Actual Things: Unmarried Dot Com

Dear friends,

I’ve had a cold so long I can barely remember what it’s like to not have a cold. As I was lying in bed last night still hacking after a second dose of Nyquil and some good old fashioned night soup*, I started to get really fed up. (*Night soup is that thing where you are so desperate to stop coughing you get up at 1am, make soup to eat in bed, spill some of it on yourself and then pray you don’t die of an accidental cold med overdose leaving your children to find your puffy-faced body in a bed full of used tissues in the morning.) I decided to refocus on tranquility by saying all my thank you prayers. Since I’ve been Catholic most of my life I have a habit of ending my prayers with the sign of the cross, only last night instead of the traditional “Amen” I realized I accidentally ended my prayer with, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit, Dot Com.”

So there I was, wheeze-laughing in the dark in m’soup-stained tank top…

This brings me to my second actual thing. I overslept. Which means my kids overslept. Which means we had approximately 9 minutes for a 12 minute drive. By some miracle of traffic patterns, we coasted up to the door with about 15 seconds to spare as I tossed backpacks into the backseat like they were life jackets on a sinking ship. As I watched my sweet blonde cherubs head for the front door I rolled down the window and started shouting things like, “LET’S MOVE! LOOK ALIVE! I WANNA SEE KNEES TO CHEST!” It really put a pep in their step and I’m thinking that maybe I should start wearing a coach whistle to drop off.

It’s a good thing I’m such a natural motivator because kids can be so inconsiderate, am I right? Like, I didn’t leave the house bra-less in a soup-stained tank top and accelerate through four yellow lights for you to mosey in 20 seconds after the bell and make me look like a bad mom.

Thirdly, and this is a biggie: I got unmarried a while ago. For months now I’ve mulled over when and how to share this information publicly, but the more I thought about it, the more all of your comments over the past years came flooding back and reminded me that I should just keep it real. It wasn’t in the plan for the original fairy tale ending, but I still got a lot of fairy tale moments over the years that can never be undone.

So I’m back to writing. As a single mom, I assure you I have a backlog of material to share with you. If you’re reading this, please know that I appreciate you. I hope you’ll forgive my absence and come back with all of your hilarious feedback I treasure so much.

And those are the actual things.

Love, Emily

 

Alternate Titles:

Working On My Night Soup

Accelerating Through Yellow Lights: A Philosophy For Life

Unmarried With Children

Fairy Tale Middles

I want to sneak in a HUGE thank you shout out to the many, many supportive women friends who have been true bright spots through this cloudy, unpredictable season of my life. Here are a few of them:

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Erin-Go-Bar (Baby’s first Bar Method class)

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When your friend stops by and you guys accidentally look like a lesbian couple at their bohemian wedding.

 

Back story:

I went to my friend Erin’s birthday party and one of her other friends brought a handmade lavender bath bomb from @Spire_Sweet, and Erin was like, “Emily you have to try this sometime,” so I grabbed it and was like, “oh I totally will, thanks!” and then Erin’s friend had to awkwardly be like, oh, actually that was my birthday gift to Erin. And what I should have done was be like, “how embarrassing of me to assume it was for me to try, of course I can’t keep this” but what I actually did was throw it in my purse and yell BYE-YEE! Continue reading

32

It’s my birthday weekend and I’ll be 32. It feels random and anti-climactic. When I was young I had a vision for my life based on age milestones. I pictured myself at 23 with a diamond on my finger, picking out flowers in various shades of pink. I pictured myself in an office at 25 in a black suit with a sleek blonde bob. I pictured myself at 28 dressing my children in coordinating outfits for family pictures.

The other day Time Hop reminded me of a post I wrote 11 years ago. It was back when you were forced to refer to yourself in the third person. It said:

Continue reading

Getaway: Galentine’s Weekend in Naples

If you follow me on Instagram (@MrsKansasMommy if ya don’t) you know that my Valentine’s weekend was full of true love, long heartfelt talks, cuddles and sunsets…with my three best girlfriends Lauren, Jess and Amanda.

Flashback: Tri Delta Spring Break 2006 in the Bahamas

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We all ditched our fams and went for a Galentine’s Retreat at Lauren’s parents’ home in Naples, Florida. If you want to feel young, go to Naples. I was actually denied an après-lunch glass of Prosecco because I didn’t have my ID on me. Being carded: flattering. Being unable to get drink: infuriating.

When I’m with my besties it’s like being reunited with my tribe. With Lauren’s parents there, we were treated like princesses. They have hosting down to a science. There was an endless supply of lobster dip, a gorgeous cake with our sorority letters, and countless other goodies. Our Margaritas and Moscow Mules were made with fresh limes from the tree and served to us by the pool. We had French press coffee in the mornings and at night we feasted on steaks in their poolside outdoor dining room. It could not have been more lovely. The downside of this is how quickly I became accustomed to this lifestyle. Enter Naples Emily. Naples Emily has full-time childcare so she is usually seen with a cocktail in hand, no matter the hour. Naples Emily eats bacon for breakfast in the swimming pool. She drinks key lime martinis at lunch and cruises in the Maserati before watching the sunset on the beach with a glass of fine Chardonnay. Naples Emily spends the day boating and bar hopping. She has no bedtime, no cellulite, and no obligations. Also, Naples Emily is in denial about her age. We had an impromptu dance party in the kitchen and I actually got so carried away during the song Uptown Funk that I spontaneously did the splits. At 30, I’m lucky I didn’t require hospitalization.

Upon my return home, my family was surprisingly unwilling to let me lounge around while they waited on me. I was actually kind of taken aback when I was expected to wipe butts all day… “Hey Savannah, newsflash, I’m Mrs. Naples Mommy now. Change your own diaper. Avery, go get mommy a glass of champagne…it’s nearly 10am already.”

The trip reminded me how truly, unusually, profoundly lucky I am in the friendship department. I hope that my daughters will someday have these kind of relationships so when life gets tough or weird or dull or sad, they will be able to turn to their most honest and loving girlfriends to make them feel young, fun and carefree.

On that note, SPRING BREAK RULZ! (*attempts the splits, gets half way down and flops to the side. Awkwardly tries to roll into standing position completely out of breath. Chugs chardonnay…*)

Galentine’s Day Weekend 2015 (aka Spring Break: Episode 12)

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I felt like I had stepped into a page from Architectural Digest.

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Real Housewives of Naples

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The best besties a girl could ask for.

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So fancy.

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L-O-V-E (see what we did there?)

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Photo Credit: the amazing Amanda Clark

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I just want to stop and point out that Lauren’s mom and dad literally served us our breakfast so we could eat our bacon in the pool. If you’ve never eaten bacon in a pool you are missing out on the height of luxury, friends.

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Not Penny’s Boat.

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Bloody Mary’s and Dolphin Watching on the boat.

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Poolside Moscow Mules

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10 Years of Fabulous Friendship

 

Petty Woman: On Growing Back Together After Growing Apart

Petty Woman…walkin’ down the street, Petty Woman…oh wait, that was me.

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In my experience, there is a phase with women friends, particularly sorority girls, that around the time you graduate college you start “growing apart” from people who challenge you. As free time gets more precious, you choose to spend what little you have on the ones who never make you worry about protecting yourself. These friends are pure gold. They make you feel good about yourself, they cushion the bumpy parts of life, and they know you for the layers you’ve accumulated through years of experiences, not just what the people who meet you now see. I am blessed to have a large group of friends like this and we are closer than ever. They have my heart. I will always be loyal to them.

But what happens to the other friends? The ones who really did mean something to you when you were starting out adulthood, but you had minor falling-outs that through time and distance turned into completely losing touch?

The 20-something ego is like a balloon. The more inflated it gets, the more fragile it becomes. When your balloon gets too big, you have to start avoiding anything potentially sharp or rough. I’m talking specifically about relationships here.

Personally, my brain is geared toward a black and white viewpoint. I naturally see things in such stark contrast that it can be difficult for me to discern the little gray areas in between. This has made me exceptionally loyal to the friends that are still in my life, but it also made me overly dismissive of friends who were going through something I didn’t understand at the time. I see now that I spent a few years on a high horse, thinking that I was seeing things clearly but I didn’t recognize the temporary gray areas when black and white didn’t line up exactly.

Now I’m 30 years old and could not have guessed the surprise life had in store for me this decade. Meaningful girlfriends are trickling back into my life; people that I’ve missed greatly and didn’t even realize it until they came back. I’ve noticed that a lot of my girlfriends I went to college with are growing back together. I think part of it is that we want the world to be a kinder place to our children. We want our daughters and sons to look for the gray areas. We want them to see that sometimes people are just going through a thing. It’s their own thing, not about anyone else. We shouldn’t let our ego get so big and fragile that we can’t see around it.

I’ve had this conversation with a few of my girlfriends and it seems like when you turn 30 you realize how unique the opportunity was to forge relationships at a time when you were all on your own figuring out your personality for the first time without your parents. When you are friends with someone you LIVE with, eat with, go out drinking with, stay in and do nothing with, talk all night with, sit in comfortable silence with, cry with, occasionally bicker with, and laugh with, you know each other in a way no one else can. Some of the girls I lived with in college and right after know more about me than my husband does. Mainly because he doesn’t watch reality TV and I don’t discuss my weight, grooming, ex-boyfriends, or digestion with him…so that kills like 80% of my favorite girl-talk topics right there.

When I think about my ego balloon now, it has considerably deflated in the past 10 years. It takes up less space in my life now. It’s stronger and more flexible. I don’t shy away from people who challenge my version of myself. I own the fact that a lot of my disappointments in friendships were self-inflicted because I chose to protect my big, fragile ego instead of looking past it for gray areas that would help me understand.

I would like to know…have you experienced this? Do you have friends that are back in your life after years of hiatus? Has an old friend apologized to you? Have you apologized to them? Any thoughts from the Men? Please share if you’ve gone through this too.

I’ll leave you with some Pinterest quotes that really speak to my frame of mind in 2015:

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