Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hollywood ending

It all came together too perfectly this week. I'll backtrack, later, and tell you all about how the goodness piled up and how that got me hopeful and stupid.

Hopeful and stupid is a bad combination.

I thought for a minute that maybe everything was going to work out this time. Not just some of it but all of it. Everything was going to come together at once and this was the week that I was going to always, always remember.

This week will probably still be a week that I always remember. Just not entirely for the reasons that I want.

I don't know what else I expected.

I know better.

Hollywood endings aren't real.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Return of the Derby Girls

I've mentioned that Lucy and I are making our grand return to the Kentucky Derby in a few weeks, right? Because we are. And I am so excited.

I booked us rooms shortly after the Derby last year, just in case. And then we abandoned the idea and thought we would go to the Belmont -- the third leg in the triple-crown series -- instead. I wasn't crazy about traveling to New York so close to when I was leaving for Brazil but Chet wanted to join us (and bring the babies along, too, though they wouldn't go with us to the races) and that seemed like a fair compromise.

But I didn't cancel our hotel reservations.

Then, a couple of months ago, Lucy and Chet took the babies on a short weekend trip. Chet was exposed to the challenges of travelling with the babies and suddenly he thought that maybe it would be better if we put off the Belmont for another year and Lucy and I just made the shorter drive to Kentucky, alone, instead.

What a guy.

In a matter of 10 hours after Chet made the suggestion, Lucy and I had it all figured out: we had dinner reservations and giddy plans to make up for the drinking that we didn't partake in last year (when Lucy was pregnant with Baby L and I was sober in solidarity) and return to that one amazing coffee shop and eat another sinfully delicious apple fritter and win, like, a lot of money. All while wearing the hats that we already had made.

Yes, you read that correctly. Because we are insane and also obsessive, Lucy and I made our hats last summer.

Gear up for the return of the Derby fashion post, dear friends. We have dresses to buy and accessories to coordinate! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Maybe it's The Week

If Sunday and Monday are any indication, this is The Week When Things Happen.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been juggling. Since January, my life has felt like a failing attempt to keep track of too many moving pieces: at work, for my soccer team, my hockey schedule, planning for trips to Brazil and the Kentucky Derby, a board appointment, house hunting, The Coach's game schedule, holidays, everything. Nothing is settled. I am tired.

But if Sunday and Monday are any indication, this is The Week When Things Happen.

It is about damn time.

I am ready to lock in a few pieces, to know what to expect moving forward, to expel less energy guiding along all of these responsibilities that seem to need constant attention. I want to be done with something. I want to scratch it off of my list and declare it complete and feel accomplished, even if that feeling only lasts a day.

Maybe this is the week. It feels like it.

Cross your fingers, guys.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy, happy, happy

I knew that Friday morning would be a rough morning at work.

When Lucy invited me to join her and the boys at the park, I jumped on it.

Mother Nature must have known that I had suffered through a challenging week, because she sent out perfect weather. And the boys must have known that Auntie was in need of a pick-me-up, because they were extra sweet.

I assisted Baby A as he jumped from rock to rock.

And pushed swings.

And rode down the slide. (At least 20 times.)

And otherwise probably was a little too physically active for the afternoon before a half marathon.

The half marathon which, I should mention, I managed to slog through somewhat successfully. My run mirrored my training -- I never made the time for a training run of over 8 or 9 miles and it showed: I tanked right around mile 8 and really suffered through the remainder of the race. I finished in 1:55, which wasn't my best and wasn't my worst.  

Surely my lack of training is more to blame, but I wouldn't have traded one trip down the slide with Baby A for shaving even a single second off of my time.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I run a half-marathon on Saturday.

And, because of that, I had planned to go for a run on Tuesday. I looked at houses instead.

And, because of that, I had planned to go for a run tonight. I worked late. I stopped by Mom and Dad's house. I did not run.

Nor have I figured out where exactly I need to go to pick up my race packet. Or park my car on race day. I haven't bought Shot Bloks, my favorite gnarly-tasting race fuel, or looked up my bib number.

I have exactly one thing going for me: I have my race outfit picked out. Only because I bought it last month and never even bothered to tuck it inside my closet.

I'm just unprepared. It isn't like I haven't run a race feeling unprepared before. I did it in October. And I ran a personal best.

I'm still not thrilled that I'm in this position again. I should be ready. But I'm not. There isn't anything that I can do about it but be stressed over the runs that I haven't gone on. Which doesn't do me any good.

Nor do I have any room in my body for any more stress. Work. House hunting. Trying to organize for summer soccer and a trip to Brazil and a move that is probably inevitable but maybe isn't. Keeping my nail polish looking presentable. Finding time to read and cook and shop for the perfect running outfits and shower and sleep.  

This just a race.

I run a half-marathon on Saturday.

But I've been running a marathon for weeks.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


I can barely remember three years ago.

I had two jobs and a master's degree that I was using but not using enough. I had an apartment. I had a wound from finding out that my dad was cheating on my mom that hadn't quite healed. I wore my hair curly. I wasn't yet an auntie. I didn't own a smartphone. I was 28 years, 6 months and 6 days old.

But I remember April 8.

It rained in the morning. I had a job interview. It cleared up in the evening. I had dinner with Lucy and Chet and Chet's best buddy.

The Coach came over that night. Three years ago. Three years ago today.

I was 28 years, 6 months and 6 days old.

I don't regret it. I don't regret April 8 of three years ago. I don't regret today. I don't regret the days in between.

This could all turn out to be an enormous mistake.

But it is one of the things -- and he is one of the people -- that got me here.

To 31 years, 6 months and 6 days.

Housing Crisis, Part 12

I'm just going to speed this up to get us to today because I'm as sick of writing about looking for a house as I am with looking for a house which is VERY SICK.

We went and looked at houses a couple of times following not getting the house I made an offer on. I wasn't really interested in anything that I could actually afford. Which was cool. Really getting attached to a house that isn't feasible to purchase is definitely my idea of fun.

Last week, my dad was all "let's broaden where you're looking! Maybe you can't be in the school district that you want to be in." And then he suggested what is essentially Trashville, located to the north, which is not only trashy but would also tack on a good 30 minutes of bumper-to-bumper-on-back-roads-until-you-reach-the-expressway driving to an otherwise reasonable commute if/when I take a new job. Fuck no.

I ignored him and then when the realtor started sending me listings for Trashville, I basically lost my shit. There are exactly two things I want out of a house: not to live somewhere that sucks and not to have a commute that sucks. I don't feel like this is unreasonable. And I'm not compromising.

I spent the entire weekend raging mad about this whole house situation. Pissed off that I can't afford houses that I want. Pissed off that I saw those houses in the first place. (To be fair, I suggested that we go up in price a little bit and, after I had the mortgage guy run the numbers, realized that it wasn't going to work.) Annoyed that my father even suggested that I settle for something with exactly zero of my whopping two requirements. Pissed off at my mother for giving me irritating pep talks in her understanding mom voice. Angry that this was taking so long. And very very very close to consulting Craigslist for rental listings.

I refused to see houses on Sunday. I needed a break. I went for a long run instead, because I am woefully undertrained for a half-marathon that I'm running this Saturday and also because I had negative energy to burn. And I went shopping. And I had a drink. And I got over my house hunting injustices and stopped being a brat.

Yesterday, the realtor sent over a few houses she wanted me to see, including one that she thought would go fast. Near a lake (such a sucker for the lake houses and I won't even apologize for it), in the general vicinity of where I would like to be, decent size, affordable. We need to see it by Tuesday or it will be gone, she said. Let's go tonight or tomorrow, I replied.

She clearly wanted to push our appointments until the next day and so that was the plan: to see the house that I was really interested in (along with a few others) tonight.

And she just emailed me to tell me that they've already accepted an offer house that I was really interested in.

So much for that! (Skip the "meant to be" condolences, I've already tried convincing myself of that and it is only pissing me off more.)

I basically want to light her on fire.

I also just want to give up.

Do people like this? Is house hunting enjoyable for some people? Because I find it to be nothing but an incredibly time-consuming exercise in annoyance.

I am so very over this. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Housing Crisis, Part 11

When my mom returned home from her conference, we dragged her out to see the ranch on the lake. And we stopped in to see the small, inexpensive house again. And our real estate agent showed us a new one, too: this miniature but completely updated little cottage on a lake that was, quite clearly, the ultimate bachelor pad.

The ultimate bachelor pad was tempting. It had been completely updated. I wouldn't need to rip out the kitchen, as I would in both of the others. I could paint and move in and put my books in the built-in bookcases and start watching movies in the basement theater with attached bar. Yeah, seriously.

We ruled out the ranch on the lake on that second trip. We visited the small, inexpensive house last and I still found it (minus the kitchen) cute, I still liked the quiet little neighborhood, I still could picture myself there. All of the bells and whistles of the ultimate bachelor pad couldn't dampen my fondness for that little house.

And so the next day I put in an offer.

The process was a little bit surreal. I wasn't as anxious as I thought that I would be. I didn't have the doubt that I assumed that I would have. I was very sure as I signed my name and, at the same time, I had a feeling that this one wasn't going to go through. That this house wasn't going to be THE house.

And I say that but I suppose that statement isn't entirely true: it felt real enough to pick up paint swatches the next day.

But not real enough to cry when I found out a few days later that I didn't get the house.

Because it wasn't meant to be, I suppose. Because that house wasn't my house. It was just for practice.
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