Tuesday, August 30, 2011

happy accidents

Isn't it neat...kinda wonderful, when an accident happens and something so marvelous becomes of it? It's one of those moments when you look back and say, "if I hadn't done 'this' then 'that' would never have happened". Recently I read an article about a girl who lived in Manhattan. On the morning of September 11th she was running late to work...dashing to catch the train...when she bounded into the path of an approaching car. She and the driver of the car did the awkward dance that ensues when one waves the other ahead simultaneously, causing yet another near death misstep. But on that morning, it wasn't just any morning, it was the morning that she was nearly hit and then waved ahead by Gwyneth Paltrow. She said she couldn't believe she had this moment...this experience...eye contact with the one and only. She said she remembers thinking to herself that at least she would have a story when she arrived late for work. She missed her train...she worked in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. She credits Gwyneth for saving her life. The article went on to say that Gwyneth's camp had been notified and Paltrow was deeply touched by the story...and she did indeed remember the incident. Then, there's the less Hollywood-esque story of when a horrible ice storm hit my college town, crippling the city and stranding everyone wherever they were when it began to fall...all city streets shut down. Thankfully I lived in a small apartment complex where a great friend of mine also lived...we hung out, walked around outside marveling at everything encapsulated in the thick shimmer, and when I slipped and fell down...he offered his hand. Though the sting of the ice was real, so was the look in his eyes and the swell in my heart when I offered my hand years later. That great friend is now the husband. These are the things that keep us going I suppose when we have an accident. And so, all this accident pondering started yesterday as I was rushing to meet the husband for a lunch date. I climbed into my car before realizing the garbage can was in my way...I jumped out haphazardly to move it and in doing so shut my finger in the door. An accident...very painful, swollen, sickening. But now, I'm left with a half moon bruise on my fingernail and, well...turns out the half moon manicure is all the rage. Although, I think it might be less painful to have it done professionally! Point is, if we can look for the good in things...in the accidents, then maybe the old saying is true...maybe there really is a silver lining in every dark cloud...or at least a half moon!
image credit: my sweet escape

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's things...

As a girl from the South...I love college football! I love the game...the tailgating...dressing up...the tradition...and of course winning (thanks for ruining "winning" Charlie Sheen)! Kick-off is just about a week away and I can hardly wait. Nothing brings us Southerners closer than a little pigskin, a little food, a little yelling, and well...maybe a little bourbon as well!
..."we're Dixie's football pride..."
image credit: sports tickets guide

Friday, August 19, 2011

It won't be like this for long...

This isn't a blog about the woes of motherhood, but...woe is me. After a day of transition, I'm feeling defeated. Yet, I keep telling myself...she's only 2. After months of trying to interest her in the potty, giving up the pacifier, and trying to convince her that when I drop her off at preschool I am indeed coming back to get her...which I have done without fail since she started even though she cries like it's the first day...every single day. These are the transitions that make me nervous...nervous that I'm doing things the wrong way, that I'm never going to master these little milestones of life. I know that everyone must feel this way at some point but while out and about I often marvel at how well adjusted some mother's are...how they accommodate their children's needs and wants and desires without so much as breaking a sweat. I can tell you that most days I am sweaty and exhausted. And, yes...for the millionth time, she is my only child! Why does everyone always ask that? Are they hoping I'm better with my "other children"? Better, at controlling the whining and meltdowns? When the toddler was just an infant...about 6 months old...we were at a cocktail party in honor of my Father-in-law, so the toddler, er...infant was in attendance...sitting comfortably in her bouncy seat admiring all the sparkle and noise...when a dear family friend said to me, "you look wonderful, you have that new mother glow" to which the husband replied..."that glow is sweat". It's true, in the early days we felt like we were just winging it. Taking things as they came, one thing at a time. It's funny...when you're pregnant you go to all those swanky baby stores and register for every item you're told you "need" or just can't live without...yet, the one thing you need more than anything in the world, the one thing that will get you through the sleepless nights, through the teething, through the constant questions, through all the tears, meltdowns, skinned knees, and transition periods...is something that's not on the shelf, not on any registries... it's patience. After a traumatic, tear-filled trip to the dentist yesterday and a night of trying to break the toddler of her pacifier habit that led to an hour's worth of tears and me finally giving in...I told the husband that I can't imagine how I will get through these rough periods...transitions...that will only get more complicated as she gets older. And again, the husband replied, "one thing at a time...one thing at a time". And so, I know one day I'll look back on these little steps in her life and wish that I could do it all over again...but for now, I can't help but think...it won't be like this for long.
And here's another reminder...(please excuse the Sunkist ad at the beginning)...It won't be like this for long...
image credit: the toddler

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's things

Nantucket Reds
As I sit and stare out the large front window in our den...I am aware that Summer is slowly but surely slipping away. And by "Summer" I mean, white jeans, linen, weekend jaunts to the lake or beach, sunburned shoulders, tanned skin, and seasonal cocktails. Soon we'll be knee deep in fall...not so bad considering it's been in the upper 90's to low 100's everyday for as long as I can remember, but alas, it's that time of year that makes me want to pile on all my Fall faux pas clothing such as my vintage fluorescent green and turquoise Lilly pants and pastel sundresses and flip flops before the bell tolls. I'm excited to think about the prospects of penny loafers and saddle oxfords but as I've posted before, I always have this internal struggle with white after Labor Day. Sure, everyone says it's okay...it's not a rule anymore...never was a rule in some places but for someone who doesn't love khaki pants, there really aren't many replacements for the white pants in the...er, off season. So, that got me thinking, and looking, and researching. What's a pant that's still feminine, looks good casual as well as dressed, and isn't khaki? Now, I'm talking cotton chino of course as yes, Fall and Winter may be on the horizon but it's still the South and cotton canvas is suffice no matter the season in these parts. After perusing websites and catalogs, and taking into account my love of all things nautical...regardless of time of year...I have come up with the perfect replacement...the Nantucket Red. Paired with a thick weave cotton sweater in white or Navy would be divine. After researching, I found there are many places that offer a version of the Nantucket Red but the only true Nantucket Red is from Murray's Toggery Shop (since 1945). Located in...you guessed it...Nantucket. The Nantucket Red is guaranteed to fade to give that well worn...well loved...summer house look. Okay, so how can I usher in Fall and possibly extend into Winter a pant that is classically Summer? Well, I guess just as "some people" will wear white pants year round I think the faded red cotton sailcloth canvas is versatile...it can be warmed up with a leather belt, cable sweater, suede boots, etc. Murray's offers the "red" in an array of items so if the pant just isn't your thing there are definitely other options. And so, once Fall arrives...football season swings into gear (luckily my team wears red), pumpkin patches are booming, and the boats are in dry dock...I'll take heart in knowing that I can eschew the cold days in summer style without...er, breaking any rules but instead, making my own!
Visit Murray's Toggery for a little "red" of your own!
image credit: Murray's Toggery Shop

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's things...

Oyster Belt...Buckle
As soon as this beauty from Sid and Ann Mashburn graced the pages of the August/September issue of Garden & Gun...it was gone! Currently "out of stock" but not far from my thoughts...this is sure to become a staple in my bevy of belts! This classic southern bivalve proves to be a safe bet...and not just in the months that have an "R" in them!
image credit: sidmashburn.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the sound of silence

As I watched a popular children's program alongside the toddler yesterday...the little pigs roaming the so perfectly animated library that I could almost smell the books, the institutionalism of it all...I started thinking...while I was in college the library was, on most occasions, the furthest thing from my mind. I preferred studying in my room or at my house rather than packing up and isolating myself in a place where everyone was as quiet as bedtime but the lights a bright contradiction to the overwhelming sudden sleepiness that would overcome me when stepping foot into those giant papered halls. But now, when I think about the library I feel different. My first thought as those little pigs were circling up for story time was that I would love to be holed up somewhere in my college behemoth of a library...studying, reading, letting the silence wash over me and absorbing every bit of it. Maybe it's because I'm constantly surrounded by noise...from the toddler running wild to the dogs incessant barking to protect their territory from the neighborhood cat, to the constant drone of the television. I admit, the television is on most days...albeit on children's educational programming, but still...it's on. Another spoke in this wheel of thought is how odd is is that bookstores have become pseudo-libraries...everyone whispering...even in the mall (really, these books are for purchase people!) And then there's Starbucks...a virtual med-school...everyone with their books splayed open...headphones on...highlighters highlighting...faces of consternation. My only thought...wow, you people are so smart and also you're taking up two tables for all your...er, learning. Maybe it's the structure or the rigidness of the library I crave, or maybe it's the deadline I crave...a far cry from when I was actually in school...cramming as if my life depended on it. And, well...it did. And now, it seems I could lose myself in those quiet, sterile study rooms. Maybe it's the feeling of accomplishment, feeling like you're getting something done...learning something...making a difference in your own life...furthering your desire to be better at whatever it is you do. Somehow holing up at home doing laundry all day doesn't give that same rewarding feeling. And so, as I realize that I haven't stepped out of the house in two days because I've been...well, doing laundry and general chasing of the toddler and a little television in between, I am completely lost in thought...in another place enjoying the silence...and maybe learning a thing or two as well.
Click here for a little more...er, silence...
image credit: the capstonian

Monday, August 8, 2011

and the winner...

After continuous deliberation for about 3 weeks...I finally made a decision on the new whip...and the winner was...the Toyota Venza. After all was said and done, the Venza provided the most room and comfort for the rather tall husband and back-of-the-seat-kicking toddler! I guess you're wondering what the other contender was...it was the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. I do still truly love the SportWagen but in the end went with my gut over my heart. After driving the Venza for a couple days now, I have to say that it is more sporty than I first thought and I know in the long run will warm my heart. And so, in the end maybe it was what a dear friend said the other day regarding my choices that made my decision easier..."they'll both drive to Saks"!

p.s. I got the silver just like in the picture!

image credit: toyota.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's things

Roman Holiday
With a name like Roman Holiday how could you not LOVE it? Now, I'm a nude lip, occasionally glossy, occasionally lightly frosted...kinda girl but something about this Nars bubblegum pink matte finish lured me in and I have to say I'm smitten! I've worn it twice so far and it makes me feel spunky and fresh. And so, although summer is almost over...there's always time for a little "holiday"!
image credit: Nars

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

all whipped up

So, as posted previously...I'm in need of a new whip (that's gangsta lingo for a new car...in case you were wondering). That's right, it's time to bid farewell to my Rover...Ruby. With that said, the husband, toddler and I have been looking at cars, test driving cars, and lying awake at night doing endless comparisons of each one that's made it on our list of possible replacements. We seriously have to make a decision soon or we are never going to get any sleep! We've narrowed down our choices to two...which is refreshing but we are at a crossroads as to what to choose. Our dilemma...we will inevitably be downsizing as our budget doesn't afford the Porsche Cayenne that I've dreamed of, and since space will be less we have to weigh all the parameters such as the toddler's necessary items for everyday travel...her stroller, car seat, and booster seat(for restaurants). Then take into account that the husband is over 6 feet tall so something that feels great to me doesn't so much to him. Now, if the husband had it his way he'd have me driving a Ford F-150 extended cab...which are nice but I mean really, I can't imagine myself in my best heels and Bulga bag stepping out of a monster truck with any finesse...authority maybe, but finesse, no. The two cars that are at the top of my list are both practical in their own ways...both wagon-esque and both stylish...one more stylish than the other but the other is, well, bigger...has a little more headroom and sits a bit higher on the road. But...I'm in love with the other...which poses the classic question...do you go with your gut or your heart? If you go with your heart you learn to love the little things that you thought you wouldn't but, if you go with your gut...will you eventually fall in love with it? And, that raises another question...does your car give you a certain "attitude" when you drive it? My Rover does...I feel sporty and assured...confident on the road. My two contenders are very different in their "attitude". One is sporty, lean, and offers panache, while the other is still sporty but more "grown up" more fancy per se (for lack of a better word) however the car I love feels more luxurious. One says: "I've got places to go and people to see and I've also got to go to the grocery" while the other one says "I've got places to go and really cool people to see and I've got to run by Saks and pick up some more Dior mascara and then swing by the (now defunct but play along with this vision please) music store to pick up a couple CD's...maybe Grateful Dead or Mumford and Sons and then swing by the grocery as well as Starbucks on my way." You get the point. So it seems the only crossroad I'm at is not actually the car itself but a stage of life I'm in where I desperately want to hold on to my identity...not necessarily my youth but, who I am...yes, I'm a mom, and a wife, and a best friend, but I feel like maybe this whole "not working" thing has me searching for self expression in ways not possible at the park or pool or, er, grocery store. Alas, in the end, whatever I pick will be new...which I suppose is the best part...and as someone once said..."any change, even a change for the better, is accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts" (~Arnold Bennett)
p.s. stay tuned for the big reveal...if we can ever make a decision.
image credit: wn
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