Tag Archives: birthdays

Surviving Five

Alvie Bean turned five on Saturday. Because I have clearly lost my mind, I agreed that he could have a birthday party. And invite a bunch of friends. And they could come to our house.

Due to a frosting fuck-up, Alvie and I had to make a run to the store for *gasp!* store-bought frosting. I know–I am deeply ashamed. (I should’ve made the frosting the day before and thrown it in the fridge, but nooooo….)

Even with the inferior frosting, the cake turned out pretty okay, I think.

There were approximately 100 (or roughly a dozen) kids between the ages of 2-7 at our place for two hours. They shrieked and yelled and ran and ate and played and fought and had a delightful time.

There was a piñata!

And a “pin the pokeball on the charizard” game (I got zero pictures of that). And, of course, cake.

And presents. And rooms full of feral monkeys. (One parent, after peeking into L’s room, said “It’s like Lord of the Flies in the there.”)

Overall, I think a good time was had by all. Even me, once I finally got to drink that glass of wine I poured.

After the excitement wound down and the birthday boy was released from his room for a post-party cat-kicking attempt, the Beer Guy and I took Alvie out to dinner. (The Bean is enamored of the Beer Guy. “I’ll have water to drink, because that’s what C is having.” or “I used to like Ninjago, but now C & I prefer Pokemon.” or “We’re going to build the Burj Khalifa together and we will not need your help, Mommy.”)

It was a lovely weekend (the Burj Khalifa did, indeed, get built by my two favorite guys with zero assistance from me). Alvie got so many lego sets and drawing kits and spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning working on his first still life.

Still Life with Beer Bottle

“Mommy – please put this picture on the internet so I can be a famous still life artist.”

My boy has grown up so very much, but, as he told me this morning on the way to preschool, “Mommy, you can still call me ‘baby’ sometimes. Just not in front of my friends.”

Okay, baby…I’ll try to remember.

Freshly hatched (April 2012)

First Birthday – just getting into that whole “walking” thing

2nd birthday – he’s always liked drawing…

My Alvie-saurus in the Dinosaur Train birthday shirt for his 3rd birthday

4th Birthday boy prepping for his train party…

And now, so very big. He’s grown up so much in the last year.

This kid…my heart.

40 Before 40 – Final Progress Report

I will be forty in 23 days. TWENTY-THREE. DAYS.

There are days that I feel old, but most of the time I have trouble reconciling the number forty with how I feel.

The last thirteen months have been some of the hardest of my life. Between separation, divorce, job loss, and no job found…it’s been stressful to say the least.

I didn’t get through my list of 40. Some of that is due to financial constraints (I shot my wad on the big one – going to Iceland) and some is due to the inability to do things because of depression and anxiety.

You know what, though? I don’t care. There were some stretch goals on there. I’m not going to rehash everything I didn’t do, but I’m going to show you what I did do.

  1. Attend a live concert
  2. Climb a tree
  3. Go to the local nude beach
  4. Go to the opera
  5. Sing a new song at karaoke
  6. Take a barre class
  7. Take a cooking class
  8. Funky hair color
  9. Try hot yoga
  10. Volunteer
  11. Do a fun thing with Bean every day of his summer vacation
  12. Rosé in the garden in July
  13. Make a cheese that needs to age 10 months and eat it on my 40th birthday
  14. [Redacted]
  15. Become passable in Swedish (I’m still doing lessons!)
  16. Develop a habit of meditation
  17. Get back into my DIY habits –bread, stock, cheese, jam, etc.
  18. Perfect the homemade pie crust.
  19. Take a good photo
  20. Try 12 new cheeses
  21. Drink a bottle of expensive champagne
  22. Get a stamp in my passport
  23. Meet three ‘in the computer friends’ in real life. (Still waiting on my PSM)
  24. Publish my first book – this should happen this month or very soon after depending on how long it takes me to format stuff. (If anyone is interested in an ARC, let me know!)

So – twenty-four of forty things. That’s not a great success rate, but I’m really happy about how much I managed to do even when I was so anxious I could barely leave the house. I don’t plan on hitting any of the missing 16 items in the next 23 days. My primary goals for February are to get my book out and find a goddamn job. Oh – and to turn 40. Of course.

Don’t worry – I have a whole list of things I’m planning on accomplishing in the next year (although maybe not 41 things…). Stay tuned for all the ways I’m going to be awesome next year.

Waking up under a blanket of sea snails

I was at the coast last weekend. That’s what we have in Oregon. A coast. We don’t “go to the beach,” we “go to the coast.” Probably because the water is, according to reputable sources, ball-shrivelingly cold, even in mid-May.

The Bean had a blast, though. He wants to move into the ocean and go swimming and play in the sand and live there forever and ever amen.

This is about 30 seconds before the first wave knocked him down and he giggled hysterically before yelling, "AGAIN!"

This is about 30 seconds before the first wave knocked him down and he giggled hysterically before yelling, “AGAIN!”


Alas! I was unable to fulfill his desire to move into the ocean because there were no outlets in which to plug my laptop, making it a terrible remote work space. We wandered around the beach, looking at all the “she-shells” (they were 95% rocks, but why argue with a 3-year-old?).

We looked at some rock formation thingie because I was hoping for tide pools and starfish, but instead it was just barnacle-y and covered with what looked like tiny snail shells.

Last night I dreams that I woke up on the beach covered in those tiny shells.

ARGGHHHH!!!! Why is this a thing?

EXCEPT, instead of empty shells, they were alive and crawling all over my body leaving their icky slime trails behind and the tide was coming in and what is wrong with my brain???????

Moving on.

Three Things Thursday

1. I cannot believe it’s only Thursday. I woke up this morning convinced it was Friday and then it hit me. Nope. Thursday. I have a couple things today I’m looking forward to, but overall, not impressed with the length of this week. I think someone snuck in an extra day somewhere.

2. I am 100% done with crappy books, and I’m reaching a critical stage where I think they might all suck. You know what? If your MC is the strongest and apparently smartest person around, you don’t make her (it’s always a her) a virtual subject of the strong male protectors who make decisions about her behind her back. That is lazy, sloppy writing. THIS IS FANTASY! THERE IS NO NEED TO CREATE FANTASTICAL PATRIARCHAL SOCIETIES WHERE THE MEN HAVE ALWAYS TRADITIONALLY BEEN IN CHARGE AND SO THEY JUST DO THAT BECAUSE THAT’S HOW IT ALWAYS IS! THERE ARE VAMPIRES FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Ahem. Anyway, if you’re going to write a strong female character, then for the love of the Morrigan, Freyja, and Kaumari, let her be strong. (BTW, doing a pelvic exam on an unconscious and unconsenting woman who is not in dire medical need of such a procedure is sexual assault.)

3. Three day weekend coming up and next weekend is the architect’s birthday surprise! He’ll be 45 on Friday next and I’m super excited for the getaway I got me us him. Plus, the actual gift? Awesome. I’m doing fairly well at maintaining my zen butterfly state at work, so that’s good. I haven’t even had to talk myself down from a maiming in almost two weeks! Go Team Me!


Happy Thursday!


Still miss you…

Happy birthday, Dad. Today you would’ve been 65. So old. Ha!

I finished NaNoWriMo again this year. The website still lists you as one of my writing buddies. You always will be.

I got a new tattoo over Thanksgiving. I know you’d be thrilled.

I’m planning on shopping the first book in my series in a few months. I have all your books on marketing yourself. I don’t know how you did it as you’re even more anti-social than I am.

Most of the time, I’m okay, but every once in a while, it still hits me like a freight train (Alvie loves trains, by the way…although between you and his daddy, he didn’t have much of a chance). We have a book that I got from one of my cousins called “Tickle Monster” and there’s a picture of you pasted inside the front cover with a note saying that he (my cousin) will always remember you as the tickle monster. Whenever Alvie and I read that book we always look at Grandpa Tickle’s picture, and that chokes me up, because you’ll never tickle him.

I’m a little mad, you know. Still. Just a little. Mostly I’m grateful for the time I had with you and the support you ALWAYS gave me.


Your Favorite Eldest Daughter

A rare winter trip back - dad's sixtieth birthday

A rare winter trip back – dad’s sixtieth birthday


May 2014 Goals

Once again, I’m a few days in to May. I really like to let the month percolate a bit before committing to anything.

April in Review

April 2014 Goals

  1. Make it to Rivendell on my “Walking to Mordor” adventure – almost success! I am SO CLOSE! I will be there this week.
  2. Have fun 2-year-old birthday shenanigans with Alvie Bean. – SUCCESS! The Bean turned two and we had fun. And somewhere there are pictures. I haven’t seen them yet – either the pics from school OR from present opening at home, but they exist!
  3. Hit the gym for strength training 2 days/week. – 100% FAIL! I didn’t go to the gym once in April.
  4. Go to all marathon training long runs. All. – 75% SUCCESS! I missed one due to illness.
  5. 30K new words. – 63% SUCCESS! I wrote 19,000 words.
  6. Continue to eschew sugar. – complete and utter failure. It was almost like I tried to make up for sugar-free March AND any future plans to go sugar free just in case. Oops!
  7. Get the budget done. Make it good. Celebrate. – ARGHHH! IT WILL NEVER BE DONE! I did finish what I thought was a final draft, but then it came back! It’s like the zombie budget that will not die. I’m gonna call it a success because it’s not my fault. I totally double-tapped that bastard and it still came back.
  8. Garden prep! At least 50% – Nope.
  9. 11 flights of stairs/day at work. – 100% SUCCESS! At work, we had stair-climbing teams, and the first team of 7 to climb 2,900 flights of stairs won. You could only count 20 flights/day. My team TOTALLY won. Because we are awesome.
  10. Keep up with my #100happydays – 100% SUCCESS! I have found something that made me happy every day!

May 2014 Goals

  1. Get to Rivendell!
  2. Strength Training five times (1 down!)
  3. Have a good (read go to it and finish) race on 5/10
  4. 25K new words
  5. Plant some stuff in the garden
  6. Keep on keeping on with #100happydays
  7. Run more than 50 miles
  8. Take Alvie Bean to the Zoo
  9. Figure out a schedule that allows me to accomplish near-daily workouts, writing, and daily going to work for 9 hours. I am a morning person, and I get up and write most mornings at about 5 am, but then when I’ve planned my post-work workouts, I don’t do them because I’m lazy and tired. Right now, I am supposed to be running, but I am not.
  10. Get the architect a kick-ass and as-yet undetermined birthday gift.

Exciting notes! In the first four months of this year, I surpassed my 2013 & 2012 total miles run, and I should pass 2011 sometime in June and 2010 sometime in July, and 2008 by the end of August.

The strongman - my weight-lifting inspiration

The strongman – my weight-lifting inspiration