Category Archives: Girl Meets North

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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

An update

Remember when I used to blog? That was cute.

As usual, Life has dealt us some heaping doses of gut-wrenching bad news and double-twisting back hand springing good news over the last few weeks. To keep it optimistic ‘round here, I’ll share some of the best tidbits.

Hang on to your hats, friends: the Noa’s are moving to Florida! Yes, you read that 100% correctly. We’ve known for awhile that when Clayton’s contract ended at his current job, we didn’t plan to stick around. Newport News just never became “home” to us. After thinking about other cities, we decided to trade in our scarves for sunshine and head back down to Florida, closer to both of our families.

Clayton interviewed at a couple of places and accepted another orthopedic/sports medicine position in Clearwater.

We are currently looking for all those dirt cheap mansions in this “buyer’s market” everyone told us about. Seems they may just have exaggerated or we may have slightly overestimated our budget. In either case, we are heading down this weekend for a massive, one-day-only house hunt that hopefully ends with celebrations and contracts and not resigning ourselves to months in my parents’ guest bedroom.  

No matter what happens, we’ll be loading yet another U-haul this January. Can you even stand it? I didn’t think so.

And that’s about all the energy I have. Maybe I’ll get my funny back next week.

Charlotte, Day 4

After nearly losing our opposable thumbs in a maze of hybrid farm animals and carnivorous predators, we took it down a notch on Saturday and only risked our lives a couple dozen times.

We arrived at the U.S. National Whitewater Center a little before our whitewater rafting reservations at 11 a.m. It was freezing. And by freezing, I obviously mean it was like 50 degrees. But I was shivering enough to rent the inconspicuous, form-fitting splash jacket. They casually made me an offer to join the promotional models for special events, but I humbly declined. It just wouldn’t be fair for the girls who have been dreaming of modeling adventure sports paraphernalia since childhood.

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I would like to describe our raft guide to you so that you fully appreciate how radical this dude was. But I know I won’t do him justice. When he stumbled into the pavilion before our safety talk, I thought he was with a group of rafters and had gotten misplaced. He looked lost, physically, mentally, sober-ly. His face was deep brown, weathered from what seemed like too much sun damage than could be possible for his age, and partially hidden by reflective Oakleys. Unwashed hair poked out in every direction from a carelessly worn beanie.

And then, the clock struck 11, and it was this very guy who got up in front of the group and presented the information that would possibly save our lives. It was hard to take him seriously with the surfer dialect and hilarious explanations: “If you fall out of the boat, just lean back on your life jacket, and you’ll have your own little personal raft trip.”

I didn’t want my own personal little raft trip. I wanted a raft trip in a raft with as little contact with water as possible. I pitied the group that got stuck with this guide. They were certainly in for a wild ride.

As it turns out, yes, yes we were. As two orphans, we were added to a corporate group who, surprise surprise, landed in Captain Dan’s boat. But Captain Dan? Was totally gnarly. Because the river was manmade, the rafts go through a couple of stretches of the same rapids several times during a trip. Captain Dan was hilarious in his questionable sobriety, unmatched in his ability to guide our raft directly into the biggest rapids creating the hugest splash of your life, and even pretty knowledgeable in helping us feel safe and in good hands. It was hella fun. If you ever go rafting in Charlotte, ride with Captain Dan. Compared to our party boat—seriously, after every run through a rapid, we would high-five with our paddles and yell, “Yay rafting!” It’s the Cap’n’s catchphrsae—all the other rafters looked depressed and envious of our rock star group. (Source)

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Included with rafting tickets is access to the rest of the activities at the center. We wobbled and dangled above a ravine on two ropes courses and ziplined through the jungle. Totally average day, whatevs. Oh, and the center rescinded that modeling offer for some reason.

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I was exhausted from planning a whole five-day excursion (#firstworldproblems), so I gave the task of finding a restaurant for our last dinner to Clayton.

Fast forward to a few hours later and we are decked out in our fancy pants ensembles and walking up to a sports bar where a couple was exiting wearing sports team sweatshirts, jeans and tennis shoes. We could see the 58 flat-screen televisions through the front door. We pretended like this was what we were expecting and hoping for, but a few steps before going inside, Clayton pulled the plug, and I didn’t stop him.

We made quite a few attempts to find a suitable restaurant that was open. Since we’d taken (another) nap after our Day O’ Adventure, it was late. We went Uptown, thinking places there would be open later. Wrong. It was after 10 p.m. and we still hadn’t found a place to eat and were wandering aimlessly through the city. Not speaking, obvi. We finally settled on Mimosa’s, paid about three times more than we were planning for dinner, decided McFlurry’s were the only thing that could salvage this night, and went to bed.

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Aftermath

We headed home on Sunday. I picked Bryson up on Monday and let him take the tour of forbidden upholstery since I felt so guilty for leaving him. And I am still finding food pellets in my car. All in all, exactly what we pictured. Or something.      

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Charlotte, Day 3

No one could have predicted where this day would end up. Maybe Tim Burton.

We had to redeem ourselves on the food front, so we began the day with breakfast at Terrace Café. THANK YOU, LESLEY. I had banana pancakes. Swear. But you’ll never know for sure.

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They also have a heavenly creation called red velvet waffles, which I am certain would be worth the 11-hour round trip to try.

We were fat and happy heading to uptown Charlotte. Yes, they are too cool to call it Downtown. By the end of the trip, I had finally stopped sputtering, “Let’s go downt—er, upt—dow—UPTOWN!” It was classier than most downtowns I’ve seen, with clean streets and a less-than-average number of vagabonds, so Uptown it is. I love me a long stroll through big city streets. It is the exact opposite of tackling a trail in the woods to the top of a mountain overlook, but no less invigorating for me. I feel alive with energy and motion and purpose. Even though our only purpose was to burn off a few hundred calories from breakfast and remember where we parked.

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Beyond that, the day was wide open. For serious, my agenda read “Explore?” So we did. We explored the lobby of Discovery Place to contemplate an Imax movie. When I was in tears just reading about the real-life Lion King-esque flick, we opted out. We explored the front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame building, and then we explored ourselves away from it after seeing it would cut out a big chunk of my Oktoberfest fund. We explored Smoothie King, only to spend $10 to realize they did not have a public bathroom. We explored the Epicenter, which is a little like stumbling on a sorority sister on an early Sunday morning trying to get back to her sorority house, stilettos in hand, eyeliner smudged, morals abandoned. I’m sure she looks a lot better in the moonlight, when construction crews aren’t set up in the center and store managers are not screaming for security guards to escort the panhandler out of the area.

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Then it was on to bigger and better and smellier fun. Mocking my pumpkin patch suggestion, Clayton went a different direction and scouted out the Lazy 5 Ranch. I don’t even know how to describe the nuttiness and squeals that ensued, so just take a look.

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You pay for buckets of food at the front and drive through the ranch feeding the animals. Well, my husband feeds the animals and I shriek and duck and point and hyperventilate.

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The birds. The damn angry birds. They were the very first animals that we spotted, they were outrageously ballsy with their deathly sharp beaks all up in my car, completely selfish with the food bucket and thoroughly ruined me for the rest of the drive.

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You weren’t supposed to feed anything with horns. Apparently, the Horned Ones didn’t get the FYI.

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The llamas f’ing RAN NEXT TO YOUR CAR chomping out of the bucket.

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And Clayton fed the zebra. Yes, the same mammal prowling around the African Serengeti, with ancestors who have survived attacks from lions and tigers and water buffalo, the virtual horse on exceptional steroids with a much better stylist. That zebra. The one the pamphlet (I am a stickler for pamphlets) said Do. Not. Feed. Or. You. Will. Be. Mauled. And. We. Will. Still. Close. At. 5PM. And. Leave. You. To. Your. Fate.

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Boy, was this exciting. And longer than expected. Just when you thought you were heading toward the entrance, the road would loop back around toward some other food-crazed herd of something or other. My bladder was not up for such an afternoon on the brink of death or serious injury to the hands and forearms, especially not squeezed into skinny jeans whilst carbo loading. This story is going to take an awkward turn here. We could not floor it to the end of the tour because some SUV with 13 kids who didn’t even have food buckets were taking their sweet time meandering along the course. That’s when things got real. That’s the moment my husband will visualize any time he sees a farm or llama or bucket of feed pellets. Because our empty bucket turned into a portable bathroom in the backseat of my car smack dab in the middle of the Lazy 5 Ranch. With God and all manner of farm animals watching. Heaven help my husband, I don’t know if there’s a way to get back from that moment.

He will tell you no, there is absolutely no way. I think he’s being a bit dramatic.

Not that you’re interested or still reading or still my friend or claiming me as a family member by this point, but we also embarrassed ourselves on a hay slide and washed our hands a bunch of times after the drive-through petting fiasco was over.

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We stopped for dinner when we got back to Charlotte, and Clayton weirdly chose to sit across from me rather than his normal spot next to me. He said it had something to do with cleansing his chi. Should I be worried?

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Charlotte, Days 1 and 2

Wednesday

After running the 19 errands we saved for the day of our departure, Clayton and I (sans Mr. Bryson) left for Charlotte Wednesday afternoon. We made the difficult decision to pass on picking up poop for 20% of our vacation. We both agreed that, for some reason, the drive there and the drive home were the longest five and a half hours ever. Trips to Florida have felt shorter. Weird. But the view was fantastic the whole way, with bright pops of fall color itching to burst into a full fiery blaze.

After checking into our hotel, we changed and headed to the North Davidson district, or NoDa if you are in the know. We aren’t. It’s a funky arts district with lots of male skinny jeans and Converse. Sure, I wanted to see some dudes in jeans tighter than mine, but the real ulterior motive was Amelie’s, a 24-hour French bakery and café. I woofed down pizza like an appetizer and cleansed my palate with beer at our dinner restaurant.

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For the first time in our entire marriage, Clayton made a better culinary decision than I did. While my coffee something-something was delish, his chocolate blah-blah-blah with chocolate mousse and chocolate cake topped with chocolate was superb.

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Good thing he’s a dessert lightweight and I saved my spoon after finishing my piece in 11 seconds. And then we fell into a sugar coma and barely made it back to the hotel.

Thursday

My initial vision for this seasonal jaunt to Charlotte–admittedly not a huge tourist destination–was to see how many different types of Oktoberfest it would take to outgrow my pants. The activities I trained for were lifting, gulping, repeating. And maybe shopping for new pants.

Our first full day in Charlotte completely turned that plan on its head and set a whole new adventure-themed tone for the trip. I only agreed because the new agenda included naps. Lots and lots of naps. After not grabbing a $9 cup of oatmeal at our hotel (“we serve breakfast” and “we offer complimentary breakfast” are two very different things), we picked up some fuel and headed to Crowder’s Mountain, a little over 30 miles outside the city. I was starting to feel a cold coming on, so I actually made one serious immunity-boosting decision this trip.

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The woman stationed at the visitor center had it much worse than I did. I think she was hung over, had the flu and had just broken up with her boyfriend and he was claiming custody of the pick-up truck. Girlfriend was rough. So because she was a little short with us, my husband decided to turn on the charm and make her earn her $5.75 an hour. He asked useless question after question that I could have answered with one glance at the informational pamphlet. Clayton doesn’t really believe in senseless tasks on vacation, like reading signs or spending money. It’s okay, though, because I don’t believe in showering.

After his badgering and the woman’s quitting her job in tears, we set out on our two-mile hike along the Pinnacle Trail, marked with a cute orange circle. This will be important later. The brochure estimated that this hike would take about 40 minutes. If you stop to take 328 pictures, I’d suggest allowing a bit more time.

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Unsurprisingly, my husband blew right past the “Trail Ends Here, Death Ahead” sign and scurried up the boulders probably meant to discourage scurrying. Verdict? Good call, husband. The view on top of those rocks was stunning, and I could have stood there until it was time to go home on Sunday. The weather was cool and breezy and crystal clear atop acres of fall-ready foliage.  

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It sounds so hokey to talk about being rejuvenated by nature. But my goodness nature is so rejuvenating. Standing on top of a mountain drinking in fall air is near medicinal in its heartwarming healing of the mind and soul.

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We finally decided to scramble on down to normal life. On our hike back, Clayton and I started discussing some pretty intense topics. Like The Future. The Noa’s horizon is both charged with excitement and steeped with stress. There are lots of question marks looming over a lot of areas of our life. All that to say, I finally looked up from my focused, fast walking to notice the marker on the tree in front of us was a white triangle. We did not want the white triangle. We are hard core orange circle people. So around we turned to find our precious orange circle, bucking that 40 minute timeframe again and ensuring that no, I would not be able to hold my pee until making it back to the visitor center. There was a squatting behind a tree situation because I have a bladder the size of a honey roasted peanut. That is one way to lighten the mood of any heavy conversation, trust me.    

We made a pit stop on the way back at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. It was early, so the place was empty, which we sort of like in our crotchety old age. Plus, we were in mountain hikin’ clothes with quite the accompanying stench. We enjoyed our samplers and, shock of the century, I went with their Oktoberfest. It was a nice cool down from the strenuous hiking, serious convo’ing and public peeing.

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Then we went back to the hotel and slept for two hours. We should write a how-to book for partying this hard.

In our half-asleep stupor, we ended up at a restaurant for dinner that was terrible and whose fish tacos made me dry heave by smell alone. It’s such a shame considering the three million great eateries in Charlotte, but whaddayagonnado? With no froyo shops open at 11, sleep some more, that’s what.

Pre-Recap Recap

We’re back from a whirlwind trip to Charlotte, and I’m already knee deep in a crazy work week and a nasty cold, which may or may not have been exacerbated by buckets of freezing cold water repeatedly drenching me in a whitewater rafting extravaganza.

Once I upload the seventy billion photos stored on three different devices and edit out my sickface with some crafty filler light, I’m hoping I have time to write all about our adventure-filled jaunt. Because you really need to know why there are pellets of llama food on my floorboards and why I almost walked back to Newport News from Charlotte at 10 p.m. because we couldn’t find a restaurant for dinner.

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Charlotte Bound

When Clayton and I were discussing the idea of moving out of Florida, for some reason Charlotte seemed like the ideal location. Neither of us had ever been there, but we were inexplicably drawn to it. Unfortch, Charlotte was not drawn to us and there were no jobs available for a sweet-talking, fresh-faced orthopedic physician assistant. Charlotte’s loss, of course.

But we’re giving the charming gal a second chance, just for a long weekend. The hopes of relocating there have since vanished for the one of us who doesn’t hold a license to dispense painkillers, so we will only be passing through and not house hunting, Clayton.

Thanks to lots of recommendations from a friend, the tentative itinerary that I like to make before a big trip is already chock full. My nerd quotient is similarly through the roof.

I am most looking forward to:

  • Amelie’s, a 24-hour bakery. Yes. I said twenty-four-hour. Should I stop this list here? I could. But I won’t.
  • Whitewater rafting and a whole host of other injury-prone sports during a cold front
  • Subsequent pneumonia
  • Running in a new city. I know, it’s a sickness. Don’t worry, I think I’m weird, too.
  • Spending more than 45 minutes at a time with my husband. Until we find ourselves lost in a strange city. Then it’s going to get hairy.

 And a few other surprises that you’ll just have to sit tight and wait for. This is your chance for redemption, Charlotte. Better step up yo game, gurl.

Wobble, baby, wobble

Last weekend Clayton and I attended a wedding dinner cruise in Norfolk. I’d never been on a big boat and wasn’t sure how the ol’ aging equilibrium would respond. Not well, friends. Not well. I took Dramamine about 30 minutes before getting on the boat, just like the doctor my mother ordered. But we didn’t actually get moving until hours after boarding, so maybe that was the issue. Everyone who came for the wedding showed up for the ceremony and some wedding festivities for the first two-ish hours, which meant we had the boat to ourselves. But then our party waited for The Outsiders to board and the boat filled up with strangers. And then that baby took off at the rousing speed of a gigantic ferry boat and my head was all, “What. Is. Happening?!”

We were on the second level, so there wasn’t any open air, and after I headed down to the bathroom in the windowless dungeon while we bobbed and weaved, all bets were off about how long I was going to keep that toasting champagne down.

I came back to our table and Clayton was having some friendly conversation with a stranger who happened to know where Pace, Florida was, and I tried to force myself to sit in the chair and pretend to listen. But all I could hear was the internal monologue of Captain Seasick vs. Princess Good Manners. Before I really knew what I was doing, I’d whispered to Clayton in the middle of his new friend’s sentence, “I’m going to the deck,” and took off upstairs. 

Best decision of my life. Not only is that obviously where you’re meant to hang out on a cruise, but the chilly, 50-degree night air worked magic on my inevitable dizziness. Why would anyone shuffle around in a closed-in box when they could be teetering over the edge of poorly constructed rails three stories over freezing water? Mystery. I stayed up there a long time looking at the lights and getting what I believe could be considered “my sea legs.”

I got to eavesdrop on the smokers’ conversations and even enjoyed an unexpected chat of my own when a man came and stood near me at the railing.

Him: You’re really getting your stare on.

Me: Mumble incoherently, as I so often do in social situations.    

Him: Jump in.

Me: Huh? You couldn’t pay me enough to jump in there.

Him: Really? I’d do it for $1,000.

Me: I think you’d have to add another zero to that for me to do it.

Pause.

Him: Wait. Do you think there’s sharks in there?

Me: Yep, there are freshwater sharks that swim in this water.

Him: Oh, never mind then.

And just like that, I’m pretty sure I won that conversation. He left, probably to find me some sort of plaque or medal, and I had the view all to myself again until Clayton came to keep me company. He brought cheesecake, so actually, he ended up winning that round.

clayton nat cruiseI tried to convince him that life was just better on the top deck, but someone refused someone else’s prodding to “bring a jacket just in case” and was freezing his little tushy off. Someone else was warm and toasty and not nauseous on the upper deck in her winter jacket.  

So I compromised and after nearly an hour of fresh air isolation, I went back down to the party deck. When I joined the group with my newly acquired sea legs, I learned that standing was much better than sitting in terms of keeping the swaying of my brain at bay. Even better than standing? Dancing.

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Electric Slide. Cupid Shuffle. Some 70’s disco song that totally justifies the above finger pointing (but def not the open mouth). We rocked it all, with the exception of The Wobble, which we’d never heard of until that night and were utterly enthralled with. Man, people love to get their Wobble on. I officially decided we need to head to Da Club more often. You know, if they ever get Da Club in Newport News.

Thankfully, the wobblin’ of my head subsided long before last call, and we had a great time. It does throw a big question mark behind our plans to one day take a cruise, but I kicked that fear of flying (if “kicked” means flying once, for an hour-long flight, quoting Bible verses Rainman-style for the entire trip), so seasickness can buh-ring it.

Yes, I’m still talking about 1. My Florida trip and 2. My birthday. Build a bridge, dude.

My visits to Florida usually follow a predictable pattern of catching up with family and friends. Every day I see an aunt or cousin or former co-worker or someone who once joined me in singing along passionately to Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” is like medicine for my soul. We are social creatures, and settling onto a couch or at a kitchen table or into a pedicure chair or at a table in a frozen yogurt shop across from someone who knows me wakes up a part of my heart that rarely sees the light here in Virginia.

It’s a week (or three, whatevs) spent without the pretense or awkward silences or facades of fresh friendships and lets me relax into years-old inside jokes and nicknames and stories meant to be told and retold and retold and…

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by these comforts during the happiest week of the year: birthday week, of course. And I gotta say, the folks in my life are pros at being awesome and making me feel extra special, even if I’m not carrying a human inside my innards.

To express just how lucky I felt, I tried to pay it forward (or back again?) with thank you cards. I had to execute a quick turn around because my stash of thank you cards are in blinding highlighter hues, really only appropriate for summer or a three-year old’s birthday party. When they were all signed and sealed, they were so adorbs chillin’ on the counter that I thought twice about actually mailing them.

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I hope you got yours this week. And, if you didn’t, just assume it’s still serving as the stomping ground for Ol’ Elephanté and accept my sincerest thanks from the deeply personal venue of my internet blog. And rest assured I did not return your gift and use the cash for two-a-day caramel macchiatos.

xoxo, for always.

Here is just a little sampling of everything that warranted a grateful shock to the senses in the mailbox.

Bday Gifts

The Mandatory Evacuation of My Common Sense

Hurricane’s a comin’. I have done a teensy bit of trash talking around these parts about my Floridian-ness and capacity to withstand hurricane-force winds with only my Cuban eyebrows to protect me. But I will level with you because we’re pals. I bought water and ice and a ridiculously expensive flashlight from a camping store because it was the only place that had any left. I’m pretty sure I could use it for Morse code with my mother in Tampa. That mess is strong.

I also went to three different stores before I could find C batteries for our 38-year old flashlight that I am certain will not last past a heavy slamming of the front door, much less our gal Irene. So that’s why I got candles, too. Target only had really random scents left. For the next 7-14 days our apartment is going to smell of Grandfather’s Cigar Hanging from the Chair of His Rocker Near the Fireplace and Load of Laundry Washed with Generic Detergent that Could Have Used a Pre-Soak. I know, total score.

Hopefully we don’t lose power at all and I can update you with minute-by-minute reports of hiding out in our master bedroom closet with my dog for 21 hours. Or maybe an “I’m a’ight” tweet would be more appropriate. Gonna play that one by ear.

If you are anywhere near this cranky beast, stay safe and don’t judge that girl traipsing through the wreckage in those fabulous galoshes. Maybe she bought them last year and has been dreaming of irrefutable justification for wearing them in public. Tidal flooding = irrefutable.

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Them’s my hurricane boots. And my silver lining.