Tag Archives: Freelance Life

Five for Friday

Addie was sick most of this week, so we didn’t make the usual rounds. It was tough to keep her calm in the house all day, so we still made it out for exciting field trips like the “wash car.”

1. I was proofing a project and read this:
No cut-off jeans or any other apparel, which tends to fray, is permitted to be worn in the pool or spa.

Naturally, I thought of this. I sure do miss Arrested Development watch parties on Mondays.

2. I really want to be on the York Peppermint Patty train because Clayton loves them. But every time I bite into one, I pretty much have this realization:

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I also wasted (invested?) a solid hour of my life on that account this week. Making sarcastic cards for a living is what one might call nirvana for me.

3. This week was the second time I used the Walmart grocery pick-up service and maybe it’s how I will buy the majority of our groceries until the end of time forever and ever amen. Or until my children don’t require multiple restraints and bribery to make it through a shopping trip without incident. It’s especially convenient for bulky items like diapers, cases of bottled water and detergent, which I literally have to carry around the store in one hand because there’s no space when I have Asher or both kids. First world problem to the max, but whatevs, throw it right there in the back of my SUV while I instagram this latte, thank you very much.

4. When dinosaurs and awkward torsos attack.

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5. When it’s so far past their bedtime you ignore that they’re recreating the EXACT scenario that appears on the warning label.

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(The top wasn’t on and it was sideways…I’m not that cray, guys.)

We are hoping to break in the kayak this weekend and suffer through another lackluster Florida State performance. Don’t even get me started on the Dolphins or the delusional fan that shares my home. Happy Friday the 13th!

Five for Friday

1. How all women feel when stepping on a scale.

IMG_9609 2. I am kind of obsessed with my new pair of workout/picking up Addison/cleaning the kitchen/napping capris. JCPenney, who knew?! Now, the obnoxious level of neon may have a little (i.e. everything) to do with this, but while wearing these, I caught a fella checking out the goods for the first time since college probably. That is some serious supernatural fabric wizardry for this postpartum, anti-cardio physique.

3. We went to MOSI this week and it was sort of the best time ever. There is an entire secret building for younger kids that I completely missed the last time I took Addison. It’s basically a museum within the museum and we couldn’t do it all in the two hours we were there. But we did manage Asher’s first trip to space.

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The lighting sucks on the moon, btw.

4. This week has been a fun little experiment: Addie vs. the fall decorations. Clayton started putting out the various accoutrements, and I told him that was a bad idea. They’d be gone or missing or eaten within 24 hours. He persisted, so I acquiesced with the agreement that I would not be touching any of the decorations as they inevitably get strewn about the house multiple times a day. And I stuck to my guns.

With all that free time not picking up plastic pumpkins, I was able to document my being right. Win win!

A seasonal counting riddle – how many pumpkins does it take to drive your father crazy? Also, that cart can now park in the handicapped spaces because it’s down to three wheels.

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The scarecrow found a front row seat for Daniel Tiger.

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And then I caught the cute caper in the act.

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Related: my book “Using Your Children as Pawns to Gain the Upper Hand in Your Marriage” should be hitting shelves soon.

5. Comic Sans My Friendship.

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Also, blue. Also, bold. Also, STOP IT.

FSU plays tonight, so that accounts for our Friday and frees up our Saturday for a highly sought after date night. If you even have to ask what we’re doing Sunday, then you haven’t really been paying attention, now have you? (#dolphins)

Five for Friday

I’m trying to scarf down lunch, finish a work project, email Addison’s teacher, blog and catch up on my Friends marathon on Netflix all before heading off to car line to pick up Addison. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

1. Happy National Dog Day to this exquisite specimen.

maya

Allergies aside, she is the perfect companion and handles all of our neglect with the utmost grace and forgiveness. But the pool is never gonna happen, Clayton.

clayton maya

2. Despite all my hesitation, I took both kids to the museum this week AND stopped at the grocery store with them on the way home, even though it was past Addison’s nap time. It could have gone all sorts of sideways, but we made it in and out without incident! And then I picked up 24 ounces of positive reinforcement for myself.

dunkin

Speaking of treats, Clayton played golf last Friday, and I was responsible for getting the rest of us ready and over to Addison’s preschool orientation on time. It’s still quite the event to wrangle all of us into something presentable and arrive anywhere punctually, so I was handsomely rewarded for my efforts. Bribery is the key to any successful relationship.

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3. Addison started K3 this week. It’s going to be an adjustment for all of us—new schedule, new classroom, new teacher, new friends–and I don’t think I realized just how startling that was going to be for her until after her first day. The bear hug and “I missed you Mommy!” warranted nothing less than an immediate cake pop.

addison first day2 Maybe by kindergarten I’ll be able to brush her hair without a steel cage death match.

4. We had the “jumping gym” to ourselves this week. It was the best of times…

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addie gym

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it was the worst of times.

addie gym laying down

5. Clayton came home last night and told Addison, “I have a new pet for you.” Listening from the other room, my oh-no-you-didn’t index finger instinctively started wagging as I bolted onto the patio. Thankfully my husband did not have the death wish I was imagining and the new pet fit on the lid of his coffee thermos.

Meet Annie the ladybug.

annie ladybug

She has since taken a toddler-initiated trip over the pool fence and is probably, uh, resting peacefully in the pool.

I suggested Clayton play some more golf this weekend, so I am expecting at least another dozen pieces of gourmet chocolate heading my way very soon. Cheers to a delicious, manipulative weekend!

Five for Friday

One of these days I might actually blog on a day that is not Friday. Today is not that day. While we’re enjoying pancakes and play dates, you can enjoy these little things that made me happy this week.

1. Fresh flowers in the kitchen and bathroom. I always intend to pick up flowers every week, but file that under Things That Only Happen When In-laws Come To Town.

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2. When your rehab exercises are a little too close to the coloring book. “I colored the little boy blue.” Yes, yes you did.

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3. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.

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4. Five years (and five tax seasons) later, I’m finally getting my act together.

business acct Now who do I speak to about the free puppy with purchase?

5. I can’t believe I haven’t shared this sooner, but my all time most favorite coffee mug ever. I received this mug as a gift for my 30th birthday last year, and the excitement has not worn off yet. When the mug is cold, the dinos are all walking around without a care in the world. (Well, that little one being pursued by the T-rex may have one concern.) Coffee goes in and bam—total extinction!

mug cold collagemug extinct collage

I actually love it so much I save it and only use it on Fridays…thereby confirming my absolute nerd status.

Five for Friday

Someone is fussing up a storm and looking right at me like I’m responsible for righting the whole situation, so enjoy some tidbits from this week while I tend to the tiny boss of the house.

1. Eating my feelings during a disappointing Game 6. However, I think the Lightning have at least one new legitimate fan after that playoff run. I’ve also started to come around to the idea of taking Addie ice skating soon despite the threat of razor sharp blades inches from her delicate baby skin.

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2. I decided to work on a few projects over the last two weeks, and every day is take your baby to work day.

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3. There are not many joys greater than that of an unexpected chocolate chip cookie. “It’s the biggest cookie of my whole life!”

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4. Season 4 is heeeeere! Happy Father’s Day weekend, Clayton. Hope your ideal plans involve binge watching a political soap opera and swooning over Jake Ballard.

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5. As great as I’ve been feeling during this postpartum period, I can’t deny those wacky hormones are still bouncing around all over the place sometimes. Here are two movies that made me cry this week:

the croods

tinkerbell

Totally rational adult behavior.

Saturday Clayton has a free pass to spend all day away from his children celebrating the fact that he is a father, and Sunday we’re grilling out with my dad. Have fun spoiling the dads in your life this weekend!

Five for Friday

A little late getting this out today, but no worries, it’s just as apathetic as usual.

1. I feel like she looks sassy even when asleep. I swear that’s a pout about something unacceptable I’ve said in her dream, like all of your dresses are dirty or no we do not have a secret stash of cupcakes hidden from you.

addie sleep2. My computer wasn’t printing from our almost brand new printer, so I logged on to a live chat with HP support. I feel like Hamford may have missed his calling as a crisis line operator.

hp helpQuite the supportive shoulder. Until 85 minutes into our chat, when the problem was still unresolved and he was focusing on printing from Adobe. I mentioned it was also not printing in Word and Hamford was all “I know that, moron*.” Eventually, H-money got me all fixed up and I smoothed things over with lots of unnecessary thank yous, exclamation points and one strategic “hooray.”

3. Hello, new potential favorite coffee spot. This is a local joint that I envision will see me a bunch once I get back to a regular work schedule. I could taste the yummy difference even in the decaf espresso. I already asked Clayton if we could go this weekend and I’m pretty sure he agreed between eye rolls. Small price to pay for watching four hours of the NFL Draft with him for three days.

grind logo4. Both of us needed to get out and lick our faces for awhile this week.

maya tongue

5. Addison’s little brother may have overdone it on the big sister gifts. He probably shouldn’t have waited until late stage pregnancy when his hormones were raging and emotions were teetering on threat level: redrum. He suggested 1. an outfit and accessories to receive before coming to the hospital from Mom and Dad and 2. some toys and stickers from the baby once she meets him. It’s like he has experience with her meltdowns and will go monstrously overboard to avoid one at the hospital or something.

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big sis card

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*Hamford didn’t call me a moron, but I imagine he was thinking it. Also, I just like the gratuitous use of the name “Hamford.”

Five for Friday

I don’t know that I’ll be able to enlighten you with five exciting things from this week. There has been little excitement; mostly blinking in disbelief at Addison’s potty accidents and “resting Mommy’s eyes” during Disney movies.

1. Reading this article should cement my place as Mother of the Year.

lying down mom

At least that article exists and had 40 contributors. I’m not alone in my lethargy!

2. When I did manage to reposition myself upright, Addison practiced her newest skills: gentle baby/blanket rearing mixed with intense archery. I don’t know where my kid learns half the things she knows.

A babyA bow arrow

3. And I practiced my latest skills: play dough (really just “dough” because it’s generic) crafting.

dough2 Check out that cupcake, which ended up being too realistic because Addison licked it. A lot.

4. “Beauty and the Beast” is now officially in the 12 times a week rotation, so I tried to mix it up by playing the special features disc. Addison was over it within seconds, but I was giddy with excitement for the Celine Dion/Peabo Bryson duet of the original 1991 “Beauty and the Beast” track. Took me right back to rocking out to my parents’ favorite easy listening radio station in the back seat of the ol’ Buick LeSabre.

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All I wanted in life was a perm that tight.

5. Technically, this was my last week of work before “maternity leave,” a silly term for a freelancer, really. In actuality, it’s “two months without income and praying you don’t find someone else while I’m gone leave.” In usual freelance fashion, people suddenly remembered they did have projects that needed my TLC. Many projects, in fact. So I’ll probably be working into the beginning of next week, but as long as the tiny VIP in utero agrees, that $ound$ good to me.

comp and donut

As long as I’m covered on the snack front, we’re golden.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying the active living and parenting that I most definitely will not be participating in!

Five for Friday

At this moment, Addison is babbling away in her room instead of napping, my mother in law will arrive any second, I’m nauseous from needing to eat and tomorrow we are having my baby shower at my house. So, in speedy fashion, here are some things that amused me this week.

1. A visit to the new Tampa Riverwalk complete with actual physical activity (gasp!), fountain splashing and divine spring weather.

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2. Easter adorableness accentuated by unintentional cousin coordination.

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3. Because I’m 13 years old.

photo 54. An impromptu trip to the beach on a Monday, which I nearly missed due to inane reasoning that “I had too much to do.” If someone asks you to go to the beach on a Monday, shut up and go. 

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5. I accidentally left our bedroom door open when I ran errands Thursday. Maya took complete advantage and discovered a brand new box of tissues. Just imagining her confusion, wonder and sheer delight when MORE KEPT COMING OUT makes me giggle uncontrollably. I wasn’t even mad, I was really wishing we had a nanny cam in there to see that play out.

tissues Back to the to-do list! And a snack.

Five for Friday

This week flew by. Thankfully, I wasn’t quite as run down as last week, despite a tough outing with Addie. I’m beginning to realize just how much I’d like to get done before the little mister makes his debut, so I’m not as “omg get me out of this pregnancy.” Here are some other tidbits from the week.

1. Work is more entertaining with this gem staring back at me. It was a birthday present for Clayton from his sister and somehow migrated to my desk. I’m allowing it. For now.

clayton canvas

2. UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH.

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Don’t be fooled, Clayton stays a hefty distance away from the taxes since my work situation can be complicated. We always cross our fingers that between his normal job/income tax and my self-employment, we can walk away breaking even. Never happens.

irs takes my money

3. Speaking of nesting (roll with it), I chipped away at the ol’ list. This week I ordered the crib and crib mattress and bought some more organizational supplies for my “office,” which is now a corner in our master bedroom. Weirdly, I’ve been more productive since the move? One of the most exciting purchases so far is this sucker:

tula

I didn’t have great success with the Moby the first time around, but my friend swears by this carrier, so we’ll see if I am suited to be a baby wearer after all!

4. Some of Clayton’s family is coming in town this weekend and we may or may not withhold food and water from them until they help us finish a major project in the nursery. We are the best hosts. Like a prison camp run by a two-and-half-year-old drill sergeant.

5. This Sunday will be chock full of church and casseroles. You know how the Protestants do. Have a happy, happy Easter weekend!

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.”
Matthew 28:6

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.

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.