Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 30 best pieces of advice anybody ever gave me

Because I am the turning the big 3-0, I thought I should compile a list of the best advice I’ve ever received – from friends, family, and popular culture.

  1. Seriously. Why are you even worrying about this? (J)
  2. If there’s a Côtes du Rhône on the wine list, order that. (My friend Mark, the chef)
  3. Alright, so now you know the importance of pressing “save” every five minutes. (My college roommate, Katie, right after I accidently deleted my term paper by mistake)
  4. If you’re feeling out of shape, add more miles to your training program, preferably double days.  (My college cross-country coach)
  5. Never go with a hippie to a second location. (Jack Donaghy)
  6. Nude-toned undergarments are the only choice if you’re wearing white. (via trial and error, sadly)
  7. Maybe you should think before you speak. (My mom)
  8. Get up early to get your run in, this way you’re half asleep during the workout. (Melissa, a college teammate)
  9. If you don’t feel like going dancing, turn on the music loud and take two vodka shots. (My college friend Angela)
  10. Never spend the principle – only the interest. And really, do you need to spend the interest? (My dad, the banker)
  11. If you’re having a bad day, put a smile on your face. I guarantee it will change your day. (My friend and teammate, Lauren, from High School).
  12. You can’t spoil a baby. (My mother-in-law)
  13. Never drink tequila on an empty stomach. (again, via trial and error, sadly)
  14. If you ever encounter a wolf you should stand tall and make yourself look larger. (My brother)
  15. No one ever needs to know it isn’t homemade (My maternal grandmother)
  16. If you’re not feeling well, take a shower and put on clean PJ’s. (My mom)
  17. Be a best friend; tell the truth and overuse I love you. (Lee Brice)
  18. Lean, lean, lean. Lean back! (John, a long-time family friend, teaching me how to water ski with a single ski)
  19. Why pay with cash when you can get the miles? (My dad)
  20. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. (Philippians 4:6)
  21. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. (My friend Lara, via a hallmark card)
  22. Don’t look behind you. (My high school Cross-Country coach)
  23. Just Do It. (Nike)
  24. A true lady isn’t identified by what she wears, but how she acts and what she says. (My Sigma Kappa pledge Mom, yes, it sometimes surprises me that I was in a sorority).
  25. After dinner, check to make sure you don’t have broccoli in your teeth. (My friend Kristine)
  26. Don’t be afraid to go to the movies by yourself. (A friend I met while backpacking abroad)
  27. Always wear lipstick. (My paternal grandmother)
  28. Stop working! Go to the movies! (My brother-in-law)
  29. Don’t eat yellow snow. (My dad)
  30. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. (Oscar Wilde)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Letter to my monkey

On Monday you will be four months old. Just thinking this makes my heart flutter. At four months of age, you are 25 inches long, and you weigh nearly 14 pounds, ounces  shy of doubling your birth weight. You are both perfectly average and wonderfully extraordinary. Your eyes have transitioned from the stunning violet blue at birth to a deep, dark brown. This is a perfect example of how extraordinarily average you are. Brown eyes are the most common eye color, yet yours have a beautiful hazel-blue twinkle to them, and Daisy I have never loved brown eyes as much as I have loved yours. And, as an added bonus, I now can sing “Brown Eyed Girl” while we dance around the office, cause Daisy “you my brown eyed girl.”

In fact, Daisy you love music. All kinds. We can be frequently found rocking out to “Ramblin’ Man” by the Allman Brothers or “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” on your Silly Songs CD. The Beatles, Sunday School songs, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty are all found on our playlist. We sing and dance the day away. And when you need to be calmed, it’s always “Miles from Minnesota” from The Lower 48. It might be because of the melodic beat, or maybe because you’ve got Minnesota in your blood. But I secretly believe it’s because you have a wanderlust spirit.


This month Daisy you have gone from a helpless infant to pure baby. You have just begun to roll, not really understanding exactly how you achieve this great feat because you can’t yet replicate it at will and roll with a huge grin on your face, “DID YOU JUST SEE ME MOMMA?” Besides discovering that you can scoot around your blanket, I have recently discovered you are a little daredevil. You love it when your Dad tosses you around or spins you in circles. It makes ME dizzy and makes my heart skip a beat when I see you flying through the air, but it all melts away when these little pint-sized peels of laughter hit my ears.

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You have also become ridiculously expressive. We have had several days where you have gone from sun-up to sun-down without crying at all, not one single time. I would love to say that this is because I am a baby whispering genius, but the truth is that you’re actually just very easy to read. I appreciate this. Please keep it up. It will make your adolescence so much easier on your Dad and me.

This month has been a big month for us. We are growing and learning. You have learned all sorts of things like how to stand without wobbling so much or how delicious your fingers taste or how Penelope (your pink lovey) makes you less fussy in the car. And what I have learned is this: I want you to know that you always have been loved. Loved beyond comprehension. Loved without condition. Loved.


Your father and I adore you a little more everyday Monkey.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So how was your weekend? Mine was eventful. Here is why it was eventful: Daisy was baptized! Baptisms’ are rather eventful, aren’t they, what with all consecrating Daisy to the Lord, promising to raise her to believe in Him, plus all the frantic weed pulling so that your guests don’t think you live in a jungle. J is convinced, actually, that I only invited people over for brunch after the baptism so that I’d have an excuse to pull weeds, and I am embarrassed to admit that this is slightly closer to the truth than I’d like him to realize. Of course, another one of the benefits of having people over for brunch is the amount of champagne you’re legally allowed to drink on a Sunday afternoon. Trust me; it is double what you would normally be able to have. Maybe triple.

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So we had both sets of Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and the Godmother and Godfather, plus their respective partners, and do you know, the amount of times I’ve entertained in our home can be counted on in one hand. And I say “entertained” rather loosely: it’s not like we have a dining table and chairs or anything. Or, come to think of it, a proper dining room. No, when you come over for brunch Chez Stars, you’ll be sitting (if you’re so lucky to grab one of the three seats available) on the couch with a plate on your lap. You’ll also be trying to ignore the fact that the hostess has made most of the guests bring nearly all the food, including the quiches, and has rebranded the whole thing by saying enthusiastically as you walk in the door “Welcome! We’re having an array of baked goods!” This is pretty much code for “Welcome! We’re having something you could eat without a fork and knife!” And yet, curiously, if you drink enough champagne you will find that you manage to get over this.

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Plus, I have also found that when you put enough butter in your pie crust you can pretty much get away with anything. It also helps if your Mother-in-Law brings nearly 14-dozen cookies for 22 people. This makes up for the fact that you are not serving anything with protein. Just sugar and gluten.

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After the last guest had left Daisy screamed for thirty minutes, alerting the neighbors about her unhappy state. While J took care of the situation I had some leftover pizza from the fridge. I would like to be the first to inform you, but the way, that leftover pizza goes amazingly well with champagne. Perhaps you knew this. I did not. But, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Anything takes better with champagne.

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(Note: By the way, my dad took all these photos and I have been instructed to tell you that, since he always makes sure to point out all the photos he took, he is convinced that I steal his photos, and pass them off as my own, and this is how artists lose their creative copyright, and what am I going to start doing next, STEAL HIS IDENTITY??)