Archives for July 2014

A Letter to My Sweet Pumpkin on her 9th Birthday

Dear Pumpkin,

Nine years ago this morning, I remember calling in to work saying, “I don’t think I’ll be in to work today because apparently I’m having a baby.” I called them back less than an hour later to tell them you were born. You made a swift arrival into this world, sweet pea. A swift arrival. An early morning arrival. Every year I’ve said, “You’ve been an early bird ever since!” The past week or so, however, you’ve had days where you’ve slept so late that I haven’t seen you before I leave for work – grandpa arrives to watch you and your sister and I say, “She’s still sleeping!” and he’s amazed as I am because since when do you sleep past seven a.m.?

Since now, apparently.

For your birthday, I bought you a pair of leggings from H&M with a print of pug faces all over them. They are so gaudy, but I think you are going to love them! I bought them two months ago when I was shopping for your sister’s birthday and I have been holding on to these pug pants ever since. I also picked up a pug tee, another shirt with a dog with a matching headband, socks with dogs on them, and a Web Kinz that looks like it could be our puppy’s twin. But smaller. You still really really love dogs – and while some people think, just how many dog stuffed animals does a kid need? I don’t much worry about it because you like what you like.

You’ll be entering fourth grade in the fall and you’re an amazing student – teachers really like your creative mind and your reading skills are exceptionally high. You ask amazing questions and you are curious and insightful. You’re friendly and welcoming and you like people. You have pretty awful handwriting though. Your teacher last year said he wasn’t worried about it- he could still read it and could see the thoughts you were trying to express and it wasn’t worth fussing over. I think you just get so impatient. You want to get those thoughts out. You prefer typing though.

Lately, I find you often typing stories on the computer. Or you’ll tell me about a dream you had that you plan to make into a series. You amaze me – because not only do you have all of these ideas ping-ponging around in your brain, but you’re fabulous at expressing them. While you don’t always like to share what you’ve written, when you do, I’m completely impressed. And I’m proud of you a lot and I’m proud of me a little – even though you would still be you if I wasn’t one who likes to read and write but I like to think that by seeing me read, that you decided that it wasn’t an awful thing.

Who knows. You’d probably be  a writer if I was illiterate.


Your hair was cut into a short, sassy do earlier this summer and I’m in love with it – the ease of it, the elimination of that big ever-present snarl that was always a daily battle. You like to brush your hair now. You look more like YOU. A little bit older – not too much – but you were lost behind that tangled hair. You radiate and I can see your clear blue eyes and your delicate shoulders and you aren’t trapped by hair. It seems a silly thing, to be so amazed by a haircut, but it truly makes me smile.

You are empathetic and are very concerned with others’ feelings. Not just other people, but things. I worry about your heart sometimes, how much you hurt for things – you cuddle with one stuffed puppy and worry that the rest might have their feelings hurt. Your hurt is sweet and genuine and I am blown away by your big heart and your caring but I am afraid for you and afraid of the world sometimes that isn’t always kind to tender-hearted souls. I hope that you will be strong when faced with life’s challenges. But I’ll try to not worry too much about it – for I’d rather you feel too much than nothing at all.

Empathetic. Kind. Silly. Fun.

Big heart. Sweet smile.

The other day on a trolley ride, I asked if you would sit in my lap. “MOM! I’m too old to sit in your lap…in public,” you said. Good to know you’re still my little girl, even though you’re getting older.

Some days you and your sister are best friends. Some days the bickering drives me bonkers.

Some days you clean your room without asking. Some days I find ten empty Capri Sun pouches hidden behind the couch.

Some days you want to write and write. Some days you want to play at your friends’ houses until I say it’s time to come home.

I really like you, Pumpkin. Not only do i love you but I genuinely like you. I think you’re a really neat kid. I think you’re lovely. I like having you around. I am so blessed, really, to have two amazing daughters.

I am so glad you were born. I hope that 9 brings you a lot of great things. You’re gonna move mountains, miss.

Happy birthday, sweet girl. I love you with my whole heart.




Thursday Ten: Yesterday I Put On A Hoodie and I LIKED IT edition

1. After two miserably hot days earlier this week, temperatures dropped yesterday and by last night i had goosebumps and even put a hoodie on. I’m not gonna lie – it was GLORIOUS.

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2. The hot weather makes it hard to work out. On one hand, I’m trying to keep in the habit of always moving every day. On the other hand HOLY CRAP I’M MELTING. So. Laps around my mom’s pool like an old lady. No shame, no shame.

3. It’s a very bizarre feeling to finish editing a portrait session. There’s that relief and the “whoohoo I’m done” aspect of everything and then there’s a funny bittersweetness – you get familiar with some many details of your subject’s faces as you edit – the ridges on the edges of teeth, eyebrows, when the face is at rest and when it is tensed as faces sometimes are when they’re being photographed. Anyway, wrapped up editing a shoot.

4. Was unable to attend the one concert I wanted to see this summer – the Counting Crows were in town earlier this week. I was, however, able to pre-order their new album and have downloaded the first two songs. And… I don’t know what I think about them. This won’t be an “August & Everything After” that I will listen to start to finish. It’ll be like “Desert Life” where I pick and choose a handful of songs and leave the rest. Which is a bummer.

5. I don’t mean to pee on anyone’s cornflakes but I totally don’t get the Weird Al thing and I’m tired of seeing him all over Facebook.

6. I have been tired all week and I can’t get un-tired.

7. Pumpkin turns nine this weekend and I have no idea where time has gone. And I’ve waited until the last minute to do her birthday shopping. What to get, what to get.

8. Television news is depressing.

9. Isn’t it cute how every few months I say i need to read more and then it takes me three weeks to read one book? I’m TRYING to get better, y’all.

10. I need a vacation. I need rest. Life is so much better than it was when 2014 began, but dang, I need a moment to breathe, to slow down… Calgon take me away.

Thursday Ten: Salad Fueled edition

1. In effort to detox from the massive amounts of junk food i ate over the holiday weekend, I’ve eaten so many salads this week. I feel all virtuous and mighty but OH MY GOD DO I WANT A COOKIE.

2. The girls and I spent the holiday weekend with Chris and his family. It was great to get away from home and we had a lot of fun. Also? Got to see the Blue Angels for the first time in YEARS.
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3. Ahhh, the joys of summer and kids who resist going to bed at a decent hour. Sigh. I know, I know, they don’t have school to go to in the mornings, but they still need their sleep and I still need an hour or so of downtime each night before I zonk out. “I’m rolling up my yoga mat,” is the latest excuse for procrastinating bedtime.

4. Took The Princess to a pediatric orthopedic specialist yesterday for an injury she got during gymnastics which turned out to be… no big deal. The verdict was tendinitis and she has instruction to take it easy for awhile to let it heal. I’m relieved it’s nothing major, and am actually pretty impressed with the local medical center for kiddaroonis. It was a good experience (easy for me to say because it turned out to be nothing).

5. As a surprise, my sister cut Pumpkin’s hair a week or so ago and I LOVE IT. The short and sassy style suits my daughter’s face and personality so well – and the upkeep is much much easier for her tangle-prone hair. She may never have long hair again!

6. Every time I watch “House Hunters International” I wonder if the realtors are thinking, “You stupid Americans, didn’t you do ANY research on how much it would cost to rent a flat here before you decided that THIS was where you wanted to move?” Why do they always seem so surprised when it’s expensives?

7. Currently reading: Eleanor & Park. I know it’s a Young Adult book but it’s sweet (so far) reading about a first love.

8. Maybe I should get a hair cut.

9. My next Stitch Fix is due to arrive next week and boy do I need some new clothes. Here’s hoping there’s some good stuff in there.

10. I treated myself to a pedicure after last week’s web launch and you know, I have to do that more often. Not just so I can avoid having janky feet, but because it felt heavenly to pamper myself. I’ve found a great place near by that doesn’t cost a fortune, so maybe I can make it happen at least every other month. It’s a splurge but it’s sure nice for peace of mind.

Thursday Ten: Lack of Depth edition

1. I get a little bit down sometimes that I am not doing any real writing here lately. I hate that I write once a week and it’s just a series of thrown together thoughts and I can’t seem to put anything more together. I HAVE THINGS TO SAY, GOSH DARN IT. I just…don’t.

2. My lack of words here is more about time than it is about self-censorship. The self-censorship affects me everyplace else. My biting my tongue about stuff is how I get to the point where I’m rambling to Chris about Hobby Lobby at midnight on a Tuesday. Poor guy. I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT STUFF. I am also reasonably certain that no one is looking to be convinced – one way or another, most people have a pretty solid belief base – and I’d either be preaching to the choir or raising someone’s hackles. Either is…unnecessary. So, you know, midnight Hobby Lobby ramblings.

3. Midnight Hobby Lobby Ramblings is my new band name. MHLR, for short.

4. Know what’s super great? People who start their Fourth of July celebration super early. Yeah, fireworks all the time, all week. That’s not annoying.

5. Launched a client’s website at work this week and instead of feeling relieved, instead my brain is awash with things that still need to be done. Oh, goodness. It’s my first huge project and it’s hard to take a sense of joy in the completion when there’s immediately a list of things to fix. I went to work Tuesday preparing for all to fall apart – and dressed up for the occasion: Launch a site, look professional and if the world collapses, at least I’ll look good. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Yesterday a few things went a little wonky and so while the new site is live (WHOOHOO!), I wish I had just more time to revel in the accomplishment before I had to get right back to work making improvements to it. Sigh.
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6. I’m a little bit in love with Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign. I even bought a diet Coke (which I kind of don’t love) because it had my name on it. What a fun campaign. I love looking for the names of people I love when buying beverages. Yes, I know that soda is bad for me. I also know that I don’t drink much, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs. Coke Zero is my drug of choice. That, and tacos.

7. To soothe the chaos of a website launch: Margaritas.

8. Sciatic nerve pain is a pain in the …(“There is no butt, there is only the tops of legs.”)


10. coming up with the tenth thing is often harder than it should be. Today my tenth thing is about how difficult the tenth thing is – mainly because if I keep trying to think of a tenth thing, I’ll kick something.