...it was a good mail day.
...I am not big at endorsing things but I LOVE BIRCH BOX. Once a month, for $10, I get a box. Of things. FOR ME!
I asked my assistant to help me unveil this month.
My box included hairspray, face lotion, blush, shampoo, and lip rouge.
Again, mostly stuff I would NEVER buy for myself but so fun to have and to use.
Although, I have to admit it looks much cuter on her (especially with the pizza, or peanut butter and jelly, or whatever else she's got going on around her lips):
Here's my referral link if you want to get this excited about a little pink box once a month.
...was spent in Oklahoma.
Some day, I will go into detail about why we were in Oklahoma, but for now I will just leave it with we were in Oklahoma and we were happy about it!
We went to Legoland, the Aquarium, the Natural History Museum, and the Zoo (baby elephant alert!)
Going to the Natural History Museum prompted the, "Is it stuffed?" question several times at the Zoo.
We bonded at McDonald's, where Clara ate her first ice cream cone.
We made new friends (we seem to gravitate toward these types of friends).
And then we headed home.
...I have long admired Liz's work at Paislee Press. I am not a digital scrapbooker, at all, but her clean designs and clear appreciation for simple always drew me in. So it was a no brainer for me to apply to be on her Design Team. :)
...the kids and I took a leisurely trip down to Northern Virginia on Saturday to visit one of my oldest (literally, ha, we'll see if she reads this) friends, Laura (Laura who always makes me feel like I'm talking in the third person).
We went through a few flurries on the beltway. And then we got on the road toward Annapolis and the Bay Bridge and all of a sudden I was in a snow globe. I kept thinking, "Look at the yellow line on the left, then the white lines on the right." And then I couldn't see any lines.
Honestly, I have never been so scared in my entire life.
We pulled off the road, got gas, pull-ups (for me, ha, needed them at that point), water, and a hotel room.
Oh, and Play Doh.
...Some were a little more thrilled than I was.
Three Marines stood with Charlie in the lobby while I unloaded the car and Clara. They were showing him their swords (they had just come from a wedding). I walked up to hear him saying to them, "I got a sword like dat."
It was one of those times when you realized it might actually be a good thing that you generally have at least five full meals somewhere in your car.
It looks comfy.
It was an early morning wake up call with some cartoons in bed, Starbucks, and then home. Luckily we are all cuddled in safely for tonight's storm.
I am not a peanut butter person, it's never been anything I really craved. But this peanut butter? It has SEA SALT in it. And honey. Oh my. Which is good that it's a packet because if it was a tub there would not be much "better" in 2015, more, "bigger." You can buy the packets on Amazon. The cheese is a super sharp cheddar, and the bread is a raisin walnut from Whole Foods. And then there's an apple. And an egg.
Yeah, yeah, future food blogger here. Up next, my review of the new Cadbury Creme Egg. The DRAMA!
...I go out alllllll the time and I'm constantly needing new, awesome outfits.
But I actually had somewhere to go Saturday night so I decided to try Rent the Runway again. This was a little less formal of an event than last time so I went with...a jumpsuit. Oh yeah, I've made fun of people left and right wearing these. Eating my words, friends. And they taste good.
It's like Christmas morning opening up this box. I tried it on right away. "Those your new jammies?" Charlie asked. (Which is funny, because my jammie wardrobe consists of sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts, by that comment you'd think I wore things with lace).
I loved it. Anything that doesn't require spanx basically wins in my book these days.
An open back did require some interesting, um, undergarments. But I'll leave it at that. During several group photos, whoever was next to me put their arm around my back and said, "Woah! You have no back on your shirt." Living dangerously, my friends.
My sexy beach wave was brought to you by You Tube. Oh, and my earrings were rentals too.
I have really great friends.
And really incredible co-workers (although I'm not really sure whose leg that is).
...of Man. In Canoe.
Charlie's artwork was featured at a local art gallery last weekend.
In preschool, he was never interested in art. We just figured he didn't really like it. That was OK. He's allowed to not like things.
But he started Kindergarten, has a wonderful art teacher, and a wonderful occupational therapist who helps him with how to hold his art tools. He also has an uncle who got him oil pastels for Christmas (his favorite tool). He now says that, "Awt" is his favorite class.
(And much to his father's horror, he's also become quite the Raven fan).
...thank you for all your kind comments on my last post. I know if you've stuck around to read the last few years as my posts have become few and far between, you are true blue and have been through the gamut with my family. xo
My dear friend Carron is the best gift giver. I have always seen things about Birch Box on Facebook, etc., but I never really checked it out. I figured it was stuff I'd never buy. Honestly, cosmetics, skin care, and perfume are pretty low on the priority list right now. Deodorant and mascara, my friends. Deodorant and mascara.
But I love it. I love it because it's stuff I would never buy, in sample sizes. And if you want to buy the full size you get an awesome discount on it, like the first perfume I'm going to buy for myself since 1997.
And even better? It's $10 a month. So you get that Christmas morning feeling once a month for $10. Here's my referral link if you want to try it out. I can't wait to fill this box up with goodies.
...you are woken up by a text at 5:45 a.m. asking if school's delayed. Sometimes it's nice to be the school's messenger. Sometimes it's not. You immediately start. "Please let it be clear," runs through your mind.
You drive four children to school in precarious weather. "Let it be clear," you think.
You catch your breath in the copy room. You haven't thought about it for at least an hour, caught up in your daily grind. "Let it be clear," you think.
You worry when school is dismissed early because the last two times, you've been at school when you got the news. "Let it be clear," you think.
You drive home, saying, "Let it be clear," under your breath every few minutes. Superstitious that if you don't say it enough, it won't be clear. You know the reality. You know you could say, "Let it be clear," 8,000 times and that it's not in your hands. You know you could pray to God, Allah, Buddha, but it's not in their hands either. It's on a sheet of paper in a file folder in a doctor's office.
You snuggle with a sleepy girl on the couch for an hour with your phone sitting an inch away. You grow hotter with each minute that goes by the 1:40 p.m. appointment time. "Let it be clear," you say again.
...and then it's clear.
...and then you go celebrate. And build a teeny tiny snowman.
...while "home" for a few days over Christmas, Clara, my mom, and I went for brunch and shopping at Terrain, otherwise known as my happy place.
It was a very French morning, with french fries and french toast. And Elsa earrings.
The ice queen was entertained by big mirrors...
...and diffuser samplers to stick in her ears
...a better mom
...a better wife
...a better daughter
...a better friend
...a better employee
...a better eater
...a better exerciser
...a better memory keeper
...a better blogger
I don't do resolutions or words, but when I thought about what I want for 2015, the only thing that kept coming to my mind was, "better." So I'm rolling with it. Hope you'll roll with me. I'm off to a fine start with, "a better blogger" considering I meant to post this yesterday.
...a few months ago, my dad and I decided to surprise my mom with a trip for Thanksgiving. I knew it couldn't be a complete surprise, especially when she started asking me in August where we were going to get our turkey from (we don't cook Thanksgiving, we buy it).
I did some research and we settled on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. We rented a three-bedroom villa on the beach, hoping the weather would be nice enough for a few beach days and maybe a dip in the heated pool.
I don't have much to say about the first day other than it involved: lost power at the Baltimore airport; sitting on the tarmac for an hour before they figured out they could use humans to push the plane back; a mad dash through the Charlotte airport with two small children ("You can run faster, Charlie!); a scene at the gate that looked like something from the show Airport when they told me we had missed our connector; no luggage when we finally arrived in Charleston; and for the grand finale, Clara and I both stepped in dog poop on our way to dinner. And did I mention we didn't have our luggage or extra shoes?
Every time the plane landed, she only had one word, which she repeated, over and over. "Wow. Wow. Wowowowowowow."
Ken wasn't sure what his work schedule was going to be like so he ended up getting a non-stop flight and arrived what felt like eight days ahead of us and with a bag of clothing. We punished him by making him share his clothes with all of us for the first 24 hours and having him act as our driver for the next four days while we sat in the back and took selfies.
My visions of beach days and dips in the heated pool were quickly dashed with rainy, 50 degree weather. Let it be known, when you are nominating me for Mother of the Year, that I did, in fact, place myself in a heated pool (with 45 degree air above it) for the sake of my children. We all lasted five minutes and miraculously walked away without pneumonia.
We drove into Charleston one day and took a carriage ride tour of the city (great way to see a lot of stuff in just a small amount of time).
Charlie is clearly going to do great in American History some day.
There was a lot of relaxing. A lot of napping.
I loved the beaches there. So different from our Delaware beach with its quick drop-off into the ocean. It seemed like in Kiawah you could wade in...forever. I'd love to go back when it's warmer.
...our school's big dance and auction was the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was an Oscar theme and, you know me and my sequined roots, I decided to dress as...the Oscar statue.
I am that tall. It's awkward. I had to crop out the average-sized-woman next to me because I look like a giant.
Who did I wear?
Badgley Mischka, of course (I had to google how to spell that). When I was looking for "obnoxious gold sequined dresses," I came across Rent the Runway. So I did. Because I was really sure I'd ever have the opportunity again in my life to wear full-length gold sequins.
It was stressful waiting until the day before the event for my dress to arrive, but a few things I loved: First, the website is full of pictures of "real people" wearing the dresses (not all size twos) so you can actually get an idea for what gigantic you would look like in the dress. Second, they send two sizes (for one charge). Third, if it doesn't fit or you don't like it, they completely refund your money (this happened to one of my coworkers). Awesome experience. I need more formal events. I'm considering seeking them out just so I can do this again. And no, I'm not getting any compensation for writing this (although I totally should be. And I should be invited to any formal occasion so I can do this again. And again. Must. Feed. Sequin. Addiction.)
I put the dress on and Charlie said, "Mommy you look pretty." Clara said, "I like dat dress. Can I wear dat dress? Does Elsa have a dress like dat?"
My coworker Bonnie and I pre-event (when we still liked people):
...and us at about 10:45 p.m. when we just. wanted. everyone. to. go. home. So we made duck faces.
...Friday night at about 11 p.m., I decided to surprise Clara with tickets to the 11 a.m. Saturday show of Crozen on Ice. If you aren't Clara, you probably call it Frozen on Ice.
We got there at 10:00 a.m. and found out our tickets were for the, uh, 2:30 p.m. show.
It actually worked in our favor because once Clara saw all the other girls at the arena in their Elsa dresses...
Well, she had to have one.
So we went to Target, the mall, lunch. And then back for the 2:30 p.m. show.
...and our $25 commemorative photo.
She couldn't wait.
She was amazed.
And then there was me. The former competitive figure skater. Thinking the whole time, "I could've done this." (Especially when Prince Hans fell on his double axle), and then taking a moment to enjoy my $13 cotton candy.
And then it was over and Clara said, "I want to see that again. Right now. Right now. RIGHT NOW!"
We'll always have the memories. And the $25 commemorative picture.
...It is common for kids with language issues to also struggle with reading. Charlie has a communication book that comes home with him every night with notes from his teachers and if there's ever any struggle, it's in reading ("distracted," "had trouble with task").
I take this harder than I ever expected.
As Ken said, I shouldn't expect every day to be sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. But that doesn't keep me from wanting every day to be sunshine and rainbows and unicorns.
He might struggle to learn to read (it's still early, I realize that), but I know he already loves to read.
Science, however? He's already smarter than me. (And Ken realized there was a more, uh, correct answer to the second part of the first question).
...we take one last beach trip every september or october.
This weekend was a little cold and a little rainy. But we still found time for the bookstore.
...and a walk to the beach
...some sand between our (cold) toes
...a family picture (figures, the one where I'm telling Charlie to put his tongue BACK in his mouth is the one where he is actually looking and smiling)
...and some long naps