A random bag of Christmas

GUYS! Guys!

Ok, so let me back up to like an hour ago. The sky is heavily overcast, so it’s pretty dark out. I get home from my usual Monday night exercise class to find that Luffy is swamped with work. I offer to go pick up our usual Monday meal – Jersey Mike’s – so that he can work some more. After a quick shower, I head back out again. I’m two houses down when I glimpse something through the window of a house.

A Christmas tree.

??????? 

I know right?! I had the same reaction. I mean, it’s September, so I feel like it’s a bit early to be putting up your Christmas tree. Or does this mean that they never took it down and it’s been up for the past nine months? Do they ever take it down? I mean, I guess I can see not taking down exterior lights in between seasons, but not taking down your tree? Isn’t it in the way? Or does it become part of your decoration? It kind of has to right, it’s not exactly inconspicuous.

I finally settled on giving them the benefit of the doubt: perhaps they put their tree up over the weekend so that they could take some holiday photos for holiday cards. Just because I think that’s way too much work for some measly holiday cards, doesn’t mean they feel the same.

Anyway, it baffled me so much that I slowed down on my way back (with our dinner!) to confirm that I had indeed seen a Christmas tree through the window. Yup. It’s Christmas in September I guess.


My office stocks a couple of little candy dishes in the conference rooms. Little miniature chocolates and fun size candy bars. Every once in a while I’ll have something, but since Luffy and I are obsessed with Lindt chocolate, nothing quite compares on the chocolate front.

Today, I discovered that they now have peanut butter M&M’s. I really, really wished I hadn’t found that out as peanut butter M&M’s are my weakness. My only saving grace is that the conference rooms are off by themselves. It’s super obvious when someone goes to get candy because that’s the only reason to be over there. Since I’ve established myself as the healthy eater, I have to maintain appearances and I can’t just be grabbing candy. Whew. 


I’m enjoying reading through a few of my favorite books again. I used to use my iPad for books and had accumulated about 50 or so titles there. I recently transferred several of them to my Kindle, including a few of my absolute favorites.

I am, however, deeply annoyed that I can’t move everything. All the titles that were purchased through iBooks are firmly encrypted with Apple’s DRM technology. While I understand the need for data rights management, I’m so frustrated that I can’t read my own books on the device of my choosing. The only reason I have a few titles that are DRM-free is because I used to have a Sony eReader and I wanted to transfer those books to my iPad. Luffy busted the DRM on those at the time, leaving me with usable copies. Now though, Apple has really tightened their security and I can’t un-encrypt anything I’ve purchased through them.

Booooo.


I don’t think I’ve mentioned it anywhere, but Luffy and I are getting ready to go on a pretty amazing trip.

It all started because some dear friends of ours are getting married in Ireland and you don’t just go to Ireland for the weekend. So, we heading over a week early and spending some time in Italy. Our fifth anniversary just so happens to fall in that week, so we’ll celebrate our fifth in Rome!

On one hand, I am so freaking excited I can hardly stand it. We love to travel and we haven’t done any proper travelling since I got pregnant. I can’t wait to spend some time with just Luffy. We’re going to have an wonderful time, I just know it.

And yet, I’m also not looking forward to it because the dumpling is staying here. My mom is going to stay with  him, here at our house. We’re doing everything we can think of to help him out. My mom is taking him to daycare each day, to try to keep his routine as normal as possible. I’m going to make him a little calendar of sorts, to mark off the days until we return. (We actually got to practice this when Luffy went out of town!) We’re going to video chat with him each day, unless it seems like the calls do more damage than good. Just this evening, Luffy suggested that we make some videos of us singing to his favorite songs.

So yeah, on the one hand I am so, SO, SOSOSOSOSO ready for Italy and vacation. And on the other, I just don’t know how I’m going to say goodbye.

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Of Football and Fall

Luffy and I watched our first football game of the season last night. It was (I believe) the first Thursday-night football game of the season and Luffy and I tuned in after I made dinner. I can’t tell you who was playing or what the score was. I can’t tell you about plays or points or suspenseful moments. What I can tell you about is the feeling of satisfaction that envelopes me when I hear the commentator’s familiar voice or listen to the sounds of the game.

That’s the thing: I don’t necessarily love football, but I do love when it’s on. It reminds me of fall and winter. Of cozy nights, curled up under a blanket. Of relaxed Sundays, with the crisp light of December filtering in through the windows. Of jeans and sweaters. Of friendly gatherings with beer and BBQ. Oh, such happy times.

I’m always glad when it’s football season again.

Mishmosh

It’s the fifth third fourth I-don’t-even know week of August, so please enjoy some random thoughts and don’t forget this applicable treasure.


The dumpling has been in daycare since he was 12 weeks old. He’s loved it and I love being a working mom – wouldn’t change a thing. However, I’d like to make an official complaint that I was rudely denied an opportunity by taking this route. You see, all my other mom friends (I have like two … it’s not a very large sample size, I know) who stay at home and have toddlers the dumpling’s age are posting these adorable First Day of School!!! photos on Facebook with their toddler all dolled up in uniforms and backpacks. It is completely, adorably precious. And yet…. they aren’t really going to school. Those toddlers are headed off to preschool. I’m not denying that it’s a huge milestone, especially for kids who have been home with their moms this whole time. But still. I have to wait another four years for my dude’s First Day of School!!! photo even though the dumpling’s totally in “preschool” right now and I’m a little jealous, that’s all. Perhaps I’ll doll him up tomorrow and title the post Four-hundred-seventeeth Day of School give or take a few days!!!

What? I did the math at least.


Speaking of working and stuff (nice segue self), before I had a baby, I was addicted to chewing gum. I would chew at least a couple of half pieces each day, though definitely more than that on some days. I guess maternity leave got me out of the habit? I’m not really sure, but I just don’t chew gum anymore. I never think about it and even when I do, chewing feels awkward. Or maybe I’m just newly awkward with chewing gum. Who knows?!


The cake baking and cake pop making went excellent this past weekend, thanks for asking! I did indeed get everything done, with a lot of help from Luffy (to distract the toddler and also keep me company in the kitchen). I was pretty proud of my creations, until I took the smash cake over to the party and all of a sudden it was SHOCKINGLY clear that my cake was lopsided on top. Uh – whoops? And also, how did I not notice that before?! Oh well, the little birthday girl seemed to enjoy it and the cake pops turned out fantastically, so I’m still calling it a win.

Back at the barre

So I think it’s likely that I’ve mentioned that I used to dance when I was younger. I’ve taken at least ballet and tap since I was five years old and continued all the way through college. I taught dance as well, to three-year-olds through sixteen-year-olds. It was fun and I really enjoyed that period of my life. I recently had my parents bring my recital DVD’s to me so that I could re-watch a few numbers I had been thinking about. I spent a happy afternoon skipping through the years.

I haven’t danced though since I moved to Dallas. I’ve had my mind set on an adult tap class every once in a while, only to find the only options out of sync with my schedule (right in the middle of the dumpling’s bedtime, for instance, or at like 9pm, which no thank you). Back when Luffy and I lived in the White Rock area, there was a dance studio a few minutes from our house. It offered ballet classes for adults and I was all pumped on signing up. And then we moved. I shelved the idea of dance class for a later time.


Now that the dumpling is a little older, I’ve been meaning to fill in my workout schedule a bit more. Pre-baby, I used to teach 3-4 times a week, along with taking a 2 mile walk most mornings with Luffy. Now I teach twice a week, and we get a mile walk in when we can. (It hasn’t helped that DFW has been hotter than usual this summer, with numerous 100+ degree days.) I’d been thinking about what I could do to fill the gap when we got a flyer in the mail for a local barre exercise class.

When I checked their schedule online, I found that they conveniently had an 11:30am class on the days I work from home. This way, I could work out at my lunch hour* and be able to actually keep it within an hour. I took the plunge and attended my first class a couple of weeks ago.

I love it! It feels great to get another workout in. It also feels fantastic to be back at the barre, with relevés and turn-outs. It feels like coming home, as cheesy as that sounds. The work out targets my glutes and abs, which I really like. It’s mainly a strength workout, so I think it complements my current aerobic workout really well.

The only drawback to this class is the price. Holy cats is it expensive. I know I’m biased, considering my current workout routine costs me nothing, but WOW. It’s far more than I’m willing to spend, so, unfortunately, I’ll be saying goodbye once my promo month is over. Boo. Luckily for me, there seem to be no shortage of barre inspired classes in the market these days. Hopefully I can find another one that I love just as much.

*Am I the only female who totally envies men and their ability to work out at lunch? I would love to be able to hit the gym for 45-50 minutes, hop in the shower, then be back at my desk within a reasonable stretch of the lunch “hour.” Must be nice.

Ear Worm

She say she too young, don’t want no ma-an

So she gon call her friends, now that’s the pla-an

I just ordered sushi from Japa-an

Now your b**** wanna kick it Jackie Cha-an”

When I first heard this ridiculous song by Tiesto and Post Malone, my very first thought was but Jackie Chan isn’t even Japanese….. I then made the mistake of telling Luffy about it and he had the same reaction as I did. What does that even mean??? We scoffed and moved on with our day.

And I have been listening to that song ever since.

I do this; it’s a fault of mine. Luffy teases me mercilessly for it. Here’s how it usually goes: I hear a song and my first reaction is negative – for whatever reason. Usually it’s that I fully recognize the song is about something petty or unbelievable or trope. I mock it, usually with Luffy as a witness. Then give me five or six days and suddenly I’m obsessed with the stupid song. Taylor Swift does this a lot to me. Katy Perry too (or at least she was, haven’t heard anything from her in a while).

So Jackie Chan is my current obsession. I dance around the living room to it. I put it on the stereo while I’m making dinner. I thought the music video was pretty cute. I take my work dance-party break to it. It’s everywhere in my life right now and I’m perfectly fine with that except…. Luffy. Every time he overhears it, he teases me again. Merciless I tell you – MERCILESS!

So, what’s your latest ear worm?

Chop Chop Now Y’all

Guys. I did it. I finally gathered the courage and moxie to cut my hair off. All of it. Chop chop. I am now the proud sporter of a pixie cut, very similar to this. And I am loving it.

I’ve thought about a pixie cut for years, wondering if I could pull it off. Even back in college, I was curious. The most I managed to do was a pretty short bob, about a half inch above my jaw line. My boyfriend at the time made sure that I knew I looked like a boy and that he much preferred long hair. I didn’t really give a crap about his preferences regarding female hair, but the comment about looking like a boy stung. It eroded any confidence I had in the look and guaranteed that I never went shorter. (I will say, with some pride, that I still frequently sported bobs when I was with him, despite his preferences. A little bit of resistance against my controller.)

But still, every year when I inevitably got tired of long-ish hair and made the appointment to go short, pixie thoughts would pop into my brain. I never took the plunge, but still, they were there. When I made my appointment this time, I didn’t think it would be any different. I figured I would go in and cut it about chin length and go about my merry way.  Then, Sunday evening, manic took hold of me. I googled pixie good or bad and what to know before you get a pixie cut and pixie cuts in image results. I saved ideas. I read articles. I browsed Reddit. I researched cuts for face shape. I discovered that my particular face shape is well suited for a pixie cut. And I decided. Chop chop.

My stylist was super excited when I told her what I wanted. My hair was mid-shoulder blade length, so this was a drastic difference. I had a moment of panic, sitting in the chair as a I watched her cut the sides (wow, that is VERY short), but all in all I handled it well. I had worried that I would have an immediate gut reaction of hate when she was done. After all, I’ve been looking at myself with hair for a very long time. This new cut was/is far shorter than I have ever attempted. I needn’t have worried though because I was already in love, even before it was dry and styled. It really is a great look on me and I think it suits my face particularly well.

I headed to Ulta as soon as I was done to pick up some new product on my stylist’s recommendation – an awesome volumizing powder and a pomade. I showered and washed my hair last night under the guise of getting the hair remnants off my neck, but really I wanted to test two things: how well it air dried and how it would look in the morning after sleeping on it. I am VERY excited to say that it air dried perfectly well (though, in the interest of full disclosure, I will likely still blow dry it if I need it looking super polished). I am even more excited to report that for the first time in my life I actually have hair that I can spend five minutes styling in the morning and go. Shampooing and blow drying are no longer essential to looking barely passable at work. I can get up and go and it is fantastic! A quick spritz of water this morning rectified any bedhead and my volumizing powder brought my look from passable to cute AF.

So yeah, I love it. I’m so excited and I really can’t see myself going back to longer hair any time soon.

In other news

My office is moving next month. (Not my home office, though that would be a pretty swanky way of telling you guys that we’re moving. tucks away line for future use) Very long story short, we’re moving into one of the towering skyscrapers downtown. We are currently in a modest office tower, just twenty stories tall or so, and we’re moving into a much higher floor. We got to tour it yesterday and it’s really nice. I’m looking forward to new views and a new space.

I’ll be interested to see what sort of tenants are in the new building. It’s very stately, with a lot of law offices, which probably means slacks and low heels. Our current building has “creative” tenants (think magazines and PR firms) which means bright tops and high heels. I usually feel dowdy as I walk into the office, surrounded by smartly dressed women in their on-trend heels and skinny jeans. I try to dress well, but I tend to buy classic pieces that I can wear for years rather than a trendy top that will be dated by next season. My style suits me, I think, but I can’t help but feel wistful for the cold-shoulder dresses and flouncy tops as they go strolling past me.

As I mentioned, we visited the new space yesterday. It’s a few blocks away, so we all gathered at 3pm to walk down there. I ….. misjudged yesterday morning and chose to wear heels. That was a mistake. The walk down was fine, but then we all stood around for 45 minutes in a warm-ish office (the AC is on for construction, but set to like 78 which feels especially warm in business attire) and then we walked back in the 100 degree, 70% humidity afternoon sunlight. My feet were not pleased with me. I’m sporting about five new blisters, one of which even required bandaging for me to teach class after work. I had it coming to me though as two people commented on my heels and asked if my feet were hurting and I smugly proclaimed them to be fine as each woman shook her head and admitted to not being able to wear heels that long anymore. Hangs head in shame. Me either, apparently.