Thursday, February 14, 2013

True Love

Love is a sweet tender kiss on a rainy afternoon keeping warm with a crackling fire and inevitable intimacy. Love is popping the zit on your life mate’s back because he just cant quite get the leverage to do it himself. Love is dancing together in total sync as if the melody is carrying your bodies as one and nothing or no one else exists anywhere around you. Love is getting gas in your wife’s car even when you know she may be exaggerating when she says the gas light “just came on”. Love is fighting for your relationship trying everyday to be a bit understanding and patient. Love is not an adolescent notion, or something just old people do. Love is well….I don’t even know. If you really want the answer, ask a romantic. I am about as romantic as a fat guy with a beer gut scratching his balls watching football on his anniversary. Romance is such a mystery to me. Why are we so turned on by candy and flowers? I imagine waiting too long for an overpriced dinner and a glass of pretentious wine wearing sparkly new diamond earrings while finally jumping on the table to yell “he went to JARED”. Ok. Maybe I am a cynic. To me love is finding an amazing pair of shoes on clearance. And not everyday boat shoes, or flat boots…no…love is finding this dazzling red heels that make your legs look like a fashion model and your outfit look like you stepped right off the set of Sex in the City. Now that is love. Anniversaries and Valentines Day are for celebrating the one person you have chosen to spend every day with, for all eternity. I can’t imagine wearing the same pair of shoes for the rest of my life. Shoe are not monogamous relationships. They don’t care if you cheat. Shoes don’t come up to you the next morning and ask where you were sticking your feet last night while they sat there waiting by the back door. Shoes really don’t expect much for you as far as commitment. One can have hundreds of pairs of shoes and love each one as if it was your first. Maybe that is what Madonna meant when she sang “like a Virgin.” It is just an ode to shoes; every pair makes you feel so shiny and new. It isn’t far fetched, after all, we are living in a material world. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore my husband. He has given me two amazing children and ten blissful years of marriage. We still hold hands and we still say, “I love you” every time get off the phone with each other. It is just reassuring after spending over ten years with the same person that I can freely change my shoes whenever I want. To celebrate, I bought my self four pairs of shoes. Happy Hearts Day to all…may you find eternal love with the shoes to match.



Happy ❤❤ to me





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I dedicate this post to my Mom. She set an example of the gives and takes of a great marriage. She also bought me a pair of boots for Christmas that were too small. After almost two months of sitting in my car, they were finally exchanged. Unfortunately they didn't have my size in the boots, but they were having a sale. So i replaced them with four pairs of great pumps in the best neutrals, black, red and leopard print.




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Routine

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“I’m so hungry. Can I have a snack?” Olivia asks
“Dinner is almost ready…like five minutes.” Josh says
“But I am really hungry.”
“FIVE minutes!!”
“Ok.”


We sit down for dinner. There is chatter between the kids of who did what at school, who played with them and some gossip over who got in trouble. As this is a new school, I smile and nod, as I have no clue what they are talking about.


“I'm full.” Olivia says


“Five more bites.” I reply without even looking at the plate. I know there is probably somewhere between “the starving kids in Africa” lecture and the “no snacks later” but as I am between diets right now, it was more like the “finishing Olivia’s meal doesn’t really count as seconds” mindset.


“I took five bites, can I be done now?” She asks.




Since the girls have started school, life has started to feel a bit normal…like the natural balance of day and night has returned and now I don’t feel like I am the only one who actually has to wake up at a specific time everyday. Just like my work life, their daily life involves actual people and not Warrior Cats and American Girls. Schedules and routines feel more normal than the long and hot summer days where I am the only one who knows the difference between a Tuesday and a Saturday. Summer is the routine killer. I spend the entire school year trying to the girls on a perfect balance of schoolwork, homework, activities, friends and playtime. It is a fine craft that took a few years to perfect. (Don’t be overwhelmed parents of kindergarteners…I promise it gets easier..or you start caring a little less about what other parents, your parents, teachers, the kids, your husband or even the dog think of you. It is about mid-first to second grade you will realize the impact of school on your child’s life. Before kindergarten, the kids go with you and their lives are pretty much based on what you are doing. After kindergarten, you go with the kids and your life is pretty much based on what they are doing.) Since the theme of our summer was “we moved and our lives are now completely different”, I am now bracing what feels like a familiar routine and that involves them being in school.


After seven days off work, I actually didn’t mind going back to work. For the first time since I have been at my new job, I started to think about what I was going to wear tomorrow. This is a far cry from my new motto of “whatever is clean”. I was starting to wonder if the old “me” was dying a little each day. With a job where I have to do actual work everyday (aka grownup world) and city where I am anonymous as Jane Doe, I was starting to feel a little bit too ordinary. As I lay there in bed dreaming Kelly green mixed with leopard print, my old self decided to make a comeback. Like Doctor Who emerging from a pocket watch, the former me is taking over. (Confession time: I have spent the last three weeks in a total Doctor Who trance…why didn’t someone warn me that show was so addicting? I have skipped the following activities to watch the Doctor: sleeping, shopping, eating, exercising, going out, calling people back, reading emails, blogging, cleaning, etc. etc….)


Now that fall is close and I can picture myself in my heeled boots and pretty much anything from J. Crew, I am starting to feel a sense of individuality again in what I am wearing. To honor that, today I wore a scarf. Welcome back fall wardrobe…(swimsuit, my nemesis, we will meet again next year), hello new Kelly green slacks.


“How long has it been since we had dinner?” Olivia asks
“Ten minutes” I say
“Can I have a snack?” Olivia asks


Welcome back normal family life.




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Shirt: Target
Scarf: The Limited
Pants: Gap
Shoes: Charlotte Russe






Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just Like Riding a Bike




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We compare many things to riding a bike. Getting up in the morning for school, working out for the first time in a while, even sex. It is both cliché and whimsical. Who doesn’t have fond child hood memories of that first grasp of independence? Riding a bike is one of the few things where there is instant gratification. You spin the pedals faster, faster..climbing a bit, a burst of energy raises you out of the seat. Thighs start to burn as you push your legs to spin even faster. Then you hit the top. There it that last turn, that second you know that it is time to stop pedaling, it is time to coast. For a brief second you free fall…you taste the wind (and try not to taste bugs), everything lets go, all the intensity from the climb, the struggle to turn the pedals and gain ground. That is the point of the climb, to reach that free feeling. It is an instant reward to the effort. If only everything worked like that. An intense five minutes of work out resulted in the immediate loss of a pound, every hour your boss would hand over a paycheck, every time you yelled at the kids they look at you and say “thanks for that valuable lesson. If it weren’t’ for you, I would grow up to be a giant ass hole.”

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Lately, I have been making the comparison that so many things are like riding a bike. Moving has stripped me of what is normal. My old every day is gone. I don’t wake up staring at the same ceiling, I don’t step into the same shower and I don’t look out of my window and see the same neighbors. It is different now…I have a different life. My kids no longer have that same expectation of what a new school year will bring. We are still the same people, just living in a new world. There is regular contact with the old world…we have glimpses of their lives and how they are different with out us. We have new every day interactions with people we only used to see on occasion. Things are not the same. Learning to live life in this new scope of every day is like riding a bike. Slowly, I am adapting to the new everyday. My car points to the same direction of what I can now call home. I sit on my couch and feel its comfort as it used to exist in my old life and followed me to this new one. There is some excitement about getting on the bike again. The beginning was a struggle. My mind was struggling to turn around the everyday like my legs would struggle to push the pedals on a climb. My hands were clenching onto every obstacle, like that would be thing that causes me to tumble off the bike and land on the side of the road. After a while, my climb became less steep. A new reality became my normal and I began to accept the way things are going to be. I stopped comparing what my life was to what it is now and started to be thankful that I have then and now. (insert Spaceballs quote here…). I am learning to enjoy the wind blowing in my hair as I breathe in the rewards of hard work. If I want an instant reward, I just think about riding a bike. There is a struggle to get up the hill, then a feeling of peace as I coast down the hill. It doesn’t have to be a big hill to enjoy the coast, but it does require a bit of work.

One part of creating my new life, I have made an effort to take more bike rides. It has become our family bonding time. We ride to the library or the park or to get ice cream. Some days we just take a ride into the woods and enjoy the warm summer air. This summer became defined as a series of bike rides. We pedaled along brick roads, and sidewalks and dirt paths. We pedaled for the wind at our feet and the comfort of knowing the four of us were equally trying to create a new reality.

Now that we are settled in a house, my schedule is becoming more normal. I had a lot of my stuff scattered around at least three locations. I had to adapt my style a bit to reflect my new life. My job is a slight notch less formal than my last one. (The sort of slight not noticeable to the average eye…). I had to get into a new rhythm of make up and accessories that reflect my new reality. And to prove I am ready to take on anything new that comes my way, I even bought a romper. Once I got by the constant need to adjust it and answered the question “how much do I plan on going to the bathroom while wearing this…?”, I found it to be a little whimsical…just like riding a bike.



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Romper: Forever 21
Sandals: Teva













Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rolling Stone


I have been finding my life again here in Columbus. Little by little, I am defining what is normal life. I started going to a writing group...it really sprung me back into action this week. My poor, neglected blog!! I have internet and am reunited with my camera man. Before I go back into my usual blog format, I have to share my writing group assignment. If you are looking for a great writing prompt, here is one. Write a response to something. Pick a song, poem, or even a piece of art and write a response. I picked "Like a Rolling Stone" By Bob Dylan. When I went away to college, I wrote a paper about this song. I said I felt like that poor little rich girl about to step out in to the big nasty world. I thought it was pretty fitting to use the same song for my new life, and how much I have grown since then. (and I am not talking about the size of my behind....). 





I couldn’t wait to get away…to go somewhere. Somewhere that wasn’t home. At three, I packed my clothes into a plastic Minnie Mouse suitcase and ran away to my Grandma’s house. At nineteen I ran away from a failed relationship and a certain future. I packed up my journal and my small town attitude to something bigger. I was pretty brave, that spoiled little rolling stone who was used to a walk in closet and an easy life. Is the poor little rich girl metaphor a bit tired? Why are we so happy to watch her fail, why can’t we cheer for her as she grows up to be a stronger woman? Just like a butterfly, she sheds her overpriced designer cocoon.

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.


You don’t know me at all. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you are a failure. Just because you are broke, doesn’t mean you are broken. This little doll needed a slice of humble pie to appreciate the walk in closet and dream that one day those eighty pairs of shoes would find themselves a home. I don’t talk so loud, because I listen. I don’t judge because I am not perfect.


You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but know you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?


The deal wasn’t so bad. I didn’t sell my soul or anything…just a piece of my youth. But really, don’t we all need to trade that in for a suit and tie? Why does it matter where I got my juice? Do you always like to kick a girl when she is down? Sometimes Miss Lonely is a mask, or a cover for what we are scared to show. I can live on the street and in that mansion on the hill, I can live with my self and the decisions I have made. While you are so quick to judge me, ask yourself this when was the last time you fell from grace and got back up?


You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.


He didn’t steal anything. I stole from him. Experience and life. They come with mistakes. Maybe I used the diplomat, maybe I loved him. What do you care? It is over. He wasn’t for me…..maybe he has a lovely wife now and a lovely home with a white fence in a gated town…his chrome horse retired for an even bigger one. Are you going to be better for me, with your accusations and your mockery? I saw the jugglers and the clowns…I laughed in their faces and threw pennies in their hats. I wasn’t perfect, I was a child who tossed her self into the lonely world. I lifted up with a smile from the juggler and a hug from the clown. We all need a little comfort food on the coldest of winter days. I admit I took advantage and they got hurt. I feel bad about the frowns, but we all have to walk away sometimes. How is that any different from you getting your kicks from my sadness?
Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.


The language wasn’t what drew me in, how silly of you to assume that. Amused only tells half of the story. What do you know of love? I like to run away, as I said. I ran away from Napoleon. Maybe I didn’t want a life of rags and pawned diamond rings. I am not proud of breaking his heart, but mine broke as well. Don’t you know that the pretty people do have it made? A smile opens a door, a flirty gaze gets a drink. Precious gifts are fine for a while. I didn’t exactly hike up my skirt to the highest bidder, but I used some charm to get somewhere that wasn’t calculating IQs. The pretty people demand something from you, they take back what they have given you the minute you aren’t one of them. My face has long been replaced by now with something younger and prettier and bustier. Another little rich girl who will learn the same lesson when she is ready. You ask how it feels to be on my own but you didn’t warn me of the dangers. You laugh at my mistakes and riddle my failures. I have no secrets to conceal, but I am far from invisible. I guess that makes me a metaphor, or as you like to think, such a cliché. Rags to riches, poor little rich girl. She went away to the big city and learned a thing or two about life. She made some mistakes and took advantage of some people to get ahead. She became a person of strong convictions and then a strong person with some convictions.


How does it feel
To be on your own. With no direction home
Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone ?

I like being on my own. I am in charge, I call the shots. I am no longer the rich girl or the poor girl. I don’t need a direction home. I am a bird, so I flew away and built another nest. Being an unknown has its advantages, but I am far from that. I don’t need a big fancy name or a group of admiring followers to be valuable. I am not as superficial as you would like to make me out to be. I am every nineteen year old princess who leaves her suburban palace to find her prince or maybe her destiny. It has been over ten years since that journey started, since I listened to your words and cried. I knew what you were warning me of, and I tried so hard not to become that little rolling stone. Then it happened, I stopped caring what you thought. You can paint me whatever you like, but I don’t care. You can call me names and make me fit nicely into your box of stereotypes. Maybe I could have chosen you and you would have made me happy, or maybe your inconsistent intolerance for my flaws is what turned me off. You sound like a scorned lover. How easy for you to mock me and point out the poor judgments I have displayed. You are that insecure voice in my head telling me that I am not good enough or that I don’t deserve this happiness. Not once did you point out how I have learned from them or that I have changed some of my girlish thoughts. It is your voice that has haunted me since the day I left home, your words I was afraid to become. A stone won’t roll forever, it will eventually stop and become sediment. You won’t haunt me forever, I will eventually tune you out.








(um..insert random pictures of things that look like rocks and travel? sure, why not. I love pictures. )


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Home



“Home..let me come home. Home is wherever I’m with you.” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Am I going home for the weekend? Or am I headed back home to work for the week? Did I leave my shoes at my other home or did I leave them at the place I am staying for the time being? I have started to become amused by how my life has scattered out over two cities. I have parts of me in an apartment where I spend my Monday through Friday and the other parts are in the home I have known for the last seven years. At first I was lonely, then confused now I am starting to create a shape in my mind of what our life is going to be like. June 8, the day Josh and the kids join me in Columbus is right around the corner and I am getting used to my new life and job. I am ready for them to be part of my new life. We were taking a walk today. Time, space, cities, jobs, houses cars, nothing seemed relevant at the moment. I was having a discussion with Layla about monarch butterflies. I told her how I saw a beautiful butterfly this morning sitting on a beautiful flower. I reached for my phone to take a picture but it was in the house. I thought about grabbing the camera..every instinct I have is to take a picture of such a beautiful moment. Instead, I just sat there, enjoying the simplicity of the moment. “Some moments don’t need pictures.” I told her. “they are the pictures that just exist in our mind and we get that beauty all to ourselves.” She slipped her hand into mine. At ten, she is at that age where I always appreciate the hand holding and butterfly talks. I still had a little flutter in my stomach when she held my hand. I thought about her tiny hand, grasping onto mine as she took her first steps and how that same hand apprehensively let go of mine the moment she started preschool. The more I think about where home is, the less I worry. There are three people who make up my home. The walls and windows and city are merely things that make up a house. As long as the four of us are together, home can be anywhere. I finally have a sense of peace, and gratitude for the butterfly sitting on the flower. It reminds me of the simplicity of the moments we share together.