Monthly Archives: November 2012

Iowa or Bust

That I love him more and more every day and still feel a million butterflies every morning, more about this site every day and every night.

I am thankful for Lily, story Benjamin and Cohen and their magnificent wonder. I am thankful for my past because it led me here. I am thankful for Seth’s family because while mine is scattered from sea to shining sea, they are here and have opened their hearts to Benjamin and I as they are so thankful he found us. Suddenly I have another sister, a mother and a father. Benjamin has aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and we were all meant to be together and everyone just “knows”. You can’t measure it. You can’t see it. But, it’s there. Nothing has ever felt so natural.

I am thankful to be here. In this part of the world and the nation. Sweet, sweet Ohio–with all of her diverse opinions, a melting pot of American culture–where East meets the West, perhaps? We may have our differences but we keep them in check always, as they pale in comparison to what really matters. We are so lucky to be here.

I am thankful for my business, as it continues to grow. 2013 will be a huge year for Cement and this, I am reminded always, is really just the beginning. Three years in the life of a business, or any life, is nothing. I am thankful for Seth allowing me to chase my dream and build my business while he takes one for the team and stays home. Our story, my story, is one that would have been extremely rare, if not impossible just forty years ago. How lucky we are to also be born in this time.

And I’m thankful for you. You’re all still here. And it humbles me so much, inspires me and drives me to keep writing – to keep sharing, because I know our story is not that far from yours. And that many of you have already evolved into the world of a blended family and the rest aren’t too far behind.

I am thankful you have all had the strength to do what’s best for you and your children. Even if the road has been more challenging than you could imagine.

xoxo,

Alaina
Seth and I drove to Iowa City this week to celebrate with my little brother who just earned his PhD (in biophysics).

He was pretty excited.

He and his team’s research over the past several years has literally changed the way clinicians test for genetic hearing loss. Pretty incredible and hard to believe he was running around in diapers (last I checked). Read More…

Thankful.

That I love him more and more every day and still feel a million butterflies every morning, ailment every day and every night.

I am thankful for Lily, check Benjamin and Cohen and their magnificent wonder. I am thankful for my past because it led me here. I am thankful for Seth’s family because while mine is scattered from sea to shining sea, they are here and have opened their hearts to Benjamin and I as they are so thankful he found us. Suddenly I have another sister, a mother and a father. Benjamin has aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and we were all meant to be together and everyone just “knows”. You can’t measure it. You can’t see it. But, it’s there. Nothing has ever felt so natural.

I am thankful to be here. In this part of the world and the nation. Sweet, sweet Ohio–with all of her diverse opinions, a melting pot of American culture–where East meets the West, perhaps? We may have our differences but we keep them in check always, as they pale in comparison to what really matters. We are so lucky to be here. Read More…

Hunting aliens

The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, malady unhealthy we don’t see the sun until April or May. On Sunday we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, information pills which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played Read More…

Clutch winner and another one (just for you).

The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, medical nurse we don’t see the sun until April or May. On Sunday we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, medical pills which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if you’re a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’s damn near a palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, Ohio 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
I miss the days when it was just Benjamin and I.

It had just gotten so easy. Just the two of us, sales  with no one to answer to… I could spoil him to the ends of the Earth (without even realizing I was). He could get all of my attention, ed all of the time. Now, about it we are a family of five and everything is exposed. My weaknesses as a parent. Benjamin’s behavior issues. All of it is on the table for Seth, Lily and Cohen to see. And somehow, we have to merge our world with theirs.

But we are. Day by day. Week by week. Talk after talk between two concerned parents, madly in love with each other and unable to put a magic Band-Aid on anything. The adjusting continues and I wonder, both of us wonder, how long it will take before everyone just kind of settles in. It has been over one year, but in some ways everything still feels so new.

We are struggling with Benjamin. Read More…

Learning to skate.

The weather in central Ohio was incredible this weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, click page we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Then, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played Alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if I were a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’d be a damn palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys, sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. It was a good day.
The weather in central Ohio was incredible this weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, ask we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, more about which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Then, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played Alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if I were a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’d be a damn palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys, sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. It was a good day.
The weather in central Ohio was incredible this weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, price we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, this which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Then, salve while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played Alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if I were a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’d be a damn palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys, sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. It was a good day.
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, story we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, viagra 40mg which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, check while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if I were a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’d be a damn palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, US 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, tadalafil we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, buy more about which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if I were a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’d be a damn palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, US 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, this we don’t see the sun until April or May. Today we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, ailment which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, no rx while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if you’re a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’s damn near a palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, US 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, price we don’t see the sun until April or May. On Sunday we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if you’re a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’s damn near a palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, US 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, medicine we don’t see the sun until April or May. On Sunday we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if you’re a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’s damn near a palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, US 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
The weather in central Ohio was incredible last weekend. Sunny and 70 degrees. Usually, dosage we don’t see the sun until April or May. On Sunday we took the kids roller skating. All the way up in Sunbury, viagra which is about 30 minutes away (the one near us is a little sketchy). Afterwards, viagra 100mg while Alaina and Benjamin ran to the store, Lily, Cohen, and I played alien hunters in the ravine. We fixed up a stick-fort and put a roof on it. It’s a pretty amazing base. I mean, if you’re a hobo and/or an alien hunter, it’s damn near a palace.

Right about the time Lily picked off the last nasty bugger from the trees with one of the Nerf guns and Cohen laid an imaginary bomb on the alien space ship, Nathanael rode up. Then Alaina and Benjamin got home. I grabbed a flannel shirt, my vest, and my helmet, and Nathanael and I tore off– south on US 33 toward the Hocking Hills. Pick pretty much any 3-digit state route in the Hocking Hills region and it’s motorcycle road heaven. We picked US 33 to Ohio 374, Ohio 180, Ohio 56, and US 23 Back up to Columbus.

There were no leaves left, so the pale, fall, Ohio sun was peeking through the naked trees like a shy little monster. Up the hills, down the valleys. Sweeping curves, sharp corners. Look, lean, roll on the throttle. Nothing but the roar of the pipes and the howling wind for 150 miles. I may or may not have imagined I was flying a speeder bike through an alien forest. :)

Alien hunters, 1; Aliens, 0. It was a good day.

-Seth
I miss the days when it was just Benjamin and I.

It had just gotten so easy. Just the two of us, treatment  with no one to answer to… I could spoil him to the ends of the Earth (without even realizing I was). He could get all of my attention, all of the time. Now, we are a family of five and everything is exposed. My weaknesses as a parent. Benjamin’s behavior issues. All of it is on the table for Seth, Lily and Cohen to see. And somehow, we have to merge our world with theirs.

But we are. Day by day. Week by week. Talk after talk between two concerned parents, madly in love with each other and unable to put a magic Band-Aid on anything. The adjusting continues and I wonder, both of us wonder, how long it will take before everyone just kind of settles in. It has been over one year, but in some ways everything still feels so new.

We are struggling with Benjamin. Read More…

Life just is

I was apprehensive, page to be sure, prostate about BlogHer 2012.

Spending three days with thousands of women in New York City didn’t sound appealing. Before you take offense, viagra buy let me explain…

NYC overwhelms me. My long-time readers know this.

It’s just impossible to find a space that isn’t already occupied. There are people everywhere. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. A lot. I do. But being a country girl at heart, my crowd time must be immediately remedied by some peace and quiet time. Or, I at least need to find a spot to just duck out for a minute. In New York City even the sidewalks are crowded. You have understand that here in Columbus, we rarely encounter crowds. We all those festivals or gallery hops or long lines.

The other thing is the air quality. I feel it immediately when I get out of the airport. Thick, merciless, unrelenting and entirely different then the fresh air we take for granted in Ohio. And trees. I need them. Call me an uncultured asshole, but NYC just isn’t my bag of chips. With that said, I think New Yorkers rock and I have profound respect for them.

And as for the thousands of women under one roof, for one purpose–it sounded like a giant slumber party, which I have never enjoyed. I blame that on witnessing too many slumber party hazings in middle school. The first girl to pass out would be immediately adorned with peanut butter between her toes and feathers and chocolate syrup in her hair. I know. Totally f’ed.

But when compared with my reality every day–three kids, a giant dog (who won’t stop licking himself) and a thriving yet always demanding business–NYC and BlogHer sounded downright awesome. And, to my pleasant surprise, they both came through.

Before I left, Seth said, “relax, take it easy and have fun–you deserve it.”

With that kind of zero-guilt blessing from my husband, I set on my vacation auto-responder and hopped on a plane. A few hours later I was in a cab on my way to Greenpoint in Brooklyn to my sister’s apartment.

We started with a manicure and pedicure.

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It was Anna’s first time. The first time her toes had been scrubbed and then painted and polished. And, no surprise here, she loved it.

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How she made it into her 30s is just one of those unexplainable things about Anna. With her toes looking better then they ever had before we grabbed lunch. At a taco truck, of course. Being a gluten-free girl, taco trucks and their corn tortillas are saviors when traveling.

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Another picture

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And then Anna escorted her helpless big sister into the subway sauna.

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I could feel my pores exploding in the thick, soupy air and made a mental note to keep my make up foundation off until after my next ride.

We exited at 23rd and 5th Ave and headed up to the Hilton in Midtown.

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I heard from both Anna and Jess, my right hand woman at Cement Marketing and also a New Yorker, that this is their least favorite part of town. Anna walked me all the way into the Hilton, just to make sure I got there (sweet sister) and then she left me alone with 4,000 mom bloggers.

Over the course of the next few days I met the most amazing women. These are the ones who caught my attention.

Melysa of Sex, Lies and Bacon. She was excited to meet me, which I thought was hilarious.

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Then Megan, a fellow entrepreneur mom, who created the Hatched It! app for working parents who desperately need synced kid’s calendars. Custom to our needs it beats a Google calendar and you can even create custom calendars to share with ex co-parents! Brilliant.

And I loved her. I love any woman who starts her own thing for the sake of spending more time with her children, for the sake of escaping the ridiculous and outdated nine to five.

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At the keynote lunch the next day I met Kelly, daughter of Shelly (@StillBlondeAfterAllTheseYears). The photos on some of these are grainy because I turned the iPhone into a little mirror to take them.

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Kelly shared the story of her blended family with me. She was six when her mother (Still Blonde After All These Years) met her step-father. She went on and on about how rewarding it was, and still is, to have their relationship to emulate. And to grow up in a house filled with so much love. As for her two step-brothers. She feels like they are her bio brothers. “There are no labels at all anymore,” she said. I wished I would have been recording the conversation.

At the same table I met Leslie, a blogging connection of Jess’. I immediately fell in love with her raw open attitude and her sense of humor. She is an artist, a mom a wife, and a blogger and this post she wrote was featured on Apartment Therapy.com.

She’s kind of awesome. We ended up spending a lot of time together, and even played hookie to go shopping. This is Leslie trying to sneak pictures of two Cirque du Soleil performers taking a smoke break with their full face paint on.

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She and Jess got along like two peas on a pod.

Also, I got to spend a few hours with Kristin from Vancouver.

Remember, Kristin? Benjamin and I went to see her in Vancouver ages ago. During that trip she met her now husband. Like me, she got a lot of hate from readers for finding love so quickly. Then she bailed on publishing her writing. A loss to the blogging community.

Anna and I snuck out for some more shopping, eating and site seeing. This time to Chelsea Market.

And then the High Line.

Anna wanted to show me how awesome this place was. It used to be a subway line and instead of just letting it go, they gave New Yorkers a place to climb up above the traffic.

You can take your shoes off and get your feet wet, and look at the gardens.

And sit and watch traffic.

This part mystified me. I’m not going to lie.

I did go to a few panels at BlogHer.

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And then I met Ree (Pioneer Woman).

She remembered me from years ago when we had lunch at SXSW in Austin.  It was totally random. I spotted her and walked up all excited and then she invited me to sit down and join she and her sister while we waited to hear if she won a huge blog award (which she totally did). We killed the time talking about blogging, men, Texas and Oklahoma. At the time I was dating Mr. Man (remember, that one?). Well, I was happy to update Ree on my recent back yard wedding to the man of my dreams and, being the romantic she is, she was thrilled.

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And in case you ever had any doubt, she is as sweet and as wonderful as she looks. The moment above was sponsored by Land O Lakes butter. I waited in a line to spend two seconds with her. Afterwards, I left the Hilton again to join the real New Yorkers.

Anna and Ryan and I met for dinner. Aren’t they beautiful?

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The next morning we hit the Brooklyn Flea Market.

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The prices were par for the NYC course, but without a thrift store anywhere in site I made do.

I have become hooked on thrift shopping and, with three children to clothe instead of one, it’s now a necessity. I’ll write more posts soon just on thrifting tips, ok? But for now, back to NYC.

As you can see this flea market was a treasure trove of goodies.

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Afterwards we took a break in a Hipster bar in Wilmington (I think). By this point it was all a blur of people in an endless concrete jungle.

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Two hours later my trip ended in La Guardia. US Airways grounded our flight for a while due to the impending storm.

Can’t blame them there. Totally understandable. Only that the grounding (due to weather) came after a two hour delay (due to air traffic control). When we finally got on the plane that’s when poor Jess lost her shit.

She’s the most incredibly patient person, able to handle any assignment I give her without flinching. But the plane, the delays, and then finding out we would have to sit on the plane waiting for the storm to pass… that pushed her over the edge.

I remained relatively calm until we landed in Philadelphia. We dashed off the plane, desperate to make our connection and then instead of apologizing as we watched the gate door shut, the US Airways employee said, “We gave your seats away to other passengers, anyway.”

That’s when my head exploded in anger. We were all just so frustrated. A simple apology or a smile. Anything. But no, instead a cold shoulder and a shrug. Sorry about your luck even though you spent a small fortune on your tickets.

Instead of waiting for the next outbound flight (the next evening), and it was already 11:00PM, we all shared a hotel room in Philadelphia and booked a flight with Southwest the next morning. Oh, and the hotel room, the Marriott in Philadelphia airport, refused to offer AAA discounts and jacked up their room rate by $100 to take advantage of all of the stranded passengers.

Unbelievable.

By the time we returned to Columbus, I had to restrain myself from dropping down and kissing the ground. Instead I waited until I got home and kissed my husband and the kids. Kissed them all up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I was apprehensive, cheap to be sure, rx about BlogHer 2012.

Spending three days with thousands of women in New York City didn’t sound appealing. Before you take offense, let me explain…

NYC overwhelms me. My long-time readers know this.

It’s just impossible to find a space that isn’t already occupied. There are people everywhere. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. A lot. I do. But being a country girl at heart, my crowd time must be immediately remedied by some peace and quiet time. Or, I at least need to find a spot to just duck out for a minute. In New York City even the sidewalks are crowded. You have understand that here in Columbus, we rarely encounter crowds. We all those festivals or gallery hops or long lines.

The other thing is the air quality. I feel it immediately when I get out of the airport. Thick, merciless, unrelenting and entirely different then the fresh air we take for granted in Ohio. And trees. I need them. Call me an uncultured asshole, but NYC just isn’t my bag of chips. With that said, I think New Yorkers rock and I have profound respect for them.

And as for the thousands of women under one roof, for one purpose–it sounded like a giant slumber party, which I have never enjoyed. I blame that on witnessing too many slumber party hazings in middle school. The first girl to pass out would be immediately adorned with peanut butter between her toes and feathers and chocolate syrup in her hair. I know. Totally f’ed.

But when compared with my reality every day–three kids, a giant dog (who won’t stop licking himself) and a thriving yet always demanding business–NYC and BlogHer sounded downright awesome. And, to my pleasant surprise, they both came through.

Before I left, Seth said, “relax, take it easy and have fun–you deserve it.”

With that kind of zero-guilt blessing from my husband, I set on my vacation auto-responder and hopped on a plane. A few hours later I was in a cab on my way to Greenpoint in Brooklyn to my sister’s apartment.

We started with a manicure and pedicure.

20120805-075744.jpg

It was Anna’s first time. The first time her toes had been scrubbed and then painted and polished. And, no surprise here, she loved it.

20120805-081539.jpg

How she made it into her 30s is just one of those unexplainable things about Anna. With her toes looking better then they ever had before we grabbed lunch. Read More…

Go Vote.

An update on Etsy and the new leaf necklaces…

I was so close. The pictures are finished. And as you can see, mind

the new new leaf necklace has graduated to completely gorgeous, viagra approved an amplified version of the first, cure this new leaf necklace is everything I ever dreamed it could be.

I have been wearing mine non-stop.

I just spent 45 minutes on my first Etsy listing and then, having forgot my password, all was lost. So, I’m giving up for tonight. It’s Sunday. I need to relax, do a little meditation (have you tried? you should) and then watch some X-files on Hulu with Seth.

Because I am guilt-ridden for missing my self-imposed and unrealistic deadline, I am offering up this beautiful Italian salmon suede clutch (found thrifting) as a consolation prize to one of you.

Can you even believe someone gave this away?

Taker it out on date night or girls’ night, tucked under your arm. Do me a favor and don’t try to match it with a thing. This is a beautiful salmon, not bright at all–it should go with just about any color in the warm, Fall family.

She’s almost too perfect to give away. Sigh. But alas, I must. Because I love you so, my beautiful readers. You have my heart still, after all of these years.

Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered.

Also, if you live in Columbus – say so in the comments. I will be picking a few of you to join my friends and I on a thrifting tour of Columbus thrift stores. I’ll be sharing all of my thrifting tips on Saturday, November 17th and I want to bring some of you along. I’ll choose you randomly (same with the clutch winner). Good luck. 

Deadline is next Sunday night at 7:00 PM EST. When, by the way, we will know who our next President will be. Please vote, regardless of where you stand.

xoxo,

Alaina
Based on my halloween costume this year, viagra you can probably guess who we’re supporting this election.

binders full of women

And you might even disagree. But that’s ok! Because what we Read More…

Salmon Suede Clutch + New Leaf Update #2

Last year I rode to Chicago on labor day weekend. Didn’t check the weather (should have). Just grabbed some gear and went (Lily and Cohen were with their mom). As it turns out, click I should’ve grabbed my rain suit because there was a pretty nasty storm barreling through Indiana and I got stuck at a run-down diner for 5 hours. This place even had a pie display case. I talked to the truckers and the waitress, stuff and watched the lightning dance across the sky.

At closing time, I put my soggy jacket back on and rode 15 miles to the nearest town. Pulled in to the only hotel and its completely full parking lot around midnight. Evidently, there’s a huge blueberry festival/hot air balloon convention every Labor Day weekend in that part of Indiana that brings in 100,000 people. The balloonists were all at this hotel, and they informed me it was full. And so was every other hotel for 60 miles. Great. Tired, soggy, and cold, I was about to just sleep next to my bike. One of the front desk clerks came out and announced to the crowd of 50 hot air balloon pilots (who were all fairly drunk) and me that they had a cancellation. “I’ll take it!” I yelled before she was even done talking. Found out 30 seconds later that it was a king, smoking, suite. And it smelled pretty bad, despite the dryer sheets taped to the fan in the room. Oh well.

I made it to Chicago the next morning. The previous day could have ruined the whole trip. Cold, wet, tired, in the middle of nowhere rather than with my sister, Sarah, her boyfriend, Mike, and my brother, Adam & his girlfriend, Crystine (who were in Chicago for the weekend). Sometimes, good stories are no fun to live through. And the bad weather made me appreciate the lovely day in Chicago even more.

Seth, Sarah, Mike, Crystine, and Adam sitting on a bench in Wicker PArk

Life just is. We try to control so many things, but really only have control over ourselves. And even then, not always. Things come together, then they fall apart. Then they come together again.
UPDATE: The necklaces are all up for sale now in the Beauty and the Biker Etsy Shop.

An update on Etsy and the new leaf necklaces…

I was so close. The pictures are finished. And as you can see, for sale

the new new leaf necklace has graduated to completely gorgeous, adiposity an amplified version of the first, this new leaf necklace is everything I ever dreamed it could be.

I have been wearing mine non-stop.

I just spent 45 minutes on my first Etsy listing and then, having forgot my password, all was lost. So, I’m giving up for tonight. It’s Sunday. I need to relax, do a little meditation (have you tried? you should) and then watch some X-files on Hulu with Seth.

Because I am guilt-ridden for missing my self-imposed and unrealistic deadline, I am offering up this beautiful Italian salmon suede clutch (found thrifting) as a consolation prize to one of you.

Can you even believe someone gave this away?

Taker it out on date night or girls’ night, tucked under your arm. Do me a favor and don’t try to match it with a thing. This is a beautiful salmon, not bright at all–it should go with just about any color in the warm, Fall family.

She’s almost too perfect to give away. Sigh. But alas, I must. Because I love you so, my beautiful readers. You have my heart still, after all of these years.

Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered.

Also, if you live in Columbus – say so in the comments. I will be picking a few of you to join my friends and I on a thrifting tour of Columbus thrift stores. I’ll be sharing all of my thrifting tips on Saturday, November 17th and I want to bring some of you along. I’ll choose you randomly (same with the clutch winner). Good luck. 

Deadline is next Sunday night at 7:00 PM EST. When, by the way, we will know who our next President will be. Please vote, regardless of where you stand.

xoxo,

Alaina

UPDATE: The necklaces are all up for sale now in the Beauty and the Biker Etsy Shop.

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