Call it the “everything’s fine” filter….

Sometimes the picture doesn’t tell the whole story. We all know that. This is the age of social media. We filter, we tweak, we tune-up. Every post or pic looks like it was smooth and effortless. I thought I’d share one of my favorite pictures from this past weekend and give you some scoop on what happened right before this cute shot was taken.

First, some context: It’s my cousin’s baby shower. That’s her in the adorable dress with the adorable bump. We were so excited to celebrate with her and her hubby.

My sister and I had helped her plan all the details. I wanted to be there early enough to help set-up so I came the day before. Drove to my hometown, spent the night with my mother.

I Got up early, showered and came down to breakfast with my parents. I was dressed for the day but didn’t have my make-up on or my hair done.

My mother said, “I like your gown.” Hmmm – gown? It was a long dress for sure, but I didn’t focus on it.

Some more context: the night before, after dinner, my mother had laid out nightgowns for me in the bedroom. This may seem strange to many people – I think an immigrant parent is needed to fully understand this. There’s always a clean nightgown waiting for my stayover. There’s also a brand new toothbrush, toothpaste and anything else you need. If, for any reason you ask for something my mother doesn’t have for you… you better know that there’ll be 19 of those things next time. To make up for this time. It’s very sweet. On this visit, however, I’d brought my own pjs. I’m 47. It’s completely normal to want to wear my own pajamas. Right??

This did not go over well. She’d laid out a winter one and a summer one – what was the problem? Why couldn’t I just wear those? After a 10 min of conversation, I convinced her that I was ok but so thankful for the options. I had my own nightgown.

Back to breakfast. Once done, I ran upstairs, put on what I considered a full face of make-up, blew-out my hair before the eventual drop of humidity would kink it out, and headed out the door. As I was leaving my mother said,” oh you’re changing out of your nightgown at the party?”

It took me a minute to catch-on. My what? I calmly smiled and said, nope, this is my actual dress for the party. Not my nightgown. Up until that moment I thought it was a really cute dress.

What’s the moral of the story kids?

Yes, just wear her nightgown.

Anyhoo I’m in such a good mood about the shower I don’t even get fazed. I get into the car, in my nightgown dress and head to the venue.

In the car were the flowers, the cupcake toothpick flags, the pink and pumpkin colored chocolate covered strawberries, the gifts, the welcome sign and some other things we needed to decorate. Because I didn’t have enough stuff in my car, I made a pit-stop and bought balloons – just in case.

I pulled up to the venue, parked right at the front door blocking the small entry way but decided it was ok because it was just for a short time. I just wanted to run in and grab a cart to take all the stuff inside.

I came back outside with the cart, opened the driver’s side door to unlock the trunk, dropped my keys on the seat and pushed the unlock button and shut the door. But it wasn’t the unlock button. I locked the car. For the very first time in as long as I can remember… I locked my keys in the car. Right on the front seat. An hour and a half before everyone was going to show up.

Did I mention I also left my purse in the car? Did I mention my phone was in that purse in the car?

I stood there staring at what I’d done for about a minute and the baby momma-to-be showed up. I put on my biggest smile and said, “can I have your phone?”.

Long story short – everyone should have AAA or is it Triple A or maybe Triple AAA. It’s worth every penny. Especially when you’re blocking a major entrance to a venue with your big old Subaru and have everything you need for someone’s party in the trunk. Everyone should also always serve mimosas at baby showers.

We got everything out. 30 min to spare.

So now look at the picture again. A couple of mimosas and a quick break-in later, everything was as perfect as it looked. Nightgown dress and all.

Are you planning a really cool reveal? If yes, read this first.

Here’s my advice…ready?

Don’t plan a f@@king reveal!

Please. For the love of all things normal, don’t do it. I’m sorry. Can we just stop? I know what you’re thinking after the last post: “Aren’t you a good time gal?” “You said you’re up for anything?” “Why do you hate America?”. I am a good time gal. Yes, I’m up for most things. And I love America. I also love a good announcement, a good overshare. I’ll look at your baby/wedding/engagement/prom/vacation photos all day. I think people who plan elaborate surprises for their loved ones are amazing. Good for them! But I’m done with the “reveals”.

It all started with the baby gender reveals. I get it. It’s a big deal. You’re bringing a human into the world. Go ahead and order some helium balloons to release into the environment. Feel free to ruin a perfectly good cake by stuffing it with pink or blue m&ms. I’m not judging.

But my feed is filling up with other reveals. The prom”posal” reveal, the vacation location reveal, and now, the where-I’m-going-to-college reveal. Seriously, it’s a thing.

I know we want to celebrate life. I’m down for that. And you all know I’m nosey. I love hearing personal details…but must we make everything a thing? Can’t somethings just happen? BTW – this is not an anti-social media post. I have zero hate for social media. Has it made us a more insanely self-consumed world? 100%. That said, would I give up make-up tutorials I can watch at 2am? 100% no. This is also not an anti-Millennial post, I love Imagine Dragons and Twitter! And I’m not even offended you all think you can do my job better than me, you’re probably right!

Im not trying to be a partypooper. I’m all for posting on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, wherever! Post your kid’s acceptance letter, post them wearing their new college shirt, etc. I love it all. I’m just not sure I need learn about your kid’s college decision through a bakery reveal, is that fair?

I can’t believe I’m saying anything negative about cake. Cake is never a bad idea. Now I want cake. Ok, rant over.

‘Tis the season

For grumpy commuters to make tourists feel like crap. Lighten up would ya?

So she didn’t run down the escalator like a lunatic even though there was plenty of time.

So she brought a complicated snack (ok meal) on the train.

So she’s carrying a big gulp from the Radio City Christmas show.

So she’s talking full volume to her equally loud friend while she knits/needles/threads a Christmas thingie.

Leave them be. Stop glaring behind and looking. Stop making Tsk Tsk noises. Go to the quiet train with your judgy judgements.

They got all gussied up and enjoyed a day in the big city. Don’t be bitter because you worked all day while they enjoyed The Rockettes. Don’t ya see the festive pin on their coats?

Go back to trolling FB. It’s ok. They won’t be on your morning train.

Bless their crafty hearts.

20141120-173827-63507500.jpg

Facebook Friend

It’s been a slow trek back from vacation. And it seems like I’m not the only one. I hope you took some time off last week – even if it was just the one day (Independence day for the US and Canada Day in, well, Canada).

I know other folks have been having fun too. I know because I see the posts, the check-in’s, the status updates, the tweets. This is why I love technology.  And this is why I really love Facebook. Pictures of babies, food, trips, renovations – bring it all. You know when you want to post how much you hated that movie you saw tonight and you stop yourself and think,”no one cares what I think about this movie” – I care. Go ahead and post it. I’m dying to read it.

You went to a family reunion last weekend? Great – let’s see the potato salad you brought over. You’re third cousin twice removed had a baby – she’s adorable. Keep posting those holiday outfit shots.

I’m not on it to talk you into any of my personal, religious or political views. I’m on it to be nosy. Nosy about things that I care about. Like what color you painted your dining room. Or to do what I like to call – photo eavesdropping. You know what I’m talking about.

My mother thinks Facebook is the devil. The door left open for psychos to come walking into your life. She might be right. But when I weigh that against my need to know all about your day/hour/second…it just isn’t that scary anymore.

I also love keeping connected to old and new relatives and friends.

When my daughter started high school we finally let her join the “network”. She promptly decided Facebook was not her speed when she found out her mother, her father, and all her aunts and uncles are all over it too.

She’s on to Twitter now. And Instagram. And SnapChat.

Excuse me while I go google those things.

 

91828a93-498b-4b81-8d27-d951332b5c76wallpaper

Peace out 2012

It’s been a year hasn’t it?  I won’t go into a list of resolutions (because I don’t have any) or  tell you about the happy, tragic, ridiculous things that have happened in the world this year.  You can google those.  But personally, for me and my fam, this year has been full of change. We leapt into high school, turned 40, let a teenager join Facebook, agreed to let a 9 year play football, saw the Eiffel tower, mended some broken fences (literally and figuratively), discovered gel manicures, skipped Fall Ball and did not feel guilty about it, and oh yeah – started a blog.

I  needed a hobby, something besides eating. Last year, around this time, I started thinking about WMEP.  In all honesty, I started the blog to write about event planning. After all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. But then I began thinking about blog titles – and defining myself as just a planner didn’t fit. Something was off.  I read a few blogs on how to start blogs.  Then, like the true spaz that I am, I read blogs on how to blog successfully. What kind of blog did I want to be? Funny? Informative? Personal? Lots of pressure. I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but eventually I owned up to my husband.  I told him that in order to make it interesting – I may have to put some personal family stuff out into the universe. With photos. Because I’m convinced people need a visual. Or is that just me? He told me to go for it (with a few caveats).  And so I did. It took me a few months to get my act together, to get back to writing, to do something that was literally just for me.  And I loved it. I love it.

In the beginning I wrote every day – or tried to. It’s been harder the last few months, work and stress and life seem to be taking up all my time. But it’s the start of a new year, I’ve been writing since last April. 178 posts. Over 16,000 views. Almost a 1,000 comments. I’m hooked!

So maybe I will make a resolution for 2013. I resolve to blog every day. Or at least every other day. Every week at the latest.

I resolve to write something in 2013 at some time.

See how tough I am?

We toasted the New Year in last night with shrimp and champagne. Hope you were toasted too.

IMG_4797 IMG_4794

It’s the most Amish time of the year

Every year, for the past 5 years, we’ve been invited by a favorite aunt to the middle of Amish Country for a Christmas get together.  It’s hokey, it’s cheesy, it’s exactly what you need to kick off the holiday season. It’s like a mini reunion in December – and it’s perfect. Here’s the cast of characters this year – as you can tell by our faces, a good time was had by all! Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you get laughed at – that’s what our family is all about!

DSC_0824

That’s our cousin Dennis over to the right, there will be a whole post about him and his amazing momma. Jazzy xmas sweater Den!

We also put our tree up – inspired by everyone else’s beautiful trees on Facebook. I know loads of people don’t like FB, they think it’s evil, and it might be. But where else can you see everyone’s Christmas tree? Or everyone’s turkey? Or everyone’s summer vacation pics? For a nosey rosie like me, it’s perfect.  What were talking about?

Christmas trees. They are all beautiful. Every single one. Fake, real, tall, short, it doesn’t matter.  And every ornament tells a little story (even if the story is that you walked into Pier One and got it for 60% off).  Here’s some ornaments from our tree and the stories that go with it.

IMG_4583

Almost 10 years ago, our very dear friends gave us this beautiful wooden angel that they picked up in Italy.  It’s one piece of wood, hand carved and I wish my pictures could do it justice.  I’m obsessed with the little feet, and the little toes. Don’t judge.

IMG_4585

This ornament was waiting in our mailbox when we moved into our very first home. It was the week after Christmas and we didn’t even have a tree that year, but we kept the ornament hanging in the kitchen until March.  It’s no coincidence that it’s from the same favorite aunt that organizes the get togethers every year.

IMG_4586

And ofcourse we have some handmade ornaments on the tree – this one was made by my burly husband when he was a little wee tot. I asked him where he made it and how and why and what was his most precious memory of this ornament but all I got was,” I have to run to Home Depot”.

IMG_4587

This little ornament breaks my heart every time we put it on the tree. I worked right down the road from the World Trade Centers, where they’d have a holiday fair every year, I’d go but never really buy anything – except this little ornament.

IMG_4588

Two years ago, my husband and I were in the living room watching TV (shocker!) and as if in slow motion, we saw our entire tree come crashing down. We both tried to save it, but it was too late.  It was like a an ornament crime scene. Broken glass and cracked ceramic everywhere.  Sad right? Thought you should know.

So here’s the tree in its glory. We still believe in Santa in this house so there aren’t any gifts under the tree until Christmas morning (which also gives me until Christmas Eve to run around like a lunatic and buy presents).

IMG_4580

Hope you are all getting into the spirit of whatever holiday you celebrate or don’t celebrate.