Vacation part deux

Wishing I drove a big, fat, earth destroying SUV right now…

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Don’t worry – the Subaru is so weighted down we’ll only be able to go 20 miles an hour.
#weareclassy
#don’tbejealous

It takes a village to raise a blog

We don’t live in a small town. It’s not a city by any means, but it’s big. 5 Starbucks in a 3 mile radius big. But yesterday, as I ran some errands, I realized I’ve carved out a pretty unusual niche for myself. I’ve got people. I’ve got towns folk. I’ve got peeps that I know.  And by “know” I mean I speak to them on a semi-daily basis.

Nice lady at The Bagel Train – she and I go way back. Any woman who can supply me with that much warm bread is a keeper. But our conversations don’t stop there. Last year I got into a Zumba class frenzy (I’ve been cured since) and I’d see her at some of the classes in the local community center. This is what warm bread love gets you. We’d always wave hello from across the way and then I’d hide behind some moms in the back. These past few weeks I’ve been chatting her up about a new restaurant that opened up on Main Street. Even though neither one of us has tried it we’ve decided it sucks. She’s so great. And she smells like an everything bagel.

Family that owns the dry cleaners – now this is good. The Mae’s immigrated here from Korea in 1974. They lived in Queens, NY for the majority of the 80’s. The father and mother both got jobs at a local dry cleaner in their neighborhood and saved enough money to buy a store of their own. Then they bought another. And another. In between, they had a son and a daughter. The son (like his father) is an amazing golfer – he went to school in Florida on scholarship and now lives in Augusta,Ga with his family. How do I know all this? Because every time I drop off the laundry, I’d notice that the dad was watching the golf channel. Although I don’t play – I’ve run enough tournaments to talk the talk. We connected. We were one. Kinda. Anyway, they moved to our town because their daughter was accepted to Princeton. So they sold all the other stores, bought one here and decided to stay. She’s since graduated and moved to California. They also have a lovely Ecuadorian family that works there. A husband and wife (she just had their 4th boy!) I love the Mae’s.

Susan and Reese at CVS – Susan is the morning manager. She gets to the store at 6am and stays until 2pm. We bonded over all the photos I get printed there. She always gives me the pictures at the discounted coupon price even though I don’t have the actual coupons. Don’t tell anyone.  Reese is a 19-year-old cashier that works there. He looks like a frat boy whose gonna give you a bad attitude – but in reality, he’s the nicest dude ever. I’ve never seen someone with a bigger smile while they haul cases of water around. I got to know him because Susan is his mom. There are two of these stores that bookend my neighborhood. One of them is much closer than the other – but I go the longer distance for the both of them. I’m a weirdo stalker like that.

I love people.

There’s also the quirky gal at Wines and Spirits and Raj at Dunkin Donuts, but you get the point.

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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Time Out

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Holiday.
It isn’t just a Madonna song anymore.
It’s what this blog is doing. Or more importantly – not doing.
Just a mini break.
A short rest.
A small respite.
You get the picture. (Incase you didn’t I included photos)
Just trying to make you jealous.
Just a little bit.
Later suckers… With your jobs and responsibilities and what not.
I can’t relate. Not for 2 more days.

Peace Out

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Look who’s sitting in the front seat (EVERYONE sits in the front seat now).
Look who’s finished with 3rd grade.
Look who the teacher said she’d miss the most.
Look who’s looking forward to no more piano lessons until August.
Look who told me he no longer needs blue blankie (aka yangster) to sleep at night.
Look who gets bummed when his sister isn’t around.
Look who makes me happy, cranky, giddy, angry, sad, and joyful all at the same time.
Look who is 10 feet tall all of a sudden.
Excuse me while I go cry in a corner.

Planking?

Looks like someone’s been taking (blurry) pictures with my camera.

This is called planking I think. 20/20 did a report on how it’s all the rage. Do you still watch 20/20? I do, even though I don’t think it’s called that anymore. Apparently you are supposed to snap shots of yourself planking in all kinds of different places.

It looks like excercise to me.

Here’s what my two lunatics were up to – not sure where my husband and I were, but I’m sure we weren’t planking, ahem.

Please note – there are photos below with my kid’s faces on a stove top. No children were harmed in this silliness. Please don’t call anybody.

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UPDATE:  my son told me this morning, after I’d written the post, that planking is OVER. This was last year and they do not do it anymore. Just so ya know.

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”.

 

 

 

Wowie Wedding

This was a weekend full of very important things. My little sister’s birthday (even though I forgot how old she was turning, damn you math!). It was also Father’s Day weekend, and I happen to know and love some of the best fathers around.

And then there was this.

Saturday afternoon, in a magical garden tucked into a park, right smack in the middle of a big city – we went to one of the most beautiful weddings that I have ever had the pleasure of being invited to. It was full of emotion, love, and humor. We only knew a handful of people at the wedding – and yet, each and every one of us there was so connected to the couple – that we felt connected. The ceremony was full of tears and joy and Madonna (the lyrics to Express Yourself were read aloud). There was even a happy heckler (the groom’s father) – in other words, perfection. The happy couple were two guys who never thought they’d be able to celebrate love in this way – legally and recognized.

The past few weeks in the East Coast have felt like the Tropics. Wet, dark, damp, humid, and hot. But not yesterday. Yesterday was divine. Literally blessed. If you listen carefully when you look at the pictures, you can hear birds chirping and the angels singing. True.

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And here’s the handsome couple. The Brooms (coined by them not me!).

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What did you expect? Pink boas? Well, maybe later.

After the vows we all walked to the reception and spent the rest of the afternoon drink…errr…I mean….celebrating. Lots of food. Lots of laughs.

Weddings are always beautiful. They are always touching and emotional. But, let’s face it, they aren’t always fun. You don’t leave a wedding thinking that’s the best time you’ve had in a while. You usually want to wish the couple well and get out of dodge fast. Not this wedding – this was a blast. When can we do it again!?!

Here’s some more spectacular views from that afternoon/evening/night. These photos should be titled,”God loves the gays. Here’s proof. Get over it.”

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And here’s me with one of the Brooms…the one that busts my chops constantly, the one that never misses a chance to make fun of me, the one that took me on my most favorite date night of all time, the one that knows enough secrets about me to break up my marriage and get me fired all in one fell swoop….Ok – that’s it. I have to spend more time with the other one.

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Congrats to Howie (uncle wowie to some) and Luigi!

Game of Thrones, and death, and dragons, and death

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I wasn’t going to do a Game of Thrones (GoT) blog because:

  • There are a billion posts about his already
  • I know not everyone watches it
  • I don’t want anyone to know how nerdy I really am

But I have to. I can’t stop thinking about it. I never read any of the books so I wasn’t prepared for this. My husband and I started watching the show together the first season. He was in for a few episodes, but they started losing him quickly. By the time Melisandre gave birth to the shadow demon that killed someone (won’t say who) – he was out.  He loved the “imp”, the whole Stark storyline, and of course the gratuitous nudity – but add magic and dragons to the mix and he’s done.

I stayed with it. Who knew this many plot twists and storylines could be so entertaining. Who knew Daenerys aka Khaleesi would be the strongest female character on TV? Who knew main characters could die this easily and all the time! Here’s an excerpt of a Rolling Stone article that described what would happen if Mad Men were written like GoT: “imagine Don Draper has a fight with Roger Sterling. And then kills him. And then he kills Peggy. And Joan. And Peter..”

And it’s not all nudity and death. Well, it’s really a lot of that – but there’s humor too – and really good writing.

I know I’m on a slippery slope. I blame Harry Potter. If it weren’t for me buying into those dark wizards and muggles, it would have been harder to love all this Seven Kingdoms mythology. What’s next? Hobbits? Damn you Hogwarts!

Anyway – back to GoT. I’m not going to add any specifics for those of you who haven’t started the series. I’m almost jealous of you. Oh to have three full seasons of GoT to watch uninterrupted this summer. Do it! If you live close enough, I’ll do it with you. And I promise not to squirm and blurt out,”please don’t kill all the Starks!” like I do at home.

I come from cake

I printed some pictures from our weekend at home for my mother. She’s coming over the weekend to watch the kids while my husband and I go to the wedding of the year. More on that later.

Instead of editing each one and picking a few – I printed them all out. There were no less than 12 photos of cake. Me with cake. My sister and I with cake. 5 shots of just the cake. It’s the first time cake beat out my kids in quantity.

I know I’ve written about my family’s “cake for breakfast” tradition. But actually my legacy with cake goes way back. Cake was the only non-Indian food group that made its way into our home (except for the pizza and the occasional bowl of spaghetti on Saturday mornings – that’s another story).

Ofcourse we had cake for the usual Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc. But we created our own reasons for cake. My parents went to India every year, and either my sister and I would get shipped to stay with my aunt and uncle, or my aunt would come stay with us. Either way – there was cake. Who goes to the store and buys cake on a Tuesday for the hell of it? My aunt did. It was the best.

Here’s some pictures of my life with cake…  look at me rockin’ the birthday hat. Fun side fact: I had that dress in brown and white too.

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How did I find the exact red lipstick to match my jazzy Indian outfit? That’s how good I was people.

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Bonus shot. This is my sister and my cousin. Apparently we celebrated Christmas with cake too. And velvet and lace outfits.

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Finally – here’s the picture from over the weekend.  I had a much more embarrassing shot than this but my sister got to my phone and deleted it. Don’t worry. This scene will be reenacted at least 12 times more this year with different family members. 13 if you count cat birthdays.

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