running, working, family-ing

I registered for a half-marathon. I’m kind of back and forth between super-excited and also completely terrified, because I have literally never done any kind of official race at all. Like, not even a 5K. And it’s not even about trying to compete with other people for me, because I know I’m an “average at best and actually pretty slow” runner. It’s more that I just want to prove to myself that I can do it — that I am capable of running 13.1 miles — if that makes sense.

The Betty Rocker workout challenge in October definitely helped boost me a lot, and I’m still using her workouts a couple days a week for strength training. I’ve also lost about 6 pounds since October 1st, which wasn’t something I was actively working on, but you won’t hear me complain about it.

In related news: all of my disposable income is now being spent at sporting goods stores (I need workout clothes so I can run through the winter months), which is further proof of how we change as we get older, and how 20-something me wouldn’t even recognize 38 year-old me.

(Oh, the race is next spring, after my birthday. So I’ll be 39 when I run my first half-marathon. That’s… probably not something normal people do, I’m guessing.)

I will try not to talk about it too much because blah blah blah nobody cares about my workout regimen. But it’s kind of A Big Thing that’s on my mind right now.

no1currr
(Added because it’s one of my favorite GIFs of all time.)

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I don’t talk about it much here, but my job has been so good lately. I changed managers a few months ago, when my manager moved to a different team (I can’t remember if I ever blogged about that or not). I was initially really nervous about it, because my new manager is a guy that I’ve worked with for the entire four years that I’ve been at this company, but I could never figure out whether or not he liked me. But the transition has been very easy, and we have a really great working relationship now.

Last month, I had my first performance review since changing managers, and I got some really great feedback, as well as a raise. I feel like I’m insanely fortunate to have a job that I enjoy, and get to work with people I really like.

Work has also gotten a lot busier recently, which is part of the reason the blog has been so quiet lately. But it’s all good stuff there.

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Oh, and I got more pictures back from our family picture day, and I just… my god, I don’t know how I got so lucky to have these two beautiful little girls.

girls_serious_faces

They’re so different, and so much alike. They are each their own individual little people, and they are delightful.

The other day, I thought about how when I was pregnant with Catie, and we first found out she was a girl, I was terrified, because I didn’t know if I’d be a good mom for a girl. I’m not a super girly-girl type, and I have so many body image issues of my own that I was afraid I’d project onto a little girl, and I just thought I’d be terrible at it.

(Funny thing: it was the opposite when I was pregnant with Lucy. By that point, I was scared of having a boy, because having a girl was all I knew. That time, I was relieved to find out we were having another girl. I was like, “oh, another one of these? Ok yeah, I got this.”)

I think Catie and Lucy are proof that we get the kids we’re supposed to have. Because they’ve expanded my horizons and my worldview so much, and the fact that I can now have extensive conversations about both dinosaur fossils and Disney princesses without batting an eye? I think that just makes me a more well-rounded person than I was before I had kids.

me and my girls

Oh, this guy of mine is pretty great, too.

me and Chris

(Side note: that picture was so awkward to take — “look over our shoulders at each other, say what now?” — but I really love the way it turned out.)

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to reading online reviews of running shoes, because apparently that’s the type of thing I do with my free time now. Yeah, I’m a weirdo. I know.

November 21, 2014Permalink Leave a comment

street harassment in the suburbs

Ok, I assume by now that everyone has seen the viral video of the woman getting repeatedly harassed walking around in NYC, right?

YouTube Preview Image

If you have 5 minutes to spare, I highly recommend checking out Jessica Williams’ take on street harassment on the Daily Show. Because it’s both hilarious and really sadly accurate.

Now, I live in the suburbs where there isn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic, so this type of thing doesn’t happen often to me, and I also think that maybe I’ve aged out of the demographic that gets harassed? As a general rule, most guys aren’t going to make a gross comment to a middle-aged woman who’s got two kids with her.

Except! When I’m out running. Because it’s pretty much the only time I’m out on a public sidewalk by myself. And it still isn’t a regular occurrence, because my neighborhood is pretty quiet. The only people I pass on the sidewalk are usually little old ladies walking their dogs. But one of my running routes takes me down a semi-busy street, and it’s happened a few times where guys honked or yelled “hey baby!” out of their car window as they drove past.

And I mean, in theory, that’s harmless enough, right? It’s supposed to be a compliment. But it PISSES ME OFF. Here’s why:

Something that will come as a surprise to no one who knows me: I tend to be what one might call a chronic over-thinker. It’s part worrywart, part ADD, part… I don’t even know. This has been something I’ve dealt with off and on since high school, but it’s definitely gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. I usually have to take something to help me sleep at night because I get what I call my “head-spinny thing,” where basically my mind just races and I can’t shut it off. While sometimes my racing thoughts veer toward the negative (“oh hey, my job has been going really great, but I’ll bet I’m going to goof up that one thing and get fired,” etc.), a lot of times it’s just… noise. Like, I make to-do lists. I lie in bed and I can’t fall asleep because I’m trying to make a mental list of the things I need to get at the grocery store the next day, or that I need to do laundry, or that I need to make sure Lucy has spare clothes for her cubby at daycare. Stupid, menial task lists. They just go around in circles and never quiet down.

One of the things I love about running is that it’s the one time that my brain shuts the hell up. The only thing I’m thinking about is the sidewalk in front of me, and concentrating on my feet and my breath, and that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, running hurts and sometimes I hate it, but when I can get in my mental zone and lose myself to nothing but the music in my earbuds, it’s really nice. That’s the part that makes me stick with it, I miss that quiet time on the days I don’t run.

So, if I’m in my happy little headspace, and some dude honks at me? It throws me off, and it makes me self-conscious. Which makes me angry. This is my ONE TIME of the day that I can shut out the rest of the world, and some douchebag driving past me at 45 mph just ruined it.

If there are any guys reading this (which is doubtful at best)? Here’s a list of times when it’s appropriate to honk at me while I’m running:

  • If you’re about to run over me.

…And that’s it. That’s the whole list.

Earlier this week, I had one of these incidents where a guy honked and leaned out of his window, leering at me as he drove past. Which, first of all – why do guys do this? Do they expect a positive result? I’m out here, running and sweaty, do you think that I’m gonna be like, “ooh, hey big fella, turn around and come on back here!” Like, has that ever worked on any woman in the history of the world? I find that highly doubtful.

But the kicker with this particular guy is that he was driving a big truck, with a big logo of the company that he worked for on the side.

And I thought, you know, if I owned a company, and I found out that one of my employees was driving a car with my company logo on it, honking at women on the street, I would be furious.

I made a mental note of the company name, and after I got home, I googled them. It’s a landscaping company that has offices in several states, not some small mom-and-pop place. I called them and a very nice receptionist answered. I explained to her what happened, told her where I was and the general timeframe when the incident occurred. She said that they certainly don’t condone that type of behavior, but she would figure out who it was and they would address the issue. She also thanked me for reporting it.

Is it going to make a difference, in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. But it’s a start, and it’s better than doing nothing.

I guess the point is: if you see a woman walking/running down the street and find her attractive? That’s fine. Good for you. But keep it to yourself. Because most likely, she’s just trying to get from Point A to Point B and doesn’t really give a crap.

November 14, 2014Permalink Leave a comment

family picture day

I try to get nice pictures of the girls every year, both for Christmas cards and just for general “family photo” purposes. Last year, I was a cheapskate and tried to take them myself. It really didn’t turn out so great. And because I was the one taking the pictures, I wasn’t actually in any of the photos.

The year before that, the amazing and talented Laura took pictures of us, and they turned out gorgeous. But Laura has retired her photography business (which I don’t blame her for one bit), so she isn’t an option for us anymore.

This year, I checked with one of my local Facebook moms’ groups, and saw people talking about local photographers. That’s how I found Maria at Mia Bella Expressions, and we set up a date to take pictures this past Saturday.

I’ve only got a “sneak peek” of a few of the pictures so far, I should get the rest later this week, but you guys. They’re amazing.

Lucy and Catie

Sisters

Catie

Lucy and me

Catie is at the age where she hates having her picture taken, and when she does smile for the camera, it’s often a fake/forced smile. Lucy is normally a ham for the camera, but she’s shy around new people, so it’s hard to get her smiling and acting like her normal silly self with a photographer she’s never met. Maria was great at getting the girls relaxed and capturing them in that little millisecond when they were both smiling at the same time.

me and my girls

Initially, my plan had just been to get pictures of me and the girls. Then it turned out that Chris was free on Saturday too (which is unusual), so I asked him to come along.

And I’m so glad I did, because pictures like this? That’s basically my whole heart right there.

Catie, me, Chris & Lucy

I mean, look, he’s not their dad. He’s not even their step-dad, because we aren’t married and have no plans to ever get married. To my girls, he’s just Chris, and he fits with us so easily. They both love him, and he loves them. There’s no tricky blended family dynamics for us to sort out, it just… works.

(Side note on that whole “blended family” topic — as far as I can tell, based on what I hear from them, Catie and Lucy also love Dave’s girlfriend and her kids. Which is wonderful. Dave and I have been getting along great lately, and I realize that we co-parent as a team better now than we probably ever have in the past. I love that my kids can see firsthand that, even though their dad and I split up, all of the adults in their lives work together well for their best interests, and that they are loved and supported on all sides. It takes a village, you know?)

The only thing that would’ve made this family photo day better would’ve been if it had worked out so that we could have had Chris’s kids in the photos too. Because that big chunk of his heart is missing here.

me, Catie, Lucy & Chris

Maybe we’ll be able to do a make-up picture date sometime with them. Because it really was so fun, and dammit if kids don’t grow up so fast. It’s nice to have some of those little moments in their lives captured along the way.

And local folks, this is no way a sponsored blog post, but if you need family pictures, you should talk to Maria at Mia Bella Expressions. I could not be happier with the whole experience.

November 10, 2014Permalink 5 Comments

on being a nerdy girl

Catie’s best friend at school this year has been a little boy who I’m going to call A. She’s been coming home talking about him nearly every day. Once, she said, “Mom, I have to wear my Minecraft t-shirt to school tomorrow, because A is going to wear his, and we want to match!”

It was pretty adorable. She asked if he could come over for a playdate. She even mentioned having a crush on him, but when I asked her if she knew what that meant, it sounded more like a friend-crush than a romantic crush. I asked her, “Do you mean like you really like him and want to be around him all the time? Or do you mean hugging and kissing?”

She said, “Kinda just the first part, not the hugging and kissing stuff.”

*whew* Thank God, because I’m so not ready for that.

One night last week, Catie came home in a foul mood. She was picking fights with Lucy over nothing, being rude to me, and just generally not being herself. She knows how to push my buttons sometimes, and I was not handling her outbursts gracefully at all. She was yelling, I was yelling back, it was just a bad scene.

After the kids took a bath and we’d both taken a little time to calm down, I tried to talk with her. She said, “I’m not friends with A anymore.”

Ahh, ok, lightbulb. So that’s why she’s being such a pain in the butt, she’s upset about something completely unrelated. I should have guessed.

I asked what happened. Apparently they’d had a disagreement about some game they were playing, and she said when he got mad at her, “he told me that I should stop playing video games and just go play with Barbies.”

Yeah, so, pretty much the most hurtful thing you could say to an anti-girly girl like Catie.

She was just so sad about it. She said, “I feel like an idiot because I only like boy stuff.”

I told her that she likes what she likes, and I never want her to change what she likes because of what other people think. Because I think it’s awesome that she’s into science and video games, and those are not supposed to be “boy things” or “girl things.”

Wearing a Skylanders t-shirt while she plays Minecraft. Just so she has all her bases covered. I love that weirdo.
Wearing a Skylanders t-shirt while she plays Minecraft. Just so she has all her bases covered.

It was interesting because the conversation segued into talking a little about sexism in society in general, and I gave her sort of a G-rated recap of GamerGate. Obviously, I didn’t explain rape threats or doxxing to my 7 year-old, but I told her about how there are some men who think women shouldn’t like video games, so they say nasty things to those women to try to make them stop liking them. (Like I said, keeping it G-rated.)

And then that led a little into talking about my own career in IT, and how I’m often the only girl in the room at work. Which is fine, I’ve been working in the IT industry for about 15 years now, so I’m pretty used to it by now. But as much as I love my job (and I really do), it’s still sometimes a little uncomfortable to realize you’re always the anomaly in the group.

(At my office, there are about 100 people, give or take. Of those, there are 6 women. Three of them are in administrative, non-technical roles. And that’s not even unusual in my experience. So, yeah, I’d say women are definitely a minority.)

I also told her a story I hadn’t thought about in years, which is how I got started in the IT field in the first place. And I don’t think I’ve ever blogged this story, so here goes.

So, I got my bachelor’s degree in journalism. After I graduated, I found out that journalists make no money. I was offered a position as a reporter for a newspaper in the next town over from where I lived, and the starting salary was less than I was making as a secretary. That’s when I realized I was in trouble (student loans!), and started looking for other possible careers.

I knew I was good with computers (I had installed a modem in my parents’ Windows 3.11 PC, and learned how to set up dial-up Internet access… oh, the 90s). And I had a lot of friends who had jobs in tech support (as I explained it to Catie, “the people you call on the phone when you can’t get your computer to work, and they explain to you how to fix it”). So, I thought, well hey, I can do that.

Here’s the kicker: there was a guy I was sort of casually dating at the time, and he was one of the people I knew who worked in tech support. When I told him I was thinking about pursuing it as a career, he flat-out said, “You can’t do that, you’re not smart enough.”

Catie was horrified when I said that. “But you ARE smart!”

[Side note: That dude didn’t know that I graduated Magna Cum Laude, or that I was in the National Honor Society, or anything about my academic background, because he really wasn’t interested in knowing much about me. 22 year-old me had very poor judgment when it came to boys. If there was any area of life where I wasn’t smart enough, that was it.]

So, really? My entire career in IT can be traced back to the one guy who made me think, “Know what? Screw you. I’ll SHOW you that I’m smart enough.”

Last time I heard from that guy was years later, when I was living in Seattle and working at Microsoft, and he was still answering phones at a helpdesk call center in Memphis, so… I’m gonna go ahead and say I won.

Catie asked, “So how much more money do you make than him now?” I said I don’t know, but since I was smart enough to get a college degree and he wasn’t, I’m going to guess that I make a lot more than him. I mean, it’s a generalization, but statistically pretty likely. And I figured it was a good time to emphasize to Catie the importance of education and going to college.

As for Catie and her friend, nothing has really changed in the past week. It sounds like she’s been playing with other kids at school because she and A are still mad at each other. Maybe they’ll make up, maybe they won’t. But no matter what, I don’t want anyone to ever make my daughter feel like she isn’t brilliant and amazing just the way that she is. Because my god, is she ever.

Catie & her bearded dragon, Spyro Jones. (He's getting so big!)

November 6, 2014Permalink 6 Comments

trick or treat!

This year for Halloween, Catie decided that she didn’t want to be a dinosaur, which she’s been pretty much every year since she was two. She got a lab coat from science camp, so she decided she wanted to be a scientist.

Lucy, like pretty much every other little girl (and some boys) in America, wanted to be Elsa. I decided that was fine with me.

Elsa and the Scientist
(I’m not sure why the pool noodle was involved.)

Lucy had actually not decided what she wanted to be up until the last minute: she kept going back and forth between “Princess Peach!” (referring to the poofy pink princess dress that my mom made her), and “Elsa! No, Anna! No, I mean Elsa!” Three year-olds are infuriatingly indecisive. So on Thursday, my mom went to Wal-mart and bought both Elsa and Anna. We figured we’d let her pick, and then return the other one. Turns out, she loved both, because after we got back from trick-or-treating, she wanted to be Anna.

After we got back from trick or treating, Lucy decided to dress up as Anna for a while. You know, for balance.

So, ok, fine. Now we have bonus costumes.

From earlier tonight: "I not real Elsa, I just Lucy-Elsa."
It was pretty funny that she was very clear about, “I not real Elsa, I just Lucy-Elsa.” Got it. Thanks for the clarification, sweet girl.

Catie had initially been resistant to the idea of Halloween at all. She had said she would dress up, but she wanted to stay home with my mom and hand out candy.

Dr. Catie the Scientist
She has important scientific discoveries to work on, you know.

I reminded her of the one neighbor’s house who set up their backyard like a spooky haunted house, which she loved last year. She said she’d walk with us, just to go see that house, but that was all. No trick-or-treating for her.

(Side note: that dude gives out FULL SIZE candy bars. His wife said he has a storage unit for all of his haunted house props for the rest of the year because they don’t have room for it in their garage. He’s either a huge Halloween enthusiast, or a little nuts. Either way, it was amazing.)

Of course, by the 2nd house, Catie was helping Lucy up to the door, and she was totally into it. I’m glad I made her bring a bag, because girl got a LOT of candy.

When we got home, I was thinking how weird it is that Catie wasn’t a dinosaur this year. Then she went into the bathroom to change, and came out like this.

Catie the dinosaur-scientist
“I’m a scientist who had an accident in the lab!”

Yeah, thaaaat’s more like it. (And kudos to Children’s Place for their costumes, because I bought that dinosaur costume in 2012, and this is its 3rd year making an appearance.)

Last year, Lucy only trick-or-treated maybe the first 5 houses before she got overwhelmed and my mom took her home. This year, she trooped all over the neighborhood like a champ. It was great.

Our little Elsa on the move

(Well: edit that. She made Chris carry her a little bit toward the end. But she did most of it all on her own.)

This is technically Dave’s weekend to have the kids, but there isn’t a whole lot of trick-or-treating to be done in an apartment complex. So I volunteered to take them out – because I love Halloween – and then dropped them off after we were done. I knew they were pretty well over-sugared by the time I dropped them off, and he texted me today that they didn’t settle down and go to sleep until sometime after 10:30. Which sounds about right. I’m glad they’re both old enough to really enjoy the holiday, though.

And then I got to go home and look at all my friends’ kids in their adorable costumes when I got home. Someone said Halloween and the first day of school are the best days to be on Facebook, and I totally agree.

And now it’s November. How weird is that?

state fair recap

This past weekend, I borrowed my mom’s minivan, loaded up my kids, Chris, and his kids, and all 6 of us set off for the state fair.

(Here’s where I admit that I am a suburban mom cliche, because I want a minivan SO BAD. I mean, I love my Subaru, and I’ve had it for 13 years now. But a minivan has so much room! The doors that slide open with the touch of a button! I want one. And I don’t care if that makes me middle-aged and lame.)

When we went to the state fair last year, we found out Lucy was too little to go on any of the rides. Even the baby rides required kids to be at least 36″ tall, and she wasn’t. So, this year, we had talked it up a lot, about how now that she’s a big girl, she can go on the rides! (I don’t think she remembers the incident last year where she was sobbing and pleading to go on the rides with Catie, but boy, I sure do.)

The first ride we hit were the kiddie motorcycles. As soon as it started, Lucy’s face just lit up.

Lucy's face on her first ride at the state fair. Pure joy.

I don’t think I have ever seen joy like that. As soon as it stopped, she yelled, “AGAIN!!!” I had to coax her off with a, “hey, let’s go see what other rides they have, ok?”

Chris and I took a divide-and-conquer approach to the fair. His kids wanted to go on the scarier rides that are meant for big kids, which Catie won’t go near, and Lucy isn’t tall enough to go on. So we’d make our game plan, like, “Ok, we’ll text each other at X o’clock to see where we are, and meet up for food then.” And it worked out really well – all 4 kids got to do all the stuff at the state fair that they wanted to do.

Race cars!

It’s funny that Catie is almost too big to go on the kiddie rides, but she’s my cautious girl, and she doesn’t want to go on anything that goes up in the air or spins her around too fast. This year, the big breakthrough was that I finally got her to try a fun house. She was convinced that it would be scary – I explained that it’s not the same as a haunted house, and nothing is going to jump out at her. And after a LONG time of arguing about it, she finally went in, and she loved it.

Sometimes it’s frustrating that she won’t try new things, but then I remind myself that I’m going to have to pay her car insurance someday, so it’s really ok that she’s so careful.

Lucy & Chris's son on the hot air balloon ride.

And for some of the more adventurous kiddie rides (like the hot air balloons that lift the kids several feet in the air & spin them around), Chris’s son was really sweet about going with Lucy on them, so she wouldn’t have to go by herself.

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One weird thing toward the end of the fair visit: Chris’s daughter had been having a blast, and had been bugging us to go on one more ride, and asking if we could just stay a little longer. You know, normal stuff for a kid who’s having a good time – they don’t want to pack up and go home.

Chris’s kids were supposed to meet up with their mom that night for some party, but the details were never finalized, and Chris didn’t think much about it. Once his daughter realized what time it was, and that she was late to meet up with her mom, she FREAKED OUT. She was going a mile a minute, trying to rush us out (you can only move so fast in a crowd of thousands of people), and asking Chris if she could call her mom. (He said she could call her when we got somewhere quiet. Which I thought was logical, because it doesn’t really make much sense to hand a 10 year-old a cell phone in the middle of a mob.)

It was weird how quick she started backtracking her story of the day, too. “I didn’t even have any fun at the fair! You made me go on baby rides all day!” Which, uh, no. She went on maybe 2 kid rides, both times because she asked to go on them. And she was having fun right up until the minute she realized she was late. It was like she was trying to rewrite the narrative out loud, so she could make sure she wouldn’t be in trouble with her mom later.

Once Chris promised her that it was ok because her mom would only be mad at him, not at her, she calmed down. We all went back to my house, the kids had pizza and watched a movie, and they played with Spyro Jones. They were fine, and it all ended well. It was just really upsetting to see how obviously terrified she is of her own mother’s anger. His kids are so sweet, and I really worry about them a lot.

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As for my kids, they were running on a sugar high until late on Saturday night. Lucy had missed her nap completely because of the trip to the fair, and she finally crashed sometime after 10 p.m. Catie was out a few minutes later.

What happens to a 3 year-old who misses her nap & spends 7 hours at the state fair.

Until next year, sweet dreams of funnel cake and cotton candy.

Queen City wedding

This past weekend, we drove to Charlotte for my cousin Renee’s wedding. We set off on Friday, with my parents in one car, and me, Chris, and the girls following in my car.

Charlotte is only about 150 miles from here, but we let my dad be in charge of the GPS, which in hindsight was the worst idea ever. He found the shortest route, and as most people know (but my dad didn’t), shortest does not always equal fastest. So, a trip that should have taken 2.5 hours (give or take) ended up taking well over 4 hours, because he had us go down some random back highway with a speed limit of 45, and frequent stop signs. (“It’s 30 miles less if we go this way!” Well, yeah, but the alternate route lets us go 70 mph with no stops, so…)

And really, the kids were SO GOOD the whole time — they didn’t fight, they played quietly, they didn’t whine — but it stressed me out to be in the middle of nowhere, doing the toddler potty math of “oh god, how long do I have before Lucy says she needs to pee and there is NOWHERE out here to stop?!” (Parents of 3 year-olds, you know what I’m talking about.)

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Eventually we got there, and we saw the house that my brother and his girlfriend moved into a few months ago, which was lovely. My parents stayed with my brother & his girlfriend at their place. I booked a hotel for me, Chris, and the girls, since that seemed like a lot to unload on my brother. It would’ve been even more fun if we could have brought Chris’s kids along too, but unfortunately it didn’t work out with their custody schedule.

After visiting with my brother for a while, we headed over to our hotel, checked in, and met up with our extended family who was in town for the wedding.

5 out of 7 (my mom's siblings)

I was trying to explain to my kids how Mimi (my mom) is one of 7 kids, so she has 2 sisters, and 4 brothers. (This pic is 5 of the 7 – it’s missing my mom & my uncle Brian.) Catie took a minute to process this, then said, “We aren’t going to have 5 more babies, are we?”

Which, HAHAHAHAAAAA NOPE. No, sweetie, we most definitely are not. I think I’m good with just the two.

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There was a little dessert reception thing at the hotel for out-of-town guests – not exactly a rehearsal dinner, but sort of a pre-wedding get together. That was a lot of fun, and the kids spent most of the time playing with their cousins, doing cartwheels in the hallway outside of the banquet hall.

It took the girls a while to get settled at our hotel room that night and crash.

It's way past bedtime, but we're out of town, & they've both been so good all day. I don't have the heart to make them stop when they're playing quietly next to each other.

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The next day, we got up, saw my sister for a few minutes (she got in late Friday night and the girls were dying to see her), then had breakfast with my cousin Cat (not the bride, a different cousin) & her family. Then we went to my brother’s house to gather up our people and head to the wedding.

I realized after the wedding was over that I had one picture of both of my girls all dressed up for the wedding, in their dresses that my mom made. (Having a Mimi who’s a retired seamstress has its perks.)

Realized I have exactly 1 picture of my girls dressed up for my cousin's wedding yesterday. Catie was mad about having her picture taken, and Lucy was... being Lucy.

Catie was mad that I was trying to take her picture. Lucy was… well, being Lucy. That picture cracks me up to the point where I’m thinking about framing it, because it sums them up perfectly.

waiting for the wedding to start with Mimi & Pop-Pop
Waiting for the wedding to start.

Catie wanted to sit with her cousin Elizabeth, and I wish it wasn’t disrespectful to take pictures in church, because the way they either sweetly held hands or had their arms around each other was completely adorable. They locked their fingers together during the prayer. It was amazing.

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The reception was at a museum in downtown Charlotte, and it was gorgeous. So was the bride, for that matter.

So my cousin is pretty much the most beautiful bride ever. And i love seeing her so happy.

It really makes me so happy to see Renee so happy.

We goofed around at the beginning of the reception. We ate yummy food, and Catie took this picture of me and Chris that I love.

My cousin's wedding reception, Catie took this pic & I love it.

Then the band started, and we danced like crazy people.

Lucy & Mimi dancing at the reception

I feel bad for not taking more pictures than I did. Like, I didn’t get any of my siblings, or most of my relatives who were there. But I was just… there. And sometimes I think it’s a good thing to put down my phone and go enjoy the moment, rather than worry about documenting every single second with a photo.

And I mean, I danced so much that by the time we got back to the hotel room, my legs were more sore than they feel after a 5 mile run. So I’d say I enjoyed the hell out of that moment.

At the risk of sounding corny, I feel like I’m just so incredibly fortunate to have the family that I have. They’re a group of people who I genuinely enjoy being around, and I always have so much fun with them. We don’t see each other as much as I wish we could, because we’ve spread out all over the U.S., but weddings & other reunions are always so much fun.

And lucky me, I have another cousin who’s getting married next spring, so I have that to look forward to, in just a few months. I already can’t wait.

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We drove back on Sunday, and got back later than planned, but it turned out ok. Catie really wanted to see Dave, and we’re trying to make sure she gets one-on-one time with each of us when we can swing it. So I dropped her off with him, and Lucy and I hung out for the evening. Even though three year-olds are difficult, having only one kid feels so easy compared to juggling them both.

We went for a walk, just the two of us, and she insisted she needed to bring her baby (and her baby’s diaper bag) along.

taking her baby for a walk

Then she discovered that crunching leaves is pretty much the most fun thing ever.

leaf crunching

And you know, there are times that I worry that I’m a terrible parent and I’m going to ruin my kids somehow. Nothing in particular makes me think that, it’s just that constant self-doubt that I think most parents probably have from time to time. But then, I’ll have a moment where I see them completely carefree and happy, and I think… yeah, we’re probably going to be ok.

After all, I have a whole family full of amazing role models to use as a point of reference.

October 21, 2014Permalink