Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never Have I Ever: Not Checked Facebook For A Day

{ This was me by the end of the day }

I'm what you call a "heavy user" of social media. Between my personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages....as well as the ones I maintain for work, this blog and the band......I'm always one step away from a nervous breakdown. The most heavenly thing in the world would be a week in a cabin so far out of range of a signal (also with a fireplace, giant bathtub, fully-stocked kitchen and a few other necessities) that no one could reach me. Total radio silence......

I say that would be heaven, and it would, but in truth the itch would get to me and I would want to check things eventually, see how the world was carrying on without me so to speak. That itch coupled with my natural voyeuristic tendencies = I probably wouldn't last that long. So when I came up with the idea to do a series on things I'd never done before, seeing how long I could go without checking social media was at the top of the list. I knew a week was out of the question and three days wouldn't be feasible for work, so I settled on 24 hours.

24 measly little hours.....here's how it went down....with some apropos selfies to commemorate my "glass case of emotion" from the day....

{ I got this! }

6:30 am: I wake up and instinctively reach for the phone to check my news feed on Twitter but stop myself. Pavlovian response overcome!!! I shower and start getting ready, leisurely sipping my coffee. I wonder if anyone has some fun quippy morning posts on facebook?? I don't care about morning posts on facebook! Pay attention or you're going to fry your hair with your curling iron.

{ Oh well }

7:15 am: I take Miss Austen for her morning walk. Wow the cherry blossoms on that tree are so beautiful have to take a pic and share...wish you were here:). No! No one gives a crap about your pictures of cherry blossoms. I look down at Miss Austen and realize she's trying to swallow a chicken bone she's found on the street. Motherhood is lovely...and sanitary:).

{ What if? }

9:02 am: I'm in the office that morning and as I sit at my desk dark thoughts begin to descend on me like a wave. What if something bad happens to someone and I don't know about it?! What if someone posts a cute pic of their kid and I don't like it and they get mad at me?! What if One Kings Lane has an amazing sale that day and I miss it?! Did I say dark thoughts? Well, more like off-white thoughts. I steel my nerves and don't pick up my phone. Deep breath, you can do this!

{ Maybe if I just lean a little further? }

12:16 pm: Meetings have carried me through the morning and I am feeling confident. I am amazing! I am the strongest human being on the planet! My lunch meeting has been pushed back a half an hour so I wander into a coffee shop and immediately regret my decision. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IS ON THEIR PHONE!!!! It was like taking an alcoholic to a bourbon distillery. I start sweating. My ears are getting hot. All these people know things I don't! They are laughing and showing each other funny posts about apps that turn celebrities into fat versions of themselves. They're so lucky.

Get it together Fitzgerald! That's what I call myself in my head when I need to buck up. Don't judge me. I calmly walk to the counter and stand in line. The guy in front of me is on Facebook. Maybe we have mutual friends in common? It is Richmond after all. I have no idea what's going on with anyone!!!! I step forward a bit so I can see over his shoulder. Kind of blurry?? Damn I'm getting old! I step closer....he quickly turns around and steps back realizing how close I was. I'm so sorry I was trying to get a closer look at the menu I say. He gives me a polite smile clearly thinking I was hitting on him. Classy Fitzgerald!

{ F This! }

2:22 pm: F THIS!!!! Screw my strength! Screw the blog! I can't take this anymore we might have invaded Canada and I have no idea!!! I reach down to pick up my phone but something stops me. Don't give up yet. Concentrate on what you've learned about yourself already today. What? That I'm a weak individual who is so chained to virtual information sharing sources that I am basically loosing my shit without them?! No, lets focus on other things....like the cherry blossoms. Look at the picture of the nice, calm cherry blossoms and meditate. Screw that I need chocolate!

{ Pretty please }

4:37 pm: I have a headache and I want wine! I feel disconnected. I feel poopy. I haven't been able to post anything either and my inner narcissist comes out thinking everyone will be wondering how my day was too. I'm really doing a disservice not posting anything. Maybe I can log on through a colleague's account? That won't count as cheating right??? Pretty please??!! I'm pathetic.

4:39 pm: I explain what I'm doing to my colleague who says she read a study where people who use social media the least have the best sex lives. For the next five minutes I seriously consider canceling all of my accounts.



5:32 pm: I cave....I can't do it. I spend the next hour combing through everything and all is finally right with the world. Oh, and we didn't invade Canada. I know you were wondering:).

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Friday, Love on Monday


Friday I had every intention of sitting down and writing a quick It's Friday, Love blurb, including some shots from the week and heading off to relax for the holiday weekend. As you can see from Friday's post that didn't happen. Honestly, I tanked Friday morning. Knowing that for many reasons I wouldn't be seeing some of the people I love was hard and it tends to hit me like a wave on important days (like holidays). I hope that one day this won't be the case, but only time will help. Despite all that I actually had a good weekend spending time with friends and getting stuff done around the house so all is well that ends well.

Shifting to today we enter what I like to call "The Gauntlet". These are perfect storms that I have two or three times a year where literally everything happens at once and if I don't plan ahead I run into a heck of a lot of trouble and things fall through the cracks. Hopefully my To-Do List above will get done and I can maneuver the next two weeks without my heel snapping or swarms of locusts appearing. At the end I will fling myself on the bed, take a deep breath and say....I'm done. At least until the next one appears on the horizon. 

Here are a few pics from last week from my Instagram addiction hope you enjoy. I'll be back on Wednesday with an all new series on the blog called Never Have I Ever. Stay Tuned!










Friday, April 18, 2014

I Don't Really Like Candy



If I was being a good little lifestyle blogger I would show you pictures of how to dye the perfect Easter eggs or make a smashingly good, yet shockingly simple Easter meal. But I don't really feel like being that blogger today. I don't even like candy. Well...I like cadbury eggs. But even those I can only have once a day or my sugar gets so high I get a headache. I've always been more of a potato girl actually so Easter was never my thing.

I did love waking up to a basket of goodies just for me and that the day, like other holidays, was special. It meant an excuse to wear a prettier than normal dress to church, there were beautiful flowers everywhere and we'd always go out for a nice meal afterwards. Nothing fancy, just special. I don't have that anymore and I miss it.

Some of it is just the normal cycle of life. I'm getting older and the magic is now reserved for a younger generation. I love how my nephew's eyes light up when he is so amazed at something his head might explode. That's how it should be. Many years from now it will not be so easy to suspend his disbelief once certain things he believes in and trusts turn out to disappoint him. Another normal fact of life that creeps into every facet whether we know it or not. That's how it should be as well. Life is not fair and doesn't always turn out the way we want. He will learn that as well.

I'm also sad because holidays used to feel like a celebration, but now they just seem to serve as a reminder of everyone who isn't here to celebrate with. I miss my grandmother. She loved Easter. She always made sure she had some candy for us as well and a card. She would come over before church and say how pretty me and my sister looked in our dresses and give us hugs. She'd sing along with the hymns and in her later years nod off during the sermon. She's been gone five years now.

I miss my Dad. We rarely spent holidays together but we would talk on the phone and catch up a bit. Just knowing he was on the other end was comforting I guess. One of the last things he ever said to me was that one of these years we should have a giant Christmas and get everyone together. He's been gone four and a half years.

This is the part where I become nice and accommodating and say I don't mean to complain or sound ungrateful for all of the wonderful people and things in my life. I am immensely grateful for the family that remains and the new one that your friends truly become as you get older. I am healthy (as long as hot mess doesn't mean I'm unhealthy), I have a good job and a home I love. But today I really want to stick my middle finger up and say F YOU! It's not fair and I miss all of the people I love who I won't be able to celebrate with this weekend!

I sat down to write a quick blurb about the week and tell you how much (not at all) I'm looking forward to cleaning and staining my deck this weekend but this is what came out. As always....I guess I needed to get it out. I'm not really good at keeping things in.

Contrary to everything above this weekend is actually going to be great. Fun with friends tonight and then working on the deck tomorrow. I'll probably screw it up and then have to pay someone to fix it but at least you'll be able to say I told you so on Monday. My mom has to work at the hospital on Sunday so we're doing mass and dinner Saturday night. Sunday I have a great basket for Miss Austen to open and then we'll see where the day takes me. I'll be ok.

It is alright to be sad sometimes. It is alright to remember even if it hurts. It is how we honor a memory.

I miss you....

Kelly xoxo (My grandmother always included those:))

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Picnic



This past weekend in Richmond was absolutely gorgeous! And between bike rides, beers on the deck and picnics by the river I got to spend all of it outside. I was a happy lady.....here are some pics from our Sunday afternoon adventures by the James I hope you enjoy them.


























Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm Team Gwyneth



I have a theory. I think the reason people (especially women) love to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty simple, she tells the truth. The problem is you don't want to hear the truth, do you? Because then you would really have to sit with the fact that the reason you don't like Gwyneth Paltrow is because you don't like your own life. We'll get to that a little later......

I should start out with a few disclaimers...

No, actually I won't.

This is what I think.

A couple weeks ago Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband musician Chris Martin announced they were separating. My parents divorced when I was 10, but I have never been married myself, so I can only imagine how hard the decision must be, especially when there are children involved. It is a time of great change and upheaval, emotional exhaustion and sadness. You are mourning the death of something.

But one day the sadness dissipates and when you least expect it happiness finds its way into your heart again. A new life begins. It is different from the one you had before, but in my case I think it was for the best. My parents didn't love each other anymore and they weren't happy. Children know exactly what's happening even if they can't verbalize it. Looking back, even as a child, I can pinpoint the "point of no return", when things changed and no amount of counseling, effort or compromise would have gotten them back on track. I was about 6 1/2 at that point but I knew. All experiences are relative though, so while I wasn't abused or neglected, these things did profoundly affect me. I had no idea what a loving relationship looked like and it was only years later that I understood how amazing the love and support of a partner could be.

So what the heck does this have to do with Gwyneth Paltrow? I don't really know anyone who hasn't been touched by divorce in some way. Their parents, themselves, good friends, etc. Divorce doesn't exist because you've failed or because you did something wrong. It exists because sometimes people just shouldn't be married anymore. News flash...that's ok! But that also doesn't mean it's not hard to go through. And I can't imagine how hard it is to go through when you know it's going to be plastered on magazine covers in every Wal-Mart from here to Timbuktu. And yet people (all of Twitter) feel they have the right to criticize her even from the release of the initial statement.

These are all things I've heard people actually say...

"Unconscious coupling???? What the hell is that? If I had that much money my divorce would have been amicable too! Rich people disgust me."

"Yea right they've never been closer. My husband and I never talked to each other about being happy why would we have talked about the fact that we were unhappy?"

"Hey I'm a movie star and I'm going through a rough time I need privacy. Then guess what you should have been a taxi driver. Deal with it!"

I obviously don't know Gwyneth Paltrow and the statement she released could be complete crap. But for arguments' sake let's give her the benefit of the doubt (don't worry just go with me I know your head is about to explode). Maybe they are trying to do this amicably, maybe they have been honest with each other about how they're feeling and have become closer and maybe, just maybe, they do need privacy because all of the money and fame in the world doesn't make it any easier.

So why do you hate her so much? Could it be because she told the truth? Maybe your marriage isn't any happier than hers was but you're not doing anything about it. Maybe you did everything you could to make the process drawn-out and difficult. Maybe you used your children as weapons (A thing that I have heard a few lament with such sadness in their eyes). Everyone makes mistakes and everyone does things their not proud of, but the level of anger I see people exhibit when it comes to her is disproportionate to what is in front of them. It leads me to believe it's not actually her they hate, but themselves. If you hate her it's easier to justify your own life being so bad.

I'm Team Gwyneth.

Let's move away from divorce to motherhood, another topic people love to hate Gwyneth for. An open letter from a blogger (who identified herself as a working mother, something I thought Gwyneth was too, but I guess actress really isn't a job right?) to Ms. Paltrow made the rounds on facebook about a week after the divorce statement. I saw working mothers/stay at home mothers/stay at home dads espouse it's virtues and applaud the writer's honesty.

This is what Gwyneth actually said.

"I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you're shooting a movie, they're like, "We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,' and then you work 14 hours a day, and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it's not like being on set."

This is what the writer opened up with in her letter.

"I really enjoyed your comments to E News about how easy an office job is for parents, compared to the grueling circumstances of being on a movie set."

Here's a couple things that flashed through my mind....

Would you be this mad if that same quote was said by a man?

Would you be as upset if the quote was from a stay at home mom who said your life was easier because someone else was taking care of your children while you worked?

Do you have any clue that that's not what she said and you're reading into her quote because it triggered a dissatisfaction you have with your own life?

Are you mad because she told you exactly what she thinks?

Are you mad because you are looking for a celebrity, who you've never met, to lift you up, validate your life and tell you it's all going to be ok?

Are you mad because Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't give a crap about what you think and lives her life to make herself happy and you wish you could be more like that?

I'm Team Gwyneth.

Last but not least, let's move to beauty and fashion. I used to buy a lot of magazines in my twenties. I would sit and flip through the pages, hoping like Charlemagne and his pillow, that wisdom and advice would magically transform my brain. I would loose weight, never buy the wrong blouse again and be happy instantly. The advice in these magazines is ludicrous at best. A perfect celebrity in a bikini would say "everything in moderation" or "I eat a cheeseburger when I want to and don't deprive myself". You think oh ok I can do that and look like them too!!! No honey...you can't. But you don't want to hear that do you? You need the lie.

Gwyneth is pretty honest about her diet and exercise regime. She seems to be very disciplined and works very hard. I tried to do one of her Tracy Anderson Method Workouts and I almost passed out after 10 minutes. And I could never exist on a 800 calorie a day diet. I would similarly...pass out. I'm a hungry girl. But I don't want to look like her. I want to look like the healthiest, best version of myself. I don't buy a lot of magazine anymore:).

Again though, that's not what you want to hear is it? You want to hear that with minimal effort and 30 minutes of walking a day somehow it's possible. That gets you through the day. That gives you hope that one day you'll be happier like "they" are. You also tell yourself that since eating that cheeseburger and walking 30 min a day isn't transforming you into Gwyneth, the only way she does it is with a personal trainer and a private chef. Really? So she can't cancel on her personal trainer? She can't eat everything her personal chef has prepared and then turn around and tell her personal assistant and/or nanny to go get her a large pizza and subsequently devour said delivery?

Money can't fix things and it can't make you happy. Tearing down another person (something that I'm sure you would yell from the heavens that you'd never do) won't make you happy. No one can make you happy except you. This is something Gwyneth Paltrow, in my humble opinion, embodies wholly. And yet we tear her down for it?

I'm Team Gwyneth.

Now lets get real heavy cause what the heck why not? There are mothers and fathers in this country who work multiple jobs just to put food on the table for their family. The pictures you post on Facebook of your Disneyworld vacations with your children are things they can only dream of. And when they hear you while you're getting out of your Mercedes in the Target parking lot say that you are so annoyed that you have to cancel pilates AGAIN because your manicure ran over and your husband can't pick up the kids........do you know who you sound like to them...Gwyneth Paltrow. It's all relative.

There is no utopia that exists where somehow we're not going to judge other people and we're all going to sing songs around the campfire together. But maybe before we reach for those emotions we can look inside and ask first if it's ourselves we're not happy with before we criticize others.

I am guilty of it too. Just because I wrote this doesn't mean I'll never do it again. But maybe I can try and be better. And hopefully next time I will.

I'm Team Gwyneth.







Friday, April 4, 2014

It's Friday, Love


{ So excited about how my kitchen turned out! }

I am officially sick of painting! So be on notice....oh friends of mine....if you need help painting in the near future I will flat out tell you no, but I'll have a beer and keep you company while you do. Love you! The kitchen turned out great so now I just need a few more key pieces for the living room and operation spruce up the house will be complete!

This week was the first time I've spent 5 consecutive days in my own bed for a while which was fabulous. Miss Austen was starting to forget who I was. In my head I affectionately think she refers to me as the lady who drinks a lot of wine and feeds me. Having people over to my place Saturday so should be fun and lots of packing to do for next week's trips. Have a great weekend!

{ Everyone thinks they have all the time in the world......they don't. Lots of passings recently. If you don't take charge of your life you will get to the end and all you'll be able to say is...well, at least I made other people happy }

{ Sushi should be eaten in mass quantities and always with beer }

{ Miss Austen has a hard life.....pity her }

{ Busy week at work and looking forward to another busy exciting one next week! }

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Metzger



I'll admit it, I'm getting a little spoiled. See when I want an amazing meal with fresh, local ingredients prepared by ridiculously creative chefs I just have to walk a few blocks. Don't hate the player, hate the game:). Church Hill has become such a haven for so many wonderful new restaurants in Richmond that we are no longer surprised when we hear about a new one planting roots. In our neighborhood you will find a warm welcome and willing foodies lined up around the block to sample your delicious wares so keep it coming!

When we heard that Metzger Bar and Butchery was doing a pop-up dinner at The Roosevelt, while construction and planning are under way in what will be their permanent location, we jumped at the chance. The menu was gorgeous and the drink pairing was a nice treat that made the meal feel very special. My favorite was the pork loin (OH MY GOD!) and the chocolate doppelbock cake which I would marry if I could. Be sure to follow Metzger's Facebook page here for updates. Welcome to the neighborhood! I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.















 

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