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WWPD

I admit, when I read “Just Kids” it was strangely life altering. I fell in love with Patti Smith. She’s a bad ass. No doubt. Strong and brave and fearless and smart and ferociously talented. I want to be her when I grow up.

When I see pictures of her, I take a deep breath and slowly exhale while studying every detail.

This site, fantastically named “Awesome People Hanging Out Together” has been mentioned everywhere lately. Have you seen it? It’s sublime.

This picture stopped me in my tracks, of course. Patti and William S.Burroughs? Yes, please. Look how he’s holding her arm. Good stuff.

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Altering

A few weeks ago, I had the entire interior painted Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist and I swear my blood pressure has lowered. It’s glorious. Restful and calm and beautiful. Light enough to look white but not as stark. I also had them paint the bannister black, which looks crisp and sharp. (Plain oak is the enemy!)

When the painters were here I was STILL frantically getting down wallpaper in the kitchen so they could paint. (I’m one of those people who literally needs a fire under my ass to get things done.) The result is nothing short of miraculous. Well, maybe not miraculous, because shit’s not totally done (kitchen) and the fruit tile still taunts me but a HELL of a lot better. I was terribly proud of myself for not half assing the area behind the refrigerator and just letting them paint over the paper, because “no one sees it.” I joked that now we can pull out the refrigerator and have drinks back there because it looks so good!

Peter and I even pulled down 3 cabinets and replaced them with LACK shelving from IKEA for open shelves!

This whole process of rethinking and refining our space has been incredibly liberating and creatively fulfilling.

Karrie was here a few weeks ago and I’m still mourning her departure. She’s one of those people you love being around because, in addition to being funny, smart, super creative and loving, she makes you feel like a better version of yourself. I love to hear her opinion and her take on things. It’s always colorful (literally and figuratively), thoughtful and interesting.

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How killer are those chairs? We picked up two of them with the gray seat and paired them with the IKEA Docksta table in the kitchen.They are art, I tell you. Sometimes I just pull one out and run my fingers along the smooth wood and stare at the intricate webbing of the seat while whispering sweet nothings. Love does not even do a good enough job of describing how I feel about these chairs.

I’ll post pictures tomorrow. I’m currently laying on a heating pad in bed. I’m flaring like a mofo and NOT happy about it. It’s been going on for weeks. Plus, my children are on Fall Break. Crappy combo.

Karrie has a few posts about her visit and some fabric choices on her blog, Happy Habitat.

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My Tweenager

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Rare Bird is in full tilt tweendom. She’s all about being in her room, listening to music, playing with her hamster, texting, watching teen shows or practicing bass and guitar. It’s cute. I have to squelch my urge to push her outside and say “go play!” like I try to do with Finn because, as she has told me, she’s older now and doesn’t “play.”

I so enjoy being with her. She’s smart, observant, creative, sweet and incredibly empathic. Her head is in the clouds most of the time, which can be frustrating as the mama, but tis often the case with smart creative types, so I try to have a sense of humor about it. (“try” being the operative word)

At 10, she already knows about everything you could possible think of so there is no need to have any “talk” or embarrassing afterschool special moment. We told her about sex at 5 so it’s just been an ongoing conversation. We’ve covered everything in a very matter of fact way.

One day, a few months ago, she said “I think I want a bra.” “Yeah, we should probably get one.” I said while pulling up GapBody online and checking out the cute pullover versions.

She wore it for a week and declared “Bras are uncomfortable!” I said “Yes, they are! Why do you think I take mine off the second we get in the house?”

Same thing happened with shaving. She said she wanted to shave. I showed her how and bought her some razors and shave gel. I told her it was a pain to keep up, but she wanted to do it. A week later she said “Shaving is a pain!”

Yup.

I guess my point is, I wanted her foray into teenagerhood (is that a word?) to be smooth and organic, not awkward and fraught with shame and weird conversations. So far, so good.

Since she was little, I have tried to educate H (and Finny too!) about the importance of taking care of your body, including your skin, teeth and hair. (Finn wants a Clarisonic for Christmas. A fact that delights me. He won’t get one. Too spendy.)

I tell them “Your teeth are the jewelry of your face. You have to take care of them!” (Other rampant Emilyisms: Mommies are Magical and Weird is Wonderful – someone please make me a t-shirt in a script font of that last one!)

I’m not trying to turn Hadley into a product whore but I do think it’s important to be aware of quality beauty products and brands. That said, have you seen The Willa line? This suuuuuper darling tween named Willa, and her mother, developed a skincare line for girls.

I bought the basics for HJ and am trying to get her into the habit of washing her face every night and applying moisturizer. Willa’s tag line is “Start Young. Stay Young.”  I subscribe to her Facebook feed and she’s so freaking darling, fresh and young, it makes me feel like the Cryptkeeper.  (That show was so good!)

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She has also been loving her Tangle Teezer.  I know it seems gimmicky and I was dubious but the thing works and Hadley loves to brush her hair with it.

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I do have moments where I think “where has the time gone?” when I see my strawberry blond girl sprouting up and morphing into a little lady, but for the most part, I’m really loving this age. She’s so interesting and interested, two traits that I adore. Traits that my Dad possessed as well, which I love.

Hadley, please know that I am proud of you every moment of every day. It is a privilege to not only be your mama, but also to be in your orbit and soak up all of your sparkly magic. xoxo Mom  

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Goodness

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I haven’t been blogging my darlings. Laziness, I suspect and a bit of constricting writer’s block. Well, not writer’s block but “oh who cares about that? block”. Anything interesting I would just throw up on Facebook or just ignore it.

School is in full swing, which is GLORIOUS. (Typing that just reminded me of Laura Branigan’s song GLORIA, so now that will be stuck in both of our heads. You’re Welcome.)

Things making me really happy:

  • We’re going to The Broadmoor Labor Day weekend for a night. I just up and booked it. Have wanted to do it for forever and just hadn’t done it. We’re going to go to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo first, then check in, go to the pool and Peter and I are going to lie in beach chair sipping cocktails while our kids frolic. Then we’re going to grab dinner and explore the grounds. I promised Hadley we’d have breakfast in bed via room service, which she is super excited about. As am I. Of course, now that I’ve mapped all of this out and have expectations, none of it will happen.

  • This article about Tavi and Ira. Hearts and rainbows were shooting out of my head when I was reading it. I love them both.

 

  • I’ve almost gotten all of the wallpaper down from the kitchen!!!! This is HUGE, you guys. Or as Donald Trump would say “Youge.” It’s been more than a year that the wallpaper has remained partway torn down. It’s just hard and really high up all over the kitchen…and life gets in the way. And I’m lazy.  Look.

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See? Makes. Me. Murderous. Those are potted plants. But now it’s GONE! I have big plans. And that gross light is gone. And the table is on it’s way out.

 

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You know what else drives me batty? TILE. It’s everywhere. All kitchen and bathrooms have this tile. ARGH. AND…your eyes do not deceive you. That green and beige border tile? It has fruit on it. Yes. Fruit. Hideous.

BUT! There is hope. My lovely Karrie of Happy Habitat is going to come save the day and consult me on what to do to my house d├ęcor wise. (No pressure, Kar.) She has the greatest eye.

  • And last but certainly not least… We saw The Book of Mormon!!! Tickets sold out in 4 hours and I was on 2 phones and 2 computers to make sure I got them. It did NOT disappoint.  It’s everything everyone says it is and more. It just is. Perfectly profane and funny and smart. We saw a matinee and I just wanted to line back up and see the 7pm show.

Happy day to you, noodles. To combat my fierce PMS, I’m going to get some sun on my face and blare pop music as I run errands. Wish me luck.

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Swallowed

I’m here. I’m here!

Summer swallowed me up whole, dearies. Twas fast, loud and sweaty. There was a trip to D.C. to drop off babies with cousins, grandparents and aunt and uncle, while Peter and I scooted off to Amsterdam.

Sigh.

Oh, Amsterdam. Do you think of me as often as I think of you? When I think of you I’m on a Dutch Bike with long hair.

Then our Taylor’s wedding to the most wonderful Dave in Washington.

Sigh.

Oh, our Taylor. I wish the whole world could have been at her wedding. (So. Much. Dancing!)

The kids start school on Monday, August 13, so I’m busy counting down days and smiling.

Scuse me now, the blue eyed devils want to have a lemonade stand.

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Reminder

I love Microsoft Outlook. I have my nerdy color coded calendar with EVERYTHING on it, and it syncs with my phone, which is such a fantastic thing. Man, I love technology.

Last week a reminder popped up.

“Make appointment with oncologist”

Everything in my body stopped whirring and gurgling and there was stillness as I thought “What?”

Oh yeah, I had cancer.

I know you’re thinking “Well, duh.”

I honestly forgot.

Really.

I called my oncologist and the receptionist nonchalantly said “Ok, we have you scheduled for your yearly exam, blood tests and then we’ll have to schedule an MRI to check on your implants.”

Deep exhale.

Ew.

I don’t think about it really. I am not defined by it. It happened. I got through it and moved on. I mean, I look at these boobs every day but I usually don’t think “cancer cancer cancer” when I look at them. They’re just another part of me.

I do have a deep underlying sadness about not having my real breasts though. No sensation. At all. I thought that sadness would go away once I got used to these bad boys. I mean, it’s almost been 3 years. Silly me. Grief never goes away.  It just ebbs and flows.

I can remember the feelings of certain things but I never feel any of it. I miss it. Sometimes I imagine I am feeling something but I’m not. It must be similar to amputees feeling phantom pains. They say their leg is hurting but there is no leg.

This post is becoming darker than I wanted it to be. It’s just been swirling around in my brain and I wanted to acknowledge it.

Summer is in full bloom at casa Provost and I think I’m finally on board. My sister in law wisely said it takes a week to fully get in tune with summer. So accurate. Bourbon helps too.

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Summer Faces

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We were AT the museum with their cousins having a wonderful time and these are the faces I got as we were about to leave, accompanied by “What are we going to do NOW?”

They’re like little drug addicts. Only it’s not drugs they’re looking for, it’s new, exciting experiences.

Here they are with my nieces Lyla (12) and Ottilia (5) in a happier moment when they weren’t so bored they “wanted to cry”.

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Regime

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I’ve been obsessed with Into The Gloss for a while. Have you been there? Obsessed. Particularly with The Top Shelf. I love to know what other people are doing in their beauty regime. The stuff that really works. I get really excited when I read many posts and start to see a pattern of things that lots of people use. (yes, I am a total nerd.)

I don’t much care for what celebrities use. I mean, I do, but most of the time that stuff is made up anyway. Into The Gloss interviews Editors, Designers, Photographers, Stylists, DJs…people in the know who are behind the scenes in the beauty industry and tend to really know what’s good.

And I don’t really care that much about makeup. Sure, I like a good product  but I don’t pile it on. For the most part I’m a natural girl and look kind of the same with or without makeup. I don’t feel the need to have massive amounts of makeup in my arsenal. A few choice products will do.

I care about taking care of my skin. I’ve often said the people I find most attractive look “fresh” – they have beautiful skin, shiny healthy hair, bright eyes and pretty teeth.

I decided to take a look at my own beauty regime. Here it is as well as the products I love:

I wash my face with old school Cetaphil. I have for years and I swear by it. Peter gave me the Clarisonic for Christmas and it really is phenomenal. It took a bit to fall in love with it and I didn’t get the buzz but we’re in the throws of a full on love affair now. (Megs, I know I said you could just keep using a washcloth. I’m changing my mind.) I have the face and body one and I love taking it in the tub and exfoliating like a mofo.  Oh, soft skin goodness. Sometimes I’ll put lavender body oil in the tub too, which just takes everything to the next level. Tubs are a must. My achy bod craves it at the end of most days.

I’m a firm believer in dry brushing too. It is so good for circulation, your lymph system, exfoliation, plus it just feels invigorating! I do it before I shower or take a bath.

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I use Cetaphil lotion on my face and body too. In the morning, I’ll wash my face, put on Cetaphil and then put on sunscreen. It’s SPF 30, something the dermatologist gave me. Sometimes, I’ll just do that. Other days, I’ll put on a little makeup.

My all time favorite beauty tip my sister introduced me to years and years ago. Tinting my eyelashes black. Ladies, it’s the best, especially for the fair haired peeps. I used to do it for special occasions or vacations but now, like clockwork, I do it every 5 weeks. I do not wear mascara at all anymore. I just curl them and I’m done.

I’ve been wanting to try a BB cream since they are all the rage lately so I picked up Garnier BB Cream in light. It’s quite lovely, I have to say. Good coverage, not heavy and does the trick. Seems like a foundation/moisturizer so I don’t see what the excitement is about but whatever. I still use a light dusting of bareMinerals powder to get a little more coverage if I need it. They also carry a highlighting powder called Radiance that gives you a subtle luminescence that I like.

I do love a blush and like the rest of the planet, I have NARS Orgasm, which really is a great color. After my cheeks, I like to lightly swipe it on my eyelids for a little color up there. ( I do not do eye shadow. It confounds me.) I’m also a big fan of Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush and Benefit Benetint if you want a pinker cheek. Tarte is a gel stick like product and Benetint is like a nail polish bottle with a brush! It smells heavenly and can be used as a lip tint too. (two for one!) Both Tarte and Benetint give you a flushed look, which I love. It’s natural.

For the lip, I always have on me or am in reach of a Burt’s Bees lip balm. The original one. I  have to have it. Total addict. I usually start out with lip color like Tarte 24/7 Lip Sheer in Friday, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (which I’ve used since I was 15) or a few others in rotation but then I forget and just go for the Burt’s Bees. Easy.

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I really love perfume. Currently, I have Bobbi Brown’s BATH perfume (I just went to get the link and I discovered she’s not making it anymore. WHA?)and Jo Malone in a variety of scents. You can’t go wrong with Jo Malone. I don’t feel complete without some fragrance. I’m fascinated by it. The complexities of the scent, different notes, how the scent changes depending on body chemistry. And I love how it can remind you of certain times in your life. (Anais Anais? 8th grade. Perscriptives Calyx? High School. New West? Freshman year in college. The list goes on…) Once I’ve worn a scent, I rarely go back to it. Is it just me?

I keep my fingernails short and always with clear polish. I’ve tried color and it looks so garish on me. It draws attention to my poor, splotchy, red hands. So I keep it simple. I think part of beauty is knowing what works for you. I love the short nail/funky color or pattern but it doesn’t work for me.

My toes are always a color, usually red and as short as they can get them. I get a pedicure once a month. And it’s heaven. I’ll get a manicure every other time. I am pretty good at keeping my fingernails up. (I’ve been teaching Finn to take care of his nails, which thrills me to no end. He likes me to buff his nails while he watches a show. Prince Charming.)

At night, I always wash my face. I can not go to sleep without washing my face and brushing my teeth. (and putting in my retainers. Sex-ay.) No matter the circumstance. So, I wash with the Clarisonic and lately I’ve been really digging Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate or REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum. I like to really saturate my face with moisture and these things don’t feel heavy or cloying. I focus on my neck and d├ęcolletage too. Moisture moisture moisture. Every couple of days I’ll use a Retinol serum or cream, both I got from my dermatologist.

I’ll do a mask a few times a week too.   I like Sanitas Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, which smells fantastic. REN also makes a really good one called Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.

So, that’s it. Wow. Writing it all down makes me seem a lot more high maintenance than I thought I was. Good to know. Feel free to pass along your beauty must haves….

XO

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Here’s The Thing

Love Alec Baldwin and his podcast cleverly called “Here’s the Thing”.  I find myself saying ‘Here’s the Thing’ a lot lately.

So, here’s the thing.

I bought a pedometer because I wanted to track how much exercise I was getting just by being me.

Everyone has heard that you’re supposed to get at least 10,000 steps a day, right? So, what do I do the first few days I have the thing?

I go balls to the wall and get 12 thousands steps. Just a total maniac. Constantly checking to see if its working and checking the total number of steps. I figured out that normally I’m probably a 5-7 thousand steps a day kind of gal. I’m aware it’s borderline sedentary. I’m not an active person really. Lots of resting up in here. You know, chronic illness and all.

So, after getting the pedometer, I decide I’m going to turn into Jillian Michaels and bust my ass. Cut to the third day after “Pedometergate” and my system (riddled with lupus mind you) responds with “Are you shitting me?” and immediately shuts down all operations.

FLARE.

Full on. I was pissed.

And then pissed at myself.

And then thought the whole thing was funny.

After I was pissed for a few days of course.

So, now because I’m terrified I’ll throw myself into a flare again, it’s 3:30 and I’m at 1600 steps.

Apparently, I’m all about extremes. 

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Oh My God, You Guys

I’ve been reading maniacally lately. Just can’t get enough. You going to laugh when I tell you what.

Fifty Shades of Grey.

Uh huh.

I read all three books in 6 days.

If you’re not aware, it’s fan fiction based on Twilight but with massive amounts of dominant/submissive sex.

Yup.

It’s totally cheesy, poorly written (like Twilight, IMHO) and full of hot sex. It’s been called “mommy porn”, a moniker which makes me cringe. I had it on my iPad so obviously no one knew what I was reading. There I was at the Karate studio or working out, or waiting for a friend at a restaurant reading this tawdry tale. I found that endlessly hilarious. My dirty secret.

It reminded me of the paperback crap I would read laying out by the pool when I was in high school like Jackie Collins’ Lucky. Titillating garbage.

In other, more respectable book news, (ahem) I came across this lengthy list of memoirs today on the Hairpin and I’m not even kidding, my heart started racing with excitement. That is what a nerd I am. I love love love memoirs, biographies and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some fiction too. But I enjoy knowing that something REALLY happened. (I was devastated, along with Oprah, when it came out that James Frey made up the majority of his memoir “A Million Little Pieces”) I’ve heard of a lot of these and am excited to dig in.

Pardon me while I continue my daydream of being locked in Tattered Cover for days surrounded by all of those delicious books.

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It’s Never Dull

Finn’s first grade class did reports on famous Americans last month. In addition to a report with pictures, they had to dress up as their famous American one day in order to present a live museum to friends and family.

The students were scattered around the cafeteria, in costume, standing next to the poster of their famous American. We all went around the pushed a button in front of them, at which time, they would come “alive” and say their little speech about their person.

Finny was Martin Luther King, Jr. which was very very exciting.

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The following is a class picture of all of the little sweeties dressed up. Finn brought it home yesterday.

Please scan the photo from RIGHT to LEFT, as I did, looking for my darling boy.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

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Mkay. Did you find my son?

All of the way on the left side? Sort of away from everyone else? With no shoes on, mouth open and …this is the best part…he’s making the devil horns with this hands, a gesture famous at heavy metal shows everywhere.

Dr. King would be so proud.

I died laughing.

So so so hilarious.

 

Dear Finn,

Oh, my sweet sweet boy. I vow to never squelch that amazing spirit.

with love, \m/o\m/

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He’s Not There

Atticus died on Saturday. Well, we had him put to sleep. The vet had a special room that looked like a tiny living room with a rug, couch, chairs and a lamp. The lighting was low and the doctor and vet techs were unobtrusive. It was intimate.

I lay on the floor next to my chocolate boy, stroking his face and telling him how much I loved him as they gave him a sedative. Peter and Hadley were there too petting him. (Finn didn’t want to go.)

Our vet gave him the final injection and it was over in 15 seconds. Hadley covered him with a blanket that was in the room.

I was crying, but quietly, until my darling Peter said “Bye, buddy” and I lost it.

Peter settled the payment while Hadley and I walked to the car holding hands. I told her I was glad she was with me.

Driving home I noticed the clear, beautiful day as Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill blared from the stereo.  I could hear my sweet Hadley singing in the backseat.

Sunday was filled with Easter hustle and bustle and I was distracted and busy. I pushed sadness from my thoughts. At my sister’s house for brunch, my family offered condolences and I thought I was ok. Logically, I had accepted it. Emotionally, I hadn’t.

I woke up this morning and he wasn’t there. Next to the bed on the floor, on my side, where he has slept for the past 12 years. Every morning, I would open my eyes, look over and see him patiently waiting for me to wake up so I could feed him and let him out. As soon as we made eye contact, he would get up and nuzzle his face in the side of the bed for a pet.

I felt empty.

I got the kids off to school this morning and I was finally left alone to grieve. 

I miss my friend. I’ve never loved an animal like I loved him.  In the chaos of this life of mine, I could always count on him to keep me grounded. We’d catch eyes across the room and I’d know that he was on my side and I’d be ok. He was here through our marriage, babies, moves, lupus, my dad’s death, cancer. I don’t think more tears could be shed on a dog.

He also made me incredibly happy and for that I’m profoundly grateful.

RIP Atty. You were such a good dog.

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Atticus

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My dog faced boy has cancer. It’s everywhere. I know non pet owners don’t understand but as ELV put it so eloquently a pet dying is its own “special heartbreak.”

Indeed.

It’s hard watching the spark slowly slip away out of my sweet boy’s body. 

He is losing his physical abilities as the days go on and I think it may be time soon to put him down. It’s such an odd power to wield. Humbling. Who am I to say it’s time for him to die? He can’t really stand up by himself but when he sees me his eyes get wide and warm and he wags that big beaver tail. Still wagging even if he can’t get up. Such a gentle giant.

He’s 12 years old and has had a wonderful life. I adore him. Truly. Peter and I got him a month before we were married. He was our practice kid and we have adored him.

More than anything I’ll just miss my quiet constant companion.

XO

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Book Report

I love to read to the kids at night. Especially now that they are into books that I like! We look forward to what’s happening next in the book. They get ready for bed and we all meet in “the big white bed.”

I read great reviews about Wonder by R.J. Palachio and decided to read it to them, mostly because I was so interested.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

I loved it and the kids seemed really into it too. Every night I’d say “Let’s see what Auggie’s up to.” Auggie narrates the first half of the book and the remainder of the book has different characters narrating a few chapters each. More than once the kids would say “Are you crying again, Mom?” I was moved on so many different levels. As a mother, a sister, and something I hadn’t felt in a long time, a 5th grader.  Sometimes we’d talk about the book after we read, sometimes not. I liked hearing their reactions to things. How other people reacted to the way Auggie looks and what they said. More than once H&F were horrified at how cruel people can be. Even parents of other kids. Strangely, I appreciated that harsh truth and the fact that I could expose the kids to it somewhat safely through a book. People can be shitty. On the flipside, people can also be wonderful, shiny and brave.

I’m trying to decide on the next read. They’re really jonesing for the sequel to The Genius Files, and I’ll probably cave. It’s a good series. Lots of cool facts, action and likeable characters, which keeps Finny P interested.

Currently, I’m reading the novel The Paris Wife, about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. Even though it’s a novel, I find it fascinating. I LOVE tales of the brilliant writers in Paris during the 20s. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was so magical to me.

I knew a little of Hadley Hemingway, which I discovered while researching what to name my darling Hadley, but this book makes me want to know more.

Reading has been a lovely refuge lately. Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information being pummeled at you everyday?

Yup. That’s me.

Taking a break and blocking it all out.

Happy Tuesday, peanuts.  

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Vanity Smurf

Since the last post, I cut my hair AGAIN. It was the textbook “feeling restless in my life, maybe a severe haircut will help!”

Never a good idea. (I know better, too.)

I was fine for about a week. In shock, but fine. Then a deep sadness set in and every time I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw.

I loathe it.

Loathe.

It’s a cute enough cut. Shaggy. Edgy. I just hate it on me. I haven’t felt this ugly in probably 10 years. I don’t feel femme or pretty. Plus, I have to DO it, otherwise it’s very mullety/barn animal got a hold of my hair and chewed for hours – ish.

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It’s just hair. It will grow back. It looks fine. Blah blah blah.

Magical hair growing advice welcome. 

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Chop chop

Ok, so I did one of those Brazilian Keratin Treatments that straighten and smooth your curls/frizz out.

I’m still not sure about it. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it. It’s just there.

I have always had an expectation management problem and this was no exception. I thought I would do this treatment and my life would change. Stupid, I know. That’s vanity for you.

Meg’s friend Erin, who recommended the treatment, warned me I’d feel like Cher for the first few days. The hair SO smooth, close to your head and stick straight. A fact I found hysterically accurate. But it didn’t end after a few days. And I felt like Axl Rose. So, I freaked out and had my hairdresser chop my hair off.

This is how it turned out:

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I’m still totally indifferent. It’s weird. I may even have him hack at it some more.

Yes, I am wearing pajamas in the picture. And yes, I am in them usually by 5pm, pretty much every day since I got them in 2 colors a few weeks ago. As well as these comfy slippers. Oh house clothes…how I love you so.

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March VOGUE

I’m not even halfway through the March issue but I found myself scribbling notes on college lined paper at the kitchen table.

I smiled while doing it.

I miss writing longhand. I like to write in cursive with a really great pen.


So, here I sit transcribing my notes into a blog post. Funny. It reminds me of college when I would take scraps and bits of paper I had scribbled ideas for short stories on and turn them into something.

 

Adele is on the cover, looking gorgeous, per usual. (Although, I wish they hadn’t photo shopped her body on the cover. We know she doesn’t have a 20 inch waist, people. And it’s ok. )

adele-vogue-march-2012 

She is, as you would guess, a great interview, full of vim and vigor. The interview validates why she is so astonishing. She’s brutally honest and claims she really has no idea where all of these beautiful songs come from. They just pour out of her. That type of honesty is inspiring and beautiful. She doesn’t talk about “the craft” or other such bullshit nonsense. She just is. Also, how cool is the fact that Rolling in the Deep came from a gang phrase used in UK? “Roll deep” basically means having someone have your back so you are never on your own if you get into trouble. She thought it was beautiful and changed it to “Rolling in the Deep.” Genius.

“Adele has one of the great dirty mouths of her generation. Get her going on a subject that raises her ire, and the obscenities fly like sparks off a welder.” –Jonathan Van Meter, Adele interview, VOGUE

“…Like sparks off a welder.”  So good.

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The piece by Cheryl Strayed about her trek on the Pacific Crest Trail has me wanting to rush out and get her memoir: “Wild: From Lost to Found on The Pacific Crest Trail.”

I’m not a climber or really interested in it. It is her writing and her reasons for doing it that intrigued me. She had never backpacked before going on the trip. NEVER. That’s like me deciding to freaking hike the PCT (which, incidentally, took her 3 months and is 1,100 miles. WTF!) And very clearly, she finds herself needing to do it.

My mom died when I was twenty-two and she was forty-five. She died of cancer, but it wasn’t the way I thought a death by cancer would be—long and drawn out and cinematic. Instead, my mother was dead seven weeks to the day after her diagnosis. Her death was simple and ugly and it didn’t feel even remotely like a movie. It felt to me that I had died with her, and in some ways, I did. The vision I’d previously had of my life died. I don’t have a relationship with my biological father and though I had a step-father, he couldn’t continue being a step-father to me in the face of his own loss. And so I wandered forth, suddenly an orphan. – Cheryl Strayed

I understand why she did it with no experience. Why not? After a blow like that, you feel invincible. Not the invincible I felt after giving birth to H&F. That was empowering and invigorating. I felt so STRONG!

My Dad’s death left me numb. Nothing could hurt me.

When talking about her decision to make the trek, Cheryl Strayed says “Nothing bad could happen to me, I thought. The worst thing already had.”

This resonated so deeply with me, that I actually stopped reading for a second to look up, close my mouth and let that thought marinate.

I felt and feel the same way about my dad’s death. It was worse than breast cancer, depression, lupus…His death rocked me to my core. There is definitely a sense of “Nothing scares me now.”

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And a final thought on the issue: Florence Broadhurst for Kate Spade? Fan-freaking-tastic. A beautiful marriage!

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Showing Up

Hello snowflakes.

I’m so much better.

Oh so much better.

I’m me again. Maybe better. Brighter? Definitely.

It was like a reboot of sorts. Incredibly painful and sucky but I got through it, dammit.

I am badass. Hear me roar.

I feel beyond lucky to have such supportive friends and family. Where would I be without you?

Coinciding with my climb out of the hole of depression is my extreme inspiration from, seemingly everything:

  • The endless sky.
  • Music – specifically Lenka and Robyn, which have been pulsing from anything that would play music so loud that I could feel it in my skin, letting it seep into my pores and brighten my soul. It works. I swear.
  • Art – nothing specific, in fact, most of it is nameless. Graffiti here and there, a well styled print ad, the guy at the bagel shop’s tattoos.
  • Books! (exclamation mark intended and necessary) I read Visit from the Goon Squad and Just Kids in the span of 2 weeks and was blown away. I highly recommend both. The story in Goon Squad was creatively woven, I was in a constant state of awe of Jennifer Egan’s talent. Just Kids will stay with me for a good long while. It was intoxicating and ignited somewhat of a creative explosion in my brain. I see things differently after having read it, if that makes sense.  I’m itching to press the book I love so much into the hands of my sister, whom I love so much, knowing she’ll adore it too.
  • PGP, HJ and Finny P. Everything I am, I owe to them. They encourage me to “just show up.”

Here’s to more happy days!

xo

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Shell

I wish I could explain it to people. I try. But you don’t know unless you’ve experienced it. Being pushed off a cliff into the depths of despair.

It can happen regardless of your life situation.

I am happier than I ever have been in my entire life. I have a wonderful life and yet I am depressed.

Really depressed. Not “I’m so depressed my favorite show was cancelled.”

No.

Lying-on-the-floor-staring-at-the-ceiling-while–you-sob-uncontrollably-depressed.

It’s very common with chronic illness. It bound to wear you down being in pain all of the time. I have been on an anti-depressant since shortly after being diagnosed with lupus. And with my recent back surgery, the pain has been endless and seemingly insurmountable.

I know some people think depression is a weakness, that life is sad. That you should be able to buck up and pull yourself out of it.

There is no pulling yourself out of this.

It’s horribly dark and so hopeless and scary.

I just felt empty. Hollow.

I’ve known for a while that my antidepressant wasn’t fully doing its job.

For YEARS my psychiatrist has been trying to get me off of my current antidepressant because he didn’t think it was right for me. I kept saying no. Why rock the boat? I deal with so much medical bullshit and so many other medications that the thought of transitioning to a new medication did not appeal.

Looks like my body made the decision for me. Three days before Christmas.

Ho fucking ho.

As I said, it felt like I had been pushed off a cliff.

And then suddenly, I was drowning.

I was paralyzed. Couldn’t get out of bed. Didn’t want to eat. Couldn’t help with the kids at all. My whole body hurt. I couldn’t think straight.

Luckily, I am married to the ultimate human being and have a superhero bestie who came bearing vegan ice cream sandies and laid in bed with me while I cried. She may as well have been wearing a cape.

I finally got my doctor on the phone, explained the situation and med changes were quickly made.

And now I wait. And experience all of the quirky and horrible side effects that come with transitioning off of one medication and onto another.

***The above was written December 22***

Today is January 6 and just YESTERDAY did I start to feel like me again. I showered and actually left the house. I smiled genuinely for the first time in WEEKS and it felt SO GOOD. I can not even explain the feeling. I was jubilant. I felt free.

I debated whether or not to even post this. While talking to Meg though, she helped me realize it’s not something I’m ashamed of and if anything, posting this will educate someone or help someone else feel like they are less alone.

PS – If you do happen to know someone who is struggling with depression, do not, under any circumstances say anything like this to them “But you’re pretty and skinny. What do you have to be depressed about?” Because you might get punched in the teeth.

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