#yawn

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This is how I wish I felt today.

Plan b

So we ran away to the beach. Just cause.
I was going to write a post about my week, work, home, maybe about Kim and Kanye and that photo op errr…wedding. I was going to comment on Gwyneth vs the Green Beret. Someone get that girl a friend to confide in so we don’t have to see all the crazy. I think wacky thoughts too – but I only tell those thoughts to my husband or my friends. One is legally obliged to not judge me, and the others shake their heads in disbelief and shock but don’t write me an angry retort.
Then I was going to tell you all my opinions on politics, the Pope and gluten.
But I went with another plan.
I’m going to lay around all day and zone out.
See below.

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Insert smart, thoughtful post here…

It’s almost July and I’m almost as dark as a coconut. My brain is also baking in the sun.

I’ve been sitting on rocks, and beach chairs, and deck chairs and patio chairs.

Last weekend the world’s most beautiful baby came to visit (trust me, I know beautiful babies). He was also the most chilled out baby I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s the Bob Marley of babies. Relaxed, content, happy and completely contagious. I’d show you pictures but then I’d have to kill you.

His parents tagged along too. We had a ton of fun in the sun. We ate and drank and were merry old 40 somethings – which means we were fast asleep by 11pm after House Hunters International ended.

Because the baby’s momma and papa are city folk, we treated them to a good old BBQ. Below is the Greek salad I made. Nothing special at all. Just the usual Greek salad stuff. But I used the very first gift I ever got as a married woman for it. This platter was a gift from one our my husband’s favorite aunts. She sent it after she’d forgiven us for running off and getting married. I thought about her and the night we got the gift when I was making the salad. Do you do that? Does your mind wander to random emotional moments as you chop lettuce? No? Just me?

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Anyway. It was a good time. They stayed the night and left after breakfast. I tried to hide the baby but they remembered and took him with them. Bastards.

But I had a distraction. My kids and I were going up to Rhode Island to stay with some very good friends. Conveniently, one of my very best friends has kids who are besties with my kids. Yes, I said besties. I also like to say selfies – cause I know it annoys people. Anyway we had a blast. Here’s a brief synopsis of what was covered during our time there: WWE, teenage tantrums and how to not become an alcoholic while enduring them, WWE, impending civil war, the NRA, women’s equality in the workplace, crazy bat-shit family members, WWE.

Here’s the motley crew doing some sort of WWE pose. Notice my girl on the right who refuses to partake. Notice my boy on the left who’s completely indoctrinated.

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A good time was had by all.

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Grab Bag

The last few days of school are here. No more lunches I didn’t make. No more papers I forgot to sign. No more reading logs I forgot to send in. Phew. It’s been a long year. 

I can’t wait to go into summer mom mode. Summer mom is so much nicer and calmer than, say, holiday-crunch mom – or worse yet, new-school-shopping-at-the-last-minute mom. 

I asked my boy what we should get for his teacher as a thank you gift – lord knows she deserves it.  He had just finished telling me about “John the bus driver”. He’s a Yankees fan with 3 grandkids. He likes to fish and go to the beach. He loves candy and once he let all the kids eat leftover Halloween candy on the way home. Thanks John. Ok – so I’m set with what to get for John. 

Me: “But what about Mrs. S?” I say. “What does she like?”. 

The boy: “ummm. She wears sweatshirts everyday.”

Me: “ok, like team sweatshirts? Does she love the Eagles or Phillies or something?”

The boy: “No. Not really. They’re like jean sweatshirts. All different colors.”

Me: “uh huh. ok.”

This exchange made me think of another exchange, one even less helpful than this one, about 12 years ago.

I had just joined a very tight-knit group of event planners who seemed to have a million inside jokes, were constantly making fun of each other, worked insanely hard, and had a great time to boot. The leader of this pack was a woman who would go on to become one of my closest friends, but who at that point, wanted very little to do with me. To gain some brownie points, I wanted to buy the perfect gift when her birthday came around.  I asked one of the other gals that had known her the longest what she liked. Here’s the list she emailed me:

  1. Pugs
  2. The Spanish Language
  3. Traveling

This is not a joke. This was the list. WTF. What was I supposed to do with this list? Pugs? The Spanish Language? Come on! 

Once I got over the outrageousness of it – I laughed my ass off. 

To this day, when someone asks me what to get for someone else, I have to hold myself back from saying,”the Spanish language or pugs”.

 

 

 

From Jersey, with love

We live about 40 minutes from the beach. More specifically, the Jersey Shore. You know, the place that gave birth to GTL, Snooki, and the Situation. But it’s also the place that gave us big old boardwalk slices of pizza, funnel cake, arcade games and oh yeah, the beach.

Because it was sunny. Because it was a perfect 65 degrees. Because I needed to extract myself away from the TV. We headed to the beach.

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This was also the place hit hard by Hurricane Sandy – and although they were still rebuilding parts of the boardwalk – doors were open.

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Here’s my babies playing an overpriced game that can’t possibly be worth the crappy stuffed toy that they will eventually win. Everything is back to normal.

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Our day ended with this.I love the shore.

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5 Star Problems but a **** ain’t one

I have a problem.

A Tripadvisor problem.

It happens every year.

At about this time, my mind and body starts craving/dreaming/needing a vacation. Somewhere different. Preferably to a place where trains are called metros and where you can stay in a flat instead of an apartment. Or maybe a tropical turquoise retreat where I can drink from a coconut and lay on beach.

A place where I can be Vacation Mom and Vacation Wife. The one that doesn’t worry and nag and yell and order. The one that lets you buy obscenely pricey gum from the gift shop and stay up until you feel like falling asleep. The one that doesn’t care if anyone has brushed their teeth or combed their hair. She’s awesome. I miss her.

But in order to transform into this groovy, go-with-the-flow chick we need to get the hell out of dodge first.

And in order to do that we need to find a place to go.

And every time we find a place I am compelled to that damn website to check out the reviews.

It never ends well for me.

Everyone has an opinion, and I read every last one.

MaryS from Wichita thinks the rooms at a certain resort in Puerto Rico aren’t clean enough.

George from New Jersey didn’t like any of the restaurants but loved the pool at his hotel in Hawaii.

clevergirl8 from Texas loved Peru but had a horrible time with customs at the airport.

I try to focus on just the positive. You can’t make everyone happy, I say to myself.

But then I toss and turn and doubt. And doubt.

Are people just really really picky?

I realize that I could never have been one of those people backpacking through Europe or Asia or Idaho. I need research. Data. Background. I need to know that others have gone before me and had a good time. Or not.

So we’ll make our plans for vacation and it’ll be very exciting, but deep down I’ll be thinking about MikeP from Albany, who thought Dublin was beautiful except for the hotel concierge who was a bit grumpy the whole time.

I give Tripadvisor.com 3 out of 5 stars. Lots of consumer information which usually results in the firm knowledge that no matter where you are going or what you are doing – it could have been better somewhere else.

La Jolla, CA and other things I love

October has always been a busy month. Busy and fun and my absolute favorite. The weather changes, there’s plenty of birthdays and reasons to get together.  And it’s the opening act for November – my next absolute favorite time of year.

I say all this as a massive excuse to why my last post was so long ago.  What happened to daily posts you ask? Same thing that happened to my diet – it went off a cliff. Actually, I may have pushed it off a cliff. I’m tired!

Let me catch you up. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Went to La Jolla, CA and fell madly, deeply in love with San Diego.  I think I’m really a surfer dude inside (without all the physical activity)
  • Although I was there for work – I had a life changing make-up/product experience. More below. Thank you Kathy the make-up artist!
  • I’ve decided that living next to the ocean needs to be in my future.  I’ll have to clue my husband in on this plan.
  • Came home and swiftly over decorated for Halloween.  I need help.

This should be everyone’s view from work…

 

 

Or this…

 

When not staring at the ocean, I was staring at all the goodies our make-up artist brought. Her name was Kathy. She set me straight.

For the majority of my life I’ve been searching for the perfect lip color. In high school I wore a bright red lipstick every day – cause I was cool like that. Then I moved to a more bronzy brown for most of my 20′s. My 30′s were obsessed with finding the perfect nude lipstick (damn you Jennifer Lopez).  In my 40′s I’ve given up and gone with chapstick. And then Kathy walked into my life. Or I ran into her make-up bag – whatever.

In one quick minute she told me,”you can’t wear a nude shade on your lips. It doesn’t look good. You need a plum. Let me help you.” What followed is tears, joy, and triumph. Too much?

Here’s my perfect color.  I would never ever have guessed it.

 

Although these pictures are blurry – I told you I was excited – it was important to show you.  This lip liner went on like butter and stayed on all day. I’ve already bought some. Thank you Sephora and Lisa Watier.

 

Here’s some other random stuff in her bag that was genius. Yes, I went through her bag.

 

To the left, antiperspirant for your face.  Even in full on humidity and heat – your face stays completely matte and dry. To the right, the reason everyone on TV looks like they have perfect hair. Sigh.

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to, in to, at. That and you know, work, motherhood, wifedom, etc.

And here’s a look at our front door. Christmas sweaters here I come!

Rasta memory

I was cleaning out some pictures last night and found this beauty. Had to share. I’m all about the share. This is from a trip we took to Jamaica over 8 years ago – my baby was 6 months, my girl was 5.

Let me set the scene.

It was day 3 into the trip.  Every time we went to the beach, really nice, really pushy women would ask to braid our hair. I’d always politely decline. My girl was desperate to get it done. She wanted those beads in her hair. She had visions of going home with a new, exotic look.

This particular day, we had already hit the beach and the pool and were taking an afternoon siesta (yes, I know, wrong country, wrong language).  The baby and I fell into a deep, vacation induced nap.  When I woke up there was a note from my husband,” went to grab a snack with Kera. Back soon.”

45 minutes and $100 US dollars later – this is who showed up at the hotel room.

Since I had just woken up from my vacation nap and was looking forward to a vacation cocktail before dinner – I ignored the fact that my husband had been completely bamboozled by both my girl and the nice ladies on the beach.  I had visions of the ladies back in their homes, laughing, hard.

I let it all go and grabbed my camera to take this picture of my little Jamaican cutie on our balcony.

5 minutes after this picture was taken she made us take out all the braids – they were too tight and itchy.  The end.

Happy Vacation mon!

this and that and this

this….

My girl and her good friends from our old town. That’s the Justin Bieber wall behind them. The Biebs, the Biebster. They love him. Who am I to judge, I have posters of mandolins and pies on my wall. And that’s them making strange faces without me asking them to. Had to share with the world.

that….

Look at this cake. This cake was made by a good friend (mother of the Bieber girls above) for her little boy who loves George Washington. Not LEGO George Washington….just plain old George! His working-full-time-and-raising-4-kids mom whipped up a homemade cake with Mt.Vernon on it for his birthday. I could cry thinking about that. She’s like a superhero.

and this…

The girls went to the boardwalk and decided to brave a scary, puke-inducing, ride. Look at my brave, crazy girl to the left – smiling and excited. Look at her two pals to the right – having normal reactions – gripping the handles and saying the lord’s prayer. I love this picture. That’s my girl in a nutshell.

Twice as Nice…

Guest post today.  This time from my friend RD.  Another person who should have her own blog – stat!! 


Ok, I admit it.  I’m a Gemini.  Not just a Gemini–a full-blown, hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool Gemini.  So is my host, WME, by the way, I’m totally outing her.

For those of you not lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on your POV) to have a Gemini in your life, let me take you to school.

Textbook Geminis are:

Adaptable and versatile

Communicative and witty

Intellectual and eloquent

Youthful and lively

They are also said to be:

Nervous and tense

Superficial and inconsistent

Cunning and inquisitive (read: nosy)

How dare you, Ancient Astrologers!  I cannot be pigeon-holed!

Except apparently I can–because I own just about every adjective on this list.  Some more than others, of course, but the Twin traits are definitely in full effect.

I have a friend/former boss, who has a sister who is a Gemini and she used to intro her by saying, “This is my sister, Carol.  And my OTHER sister, Carol.”

In case you didn’t get the joke, the implication is that Gems are also changeable, and like their Astrological symbol (Twins), two people.  Twins are great–if you actually are TWO people, instead of one.  That can get a little hairy.

Admittedly, I am known to change my mind like some people change their socks, and can go from happy as a clam, to a raging bull in 5 seconds flat, if circumstances warrant.

Some other evidence of my Gemini-ness:

I love the beach, but I hate walking on sand.

I will do shots of whiskey or tequila in a dive bar as happily as I will sit down for a full English Tea at The Plaza. (More Devonshire Cream, please).

I am a fervent animal lover, and donor-member of several animal-related charities, however, I love a good cheeseburger or a steak, almost as much as I love protecting animals. Why do cows have to be cute AND delicious?

I have a corporate/conservative job, but I have two rather sizable tattoos, and would have MANY more if my oh-so-square BF wouldn’t kill me.  (Just kidding, Honey. But not really).

I have the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy on my Nook (Don’t judge me! I know you’ve read it too).  I also have the entire Anne of Green Gables series and Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. I call it being multi-faceted.

You get the point.  So while being a with a Gemini can give other mere mortals whiplash, I say we are the coolest sign in the Zodiac.  After all, we can have our cake, and eat it too.

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