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2015 Wrap-Up

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008   As always, inspired by the always inspiring Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? I made a male decision. I know how silly that sounds, but Jennifer Lawrence wrote this amazing piece for Lenny about how (once she discovered how much less she was making than her male costars) she decided to negotiate like a man. I really took that to heart and when an opportunity came up, I answered like a guy would. I remember being afraid and freed by it. And while it didn’t materialize into anything, it made me realize that I can. I can advocate for myself. In fact, I SHOULD.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yeah, um, 2015 was just a Year of Getting By. There were some great, happy accidents that happened, but for the most part? We were just thrilled to call this year DONE. I don’t even think I made resolutions for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Shit. I hate this question. Because, yeah, probably? Maybe? You guys, I can’t remember what I wore last week, much less who gave birth 11 months ago. But I will say that we’ve got a lot of babies coming at work VERY soon, and I am over-the-moon excited about it.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I always hate this question, because I feel like I should know this off the top of my head. I attended no funerals.

5. What countries did you visit? No countries. Not yet.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Balls. I wouldn’t say I lacked balls in 2015, but I think it’s time for me to man up and take control of things.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February, I got a new job title at work – one that I’d wanted for awhile. March & April were traveling like a mad woman. May was Mac’s first birthday, and June brought Jack a learner’s permit. July was when Bryan went back in to teaching. October was a fantastic family vacation followed by a trip to L.A. to shoot a national commercial, but then brought sadness when we lost Belle. Tony got his yellow belt in November.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? It got me absolutely nowhere, but exercising my political rights was a really, really big thing for me this year. Tony’s school moved to a building across the street from a women’s clinic, and when the protesters lost their right to protest directly in front of the school, they moved to our school grounds. I took up a flag (supported by a great group of school parents) and sought help from every avenue we had. It was stressful and exhausting and ultimately pointless in the end, but I felt like I had to do SOMETHING.

9. What was your biggest failure? School, or my lack thereof. My one semester off to have a baby turned into two semesters and then three, and now I just need to do it. God, I don’t want to. Like, at all. I just want some accredited college to gift me a Bachelor’s Degree of Hard Knocks and let’s call it a day. But I need to. I know that. – from 2014, but it’s still true. And 2016 looks like a prime year to fix that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope! I mean, outside of the occasional cold or flu-like thing. I did have some ear infections this year and HOO BUDDY those things are awful! No wonder the kids go nuts when they have them! But we were fairly okay this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought? On a whim, I bought a glamour session from Bookout Studios. It is the most vain thing I’ve ever done, and the money I spent on three pictures is OBSCENE, but you know? I would do it again in a heartbeat. I went in feeling so run down and exhausted and overwhelmed and then to see the pictures? I’m like, damn, woman.. you’re a hottie.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Tony. TOOOOONY. Tony is the best kid to ever walk the earth – seriously, the child is amazing – and he often gets the shaft because Vinnie takes up every single ounce of attention that we can muster. Not only does Tony never, ever complain about it, but he still keeps straight As in school and is thriving in karate. The kid is an amazing big brother to Vinnie (and little brother to Jack) and I just love him to pieces.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Humanity’s, really. Several times this year, I have come this*close to deleting all social media from my phone (which would be my lifeline because I don’t use a computer outside of work) because I am just so DISAPPOINTED IN US as a species. I have a feeling that’s going to get worse before it gets better. Those happy little compilations of “21 Times 2015 Was Awesome” are worth their weight in GOLD because it masks the 38u739782frillion other times we were just total douche-canoes.

14. Where did most of your money go? The usual – daycare, mortgage, cars.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Washington DC. I was lucky enough to go a few times this year, and I just love that city so much. Like, really really.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015? “Watch Me (Silento)”  That damn Whip/Nae Nae song haunts my dreams.

17. Compared to this time last year: a) better hair or worse hair? b) more organized or less organized? I decided last June (2014) to not cut my hair until SLS launches, so it’s just longer, but the same fierce red. I love it. And organization is definitely still on point. I may drop the occasional ball, but I catch the eggs, damnit.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Budgeting. You know how some people have a brown thumb, and can’t keep ANYTHING alive? Like, even succulents and cacti die in their care? That’s me with a budget. There’s got to be a better way for us to keep ahead of our money, but I’ll be damned if I’ve found it yet.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Pointing fingers. It’s incredibly easy for me to blame someone else for something terrible that happens. It doesn’t solve anything and doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m working on it.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Trying to predict whether or not we’d have to evacuate due to local flooding. Our area got 6+” in a matter of hours. It was a mess around these parts!

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? I hate this question.

22.What was your favorite tv program? This is the year I fell in love with Doctor Who. Like, I’m ALL IN. I’m realizing the joy of being part of a fandom and I’m just all about it.

24. What was the best book you read? I’ve given up on reading books. It makes me sad and makes me feel.. uneducated, to be honest, but I just don’t have the time or attention span. Now, I’ve learned that this doesn’t mean I don’t read – quite the opposite. I read a LOT. More than most folks I know. It’s just all online news. I read TONS of online research and articles and I feel just as smart as the rest of y’all.

25. What was your greatest food discovery? Turkey necks. Actually, my greatest discovery was to travel a lot and ask the server what they recommend. Usually, I would even phrase it with “If you had to pick your last meal from this menu, what would you have?” It’s almost always something that I would never have picked on my own, and very rarely has it let me down. I love food. Oh, also, wine. I’m a wine drinker now.

26. What did you want and get? A (generally) happy year and a (mostly) healthy family.

27. What did you want and not get? Unanswered prayers and all that.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Snowpiercer, which was the weirdest, most cult-ish flick I’ve seen in ages and I loved it so so much. (If you watch it based on this alone, please.. well, I’m sorry.) Also, I can’t remember any single movie I’ve watched. OOOH, WAIT, THE MARTIAN. Such a good movie! Saw it twice!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 35 and was treated like a queen both at work and at Bridge Street later with the family. We rode the carousel, the train, and threw coins in the fountain.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I honestly wish I had written more. I need to get back to that.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? I actually made a big step and simplified my wardrobe. I have six or so pairs of black pants, about as many white tops, and tons of blazers and cardigans. So 99% of my wardrobe is already chosen. It’s made life SO much easier.

32. What kept you sane? My husband. My work family. My kids. (Note: these things often also kept me INsane a lot as well.)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I already mentioned Lenny, the new online magazine founded in part by Lena Dunham. It’s introduced me to tons of powerful women who all have tons of goodies to share. I’ve been really impressed by female stars who are starting to not accept the status quo – folks like Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, and the always great Fey/Poehler duo.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The refugee crisis is something I still have to be careful about exposure to. It eats me alive. So many children are in a bad, bad way and we’re arguing about helping them. I don’t get that. Maybe my world view is too naive, but I just don’t understand. We have enough to help. Why wouldn’t we?

35. Who did you miss? I missed YOU. I missed being able to come here with no bra on and three day old hair and you’d be here, happy to have me. Man, I missed y’all. Can we FIX that this year?

36. Who was the best new person you met? On top of a really terrible memory, I also have this thing where if I like you, it feels like I’ve known you forever. So if I met you this year, but I couldn’t recall you specifically now, it’s because you’re already family to me.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. The only thing standing between you and your goals is that bullshit story you keep telling yourself. Change your story.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.“Witches can be right. Giants can be good. You decide what’s right. You decide what’s good.” – Into the Woods

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2014 Wrap-Up

2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008   As always, inspired by the always inspiring Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? I had a kid start high school, first grade, and preschool, all on the same day. I was chosen to attend a professional conference. OOOH – I rode in a taxi! And then later that trip, hailed one myself. I went through a toll booth. I used valet parking. I cried at work (a lot), but for the first time, it was out of love for the folks I work with. I saw a launch, and felt the ground shake. I got to give my husband a glimpse into the super cool world of what I do.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? As awesome as 2014 was, there was a lot that I planned to do that just didn’t happen. I think I shot too high and then pushed too far, and something had to give. I have plans for 2015, but nothing seriously concrete: 2015 is just the Year of Me.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? MY SISTER DID! And y’all, I had never understood the love for a niece or a nephew, but WHEW BUDDY is that stuff made of steel! (Also, look at this picture of her and her husband WHILE SHE IS HAVING HER C-SECTION. Are they not so gorgeous that you want to hate them?) Baby Mac is just THE CUTEST baby and I’m so glad he’s with us.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I always hate this question, because I feel like I should know this off the top of my head. I attended no funerals, although I had several friends pass.

5. What countries did you visit? None outside of the contiguous USofA, but I did travel quite a bit this year! I’d like to continue that trend. Turns out, I really kind of like it! (Except for a fantastic beach vacation, it was all work travel, which – for whatever reason – I find WAY less stressful.)

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Pardon me for further implanting the earworm that hijacked so many of us in 2014, but I wish I could have – in the immortal words of Queen Elsa – Let it go a bit more this year. It’s only taken 35 years, but I’m starting to loosen my grip on things and let others take control. (Starting to. But I plan to work on that this year.)

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? May 8th, Mac joined us. June 7th, Vinnie celebrated his first year on Earth. Mid-July, we took a group of interns for an overnight trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. (And got them all back, virtually unscathed!) August began a very rough season at work, a time of downsizing and uncertainty. Halloween, when I kicked off a program review with a table full of fully-dressed characters, chaired by the Wicked Witch and a reluctant Cat in the Hat. December 5th, when Orion launched on top of a Delta Heavy and we realized that we really are doing this thing.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? PARENTING VINNIE. OH MY GOD, Y’ALL. Okay, look. He is a SWEET kid. No question. Gigantic heart. But EVERYTHING. Everything about him is gigantic. He’s larger than life. He tests boundaries just because. He does things that are confounding and frustrating and hilarious and it’s EXHAUSTING. You cannot leave him alone, not even to pee. It is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (And he’s a HAPPY baby. I cannot imagine this with an unhappy baby.) I love him to the moon and back, but MY LORD, KID. YOU MAKE MOMMA SO TIRED.

9. What was your biggest failure? School, or my lack thereof. My one semester off to have a baby turned into two semesters and then three, and now I just need to do it. God, I don’t want to. Like, at all. I just want some accredited college to gift me a Bachelor’s Degree of Hard Knocks and let’s call it a day. But I need to. I know that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Actually, this year (FRANTICALLY KNOCKING ON ALL WOODEN THINGS) was not so bad. We had the basics, usually centering around allergies, but nothing awful here in Chez Brown-Comer. The worst thing I think I dealt with was/is Vinnie’s eczema. Poor baby – it is SUCH an awful thing. (It doesn’t phase him in the slightest, but it does give him the look of a leper.)

11. What was the best thing you bought? So incredibly disappointing, but – a baby gate. We bought and installed a permanent gate that blocks the kitchen off from the rest of the house. THIS HAS MADE OUR LIVES SO MUCH BETTER. The dogs have access to a doggie door from the kitchen, so we can lock them in the linoleum area at night, saving our couches and living room from (even more) hair, mud, fur, blood, squirrel carcasses, what have you. Not only that, but it helps to corral DangerMouse.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? So I’ve been remiss to discuss this because 1) it’s not my story to tell and 2) survivor’s guilt, but you know? Lemme tell you about Hugo. If we’re Facebook friends or Twitter friends, you already know about Hugo. Hugo and Vinnie were born two days apart, and on Vinnie’s first birthday, Hugo’s mom took him to the doctor because of an abnormality. Then it became a tumor. Then it was diagnosed as a very rare pediatric cancer. With a marginally small chance of survival. Hugo’s mom, Marianne, has been the most courageous, strong, honest, dynamic and graceful mothers I’ve ever witnessed in the face of all of this. She has navigated difficult medical terrain and god, let’s not even mention the emotional stress, and .. I just feel like none of this does her justice. It’s been a stark reveal of the world of pediatric cancer that Marianne and I would late-night tweet eachother during midnight feeding sessions when the boys were babies, and now she often sleeps in a hospital room, next to Hugo’s crib. But you know? He’s done it. He’s beaten the odds, and the tumor was found dead. He’s finishing up his final few rounds of chemo – but blessedly spending the holiday home with his family – and soon we’ll all be able to look back and say, “We knew he was a miracle from the beginning.” #GoHugo

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Every year, the answer to this is politics-based, and this year would be no different. The recent events in New York and Ferguson, alongside the tragic loss of Leelah Alcorn, have brought to light that we can’t remain silent anymore. This sums it up nicely for me, and I have a year to dig my heels in and make it happen.

14. Where did most of your money go? The usual – daycare, mortgage, cars.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Okay, so. When I started in the space business back in 2007, there was a guy that REALLY got under my skin. A lot. But he was a manager, and I was not, so I knew my pecking order. We butted heads – a LOT. When I left the company and then subsequently came back, I saw him randomly in a parking lot, and was surprised at how cordial he was. Well, it’s now been seven years of us working together. We spend a lot of time working together now. I can’t speak for him, obviously, but I AM GONNA TRY. In our weekly program review, he surprised me with a recognition event, where we named some folks on the program who were named Space Flight Awareness Honorees. Well, I was one of them! I was SO blown away. And when I went up to get my certificate, he got choked up. As did I. It just .. it was a really, really nice memory for me. (And going to see the launch was awesome too!)

16. What song will always remind you of 2014? “All About that Bass”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising. I am THE WORST at making time for myself.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Grinding my teeth. Um, it turns out that your teeth don’t hold up well to that over time.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Wanna hear how stupid we were? We stayed up, on Christmas Eve, WATCHING THE INTERNSHIP FROM START TO FINISH BEFORE WE EVER STARTED GETTING STUFF DONE. Yes, that horrible movie with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. (It was not THAT bad, but we got to bed around midnight as a result.)

21. Did you fall in love in 2014? Why? What did you hear? Wasn’t me.

22. What was your favorite TV program? We don’t have many shows that we watch religiously, but a couple of them are The Blacklist (my husband looks remarkably like James Spader), Hannibal, Banshee, True Detective, and Downton Abbey.

23. This question has been deleted (2010). 

24. What was the best book you read? So, I’ve just come to accept that I don’t read books. I just don’t. I read – a LOT – but it’s all internet stuff, journalism and news stories or space industry gobbledegook, never a hardcover fiction book. I did listen to Gaiman’s American Gods which was a fantastic audiobook, and I heard the second half of Stephen King’s Revival as we drove back from Florida, and I also can highly recommend Amy Poehler’s narration of Yes Please, which is fantastic because Amy reads like she writes, so it’s like hanging out in her living room.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I don’t .. yeah, I don’t really listen to music much anymore. It’s usually NPR in my car, which – NPR, guys! Have you heard of this? It’s brilliant radio! You guys, you HAVE to start listening to this. TED Talks, Ask Me Another, Tech Nation, State of the (Re)Union – so, so good. AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON SERIAL. (Team Adnan forever.)

26. What did you want and get? A very fantastic year at work.

27. What did you want and not get? Unanswered prayers and all that.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I should tell you now that I haven’t been to a movie theatre in maybe over a year. I just .. it’s so much time and usually involves paying a babysitter, and my ONLY regret in this regard was not seeing Interstellar on the big screen. I mean – COME ON, THAT MOVIE IS MADE FOR ME. But anyway, of what I saw at home (which probably means y’all all saw it last year) that I liked was Her, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Dallas Buyers Club, Side Effects, and Lars and the Real Girl. Also, we’ve gotten hooked on this BBC series Black Mirror, which is SUCH a great (but entirely too short!) series on Netflix. (Um, just hang on past the first episode. Promise.)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 34 and I don’t remember. (This is not a testament to anything; I can’t remember what I did last week.)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I honestly wish I had written more. I need to get back to that.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? A firm mix of “How X do they feel this XL is?” combined with “Which bodily fluid do we think that is right there? And from which child?”

32. What kept you sane? My husband. My work family. My kids. (Note: these things often also kept me INsane a lot as well.)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Can we just talk about this for a minute?

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I haven’t had the words to talk about it. And I most likely don’t know. But this year, we lost two of my childhood loves – Harold Ramis and Robin Williams. The former was taken from us much too soon from an autoimmune deficiency. The latter we lost because we failed him. I firmly believe what made Robin such an amazing performer, the kind of performer that makes you stop and hold your breath, was that he was an empathic person. He was able to channel much more effectively the emotions that made him so captivating and dynamic. But that also meant he felt more deeply. And that’s a slippery slope. And I don’t know how we could’ve saved him, but I see his eyes in the eyes of my boys and I think, “We’re just not done yet. We have so much more to do.” Let’s be kinder to each other in 2015, yes?

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Empathy. Or the lack thereof, more specifically. It’s not bound to one specific issue, not instrumental to one platform, but it’s creeping over our society like kudzu, and just as lethal. This year, I have felt more “hippy dippy liberal” than I probably ever have. Because I don’t know when we stopped looking at each other like people, and I am so so so worried that I have children I’m sending out into that wasteland.

35. Who did you miss? I missed YOU. I missed being able to come here with no bra on and three day old hair and you’d be here, happy to have me. Man, I missed y’all. Can we FIX that this year?

36. Who was the best new person you met? Have I mentioned my adorable nephew?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. “Just because you can laugh doesn’t mean you don’t understand the truth. Truth is often carried by the jester.”

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.“You can be amazing; you can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug. You can be an outcast, and feel the backlash of somebody’s lack of love. Or you could start speaking up.” – Sara Bareilles, Brave

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Looking Ahead at 2015

I know that it’s kind of insane to think that someone may have made their New Year’s Resolutions before Christmas even hits, but you know what? I’m just a Virgo. I’m all about that pace, bout that pace, no waiting.

(.. I really and truly started a parody for my team to sing – “All About that Space” — no tribbles! — and then I realized 1) how many words there are and 2) how long that song truly is.)

For 2015, my resolutions are:

Spoil. Myself. Rotten.

The end.

No, really, that’s it. And I feel guilty saying that, typing that, even thinking it causes me to shrink out of pure guilt and selfishness. But all of my New Year’s Resolutions – every single year – are about trying to take time for things. Things for me, things for others, what have you. And I make the time for others. I make sure the kids all get quality one-on-one time with me, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I make sure that lunches get made, that groceries are bought and dinners cooked, I make sure that there are clean clothes put away. My clothes sit in a heap on a chair in my room. They are unironed, most of them don’t fit, and they are cheap and threadbare. I feel guilty when I do grocery shopping and I buy something that only I’ll eat. Be it eggs or hummus or just healthier food than the other 4/5 of the house will eat, I feel guilty. I feel guilty if I take time to read a book on my own, or if I leave the kids with Bryan so I can go run. As a result, I’ve read exactly none books this year and have run maybe a handful of miles.

Next year, I’ll turn 35. I’m not good at math, but I think that pretty much plops me down in MIDLIFE category. And although I love my life and it doesn’t AT ALL resemble the me I thought I’d be at 35 (I have three more kids than I planned to have and also, although I’ll be eligible to run for the American presidency next year, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards), I’d like to make a few changes.

I’d like to take more baths. Long, hot baths with bath bombs and champagne. I’d like to run three times a week, and not feel bad about leaving my house. I’d like to buy clothes that fit and make me look good. I’d like to get back into working out with friends. I’d like to feel more badass. I’d like to read books, but only books that I enjoy, so I’d like to not feel guilty when I abandon a book because I am not enjoying it. I’d like to laugh so hard that it hurts my side at least once a week, if not more often. I’d like to look at my kids and feel overwhelmed at how amazing they are, and not feel like I’m failing them terribly with every decision I make. I’d like to get back into college, but a college that makes sense for me and my schedule and my life. I’d like to find a renewed sense of purpose at work. I’d like to volunteer in the community more than I do. I’d like to Shop Local more often. I’d like to start a new Pandora bracelet that has charms on it that mean something to me. I’d like to learn to play an instrument, or speak a new language, or do something that engages that side of my brain. I’d like to stop grinding my teeth at night. I’d like to learn more about bourbon (I really like bourbon). I’d like to get more family memberships to places we should be visiting on a regular basis. I’d like to get magazine subscriptions, because I can digest a magazine in a reasonable timeframe. I’d like to mentor more, and be mentored more.

I’d like to enter 35 with a confetti cannon, not with my nails clawing desperately away at my youth. I’d like to celebrate with a chorus line, not a visitation on the days I’ve let slip by.

So 2015 is the year I’d like to spend on things I’d like to be doing.

I think 2015 is going to rock.

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When You Are Your Own Worst Enemy

(Alternate Title: You Know, Like You Always Are)

I decided that my July challenge was necessary because I had been feeling really blah about myself lately. Understandably: my baby was now one (there is no more margin for forgiveness of “I’ve just had a baby!”), I was still having to buy clothes in sizes much bigger than my pre-maternity wardrobe (which sits mournfully in Rubbermaid totes in my garage, and I no kidding visit it from time to time, pulling out clothes with whimsy and longing, and sigh over what I once was), and you know, it’s summer. While I’ve never ever felt especially slender or lithe, summer just brings the realization that Oh, honey, lithe should not even be in your vocabulary.

I realized, though, that I may be a bit hard on myself.

The first event was when I sent Bryan to pick up a tshirt for me. Our city was having their annual LGBT Pride parade and I really, really wanted a tshirt (even though I couldn’t attend). I asked him to pick up an XL for me, because that’s what I’m comfortable in. They only had Larges when he got there, so he told the vendor, “Well, I guess I’ll have to lose some weight to wear this, huh?” I heard Bryan retelling this story at a family gathering and my ears heard, “Well, my wife will have to lose some weight to wear this, won’t she?”

HE DID NOT SAY THAT. My mind twisted the words around and my heart broke. I whipped around with tears in my eyes and my whole family jumped to defend Bryan and talk me down.

Why did my mind hear that?

Then I had a dream a couple of nights later. Preface: we’ve been catching up on all four seasons of Game of Thrones (so, so good). I dreamed that I was a girl in Littlefinger’s (Lord Bayelish) brothel. Except my mind couldn’t quite make the jump to what Littlefinger looked like, so my pimp was this guy:

That’s right: my pimp was The Old One in the Backstreet Boys. (I’m sure he has a name.)

So, as if that’s not ridiculous enough – which, come on, right? Backstreet’s back, alright! – I was lined up with the other girls when a guy came in looking for a good time, and Old Dude was all, “Please, help yourself to whatever strikes your fancy.”

The guy glanced my way, and Backstreet said, “Oh, no, not that one. She’s our heavyweight. She’s only good for breeding.”

OH MY EFFING GOODNESS.

My psyche is so terrible to me! Why do we do that to ourselves?

HE’S A FREAKING BACKSTREET BOY, FOR PETE’S SAKE.

Anyway. In other news, I’m doing well on my challenge. I haven’t had any soda, only water and coffee (and occasionally coconut water) and unsweet tea. Turns out I rather hate unsweet tea, so I’ve only had that once or twice. I’ve eaten really, really clean. I haven’t noticed any difference at all anywhere – mentally or physically – but I’m sticking to my guns. (I’ve always gathered that it takes two weeks for any change to cycle through anyway.)

Also, I wore a bathing suit this past weekend. I debated not doing it, because ugh right?, but I wanted to say that I spent the weekend with my kids enjoying the holiday. So we did. No one (outside of my head) said a word to me about looking like a beached whale. Because I am – BY FAR – my own worst enemy.

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So I Can Do Anything for Thirty Days

Man, I owe y’all an update. I have a million posts that run through my head on a daily basis – in the car as I drive, at night when I can’t sleep, in the early morning hours when I’m the only one up.

Really, I owe you a post about Vinnie’s one year birthday. The child turned one year old on June 7th (which is several weeks ago, mind you) and NOTHING. In fact, even Bryan asked me that night, “Hey, um, do you even write on your blog anymore? What about for a birthday? I kind of miss reading your stuff.”

That’s really sweet, honey. And I should write about that child. And I will. Soon.

But I have this thing that if I don’t get down on paper, if I don’t make it public and make myself publicly accountable for it, I will ignore the thought and the conviction and everything else that is good behind it.

In July, I’m revamping my life.

Just one month. Thirty days. I need a jump start, and I no longer have the “I just had a baby” excuse.

So! ::clap clap:: For the month of July, I am exercising self-care by:

  • Drinking only coffee (one cup a day, with coconut oil and one packet of sweetener), water, and unsweet tea (with no sweetener)
  • Starting a finishing a book (and I am taking recommendations!)
  • Reading every night with Tony (we started The BFG last week)
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, every day
  • Sticking as close to “clean eating” as is realistic
  • Going to bed when I’m tired

Pretty easy, right? Thirty days! That’s it!

I have had BABIES. I can do ANYTHING for thirty days.

A friend that I went to school with is now a BeachBody coach and she’s invited me to a Facebook group that shares clean recipes, grocery lists, meal plan ideas, and whatnot. It’s actually been a really great reminder that normal people can accomplish this. (Also – has anyone tried Shakeology? I’ve been using Isagenix for the last month for my breakfast, but I’m wondering if I should take the plunge.)(I do really like Isagenix, if you were curious.)

If any of you have any hints, cookbooks, what have you on clean eating for a normal person/family chef, I’m all ears!

Okay, also – I have a business trip mid July, so I’m saying that I may drink something other than coffee or water or unsweet tea on said trip. But I will make a concerted effort to eat clean! (New Orleans, man. You gotta have a hurricane.)(Or four.)

But that’s my plan. Thirty days, with a major kick to my own ass.

(NO ONE TELL ME THAT JULY HAS 31 DAYS. I AM IGNORING THAT.)

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