Archive | January, 2011

From the Other Side

You probably noticed (or you didn’t, and you know what? I hate you, too) that I’ve been absent.  I was pretty absent from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc for the duration of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  And?  It was actually kind of lovely.

Friday morning, I got up at ASS-CRACK OF DAWN to get ready for the big day: submittal.  I don’t talk about work and all that other crap that I always say, but the big project that’s been sucking me dry finally came to fruition on Friday morning, leaving our doorstep around 7:00 a.m., and it was glorious to have it gone.  My boss and I sat there, proudly staring at these rather cold-looking boxes of paper and he said, “Well, Sarah, it’s like we’ve birthed a baby together.”  I told him it was ALMOST as painful, but just to take my word that it wasn’t quite as fun as birthing a baby.

Counting the Boxes (AGAIN)

After a morning of hanging around with giddy people who are suddenly free from the shackles of our proposal center, I joined my husband for a lunch date in Florence, Alabama.  I had never been to Florence, and he had some work stuff to do out there, so there we were.  And we had, literally, the most disgusting and foul meal I’ve had in YEARS.

I wish I was exaggerating.  But the vile nature of that meal seriously stuck with us all weekend, tweeking our tastebuds so that every bite thereafter was met with FEAR.  So, so bad.

But still!  I was out!  In DAYLIGHT! I felt both exhilirated and nervous at the same time, as if I had suddenly forgotten how to be with other people.  What do people TALK about in real life?  We both just stared off into the distance over the other’s right shoulder and wondered about the tables around us.  What are they talking about?  Was their food this awful?  Why is no one spontaneously vomiting right now?

Saturday was a gift of immeasurable proportions.  The boys all rose in a great mood, and the weather — I shit you not — was a balmy 71°.  Gorgeous streams of sunshine and a light breeze and suddenly, we were all STRIP YOUR CLOTHES OFF AND BRING OUT THE SUNTAN LOTION CAUSE IT’S OUTSIDE TIME! and we did just that, heading to our local mountain park for a picnic and a romp on the huge playfort up there.

My Daredevils

It was also an odd thing for me to be home with the boys, both of whom seemed to have grown years in the short time I was working.  Jack suddenly is .. well, there is another conversation entirely to be had about Jack, what with his sudden fascination of girls and his randomly baritone vocals.  Tony’s vocabulary blossomed, and he stuck to me like glue all weekend, showering me with random kisses – both traditional and eskimo – and hugs to show me how missed I truly was.

At the playground, I had another Marlin moment as Tony begged over and over again to climb a ribcage-like ladder to the upper level of the playfort.  I thought the rungs were spaced too far apart for him to traverse it safely and would find other ways to get there. (“See, Tony?  Here’s some .. Adventure Stairs!  See how adventuresome this wheelchair accessible ramp is?”) Finally, I realized I was all  You think you can do these things, but you CAN’T, Nemo! and said, “Alright, Tone.  You think you can climb it?  Go ahead.” (As I nervously hovered, hands outstretched from a non-hovering distance.)(Okay, they were RIGHT UNDER HIM THE WHOLE TIME BECAUSE MY BABEH!)

This child, showing that he may have 99% of his father’s genes, got halfway up and said, “See, Momma?  I TOLD YOU I CAN DO IT.”  And he did.  About six times, without needing assistance from me, ever.  Although my heart caught in my throat every time.  And, of course, the seventh time, I relaxed and kept a five foot distance from him.  That’s when he misstepped, as if you didn’t see this coming, and caught his jaw on a rung on his way down.

Bleeding and shaken, I took him to a bench to clean him up.  I swallowed my I told you so reaction (clearly, the 1% the child did get from me) and instead said, “I’m very proud of you for trying that, by the way.  Very proud.”

He nodded, tears spilling over his chipmunk cheeks.  “Stuff happens,” he said between sobs.  Alright, 2% from me.  He’s adopted my language skills as well.

“That’s right,” I said.  “Stuff happens, but you tried.  And I’m very proud of you.”

“I just need to do it,” he said, looking over his shoulder.

“.. what?” I asked.  Oh, Jesus God, if he’s gotten this resillience from his father too, I swear I’ll..

“I need to do it again, Momma.  I not fall this time.”  Well, shit.  CURSE YOU, BRYAN.

And he didn’t.  He made it to the top not only that way, but many others.  He played with kids twice his size, not realizing that they could be bullies or that they might push him down or at the very least play too rough.  He came down slides that were entirely too fast and too curvy and he skitted down a rock-climbing wall that’s made for children at least three years older than himself.

As if we’re just shoving our kids down their childhood, Bryan had The Talk with Jack this weekend.  Of course, we had some miscommunication (i.e. HE SAID HE ALREADY HAD THE TALK or something and I wasn’t listening but PROBABLY THE FORMER) about Jack already having had The Talk, so when Jack asked a question concerning maxi pads during America’s Funniest Home videos I answered him clinically and he looked confused and OH GOD, WHY AM I A STEPMOTHER?  I GET IT ALL WRONG. 

So Bryan and he had The Talk because I threatened Bryan within an inch of his life so there’s that and it’s done and I swear, I’m going to talk about ALL VAGINAS ALL THE TIME at our house now.  I figure there is no method of birth control as compelling as always thinking about your stepmom when vaginas are present.

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Moments that Take Your Breath Away (and other cliches)

I had an earlier post.  It is now gone.  No sense in putting the bad vibes out in the universe.

Which, actually, brings me to a point.

I’m clarifying my life.

I’ve spent the last two days cleaning out my feedreader of things that I didn’t read, or didn’t really LOVE reading, or things I only read so I could be in on the drama, and instead filled it with blogs suggested to me on Twitter.  I asked for blogs that were inspiring or beautiful, and boy, did y’all deliver.

I’ve often joked around here as we’ve packed up this project and started to head out that it feels very much like a New Year’s Eve party.  We’re all filled with resolutions (“When this is over, I’ll ::eat better::workout more::read again”), and we look at next Monday, our first non-submittal-driven date, as the start of a new year.

My resolutions are simple: take more time.  For everything.  I’m going to quit saying “no” to invitations out and about.  I will walk the dog.  Take the kids to a playground.  Take more time for my marriage.  Take more time for me.

A big, surprising start for this has been the 365 Project I’ve been doing.  It forces me to take moments throughout the day and snap photos of them.  Admittedly, some evenings I’m stressed thinking that I didn’t have time to take a picture; somehow, everything always comes together.  They’re not great, frame-worthy snapshots, but they’re my life.  Every single one of them makes me smile.  Which is exactly what is worth spending my time on.

As your moment of beauty today, I bring you a picture of elie saab’s Spring line, courtesy of {this is glamorous}:

I rarely see haute couture that makes me think, “OHmyGOD, I could so rock that!” but this dress?  This color?  Man, it sincerely took my breath away.

Still taking suggestions – any thing on the internet take your breath away lately?

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Let’s Follow Up, Shall We?

I feel like I do the “Stuff I’ve Bought” posts frequently and then I never talk about the products again.  So I thought I’d do a quick follow-up to let you know what I’m STILL using and why.

Yes, I’m still using the Oil Cleansing Method. (Mentioned Here.) I use it nightly and the nights that I don’t (look, sometimes I pass out before I can wash my face, so sue me), I regret it in the morning.  I know that people proclaim great things after using this, but I’ll be perfectly honest: it’s great, but it’s not a transformation or anything.  Of course, I got my lip/eye wax about a week after I started this routine, and I think that majorly upset the balance.   But I still do it because 1) I love using all natural stuff on my face, 2) it REALLY does get off all my makeup including my eye makeup and 3) dude, I have a huge 8 oz container that I haven’t even really put a dent in yet.  Considering I maybe spent $20 on the oils, that’s such a better deal than the half-assed cleanser I was using.

I am still using Wen Cleansing Conditioner. (Mentioned Here.)  I recently purchased the Tea Tree Oil version because I had quite a bit of build-up after using the Sweet Almond Mint for a while.  (If that helps explain life of the product, I received my last 32 oz container in September and just now replaced it.) If you want my honest opinion, I should’ve restocked the Sweet Almond Mint and just added tea tree oil to it; I’m not thrilled with this version at all.  BUT!  Wen really did extend the life of my hair color and also kept my hair manageable between seven months of not seeing a salon.  So while the cost may be off-putting, it saved me at least that much in skipping a salon visit.

I still slather myself with the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion every day.  (Mentioned Here, at my defunct review blog.) I love it so.  Although I love the light moisture that stays around, but not in a greasy, leave-track-marks-on-leather-seats kind of way, my favorite part BY FAR is the scent.  I typically prefer unscented lotions but this one?  Oh.  Wow.  A light gardenia scent that fades to just a floral suggestion is one of my favorite parts of my routine.  This, combined with the Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil, makes me feel like a flower nymph when I leave the house.  You’re welcome.

I still love my Goody Spin Pins(Mentioned Here.) Seriously, I have a set everywhere a hair emergency might take place, including (but not limited to): both bathrooms, my car, my purse, my gym bag, and my desk at work.  I’ve been informed that they may not hold as well in straight/slick hair, but in my hair?  Man, they’re a lifesaver.  I’ll throw my hair in a quick french twist or a sloppy bun or something, screw those babies in, and my hair will hold.  HOLD, Y’ALL.  I’ve even worn them in while running and doing aerobics and they held.  I almost pick up a set every time I go to the grocery store, because I can’t have too many of them.

Dude, I still wear my Vibrams all.the.time. (Mentioned here.) Initially, I was worried about spending that much on shoes (I am not that girl to spend $70 on shoes.. it hurts my heart to do so, really) because my feet usually end up hurting in most shoes and I never wear them enough to get my money’s worth. (In all seriousness, I believe I broke my big toe on my right foot years ago and it never healed right.) But these shoes?  I wear them at least twice a week — to work, actually, which the engineers LOVE — because it makes my alignment BETTER.  Wearing these realigns my body, puts my joints back in place, and with hips as bad as mine?  It’s a necessity.  I have absolutely no complaints about my shoes, but I would like to eventually buy some in black leather just for .. more .. formal occassions.

I think I’ve covered the items that I’m asked most often about, but did I forget one?  Feel free to browse through The Challenge category here and see if you had a follow-up question about an item I’ve skipped.

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Monday Time Suck

I’ve started three different posts today, but none of them are particularly coherent or meaningful. 

One was an award acceptance speech.  Not in purpose, but as the words spilled out, it sounded very much like I am accepting some sort of award.  We’re wrapping up my FINAL proposal over here, a project that has sucked more life out of me than I knew I had.  It’s very much like striking a show, filled with congratulatory handshakes and fond farewells and wondering if the audience really liked it or just clapped because the curtain fell.  That’s where we are now, stuck in some limbo of IT’S DONE! and GOD, I HOPE I GET IT.

The second one was a love letter to my husband, the man I put on the backburner since September.  It was accidental, my shelving of my husband, but I had reached a point where any extra Sarah I had was given to the children, and even that wasn’t a lot.  This weekend, I looked at him and remembered that I am beyond blessed to have him with me, and the fact that he’s shouldered a lot during this time period and complained very little makes him such a keeper.  So, in essence, the second post was almost just a lengthy portion of my acceptance speech.  Just thanked my husband is all.

The third was a very out-of-touch-with-reality post where I am deeply concerned with the welfare of the lady who plays Claire Dunphy on Modern Family.  I mentioned in my last post that she was very obviously wearing a wig in the last episode, and I was right.  She appeared late-night last week with VERY short hair.  Of course, I cannot find a picture now because if you google Julie Bowen (the actress), you will get about a million pictures of her breastfeeding her twins.  Which, SURPRISE, is not really great to pop up on my screen at work.  But even my sister remarked that Julie seems considerably smaller than last season (and I know she had just had the twins last season), but she seems .. really REALLY skinny this season.  So now I’m gravely worried about her and this shouldn’t consume me, but it does, and I geniuinely lay awake at night the other night worrying that she was starving herself or had cancer or something awful.  I just so identify with her character that I would be devestated if something happened.

Completely unrelated, not that anything above was related:

I saw Black Swan over the weekend and although close to 45 people tried to warn me that it was scary, I was not prepared.  As someone who LOVES horror films, I thought I had this one in the bag, but OH MY GOD with the .. STUFF.  I don’t want to give away anything here, but there are three things in life that scare me silly: skin stuff (abrasions, lesions, anything having to do with skin), lady bugs (shut up), and crazy skinny brunettes.  The movie had two out of three IN DROVES, and I was shifty eyed all night, knowing there was obviously a swarm of ladybugs heading my way.  GREAT movie, to be sure, but scary as hell.  Also, at the end, a dude in the front row of the theatre (which, mind you, only had about fifteen people in it, so no front row viewing was necessary) started the SLOW-CLAP as if we would all join in, and then he stood up and remarked LOUDLY to anyone within SHOUTING DISTANCE how STOKED he was about that movie!  THIS IS WHAT MOVIES ARE ABOUT! he shared with us.  WE’LL BE THINKING ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS.  I smiled at him, because hell if I get that jazzed about anything lately, save the venison loin I’d had for dinner about three hours earlier.  Cause that venison?  IS WHAT FOOD WAS ABOUT.

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A Little Bit of Monica in My Life.

I keep trying to come up with some well-composed, concise piece to write here, but y’all, I’m so amazingly tired.  But I feel compelled to write nonetheless.  So .. stream-of-conscious bullets it is!

  • What was UP with Claire Dunphy’s hair in the last Modern Family episode?  Seriously, I’ve seen better, more realistic-looking horsehair on Real Housewives of Atlanta.
  • Also, the scene that the kids walked in on?  Made me uncomfortable.
  • Speaking of hair, I got my hair done last night.  It was incredibly difficult for me to sit still for two hours and not feel like I was ignoring something IMPORTANT, but I lived it up.  Any spa treatment they offered?  Yeah, I took that.  Also, a glass of wine. 
  • Tony has been waking up at 5:15 for the last week or so.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized he was waking up to hang out with me before I left for work.  He was livid when Bryan got up with him yesterday.
  • When I got my hair done yesterday, I got a scalp massage/treatment.  And yes, it was lovely.  But really?  All I could think was, “How lucky am I that my husband does this for me EVERY NIGHT so I can fall asleep?”
  • Seriously.  For at least four years, he’s played with my hair until I fall asleep.
  • I’ve always had a thing for Fabio on Top Chef, but my GOD if I don’t want to sop him up with a biscuit this season on Top Chef All-Stars.  This last week, when he was the front-of-the-house?  Usually the kiss of death to a chef, but he proved his heritage and was a star. (In my opinion, he should’ve won.)
  • Last night’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was an AWFUL finale.  It bordered on Intervention as the show suddenly snapped into focus that some of these women have incredibly dark and crippling addictions.  We all wanted to the hammer to come down on Camille, but she came off almost unscathed in the episode.  SHE WAS THE ONLY ONE.
  • My husband looked at me at 8:45 and said, “Oh, God, we’ve got to watch RHoBH!  The sisters are going to fight!”
  • He was serious, too.
  • On The Office, Dwight, Darryl, and Andy went to a roller skating rink at lunch to “meet single moms”.  ALL THREE OF THEM COULD SKATE.  Like, really well.  I don’t think this is fair.  I clearly was deprived of some crucial training as a child.
  • I think that assholes who cut to the front of the line in traffic (like, “Oh, jeez, THAT’S why you guys were all stopped in this turn lane for several miles?  SO SORRY, LEMME IN FRONT HERE, SORRY FOLKS!”) should have ninja stars tossed at their car.  I am looking for this as a feature in my new car.
  • The snow is making me cry.  I hate snow.  Now.
  • My husband is so full of win because last night (at 10:45 p.m.) I remembered, “Oh, God, I have a flat tire that I forgot to mention.”  I said it almost under my breath because I really just planned to drive to work and then devise a plan at that point.  Instead, Bryan got up, got REDRESSED, went outside in the 23 degree SNOW, and put  a donut on my car.  Not only that, but he beat me up this morning to have the tire replaced at our local shop.  I was actually giggling over this; I am not used to being taken care of.  I have a good one here.
  • Tell me you wouldn’t think having this for dinner would be AWESOME.
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