Bullet Points Make Lazy Authors Look Like They Did It That Way on Purpose

A very happy 2017 to all of you! It is my sincere hope that the new year is off to a merry start for all of you. As for me and mine, I’m happy to say we gamboled and feasted our way through the holidays with almost all our nearest and dearest.

Now, I’ve been told by a few kindhearted people that I need to blog more because they find my blog posts humorous and entertaining to read, to which I say, Aw shucks! To make up for the last few weeks of nonexistent content, here’s a list of what I’ve been up to in bullet-point format because I’m too lazy to put in transitions between the points so this post will seem cohesive and intentional.

  • Christmas preparation. I never realized as a kid how mind-shreddingly hectic Christmas is for mothers. Sandwiched between mile-high shopping lists and celebration logistics are class parties, decorations to put up and take down, traditions to honor/pioneer, stir-crazy kids who are on break from school and blame you that it isn’t Christmas yet, Santa pictures to take, cookies to bake, gingerbread houses to build, cocoas to stir, and gifts to wrap. It’s exhausting. I do believe, and please do correct me if I’m wrong, that December is a stay-at-home parent’s busiest month of the year.
  • Proof.

    Celebrating the return of my red hair. I had a blast with blonde hair over the spring and summer, but man it feels good to be a redhead again. I will say this for blonde hair, though: It’s MUCH lower maintenance than red hair. “But no!” you say, “It cannot be! I’ve heard blonde is constant touch-ups every couple of weeks!” Not if you do balayage, my friends, which is where they layer the color and leave a little of the root color so grow-outs aren’t so noticeable. With my blonde hair, I could do anything to it and nothing seemed to affect the color. Red, however? Red is sensitive. It’ll wash out no matter what you do, but if you use the wrong shampoo you might as well kiss your color goodbye. And I hope you don’t have white pillowcases because your hair color owns those now. They are red, just like your towels and maybe the collars of your coats as well. Might as well get used to it.

  • The British guy slaughter. Let me explain. Wes was gone on a business trip for a week in mid-December, so I figured it would be a good time to let my heart go on with Jack, Rose, and James Cameron. I poured a glass of wine each night for three nights and watched Titanic, the end of which, as always, saw me ugly-crying as I realized that yes! Her heart DID go on! She did all those things she promised him she’d do! As I dried my tears, I texted my best friend and described what I was doing so she could mock me because, come on. Who wouldn’t? When she finished laughing at me, she recommended I watch Atonement next, followed by The Painted Veil. For those not familiar with these films, they’re both excellent but, and this is a tad spoiler-y, they end tragically in the deaths of some truly likable British blokes. I think her aim in this was to see whether a middle-aged woman could, indeed, become dehydrated from crying at movies over the course of a week. As much as I enjoyed the quality of these movies, they did not, for some reason, prompt additional tears from me for reasons unknown. Maybe I was all cried out after Jack’s untimely demise? Who knows? All I know is that, for a week last month, it was very dangerous to be a British guy on my TV screen. They were seriously dropping like flies.
  • Medical mystery solved! Longtime readers will remember my years-long struggle to lose weight, with every attempt usually ending in either futility or injury. Well, the injuries have been mostly addressed and repaired, but the futility? That was a major issue. I gain weight like no one I’ve ever met (I gained ten pounds in four days, once. For no reason) and no amount of dieting or exercise can make me lose it. Well, my doctor has figured out why and, with any luck, the medications she has me on will start resulting in weight loss soon. If they don’t? Well, there are different meds. By hook or by crook, it looks like 2017 should finally be the year I finish losing the baby weight I packed on over four years ago. Here’s to finally looking like the gym rat I’ve grown to be!

That’s enough for now. Welcome to the new year, my friends. I hope it’s freaking awesome for all of you.

My Sharp-Dressed Man

For the many of you who don’t know Wes and I personally, Wes is on the job-hunting warpath. Watch out, local companies and hiring managers, he’s terribly charming and undeniably clever. If you’re not careful, you might fall in love.

Anyway, Wes has a final interview for this really, really, super fantastic company at their out of state headquarters soon and he’s in need of a suit for that interview. They’re a formal company and, as such, expect their women to be fashionable and their men to be dapper.

Those of you who know us well know Wes and I tend to veer toward the casual side of the spectrum when it comes to off-duty¬†fashion. Neither one of us has ever met a pair of sweatpants we didn’t prefer to real pants at home, and if we had our druthers we’d stick to jeans and cotton t-shirts every time we left the house. We’re well matched in that respect.

The thing is, though, the jobs Wes is being considered for are high-level. Companies tend to expect people at that level to dress well to represent the company well. What’s a chronic frumpster to do?

ZZ-Top was right! Every girl DOES go crazy for a sharp-dressed man!

ZZ-Top was right! Every girl DOES go crazy for a sharp-dressed man!

Go shopping, that’s what. We took the kids to Men’s Wearhouse (where we were treated SO WELL) on Saturday and bought Wes his very first suit. And had it TAILORED.

You guys, I wish I’d been able to take a picture of how good he looked because, take my word for it, he was SCRUMPTIOUS. He looks like a million bucks in a nice suit and I have good reason to suspect the people he’ll be meeting with will think so, too.

It’s just funny, though, because Wes and I both kind of realized at the same time that we were growing up. We were in the car on our way back from the store when it hit us that this is a new phase for us. When we met, we were kids. We bought all our clothes at Old Navy and Target and that was fine. It’s a weird moment when you realize that it’s time for you to start dressing like a grown up.

Thankfully, I haven’t gotten there yet because I’ll be a stay at home mother/author for many years to come. There’s no dress code for either, unless you count sweatpants.

Anyway, wish Wes luck. He’s off kicking butt and being terribly impressive and now he’ll look FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC while he does it.

In the Trenches

Something amazing has happened: After much searching and shopping and futility, I finally found…The perfect trench coat! This is it, it’s The One. If my life were The Matrix (and who’s to say it isn’t?), this trench coat would be Neo. Or, rather, the trench coat Neo wears in The Matrix, which would mean it’s all ones and zeroes and not actually a trench coat at all, which brings us full circle in kind of a disappointing way.

Bummer.

Anyway, I’m thrilled. Thrilled, I tell you. And what’s even better is, my mother in law is going to work her seamstress magic and poof! Make the sleeves longer because one truism that will always be true no matter what happens is this: When you’re tall, sleeves are almost never long enough.

Until I can show you a picture of how incredible I look in this coat, here’s a picture of it on a strangely concussed-looking model:

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Glorious, no? I assure you, it looks fabulous on me. So let it rain, I say! No wind or rain in the ‘verse can stop me, for I have a coat, and lo, it is trench-y.

Two Lids, One Pot

500-100094945-847__1I was at Costco with my kids yesterday, stocking up on quintessential Costco items (you know those ones. The ones you’re out of and would like more of eventually but their absence isn’t pressing enough for you to go replenish them immediately so you just make a list and then every other month or so you go out and buy a whole bunch of mismatched stuff all at once?) when we came across the kids clothing section.

We’ve had some strange weather this summer up here in the Pacific Northwest, from record-breaking heat to record-breaking summer cold, all within the same week (and with the thunderstorms to prove it). As I wheeled my relatively-empty cart past the kids clothes, I realized it might be a good idea to buy my kids some pants. After all, Winter Is Coming, so why not stock up on warm clothes while the deals are good?

So I reached over to rifle through the selections, my nimble fingers maneuvering around the different colors and sizes in search of ones that would work, and that’s when everything went wrong.

You see, they were offering those three-piece selections, where it’s something like $14.99 for two long-sleeve shirts and one pair of matching pants. A great deal, right? But also? SIGNIFICANT KINK IN ERIKA’S BRAIN.

Why? Because it’s two shirts to go with a single pair of pants, that’s why. I like to buy my kids clothes as such: I buy them five pairs of pants or shorts, five shirts, four sets of jammies. I run laundry twice a week, and every day each child gets a clean outfit and a clean pair of jammies. Laundry pile never gets too formidable, all the clothes I buy get worn, bing bang boom.

The whole two-shirts-one-pants thing mucks all that up, man. Because if I buy those, then I have to take a separate trip to buy ancillary pants. If I’m going to spend twenty minutes sorting through the nonsensical arrangement of sizes and colors at Costco in an effort to solve my whole my-kids-have-no-winter-clothes problem, why on Earth would I voluntarily force myself to have to go to another store to make up for the arbitrary decision to package clothes in sets of three?

I have no idea why this gums up my gears so much, but apparently it does. I was so baffled by the whole three-item-deal thing that I couldn’t even buy the kids jammies from Costco because why buy half the clothes we need when I can just go to a different store at a later date and get everything done all at once?

I’m sure somewhere, somehow, the whole three-items thing makes marketing sense. It might even be a better fiscal decision that way. Who knows? What I do know is, I have no intention of buying 75% of what I need when I could buy 100% of what I need elsewhere.

It’s like buying two pan lids and one pot. Who would do that? What am I supposed to do with a lid that has no corresponding pot?! IT’S CHAOS, I TELL YOU.

People like me are why pharmaceutical companies developed Xanax, aren’t they?

Hair Magic

This is what I look like when I'm embarrassed to be taking a picture of myself in public.

This is what I look like when I’m embarrassed to be taking a picture of myself in public.

As I write this (sitting at my kitchen table on Sunday evening while Wes fries chicken for dinner {in bacon grease. It’s ok. Go ahead and judge us a little}) I am officially less than a week away from leaving for New York. As of this time in exactly one week, I will be settling down in my hotel room in Manhattan, getting ready to get a good night’s sleep before my all-day seminar at FBI headquarters early Monday morning.

Huzzah!

I’m in a good place logistically. My pitch is written (and approved by the multitude of people I’ve practiced it on), my agent research is complete, my travel arrangements are done, and my hair looks fabulous.

Wait, what? I didn’t mention I got my hair done yesterday? You bet your sweet bippy I did. You didn’t think I’d go a-pitching with unremarkable hair, did you? In the immortal words of Jack Donaghy (from 30 Rock), your hair is your head suit. I refuse to go to Manhattan with a lame head suit.

Thankfully, my hair stylist is a wizard and he worked some serious magic for me yesterday. Bright, fun color and a flattering cut. BOOM. Author-ific, baby.

Now all I have left to do is throw my daughter a birthday party, get a mani/pedi, and pack. It’ll be Sunday again before I know it!