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Blame It On The Rain

The weather in Denver has been Seattle like lately and should remain the same for the rest of the week. (Although this morning it was snowing when I woke up. Wha?) While I love the rain, It’s interesting the feelings it brings back of when we lived in Washington. I’ve actually been anxious wondering “Will it STAY like this??” The dreariness is oppressive. We lived there for about 4 years and I never got used to it. While living there I heard people say all kinds of things about how long it takes to “get used to it.” I kept waiting for the moment I was “used to it.” Never happened.

Sometimes I play this little game of what I would do differently if we lived there again. (Full disclosure: It could happen someday.)  I would have my shrink on speed dial (duh), have light boxes in every room, live in a house made of windows, and go somewhere warm and sunny at least once a winter.

Oh and also, I would buy some bright Hunter boots to cheer me up.


Having said all of that, I love Seattle like a sibling that you are allowed to criticize but the second someone ELSE does you go all crazy and freak out on them. It really is a glorious place and I’ve met some of my favorite people there.

I would like to change my Thursday Loves from yesterday. I am officially over HJ playing and singing all of the damn day. Yes she is still the most darling little sprite but I’m starting to hate “Let it Be” which is like sacrilege, right? She needs to learn a new song.

Also, I have decided that people who hate Glee are hysterical and make valid points. My love will continue but I ain’t mad atcha.

In other news, I’m debating taking a blog break. It feels like work lately and I’m not feeling remotely funny or interesting. You know it’s bad when you’re even boring yourself. snoooooooooooooooze.

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Thursday Loves


Can’t find the source to this picture but isn’t it lovely? Dear Henna…

HJ on the piano: Hadley learning “Let It Be” on the piano. She practices all the time and it is becoming so full and rich sounding. Yesterday she started singing while playing and I stopped breathing for a second. It was so sweet and soft. The other night Peter was playing it with her while singing and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. I love my little family.

GLEE! I love that Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) and Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James) are playing love interests on the show. They starred in Spring Awakening on Broadway, which pleases the little theater geek in me to no end. The have such chemistry and he’s hilarious as Jesse St. James. That show is so delicious. It’s like cake for breakfast good.

Cooking More: So for a while now I’ve been trying to embrace dinner and make delicious, fresh, simple dinners. I think I wrote about it once. It went well for like, a week, which is the way things usually go, and then I got sick or have surgery or give up. I gave it another try and last night’s dinner delighted me and energized me – Asparagus and Gruyere tart with a caprese salad on the side. The kids had raspberries too. Doesn’t that sound summery? I kept smelling the fresh basil, which transports me to summertime.

Reading Reading Reading… I finished The Girl Who Plays with Fire, the follow up to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. They both were fantastic and I am eagerly awaiting the US release of the 3rd book, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

I flew through “Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven” (how great is that title?) about two girls in 1986, who go backpacking in the People’s Republic of China. I smile when I think about it just because my parents would SO not have let that fly. Scary times.  It was a really good, quick read though. It reminded me of my European backpacking days, where I slept in train stations sometimes and really had no standards but was just happy to be out and about exploring the world.

I’m antsy not having a book to read right now and have finished my VOGUE so I’m sure I’ll pick one up this week. I never got “The Monster of Florence” so perhaps I’ll pick that up. Also, I have these on my list of potentials:

The Great Oom: The improbable birth of yoga in America

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy


A trip to Tattered Cover is in order for sure…

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(real life Liechtenstein girl via illusion360)

Alert the presses. I’m starting to feel like a normal person! Ok, maybe not completely normal yet. I’m still Franken-boobies with an 8 inch hurty scar across my belly, but I’m getting there. I feel like I can move on with my life now which is so freeing. I’ve been carrying this backpack of breast cancer weight all freaking year and now I can drop it.

The knips look like they got into a drunken, bloody brawl so they are all bandaged up and have these foam donut things around them to protect them. They don’t hurt or anything because I have no sensation in my breasts. I have to wear this donut ridiculousness for a few more weeks, which blows, but whatever. I’m just layering jog bras with tank tops and t-shirts and sporting soft yoga pants.

Um, ok, so I’m basically wearing the same thing I always wear.

I tried wearing jeans a few days ago and that hurt like a mother scratcher. No thank you.

The PA was telling me that if jeans continue to bother me and rub my scar, I can wear spanx under my jeans.

I’m sorry?

I just ignored that part because the thought of wearing spanx under jeans make me a little nauseous. And the thought of the scar bothering me for longer than a few months pissed me off/freaked me out so I ignored that part too.

I’m craving asparagus so I’m off to the grocery. Happy Wednesday, lovers

PS- The Book Of Awesome is out, which is well, awesome. Here’s a great interview with the author, Neil Pasricha. He is so positive and optimistic. I love it. I’m sure you’ve seen his site, 1000 Awesome Things. It’s a lovely treat and makes me happy.

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MoMA on a Monday

I found this to be a beautiful and inspiring start to the week. Enjoy.

(from Refinery29.com)

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Nips and Tuck

So the surgery went off without a hitch. I have knipples! Dare I say it was enjoyable? Well, maybe not enjoyable, but not stressful.

I had all of the same nurses, and anesthesiologist. It was like a cocktail party, except I was lying in a bed in a hideous hospital gown with no cocktail. There was lots of chatting and laughing as they bustled around me doing all of the pre-surgery stuff.

My surgeon came in and drew all over me with his purple marker. He put these stick on faux knipples and then said “Ok, go look and see if you like the placement.”

I had Peter come with me to be my “knipple consultant.”

Dr. B took a long half moon shape of skin from my belly to make the knipples and then gave me a little tummy tuck. BONUS! The scar is almost hip bone to hip bone. It’s crazy. Now, where there used to be that weird loose skin from having babies, it’s TAUT. I still have the stretch marks, but whatever. Hadley is pleased because she says I need the stretch marks to “prove” I had children. She did not want them to be gone. So sweet. I have told her in the past that I’m proud of them because they remind me how strong and powerful my body is to have carried two beautiful babies.

My boobs are all bandaged up and my whole chest is wrapped in saran wrap. It’s itchy as hell. I can shower tonight but the bandages don’t come off until Monday morning at my post op visit.

Here’s to a relaxing weekend and my last surgery being over!

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Still Life

Ok, so our little jaunt to Utah was lovely. Exhausting but lovely. To be able to take time out and be with my mom and my girl was so wonderful and necessary.

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I had never been to Utah. So so so pretty. Really. Provo is nestled right in the mountains. It was beautifully distracting.  

Mom, HJ and I hit up the three ‘must eat’ places that Justin suggested, which delighted me to no end because 1) I love to cross things off my list and 2) i love good non-chain food.

We went to Rooster for dinner, then Communal for lunch the next day and Pizzeria 712 for dinner that night. I was delighted to see artwork by Nikki McClure on the walls at Rooster.

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These places did not disappoint! Delicious. I was so proud of Hadley. She was so adult about all of it. At Communal, she just sidled up to the chef at the bar and promptly wrapped him around her little finger until he made her pasta with butter. So sweet.

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AND…I would like to publicly thank PGP for insisting that he put some GPS thingy on my phone. I went nuts with that thing and was SO glad to have had it.

The photo session was awesome. Charismatic and super sweet Justin Hackworth rules. He was immediately like a great friend or family even. Hadley LOVED him as he spoke “quirky kid” fluently and was so patient and sweet with our rare bird.

His office and studio space would have told me he ruled even before I met him. Tons of light (bien sur), high ceilings, a piano, huge comfy couch & good tunes (blind pilot).

In fact, this couch shot makes me laugh because Justin was actually shooting my mom at the time. I saw this poofy, comfy leather couch and collapsed while I was waiting for my turn. Hadley played on the piano nearby. All of a sudden, Justin says “Ok, stay there. Don’t move.” and starts taking pictures of me, exactly as I had sat down in a rumpled mess on the couch.

This is what I’m doing most days:

Justin Hackworth Photography

Here are some others that I just loved…The guy can do no wrong. I would also like to point out that I’ve been trying REALLY hard to be objective and look at these as the art that they are instead of nitpicking every little thing I dislike about myself. …sigh…it’s a process.

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

This one of me and Hadley is probably my absolute favorite. It makes my heart hurt for so many reasons…I love it.

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

Justin Hackworth Photography

This is the paparazzi shot. Love it. We were walking by this funky mural when he shot it. I know I know…you’re thinking “funky in Provo?” but there is some funk. It’s like newly sprouted funk but it’s there. Justin’s on a committee to bring the funk to Provo. For reals. He could totally do it.

I was so excited to be a part of his 30 Strangers project. Here is the link to our day if you haven’t seen it. I love checking out the new shots every few days.

THANK YOU AGAIN TO JUSTIN HACKWORTH! You’re OUR new favorite person, too.

In other news, my LAST surgery is TODAY! Woo hoo! Yes, that’s right kids, mama’s getting knipples. (remember I changed the spelling to avoid the pervs)

Like an idiot, I agreed to surgery at 2:45 so no food or drink from 6am on. ARGH. I keep swishing water around in my mouth and then spitting it out.

The procedure should take about 90 minutes and the recovery time should be minimal. Bring it on.

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We leave for Salt Lake City in a few hours for the photo session with Justin Hackworth for his 30 Strangers project.

He actually lives in Provo, Utah. I’ve found great delight in my head thinking “The Provosts are going to Provo.” (side note: Peter’s whole Canadian family pronounces Provost without  “st” so it sounds like “Provo.”  Peter started pronouncing the “st” in college to make life easier.)

I’m excited to be with HJ and my mom and escape reality for a bit. Justin pointed me in the direction of some places for good eats and fun things to do.

Hadley and I had a fight talk about why I don’t want her to wear my grade school uniform skirt in the picture. (sigh)

You can check out the first 6 people of the project this year on his blog here.

Here are the photos from last year’s project. He’s tres talented.



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Thanks, Easter Bunny. Bok! Bok!

The night before Easter, Hadley said “So, is there really an Easter bunny or is it you?”

Peter and I were bustling around the kitchen so I mouthed “HELP!” to him.

“It’s us,” he said.

I wish I had a picture of the look on her face. There was a little bit of disappointment but it was mostly wonder and delight at knowing a secret.

I’m glad we told her the truth, of course, but I felt some sadness too, knowing that moment and her belief in the bunny, would be one more thing to shed as she quickly grows up.

We swore her to secrecy even though she was busting at the seams to tell SOMEBODY that the jig was up and she KNEW!

We had a lovely Easter brunch over at Mom’s with Paddens and Pellegrinos. So delicious. Owen and Lyla hid eggs for the little cousins to find. It was so sweet.

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Mia, Hadley with Luca on her lap, Owen (standing), Lyla with Ottilia in her lap and Finn.

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Hadley left our house in a darling floral sundress. I do not have a picture of her in it because as soon as we got to Nana’s house, she found a new outfit amidst all of the stuff my mom has saved over the years.

She is wearing my (or Meg’s) Catholic grade school uniform skirt, her own white t-shirt with a lace dickey she found and some random headband flower thing that I probably got at a renaissance festival in 8th grade.

We love our rare bird. Isn’t she awesome?

Here’s the best part:

She wore it to school today too. (minus the headband and dickey)

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Finn forgot his basket at home, so we improvised and gave him a bucket to find eggs.

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I was feeling so much better after a visit to the rheumatologist on Friday. They gave me an “IV Push” of Solumedrol (steroids) to get me through the flare. I really do hate steroids but I was desperate and this is fast acting and leaves your system quickly.

Such a weird experience to walk into a room where other people are all hooked up to IVs, sitting quietly and looking sick.

It immediately made me uncomfortable and I knew I had to lighten the mood.

The nurse asked me something and I told her that I didn’t have enough room in my brain to remember everything because I was currently so enmeshed in the Sandra Bullock/Jesse James scandal.

As soon as I said that, everyone lit up and started chatting about what they knew or had heard. We had ourselves a celeb gossip session for the next 30 minutes.

I was relieved.

I could NOT have stayed there with the stale air, silence and somber mood.

She gave me the injection via IV and then had me stay there for 30 minutes so they could make sure I didn’t have any reactions.

And then I was on my way.

By Saturday morning, I felt SO much better. The pain was much less intense although I did feel the speed-like effects of the steroids, which is kind of annoying. Gritting my teeth and feeling like I had too much caffeine.

I  hope you and yours had a lovely weekend full of Easter candy and togetherness.

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Thursday Loves: Family Edition

Pain abounds this week. It literally feels like someone is trying to pull the muscles from my bones. Achy city. Especially in my legs, knees and hips. It’s distracting.  I’m shuffling around and pushing myself too much. The house remains in disarray as I don’t have enough energy to do anything. To do lists lay undone.  I hate lupus. I missed my fave yoga class (hi ladies!!!) because the kids were sick, which they gave me and I was miserable. I’m also currently in a fight with my boobs because they are weird and bizarre. It will take time to get used to these plastic bags attached to my ribs, where my lovely, soft breasts used to be.

The physician’s assistant at the plastic surgeon’s office, who is really really great, tried to console me by saying my bubbies (thank you HW of New Jersey)  look really good and in proportion to my body, etc. I understand. I’m glad they look good and are in proportion. But that doesn’t really take away from the fact that they are NOT mine and I didn’t ask for this shit.

It’s also more thing to add to the list of things that make me “not look sick.” Nothing on the outside shows that I have lupus. In fact, no one would know unless I disclose it, but now I have this other thing that makes me defective or different. From the outside, people are like “awesome, sweet rack! And you’re thin and funny and have pretty hair, life must be GREAT!”

It’s bizarre and contradictory.

I have to snap myself out of it and tell myself “Consider the alternative. (the cancer) Acknowledge, move on.” (both the cancer and lupus) But wallowing for a bit is good. And normal.

Peter hollers at me to lay down, always by making me laugh first. He’ll literally stand there and wait until I stop what I’m doing and go lay down. Part of me wants to say “you’re not the boss of me.” but the other part of me knows he’s right, so I retreat to the white heaven of my bed obediently.

To be so loved and cared for so unconditionally is a permanent Thursday Love. He is the ultimate. (But for fear of you thinking he is perfect, may I add, that he is an extremely loud talker and quite a gaseous human being.)

I watched Luca and Mia last week while Meg and V did some new house business. Mia was full of sass and comedy and Luca just wanted to snuggle with Emmy on the couch as we watched the girls play. I did not argue and relished the squishy boy in my lap.

We had to banish poor Finny to the playroom and close the door because he was sick. (PS- kids are gross and are constantly sick) He was totally set up though in his jams with snacks, juice and a DVD. He would come out from time to time only to get yelled at by the group that he was sick. It was funny. Mia has found her voice and I love seeing her exhibit such independence and moxie.

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Delicious, no? I kept smelling his head. Meg’s babies both have her eyes, which I love. He would cry when I put him down because he was tired and it was almost naptime. So I made a point to put him down a few times to hear him cry out and reach for me. Sick, right?

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Because my priorities are out of whack COMPLETELY, I dragged myself downtown yesterday afternoon to get my hair cut and highlighted. You girls know getting your hair done is therapeutic. Throw in an eye brow wax and it was damn near a spa day. I love my hairdresser, Michael, as he is like family. Our family has known him for 20 years. Insane. He calls himself my “brister”. A combination of a brother&sister. I ate chocolates, listened to his tales of life as a single man on the scene and devoured all of the good magazines. Twas a lovely time. But I’m paying for it. With fantastic hair though! Blarg.

Anyway, am I the only person who takes massive amounts of self-portraits after haircuts? Or really anytime? M blows it straight like the best of them, and since I NEVER blow it straight, I like to have a record of how good it can look straight. In one of them you can see Finn behind me in the tub. Notice the bathroom decor too. You can’t see much of it actually in these pictures but it makes me murderous. It’s like being attacked by doilies. Apologies for the horrible light too.

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Finny wanted in on the photo shoot action too. My sweet boy.

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Michael cut Hadley’s hair last week and she’s rocking a funky a-line bob. I’ll take pics when Hadley’s surly doppelganger retreats and my real daughter comes back.

He cut these crazy, choppy short bangs. I said “Um, it looks like she cut her bangs herself.”

“No, it doesn’t! She looks edgy. She doesn’t want to look like everyone else, Emily.”

“She’s 8, Michael.”

He shooed me away, as did Hadley, who was delirious at her first trip to a place that is not SuperCuts. I do have to say my heart beat faster with pride when she saw all of the beautiful bottles lined up neatly against the wall and she whispered breathily “Product!”

That’s my girl.

One more thing: The book, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, rules. I’m completely into it. Thanks for keeping me motivated, Mary!

Shoutouts to: EJK for having the adorable AJ, Jenny for being the ultimate bad ass, Tay for getting her Masters (!!!) and my sis for selling her house and buying one. Yippeee!


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