Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Holy S That was A

On Saturday night, I attended a bachelorette party for a dear, dear, dear friend. I drank more in one evening than I have in years, and had such a college-style hangover that I awoke the next morning still drunk and craving Ramen noodles. Behold, a sampling of the email exchange between the blushing bride to be, myself, my seasoned mom friend, and my brand new mom friend who missed the hijinks:

Things lost at one very special lady's bachelorette party last night:
-my blazer
-my voice
-my dignity
-my sobriety THIS MORNING as we speak

Things found this morning:
-J's scarf
-an orange glow bracelet that I'm still wearing
-a headache that feels like tiny people in cement shoes are dancing in my brain
-an unidentified drinking bruise (UDB) on my thigh....the size of my palm
-a newfound hatred for purple grape vodka

Good lord, that.was.awesome.

New momma friend, WE MISSED YOU!

New Momma Friend:
Lists, Take II

Things lost last night:

- my days of free-wheeling out on the town, carefree
- hours of sleep as a wee angry elf took advantage of her cuteness to create havoc unpunished
- an ENTIRE Easter basket worth of chocolate eggs and jelly beans
- the end of a movie.....I swear I just closed my eyes for a minute!

Things found this morning:

- a newly awakened appetite for chocolate....now if only I could find that Easter basket.....???
- a great email summing up a great night.....so glad it was fun!
- the surprising truth that I still adore this tiny person even after her midnight escapades.  Who knew love could run so deep?

Love you girls!  I  hope it was wildly fun and irresponsible!  If you're reading this before Monday, you didn't do enough damage.....

Seasoned Momma Friend:


I DO remember the purple vodka, I do remember having a nice convo with Groom's sister. I do remember getting in the trolley. Everything else is blurry!! 

I remember being in the cab. Then I woke up on the couch with all my stuff on the floor!

I spent the first few hours of the AM thinking, how the hell am I going to tell the husband I lost my cell iPhone? He is going to be so PO'd!!! The scarf was the least of my worries. Par for the course, but the phone. SHIT!!! All shy and sorry I went downstairs, then shook his shoulder, and said, (whispering) "hi honey." He said, "hey, it lives. Are you OK?" I say, "there's my phone!" It was on his night table. He said, "yeah, you gave it to me last night when you walked in." 

I also lost all kinds of dignity!! Did we go through a back alley to get into a bar? Was there a chick all PO'd bc we were trying to get in? Nicole, I remember you were going to take someone down for talking to me in a harsh tone. I apparently took picture on my phone bc I found them last night. 

Today I am eating spreadable cheese and crackers and a pear. Nevertheless, I would do it again. But this time, no purple vodka!!

Also, I came home with more money than I left with. Did I not pay for anything? Or was I in the back alley for a different reason? Or did I forget to pay the cab driver? I assume the husbandwould have told me about the cab driver not leaving without getting paid. 

Other than an apology for... well the purple vodka... do I owe you money as well?

Can't wait for the wedding!!!! Where I will NOT be drinking. I've done enough of that!!

Oh, wedding season, how glad I am you are upon us. I REALLY need to start making better choices....

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Some days, I really have to slog myself to the gym. Between general RA exhaustion and general dealing with junior high drama exhaustion, some days I really have to talk myself into driving to the gym after work. However, I try to remind myself of some basic truth, and I usually haul my ever-expanding behind to inflict some torture upon myself.

When I arrive at the gym, I nearly always see something inspiring. As you all know, Kev and I have been personal training together. Generally, we spend half an hour running stairs, doing squats, wood choppers and burpees, and trying to avoid death by fitness. A few weeks ago, I saw a 60ish year old woman running stairs and doing woodchoppers in a forty pound weight vest. Trainer James just smirked at me, and I decided to up the level of my independent workouts.

Last week, I saw a visibly pregnant woman doing a series of complicated combination moves with free weights. Lunges with bicep curls, pushups with tricep pull-ups, side squats- this lady was killing it. She had to at least be five months pregnant. I'm really hoping her workout was doctor approved, and I can't help but admit her dedication. Girl had moxie.

This week, as I was leaving the gym, a kindly elderly man smiled at me and asked me "Did you have your best workout today?" His question really hit home. Not whether I did a certain amount of reps or how much I lifted. Not how many calories I burned. Did I do my best?

I've learned from my compatriots at the gym that getting there pays off. For every step I take with fitness, the universe seems to meet me halfway and send me some motivation to come back tomorrow. I'm never going to be thin, and I want to respect my RA. However, I can be curvy and healthy at the same time. I guess the slogging is worth it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Shopping Cart Game

I love to run errands, especially if they involve shopping; my favorite part, by far, is the shopping cart game.

My mom and aunt and I have been playing this game for approximately five years. We compete to see who can find the person in the store with the craziest assortment of items. When we find one, texts immediately zing through the air, and stealth pictures are attempted. When we are the perpetrators of a particularly strange cart combo, we wear the achievement with a badge of honor and call each other to gloat.

Valentine's Day is usually a particularly fruitful day for the shopping cart game. I've seen a man with baby formula, condoms, chocolates, and a six pack of beer. I've seen an older woman with twelve cans of cat food, a double bottle of wine, a Harlequin romance novel, and Cheetos. My favorite are the old people: on more than one occasion I've seen the dental toothpaste-fresh flower combo in action.
Frozen turkeys, frozen pizza, and a pair of Spongebob boxers. Waxing kits, hair dye, sweatpants, and duct tape. Newsweek, the second season of Sex and the City, and two Webkinz stuffed animals. The combinations are endless.  I love to speculate in line while investigating. Are these people shopping for themselves or others? Did someone ask them to pick up these strange items? Why would they need all of these in one trip?

I mention this because today I was the perpetrator of the random cart while trying to knock as many errands off of my endless chain as possible in Kohls. I looked down, and had the following in my cart:

One pearly, silky babydoll nightgown (for a bachelorette party gift)
One 15 space shoe rack (for our hovel of a home)
One large rubbery tub with handles (for a recycling bin)
A memory foam bathmat (hovel, again)
12 pairs of athletic socks (to replace some fallen soldiers)

All I needed were some cans of wet cat food and a trashy novel, and I would have been set. Next time you're out, take a look around. Once you've really spied on someone else's cart, you'll feel much better about yourself. I promise.

Am I the only weirdo around? What is the strangest combo you've collected in one trip? What is the strangest you've seen? Discuss.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday, April 14th

The soft, vacuum whiffs of Kev's snoring. Gravelly purrs from my kittens, and a polar bear of a robe so thick that I have to roll up the sleeves.

My house is asleep and I am awake, which never happens. Outside, the world is waking up, with cheeping birds and the sharp freshness of springtime rain. 10:22 on Saturday, April 14th.

The house is cluttered, the laundry still. Piles of tidying await, and several plan options exist for the evening. But for now, all is quiet. 10:23 on Saturday, April 14th.

Soon I will clear up the bottles, rinse the plates. Put the piles of clothes away. Dust. Tidy. Sort. But in this moment, my fingers whisper over the keys, and I want to capture this peace of my life. After weeks of self-doubt, teary breakdowns, and contemplating relationships and their continual backwards-forwards-slip-sliding, things are quiet. Calm. Right. 10:25 on Saturday, April 14th.

I've realized that I'm sensitive to relationship movement. That as I get older, I have a sharper eye on what is happening around me, the way the puzzle fragments are fitting, then breaking, then fitting again. But what I'm just starting to grasp is that things work out the way they should. There is a plan. The universe is orderly, and no matter how much I fret, it will all be strange and beautiful and challenging anyway. That is the way. Whether I like it or not. 10:27 on Saturday, April 14th.

So before I get up, become the helpful, thoughtful wife who caters to her sick husband, tidies the house, brings wine to evening parties with friends, and feeds my fluffballs; I need to remember that there is one plan. It's not always mine. Don't overthink, don't plan, today is enough- tomorrow will be too.

10:29 on Saturday, April 14th.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Three Planes

Three planes from the National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.
June, 2011


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten Things Tuesday

1) It is definitely fourth quarter. My students are losing their minds, and slowly taking mine with them. Today one of my students told me "this is boring, so I'm not going to take the notes." I told him I didn't realize that I was a clown here for his entertainment. F*(&*%*&^%. Pray for my patience.

2) Speaking of patience, I got on the scale today and saw a number I haven't seen since my senior year of college. I'm hoping it's just a residual chocolate bunny hangover. I'll be at the gym.....forever.

3) In my eighth grade Language Arts class, we are starting to read one of my all time favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. The students' incredulity over Jim Crow laws and Emmitt Till gave me great hope that we're moving in the right direction, even though I know we still have a long way to go.

4) I love going to the grocery store. I went this morning for some school day lunch staples, and it took me to a happy place. It's like a scavenger hunt for grownups. Especially when you have exactly 8 minutes to shop, thanks to leaving the house later than planned.

5) The temperature dropped this week, but due to the unseasonably warm temperatures a few weeks ago, all of the May plants are blooming over a month early. It smells like spring but feels like winter outside. How bizarre.

6) Does anybody have any cures for making blisters heal faster? After running outside during the faux summer a few weeks ago, my feet are still torn up. Such little things take so LONG to heal. Leave a comment with help. My tootsies will thank you.

7) Kev is off of work this week after finishing his last two weeks at his old job and before starting his new one. In the five years we've been together, he's never had a week off with no agenda. He keeps proclaiming it WEEK OF KEVIN with fist pumps. Watching him navigate so much free time is like watching a recently released baby penguin explore the wild. I shall keep you posted.

8) One of the worst things about moving out of a neighborhood is being farther away from your former favorite places. Tonight we are meeting some friends at a place we used to go to at least biweekly, and I can't wait. If they've changed the menu, I'm going to be VERY upset. Huzzah.

9) On second thought, I hope they only serve hummus and carrots (see #2 today). My pants would thank them.

10) I'm glad I'm back on the blogging train. I missed these brain dumps. Thanks for sticking with me :)

What's on your mind today?

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Wife, New Life

I admit, part of the reason that my blog posts have been a bit...ahem...sparse lately is due to the fact that Kev and I have been in a rough patch lately. At least weekly for the past few weeks, we had been getting in fights. Like most couples, it was all about the same damn things, too. Who does what for the other, who communicates, whose family gets more time around the holidays. Stupid, stupid stuff.

The worst part about fighting with Kev is that he's so much a part of who I am. We've known each other for almost half my life, and we've loved many different incarnations of each other. My prep phase, his poncho and long hair phase. His cocky soccer phase, my close-knit roll with my girls phase. We've helped each other learn how to be adults, and we've supported one another through some really cockamamy ideas, but we still manage to love through it all. So when we fight, it feels like I'm just fighting with myself. His words cut deeper than other people's do, because his opinions and feelings are so much more important to me. And so much truer.

While things weren't great, I think this weekend really helped us to turn the corner. We spent time with both of our families, the weather was gorgeous, we spent some quiet time at church, and we visited two friends with babies- a six week old and a two day old. Somewhere in the middle of all the trees blooming, powdery fresh babies, and the faces of other people who have loved me a long time, I realized we are going to be okay.

Yes, we fight. But we also clear the air, and as we get older we are getting much better at fighting TOWARD something; in other words, having an outcome of our fights. Maybe right now, we need the raised voices as a crutch to solving problems in our relationship, but hopefully someday we will get to a point where we fight less and talk more. Yes, we aren't perfect. But we are perfect for each other. I'd rather spend the rest of my life fighting and sometimes running in circles with that man than with any other person in the world.

Surrounded by all those brand new things, I realized that even when things look bad, angry, and dry, something new is popping up beneath the surface. A pregnant friend becomes a beaming mother. A pile of woodchips becomes a tulip bed. Empty baskets become filled with treats. Beneath these tired phrases and cutting words, something good and true is building in our relationship. All of these fresh new beginnings are reminders that underneath it all is a man who loves me and wants us to be the best we can be. Even though we travel down different roads, our destination is the same.

Thanks, Spring

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Break Wrap-Up

The Plan: To attack the epic piles of grading that come with the end of another quarter at school, and to work ahead on my April plans and activities.
The Truth: I never even took my basket out of the car. Instead, I slept in, lounged around, and buried my head in the sand-ostrich style.

The Plan: To get in some good, blood pumping workouts, and stretch them from 45 minutes to an hour because I had the time to do so.
The Truth: I only got three workouts in on my ten days off, and two of them were all halfhearted twenty minute routines on my living room floor. The third, with Trainer Thwomp, happened 45 minutes after I fell down my back, wooden stairs, bruising myself so badly in the process that I now look like I have a plum growing out of my behind. You're welcome for that mental picture.

The Plan: To change my name on my passport- the last remaining legal document with my maiden name- and to book hotels for the first half of our summer Peru trip.
The Truth: A very successful acquisition of a Groupon for five nights of luxury hotels. A very unsuccessful halfhearted gathering of the required paperwork for said passport.

The Plan: To clean my entire house at a leisurely pace, one room at a time.
The Truth: I sat on my leisurely behind, taking one, if not two, naps a day.

The Plan: To catch up on my reading backlog and to see The Hunger Games Movie.
The Truth: Success! I saw the movie twice, and read not one, not two, but three books! Stay tuned for some thoughts in this week's Friday Reads post. (Yes, I'm getting back on the blogging backwagon)

The Plan: was extensive, beautifully written on legal paper. It even accommodated for some of my weaknesses, like books and napping.
The Truth: They say that the road to Hades is paved with good intentions. If so, mine is paved with that new, super smooth low-maintenance-high-tech stuff they are using in Wisconsin. A major theme of this blog, and a major fault of mine, is making promises that don't always get kept. When I was younger, I thought being an adult meant having it under control and acquiring some amazing ability to organize. The truth is that I'm still a child in many ways. I want to be the kind of person that can be counted on; someone that Kev can trust to get things done the right way. The truth is that I still struggle. I can still do better. There is certainly room for improvement when it comes to my procrastination.

Yet I can't help but cut myself some slack, too. I'm beginning to realize that it isn't any easier to balance and to fight your feelings as you get older. What does get easier is anticipating what you need, and advocating for yourself. I think I'll always be fighting the procrastination beast, but I've also learned to listen, to trust myself more. When the voice in my soul asks for a second nap, I have to acquiesce. Maybe it's my body asking for some time to rest in order to fight an RA flare. Maybe it's my independent self, asking for some unscheduled me time. Maybe it's nose-in-a-book Nicole, the fourth grader who used to tune out her siblings and lose herself in stories on her way to church. The house will always get clean, the gym isn't going anywhere, but what I will remember as I get older are the moments that I really stopped and listened to myself with trust. So I guess I can't get too mad.

Even though Kev has next week off and will undoubtedly make me look bad with his productivity.