Apr 10 2017

My Kids Are Better Snowboarders Than I Am

My Kids Are Better Snowboarders Than I Am

To me, a vacation is not a vacation unless every necessary item could theoretically fit inside one duffel: flip flops, bathing suits, a couple sundresses, and a paperback. Done. Then I met my husband, whose idea of a “vacation” requires all manner of puffy hugeness: snow pants, down jackets, heavy equipment, rolls and rolls of woolen socks, and boots that seem like they could walk on the moon.

Now that we’re driving distance from Tahoe, Al has been dying to take the kids on a little road trip. I was game, since Baby B has never seen snow and Peaches doesn’t really remember it — plus, she’s been asking to snowboard for many, many months now.

This is basically the whole reason Al had children. He’s been conditioning her for this very moment from the day she was born. “Look at that mountain, P! Guess what people can do on a mountain? SNOWBOARD. Don’t you want to come snowboarding with Daddy, P?” Eventually, every time we passed a mountain (which happens constantly in California, obviously), she’d say it on her own: “Imma go snowboarding on that mountain. When do I go? Can I go today, Mommy?” Continue reading

Feb 17 2016

San Francisco Writers Conference: What to Expect

San Francisco Writers Conference: What to Expect

For two weekends in a row, I have not slept in my own bed. This is unusual for a homebody like me — who has handpicked my perfect pillow-top mattress and appreciates when all my stuff is in one ultra-organized location — but for the first half of February, I’ve been a traveling fool. We took our first-ever trip to Disneyland. And for the past four days, I was an attendee at the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference.

I’d been wanting to go to a writing conference for years, but my teaching schedule got in the way, and then I got pregnant — twice — and then, and then, and then.

AND THEN, we moved to California, and even though I have a six-month-old, I told myself, No excuses. It’s serendipity. So I signed up. My mom flew in from Michigan to stay with P, and B came along with me. Before I went, I tried to do as much research as I could about what to expect; but to my surprise, there were very few thorough accounts of conferences past. I found a couple “What to Bring” lists, and one or two ultra-short blog posts from years ago, but nothing with the kind of specificity I wanted.

So, for any future attendees (and anyone else who might be curious about this kind of thing), I’m happy to share my experience. Continue reading

Feb 10 2016

Disneyland > The Super Bowl

Disneyland > The Super Bowl

Peyton Manning may be headed to Disneyland after his big win, but I wouldn’t really know. We didn’t watch the game because we were, um, at Disneyland.

Hey, don’t blame me. I’m not the one who planned it. Al’s brother and our new sister-in-law wanted to take Peaches for her birthday, and somehow that weekend made sense. Truth: until the Lions make it to the Super Bowl (ha!), I’m only in it for the commercials and the halftime show. More truth: I’m not exactly Beyoncé’s biggest fan.

dawson's creek please don't hurt me ugly cry

Are…are you still there? *wind whistles eerily down an empty street*

So anyway. I missed it. Continue reading

Dec 20 2015

I’ll Be…Home?…for Christmas

I’ll Be…Home?…for Christmas

In a few days, Lord willing, I will be back in Michigan for the first time since May.

I imagine this flight will be just a smidge different than when we flew out here in the Spring. Back then, it was just the three of us, which was overwhelming enough; this time, we’re flying with four — there are two kids and two adults, but somehow I feel outnumbered.

B is so young that he doesn’t need his own seat. At first, we were like, “Woot! Look at us, saving money!” — especially since it is already costing us a full month’s rent to fly home. But then we were like, “WAIT. He doesn’t have his own SEAT.” That means someone will have to hold him the entire time. For almost five hours. Unlike P, he’s not a sleep-in-your-arms sort of baby (which I’m fairly sure is my fault, and is the source of much mommy guilt, but that’s a story for another day). He is generally pretty mellow, but simultaneously wriggly and squirmy and enjoys a nice change of scenery every now and then. Unknown: how he will handle being cooped up in the same tiny space for that long.

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Dec 11 2015

Glitter, Granite, and Gratitude Yes, I am a fan of the Oxford comma.

<span class="entry-title-primary">Glitter, Granite, and Gratitude</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Yes, I am a fan of the Oxford comma.</span>

Sometimes a holiday party feels more like an obligation than a celebration — especially when it’s work-related, and EXTRA-especially when you’re mostly an introvert. But with two young kids, no family, and a limited number of friends here in California, the opportunities to really go out are sort of few and far between. For that reason, I’ve been looking forward to The Company’s holiday party for weeks. Maybe months.

A sparkly dress! Actual makeup! HEELS, for crying out loud! I’ve been in flip-flops, sandals, and flat boots for like two years straight. Plus, it wasn’t “work related” for me, as my current job involves snuggling a baby and trying (but often failing) to squeeze in thirty-minute blocks of writing during his impossibly short naps.

I’m still too much of a chicken to leave my infant with a stranger — even P has never had a “babysitter” in the true sense of the word — so it was such a relief when my mom agreed to fly out for a few days. It would be our first child-free night in ages.

The rumor mill claimed that this annual gathering was supposed to be kind of epic, and for a holiday party, I guess it was. It reminded me of a super scaled-up wedding: a coat check, cocktail attire, tiny hors d’oeuvres…and, of course, freely-flowing champagne. Here I am after half a glass:

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