I want a good night’s sleep. I want to sleep in. I want to go bed early. I want to sleep alone. I want to snuggle. I want to be left alone. I want to live by myself. I want to never be lonely. I want my kids to love me. I want my kids to be independent. I want them to come to me with hard questions. I want them to know how to google. I want them to think I am cool. I want them to be a little bit afraid of me. I want them to care for me when I’m old. I want to die young. I want to live forever. I want to be able to eat whatever I want without getting fat. I want Kanye West-level self-confidence. I want everyone to love me. I want to not hate everyone. I want to have faith in humanity. I want to never watch My Strange Addiction again. I want Real Housewives to never end. I want to binge watch Friends. I want to binge eat pizza. I want to be skinny. I want to like running. I want to never sweat. I want abs. I want to like the taste of water. I want a cold diet coke. I want a snickers bar. I want to never count calories. I want to be good at math. I want to be smarter. I want to write a book. I want to end poverty. I want to be a millionaire. I want a nicer car. I want a bigger handbag. I want a smaller size skinny jean. I want to be able to wear jeggings. I want leggings to never go out of style. I want leggings to be pants. I want to never wear pants. I want to be naked a lot. I want everything I see in the clothing store. I want to be able to buy whatever I want. I want to own a private Sephora store. I want someone to teach me how to do make up. I want somebody to do my make up. I want flawless skin. I want good smelling skin. I want soft hands. I want good cuticle beds. I want pretty fingers. I want to get a manicure. I want to get a pedicure. I want it to be sandal weather. I want some Tory Burch sandals. I want someone to massage my feet. I want someone to feed me sour patch kids while giving me a massage. I want a hard massage. I want a soft massage. I want to go to the chiropractor. I want to get my tooth fixed. I want to never go to the dentist again. I want to go back to therapy. I want to never worry again. I want something to obsess over. I want to learn how to play the guitar. I want my kids to learn the piano. I want my kids to get into a good college. I want my kids to get a scholarship. I want my kids to get a good education. I want my kids to win first place in something. I want my kids to speak several languages. I want to know Spanish. I want to know Mandarin. I want to know sign language. I want to live in a different country. I want to experience different cultures. I want to like exotic food. I want to show my family the whole world. I want them to know Christ. I want them to know about religions. I want them to celebrate diversity. I want them to respect other people. I want them to be tolerant. I want them to not take any crap. I want to be a good example. I want good hair. I want to be good at styling my hair. I want someone to do my hair. I want more friends. I want to be someone else’s best friend. I want more people to say I’m fun. I want to make people laugh. I want to host more parties. I want to be invited to more parties. I want more community. I want privacy. I want to get lost in a new city. I want to travel. I want to sleep in a hotel room. I want room service. I want a home cooked meal. I want to be good at cooking. I want to be good at baking. I want a Ukrop’s chocolate pie. I want a clean kitchen. I want someone else to clean my kitchen. I want a maid. I want my house organized. I want to throw everything away. I want to buy all new things. I want to find all my things. I want to be unpacked. I want my house to be decorated. I want my house to look like a magazine. I want to sit on the couch. I want to find the television remote. I want my inbox to be empty. I want my DVR free of Dora. I want to zone out. I want to take a nap.
Yesterday I posted my annual recap of the 2014, and today I wanted to share some of our family highlights from the last 12 months. Oh, and I absolutely did tear up looking at how much the kids have grown in a year. Huck is obvious, but I can’t believe much much bigger and older Nolan and Leah seem. Oh, wow, I imagine if I just blink they’ll driving next. Sheesh.
According to Instagram, I took this picture on 1/1/14 when I was 31 weeks pregnant.
Nolan and I went to the Fort Worth Flight Museum and had a great time looking at the all planes and even got to crawl through some of them.
We had some weird freak snow storms at the beginning of the year, but we made the best of it given the fact that no one actually owns snow gear in Texas. I believe this was the same winter freeze that caused schools to close because of the cold temperatures. Yep, that’s what I said.
Before we knew if were going to welcome a baby boy or girl, this is the last photo of my pregnancy.
Huck! (This story is one of my favorites)
Nolan got his second and third degree yellow belts. So proud of him.
We found a new playground that we are HUGE fans of. The kids would move there if we let them. And there’s a pool close by, so that’s actually not a bad idea.
Nolan and I ran in the Color Me Rad 5K! It was his first race and he did awesome. I was so proud of him and I loved doing that race with him again. Our whole family is gearing up to do it this next year.
I turned 31. Did not die, so I’m counting it as a win.
Our family on Easter. I love, love, love these outfits.
We had zoo passes thanks to a gift from my in-laws that we used religiously. The kids loved going and checking in on their favorite animals. It was better than having a pet, mostly. We went to see the bugs exhibit and Nolan was obsessed with this giant spider.
I had a business trip in Chicago, one of my most favorite cities.
We visited my family in Tennessee and went hiking with my dad several times.
Nolan and Leah got to in my cousin’s wedding.
I got glasses for the first time. I am so old.
We celebrated July 4th with family and fireworks.
Leah had her first dance recital, Coppelia. She was adorable.
The kids started taking swim lessons, and they learned so quickly! I am so pleased with their improvement.
We made a quick trip to Nashville to check out the city and see my mom’s old stomping grounds from her college days.
I went to New York City for a business trip.
Started construction on #mybigfatdreamhome.
Nolan had his first day of Kindergarten.
Leah and Huck got a special date with mom.
We visited the Dallas Arboretum for their Pumpkin Village. It was so fun! There were probably 10,000 pumpkins in and around it. So cool!
Leah started preschool.
We went to the State Fair and ate our weight in fried food. This might of been my favorite day.
We went to Boo at the Knoxville Zoo.
Nolan took a drawing class at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum. We will definitely be back for more of these!
We celebrated Thanksgiving and got dressed up to show everyone that we can be a little civilized.
Leah and I went to the Nutcracker Ballet together for a fun mommy-daughter date. I think this will be our annual tradition.
Merry Christmas, from us!
Last year was the first year I did this yearly recap post and I thought it was so fun to look back on it this year. 2014 was pretty awesome. We accomplished a lot in the last 12 months and for the most part, we came out unscathed. There was definitely some obstacles that we had to overcome, but I think all-in-all we are just grateful for the blessings we have been given this year. Here’s to hoping 2015 is just as generous!
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
This last year we didn’t do a whole lot of new things, but there were lots of things that we did for a second time that were cool, like having a baby, starting a new job, going to Chicago, going to New York City, going to Tennessee, moving, building a house, maintained a 4.0 average in grad school, etc.
Nolan started Kindergarten this year. So now I’m an official member of the school PTA, and I’ve never done that before. He’s rocking kindergarten and it is the neatest thing in the world to watch him come home every day and him showing me what he learned each day. He reads! He writes! He counts to 100! I know, I know, all completely average milestones but it is incredible to be a part of his little life and to watch him not just grow, but thrive.
Leah danced in her first ballet, Coppelia and she did awesome. I knew she would, that girl was born to be a performer. She started preschool and is a little sponge, soaking up everything she is learning.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Uh, probably not since I cannot even remember at this moment what I said I would do. I’m horrible at resolutions and at times, incredibly flaky about other grand ideas I have. But there are a few things I want to work on so I’m going to aim for these as my “resolutions”:
1. Have more parties
2. Cultivate more female friendships
3. Have more people describe me as fun
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well, I did. And then a few more sweet friends welcomed babies as well. Huck was the only boy out of about 10 babies born in four week span. What can I say? I like to do things a little different.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No deaths this year, thankfully.
5. What countries did you visit?
None. Just more of America.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
“Greater personal life balance, more contentment in the little things in life, more confidence in myself, improvement in writing ability, and rewarding female friendships.” – This is what I wrote last year and I’m keeping it because it’s still true.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Huck was born on 2/27/14, we celebrated seven years of marriage on 6/16/14, we closed on the sale of our first home on 7/7/14 (six years after we closed on the purchase), I started my new job on 10/04/14, we closed on the purchase of our new home on 12/19/14 (also my dad’s birthday), and moved on 12/20/14, and left for vacation on 12/21/14.
And on 12/28/19 I tried a cronut for the first time. It was underwhelming.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think managing responsibilities and navigating the needs of various obligations. There were times when I felt like I might collapse under my to-do this, but thankfully, we powered through.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I haven’t done a good job at making new friends and nurturing the few that I have. I never feel like I have enough time and energy left for that piece of the pie, and honestly, guilty of feeling selfish when I do. That seems to be the one that I let slip when other things, like work (all three jobs), school, family, etc. require my attention. That can be kind of lonely. I think I’m rather fun, and I like making other people feel good. So be my friend, dammit.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Huck’s birth was a repeat c-section, and recovery was a little harder than the last. My doctor warned me that would happen.
I need another root canal and crown. I need to stop putting that off. People haven’t died from dental infection since the 1800s but I could end up being the exception to the rule.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought a new vintage tufted sofa for the new house and I want to make out with it every time I see it. I’m so in love with it.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Ha! You tell me? My closet, probably. Shopping is my favorite.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Building a house again was fun. Lots of changes happened this year and that was neat. I really built up the cronut experience in my head and that ended up being super disappointing. Carbs are my love language and that made me feel like I had been cheated or something.
14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Any song from stupid Frozen.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier!
– thinner or fatter? Thinner!
– richer or poorer? Life is much richer.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More traveling, more writing, more parties, more home cooking, more praying, more thankfulness, more giving, more investing, more saving, more exploring, more learning, more teaching, more photography, more memory making, more adventures, more laughter, more storytelling, more reading, more coffee dates, more phone calls, more handwritten letters, more “just because”, more spontaneity, more impromptu dates, more planned dates, more new foods, more whole foods, more fitness, more binge watching television, more movies, more dancing, more painting, more organizing, more water, more cake, more family time, more playdates, more kid dates, more theater, more culture, more sleeping late, more going to bed early, more sleeping through the night, more cuddling, more hugging, more Facetime, more “face” time, more studying, more researching, more wit, more humor, more emotion, more flexible, more sharing, more caring, more confidence, more self-esteem, more blogging, more happy.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Less social media, less working, less worrying, less stressing, less anxiety, less depression, less grief, less being lazy, less excess, less junk, less unfinished projects, less yelling, less anger, less unforgiveness, less self-loathing, less clutter, less crying, less wastefulness, less stinginess, less hate, less snobby, less quiet, less introverted, less shy, less critical, less impatient, less rigid, less doubtful, less overwhelming, less underwhelming, less scatteredness, less spend-y, less busy, less sleepy, less mess.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family in Tennessee! It was awesome. We dumped our crap into the new house and then promptly took off for vacation.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I can’t pick one, that’s like naming a favorite child, sheesh.
Up there includes: Scandal, Orange is the new Black, Call the Midwife, The Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation, still watching Grey’s Anatomy, New Girl, and Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge me).
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Samatha Irby’s Meaty and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
The National, Ben Folds, Matt and Kim.
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I SAW INTO THE WOODS! Zoooomg. I love that musical so hard.
I also really loved Gone Girl and Her.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Nolan and I ran the Color Me Rad 5K. It was so much fun to do with him and I can’t wait to do it again this year.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A million dollars…
Just kidding. That would help though. I’d say being content with what we have both in possessions and in relationships.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I’m still rocking the cardigan pretty hard. I shopped excessively for the perfect Aztec sweater and found one I looooove! I should post more outfit photos on here.
26. What kept you sane?
My family. And wine.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Risks are almost always worth taking. The right thing will always work out. There will always be something to catch you when you take a leap of faith. God’s plan is better, greater, stronger than what I could ever think of.
We are officially no longer apartment dwellers. I handed over the keys this afternoon to the office and squeeled with delight to finally put that situation behind us. We closed on our new house a little over a week ago and then left to go out of town the day after we moved so we really have only been in the house for a couple days. It’s amazing how much difference the extra space has made and just to be in our own space also.
The last few months in the apartment were especially trying. There were several times when disagreements would come to a head and without a place for us to cool off we both kind of internalized the anger and resented the other. I think we both were still reeling from the circumstances that led up to us having to move into this tiny apartment. Even those things were out of our control and we believe that everything happens for a reason, it was hard not to be disappointed that things were different from what we expected. I think one day we will eventually get over those hurt feelings. (Another story, another day, I digress). Logistically living in less than 500 square feet was kind of a nightmare. Some spaces had to double because there was literally nowhere else to put things. The living room was doubling as a shared bedroom, dining room, playroom, and office space adjacent to a tiny kitchen. Every dish needed to be washed and put away every single night otherwise the kitchen counters were covered in dirty food particles. In fact, if things weren’t cleaned up and put away all the time, the mess would spiral out of control quickly. Piles on the floor weren’t just annoying, they were infuriating because in a tiny space it was a big deal. The baby slept in our room and by slept I mean he alternated between crying and pushing us out the bed throughout the night. Ever. Single. Night. Because the walls were so thin and I wanted to be considerate of the neighbors I adopted some pretty unhealthy sleep habits in order to keep the baby from waking others up. It also made me a rather shitty parent because the kids couldn’t play like normal without being told to stop or keep it down. All that made me really anxious, coupled with not sleeping, I snapped at Brian and the kids a lot. Lord, pray for their forgiveness and send some money for their future therapy bills.
One of the few (only?) things I’m going to miss about the apartment is the pool access during the summer. And I guess not all memories from the apartment are bad because we sure did have fun going swimming and it was nice to see Nolan and Leah both grow and become more confident swimmers. They both sort of turned into little fish in the water and I’m proud of how well they did on their own and how much they advanced in such a short period of time. I realize that this one of those standard milestones that only parents get excited about and I fully acknowledge how dorky and lame that makes me sound, but I also take it as a small affirmation that I do not completely suck as a parent.
Now that we are home and digging ourselves out of boxes I’m really excited about decorating the space. I wish I could fast forward past all this grunt work and get to the decorating. The menial task of unwrapping glasses and shuffling boxes around the house is sooooo boring. I can already tell that we have too much crap and I can’t wait to purge most of it. I have frequently joked that I thought it would be easier just to burn down all our stuff and start over than go through each and every item or random tchotchke. A clean slate sounds really enticing. I also loathe moving. This is not just because I like to buy things and shopping is a minor addiction of mine (minor/major, same thing, right?) I’m currently on a Super Target detox until I at least get the kitchen and living room unpacked. I even went cold turkey a week ago. Hugs not drugs, friends, and friends don’t let friends go nuts at Target either.
SO, lots going on in our strange life. I have so much to write about the last couple weeks, including our weird Ritz family Christmas and traveling half-way across the country for the holiday that I can’t wait to get up on the blog soon.
I really love giving gifts to other people. I love, love, love picking out the perfect little something for the right person. To brighten someone’s day and see their face when they first get a peek at the present is THE BEST feeling. Christmas trees that are surrounded by wrapped packages that are spilling out are just the most beautiful thing. Right up there with my own newborn babies and cat videos or something.
Gift giving is both my strength and my weakness though. I am also really horrible at waiting to give them. Almost as soon as I sign my credit card receipt I want to hand the bag over to the recipient. That part makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, which are the only feelings I’m willing to tolerate these days. It’s so hard not to tell someone what I got them before it’s time to do it. I have to stop myself from blurting out my big secret every time I talk to them. It makes me so anxious. It’s like, physically painful not to just yell “ZZZZZOMG, I got you XYZ and you’re gonnnnnna love it!” ::sigh::
Being generous can be torture sometimes.
I did not grow up in a house where we opened gifts early. I had friends who would open their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day. I remember feeling so jealous of them! That’s so not fair. I could never convince my parents that I was mostly just wanting to give them my gifts than open my own. I guess all 12 year olds are not as selfless as I was. I don’t know why my parents didn’t believe me. Imagine that.
As a parent now, I mean, I totally get waiting until Christmas Day because of the whole Santa thing. Santa doesn’t break the rules. Now that my kids are getting older it is harder to keep their presents hidden and a secret. It would have been a lot easier to just hand over Barbie’s dream house when the UPS guy dropped it off this week than stuffing it in the back of my closet. Leah would have lost her shit completely. And me, too, because I just can’t wait to make that little girl’s day on Christmas morning. I really feel like I have knocked it out of the park so far this year on the gifts. Each one is personal and perfect for each individual on my list. Brian and I (and Santa, cause “wink wink”) are gonna make it rain wrapping paper up in here!
I have a pretty small family. Most of our extended family is far away or, well, passed away (still technically far away, I guess). We usually do a “friendsmas” with our close friends and their children. Many years we have hosted this event. I also like to give something nice to the kid’s teachers, the mailman, our pastors, and co-workers, etc. I honestly get excited over each and every one of those small gifts.
The only thing I think I could like more than giving presents is if I LIKED more people enough to buy them presents. (hashtag, the struggle.) That would certainly be a gift of a Christmas miracle.
My Christmas gift for someone special this year. This they’ll like it?
The holidays make me feel more sentimental than normal, which is unusual because I’m not a very sentimental person. I don’t get attached to things. But this time of year tends to give a touch of the feels and I start to reminisce about years past and the people that speckled my memories. Sometimes I catch myself accidentally smiling from a cute fun memory, or feeling especially warm towards other people because of a shared experience.
I knew someone from years ago who was a part of my life during a period that was really hard. I’ve talked about an event that happened to me when I was a teen, let’s say late 90’s, that pretty much defined who I am. It changed me in a way that I would never be the same. And this person was very much a part of that time and one of the few people who knew about it. We were close in a way that I have not experienced with any other person, both by blood and friendship. This was a person who “got me” and understood me, even as a brooding teen and frustrated young adult. We grew up together, both literally and figuratively.
In the years since that time we grew apart. I moved away. I have now lived in Texas for longer than I ever lived anywhere else. (time to move, I think!) So physical distance, and then emotional distance. Life gets busy and we went on different paths. We talked less. And less. But we had similar regular contacts and Facebook so I kinda “knew” what they were up to. They look happy. I hear that they are happy.
Not long ago we did get caught up. I was excited to rekindle our friendship and was hopeful that maybe we could get back to the closeness we had before. Admittedly, I missed my friend. They carried a piece of me that I couldn’t always carry myself. But after talking it became pretty clear that they had a different memory of that time. It was perplexing to me, because I was certain we had gone through it together, though it had obviously shaped us oddly alternatively and shattered my feelings about that time and that person who I thought they used to be.
It’s been weeks and I haven’t spoken to that person. Whenever I think about them I just feel empty and invalidated. I feel a little lost about it, because I’m not sure how we could feel so differently. How we shared the same experiences but have these very different, and very intense emotions regarding it.
And I’m sad because we aren’t close anymore. My stomach is sick over it. I mourned that my friend isn’t a part of my life and frankly, felt a little betrayed by it. That we are only acquaintances and this person who knew about this horrific defining experience, who held my hand, and cried with me, and was closer to me than everyone else in my life is basically just someone that I used to know.
With each day I can toss those feelings a little further back in my mind and it hurts less and less. I can’t let myself dwell on it. I don’t talk about feelings much. In fact, I try not to have them. But I just had to get this out.
I have a whole lot to be thankful for. I have been given an in-numerous amount of blessings in my weird life. I was raised in a house where we were taught to count our blessings, not just around the holidays but all year long. But especially on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving in our house usually involved going to some church breakfast that morning, followed by the big turkey meal that afternoon. My mom would fix the traditional turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese (mac and cheese is my love language, you guys) and ambrosia salad along with those damn delicious Ukrops White House rolls that I still crave all the time to this day.
When we would sit down and at each of our plates would be our Hallmark Christmas ornament for that year. Each of us had our own series that my parents added to each year. My dad would always make us go around the table and share what we were thankful for. Some people shared heart-felt sentimental things with all “the feels” and then there was me who would come up with something sarcastic or funny because being vulnerable and sappy has never really been my thing… and also I’ve always kind of been an asshole. Sorry, mom and dad.
Looking back I should have sucked it up and told everyone how much I appreciated my life and each of their part in it. The first 18 years of my life we all lived under the same roof in the same state and had every single Thanksgiving together. I never understood how much I would miss that later in life.
After we ate we made a big deal out of putting up the Christmas tree. Some years we had multiple trees. With five people in our house over the years we had more ornaments than space on the tree. It was always fun to pull them out individually and reminisce about that year or the meaning behind each one. We all had our collections, mine was Barbie for some reason that I still don’t know. And now I have all 30+ of them in my attic ready to be placed on my own Christmas tree since my mom imparted my ornaments to me when I got married.
My parents would put on Christmas music and we’d watch Christmas movies and sort of transition from one holiday to the next all in one day. We’d stuff ourselves with left overs and my dad and I would map out our Black Friday plans. This was back when Black Friday actually happened on Friday.
I loved studying each sales flyer from the newspaper because the internet hadn’t yet taken over our lives. I would circle things I wanted to buy and then list out each item on a piece of yellow legal pad paper. Then we’d set our alarms for an extra early morning. We never really went crazy shopping. I think we might have bought a computer one time and that’s probably the biggest purchase we ever brought home. It was always more about the adventure. Afterwards we would come home and get back to decorating that tree.
The last few years I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving. It’s a lot more difficult to coordinate work schedules and travel time. We definitely need to hurry up and get Kardashian rich so we can start flying everywhere instead of driving. I have even hosted Thanksgiving before with our other side of the family but it’s never quite the same, for me anyway. Now that my kids are getting older I feel more sentimental about these holidays. I am less inclined to be sassy (well, to your face). So when it’s my turn this year to share what I’m thankful for I’ll be sure to tell my family how thankful I am for them… and also for emojis, google glass, and the domino’s pizza tracker.
After all, some traditions are worth keeping.
Kids can be weird sometimes. Weird as in they can act like the sweetest, most adorable little angels that ever walked on the planet and then suddenly make fart noises with their mouths in the line at Kroger, or choose that moment in Target when you’re desperate to get out of the store to have a massive meltdown in the cereal aisle.
I love hugs and kisses, but I’m just jaded enough to be cautious of what little trick might be up my childrens’ sleeves. Pretty sure embarrassing mom and dad might be one of their best natural talents. Do you think perhaps there are any colleges that have scholarships for that?
It’s worth checking into, I think.
Both of my older kids are very nurturing and kind, most of the time. They are always saying I love you, or saying “you’re pretty mommy,” or “you look like a zombie princess, mommy.” I like to think those last two mean the same thing.
I’m not always a great parent. I can be selfish and short, and I find myself hangry (hungry and angry at the same time) more often than is socially acceptable. I try not to do it often, but occasionally I let myself focus on the bad things in my day, and if I’m not careful I can sometimes get stuck in my head circling with the negative self-talk and I really beat myself up about it. There isn’t much but time that can really pull me out of it. Once though, I guess Nolan and Leah caught on to how I was feeling and gave me hugs and kisses unprompted, out of the blue. That perked me up really fast! Those sweet moments, though unpredictable, and peppered out through the ups and downs of parenting make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I guess I couldn’t have been too much of a screw up if those two are part me, right?
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!!! (source)
Gotta inject some holiday-ness everywhere we can these days, amiright? And everyone loves Elf and/or Will Ferrell, if you don’t then we can’t be friends and I need to ask you to go ahead and close out this blog. No hard feelings, except you obviously have terrible taste.
That got weird for a second. I apologize. I’m actually in love with Costco.
Yes. The big box, oversized wholesale club store. I can’t get enough it. We go at least once per week. You see, boxes of 98 count granola bars and discount tires are totally my jam. I could easily spend my entire yearly salary in one stop if I really wanted to, and it without much effort.
We are Costco members and like most people with a Costco card, we like to take advantage of the free samples on Sunday. Growing up my family was not above making an entire meal out of free samples from Sam’s Club, or wholesaler of choice. It was with great pride I’ve been able to introduce my children to the lures of bite size quiches and spoonfuls of hummus. Apparently, others are in on the game too because it’s almost comical to watch the flock of shopping carts gather around the Bagel Bite lady when she pulls the pan out of the microwave oven, even though we have all probably eaten hundreds of bagel bites before in our lives, we gotta get that sample.
We’ve also taken this as an opportunity to practice our manners. We always say “please” and “thank you,” even when whatever we are eating is disgusting (looking at you clotted cream on a cracker.) Ewwww.
We push our cart up and down each aisle marveling at the bulk packaging of our favorite snacks and treats. I have a weird fantasy about stocking up our house with Costco finds, like a private snack store with multiple varieties of chips, pretzels, full-size chocolate bars, juice boxes, and single-serve fruit snack packages. I definitely wasn’t deprived as a child, but it seems like it would be so cool and luxurious to be the house where our kids and their friends could have their pick of anything they wanted. Remember in Clueless where Cher had the computer automated closet that she could basically shop from every morning? I would love to have that, but as a pantry. I want a Cher Horowitz-style pantry. It would be cool if we could somehow get Paul Rudd in there also, to help keep it organized and for also for me look at and drool over.
There’s probably some Freudian meaning about gluttony and the desire for quantity and excess and that could by why I can’t seem to lose this last 15 pounds, but whatever. Costco also sells fruit and veggies. Maybe one day I’ll be in the mood for twenty bunches of bananas.
So I was in there the other day and stumbled upon a 48 pack of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in a beautiful plastic case. Some light from overhead caught the metallic wrappers and danced over the packaging, like they were calling to me like a smoke signal or morse code or whatever, “BUY ME… BUY ME, STEFANIE.” I told the Ferrero Rocher to shut up for a second because even for me, 48 seemed a bit excessive. I checked the price tag and to my surprise Costco was the sight of some miracle because it was only $12 for that huge package of chocolates.
Costco, you little hussy, tempting me with my favorite candy.
I stood there for a solid 10 minutes trying to think of a good solid reason to buy the 48 count Ferrero Rocher package, running through my head who I could share it with so I didn’t go off the deep end and pig out on all of them, because let’s be honest, that could have happened. I’m trying to make some healthier choices, but $12 was a seriously excellent deal. Those candies are NOT cheap, most of the time. Every time I tried to tell myself no, to put them back I couldn’t seem to talk my hands into putting them back. I just couldn’t quit the chocolate.
Costco knows my love language and is pulling at all my heart strings like a bad boyfriend. I may have to call for a temporary break up in spend some more time at the gym… because I’m the proud owner of 48* Ferrero Roche candies.
(It’s actually 46, I opened them in the car on the way home.)
So I have a new job.
I know, most people in real life don’t even know it yet. This is my second week. It’s full-time. It’s in my career field and related to my graduate degree. And I love it.
I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt so weird about announcing this new gig. Someone once told a mutual friend that I was “flaky” and “all over the place.” Which is true, I am sometimes like that, but that’s not why I took this job.
I was working part-time and for a few weeks it worked out SOOOO perfectly with our schedule. Sure, each kid was in a different place for school, preschool, and a sitter, but I also loved that my oldest two got to be doing something academic. Education is really important to me. But then Brian got a new job, and he had to be at work earlier so then he couldn’t take Leah anymore and I had to be work before her preschool started and since we don’t have a real support system here there wasn’t a way to get her there so we had to pull her out. That gave me a huge case of the sads.
So then Huck and Leah were both going to the sitter and Nolan was in school. But can we talk about how expensive childcare is for a second? Wow. After doing the math and trying things out for a bit it was glaringly obvious I wasn’t bringing home enough money to justify the cost of childcare. Thanks, Obama.
We had two choices, neither of which were super easy to make. I could quit my part-time job or try to find something full-time. My part-time job was not able to offer a full-time position due to a hiring freeze. Thanks, Greg Abbott. (Can we pretty please make this a thing????) I’m also really close to finishing my master’s degree program. I sent three resumes out and wasn’t super optimistic that I’d hear anything back. I didn’t think anybody would really want to hire me.
But I was wrong.
This is probably the most thankful I have ever been to be wrong in my entire life. It’s been a really good easy transition for our family. My schedule is flexible enough that I still get lots of time in the afternoon with my children and dinner on the table before dark. My desk is located near some refugee workers, so my day is full of beautiful native languages and cultures. It’s pretty incredible.
I have a really great life. This is just one more blessing to be thankful for.
Now if I could just make that thing happen where I could eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight, then I’d have the perfect life, right? Or a house that magically cleaned itself? Or beautiful well-tamed professional styled hair daily? Or just a killer wardrobe?
Or I’ll just stop myself there.