Friday, April 27, 2012

an overshare

something major happened this week.  now i don't know whose definition of "major" you measure things up against, but if its mine, then by all means, this was big.  and if you're at all familiar with how we get down around here, then you already know that whatever it was, i am going to blow it way out of proportion and make a much bigger deal about it than is necessary.

i just want to be up front about that.

so something major happened and it was about 20 years in the making and it's safe to say that it brought the world's biggest smile to my face.  i started a process nearly three years ago and it finally concluded on wednesday.  i had my braces taken off and for the first time in my life, i took a look in the mirror at a mouth full of straight teeth.

now i get it, this isn't that big of a deal, but you don't understand, i have wanted straight teeth since i was ten years old. for the last 20 or so years i wondered what it would be like to have them.  i loathed my crooked teeth.  i was super self conscience about them and i often covered my mouth when i laughed just to avoid an over-share of awfulness.

i never got braces because we either couldn't afford them when i was growing up or i just couldn't convince myself to take the plunge as an adult, but three years ago, someone set me straight.

i was mid conversation with a friend at work when they stopped me mid-sentence and said: stop covering your mouth when you laugh.  it draws more attention to the fact that you are trying to hide your teeth than if you just laughed like a normal person.

someone was onto me.  so i finally decided the time was right and i went for it.

i started with invisalign and it worked.  for about two years.  to be fair, invisalign requires incredible discipline and dedication and well.....  it was hard.  plus there is that whole wear them 22 hours a day unless you're eating or drinking thing, which is odd because the hours of the day when i'm not doing either of those things are more like four.  not 22.

so they worked, for the most part, but for the time, the money and the overall lifetime of waiting for this result, i wasn't completely satisfied.  as a result, i have spent the past eight months in actual braces to finish the job up right.

now what's funny to me is that during this process some of my closest friends and loving family members swear that they never noticed i had bad teeth to begin with.


i love you family and i love you friends, but, hogwash.  which is why after years of covering my mouth when i smile, laugh or get too close for comfort, i am willing to display where things stood three years ago and where we're finally at today.  i would have never allowed this to happen before now and i warn you dear readers, it isn't pretty.

so without further adieu - i can't believe i am going to do this - but here i was circa 2009...


and here i am today...


it's funny how something so superficial can make you feel better about something as simple as smiling.  back at work once they were off and i was laughing with my co-workers again.  i felt my hand go to cover up my mouth and i quickly put it back down.  breaking a habit you've had for 20+ years isn't always easy, but i don't think i'll have a problem letting this one go.

Monday, April 23, 2012

instagram(s) of the weekend: time flies

we spent another weekend in omaha visiting family; this time, to take part in my nephew's first communion.  i'm his godmother and therefore his moral compass in life.  a role with equal parts honor and irony it turns out.

i grew up in omaha, in my grandparents house, a home that had been in our family for generations and was constant host to aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors & friends by the dozen.  it was loud.  it was often.  it was my childhood.  and it was grand.  

i took evan and alex by that house when we got into town on saturday.  i wanted so badly for someone to be out in the yard.  i wanted them to ask me what we were doing there and why i was starring at their house.  i really wanted to go for a look inside.  i had my first kiss on that front porch, a million other firsts behind those walls and a childhood of memories running wild through my head as i used to run similarly through the yard.

my sister and i have three little ones between us, all within a year or so apart.  as alex says, they are the three "scrooges".   watching them run wild and play together on the all-too-rare occasion that they get to, reminds me just how differently our childhoods will be.

i love kansas city and living halfway between each of our families is the fair split, but there are times when i think about how much fun it would be for the kids to grow up closer together.  it's one of the many compromises you are dealt in life and it has its fair share of pros and cons, of give and take.

this past weekend i couldn't help but be reminded of just how different the life of a kid is in general.
asking an 8, 7 & 6 year-old to stand still, in their sunday best and smile nicely is asking a lot, but watching them do this and have such an amazing time in the process is the stuff great photos and memories are made of.

i wanted my photo, but i wanted to stand there and watch them just a little bit longer.  the laughter and all-out hi-jinx of the process was incredibly entertaining and painfully nostalgic to say the least.

it made me long for the days when they would have more time to spend together and silently mourn all the ones that have already passed them by.

we work hard and we play hard and our schedules are usually maxed.  we come and go and go and go and most of the time, we barely catch our breath it seems.

i snapped a series of photos of the kids this weekend that reminded me how quickly time flies by.
seeing them all dressed up and all growing up, made desperately wish i could slow down the hands of time, if even just for a second.  these two in particular do such a number on my heart.

they're growing up so differently, but growing up all the same.  with so much yet to learn, i thought it was worth noting that i can still learn a thing or two from them.

as we get older, we tend to forget just how much fun it is to be a kid, to be silly, to be wild and to run around with neither point nor purpose.  at that age we know not what lies in the road ahead nor is there any realization of the complexities that will meet us along the way.   today, what surrounds me most are the constant reminders that they are only young this once and we, regardless of age, are only on earth for that same measurement of time.

i think its only natural to wish for more time to do the things you enjoy and be near the people you love.  at the end of the day there isn't much you can do to keep anyone from growing up so quickly.  i'm trying hard to remember to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.  moments like these go by so quickly and all you can really do is stop every once and while to notice them and take a picture to make them last a little longer. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

the future is bright

i have made no secret about my love of all things warby parker.  i don't want to say i am "obsessed" or "follow everything they do" or "secretly wish they would call me and ask me to come work for them and just look at glasses all day, see how i look in them and then make up fun names for different styles" or anything like that --- but i like them.  a lot.

we ranked them as favorite new retailer in our 2011 year in review and they'll probably hold that title on through '12 if they keep up the chicness and all that philanthropy and whatnot.

i have been sending out prescription sunglasses wishes into the universe for about a year now and at long last my prayers have been answered.

i had some insider info that it was coming. they tweeted to me a few weeks back that they were available through phone orders, (we're sort of like besties i guess you could say) but they officially announced the launch of the line today and i have seen the light and it is uv protected by designer eyewear!

it might not seem like a huge deal, but i attempted to wear contacts for about three years and that story went a little something like this:

once up on a time there was a vision impaired princess who went to get contacts and then FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! the end. 

good story right?  but as it turns out, this story has a happy ending after all and the princess no longer has to be seen driving around town in her eyeglasses with a pair of sunglasses worn over the top of them.  because that happens.  everyday.  and yes, i realize i could have purchased regular 'ole Rx sunglasses long before now, but they wouldn't have been nearly as stylish or as affordable or as goodwilled.

so i gotta say thank you wp for hearing my wishes, for making my day and for making me look like less of a moron.   your future is so bright i gotta wear prescription shades and i am thrilled about it.

oh and also, call me sometime or whatever...


Monday, April 16, 2012

a girls gotta do...

what has two thumbs and loves a good theme party?  this girl.  

now that we have that out of the way, let's take a moment and talk about what we are affectionately calling "old people prom".  now that we have a school aged child, saturday evenings look less like shark bar in the power & light district and more like whatever school event is currently going on.  and we're fine with that.  it's like a rite of passage into parenthood and into your 30s.  

in keeping with that, i don't think that i mentioned that old people prom/evening in paris has a 1920s flappers and gangsters theme this year.  ready, set, insert lots of exclamation points here: !!!!!!!!  

it was like this tiny, tiny byline on the invitation that could have had catastrophic consequences had i not been wearing my glasses.   i freaking LOVE the 1920s and everything about feathers, flappers, fedoras, fringe and fisnets!!!  please don't even get me started on feathered head pieces. my heart can't take it at the moment.  

there are a number of things that i get unreasonably excited about and a good old fashioned theme party is just one of them so you know i am geeking out to my core right now.

i got annoyingly excited two weeks ago when i discovered this tidbit of themed information.  later that day i found a dress online and the internet basically held a 1920s gangster-style-pistol to my head and forced me to purchase it.  it was a terrifying ordeal, i assure you, but i made it out safe and better dressed.  

it is shipping from the UK and therefore taking entirely too long to get here.  it was the only one left in stock, happened to be in my size, had free shipping and get ready for this --- was 77% off, so you know i did what i had to do.  it's not like i had any choice in the matter. 

now, if it fits, you better believe the geek factor will be escalated to all out obnoxious level around here.  it's hard to imagine that it won't considering clearly all the stars were aligned on this particular day. 

i know i don't even have to mention how many times i am going to twirl around like a 5 year old.  it's going to happen.  and we're all going to have to be okay with that.  it might be old people prom, but I am still going to act like a child.  this event is about the kids after all. and feathers, and fringe and fishnets... 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

instagram(s) of the weekend: new restaurants

over the weekend we tried three new restaurants that we've never been to before and we now have three new, AMAZING spots to dine.  we aren't super picky when it comes to food, but we definitely know a quality meal when we try it and the following three exceeded all expectations and totally delivered - seriously we can't believe we haven't tried these before now!  here is the breakdown in case you are in need of a few local and delicious suggestions:

dinner westside/downtown:  blue bird bistro
dinner brookside: oak 63
brunch waldo: the classic cookie 

Monday, April 9, 2012


my little brother isn't so little anymore.  he is graduating from college next month and like the true sister-of-the-year that i am, it occurred to me that i have never gone to visit him there in the past four.

going back to a college town to revisit ghosts of undergrad past is kind of like an out of body experience. i didn't go to the same college as he does, but everything i saw, resembled everything i had seen in a previous life.

i had this overwhelming desire to mentor every young college coed that stumbled upon me.  enjoy this while you can!  i thought i would tell them.  don't take yourself so seriously!  crossed my mind.  dump him!  is mostly what i wanted to say.

there is primarily the notion that you'll stick out like a sore thumb amidst the much younger and more restless crowd.  more than anything  i just wanted to watch, listen, take it all in and hope to God that when we made our next stop, the kind gentleman bouncer at the door, would ask to see my id.

i learned a couple of things during our trip back in time and thought they served as gentle guidelines going forward:

1. anything served in a fishbowl should be able to be plated with a side of vegetables

2. just because an establishment serves food until 4 am, doesn't mean its edible, digestible or a good idea

3. couches are for watching reality tv marathons.  hotel rooms are for overnight stays

4. red bull is still your friend and quite possibly the only way you'll still be awake for last call

5. the tootsie roll is a song that always takes you back

6. you don't know how, nor should you ever attempt to do the tootsie roll again

7. nothing, and i mean nothing, says i am not in college anymore like the shock and awe that comes from a $20 bar tab

8. when visiting a college town and uttering the phrase kids these days, note that you have officially and undeniably sealed your fate as: old

9.  nothing says i came to party like pulling a pack of baby wet ones out of your purse and sanitizing the bar table you just secured

10. returning to a college town takes you back to a time when the party never seemed to end; but returning to real life, gives you real relief, knowing those were nowhere near the best years of your life.

oh....and little brothers don't stay little for long.

Friday, April 6, 2012

religious fail

is anyone watching good christian bitches (GCB) on abc?  yeah, i'm not either.  speaking of them though, i spent the better part of my youth in catholic school.  actually, my entire youth from preschool until i headed off to college.  i mention this only to say that as i have grown older, my relationship with religion has obtained an unofficial status.  if i were on facebook,  i suppose i could classify this relationship as "it's complicated".  and that sounds about right.  when entering into holiday weekends such as this, those complications often slap me upside the easter bonnet.

i mentioned a while back that occasionally i have two seven-year-olds in my possession for the ride to school. not just any seven-year-olds, but the type of delinquents, if left to their own devices, might very well attempt to take over the world.  and succeed.  you could call them tweedle dee & tweedle too-smart-for-their-own-good.  or just alex & harry.  either way.

the harsh reality - that i am a far cry from a gcb - came when harry elected to share the easter story with us on a recent commute.   no pun intended, but he nailed it.  nice work harry's mom.

never one to be outdone, alex wanted to share the meaning of easter monday.  you know, easter monday, "that day when that girl jesus wasn't dead anymore up in canada."

we'll classify this as a "religious fail" and i'll assume a seat has been reserved for me "down south".

the good news is, we've expanded our geographical horizons to recognize other countries and their religious observations as well as their directional placement on a map.

canada is up.  plus 1!

jesus was not a girl.  minus 10.

so i have some work to do and clearly a religious relationship to repair.

religion is complicated.
parenting is complicated.
the story of easter doesn't have to be that complex.

i'll just do my best to explain it to her and how it all fits together with colored eggs and a mysterious rabbit who creeps around in the night.

it shouldn't be that hard for a smart girl like her and a good christian bitch like me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

the meaning of life

the title of this post carries a lot of weight and consequently i now feel a tremendous amount of pressure to deliver.  if you've come here today seeking the answer to the age old question: what is the meaning of life?  let me first say, you've clearly been lead astray, because around here we mainly talk about things like:

1. paint colors we can't commit to
2. tasty cocktails we occasionally enjoy
3. ridiculous things our kid does and how we pretend to know what to do about it and...
4. whatever random thing happened that we find particularly notable, even if the rest of the world has failed to recognize the significance and hilarity of it...they will.  eventually.

in other words, we wouldn't normally suggest stopping by here for anything other then nonsense.  but today, if your search for the meaning of life landed you here, you might actually be in luck!  for not only do we have an answer for you, but we have 20 answers for you and they come from the unlikeliest of sources.

yesterday i mentioned that i was taking on the class project for alex's annual school fundraiser: an evening in paris.

what i failed to mention is that somewhere in between a laundry list of work demands and actual laundry, i was also out to find the meaning of life.  from a bunch of seven-year-olds.  on a random wednesday.  over my lunch hour.

no.  big.  deal.

i've already talked about how i agreed to this, then waited until the last possible second to get it done, and struggled with finding an ounce of creativity within me to come up with a money-raising idea.  the long and short of it is that eventually i had a breakthrough and the meaning of life was born.

let me back up a bit to the summer.  this might be hard, but imagine that i was shopping online and i purchased something.  it's a stretch, but try.  i purchased the holstee manifesto print because it struck a chord with me and i had every intention of framing and displaying it somewhere in our home.

basically it sat in a cardboard tube for 8 months.  now i don't want to go so far as to say i hoard things, but it was hoarded away until the right opportunity to display it came along.  and then --- the project came along.  so i thought about a few ways that i could use the print, you know pay it forward, and decided to have each of the kids translate this manifesto into their own terms.  essentially i asked each of them to paint me a picture of the meaning of life.  more specifically:

1.  what is the most important thing in life
2.  what do you love most about your life

and thus the world according to french speaking first graders, the meaning of life, was born.  below are a few pics of the process as well as the end result.  also be sure to see yesterdays post for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of the meaning.

oh - and in case you were wondering, some of the most important and well-loved things in life are:  the earth, love, pepsi, grandmas, wii games, ku, teachers, the sun, moms, soccer, apples, the ocean, robots, brothers, the green lantern, health, k-state, friends, water, an orange dog and a cat named meatball.

now how much would you pay?!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

procrastinating for a good cause

we've talked before about the annual fundraiser, evening in paris, that alex's school hosts each year.  it's a pretty solid event with some of the best restaurants in kc serving food, coupled with all-you-can-drink cocktails, semi-formal attire and a live auction that for the past two years has been pretty rowdy and down right hilarious.  it happens every april and we're looking forward to attending again in a few weeks.

this year i intend to purchase the winning raffle ticket that scores me the coveted vespa scooter that gets donated every year.  its gonna happen.  i have faith.

anyway... i agreed to organize the class project which will serve as an auction item and fundraising vehicle. coming up with something the kids can contribute to, that also has the potential to generate revenue, turned out to be a lot harder than i initially thought it would be.  don't get me wrong, the kids are incredibly creative, but i on the other hand didn't have any bright ideas to bring forth.

i think i agreed to take it on in december and it's due this coming friday so it's only fitting that i finally took some time over lunch today to go in and work on it with them.  hey, i said i would help but i never said anything about not waiting until the last possible second to do it.

the jury will be out for the next 48 hours and i'll be up for several of those tonight and tomorrow, but i think we have the start of something cool.  at least i hope we do.  it's not like there is any time left for it to NOT work out.

here is your first look and as always i'll post the final project when it's complete - unless it's a total disaster in which case you know the drill for this post:  delete delete delete.

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