Monthly Archives: July 2012

Red Letter Day

Today is my mom’s last day of work. Ever. She’s retiring – work was getting in the way of her social life and organizational commitments. I’m really happy for her – she’s always had an incredible work ethic, and she has definitely earned her retirement.

And tomorrow is Tyler’s ninth birthday. Technically. He was born at 12 minutes after midnight on August 1, so I always remember this day as my own personal Labor Day.

The Polaroid on the right is the first picture of Tyler – I think one of the nurses snapped it (because really, who brings a Polaroid camera to a delivery in 2003?). I like Tyler’s ninja spaghetti arms.

The photo on the left was taken this spring. I keep it on my bedside table.

Everyone says that a baby will change your life, but SERIOUSLY, Tyler has changed me. Before I had him I was, like most 20somethings, quite self-centered and lazy. Taking care of him taught me discipline, but also to be more laid-back about things I can’t control. And now I have this awesome child, who astounds me daily with the way he sees the world, who makes me laugh every single day, and who still likes to snuggle with his mama.

Nine years. I am so lucky.

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A Moment Like This

On Monday I ran across this piece, part of Sweetney’s excellent “Through the Fire” series on divorce, and I was particularly struck by this passage:

Reading [Eleanor Roosevelt’s] story that afternoon by the pool, I could no longer dodge the truth about my own personal life. My marriage was a sham. I was furious that I had given all my power to my in-laws. And I knew I had to take it back. It was two more years – and one daughter later – before I finally gathered the courage to file for divorce.

I don’t know that everyone has “A Moment” when they realize that their marriage can’t be saved, and I think some people have that moment and only recognize it later.

At least, that’s what happened to me.

My moment came in the drive-through of the CVS pharmacy. I had recently moved to Tallahassee and was working full-time. My then-husband was looking for work. I was at the CVS to pick up his prescriptions (he’s a Type I diabetic with high blood pressure and acid reflux, so it was quite a few prescriptions).

I handed the cashier the credit card (it was his card, I was just an authorized user) and she informed me that it had been declined. I called then-husband.

“The credit card was declined. Do you know what’s going on?”

“No. Oh, well…. actually, yeah. I had you taken off the card.”

“Why did you do that?’

I could almost hear him shrug. “I don’t know. I was mad at you for something.”

And you know what I did?

Despite my Amherst education and a solid decade of girl-power indoctrination, I bought the prescriptions with my own money, and slinked home. I don’t recall if I apologized, but I probably did.

But that moment kept coming back to me. And every time I turned it over in my head, I got angrier. Those were HIS prescriptions. He wasn’t even working at the time. And then to remove me from a credit card that he controlled, simply because he was mad at me? For an offense he didn’t even remember?

Slowly, I became appalled. Not necessarily at him, but at myself. Appalled that I had learned to put up with such petty behavior. Appalled that I was letting this happen to me. Like Pauline in the piece above, I was furious that I had given all my power to someone else. Appalled that my son was watching, always watching, with his bright intelligent eyes.

It was months before I actually filed for divorce, but that day was a turning point – maybe not the straw that broke the camel’s back, but perhaps the grain of sand that tipped the scales.

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WIWW: The Sweaty Trudge to August

Today is my friend Amy’s birthday. Amy always looks polished and adorable, and I wish she would play WIWW with us. Happy Birthday, Amy!

pleated poppy

Thursday I wore my homemade dress, which I still love. I made another one first (gray and aqua), and it’s currently on my cutting table. I’m going to shorten the bodice and make it knee-length. Anyway.

Friday: I have had this necklace for years, but never wear it because 1) it sits very high off my chest, thanks to the beaded sphere part, and 2) the dangly bits at the end hand just a touch too low to be worn with any of my shirts. So I took the chain off another necklace and attached it to either end of this green necklace, and voila! Long necklace. I was quite happy with the result, and may try it next time with a pretty ribbon.

Monday I was tired, so I stuck with something relatively safe, but colorful. This is the day I wore my handmade headband, too.

And Tuesday I wore one of my favorite dresses:

Be excellent to each other.

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Kibble

Saturday, 10:00 a.m.: I spy a piece of dog food on my dresser.

Windy: Tyler, what is this?

Tyler: Dog food. (blushes)

Windy: And why is it here?

Tyler: While you were in the shower, I was putting dog food in my navel and trying to get the cat to eat it. But he wouldn’t.

Windy: …

I love that kid.

 

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Care Package

When I was little, we used to do all our vacation travel by car. My grandmother would make us “care packages,” which usually involved a shoe box filled with treats. My personal favorite was her brownies – they were covered with a very thin crackly layer of bright green mint glaze.

Jason is in trial this week in Panama City, and I wanted to do something similar for him. Something to help him relax after a long day of trial, something to remind him of home.

Nailed it.

Also, in his absence, I’ve been tackling some of the projects that have been lurking on my Pinterest boards. I used this knotted headband tutorial (one of my first pins ever!) to make this:

I think it turned out well. I used white cotton and a size H hook. The tutorial was great – very easy to follow.

Love!

 

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For My Next Trick…

One of the reasons we bought our house was for the large formal living room at the front. We wanted a grown-up space where we could escape from the children sit and talk, but not a space that felt like a museum. My parents’ house had a beautiful formal living room, but we were never allowed to sit on the furniture, walk on the carpet, or breathe the air.

Here’s what the living room looks like today:

Let’s break it down, shall we?

1. Ivory Camelback sofa from my parents.
2. Large mirror. I have no idea where this came from. I think someone just gave it to me.
3. Sassy brass lamp from Goodwill that I spray-painted in an oil rubbed bronze finish.
4. Jason, doing his Beyonce impression.
5. Buffet from Jason’s old house.
6. Giant ginger-jar lamp from my parents.
7. Drop-leaf table from my parents.
8. Pair of wingback chairs, from my parents.

And here’s the reverse:

9. Bookcase with curtain front, and a photobomber.
10. Marble-topped vanity/desk, from my great-grandmother.
11. Armchair, from my great-grandmother.

The room is…..fine, and comfortable, and we certainly spend a lot of time in it. But it’s kind of boring, and not very coherent. Also, I hate pink. True story – see those bright coral throw pillows on the wingback chairs? My father painted our entire family room that color. I mean, it worked for them, but it’s just not my thing.

So I’ve been thinking about how I want the room to feel, and looking for an inspirational color palette. I keep coming back to this picture, which I originally pinned to my “Guest Room” board on Pinterest.

Why I love it: I have always loved navy and white. It’s classic and clean – two things I aspire to be. And this particular color scheme crops up in my wardrobe on a regular basis.

See?

Why it works for that room: It will be pretty easy to work with/around the existing dark wood furniture. My mom has generously offered to have the wingback chairs reupholstered (thanks, mom!), and I can handle re-covering the armchair seat. I’ll probably leave the sofa as-is, but add/recover the throw pillows – although if you notice, two of the pillows and the blanket across the back are already the right color. I’ll need to add curtains and art. And I’m planning to paint that medium-wood buffet – maybe turquoise with a glaze?

I’m excited to start working on this room. As always, I’ll keep costs to an absolute minimum – but considering the only money I’ve put into the room so far was for two deeply-discounted rugs and a lamp from Goodwill, I’m doing all right.

Let’s all cross our fingers that it doesn’t end up looking like a shoddily-constructed British Colonial nightmare.

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WIWW: The Cat Days of Summer

This is What I Wore Wednesday, and these are the Days of Our Lives.

pleated poppy

I missed last week, but didn’t hear any wailing, or gnashing of teeth.

Thursday: I love me some day dresses.

Dress + shoes = avoiding public nudity. Win!

Friday I worked half a day, then drove 2.5 hours across the the state to pick Tyler up from camp, and then drove home. So I needed to be comfortable.

Also a success.

I spent much of the weekend in a bathing suit or yard work clothes, so no pictures were necessary or safe for children.

Monday: Thing I also love? Yellow.

Yee haw, tater.

And yesterday was another guest appearance by my festive red pants. I tried something new by pairing them with a light gray cami and pewter flats. I liked it.

Have a lovely week.

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