Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smells like summer

This afternoon, work got a little hectic right around quittin' time. I needed to stay late, which meant I had to ask Matt to leave early and pick up Lindsey from daycare. Stress stress deadline grumble grumble.

Finally left work an hour later. Confidently got on I-35 (rather than taking the longer way around), thinking that since rush hour was over, it'd be a quick, breezy drive home. Cut to massive, standstill traffic. Stress stress stupid highway grumble grumble.

Got home to find Lindsey ready for her evening sippy of milk. Matt handed her off to me so he could log in and finish some work. He'd done all the hard work of getting her home, fed and changed, just for me to swoop in and steal the snuggles afterwards. Guilt guilt bad mommy guilt guilt.

And then, it happened.

As Lindsey chugged down her milk and we snuggled on the couch, I leaned in to kiss her head. There it was: the smell of sunscreen, left over from playing outside at daycare. My eyes closed. All that stress and guilt were gone, and I was instantly 7 years old at the pool. I was shrieking at the coldness of the water, doing handstand contests with my friends, splashing in the deep end, scorching my feet on the sun-baked concrete. I heard the kids laughing, the lifeguard whistles, cheesy pop radio over the loudspeakers.

Smiling, I opened my eyes briefly, then rested my cheek against Lindsey's head and breathed deep. "How would you like to go swimming this weekend, baby girl?"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"This is how rumors get started..."

Remember me, Interwebs? Don't worry, I'm not dead ("hey I'm not deaaaad...." -- name that SNL skit). Just lazy.

This won't be a long post, but I had to share a photo from Memorial Day weekend. Some of you may have gone to the lake or the beach, thrown big parties, maybe even watched a "Pawn Stars" marathon, but I guarantee you nobody can top my weekend. Are you ready? I alternated between taking naps and eating THIS.

Awww yeeeeeah. I won a Colossal Cupcake from Crumbs Bakeshop through a giveaway on one of my favorite blogs, Mommy Shorts. It arrived on Friday and did not survive the holiday weekend. If there is a Crumbs near you, please go, right now, and get one of their Devil's Food cupcakes. And maybe... maybe you could send me one, as a thank-you for the recommendation? Please?

I miss you already, giant cupcake. I'll always remember the beautiful weekend we shared. Sniff.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

According to the clock on my oven, it's still Lindsey's birthday for two more minutes, so I still have time to post an official birthday photo or two!

Lulu, I can't believe you're a year old already! I know you won't remember this birthday, or your party on Saturday (including the fabulous rainbow cakes I'm currently baking for you), but we can't help but celebrate how happy you've made us this past year. Your daddy and I love you bunches, darling girl. Happy Birthday!

Is it cake time yet?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's time

It's time to finally face it: I need to lose this pregnancy weight.

Becoming a first-time parent is hard enough, so I didn't put any weight-loss pressure on myself for the first few months. By month five or six, I figured the baby was still young enough that I could get away with not caring. By month eight, it was Thanksgiving, and what's the point of trying to lose weight at that time of year?

Rationalize, justify, repeat.

But Lindsey's first birthday is in two days. My baby-weight grace period is over.

Don't get me wrong: I am crazy excited about my baby girl's birthday. It's an amazing milestone, and it will be so fun to celebrate with our families and get those cake-in-the-hair photos. It's just that I'd pictured myself looking... more like ME next to Lindsey in those pics.

That's actually the problem: I still do look like me, but I look like me circa 2002. At that point I was wrapping up college and had moved from Kansas to Florida to Texas within six months. Though it was an exciting time, it was also stressful, uncertain, and often lonely -- and I reacted to every one of those emotions by eating. Whether I was happy or homesick, it called for food. I was the heaviest I'd ever been.

Over the next couple years, I managed to lose about 30 pounds. Now, I realize that every day, people are dealing with true hardships and overcoming serious problems, and I won't minimize that for a second. But people? Losing those 30 pounds is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It sucked pond water. I hated it.

And now, I'm staring down those same damn 30 pounds again.

I know it can be done, I know how to do it, and I know how great I'll feel when it's over. But so far, I just haven't been able to make myself start. I've been eating crap, lying on the couch and hiding behind the baby whenever a camera is around. It's pathetic. I'm using her as my prop to say "See?! I have one of these! That's why I look like this!!"

Enough of that. It's time to stop idly hating what I see in the mirror. I'm ready to put in the work and feel good about myself again.

It's time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Love Me Some... Miranda Lambert

Welcome to the first installment of a series that I just made up! See, I can do that, 'cuz it's my blog. I am in charge, and stuff. Anyway, this series is called "Love Me Some..." and it's simply about things that I love. I make no promises about regular updates to this series, because that would be crazy talk, but I hope you enjoy them whenever they happen.

First up! I love me some... Miranda Lambert.

Now. If you saw that name and thought "ugh, country music, NO THANK YOU," I am begging you to stick around for a minute. I had written off the entire genre, too, until my persistent friend Dara slowly changed my mind during our freshman year of college. (Deana Carter's sweet "We Danced Anyway" was my gateway drug, as I recall.)

Don't get me wrong; there is a lot of bad country music out there. But there's also a lot of bad "insert any other genre here" out there. That's the problem with categorizing music too broadly: Amazing artists like Miranda Lambert can be overlooked, and that makes me sad, because Miranda... well, she just kicks ass.

Waaay back in 2003, she was on "Nashville Star" during its first season. I still don't understand how it is that she came in third, but thankfully, someone signed her anyway. She writes most of her own songs, which I really respect, and has a gorgeous, sincere voice. A few things to note:

  • Do not make her angry. Though she claims it's not really who she is, songs like "Kerosene," "Gunpowder & Lead" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" have given her a vengeful, violent reputation. Maybe it's just a persona, but I wouldn't bet against her in a fight. She could take Carrie Underwood, that's for damn sure.
  • Right after she scares the crap out of you, or maybe at the same time, she will make you laugh. She shows her sense of humor in... well, lots of songs, but my faves are "Dry Town," "Only Prettier" and again, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
  • Once she's got you thinking she's this tough, funny chick, she'll drop her guard and break your heart a little bit with "The House that Built Me," "Desperation" or "More Like Her." On that last one, she manages to be both pitiful and a little catty.
  • Random sample lyric that I love, from the breakup song "Dead Flowers": "I'm living in a hurricane, and all he can say is 'Man, ain't it such a nice day?'"  Love that. That song is pretty melodramatic, but she sells it.

That's my little (and by "little" I mean "way longer than I intended it to be") sales pitch for Miranda. Lord help me if I ever write one of these about Barenaked Ladies or Ben Folds. We'd be here all night.

Note: I apologize for all the YouTube fan videos linked above. I'm sure there are more sophisticated ways to link to songs, but I am a noob, so YouTube it is!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love my country boy

As a teenager, I didn’t have enough dating experience to have a “type,” but I usually figured I’d end up with a clean-cut preppy guy like the ones I went to school with. The kind that wore a lot of polo shirts and spent summers relaxing by the pool.

Luckily, this was just a vague picture in my head and not a rigid requirement. If it had been, I would have missed out on the jackpot-winning lottery ticket that is my husband.

Matt and I were introduced through friends at K-State. I soon learned that relaxing during the summer was a foreign concept to him, since that was the peak season for his family’s vegetable farm, and his rusty, thundering old pickup would have raised some eyebrows in my high-school parking lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure Trace Adkins wrote that song “Ladies Love Country Boys" about us: city girl goes to college, meets “a wild-eyed boy with a farmer’s tan” and goes “riding in the middle of his pickup truck.” Check and check.

This camping, hunting, goatee’d guy was not the type I’d pictured falling for -- and, as he later told me, he hadn’t seen himself with “a sorority girl,” either. But we made each other laugh and loved being together.

That was in December 1998. Since then, we’ve moved to Texas and back, gotten pets, gotten married, bought two houses, had a baby, laughed, cried and driven each other crazy.

I could do an entire post of stories and examples of how great he is, and probably will someday. But for now, I'll just say that after 12 years, I still wouldn't trade my sweet, smart, selfless and scruffy guy for anything.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he looks damn good in a polo.
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