Jul 272015
 

I learned so much from reading and watching The Astronaut Wives Club! These ladies of the original Mercury 7 had a gift--a gift for recognizing what mattered on this earth and embracing it. So proud to learn from their example!As I write this, I am currently up-to-date with my On Demand corners-of-child-rearing viewing of Astronaut Wives Club (I know, I KNOW. Mom victory!) and 3/4 of the way through the true-story book that inspired the show.

I first ingratiated myself in astro-culture when my sister said, “You have to watch this show. Seriously.” She said “seriously”, so I tabled my go-to excuses of having no time and I’m-so-tired-I’m-passing-out-as-soon-as-I-get-the-kids-in-bed and got on board. And I’m so glad I did.

As I started watching and loving the show, I knew I must read the book too–this was a fascinating piece of American history to explore! So I snatched a copy up from the library and dug in.

And I am wowed. Wowed as this era of history becomes vibrantly real to me in way that my 7th grade social studies books were unable to deliver.

As I excitedly delve into the world of the wives of the first astronauts and their families, Rene, Trudy, Betty, Jo, Louise, Marge, and Annie have become my new heroes.

In days marked by tremendous change and great uncertainty, their incredible class and grace under fire is astoundingly inspiring. Of course they weren’t perfect, but they got so much so darn right–in a time when it mattered so darn much.

1) They valued friendship. They had young kids and were jealously, constantly competing for their own husband’s flight status. They decided to be friends and commit to supporting each other anyway. How boss.

2) They got up every morning and got dressed. Listen, I’ll never stop being a fan of yoga pants, I promise, but I also know when I get up in the morning and pull myself together, the tone for the day is be far more positively set. Dressing for success is a real thing.

3) They supported their husbands. Regardless of whatever era or movement we’re in, standing up for what your partner believes in and encouraging them along the way will never go out of style.

4) They didn’t give up on their own dreams. Trudy’s passion for flying and Rene’s refusal to let go of her own voice? Inspiring.

5) They lived their lives regardless of their children. I know, I struggle with this one too. But the truth is, there was a time and place in history when children were not the central force around which all adults orbited. Moms cooked, cleaned, and made time to chat with friends while the kids entertained themselves. And they still turned out okay.

6) In the big moments, they were together. Regardless of what was going on in their own lives, when someone’s husband was launched into space in a rocket, they made sure they were together. When the American president was shot, they came together to mournThe commitment to remain beside someone is a valuable gift.

I learned so much from reading and watching The Astronaut Wives Club! These ladies of the original Mercury 7 had a gift--a gift for recognizing what mattered on this earth and embracing it. So proud to learn from their example!

 

7) The “little things” mattered. Granted, to a 1960s Texas housewife, air-conditioning was not a “small thing”, but they didn’t take for granted the conveniences as we so often do in modern-day. They knew a running washing machine was (and it still is) a blessing.

8) They knew that, at the end of the day, things were beyond their control. Watching your husband launch into space in a small vessel had a way of reinforcing that regardless of endless planning and prepping, you had no control over what happened. This life can change in a blink of an eye. Time to start praying indeed.

9) Privacy mattered. The Astrowives were in the media, but they maintained boundaries within their Life magazine contract. While it was important to share their stories with the world, what was private family stuff appropriately remained private family stuff.

10) They kept putting one foot in front of the other. The idea of Betty Grissom mowing her lawn in her curlers while her husband prepared to shoot into space gorgeously highlights the value of getting up every day and doing what’s before us, regardless of how big and daunting life may be. To me, this is true heroism.

So, Astrowives, here’s my Standing O to all of your classy coolness. Well done. Well done. The world may long remember your husbands, but to me, you’ll always be the superstars who rocked the Space Age.

Jul 202015
 

The one moment when things nare clear and feel do-able as a parent. It DOES happen, really. Though, admittedly, it's elusive. Here's how to find it and why it's important to hang on until it comes--you can do this, really!I’ve never been one for excessive optimism regarding my capacity to handle my kids. I wish I was. I wish I was the type to bound out of bed in the morning with a big “Let’s do this!” fist pump in the air. Instead my first thought tends to be more of the “If I bury my head deeply under the covers, maybe they won’t be able to find me?” variety.

I love my children. Excessively. But I’ve made no secret about the fact that I feel entirely overwhelmed by them–almost always. And the older I get and the more I know myself, I become exceedingly convinced that my personality type doesn’t fit with having young children. What?? I know, this sounds a bit contrived. But here’s my logic: if my natural bent is to find renewal and energy in time spent alone, our current frenzy of group bathroom trips and the need for Mommy to help with Every Single Thing allows for very few of these restorative solitary moments. When they are in school a bit more or able to pour their own cereal, my sanity might have a better shot at existing. For now, it’s dicey.

It’s dicey, and I spend 95% of my days counteracting the stream of “I can’t do this” thinking. I fantasize a lot about naps, wish desperately for an available friend who wouldn’t think me crazy, mantra “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and call my husband at work in defeated panicky tears during the moments when things like trying to get both children in their car seats and leave the house on time gets to be too much. Somehow we get through and today becomes a yesterday and we move on.

And somehow my kids seem to being doing okay. Better than okay, actually. They’re pretty happy, which I think might be the biggest win in this life. God knows how this happens, because to me, our days feel like a full-on circus show of chaos. But somehow it’s happening.

I will never forget one day, when my son was just over a year old when I was lamenting to a friend, “I have no idea how I’m going to do this.” “But Mer,” she said, “You already ARE doing this.” I’ll never forget her words because I’d never before considered that maybe life is what happens when we aren’t paying attention.

Maybe succeeding at something isn’t some grand finale line we cross or finish, it’s just waking up every day and doing what’s in front of us. Whether we feel like stuffing our head under the covers or not.

Maybe doing something is what happens when we are trying to figure out how to do it.

And maybe, just maybe, I was already doing it.

I was taking care of the children I had no idea how to take care of. Huh.

In the good moments, you know the non 4pm-I’m-going-to-beat-my-head-against-the-wall-if-one-more-little-person-whines-for-one-more-little-thing moments, this positive thinking started to take root. And then, as if God knew I needed I little confirmation to seal the deal on my belief that I might actually be able to handle my children, He gave me my Firework Moment on July 4th.

The one moment when things nare clear and feel do-able as a parent. It DOES happen, really. Though, admittedly, it's elusive. Here's how to find it and why it's important to hang on until it comes--you can do this, really!

You see, we’d always avoided Fireworks like the plague. We are very early-to-bed, early-to-rise people and the thought of dragging fussy kids out late and getting stuck in hours of traffic never seemed appealing. And then this year, our son asked to go. So we did some ill-informed brainstorming about where best to park, packed up the lawn chairs and drove off in the truck.

And you know what? It was awesome. Setting up the chairs in the truck bed in the back of the parking lot gave a us a sweet height vantage point (and made us feel very redneck boss). We were able to throw everyone in their car seats quickly and peal out early to avoid long exit lines. But that wasn’t the victory.

The victory was the moment when, holding my son on my lap as the fireworks boomed overhead, I looked over to my husband, holding our daughter on his lap, both of them captivated by the show. And I thought, “We did this. Wow, we did this!” We had done the very grown up thing of taking our kids out to fireworks. And we were going to wake up at home the next morning and feed them breakfast and keep them safe and happy. We were going to keep taking care of them. We were taking care of them.

Wow.

My Firework Moment. The moment I got it; I was taking care of my kids and I could do it.

I don’t know that we will ever really feel like we’ve got this, friends, but the thing is, we do. I’m here to tell you in all those lonely days of doubting yourself, you don’t need to. You don’t need to doubt you can do it, because you’re already doing it. You’ve got this. Really.

***This post dedicated to my dad, who listened to me whine all day on July 4th about having to take my children out so late. He told me to buck up, and that I’d probably get a blog post out of it. He was right. As always.***

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:9399579, copyright:anterovium

May 112015
 

Finding a way and a time to take a break with your husband when you have young kids in the house is a beast. But not only can it be done, it NEEDS to be done. Here's the easiest, no-cost way to date your spouse tonight!Once upon a time, there was a Mommy and a Daddy. They were happy, but they were very, very tired. You see, their 3 yr. old and 5 yr. old were the adorable lights of their lives, but these children required a rather sizable expenditure of energy. To feed them. To make sure backpacks were properly packed for letter Q Show-n-Share day. To repeatedly holler during their soccer games for them to stop staring at the clouds. And to endlessly explain that there are no monsters hiding in closets. And to generally try to keep them alive–that too.

Mommy and Daddy loved each other very much, but their love had taken on a quiet, persevering character, the way love does when time and busy days full of wiping little bums press on. They had heard of and believed in fantastical things like date nights and trips, but that darn needing-a-sitter jazz kept edging its way in.

So they wintered down, in more ways than one. Cozying up at night and settling in on the victory of surviving another day in suburbia while delighting in the small things–like a child who didn’t patter down the stairs in search of water more than three times and the rare, shocking evenings when Mommy didn’t pass out from exhaustion before 8pm.

It was, despite the echoes of dull ordinariness, a sweet life, a very sweet life.

Except, Mommy missed Daddy. And she knew he missed her. And she was pretty sulky that three of their favorite television shows had taken leave of the airwaves around the same time. Life would not be the same without Parenthood, Parks and Rec, and Mad Men. The cold was making her grouchy too. The winter had been long, and some serious Vitamin D with a side of fresh air was very needed.

It was time for something to give.

And it did.

Spring came.

This means many, many things: sports, school ending, parties, flowers, lawn mowing and maintenance, digging summer clothes out of boxes, scowling at ginormous thighs in the mirror, etc. But for this Mommy and Daddy, it meant one thing more important than all the rest: the deck was open.

Finding a way and a time to take a break with your husband when you have young kids in the house is a beast. But not only can it be done, it NEEDS to be done. Here's the easiest, no-cost way to date your spouse tonight!

I’m not entirely sure what we do on the deck. There is usually crickets chirping and chill music in the background, margaritas on the weekends, a fired-up grill when we’re ambitious, sometimes games, sometimes friends, hopefully children asleep in their beds upstairs. Occasionally silence, but usually chatting.

Chatting about all the things–kids, work, house, friends, hobbies, hopes, prayers. It’s as if an edge comes off, an edge that corners in the rest of the time. It’s through our deck talks that we make plans and dream dreams. That I heal hurt about my mom. That we craft never-to-be-realized fantasies about bagging it all and moving off to some obscure corner of the world to keep bees.

The deck is our date. Our time. Our space. It’s when we shrug off our sluggish winter shackles and find ourselves again–find each other again.

Deck time matters. It matters so very much.

We might have kids who need a lot. We might not have a sitter or any elaborate plans. But we do have a deck, and we are most certainly rocking it this summer.

Here’s the same hope for you, readers: find some deck time. Whatever it looks like in your corner of the world, whether there is an actual deck or outdoors included or not. This life isn’t going to break for you, so take a break for yourself and what matters, however it works for you.

Taking a pause to breathe and connect? It’s pretty darn cool, trust me.

 

Second image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:9435286, copyright:iofoto

 

Mar 182015
 

No sitter but still needing a date night with your husband? Here's a few simple (really!) steps to bringing a coffeehouse into your own home. Trust me, with 2 of these tricks, even the kids will be happy! Date night is on!!One month ago, my husband and I had a coffeehouse date. To be more accurate, 16 years and one month ago, we had a coffeehouse date.

On February 18, 1999, my husband called me on my college dorm room landline (because those things existed) and asked if I’d like to go hang out at the coffeehouse with him. Channeling all my quintessential nerdy-ness, I was confused by this random dude I’d seen in the computer lab (because those things also existed) making such a ludicrous request on a Thursday night, “But…I’m studying,” I sputtered.

I know, I had such a way with the men, it was stymieing.

Not to be deterred, he suggested I bring my books along. I did. And I never opened them the entire night.

Fast-forward a year into the future, same coffeehouse, same day, and once again, no studying happened. But a marriage proposal did, followed a bit later by a wedding.

And ever since all those initial visits to our coffeehouse, we’ve made a commitment to go back. Every February 18.

Except…kids happened. Admire our ambition, because at first, we weren’t slowed down; we took them with us. But then, they got older. And things like getting to bed on time for school the next morning on a Wednesday night made the 1.5 hr. trek for a cup of tea, however beautifully sentimental, increasingly impractical.

We debated all the sides of the coin–hire a sitter, dump on a friend, go on the weekend, find a closer coffeehouse…we went round and round and round the options. Logistics and circumstances continued to lead us solidly back to the conclusion: going this year was going to be really, really tough.

I was feeling rather grouchy and pouty about the whole thing, to be honest. And then, inspiration struck. If I couldn’t get us to the coffeehouse, maybe I could get it to us?

I am not a crafty person. I am not a creative DIY-er by any stretch. But, the coffeehouse matters, you see. So I told my husband, “I’ll take care of it” and refused to answer any more questions.

No sitter but still needing a date night with your husband? Here's a few simple (really!) steps to bringing a coffeehouse into your own home. Trust me, with 2 of these tricks, even the kids will be happy! Date night is on!!

How do you create a coffeehouse in your own home?

1) I found some very cool copper wire LED lights. I ventured into our mess of a garage to secure a hammer and a few nails. I strung them around our dining room and dimmed the lights. Of course I waited to the last minute to do this and then panickedly tried to untwist the last wire as my husband pulled in the driveway.

2) I got the kids on board and braved the glitter. The coffeehouse always features a series by a local artist. I figured my most talented local artists were right in my own home, so together made “A Life in Glitter” and I hung their work around the dining room.

3) I made my husband teach me how to use Pandora radio on my phone a week prior. Yes, I’m this dumb. I queued up some sweet jazz tunes and let the vibes roll.

4) I stocked up on my favorite chocolate mint tea ahead of time, and I got over my life-long fear of making scones. And you know what? They were pretty darn amazing.

5) I laid out our Scrabble game. We always play Scrabble when we visit the coffeehouse; remember, I said I was a nerd…

6) I bathed and fed the kids early. Way early so I would have time to prep. Who says chicken nuggets at 4pm doesn’t count as a solid dinner? They still came and ate with us, for the record.

7) I swung by Redbox for a “new” movie that would captivate them to minimize interruptions while my husband and I were dating it up. Our daughter still peed all over the bathroom floor 5 minutes into our date. It added to the mood.

8) I dug our chalkboard sign out of the basement and wrote “Welcome to MJs” (name of our beloved coffeehouse) on it and propped it in the corner. Not quite the same thing, but helped me pretend.

9) I got out the pretty plates and set the table with a cute sugar bowl.

10) I enlisted the support of a sweet friend–mostly just to cheer me on and to talk me down at the last-minute when I couldn’t get the lights untangled. It helped tremendously.

And then, when my husband walked in the door, I had the kids greet him, yelling, “Welcome to the coffeehouse, Daddy!”. This part isn’t exactly like what would happen at a real coffeehouse, but it is what happens at our coffeehouse. Because this 16 yr. old coffeehouse may not be many things, but it is full of a lot of love and some very cute kids who make staying home worth it.

Someday we’ll go back to the real deal; for now, we’re busy cleaning up the pee.

No sitter but still needing a date night with your husband? Here's a few simple (really!) steps to bringing a coffeehouse into your own home. Trust me, with 2 of these tricks, even the kids will be happy! Date night is on!!

 

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:24048985, copyright:eugenesergeev

Feb 132015
 

Some of my favorite sweet smiles! If you simply can't stomach icing one more heart-shaped cookie or the classroom Valentines' cards have done you in, read of few of these for a teensy break.  Because even if you can't have all the wine and roses, Valentine's Day is a pretty good time to feel the love!If you’re anything like me, you may be a bit knackered from all the kid’s Valentine fun that’s been going down this week. And this isn’t going to be a post about trying to embrace the true meaning of Valentine’s Day despite the crazy. Let’s be honest, it will be a miracle if I even manage to stay up with my husband for even an hour after putting the kids to bed. The forecast for fancy heart-filled loved-laced celebrations looks grim around here.

But this is going to be a post where I share some of my favorite sweet smiles from over the past few years. If you simply can’t stomach icing one more heart-shaped cookie or the classroom Valentines’ cards have done you in, just pop in on a few links for a teensy break.

Because even if you can’t have all the wine and roses, Valentine’s Day is a pretty good time to feel the love. Enjoy the weekend, friends, however you spend it!

I realized my husband and I were totally on the same page–thanks to a Hallmark card.

That moment when you realize your spouse may actually be a bigger geek than you are.

Love is when the toast is burned, but we pretend it’s not because the morning is a crazy mess and we don’t want Mommy to lose her crap.

My husband has the weirdest bunch of hobbies ever, but I’m not even going to blink an eye.

I am 35 years old and I can’t put on my own shoes.

I busted the oil pan on the minivan and our budget was glaring at me. My husband reminded me this had nothing to do with the stuff that really matters on this earth.

My husband incessantly makes piles and chews his milkshakes; I am choosing to love him anyway.

With 5 simple words, my heart was stolen all over again.

Some of my favorite sweet smiles! If you simply can't stomach icing one more heart-shaped cookie or the classroom Valentines' cards have done you in, read of few of these for a teensy break.  Because even if you can't have all the wine and roses, Valentine's Day is a pretty good time to feel the love!

Some of my favorite sweet smiles! If you simply can't stomach icing one more heart-shaped cookie or the classroom Valentines' cards have done you in, read of few of these for a teensy break.  Because even if you can't have all the wine and roses, Valentine's Day is a pretty good time to feel the love!

Second image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:23101678, copyright:SolominViktor

Third image credit: depostiphotos.com, image ID:18280999, copyright:alexraths

Feb 042015
 

Keeping up with videos and pictures can seem daunting. With this simple app, all the guesswork and challenge of keeping up is erased--easy-peasy and FREE! Go score it now!My kids are at really cute ages. So many times I wish I could bottle up their 5 yr.old-ness and 3 yr. old-ness and keep it forever. Not saying they won’t do cute things in the years to come, but I find it pretty magical when my son explains the reason his girlfriend likes him as “I showed her my ducks.” Will it ever be this innocent again?!

My husband and I try to capture it all–we really do. We even have preschool concerts and big events down to a science; I snap the pics and he records the video as his hands are more steady. And then we do our best to text the highlights to friends and family, throwing some of our favorites up on Facebook. But at best, our efforts are haphazard.

So when I found out the OneDay app was coming to Android as of yesterday, 2/3/15 (it has already been on iTunes), I was pretty stoked. I had heard about this app endlessly from friends. About how awesome it was, how much kids loved it, and what a perfect way it was to capture memories all in one custom-made video. Now that it’s available on Android for FREE, it was time to give this app a whirl. Plus, the sweet new Valentines’ stories are adorbale!

What is it?

The OneDay App is an instant movie maker that helps parents make movies of their children like a pro in seconds with fun holiday themes and curated, thought provoking, fun story sets.

Is it hard to use?

No! OneDay makes it fun to create short movies of your child’s life with a few simple steps. You open the app, pick a question from a wide selection of fun story sets, and record your children’s answers. Then the app automatically stitches the recorded videos together, and adds music to make quality, priceless movies to share with family and friends.

The strength of the app is in its simplicity. No thinking required. No editing or video skills needed. If I can do this, so can you!

Overwhelmed by pictures and videos of your kids? This one app pulls it all together for you--all you have to do is film your cute kiddo! Go make some memories--the easy way!

How do I do it?

Download the app, chose a set of themed questions for your movie (try one of the Valentine’s prompts I mentioned–they are the perfect way to send a smile this time of year!), record your child’s answers, hit “save and created story” and then watch your edited video, with music and transitions.

The app guides you through and does all the hard work for you. You just record your kid and have fun!

What does a video look like?

So glad you asked! Check out what my very non-skilled, non-tech-savvy self came up with:

One with a touch of heart (please ignore my daughter passionately flailing on the side) and

One I like to call “Brother-Sister Love” (if you have a sibling pair at home, you will know exactly why this is so precious…)

Want to get this easy video-making fun for yourself?

Go HERE for iTunes and HERE for Android, download the app and let it guide you through making your own keepsake to share with friends and family.

Did I mention that it’s FREE? It definitely is. Go score fun for yourself and and get ready to laugh it up with your kids! With this app, you are all video stars!

*****This post was sponsored by OneDay, but my delight in this app is 100% genuine!*****

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:3505216, copyright:Demixx

Jan 282015
 

Tomorrow night is the end of an era. A very sweet era. Parenthood, the show that has captured us for six seasons is bidding its adieu.

I love the show. With passion.

Because it is the perfect blend of heart and the aching humor that is a too true testament to the realness of this life.

Because it nails the pain, perfection and glory of our day-to-days every single time.

Because the characters love each other and define not only what family is, but what it, by my total estimation, should be.

Because I laugh. I cry. And sometimes my husband does too. Even though he would never, ever admit it.

The characters are phenomenally whole individually but unfailingly rise to greater heights when together–as family should.

This show is amazing...it's ability to capture your heart with the too-true realness of life while making you laugh along the way celebrates the beauty of life, family and parenthood like no other. Watch it NOW!

Christina blows my mind every episode. It is true, I have a substantial crush on Monica Potter. Yet beyond my swooning heart lies an incredibly powerful woman who has struck and won multiple battles on this earth. Though her power isn’t what wows me. It’s that she still smiles, that she gives her best for her kids–every single day, and that she loves her husband not despite, but because of, the harsh realities of life.

Her husband Adam, owns my love for the singular reason that he always, always acts towards the best for his family. Always. Integrity defined.

Adam’s commitment reaches not only to his wife and children, but to his family of origin, as seen in his love for his brother, Crosby. These two guys have had a rough road. Crosby is a mess. But our hearts melt for him anyway, and not just because he is played by Dax Shephard. We love Crosby because he tries. Always tries to do the right thing. Is this not all of us?

I’ll be honest, I think Lauren Graham could poorly play a serial axe murder, and I’d still stand on the sidelines, cheering her along. Her portrayal as Lorelei in Gilmore Girls earned her a free pass for life in my book. However, no free pass is needed for her character, Sarah. Sarah is not one of my favorites, but I love her. I love her because she is real. She knows too well that life hurts, and while she remains daunted by this truth at times, she is no longer lives in fear of pain; she has already been through it. Also, long ago she decided she was going to be a really, really good mom. And she is. What gorgeous character strength. 

Julia has been harder for me to wrap my head around, though I’ve softened to her in more recent seasons. Yet my lack of warmth entirely fails to translate to her husband Joel. I imagine I will go weak in the knees for Sam Jaeger for the foreseeable rest of my life because of his role. Joel screwed up; we all do. He’s a good guy.

While Camille is another I’m not sold out for but have grown to appreciate, her husband Zeek is THE STUFF OF THIS WORLD. He is not only the soul of his family, he is the show. Think about what Parenthood is all about–loving your family and being there for them while finding yourself in the process. This is Zeek, a gruffy old man with one of the kindest hearts–ever.

Drew, Amber, Max (brilliant, brilliant child actor), Hank, Jasmine, Jabbar…who could you not love? These characters are all rich and lovely and add shine to a show that is already dazzlingly shiny. In fact, the only character I cannot cheer is Sydney. Savannah Paige Rae is dear, but I already have my own whiny kids at home.

I sob that I don’t want it to end. My husband reminds me that all good shows must exit while the iron is still hot. The mature part of me wants to accept this. The other parts of me want to script hate letters to NBC.

Regardless of the war the wages within, the tissues will win out. I can’t say what exactly what will happen in tomorrow night’s episode when the gorgeous Braverman curtain is called, but I know it will involve a mountain of soaked kleenexes–each wet with the bittersweet joy of a show that has nailed the heart of this life.

Well done, Parenthood. Well done.

 

Second image credit: image ID:5939734, copyright:shotsstudio

Jan 122015
 

Figuring out how make relationships work and marriages last can be tricky business.  I definitely don't have all the answers, but this one choice has been an essential ingredient to keeping the romance flowing with my husband!I told you last month that my husband and I were going to a gala for a work event, but I never updated post-event.

In a word: fabulous.

As reported, the gala was for a machine. Yup, a machine. A flow cytometer, to be exact. What is a flow cytometer? I have absolutely no clue.

I do know that it must be important. Because a lot of people were very excited about it. Because there was a dramatic unveiling. Because they served the fanciest cheese I’ve ever seen on the hors d’oeuvres table.

Let’s be honest: I was along for the ride.

What a sweet, sweet ride it was. A night out sans the kids rates high in and of itself. Throw in the custom cytometer-blue yummy cocktails and the fun of being at the Philly Art Museum, and it was a total win.

Yet it wasn’t the trimmings and goodies that made the night for me. Trimmings can often be found in this life if you look hard enough.

Nope, what aced it for me was watching my husband in his element.

I could care less about scientific instruments of intense value. Aside from displaying them as unique table decorations, I would have very little use for them. That said, I fully respect that some people on this earth have dedicated their lives to the development of these instruments, tools that have the capacity to make significant differences in our future.

But my husband understands them. He understands them in the way that his eyes light up and he gets a slight smile on his face that he doesn’t even know he has.

I know he has this smile because I watch him. I watch him talk product and process with colleagues and shine in his element.

Some women swoon over romantic poetry, I swoon over hearing my man chat antibody production. It works.

It works because when I am up to my ears in BlogU planning and fretting over blog post topics, he patiently listens to it all. When I wax on about stats, he pretends to be interested. The eye rolls are minimal and the support is huge. Sometimes, he even looks impressed. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Have different interests and talents than your partner? No sweat! Use this model to build a relationship that will last for a lifetime!

It works because that’s what relationships do. They have faith in insanely obsessive internet hobbies/job hybrids. They look kindly on fellow gala attendees drooling over the latest in cell art. And they not only see the best in their partners, but look for those secret smiles and take excessive pride in them.

And it works. Usually.

Then it also works because I really, really enjoy kicking back on the limo ride on the way home from the gala and feeling boss while listening to all the science geeks chat up their trade and thanking God I will never, ever in my life have to work with something called a flow cytometer.

You know what they say...the couple that science geeks-out together, stays together. Or maybe not quite like that, but true story of why supporting a spouse's obsession MATTERS. Check it out!

 

First image credit: vector ID:39173769, Copyright:marish

Second image credit: vector ID:8830105, copyright:Lonely11
Dec 292014
 

Who knew a pair of boots could define a relationship so well? I'm cherishing this pair--and my husband a whole lot more. Read this and find out why you need to get a pair of boots that don't fit!This holiday week, I’m sharing a couple of my favorite posts from the past year.  On Friday, I shared a fun one about when I met my match in a cute deathly raccoon, and today I’m hanging out with a favorite pair of boots–that defined my marital relationship a bit and reminded me of why I think my husband is such a cool guy.

So please join me, readers. Pour yourself a hot chocolate, snuggle up by the tree. ignoring the frenzy of rapidly dropping pine needles and treat yourself to a smile with one of my favorite stories of this past year

******************************************************

Did you know that in Oklahoma it is illegal to wear your boots to bed? True story. While hitherto, I may have howled over the ridiculous of such a law, I’m now giving these mid-western legislators the benefit of the doubt.  You see, I have now witnessed firsthand the effects of boots on a marriage.  Not sure exactly what was going on in those Oklahoma bedrooms, but hey, maybe some legal intervention may have been necessary if things got stressful enough.  Boots are no joke in a relationship.

It all began when, in my blind loyalty to anything Target-branded, I snagged a pair of “leather” boots on the cheap in the fall.  They were adorable, trendy, and surely, they were meant to be.  Six months later, I’m cursing the ripped-up toes and air-leaky soles of my bargain find.  Huh.  Who knew? Quality, apparently, sometimes must be bought.

Thus started a dedicated hunt for the perfect pair of hip, comfy, top-notch kickers. Honestly, it was a smart-shoppers dream.  There were endless tabs pulled up on my laptop, promo codes were flying around, and I was riding an an adrenaline rush of excited glee as I worked out the most economical choice to the penny.  I know, it was the most fun I have in ages (not joking, sadly).

But I kept coming back to the new line of shoes from The Sak.  If you remember, I fell hard for my The Sak tote in October, and haven’t put the darn bag down since.  If it ever gives out, I will cry, and cry hard.  My favorite feature of my tote is the Teak Multi leather accent–the subtle sheen is gorgeous and distinctive. So when I saw that The Sak made boots that incoorporated the same leather

Yeah, the mixed reviews citing the beauty of the shoes, but the near impossibility to actually pull them on your foot? Be darned.  I had a friendship with this particular Teak Multi material, you see.  I alone would certainly be able to overcome the fit problem of the boots.  The other purchasers were clearly pansies.  This Mom of the Year was on it.

Rocking my coupons and discounts, I walked around for days preening my feathers for scoring my new footwear for $33.  Boo-ya! My husband was less enthused, these being the second pair of brown boots I bought in the same season and all…but…

Then the boots came. I sweated through my shirt so badly to get them on I had to put on a new outfit. And then I sobbed a little from the sheer effort.

The reviews were perhaps not written by weak lunatics.

After a week of refusing to say anything in a fierce protection of my dignity, the hopelessness of a solo dressing effort could no longer be denied. The Day of Reckoning had come. Head hung low, I went to my husband, “So you know those boots you didn’t want me to buy?”

“Yeah?”

“Can you put them on for me?”

 

I would like to pretend it was a very Cinderella-esque scene, with the calm, gentle man putting the shoe on the delicate princess’ outstretched foot.  It was not.  There was more grunting and under-the-breath comments.  Very few princesses. Some heavy “questioning” of spousal wisdom and the like–you get it.

It was a really neat scene for my neighbor to witness when she came to pick me up for breakfast the other week.  A true testament to the marital bliss that goes down around these parts.

We now find ourselves two months into ownership of the sweet boots. Things are better. I have accepted I can usually only wear the shoes on Saturdays, when my husband is here to help me dress.  They have started to stretch a teeny bit, so now there is only about five minutes of vigorous group dressing effort.  Really, it’s going well.

Sunday my husband leaves very early for worship team practice. As a general rule of habit, I never dress immediately upon getting up.  This past week, I was determined to sport my boots at church, so I threw my clothes on quickly and ran downstairs, boots in hand, hoping to catch him before he peeled out the door.  He looked at me, baffled by my attire and the switch in routine, “Did you sleep in your clothes?”

And then he saw the boots. And started to laugh. “Okay,” he said, holding out his hand, “Okay.”

As it turns out, these boots really were an awesome deal–they just have to be donned with a heavy, heavy dose of lovin’ patience.

Dec 082014
 

Socializing and partying this time of year are BIG EVENTS!  And knowing how to do it with grace and class can be daunting. Check in here for some tips--and a few laughs to help take the bite out of the nerves!It’s a big night around these parts, friends. To restate, I am leaving the house. Before you fall over in shock, let me tell you the whole story–it’s to ATTEND A GALA. Okay, now I’ll pause a minute while this sinks in…

Not sinking in? I know, I get it.  This is truly an unbelievable occurrence. Mostly for me, who has never, ever attended a gala. Has never even imagined attending a gala. Will never attend a gala again.

But you see, my husband got an invite to a fancy-pants one at The Philly Art Museum tonight. For a machine. That’s right, a machine. In his science world, apparently new machines warrant celebrations of epic proportions. While I remain marginally concerned about hanging with a crowd who likes to dress-up on a Monday night to celebrate machines, the simple fact remains: I am being offered a night out. AT A GALA.

So while I madly fret over what to wear and prepare to meet Condoleezza Rice (In my understanding, there is never a gala that Condoleezza Rice does not attend, correct? This notion is partially fueled by my obsession with People magazine and limited awareness of galas, but I’m pretty sure I’m right), I remain very aware that I might be screwed.

I do not know how to behave at galas.

Should I start stroking the machine in awe immediately upon seeing it? On the other hand, will I be arrested if I touch the machine?

What if I accidentally knock over the waiter’s tray when grabbing a champagne? Please God, tell me there will be champagne.

Forget Condoleezza, will I have to shake hands with Angelina Jolie? I am strictly Team Jennifer and will always be; for this I will not apologize.

The eventualities are daunting.

Knowing how to act and what to/do say at a work holiday party can be tricky. Here are tips for not only surviving, but having a fantastic time out amidst all the glitz and glitter!

In any case, I have decided I need to commit to a few ground-rules to help see myself through the night. I always function better when boundaries are firmly in place.

1) I WILL NOT robot-dance if there if fast music. I am really quite good at The Robot, but I am not sure this will be fully appreciated at this event. Best saved for a more appropriate occasion.

2) I WILL order a fancy drink–because I can. And I will feel fantastically elaborate when I do–because I owe it to the yoga pants I wear ever other single day of the year.

3) I WILL NOT fantasize about going home and watching Hallmark movies. I WILL appreciate that I’m in the company of other adults and this can be pleasant even if there are no Santa Clauses in snow globes winking in the background.

4) I WILL NOT sneak into the ladies’ room to check in on my Amazon lightening deals. Horribly tempting, but potentially better done at another time.

5) I WILL allow myself to soak up the sweetness of a night out, flirt with my husband and enjoy the gift of a fancy night out during the holiday season. It’s a total win–how could I go wrong?

Friends, I’m SO acing out the gala–I can totally feel a shining moment coming on 😉

 

First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:6584928, copyright:nikascorpionka

Second image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID: 10709258, copyright:pressmaster

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Wordpress Development Company