summer sunset: fin!


my numbers are off. somehow i lost track of the weeks. i think my math was bad. i maybe messed up at the beginning. or the middle. or just now. high school calculus be damned, math never was my strong suit. and in the meantime, 10 weeks of summer have passed. the end seemed so much farther away at the beginning (i guess it always does?) i thought we would have accomplished so much more. had so much more fun. had more significance. but here we are. at the end of (schoolkid) summer. and i feel like there’s little amazing to show for it.

then i remembered life experience doesn’t follow a school calendar, a Roman calendar, an astrological one for that matter, or any structure any human set up. the amazing shit happens when you’re busy making other plans, they say. and sure enough, everything just seems to happen on its own timeline around here, no matter how much (or how little) we plan.

so here we are, at the first day of school again (way too early in my opinion!), leaving late nights behind for 6:30 wake-ups. leaving leisurely mornings behind for 7:07 school bus rides. swimsuits and sunscreen will be replaced by khaki shorts and white polos. no, you can’t wear your new school shoes until Wednesday has been the mantra for the past week. and the general, summer whatever goes will be replaced by  . . . bwahahaha! probably a lot more of the same. interspersed with a lot of why is our house so crazy?!  — i mean, we are who we are. but we try.

we went to the back-to-school night on Monday to meet the teacher (love her already!). i remembered to sign up for aftercare and a carpool number, but failed to sign up Miss Girl for a lunch account. where the eff was that table?? and yeah, the plan was to pack lunch in her new Minions lunch bag on Wednesday, regardless. let’s be honest: it might be the only time i pack lunch until October.

anyhoo . . . these are new challenges for a new chapter! let’s talk about what we learned in the past few weeks:

1. sometimes you just gotta live with it.
the past few weeks saw some major drama in our neighborhood over parking and trees. things got ugly on the Facebooks. it took a big step back to try and balance advocacy and acceptance. and I still accept that some people are just idiots.

2. don’t sweat it.
are you kidding me? Atlanta is insanely hot right now. I won’t lie. but. i witnessed 32% humidity on Sunday, which i’m gonna go ahead, 5 days in, and claim as Atlanta’s best day this month. ridiculous pool day. too bad i had to work. someone please tell me there are more of these coming.

3. early bloomers can’t be jack-o-lanterns.
just like our peach tree fell short, our gargantuan pumpkin patch, well, didn’t produce. we picked the one pumpkin Friday. it was barely as big as my head. and also, was already leaking pumpkin juice. no hope for that young soul to fulfill his Halloween destiny. it’s a fact of life, y’all.

4. i still miss the beach.
we’ve been home from vacation almost a month now and i can’t shake the urge to wear flip-flops to the office or find a deck chair to curl up in and read a book in. this too shall pass, i’m sure, but it seems to be taking way longer than usual this year and might become classified as an actual problem if it’s still with me come September.

5. somehow, it all always gets done.
the summer has seemed insanely busy. between trips and camp and a really demanding work schedule the past few weeks, there have been times i’ve wanted to just give up on every having a clean house, paid bills and a few minutes to write. i feel like we’re on a downward trend of schedule sucking insanity and i think i see some light ahead. and you know what? somehow, nothing has fallen apart. it’s good to stop and remember that every once in a while.

6. i suck at weekly series.
there. it’s out there. best laid plans and all. not saying i will never try again, but damn, i need to make a better plan before i even think about tackling one of these again!

hope y’all have had a great summer (or are still enjoying another month or so of it)!

summer sunset: week 7.5

my, how time flies! we have been having fun, i suppose, but i mean where on earth has the summer gone? school starts a mere 3 weeks from yesterday! THREE WEEKS, y’all! between that realization, having just finished up our big summer vacation and working on a holiday campaign for a retail client, my mind’s already drifting to fall weather, sweaters and football. totally crazy, i know, right?

anyhow, i know i haven’t done one of these posts in like a month, so there is tons to catch up on and probably a ton i’m forgetting about (the mind is old and feeble, so bear with me). but here are a few things that have stuck with me this past few weeks.

1. a week at the beach is better than a week at the office, no matter what. in my last post, i wrote a little about how this year’s annual beach trip maybe wasn’t quite as fun for everyone as usual. on top of that, i know i returned to Atlanta feeling a little like i needed another vacation. but you know what? for 7 entire days, i barely got dressed beyond a swimsuit or put on make-up, didn’t worry what time it was or even know what day it was. beer at 10:00 a.m.? bring it. spending an afternoon on the porch with a book? hell yeah! things might have felt a little different this year, but they damn sure felt better than spending that week at work.

2. you can survive a week vacation with 2 pairs of contacts. yeah, so that moment when we’d been in the car for 4 hours and i suddenly realized i forgot to pack contacts. that was pretty awesome. luckily, i managed to dig up 2 and a half pairs in my toiletries bag that had been there god knows how long and 1 in my make-up bag. bonus: i actually did remember solution and there was a case stashed in there somewhere, too. i managed to stretch the first 2 through all week and didn’t even end up blind or with pink eye!

3. you can never eat too many fish tacos. seriously, y’all. i had a bona fide thing last week. North Beach Bar & Grill and Tybee Island Social Club hooked me right up. i was in heaven.

4. hot dogs make fantastic pill pockets. right. so the day before we came home, we got a call from the kennel. Lily had fallen victim to Atlanta’s Great Bordetella Plague of 2015 (that and canine influenza are apparently out of control). both she and Clara were put on antibiotics and a cough suppressant. that first night home, after several failed attempts to shove the meds down their throats (how many slobbery, spit up pills can one girl take? sheesh.) i had the brilliant idea to cut off hot dog chunks and shove the pills in the middle. worked like a charm! the girls love them and i didn’t have to make a special trip to the pet store. win, win!

5. after 7.5 weeks of summer, i’m not the only one thinking about fall. at some point in the past few days, Miss Girl very earnestly asked me when she was going back to school. contrary to what i would have expected the meaning behind the query to be, her tone told me she was hoping my answer would be “soon.” i asked if she missed school, she gave a resounding “yes!” honestly, i don’t blame her. in addition to football and sweater weather, i’m looking forward to a more productive daily routine — even if it does mean getting her out the door for the bus at 7:15.

hope everyone’s had some great fun and great stories so far this summer!

summer sunset: week 4

sorry, y’all. this is not a fun post. it has not been a fun week. on the heels of having to suddenly put down our cat, Parker, last Saturday, i learned Tuesday that a dear friend and former co-worker had died in a car accident the night before. Pedro was 28 and one of the most talented, positive, caring people i have ever known. Then Thursday morning i woke, with the rest of the country, to the sad and shocking news that a 9 parishioners in a historic black church in Charleston had been gunned down during a prayer meeting, of all things. i don’t have any personal connection, but the weight of yet another of what seem to be weekly reminders of racism and gun violence in our country hit me hard. throughout the week, my Facebook feed was a constant and sometimes unbearable stream of condolences, remembrances and people trying to make sense of things that just don’t.

from the very most personal level to a national level to a basic human level, i have found myself shaken and utterly heartbroken over both the fleeting nature of life, itself, and the unfairness of good not winning out over evil — or sheer randomness, for that matter. in the very simplest of terms, the loss of life, innocence and faith has sucked. and i can’t even imagine what the other families who lost one of their (human) own are going through. again, my heart breaks just thinking about it.

this past week, i have reminisced about happier times and reconnected with old friends. i have tried to understand incomprehensible ignorance and hatred, and hoped that showing a little extra kindness whenever i could would somehow make up for it. i have driven more carefully and been more fearful of what might happen. and i have hugged my family a just little tighter. just in case.

i know i said it last week, but i’m looking forward to a better week next week!

summer sunset: week 3

wow, a lot has happened in the past 2 weeks. that’s all immo say to intro this edition of my summer recap series! read on. hope y’all are having a wonderful summer so far!

the past 2 weeks’ top lessons

  1. camp is exhausting. for everyone. by the end of the first 2 weeks, Miss Girl was beyond tired. not just sleepy “i can’t wake up in the morning” tired, but ultra-bitchy “i will cut you if you even think about asking me to get dressed any faster” tired. after 3 straight mornings of 45 minute drama sessions just to get her in a bathing suit and shorts, i couldn’t take it anymore. i made the executive decision to pull her out for a week to give all of us a break.
  2. a week without camp is chaotic, but worth it. let me be clear. my morning situation improved dramatically last week. no racing around to pack snacks and towels and water bottles. no tears or screaming just to get out of the house. it was pretty wonderful to just get up and go to work like a normal person. or, on the days i had mommy duty in the morning, sit around drinking coffee and doing work in my nightgown, while she buzzed around doing her thing. that said, all the who’s gotta be where when drama that comes with trying to work and juggle child care was kind of nutty. that said, it feels like all of us are caught up on sleep and now have strength to hit it again next week.
  3. weekday evenings at the pool are blissful. with our more flexible schedule this past week, we were able to enjoy some of these mysterious times reserved for people who don’t keep ad agency hours. i did notice one evening when we went around 4:30 that it was all women (who i presume don’t work/work at home) and kids. hrmmm. it was less crowded, more relaxed and such a nice way to wind down the day before dinner. i have to figure out how these people do it!
  4. your world can change in a split second. the past 24 hours have been kind of crazy. without going into a lot of detail, Miss Girl had an accident that landed her in the emergency room on Friday night. she is fine. she has a mild head injury and needs to take it easy for the next few weeks. knock on wood, we seem to have some lucky stars over our heads, and everything always seems to work out okay. but sitting there last night, watching my sweet girl resting, hooked up to the monitors, i couldn’t help but think about what if it didn’t? it was a big wake-up call to slow down and appreciate what really matters.
  5. it’s hard to say goodbye to old friends. and as if a night in the ER weren’t hard enough, we had to put down our dear, sweet Mr. P this morning. i will probably write more about it later, but suffice to say, he was my best friend for 15 years. he was there through every single thing that happened in my life. he knew how to make me smile and where the bodies are buried. and it just hurts my heart that he won’t be part of my life anymore, as well as to know that this is in many ways the end of an era.

between these last 2 list items, i have ugly-cried and tribal-woman wailed so much today that i kind of feel like a complete maniac! but whatevs. it was mostly in the privacy of my own car. and the Passat rocks some tinted windows. week 4 of summer is another week, right? here’s hoping the kinks are worked out, the bad stuff is behind us and there are more pool evenings in our future!

summer sunset: week 1


okay, everyone. this week’s sunset review is the first of 11, so settle in. at least 11 is the number of weeks in my head for Miss Girl’s summer break. i am pretty sure i paid for 10 weeks of summer camp and we’ll have 1 week at the beach (?) i could be off either way by like 5 weeks since i did it all in January because i was so freaked out about how hard it would be to line something up, but anyhoo . . . we’ll deal with that when we get there.

since this is her (and our) first real summer out of daycare, the change of season actually means something this year. whereas Memorial Day used to come and go and our routine was the same, now it is a whole new world. overall, i’m psyched because i get to sleep in later! but this week has definitely been an adjustment.

this week’s top lessons

  1. don’t stop riding just because you have a busted tire. life’s too short and you got places to go, girl!
  2. own your outfit. maybe no one else took Wacky Wednesday to heart, but you are the best damn princess pirate anybody north of I-20 ever saw!
  3. naps are still crucial. sorry, but true story, as evidenced by the drive-home crash-out and late-nite mania.
  4. no groceries are ever enough. wow. the amount of food this house can run through on a long weekend and then daily snacks + a couple lunches . . . i think i’m gonna have to get that Costco membership. ugh.
  5. summer hours are unavoidable. thank god for sleeping in and not having to leave the house until a bona fide civilized hour again. but on the other end . . . 10:00+ bedtimes for 5 year olds are probably not the healthiest. for anyone involved. (i’m lookin’ at you neighbor instagators!) sigh.

hope y’all are enjoying your summer so far — sun-up to (late) sunset! would love to hear what you’ve learned.