business class bunny naps.

In what I figured would be a stroke of brilliance I decided to bring a smaller laptop that doubles as a tablet with me on my latest adventure. Travel light! Multitasking technology!

It’s a PC. I normally work on a Mac. We’re learning how to get along but it’s bumpy, PC knows none of my passwords and the biggest problem is neither do I. I also brought along the Nikon I used in New York a couple of weeks ago. I normally shoot with a Canon, so basically the technology I’ll be using on this trip is the equivalent of going on a trip with another woman’s husband, I’m sure he’s nice and I’ll figure him out eventually, but he’s not my husband.

I started with everything packed in a very small carry on, I’ve done two weeks in one carry on before! It can be done! But then I moved everything to a slightly larger carry on because things were a little too tight in the smaller one. Then at 4 in the morning, the time when all good ideas are born, I decided I needed to give up and move everything into a slightly larger bag. So while I can do two weeks in a carry on, I didn’t really want to this time.

It’s kind of like how Cody ran a marathon last week, just because he can do it doesn’t mean he actually enjoys it all that much and if given the choice he’d probably take a half marathon over a full, just like I’d rather pack more than one pair of pants.

Marathons and packing light, a totally equal comparison.

Before I left this morning I went into Vivi’s room while she was still asleep, I wanted to pick her up and rock her and smell her and kiss her but I knew if I did she’d wake up and be a grouchy miserable creature for the rest of the day, which wouldn’t exactly be fair to Cody.  She was all curled up with bunny in her arms so I grabbed one of the bonus bunnies from her closet, kissed it, hugged it and then slid it into her arms as I took the still-warm bunny she had been sleeping with and tucked it inside my jacket to hold onto its Vivi-warmth for as long as possible.

I couldn't bring myself to pick her up before I left this morning, so I took her still-warm bunny with me and replaced it with one I hugged and kissed. I hope she could feel it.

He’s currently sitting next to me in my hotel bed. He smells like her, a little stinky, but all that stink is from pure baby love. Addie gave me one of her baby blankets to take as well, nothing like being a 31 year old woman travelling on business and pulling out a pink butterfly blanket and raggedy bunny in business class to take a little nap.

It’s going to be a very good week indeed.

“i don’t know what it will look like, but i know what it will feel like”

A few weeks ago I took Vivi to an apple orchard for the afternoon. We got apple slushees, apple donuts and a big bag of freshly picked honeycrisps to make a pie. As we sat outside in the sun I was hit with this overwhelming sense of loneliness. There was a group of moms sitting under a tree right in front of me, their kids all playing together as the moms talked about tantrums, marriage and the best kind of cookie from Target. Another group of moms walked behind me with their kids, it was clear they spend a lot of time together because you couldn’t even tell which kid belong to whom, they all just sort of went together like some sort of modern day sister-wife arrangement.

While I’m grateful for all the friends who live in my computer (hi, you) there are times I am terribly lonely in real life. Where does one even meet mom friends in real life? I’m also a sort of strange hybrid of mom friend myself, I travel a lot and I work from home, but I also have a toddler and school age child. Many of the people close to me with a toddler and third grader have a few other kids in-between. I don’t really know anyone else in real life with the 6-7 year age gap. I have really great friends in Indy (and all over the world), but the biggest struggle is all of them are more than a 30 minute drive from me, which makes it hard to get together on the spur of the moment.

Bests. #ClickRetreat

Mom dating is hard, because not only do you have to get along with your new mom friend and share some sort of interests — your kids have to get along too. It’s the worst when you like a mom but your kids don’t really get along, or vice versa. I know there are moms that live by me, ones I am friends with — but they’re really busy. I’m really busy. Addie has to get off the bus, Vivi has to nap, I have to work….

A friend called me tonight and said she’s felt a tapping on her heart that she needs to find some ladies out there who need friends, friends who aren’t afraid to get together in sweatpants and no makeup. Friends who need a friend that can admit that life is sometimes really hard but friends can and do make it better. She was nervous about asking for my help, but every word she spoke went right to my heart. This isn’t an online thing, this is a real life thing. This is a ‘put down your phones and let’s all talk about how we used to cry for hours because we were so tired with a new baby’ thing.  This is a let your flaws become your greatest and most charming asset thing.

Neither of us know how to do it, how to bring these women who we know are out there and who need other friends together. Her exact words were “I don’t know what it will look like, but I know what it will feel like.”

Grave Digger pit stop, somewhere in NC.

So do I.

And it’s kind of scary, what if they don’t like us? But it’s also kind of thrilling — finding other hearts out there you were meant to be friends with in this life.

We both said we’d pray about it, leave it up to God to put us where we need to be to find these ladies — or maybe — we were just meant to find each other for now. Regardless, if this is something that speaks to your heart (and really, we don’t give a lick if you talk to God or not as long as you’re a nice person) maybe you could join us? We’re not sure how or when, but we are sure it needs to happen.

painting frog toenails.

Holy whoa.

When you have a waterproof camera, you have to remember you're waterproof too. #ClickRetreat (photo by @ohhbetsy)

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know I’ve had a crazy busy October already, I started out in Ohio for the I Heart Faces conference which was the perfect little inspirational kick in the pants I needed to keep poking along with photography. From Ohio I flew to NYC then drove to the Hudson Valley with Nikon and Subaru to give their new AW1 a shot (pun!) It’s a waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera and believe me, it is waterproof and shockproof because I not only stuck it in a lake with fish, I ran around in the rain with it, climbed a mountain with it, swam in the ocean with it and jumped in a pool with it.

More on that later.

After New York I headed straight for the OBX (Outer Banks, North Carolina) for Click Retreat — which is exactly what I needed after a few physical and emotional bumps and bruises acquired in New York. There was also a stop at Virgina beach (nope) and a layover in Orlando which made my grand total of states visited 10 by the end of my adventures.

Whew.

I head back out on the 27th for two straight weeks of ‘Holy crap this is my job? YAY.’ then maybe things will slow down? Maybe?

I’m happy to be back with my babies, Addie is on fall break and we’re having fun hanging out in our pajamas playing games and not doing much besides hanging out together. She helped me make her wig for her Halloween costume and I learned real quick that clearly the person who did the wig making tutorial online was not contending with two cats and a toddler as she made her wig because making a yarn wig with two cats and a toddler around is pretty much like trying to paint a frog’s toenails.

Vivi headed downhill slowly today, waking up with a fever after her nap. I’m on high vomit alert with extra pajamas, bedsheets, bath towels and bunny at the ready. I hope it doesn’t happen — and with how prepared I am for it to happen, it for sure shouldn’t happen. I even tied her hair back so she wouldn’t end up barf filled hair if something does go wrong tonight. Where’s my best mom award for that forward thinking?

I may be terrible at yarn-wig making but I am pro when it comes to vomit.

*****

Over at Babble I wrote a letter to those who choose to remain childfree.

I also wrote about my side of Cody’s and my near divorce, you know, in case you wanted to see my heart popped open and spread out all over the floor. This one is kind of a must read for anyone who has married or may ever marry anyone else ever.

And 9 reasons why teachers leave me feeling like a terrible human. (Like you thought you’d get away from Babble without a slideshow.)

While more time alone may seem like the one big benefit of back to school, here’s 6 things I love now that Addie is back. (#BusStopVivi is clearly one of them.)

This post by my friend Diana is just so YES, you’ll just have to read it to see why.

and then I made my house grow up (sponsored by kohl’s)

Hey. So I’m never going to pretend that I know what I’m doing when it comes to home decor.

Because I don’t.

The interior design gene skipped right over me, which is why I don’t have a headboard, I still use the dining table Cody grew up with, I have bachelor pad furniture in my bedroom, old nightstands off Craigslist, a giant red puffle beanbag chair in my living room and a blanket made out of t-shirts on the back of my couch because it is the best napping blanket ever. It even has the Weinermobile on it:

When Kohl’s asked if I wanted to update either my look or my home for fall I figured since I’m all set for fall with four sets of black pants and a dozen sweatshirts it was time to pay a little attention to my home. I started with the stock pillows that came with my couch. Sure! Throw pillows! But they’re green. Green is my least favorite color behind purple. TIME FOR A CHANGE!

[Read more...]

sweat pants comfortable with myself.

The first conference I ever went to I bought an entirely new wardrobe, head to toe. I had my hair done, I bought new shoes and I probably even went on a diet. I worried what everyone thought of me and was desperate to have all the people like me.

I’ve gone to other conferences since and while I didn’t buy entire new wardrobes, I did care very much about what I wore because something in my head said if I wore something cute it would be one less reason for people to judge me, or one less thing that would make me stand out in a sea of adorable pinterest worthy outfits — I would look as though I fit in even though I felt desperately out of place.

This past weekend I attended the I Heart Faces photography conference in Ohio. I packed very practical clothes and at one point ended up at a class in sweats and sneakers because my family had come along with me and it was more fun to play with my kids between classes while wearing sweats and sneakers. It was a good group of women, all there because they wanted to get better at something we all loved — photography. I never felt as though someone was sizing up what I was wearing, the camera I held in my hands or the pictures I produced with it.

I was comfortable. I haven’t felt comfortable in such a long time.

Maybe it’s because Cody was so close, and I always feel comfortable around Cody. Perhaps it’s because I had my girls close, they make me so happy. Perhaps it was just the perfect mix of old and new friends and doing something I haven’t done in a long time (really learning something new with my camera.) It was a really great conference. I learned some amazing things I’m looking forward to implementing and trying out.

Two thumbs up.

I hope this comfortable feeling lasts, because I have a long and busy week ahead of me, full of new people and new experiences.

Then @janawarnke's hair flew up @lucrecerb's nose. Oh, it was a good day. #iHeartFaces

Fingers crossed that this is what finding oneself feels like, because it feels pretty damn good.