Friday, January 28, 2011

happiness is...

What makes a person happy?

What makes them content?

What makes it possible to sit, wrapped around a cup of coffee in the still of the early morning, before the kids roll out of bed, and not want more than what you have at that very moment?

Certainly I derive some contentment from others: My friends, my family, my children... But if that were all, then the absence of these factors would result in, what? Depression? An inability to find contentment in my life? God I hope not, then I'm placing too heavy a burden at their feet.
No. I've learned over the past few years that happiness has to come from within.
That by putting happiness up as a goal to be reached, it will almost always fail you. And if you put that goal, that onus on others, they will most assuredly fail you. You cannot apply a litmus test to friendships and relationships. They are not built that way.

Happiness is not the goal.
Happiness is part of the journey.
And my god, what a journey it is sometimes.

Happiness is not joy, although joy is a part of it. A snapshot of it. A moment. A heartbeat of happiness.
Happiness is not love, although this too can play a role.
Happiness is confidence, in who you are and where you are.
It is in how you react to others. It is in how you listen to the beat of your own heart.
It is not a state of being, but a way of life.
It is something to be reinforced daily, because it is of importance.

How can I teach my children happiness and the joy of simplicity if I do not know it intimately?
How can I build for them an environment of care and happiness, of safety and security, without first finding happiness for myself?
Well, I can't. It's as simple as that.

And so, just as my happiness is not built or dependent upon others, neither can another take it away from me.
It is innate.
It is continually replenished.
You cannot destroy it or tarnish it in any way.
It is not affected by outside stimuli like hatred or pettiness or sickness or disease.

A bad day is just that. One bad day. One moment. Quickly forgotten.

Sometimes, I just need to remember that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And some days, you just snap...

...and end up dancing, shirtless, with your necktie up about your head...

I'm a big fan of the girl at around 3:30...
Also. I kind of want to do this.
Maybe not shirtless, because this guy has bigger tatas than I do...but I'm pretty sure that mid-day, random, semi-choreographed dancing in the street is made of nothing but win.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sandpiper

Top Ten Things I Learned at GNO @ the Piper...
10) Our powers combined... Mapquest, Dan's GPS and Aimee talking me into the driveway via the phone CAN get me all the way to Noblesville (and Cicero), IN. It was like an episode of Captain Planet. Only better. Because there were drinks.
9) Random Keychain trinkets can be the best purchase you'll ever make on a Furlough Friday.
8) Two Solo cocktails, four shots and three beers is all it takes to get me drunk. Lesson learned.
7) Jen likes Transformers. A LOT.
6) It's pronounced vAse (as in Oz) not Vase (as in mace).
5) It IS possible to laugh so hard in one night that your cheekbones literally ache the next day.
4) The sugar rimming on a cocktail transfers to coat sleeves very easily...and looks just like
3) What the distance between your thumb and pinkie actually refers to... both when girls do it AND when guys do it side-by-side.
2) Emily does this great little hippity-hoppity Riverdance-esque move when she's nervous/excited
1) Jackson Street Cafe is straight B-to-the-A.
(I highly suggest their b&g.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pillow Talk...

Pillow Talk's a bitch...
I was recently asked the following question:
What would your friends say about you if I'd asked them?
[before meeting you in person/going out the first time/etc.]
My initial answer was a sleepy murmur or two and a half-coherent ramble I'm sure. I don't really remember what I said.
But, as it tends to do, my brain has not let go of that little nugget (nor my heart, the approximate 45 minutes of pre-sleep chatter that is so often the best part of having someone spend the night). It is, oddly enough, those whispered confidences told in the safe, semi-darkness, under covers, tangled up in each other, that comprise some of my favorite memories. It's those few minutes before you fall asleep, knowing that's their foot absently rubbing against yours and not moving because the motion is very literally forming some sort of abstract lullaby, that I'll remember when I'm old and gray. It's those few minutes where it's okay to accidentally snort out little muffled giggles and ask questions you wouldn't ever in the light of day. It's where harsh pasts and stories tend to unfold, softened by the circular pattern of your hand tracing across their back...
But I keep coming back to it...I can't seem to leave it alone.
What would my friends have warned a potential someone about if they'd had the chance?
My single parent status, certainly. And The Munchkins, collectively. And, if by some possibility that didn't scare them off? I'd hope they'd mention my ability to laugh, especially at myself. They certainly wouldn't go on about my ability to listen empathetically; which I can do, but rarely without interrupting. I know, I know, I'm working on it...
I'd hope they'd mention my spontaneity, or my awesome taste in music (The 80s rocked. hush your mouth). Maybe my optimism? Or my impetuousness? (LOTS of people make major life decisions with the aid of a Magic 8 Ball! What? They Do!)  But honestly I have very little clue what my friends would pass on about me...and it's rather driving me nuts...
*author's note: Did you catch that part about the feet up there in the third graf? Yeah... I said it... FEET. That's big for me, people. Take note.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hey Mommy, You're Sixty!

The past few weeks The Munchkins have been running around the house singing the same exact line from the same exact song to the point where I'd like to pull my hair out.

"Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! You're sixty... You're sixty"

Me: What in the WORLD are you singing?

Munchkin #1 - It's from Daddy's xbox game. You know, the singing one? [There's a new xbox kinect at Dad's  house post-Christmas melee. They're completely in love with it]

Me: I do NOT know that song. Are you sure?

Munchkin #2 - Uh HUH! It is! we danced to it!

Me: well...maybe we could sing a different song...

Monkey (skipping into the room in a hot pink wig & fake earrings): "Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! You're SIXTY!!! You're SIXTY!!!!" [sung at the TOP of her lungs]

Me: That's IT! If I don't get some peace & quiet in this house I'm going to lose it! And stop. SiNGiNG THaT SONG!!!!
(that's me. hulking out. occasionally I do that. Then I feel bad and get extended Mom-guilt. Which is frequently lessened by eating spoonfuls of cookie dough and or sneaking off to the bathroom to hide in the bathtub and read. This worked much better in the old house, however, where they never thought to look for me in the big, clawfoot tub.)
So, Yes. Worst. Song. Ever.
And it makes me feel old. Even though this is technically unjustifiable. meh.

So, after some digging...and subsequent trips to their dad's house...and a few more lyrics courtesy of Munchkins #1 & #2...I realize the song they might actually be singing is: "Hey Mami You Sexy" by Fannypack.

In which case they are officially allowed to sing it whenever they'd like.  Even if they don't know what "sexy" means yet, I don't mind hearing it every once and again. Also, at least I know they're not calling me old anymore.  God I hope it's at least the clean version.


Friday, January 14, 2011

I would like a Bowler Hat

I would like a Bowler Hat.
Just like this one.

Actually? I want this entire outfit, complete with itty bitty handbag...
It's such a perfect image it makes me sigh with this odd combination of longing & sheer jealousy at the poise that others seem to display so effortlessly.

Perfect Day

Yes. This.
Kudos to Bruce, who probably doesn't even know this blog exists, for posting this today :: enabling me to repost it and make it my own :: and make it my mantra for the day.
Huzzah for Fridays!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Hack an Electronic Road Sign

You just never know when this stuff is going to come in handy...

The Entrance

And it features Asteroid Galaxy Tour?
Right. On.
Heinekien's "The Entrance" commercial may have just influenced my buying preferences...
Yes. That's right. I CAN be bought...

The Sartorialist

I am a devoted follower of The Sartorialist.
I love not only the crispness, beauty and honesty of his photos, but also the great little comments tossed in there besides.

I've found myself oddly drawn to documentaries lately...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stuff I've been making...

Yes, this is a tease.
Yes, I'm being cruel.
Sorry 'bout that... but with all the holiday gifts finally given (or at least dropped in the mail!) i'll finally be able to post the projects that have kept me so ridiculously busy the past two months! yippee! 

Tenterhooks ya'll...tenterhooks...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things that make me swoon...

Chocolate chip cookies...warm & still melting from the oven
 pfft. breakfast AND dessert at the same time? destiny.

 Those candied orange slices that no one else seems to like but me. But only on road trips...and only when purchased en route at a truck stop/gas station.

 That moment in a concert when the music swells up and over you like a tidal wave, the the audience roars its approval.

winding unraveled cassette tapes with a No. 2 pencil

 music + book + beach.
THIS is my heaven.

The way the world just sort of topples upside down in that instant when your feet go up over your head and  you're sure that you're going to either fall or fly...
The soft, worn-down nap of a cotton picnic blanket under your fingers while the sun warms the top of your head...

And if you know anything about me, you know why.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy NOON Year!

Forgoing the traditional midnight festivities this year, the Munchkins and I hit up The Children's Museum Happy Noon Year celebration on Friday.


Complete with countdown & confetti by the ton, the kids never knew what hit them.
Plus? I felt ZERO guilt in carrying three sleeping monkeys up to bed at 10:00 that night instead of waking them all to cheer in the New Year with me.

*sidenote: EVERY prodution I've EVER seen at the Lily Theater in the basement of the Kids Museum has just been stellar. My kids may not have the wherewithal to sit through a 45 minute dvd in our living room, but they don't so much as flinch during a 90 minute live-action play. Also, they can repeat most of it, word-for-word (and in costume) in their bedrooms later that day and the following day. Awesome.
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