Progress, Not Perfection

I love today. #kc #kczoo

I wasn’t a very good blogger this week. I did not follow my (mostly defunct) editorial calendar. I didn’t post regularly, even though a few months back I cut down my regular schedule to make it more manageable. This week, even three posts wasn’t do-able. And it wasn’t because I was swamped or overbooked. The opposite, actually. This week was what some people might call “lazy.” I call it lovely.

In the last six months I’ve been battling some stuff offline, stuff that I am not yet ready to talk about on the internet where everyone and my mom can see, but stuff that has certainly affected what I have written here. In the past, when things have been challenging in my life, I have responded by doubling my efforts. If life was hard, I was going to do everything I could to make it as perfect as possible. That would surely fix things, right?


Well, turns out perfection isn’t actually something any one person can achieve. Who knew? Also, this apparently means when being “perfect” is your goal, you will be disappointed 100% of the time. Well, crap.

But I have been learning lots of new skills in the last couple of months, and at the top of the list is “how to cope with bad stuff.” It’s amazing what a new perspective and smart people giving you advice will do for your psyche. And one of the things that has been pointed out to me time and time again is that I must. SLOW. DOWN.

So this week I was lazy. And honestly, it was the first time I had a week like this without realizing what I was doing. In the past I’ve had to physically force myself to slow down, but this week it came pretty naturally. It’s amazing how much more I ENJOY my life when I’m not running around like a crazy person. I can step out of situations and think to myself, “Wow, today is really incredible.” It’s like I’m a Buddhist monk, y’all!!! Okay, maybe not that serene, but I’m miles ahead of where I was before. Now, when I’m tired, I sleep. I don’t push through it like some nut. If the kids are driving me crazy, I put on a movie and take a break. We all need it and SURPRISE, more screen time won’t kill them. Having a happy, healthy mom is more important.

Unfortunately, this calm, cool, aloof “me” isn’t really translating to a fabulous blogging “me.” But I think you will all be okay. Just don’t expect perfection, and you won’t be disappointed.

Red or Blue?

UPDATED: Click here to see the winner!

Now for a totally vain and self-serving blog post. Because what is a blog (really!?) without a good amount of vanity? Nothing, I tell you, nothing!

I am attending a wedding tomorrow for one of my good high school friends AND I CAN’T DECIDE WHAT TO WEAR! ALL CAPS!!!! EXCLAMATION POINTS!

OK, I know this is not a very serious problem, but I need your help. Today my good buddy Mikayla came over to help me choose between these two beautiful Madewell dresses, and she was literally no help at all. Sorry Mikayla. So instead of listening to me list out all the pros and cons of each dress again, she offered to take some photos so I could ask you instead. Which one? Red or blue?

Wedding Dress Decision

A few notes:

– The wedding is tomorrow, and the forecast is rain, rain, rain
– The red dress is silk, and I’m afraid it’s going to get super wrinkly
– The blue dress is more structured, but looks sort of strange and bubbly from the side
– I love pockets in dresses
– I straightened my hair today for the first time in forever and it appears to be ombre-colored now….
– I almost fell over twice in those black heels
– We took these in front of my neighbor’s garage because finding good backgrounds in the suburbs is too hard, thanks neighbors!

Leave your vote in the comments (or over on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram…pick your poison). Please and thank you!

Re-Entering the Not So Real World


It’s August 1st, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll be honest, this year, for my annual July hiatus (aka Digital Sabbatical), I took this thing pretty darn seriously. Usually I spend my hiatus frantically trying to complete a list of goals that I set for myself prior to my break (read 5 books, learn Latin, whatever) so I can come back here on August 1st and be all amazing to you guys.

This year, I pretty much threw that plan out the window.

It’s been a weird year thus far, in ways I’m not quite ready to share yet and in ways I already have shared here. There have been some big changes in my life, and while they have been overwhelmingly positive, change is freaking hard. It’s not only hard for the person who is changing, but for everyone around them as well. When one person changes, there is a ripple effect that rolls throughout their family and friends, and all of that can be exhausting. For the first six months of 2013 I felt a bit like a hamster stuck in it’s wheel, just running and running, but never really going anywhere.

So this year when I decided to participate in my annual hiatus (which I skipped last year, I might add), I made the active choice to slow the heck down. To really take a hiatus. I don’t think I’d even touched my desktop computer until yesterday, when I figured I should probably check my email (For the 1,000+ that I missed in July…sorry about that! I’m sure I’ll catch up soon and you’ll be getting a reply. Or maybe you should just resend…). I really and truly stopped working, which is against every fiber of my natural being, but you know what? After the first week or so, it started to feel so very good. Here is what I accomplished this July:

– I read zero books cover to cover, but I did read at least one People Magazine dedicated to the Royal Baby.
– I ran a mile every day…except for those couple of days when I didn’t.
– I watched the first two seasons of Sherlock and many episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
– I rewatched a lot of shows I love, like the Mindy Project and Parks and Rec.
– I went on a couple of dates with my husband.
– I went to a county fair and rode two rides with my daughter that made her scream with joy and made me want to throw up.
– I took a few pictures. But mostly, I didn’t.
– I posted on Instagram.
– I ate ice cream. I also ate ice cream cake.
– I spent many days at the pool with the kids.
– I worked for my husband’s business, organizing quarterly meetings and other boring corporate stuff like that.
– I finally finished Lucy’s room remodel. Photos coming soon!
– I listened to records on my “new to me” record player.
– I took an obscene amount of naps. I NEVER nap. So this July I figured I should make up for lost time.
– I went to bed early.
– I woke up early…Tate and his bedtime routine are still killing me slowly.
– I spent a lot of time with family.
– I was the mediator for several friendly and not so friendly disagreements between siblings.
– I learned to meditate and actually did it. (I know, I can’t believe it either! Begone, hamster wheel brain!)

I’m sure I’m forgetting some things, but the main point is, I actually took a hiatus. I took a break. It was the best idea I’ve ever had.

Tomorrow we are heading out of town for one last summer road trip (look out Tennessee, here we come!) and then we have a few more days of freedom before school starts. I can’t believe summer is almost over. It makes me want to cry. This has been the best summer of my life so far, and it’s bittersweet to watch it come to a close.

It's a billion degrees on this concrete. #pool #shadow #summer #heatwave

Happy August, everybody! I’m glad to be back. Because really, although my break was fantastic, I sorta missed you guys.


(First photo taken with the Canon 60D, second photo via the iPhone, edited in Afterlight)

Summer Playlist 2013

Summer mixtape

It’s that time again, where I share a little bit of what’s been playing in my earbuds lately. When I was putting together this playlist, I was basically imagining I was the one in charge of the playlist at our local pool, and let me tell you, I got a little squirrelly with all the imaginary power! I am more than aware that my taste in music certainly isn’t what one would call “popular” (I hope you used air quotes while reading that sentence), but I sure do like it. So if you’re looking for a little infusion of indie rock, indie pop, electronic, and more Daft Punk than is probably legal (I may be a teeny bit obsessed with their new album), you’re in the right place.

Happy summer! Let’s boogie.

Summer Mix 2013 by Crazybananas on Grooveshark

P.S. Please note the Robert Delong song is NOT the edited version, so if you’re at work, keep those speakers low (and f’ing dance!)

That Red Lipstick


A few years ago I decided I wanted to try wearing red lipstick. I don’t know why the urge to sport scarlet lips hit me right then, but it was love, I tell ya. I wanted so badly to be a girl that could pull off red lips. When I saw women wearing it, I was in awe. They seemed confident, smart and independent. They were sexy, sultry and gorgeous. They were what I wanted to be…or more accurately, they were how I wanted to be seen. I was a young, working mom, and I felt like a kindergartener in a class of high schoolers. I hoped red lipstick would be the ticket.

But oh, red lipstick and I, we’ve had a rocky road. My first attempt at red lips was documented here all those years ago, after my husband claimed I looked like the Joker from Batman. I put it to a poll on this here blog, and you all sweetly told me what was up. It didn’t look great. When I look back now, I cringe. The color was too dark and too blue for my complexion. I did, unfortunately, look a lot like that evildoer from Gotham City.

My red lipstick and I have come a long way since that fateful blog post. After other failed attempts at finding the right shade, I finally went to the cosmetics counter and begged for help. The ladies at MAC found a perfect shade, and we’ve been best friends ever since. They also introduced me to the secret of red lips…red lip liner. It keeps your shade in place and also keeps the red from bleeding outside of your lip lines. Basically it helps make you look like Marilyn Monroe instead of someone who just had a giant glass of cherry Kool-aide.

But here’s the thing about those red lips. Even after I was taught by the pros and was rocking the look on a semi-regular basis, it didn’t feel right. I was always worried I looked weird and out of place. Could everyone tell I was a phony? That I really couldn’t sport this daring look? Were they pointing and laughing behind my back?

My husband, the original red lip hater, didn’t help things much. Even with the right color he HATES my red lips. Every single time I wear it, he comments on how much he doesn’t like it. And while that can sound harsh, there is a really sweet reason behind it. He likes me the way I am. He doesn’t like me all made up and, in general, finds me much sexier with messy hair lounging in my sweat pants. Red lips are just not his jam. He thinks they cover up my natural beauty, and he will probably never like how they look on me. Same goes for anything gold, gaudy or glam.

So for a long while, every time I wore this particular look, the routine would go like this: I’d put on my red lipstick, he’d say he hated it, and then I’d head out for the night feeling insecure or crappy about how I looked. Let me point out, he never said that I looked bad or was ugly, just that he didn’t like the red lipstick, but in my head, that was converted to “You are the ugliest person alive!” Which, I mean, come on! So dumb.

Then, a few months ago, I was participating in an online course where one assignment was to email people that loved us with the question, “What is my superpower?” One of my best friends sent this back:

“Your superpower lies within your red lipstick which allows you to kick major ass!”

This simple, funny comment flipped a switch in my brain. My red lipstick was my superpower! It was my signature! And it didn’t matter if people liked it or not. Seriously, the fact that some people like it, while wonderful, isn’t the point either. I LIKE IT. I LOVE IT! So I will wear it, regardless.

Since then, I’ve worn my red lips to dinner parties, movie nights, conferences and most recently a photo shoot for Sweet Lemon Magazine. Honestly, I don’t wear it on date nights with the husband, but that’s more out of respect for his right to have an opinion. Plus, it’s a lot less work to wear sweats and messy hair, so if that’s what gets his engine going, it works for me!

The moral of this story? This very long, vapid story about lipstick? Be you. Wear what you like, not because people will love it and not because people could hate it. Wear it because it’s your superpower, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s the world could use a few more (confident) superheroes.

This post is part of the Love Yourself Linkup. Visit here to learn more and read some amazing posts from real, beautiful, smart women.

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