately stopped crying, patted the teddy bear, covered him with a blanket and snuggled down next to him. He kept giving the bear reassuring pats- and in focusing on the bear, forgot about his own sorrow. He fell asleep almost immediately.

There it was. My new year's resolution. To focus on others. To find the teddy bears that need help so that in helping them, I help myself. 2013- you are already teaching lessons in unexpected places.

Monday, December 17, 2012


My baby is seven.

In first grade.

It's hard to look at her and not think of the parents in New Town.

The ones with empty arms.

Hidden Christmas presents that no longer matter.

Front teeth that will never grow in.

I live in a land where guns matter. Guns matter to a lot of people. They are adamant about their guns. Their rights.

Those babies had rights too.

Does a gun that shoots six rounds per second belong in your 2nd Ammendment?

It doesn't in mine.

Guns may matter to some people, but children matter more.

Hopefully we can all agree on that one.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Party Planning For Dummies

We did it.

First big party in this house? Check it off the list. Never you mind that my husband couldn't get out of bed yesterday, or that I took a 4 hour nap. It was worth it. Big parties are no big deal. Effortless. Easy-peasy, chicken squeezy. Especially when you use these ever-so-smart party planning tips...

  • Buy your flowers a day before. This gives them a chance to open, and gives off that relaxed, "Hey, I have fresh flowers all the time," feel. My best place to find flowers is Costco. Is your Costco a vortex of unnecessary purchases? Because nothing says "I'm having a party" than a cart filled with tire cleaner and a gallon sized bag of pancake mix. 
  • Buy a chevron striped rug from RugsUSA for your daughter's room. Have it delivered day before your party. Realize it will look better in dining room and schlep downstairs. Cooerce your 7 year old into helping you lift rug under heavy table. Over existing rug. Hope guests don't notice the bumps, or that your husband notices you bought new rug.
  • Use upcoming party as chance to fix all of the annoying things in your house that drive you nuts. Have a handyman at your house the day before the party. The light in the shower now works! Will now serve cocktails in shower.
  • Forget you have Symphony tickets for the morning of the party. Can I peel potatoes during symphony? Smuggle some in purse. Will wait for horns section to kick off before starting potatoes.
  • Save your trip to Ikea to buy wine glasses until hours before the party. At this point, you are barely speaking to your spouse, so sending him off on an errand is an excellent idea. Husband specifically asks if he should buy (insert Swedish word for red wine glasses) or (insert Swedish word for white wine glasses). You tell him (Swedish word for white). He buys (insert Swedish word for red). You call him (insert Swedish word for... well, you get my drift). 
  • Agonize over centerpiece. Light candles. Reassure worried husband that no one will spill red wine or holiday cocktails on furniture. No one does. But, the dining room table (purchased 6 WEEKS ago) does catch on fire. Luckily, husband has made good use of his (Swedish word for red wine glasses) and laughs it off to a good memory. 

So there you have it! Party planning made easy. We narrowly escaped a call to the fire department, had Australians doing the Gangnam style dance in my family room & are forever blessed to have such good friends to celebrate with. Anyone know a good furniture refinisher?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Almost There

In 2 days, I turn 40.

The weirdest part of this is not seeing Judd Nelson play Santa Claus on the Hallmark Channel (he did! My inner Molly Ringwald shuddered), or that our planned trip to Thailand went in the trashcan, but that I vividly remember where I was when my Mom turned 40.

I was 15. Immediately after highschool- I went over to our family friend's house to decorate for her surprise party. I helped hang a huge banner that said "Lordy, Lordy, Sharon's Forty" and waited in eager anticipation for my mom that hates surprises.

My girls are 9 and 7, and I wonder if they will recall this birthday. My husband has invited a small gathering of friends to join us for Saturday night- and I love seeing him, completely out of his element- menu planning, cake ordering and juggling the small bits of party throwing that drive one nuts. He has not yet started his own Pinterest account, so at least there's that.

The drink of choice is a gin concoction called "Forever Young" (1990 Prom theme in the house!) and I'll let you guys know if it magically gets rid of the line that has somehow formed between my brows.

So, goodbye to my 30's. You were a grand decade- ushered in with karaoke and friends in a little house in San Diego that had no children. You were not all fun and games, but not all sadness either. I lost 3 of my grandparents. One baby. Birthed 2 delicious little girls. Moved more times than I care to remember. Many of your moments are hazy- I was very, very tired during a good stretch of your time. But I will look back and know that this is the time I became a mother, we became a family and forever changed.