Friday, June 27, 2014

Too Many Post-Script Notes to Count

Well, this is embarrassing. Six Nine months? SIX NINE months? Shameful. Just shameful. (That's right - almost three months passed between me starting and finishing this post. Judge me, go ahead.)

So, it's 2014. [[Post-Script Note: It's now June. I wrote those words in January. I don't even think this is relevant anymore, but what the heck, it's written. Move it along.]]

As many of you were told in our Christmas card, 2013 was a great year for me and Goose.

***Timeout. Let's just discuss the giant elephant-y Goose in the room. Yes, Goose was forced to wear an AMAZING holiday sweater in our Christmas card. Yes, he was given full veto rights over wardrobe selection and ample time to exercise his veto rights. Yes, he declined to review his wardrobe selection prior to Christmas-picture time. Yes, he threw a massive man fit when he saw the wardrobe selection. Yes, I threatened him within inches of his life to PUT.ON.THE.DAMN.SWEATER. Yes, I won.***

Hellllllllllllllllo, handsome sweater.

Now, here's where I have a choice. I could spend my time boring you with the details of what the last six nine months have been like for us. But I won't. Mainly because the details would be populated by crummy iPhone photos that you've already seen and because my anxiety level increases rapidly just attempting to collect from my mind in an organized fashion anything beyond three days ago. And I don't want to start 2014 with high anxiety. Lord knows that two straight weeks of family holiday time and our insane travel schedule (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico, you are dead to me. at the end of 2013 left me with enough residual anxiety to last me through 2016. So, just like that, clean slate. That's what you're getting.

Ok, fine, that and a few 2013 collages. iPhone style.

The Cape, Boston, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and much water for a gal who can't stand the sand. Oh, and our first, foster, Bandit Man.

Revisore Ranch, Acapulco, Dancing Duo, MHST Christmas and our puppy loves. Random, like our life. 

Charleston, Monique Gets Married, New Years' with the Inlaws, Welcome to the World WKD!, Buckey Man and a Brother Gets Hitched. 

Calling Baton Rouge, Caballeros in the Hamptons, Bermuda and a Puppy Ginger.

With that, moving on to 2014. 2014 will be a grand year for us. It's the year we say goodbye to our 20s. [[Post-Script Note: Our 20s have come and gone, ol' chap.]] Which means that Goose and I can add to our list of accolades that we've spent an entire DECADE of our lives together. All I can say about that is: "Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?"

Can you even begin to imagine the couple we were at 20 years old, versus the couple we are at 30? No? Well here, this should help:

Luscious long locks and bleached blonde hair. I suppose it could have been worse.
I'm excited to share this milestone with him, with my amazing best friends who are (almost) all hitting it before me, and with our family members who are crossing themselves and spitting over their shoulders at the thought of having a grandchild/child/niece/nephew who is THIRTY years old. Suckers.

We're celebrating 30 years of birth with a pretty exciting trip to Istanbul. Plus, we've spent the last few weeks creating a list of "30 Things to Do While We're 30!" Does it surprise you that (1) it is in Excel, (2) it contains embedded formulas and (iii) it is beautifully color coordinated? No? Well I wouldn't think so.

Also happening (or not) in 2014:

First, in case you haven't heard me shouting it from the rooftops with a smile the size of Tennessee on my face, effective January 1, I transitioned out of a Capital Markets attorney role with my Firm into a Business Development attorney role. What does that mean? The legal implications of it are probably too tedious and nuanced for you, but here are the real-life implications of it:
  • For the past five years, I've accounted for my days - ALL of them - in 0.25 hour increments. That means, with an average 10-hour work day, I've had to account for 73,000 blocks of time since I started at the Firm. (Please don't fact check me there - I'm close enough.) That makes me want to smack whoever invented the billable hour in the mouth. This new role means no more billing. Hallelujah. 
  • I've been on-call for 24 hrs. a day, 365 days a year. You doctor friends have NOTHING on an associate at a big law firm. The "I'm out of the office and not checking my blackberry." only existed if you were under general anesthesia or standing AT the altar. This new role means I come to work at a normal time. I leave at a normal time. My weekends are usually mine. And if you want something from me outside of those times, it will [probably] (old habits die hard) wait until tomorrow. Amen. 
  • Even after donating 2356233 gray hairs and only slightly fewer wrinkles to my career, I continue to believe that I work for the very best big firm in the country. I love our history, clients, culture, attorneys and administrative staff. I knew I didn't want to leave this place. It's my home, and it's all I've ever known. This new role means I get to stay here, continue my legal practice in the environment I love, with a job that is sustainable. It doesn't get ANY better than that. Unless I win the lottery. In which case, Adios Firm. It's been real.
Second, I love babies. Correction: Babies that don't belong to me. I do NOT love "Are you and Goose ready to have babies? (HINT! HINT! HINT!)" So many of my close friends have either had children recently (here's looking at you, WKD! [[Post Script Note: IBL! ECC! JRM!) or will imminently birth them [[Post Script Note: My MONIQUE is having a baby! I'll count Dash as my first niece/nephew. Aunt Randi is already amazing.]]. And I'm stoked for them. There's nothing more exciting to me than shopping for baby clothes that I get to wrap and give away as opposed to take home and launder. So, yes, Pablo and I want children eventually. No, my ever-present car sickness is not pregnancy nausea. Yes, we will have multiple HSTs in the not-so-distant future. No, it will not be in 2014. Come on, let's all shake hands on it and move along.

So, I guess that's as good of place as any to leave it. Let's not be strangers. Cheers to a [[Post-Script Note: Continued]] golden 2014!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Part I: I sang out of tune.

If you've been here before, you probably know that I tend to narrate my posts (for days at times) in my head. Here's how this post has been going for awhile: 

What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
And I'll try not to sing out of key.

And if you're feeling super ambitious, you can check out my full sentiments here:

Did you click? Do it. Is your mind blown?
Joe Cocker is not the Beatles, but man that's good. Said in another way: 

What would you do if I hadn't blogged?
Would you stop reading and turn on your TV? 
Lend me your eyes and I'll write you a post, 
And I'll try not be unfunny. 

I wrote that in negative six seconds, so forgive its cheesiness and just general terribleness. But you get my point, yes? My absence is so long here that I feel like I've entered into that realm of unforgivable. Is it unforgivable?  I hope not. So I guess that's my apology - a Beatles tune, a Joe Cocker cover and a terrible haiku. You're welcome. 

Forewarned: I wish I had a nice, thematic way to organize the crazy of the last few months, but it simply doesn't exist. Impossible, even for a Type A-OCD planner like myself. I've tried and scrapped it at least three times. I just....can't. Perhaps Johnny Cash says it best, hmmm? 

I've been everywhere, man.

So instead of sensory overload and mental deboggling, I've decided that I'm going to blog about the past few months in review. Not a quick, hurried, "Let's let it all hang out!" review. Instead, a review worthy of what those months, and the friends we've shared them with, have meant to us. You'll just have to come back for more. (Assuming I show up, that is. Hedge your bets.) So here we go. 

Jenny Penny got married. And then she left me. 

First up in review, my long-time friend got married. Jen and I went to law school together and have worked down the hall from each other for close to five years. For those combined eight (EIGHT) years, I probably saw her more than anyone else in the world, including Goose. She's prettier than him though, and generally more cheery, so it worked out fine for me. 

Eight years in the making.

Jen and James were married at the Messina Hoff Winery in College Station. As a lifetime Longhorn, I don't tread on that turf willingly, but I'll make an exception for these two. Jen was a gorgeous bride, and seeing her light up at becoming James's wife was such a special moment. Even if I had to do it breathing Aggie air. **Gag, cough, cough.** Hook 'Em. 

So happy for our sweet friends and so honored to have been a part of their big day....except for that nine mile aisle I had to walk down. That part I could have done without. 

I've forgiven her though, because she didn't make me wear a terrible bridesmaid dress or have horrendous wedding hair. Jen for the win. (Those for the loss, you know who you are. Ahem.) 

And then, like a water balloon to the face, Jen left us in July for greener pastures. 

She's grazing in the land of in-house counsel, putting her blackberry aside for hours at a time, taking field trips on a whim, being served by waiters in tails and white gloves and rolling her fingers together with poorly disguised evil glee. 

We hates her. 
But oh how I miss her. 

With that, cheers to Jen and James. May you have a lifetime of golden happiness. And many baby Longhorns. 
***All wedding pictures copyright Heather Curiel. I'm an attorney, after all. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Golden Nutshell

That is me, coming out of hibernation. It's been a long time, friends. Too long. My brain needs a break from the real world, and what better way than by reflecting on my two months of silence? Shall we begin?

(And, as you know, I tend to narrate these posts in my head. Have you seen The Mask? Why is it so awesome? And why is it what comes to mind here?)

On that note, we should move on.

1. My best got engaged. I hate knowing secrets. Me choca, me choca, me choca. And perhaps the hardest one I've ever known but couldn't tell was that of Monique's engagement, which had me BURSTING at the seams for a full month. J and Monique have been dating for a third of my life - their time is due. I couldn't be happier, prouder, or more excited for them. It's not often I'm a mush machine, but this wedding makes my heart flutter. The thought of getting to watch this amazing woman who is more like my sister than my friend plan her day, with me along in the peanut gallery, is one of the happiest things I can imagine.

There were about 30 of us packed into a bedroom hideout while Monique got engaged. What a sneaky sneak surprise!
Beyond the mush, I get to hang out with these crazy ladies, so that's a win for everyone. November 2013 can't come soon enough!

Now, if we could just work on this Ninimal, my life will be complete.

Clinton McGee, we love you.
2. You should try Colombia. I'm partial to Mexico, for obvious reasons. But Colombia comes in at a close second on my list of favorite Latin countries to visit. We went to Cartagena in February for the wedding of one our our sweet groomsmen. He's French, she's Colombian, and they live in Panama. Most of the guests were Swiss. You can imagine the head spin that combination creates. And, it wouldn't be a reunion with Gooses's Panamanian colleagues if the wedding night didn't end with an alarming Colombian rash spreading at terrifying rates up each of my arms and Goose's custom tuxedo split up the bottom seam due to his aggressive Michael Jackson dancing moves. Pretty standard in our world.

And felicidades to our sweet friends, O + M. We love you guys.

3. Our house has cabinets. Do not build a house. Just....don't. I'm not sure why I ever thought that after 18 months of planning a wedding, I should transition into 9 months of planning a house. I've heard people say that if your marriage can handle building, you're in the clear for the long run. Um, but what about my MIND?

Much like wedding planning, this perhaps wouldn't have been such a scratchy process if I weren't such a Type-A control freak. But, alas, I am. And so after almost a year of it, I'm ready to roll over and scream uncle.

All of that aside, the house is beautiful, and we're very blessed to own it as our first home together. With my birds-eye focus on the small (unimportant?) details, combined with our magic maker's big picture direction, we've managed to create a masterpiece in the midst of the muck. A few things we've picked up and out along the way:

And here's our Magic Makers schematic board for the downstairs. Hold on to your horses!

4. We've become the most popular people in the world. Me and Goose are in a combined EIGHT. EIGHT. weddings this year. And have I mentioned that they are all out of town? Just give me a vodka tonic and point me in the general direction of where I'm supposed to be. After eight prior trips down the aisle as a bridesmaid and once as a bride, I got this s*$t down.

In all seriousness, what a fun time for us. The older we get, the more we learn who we actually want to hang out. Lucky for us, these guys appear to feel the same. Each of them tells a part of our story, and we're stoked to help add to theirs. Cheers to you eight!

P.S. If you give me wedding hair, our friendship is over. And I will spit on its grave.

5. End of the road. I just recently returned back from the Deep South for the first time since summer 2012. I was long overdue. My baby brother met me out there, and we were able to handle a few of the final outstanding items related to Mom, plus celebrate her life in a way that we know she would have loved. It's funny, this grief thing. Have you ever been in one of those tidal wave pools at a water park? The kind that simulates waves? They start out gentle, then increase, then explode, then return to gentle? For me, that's what grief has been. There are some days where my only thoughts about Mom are happy ones. And then there are days where I'm utterly consumed by it. And then there's that range of everything else in between.

Anyways, beyond that, my trip was a stellar one. My Deep South family never ceases to amaze me. Their kindness, grace and strength are immeasurable. On that note, a few highlights from the weekend:

That's me and Baby Brother with our tree. Then, Kaylee Bug, the little rascal. I convinced her to stand still for about 3.2 seconds: "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese." Moving east, that's the door to my mom's childhood room, as decorated by her younger sister fifteen years later. The "Nana" (for us Southerners, that's pronounced "Nuh-Nuh") is what Mom's siblings and nieces and nephews called her; the "DE" are my aunt's initials. What sweet reminders of two women both taken from us too soon. Then, southward, the normal speed at which Kaylee moves. Exhausted just looking at that picture. And, finally, a spring trip wouldn't be complete without my Uncle T's amazing crawfish boils. Don't be jealous.

6. Oh, and this happened. I love Adam Levine. That is all.

So, that's the last two months in a golden nutshell, with a little side of glitter. Hope you've enjoyed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Spoils of Sweet Victory

We're two weeks into 2013, and I've successfully not entirely failed at two of my resolutions (here, for a reminder). Happens to be the two that counter-balance each other, so I think that means I'm standing at dead even. I'll count that as a win in my book.

After a morning workout with Goose (Operation Resolution Number 4: Turn That Caboose Around), I spent Sunday trying my hand at cookie decorating (Operation Resolution Number 3: Crazy Cookie Lady).

And watch out world, because I'm in love.

A few forethoughts, before my big reveal.
  • Cookies take patience. Like an agonizing amount. Turns out sometimes you have to wait overNIGHT for things. Who knew?
  • Piping is hard as sh*t.  
  • You have to have the right tools to make the cookies even remotely decent. Good thing I know the aisles of Hobby Lobby in my sleep.
  • This woman is insanely good. I watched her videos (what? I'm a dork?) over and over again. Also, special shotout to my Aunt Laurie for nudging me in the right direction. She's a cookie-making legend.
So, here we are, one batch of royal icing, one batch of sugar cookies, three shades and three consistencies later. I'm exhausted already.

Royal icing is apparently the key to cookie decorating. Look Ma, I did it!

Mine and Hers

Then came the cookies. Who knew sugar cookies could make you want to beg for mercy? I'm still finding butter in random places.
Mine and Hers. Clearly, I have some work to do.

Then, the piping and flooding. That's right, I've added cookie jargon to my vocabulary.

Not so bad, eh?

Wait overnight, wait overnight, wait overnight. Party time.

And the final results...

Mine and Hers

Icing on the cake cookie? These tasted like absolute rubbish. So pretty, yet so totally, incredibly, exhaustively inedible. K calls it sweet victory for trying to make cookies that value form over function. I call it a win and sent her the spoils.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Puppy Prozac

For all of my mom friends about to read this, stop right there. Alternatively, please check your (well-deserved) righteousness at the door. I'm about to compare my dogs to your children. If that pains your heart or offends your being, come back for the next post - promise it won't hurt as much.

For those still with me, on we go. I hope we've met in real life. If we have, chances are you've either met/puppy-sat/seen pictures/received kisses from the two most adorable yorkies on the face of the planet, Petrie and Pax. 

And, having met them, you've probably taken note that they also happen to be the most OCD yorkies on the planet. (Hmm....wonder who they may have learned that from?)

Who me? Couldn't be.

Example A: Petrie tends to compulsively focus on things. Often times I find her sitting in a corner of a closet, her back to me, intently watching my clothes. That's not weird, right? 

Those clothes, so interesting. So very, very interesting.

Example B (and the subject of this post): Paxter tends to be psychotically afraid of the following:
  • Rain;
  • Thunder;
  • The overhead fan that sometimes sounds like rain;
  • The AC unit on the bottom floor of the apartment complex that sometimes sounds like rain;
  • The tree scratching on the window that sometimes sounds like rain...
You're getting my point here, right? Paxter is TERRIFIED of all things "boom-boom" related. And the older he gets, the more obsessive-compulsive he gets. He's convinced his death by lightning strike is imminent. (Note, however, he's wise enough to realize that death by lightning strike can only occur at night while Mom and Goose are otherwise asleep. Obviously.)

Pax on high alert.

And we're not talking about a little case of the nerves here, friends. We're talking about a little: "MOM!MOM!WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP!IT'SRAINING!IJUSTKNOWIT!CANYOUHEARMEMOM!THERAINISGOINGTOGETMEANDYOUANDGOOSEANDSISTER!MUSTWAKEUP!MUSTWAKEUP!MOM!MOM!MOM!" accompanied by some heaving panting, some SERIOUS trembles and some Mom-face scratching (to ensure I've heard him otherwise). 

Impending doom.

We're talking the type of panting that reminds you what he's had for dinner. The type of trembles that shake the king-size bed. The type of face scratching that will make an elephant bleed. Did I mention that he's positive the only remotely safe place to intently watch for impending doom is from atop my head?

Home remedies we've tried through the years:
  • Sleeping in the guest bedroom, which has no outside walls;
  • Sleeping in the master closet (ON THE FLOOR), which is even deeper in the labyrinth and even more sound-proof;
  • Being sequestered in the bathtub;
  • Taking Puppy Prozac daily;
  • Sleeping with a baby white noise machine;
  • Kenneling; and
  • Standing outside in the rain as proof he'll survive.
To no avail. None. If it's raining (or Pax has convinced himself it's raining), we're awake. Gloriously awake. 

Me at 3am.

Until recently. My heart has hardened. We've come to grips with his OCD and realized he must as well. I believe this is what some of you mothers call "Letting them cry it out?" Yes? (Has our friendship survived that comparison?)

As of late, our solution is below. Suggestions for improvements in such are, of course, encouraged but most likely rejected by Paxter. Alternatively, feel free to send high doses of sleeping medication and/or sympathy cards to my attention.
  • Layer bottom of guest room bathtub with thick, noise-insulating blanket;
  • Insert puppy kennel;
  • Wrap Paxter's feet with protective bandages (below) as protection against the inevitable escape attempts;
  • Insert Paxter into kennel;
  • Surround puppy kennel on both sides with thick, noise-insulating blankets;
  • Turn on noise-insulating vent fan;
  • Leave on overhead light (in the event that boom-booms humanize and seek out Paxter in the kennel);
  • Shut guest bathroom door;
  • Shut guest quarters door;
  • Shut master bedroom door;
  • Turn on white noise machine and noise-insulating box fan on high speed (this step not optional, even in winter months);
  • Put on winter-grade headband over eyes and ears;
  • Convince Petrie that Pax hasn't been murdered in the night and that she's surely next;
  • Attempt fitful sleep.
Paxie's feet band-aids.
The six steps of noise-insulation? Not for Paxter and the rain. He's on his own for that one. For our neighbors, so they don't report us to the SPCA for his barking and clawing at kennel door that will surely last through the night. 

Wouldn't it be awesome if that were actually us? And Goose had that sweet facial hair?

My favorite part? The next morning, when Petrie and I release Pax from puppy jail, he's so shocked that it's a new day and he's survived the night that he totally forgets that only hours ago, he just KNEW the world was ending. It's a sight to behold. He forgives me all over again. 

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for you all night!

On that note, who's ready to puppysit in the rain?