9 Years

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Three thousand two hundred eighty eight days ago I recited hand written vows with my best friend.

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Four hundred sixty nine weeks ago we danced hand-in-hand in a huge circle with a slew of our closest friends to All Together Now by The Beatles as our last song of the night.

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One hundred eight months ago I married an amazing man.

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Sure, our relationship isn’t perfect. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we go to bed mad.

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But every morning a kiss starts off our day and I love him to pieces all over again.

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He  is the one for me and I am the one for him.

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I’m certain of it.

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He gets me. In ways that NOBODY else could.

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I’m so lucky he said “I do” nine years ago.

Happy Anniversary, Josh. I love you.

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This is my Mom.

I would have to say she is my most favorite lady ever. Over the past 35 years she has loved me, guided me, taught me, and cared for me in a way that has made me feel like I hit the lottery when it comes to mothers. She has been a friend, a disciplinarian, a cheerleader, and a shoulder to cry on when I’ve needed one.

She is pretty fantastic.

Today is her birthday.

And although I’ve already wished her a happy birthday on her Facebook wall and I will call her later to tell her the same since we live too far away to celebrate together in person, I want to tell her here too.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

You deserve every wish you have ever made as you’ve blown out the candles on your cake each February 24th.

Happy Birthday To You!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

He is celebrating his 59th. The fact that this is his last year as a 50-something seems almost impossible to me. For some reason my parents fall into this category of being perpetually in their late 40s or early 50s. Which is ridiculous since I’m 35. If I’m getting older they certainly are.

But… they have this air of youthfulness about them.

For my dad it probably has a lot to do with the fact that he still loves to hunt. He still loves his rock ‘n’ roll. He just refuses to grow old.

It is pretty spectacular.

I hope that’s hereditary.

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Happy Birthday Dad!

Growing Up—Four Years

Dear Gideon,

Today you turned four years old. Which kind of seems impossible because I swear it was just the other day that I was in labor with you wondering what motherhood would be like. I can honestly say that thanks to you, motherhood has been fantastic.

DSC01576March 27, 2007—One Hour Old

You are an incredible human and every single day I get to spend with you makes my life more fulfilling. I cannot imagine it any other way. Day after day, month after month, year after year you keep getting more amazing and I am so proud to be able to say that YOU are MY son.

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You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love spending my days, afternoons, and nights with you. I feel so blessed that my job permits me to work just two really long days most weeks of the year so I have the other five days to hang out with you.

You are so smart. So handsome—strangers still stop me on a regular basis to tell me how beautiful your red hair is when they see you. You are funny—especially with your new found appreciation for knock knock jokes. And your laugh? Completely infectious.

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As fast as you are growing up you will always be my baby. And you will forever be the one that made me a mother. I hope you always remember that you made me something that nobody else had ever done and nobody else will ever be able to do. You changed who I was to my very core in the most remarkable way. Nothing can ever change that fact and I am so very thankful for that you gave me that opportunity.

DSC01847April 3, 2007—One Week Old

IMG_1415March 24, 2011—Four Years Old

Love and a million kisses,

Mommy

Eight Years

Eight years ago today I married my best friend.

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I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Happy Anniversary JQ. I love ya babe.

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Merry Christmas

From my family to yours. Hope your day is full of magic.

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BlogHer10 and NYC—The Parties

When I was in my early twenties I LOVED going to the club on the weekend and dancing. I mean really loved it. Like there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday kind of love. And I danced all night long in high-heeled shoes and low-cut shirts. Damn I was a rock star.

That was over a decade ago.

How sad.

With a kid, a career, and responsibilities my partying days are a far cry from what they used to be. I am sure my body is thankful for that fact. Long gone are my days of dancing the night away at the club. And really, I am okay with that even if I do miss the dancing part a little bit.

And throwing a party? While I do LOVE to host a good party, that shit ain’t cheap. Plus, my friends NEVER want to pretend it’s American Bandstand in the living room. And? My Harry Buffalo tub has been long gone since that sleep-walking episode where I thought it was the toilet and only figured out AFTER I tried to flush it that I had just peed in an over-sized laundry tub. Tragic, I know.

Which brings me back to the fact that we just don’t party down too much these days.

So when I was in New York for BlogHer I went to a few parties. Quite a few of them. And there were lots more that I didn’t make it too. It was partypalooza. There was a little something for everyone.

And damn they were a good time.

On Thursday I went to the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia party at the MSL offices (in one of the studios). There were fake eyelashes, diamond rings made out of pipe cleaners, paper crafts and food but no Martha. I did meet Lucinda Scala Quinn, who I used to watch ALL THE TIME on Everyday Food on PBS. She was lovely.

100_0393The eyelashes look cute here but get creepy when you pull them out later 3 little lashes at a time.

100_0397Beautiful view from the studio at MSL.

100_0408Me, Lucinda Scala Quinn, and a dude with a serious beard.

I also went to the Schick Intuition K.I.S.S. and Tell party that night. It was held at the Stone Rose in Columbus Circle. It was very shiny inside.

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Since the party was hosted by Schick part of the decor included three models pretending to shave their legs with Intuition razors. All. Night. Long. It was so bizarre that naturally the first thing I do after I get a drink is ask the girls if they would pretend to shave MY legs.

100_0412aCheck out that calf muscle.

They were really good sports about it.

The K.I.S.S. and Tell party also had live entertainment provided by this awesome violinist who rocked out with a DJ. I know it sounds ridiculous but trust me, it was kick ass. And then? The charming Gavin DeGraw played a few tunes for us.

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100_0442I think MFAmama must have been drunk when she took this. Clearly that is why I look so frightening.

100_0444aI saw this as I left the party. How could I NOT share it with you?

Good times.

Friday was BlogHer’s Voices of the Year gala held right at the Hilton. I had another party to go to off site and I did not get to stay too long at this one. So I made it count while I was there.

I had the word “Inspire” painted on me by Melissa from ISLY. So very beautiful. So meaningful. So perfect.

100_0449I’m not really pissed off. I swear.

Then I wrote on a thought bubble and was photographed old school Polaroid style.

polaroid_scan“YOU are Amazing!” Yes you.

And before I headed to my next event The Bloggess herself wrote me a poem.

bloggess poem“Anyone who knows the term “emulsion transfer” is too cool for me.
Thank you for slumming with me. –J Lawson”

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It’s okay to be jealous.

Next was the Aiming Low EzPz party at Robert Restaurant hosted by these marvelous chicks. HP sponsored this event and along with super yummy things to eat and drink there was a photo booth to end all photo booths. I don’t know what kind of magic was sprinkled in that camera trigger but everybody looked GORGEOUS in their pictures. No seriously. I want to construct one in my home. Immediately. And then take my picture in it every morning and show any person I come into contact with how smokin’ hot I am in black and white.

hp3See? Even my paper bracelet looks good.

hp1Me and the foxy Barefoot Foodie.

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And then Saturday. I almost skipped the party scene completely on Saturday. I had to be up at 4:30 on Sunday for my flight home. I still had to pack all my stuff. I was tired. But it was Sparklecorn. And CheeseburgHer.

Unicorn cakes. Paper bag hats. Dancing.

100_0471Yes, that is the cake.

100_0463I love the look on every face in this shot. Especially Britt & Robin.

100_0479Oh yeah, and glow sticks.

When it came down to it, I really couldn’t NOT go.

Besides, sleep is overrated.

I can’t be the only one that has discussed BlogHer with their therapist

Tomorrow I leave for a 5 day trip to New York. By myself. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’m traveling with a couple of very hip ladies. When we get to NYC I’m meeting another fabulous lady I’ve know through the internets for nearly five years. And then there is the fact that there will be around 2400+ other women (and a few men)  hanging around with a similar agenda. BlogHer.

But I’m not traveling with family. I’m not traveling with my best friend and my little boy. I’m traveling with people I know just a little. Frankly, it is freaking me out a bit.

Add to that the fact that I’ve never been to New York or to a conference centered around blogging and my anxiety levels are off the charts right now.

I kind of want to puke.

I also want to have an amazing time. I want to meet new people. Connect with friends I’ve only known online. Learn. Laugh. Photograph.

I’m not packed yet. I’m trying. Clothes are out. Shoes are too. I even have a surge protector strip tossed in my suitcase. And snacks. So it’s a start.

I’m also really good at procrastinating.

That does nothing for the anxiety.

And let me just say that when you do laundry every couple of days and rarely attend cocktail parties, it is really hard to put together outfits for 5 days that don’t showcase the fact that you will happily wear the same pair of jeans several days in a row. With t-shirts. And very little make-up. Which is why the clothes are out. I had to make sure I actually had enough things to wear for 5 days. I kind of fail at the whole fashion thing.

I’ll pack all the cords, memory cards, and various electronics up as soon as everything gets a nice fresh charge.

I’ll sleep like shit Tuesday night in anticipation of the 5 a.m. alarm Wednesday morning.

I’ll probably cry when I leave my husband and son behind.

Hopefully I won’t puke.

And at some point Wednesday morning I’ll descend upon New York City for the first time in my life.

I’ll have an amazing time. I’ll meet new people. Connect with friends I’ve only known online. Learn. Laugh. Photograph.

I can’t wait.

Be gentle with me New York. I’m just a little worm burrowing my way through the Big Apple this weekend.

So far pyromaniacs are way better neighbors than sex offenders

Every neighborhood has something. That little thing about it that makes it special. Maybe it’s the way all the houses look the same right down to the paper birch trees planted next to the wooden mailboxes along the street. Or maybe it’s the fact that there is never a weekend that goes by without the police speeding down your block with their lights flashing. Whatever it may be there is something unique about YOUR neighborhood.

My neighborhood’s something shines on the 4th of July.

There is a small park near my house that could easily be overlooked by the passerby if they weren’t paying attention. It’s big enough for Little League but small enough that the only parking is on the streets in the neighborhood. And every year on the 4th of July some of the neighbors get together and shoot of fireworks in that little park.

Not just bottle rockets and roman candles either.

We are talking SERIOUS fireworks.

Fireworks that draw people and their lawn chairs from all over the neighborhood. They show up well before dark because they know how AWESOME the fireworks are going to be.

IMG_9696All those little white boxes have people in them.
The red one has the single cop car that hung out all night.

IMG_9694We prefer to just pull our patio furniture onto the lawn for the festivities.

This is not anything new in my neighborhood. It has been happening for over 20 years. This year was the 5th consecutive year we have enjoyed the show. From what I have been told it started out with a couple of key families contributing to the pile of fireworks back when permits didn’t matter and the police didn’t harass you for shooting Screaming Banshees off in the park with a blowtorch in one hand and an open can of Old Milwaukee in the other. Families moved in and out of the neighborhood but one of those primary families never moved. Year after year they shot off fireworks from the basketball court and baseball diamonds in that small park. When the father passed away he left a trust fund for his children to carry on the tradition for their mother each fourth of July. This year was no exception.

And although that particular family didn’t contribute as much as they had in the past the other neighbors did.

For almost 2 straight hours.

*Right here is where the 82 seconds of explosive video I shot with JQ’s phone would go if the file size had not been TOO BIG to send. Stupid file size limitation.*

This year marked G-tot’s first experience with fireworks and they did not disappoint. I personally think it was the best fireworks display since we moved here. I hope someday he looks back and remembers that something special about our neighborhood.

IMG_9702G-tot loved doing the “sparklies”.

IMG_9716So did I.

Hey Daddio

Every girl—young or old—deserves a positive father figure in her life.

I have been lucky enough to have three.

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And my son is lucky enough to have an amazing father of his own.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in my life—near and far.

You are loved very much.