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P E A C E

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We’re headed to the Denver Art Museum for the afternoon, then Christmas Eve dinner at Steubens before we look at lights on the way home.

Low stress and non-traditional. Just the way I like it.

Wishing you a lovely holiday filled with love, laughter, patience and perhaps some valium if necessary.

XO

Emily

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A Coyote Solstice Tale

While picking up presents at Tattered Cover, I stopped to peruse the holiday books.

I’m so bored with most of them and was delighted to find a creative alternative to the usual fare.

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From School Library Journal:

Coyote is expecting Beaver, Bear, Otter, and Moose for a solstice dinner at his small house in the woods but a little girl in a reindeer costume shows up first. When the friends follow her tracks to discover where she came from, they discover a huge and frenzied mall just beyond the woods, where Coyote goes wild shopping until he discovers that he has to pay for the stuff. The humor is dry and affectionate, the rhyming text delights with sly turns of phrase, the watercolor cartoons are whimsical, and the small size of the book (a bit bigger than a DVD case) adds to the charm. This holiday treat will leave readers with no doubt that an evening spent at home with your buds is priceless.–

The kids love it, especially Finn, and we’ve been reading it every night.

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Freedom

The kids’ winter break starts on Friday. I am mentally preparing as if I am going to war, which I am, sort of.

I am stock piling all of my patience and ideas for fun so that I can be a good mama instead of channeling Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest. Peter’s vacation starts on the 22nd so luckily I don’t have much solo time.

Sigh…

So, today I will finish (and by “finish” I mean “start”) shopping for Christmas. Shouldn’t be too bad. I am trying to shop local so I’ll hit up the local toy store and book store and call it a day. The kids are only getting a few things. They don’t need more crap. (Although, I would by lying if I said I wasn’t OVER THE MOON excited about Finn getting an Easy Bake Oven. I will be his best customer.)

Yesterday, I went to my usual lunch hour yoga class.  I felt murderous during the whole thing. Amped up and anxious. Tense. Ready to bite flesh or get in a fight.

This is not the norm.

The reason?

The instructor, a lovely woman who is a perfectly great yoga instructor, played FUCKING KENNY G THE WHOLE TIME.

THE WHOLE TIME.

THE WHOLE TIME.

Did I say the whole time?

An HOUR of Kenny G.

As I sat on my mat stretching and waiting for class to begin, I calmed myself down by saying ‘Surely, she’ll switch the music when she starts class. Don’t worry.” (The studio is known for great music that complements the practice.)

I have a physical reaction to Kenny G. I don’t find him relaxing or soothing or Zen.

That soprano saxophone gets into my brain and digs around like a raccoon in a garbage can, pulling out the most negative thoughts and riddling my body with malevolence. And then on some of the songs, he would sing. I audibly grunted a few times. My desire to flee was so strong that I almost grabbed my shit and left. But the class was super full and I didn’t want to ruin anyone else’s practice.

At the end of class, I stayed in savasana all of 10 seconds before I literally sprinted from the class to the safety of my car.

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Sublime

Kanye West’s 30 minute film, “Runaway.” Have you seen this? I was absolutely mesmerized. It’s beautiful.

 

Welcome to the week, my little candy canes.

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Turned the Corner

Hooray! I feel better. This fact is actually comical, considering my version of “feeling better” is still rubbish compared to healthy people’s version of “feeling better.”  But, I’ll take it. Gratefully.

Don’t take your health for granted, ladies and gentleman. Just don’t.

Even with all of my ridiculous health issues, I frequently compose little post-it love notes to my body.

Dear Body,

Thanks for 37 wonderful years together. You’re doing a great job! Keep it up.”

love, Emily

Ok, on a totally random note, I watched Love Actually the other day. Many people name it as a favorite holiday movie and I hadn’t seen it in a while.

I remember thinking it was really sweet the first time I saw it.

This second viewing?

Meh.

Why is everyone referring to Natalie as “fat” in the movie? (Hugh Grant’s love interest) She’s clearly not. She’s stunning. There are 4 or 5 jokes about her being chunky, with tree trunk thighs and a huge arse. It started to irritate me. She’s clearly the most attractive girl amongst all of the naysayers. It just rubbed me the wrong way. And then at the end when she jumps into Hugh Grant’s arms he said ‘Good God, you weigh a lot.”

THAT’S supposed to be charming? I suppose it is English humor. And I WAS cranky when I watched it.

Anyhoo…

I was reminded of my deep affection for Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth and Liam Neeson.

Speaking of Colin Firth, have you seen A Single Man? I’m sure I’m the last on the planet not to have seen it.  Go see it.

Absolutely stunning. An astounding entre into directing by Tom Ford. Not to mention stellar performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. It was really really moving. The juxtaposition of the agonizing grief he feels and the beautiful way the film is shot is mesmerizing.

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Thursday Loves

Denver

+This beautiful picture of Denver (from Dooce.com)

+ Haagen Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream – I buy two or three of these at a time because they are limited edition. I would buy more if I had more room in my freezer. It’s that good.

+ SmartWool socks – Because I have Raynaud’s Phenomenon, my hands, feet and nose are ALWAYS cold. These socks have saved me. I wear them all of the time. SO so so cozy.

+ Giving compliments to strangers – Try it. It’s fun. It’s a bit uncomfortable the first time but then it becomes second nature.  I’ve been doing this for a while now and even though I get strange reactions, most noticeable one time, silence and a dirty look, it makes me feel good. And I know, deep down, it makes the other person feel good too. (My sister does this too and when the two of us are together it gets comical, bombarding people with conversation and compliments)

Walking into Panera Bread the other day (side note: their mac n’ cheese is CRACK! so good) I saw a woman with a great dress on. I said “Hey, great dress!” She smiled sheepishly and said “THANKS!” I saw a woman in the produce section of the grocery with beautiful white hair (like my mama). I leaned over the cucumbers and said “Your hair is stunning.” She just grumbled and looked away.

Hm. Now this is what I call a “compliment ruiner.” I know I took her by surprise and I’m sure she thought I was a freak. But I meant no harm and was genuine when I said her hair was stunning. Take a note, people. Learn how to accept a compliment.

+House clothes – When I leave the house, I try to look presentable. Bra+real pants+clean shirt+real shoes. But the SECOND I return home, I have to remove all vestiges of constricting real life clothes to don what I call “house clothes”. House clothes = no bra, yoga pants, smartwool socks, cozy long sleeved T, slippers and usually throwing my hair into a bun. Does anyone else do this? The second I have on my house clothes I can exhale and let the busyness of the outside world melt away.

+Taking pictures with my new camera. I love the vintagey look of it and am getting more comfortable using it.

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(The first pics are of HJ opening the door on her new Advent Calendar. The other is from this morning. Hadley had a krone Peter gave her from a trip to Norway and she decided to put it on a ribbon and wear it as a necklace. Clap clap, my beautiful, creative rare bird. Keep up the good work.)

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(yes, Finn’s enthusiasm is infectious. I wish I had a quarter of his energy.)

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Happy almost end of your week. Remember not to overschedule…and breathe.

XO

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Gone away is the new bird

Trying to be festive and doing a pretty good job of it. Bay leaf wreath smells delightful. Tree up. Lights outside still need to be hung. (Not my department) Daily Christmas tunes. Fun plans for the blue eyed devils over Christmas break.

Reminding myself to breathe and not get stressed out. No reason to, really. After a busy Thanksgiving, I’m looking forward to an obligation free Christmas. 

I wish my body would play along and be more Holly Golightly rather than Holly Goleaden and fatigued.

I’ve been dragging myself through the days. Not many spoons to spare. Peter and the kids had a cold/flu last week and they have given it to me. I don’t get any of the same symptoms (sore throat, coughing, sniffles) or even a fever. I just get completely wiped out. Brain fog, achy, painful skin, etc. (I didn’t get the mail for three days because the thought of walking 4 houses down to our bank of mailboxes was too much.)

Add onto that nonsense is ongoing severe hip pain, which has me acting as a ping pong ball between a back doctor and my rheumatologist. Thinking it was my piriformis muscle, the back doc ordered an injection of steroids directly into that muscle, otherwise known as my ass. (interesting stuff. I asked for a DVD of the process, like a nerd.) Alas, this did nothing to alleviate pain but made me anxious and nauseous. Good old steroids.

I’m due to return to the back doctor to look at more options next week. And then the rheumatologist to see how lupus is involved. You get the picture.

Exhausting.

No appetite but food is necessary, of course. Trying to juice everyday and eat healthy because that helps. All of this food prep takes energy though. Blah.

Lots of mini pity parties, where, when no one is around, I’ll slink to the floor in the kitchen and lay my head on the cool floor thinking I can’t possibly get up.

While lying there, I silently wish that I had more energy, more spoons, to get stuff done.

Pity parties aren’t long in these parts though. I won’t allow it. Wallowing isn’t productive. I’ll listen to myself think these thoughts, sometimes cry, tell myself I’m ok, acknowledge and move on.

Life is really really good after all and I have so much to be thankful for. SO much.

Plus, the countdown is on for our family trip to Sayulita Mexico with my three besties and their fams in January. That thought brightens many of my days.

More peppy post tomorrow. I promise.  XO

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Always Thankful

Been inspired lately and trying to be positive and surround myself with goodness. Frequent yoga is helping immensely. I love the body buzz and the mental high.

Thanksgiving was really lovely. I am completely depleted and my body hates me from overuse but I am so content. My cousin Brendan and his wife came and stayed with us for the holiday. I was initially nervous because hosting people is exhausting. My anxiety mounted. Turned out it was completely unnecessary. They were the perfect guests. Really really cool people. We miss them and want them to come back.

My brother Neil and his family came from Dallas so we were all together.

My mom made the evening so unique and special. She is like no other in the most loving way. Love is in the details. And there were so many details. We all had these little place cards.

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It was just SO good to be together to talk and laugh. There’s nothing like being with them. I laughed so much the whole time. Seriously. The WHOLE time. My sister said it perfectly when she said that we all have just accepted where and who we are and love each other unconditionally. So true. No stress or weird drama. Just togetherness. Dad is always missed but we be so proud of us. Especially Mom. 

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(the kids were so curious about Uncle Peter not having hair. I went and got a wig for him. Wigs are funny. And how normal does he look with it on??)

My favorite part is always seeing the cousins together. There are 9 of them and they were constantly playing together. Meg has a great post about the week too.

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This is Neil’s oldest Olivia and Hadley. How cute are they? And how much do they look alike? They are the redheads in the bunch. You can see Grace, Olivia’s sis in the background.

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As much fun as we had, I am happy to be back to the routine, where I feel most comfortable.

Yesterday ruled for no apparent reason. Clear head, minimal pain, more energy than usual. Yoga, eating well and laundry. It’s the small things.

Each night at dinner we cheers each other and clink glasses. Everyone says the best part and the worst part of their day.

Yesterday, I couldn’t think of a worst part. Not one thing. Love that.

Been avoiding negativity and “noise” lately, which helps my current state of mind. You know what I mean by noise….too much TV or internet, stores or bustling around, cranky people. Embracing stillness.

A while ago I stopped reading some websites and blogs because they were becoming toxic. Blogs that I had been reading for years…just because I read them every day. But when I started to evaluate what I got from reading them, I came up empty. The only thing keeping me going was voyeurism and that’s not good enough. Most of the time I would grimace after I read the post.

Not anymore. I won’t name names. No need.

Welcome to December, little birdies. I hope the month brings you good cheer.

The kids were so psyched to start their Advent calendars today. Hadley got the Amsterdam Calendar from Nouveau Designs. (We will discuss my desire and dream to move to Amsterdam at a later date. My mind is churning…)

Amsterdam Advent Calendar 

And Finn has the Brooklyn calendar. I love love love them.

Brooklyn Advent Calendar

 

Listening to Amos Lee on this Wednesday morning and contemplating plans for the day. Hope your week is going well.

XO

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The Fuzz

 

Gil Hedley: The Fuzz

 

Warning: This video isn’t for the squeamish but I find it SO interesting. Honestly, it’s been a motivator for me lately to stretch every day and go to yoga. I think of “the fuzz” and get on my mat.

Incidentally, this also reawakens my desire to dissect a human body. Unfortunately, you can just hop up to the local rec center and do such a thing. Darn.

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The Voting Process

It’s difficult but ultimately, you have to go with your gut.

Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream or the Glee version?

These are the tough decisions.

We like to listen to music in the morning. I find it puts everybody in a good mood and usually turns into an impromptu dance party. There is lots of singing and H&F take turns being DJ.

Katy Perry is a constant favorite for the blue eyed devils. (and mama too) It’s sugary delicious pop. Everybody gets a spoon for a mic. Since I’m often multi-tasking, I just use my portable thumb mic. This always makes Finn say “You’re embarrassing me, Mama.”

The most recent episode of Glee featured an all boy version of Teenage Dream, which I showed to H&F because I loved it. We have watched it 100 times. I do love me an all boy accapella singing group.

Teenage Dream cover–GLEE

 

This morning, Finn insisted we listen to Katy Perry’s version first, then watch this version and then vote which one we liked better. He set up a voting center at the kitchen table.

If you wanted Katy Perry’s version you colored a square pink. If you wanted the Glee version, you colored a square yellow.

Everyone went up to the kitchen table alone to vote, Survivor style. The votes were put into a very official Ziploc baggie.

Then Finn tallied the votes.

2 votes Glee, 1 vote Katy Perry.

Glee won. (I was the lone Katy Perry voter just to keep things interesting.)

Then we had a dance party to celebrate their victory.

 

If anyone asked me to give them a reason I love being a mother, I would want to have them magically experience this morning. They are somewhat rare but moments like this fill me with joy and love that lasts for hours.  (Thank you H&F for being a part of my life. You bring an irreplaceable vibrancy and ebullience.)

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eleveneleven

Peter and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary today. I love it. I love being married. And I especially love being married to him. Words cannot accurately explain my complete and utter devotion to this person. He is my light. A bright, glorious, warm light.

Unfortunately, he’s in Germany on biz, so the kids and I are going to do it up Suburban style tonight by ordering pizza and eating cake! I’m also watching Mia and Luca so it’ll be a party of sorts.

I will lift a juice box to you, my darling husbie.

KayKremerskothen

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Thursday Loves

Hello dears.

It’s November already. Whoa.

Here’s a smattering of magical bits from the week:

+Bookshelf Porn, where have you been all of my life? So good I can’t even stand it.(via Go Fug Yourself)

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+I’ve been loving Miles Fisher’s blog lately and his FB page as well. The guy is some sort of wunderkind, full of talent and creativity with most excellent links. You must check it out.  It’s been fueling me lately. The pictures are spectacular. He’s the actor who looks like Christian Bale and Tom Cruise had a baby. He also made this stellar video. (originally found via Sweet and Bitter)

+Yogi Green Tea Kombucha has been doing me right lately. A lovely afternoon delight.

+Many thanks to MGMT for getting me through the last week. Oracular Spectacular has been on constant rotation.

+This post by Nerdy Apple Bottom is really good. (found via AD on Facebook) I loved it and it validates the way I feel about my children and how we are raising them.

+Craft night last night with the Briggles and an ELK and a dollop of guest stars. Much needed. And I have a beautifully colored Mandala to show for it.

+The shows Californication and Bored to Death. I watched all 3 seasons of Californication in the span of about 4 days and desperately miss the characters. I love love love it. I’m halfway through Season 1 of Bored to Death. Jason Schwarzman+Ted Danson? Brills. And of course my beloved Zach Galifinakis is in it.

+ the word “brumal", which means “wintry.” You know I’m dying to use that sucker.

Happy (almost) Weekend. Finding the funny on this Thursday afternoon…

 

XO

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Calmness in the middle of a lot

Yesterday I ran up to PetCo to get dog food. The store is in a huge fairly new shopping center. In the middle of the parking lot there is an empty grass lot just waiting for some bank or sandwich shop or something to be erected. It’s usually empty.

Yesterday, there were two horses in it.

Just randomly hanging out.

No signs, no other people.

Just these two horses.

I was awestruck, as I love horses. No real experience with them really, aside from the normal ride every year or two, but I love them. They are so majestic and mysterious. I daydream about riding a lot. Strange really, as I don’t want to do all of the stuff associated with riding like mucking out a stall or cleaning or shoveling hay or being a farm hand. I just want to ride.

Anyway.

I threw the car in park and got out with that scared/excited feeling in my belly propelling me forward.

I walked quietly over to the fence and one of them came to me.

I let him smell me and stroked his head while I talked to him. Asking him what he was doing here and thanking him for letting me pet him.

I stood there for a  couple more minutes just being with him, noticing the initials MC branded on his ass.

And then I left.

It was like 2 hours of yoga in the span of 4 minutes.

Calming, peaceful and good for the soul.

I went back this afternoon to take a picture.

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After taking this one I turned around and took another shot of the mountains from the exact same spot.

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Two things:

1. See! It is a total parking lot.

2. I love Colorado. Look at those mountains. And the blue sky!  I say to the kids at LEAST twice a week “We are so lucky to live somewhere so beautiful.”

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Scary

Associate Girl over at Decisions on Margaritas posted something about the 30 Truths meme. I hadn’t heard of it or seen any of the questions, so I decided to take a look.

Um, it scared the crap out of me and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It was the same feeling of panic I used to get looking at questions on a test that I had NO idea how to answer.

Here are the questions:

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

So many of the questions are just so…deep. It’s not so much me posting personal information that scares me, because I’m down with that. I mean, you people know all about my boobies and whatnot. It’s the fear of thinking about some of these things and then posting what I REALLY think that scares me. A shedding of my skin, if you will. I write about what I want to and very purposely leave out most of the stuff in this meme.

It’s the fear that is making me want to do it.

When something scares me, especially in the last few years, I have this need to want to do it.

Except sky diving, because that’s stupid.

During all of the cancer bullshit, I found this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that made me feel strong:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
 

So, maybe I will “do the thing I think I cannot do.”  You’ve been warned.

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The Holstee Manifesto

This is so good I want to make my kids recite it every morning with their little hands over their hearts. (found via DesignCrush and The Bedlam of Beefy)

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Isn’t that so good?

The Bedlam of Beefy calls this manifesto “Awesomesauce.” Who says that? LOVE IT.

The kids are back in school. Sparks of joy are flying off of my body.

Hadley and I are cheering for Mondo to win on Project Runway. The kid is from Denver! He would have been my favorite anyway though. Hadley sagely said “He is so positive, Mom. And I love all of the color in his designs.”

Aw.

After the show, she always flits off to design something. Then comes more begging for a sewing machine! And fabric! And a model form! She’s very detailed about material choices too because she wants it to fit lots of different body sizes, not just “skinny models.” (I’m fully gushing. My little rare bird is just so extraordinary.)

However, while raising a creative little girl genius, I am having to make peace with the fact that she is messy. Crazy messy. I mean when A&E starts filming “Child Hoarders: They’re Real, Y’all” she could be on it. I mean when I go into her room sometimes I just have to leave quickly or else panic sets in.

I can’t get my head around it. I like order. I cleaned my room for FUN when I was little. Just for the excitement of having my mom come see. Hadley laughed in my face when I told her that story, by the way.

Her idea of tidy and my idea of tidy are totally different. We’re working on a happy medium. Wish me luck.

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fall break–although it really shouldn’t be called a “break”

Peter is out of town and this just happens to be the week the kids are off of school for Fall Break. Full time single momdom is really freaking hard.

AND the day after he leaves, my email stops working. OF COURSE.

I said I felt like I had “locked in syndrome.” I can receive emails but I cannot reply, as they are not leaving my outbox. Grrr.

I promised the blue eyed devils that we would do one fun thing a day. And then they couldn’t squawk about being bored for the rest of the day. I am  happy to say I made good on my promise. I am exhausted and have spent way too much money but they have actually been busy every day doing fun things. Kids love structure, as do I, so it works out. They have been pretty well behaved, and exhausted at night, which is awesome.

I am way overdoing it energy wise and start to glaze over and hobble around about 5:30. I collapse into bed at 9:30 each night. I literally have had to tell Hadley she HAS to go to bed because I have to go to bed.

We’ve painted pottery, had lunches out, went to parks (it’s been GORGEOUS this week), went to the movies, roller skated, painted pumpkins (thanks, B!), went on long scooter rides, baked things…the works.

The husbie comes home tonight and we are all looking forward to him being home. The kids have made a zillion things for him, which are all lovingly wrapped and waiting for him in a big pile.

I have a doctor’s appointment today and I am so looking forward to the alone time. That says a lot considering doctor appointments blow. It’s a rheumatologist appointment so at least there is minimal poking and prodding. Plus, who doesn’t relish quiet time in a waiting room reading the latest issues of Arthritis Today with all of the other old people!?

I have been really loving all of the spooky d├ęcor for Halloween. Not the cheesy/hokey stuff but the cool stuff that you could legitimately have in your house year round, like black feather wreaths, sparkly skulls and the like.  I let the kids buy a black skull candle that when lit, bleeds red through the eyes. Every morning, first thing, Finn reminds me to “light the skull, mom! light the skull!”dfc_bleed-skull

After a week of being supermom, I am fantasizing about booking a room at the new Four Seasons downtown for a night. It won’t be this weekend as we have a birthday party on Saturday and family pictures on Sunday, but that would be soooo loverly.

Especially since as I compose this post, the kids are eating cupcakes for breakfast, hitting each other and seeing how many times they can say “butt.”

I’m am totally clocking out as soon as PGP gets home.

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I really love this picture and can’t find the source. Apologies!

Happy Weekend, Goblins.

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Finding each other in the cosmos

 

I really loved what Ann Druyan said when talking about her husband, Carl Sagan.

“When my husband died, because he was so famous & known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — & ask me if Carl changed at the end & converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again.

Carl faced his death with unflagging courage & never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief & precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive & we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous & so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space & the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me & it’s much more meaningful…

The way he treated me & the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other & our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”

It resonates with me so completely and is how Peter and I feel about each other. We were beneficiaries of chance. A wonderful and kind bit of chance.

Yet another reminder to drink up this rich life and be grateful for the really amazing things in your life. Big and small.

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Belly

According to my gastroenterologist (who is quite kind and entertains me with his bowties) there is absolutely, positively nothing physically wrong with my innards. They have run LOADS of tests on everything. He thinks it’s lupus.

Fine, I say.

But I’m terribly dubious.

Tiny shards of glass still slash around in my belly coupled with overwhelming nausea. The pain isn’t as intense as before. Or maybe I’m used to it? Pain tolerance is an interesting thing, especially when you’re always in pain.

A similar thing happened a few years ago with my appendix. Lots of random pains. Docs say nothing is wrong. Two trips to the emergency room when they THOUGHT it was my appendix, but both times it wasn’t. Then, the third time I went to the ER (good times) it was an appendicitis and they had to take it out. (The doc said I had an abnormally big appendix. Strangely, I was proud of this and asked to have a picture. I wonder if this is how boys with big peeps feel?)

Anyway, I have a sneaky suspicion that at some point they will take out my gallbladder. Until then, I suffer. Distracting, irritating pain that comes and goes and isn’t connected to food intake or meds or anything. And that’s JUST my stomach. There is still all of the rest of the lupus crap. Currently, sores in each nostril, one on my tongue, achy motherfucking hip joints, foggy brain and endless fatigue. Endless.

The crease in between my eyes is getting worse because of the constant furrowing.

Chronic pain causes stress and stress can’t be good for pain. Weird vicious cycle.

Argh.

I really don’t like to complain about it. And if you’ve seen me lately, you’d see the healthy me. The fake me.

I lay in bed now with magazines, my new laptop (hello gorgeous) and the intent to have a better day tomorrow. Or at least do a really good job at ignoring this bullshit pain. It’s date night with husbie and I want to be charming and swishy not stooped over, cranky and furrowing.

Wish me luck.

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Specks

I needed new glasses and had heard about Warby Parker for a while. I took the plunge last week and ordered a pair. 95 dollar, people. That’s it. No catch. AND for every pair you order, they donate a pair. Like Toms but for your face.

They just arrived and I have to say, I’m besotted. They’re light, a perfect fit and delightfully nerdy.

This pair is called the Zapp. And, of course, I ordered them in matte black. I’m already thinking of my next pair though and perhaps will stray from the norm…

zapp

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Click

EP (3)

This picture was taken a few years ago in Asheville, NC. I recently found it in a pile of photos I need to frame or file or…something.

My in-laws’ friend, Becky, has a charming property she named Rhodallen outside of Asheville. It’s on a little lake. The kids love to take this, (whatever it’s called…flotilla? raft? tiny barge?) out on the lake and look for critters. Peter and I took it out one afternoon and his sister snapped this picture. It is one of my favorites.

Peter is explaining something to me. What he was explaining I forget, but I’m sure it was something geeky and complicated. (hence the claw left hand) My head is cocked listening to him.

This picture perfectly encapsulates how I feel about us. On the same team, working our way through life together.

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i’m radioactive

Yesterday, I went to the hospital for a HIDA scan. I’m trying to make peace with doctor’s offices and hospitals as places that I spend a great deal of time. My thinking is “try to make the best of it.”

I brought my new book (LOVE!) and curled up with it while I waited for my turn.  During the test, I lay on this table, they put in an IV, inject me with radioactive dye and then watch and take pictures for an hour and a half while the dye makes its way through my body. It’s actually pretty cool and it wasn’t too bad as far as tests go.

I slept on and off under a lovely heated blanket while they scanned and took pictures. I daydreamed about someone coming to wax my eyebrows and tint my eyelashes. That would have been nice.

After the test, I chatted with the charming European barista in the lobby who makes a killer cappuccino. We talked about how Americans can’t make coffee. So true.  And then I took the long way home on a sunny day while listening to NPR.

Haven’t heard the results yet and I’m not expecting any news. They never find anything. Oh, the fun of lupus.

The good news is I’m not doubled over in pain, losing weight or eating Percocet like Tic Tacs anymore.

Life goes on.

I’m back to yoga and it feels glorious to be back on the mat. (For the past year, since cancer, I have been doing restorative yoga, which, while lovely, isn’t particularly strength building.) Going to a regular class showed me how weak I have become over the past year. Total spaghetti arms and legs. It’s a process…

Breakfast with RR on Sunday and lunch today with ELK has me feeling light and relaxed. I love you, Old Sames. (CTM too!)

Welcome to your Tuesday, people. I hope something makes you laugh out loud.

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dune buggy birthday

My bro-in-law V was in my wacky dream the night before last. I found it funny because he’s never in my dreams but then again, today is his birthday so perhaps that’s why he was floating around in my subconscious.

So, here’s the dream:

V and I were out drinking beer at a bar. I mention beer because anyone who knows me, knows I don’t drink beer, really. That stuck out to me. But we were drinking copious amounts of it.

We were partying. And having a great time. V is really really funny and charismatic.

We kept calling Peter to get him to meet up with us. (Where was Meg?) I remember the cell phone was really big. Like, 1995 big.

After not being able to reach him, we decided to jump in the car and go find him.

Only, we didn’t jump into a car. It was a dune buggy. Full on. And not in an ironic way. We were serious in the dream. Like this was the car we were driving for reals. (Although, I should say I do not condone drinking and driving dune buggys ….)

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Anyway, while driving, I noticed the sun coming up. Excitedly, I said to V “The sun is coming up! I haven’t stayed up until the sun came up in YEARS!”

And then my alarm went off and I was faced with Oliver licking me and Finn’s sweet face standing next to my bed.

My first thought was “I only just got home and went to bed! How can I get through this day?!?!?” And then relief set in when I got it together and remembered it was only a dream.

Happy happy birthday, dear brother-in-law. I’m forever delighted and very proud that you are in our tribe. I would say “let’s go out and celebrate” but we kind of already did. We had a great time and neither one of us is tired or hung over!

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Thursday Loves

+ Trolling online for all of the goodies regarding Fashion Week. It would be so fun to be there! Of course, I would be the one in GAP jeans and a long sleeved black tee.

+ Hadley loves listening to books on CD while drawing in her room. We’ve checked out ALL of the Ramona series and guess who narrates every single one? Stockard Channing. It’s divine. I often find myself wandering into HJ’s room when it’s on and staying awhile.

+ Caprese salads with my own tomatoes

+ My excitement over getting Jonathan Franzen’s new book, Freedom. I listened to an interview on Fresh Air today and it made me giddy. It doesn’t take much to get me going. I’m kind of a goob that way.

+ Dreaming about our trip to Sayulita in January with my besties and fams. Yes, please.

museum                    

                                      picture from Under The Pyramids

+ Skeletons are always fascinating to me. They’re beautiful. H is on a mission to collect skulls. So far we have a beaver skull and a mouse skull. On our mantel. Yup. We’re those people.

+ Peter. Always. Pure and simple.

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i don’t recall eating shards of glass

I am pissed this stomach issue continues. It’s been pretty bad since JUNE. JUNE!

I specifically remember it got bad when Peter and I were in New Orleans for a week in June. I refused to deal with anything unpleasant while enjoying my time away, so I popped Percocet and was basically a hazy version of myself the entire time, not caring that my stomach hurt. 

Cut to SEPTEMBER and countless tests and procedures and med changes and NOTHING. They still don’t know.

Peter finally took me to the ER on Saturday because I was crying in a fetal position on my bed.

They did a CT scan. Nothing. They did however kindly pump me up full of Dilaudid for the pain and for that I tip my hat and say “thankyouverymuch.” I briefly identified with those poor addicts on Intervention. I get why they chase the high. Especially when it makes you forget that there are shards of glass being tossed around with hot coals in your belly.

My gastroenterologist and my rheumatologist just keep referring me back and forth to each other, which is infuriating. And why, when I talk to them, do they act like I woke them up from a nap on their vacation? As my eloquent friend EKD says “Listen dicks, this is my LIFE!”

So, each day, while the kids are at school, I rest a lot and try to distract myself by doing all the things that need to get done every day. I call my doctors and leave messages with assistants, hoping that someone calls me back that day. Sometimes I take pain pills, sometimes I don’t just to be clear headed and experience the pain to make sure I’m not making it up.

I know. I sound crazy.

So this morning I thought ‘screw you stomach’ and started cleaning maniacally and taking care of all sorts of stuff I had been neglecting. (I was channeling you, BE, because I know you’d like to be scrubbing instead of healing. XO) After being super productive, I allowed myself to rest.

I am keeping this INSANE journal of everything I’m doing to find a pattern in this madness. Eating is a total chore. I’ve been keeping up with water and watermelon seems to be fine. Don’t worry…this won’t turn into The Karen Carpenter story. I’m aware that I need to eat and am making a concerted effort. It’s just hard.

Even through all of this bullshit though, I can still find things that make happy and feel content and ever so grateful. I’ll take that. It could be so much worse…

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I am…

by Hadley Provost, age 8

I am friendly and an animal lover.

I wonder how animals talk to each other.

I hear the whisper of all statues.

I see a dragon’s eyes.

I want a kitten.

I am friendly and an animal lover.

 

I pretend I am the President.

I feel, if I really tried to, I could fly with the birds.

I touch the hair of a monster.

I worry about my gecko, Sonny.

I cry when my pets cry.

I am friendly and an animal lover.

 

I understand that I have a little brother.

I say circuses should NOT have animals.

I dream about my old cat, Stan.

I try to be a good example for Finn.

I hope my family will never be poor.

I am friendly and an animal lover.

 

I just loved this. I pulled it out of her backpack, read it and then sat right down on the floor and read it again. The words in bold were there and she filled in the rest.

I don’t feel emotional really at the normal milestones during my children’s lives. I felt a little bad this year as I cheerfully put my kids on the bus on the first day of school without shedding a tear.

Randomly though, something like this will hit me and make me cry just because I’m in awe. I love the insight into her creative little mind. My sweet rare bird.

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what it feels like to have lupus

 

“You can plan all you want to. You can lie in your morning bed and fill whole notebooks with schemes and intentions. But within a single afternoon, within hours or minutes, everything you plan and everything you have fought to make yourself, can be undone as a slug is undone when salt is poured on him. And right up until the moment when you find yourself dissolving into foam you can still believe you are doing fine.”

 

from Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

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i am still strong and surrounded by love and light

I was officially diagnosed with breast cancer on August 13, 2009. The 13th came and went without me remembering. It was only today when I was listening to a CD a friend made for me during that time that I remembered. (Side note: Can I just say I LOVE mix CDs? They are made with love and thought and give me a insight into what makes that particular person who they are.)

Back to cancer.

I don’t even know what date people use to say how long it’s been since they’ve had cancer. No one gave me a handbook.

I would probably say it would be more like Sept. 11, 2009, because that’s when they actually removed my breasts, and the cancer. But maybe it is the 13th. Who cares, really?

I can’t believe it’s been a year.

I think back frequently to the avalanche of love and support and feel so so grateful. It was a surreal time for so many reasons, both good and bad.

It seems like yesterday and a million years ago.

It really puts everything into perspective, like so many other of the big events in my life recently. Having children, being diagnosed with a chronic illness, the death of my amazing Dad….

Nothing is too big too handle. And most things are stupid and not worth worrying about.

The last step is to get my knipples tattooed, a task which I’m strangely looking forward to. I’ve always wanted a tattoo. Now I can say I have two! Although, things might get a little awkward when people ask 1) what they are and 2) if they can see them. However, flashing seems to be something I just do for sport these days so who knows!

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on the spectrum

I go through these phases where I fall upon something that fascinates me and I gobble up every available morsel of information about it.

Currently, my obsession is autism.

It started when I watched HBO’s Temple Grandin, the biopic about a woman growing up autistic in the 50s and 60s. (expertly portrayed by Claire Danes)

That led me to read one of Temple Grandin’s books, The Way I See It, as well as check out from the library ALL of the other books she has written, including a memoir by her mother

Temple Grandin is the first person to accurately describe what it feels like to have autism.  I found the information fascinating, not only as an insight into autism but human behavior in general. I really do believe that MANY people exhibit symptoms on the autism spectrum.

I find her wildly inspirational and super interesting. She is a highly regarded expert on Autism, has her doctorate in Animal Sciences and was instrumental in designing humane livestock facilities in the 80s. Phenomenal.

She spoke at TED in June 2010. Check it out.

 

I also recently saw Autism:The Musical, which I highly recommend. (you can stream it on Netflix for free)

AUTISM: THE MUSICAL counters today's bleak statistics with one woman's optimistic pledge to lead a group of autistic children in defying diagnosed expectations by writing, rehearsing and performing their own full-length musical.

I spent a good amount of time in awe of the parents.

Autism usually doesn’t present when the child is born. When it does appear (2,3 or 4 yrs usually) I would think it is almost like a death, depending on the severity, of course. The autism spectrum is quite large. In most severe cases, you have a normal, happy, healthy child and then one day, she stops looking you in the eye and starts to behave erratically. I can’t imagine the heartbreak.These parents grieve the life they thought their child would have and the life they thought they, as parents, would have.

However, as with anything, you have to keep going. It takes energy, commitment, love and positivity. You see that in this film.

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love note

Peter isn’t romantic in the traditional sense of the word. I have to remember that when my brother-in-law V does something swoon worthy for my sister. (he’s good.)

He IS romantic, though, in a delightful, surprising way. I have come to appreciate that over the years. I now know it’s the little things every day that make my life sweet, not grand gestures. (Although, it must be said, there have been lovely grand gestures as well.)

Case in point:

While out of town last week he sent me a email with “a word for you” in the subject line.

The word?

UXORIOUS

I had to look it up.

It means “excessively fond of or submissive to a wife”

I found it incredibly romantic and like to say the word out loud. I also like to pretend he had the word commissioned just for me.

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pic from weheartit.com

Happy weekend, lovers.

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how to be alone

Peter has been traveling a lot lately. He works from home so when he’s gone and the kids are at school, it is, as Bjork would say, “oh so quiet.”

And I love it. I really really love to be alone. It fuels me. Sometimes I find myself smiling for no reason. I’m always surprised at people who won’t go anywhere by themselves. A movie. Dinner. Exploring. Anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love being social as well, it’s just a delicate balance. I can’t enjoy one without the other. I NEED to be alone or I can’t function.

I found this video absolutely breathtaking and inspiring. I love everything about it. It is aptly titled “how to be alone.”

Enjoy.

          

                                                   found via dailypoetics

I hesitate sometimes to write about how I’m feeling physically because who really cares, right? No one wants to hear the daily blathering of a sick girl.

However, it soothes me if I put it down somewhere. Take it from my brain where the pain makes me feel crazy and like I somehow made it up. Sort of like if you have a host of things to do swimming in your head, write them down and it will free up space and energy. You, readers, are my sounding board, so thank you.

I’m down to the minimum of my pain meds and my body is well aware. I am exhausted and so achy that the stairs are my enemy. The stomach problems persist. MOTHERF*CK. I just can’t win.

Husband flew home today and we snuck in a nap before the kids got home from school, which was a cozy highlight of the day.

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not a rookie anymore

 

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Tavi Gevinson from StyleRookie. It astounds me that she is 14 years old and I want to bottle her up, turn her into glitter and douse Hadley with all of her magic. I also want to applaud her parents and tell them to give me all of their child rearing secrets.

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She spoke in June at Big Ideas in Toronto. You have to watch it. Could you have done this at 14? Are her speaking skills perfect? No. But it doesn’t matter.  I just beam with pride listening to her, as a woman, as a mother, and as a former awkward, 14 year old girl who wanted/needed to be heard. Her future is so bright.

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                                            header from StyleRookie

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The Kids Are All Right, I Guess

 

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I saw “The Kids Are All Right.” (skip this if you haven’t seen it or don’t want to know anything about it.)

I wish I had seen it before everyone proclaimed it to be the best movie in all of the land ever ever ever. I liked it and found it quite lovely but I much prefer seeing things without expectations.

Julianne Moore seemed a little awkward. I know her character IS awkward and insecure but at times I thought she was going to slip into her character from 30 Rock.  Do you watch 30 Rock? She was on last season as Alec Baldwin’s girlfriend from high school with this “wicked pissah” Boston accent. She talks lower like she did in the movie, so I found it distracting.

Then I was totally distracted by Mark Ruffalo’s character’s hot girlfriend because I couldn’t figure out what she had been in before. Turns out its Yaya DaCosta from America’s Next Top Model 2004. (thank you imdb!)

I did enjoy Annette Bening. She was at her best. And there were moments that summed up parenthood and family life really beautifully.

My favorite favorite moment though, and my heart fills with warm gooeyness when I think about it, was when Nic and Jules (A. Bening and J. Moore) were lying in bed facing each other and Nic says “I love you, chicken” and Jules says “I love you too, pony.”

Sigh. There was such a beautiful intimacy to it. I think about it all the time. Not to mention I loved the use of such random terms of affection. Beautiful. 

I thought it was a little heavy handed how Mark Ruffalo was depicted as such a playboy. Ok, we get it. He’s attractive and gets a lot of ass. The hetero sex scenes seemed a bit extraneous and acrobatic while the lesbian couple was completely under the covers. (although that could be a nod to the fact that when you’re married, things are just not that exciting.)

I really wanted Joni to wash and brush her hair, although I found her adorable and sweet. Same with Laser. Such a sweet kid.  Except the part where he “discovers” his friend is a douche. I’m sorry, the friend SCREAMS douche long before he even suggests they pee on a stray dog.

Overall, I enjoyed it though…especially the Heath bar that I ate greedily like a kid who snuck out of fat camp.

Did you see it? Did you like it?

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Invisible Singer

Chuck-Klosterman_Design-Crush 

                                                         found via DesignCrush

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For you both

Dear Hadley and Finn,

I know a lot of times I’m cranky and I wish I wasn’t.

I sigh A LOT out of impatience and annoyance.

I am short with you when I shouldn’t be and use that gross guttural voice to yell, that comes from deep within and makes me sound like a man.

I know sometimes I use swear words when I always thought I would NEVER. ( Nana swore about 5 times in her life and I remember where I was and what I was wearing when she did.)

As you both got on the bus for your first day of school, I felt like I was going to throw up I was so nervous. (more nervous for Finn, HJ, I knew you were going to be aces.) I didn’t cry. I was just super nauseous.  I was also excited because you’re MY people and you’re spreading your wings and FLYING! Out in the world! Alone! That’s very very cool to think I am a part of that.

My long winded point is know that I love you. Deeply. Fiercely. Happily. Always and forever. With all of my heart. Make me proud, lovies.

Love,

Mom

First Day of School from Emily Provost on Vimeo.

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lu lu lu lupus face

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Ok, so I don’t know if any of you heard or read all of the hoopla in late May about Lady Gaga having lupus. It’s not clear if she does or not. She says she has “borderline positive test results,” which is confusing to me but so is lupus so there you go. Her aunt also died from lupus.

If this is actually true, then hip hip hooray! You feeling me? I mean, I’m sorry if you do have it, Gaga, because lupus sucks. I can vouch for that. However, giving lupus the face of Lady Gaga would be fantastic as far as education and awareness.

She recently donated the necklace she wore in her Poker Face video to the Lupus Foundation of America,  which I thought was really cool. 

And now, Snoop Dog has come forward to say his daughter has lupus. Poor dear. While I feel awful for her and hope she is doing well, BRING ON THE PUBLICITY!

In my corner of the lupus world, all of my stomach tests came back fine. The ultrasound was fine. The tech even said “My, you have a beautiful pancreas!” (I shit you not.)

They now think it is my lupus meds causing the problems, specifically the ones that help me feel human every day. Awesome! (sung in really high operatic voice) I’m tapering down off of them slowly but UGH, it sucks. I’m sure that’s where my stank mood is coming from. Pain has a tendency to make you hate everyone and everything.

On the plus side, my stomach issues are getting a little better. Sounds bizarre to say that’s the plus side. I’m still particularly enjoying food at all. It’s just fuel.

I have a call into my rheumatologist to discuss the next steps with my treatment. Lessening stomach pain = great! Constant pain and super achy joints = not so great. In the morning, before I take my pills, it’s difficult to grip my tea mug. I mean, I can, but it hurts. Mornings are tough. It takes me a bit to get going and now that some of my drugs are being cut out, it’s taking me a bit LONGER to get going.

 

Seeking out humor last night, Peter and I watched Daniel Tosh’s Completely Serious. You can stream it for free on Netflix too. The demographic is very obviously men 18-42, but throw me in there too because the guy is hilarious. I love him. Warning: He is wildly offensive. Wildly. Did I say he was offensive? Yes. He is. He’s also super smart, kind of geeky and has fantastic random pop culture references. So now, I love him.

I’m sure I’m late to the Daniel Tosh party but he has a show on Comedy Central called Tosh.O. I haven’t seen it but after checking out some clips of the show, it looks hilarious. Sort of Talk Soupish. Remember when Greg Kinnear hosted Talk Soup in the olden days?

School starts tomorrow. Hell to the yes. Although excited to be free of the blue eyed devils, I have caught myself being a bit sad that I won’t have Finn with me during the day anymore.The things that we would do during the day sometimes after I picked him up at 12:30 (museums, parks, shows, etc) will no longer be an option for us. He and Hadley don’t get home until 4:15. (Note: Upon closer inspection of my memories, I am now remembering Finn mostly squawking about being bored and wanting to go home to play Mario. So don’t think it was all sunshine and rainbows. The kids a professional whiner with a penchant for sweets. He’s lucky he’s gorgeous.)

Sad. And weird. But good. Change is good. Or so they say. (I didn’t say that last night when Peter was installing new software on my computer. I sounded like ET when he screams at Gertie. Change! AHHHHH! CHANGE!!!!!!) It was very gutteral. Not cute.

 

Next Chapter: Provosts – The Elementary Years.

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seeking solace

Last night, PGP and I watched my darling nieces and nephew so the much loved A&M could have a proper date night out.

Let me set the stage.

Here are the ages: 12, 10, 8, 6 and 3. Plus, 2 puppies (10mo old Oliver Twist & 5mo old Bubba the bulldog) and Atticus Finch (a distinguished 10yrs)

I drank a Red Bull before everyone came and made peace with the impending chaos.

We had a really great time.

A few times during the evening, we all wondered aloud what it would be like if they were all mine.

It was cute to see the kids working out who would bunk up with whom. We figured out we’d have to refinish the basement.

Keep in mind while we were playing the “what if Aunt Emmy had 5 kids game” this is the tape that was playing in my head: FIVE KIDS?!?!?!? SWEET JESUS! THE INSANITY? I COULDN’T DO IT. I NEED MORE VALIUM. AND LIQUOR. AND VALIUM. AND LIQUOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I often wonder how I can make sure my children will be as gracious and sensitive as Owen, 12 and Lyla, 10. They kept thanking me, and apologizing for any little malfunction. (A scuffle between my 3 year old niece Ottilia and the mighty Bubba the Bulldog) Such GOOD kids. I have a soft spot for Ottilia as she is the female version of Finn, full of spirit and energy.

After they all played and ate and played, I set them up with movies and popcorn. The “little ones” Finn and Ottilia, watched a younger movie in the living room, while the older kids watched another movie in the playroom.

All of the puppies were asleep, exhausted after chasing each other around all night.

And the dishwasher was full and humming.

I went upstairs to soak and wash my feet. (Does anyone else do this? Especially in the summer, I have to wash my feet before I get into bed after trolling around all day in flip flops.)

My brother came to pick up his brood and they all left in a flurry of hugs and thank yous.

I loved the swirl of feelings I experienced as I locked the door behind them: productive, tired in a great way, and love.

This morning, I am enjoying the quiet, with the sunlight streaming in, as I peruse the images from sugarock.

Simply stunning. Do yourself a favor and go take a peek at her work. Soooo beautiful.

Happy Saturday. I hope it’s relaxing. It’s supposed to be hot hot hot here, so I’m already flipping through my mental rolodex of air-conditioned activities. Peter has the kids at karate so the dogs and I are back in bed.

One more thing –- A belated welcome to the world to Cian James and Addison Grace. I love yo mamas! Nothing better than the smell of a new baby…

things

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Respite

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Anxiety, Irritation and Frustration have been the flavors of the week lately. For the last 4 or 5 weeks, actually.

I’m just over summer and the kids and I are sick of each other.

But I’m over being a cranky ninny. Time to blow the stink off, as Peter’s grandmother would say.

Today was different when I woke up.

I would like to attribute it to a lovely ladies night out last night with my faves, where my cracked, empty cup was glued back together and filled to the brim with goodness and fun, leaving me feeling whole again. I also was wearing a dress with shoes that are not a flip flop, had make up on and my hair up. I can’t remember the last time I felt so grown up.

All four of us went to school this morning for a Rise and Shine breakfast. (Note to organizers: Don’t call something “breakfast” if it’s really just tiny blueberry muffins from Costco and watery lemonade. I mean I didn’t expect Eggs Benedict but c’mon.)

Finn and Hadley met their teachers and dropped off supplies. Finn seemed a bit overwhelmed. Shit, I felt a little overwhelmed. It’s so crazy and crowded and squawky.

We came home at 9:30am and I set up the slip n’ slide in the backyard. I put on the Beach Boys and set up camp in the shade with iced tea, cantaloupe and magazines. At noon, I announced we were having a picnic! (in my excited, overly caffeinated voice) I carefully arranged fun little lunches and they ate outside in the sun, delighted to be doing so.

We JUST came in at 1pm.

Now, they are playing castle upstairs and are dressed as the “meanest couple in the world.” Hadley looks super chic in a black shift of mine and a headband. Finn’s wearing a cape, bien sur.  There hasn’t even been a mention of TV or video games. This is a huge success for me, people.

The fighting has been minimal. I am declaring this day a raging success.

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Postcard to Peter

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                                                   pic from Le Love

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I Really Would Hurt a Fly

I am a lover of all animals. Even bugs and spiders.  But I really really fucking hate flies.

You know that saying “Oh, she wouldn’t hurt a fly!”

I would.

In fact, I saw one in the sink the other day and I purposely turned on the water and watched it drown. I felt like a total crazy serial killer because I was giggling maniacally when I did it. But they’re DISGUSTING. And the ones in my house are on steroids or some shit. I swear you could put a saddle on them.

And they’re dumb. I try to open the door and shoo them out, giving them a second chance at life, but no, they prefer to continue to fly into the window directly next to the open door to freedom.

I hate them.

This morning, HJ and I took Oliver (joyful joyful mischievous pup) and Atticus (dashing, handsome, older gentleman) on a walk. It’s always sort of comical. They are total Mutt and Jeff.

There are bunnies EVERYWHERE in our neighborhood. I mean EVERYWHERE, so it wasn’t unusual to see one crouching by a garage on our walk.

But then I saw them.

The flies.

All around this poor little thing.

Hadley immediately took action.

“Hold this, Mama.” she said as she handed Ollie’s leash to me and crept closer to the bunny.

It looked bad. The flies told me that. Bastards.

He was really hurt.

Hadley blurts out “You promised me if I ever found a hurt animal, I could help it!”

At this point, she was crying.

Ok, I say. Let’s take the dogs home and come back.

We go home and I look up Wildlife rescue online and call them.

The woman told me that no one would come. That it was better to leave it. I understood but my heart sank.

Then I held my Rare Bird as she sobbed for 30 minutes.

I told her to take her anger and sadness and put it to good use taking care of the animals we already have. So she put Sunny (gecko) in her travel container and took her outside to get her 20 minutes of sunshine.

And then she was fine. It was fascinating.

Husband comes home tonight. I’ve missed him terribly this week. Making a mental note to be sweet and adoring instead of cranky and exhausted. Wish me luck.

PS- I’ve been sucking at posting Thursday Loves regularly. I think I’ll just skip it and post whenever I feel like it.

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Collector

I have this habit of collecting artwork I love and then just holding on to it and never framing it. Well, sometimes I do frame it, but I have 4 or 5 that I NEED to frame because they make me happy.

Here is yet another Etsy find that I bought to frame from Pistachio Press.

momanddogs

Original art is so affordable and there are so many talented artists out there. This print, of course, makes me think of me and my furry boys. I also love the subtle pattern in the background. Plus, I just can’t resist letterpress. What is it? I immediately think “Oooo!” and want to touch it.

Kind of in a funk lately and feeling sorry for myself. Feeling SO so so tired and achy. And the heat doesn’t help. The stomach problem persists and really really sucks. I have constant nausea and pain.  I have an ultrasound tomorrow and my gastroenterologist thinks it might be my gallbladder that is causing all of the problems. So, of course, if that’s it, they’ll have to take it out. The endoscopy was uneventful, except I think I know what it feels like to be roofied now. Bizarre experience. Not bad, just bizarre. Totally different from surgery because there really wasn’t a lot of prep time before. I mean, I was still wearing my clothes and shoes!

Did I tell you this already?

I’m always repeating myself.

Anyway, I’m over it and I’m being the meanest Mom ever. And my kids are being the suckiest kids ever in response to me being the meanest Mom ever.

Yesterday, I took them to Wendy’s for dinner and then Baskin Robbins for Ice Cream. Ok, I’ll totally get a ticket from the health police but whatever, i didn’t have to cook OR do dishes so suck it.

We do all that, which in my opinion is pretty damn cool and they’re still being jerks. It was on the tip of my tongue to say “You guys are total assholes.” But of course I didn’t. Then I actually had a mini dialogue with myself about why I couldn’t just tell them they were assholes, which had me laughing out loud.

I’m still on a reading bender. Can’t. Get. Enough! I just finished Live from New York, which was absolutely delicious. I am a comedy nerd and love to hear the ins and outs of things related to comedy. What happens BEHIND the scenes, especially with such an amazing, groundbreaking show. Plus, I’m fascinated by Lorne Michaels.

I am still trudging through Girl With The Hornet’s Nest. It’s strange, I just have no interest but I want to finish it, sort of.

I read Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, which was a great read and I loved discussing it with the mucho analytical smarty Mrs. R. I’d like to read some other things by her.

I picked up Quantum Wellness yesterday for some help in the “my life is going to shit health wise” category and this could be helpful. We’ll see though. Sometimes these books just end up pissing me off.

Hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday, ladybugs.

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