Moving Day

"Being alive, it seems, means learning to bear the weight of the passing of all things. It means finding a way to lightly hold all the places we've loved and left anyway, all the moments and days and years that have already been lived and lost to memory, even as we live on in the here and now, knowing full well that this moment, too, has already gone. It means, always, allowing for the hard truth of endings. It means, too, keeping faith in beginnings."
~Katrina Kenison

Thank you, for the quote beautiful friend.

Next Stop, Chicago.


Red Carpet Recap

Here's the truth: I have one week to get everything I (we) own packed into cardboard boxes and be ready to move our life to Chicago. I'm feeling a little bit in the weeds at this point. There's still a lot to do. A lot, a lot.  But, it's important - yes, I said important - to me to take a few minutes to recap last night's affair. The 2o12 Golden Globes are in the books and I was not disappointed by many of the fantastic looks that paraded up and down the red carpet.

Last night's fashion can be summed up in a few fun trends.

The Mermaid Silhouette
Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang

The Plunging Neckline
Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci

The Peplum
Madeleine Stowe in Vera Wang

Navy Blue
Michelle Williams in Jason Wu

And any combination of those could be found on a number of beautiful ladies.
I'm talking to you, Evan Rachel Wood.

The plunging neckline & mermaid silhouette of her Gucci gown were perfectly on trend and perfectly gorgeous.

And now to my favorites of the evening: 

In my book, Emma Stone can do no wrong. Last night she wowed me in Lanvin.

Natalie Portman was rocking the red and pink that someone mentioned earlier this Fall. Her Lanvin gown made me oooh and ahhhhh. And if you follow me on Twitter you know, that when I grow up I want to look just like her (even though I'm pretty sure she's younger than me).

Claire Danes' J. Mendel was my favorite of the night from the back. Just lovely.

But my favoritest Favorite of the night was
Charlize Theron in Dior. She was drop dead gorgeous.

Alright, your turn! Who did I miss?

... and now, I'm back to packing. Or watching the Bachelor. Or pretending I'm packing while watching the Bachelor.


Be Aware

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness day.

{video source}

Be Informed: Slavery Footprint offers users a glimpse at how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery.

Use your voice: Update your Facebook status, write a blog post, tweet using #TraffickingAwarenessDay

Make a contributionPolaris ProjectSomaly Mam, Wellspring Living or the anti-trafficking organization of your choice (there are an abundance out there...)

Although the problem seems enormous, many hands make light work.


The One I Hope My Ex - Let's Call them "Boyfriends" - Don't Read

In all the sorting this month I came across a box full of my journals. I haven't always been a daily journal writer, but over the years I've written enough to keep you busy reading for an entire Sunday afternoon. It's some pretty entertaining stuff. And by "entertaining" I mean that often I come across as bat-shit crazy.

As I sat and mocked watched The Bachelor last night with a group of girlfriends I periodically flashed back to passages in my journals. It was unnerving. Could it be that I am so entertained by the particular brand of crazy found Monday nights on ABC because it's all too familiar?

Let's discuss. As a single girl, I never - thankfully - had cameras following me around documenting my downward spiral hunt for a man. I never, knowingly, dated a man who was simultaneously seeing 24 other girls. Most importantly, I most certainly was not in it "for the right reasons." I didn't want to fall in love. I wasn't trying to find my prince charming, my soul mate, a man with whom I could spend the rest of my days.

However, I see some similarities. Most of my dates were soaked in alcohol. More often than not there was a whole lot of surface-y conversation going on that never got to any heart issues. Typically there was cleavage. And basically I was "dating" for the thrill of the chase. I wanted to win. Ultimately, it was a game. Just like many of the contestants we see, if they would just have a moment of self awareness and honesty, I was motivated by my desire to beat the odds and catch the unattainable man. I wanted to feel the validation and affirmation that somebody wanted me. It didn't so much matter who he was; it mattered more how his attention made me feel. I too wanted the "W."

Perhaps it seems like I'm projecting an awful lot onto these ladies. But I can't help wonder if there is any other way to explain how deeply distraught most of the rejects are after the first few cocktail parties. Why are there tears on the first and second weeks? Seems 30 minutes of one-on-one time over a whole week might be a generous estimation of the time they've actually spent with the Bachelor. So, it isn't because they are mourning the loss of a great relationship. They aren't cutting a deeply embedded connection. No, I would argue instead that these women are crushed because they have LOST. I think it might be that pure and simple*. And in this case their loss takes the shape of a denial of their daily helping of male validation.

Folks, I'm writing today to tell you that I've been there. I never admitted it to the men for fear of seeming like I was needy. And, again, thank heavens there was no camera to document my post-game wrap up. But just like Shakira's hips, my journals don't lie. In most of my - we'll call them "relationships" for the sake of argument - I was looking for validation. I was looking for the win. In that way, I was just as wacky as these rose chasers.

So, unlike my friend who scoffed and said, "My single life was nothing like The Bachelor," I have to admit that at times mine was pretty stinking similar.

There but literally by the Grace of God go I.

The good news is my bachelorette days are over. And I can attest that they ended quite a bit before I ever met my husband. For me, the story didn't end in a tearful, defeated limo ride away from the mansion. Thankfully after one too many crazy yogurt stirring incidents, it became abundantly clear that the win that I was chasing was not all that satisfying long term. It was my faith that helped to paint that picture, for me.

Hearing that I was loved and cherished and cared for allowed me to stop chasing the icky boys and start respecting and honoring myself.

It was only when I realized that I certainly didn't need or even particularly want validation from men that I got the real "W." I won't lie to you and tell you that every once in awhile I didn't revert back to old habits - hell, there are days when I look for validation from my husband that he is humanly incapable of giving. Old habits die hard. But more often than not, the handsome hubby is the icing on the cake not the cake itself.

After all these realizations, I worry that the way I watch the Bachelor might change. Rather than belittling the crazies contestants I wonder if now I'll feel a compassionate kinship instead.

Nah, probably not. Because in the end, those chicks are whack-a-doo for chasing that guy like he's some kind of trophy and so was I when I behaved that way. Put yourself on reality television and act a fool, expect to be mocked.

Self inventory time: Ever find yourself longing unhealthily for the validation of a man?
(I promise not to mock YOU)

*of course another theory might be that a few of these women are a teeny, tiny bit delusional. But raise your hand if you've never caught a 24 hour case of the delusionals? Am I right?


Another Reason I've Been Nominated for Wife of the Year

The worst part of my husband being gone for three weeks is that I don't get to watch Battlestar Galactica when he's not around. Now before you jump on my case, let me suggest that I get to talk to him three (sometimes 4) times a day while he's out of town. As far as Galactica goes, I'm cold turkey. This is no small sacrifice, my friends.

The truth is out. I have become what Jesse referred to as, "one of those." I'm utterly and completely hooked on a sci-fi show. But if you haven't watched it, I would be pre-tty careful about getting all judgey with me about my viewing habits. I dare you to watch an episode (or 20) and not think it's awfully compelling television. Sure it might have taken five different people to convince me to give it try. I certainly had reservations. "Kind of dorky," may have even floated around my mind when people mentioned it to me. But darn it if that show didn't grab me from the pilot! And now I can't get enough. I can admit when I'm wrong, and I was wrong about Battlestar Galactica. I've stepped over to the dork side and I'm proud of it.

What I'm saying is this; if I didn't have a husband who was incredibly responsible my life would likely look something like this:


Come on, make me feel better. 
Is there any television show that you're a bit obsessed with these days?

*Thanks to Lisa for leading me to this Portlandia clip


My Latest Quest: Save the USPS

Last week I got a, "Hi, we want to close your local post office branch so try to convince us not to," survey in the mail.


Filling out the survey I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend late last year. We committed to doing our part to "Save the US Postal Service." But by the looks of this survey, we may have our work cut out for us. I, for one, refuse to give up the fight. Instead I've put my thinking cap on and figured out what little part I can do this year (I mean it is resolution season after all) to keep a few mail carriers busy.

Here is my five pronged attack:
1. One of my Day Zero goals is to send birthday cards to every member of my family for an entire year. Now, this might sound like a little task, but I remind you, my family of origin is Irish and Catholic. Translation: there is a shit-ton of them. Plus to make things interesting, I'm upping the ante and including a few close friends to the list.
2. Another of my Day Zero goals is to send 100 Thank You notes. I'm certain that if I'd actually kept track of the thank you cards that I've sent since starting this little listy list I'd be much further along. I haven't however, so I've got some major thanking to do this year.
3. While sorting and packing the past few days I have discovered a stationery store sized collection of note cards that I've been hoarding.  This is not to mention the four boxes of Christmas cards that I must have purchased on sale and stashed away for "next year" at some point. Mark my words, I am resolved to use up all that stationery! This might mean some people are getting Christmas cards as birthday cards... buuuuuut, let's be honest, that would be kind of funny, right? Plus, it's the thought that counts.
4. Another of my goals involves Postcrossing.com. Have you heard of this site? It links up users to send and receive postcards from all across the globe. Not only is it a fun way to save the post office (actually the postal services in other countries too... score), I'm also using the cards I have received as dividers for this little project I started on January 1.
5. Once we get settled I'm sending out honest-to-goodness change of address notes. I found this kitschy and cute idea on the almighty Pinterest . And who knows, maybe this will prompt people to send ME mail!

It's kind of cool when several little things all line up to make a "resolution" (or what I'd like to consider a quest in this case) seem more fun and less cumbersome.

So who's with me, is there anything you can do in 2o12 to save the USPS?


Transition Continues

Stage 1: "We're Moving to Chicago!!! Yippee!"

During stage one we dreamed and danced and cheered our exciting new adventure. We found a place to live and  talked about all the fun our new life would be. We were filled with gratitude, stunned by our good fortune and giddy with excitement.

Knowing the next few months would likely be filled with stress and transition, we celebrated the news and trusted it would all work out.

Stage 2: "We're Moving to Chicago!?! Holy Crap!"

During stage two we panicked a little bit. We came to terms with the fact that our lifestyle was going to be changing a LOT. We realized that we had a ton of stuff and not a ton of room in which to keep it. We wondered what should happen with our little house in Chattanooga. We clung tightly to our daily routines and imagined how they would be altered when our surroundings changed. We spent a whole lot of time praying for strength, wisdom and courage. We sorted, purged, packed and downsized. Unexpected curve balls came our way that kept us from getting too far ahead of just today. I promise that each today provided plenty to navigate.

Taking our first taste of the stress and transition, we cowered a little bit.

Stage 3: "We're Moving to Chicago. Just not quite yet."

Our house is half empty as I type this post. Many of our things have been gifted, stored, pitched or listed for sale. The hubby is making his way back to Chattanooga after a quick trip to deliver furniture and other sundry items to St. Louis. While we still await an official moving date, the plans seem to be falling into place for sometime late in January. There is a peace about the transition now. No longer frantically doggy paddling against the current; fighting for breath, we find ourselves calmly floating and wondering what we'll find around the next curve. I've let go of control of all of this in countless ways. While that might sound counter-intuitive, it's definitely saving my sanity. "What will be, will be." And until then, we're taking time to enjoy our last days in Chattanooga. Spending time with friends and one another is the highest priority.

Unsure of how many more stages this transition will be, I am at peace with exactly where we are today.

Doesn't it seem like this is shaping up to be the longest move in the history of moves? 
What was your most drawn out moving experience?