Friday, November 16, 2012


There’s something about clothes.

As much as we tell ourselves that “appearances don’t matter” and “the real person is on the inside”, clothes can change us.  Trying on outfits is like trying on possibilities—each blouse, each dress, each pair of heels is a new personality.

It’s not until you see yourself enveloped in a cloud of white tulle that you can really imagine yourself as a bride. 

And it’s often not until you’re clad in a hideous, ill-fitting, polyester tent that it really hits that you’re finally graduating.

As a child, you dress up and try on possible futures—imagining yourself as a veterinarian, a teacher, a firefighter, a ballerina, and of course, a princess.

As an adult, I have found that dressing up has not lost its allure.  Trying on clothes allows me to see myself in a new way—to test out personalities and styles, since mine is not yet fully formed.

I remember when I was shopping for jeans at the mall. I was cutting through the dress section at a department store, gazing wistfully at the array of pretty fabrics and colors I passed.  I saw this dress—a pleated grey satin number with a high collar that was intricately and beautifully beaded.  It looked like something a really elegant woman would wear to a really elegant cocktail party. 

“I could never wear that,” I thought wistfully.  Aside from the obvious modesty-related reasons (it was too short and too sleeveless), I could think of a litany of physical flaws that would preclude my wearing such a dress.  My legs didn’t look good, the halter-type bodice would make my shoulders look broad, it didn’t have a gathered waist so it would look like a tent on me…and of course, I wasn’t elegant.

On a whim, I plucked the dress off the rack and decided to try it on anyway.

Standing in that dimly lit dressing room, wearing a dress I had been sure I could never pull off, was like a revelation to me.  I looked—well, frankly, I looked beautiful.

I’d never seen myself in this way before.  I could actually envision myself at a party, laughing and talking, looking for all the world like one of those gorgeous, confident women I’d always quietly admired. 

I’d always thought that I couldn’t be one of those women.  I wasn’t the right type—not quite pretty enough, not quite confident enough, not quite her.  But in that dressing room, standing in my underwear, I realized that I had been wrong.  I could.  With the right clothes and makeup and money, I could.

And just knowing that I had that potential was enough.  I replaced the dress on its hanger, pulled my own comfortable, faded jeans and t-shirt on, and looked at myself again.

Something subtle had shifted in me.  I realized, or maybe remembered, that I had chosen my life.  It was the life of a mother and a wife, and it wasn’t an expensive or impressive or glamorous one.  But I had chosen it.  And I was happy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

what i want vs. what they need

one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a mother has been that you cannot. hurry. children.

and yet, no matter how many times i remind myself of this, i find myself trying to do it on an almost daily basis.

"what are you doing?  get your toothbrush out of the toilet and go put your sandals on!"

"let's go, please.  no, this way.  to the car.  to the car.  to the car."

"sweetie, i'm not going to go get your blanket; we're late for church.  now buckle your car seat or i will."

(at this point i would consider us "on time" for church if we arrived anytime within the first half hour of the meeting.)

now, sometimes you have to be in a hurry.  and i think that's okay.  but why, more often than not, do i find myself rushing around every day?

i think it's because i have this mental timetable in my head, a vision of how i think the day will/should go.  "i want to be home for lunch by 11:30 so I can get the boys down for naps before 1, and we have to go to the grocery store on our way home, which will probably take about an if we go on a 45 minute walk on the paved trail and stop at the playground for 30 minutes we can get some outside time in.  but we have to leave right now.  quick, where are the shoes?  are these leggings too tight to go out in public?  boys, sit down so i can brush your teeth!  where is the green water bottle?  stop pulling out all the wipes!"

finally, i'm on my way out the door and i realize suddenly that i smell two freshly dirtied diapers and the dog is whining to go potty.  and then someone accidentally shatters a jar of jelly on the floor.  cleaning up sticky, tiny shards of glass is quickly bumped up to priority #1.

i think sometimes i have to be willing to give up my schedule.  especially around naptime and bedtime...i'm just ready to clock out!  i don't often want to take the time to slow down, read some stories, and ease the boys into the transition.  but when i don't, it means i lock two still-wound up boys in a room for a few hours and they stay awake the whole time, giggling and jumping on their beds and breaking picture frames.  (okay, just one picture frame.)

lately i've been trying to be more mindful of the times when my children seem to just need some down time.  yesterday, after a naptime of not napping (and breaking the aforementioned picture frame), i went to get the boys out of their room.  they were, of course, tired, which manifested itself in tears and clinginess and a propensity to default to meltdown mode at even the slightest glance.

so basically, not fun for me.

what did i want to do?  i wanted to get them to the park, to a friend's house, to the store--anywhere to distract them, anywhere but alone in this apartment with two nearly hysterical boys.

what did i do?  thankfully, i listened to my instincts this time, which told me that what the boys needed was some close, quiet time.  so i gathered them onto the couch with a small stack of books.  they snuggled up to me (after the initial "MY SIT ON MOMMY'S LAP!" "NO, MY SIT ON MOMMY'S LAP!" struggle) and i began to read to them.

it was interesting to see the change in tesla (desmond had a small fever yesterday so he didn't "recover" as quickly as T did and needed some extended snuggle time).  at first, he needed to be right on my lap, making sure he was getting an equal share of attention.  he was on the verge of tears, know how it is.  but after a while, he began to smile a little at the stories.  then he sat up a little and pointed something out in the book.  he laughed.  and eventually, he was grinning and happy and got off my lap to play.

i know that if i had pushed them into doing something they weren't ready for yet because i didn't want to deal with their emotional moods, our afternoon would have gone much differently.  it was a good reminder for me to slow down sometimes.  when i have a whiny, clingy child at my feet, i need to remember that i can give him a few minutes of undivided attention, which most likely will "fill his tank" and allow me to finish what i was doing in peace.  or, i can keep doing what i was doing, trying to ignore him.  (hint:  definitely not the easiest or most fun option.  also, the child's mood could potentially get worse.)

our go-go-go culture isn't really conducive to peacefulness.  we have to seek it, to carve out that quiet time for ourselves. so tomorrow, look for some time for yourself or your children, if you have them, to slow down and decompress.

it will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

brotherly love

so.  i'm kiiiiiind of cranky today.

maybe it's because i didn't have time to eat breakfast.  maybe it's because my hair looks weird.  maybe it's because i stayed up until 1 am watching alias and doing an olive oil treatment on my hair.  i do not know.

but for some or possibly many reasons, my little well of patience has run dry today.  my zen is gone.  and my sweet children are irritating me.

(also, my to-do list is irritating me.  i keep putting off the answering of emails and scheduling of appointments and paying of library fines and making of meal plans...for no legitimate reason.)

so...want to see some pictures of me and my brothers?  


left to right---andrew, me, michael

me and andrew after a beach day in florida

first day of my senior year (so andrew was a junior and michael was 6th grade i think)

me, tesla, and michael.  i know you've never seen me with my shirt off, so for a reference abs look exactly like that.  

andrew and me.  doing what we do.

i love those guys.

Monday, November 12, 2012

[insert title of britney spears' second album]


why do i do this?

i'll tell you why.  boredom.

when you're growing your hair out, and you want a change, guess where you turn.

remember this?  and this?

well.  last night, i struck (out) again.


the new color is...odd.

it's a very ashy brown. in fact (although the poor picture quality doesn't betray this), the bottom half of my hair looks almost...grey.

in case you were wondering, yes, that's exactly the look i was going for.  grey.

you guys probably think i'm ridiculous.  that i should just leave my hair alone.

(i would have to concur.)

so how do i get my natural hair color (or something reasonably close to it) back?

i think i'll give it a couple weeks to fade and see where that leaves me.  if it still looks grey, i might have to pay someone (gasp) to help me fix it.  i think a few highlights would help.

anyone else just can't leave their hair alone?  i think i'm trying to make up for the years i spent only wearing it long, blonde, and straight.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tesla is 3

happy birthday to my little Tesla Miles.

his first day home from the hospital, a few days old

i never thought he'd grow hair.  he had such a round, bald, little head.

but eventually, he did.

everyone says this about their children, but he's so funny and sweet and smart.

he loves to help out (folding washcloths is his specialty) and he loves to cook.

as my boys grow up, they are becoming more and more fun.

babies are cute and sweet and fun, too, but there's something to be said for a little person who can actually talk to you and can express his own thoughts and feelings and opinions.

tesla has been SO. EXCITED. for his birthday.  when i told him it was coming up and asked what we were going to do on his birthday, he exclaimed, "have BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES?!?!"

he was practically shaking with excitement.

pinterest tried to convince me that i needed to go all-out on an organized, themed, perfectly decorated birthday bash.  but...that's really not me, guys.

this morning, silas took him out for breakfast, a birthday tradition he's passing down from his own family.

i'm going to put up streamers and balloons (if i can find where i stashed them), and make chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  we're going to take boys to the train park in scottsdale, and then after naptime, the rest of the family (meaning everyone that lives here--my parents, grandma, and brother) is going to come over while we have pizza and cupcakes and presents.  we'll probably blow out a few'll be wild.

maybe i will go all-out and make a "happy birthday" sign.  we can always reuse it next month for desmond's birthday.  ;)

happy birthday, handsome little guy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

our ridiculous dog

 today, i want to talk about our ridiculous dog.

his name is Sirius Mysterious.

(actually, i can't remember his middle name.  but i call him sirius mysterious every time i see him.)

sirius is terrified of the vacuum.  he always feels compelled to seek high ground.

he's always looking for snacks.

he sleeps.  all the time.

one morning, when i got up to go to the bathroom, he thought it would be funny to sleep in our bed.

i kicked him out.

(after taking a picture, of course.)

silas is his favorite person in the world.

speaking of silas...i'd forgotten what he looks like without a beard!   i'll have to get a recent photo so you can see the manliness thereof.

but he loves the boys, too.

i know i'm not the biggest dog person.

but that sirius....

he's all right.

STOP! (in the name of love)

so the other night i'm reading the boys a story.

(aww.  tender.)

unrelated picture of them playing with a box (pre-haircut, obvs)

in the middle of the story, tesla decides he wants to go get his blanket.  i tell him to go get it, and he races out of the room.  i keep reading aloud, "All tall, we all are tall." 

 when tesla hears that i'm continuing the story without him, he runs out of the room, blanket in hand.

"All small, we all--"


i stop and crack up laughing.  he climbs back into my lap and then says, "Okay, go."

constant entertainment, those two.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

at long last...

after months of this



and this



and THIS



we finally cut the boys' hair.

well, silas did.  i watched encouragingly.

so now there's this...

(desmond not's pretty difficult to get pictures of dem little boys, i'll have yeh know)

at first i was like, "AAAH IT'S SO SHORT!"  

but then i gave them little fauxhawks and decided it looked pretty cute.

yes, i miss playing with their long, silky hair...

but they look like boys now.  so that's good.

in other news, i finally made an appointment with an optometrist (who, by the way, gave me unsolicited advice on how to conceive a girl) and got contacts for astigmatism.  and, for the first time ever, glasses that i actually plan on wearing!

they're very scientific.