Pictures of You

"Screamed at the make-believe,
screamed at the sky
and you finally found
all the courage to let it all go"

Pictures of You by The Cure was her favorite song. At least, it was the last time we spoke. When I was in high school, that song used to make me all angsty about boys and sometimes it still does but for the most part, it now makes me think of her. It was playing on the radio when I got into the car this morning after dropping my kids off at school and BOOM. Tears.

I miss her.

My friend that was taken away from us way too young, way too fast. I didn't even have the chance to tell her how much she meant to me all those years. I honestly don't think she ever knew what a bright star she was. How even though we lived in different cities and only talked on the phone and wrote letters every few months or so, and only saw each other maybe once a year at most, she meant a lot to me. I looked up to her, admired her, wished so often I was born with her amazingly wonderful qualities.

Then she was gone.

And all I have are my memories and pictures and this song. And sometimes, as soon as I hear it, it just hits me. Hard.

I used to think that I never had the chance to tell her what she meant to me, but that's a crock of sh*t now, isn't it? I had plenty of chances. Every day is a chance to tell someone how much they mean to you.

So now I try. I try to let people know how much the mean to me. I usually end up looking like an idiot, but I'm ok with that. I don't care if they laugh at my feelings, at least they are known. Because I never want to let another person in my life go without knowing how I truly feel about them. Ever.

If you are reading this, just know that I appreciate you taking the time to read my words and process my sometimes completely random meaningless babble. It means a lot to me. And so do you.


Girlie Girl Glow

My daughter is a girlie girl. She was born that way and I've not only come to accept it, but I am trying to follow her cues and let her do the things that make her so happy and just glow and revel in all the girlie girlness. Like putting barretts in her hair. She used to hate it but now the bigger and brighter the hair accessories, the better. Like indulging her love of shoes. Like letting her wear a girlie girl butterfly princess-like costume that I swore I would NEVER let my daughter wear. Ever.

Never say never.

My son had decided we should all be superheroes this Halloween, but after seeing the poor quality of superhero costumes in person (really, they were $30 worth of absolute crap), we checked out what else was available and in the end, came home with this costume:

Now, seeing her in this outfit, I know it suits her to a T. She is radiant, because she's so happy in it. Originally, I was eyeing a dragon costume for her, but when I took this costume off the rack to check out what it was, she instantly grabbed it from my hands, put it in her lap, felt all of the fabric and sparkles and looked up at me with the biggest, widest eyes and happiest smile.

And in that instant I knew: it was hers. No doubt about it, we weren't walking out of the store without it.

My son, instead, chose the dragon. It's also a bright green.

So my children will be glowing at Halloween. With the obnoxiousness that is this crazy bright eye-burning green (who needs reflectors or flashlights?). But also, with pure joy. I can't wait!


Still Waiting

There are days when everything seems just as it should be, but at the same time, you know nothing is as it seems. Today is one of those days. Same time, same date, different year. And each year, I am overwhelmed with emotion, overcome with tears on its eve, and then again as it passes into a new day.

And it does, miraculously, always pass into a new day.

Eight years ago today, I had just gotten out of the shower, when my husband said in a calm voice "Honey, come in here." His voice never scares me, but in those seconds it did, because I didn't recognize it. Moving into the bedroom I saw him watching the tv. On the tv was an image of the Twin Towers. There was smoke. Not a second later, we watched the second plane hit. My heart stopped. I counted the seconds.

For the next several minutes the world stopped and time stood still.

Then I went to work. Crisis communications being part of my job.

I made phone calls. Some of them went through. Most hit a busy signal. I waited to hear from family members, friends, co-workers, students, colleagues, media contacts. I arranged for more televisions to come in. Whether with friends or strangers, that day we all watched and cried and hugged and wondered. Together.

More than anything, I waited and waited and waited to hear those busy signals turn to voices saying they were ok.

In the days that followed, as phone service was restored, most were.

But not all.

Too many lives lost in an instant. I cannot write about what it is like to lose a parent, spouse, or child in 9/11. I cannot fathom that deep a loss and am still constantly in awe of the strength of those who endured such a loss that day. I was not there to experience the chaos or witness what New Yorkers went through first-hand, nor able to assist as bravely and immediately as our firefighters, paramedics, police and other disaster relief workers.

I was not there, and yet, I was. We all were. In many ways, we still are.

On the anniversary of 9/11, it is difficult for me to conduct life as normal. Every other day of the year, fine. But this day, every year, I am struck with so much emotion that I am almost frozen. I remember.

I feel like I am still waiting for my phone to ring. I am still waiting to hear those voices who never had a chance to call back.


Kindergarten Becomes Him

Well I'll be. My son loves Kindergarten. L-O-V-E-S it.

Exhibit A: his silly unstoppable smiles as we got ice cream to celebrate his first day last week:

The boy who cried and protested throughout most of his preschool days, and tried at least three times each week to rationalize why he should not go to preschool that day, now LOVES Kindergarten.

I could be having the crappiest day but it doesn't matter because my sweet, sensitive, kind, thoughtful, insightful son is HAPPY. Every day since he started last week, he's been this transformed little grown up. He doesn't even run to me at pick-up time, he wants to stay a little and finish up! He chatters away excitedly from the minute I pick him up to the moment he goes to sleep at night. About school! Kindergarten! My kid is at last challenged and excited about being able to do more, learn more, experience more, and it is so so so incredible to see him be this H-A-P-P-Y about school!

And that makes this mama happier than ever. And no 6-hours trying to fix a stupid ass computer that's been affected with super nasty spyware can take that truth away. What's that about the computer? Oh, that story is for another post. This is a post about my son's happiness, which is, truth be told, a million times more important to me than mine.


Downsizing to Offset the Duggars

I find it ironic that in the midst of my manic downsizing obsession, the Duggars decide to have baby #19. Nineteen! Holyfuckinshit! That doesn't even deserve to be bleeped out because if you don't curse, surely you MUST submit to profanities now because it is the only logical response to such insane news. Now you know I try to give folks their own private space when it comes to parenting decisions, lifestyle decisions, whatever. I don't care what you eat, what you feed your kids, how you discipline, homeschool, private school, make the whole family dress up as farm animals at the dinner table every Tuesday night, whatever. I cut celebrity families a lot of slack. But this...this affects our entire overpopulated planet. They claim to have changed at least 90,000 diapers. Were any of those cloth? Oh wait! Do you think she'd buy my Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers and inserts? Maybe I'll just send them to her. She could use them for kids #19-24, I bet. They're THAT great!

I digress.

"This never gets old," says proud overly-sexed papa Jim Bob Duggar. What? Yes! Yes it DOES get old, Jim Bob! And so do YOU! You are going to be grandparents for goodness' sake, and here comes baby number 19. Your grandchild will be older than your #19 baby.

Truth be told, I think they're insane. There. I said it. I hate saying it but that's how I feel. However...they seem like somewhat decent insane people. The kids seem a little robotic but kind. I think Michelle and I could be friends, in fact. That is, if she'd allow a loud opinionated Filipino into her home (has there been a non-Caucasian in their life?).

While the Duggars are preparing to add more to their overflowing plates, I am focused (some might say obsessed. po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe) with taking things off of my overflowing plate.

Starting with moving out of my office space downtown and moving back to my home office. Less commute, less overhead, more time to work.

We have two kids and we're calling it good. That means it's about freakin' time we unload all of our baby gear once and for all. Furniture, jogging strollers, double strollers, baby strollers, infant car seats, playmats, swings, toys toys toys. It all must go go go!

Sidenote: 75% of the babyproofing industry is a SCAM people. First time parents: you do not NEED half of that crap and believe me, when it comes time to sell your things to people who might not want the baby bumpers around the corners of tables and whatnot? It is a BEYOTCH to take off.

Weight. Or, more correctly stated, inches. I took the summer off from doing any sort of exercise whatsoever. I'm not a summer gal, and the heat and my skin conditions don't get along. Ah, but glorious fall is almost here, and I have no excuses. Eager for kickboxing to start up again in the fall. I might even give yoga a try again if I can find an instructor and classmates I don't want to punch.


I want less. Less everything. Less is more! Less is good. Less is happiness.

Unless, of course, your last name is Duggar.