hold on kids…august is gonna be a delightfully bumpy one.

I’ve started to feel as though everyone on the Internet is omnipresent in everything I do since I do so many things in so many different places. Can’t find me here? Look over there! Not there? Try here! Don’t forget about here and here and sometimes here and always here except when I’m not. Phew. August isn’t planning on letting up AT ALL which is fine because I’ll start the month of in New York and then spend the middle part of it on a boat in the middle of the ocean with this handsome guy I’m married to with absolutely no Internet connection. (I mean, there will be one but the Internet isn’t worth $0.75/minute to me when I have the option of drinking frozen fruity beverages in the sunshine while pretending I’m a childless newlywed who hit the husband jackpot for an entire week.)

I love meeting real people when I’m out and about in the world. Just this weekend we went to the mall and I met Stephanie and Erin. I wish I could have taken them to get an Orange Julius and asked them all about their lives, their passions and their families, after all, they pretty much know everything about mine, it doesn’t seem fair I don’t have the chance to know their story as well. Speaking of stories, last week I was all “AH! PANIC ATTACK ALONE IN THE AIRPORT!” and so many of you were all “AAH! I’VE GONE THROUGH HORRIBLE STUFF ALONE IN PUBLIC AS WELL!” and then the universe was all “BOOM! POP QUIZ!” when I walked in behind a lady at the drugstore who COMPLETELY wiped out as soon as she hit the linoleum.

I was on the ground with her, picking up her stuff, offering to call people and bossing the store employees around to “GET THE WOMAN A CHAIR ALREADY!” before the automatic doors had even closed behind me. What sucks is she was just coming to drop off a prescription, you know, because she HAD JUST BROKEN HER FOOT they day before. *sigh* I wish I could have done more, like unbreak her foot or unfall her fall but alas I didn’t get those superpowers.

Aside: Have I ever told you that Cody watches Teen Mom loyally?

.

Last but not least, before I head off to New York I have to tell you about the lovely company that asked if they could sponsor Emily and me this year. Dolphin Organics specializes in completely natural baby care products that I’m obsessed with. I’ve talked about them before here, as well as here, and really honestly here. This is the kind of sponsorship I feel really good about, they sponsored BlogHer last year and still wanted to have a presence this year. If you’re going to be in New York this week and will have your baby with you, a baby at home, a baby in your belly or perhaps a birth mother’s belly? Find Emily or me so Dolphin Organics can send you a little something when the conference is over. We’ll also have their Simply Citrus line with us so you can smell how good chemical free baby lotion can smell. (Dolphin Organics is a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep Database.)

I really like you guys. Thanks for sticking around. You’re wonderful, every single one of you. One of the most peaceful moments at the EVO conference was knowing that even if all the money, the stuff, the opportunities and the jobs went away tomorrow I’d still be here. Right here. Right where I started six years ago and where I’ve been ever since.

disney baby and lovely simplicity.

So this was my first month officially writing for Disney Baby and you guys? It’s a lot different but it’s lovely. I share the space with some amazingly lovely people and the site itself is pretty, easy to navigate and the content is right up my alley. Here’s a few things I’ve covered so far:

Vivi has a passionate and intense love for…cans. Yeah. Cans.

Vivi headed into a fountain fully clothed, oh to be the second baby.

Flying with babies, the honest truth. You know, after I was able to take a deep breath and recover from Sunday’s flight.

When baby goes to grandpa’s. A photo essay of Vivi’s trip to Utah. (Seriously? This new slideshow format will MELT YOUR MIND. I promise. It’s amazing!)

Of molars and moaning. See also: Top molars? COME IN ALREADY.

Addie and Vivi skyped while we were in Utah and Addie was in Indiana. It was just about the cutest thing online.

Vivi loves babies. Big babies, little babies, real babies and doll babies. (The doll babies are safest around her.)

Vivi vs. Addie *ding ding* Vivi’s defense tactics against her overly affectionate sister.

 

old friend, new body, windowstyle, best year ever.

Do you have friends that you’d do just about anything for?

Emily and Shireen are two of mine.

We’re all headed to BlogHer next week in New York City and Windows is offering up a once in a lifetime chance for five attendees.

Head to toe makeover, clothes, a celebrity stylist, a new computer…dude.

If there is anyone who deserves this, it’s Shireen. Holy cow I love this girl, if you know her then you’ll know why.

Emily and I had to write a post or make a video to enter her, we decided to go the video route and here it is:

Emily and I would love any and all support you could show Shireen in this contest. She’s an amazing girl, but you already know that because you watched the video right?

Her 30th birthday is coming up at the end of August and hopefully this contest can jump start 30 into being her best year ever.

**********

In writing this post, I’m entering into the Microsoft Windows Style Makeover Sweepstakes for a chance to win a head to toe makeover. (For Shireen.)

 

perhaps I’m the minority?

Vivi is officially a horrible flier. I gave her a pass on horrible flights one and two, but flights three, four and six were all equally as terrible. Notice how I left the fifth flight out? Yeah, that’s because horrible isn’t an adequate enough adjective for how bad our flight from Salt Lake to Chicago was last night. You guys, she SCREAMED the entire flight. And not just gentle complaints, but backwards head throwing screaming at the top of her lungs so loud people probably thought I was smuggling razor blades in her intestines.

She’s getting her top molars which has to have contributed to the misery but YOU GUYS. I did my best. Oh my gosh I did my best.

Once we got off the plane I realized because of delays in Salt Lake I didn’t have 40 minutes between flights, I had 4.

The thought of immediately getting on another plane with Vivi sent me into sobbing fits. I was all alone. I had at least another hour on a plane with her. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time.

I’m not even sure I’ve cried that hard in public, ever.

Despite dozens, if not hundreds of people seeing me crying while pushing a stroller through the terminal, no one said anything. One flight attendant on my flight was gracious enough to ask if I was okay, take my bags and get me some water.

When someone is visibly sobbing it’s not like someone who may or may not be pregnant, something is clearly going on. You say something, you do something. You don’t just look the other way because emotions make you uncomfortable. I have sat with many people in many different places who have been crying. With a mom who lost her son in Disneyworld, another woman who was having a panic attack in the Chicago Children’s Museum, one woman who was simply having a hard time at Blissdom and I hugged another mom when she got a call that her son was being rushed to the ER for a severe cut on his finger.

If you’re having a hard time? I hug.

I’m a hugger.

Even if you’re a stranger.

I’m also a hand holder or shoulder patter.

Someone once told me that it had been months since they had had any physical contact with another human. We’re not even talking physical bow chicka contact, we’re talking a hug or a hand hold. This wasn’t a smelly mean person either, this was a normal well adjusted human whom I like a lot. Just because someone is of a certain age, has a partner, kids or still lives at home doesn’t mean they get the physical interaction we all need as humans. Hugs can change lives. Hand squeezes can brighten dire situations.

I’m not saying you should make out with strangers or hug crying women in the airport for an awkward amount of time…but you guys. We’re all in this together, so why did I go through a panic attack in a very public place alone last night?

What stops you from helping people or reaching out?

(I should mention that when it comes to people asking for money, I’m more than happy to buy them food or a cup of coffee, or offer them food or bottled water I keep in my car.  (Literally, beggars can’t be choosers right?) I have been told “I don’t want food, I want a dollar.” more than I have been taken up on my offer to buy/give food. Well then. Responses like this keep a tiny little cynic alive inside me.)

near ignite misfire.

So. That conference I went to last week, I thought it was this week.

That is until I realized my mistake last Monday night, two days before I was supposed to be at my conference. Whoops.

I mean, I’ve had a lot going on, something had to go wrong. I just never thought nearly missing a conference I was a keynote speaker at by an entire week would be the one that fell through the cracks. (I honestly thought it would be something related to my kids or laundry.)

Anyway, I freaked out about my five minute keynote for about 48 hours, realized there’s nothing more I could do about it and this is what I ended up with:

It felt so good to do it, but man I was glad when it was over. (Also I can’t thank all of you who were so kind to me afterwards, knowing it was so well received made (and still makes) my heart sing.)

(Also, sorry camera guys for all the pacing, and my pointed finger? I call that my bossy finger. It comes out when I’m being bossy. Bossy, bossy, bossy.)

xo

truly evolved.

There was a conference in Park City, Utah this past weekend called EVO.

It’s the same conference I went to two years ago when I first found myself again and at the end of the conference I made this video.

At the end of this year’s conference I feel as though I have been dipped in chocolate and shellacked in a bright candy coating of impenetrable happiness.

I want to put it into words. SO MANY WORDS.

But for now this photo will have to do:

And then I became Hallmark's (Dancing) Mascot

I am so, so, happily exhausted. (My professional running man s-k-i-l-l-s may or may not have something to do with it.)

Did I meet you? Gosh I liked meeting you. Especially you, yeah, you know who you are.

 

pregnant teenage christians

“DADDY LOOK!”

“Whoa, is your Barbie pregnant?”

“YEAH!” (running away) “She’s a pediatrician!”

“A teenage Christian!?”

“NO! A PEDIATRICIAN! A BABY DOCTOR, DAD.”

**********

Over yonder on Shutterlovely, how my great grandmother’s tragedy helped me heal and why I’m on birth control for a boat.

way to be a grownup!

I may be 30, but I most certainly do not feel 30. I still get really excited about things I was never allowed to do as a kid or things I wasn’t able to do in our early years of marriage. The Mold-A-Rama is a perfect example of “Wait, I’M THE GROWNUP, I can totally do that if I want to.” I feel the same guilty pleasure whenever I let myself get a treat and a drink when I stop at the gas station by myself. I also love hailing cabs. I grew up only seeing cabs in movies so when it came time to hail my first cab in Chicago I had my form down: right leg out, chin up, right arm up and out, hand open, LOOK CONFIDENT. I squealed with delight (on the inside) when a cab actually stopped. “I DID IT! IT WORKED! I ASKED IT TO STOP AND IT DID!” (To this day I still love to hail a cab.)

taxi reflection

I love grocery shopping because I can get whatever I want. That doesn’t mean that I do, but it’s nice to know the option is there and no one is going to say no to me when I reach for the Double Stuff Oreos. I can still remember the first time I took myself out to lunch and the first time I took myself to a movie, so grownup! I also loved traveling with my passport for the first time two years ago. In my mind passports were always so exotic, grownups traveled with passports and I was finally able to join the ranks of passport carrying adult (ignore the fact that most kids have passports these days.)

Know what else I delight in? Driving myself to the airport. I’m not sure what made me believe that I always needed a ride to the airport, especially since the airport is so far away. Being able to park, pull out my luggage, and walk into the airport like an important business person on a very important business trip will never get old.

.

I also really like coming down an escalator to baggage claim and seeing a driver holding up a clipboard with my name. You know who comes down an escalator to their name on a clipboard? Important people.

I didn’t have to ask permission to get cats, I don’t have to ask permission to have ice cream after dinner, I can take road trips,  and if I want to stay up late? I can.

Big was one of my favorite movies growing up and now that I am a grownup by age standards? That movie makes a whole lot more sense.

Being a grownup can be pretty darn fun.

What grown up things do you delight in?

*****************

I’m so grateful to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for their patience with me, supporting me in all that I do and for sponsoring this post. I WORK WITH HALLMARK AS A GROWNUP, talk about childhood dream come true.