Two Pretzels

May 18, 2016

I wrote a poem. "Why do I cook?"

Oh, why do I cook,
When there are always complaints?
Why do I plan and why do I prep,
Why do I attempt to serve my family with pep?

It takes hours for these recipes to make,
Let alone, cook, prep and bake.
Running to the store when you haven't any time,
Searching for ingredients that boggle the mind.

The "Joy of Cooking" requires a lot.
I don't have that tool, that grater, That pot.
All of the terms that I don't quite understand...
I can hardly chop, peel, and boil without hurting my hands.

Whether carrots or turkey,
Brinner or lunch,
I can't quite seem to please the entire bunch.

"I don't like this" she says without taking a bite.
I hold back my tongue with all of my might.
Then the other one speaks up, just out of spite,
"I love this, Mommy, may I have more later tonight?"

Don't flatter me,
You stinging, buzzing bees.
The eye rolls, the fake gag reflex,
Bring it, it has no effect.

Your negative declarations do not hurt.
I know you're only wearing me down now with kindness
In the hopes that I'll give you dessert.

But alas, I'm the Mom,
And what I say goes.
When you ask me for sweet treats,
I'll happily answer with "No's."

For I'm teaching you a lesson,
And it is as such:
Be GLAD for what you get each night,
Kids in distant lands dream of this much.

And no I will not mail your food to them,
Clever you are, my little women.

I suspect I'm not finished with cooking the meals,
Which means I'm not finished with hearing how you feel.
You may hate it, or love it,
Matter it doesn't.
A meal on your plate is better than one, that wasn't.

So go to bed now, with dessert on your mind.
Mommy's going to sit back and have a glass of wine.


May 16, 2016

Things I know for sure.

1. Food of my youth no longer tastes good now.

Case in point: pop tarts, Kraft Mac&Cheese and a chicken nugget of any type.

I'm still not willing to test out dunkin' sticks. (Remember those?) What if I don't love them???


2. When you have a problem, always supply a solution.

Years ago I worked with a guy who basically said, "You can complain about anything here... just have a solution as to how we can improve."

This pretty much works in all circumstances. Like when you write your child's school administrator at 5:00 a.m. because you just read an article about how copious amounts of homework for primary-aged students has proven no scientific benefit.

(I'm that Mom.)

Note: Backpacks with wheels annoy me.

3. Keep at least one alive plant in your house at all times. 

Make that plant an orchid, if possible.

My current orchid. Jem is her name.
4. I need to get off of my phone.

I don't want my kids to draw a portrait of me checking my facebook account or my IG feed. I need to work on that. I need to be more present.

5. It's ok to hate kale.

Kale is stupid. I read somewhere that it's going to be a scary day when all kale-lovers realize that it's really not any more nutritious than iceberg lettuce.

(Wouldn't that be funny?)

It's the kale-pocalypse.

6. I'm still willing to wear painful shoes.

I will still chose cute and semi-functional over comfortable and flat. I can't help it. It's who I am.

7. Suntans are not cool. Ever. At all. 

I have stayed out of the sun, faithfully, for a solid 9 years now. I urge all of you to do the same. SPF everyday, all day, ya'll.


8. "La paz empiece conmigo." / "The peace begins with me."

My girls learn this in school. In yoga. It applies to me. It applies to you. Gotta give peace in order to get it. Life's too short to be full of angst and high blood pressure.

Can I get a witness?

9. Everyone's doing the best they can. Well, most people.

There will always be people we don't understand. We offer them peace, and then we ignore them. I don't have time to engage, and neither do you. Instead, I like to surround myself with the people who get me. Selfish? Or realistic?

10. Bucket lists make me nervous.

I sometimes feel like a loser because I don't have an active bucket list. I think the truth is, having a "what to do before I die" list creeps me out.

What if you do it all?


11. Justin Timberlake is so cute.

And I will happily sing his little happy, clappin' hands, dancin' song all summer long.

It's my responsibility as an American.

(Be glad it's not a Miley Cyrus song.)

12. If you're not reading the Martha Stewart blog and you have a dry sense of humor, well... you're missing out.

What a gripping blog post title, no?

And... scene.


May 11, 2016


Today Lila said to me, "Mommy. I think I'm ready for chapter books."

My heart skipped a beat and I almost cried.

You guys... I love to read. I want my children to love to read. I was tough on this. There were tears. And frustration. However, my kiddos are bilingual and reading isn't as easy when you're learning two different languages. She's in 1st grade, fantastic at reading in EspaƱol and now so good at reading in English. Sure, she stumbles... but her confidence is there.

And that's all I care about: confidence.

You guys.

So proud. Heart swelling.

(Did I mention that she goes to the library everyday during recess? To just hang out?)



May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

It appears that as time goes on Mother's Day is less about what you don't have... and more about what you do have...

Happy Mother's Day, friends.

The little one who made me a Mama.

The little who made us a family.


May 2, 2016

2016 Met Gala Fashion Recap

GAH! The Annual Met Gala happened. Combat boots, a lot of brown-ish-purple lips, tons of embroidery, copious amounts of silver and gold and Madonna still not acting her age.
Let's dig in, shall we?

Each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art features a theme at their annual Costume institute Exhibition. This year it was "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." You could interpret that literally, or figuratively. Hand-beading, hand-stitching, hand-embroidering meets 3-D printers, laser cutting and technology-inspired elements.

GAH. I'll say it again, SO exciting.

As always, the event is hosted by Anna Wintour of Vogue. The guest list features whomever Anna hand selects.  Yes, she must ok every.single.guest. 

Here's Anna and her daughter, Bee.

*Note, before we get to far into this - I finished writing this very late at night, ignore spelling errors. I'll get 'em tomorrow.

Co-chair was Taylor Swift wearing Louis Vuiton.

(In the beginning of the creation of this post, the husband was giving his comments, too - then he fell asleep. I'm KB, he's CB.)

KB: I like it. It's young and who else can pull off boots like that?

CB: I mean, I like it. It's futuristic. It's not plain.

Here are Kim and Kanye wearing not only intense adoration for themselves, but for the designer, Balmain, as well

May 1, 2016

I mean, why not?

I just bought this cookbook.

Which is funny, because "cooking" isn't really my jam. However, I do like books.

I'll let you know how it turns out.


April 26, 2016

On Grief. Sitting still.

I am sitting.

By myself.

In my home.

On a Tuesday, later afternoon.

My girls are at swim class with their Daddy.

Even the dogs are quietly sleeping.

I can't hear anything but my wind chime that my friends got me after my Mom died. And birds. (Always birds. Ironically enough for me.)

I feel like I'm reconnecting with an old friend; my blog.

I'm giddy.


Recently I've been so awash in the schedules and the GO! that I haven't taken time to sit, to feel, to think, to write. My day is filled with meetings and errands and children and homework and schedules and coaching and life and, and, and...

We're all busy, I get it.

(I repeatedly choose this life, so no pity requested...)

I think that's why I enjoy these "quiet" moments all that much more.


These moments when I sit and I'm still I realize how much I miss my Mom.

That's a ridiculous way to phrase it. I don't "realize" how much I miss her. [I'm rolling my eyes at myself.] It's when I sit that I am compelled to acknowledge just how much I miss her; just how much I miss her in my daily life.

It's tremendous.


I was listening to This American Life on NPR (I adore Ira Glass) this morning and the podcast was about individuals who have HSAM. Have you heard of it? It's "hyperthymesia." Basically, individuals with HSAM can recall almost every day of their lives in near perfect detail, as well as public events that hold some significance to them. One interviewee on the podcast remembered the exact date of the 1989, I think, (I can't remember...) academy awards, and then threw in the fact that Whoppi Goldberg was the host.


I chuckled.

"Man, that would be handy," I thought.

Another interviewee, Jill, spoke of "managing her memories" alongside her HSAM. She has to actually organize them. Jill's memories don't just fade away, like they do for those of us without HSAM. I mean, we move on. We forget severity and the extremity; the highs and the lows and we move on. We block out what we don't want to handle. In most circumstances, we have the luxury of choosing to remember.

(I've noticed that when people die, even if they were jerks, we tend to canonize them. We choose to remember people a certain way. We hold them in far higher esteem than what they ought. It's like the sharp edges of their personality dull in the wake of grief.)

So back to the podcast. This is the part of the interview that got me: Jill, the one with HSAM, lost her husband eleven years ago and it feels like it was just yesterday.

I let that soak in.

She feels about her husband's passing how she felt eleven years ago because the memory is so sharp; it's so vivid.

[This takes my breath away.]

Jill says that her husband's death, "has paralyzed me."

She went on to say, "I will never, ever, ever, ever forget that..."

She'll ALWAYS remembers the pain, the inability to breathe.  She said that it still feels as if it were March of 2005...

She can easily go back to that week, that time in an instance and it hurts just like it happened yesterday.

Can you even imagine?


It's been two years and 7 months since my Mom died.

No, it doesn't hurt like it did the day she died in that car accident.

And sitting here, thinking about her, about all of this... that saddens me. There are moments when I do want it to hurt just as badly as it did back then when the wound was so fresh and so bloody and messy.

The perspective that comes with time isn't comforting; instead, it's creates an insurmountable distance between here and I.


My inclination to call on the phone has vanished.
My quick-response to tell her a story, ask her a question... gone.
My wish that this was all a dream and that she'd just come home now... it's dried up.

Instead, I know with my heart and my brain that she's gone.

[insert heavy sigh]


Someone once told me after she died that "it'll always hurt." This friend told me that when you lose your Mom, it always, always hurts.

Today, I nod. I agree. Still, the pain takes different shapes even today.


I remember going away to college. I wanted NOTHING MORE than to be OUT of my house; away from my Mom. As a 17-year-old, I wanted to be AWAY from her rules; AWAY from her "prying" questions. Gone. Out. Go.


And I left. I would come back to my neighborhood to see my boyfriend (yep, Craig) and I wouldn't even go home. (I can't imagine how much that hurt her...) But I didn't NEED her. (Or so I thought...) I was independent and I wanted to just

And then two years after I went to college, my Mom decided to move to a different state and I stopped, frozen in my tracks and thought, "Oh no. This can't be. I need her. She can't go. No. I'm not ready."

That little "independent" phase that I'd been going through... that "I'll-talk-to-you-when-it's convenient-for-me" thing was done. It was self-indulgent and silly and I immediately wished that I could take it back... I was working so hard to NOT include her in my life that I immediately did an about-face and wanted nothing more than for her to be in my life.

I feel that way again today.

I feel like this silly time apart - this time forced by the hand of death and not the brooding recklnessness of a silly 17-year-old - can stop at ANY time now... because I really do need her.

It would be completely ok with me if she'd just come back.

No questions asked.


But, even if she doesn't, I'm ok.

Life goes on.

Sometimes I go so fast so I don't feel it. It's easier to disconnect.
Other times, I stop myself, and I feel it. Because she deserves it.

Such is grief.


Shirl is in my everyday moments. Her name is on the lips of my family on a dailiy basis. (Thanks in large part to Vivi's Baby Shirley.) She's more than just part of my DNA; she's part of who I am. She's part of who my girls are.

And I'm thankful for that.

And I'm also thankful for these quiet, distraction-free moments when I can let my fingers type,
my mind wander and...

my heart remember.


--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.
October 11, 2014  ::  The brain is funny  ::  Post here.
November 6, 2014  ::  Love  ::  Post here.
November 30, 2014 ::  Post here.
December 4, 2014  ::  Another feather. Post here.
December 28, 2014  :: All was calm, all is bright. Post here.
January 18, 2015  ::  They're always with us? They're always with us. Post here.
January 25, 2015  ::  And today I remember. Post here.
March 8, 2015  ::  A year and a half later. Post here.
April 16, 2015  ::  And here I stand. Post here.
April 29, 2015  ::  Joan & Shirley. Post here.
August 26, 2015 :: Perspective. Post here.
September 9, 2015  :: Two Years After. Post here.
November 1, 2015  ::  Watching others go through it. Post here.
January 25, 2016  ::  Happy Birthday, Mom. Post here.
March, 5, 2016 ::  Air Tears. Post here.

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