What 35 Means to Me

In less than a month – on September 3rd, to be exact – I will turn 35 years old. This age used to bear the weight of marking a midlife crisis (or the beginning of one), but now it is merely a point at which I can make declarations about what I will and won’t do for the rest of my life.

I will only wear fun makeup. On one of my recent trips to New Orleans, I knew that the oppressive heat and ridiculous humidity would do no favors to a full face of makeup, so I .. didn’t bring any. And you know what? Not one person mentioned how sick I looked or asked what was wrong or insinuated that I’d given up. Instead, my skin felt better and I got 10 minutes back in my morning.

But I will also take care of my skin. Yeah, well, better late than never. After four months on Rodan + Fields’ Soothe regimen, I’ve started Redefine to help with aging. I’m not really aging, but um, I don’t want to start if I can help it. (Plug: I am a consultant for R+F, so if you’re curious, let me know. I am the LOWEST PRESSURE you’ll ever run into.)

If I’m tired, I will take a damn nap. Know what I did a couple of times while on travel? Went to bed at 7pm. Know what I regret about that? Not a damn thing. The past few weekends, I took a catnap on days that I took the early shift with the kids. I FEEL SO MUCH MORE HUMAN WITH SLEEP.

I won’t allow misery. We’re about to enter election season and, um, I pretty much detest everything about politics now. The world is hard on an empath’s heart at current, so I’m limiting my heart’s exposure. If something causes me tears or grief or strife or anything unpleasant, DELETE.

That goes for people too. Although, to be fair, my antisocial streak from 2010-2015 took care of most of that for me.

I will spend money on my health instead of superfluous things that don’t buy me quality of life. It’s time for my health to be a priority. And weight aside, I’m really very healthy! My cholesterol is the best it’s ever been, as is my blood pressure. Now, my weight and BMI are another story. Time to focus on getting that baby … fine, TODDLER weight off.

Okay, I’ll spend some money on superfluous things. It’s time to put money on experiences. Trips, places, visits.. it’s time to take the kids on overnight adventures like we used to. It’s easier now with Vinnie almost a grown human child. We need to go try and make new memories.

You guys, I love my husband. That’s not a uniquely-35 thing, but 2016 will be our ten year wedding anniversary, and there is not a calendar week that goes by that I don’t thank the sweet baby Jesus that we ended up in the men’s room of a local theatre.

Hit a milestone lately that made you make some new rules? What am I missing here?

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The Boys And My Plans for Them

The boys are all busy. 

Vinnie’s been trying out The Little Gym; Miss Angel (who also taught Tony) is living up to her name by way of unending patience and energy.

Tony is, like, halfway to a ninja or something now. 

And we don’t have a picture of it because, you know, we don’t use our phones in the car while driving, but Jack procured his learner’s permit last week, so he’ll soon be driving our getaway cars. 

So far, our plan to be Ocean’s Fourteen is right on track. Gymnast, ninja, getaway driver, femme fatale, and George Clooney lookalike – we do need an Eliot Gould, if anyone’s up to the task.

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We’re Coming Out.

Bryan and I looked at eachother a month ago and decided: we’re ready to emerge. 

Crawling out from the haze that is New Baby Brigadoon, you reach a point where you realize that things are easier. Not easy, God no, never easy. But easier. Do-able. 

So Bryan got a new job – returning to his first love, teaching technical theatre to kids – and I joined some nonprofit boards around town to give back to groups I adore.

Then I got crazy and decided that, you know, let’s get the kids busy too! Jack’s already got lacrosse, so Tony? Tony gets karate (which, you guys, I cry at every time because he is just SO PROUD OF HIMSELF). 

And because the youngest one is REALLY the one who needs ALL of the discipline, Vinnie starts gymnastics soon. 

We’re even getting crazy and talking about HAVING PEOPLE OVER. Frankly, I miss having my village around, and Bryan .. well, Bryan is not a village person (HA), but he could see the benefits. 

So we’re gonna be people again. This is exciting stuff, guys. 

Um, anyone want to have dinner with the socially-stunted Brown-Comers?

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Make Me Twitch

I just realized that Twitch from So You Think You Can Dance is in Magic Mike XXL. 

So here. Enjoy. This is why I’ll be at opening night. http://youtu.be/nhrxfHCtMJA

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Wash Away Sins with Chlorine

So in all fairness, I know what the C in YMCA stands for. I do, really. But I was completely blown away when Bryan went to pick up Tony from the YMCA summer program and the counselor met Bryan, grabbed his hands, and was overcome with excitement as she shared the news that one of Tony’s counselors had convinced Tony to take Jesus into his heart. And she would love for us to consider him being baptized in their pool.

Bryan, stunned, stammered, “I think I need to talk to Sarah about this.”

I can’t talk about Bryan’s religious beliefs – they are not mine, and he’s traveled his own journey and come to his own conclusions. But I can talk about mine. I believe that there is a higher power and a delicate balance of good and evil, but mostly that there is innate good in people. I am far from a fire and brimstone kind of person, and I typically feel that most organized religions are too a la carte for me. (We take THIS part seriously, but don’t read THAT chapter, because it doesn’t fit our current ideology. But THIS part is literal and we believe it, even though THAT part doesn’t have relevance in our church.)

That said, I can tell you that Bryan was a little surprised that this was happening at our community summer camp.

18477620766_50665aab1a_zI was getting ready for our show that night and Tony came in to talk to me about it. Tony, I’ll remind you, is my most sensitive child. He is my heart, in another body. He wants to see the best in people and wants everyone to feel loved. He’s a firm believer in happy endings and he is the child who will see a rainbow after the storm.

Tony sat down next to me on the bed, and handed over a well-worn, obviously second-hand Bible. “I got this book today,” he said. “I’m on page 2.”

Page 2, I said. Did they just tell you to start reading this?

“Yep. And I’m on page 2. These words are really hard, Mom.”

These words are hard for grown-ups too, bud. What is this book about, so far?

“This book is what you have to read to get into Heaven. I’m gonna try really hard to read it.”

What about kids who can’t read? I asked. How do they get into heaven?

“Huh. I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about that,” he said.

I’m sure this is a great book. We can talk more about that later. So what else happened today?

“I said this prayer to invite Jesus into my heart. Now I can’t die.”


“God made Jesus die. So now we don’t have to.”

At this point, I’m having to rationalize my answers. I’m not well educated in religious rhetoric, although Bryan is, so I had to base my reactions on what I thought to be true.

Well, bud. God didn’t kill Jesus. People killed Jesus.

“No, God did. So we can’t die.”

We will die, honey. We will all die. It’s part of life. I know that’s scary, but it’s not something to be afraid of. We all will die. Some people I love very much have died. It’s sad and I miss them very much, but I promise that they died and are gone.

“But what about the garden? Those people in the garden?”

I’m not sure I know that story – can you tell me?

“Yeah, there were these two people in a garden and they weren’t supposed to eat this one thing – something, but I can’t remember what – and then they did eat it as an accident and they got in trouble.”

Wait, it was an accident? Or did they know they weren’t supposed to eat it, but did it anyway?

“It had to have been an accident, Mom! Why would they eat it if they weren’t supposed to?”

And that is my boy. He is so good-hearted that he couldn’t even believe that Eve would willingly do something that would anger God.

So Bryan and I are confounded. If Tony’s interested in religion, I’m more than happy to explore that with him – but in ways that he can understand. And not “You can ONLY get into heaven THIS way” checklists, because I don’t believe in that. And as Bryan pointed out, we don’t want to put Tony in a very awful position of having parents who are not part of “the church” and worry about saving our souls.


I am now open to any and all suggestions.

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