Oh how the world keeps shrinking

We are pulling this wedding together at an astonishing rate: in the last two or three weeks, we’ve found dresses, suits, ties, hair/makeup stylist,  shoes, a venue, someone to decorate, food, a photographer, and an attorney.

pinterest themommyblog wedding planning

Also? An event planner referred us to a photographer who was especially wonderful with children, and when I replied that her calendar showed her as unavailable, the planner CALLED HER and asked her to shuffle her schedule so we could hire her. She just had a feeling we’d get along.

Ohhhh, I’d say that’s an understatement, based on the emails flying back and forth, and the banter between Guy and her through me. They’re killing me. Imagine my relief upon realizing that I wouldn’t have to worry about dropping the f-bomb on the day. It’s more likely to be a drunken-sailor swearfest, if I’m any judge of fun. Won’t my parents be proud?

The photographer is a single mom, and none other than the fabulous Pascale Wowak, who gets the most amazing shots out of small people whose response to direction is indifferent at best. It doesn’t stop there! We have another friend in common, Michelle Riddle, who helped find our first home here in Scotts Valley when she knew a friend was about to up and moved to New Zealand. I heart Michelle.

pascale wowak photography

But wait! There’s more! She is also dear friends with the lovely Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child! Fellow author and momversation.com panelist, and mom of four and all-around stunningly beautiful and successful blogger and writer. She just had twins, and hasn’t slowed down. She takes beautiful photographs of food she made, and of her children, which she also made. And she does it with grace and style. I would be in a clock tower with a .30-.30 and a bottle of Jack.

To put sprinkles on the whole Six Degree Lovefest, we finally heard from the minister we were hoping to have, and in her response she offered a discount for middle school parents. WTF? As it happens, her daughter has been in class with my son since first grade, and they are in eight grade leadership together. Plus? She works at the middle school and recognized my name. Man, I was trying furiously to remember if I’d had a tantrum in the office or done something else unsurprising for me, and I don’t think I have. Score one for public maturity.

Wait. Um. The minister…am I going to embarrass my kids at school? What are the odds that *I* would have to worry about bad behavior getting back to MY KIDS through one of the teachers?

Oh, I can hear you snickering. Shut up. But go look at her site. She’s made of awesomesauce.

The UN-Holiday Gift Guide

Instead of coming up with a list of the latest must-have gifts, I thought I’d approach gift-giving in retrospect, with my UN-Holiday Gift Guide. These are the things that I love and use daily, and honestly don’t think I could have gotten through the year without them!

Of course, I fumbled with a few slideshow formats (how does Babble DO that??) and finally gave up and put it in my Amazon Store. Might as well, as you can buy just about anything there, including OBGYN supplies. Truth.

There were a few things I COULDN’T find on Amazon, so I’m listing them here. They make my life worth living. Good example: I couldn’t get Guy on Amazon. Perspective.

TAKE ME TO THE GIFT GUIDE!

 And now, the things I couldn’t find on Amazon.com:

  1. Lo & Sons bags. I am almost afraid to look, because they may not be making the bags I have anymore. Especially because I got the second one for a steal as they were getting rid of the old line. I cannot say enough about how well constructed, pocket-thoughtful, and useful these bags are. I use The TT computer bag as a purse, and if I have to travel, I use The O.G. I especially love that it has a zippered slot for a pair of shoes so they don’t touch your clothing. Genius. OMG I just looked and they have added all sorts of new bags, including one called The OMG. OMG!
  2. Marie Antoinette cotton nightgown. You heard me. Order in white. Your man will not be able to sit still around you.
  3. Gap underwear. Yummy , comfortable, sexy, and they last. LOVE. Order one cup size down, fyi.
  4. Big Pharma (price and mileage may vary). Self-explanatory.
  5. Malibu Beach RV Park Hoodie & tShirts. My kids each brought me back something from the RV Park when they went to Disneyland with Dad. I love them.
  6. Warby Parker Eyeglasses (frames and lenses included for $95, plus they donate a pair to someone in need for each pair you buy. I have four.
  7. Epiphanie camera bag. I have the Clover in pink, and while pricy, they are a perfect solution for those who want a camera bag that will keep everything compartmentalized and SAFE, while looking like anything other than a camera bag. Just ask Karen Walrond.
  8. Camera straps. I can’t find where I got mine, but I’m a braces and belt kind of girl. I use both the wrist strap and the shoulder strap, and the kids know they’d better be well and truly strapped in if they want to touch my camera. I always support Etsy, so that’s where I’m sending you!
  9. Physicalfix. I could devote whole posts to this (and have), but I can’t stop raving about it. Physicalfix is an online exercise/training program that constructs workouts tailored specifically to your body, strengths, goals, equipment handy, and time to devote to exercise. The best thing is that you can do it without leaving the house or having anyone watch, which for me is the single biggest barrier to exercise. I never exercised until this fall, and I’m down 14 lbs and am growing a six-pack. I have a waist again. Guy is chasing me around the coffee table. I no longer think that lipo is the only way for me to get my pre-baby body back. I’m a believer. And I pay for the program, not the other way around. I’m a paying member, and fully recommend you check out the food logs, weight trackers, and the bangin’ bod on this guy. Pfix President Josh Zitomer is a former strength trainer for the NY Jets, and a celebrity trainer (no, he won’t tell me who), and a lot of other things I can’t list to do him justice. He is sincere, hardworking, supportive, and dedicated to all his clients. That’s right, he WILL check in on you. He’s also a little bit crazy in that he does Triple Iron Man competitions and is training for the Death Race (HOLY SHIT, watch the video describing it. Only THREE people finished last year.). He has become a great friend, and I will support what he does as much as possible.

Next post: my favorite books from the year. There are a LOT of them.

So glad to be coming home

…If only to end all the FaceTime requests from my daughter. I’m in bed, I’m at the pool, I’m in a restaurant, no matter where I am she can see the background and what I’m wearing.

“Is that a BATHING SUIT?”

“Um…”

“I hate you. What are you drinking? Is that a straw and a lemon? There better not be an umbrella. WAIT. Is that a rooftop pool?”

Sigh. “Yep, ya got me.”

“I hate you more now.”

“Oh, good, then it won’t much matter if I go order room service from Gordon Ramsey.”

“Just for that, here’s Luke. Pooping.”

And dammit if she didn’t follow the dog outside with her iPod.

She closed with, “I wrote a song. Wanna hear it?”

“Oh, dear.”

“It’s called ‘Cereal.’”

“Fantastic.”

“Ready?” She took a deep breath, and let it out in a whoosh. I held the phone away from my ears. Nothing.

“Hon?”

“That was it! Did you like it?”

(This is where we started with the phrases Guy is supposed to try to work into his closing talk in Hungary today.)

“Daphne, you are an endless font of cognitive dead ends.”

“Here’s a closeup of the inside of Luke’s ear. Take a picture.”

Buckle-down time

Argh! I have been horribly remiss in updating here. Now that I’m all better, Guy’s vacation week is over and he is back to traveling all over the damn place, his kids are with their mother, and my kids are back to the regular schedule, I have to do some serious buckling down.

First, the book. WRITE THE BOOK. It will not write itself no matter how much I shame it. It is like a two year old. Dancing around without a diaper.

Second, a BIG PROJECT. It will be fantastic if I can pull it off, with substantial bonus for finishing within an impossible timeframe, but I’m built for speed at the last minute. (And yes, I will be charging you full freight if I pull this off. And if I do, I expect you to hand me the contract for moving your shop! I so love when the people on either side of a deal know exactly who and what they are working with. Clarity abounds.)

Oh! I have lovely new curtains in my office so the cheap, aluminum blinds don’t sear vertical patterns into my retina once the sun starts moving to this side of the house. I spend the latter half of each day crouched behind my gigantic monitor, shifting my chair and turning it bit by bit as the sun moves and occasionally shoots through the little string holes and lasers my vision to pieces. By dinner time I am crouching with my chin near the desk, the monitor tilted down, and sitting nearly parallel to the windows.

Office Curtains

So, we have new curtains. Sheers on the way. Double-hung, lined, and pretty fucking pricey. This is where I spend so much of my time, and I have to be saner than usual this summer. Moving my desk downstairs with six kids on summer vacation is not an option. Plus, I can see the pool from here and shout out the windows whenever someone tries to surf on a plank of wood or sets up a ramp near the water.

We did kitchen drapes too, since Guy’s parents are here and are amazingly handy. We had a production line going, with his mom ironing, me organizing and threading, and the guys installing the hardware. Plus, we found a chandelier in storage that Guy’s grandfather made out of stained glass, Craftsman-style. The difference is amazing.

Yes, we have decided to stick it out one more year in this rental as the housing market is awful and the inventory stinks. The only places available around here either have horse property where the house is not much better than the barn, or nestled along one of the many windy, solitary roads in this town along rain-saturated foothills that have been coming down and becoming part of people’s yards. I’ll stick to the builder home in the gated community. Dated interior, but safe from flooding or landslides.

Which is just the right amount of sanity for now.

Now, that is, that Logan has made the Little League Majors All-Star Team and will have daily practices, games, and events through the end of July. Did I mention that all of this takes place 15 miles away, over the mountain? Near his father’s house? And that his father is out of town for ten days? And we will have their terrier puppy? I must have mentioned it. Because as hard as I try to block it, there it all is again.