My Best Friend’s Birthday

Today is my best friend’s birthday.

I know it may sound cheesy or sitcom-esq but my husband is, without a doubt, the best friend I’ve ever had. We met at SMU, college freshman and both members of the theatre department. Though we had some growing up (breaking up and moving around) to do before we would eventually decide to get married 8 years ago, he has in some way or another been a major force in my life for nearly 21 years. (Ewww, we are old.) He is the funniest, strongest, hardest working, most honest, and all around greatest guy you’ll ever meet.

So today’s blog post is dedicated to Shawn, the the person that makes my world a better place just by being in it. Happy Birthday, kid. I love you.

 

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‘Someday’ We’ll Own a Bed & Breakfast

We survived our first Airbnb rental.

We had some issues (wi-fi password was wrong and a breaker was flipped) but all in all it went well. The guests seemed to enjoy themselves and our house was in one piece at the end of the weekend.

We have new guests checking-in this weekend. It already feels ‘normal’ to know strangers will be staying in our house. In fact in the process of all of this I have been more and more aware of how much I am enjoying preparing the house and trying to make it special for our guests. Friends keep telling me that people won’t notice the special touches (fresh flowers from my yard in the bedrooms, wine in the fridge, etc.)  Maybe they won’t, but I will. I know what it is like to appreciate those touches and more importantly I really enjoy creating them for others.

Shawn and I have long talked about opening a B&B someday and so far this experience is reaffirming that interest for me. I wish I could be there to greet our guests and bake fresh scones in the morning. There are few things that I enjoy as much as creating a special and beautiful gathering. So maybe ‘someday’ will start coming into focus more clearly and be a reality sooner rather than later.

Traditions!

I’ve been in Minneapolis for the last few days visiting my friend, Erin.

We’ve had a great time catching up, eating and drinking too much, playing games, and enjoying the summer-like sunshine in the backyard. It’s been the perfect getaway with a cherished friend. One of the highlights of the trip was participating in an Anderson Family annual tradition.

On Memorial day Erin’s family always accompanied her grandmother, Jeanne Anderson, to  the graves of Jeanne’s parents and grandparents, and later her husband. The visits included leaving flowers and tidying up the grass around their final resting place. The visits were not sad or melancholy but rather a fun traditional outing followed by a family lunch.

In 2008 Jeanne passed away, but the tradition lives on – with a bit of a twist. The day of Jeanne’s funeral the family was gathered at the Lakewood Cemetery to say their final goodbyes, but before the casket was lowered into the ground an extended relative suggested the family gather for a photo. This seemed a little out of place but everyone complied nonetheless. The photo taken was as awkward as one would imagine a family photo around a casket might be!

So the following year, as the family gathered at the cemetery on Memorial Day, it was decided an inappropriate family photo was in order.  And thus began the new family tradition of visiting the family grave sites on Memorial Day and taking ridiculous photographs. This year was no different and I was pleased to be able to take part.

Summer Sneaking Up on Me

It very suddenly feels like summer.

Summer has always been my favorite season. I like hot weather and the sun on my face. But for some reason the sudden change in the temperature is making me feel uneasy. I think I am not ready. It was cold when I quit my job (one month ago today) and the feeling of warm air makes me more aware of the passage of time. And then I feel anxiety and guilt because I have not accomplished anything. I mean I have done a lot of chores and tasks and what-nots but I don’t feel like I am any closer to figuring out what comes next and what I am trying to do.

I need to let that go and remember it took me a long time to get to this place and so it is going to take me more than 30 days to figure out where I am going. This is easy for me to say and harder for me to do.

Speaking of 30 days, I told myself I would keep up the “5-day-a-week” post challenge for 30 days. I have not decided yet if that means 30 actual days (today) or 30 posts, which would mean 2 more weeks of weekday posts. Because I am having a hard time writing today’s post it makes me want to conclude I have completed the self imposed challenge. However, I think the fact that I am struggling so much today probably means I need to push myself to do 30 posts before I ratchet back the ramblings to whenever I feel like I want to write/have something to say.

Have a happy weekend. I’ll chat with you on Monday.

 

 

Kardashians – Smardashians

I invented reality TV.

Long before The Real World, Survivor, Big Brother, or KUWTK (yeah, I used the initials) I was ‘filming’ reality TV in my house.  As a kid I played many games of make believe.  Some of my favorites included kid classics: school, office, grocery store, library, and restaurant.  But those all involved having a friend playing with me to really properly set the scene.

When I was on my own I pretended I had a movie camera following me around documenting my every move.  Sometimes I would talk directly to the camera (“confession cam” style) but most of the time I would just be going about my day as “they” followed me.  In a significant amount of this footage I was a dance teacher.  So they would follow me to my studio (aka, our playroom above the garage) and film as I choreographed or taught class.  I did most of this to the Bette Midler The Divine Miss M album.  If you are not familiar with this album you should be.  Seriously, she truly is divine.  I still have the album and listen to it regularly.

And now, for your listening pleasure, “Do You Want to Dance?”

Meat Filled Pillows

Sometimes you have to take your dogs to McDonalds.

Anyone that has ever had more than a 30 minute conversation with me probably knows I have two dogs.  More specifically the world’s two cutest dogs.  (Evidence below.)

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Exhibit A – Maddie

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Exhibit B – Marvin

And if you have talked to me for more than an hour you probably know exhibit B spends a lot of time in a vet’s office.  A. Lot.  We could have put a downpayment on a house for what we have spent in vet and orthopedic surgeon bills in the last 6 years.  But no house would bring us as much joy as that little nub wagger.

About two years ago we were doing a series of nine biweekly acupuncture appointments with Marvin (mmmhmmm, you read that correctly, acupuncture for the dog).  We both went to the first appointment but then Shawn took him for most of the subsequent appointments.

One day, during this time period, Shawn was working in the yard and as usual the dogs were milling about and making sure he was doing a good job. He noticed Maddie was limping.  Upon further inspection, her foot was gushing blood.  Jeez, what happened?!  It looked like a slice was cut off of her foot pad. We couldn’t figure out how on earth it happened and it was spurting so much blood the porch was beginning to look like a crime scene. It was around 1:30PM on a Saturday and regular vet hours end at 2PM.  Worried the bleeding wouldn’t stop we scooped her up and put her in the car to go to the vet. Because it was a clean cut there really wasn’t anything to stitch so the vet cleaned it, wrapped it and sent us on our way.  But that isn’t really the story I am trying to tell.

I was driving and Shawn was sitting in the backseat with our little patient. As I pulled out of the vet’s parking lot he said, “Oh, on the way home we have to go to McDonalds.”  We do?  Why? (Note: McDonalds isn’t exactly a regular part of our diet so I thought this was really strange.  Taco Bell….well, that’s another story.) Then I learned that after Marvin’s acupuncture appointments Shawn took him to McDonalds and ordered a ‘Number 2.’ (2 cheeseburgers, fries and a drink.) They would sit in the parking lot and Marvin would get a cheeseburger and Shawn would get a diet coke, cheeseburger and fries (he shared a few fries with Marvy).  So, it was only fair that Maddie be treated to the same.  So yep, into the drive-thru I pulled.  We saved some burger for Marvin, who was undoubtedly at home crying because he haaaaates to be away from his big sister.

So now, whenever the dogs go to the vet they get a cheeseburger. (And before anyone freaks out – yes, we ask them to hold the onions.)  We usually bring it home so they can share it.  When I take them I just get a single cheeseburger – for the dogs.  Shawn thinks this is crazypants.  But I’ll save my junk calories for ice cream, thankyouverymuch.

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Mommy, I was a good boy for my vaccinations. Is it time to go get my cheeseburger?

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Last winter, post teeth cleaning and growth removal.  Because of the teeth cleaning she had to wait a few days for her cheeseburger.  But don’t you worry; she got one.

UPDATE: Shawn just sent me this video of Maddie enjoying her post teeth cleaning/growth removal cheeseburger.   (Please ignore silly voices we use to speak to the dog.)

First Position, Demi-Plié

I have a BFA in Acting.  Useful, right?

OK, so here’s the deal.  I am in the final stretches of getting the house ready for our first rental.  (Happening this weekend!!)  At one point yesterday I was walking around with a gallon of white paint and a half inch artist’s brush touching up trim and baseboards.  I may need to seek some sort of professional help.  And I mean the type that can write prescriptions.

At 8:33PM, as I was about to hang a new shower curtain liner, I realized Big Lots was going to close at 9PM and I really wanted to go get a few more plastic storage bins, tonight. {#addictedtostoragebins}  So I stopped everything I was doing and grabbed my keys to leave.  It’s only a 4 minute drive and I was just going to run in and grab those.  So yes, I was going to be “that guy” coming into the store moments before they closed but I was going to be in and out, lickity-split.  So off I went.  Nevermind that I was unshowered, wearing  a ratty t-shirt, old running shorts and flip flops, and I was covered in a combination of caulk and white paint.

After getting the bins I decided I’d pop over to Price Chopper and get something to eat for dinner.  While I was mindlessly browsing the produce section I overheard a conversation between a man and a woman that hadn’t seen one another in a while.  They were catching each other up on what their perspective kids were doing these days.  (Note: I unabashedly eavesdrop all the time.)  From the sound of it, she had high school aged kids and his were a bit younger, probably elementary school.  It really wasn’t that interesting so I wasn’t paying too much attention until, as I was choosing sweet potatoes, I heard the man say with a chuckle, “Well yeah, she says she wants to go to ballet college.”  Then they both laaaaaughed, and made fun of the poor little girl that thought such a thing existed.  I wanted to walk over to them and say, “Um, excuse me, she could totally go to ballet college.  I mean, it wouldn’t be called that but she could study dance and get a degree.”

Obviously I didn’t do this, but it made me realize how lucky I am to have grown up in a place and more importantly in a family that recognized “ballet college” isn’t just something in the imagination of a 7 year old.  My parents not only supported my decision to go to school and earn a degree in acting they also paid for it.  All of it.  I am one of my few peers that graduated from college with zero student loan debt and I am so very thankful for my parents’ ability and willingness to make that happen for me.  It made starting adult life so much easier.  They also did this for my sister, who did in fact go to ‘ballet college’ at North Carolina School of the Arts before transferring to Columbia University and earning a degree is psychology with a minor in dance.  (Ha. I have the BFA in acting and spent over a decade working for a preeminent scientific institution and my sister has a degree in psychology from an Ivy League school and makes her living as a voiceover artist.  It figures.)

But for what it’s worth, my college experience was life changing.  And, believe or not, I think my degree in acting has been super useful both on and off the stage.  So, I hope at some point that little girl meets someone like me that tells her she can indeed go to ballet college.

Ballet B

I don’t have access to any pictures of me as a “tiny dancer.” But I do have this one of my sister!

PS: Those bins that I had to have last night.  Still in the car.