Monday, April 30, 2012



I just submitted my resignation. Just now, via e-mail. Because the Internets told me it's okay to do that, plus M was encouraging me to "hit send! Do it!" I have a new job, which means I can't exactly keep my old job. I feel like throwing up.

My excitement about the new position is tempered with a rather large dose of anxiety. While I look forward to my new role, I don't really know everything about it. It's true that no one ever does, but there's that old saying about the devil you know versus the devil you don't. Which is an ironic statement given that I am going to work at a religious organization.

Also, I really do like my two dotted-line bosses at my current job, making it a little difficult to leave them. The French one in particular. He and I hit it off from the beginning, and it was thanks to him that I was spared in a round of layoffs awhile back. He created my position, and has always treated me with respect and good humor. Which is more than I can say for my solid-line boss, for whom I am a fly in his good-old-boy-network ointment. I have some suggestions on what he can do with his network. Or rather, where he can shove it. I did not include those in my resignation letter. I'm a writer, after all, and those sorts of crass directions are beneath me.

I am a bundle of nerves tonight, and will probably find it hard to sleep. I dread the rounds of phone calls I know are in store tomorrow, and over the next few days.

I embrace change. I really do. I think it's necessary for personal and professional growth. I think that change is much better than being stuck in neutral. And thank God all my current change is good.

I just wish that maybe there wasn't quite so much change going on in my life right now. A few days of peace and calm never hurt anyone, you know?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The beginning and the end

We started our return home with a gorgeous sunrise in Kentucky, and ended the trip by seeing our arch shrouded in fog.

cardinal fan


She was in the Starting Lineup promo today, which meant she got to run out to home plate and wait for Yadier Molina to be announced. He jogged over to her, bent down, and tried to initiate a conversation while signing a baseball for her. I say tried because she told us later that she was essentially too excited to say anything. "He asked me how I was doing, but I didn't say anything. I just smiled at him." And then she beamed at us as I'm sure she beamed at Yadi.

She got her Kids Crew Club backpack and goodies, a hotdog with ketchup, and the opportunity to run the bases after the game.

It was definitely a Zoe Day, and it was awesome. She was the youngest kid out there, and was so excited when her name was announced over the PA (along with her age) and displayed on the jumbotron. How freakin' cool.

She has decided that Molina is her most favorite player, which makes her mother very happy as she's been a Molina fan for years. Yeah, mang. He rocks.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Details of today

It was a fine, fine day.

drive-by tree


Shot at 74 mph out the window on the way to dinner tonight.

Friday, April 27, 2012

24 hours of lemons


Lots of jokes tonight about yellow. And lemons. You just gotta be here, though. I'm positive that what we find wildly hilarious isn't even close to mildly amusing to anyone else.

Thursday, April 26, 2012



Wednesday, April 25, 2012



Getting the hell out of dodge for the weekend. Heading to Bowling Green for the NCM Bash. Fun is much needed, along with healthy doses of wit, laughter, and a shared obsessive love for a car that borders on obscene.

Should hear good news tomorrow that will solve a multitude of issues. Stay tuned!

Today's shot was snapped out the car window, going approximately 70 mph. No, I'm not driving. No filters or other funny stuff on this one. The clouds and sunset speak for themselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012



I didn't sleep well last night, due to some disturbing events that happened after a long work day that I'm still processing. Woke up exhausted and still upset.

It wasn't until I received a late morning call that the city approved our house plans that I started to see The Good again. Sometimes it just takes a different window to look through.

Big day for me tomorrow. It's go-time. Fingers crossed, good juju, best wishes, prayers, good luck...I need all that and more.

Monday, April 23, 2012



This morning. Before the day kicked my butt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012



Saturday, April 21, 2012

transporting festive


It's nearly impossible to drive with a car full of balloons, but you sure look festive.

M hit his jetlag wall this afternoon. Poor boy. I suspect he'll be up half the night now, having napped from about 4 until 8.

Shot with the "real" camera today, starting at Zoe's first softball game of the season. Felt good to have the gear in my hands again, and it all came back. I worried about shooting again since I struggled between the work Canon and my personal Nikon over and just after the holidays. Having not touched either in about three months now, my brain has apparently reverted back to the subconscious Nikon training. Thank goodness. Because I WILL eventually own a D800.

Friday, April 20, 2012

weary traveler


He's home! Exhausted, but home. Which makes his girls very, very happy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012



It was so lovely today that Bug and I ate our dinner on the patio of our summer cottage. Which gave me plenty of time to look around and see what a mess it was from winter. After doing the dishes we grabbed brooms and set to work.

There's still a lot to be done, but the bulk of it is clear and swept clean. It looks lovely back there. We played Uno and talked, and it was really a great night.

This little hatch (and its companion weed) is on the fireplace stack right next to the patio. I just like how it looks.

M home tomorrow! Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photo teamwork, photo love

M sends us regular shots while traveling internationally, which we love. Every morning I wake up and the first thing I do is grab my phone because I know I'll have at least four or five images waiting to be downloaded. We get lots of meal shots, street shots, and assorted other views. Many time he accompanies them with funny quips or interesting info.

Every once in awhile, though, he'll send me something that makes me gasp.

This was it today. It needed a bit of work, so I saved it to my phone and Instagrammed it (cropping, filter application, and exposure adjustment for this one). And I really love how it turned out. He did the hard part...he got the bare bones of a really great shot. I just stuck some lipstick on it.

From the solitary figure in the street to the crosswalk lines at the bottom to the three lanterns in the upper left...even the little pops of color scattered throughout. Awesome job, M!

Shot by Husband with Blackberry in Tokyo Thursday morning. Edited by Wife with iPhone in St. Louis Wednesday night.

I love technology!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More fun from today

Zozer made a self portrait in the morning, on the way to school.

Tonight, I set out on a mission to find our 100 Years of Chevrolet book. We are heading to Bowling Green, KY next weekend for an event at the National Corvette Museum. M learned that the book's authors will be there, and are willing to sign them. "Let's take ours!" he said. "Sounds great," said I, "If I knew in what box it's packed!"

So, having nothing better to do tonight (note sarcasm), I embarked on a quest to find the book. I have been wanting to go throughout the book boxes anyway and do another purge, as my Kindle and my newfound fling with the library means I can break my security-blanket like grasp on owning every book I've ever read. Simplify, simplify, simplify. (Don't worry...I kept the classics, including Salinger, Tolstoy, Bradbury, Vonnegut. And Nimoy, of course, for M.)

Almost three hours later, I finished. When I say that the Chevrolet book was in the last box I searched, I don't mean that I stopped going through boxes when I found it. I mean it was the last f*cking book box available to slice open with my trusty boxcutter. Figures, don't it?

Ah, well, the book is located, along with a couple others I've been wanting anyway. And the Zoemobile's trunk is loaded down with seven boxes of books to be donated tomorrow.

All in all, a good night's work. Time to kick back, pop a couple Advil for an already-aching back (book boxes are freakin' heavy!), and read. (Biography of Steve Jobs, checked out from the library, of course!)



Monday, April 16, 2012



Dropped off The Bug's birdhouse at M's work this morning. I forget how corporate his building looks. I currently work in a low-slung, rather drab, single-story office park. My last job was in a spa, which isn't corporate at all. Come to think of it, I haven't worked in a glass tower corporate building since my post-undergrad internships downtown. Huh.

Anyway, this afternoon M and I FaceTimed while I was at work and he was hanging out in a Singapore airport frequent flyer lounge. I instructed him to call all his buddies at work and tell them to vote for Zoe's birdhouse Wednesday. He said, "Don't you want her to win on her own merits?" "Nope," I said. "I just want her to win!" I could hear his colleague snickering off camera, and M cracked up.

It wasn't hard to make him laugh today. The combination of caffeinated coffee and sleep deprivation made him pretty slap happy, which was fun to watch roll out on FaceTime.

He's flying to Tokyo tonight, which is tomorrow morning for him.

Sunday, April 15, 2012



M's company, because it is awesome, made little wooden birdhouses available for employees to take home for their children to decorate. The birdhouses will be displayed in the employee cafeteria as part of the corporate celebration of Earth Day, and staffers get to vote for a winner. Since the deadline to turn in the decorated birdhouses is tomorrow, and Zoe's father is in Singapore making it rather difficult for him to take the birdhouse into the office and still make his meetings, I'll run it into his work tomorrow so she doesn't miss the opportunity to participate.

She designed the color scheme and painted it herself, and she did such a great job.

I remember the coloring contests a local grocery store used to sponsor. You could get a giant poster, color it in, and return it to the store to be displayed with all the other entries. The store manager would select a winner, and that one was hung somewhere prominent with a big badge declaring it as The Most Awesome Poster Ever.

The winners were invariably completed by the child's parents. The colors were great, and everything stayed in the lines, and usually there was a fair amount of glitter, every speck of which was strategically placed. They were awesome to behold, until you read the entry form at the bottom that said it was proudly done by Skippy, Age 7. WTF.

It used to make me so mad because I didn't have glitter and could therefore never compete. Now it makes me mad because I wouldn't have been competing against Skippy anyway. I would have been competing against Skippy's 32-year-old anal-retentive mother. Not cool, Grocery Store Manager. Not cool to encourage that kind of behavior by consistently awarding those posters finished by SAHMs who had nothing better to do.

So I allowed Zoe to paint her birdhouse with little interference from her thirty-something AR mother, because it's HER project and she deserves to have that experience. The sides aren't perfectly clean and there are some drips here and there, but it's the most beautiful birdhouse in the world to me. She is so proud of it, and she should be. It looks exactly like it was painted by a six-year-old who did a damn fine job.

I'm kind of glad she won't see the other entries at M's work. I don't know if his colleagues are as gullible as the store manager from my youth, but I can only hope they award best birdhouse with age-appropriate decorations in mind. It's not about whether she wins or loses, it's about the fight being fair to begin with.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

rain on rose


Friday, April 13, 2012



Zozo's preschool pal Niya is a munchkin in a local community theater production of The Wizard of Oz, so we went tonight. We love the story anyway, but these kids did such a phenomenal job. Dorothy and the Tin Man sang so beautifully that they brought tears to my eyes. And the Wicked Witch! Her laugh was positively diabolical!

We had a great evening, running into "old" friends from preschool and "new" friends from kindergarten. It makes me marvel at how much richer my life has become simply because I have a child. Not only do I have her to fill my days with laughter and my heart with love, but her experiences through school have given me such a rich patchwork of friends that I think I must be about the luckiest girl in the world. How blessed I am to be surrounded by so many truly wonderful people who care about my daughter and indeed my whole family. These people...these friends...they're like a gift from the Wizard.

(Niya is second from the right, with the blue skirt. Adorable munchkin!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

paper pusher


I am the princess of paper. The queen of contracts. The doyenne of deeds.

I have telephoned, emailed, and hounded in person. I have searched nearly every packed box in my summer cottage for paperwork, and researched dozens of websites. I have dropped off, picked up, questioned, and answered.

Tomorrow morning I meet with my builder to review and sign the final contract. Then I meet with my banker at 3 to turn over final copies of that last required document.

Seriously. I'm about ready to go over to the broken house and start swinging a sledgehammer myself, just to have some movement that's more than just pushing paper.

Today I met with my architect, who kindly took time to review the AIA contract with me and answer questions. I was reminded once again how lucky we are to have retained him over the hundreds of other architects in St. Louis. In the process of explaining something he showed me the binder for another house nearing completion in a small community nearby. The binder was one inch thick. Later, as I used his copier, I glanced over to an associate's desk and saw our binder, neatly labeled and already filling with documents. It's three inches thick. We got another good laugh at just how detail-oriented M and I have been.

My fervent hope is that all that detailing will pay off in the end, with no change orders and no cost overruns. Because really, in all this, if I've missed something major I'm gonna be pissed as hell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Shhhh. An American president and a Danish queen are sleeping together under a pillow.

It's only a matter of time before the paparazzi get here.



She finally lost her first tooth today. Came out during snack time at After Care, which I found out when I arrived to pick her up.

"Holy cow, Zo! That's awesome! Where is it?"

"In my tummy!"

She was eating something crunchy and thought the tooth was just a really really crunchy piece.

"It's okay Mommy. You know why? The Tooth Fairy brings you a GOLDEN coin when you swallow your tooth!"

F*ck. Where the hell am I gonna get a golden coin at 5:15 on a Wednesday night? Scratch that...7:30 on a Wednesday night because I gotta wait until she goes to bed.

Enter M: superdad extraordinaire, even when he's not here. I raided the mug on his desk where he dumps all his leftover foreign currency after international trips. Tooth Fairy is kickin' it Denmark style and droppin' a 20 Kroner under Zoe's pillow tonight (it's golden, after all). Along with a few good ol' American greenbacks, of course.

We called M using FaceTime so he could see the gap for himself. (That one call made the iPad worth every single penny.) We watched his eyes light up with recognition that there was something missing, and saw the look of awe on his face. It was really special.

I was supposed to be in Kansas today. I was supposed to be gone. I blew the trip off for a number of reasons, one of them being that I was terrified at the idea of missing the loss of her first tooth. I realize as a working mom that I'll miss a lot of things. I've resigned myself to that fact. But I for damn sure was NOT going to miss this milestone. I want to be her first Tooth Fairy, and I want to celebrate with her, and I want to be here to mourn the physical loss of her babyness. I want to be here to witness how her smile changes, and how her speech changes (it's subtle, but you can hear that she's missing a tooth). No job is worth missing that, especially the one in which I am currently trapped.

So here I sit, exhausted after a day of working, corralling all the various entities required to tear down a house and rebuild, researching summer camps for The Bug and then getting her registered with the right schedule to ensure maximum coverage, plus the various mundane tasks that make up a regular everyday life. And at the same time, I'm absolutely thrilled to play Tooth Fairy to the most awesome kid in the world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Coach handed out jerseys at practice tonight, in the "get what you get and you don't throw a fit" system. The girls didn't care (that comes later), but they had a blast modeling their new visors for each other. I thought it was cool that she ended up with lucky number seven.

The visors are genius. I remember sweating my ass off in a hot ball cap through many a summer. Plus, it's hard to cram perky pigtails under a baseball cap.

At practice tonight she did a great job with fielding, throwing and batting. She was engaged and paid attention nearly the whole time, despite the usual suspects raising a ruckus in the background. Some things never change...the same girls who were a pain in the butt to coach in soccer are equally disruptive in softball. Regardless, I think she's going to do really well, and have fun with softball. Which is good because I hear great softball players can score some awesome college scholarships. Since soccer for her primarily consists of cartwheels between bouts of running, I'm now looking towards softball for potential tuition help.

(Kidding! I just want my little girl to have fun and feel good about what she's doing. I think she's got the confidence thing down. On the way home from practice tonight, I said, "That was a great hit, Zozo!" And from the back seat I heard a confident, "I know!" Whereupon we had a teaching moment on the proper way to field a compliment.)

Monday, April 09, 2012



Today's fun included:
An hour on the phone with four people from AT&T in an attempt to rectify a colossal f*ck up one person at AT&T set in motion three months ago. (That fun continues tomorrow.)

A trip to Zozer's dentist to see about The Baby Tooth That Won't Fall Out. (We get to wait some more. Apparently it's ok for your child to have two sets of teeth at once.)

The library to return books, and check out some new ones.

Steak 'n Shake for lunch, because "they have the BEST shakes, Mommy!"

A run downtown to AIA, to purchase stock contracts for building a custom home.

A stop by the bank to drop off my set of construction documents, because clearly everyone in the free world needs to know the layout of my home before I can build it. My plans will be FedEx'd to a couple of women in Minnesota or Wisconsin who are responsible for reviewing plans for new construction loans. "I don't like where you put the powder room - loan denied!"

Multiple games of Uno. The child is obsessed.

A run to Build-A-Bear, because for Zo it's the equivalent of Schiller's for me and Elco for M, and she was so patient with all my errands today that she deserved a little side trip to heaven.

A blood letting at church, where I gave my pint to the Red Cross not only to help up to three people but also to get those stalkers off my call sheet. I know when I'm eligible to donate, because they blow up my phone with daily pleadings. Being O- has its privileges.

All in all quite a productive day. I did manage to get a little work done, but for the most part I played hooky and hung out with my kid. It was good.

Sunday, April 08, 2012



After collecting the eggs, she carefully sorted her loot. It wasn't just by candy and money, though. The candy was sub-sorted by type: jelly beans, snickers, twix, reese's, etc.

Her engineer father looked on with unabashed pride.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

eggstra special memories


We dyed our Easter eggs today.

She made hers pink, because that's her favorite color right now. Accordingly, she made mine green and Daddy's blue. Hootie got a yellow one.

Then she put an egg in all four colors, rotating it between bowls arbitrarily until she decided it was done. That one she deemed the "family egg."

And then 15 minutes later she ate the family egg as part of her lunch.

We don't buy fancy egg decorating kits. We don't have special wire egg holders, or disposable egg dying cups, or egg drying racks.

I dye eggs with my daughter exactly how my mom dyed eggs with me: mugs, spoons, boiling water, a little bit of vinegar, white crayons, newspaper, and food coloring from a package that still looks exactly like it did when I was a kid. It may be old-fashioned, but I loved it and I hope Zozer does, too.

Friday, April 06, 2012

fun with dandelions

The light was beautiful on them this morning, and since I was already late to work from returning the rental car...

make a wish


Thursday, April 05, 2012



Home tonight. Was able to get on the road a couple hours early, so we surprised Zo. M called in a pizza and I picked it up on the way home. She was speechless when I walked in the door, as I was not expected until after she was asleep.

We ate, and snuggled, and gave each other smoochies. We put her to bed, and within five minutes I heard her sneaking into mine.

I carried her back into her bed a bit ago, and now M is asleep on the long couch while I make Instagrams on the short couch. The cats are around, the news is on, and all feels right in the world again.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012



Exhausted tonight. My British boss is visiting from France. He's a sales and ops guy who f*cked up his responsibilities in South Africa 3 years ago, and since the French can't fire anyone he was made head of global communications as it was thought that's where he'd do the least damage.

Today we spent 30 minutes arguing about whether a press release I had written on behalf of a VP was "too long." This from the man whose writing I routinely have to tighten up, removing all the "in order to"s and redundancies.

Now, I can take criticism on my writing. It's one of the first things they drill into students at The World's Finest School of Journalism. But the criticism has to be valid. Not "it's too long." Press release effectiveness is NOT determined by length. It's determined by CONTENT. And legibility.

I'm reminded of the scene in Amadeus where the king, after listening to one of Mozart's beautiful compositions, pronounces that it's nice but a little too long. "Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect."

No, I'm not saying I'm the Mozart of press releases. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of working for someone who hasn't a freakin' clue how to do his own job, much less mine. (BTW the sections he clipped from my release were data points the VP - who is a brilliant business man - specifically requested. When I pointed that out to my boss, he admitted he hadn't bothered to read the email from the VP. Nothing like editing without all the information at hand.)

I have worked three 12-hour days in a row, and a 9-hour session from hell lurks on the morrow before I'm allowed to drop the jackass off at the KC airport and drive the four hours home.

And thus, I find myself at an interchange in my career. (Had to tie this post to the photo somehow!) Stay tuned, my friends. I've got a different destination plugged into my iPhone map app and the blinker is on...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012



Staying on the top floor this trip. Yay.

Monday, April 02, 2012



Drove to KC again today. Silver lining: I get to see different things I wouldn't ordinarily see.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

shapes & shadows