An Actual Conversation with my Ridiculously Frustrating Son

23 Mar

Last Saturday we were still waiting for news.We hadn’t heard from any colleges yet and we knew that admissions decisions had been mailed on Tuesday from one of the schools Chandler is most hopeful about.

“Call me if the letter comes today,” I said as I was walking out the door on my way to a lacrosse tournament with Marley, happy for the distraction. Our mail comes late, sometimes not until five o’clock. I had an image of myself perched on the couch by the front window with my laptop, obsessively refreshing the search for the school’s “accepted” hashtag on Twitter to see how many kids were taking my son’s potential spot, looking up every time I heard a car even though I know the difference of the sound of a passing car and the stop-start of the mail truck.

Chandler called a little after three.

“Mom, a box came in the mail addressed to Dad. Can I open it?”

“Why do you want to open a box for Dad?” I asked my heart sinking that the news hadn’t come.

“I want to see if it has my…”

“You’re acceptance letter wouldn’t come in a box for Dad,” I said cutting him off. It would come in a big envelope addressed to you.”

“Shhh, Mom,” he said clearly frustrated to be cut off. “I got the acceptance letter, but first I want to know if this is the hat Dad got me on eBay.

“Really, Chandler? You got in?” I said tears coming to my eyes.

“We’ll talk about that in a minute. Can you please ask Dad about the box?”

Now I was the one who was frustrated. But also really, really happy.

I put the phone to my chest and looked at Dave. “Your son got in, but he’s more interested in a box that’s addressed to you. Can he open it to see if it’s his hat?”

“Tell him to go ahead,” Dave said rolling his eyes.

“Dad says go ahead, Chandler,”

“Oh good, it’s my hat,” he said. “Yeah, Mom. I got in. Isn’t that great?”

“Yes, Chandler. That’s really great. I’m so proud of you,” I said the tears welling up in my eyes again. If I wasn’t so happy I might have had to kill that kid..

Awesome Graduation Announcements from Minted

20 Mar

My firstborn will be graduating high school in a little less than three months and two months after that he’ll be out the door and off to college. (Which in mom-time is even less than the blink of an eye.) He’s got so much to do in that short amount of time and has so many important decisions to make. He needs to decide which college he’ll choose, where he’s going to get a summer job, who he’s going to ask to prom.

Of course I have a lot of important decisions to make too. How many people should I invite to his graduation party? What is the proper amount of time to wait before turning his bedroom into my office? What is the best brand of waterproof mascara to wear to this graduation ceremony?

And I have to choose his graduation announcements. They’ve come a long way since I graduated high school. My graduation announcement was a generic “Class of 83″ fold-over card that you stuck a smaller card with your name on it into a little slot. They were pretty boring.

Thanks to minted.com the generic graduation announcement is a thing of the past. So if you’re looking for a place to find a graduation card that is as unique as your high school senior click here.

Take a look at some of minted’s awesome selection below:

Whether your looking for an announcement or an invitation, if classic designs are your thing, you can’t go wrong with this card.

classic-graduation-announcement

Classic and classy!

If you like something more modern showing off your son or daughter’s cute mug you might prefer a card like this.

Photo-Graduation-announcement

So handsome!

If you’re a braggy type of parent you have a high achiever you might like a card that showcases your graduate’s many accomplishments with a card like this.

year-in-review-graduation-announcement

That’s one fantastic senior year!

And if you really want to show your faraway family that your kid’s got the goods you can even order an announcement that’s a book!

Graduation announcement booklet

Great for kids with extended families that live far away.

One of the many things I love about minted.com is the fact that they give you different colors to choose from for most types of announcements or invitations. (Like in this whimsical one.)

whimsical graduation announcement

Both are so cute! Which one would you choose?

Speaking of whimsical, I love this graduation party invitation. (So cute!)

Graduation-Invitation

And of course you can get matching thank you cards

Graduation-thank-you-cards

and fancy envelopes.

Graduation envelope

So what will I be choosing for my graduate? Hmmm… I don’t know.

As the mother of an athlete, I have to admit I really love this card.

Athletic-Graduation-Card

I especially like the way it looks when I plug Chandler in there.

Graduation.20

No, Chandler’s not going to UCONN (but maybe after seeing this announcement they’ll want him to)!

Did I mention that you can preview your cards before buying them? See the little exclamation point on Chandler’s picture above? That’s an alert from minted telling me the picture will not print well due to its low resolution, so I’ll need to choose another photo. I feel confident that when I place an order with minted it will turn out perfectly.

I really like this announcement.

Graduation anouncement

Of course I’ll have to get a better picture. (Something a bit crisper without a messy kitchen counter in the background.) And it would also probably help if we knew where Chandler was going to school. (Nope, sorry, Awesome U in Not California is not a real school!)

But I also really like this one.

Graduation announcement off to college

He may be traveling when he goes to college but he’s leaving his heart in California. (I hope.)

It’s going to be tough to pick which one I like best. But the good news is, all the cards at minted.com are so great, it’s impossible to go wrong.

If you haven’t ordered your graduation announcements and invitations yet, I highly suggest you give minted.com a look. It takes about two weeks to get your order with standard shipping, so there’s still time. But you’d better hurry – you know that time will be gone in the blink of an eye!

Disclosure: I was given a credit by minted.com to facilitate this review, but the opinions of the awesomeness of Minted expressed are 100% my own. (But you don’t have to trust me – you have eyes don’t you?)

Photo credit of Chandler running: Debby Pattiz

The Waiting

10 Mar

Tom Petty said it best, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

It seems everyone I know with a high school senior has been accepted somewhere. All of my friends’ kids. All of Chandler’s friends. Accepted. Somewhere. Hell, one of my friends just put the deposit down. Her daughter has made her decision.

But Chandler? No acceptance letters yet. He’s still waiting. We’re still waiting.

To be clear, he hasn’t gotten any rejection letters yet either.

Every time I run into someone or talk to someone on the phone (yes, I still talk on the phone) they ask me, “Has Chandler made any decisions yet?” It’s hard to make a decision when you don’t know your choices. Trust me people, when Chandler finally gets his acceptance letters I will be posting it on Facebook just like every other obnoxious STFU proud mom.

Of course it doesn’t help matters that I’m hyper-obsessing on it. I check Chandler’s email ten times a day to see if any notifications have come in from the admissions departments telling him to check his student portal even though I know it’s too early. Yes, I have his email password because he is terrible at checking emails and helicopter mom I need to keep him on track. But I don’t have his student portal passwords (though I’m sure I could figure them out) so I can’t find out before he does. I don’t want to find out before he does. I would never take that away from him. I just want to find out.

I don’t like to wish away time, especially now when Chandler will be leaving so soon, but if there were ever a week to wish away, make it go warp speed squared instead of just plain old oh-my-god-my-son-is-going-away-to-college-in-five-months-wasn’t-he-just-a-baby-five-seconds-ago warp speed, it would be this week. Because next week we’ll know something.

The UC he applied to will be sending notifications to last names beginning with O-S on Sunday, March 15 at 4AM. I suspect my eyes will pop open at 4:01. It’s a good thing he’s an early bird like me. Not 4AM early, but he should be up by 7:00. (Oops, I’m sorry, Chandler. Was I being too loud in the kitchen. *clang clang clang)

On Friday, February 13 the school in Ohio that is a top contender will be snail mailing out its notifications. (Friday, the 13th, really? Is that a good idea?) I’m an optimist so I’m hopeful we’ll receive that letter on Monday the 16th. (Look, I just mailed something to Little Rock, AR on a Friday and it got there the following Monday, it could happen!)

After that the other four should come trailing in somewhere between the 15th and the 31st.

Until then… we’re just waiting.

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part”

10K Training

9 Mar

I’m training for my second 10K. It’s in less than three weeks. I ran my first 10K last year and said I’d never do one again. One and done. But of course I always said I’d never be a runner either. (Not that I am.) I seem to live in the land of never say nevers.

I wasn’t going to run the 10K this year but all of my running friends talked me into it. “C’mon, it’ll be fun.” “You have to run the Great Race.” Turns out I’m a sucker for peer pressure.

And now? It seems at least half of my friends have dropped out due to injuries. And the ones that are running rarely show up for the Sunday group runs. Kids’ sports schedules. College tours. Life. (Assholes!)

We get running  homework every week from our coach. Last year we had to train five days a week and I never skipped a run. I had to give up so much. I never had time to write. This was part of the reason I wasn’t going to run again. I can’t write in the mornings or go to boot camp – the things I actually enjoy doing at 5AM. But last year I would go to the gym and run on the treadmill (ugh) next to my friends and we’d moan and groan about how terrible running is and how much it sucks and there was a comfort to that. And as much as I hated running, (and I did – still do) it felt good to be doing something hard, something I never thought I could do.

This year I haven’t been running on the treadmill. I’ve been trying to write at 5:00 and then run at 6:30 when it’s light outside. It kind of works, but only kind of. And now that the clocks have moved forward it will still be dark at 6:30. I might have to hit the treadmill again. Ugh.

Our coach has scaled back the training this season to four days a week, but I’ve only been running two or three. I’m trying to find some sort of magic formula between the writing and the running and the boot camp classes, but it’s hard. I haven’t figured it out yet. Last year running was keeping me skinny, but this year the pounds are slowly starting to creep back on. Yesterday I ran six miles and today when I got on the scale I’d gained half a pound. Six miles! WTF!

At least I know I can still run six miles (6.2 actually). It’s the first time I’ve done it since the race last year. I had to walk some of it, but not much. I ran the 6.2 in 1:09:34 – an 11:14 mile. Not great – a little slower than my 1:06:58 10K time last year, but like I said, I’ve really scaled back on my training. My goal is just to finish, not to finish fast.

In less than three weeks I’m going to run this stupid race. My stupid friends who talked me into it had better be at the finish line cheering me on. And then except for Sunday runs on flat terrain where people actually show up and there is coffee and gossip afterwards I am done with running. I will never ever ever run another 10K again. (Says the girl from the land of never say nevers.)

He’s Leaving Me

2 Mar

Saturday morning I had a dream that Chandler was five years-old. Even in the dream I knew Chandler wasn’t really five. “What’s five year-old Chandler doing here,” I thought to myself.

1st grade school picture

We were getting out of the car. I came around to his side and he hugged me tight, like he used to hug me. All in. He still hugs me now, but only when I ask for one. He’s so tall and skinny. His hugs are boney. He’ll hug me as long as I want, but his hugs are dutiful. The perfunctory hug of a good son.

“I love you so much, Mommy,” he said as he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tight. Like his life depended on it.

“I love you too, Chandler,” I said as I hugged him back with equal ferocity.

We held hands as we walked inside the house and once we crossed the threshold he was eighteen year-old Chandler again.

I told him about my dream as I drove him to school to drop him off at the bus for a track meet. “I love you, Mommy,” he said sweetly. Then  he said, “I had a dream the  other night that Coach  H told me I had a five percent chance of getting in.” He was referring to the coach at his top-choice college. Not his reach school, but the school he thinks he’d most like to attend.

“That’s just a stress dream because the decisions are coming in in the next few weeks. It’s probably why I’m dreaming of you being five. Because you’re leaving me soon.” I hadn’t realized the significance of the dream until the words left my mouth.

He’s leaving me soon.

It’s March. Chandler  has applied to six colleges. The reach (where he likely won’t get in) is an hour’s drive; the rest of them are far away. Four are out of  state. The decisions will all be in by March 30th.

And then he’ll have to decide where he’s going when he leaves me.

looking back

My 2015 Snarky Oscar Comments (Because I’m so Qualified to Give Them)

23 Feb

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to enjoy the Oscars  a lot more when I used to actually see movies. Out of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture I saw exactly one, The Grand Budapest Hotel. And  I loved it dearly so of course I was rooting for it (even though I knew it wouldn’t win).

But oh, how I do adore the red carpet. Because I’m pretty sure that when people think of me the first think they think of is  what a fashion icon I am. Seriously, no one can rock off-the-rack (from Target) like I can.

The Red Carpet

Dakota Johnson looked fabulous, but what happened to her mother’s face? (One too many trips under the knife – that’s what.) I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the mother-daughter bickering on the red carpet between the two about Melanie’s refusal to see Dakota’s soft porn performance in FSOG (even though she was “so proud” of her).

Dakota-Johnson-Melanie-Griffith-Oscars-2015

Is it me or is Melanie Griffith starting to look like Joan Rivers?

And speaking of soft porn, John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen looked gorgeous, but I kept expecting to see Chrissy give a Lindsay-Lohan-getting-out-of-a-limo-type red carpet peep show with the slit in that dress.

2015-oscar-Chrissy-Teigen-John-Legend-Academy-Awards

Julianne  Moore looked stunning. I loved her dress (which does not look great against this background, but trust me, it’s gorgeous), just adored her side-swept chignon, and those earrings (that you cannot see in this picture)? I must have them!

2015-oscars-julianne-moore

Gorgeous!

I thought Jennifer Lopez’s dress was beautiful (I’m a sucker for a ballgown), but whoever did her make-up needs to be fired. Immediately. You can’t really tell from the photos, but her pink lipstick was hideous and her pink eye shadow was a mess. (If you saw her red carpet interview, you know what I’m talking about.)

2015-oscar-jennifer-lopez

Those pink lips have to go!

Rosamund Pike’s red dress paired with understated hair and jewelry was stunning. Stunning! (I know I just used that word to describe Julianne Moore, but if you can think of a better one please let me know.) I think her dress was my favorite.

2015 Oscar-Rosamund Pike

I love Scarlet Johansson’s dress. I’m not sure how I feel about that necklace. And I have to ask, what the hell did she do to her hair?

2015-Oscar-Scarlet-Johansson

When did Scarlet Johansson start going to Miley Cyrus’s hairdresser?

And Gywneth Paltrow, whose website Goop loves to tell us how much better our lives could be if we partook in V steams and purchased $350 cut-off shorts might want to make her own life better by hiring a different stylist. Because this dress? NO! That hair? Yuck! But I will say, those earrings are FAB!

2015-Oscars-Gwyneth-Paltrow

I really like Naomi Watts, but I do not like her dress at all. Except for the length it looks more like something you’d wear out clubbing.

2015-oscars-naomi-watts

That bandeau is not working for me.

The Awards

Okay, okay, enough of this red carpet business and onto a quick Academy Awards recap.

Opening number by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jack Black? -Fantastic!

I just loved JK Simmons  thank you speech. What a lovely tribute to his wife. If my husband ever wins any kind of award that requires a speech he should just copy that speech.

In fact after watching that speech, I realized what it is I love so much about the awards and why I continue to watch them even when I don’t see the movies – it’s the acceptance speeches. I know this sounds corny, but watching people be filled with so much gratitude really does make me teary eyed and just, well, happy.

Speaking of acceptance speeches if you missed this one by Pawel Pawlikowski, the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film, you must watch it here. I had never heard of him before last night, but I am now madly in love with him and have decided he must be mine!

Michael Keaton really needs to learn how to chew gum in a more gentlemanly manner.

Ironically during the bit about seat fillers, I noticed the seat next to Jared Leto was empty. I really need to figure out a way to be a seat filler next year. I would take the job much more seriously. In fact I’d take it so seriously that if I was sitting next to Jared Leto I wouldn’t even get up when the person who was supposed be sitting there came back from the bathroom. Though he might ask me to leave because I don’t think I’d be able to stop myself from giving him some well-needed fashion advice.

The Everything is Awesome musical number was #AWESOME. I need to call my sister and tell her to have her Lego-loving twins to make me a Lego Oscar statue. (It would make an excellent birthday present. Hint, hint!)

I wanted to snark on Patricia Arquette for looking like she rolled out of bed, put her hair in a messy ponytail and threw on a dress she found at Macy’s but I loved her heartfelt and impassioned speech so much that I’ve decided not to mention it.

2015-oscars -patricia-arquette

To you, Patricia Arquette, I say, “Go, Girl!”

The night really was full of tear-inducing speeches. Another one that you just have to watch is Graham Moore’s, the writer of The Imitation Game. And show your kids. Because it’s important. Even if they aren’t weird.

And OMG – who knew Lady Gaga could sing like that? Not me! Her tribute to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music truly wowed me.

Eddie Redmayne’s speech was adorable and Julianne Moore’s speech was touching and fabulous. I’m over the red carpet, it really was all about the speeches for me.

2015-oscars-awards-julianne-moore

Happy Lady, you are fabulous!

And to my boyfriend Bradley Cooper, I’m so sorry you didn’t win (again). But like I told you last year, if you need someone to comfort you, you know where to find me.

2015-oscars-bradley-cooper-academy-awards

Swoon!

Valentine’s Day in the Suburbs

17 Feb

When Dave and I were dating we used to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 13th. On our first Valentine’s together he had a convention on the 14th (convenient, right?) so we went out the night before instead. We liked the quietness of the restaurant – no crowds or “special” (overpriced) menus – and carried on the tradition of February 13th for years after.

We gloated a bit in our cleverness. We had Valentine’s down!

One  year early in our marriage Dave was heading out of town Valentine’s morning, most likely to that same convention, and casually asked me if I still made the bed when he went out of town.

“Of course,” I told him.

“Have fun  making the bed,” he said as he kissed me and headed out the door.

I found a white-ribboned blue box that made me squeal with delight hidden in the tangled sheets. Inside was a silver necklace. Or maybe it was a bracelet earrings. To be honest I can’t remember. I used to get a lot of jewelry in blue boxes back in those days.

On Saturday night I posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook:

Valentines Dessert

Valentine’s In the suburbs

Our Valentine’s dessert after a dinner of sweet hot mustard chicken thighs (a recipe I’d been wanting to try that I knew Dave and I would like, but the kids wouldn’t), asparagus and roasted potatoes.

Please don’t assume that because I made something the kids wouldn’t like that we dined alone. I made their chicken plain and the four of us enjoyed a lovely dinner together.

After dinner we told the kids they had to watch a romantic comedy with us. We chose Music and Lyrics with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. As a lover of 80’s music (and former 80’s sort-of-groupie), it’s one of my favorites. Marley lasted three quarters of the way through before tapping out (that girl has no taste), but Chandler liked the movie and watched the all way through. He says he still can’t get the song Pop Goes My Heart out of his head.

It is pretty catchy in all of its fake-80’s fabulousness.

(By the way, if you’ve never seen Music and Lyrics you must first watch this spectacular video and then do whatever you have to do -cable, Netflix, your local library- to watch it. You will totally thank me because it’s awesome. So I will preemptively say, “You’re welcome!”)

 

I made a homemade Valentine with a printed someecards & taped it to a dark chocolate bar and stuck it under Dave’s pillow.

someecards Valentines Day

This was not his card, but it’s pretty appropriate for this post.

 

Yeah, I go all out. Dave said he thought we agreed that we weren’t doing Valentines this year. Uh… no. But perhaps after (almost) 21 years of marriage that agreement is implied. If I told you that his neglect of a forced Hallmark holiday hurt my feelings I’d be lying. In fact I’d have been shocked if he had done something. And now I get to eat the chocolate I gave him (conveniently the kind I like) without guilt.

Hmmm… a recipe I’ve been wanting to try, a good bottle of wine, one of  my favorite cheesy romantic comedies and  my husband’s dark chocolate all for me? Turns out I’m still pretty clever when it  comes to Valentine’s Day.

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