Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Moving Day

It turns out that I am not all talk. (Or, perhaps more applicable to this platform all type.)

I put it off for long enough and today, my friends, I finally moved.

After blogging in this space for over 10 years, I have packed up shop: you can find me at somidwestern.com.

Don't let the sparkly new domain name confuse you. I will be writing the same convoluted nonsense that I have been polluting the internet with for the last decade.

So classy, so consistent, So Midwestern.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reunion, part 2

Colin shook my hand.


That is how he greeted me last night. By shaking my hand. It was that awkward.

And fine. It was perfectly fine.

There wasn't time for conversation and I didn't go out of my way to make any before or after our game. That very may well have bothered him (it did post-implosion, anyway, that I wouldn't be all chummy and pretend that nothing had ever happened) but I don't care. He's not my friend. He will never be my friend. We don't need to catch up.

The only thing I regret is that I didn't play better.

And that I didn't take a secret picture of him to send to Lucy. (After a certain embarrassing incident last month, I'm a little shutter shy.)  

Thursday, July 16, 2015


This afternoon, I agreed to sub for my friend Brittany's soccer team.

Brittany is a teammate on my Sunday team and she recently moved into an adjacent subdivision and so we have carpooled to a few games and, while I have known her for years, it's been fun getting to know her off of the soccer field.

So, when she asked me to sub because her team would be short on female players, I readily agreed.

Then she told me the team I was substituting for.

It is Colin's team.


I'm not going to bail on Brittany but I am not excited about this. At all.

I hope he's not there.

I hope his wife isn't on the team.

I hope I get a good story out of this, at least.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Of Course

For the past week, I have been researching pet insurance for Brady. If I'm going to do it, now is the time; he turns two this week and, as you would expect, it's less expensive to insure a younger dog. 

I'm pretty solidly on the fence about it because (obviously) it doesn't cover pre-existing conditions so it won't likely cover his anxiety meds, which could be a substantial expense, but it could really save my ass (and my credit) if he gets sick or injured.

But I have reservations investing in pet insurance because I feel like it will encourage me to go to extraordinary measures if he gets a rare cancer or something where, really, the more humane decision would probably be to treat his pain and make the end of his life comfortable.

Not exactly what I want to be thinking about but I guess it's responsible pet ownership.

I was researching before I went to bed last night, getting quotes from a few different companies and comparing coverage and still unable to make up my mind if I would even be buying coverage. Insurance is confusing, even for dogs. Making decisions is hard, at least is for me.
Then this morning, Brady wakes up with a goopy eye. It seems he picked up a little something at the dog park. I probably need to take him to the vet. 

So that's probably a subtle sign from the universe. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Fun Scale

I am giving raises today, which is fun.

I finally played a decent soccer game, which was fun.

My team got beat, like, really bad. That was not fun.

Anna's baby shower was about as fun as a baby shower can be.

It was really fun to see my cousin and my aunt who were in from Chicago.

It was less fun showing them exactly how bad things are with my grandparents. But important.

Meg and I sat in the sun and watched soccer and ate macaroni and cheese, which is always fun.

I was up for hours and hours in the middle of the night. Not fun. 

I read by Disclaimer by Renée Knight; if you enjoy the Gone Girl/Girl on a Train type of thriller, you'll think it's a fun read. 

Brady and I are going to Lucy's house for dinner with her and the boys tomorrow night; it should be great fun. 

I wore the wrong type of underwear today. I can barely concentrate I'm so annoyed with this choice. It is the complete opposite of fun.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm the worst daughter

I am a horrible person but, you guys, I am so over being a caregiver.

I am constantly on edge and, sometimes, I think that if she asks me to do one more thing, I am going to explode.

It's not even the actual care giving that I'm irritated about, to be honest (and she doesn't need much help anyway), it is all of the other extras that are on top of it that I'm doing because Mom is volunteering me and I don't have a choice and it's making me resentful. I haven't had much of a life since her surgery and I am just tired.

Mom is doing too much (taking care of my grandpa daily, throwing three parties over the course of three weekends, etc.) and feels awful because of it and then she's in a bad mood because she feels too bad to get everything done that she wants to get done and then she asks me to pitch in and that's okay but I just want to yell at her. SLOW DOWN, MOTHER. YOU'RE DOING THIS TO YOURSELF.

And her attitude sucks. I think that might actually be what's really driving me mad. I happen to believe that your attitude is pretty indicative of your outcome and, if that's the case, she should just stop going to physical therapy and getting out of bed every morning and die of an infected bed sore. That's how bad her attitude sucks.

I get it. I get that it is miserable. I know she's frustrated. But the things she says make me want to wring her neck. "I am going to be unemployed because I won't be able to work" and "this surgery is the worst decision I have ever made" and similar nonsense.

It's a pointless fight to have so I never say anything. Usually I just put Meg on her. Being that she's a physical therapist and more familiar with the whole process, she's very blunt. "When you got this surgery, you knew that recovery would be 3-6 months. It's been 6 weeks. Buck up."

Mom usually listens to Meg. She just needs frequent lectures.

Throughout this whole process, I've been pretty good about taking this all for what it is. It's the surgery, it's not my mom. She was just so frustrating yesterday. When I finally got home, I stewed until I went to bed and then I had anxiety dreams all night long.

She seems better today and we're on the cusp of another big family weekend (tomorrow is Anna's baby shower) so I just need to take a deep breath, finish blogging out all of this ugly and get over it.

Don't tell my mom how awful I am, you guys.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


It is a momentous day.

I quit my gym.

In my mail yesterday, I got a promotional post card for one of those super inexpensive chain gyms and it occurred to me (not for the first time) that I am an idiot and I needed to quit my gym posthaste.

I realize that this action seems somewhat counter intuitive for someone who is quite regularly blogging about her struggle to regain her fitness but hear me out.

I have been saying that I need to quit my gym for years now and the only thing that kept me from doing it was that I used it. I had a good thing going.

Until I didn't.

The gym I belonged to until a few hours ago was a big chain with all of the amenities: the steam room and classes and a pool and childcare and a cafe and towels and a hundred other amenities that I never used. What I did use regularly were the cardio machines and, this is a fact: nobody should pay upwards of $70/month to use a treadmill.

I've known for a while that I should cancel because I wasn't using enough to justify the price but just never got around to it. Then I injured my knee and any semblance of a gym routine crashed and burned, anyway. It went from bad to worse.

I will miss my swanky gym but I will not miss feeling guilty about it.

I felt guilty about how much it cost. I felt guilty about how much I was(n't) using it. I felt guilty about how I was using it.

I feel bad about enough things in my life. I am very much over my gym being one of them.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


I pride myself on my ability to pick out a good gift; I mock myself for the hell I put myself through when picking out that good gift.

It is always my goal to give the perfect present even if it's just a little gift. That's why I'm forever buying my best friend Lucy's husband, Chet, these bizarre pickles you can only get at the gas station.

It's also why I keep a constant running list on my phone of potential gifts. If you mention wanting something around me -- something big or something little -- chances are that I am jotting it down.

(And if you're my sister, Meg, chances are that you're running out to buy it for yourself before I can buy it for you. She burns me on that. Regularly.) 

If I don't have any ideas, I'm in a constant state of anxiety as I am brainstorming your gift. The anxiety lifts the moment that I finally come up with a winning idea.

A gift card, unless it's for something really specialized like to a favorite restaurant or somewhere you've mentioned always wanting to try, is not going to cut it.

Not Anna's baby.
Anther exception to my gift card rule: the gift certificate for baby photos that we got for my cousin Anna and her husband. I am so excited to give it to them at her shower on Saturday. Nearly as excited as I am to meet their daughter! 

Currently, I'm mulling over my mom's birthday present. I have until the end of August and I have a few good ideas but nothing that I'm really passionate about and can also afford. But I have plenty of time.

I have also recently tucked away two amazing ideas for gifts based on presents I've received lately.
Lucy sent me a Julep Maven box completely out of the blue as a thank you for watching her dog while she was on vacation with her family. It was something that I would never buy for myself but that I totally love. All that nail polish and some extra products, too! Plus it's packaged adorably. I am totally going to send this to one of my nail polish loving cousins for her birthday.

I was also recently gifted a Starbucks Pour‑Over Iced Coffee Brewer. LOVE IT. So would the coffee lover in your life. It's not a huge kitchen appliance or at all pricey and, yes, you can totally make iced coffee without it but it's still quite handy. My cousin Emma used it when she last visited and she was totally enthralled, so she might need to have one in her life, too. Like, say, maybe come October when she has a birthday.  

Have you given or received any good gifts lately? Please share! I can always use more on my list of ideas. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

Happy because I am not

I am not happy to be at work today.

Here is what I am happy about:
  • A recent influx of visitors.
  • That I finally got to spend some time with Lucy's sons this weekend, so hopefully A won't be sending me any ransom notes
  • The Jimmy John's sandwich my grandma brought me for lunch.
  • Brady passing his second obedience class.
  • Lucy starting a new, fancy, perfect-for-her-and-her-family job today.
  • The simple prospect of a few short and simple summer trips.
  • The wrecked, disgusting, gross old boat that I found on Craigslist: perfect for my grandpa to "fix."
  • That I have made some progress with my mom and grandmother in hiring a caregiver to help look after my grandfather. 
  • The birthday present I bought for Meg: the pasta maker attachment for her KitchenAid mixer. (She was equally happy.)
  • Tomorrow night: special nerdy concert time with Lucy!
  • That my cousin Anna's baby shower, and everything about it that is hanging over my head, will be over and done with by this time next week.
  • Early July's significant improvement over an unimpressive June. Can the rest of the month hold out? My fingers are crossed.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Year

One year ago today, I was waking up for the first time in my condo.

I didn't realize it until last night. The fireworks on a nearby lake are always held July 3. Last year, I listened to them while unpacking in my new condo. Yesterday, those fireworks reminded me that it had been a year.

The time passed so quickly!

And, for all of the fights I put up about buying (for those of you who are new: I was not convinced and I was full of angst about the decision for a good four months. There were many tears and dramatic blog posts. It was ugly.), I am very happy here. This probably isn't my forever home, but I don't see that I will be leaving anytime soon.

I settled into a nice routine in the first seven months that I lived here but, when Brady came along, everything got upended. He still can't stay at home by himself without barking up a storm, so I am dropping him off at Mom and Dad's house every morning, going to their house every day at lunch to let him out and picking him up every evening. It works out okay and I am grateful for the help, but I inevitably stay for dinner and to chat and being at their house every day makes me feel like I don't entirely live in mine.

Maybe it's the empty refrigerator.

One of these days, Brady will be settled enough -- and my mom will have progressed in her recovery from knee-replacement surgery enough -- that I will be forced to properly grocery shop and meal plan and act like a grownup.

But that day is not today. So I will eat Mike & Ike candy for breakfast. In celebration.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

My Favorite

At the '99 Women's World Cup, the 2010 & 2014 World Cups! 
Happy birthday to my favorite!

I have a very vague memory of the day that my little sister, Meg, was born. I remember my mom sitting outside on the picnic table, waiting for Dad to get home from work so that they could go to the hospital. I remember that my grandma stayed with me; I got stung by a wasp when we were playing in a box.

Those are my earliest memories. They are the only memories I have of a life before Meg.

Meg came home and she was instantly the star that we all revolved around. She still is. Funny and brilliant and stubborn and talented: Meg's gravity is strong. Everyone wants to be around her.

And I get to be her big sister. Aren't I lucky?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


I mentioned it on Monday: this summer soccer season is breaking my spirit.

I am so bad.

It is so frustrating.

It's because I am in awful shape. I lost all my fitness when I tore my LCL last July and I am not even close to getting it back.

I'm a little scared that I won't. Like, maybe I slowed down just long enough to catch up with my age and I'm never going to be that speedy midfielder again. Maybe from now on, when I play soccer it will feel like I'm doing it with a refrigerator tied to my back. Maybe this is my new reality.

I have posted about my struggle to get back into shape a handful of times since I hurt my knee and, each time, I wrote about how This Was It and I'm Almost There and every damn time I was very, very wrong.

After a good nine months of this, you would think that I would have figured this out. Not yet, I'm afraid. Not yet and not close.

June was probably my best month in terms of consistently doing something and I have seen no returns. I feel gross. Everything is hard.

It's not doing much for my self-esteem.

Or for my soccer team.
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