Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A couple days ago, I was picking up my lunch at Planet Sub and overheard this at the register next to me:

"Anything else for you today, ma'am?"
"You don't have any aspirin back there, do you? I've got a splitting headache."
"No, sorry..."

I glanced over and saw the headache victim: a short lady with long blonde hair and a striped sweater. I opened my mouth to say "I've got some Advil!" because hey, what's the point of lugging around the entire contents of your bathroom cabinet if you can't help people out? But then I realized how shady that would be. "Hey, stranger, have some pills out of my purse! They're fine, I promise. Bwa ha haaaa."

So I closed my mouth, picked up my takeout bag and walked towards the door. I turned back around for a second and opened my mouth again, this time to say "The convenience store next door sells aspirin!" But again I stopped, and walked out the door instead. "It's none of your business," I told myself.

I was headed to that convenience store myself, since Planet Sub doesn't have Diet Mountain Dew, and as I filled up my fountain drink I replayed that scene in my head. She really did seem to be hurting. "But she's not helpless. She's a big girl," I thought. "She can find headache medicine without your help." But for some reason, I found myself walking to the first-aid display in the store and grabbing a couple packets of Advil. Even while I paid for them, the negative thoughts kept coming. "She's probably gone by now. She was just venting anyway. You don't do things like this! It'll be weird! She'll look at you funny! Stop it!!"

The voice in my head was right: I really don't do things like this. Way beyond my comfort zone. And yet there I was, walking back into the restaurant, Advil in hand. The woman was about to leave, but I marched up to her and said "Excuse me, are you the lady who had the headache?" Her emphatic "YES," along with her weary-looking eyes, indicated that it really was a bad one -- probably so bad that she didn't think to question why a total stranger was asking her about it.

"Merry Christmas," I said, handing her the packets of medicine.

Surprised, she began to smile, and thanked me. I wish I could say I smiled back and breezily tossed a "Hope you feel better!" over my shoulder, but I just looked at the floor and stammered something about the store next door, and um, yeah, so, before walking away.

Before I'd gotten 10 feet away, the negative thoughts started up again: "What if she's allergic to that brand? What if she doesn't celebrate Christmas? She's probably calling her friends right now to tell them about the nosy weirdo at Planet Sub."

But this time, it was easy to ignore that voice. I hadn't solved all the world's problems today, but I had tried to help a stranger with a headache. It was something. As I waited for the elevator back to my office, I sipped my drink, and I smiled.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Picking a name, revisited

My apologies to my Facebook friends who have already seen this... It was a FB note/essay, but I just waved my magic wand and POOF it's a blog post! Ooooo, ahhhh! This was written at week 29 of my pregnancy, so right around this time last year. 

Of course, the cat's out of the bag now. "The Name" I mention towards the end of this post was, in fact, Lindsey. Matt predicted very early on that we would end up using that name, and he was right (dammit). I'll admit that I was hoping to find something a little quirkier, but name selection is often about compromise. Having a name that we both loved became more important than making a statement with an offbeat choice. And we do both LOVE Lindsey's name.

That being said, I'm keeping my nameberry account open so I can keep adding to my Favorites lists. It's an addiction at this point. And who's to say I couldn't talk Matt into Liesel, Tessa or Brennan next time around? (Yes, I love all three of those. Shut up.)

Thanks for coming with me as I look back. Here's where I was a year ago...

The Precious.
A couple things about the name selection process:
1. No, we have not picked out a name yet.
2. We won't be revealing the name until after she's born anyway. 
3. There are maybe 842,000 names out there and I am, and always have been, incredibly indecisive. It took me six months to name my cat when I was a kid. I am petrified of naming my "favorite" anything. This... could take a while.

*Sigh* No, we don't have a name picked out. No, ultrasound tech; no, hair stylist; no, stranger at Banana Republic: we don't have a name yet. 

My standard response to the name question is "well, I'm working my way through the name book, but so far I'm only up to __ (whatever letter I'm on)." Occasionally, some kind soul will nod and say something encouraging. More often, I get stares of disbelief. "You're going through the WHOLE alphabet??" Um, yes? A lot of people seem to have had a breeze of a time selecting a name and don't see why I'm making it so hard. Apparently this is something that I should have decided the instant I found out I was pregnant, if not before.

And then one day, reality TV made me feel slightly less alone. There is a show on TLC that I kind of love called "Say Yes to the Dress." Basically, you watch starry-eyed brides shop for wedding gowns they can't afford at Kleinfeld's in New York. (I highly recommend it for the footage of the pretty pretty princess dresses, but not if you'll be pissed off by comments like "I want to spend, I don't know, between four and 10 thousand? Unless the dress is REALLY amazing, then we can go over 10." --actual quote from the show) 

One bride came to the shop having already tried on about 100 dresses, and proceeded to try a few dozen more. She left without one. In her parting interview, she said "How will I know it's the right dress until I've seen ALL the dresses?"

EXACTLY. I wanted to fly to New York, run into Kleinfeld's and tackle-hug my decision-making soul sister out of gratitude. 

How will I know it's the right name until I've seen all my options? Not to mention the fact that naming a child is a lot more complicated than picking out a dress. The kid will be stuck with this name her entire life. It needs to be adorable but still strong, quirky but not too weird, familiar but still memorable, and come with at least one really great nickname option. 

Complicating things further is the fact that Matt and I both have to love the name. He's been a little frustrated with my name indecision so far. Years ago, we had one of those hypothetical baby name conversations and stumbled upon a girl's name that we both liked. I mentally filed it away as "a name we both like," but I guess Matt filed it as "The Name We Will Use." He was disappointed to learn that it may or may not be. Like I told him: it's still in the running, but it's got to earn it. It has to beat every other name out there. How bad do you want it, Name? Are you here to make friends or are you here to win??

And so, like the crazy reality-show bride, I keep looking. Slowly, the bookmark in my Baby Name Bible moves a little closer to the Z's. Eventually we'll arrive at a great name. I'll let you know... after she gets here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just playing around... seeing if I can successfully post a photo. Yes, I am THAT clueless. But hey, it's an excuse to share one of my favorite pictures of miss Lindsey Lu! This was taken at her first K-State game (where we stomped on the Longhorns, but who's keeping track).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eeek, a blog

This has been bouncing around in my head for a long time now, so I'm finally doing it. Welcome to planet kendar, everybody! And by 'everybody,' I mean... me, I guess. Welcome, self. Sigh. But maybe some friends will show up soon?

I've been putting off starting this until I had a few posts ready to go, and also until I knew something about blogs, and until all the stars aligned and my life was organized and and and and. It was never going to happen, so I'm just jumping in right now -- rather than finishing wrapping Christmas presents and doing the other 12 things I meant to do tonight. Procrastination will be a theme here; just embrace it now.

So that's it for my first post... I guess there's nothing left to do but hit 'publish.' Heeeere I go. Any second now. Eeek.

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