Cue the nervous babble.

Cue the nervous babble.

Everyone has something big going on for them that probably seems small and silly to someone else. I, for example, don’t care too much about fashion or makeup, so I have a hard time relating to big decisions about those types of things… but that doesn’t make them any less significant for other people.

I know that fashion and makeup can tie in with freedom of expression, creativity, and self-esteem… and those things are not little by any means.

All that being said, my super big thing right now is the fact that I just auditioned for a series of student-directed one acts at the university here in town. The performances will be around 30 minutes each, one night only, and directed by college students.

Why did I start out this blog post on the defensive? I didn’t plan to start it out that way… but here we are. I can’t help but feel like this big thing seems small to others… to people with higher levels of theatrical education or people who are embarking on missionary trips or curing cancer. No one has said anything to make me feel this way; I just do… which simply reinstates to me that this is a big thing for me, and that I should think about it.

So. Here I go, thinking. Brain-spouting? Mind-barfing?

I’m thinking about trying out for these shows when I was actually in college. I’m thinking about how I would think, “Ah, these are open up to the community? Like, anyone can just come in and audition for these?” I would see the same “older” (*cough* in their 30s *cough*) people audition every time and think I was somehow… better… because I was younger? Puke.

Obviously, I’m not proud of those thoughts, but they came slamming back to me yesterday when I cautiously walked into the same theater I used to flounce into, and met the friendly (also mildly amused) faces of a few college students in their element.

Frigging weird, you guys. Just so frigging weird.

As I filled out the form I’ve filled out so many times before, I’m writing down the information of a completely different person. My weight is higher, I actually said I wouldn’t change my hair, and I heartily hesitated before the “scantily clad” part. Then I had to write down my most recent theatrical experience… which was about seven years ago.

I think, at the heart of this, are the questions this experience brings up:

“Was I ever any good?”

“Was I just super lucky?”

“Did I spend five years as a Theatre major for nothing?”

“Was it just my boobs?”

Who knows? Sure, these questions are a little overblown; there’s a pretty good chance the answers all lie somewhere in the middle… but I’m thinking them nonetheless.

I’m going to drive up to the theater tonight and check a cast list for the first time in seven years. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

Winter Poem

Winter Poem

Winter Poem

 

Once a move of pregnant desperation,

Now a meditation of nasal salvation.

As a tea smith prepares his favorite brew,

I, too, mix a potion that shall see me through.

 

Like the grand canyon, carved by the winds of time,

This solution will erode my sinuses of slime.

 

A staccato drip, with hopes of a steady stream,

So that I may breathe silently, through both nostrils, and dream.

 

I meet my gaze, through tears, saliva, and saline,

In the mirror ahead, with its Crest-speckled sheen.

And I nod, nod with mildly disgusted appreciation

For the opportunity to experience this sublime irrigation.

Rhinitis, sinusitis, with whichever ailment I am fraught,

At my side you’ll find my hero, my warrior, my Neti pot.

 

I would bow my head in thanks, if I could,

But my left nostril shall fill, well, perhaps if I stood…

No, no, that still isn’t good.

 

So, indeed! Two pillows tonight it shall be,

If not for the pot, I swear twould be three!

The Comfiest Fall Ever + Giveaway!

The Comfiest Fall Ever + Giveaway!

Big thanks to Katillia at Momma Sweet Pea Crochet for supplying a prize for this blog giveaway!

It’s a new year. It is not even remotely a new me. I still procrastinate. I still think about writing blog posts for myself and then forget… or decide to watch a show on Netflix… or decide to watch a different show on Netflix.

But, whatever. Here we are. I have given myself a resolution of writing AT LEAST one blog post a month. Just like I’ve given myself a resolution of reading AT LEAST one book a month. Both of these things are things I love to do… but am having a hard time fitting them into my current life.

(Watch me segue like a boss here guys.)

You know what I haven’t had a hard time doing? Fitting my new scarf into my life.

(Yeah. I just segued. I segued like someone riding a Segway from one topic to another in a quick, smooth fashion.)

I bought a new scarf this fall, from my longtime favorite crochet mastermind, Katillia. Katillia and I have met each other in-person a grand total of one time. One time, back in 2011 (I think?) we met at another friend’s house for a playdate… but we’d been internet friends on Facebook for at least a year before that, simply because our husbands were friends.

Isn’t that crazy? I don’t know, maybe it’s not. It feels crazy to me. The truth is, though, I interact with her via the internet on an almost daily basis. We were pregnant “together” with our first kids, and we’ve both watched each other become entrepreneurs over the course of the past five years. That’s awesome, and I’m genuinely grateful to have her in my life.

I kicked off fall by ordering a nice, comfy haul of wintery goodness from Katillia. A new scarf (I’d had my old one from her for almost 4 years), two “mug hugs,” and a coffee cozy. A coffee cozy that, on her suggestion, is modeled after the bowtie and jacket worn by Doctor Who’s 11th, doctor. She totally gets me.

 

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So, I’m ready to spread the awesomeness that is Katillia’s crochet shop, Momma Sweet Pea Crochet. You can check out all of her awesome stuff on her Etsy shop here, and you can check out the adventures I’ve been having with my Fall Crochet Haul in this little picture series. You can ALSO win $25 worth of crochet from her shop, if you leave a comment on this blog post. Not on Facebook, but right here, in the comments section at the bottom… because this is a small business, a small blog giveaway, and I don’t get a whole lot of comments, so it’s going to make me feel extra good about myself.

 

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Your assignment? In the blog comments, tell me what your favorite warm beverage is to drink in the winter. If you want extra entries, you can like both my and Katillia’s Facebook pages and leave comments on the post about today’s giveaway. That’s not hard, right? I’ll keep the giveaway open for one week, ending at 11:59 pm CST on Wednesday the 27th, and will choose a winner using a random number generator. Giveaway is valid in the US only.

May the most random winner win!

Rain and May and Stuff and Things

Rain and May and Stuff and Things

It has been grey and drizzly all week and I just love it so much. Our windows have been open and the smell of wet grass and dirt has been wafting in, and I swear it makes my coffee taste better and my head feel clearer. If we could have four days of grey and three days of sun every week, I would be more than satisfied.

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The big 3 0.

I turned 30 on the 30th. I always kind of quietly viewed this milestone as something I’d be upset about, since Rachel got SO UPSET about it on Friends (which is real life, you know), but as I got closer I realized that 30 is probably going to be pretty awesome. I’ve got an actual real post about this brewing, but until then, let’s just leave it with the fact that my friends and family are incredible, and life is good. Life is good.

Mugs Half Full

Erin and I had a couple of Mugs Half Full comics come out a little rapid-fire, and I’d love it if you’d check ‘em out and maybe share them if you feel compelled!

Working out the kinks.  (This one’s about exercising with the kids around.)

Moms, Memories… and Toast. (This one’s about becoming part of a long line moms, and other sentimental-but-not-too-sentimental things.)

Her View from Home

I recently submitted a post to Leslie over at Her View from Home and got asked to send in some new material. The second post I wrote is about my transition from staying home full-time to getting a part-time barista job. It’s one of the first introspective family life posts I’ve written in a long time, and has kind of turned into one of my favorites. I’m hoping the post does well enough to warrant me a regular writing gig over there, so please click on over and share if the spirit moves you!

The Gluten

I’m currently trying to limit my gluten intake, as per the suggestion of my super smart functional medicine practitioner sister. I unfortunately made this decision right before a birthday weekend and another birthday weekend so I haven’t stuck to it like I should, but I think I’m actually able to tell a difference between when I’m eating it and when I’m not. (Insert a mental image of me here, crying giant tears of butter while sitting dejectedly on a pile of bread.) Anyway, now that the ridiculous numbers of special occasions are almost out of the way, I’ll do this for real, and I’ll keep you updated. (Takes sip of delicious local beer the same way a doomed convict would walk down the hallway on his way to a firing squad.)

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Home Life

Life is very satisfying right now. It’s also incredibly frustrating and exhausting sometimes, but my kids and husband are happy and healthy, and we’ve got a buttload of turnips growing in our garden, and I haven’t really had much to do with it, because Paul’s been the garden whisperer. (I solemnly swear to make delicious things with whatever comes out of that garden, though.) That Paul guys sure is pretty awesome, and if you see him anytime soon, you should probably give him lots of high fives.

We’ve got a new Betta fish named Goldie, and Lucy has been a kitty for about two months now. She will sometimes go an entire hour in the mornings only communicating with me by saying “meow.” Charlie is starting to be able to read, and it’s pretty awesome.

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Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my friends? I have friends here and far away that fill up my heart and my brain, and this person that I’m turning into owes a lot of that to them. So, thanks, friends. Friends that I see regularly and friends that I don’t: you guys are so awesome and important to me, and we should probably all go out for Karaoke sometime soon.

Sit Down & Type Saturday: Drizzles, Drops, and Damn if it doesn’t feel good to work.

Sit Down & Type Saturday: Drizzles, Drops, and Damn if it doesn’t feel good to work.

Time to beat the rut before I fall in… time for a good, old fashioned timed 10 minute typing session.

Annnnd go.

I always grumble about Spring/Summer every year because I never want to wear shorts or get sweaty in jeans or get swallowed by a tornado, but I think it’s important to note this day for my future self: I spent the morning writing in a coffee shop drinking tasty locally-roasted coffee, listening to Morphine playing throughout the building while steady rain drummed down outside. Then we went with friends and walked around the zoo, and let me tell you, walking out of that freaking smoldering jungle and into a chilly light drizzle is sublime.

That is a good day. That is the kind of Spring I can get down with.

Right now I have a healthy amount of freelance writing work and an incredibly awesome new job. Yes, even newer than the other new job. This one is close enough to my house that I can walk there, and I get to bask in coffee, chatting, and the incredible ecosystem that is a small-town nestled comfortably inside a bustling city. Oh, and did I mention the fact that this job switch granted us the first full weekend we’ve spent together as a family in about two months? That’s good. That’s very good, too.

My husband’s jobs are good, the kids are good (which means adorable and wonderful and also prone to so much so much screaming), money’s tight but not quite as tight as it used to be, and I’m sure things will get unexpectedly tougher one of these here days, so I think it’s important to just remind myself of this lovely drizzly Saturday, so that I can revisit it in the future.

Changes and Spring and Stuff and Things

Changes and Spring and Stuff and Things

I am long long long overdue for a Stuff & Things post. Life has been full around here… quite full indeed.

I’ve got a FIVE-year-old.

What!?!?!?

I seriously can’t believe it. He’s already gone in for his Kindergarten physical. I want to say that it feels like just yesterday he was a teeny tiny baby… but it doesn’t. I remember those baby days, but I think it feels like I’ve just spent the last five years of my life with this guy in it, and those years were packed with a lot of awesome things. He’s so sensitive and creative, and he likes listening to Star Wars soundtrack albums. I’ll write an official “oh my gracious my Charlie’s five” post here soon, but I just don’t have the brain capacity (or a box of tissues on-hand) at the moment.

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I’ve DEFINITELY got a two-year-old.

I forgot how awesome/terrible two year olds are. I’m not kidding… the screams that can come out of Lucy literally make my ears feel numb sometimes. I think Stephen King could probably write the horror novel of the decade if he chose to focus it on the act of getting a two-year-old who doesn’t want to sit in their car seat to ohmygosh please just sit in their car seat. BUT then they also things like “Thees eengy bud Chewbacca.” (this angry bird is Chewbacca) and “I yut you mommy. And I yut Chawwie and Daddy.” (I love you mommy. And I love Charlie and Daddy) and “Thees my favit bobble.” (This is my favorite marble.) She’s hilarious and a little nuts… but most two-year-olds are, I’m learning. Luckily, though, with her small jumps in maturity, she and Charlie are beginning to have nice chunks of time in which they play together without too much screaming. Sometimes.

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Oh, hey there Change. Can we be friends?

I am not good with change. The mere possibility of change turns me grumpy, anxious, and unpleasant in general. Sure enough, though, change swoops in and suddenly I go from work-at-home mom to work-at-home-and-also-at-a-coffee-shop-and-also-stay-at-home-sometimes-mom. Paul was working at a slightly shady, unpleasant college here in town in addition to an above-board respectable one, so we decided to shake things up a bit. Now I’ve got a pretty awesome part time job making coffee, and he’s got a pretty awesome job teaching people, and we both get to spend a healthy amount of time with the kids. It’s change, sure, but it seems to be good change so far.

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Music! Old friend! I’ve come back to you!

In college, I loved music. I genuinely cared about it. I would go to Hasting’s Books and Music on Tuesdays to check out the new releases. I would stay up until midnight and go to Wal-Mart of all places, just so I could get my hands on new albums as quickly as possible. I have a plastic tote in the basement, full to the brim with band-plastered T-shirts that I collected when I was going to school. I don’t know if it was too many disappointments from John Mayer’s social life (how are you supposed to swoon over his songwriting when he’s clearly THE WORST?) or just the fact that life took over and the only music I cared about was Sara Bareilles’ ONE ALBUM for, literally, almost two years. I don’t know, I don’t know, but that beautiful and frantic genre that is Pop Punk has come back to sweep me off my feet with a vengeance. I don’t have much more to say about that, other than it’s pretty awesome.

Workin’ It                                                                          

A pleasant surprise is that my contract work has taken an upturn… It’s nice to have deadlines but not too many deadlines. It’s also nice to be able to contribute financially to our household as I start to turn my sights back to actively budgeting. I don’t know if any of you remember our Dave Ramsey stint allllllll the way back in 2011, but I’m gearing up to get a little hardcore about it again. We’ve loosely kept the principles over the years, but haven’t had the income to really attack our student loans with “gazelle intensity” as good ole Dave says. ANYWAY I’m getting more freelance work and it feels pretty great. I’m excited to re-attend the conferences I went to last year and get my face out there a little more.

I hope that you guys are emerging from the winter well, and if you’re getting presented with any big changes, I hope they’re at least being kind to you!