Perfect Little Black Dress

Hey--I have to leave for a job interview in ten minutes. So nervous. I had one hour yesterday to find something to wear for my interview. Every dress I own has been stained, torn, and worn to death. The solution? Zara. As soon as I saw this dress, I knew it was perfect. It is. Size Large! ha I replaced their belt with one of mine to make it less stuffy and I'm ready to go. Wish me luck. If nothing else, at least I'm the proud owner of the perfect little black dress. I've always wanted one! 

Update: Interview went great! Thanks for the encouragement! More details next week. In the mean time, here's how I accessorized. The shoes and the belt don't exist online anymore, but you might be able to find them in stores. 

Scarf from Urban Outfitters
Shoes (not exact, but close) from Banana Republic. My Peep toe wedge (pictured) was only $38! Originally $120! 
Belt from Anthropologie (look for it in stores perhaps)


Pinterest: A Mockery

I knew my husband Rob a year before I thought he was funny.  Guys would come up to me and be like, "Oh! You're dating Rob? He's sooo funny!" And I would be like, "Yeah, uh I guess." I didn't get him. I dated him because he made me feel like I was on vacation. He was always up for an adventure.

Like on our first date (read the journal entry I wrote right before he picked me up. I was stoked!), at the end he took me to a place that he described as "somewhere he goes for peace and solitude".  He leads me to a grocery store and takes me to an electronic singing chicken coop. Like out of Disney's It's A Small World ride. Surrounding the chicken coop, were kid-sized stools. He sat there watching the chickens sing, dance, and lay eggs. He smiled and waved me over to join him. 

I didn't know what to make of this.  I had just met this guy three days before. Was he serious? I honestly couldn't tell. So I sat on the stool looking at the chickens and said,"I just. I just don't get it." And he responded, "You don't? This is great!" And then he took me home. I was soo creeped out! But gave him another try later that week. 

Looking back, I can't believe I didn't see the irony and humor in the situation. 

While it took me a year, I'm now a giggling idiot when Rob's around. I always tell him, I'm only sicking around for the next joke. I don't want to miss it. Lately, he's been entertaining me on Pinterest.  

Rob has a Pinterest account called Wild Nails. He only follows me. A few nights a week, he'll see what I've pinned, and make a mockery of my earnest efforts. Like, if I post a picture of Marc Ruffalo, he'll do a new board of hot guys and call it Cowboy Up.  I'll know the exact moment he's pinning because he starts cracking himself up. It's as if he's created a fictional character. One that I adore and would love to meet.

I usually wait a day to go back and see what he's added. It's not so much the pictures that make me giggle, but the captions. I'll usually text him my favorite lines. Here's some of his best work:


Capturing Childhood: Kid-In


 I was happy to discover Kin-In today through an old issue of Scooter. Kid-In is an online magazine that yearns to capture childhood in a realistic, yet magical and artistic way.  It's updated every two weeks with interviews, poetry, fashion, and portraiture. Love everything about it, especially all the straight faced kids. 

Sometimes I worry that a lot of the pictures I take of my kids they lack one thing: a cutesy smile. Are they going to think they were unhappy kids? It's just that they are so serious most of the time.  Unless they are prompted to stop what they are doing and smile for the camera. Making a rocket ship out of a a cardboard box is business to them. So is playing go-fish or browsing through an Oriental Trader catalog.  So when I saw the photos on Kid-In, I was relieved. I don't see sad kids. I see kids acting totally natural and beautiful. 


Fashion Post: Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2013

I stared at this picture for a good solid minute. Love so many things about it. The colors, the high waisted shorts (belly buttons are out apparently), all the bold stripes. My favorite part? The lack of high heels! I walk around too much to wear heels anymore. Plus, I wear a huge size 10, sometimes 11. Even at that size, they never seem big enough. I'm always squeezing into shoes like the evil step sisters at the end of Cinderella. My husband always jokes that he thought the tradition of Chinese foot binding was cruel until he saw my feet.

But look at these women.  Feminine and beautiful and comfortable without the heals. I hope the future brings an abundance of flat options! Large, wide, flat options! 

Marathon Training Update

Thank you to all of the people who donated to my marathon recently! 

Bobby & Jodi Kendall 
Christine Re 
Anonymous $15
Anonymous $25 
The Aller Family 
Anonymous $10
Jodi Kendall 
Anonymous $100
Hailey Smith 
Laura Kunkel 
Megan Isennock 
Christine Li 
Kerri Ann Hart
Kate Cowley 
Erin Cousar 
Morgan Olson 
Robyn Stylman  

I'm raising funds to run in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon with Fred's Team.  The goal: Raise $3,500 for breast cancer research by race day on November 4th. We're already at $1,495! 

We are 42% done! YAY!

As soon as I get to 50%, I get my official Fred's Team shirt that I'll be wearing in the race! 

Draw Something

My kids think I'm amazing now that I know how to draw a frog. Especially Owen. He's made 50 requests ever since I watched this Youtube video yesterday. When he asks, I secretly beam and become so proud of myself when I'm done. Mastering how to draw something might be my favorite thing I've learned since becoming a parent. I highly recommend it!


Marathon Training Update: Gaining Perspective

unrelated photo of happiness :)
I've been raising funds to run in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon with Fred's Team.
All the money raised will go to breast cancer research.   
The goal: Raise $3,500 by race day on November 4th. 
Let's get there!
Thank you to everyone who has donated.   

It's been a while since I wrote an update about my marathon training. Read my first post to get caught up.  I'm already up to 16 miles on my long runs! The training has been really hard, but running for a charity has given me so much perspective.  Something I didn't always have . . .

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time at the beginning of my senior year in high school.  I remember having mix feelings of hope and mystery. Did they catch it early enough? Would she just have to take a few pills? Would she lose her hair this time? It had been 8 years since she last had cancer. What was going to happen to her this time? To our family? Everything is going to be fine, right?

At the time, I was the secretary of my senior class and started to slack off on my duties. The teacher in charge of the student government pulled me into her office shortly after Christmas break. I felt so guilty. I apologized for missing meetings and told her I was going to do better.

She stopped me and said, "Whoa, whoa. Don't worry about it. You're doing fine. Is everything ok with your mother? And those missed meetings, oh please. Just try your best."

I was shocked that she was being so understanding. She wasn't the warm and fuzzy type. And plus I thought I had things to do! The senior class voted for me to take notes during the meetings. To come up with ideas for Prom! The whole system wouldn't work without a secretary!

But it was the way she was looking at me. Waiting for me to say something.  I knew then my mother's illness was more serious than I thought. It's not that my advisor knew more about my mom's cancer than I did, but she had perspective. Something most people lack at 18 years-old. I know I did.

And so each month went by. My mother had chemo. She lost her hair. Her hospital stays started getting longer. I got special permission to visited her in the hospital on my lunch period. Sometimes I would crawl in her bed and snuggle up to her. I must have looked ridiculous, but I missed her too much to care. After a while she would whisper, "It kind-of hurts" and I would feel bad. Then I'd crawl out, tell her I love her, hug her (again! ouch) and drive back to school.

I had English, then art. It's amazing I even went back each day.  But, again, it's perspective. I didn't realize running for the hills was an option. No one would blame me if I did, really, but I kept doing everything as normal as possible. I went to Prom, went to Disney World for Grad Night, and finally graduated.

My mom wasn't able to watch me walk across the stage on graduation day. She was pretty sick by that point and the doctors didn't want her to leave the hospital. Seeing this old picture of me from that day still shocks me. A smile? Really? But I remember being happy. To be with friends and family. To finish high school. To move on.
with my friend Eric
After the official graduation ceremony at my school, my principal reenacted the ceremony at the hospital's church for my mother. It was the last time she would see me accomplish anything. She died a month later.

She never got to see me fly away to college. Hear my first love story with Rob. Watch me get married. Meet my kids and cheer me on through motherhood.  She was such a great cheerleader. The way she waved her arms in the air, wobbled her knees, and hollered is ingrained in my memory. She wasn't one to hold back her emotions, especially when she was happy for someone else.  I would have loved to see her cheering me on during this marathon. She cracked me up.

Which brings me back to perspective. These past few months of training, I've gained perspective on lots of things. For one, it's ok to run for the hills when life gets tough. Literally run for the hills. Either Harlem Hill or Cat Hill in Central Park will do. Sometimes both. It's done great things for me.

But more importantly, I've learned that no one should miss out on their kid's major milestones. Cancer took that away from my mother and so many other parents. We need a cure! I am so excited to help fund the research to find one. Please join me by donating here!

More about Fred's Team: 

100% of the funds raised by Fred's Team go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the nation's preeminent center for research and treatment devoted exclusively to cancer, and at least 80 percent of the total supports pioneering research. 

I specifically choose to raise money for breast cancer. 

When you make an online gift, you will receive an e-mail confirmation and tax acknowledgment as soon as your transaction is complete. For all offline gifts, you will receive a written tax acknowledgment in the mail. 

 More FAQ's here. Like who's this Fred guy?! 

photo credit: Britney Ericksen


My Theory on Buying School Clothes

Here's Ella on her first few days of second grade.

The only clothes I bought her this year for school is a new pair of shoes, a sweater, and one dress (below in white). Other than that, she's been mixing in the same stuff from the summer, borrowing from her brother's closet, and wearing the same over-priced backpack she used last year.  Oh that backpack.  I bought it in a small shop in Paris thinking I was being so clever. Only to find out it was currently being sold at every J.Crew. haha

I plan on buying her more clothes as the weather changes. Until then, she'll be wearing her summer clothes. It's been too hot to do otherwise! Do you buy your kids clothes as needed or in one big shopping spree? I like to take it in slowly. I end up buying too much junk otherwise. 
Notice her thrilled face. I had to beg her to take these pictures. Seconds later, she was off running!
The official first day of school picture. Stoked to get this picture over. haha
Sources to everything:
Top Look:
Gray Dress by American Apparel
Sweater from Zara
Backpack found at J.Crew in similar colors, exact color here at punk.com (haha)
Converse All Star in light blue from a local shoe store. I can't find them online. Anyone seen them? I'm shocked I can't find their source.

Middle Look:
Neon Yellow Dress by American Apparel
Red Gingham Shirt by American Apparel (found in store for only $15!)
Converse All Star Navy found on Amazon

Botton Look:
White Crochet Dress from Zara
Sweater from Zara
Sandals found on Amazon

SOOOO? Where are my boys? Are the going to model their first day of school clothes?  Nope. They go to a different school and wear uniforms. Terribly stiff, bright orange uniforms. It's painful. Get your sunglasses on before reading on . . .


The New Yorker's "I'm a Mom" By Jenny Allen

I just finished reading Jenny Allen's hilarious article titled, "I'm a Mom".  When I started reading it, I was confused. Is this for real? She writes: 
When Michelle Obama calls herself Mom-In-Chief, I am, like, "Amen, sister!," because Mrs. Obama knows what we all know: your husband may be a very important person, but who runs the show at home? Not Dad. Mom. But I think Ann Romney carries the day here. Unlike Mrs. Obama, when Mrs. Romney talks so movingly to the women of America, she leaves out the childless gals . . . Because, if you're not a mom, you may not be a bad person, but you are an extraneous person." 
Then, I knew this article was a satire. And loved each word of it. It's this kind of banter that I hear at the playground sometimes and find on mommy blogs all the time.  It drives me bonkers when I here stuff like this (from the article):
No one ever thanks us [moms] for anything, and we moms learn to be fine with it, learn that our children's smiling faces . . . are thanks enough.  
The single gals, the gals who haven't had children, don't understand that. They expect to be thanked for things. . . Giving is our job. You [single gals] may understand expensive shoes . . .but you don't understand that it's all about the giving.
Hahaha. I hate that I've actually heard similar conversations. I've probably even been guilty of participating in conversations like that in my early months of motherhood.  Not anymore though! I'm much too wise to do something that repulsive now.

I'm so glad someone wrote the article. It long over due. I just hope it gets read by the right people! And they pick up on the sarcasm. Especially the Ann Romney/Snooki BFF part. It's just like the time Tori Spelling and I laughed together in solidarity and were bonded for life thanks to motherhood! Isn't it grand.


Life Imitating "Art": Spongebob Square Pants

Just two bros getting drunk off ice cream. 

ps Fentons! I love Fentons. 
Best ice cream store ever.


Ella Does A Hair Tutorial: Maude Braids

I was giggling when I saw these pictures on Cup of Jo this morning.  Shoeless, toothless, goofy Ella. I have to admit, while the photo shoot was happening, the stage mom in me worried that Ella's poses weren't exactly modelesque. I was about to say something (Ella! Stand Still!), but she was cracking everyone up with her dance moves and leg lifts.  Joanna, photographer Alpha, stylist Kendra, and hairdresser Reagan were so cool to let Ella do whatever she wanted. It made for a fun morning.
And now, seeing how it all came together, I'm so glad I stayed out of it. This hairstyle, afterall, reminds me of free spirit Maude from my favorite movie. Ella with Maude braids seems like the perfect match. Don't you think?

Biggest mistake of the day was that I forgot to watch how hair stylist Reagan did it! I still have the ribbon she used but I've been waiting for the hair tutorial to post.  Now that I have the instructions, I'll have to test it out. It seems simple enough. 

Keep reading for behind the scene iPhone pictures. Enjoy!


Portrait of a Mother

The night before this picture was taken, my boys had been up from 3am-6am. They were still recovering from our red eye flight from San Francisco to NYC.  I'll never book that again. Especially without Rob! He got called off to a business meeting in Seattle, and I was flying solo with all the kids. The flight wasn’t so bad, but recovering from it was awful.

I was exhausted the next morning but stoked to pawn my kids off and attend Alt Summit. During the lunch break, a friend asked if I was ever going to have more kids. I told her, “NoWAY! Never! Absolutely not!”.

She responded jokingly, “When you talk about your kids, you make it sound like you’ve been traumatized. Have kids traumatized you? What happened?!”

All I could do was laugh like a lunatic while I failed to articulate an answer. It was at that moment, photographer Justin Hackworth snapped this photo of me.

When I saw it, I noticed my tired eyes, worn off lipstick, and a frozen laugh. I'm on the verge of true happiness, a nap, or about to cry hysterically while I tell her how exhausted I am.  Anything could have happened in the next frame.

It's because of this unknown, I feel like this picture captures my experience with motherhood perfectly. Traumatized yet blissfully happy indeed!


Summer Break

It's almost over. Trying to get it all in! Posting will be light until all my kids are in school. Ella starts Thursday! Later dudes. 

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