i'm in

we've always travelled. when we were really young, we road tripped. all over the south, the southwest, up to michigan. i have picture of shawn from each of those trips. his face in profile taken from the passenger seat. he's almost always mugging for the camera but in one of them i know he was singing at the top of his lungs. that one is my favorite.

eventually, shawn worked for a startup, then orbitz, and both had travel perks. it was awesome. we went everywhere. i love planning trips. like really loved planning trips. i once found us a place to stay in florence that i could only correspond with by mail. it was the best.

then there were a few years where we only travelled to new orleans. sometimes we flew. the best times we drove.

after that, i don't know. my grandma got sick and i felt like i couldn't travel for awhile. after lucy was gone, we slowly started to travel again. for shows. to austin, to san francisco... that, was also awesome. go to another city, hang out with our friends and make enough money to cover the trip. so great.

when we moved to portland, we made big road trips of it and they were amazing. but it was, i don't know, disruptive? we were trying to start lives here, lay roots and we would just disappear for a few weeks at a time and then come back where we'd always say, "right, we live here now. how do we do this again?" we were tired. we needed real time off. we needed an adventure. but also, shawn needed to join a band or three. i needed to write. we needed to put down roots. literally. we planted a crazy high maintenance garden, which we love. and we have taken some short trips, some actual time off. they've also been awesome. really and truly. but i recently confessed to him that i am feeling wanderlusty; that i NEED A TRIP. i proposed a couple of destinations, he said he was in. last week, i fell down a rabbit hole on tumblr and kept showing him pictures of what was turning into a third option in my head. he just looked at me and said "i'm in."

this is 14 years of marraige. i'm in.  

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hey, 2014. hey.

so, i've been sick since oh, january 2. that sucked. it was the third time i'd gotten sick in a few months and frankly, i didn't cope well. i was cranky and i was not enjoying the year so far. bummer since new years eve and day were great. over the past week, i was determined to feel better and snap the hell out of it. i worked a lot. i went back to tap class on both tuesday and wednesday. i made some plans with friends, got some good news and sent out some happy mail. last night, after tap class, i was giddy. i felt great, the best i'd felt in almost two weeks. it was an all around good day, a day that convinced me that i shouldn't write off 2014 just yet.

which reminds me, i didn't do an 2014 embroidery project. you didn't miss anything. i just didn't do it. i still might. i had a few conversations with friends about the 2012 and 2013 project and whether or not i was going to do a 2014. its been a couple of weird years for me and a number of my friends. there were deaths and break-ups. there was stuff. lots and lots of stuff.  first, i joked that i needed to lower the bar. instead anything being possible, like it was in 2012, maybe there would just be tacos in 2014. blanket forts in 2014. more happy hours in 2014. whatever in 2014. i couldn't decide. i still can't. but i'm not ruling out the possibility. after all, 2014 is looking pretty good to me today.

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year in review

Theme of this year: Balance 

Best Month of the Year: July

Best Day of the Year: November 27. The day I finished Book 2. 

Worst Day/Time of the Year: The day Monkey died sort of fucked up the entire spring. I miss her silly face.

Favorite Person of the Year: Shawn. Always.

Favorite Moment of the Year: The night I took Shawn to tap with me. That was adorable fun. 

Favorite Movie: The Conjuring

Live Show of the Year: Lovebomb GoGo opened for Rebirth Brass Band again. It was amazing.

Best Thing I Bought: Nice tap shoes

Favorite Trip: The Redwoods in August

Book of the Year: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Project of the Year: The Words. While I was working on the last two for the year I realized I could happily work on those for the rest of my life. 

TV of the Year: Orange is the New Black

Dessert of the Year: Brown Butter Custard Apple Pie

My Resolution(s) for 2014: Be better. Do better. Again. And maybe be a little less hard on myself.

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feed people

while we were preparing for christmas day, shawn was stressing over the timing/method of cooking the pork shoulder. 

he said: whose terrible idea was this?

i said: oh, you're just out of practice. we are old pros. we can do this.

he said: just because we can do it doesn't mean its a good idea. 

i said: feeding friends is never a bad idea.

i said it and realized its one of the guiding principles of my life. if you have ever been anywhere near my kitchen, i'd probably handed you something to eat, given you a jar of jam or pickles, sent you home with a loaf of bread. i like feeding the people i love and i plan to do it a lot more in 2014. because, come on, tacomas* was a BLAST. 

*tacomas. we fed everyone tacos on christmas day. we will feed everyone tacos next christmas. we needed to name our new celebration. hence, tacomas. 

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all the fuss

the last few weeks have been crazy. craft wonderland was wonderful but exhausting. my days before were jam packed. i went to be each and every night feeling righteously tired. this week was a little easier and i was able to find some breathing room. some breathing room in which i discover i'm really excited by the holidays this year. the holiday cheer bit me a few weeks ago and it seems i have a fever that can only be extinguished by putting white lights everywhere, sending piles of cards, making too many cookies and gifts. i think i'd forgotten what all the fuss was about.

i was also thinking about something our very wise friend thea said before we left chicago. it takes three years to feel settled. and here we are, three years later, having our first holiday shindig since we left chicago, feeling very much settled, feeling home.

even shawn, who is normally the grinchiest of grinches, is showing signs of holiday cheer. he bought the vince guaraldi songbook and spent some time trying to learn to play linus and lucy and one of the only christmas songs he'll admit to liking:

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i saw this at target today. i did not buy it but it made me laugh. because yesterday i read this and today my instagram, twitter and facebook feeds are full of #selfie and #feministselfie.

i've had ongoing discussions with friends about selfies. about why some of their daughters post them and about occasionally feeling like a jackass when we occasional post them. and almost all of us do. even shawn does.

i don't know why other people are posting selfies. i know why i do:

i have parents who lives 2000 miles away and like to see my face from time to time.

i spent years avoiding cameras for stupid reasons.

i'm feeling silly. or happy. 

i'm somewhere cool or i want  to mark the moment. 

and sometimes, sometimes my hair just looks fucking awesome. 

but really, it's no one's business. it is not a cry for help and i'm not looking for validation. nor does taking them make me a bad feminist. seriously.

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lumps and mirrors

trigger warning - fat shaming, body acceptance

years ago, i had a lumpectomy. i started to wake up in the operating room while the doctor was finishing. drifting in and out of consciousness, i remember the lights over my head and muffled voices of my doctor and the surgical assistants. i heard someone say something about my health. my doctor said i was healthy - perfect numbers across the board. someone else said, "yeah, except she's fat." my doctor, my amazing doctor who made the whole scary process much less scary, said "and that number is not an indicator of her overall health." the end. they stopped talking and i woke up in recovery. 

i've don't know that i've ever told anyone that story. i was so ashamed even though i knew my doctor was right. i was healthy. it was just a number. i could tell myself that over and over again but i didn't listen or believe it. my brain replayed the words "... she's fat," louder than anything else in my head.

"... she's fat."

i worked in an environment that was not healthy for anyone's self esteem. women routinely berated themselves for eating like a cow and still brought in coffee cakes. i'm not exaggerating when i say i was twice the size of most of those women. if they were cows, what was i?

i also live in the world. from the time i was a little girl, i was conditioned to believe thin was the only way to beauty and happiness. i was indoctrinated into the world of smack talking my own body.

after we moved and i started to unpack my emotional baggage, i realized i'd had enough. it was time to start being nicer to myself. it was time to tell those voices to shut the fuck up and to tell my friends they were beautiful when i heard them succumbing to the nagging voices in their own heads. 

right now, i'm good. i feel healthy and beautiful. i am happy with my body. i haven't weighed myself in ages and have no desire to know that number. because its just that - a number. i'm not perfect. some days i look in the mirror and feel the urge to critique my parts. but then i remember that not so long ago i wouldn't even look in the mirror. progress. also, if i can't look at myself with love and kindness, how can i expect the world to?

months ago, i was shopping and overheard three sixtysomething women chatting as they pulled shirts off the rack and critiqued each item. shirt after shirt was rejected by two of the women. "i can't wear sleeveless. my arms are too fat." "i'm too fat for something that fitted." the third woman remained silent and looked sad. the least petite of the three, i knew what she was thinking: "if you think you're fat, what am i?" i started to write this blog post that day.

those women made me sad and then mad. when i'm in my sixties, i hope to have no fucks to give about the size and shape of my body and i certainly hope i'm not making my friends feel shitty about the size and shape of their bodies. we are all beautiful and deserve better. 

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sweet home

we just got home from chicago. we did a lot of running around, trying to see friends and family while eating pizza for as many meals as we could handle. turns out 3 times in a week is more than enough for me. but the end of the week, i was dreaming about green smoothies and juice. i did get to spend an afternoon doing touristy things, solo. hours at the art institute, a fancy cocktail to toast my grandparents on wabash ave., a lovely little walk around the loop. 

the main event was donovan and dillon's wedding. i wouldn't have missed it for the world. i thought it was the cherry on top of already perfectly lovely sundae of a week. 

i was wrong. getting to spend time with this little man, our nephew, was the cherry on top of our week. 

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the right shoes

give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world. - marilyn monroe

for me, these were those shoes. bought on our first trip to italy in 2001, they are the perfect color combination and go with almost anything. when i was still working at the synagogue and had to dress a little conservatively, they were what i wore to feel like myself. they were my flair. they were a part of my armor. they were comfortable and i walked all over europe wearing them. when i had blue hair that was (unintentiionally) the same shade as the soles, strangers would stop me on the street to compliment me on my cool shoes and hair. i was unstoppable in these shoes.

its summer and i'm a creature of habit. converse all stars and my yellow sandals everyday. these have been in my closet, waiting patiently for me to rediscover them. yesterday, i got dressed knowing it was going to be a long day and that i needed cute and comfortable shoes. i pulled these off the shelf and even polished them up a bit. they looked great. i was happy to be reunited with my faithful friends.

then, i was walking and felt what could only be described as a squish. i took another step and felt it again. once i put down what i was carrying i looked down at my feel. the blue soles were pooling around the sides of my feet. the plastic soles had grown brittle and collapsed. completely.

i was stunned. they were really cute shoes. these shoes and i have been through so much together. yes, they are 12 years old. yes, they've walked hundreds of miles. still, they'd been there for me through so much. i couldn't believe they were really dead. 

12 years later, i don't need armor quite the way i used to. they served me well.




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13 things

  1. he made me mixtapes. piles of them.
  2. he used to drive 6 hours each way, on the regular, to see me at college.
  3. he believes one of his purposes in life is to make me laugh. and he does.
  4. he admitted that he was jealous of my ability to say "word" and not sound dumb. he doesn't think he could pull it off.
  5. he can do anything he puts his mind to. "sure, i know how to build websites." and he does.
  6. he decided what he really wanted to be was a musician. he played 15 shows in a month. he's a musician.
  7. he is my number one cheerleader and believes i can do anything i put my mind to. even when i don't.
  8. he makes me coffee every morning.
  9. he's so god damn cute that when he told me he was sick last week, i kissed him anyway. and got sick.
  10. even though he doesn't want to be a dad, he's awesome with kids. its adorable.
  11. he loved my grandma. a lot. 
  12. on his 16th birthday, he got his driver's license and came right over to my house. i was not home. i was at the very first lollapalooza. with a boy i gave his ticket to. 
  13. he married me anyway.

here's to lucky 13, shawn! i'm looking forward to the next thirteen.

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