Embracing the imperfection

If there is anything I’m tired of hearing myself say, it’s “Sorry I haven’t called/texted/remembered your birthday/been a decent friend, I’ve just been really busy.” Which is unfortunate, since it has become my personal mantra the last few months. I find myself constantly looking forward to “next week” like a beacon of hope, as though all I need to do is get through to the next few days and then I’ll have time to get organized/make a meal plan/return phone calls/write blog posts/look like I have my shit together. I have been waiting on this magical “next week” is since last fall, and it has stood me up like a bad date.

This video may have come at the perfect time, and made me realize that instead of resisting the constant, unending flow of life, perhaps it’s time I started to embrace it. I may never be the person who keeps her kitchen spotlessly clean at all times, or has all her meals planned out weeks in advance with a corresponding grocery list, and I am almost certainly going to be late with a few more birthday gifts. But maybe it’s in the pursuit of this unattainable goals that I can find my best self, even if it is less than perfect. And that may be just fine after all.

The Last Battle

Snow

“Where do you think we should bury her?”

This was not the question I was expecting to ask Chase two weeks ago, when we drove Honey home from the emergency vet’s office. She was still alive and breathing in the back seat, but just barely, and the writing was on the wall of the decision that faced us. We could have already decided to call her life quits back at the vet, but neither of us could stomach her last moments taking place in a vet’s office, where she was most likely confused, panicked, and wanting nothing more than to go home. So we drove her home, tears streaming down our face. Chase and I sat on the floor, petting Honey while she took a nap, and Henry called our regular vet to make an appointment for that afternoon.

Henry left, letting us know that the appointment was 2 hours away. Chase and I lay on either side of our beloved friend, petting her softly while she slept. We cried and held each other’s hands, and then 2 hours later we lifted her, dog bed and all, and carried her to the car. Honey slept peacefully while we drove. Chase parked the car in a sunny spot at the vet’s parking lot, and I sat with her while he let them know we were here. I had insisted that she not be brought inside the vet’s office, since it would only cause her to panic, and so they agreed to come out to the car. When I saw our vet, a kind and gentle man, begin to walk toward the car, my heart filled with a panic I have never known in my life, and continued while he tried to find a vein in her dehydrated, depleted body. This man was going to kill my dog, my friend, and it seemed inconceivable that my job was to simply sit by and watch it happen. For the benefit of her state of mind, I managed to keep it together and reassured Honey with a constant chant of, “Good girl, good dog,” until he had checked her heart and told me she was gone. The memories are vague from there, but I know that I wailed and cried like I cannot ever remember doing, and I hope that it is a long time, forever even, before I see my husband in the state he was in for the next few days. People told me it would be hard, but in the moment I felt wholly unprepared for the loss of our dog. Continue Reading →

Step away from the Twitter

This is not a real post. I swear I have one coming, but I saw this add for Hootsuite pop up in my Facebook feed and was like, “Someone else has to witness this.”

Hootsuite

Let’s just get something straight: if all of your socializing is happening on an iPad and the only friend you have to laugh at your jokes in real life is the dog, you need to: Put. That. Shit. Down. Go outside and talk to a real, live person. To their face.

News flash to advertisers: Depicting someone having a great time with their dog while using your product only works if your product is a frisbee. If your product is meant to better your connection to other people, it should have, I dunno, other people in the ad.

If I had to invite either the girl or the dog to my next party, it would definitely be the dog. At least he has the good sense to be bored by all that shit happening on the screen.

Introducing: Stella

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We got a new puppy last month. And no, before you ask, “Santa” did not bring us a puppy. Facebook got us a puppy, in that someone in a group I belong to posted that they needed to get rid of her, and they attached an irresistibly cute photo, and I had an out-of-body experience and commented on the photo, and when I came to, the actual dog was in my house, peeing on the floor.

She came to us with the name Bella, but we quickly re-named her Stella. As one of our friends put it, her name is far superior now that it is after a beer and not a Twilight character.

The number one question that people ask us is how Honey has been handling having a puppy around. I can’t think of a better response than this video:

Reflections on 2013

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What I learned in 2013:

Bad things happen. To everyone. But happiness is a choice, so stop complaining like you’re special and start focusing on the positive.

Home is more than a location. You might think it’s important to live somewhere “cool,” but at the end of the day all that will matter are the good moments you spent with good people. And that can happen anywhere.

Stop expecting your life to turn out how you pictured it at age 18, and you might actually figure out what you need to be happy. FYI – you didn’t know shit at age 18.

Don’t worry about what other people think. I’m 29, officially old enough to choose my career, pick out the clothes I want to wear, and have an educated opinion on world issues. If anyone disagrees with those decisions, I’m old enough to not change a damn thing.

You need to spend more time outside. Because it’s beautiful. Because you will never regret an afternoon spent hiking in the woods, but you might regret spending an afternoon watching reality shows.

You were a big year, 2013. You made me struggle, cry, and question every life choice I’ve made. Thanks for the bad times, because they made me stronger. And thanks for the good times, because they made me want more.

Here’s to an even better 2014. Thanks to everyone for reading xoxo

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Our pre-marriage counseling missed a few things

Conversation from last night:

Me: I recorded, “Home Alone.” Don’t you love that movie?
Chase: ehhhh, it’s okay.
Long pause.
Me: Sometimes I feel like I don’t know you at all.

Taking into consideration that Chase also hates Winnie the Pooh (!), I’m pretty sure this is grounds for divorce. We’ll file it under “irreconcilable movie preferences.”

This is why people have children

Since moving back to this small town I have joined a women’s club in an effort to “engage with the community.” But really, I only joined in hopes that I would meet someone my age who didn’t have children, which I accomplished at the first meeting. Since then, I have come to believe that these clubs exist just so women can stand in a room and one-up each other with who has the busiest schedule. First, the career women will lament their deadlines or clients in a slow build of one-upsmanship that builds as each working woman comes in late, demanding a glass of wine in rising levels of exasperation.

Children, of course, outweigh any job, and mothers are in a different bracket all together. Those with children in school are slightly lower on the totem poll, since hey, they have days free, right? However, your rank will go up if your kids are old enough to be enrolled in 20 different activities per week, but are still too young to drive. Kids under 6 months of age are a trump card. The mere reference of a 6-week baby is enough to evoke gasps and sympathetic faces from everyone within earshot. Game over.

There is of course a purpose to all this, beyond the general feelings of superiority that must be felt by those that are “doing more” to hold their schedules together. Our club purportedly benefits the community with our good works, which means that at some point, someone actually has to do work. Your ranking in this pecking order is what will establish the level of participation you will be required to put in. Which is why I and the only other childless member found ourselves wrapping a large pile of Christmas gifts for needy children by ourselves yesterday afternoon. It is also why I found myself halfway through a bottle of wine before 5 PM. Of course, the moment we began finishing up the other club members finally showed up with excuses ranging from pushy clients, to a son’s basketball practice to a crying baby.

If I end up pregnant in the next year, it won’t be due to a pull towards motherhood. It’s because I need an excuse to get out of this shit in the future.

The Eye of the Tiger

I’m not even gonna try to hide the fact that I’m a Katy Perry fan.  That being said, I never thought her music would move me to tears. I mean, her songs are great when you’re driving around town and the sun is out and you just want to sing along to something, but they aren’t what I would call, “deep.” Until I saw this:

Ms. Perry, I don’t care what you’ve done in the past, or what you ever do in the future. You’ll forever have a soft spot in my heart for making this video possible.

I Am Not Hibernating

Conversation at home this morning:

Me: This shirt has gotten really tight.

Chase: You’re probably putting on some hibernation weight.

Me: It’s too early in the morning to be mean.

Chase: No really, we all put on some extra weight to get through the winter.

Me: Ummm…I think that you’re referring to bears.

Chase: Well, we’re not that far from bears.

Me: Actually, I think people are pretty fucking far from bears.

Chase: I’m like a bear.

Me: Oh really? Explain to me what you have in common with a bear.

Chase: We both have hairy chests.

Me: …I can’t tell if just won or lost this argument.

Hoe Cakes with Black Eyed Pea Salsa

Remodeling a house can sometimes feel like Christmas. You pick out that special gift you want, let’s say it’s a flooring tile, and mark your calendar for the day that it’s going to be installed. The days drag by slowly as you imagine a shiny new bathroom, and the dirty old broken tile will finally be forgotten as you gaze at the new. And then suddenly – the big day is here! You wake up giddy with excitement knowing that TODAY IS THE DAY that your new floor will be installed!

Unfortunately, some of these days do not go exactly as planned, like yesterday, when halfway through an installation I checked on the progress only to realize that they were installing the wrong damn flooring. I then had to sheepishly tell the workers that, “ummm, excuse me, but it seems as though you’re installing something ugly and could you please take it up and come back another day with the flooring I actually wanted? Please and thank you.” And then I realized that Christmas had not come early for me, and I have house guests coming this week that are going to have to use a bathroom with exposed broken tile, and then I wondered exactly how inappropriate it would be to have a vodka tonic at 11am.

But instead, I’m turned to the next most comforting thing besides vodka: pancakes. Well, a version of them. Hoe cakes are a simple Southern classic, where essentially you take your favorite cornbread batter and instead of baking it in skillet, you fry it up like a pancake. And let’s be clear – this is Southern style cornbread, not that weird sugary stuff the Northerners eat. To top it off I loved this black eyed pea salsa – it’s fresh, light and adds a bit of crunch to the soft hoe cakes.

Look, the lesson here is when life doesn’t go your way, don’t turn to vodka. Turn to pancakes. They don’t have rehab for pancakes. Fact.

Continue Reading →