Category Archives: Freelance Life

Closure & Contemplation

“The only way to find out if you’re in the right place
is to stand in the place.”
- Amy Poehler

During a brief respite from determining how I can force Amy P. to adopt me, I took a few minutes to watch this Smart Girls video of her speaking on courage. The above quote kept echoing in my head after I heard it for a few reasons.

Most obviously, I thought about our time in Virginia. Clayton and I had been so excited and optimistic to leave Florida. We’d talked about that leap for years, imagined it over and over, and finally had an opportunity. We were so ready. Never in a million years did we think that journey would circle right back to Florida two years later, at our own choosing.

nat shenandoahIn some ways, it felt like we’d failed. Scratch that, it felt like I’d failed. I was the one who couldn’t hack it less than a year in, I was the one looking for PA jobs in Florida (no one would even see me for an interview) after building up this dream of what life would look like anywhere but here. But Ames reminded me that we wouldn’t have known if that move was for us unless we actually packed up and moved. Turns out, Newport News did not hold the Noas’ glamorous, reinvented future. It did, however, hold a lot of military bases, terrible traffic and an insane job in a trauma hospital. (But weekend D.C. trips were pretty fantastic.)

nat clayton dc

So we moved on. I think about those years quite a bit, for better or worse. Maybe moving on didn’t necessarily have to mean moving back, but Clayton and I were both so desperate for relationships. Tampa had a whole vending machine of prepackaged, ready to consume friendships waiting for us. It would have been hard to take another risk in a new city at that point. Plus, I was pregnant and wanted my mommy.

When I think about where we’ll be five or ten years from now, though, I don’t know that Florida is sustainable. Crazily enough, I’m the one who will probably initiate another foray outside the Sunshine State. Clayton has the personality that accepts things as they are; I am the wanderer and questioner. He can’t sit still literally, but I can’t stay still figuratively. After only a few years being back, I cherish the family and friends that fill my life but still wonder what might be waiting. And, quite simply, we won’t know if there is another place for us until we’re standing in that place

Apart from an actual get-up-and-go battle cry, A.Poehls reiterated some thoughts I’ve been wrestling with about my work. Writing as a career in and of itself still thrills me. Factor in doing it from home, on my own schedule, and in between caring for kiddo(s), and it’s oh so tempting to ride this wave as far as it takes me without changing course.

contract

But then some days, like today, I will catch a glimpse of what writing about things and people and places that truly inspire me would feel like. And I know with certainty I could do that. That’s about where the debilitating blackness of the Unknown begins to stretch out ahead. I have no idea what “writing about what I want” looks like. A book, a column, a blog that is actually maintained, a journal that never sees the light of day. Or a more creative day job that nurtures me professionally but prevents me from nurturing my family in the way I am used to.

So far, I have not felt a strong enough pull to make any effort to change my work load. I take what I am given by my current clients, weathering the hectic months along with the silent ones. Thankfully, my income has remained pretty steady and everything balances out by the end of the year. Except for taxes. God forsaken taxes.

Now that baby number that’s-it is coming along, I’ve been getting a different thrill thinking about what comes next. I am sure this was a crux, but it seemed a little pointless to dive into a new lifestyle, hobby or work situation knowing a baby was about to be on board. Could I have opened a new business or enrolled in a doctorate program in my second trimester? Sure. Would it have led to a mental breakdown ending in a murder-suicide primed for a Lifetime movie? Probably. All signs now point to the imminent end of childbearing, and I’ll be “free” to and (eek!) responsible for creating what life will look like raising babies instead of making ‘em.

It’s an exciting proposition to feel like anything is possible. I honestly feel that way, as cheesy and PSA-sounding as it is. I’m looking forward to training for all sorts of running PRs in the next decade, planning trips that require air travel and being able to take the necessary sedatives to follow through with them, visiting far away friends more regularly, and who knows what else. I was semi serious about the doctorate program. Always the scholar.

oh the places

My future second mommy Mama Amy offered an added reassurance that yes, all those plans may crash and burn—okay, not cool to use that analogy related to air travel; double my dose, please—but taking steps to stand in those places, no matter what the result, is courageous. Even more, it’s living.

Hollywood (the East Coast version) & Miami

Thank God for medical conferences. And my completely remote writing business that allows me to take advantage of them. Clayton attended some long-winded professional meeting in Hollywood (Florida) last week, and I carpooled with him Wednesday night to my own private vacation. As you’ll notice from the photos (or lack thereof), we aced taking pictures together.

Beach selfie. Happened.

Beach selfie. Happened.

We stayed at the Crown Plaza in Hollywood, which wasn’t slumming it by any stretch, but the conference was a block away at The Westin Hollywood, and that my friends, is a hotel. The lobby is four stories high with a glass ceiling and two rows of full size palm trees INSIDE. I walked in and was certain I’d entered heaven. A lot of people wear swimsuits in heaven, btw.

Hollywood Beach

On Thursday and Friday we had lunch together with Clayton’s boss at The Westin’s oceanfront café. It was amusing to see all of the buttoned up, badge-wearing conference attendees meeting their bikini and cover-up clad wives. I guess my plan to tag along was not all that unique. I was the only wife in an oversized Nike t-shirt as a cover-up, though.

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Clayton and I were able to explore a bit for dinner each night. Thursday we drove around for a long time with nothing to show for it before finding Portherhouse. Luckily it was nice enough to eat outside on the patio because they allow smoking inside, which is no bueno for my lungs. Stink eyes would have run amok.

Friday night we were slightly more prepared and headed toward downtown Hollywood. It wasn’t quite as rambunctious as we were expecting–okay, it was also 6 p.m. We’re so old. We walked around and attempted to take inconspicuous selfies, which is impossible, and artistic photos of yet more palm trees.

Downtown Hollywood

We had dinner right on the intercoastal at The Downtowner. Again, probably wouldn’t recommend indoor dining (it’s a cramped bar/pub inside), but we loved sitting by the water. We walked around some more after dinner until it was too dark to take any more palm tree photos.

the downtowner

As you should assume, every night ended with ice cream in some capacity. Totally justifiable because I worked out a total of one time. But I certainly thought about a few runs along the beach and packed my Garmin, so…that has to count for something.

We’d planned to stay Wednesday night through Saturday night and drive home Sunday. There was a teeny little hiccup when we came back from lounging at the pool Saturday afternoon and realized our room hadn’t been cleaned, and it was 1 p.m. My stomach sank a little bit, and after some troubleshooting, Clayton realized the room was only booked through Friday night, and had been that way since the trip was planned months prior. Oopsies.

Obviously, I was the picture of reason and understanding and forgiveness. At least I would have been if I was speaking to Clayton for the following hour.

In my huff, I assumed we were going to pack up and head home, but luckily my petulance doesn’t always call the shots. My caffeine addiction does. We parked it at Starbucks for (yet more) half price Frappuccino’s and I sulked while Clayton booked us another hotel in downtown Miami.

View from our 20th floor balcony.

View from our 20th floor balcony.

 

View from 11 degrees to the right of the previous view.

View from 11 degrees to the right of the previous view.

I guess it was okay.

The weather was overcast and rainy, so we didn’t really need to be close to the beach anymore. We had our nicest dinner Saturday night at the hotel’s restaurant, and I am still daydreaming about the steak I had. Which is weird because ”I don’t like steak.”

We drove around South Beach because we were too crotchety to deal with finding parking and actually walking. Watching other people have fun sure is exhausting, so we grabbed ice cream at Publix and called it a night. Stop judging us.

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Sunday morning we decided to give South Beach another go and had a delicious breakfast at Oliver’s Bistro before actually parking our car and traversing on foot. Gasp. We headed to the beach for a little walk, stumbled upon one topless sunbather, and that about did it.

Oliver's bike Miami South Beach fence the tides leslie narrow

I’m still feeling gipped about only seeing two alligators along a 4,000-mile stretch of Alligator Alley, but otherwise the trip was a roaring success. For some reason I never realized just how beautiful Miami is and how tempting it is to jet down there every single weekend.

But there is one good reason to stick around home, too. And I sure missed those 30 pounds of attitude.

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Enough

I wrote this post several months ago but found it today and still got smacked in the face by it.

__________

Last week, up to my elbows in soapy water and covered head to toe in the mess of motherhood, I lost it. Full on tears dripping into the clean dishes lost it.

And the most maddening part of all was that I ruined those clean dishes (not really, I totes put them in the cabinet anyway) for a phantom. For a nothing. For an imagined problem that nags at women and moms with an incessant chirping of you are not doing enough!

I am surrounded by strong, ambitious superwomen. They inspire me continually. But because we have been numbered and categorized since our first breath, my instinct is to begin numbering and categorizing the theirs against the mines. This friend does this job, and this job, and raises this baby, and volunteers there. That friend works there, works out that many days, earned that degree, and takes her baby to the library. That girl wakes up at this time, works those hours, cooks those meals, and always wears mascara.

And, inevitably, what follows is the conclusion that

I am not doing enough.   

____________________

What is “enough?” How am I supposed to know when I’ve reached it? When I can’t put down the computer until midnight every night? When I have to find someone to watch Addison five days a week? When I have structured, age-appropriate Pinterest activities planned and prepped for her every morning when she wakes up? When my husband comes home to a hot, home cooked, edible (<– key word) meal every night of the week?

Why are we am I in an all-consuming, head-down, relentless pursuit of a goal that is wholly subjective and indefinable? What am I even chasing? If I look up, what is ahead that drives me to justify neglecting the truly valuable in anticipation of some fleeting, self-prescribed merit?

Stop. Look to the left and to the right. That is the goal. Those are the milestones that build a city of memories, a lifetime of timely pauses and spare minutes. The race is not against mothers or friends or women who do things that I can’t or never will. The race is with them, a shared marathon with some paving the way, others coming behind and the  beautiful synchronization of friends striding beside you. Swooping in with home cooked meals that will taste better than any concoction you could dream up. Busting out their own hot glue gun and ribbon when you don’t have any more space in your head for DIY crafts. Walking into your house and scooping up your baby with the warmest familiarity.

Time to enjoy the space between afternoon naps and dinner, with a swing in the yard or wagon ride in the driveway, is not

wasteful

or insignificant.

It is not a consolation for not having more important commitments.

It is

enough

and so much more.

When responsibilities are met, and the must-get-done’s are done,
breathing, deep and slow, for a minute or an afternoon, is okay.

When did it stop being nourishing and start being indulgent to read a novel that wasn’t accompanied by a test that counted toward a degree, to take a nap because you were up three times with an unhappy baby or just because you are tired, to let the laundry pile up one more day because a lunch date with your daughter is way more fun?

I have freelance projects every week.
I am a full-time mother.
I volunteer at my church.
I take care of Addison while Clayton volunteers at our church.
I handle the cooking (or ordering) of our meals, the cleaning of our house, and the organizing of our schedule.
I keep my body healthy.
I go to a small group once a week.
I see friends and family as much as I can.
I write sporadically on a blog.

In what universe would this collection of identities not be enough?  I feel so compelled to fill in the gaps of every hour in order to feel accomplished, to be sure I am making the most of my time. But I know in my head that making the most of my time is defined by what and who gets most of my time. And I don’t what that to be a computer. Or a stranger. Or a brochure or web page that will wither and die.

Making something requires an intent to create, a choice to design a life that has some growing room, some space around the edges to relax for awhile. To allow for minutes that spring up when a cat finds its way into the backyard and needs to be watched through the back door, when the play area at the mall is completely empty for the first time ever, when your kid discovers how to flip over her toy table and climb on top of it but can only get down with a Mama’s hand.

Those seconds will sprint right past you if you are not so very diligent in making time for them.

And I have told myself I do not want to miss them.

I do not want more clients if it means less time with Addison, I do not want more volunteer commitments if the joy of giving is replaced by dread, I do not want quiet moments with my husband at the end of each day to be hijacked by exhaustion.

I want to find enough

laughter surprises spontaneity fulfillment joy confidence beauty

right here in this moment. Because I am certain it is there. I just have to stop and look.

 

Catching Up on Catching Up

[Post started last Tuesday...]
What day is it again? With having an Addiesitter on Monday (an extra day this week thanks to lots of workin’) and the Dolphins playing Monday instead of Sunday, my internal calendar is all kinds of topsy turvy.

Also, that’s the last I’ll mention of the Monday Night Football situation. It’s a somber mood in our household today.

In a mini rant mode, can I just mention that Starbucks has not been work-friendly at all lately? The last three times I’ve loaded up my tote and abandoned my screaming kid, there haven’t been any free seats. It’s like 1 p.m. Who are these yahoos without office jobs? (I know, I know. Guilty.) And why can’t the 70 billionty dollar S’bux corporation build larger stores? There are approximately five and a half chairs in every location. The illusion to make it seem open to loitering and conversing is crap.

So today I took my tote and my $3 elsewhere. And I had the whole store and all the outlets to myself. Could’ve charged 10 laptops if I wanted to! Oh, the power! If you don’t check yourself, Starbucks, I may just drop down to 4 visits a week. We clear?

[Picked up again today...]
There is currently a conference call taking place that I have become beyond unnecessary to be a part of.  So I get to talk to you fine folks about all the vitally important bullet points of my life, like diaper rashes and toys getting lodged in the pool filter. Both true stories from this week.

You called my bluff, S’buxie. Here’s all my money. I’m sorry. I love you.

Since I began this post, there has been another loss on the Fins record books. Sundays are getting dicey, guys. Except for moments like this.

C A fins couch Another W for the Noles (a shut-out slaughtering, might I add). And the Rays won a dramatic game 3 in the ALDS to force a too-late-starting game 4 that kicked their underperforming butts right out of the postseason. We even had our good luck charm ready.

My postseason superstition is to not wear makeup or fix my hair.

My postseason superstition is to not wear makeup or fix my hair.

And that about sums up what we do during all the hours we’re not working or shoving food into our daughter’s face.

That, and running. Glorious, therapeutic running. I did my long run last Saturday morning at a park that’s been on my to-run list for years. It was just about the closest thing to fall weather we’ll have right now, there were enough solo stretches to get some hard core soul-refilling time, and plenty of fellow crazies to make me feel less like I need to be committed for getting antsy and excited about running nine miles.

Slower traffic stay to the right.

Slower traffic stay to the right.

Here’s hoping the motivation train keeps rolling right on through November because this is official:

half registration

Besides the running and sports fanatic-ing, there is a lot of chasing around this 82nd percentile body:

A hyde park gate

And very little laundry folding or floor sweeping.

What have you been doing (or not doing) this fall?

If I am plugging away next to you at Barnes & Noble, don’t do these things:

1. Talk loudly to yourself. I always feel like it’s rude to not respond to you, especially when you speak in rhetorical questions–Where did I put that dictionary? Can you believe some people?–but you’re clearly having that conversation with no one in particular.

2. Breathe like you are snoring. I am tempted to jostle you awake, but it turns out you’re just way too zoned into that video game on your phone to notice everyone thought you were experiencing severe sleep apnea.

3. Make a weird phone call, forcing me to eavesdrop every single syllable. Anything medical applies here.

4. Dress cuter than me. I’ll be in sweats. Plan accordingly. Yeah, white skinny jeans and summer scarf, I’m looking at you.

5. Stare at me. I’ll take care of the staring around here, thankyouverymuch.

6. Be a high school couple. It takes every ounce of self control for me to not go buy you Bibles, condoms and Invisalign.

7. Play Gloria Estefan on the loudspeakers. Just…no. No, no, no, no, no.

8. Read something with an awesome cover. I just want to creepily make my way behind you to read a paragraph or two.

9. Read something I’ve been wanting to read. See #8.

10. Bring your child. I’ll feel guilty for ever leaving mine and get lost watching your 2-year old play with the trains. Major stranger danger alarm.

 

 

The only kind of housekeeping I do willingly.

Updates! After taking an industrial sized bottle of Pledge to the dust that had collected on that long lost Favorites page, I added a “Dear Addison” section for your (okay, my) reading convenience. I had to peel myself off the floor when I realized I had to copy and paste the Dear Addison part seven times. Seven months that girl has been around. Like a blink and an eternity all at once.

Oh, and I corrected two typos on the About page if you’re interested. Certainly made me do a little grammar dance.

That’s right—getting stuff done like it’s 12pm when it’s really 1pm. #daylightsavings. Sigh.

Let’s all celebrate some productivity up in here.gasparilla prof photo1

Normally, I don’t wear pink.

But life is full of exceptions, now isn’t it? Sure wouldn’t be the first time I pretentiously turned my nose up at something only to find myself eventually embracing it.

Facebook. Emoticons. Drinking on the weekdays. All kinds of stuff, really.

Friday

Maybe it was knowing that Saturday morning I would be donning the brightest, most glaring shade of hot pink that kept me in an undeterred good mood Friday. Whatever it was, mama had a really, really great day.

It started with interviewing the world’s sweetest couple for an ad campaign I’m working on. Their spirits filled the room with joy, and when they told me they had just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary, well, then I had to fight to keep myself together and not get all high-pitched-squeaky-baby-voice all up on them. I almost affectionately touched the woman’s cheek. Thank God I reeled that in. Also, they have a dog named Salsa. So yeah, I’m not exaggerating their awesomeness.

After filling out the necessary paperwork to officially adopt them as grandparents, I had another stop to make.

PA132308Got some sweet swag and my lucky bib number. Just kidding, 282’s not really my favorite number. It’s 337.

bib

I swear there’s an excellent explanation for that photo filminess. I’ll get to that in a minute. I fall in love with Williamsburg every time I head up there, and since I had to pick up my packet in the ‘Burg, I stayed there and worked for a few hours. Coffee and free wi-fi would make my day under normal circumstances, but where I headed next was anything but normal. 

Braving the expected crowds and snobby salespeople, I took myself to Verizon with my two-year old Droid. And then I took myself home with an iPhone 4s and made technological love to Siri. This is what happens when my husband leaves me alone to handle my phone upgrade. It’s his own fault. So that bib photo? The protective film is definitely still on the camera lens. I am so not ready to own an iPhone.

And maybe you have a lot of self-facing camera lens photos comin’ your way in the next few weeks. I just can’t stop.

Case in point:

article2

When I was in Williamsburg, I found an article I wrote in a local magazine! Of course the byline will tell you otherwise because copywriting is sneaky like that. I was pretty jazzed since it was so unexpected; I turn those suckers in and the powers-that-be make the publishing decisions.

So me, my article and my iPhone (probably going to stop capitalizing that “P” from here on out, fyi) hunkered down for a night of pre-race fueling with pizza and beer and Dateline. Love me some weekend Dateline mysteries.

It might help you to know that Clayton is on call this weekend, explaining his conspicuous absence from most of my life for about 72 hours. He had a brief spell free from the on-call chaos Friday night, so we slipped out and found a case for my precious Siri. I’d already dropped her twice. When we came back home, we made the regrettable decision to not park 2.5 miles away from our apartment on a public street and parked next to a curb in our complex. Not blocking anyone, just minding our own illegally parked business. That would be the beginning of the end of my good mood.

Saturday

Clayton’s phone rings at 1 a.m. We are all really happy about it; it’s so annoying how people’s life-threatening traumatic injuries are, like, so inconvenient for me. He needed to go to the hospital for a surgery. About two minutes after I hear the door shut, it opens again.

Clayton: Nat, did you move the car?

Me: What? Why would I do that? No.

Clayton: Crap. Then it got towed.

And that’s when I committed to never, ever, ever living in an apartment or townhouse complex again. Ever.

He didn’t have a choice to handle that little snafu at the moment, and I certainly wasn’t going to be bothered with the whereabouts of our leased motor vehicle during my beauty rest. But at 5:30 a.m. we had to deal with the situation because we needed two cars this morning. I sort of half dressed for the race, half didn’t brush my teeth, and we headed to the Land Where Reasonable Regulations Go to Die, aka the towing company storage yard. We made a pit stop at the ATM, of course, because tow companies only accept cash and profanity as forms of payment. After Clayton selected, “Other Amount” and typed “Firstborn Child,” we had enough to cover the fees for the four hours our car was professionally stored.

You’d think that I would harbor less resentment after having my car towed at FSU on the first day of every single semester for five years.

I had to get my sleepy tail home to finish prepping for the race (okay, to take more self portraits that I’ve since decided aren’t exactly high quality content). With the towing hold-up and my getting lost—don’t blame her, I didn’t ask Siri for help—I arrived at the race 15 minutes before the start.

September 20114

The run itself was gorgeous and brutal; nearly 4 miles of the 6.2 were on hilly trails. Williamsburg is pretty, but she sure is a beyotch to run with. Luckily, and without the intention of “training” for this race, I’d done a few trail runs since the half marathon, which I think made a huge difference. All time goals were kicked out the window along the first uphill stint on gravel, but at least I didn’t want to keel over at the end. Plus, there were walkers aplenty, so I finally wasn’t bringing up the rear of a road race.

10k-1

Since it was a 45-minute trek back home, I rehydrated while still in Williamsburg. Official race day tradition? Most definitely.

dunkin

Smoothie Queen

I really wanted to write a post yesterday. In fact, I drowned in the waters of Pinterest searching for some inspiration for you. But all I found were way too many drool-worthy graphic rugs for a fictitious home office in a fictitious home. So, totally productive, of course, just not very blog-worthy. Except that here I am, blogging about it.

Clearly the content ain’t coming. Just around the bend, I have some secret posts collecting dust waiting to be read by the world. Or by my mom. Whatevs.

In the meantime, I’ll tell ya about one of the recent developments in the Noa household: smoothies. That’s right. We’re super mega hard core party animals and are gang bangers nuts about our new homemade smoothies. Perhaps to an unhealthy level, suggested by these [obviously pre-planned] texts from my husband yesterday:

"Would it be possible to bring me my lunch?”

“It is in fridge.”

“Maybe smoothie?”

As you already know, I’m an excellent wife and put a halt on my incredibly important task of pinning motivational running mantras to make my husband a smoothie. Now, I haven’t mastered the proportions or blending levels just yet, so I’m not going to do something silly like write a recipe. Who would ever trust me to write a recipe, anyway? That’s all kinds of disaster and personal injury lawsuits waiting to happen.

However, I did spend a solid year in high school (and one 50-hour, paid-cashmoney-under-the-table week in college) working at Smoothie King*. So basically, I am a bit of an expert on how to correctly unpeel a banana, pretend like you’re studying the labels on the supplements when you don’t feel like working and gain 10 pounds polishing off the leftovers of every smoothie you make in an 8-hour shift.        

Here are the random ingredients that typically get tossed into one of my specialties. Clayton and his 7% body fat get a scoop of sugar in their smoothies; me and my love handles do not.

Yogurt
Milk
Bananas
Frozen Raspberries and Blueberries
Muscle Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
Chocolate Syrup
Peanut Butter

They’re always way too thick to drink, so I use a spoon. And the world’s largest coffee mug.

IMAG0489 See, I told you it was slow around here.

*I was also fired from the King. By my former-stripper-turned-boss whose sugar daddy gifted her the store. If you read this story two years ago when I told it, well, read it again now. I think I use different adjectives.

We had a customer who came in nearly every day after working out at the gym next door and injecting himself with a heaping dose of steroids. He would order the same thing and added every extra supplement we had, with the exception of the Fat Burner. One day I charged him for all but one of the supplements, a whopping $0.50 savings for him and a loss of about $0.03 for Smoothie King. So. Scandalous. Somehow Bossy Pants found out, fired me in her head and did not tell me the good news. She simply didn’t put me on the schedule. When I came in to check my non-existent schedule, she asked me about it, I said that I did in fact commit the crime in question, and she fired me. But the best part was that she said, “Normally we wouldn’t do this, but we’re trying to change things around here, and we needed to use you as an example.”

It must have been helpful to make an “example” of the employee who had already informed them she was leaving for college (a foreign concept to both managers) in about two weeks. How convenient. I was bitter from the whole situation—apparently screwing the co-owner in the office was of little concern but free Muscle Builder is grounds for termination—until about six months later. I came home for a weekend during my freshman year in college and made a trip to SK. Knowing how ridiculous my being fired was, I didn’t have a problem asking if I could pick up a few shifts during spring break. Of course they said yes. After all, I was the only employee who dusted shelves on my down time and didn’t steal from the tip jar. The owners stayed classy and paid me in an unmarked envelope of cash. And of course I claimed it on my taxes.

Office Space

I work from home. I only mention that again (and again and again and again) so that you don’t forget how awesome I am. Sometimes it can be hard to remember with all the time wasted on pictures of my dog and the disease-carrying insects he ingests.

I made a list of all the things I was going to miss about the charming old house we rented for a year. Close to the top of the list was having a dedicated office from which to read blogs, update Facebook, tweet, write blogs and work. When we moved into our current apartment, the second bedroom had to function as a guest suite, storage unit, angry spouse retreat and office. We straight up refused to unpack anything but the essentials, so there are scads of boxes stuffed into corners, under beds, in closets and on top of our kitchen cabinets.

Soon after we moved in, we had a fabulous visit from my brother and his gal pal that required the second bedroom to look and act like a guest bedroom. We left the room that way for awhile, and I spent the few weeks after they left trying to work from the kitchen table or from the couch or from a corner table at Barnes and Noble. Inevitably, though, I got distracted by pop-tarts steps away in the pantry or a nap on those comfy couch cushions or the “Us Weekly” steps away at B & N.

P8072015

P8072017

I couldn’t pull the chair out from the desk far enough to actually sit like a human being and work. It was full on grasshopper style if I wanted to accomplish anything on my beloved thrift store desk. So one morning, still decked out in pajamas (because, really, when am I not?), I did a spontaneous room re-do.

P8082018

P8082022

We have absolutely no motivation to actually nail holes in the walls and hang pictures, so that makes for even less distraction. Many an afternoon in our last house was spent dreamily admiring my husband’s blue eyes in our framed wedding photos. And also bawling over the cuteness of Bryson’s long gone puppy days.

The new “decorations” became every stranded throw pillow found around the house. I didn’t even know we owned so many; I’m pretty sure they started reproducing like rabbits as soon as we closed that U-haul door during the move.

So this is where you can picture me for mumblemumble hours each day. Livin’ the dream. And never spending working hours fashioning a Bryson fort from all those pillows.