Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My baby sister is 324 months old today!

My sister and I, as taken this summer by Vivienne. 

Sweet Baby Sister,

I hope when we get old we live next door to one another.
I hope that you come over to my house and we play crosswords together.
I hope that I can go to your house and you can make us salsa.
I hope that we can sit and laugh and laugh some more. All the time. Like all.of.the.time.

Until then, even if miles and miles separate us, you are forever and always in my heart. Right along side her.


Taryn, you amaze me.

Your strength... it's beyond what I could have ever foreseen.
That sweet, quiet, funny, kind little pumpkin has grown into a strong, determined and more kind bigger pumpkin.
So much of who you are makes me happy because it's so much of who she was.
(My intent is not to make you cry.)

And then there's your laugh.
Your witty (and often hilarious) comments.
Your resourcefulness.
Your resilience.
You conscience.
Your heart.
Your strength...

(She would be so proud of you, I know it.)

So today I truly CELEBRATE the day you were born.
After years of being someone else's little sister, you made me a Big Sister on October 29th. Something I always wanted to be.
I remember holding you for the first time, completely unwilling to hand you over to Adam or Andy. (Because you were mine.)
I remember dressing you and feeding you your bottles. (Because you were mine.)
I remember taking control of you... because I was so enamored with you.
When Mom told me that you were mine, my gift to take care of -- I took it very, very seriously.

On Friday nights, I'd sit you down in front of the TV at the ripe-old age of what, 3? And I'd curl your hair and literally play "dolls" with you. And, you let me. :)

The ownership (yes, ownership) I have felt for you over the years has subsided, and while you'll always be mine, I realize that as much as I took care of you, you now take care of me.

The years have melted away and now there's just you and me.
I don't even notice the age difference any more.
And there's no other way I'd have it.
You are the BEST.

I wish for you a day of sleep. Of smiles. Of sunshine. Of green lights. Of easy.

Most of all I hope that you can find a quiet moment to sit and really feel surrounded by the love that I have for you, that she had for you. I hope you laugh and smile at birthdays of years' past and I hope you know just how loved you are.

I am so glad you were born. SO glad. Like REALLY glad.
I wish you the happiest of birthdays, my baby sister.

I love you.


Your birthday greeting from 2013 is here.
Your birthday post from 2012 is here.
From 2011 is here.
From 2010 is here.
From 2009 is here.
I skipped 2008? I think?
From 2007, here.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Today's Vimrod. And more. So much more.

Two Pretzels Note: Nope. No one asked me to write this post. I genuinely like what you're about to read about. (ky)

When I first started writing Two Pretzels back in what, 2006? I would include Vimrod cartoons because I thought they were who-larious, right on, ironic, witty and well written. In fact years ago, I recall writing the creator, Ralph Lazar, telling him as much.

Well, Vimrods went on a hiatus and NOW THEY ARE BACK. Making me happy on the daily. (And of course I emailed them again. Ralph responded.)

Enjoy. Here's today's:


Sign up to get Vimrods delivered to your inbox. Or, better yet - see them daily on the Facing Book.

BUT THERE's MORE. You must visit the Last Lemon website.

So, Vimrods are part of the Creative Studio of Lisa Swerling (great name) and Ralph Lazar (also a great name.) These people. They've got it. They get it.

They have manifestos, and other characters and so, so much. Some of my favorites:


And if you write them, tell 'em Kylee sent you. :) They respond.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My fears for the future (as written by a haughty gen X'er)

I fear that my generation is one of the last who will experience the immediate gratification of utilizing white out, specifically while typing on a typewriter.

I fear that my generation is one of the last who will ever understand the joy of dialing a phone number on a rotary phone that had a lot of 1's in it as opposed to a lot of 9's. "Eh," for a one and "Eh-eh-eh-eh" for a 9 that had to go alllllll the way around.

I fear that my generation will not know what it's like to have ONE SHOT at taking a good picture. You either end up with a masterpiece or a photo of a headless family member on a ride at Disneyland.

(Remember when the flash was nearly bigger than the camera?)

I fear that my generation will not know the pain that can come from touching the old Christmas Tree lights that bubbled up in a narrow glass tube.

These were always on my Grandma's trees. I think they were filled with poison.

I fear that my generation is one of the last to truly risk their lives while playing in a yard where family members were unwieldy throwing lawn jarts with METAL tips.

I fear that my generation is the last to play outside until the streetlights came on, to be lost in an adventure with our friends while none of us had a phone... just pogo balls.

I fear that I'm the last generation who will experience the fulfillment of listening to the Top 9 and 9 on the radio just to press "record" on your boombox so that you can make the best mixed tape EVER.

I fear that my generation is the last to understand how to use and fold up a map.

I fear that my generation is the last to remember when microwaves required their own cart; when they were nearly half the size of a refrigerator.

I fear that my generation is the last to have felt the coolness of carrying a pager. Like a doctor. Or a drug dealer, as your Grandma thought.

I fear that my generation is the last to understand that there was life before the internet. (What's connected us has also disconnected us, no?)

We actually did get mail. No, seriously. We got mail.

I fear that my generation is the last to remember when cell phones were called "car phones" and they were legitimately used only in cars. With wired handsets and everything. And ONLY upon emergency because they cost like a million dollars to use.

I fear that my generation is the last to remember going to the gate to pick up your loved ones from the airport. Like the do in Love Actually.

I fear that my generation is the last to use a bound, paper dictionary and the last to remember paper phone books and their many uses in a home. (Booster seat, stool, fireplace starter...)

I fear that my generation is the last to have experienced listening to records in the living room with their parents.

I fear that my generation will never know how to use the dewey decimal system. The card catalog was like the pre-cursor to google, kids.

I fear that my generation is the last to feel the anxiousness to hurry home and check your answering machine to see if that someone you had been waiting for was brave enough to leave a message for you entire family to hear

(I also fear that my generation is the last to experience the no-strings-attached beauty in being unavailable to receive a phone call or a text, because when you left your house... you simply left your house and you were unavailable.)

I fear that my generation is the last to grow up with sitcoms versus reality shows.

Who's The Boss • Family Ties • Mama's Family • Mr. Belvedere • Benson • Perfect Strangers • Punky Brewster • Growing Pains • Charles in Charge • Facts of Life Cosby ShowDifferent Strokes • Gimme a Break • CHEERS! • GOLDEN GIRLS! • Kate and Allie

*My personal favorites. Cheers and The Golden Girls are two of the best sitcoms to EVER grace T.V.

I fear that my generation is the last to remember "VCRs" that ejected from the top and that had wired remotes. (That's the exact model we had.)

Please be kind and rewind.

But most importantly, I fear that my generation is the last to learn and use cursive. I plan on making the world a better place by teaching my children to write properly in cursive. (You're welcome, fellow citizens.)

Exhale. All will be right with this next generation.

And that concludes the fears that keep me up at night.

I'll tuck them away neatly in my caboodle along with my memories of my shrinky dinks, my big wheel (and subsequent banana seat bike) and poppels.


Monday, October 20, 2014

A few quick things

1. I have all of my Christmas shopping for the girls finished. Done. Bought in Ohio and brought back. No importing!

It's October.

2. I have appeared to develop an allergy to Cabo and cannot stop sneezing. 

3. Mariah Carey never disappoints. Ever.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

...and, we're home.

... we're here.

We're home.

We're back sitting in the home that we left a month ago. The difference is that this time, the lights are on, the air conditioning is on and our water is flowing.

We were beyond excited to get back to the land where our babies were born.
We called our time in Ohio our "evacuation vacation" and it was all the feelings: it was guilt and sadness and anxiety and love and kindness and family.

We ran into the open arms of Craig's parents and stayed with them. Our stuff strewn ALL over their house. (Well, truth be told, we didn't have that much stuff since we traveled to Ohio with the luggage of a family of four in a carry-on bag.) But we invaded their space and it was ...lovely. 

Fall in Ohio? Well, it's stunning. I had forgotten how much I missed seasons. (TONS of pictures to come... please, stay tuned.) Oh, those trees. Those leaves. The briskness. Our GOOD friends. Our sweet family. I love fall.


But, the entire time we were gone... we were ready to go home. We were ready to get back to our routines. Amigos, my babies have been out of school for a month. We haven't smooshed and loved on our dogs, Fergie and Millie, for a month. We haven't lived our regular routine for a month. I hadn't used my Sonicare toothbrush... for a month. (Oh, how I love that toothbrush. #firstworldproblems.)

So we're back.

And it feels good.

I have to admit though, I'm a little... nervous.

Life doesn't seem as consistent as what it was before. It's not what it was
There is still plywood covering windows; but there is GLASS in so many places that it wasn't.
The palm trees that were demolished by Odile are stretching toward the sun... ready to grow and look lovely.

Life is moving forward. But, let's be honest, it is different.

Restaurants are opening daily. Costco opens October 28th. (Woop, woop.) 

But life is also nerve-wracking right now. 

I work in real estate. (Marketing) My husband is a realtor.
We just had a hurricane. Go ahead and put those two together.


It may be a long season. 


But, it's a season we can weather. We're resting in the palm of His hand and I feel... oddly... secure. You've heard me say it before, but it bears repeating: All of this? It's pre-determined. And as a believer, I cannot help but THROW this mess, this anxiety and this fear into His hands and say, "It's yours. I'm standing by to do what you want me to do. Until then, I'm going to go ahead and press.on."


My sweet babies are SO happy to be home. About 20 times today one of my sweet girls said, "Mommy, look at Ferg/Millie -- isn't she SO cute? Isn't she a sweetie pie?"

They're also SO PUMPED about getting back to school tomorrow after a month off... 

My sweet Lila, well - she's ready to pick up where she left off.

Lila: "I need to return my library book to the school library tomorrow. I can't forget it."

I adore her. Responsibility. Never should you shirk it. Always.Follow.Through.

Her book was due the day after the hurricane hit us. A month ago.


And Vivi? Well, she's looking forward to seeing her boyfriend (yep), Nico. "He misses me. I know it."

Of course he does.

And me?

Well, I'm looking forward to moving.

"Moving?!", you say?


When Hurricane Odile hit us, we were in the process of moving. Boxes EVERYWHERE at the old house. (They're still here.) We had just painted the ENTIRE interior of the new house. Just cleaned it. Painted the outside. Carpentry was in process (kitchen), some light demo was done (living room) and

Well, then the hurricane said, "Hola" and as Paula Abdul knows too well,we took two steps forward and then two steps back.

So now, we are ready to FINALLY move. So bear with me this week in terms of blogging. We plan on moving little things all week with the big moving day happening on Friday. YES!

I don't even CARE if the house isn't finished - WE NEED TO MOVE.

Before Odile, I had ideas that all curtains needed to be ironed, everything needed to be but now my mindset is, "MOVE. GO. NOW. WHO CARES."

So, that's where we are.

Slightly overwhelmed. 
But nonetheless, we.are.home. and we're getting back into our regular routine. 

Like reading books with "reading glasses."

And organizing...

Viva Los Cabos.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Is Woody Harrelson on TO something? (Not "on something" - because we know that answer.)

My favorite moment happens at 1:04.

Followed by, "I want to offer that to all of you."

After that, you don't have to watch.

If you can't see the link, it's here.

I mean, maybe Woody's on to something.

"I just forget about it."

I love it.


I also think it's golden that Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey are friends.

That seems about right.


on grief. the mind is a funny thing.

So I'm just sitting here, doing some work and a thought literally popped into my head, all VH1 pop-up video-style (I'm old.) I thought, "I need to call my Mom."

It was like my brain didn't even remember that I can't.

It was a completely grief-free, factual statement. Like a task that I needed to do.

No tears. No sads. Just simple facts.

It's amazing how sometimes the brain doesn't even remember what the heart does.


--The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  :: Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  :: Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.
June 1, 2014  ::  Moving "forward"  ::  Post here.
July 6, 2014  ::  Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah  ::  Post here.
August 20, 2014  ::  So, I'm 35  ::  Post here.
September 2, 2014  ::  7 days  ::  Post here.
September 8, 2014  ::  The Day Before a Year  ::  Post here.
September 9, 2014  ::  Hello, one year  ::  Post here.

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