Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Boys: You can't go wrong with Kate Spade

So our five-year anniversary came and went and since we're on a bit of a budget with the bebe coming and all, we didn't do anything extravagant but had lots of fun regardless.

Earlier that day I'd been a bit irritated because my hair was not cooperating with me (first-world problems, I know) and no matter how much I curled it, it was so Goddamn hot here that the curls would just fall flat after a few minutes. And no, I will not use hairspray, this isn't the '80s and I'm not Sheila E. After a few more attempts I decided to put the curler down since I was afraid I was slowly burning my hair to death, and let's face it, my hair isn't really the first thing people notice anymore now that it looks like I shoved a volleyball up under my clothing where my flat tummy used to be. I continued primping and getting ready for J to come home from work and whisk me away on our date. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.

No sign of J when he said he'd be here, and by 7pm I was starting to get a mixture of pissed and worried since he also wasn't answering his cell phone and I started to wonder if he'd gotten into some horrific car accident or something. Then, just after 7, he pulls up in his mini cooper and comes running in the front door.

"Hey can you grab some groceries I picked up out of the trunk? I need to pee badly." By his urgent tone I wasn't putting it past him that he had, in fact, had one too many sodas at work and did, actually, need to pee.

"Ummm....okay," I replied, still disgruntled that he'd come home so late.

I waddled down our driveway (yes, I waddle now, how endearing is that?) and popped open his trunk. Of course there were no groceries there (we always grocery shop together, after all), but there was a bouquet of flowers and a big Kate Spade box wrapped up with a big ribbon. At this point the flowers and box eclipsed the fact that he was so late and he was standing right behind me smiling as I spun around and threw my arms around his neck, giving him a big, Hollywood, Frank Capra-directed kiss.

Once we took the stuff inside he told me to open the gift and there weren't one but two gifts inside. I kept playfully chiding him that he "shouldn't have" because we'd already said no gifts this anniversary because of our budget, but he said he was always planning to get an anniversary present for me,no matter what we discussed and I had to try not to smile so hard because what can I say? I love prezzies more than most people and what girl wouldn't want something from Kate Spade? And let's just say the boy done good: He bought me the pair of Simon shoes I'd been lusting over for, oh, the past six months:

And a gold bangle with a cork inset, since cork was the closest thing he could find to wood (which is the 5-year wedding anniversary material). My earlier irritation with my hair suddenly took a backseat to all this pampering, and I slipped on the shoes before we made our way to this little tapas restaurant we love downtown. A couple ginger ales later (and two Bombay martinis later for him) we realized three hours had already passed in the restaurant. Time flies when you've got good food and good conversation.

After splitting a coconut blueberry bread pudding dish and downing a couple divine cappuccinos, he asked what I wanted to do. I said we should go on a long drive and howl at the moon out the car windows, which is always my stock answer to this type of question since it is, actually, what I've always wanted to do. But I compromised with J that a drive up a hill near us would suffice, so we could see the cityscape at night below. Unfortunately our little drive was cut short when on our way up the hill we were met with locked gates, thanks to a state park curfew-at-sunset on the place, but at least we tried. No howling at the moon commenced, but it was an excellent five-year anniversary anyway.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five years ago today...

I married the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. I've appreciated every single day with him and I hope we grow very, very old together. Sometimes I just don't feel like one lifetime is enough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leave Marissa Mayer alone (said in a Chris Crocker voice)

So the world is all atwitter about the new Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer (who's name sounds more like that of a Victoria's Secret model's and not of an ex-Google engineer). It's beyond impressive that a woman will be heading such a huge company. . .even if that company hasn't had the best track record in the last few years, and that fact that she's only 37? Well, not only is that even more outstanding, but it also makes me feel wildly unsuccessful, though I can't hate since I jumped the corporate bandwagon by choice and will never -- mark my words -- go back. So major props to her for sticking with it.

But the biggest news isn't that Marissa is Yahoo's new CEO. Nope, it's that she's (gasp!) six months pregnant(!!). Um, what decade is it again?  Obviously this woman is more than capable of running with the big dogs of business, so why are her talents and capabilities suddenly called into question just because she's got a bun in the oven? Oh I forgot, because people are still saying women can't have it all. Now I know not every woman is cut out for high-stress, high-powered work (I'm looking at yours truly here), but some are, some even choose it and work hard for it, and I think Marissa has proven she can do it all. Yes, this is her first baby, but her career has obviously been a top priority in her life till now -- and if she accepted said job at this point in her life knowing she's going to be con baby in about three months, why should the media/analysts/we question if she's up to task? She's already stated that she won't be taking maternity leave.

Also, let's define "having it all" while we're at it. "All" doesn't necessarily mean a full-time job, kids, a husband and a white picket fence, does it? To one girl I know, her definition of "all" is working from home and spending time with her kids. This makes her very happy, and she used to be a pretty high-profile, in-the-newsroom reporter. To another girl I know, it's a life with no kids and a high-ranking title at work. "Having it all" is such an ambiguous way to put things since there is no one thing that makes the female masses happy. So maybe we need to stop defining women as whether they "have it all" or not. Maybe we should be asking whether today's women are happy, and why or why not. Happiness seems a better indicator than having it all.

Plus, let's not pretend that Marissa Mayer is not going to have the luxury of 24-hour private, in-office daycare, all-day access seeing her baby (if she feels like it) and the ability to take it (and her husband, if he's lucky) anywhere in the world she needs to be for a business meeting, along with her private 24-hour live-in nanny, if her baby needs one. So let's stop comparing Marissa Mayer to any other average career woman in this country. She is not the norm. The girl has choices, and with those choices come great flexibility when it comes to building her family and her career. She's earned it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Putting things into perspective

So after I wrote my jealousy post on Friday, I went out for some much-needed retail therapy that ended up useless. (You know you're beyond being helped when all you can figure out to buy is double-sided scotch tape and it makes you feel a blend of frustrated and accomplished.)

I eventually gave up aimlessly wandering the aisles of Target and came back home to work on the book. I was buoyed by some good writing I got done (much more so than the scotch tape I bought), and I thought I was doing better overall when J called around 6 on his way home from work. The conversation was pretty much as follows:

J: "Hey Sugar Bug."

Me: "Hi, Love."

J: "I'm on my way home, how's everything been?"

Me (in a dejected tone): "It's been okay. . ."

J: "Why? What happened?"

Me (wanting to talk about it later): "I don't know. . ."

J: "Yeah you do. Out with it."

Me: "Well. . ."

And this is the point where I broke down and started to cry, which even surprised me. What the hell was wrong with me? I felt like such an idiot! I didn't know if it was all these pregnancy hormones or the fact that not only was I feeling this way, but I was actually admitting such a petty, stupid thing out loud, but I devolved into a blubbering mess. J was more than concerned because he had no idea what was going on, but I told him I'd tell him in person when he got home, then I said bye, trudged to our bedroom, and had a good 10-minute sob-fest alone in bed.

And as trivial as it all rationally felt, it was the best emotional cleansing. Sometimes a good cry has that effect. Did I still feel like crap after the sob-fest? Yeah, but not as much. And when J got home, he saw me sitting there all puffy and red-faced and gave me a big hug, which made me feel even better. Then I admitted everything to him about the jealousy and what this blogger had done and instead of making me feel like a piffling idiot, he smiled (later telling me he was relieved it wasn't something more More Serious) and told me he understood where I was coming from. Then we discussed professional jealousy and he said it sounded like I needed some Coldstone's ice cream, which we went and got after I touched up my tear-stricken makeup. Like I said, I don't know what I'd do without this man.

I feel much better now that I've had the weekend to sort things out. I guess I was just missing a healthy dose of perspective on Friday. Sometimes we need to reach out -- no matter how hard it is or how prideful we are -- and let those closest to us validate our feelings but also tell it like it is. Does that mean I shouldn't feel jealous sometimes? That it's wrong? Of course not. I'm only human. Sure, I could pretend to be all positive and confident 100-percent of the time, but that would be the biggest load of bullshit ever because I'm convinced no one is this way, even the people that pretend to be (and who generally annoy me since it's obviously an act.)

On a happier note, my sister threw a big baby shower for me on Saturday afternoon and it was wonderful. All my close friends and family were there (well, a few people out of state were missing, but I knew they would've come if they could have). It was perfect -- with good food, good conversation and good people. The theme was Parisian Bébé (obviously) with lots of cute little Eiffel Tower napkins and plates and other decor. As evidenced by this picture of pure glee, I had the best time and couldn't have asked for a better party:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jealousy rears its ugly head

Sometimes it's so hard for me not to be consumed by jealousy.

Most of the time I'm not jealous at all. In fact, most of the time I'm genuinely happy when things work out for people close to me or for people I tangentially know through these interwebs. I like seeing people's lives work out for the best. Sure, it's a little hard to stomach when I hear someone's just married into a seven-figure relationship, bought a manor in an exclusive gated community (and they're my age) or become an overnight celebrity off some YouTube video or blog post. But most of the time, I'm pleased with other people's progress. Much of the time I even look up to these people, and want to be "just like them," which is awesome because then I have Real Life rolemodels, and not just ones on television shows or in the pages of People Magazine.

But last night, as I was casually browsing Twitter -- something I haven't done in the last six months -- I decided to check in with a handful of bloggers I used to follow and converse with through blogger comments and the like. So I clicked on each name like a fool, happy to see where they were now and how much they'd done in the last year or so. Some had Baby #2, others moved to bigger and better jobs, some had bought houses.

Everything was roses and sunshine until I clicked on a certain blogger's name and noticed she'd changed her profile. Drastically. Like her resume had undergone some huge, made-for-TV makeover and now she was living in a completely different echelon of life, all thanks to some fateful things that happened to her within the last six months or so. The stars, it seemed, had more than aligned for her. And what was the first thing I felt? Complete and utter jealousy. So much jealousy, in fact, that in the middle of the night, while J slept next to me, the recent events in her life kept gnawing at my brain like a teething puppy, and so I took my smartphone to the bathroom and sat there on the toilet at 2am, googling her and and trying to figure out how this had all happened.

Why did I do this? Because what happened to her is EXACTLY what I've wanted for the past five years. (The details of which shall go unwritten since I don't want to disclose her identity.) I needed to wrap my brain around the fact that this type of thing did happen to normal people like her (and well, not me. . .yet). I know I should be happy for her even though I don't know her in "real life," but it's so hard to be happy for someone who now has what you've always wanted. Did she earn it? Of course she did. I'm not saying everything fell into her lap without (probably) a lot of hard work, but I can't help but think that she got what she got thanks to hitting a sweet spot on a current trend and cashing in. Her timing, most likely not planned, was flawless. Maybe that's just my jealousy talking.

I try to "rise above it" and "be an adult" and all those other things you hear when you're man (or woman) enough to admit that yes, something someone has or has recently experienced (like the stars aligning perfectly) makes you see green, but it's hard. How am I supposed to "rise above" something that I wish for every. single. day. of my life?

I woke up feeling totally blah today, thanks to fumes of my online discovery still fresh in my mind. I'll probably feel this way for the rest of the day. I don't know if even retail therapy can help. I wish I hadn't checked in with people's profiles last night because what did I expect? Someone was bound to have become a huge success during the last year. All the bloggers I followed were bright, inspirational women -- this one included. Her good news should come as no surprise to anyone, including me. My mother always taught me not to compare myself, but sometimes it's so hard not to. In situations like this it feels like the natural thing to do, even though rationally I know it isn't.

How do you rise above jealousy?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Always late but worth the wait

Wow. Has it really been three months since I last blogged? This is both highly unacceptable and highly unbelievable. Where has the time gone? The last three months have gone by so fast, and so much has happened since my last post. . .

First off, I turned 30 in April (insert giddy exclamation marks here). Overall the experience was a little underwhelming. I guess I assumed that turning 30 meant undergoing some giant epiphany about life and the future and all those "adult" things you see in movies. But let's be honest, I pretty much have life figured out so there were no new lessons learned. All I found out is that Swiss fondue really is my favorite dinner food (nom nom) and I can't get enough of fresh fruit tarts (another double nom). My parents surprised me with a nice Canon Rebel camera as a birthday present since I've been wanting one to take more professional-quality pics once the bébé arrives, and J bought me a little gold feather "freebird" necklace from Nordstroms that I've wanted. I was a little worried (read: ready to punch him in the face) that J wouldn't be spending my birthday with me since he had a trial set that week and had been staying up late every night leading up to April preparing his case, but luckily the case settled the week before my 30th so all was copacetic in our household. Thirtieth birthdays, after all, only come once in a lifetime.

Know what else comes once in a lifetime? (Well, once if you're lucky?) Five-year wedding anniversaries. . . which is what J and I will be celebrating on July 20th!! I can't believe it's already been five years since we tied the knot, but I guess you know you're in love when five years feels like five days. We don't have anything planned at the moment (although let's face it, a trip to Italy would be divine -- and also completely unrealistic), but we'll probably spend it picnicking in Napa for the day, maybe eat at a nice restaurant that night. I really have no clue and for the first time that I can remember, it doesn't bother me. Who am I? It's funny: The older I get, all I care about is just spending quality time with him. We don't need to do anything extravagant for me to be happy. Some of my favorite times with J are holding hands in the car on our way somewhere, or lying on a blanket together in a park. Sometimes it all feels too perfect, like I'll wake up one day without him and find out it never happened. But then I wonder why can't some love stories be nearly perfect? For right now it is and it has been and I hope it stays that way till we're into our 90s. For now just looking over at him reading before we fall asleep is all it takes to make me smile:

Aside from home remodeling, the past few months I've been busy writing and am happy to report that I've just hit about 100 pages into my newest book idea. I don't know whether it's all these extra hormones flying off me or maybe bébé is my new muse, but I feel a rush of creativity and I suddenly have the daily motivation to do something about it. Strange, right? When I'm not writing I want to be drawing or painting or doing something creative. It's a wonderful feeling, and I'm so appreciative that I have the freedom to do as much or as little as I want of all of this on an everyday basis. No excuses.

In other news, bébé is set to arrive in five and a half weeks! My hunt for Peter Rabbit-themed decor has petered out like a deflated fart over the last few months, so I decided to go with a French Garden theme for the nursery and it's coming along well. We put her crib together a couple weeks ago and bought her a little bassinet to sleep in by our bed after she's born. J also hung a crystal chandelier for me in the center of the nursery, giving the room a very French feel, and he was hard at work yesterday stripping a cute little French cabinet I found at a consignment store recently. The cabinet is an ugly walnut color now (think Grandma furniture on steroids), but we plan to antique it and give it a very Restoration Hardware feel. It'll go perfectly next to her crib. :D Once I'm done with the nursery I'll post pics.

And finally, (in case you're wondering what I look now) here's my burgeoning bump: 

So far this pregnancy has been beyond smooth in the sailing department. I've had no sickness, I'm not that exhausted, I have yet to waddle and so far I've gained just under 20 pounds. Pregnancy, it seems, really agrees with me.

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