Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Catholic School Flashback

Last Day of School, June 1983 (4th Grade)
Between grade school, high school and college, I went through 16 years of Catholic School.  And 12 of those were in a uniform. I honestly didn't mind wearing a uniform because I didn't have to ever worry about what to wear.  The days when you could wear what you wanted?  Holy stress!

As I sat in church today, I was reminded of those days while the young uniformed girls went up to receive their ashes.  Green plaid skirt, white collared shirt, nondescript footwear.  Ah, the memories.

Looking back, I must attribute some of my love of fashion to those days. After wearing what I was told for so long, of course I developed the desire to be original, to have a style all my own, to help others develop their own style.  And to get as far away from sensible rubber soled shoes as possible!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Going Steady

I love Todd.  Took me a long time to find him but I did and everyday I thank God for him.  He's simply the greatest man I've ever known and is amazing to me, my family and friends, and not to mention Stella and Sophie.  And now we are going to live together under the same roof without a satellite location!!! I am so excited as all I've ever wanted was for him and all his stuff to be here.  I love him so much I keep making room in our closet for his clothes.  Yep, even moved half my shoes to another closet.  Now that's saying something!

So when he got down on one knee and popped the question, I had to say yes!

Todd: Sweetheart, would you go steady with me?  (holds his high school ring out)

Me: Yes!


The only decision to make now is do I put it on a chain, wrap it in yarn or find some wax to make it fit.  It may be high school to you but it is true love to us!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SURPRISE!!!

Turning 40 is a big deal.  Everybody knows it.  As my big day drew near, people kept asking me what my plans were.  I knew Todd and I were taking the day off and going to dinner but hadn't gotten any further than that.  And my "drinking crew" girlfriends said we would celebrate at our annual cookie swap.  My bestie and I were planning to do lunch at some point and I'd see my family around Christmas. Plus, we had a girls' night out planned to see the Chippenelves.

Chippenelves you ask?  What's a chippenelf? A Chippenelf is a good looking man on whom you and your girlfriends can bid to be your personal butler at Ladies Night Out.  Money raised goes to support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) and 4 of us went last year.  There is food, drink, silent and live auctions.  I got a little carried away last year and ended up buying the world's most expensive and hideous wreath.  I was very excited to re-wrap it this year and take it back to the event so some other generous (read competitive at auctions) lady could take it home.

So last Thursday night I was dressed and ready to go!  Amy had the tickets, Mindi was riding with me and our other friends were meeting at the event. Unfortunately, Stacey had a sick child so couldn't go.  When I picked up Mindi she asked if we could drop something off to her husband not far from the venue. Of course! So we rolled up to a restaurant and hopped out to say hi to Jim and be on our way.

"SURPRISE!!!" What?  Holy cow!  I was stunned.  Not only was Mindi's husband Jim in the room but so were my drinking crew friends plus husbands (no, Stacey's daughter wasn't really sick and yes Amy had cashed my CASA ticket to keep me off the surprise scent), my bestie and her husband, my parents, my friends from NC, a former colleague... you get the picture!  And later, other gal pals walked in including those from Chicago and Florida.  Even my CEO braved 2+ hours in the car with two of my girlfriends to be there.  Open bar, great food, an amazing cake made by my friend Heather, a special hat and sash and presents!

I really had no clue this party was happening.  My friends are devious liars! (in a good way) And Todd surprised me beyond anything I could imagine.  I never would picture him planning a party for me.  But he did.  And it was perfect.  And I am the luckiest 40 year old in the world.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Oh, and if you are wondering, the hideous wreath is going to be stored until we next year - we are SO going to see those Chippenelves next Christmas :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

30's Last Night

On the eve of my 40th birthday, I can't help but reflect on who I've been, who I am and who I hope to be. My teen years were spent following the rules.  My 20's were focused on rebelling, taking risks (sometimes really stupid ones) and thinking I knew it all.  My 30's have mostly been spent being who I thought I should be.  Not understanding my true spirit.  Finally learning to stand up for myself and realizing the truth truly can set you free.

And now, as I sit here on the last night before I turn 40, I am thinking about who I want to be.  And it sounds simple:

  • A better daughter
  • A better girlfriend and partner
  • A better friend
  • A better citizen
  • A better Christian
  • A better aunt and Godmother
  • A better colleague and employee
  • A better listener to those in my life and to my own instincts and heart
  • A better mother to Sophie and Stella
  • A forgiver
  • A mother
  • A wife
  • A step-mother
If I could change one thing about myself it would be to worry less.  My mother says it is a genetic trait but perhaps I could do it if I trusted myself more.  I'm sure I could do it if I let go of all the loss in my life - loss of loved ones to death, betrayal, delusion and fear.  Loss of self to co-dependence, denial and fear. But somehow it seems that the more I figure myself and life out, the more I worry.  A good friend told me she went through the same thing when she became a mother.  Something about suddenly having everything you want, of finding yourself happy, can cause you to fear the loss of all that is wonderful.

So my hope for the next decade is that I can let go and do better. I know there are things about myself I can't change and that's OK.  It's what makes me me.  But I'd like to do better.  And I'd like to be some new things as well.  I think I have a lot to offer and know I have a lot more to learn.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A "Runner's" Story


Trying out for the cheerleading squad in high school required running a mile in 10 minutes or less. I did it, but during the run some of the baseball players who were standing around watching us started quacking. According to them, I ran like a duck. 11 years of ballet helped turn my feet out but I had no idea I looked like that until that moment.  To say their quacking really hurt is a gross understatement. I vowed never to run again unless in an emergency. (I later learned at BC that running for a cab when it was raining constituted an emergency).

Fast forward 20+ years and I still was not a runner. But a few months ago, while reading my daily newsletter from The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, I decided to check out the Couch to 5K app.  I wondered, could I do this?  What would be the worst outcome?  I have a treadmill in the basement so no one can see me and quack.  And so I started.  I did have a 3 week break so even though I began in July, I am just now on week 7.  That means running for 25 straight minutes or 2.5 miles. And I'm doing it!  I may be slow (I am only running 2 miles in 25 minutes) but I am completing each challenge.  I hate every minute of it except for when I am done.  Then, I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment.

So of course I had to get fitted for real running shoes.  And for the first time in my life, I didn't pay attention to what they looked like but only how they felt when I bought them.  Now that's transformation! And when Ian at The Running Store showed me my running video I couldn't believe my eyes.  I DON'T RUN LIKE A DUCK!!! So my feet are slightly turned out but that's OK.  It's not noticeable.  20+ years of trauma for no reason.  Some boys are mean!

My Bestie's 8 year old daughter is currently training for a 5K through Girls on the Run.  This incredible program helps girls learn self-confidence through physical activity.  And as a grown woman, my C25K app is doing the same for me.  I never realized how much I needed this until I started doing it. And I am so proud of my niece for trying running too!

It just goes to show, we can learn something new at any age.  And the key is simple, believe in yourself and you can do it.  The only person holding you back is you.  Shutting up the voice in your head telling you can't is the biggest challenge of all but with each step on that treadmill, I am doing it!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mom's Day Out

Since my Mom's spinal reconstruction surgery last year and my hectic travel schedule, we haven't had much time for our mother/daughter days out lately. But last weekend, we got our chance.  Lunch with Todd, Homegoods, DSW, movies, Wegman's, wine and a sleepover.

When I told Mom about my shoe blogging dilemma and Todd's response, she said "let's go to DSW. I have a coupon!"

So off we went, and I was thrilled when I found exactly what I was looking for as I had been reading my newest copy of In Style just that morning.  Ballet flats with an ankle strap are one of THE shoes of the season - perfect for cropped jeans and maxi-skirts. And you can imagine our delight when we saw them marked 40% off.  So Mom walked to the register, purchased my shoes and said "now tell Todd you have something to blog about".

Moms.  They rock.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

One Man's Perspective

When Todd read my last blog, he said "didn't your blog used to be about shoes?" 

To which I responded, "shoes have always been used as a metaphor for my life." 

"Well, why don't you just write about shoes." 

"Because I haven't bought any new shoes in a long time."

"Then why don't you go through that stack of fashion magazines and pick some out to write about?"

Touche' my friend. Touche'.