Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oops again

I feel like I should explain myself.

For those of you who got an update from this blog (and it happened once before) about my weight and how it’s coming off, please disregard the whole thing. See, I have a weight loss blog (journal?) that is supposed to be for my eyes only, but somehow I keep accidentally posting to this one instead of that one. I’ll go ahead and blame it on the WordPress interface for not making it glaringly obvious which blog I am using at the time. And I’ll blame it on myself for not just keeping it as a document on my computer.

Anyhow, it’s a bit embarrassing because I have some sort of personal stuff (my exact weight, for instance) in there. So, please just disregard it all and forgive me for the confusion.

But, since it’s already out there (for the subscribers, anyway) I’ll go ahead and brag about having lost 25 pounds. Woo hoo!

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The Happiest Days

Today was great. You know what’s cool about that? It’s nothing new for me to have a great day, lately. I have been thinking about this a lot in the past few weeks . Let’s jump back a bit…

The year my daughter was born was probably the worst year of my life. I mean, I had a newborn, which is difficult for anyone. I did the standard no sleep/time/resources/social interaction bit, but with a hefty dose of postpartum depression on top. I sobbed nonstop and, though I’m certain any number of my friends would have been happy to help me, I still felt completely isolated, like I had no outlet for my feelings. Nobody tells you it’s okay not to enjoy that time, so I thought I was doing it all wrong. I had anticipated breastfeeding my baby, but my milk dried up within the first two weeks and I felt like I had failed my daughter. I had the guilt of feeding her formula (which, by the way, I finally got over) and the ridicule of nearly everyone that saw me make her a bottle when I was out in public. It was also that year my mom was in and out of the ICU, her life sputtering to an end. I spent my 10-year class reunion, my anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the hospital with her. I was away from my family for weeks at a time in order to pull overnight shifts by her side. I have some anxiety issues anyway which, with everything I’ve mentioned, gave me multiple panic attacks nearly every night. I had a lot on my plate. It was awful.

But this year, dear reader, has possibly been the best one yet. And I feel like it’s important for me to document this feeling of contentment. The only thing I could think of to improve my current situation is if my mom were here to share it with me. Allow me to elaborate.

Abby is three years old now. She’ll be 4 in September. She is a delight to me. She is so capable these days. She can ride her bike with us and communicate her feelings and wishes with me. She plays imaginative games and dress-up, and she tells me she loves me at random intervals throughout the day. She sings princess songs. She’s big and potty trained and can put her own shoes on. But she’s not so big that she is past cuddling up to watch My Little Pony and falling asleep occasionally on my lap. She has a lot of friends, which she made at preschool. She goes to preschool three days a week, and I only have class 2 of those days. This is the first time in about 4 years that I’ve had a full day to do with as I please.

JT has a job that lets him work from home. On Wednesday afternoons, when Abby is at preschool and I am not occupied, JT and I go on dates. We have not had time alone to remember each other as people since she was born, but now we have it once a week. We go to movies, or out to lunch, or just around the block on our bikes or our feet. We hold hands. We know why we love each other.

The other two days that I’m not on parenting duty, I go to school for graphic design. I dropped out of university when I was 20, having no direction or idea of what I wanted from life. I have worked hard to make up for that decision, and some days I honestly don’t feel like I ever could. Lately, doing design work had helped me forget I was ever so stupid. I love the actual work of designing things. I am head over heels for type, and have been given a bit of recognition around the design department for it. It feels good to be acknowledged for my skill, but it feels even better to be satisfied with my own output. I have disappointed myself over and over again, but finally I can take pride in my work. No amount of praise could equal that. I don’t feel like I have to apologize to my audience when I show a poster. It’s incredible. Additionally, I’ve made some friends in the department. One of the other enormous benefits I gain from attending class is getting out of the house and speaking with other adults about grown-up things on a regular basis.

And while I’m on the topic of friends, I feel like my social life has really gelled this year as well. My two best friends in the world live nearby, and we hang out frequently. I have known them since 5th grade and could not be happier to continue to know them. JT’s coworkers turned have proven to be excellent friends and neighbors rather than just people with whom to kill the working hours. And I certainly can’t forget my cousin, who is much more like a sister than anything. The longer I live around these people, the more sure I am that Colorado is the place for me. I cannot imagine geographical distance from this group. There has been some talk of my other cousin and his wife moving this way, and the prospect of that tickles me pink. They are two of the coolest people I can imagine. This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. I love lunches and brunches with my uncles, breakfasts with my dad, and tons of other friends (old and new) that have not been named individually, in Colorado, Oklahoma, and all over the rest of the contry. Let’s not stop there, even. Thanks to Facebook, I have been back in contact with so many of my friends from ten, even twenty+ years ago who have moved all over the world and put down roots. I have never felt so much genuine support.

My 32nd birthday is at the end of this month and, for all my fear of aging, my 30s have been a real high point. Certainly from time to time I become aware that my anxious and depressed days are not so far behind me, but for the most part I am content. I feel healthier than I ever have, emotionally, and feel like it is important for me to not only embrace this change, but pat myself on the back  for having made it so far.

So tell me, friends, what has gone right for you this year? What is your reason to congratulate yourself?

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Grief: My experience and advice

Hey, you foxy foxes. I’ve had a few ideas in my head for this thing lately but, it seems, I never take the time to sit down and hammer them out. This one seems a little important, though. Not in the grand scheme of things or anything like that, but to me, in my own head, lately. Maybe it will prove important to you as well. Maybe not. But get yourself a hot chocolate or something before you start reading. This is a long one.

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief and grieving. I lost a cousin last weekend. We weren’t particularly close. In fact, I had met him maybe twice in my whole life. But his brother, my other cousin (let’s call him C) has to be one of my favorite people in the world. It just so happens that C was headed up to my house for a visit and got the news about his brother maybe five minutes before boarding the plane. So that’s probably why the subject is in my head.

I’ve had my share of grief. None of my grandparents are alive. I’ve said goodbye to extended family, close friends, distant friends, and numerous pets. But most importantly, I lost my mom a couple of years ago and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It hurt physically. I never thought I would recover from the trauma of losing her. I still miss her, actively, every day. People say things like that all the time, right? “I miss her every day.” But I’m serious. There is not a day where I don’t recall her somehow. Our lives were so intertwined that it is impossible for me to go more than a few hours without her memory interjecting itself. It used to kill me, but really, I love that about her. I love that we had the sort of relationship that would hurt so much to lose. It’s taken a few years to reach this point, but I get so much pure enjoyment out of things that remind me of our time together. I feel like a part of something when I can trace my mannerisms, my habits, back to her. Especially the ones she always traced back to her dad. I’ve come a long way, baby.

Here are some tips for anyone going through the loss of someone close. Each experience is different and these may be worthless to you. But they are things that have helped me, personally, get to this point. Continue reading

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Link Roundup!

Sorry for the absence. I’ve been busy or lazy or whatever. Honestly, you can blame it on this cake I tried to make and couldn’t quite pin down. I had a post all written for it, but then when I tried it, it was dried out and kind of awful. So I made it again and it was too damp. Having tried twice, I figured the only reasonable path would be to kind of just give up at everything.

Here are a few sites I’ve discovered since my last post (you know, to make up for all that).

Old people writing on a restaurant’s Facebook page
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a bunch of old people posting things on the Facebook pages of restaurants. If you don’t already think it’s funny, don’t bother clicking the link.

Busty Girl comics
Some of you, surely, are girls. And of those, some of you, surely, have big boobs. These comics probably depict your life. They certainly do mine.

Letters of Note
This blog is just a bunch of correspondence between famous people or about famous events, mostly. For instance, it recently featured a letter from a young Mick Jagger to his aunt, talking about having reunited with his childhood friend, Keith Richards, and how they have started a band. It is totally my favorite blog these days. Be sure and check out it’s sister blog, Lists of Note.

Letterheady
The same guy that does Letters and Lists of Note runs this page, but it’s a bit different, so I’ll give it a separate mention. This one has letterhead from famous people. It’s a great place to find inspiration for designs.

The Twitter feed of Tween Hobo
She’s a tween! She’s a hobo! She’s on Twitter!

Ta da! Now you won’t have to do your real work for a few more hours. You’re welcome. :)

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Snack of a Lifetime: Store Brand Extra Cherry Mixed Fruit in Natural Cherry Flavored Light Syrup

I’m not going to lie to you. Tonight I ate a frozen Stauffer’s lasagna and fed my daughter Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli. Those are our favorite foods. I had intended to crack a tin of store brand extra cherry mixed fruit in light syrup to class things up. This is the sort of thing I do when my husband is out for the night and I have had the stomach flu for a week. Don’t judge.

Of course, all of these cans and frozen goods came straight from the store and needed to be brought to serving temperatures. So I popped the lasagna in the oven, fed my lovely her ravioli at room temperature (because that’s the way she likes it) and tossed the fruit cocktail in the freezer because nothing says tacky like warm tinned fruit.

Fast forward a few hours. My sweetheart went to bed and I got a craving for a late night snack. Not being able to find anything, I settled on a glass of water hoping maybe I was just thirsty. I opened the freezer for some ice only to discover that I had forgotten my fruit! It was frozen solid, but still sounded delicious, so I popped the lid anyway. 

I mentioned briefly that I have had the stomach flu for the past few days. I have lost about seven pounds from the combination of not eating and being actively, you know, sick. Today was the first day I felt like really eating anything. So I’ll admit that my judgement might be clouded by my body’s desire to replenish itself any way possible. But I swear to you, friends, frozen fruit cocktail straight from the can is a thing of beauty. Don’t let it pass you by.

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And we’re back!

I don’t know how it happened that I didn’t blog for two months. In my defense, neither has my dream girl and blogging inspiration, Mindy Kaling. So, I guess that makes it sort of okay.

But there’s a lot coming up! I made apple salsa, went to a Vietnamese New Year party where a friend made the egg rolls my aunt used to make, and have a new recent favorite movie and lots opinions about things. It will be super awesome, I promise. Also, I’m pretty sure Katie knows of a few more hot guys in period clothing.  That’s how she rolls.

You just have to wait until tomorrow. I spent the whole weekend buying new dishes and underwear, so I’m spent for right now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone! Long time, no blog, huh? Sorry about that. A lot has been going on at my house as well as SophistiKatie’s. We’ll be back on the wagon soon. In the mean time, here’s some stuff about Thanksgiving from my other blog, which hasn’t been updated since I started this one. I wrote this bit a year ago.

This is my first Thanksgiving without my mom, which is the stupidest thing I can think of right now.  Why on Earth would Thanksgiving happen without her?  Growing up, the holiday was really no big deal.  We visited my grandparents and cooked up a storm and it was lovely, but it didn’t take on any significance for me until much later.

My grandparents died right around the beginning of high school, so they no longer hosted the gathering.  It was just me, my mom and my sister at that point.  We had a discussion about it one day and decided that, rather than spend the morning cooking an elaborate meal and the afternoon cleaning up after ourselves, we should do something simple and enjoy our day off.  So we grabbed some hot dogs and headed to the park.  I brought my little tent, a gift I wanted so badly and never actually used for camping (though it was nearly constantly pitched in our otherwise-unused second living room) and we all sat in it and ate hot dogs and potato salad off of paper plates and chatted.  It was delightful.  As the afternoon wore on, I thought of the one improvement that could have been made.  I called up my best friend, Katie, and she was done with her meal, so her dad drove her over to meet us.  We ran around the Shakespeare in the Park set, which was abandoned at this time of year.  We repeated that tradition for years.  Park, tent, hot dogs, Katie.

When my sister and I had both married and had other obligations for the holiday, the tradition changed.  My mom started having Thanksgiving with my cousin here in Colorado.  Kristen is friends with a great group of people, many of whom don’t always feel like traveling or have anywhere in particular to go for the holiday.  Together, all these strays and stragglers make a crowd large enough to warrant the cooking.  The first Thanksgiving for Strays I recall involved my cousin ordering a whole billion pints and quarts of side dishes from Whole Foods and warming them over for whoever came.  My mom, always the hostess, saw to it that a proper feast was presented the next year.  The year after that, and every year after, it was held at her house.  It became Dee’s holiday.  People would come over and eat and cook and chat for hours after the meal was complete.

Last year was her last Thanksgiving, and we spent it in her tiny little apartment in Oklahoma.  She was staying there while receiving chemotherapy.  She was sick and fragile, but happy as always to entertain a crowd.  This year, the torch has been passed and I will host the Thanksgiving for Strays.  I’ll try my hand at her dishes, bake my first turkey and be thankful that, even though they never really got to know one another, my daughter will grow up experiencing this piece of my mom.

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Things I want to buy that I will love: Mindy Kaling’s new book

I probably smell like too much cologne!

So, I am in love with Mindy Kaling. I want to be just like her when I’m not busy wanting to be just like Tina Fey. She is pretty and feminine and smart and hilarious and she has nice clothes and an excellent blog (from which I adapted the title of this post). She also looks like she smells great, kind of like a Bizarro Little Richard.

Her new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Other Concerns, came out yesterday and I am super excited about it. The title alone had me sold. Though I have not yet gotten my copy, I’ve read a few snippets and can already assure you that the rest of the book will be excellent.

If you are not already familiar with her, here are some videos with which to familiarize yourself. Both are really just audio. The first is a bit of her stand-up and the second is an excerpt from the book.

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Nightmare on Whatever Street in Idaho

So, this is the scariest thing I can imagine. I have actual nightmares like this. These poor people lived right through it and Animal Planet helped them tell their tale.

Don’t watch this in the dark. Or in a field.

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