Friday, May 28, 2010

Field Trip Friday: Who Knew!

I have often said that it is the accidental that always turns into the best. Of so many things. It is the unplanned night out, where you land in a group and stumble your way onto one of the best nights of your life. It is the  unexpected detour on a long roadtrip where you find the most unbelievable roadside store. And of course, it is the box that attracts the kid rather than the expensive toy.

This past December, I went to New York City with three of my friends for a day trip. Our primary purpose was to see the Radio City Music Spectacular. And spectacular it was. But the show only lasted a couple of hours and we were there for the whole day. Because it's New York City, we hadn't made any other plans. We figured, it isn't possible NOT to find entertainment in that city.

In our vision, it was a gorgeous December day. Crisp air, sunshiney blue skies. In our reality, it was a cold, sleety, rainy, ugly, northeast winter day. What that means is that all of our plans for casually strolling the streets of New York were shot. We racked our brains trying to think of places we could go to get out of the rain that wouldn't require too much time in the rain to get there. We raced the streets, visiting Rockefeller Center to see the big Christmas tree, the MOMA gift shop (because a Tim Burton exhibit had the museum sold out and the shop was as close as we could get), St. Patrick's Cathedral and Macy's, to view their spectacular holiday window dressings.

After Macy's, we decided that we would get some dinner and then head home. None of us had any idea about the area. We'd gotten restaurant recommendations from friends but none of them were anywhere close to where we were and we didn't feel like trekking all over town in search of a bite to eat. So we started down a quiet street, with no real destination in mind. Halfway down the block, we came upon the unassuming entry of a restaurant. We looked at the menu posted outside and decided we'd give it a look-see.

What we found inside was a gorgeous restaurant with a spectacular and a surprisingly affordable menu that was miraculously half empty on a Saturday night. We walked right in and got a table. From there we went on to have one really amazing meal.

I'm embarrassed to say that I don't recall the name of that restaurant. In days gone by, I would have snagged a match book. Remember matchbooks? Me too, I kinda miss them. But with no smoking, there are no matchbooks. In the hustle and bustle to get out the door, I didn't pay attention.

Part of me thinks that if I were to attempt to find it again, I would find only a mystery. I might find my way to the right block, but if I asked around, people would tell me there used to be a restaurant in that building but it closed decades ago. It was a popular speakeasy during prohibition but closed in the 40s, and for one reason or another, nothing had ever replaced it. But sometimes. Sometimes around the holidays, you could hear the sounds of laughter and music coming from the empty building.

You never know.

This post was written as a part of Field Trip Fridays at BlogTrotting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometimes A Little is Enough

When it came down to it, I couldn't make the big jump. The appeal of the ponytail and my husband's happiness won out and I went with a more modest trim.


I got bangs. I have a love/hate relationship with bangs. I have a tall forehead. Really, it's a five- or six-head. So bangs go a long way towards minimizing that wall of skin. However I have a rather pronounced cowlick and the straightest hair you can possibly imagine, so my bangs stubbornly go in the direction they want to go, which is most generally NOT the direction I want them to. Only a major smackdown gets them in line. So we'll see how long this lasts. And how often I clip them to the side.

But for now, I'm pretty happy with it.

This is the only shot that even comes close to showing the gradations of color of the highlights and of course I am making a doofy face and Sophie is out of focus. She is a perpetual motion machine, that kid. The few shots we do catch of her perfectly in focus are rare and precious. Eh, this will have to do.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I am at the precipice. I find myself once again unsure of which direction to go. It seems I feel this way several times a year. I don't know if it has to do with the changing of the seasons or if its just the passage of time. But here I am again.

It's my hair.

I have struggled for years, hell, my whole life, with finding a style that I like, one that is relatively easy to style and maintain and that works with my hair. Everywhere I look people have fantastic hairdos that perfectly accent their faces. Why do I struggle so much with this?

So I made an appointment to get my hair highlighted, something I haven't done in a decade, thinking this would be a fun kind of change. I had (mostly) decided to grow my hair out, so I was only planning on getting a trim. But then I saw a photograph of myself at the MomzShare event (which was an amazing night out, by the way, and one that deserves its own post) this past Saturday and I did not love the way it looked. So now I'm rethinking the just a trim part.

Tomorrow afternoon I will either bite the bullet and do something new and different or I will come home with just a trim, regretting not doing something new and different. If I leave it longer, Neil will be happy, as he's a long hair guy, AND I will be able to pull it back as we go into the hotter months. Which will be nice when I run my first 5K next month. But if I cut it short, I'll get that something different I so crave.

The decision seems easy. So why is it so hard?

Am I alone? Does anyone else struggle with this? Do you get haircut remorse?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Beachy

(cross-posted over at BlogTrotting as part of our BlogTrotting Together linky fun.)

Last week I talked about my dream vacation, today I'm going to talk about the favorite vacation that I've taken. So far.

Where to begin? I have climbed the Eiffel Tower, twice. I have looked out from the stands of the Coliseum and pondered the gladiators in days of yore. I have searched the waves of Loch Ness looking for a prehistoric monster. I have attempted to stare down the stoic guards at Buckingham Palace. I have swum with dolphins in crystal clear Bahamian waters. I have stood in a jail cell in Alcatraz and cracked wise about a guard named Vicky. I have seen a bull fight in Barcelona. I have trekked through a Costa Rican rain forest. I have looked into the enigmatic gaze of the Mona Lisa. I have enjoyed Octoberfest in a beerhaus in Munich. I have skied the Rockies AND the Alps. I have spent New Year's Eve in Times Square. I have wandered among Mayan ruins. I have slogged the six mile (no lie) tour through the Vatican. I have caught beads thrown by Harry Connick Jr in the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I have looked out at the majestic wonder of the Grand Canyon. I have won and lost a small fortune in Las Vegas.

There's more, but you get the point. My list of trips reads like a bucket list. I am so grateful for the amazing adventures I've been on. And as unforgettable as all of those were, my favorite trip was the one where I did the least sightseeing: my wedding/honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

It's not just that it was the most luxurious trip I've ever been on, or that it was the longest vacation I've ever taken, or that it was the occasion of my nuptials and that my nearest and dearest were there. (For part of it. I'm not crazy, we had a week just us newlyweds.) It was all of those, and so much more.

(The lobby of our hotel.)

It was the mojitos from the little cantina right outside our casita, we had so many I'm pretty sure I sweat lime juice. It was the massages, manicures and pedicures that left me soft, polished and relaxed. It was the rose petals housecleaning sprinkled around our suite every evening and cleaned up every morning. It was the 10 million threadcount sheets on the California king bed. It was the acres of marble tile in our suite. It was spotting whales in the ocean from our patio. It was laying in bed looking into the eyes of my new husband. It was spending entire days doing NOTHING.

(My beloved and I taking a stroll on the beach. Totally casual. Not staged or planned at all. Not. But still. A special moment.)

We ate, drank, slept, lounged, swam, ate, drank, slept, ate, drank. In a nutshell: the perfect vacation.

What was your favorite vacation? Link up over at BlogTrotting!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Table Topics Tuesday: Bitter Pill

 Is it harder to be honest or kind?

I am an innately bad liar. Always have been. As a child, my mom could always tell. It might have been the way I stumbled over the words. Or how I giggled. Or it might have been the fact that I flushed from chest to cheeks. Whatever the case, I am terrible at it. Age and time have not improved this skill. To this day, I can not lie to bosses, husband, friends, parents, ANYONE. Even over the phone. It is my Achilles Heel.

But what that means is that I am not good at false praise. If someone asks me how something looks and I honestly don't think it looks good, I am powerless to resist telling them the truth. I try to be as kind as I possibly can. It is not my intention to be hurtful, although unfortunately, I imagine sometimes that is the result. I always make the effort to say the nice thing. I will skirt the issue rather than be mean. But I can't/won't lie.

Yeah, I'm popular.

But I am a glass half full kind of gal. I'd like to think there is an upside. And that is that when I say something, people believe it.

Or they hate me and stomp off calling me a heartless bitch. But that's the half empty side, and we're not thinking like that today. So let's go with they appreciate my candor. Yep, that's the thing.

Now go visit Shannon to see what everyone is talking about!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Thumbs Thursday - Spring

A nod to my friend Mep, who created All Thumbs Thursday but who hasn't been doing much blogging lately, other than our BlogTrotting* fun, due to the recent birth of her little girl!

What has my Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down on this yucky Thursday morning?

The beguiling aroma of freshly mowed grass. / The itchy, watery eyes and runny nose associated with pollen and grass allergies. Zyrtec, take me away!

Waking up to yellow rays of sunshine. / Confused that it's still daylight when we put her to bed, Sophie fights sleep until the sun goes down. AT 9. Conversely, she's up at 5:30. Ugh. Double Ugh.

Breaking out the flip-flops and fun summer clothes. / Packing all of my winter clothes away only to have the temperature drop 30 degrees and having to dig it all back out.

Pedicures! / Having to shave my legs so I don't confuse the lady at the nail salon about my gender.

*Are you signed up to host a tour for BlogTrotting yet? Get to it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Table Topics Tuesday: Dream Vacation

It's been a long time since I've been on a real vacation. Which isn't to say that I haven't traveled, but a real vacation for me is one that involves a passport. My last real vacation was in fall of 2006 when I went to Playa del Carmen with my best friend and one of my oldest and dearest friends. We had a great time, despite the fact that I got sunburned so badly on the first day that I was unable to expose my skin to the sun for the rest of the trip. This meant snorkeling in full clothing. Hiding under umbrellas with SPF 3000. And lets just say that mixing one measly beer and sun poisoning gets you some quality time with el dios porcelano. Whatev. Despite this, it was an amazing trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

But that's not my dream vacation right now.

Right now, my dream vacation is Ireland. I have been to pretty much every other western European country. And who could possibly resist the accent? It's so dreamy.

I want to sleep in a castle.

Enjoy a pint in a pub.

Kiss the Blarney Stone.

Stare down the Cliffs of Insanity.

That's really not so much to ask for, is it? *cough* Fifth anniversary. *cough*

Visit Shannon to see what everyone else is chatting about!


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Mother Is...

...a booboo kisser.

...a hand to hold.

...arms to hug.

...a first class cuddler.

...a landing pad at the bottom of the slide.

...a chicken nugget maker.

...a swing pusher.

...a picture taker.

...a poopie diaper changer.

...a puke catcher.

...a booger picker.

...a face wiper.

...the loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader.

...unquestioning, undeniable, unending love.

To all of you out there, and to my own, with gratitude and love, a very Happy Mother's Day!

To see all of the other "A Mother Is..." posts, visit Loulou's Views.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My sweet darling girl. I could bask in your smile, all day every day, and never get enough of it.