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Ladies Book Club

8 Dec

It’s been fairly transformative to be a part of this neighborhood, women-only, book club since this summer.

The last book we read was My Life in France by Julia Child — though written by her great-grandnephew. Who is a fantastic writer. He made me fall in love with Julia. WWJD: my new motto.

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Julia married “late” in life, but to a fantastic man who whisked her off to Paris where she learned to love food and become an expert cook and then an international bestseller and beloved TV star.

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Paul Child: photographer, wine lover, graphic designer,  and lover of the world.

Julia and Paul Child

And a new dear friend Hannah, among others, brought her to us, and then threw us a dinner party with all Julia recipes — it was all Julia, all night! A beautiful night in a beautiful home with beautiful people.

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And our goody bag was a fondue package which I shared with Dave and friends at a game night later in the week.

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Sharing just makes everything better.

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The Master of Weekends

5 Dec

I don’t usually post about how often I post, because I find that to be one of the most annoying clichés used in blogging, but it’s been so long that WordPress has changed in my absence. For anyone new reading my blog, there’s enough to slough through for days! I’ve been writing for over three years, and if you get through that – and you’re savvy enough – you can probably find some horrid livejournal account I wrote as a teen out there somewhere in internet land.

But for those of you who have been with me for a while, I just saw that I’ve only posted once in the last three months. This isn’t to say I haven’t been writing. I have 18 drafts waiting to be edited and put out there for the world to read, but a lot of them are of a somewhat political nature. And my personal posts usually involve photos, which has been hampered lately by my desktop crashing, along with my photos. I will post more, and soon, it just isn’t the right time yet. As Julia Child says, asked when her next book will be done: “When it is done.” She is my newest hero.

I recently had a perfect weekend. It was perfectly miserable outside every day (and was for at least a week straight), but I managed to find the only time it wasn’t raining on Saturday to photograph some very sweet girls I used to nanny. I really appreciate the chance to stay connected, to take these photos every year, and to see them grow up.

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The weekend really started on Thursday night, when I had a girls’ night out with Katye and Whitney at a Junior League event at the Williams-Sonoma in Ponce City Market. We had the babies with us, who were of course the talk of the party because they’re so stinking cute. I got to be Brady’s date — he fell asleep on me for 45 minutes! We also were given a coffee demonstration of a Nespresso machine, which I now want. The coffee was fantastic. Probably some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. And the tastings were delicious, but we still ordered from Panita Thai as soon as we got home. I feel confident saying that it claims the prize of most delicious Thai food in Atlanta right now.

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My mom dropped off Tashi, her adorable shih tzu, on Friday, which was great since it got very cold all weekend and we just cuddled in front of the fire all day reading, puzzling, watching movies, playing Legos, building with Magna-tiles… I love being stuck inside, because I love indoor activities. I could read books all day long every day. Saturday night we watched the movie Whiplash, which is a fantastic, well-done, very intense film about a budding jazz drummer. I loved it, and it also set the stage for our next and final evening of that fabulous weekend.

Sunday was the most interesting day. In the morning Dave and I made the most delicious breakfast burrito we’ve ever made before, which Walter of course refused to eat. Then we cleaned up a bit, puzzled some more, showered, etc. We again ordered Panita Thai for take out with my parents at my mom’s house. We needed to drop off the baby and my mom’s dog because we had a concert to go to!

The week before, I decided to check for Puscifer tickets on a lark, assuming there would be none as Tool shows usually sell out in a few minutes (or less) for much bigger venues. I had wanted to buy them a month earlier when they had gone on sale, but we didn’t have it in the budget at the time. Lo and behold, there were seats available for the cheapest price! And wouldn’t you know it, they turned out to be great seats! So of course I bought two as soon as I had cleared babysitting with Nini.

Maynard James Keenan likes to perform with Puscifer at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, which is wildly fantastic because the place was designed specifically for musical shows, and the seats and bathrooms are of high quality. So are the people working there, and the decor. It is where grown-ups go to listen to music. And, as it turns out, I am becoming one of those grown-ups who likes a decent place to see a show.

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Walt, on the night of the show, kept telling us that yes, he was 18, not three, and he should be allowed to go to the concert with mommy. Oh, children always want to grow up too fast!

It was dangerous driving around Sunday night, with the rain, temperatures, wind, and wet leaves everywhere on the road. We took back roads after making a pit stop at Lowe’s to buy a new doorbell and to use the restroom. I am nearly blind at night, but I had on my glasses and was trying to help. At one point we almost ran in to a deer. When we finally got to the theatre, I was frisked pretty good coming inside. It was 90% airport intensity.

Once inside we traveled up to the Grand Tier, stopping to grab a couple Monday Night Brews on the way. This very nice concession stand gentleman worker showed me a picture of “my baby,” by which I thought he meant grandbaby, since he looked pretty old. Whoops. There was a long moment of awkwardness as I congratulated him several times, and took off.

We got to our seats just as Maynard walked out and the show started. It then proceeded to be a perfect experience, except for the time a girl dropped her phone on Dave’s head, forgot to apologize, then interrupted us for several minutes shouting about getting her phone back as it had dropped down several rows. The man in front of us, who had been enthusiastically dancing to the songs in his seat (because in this place you sit when you listen to music), got yelled at by security for being on his phone, then he half stood up and shouted to his girlfriend about gosh-knows-what for half a song before leaving for a bathroom break. Sometimes people-watching is more interesting than the main act!

But what a show Maynard puts on!

To me, it is like church. The music he creates with others and the entire experience (when he cares, because I’ve seen how he acts when he’s just doing something to make money) is spiritual. It has always been this way when I see his shows — and really any other amazing live performance, especially music.

On the way home from yet another wonderful evening with Maynard & co., we stopped to get hot Krispy Kreme donuts and a decaf coffee. And one of their 2016 coupon calendars that features pictures of cute animals posed with donuts. Cause who doesn’t need one of those?

The Most Famous Infertile Characters on TV (that I watch)

12 Jul

Besides thinking about all the regular stuff I think about (which is a lot floating around in there), fertility issues have been on my mind recently. I have seen or will see 19 of my friends have babies in 2015. Since we have started trying for Walt’s little brother or sister, I have known 35 women who have either given birth or told me that they were pregnant. I know that it is just that time in my life, but I see all the full bellies around me and wonder how has it not happened yet (again) for me? I love all these women and am overjoyed for them. I would love to hear all of their stories as to how they became mothers and what they are experiencing with each new life. And I would like to hear stories from women who don’t have children too. Is it by choice? By tragedy?

The Women

Monica Gellar Bing (Friends) — both her and her husband are found to be infertile after actively trying for over a year. They adopt twins from a dumb white girl. Earlier in her life, Monica thought about using a sperm donor when it took her a while to find a husband.

Alice Buffay (Friends)– Phoebe’s sister-in-law who can’t have kids because she is so much older than her young husband. They are able to use their egg and sperm in a surrogate, Phoebe. They end up having triplets that are hard to take care of but they love.

Dr. Addison Montgomery Shepherd (Grey’s Anatomy) — had a couple abortions, found herself single, infertile, but a very powerful doctor and surgeon. She had wanted to use a sperm donor but her old best friend, a divorced fertility specialist, told her she wouldn’t be able to have kids. She is divorced from the husband she cheated on and ends up moving to LA.

Dr. Miranda Bailey (Grey’s Anatomy) — tries to get pregnant for seven years, then when she finally is ready to make a big change and do something where she couldn’t have a child, she gets pregnant and has to put her plans on hold. She ends up divorcing her husband and the father of the baby.

Julia Braverman-Graham, Esq. (Parenthood) — secondary infertility after having a very smart little girl. Adopted an older boy who had developmental and anger issues. Was able to adopt infant siblings from the same birthmother and ends up with a big family, after almost divorcing because she had panic attacks from being a SAHM.

Kitty Walker (Brothers and Sisters) — could not have children. Adopted a multi-racial daughter and subsequently developed cancer and almost died. Eventually she became a widow and recharged her career as a strong Republican political figure.

Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) — secondary infertility because of behavioral issues after having her first child at 16 and running away from home. Luckily the teenager raised her daughter to be a voraciously smart news reporter and editor, while she ran and owned a successful inn nestled in her small, quirky New England town.

Lily Aldrin Erikson (How I Met Your Mother) — takes a long time to get pregnant with her first child, but it happens naturally even though they go for a check up at the doctor’s. She somewhat accidentally gets pregnant with her second child near the end of the show. She continues to be motivated by her art and her kindergarten teaching.

Robin Scherbatsky (How I Met Your Mother) — never wants kids. One month she doesn’t get her period and she freaks out that she might be pregnant, but upon going to the doctor learns that she will never be able to have kids.

Trudy Campbell (Mad Men) — tries for many years to have a baby. Wants to adopt but her husband won’t allow it. He has an illegitimate child with his co-worker, Peggy Olson. Eventually they have a baby after they had given up trying.

Charlotte York (Sex and the City) — tries very hard to have a baby with her first husband, Trey. They end up divorcing because of the strain of that and his problems, sexual and otherwise. She and her second husband, Harry, adopt a baby girl from China. In a movie sequel, she and Harry have a biological daughter without any medical intervention.

Who am I missing?

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I saw this recently, and while I don’t like the use of the word “Lord” because it reminds me of masculine slavery, or royalty, I thought the meme was poignant. I think that this is where I should be. I should not care what I want, because what happens is what will happen. I can do nothing to really control any one particular outcome, obviously. But I can choose to be happy. I can continue to be a good influence in my community. Show up.

I attended a neighborhood ladies book club this week with my friend Mama C, and it was fun, entertaining, and interesting. I’ve wanted to be in a book club my whole life, since the one I was in in elementary school was disbanded for a reason I don’t remember. I tried to start one with my college friends. We agreed on a book, I was the only one who read it, and when the date came everyone canceled coming over to my house to talk about it. I tried to be in an online book club but failed to use my smartphone technology properly and missed the event. I liked the opportunity to meet more of my neighbors, and that Mama C rode her bike there. When I get a bike we will ride the neighborhood together!

Isn’t it funny the images we create of the things we think we want?

I watched Now and Then recently for the first time in a long time. I loved that movie when I was a kid, and it stood the test of time. I felt nostalgic while watching a movie about a nostalgic time I never experienced. I texted Jason, “I want to ride bikes with my friends in the ’70s!”

All day I have been thinking about the fun things I want to do with my son when he comes home from Nini’s house. I hope we all get to experience the magic of a time we enjoy. We can, and should, Choose Happy.

Mama meets the idea of traveling with a baby

5 Feb

I had hoped that we would be one of those cool couples with kids that traveled the world with our baby and didn’t let having an infant “stop us” from living our lives the way we wanted.

I guess what you want changes after you have a child.

Oh, I still want to travel. And I suppose I will one day. But right now going to bed before midnight is what I want. Getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Finding ways to entertain both a baby and myself 12 hours every day of every week. These are my goals!

I have a few places I’d like to visit this year. I really wanted to go to California for Dave’s brother’s graduation. See a few friends out there. Visit San Francisco (I’ve never been). Tour wine country. I’ve heard it’s spectacular, and I’m a huge fan of red wine. But the thought of a three hour time difference with a baby who naps 2-3 times a day… well, we’d pay a lot of money to sit in a hotel room on the other side of the country. And could we afford a really nice hotel room to make it worth it?

We have several friends who live out of state we like to see every year. Many of our best friends are out-of-towners. It exhausts me just trying to figure out how to see a couple of them. Do we fly on a plane? That will be a quicker commute but we’re limited in the baby stuff we can bring. Do we drive? We can bring all the baby stuff we need, it’s cheaper, but then we have to subject Walt to 5-8 hours in a car. I don’t even like doing that, and I’m not sure he’s old enough yet to logically understand what we’re doing to him and that there will be a beach at the end of the road! I think maybe it’ll be more fun to travel with him when he’s closer to two, but I don’t want to miss out on everything for two whole years. Even though I believe if I had to stay in my house for two years without even leaving once I still would be a happier, more awesome person for having Walt in my life.

I am someone’s mommy!

I called my girlfriends for a girls night last weekend. Three friends and I went to Dip ‘n Dab, a BYOB paint class that’s oh so much fun. You sit around for three hours drinking wine and beer and talking while a nice teacher tells everyone step by step how to paint the painting you’re doing that night. It was packed Friday night and the coolest thing was that even though there were 40 people painting the same exact painting, every one of them looked different. I can guess it’s similar to how God feels when he says “Let there be X and Y chromosomes” and then 6 billion different interpretations come out of two tiny cells joined together…

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My Masterpiece.

The Evolution of the Amaryllis

14 Jan

The beginning of the story is here.

This is the end of the story.

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And then the cat knocked it off the table. They must have had a battle royale. That or I forgot to water it and it became too top heavy to stand up. We’ll never know since it conveniently happened while Dave and I were fast asleep.

Happy NYE 2012

1 Jan

The first thing I did in the new year after kissing my husband and wondering who the “famous” people on the NYC Times Square stage were? Cut my fingernails. Man they were so 2012.

I’m about to go outside and tell the hooligans on our street to stop making so much noise… I have a baby sleeping upstairs!

I can’t believe it’s 2013. After worrying about the Mayan apocalypse, I never thought we’d get here. Actually, it just seems strange cause since I was six I never believed I’d ever make it to 12, let alone 2012.

For new parents, it’s just another night. No babysitter, no night off from nursing. The baby could get up at 4:30am like he did this morning. Hopefully that was just a 2012 thing.

Resolution for the new year? Make it to Jiro’s sushi restaurant in Japan. I’ll give myself a few years to accomplish that. It’s on Netflix. Watch and you’ll understand.

A new address

29 Dec

After 88 blog posts and only a few loyal readers, I’ve decided to try my hand at official blogging in the WordPress community. Since I’m not going anywhere, we’ll see where this goes! I’ll give my own warm welcome to me, Walt, and David: the characters you’ll see the most!

If you want to read my first 88 blog posts, please go here.