Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: parents

Just back from a weekend in Vegas and wanted to drop a quick line to say hello.

After the emotional chaos of a few weeks ago, work events and busyness (not to mention Mercury Retrograde) this week is quiet coming, and I am thankful for that.

The pic of above is from our hotel room early in the morning on Saturday. We stayed at The Paris and traveled in to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday and my parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. Amazing milestones, to say the least.

As someone who is embracing being a highly-sensitive person, Vegas is.so.naht.my.place. but with those milestone celebrations, I couldn’t say no. So H and I packed up the car, drove the 6hrs each way and spent the weekend eating, drinking and gambling with my family.

And while I would rather have been out in the desert, out where those clouds touched the mountains, it’s always good to have the whole family (plus our significant others now) all together at one time.

This week is quiet as far as work / social commitments go, but we’re in for another eclipse and things pick up again for me in about 10 days, so I’m going to use this week to downshift a bit. I’m still continuing the #30daysofdresses challenge. Been wearing a dress almost every single day, just going to find some time tonight to write up the posts.

If you’re looking for something cool to listen to this week, check out the Back To work podcast where David Sparks guest appears. I loved hearing him speak about executing projects, balancing all of the things he’s into and his presentations field guide (which I plan on pick up). So yeah, dig around in that if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Have a great week xo

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Lately…

I received a new iPhone 5s and it’s fabulous. Especially the camera + apps. The latte pic above was taken with PicTapGo. Highly recommend.

We had a festive evening with some friends, carving pumpkins and drinking spiked cider. Love me some honey Jack. I went with the graphic and simple Pumpkin Pi (get it?! I am married to a math teacher). Unfortunately, the thing bloomed into a mess of mold after 4 days.

I cleaned (almost) the entire apartment by myself before my parents came to visit – with disc 1 of this DMB concert at Central Park blaring through the TV. I’ve avoided DMB for ~11years now due to major falling-outs around the time I cared about them. Music, and love, will do that to you.

The table cloth I purchased after Christmas last year made it’s debut, complete with tiny pumpkins. It’s finally feeling like Fall here.

My parents visited – which included a Jason Aldean concert, taking professional family portraits on the beach, eating more bread in 4 days than I eat in a normal month, a walk through Abbott Kinney and a visit to The Getty.

I applied for, and was able to process, my passport paperwork. Looking at that puppy arriving in the mail in T-6 weeks.

Now, where should we go?

This Is About…

This is about a sushi dinner with the husband. After rattling off a few dinner options to make at home, he says, “Can’t we just go out and spend money?” Why yes, yes we can. Because I need that quiet, quality time with him – away from electronics,  the dog, our home which becomes distracting in its boringness.

This is about forgetting to refill my birth control prescription and the epic fail by CVS to transfer it. So, I guess I’m off the pill now…? And while this is a decision I was going to make early 2014, I didn’t plan to make it sooner. And I certainly didn’t want it made for me. #waytogoCVS

This is about being sad, more sad than I’ve felt in a long time, due to the above transition.

This is about transitions in general.

This is about missing my husband because he is so busy busy busy.

This is about having my parents visit – so good to have them physically near and also exhausting in its own way. Having everyone in my apartment makes it feel so tiny, and the chaos is beyond raucous compared to my quiet days alone.

This is about aching for (more) quiet days alone.

We visited the Getty museum. It was glorious. We only saw 1.5 exhibits and the gardens and left way too soon. I wanted to stay all afternoon.

This is about trying to decide if I want to purchase a used DSLR off a friend or wait.

This is about good old Mercury Retrograde.

I hope you’re well reading this mid-week post by me. I want to mention how grateful I am that anyone comes here for some words and hope it keeps you company in your neck of the woods.

How’s mercury retrograde going for you? What’s new? Would love to hear in the comments xo

 

 

Parents In LA

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been months since I saw my parents in Vegas and they haven’t visited LA since Thanksgiving November 2011 when we purchased my wedding dress. And we didn’t go home for Christmas this year. So, it’s been a while. And in that time, both my brother and sister relocated to southern California as well. This was the first visit with all three kids here.

I think this trip set the bar for the next one. Until then, we’ll talk about how they stayed with my sister and helped her fix apartment issues. How her landlord is finicky; they needed him to snake the kitchen sink, we couldn’t cook, so we ate In&Out. Mom and Dad got milkshakes. We’ll talk about how we drove up to Duke’s in Malibu for lunch near the ocean, and could only get the table right off the patio in the bar. The pictures above are from our stop on PCH because traffic was backed up.

They’ll tell people how they visited Newport Beach where my brother lives, hung out on the beach, ate good food. How they had dinner with his boss, and my sister and I split a bottle of wine. How our hotel ended up being where the Yankees were staying and my mom got a photo with Mariano Rivera. (Highlight of the trip for them, I’m sure).

We’ll talk about meeting up at Malibu Wines after they got lost, and how it was relaxing but the flies landing on our picnic sucked. How they loved the aquarium by the Tanked guy the most. They may mention sitting in our apartment relaxing, walking Carter with me or how Mom and I got mani-pedis. They’ll definitely mention the hike my sister took them on and seeing the sunset. And possibly the dinner of pizza and wine in my neighborhood.

We’ll talk about my sister’s crazy dance moves to Blurred Lines, margaritas and mexican food. How they shopped at Home Deport and Bed, Bath and Beyond even though they were on vacation. And slept on air mattresses because of the layout of our apartments. They’ll rave about my sister’s job and company, about how nice of an apartment I live in, how my brother is doing really well. (They’re very proud of us).

And while all of this was nice, I will tell people about how it was so nice to finally spend time with my parents without them running around crazy. To talk to my dad while we walked the dog in my now-hometown, Los Angeles. That my mom was slightly choked up as I drove her home from our manicures, saying that we’d wasted so much time, and that our wedding was still the talk of people back home… and I told her it was OK – that everything’s working out just as it should.

And it has. And I think this trip was the best way to kick off our family now – with the three kids all grown up with jobs and apartments – and my parents settling into their empty-nest, saving money and building their business, so they can visit even more.

I very much look forward to it.

——-

Here are a few other posts about my relationship with my parents:
Father’s Day
Happy Birthday Dad
A Note For My Mom

This post inspired by hula seventy’s about paris.

 

Hello Summer 2013

Today is the longest day of the year. Happy Summer!

The Sun moves from the fun-loving social, sign of Gemini into the home-loving, nurturing sign of Cancer. Being that this always feels like my luckiest and happiest time of the year, I am welcoming the transition with open arms.

Kicked off Summer 2013 a little early with my parents in town this past weekend and a trip down to Newport Beach. My brother lives 4 blocks from the beach (and you thought I was spoiled.) We visited him, laying on the hot sand, dipping toes in the ocean and enjoying the sun.

Our visitors and work has kept me from here for a bit, but I’m working on a plan to be here a lot more often. Hope you’re all well. xo

 

 

Happy Birthday To Me

Another year gone by. Another ache to create. Another transition from the depths to the light.

I am not buzzing with words this evening. I wrote this morning, ran my 3 miles with the dog, and worked most of the day. My one meeting was odd, random phone calls came in, I keep pushing through work tasks but nothing seems to get done. Arrived home to dinner cooked by my sister, who also baked me a caramel cake, and a bottle of wine from my husband.

I’m now running 4 loads of laundry.

This is life – and while I panic that I am not doing enough of whatever is it I’m supposed to be doing, all is well. About 25 texts messages came in from people wishing me a happy day, my mom created a slideshow for me (very This Is Your Life), and a crazy amount of Facebook posts came on – I am loved.

And I have to say – after the funk I’ve been in for weeks – it’s nice to know people care. Really leaning on the community support.

It’s good to note this from Cafe Astrology for If Today If Your Birthday

2013 is a Number Two year for you. Ruled by the Moon. This is a year of potential companionship. It is a quiet, gentle, and mostly harmonious year that is less active than other years. Instead, you are more responsive to the needs of others. If you are patient and open yourself up in a gentle manner, you will attract both things and people. This is an excellent year in which to build and develop for the future. Advice – be patient, be receptive, enjoy the peace, collect.

Sounds about right. Fits right in with my 2013 One Little Word word – Becoming.  My mom ordered me a OLW necklace from Liz Lamoreux (my word for 2012 will be hammered into it – “trust” – and I bought myself a feather necklace from the same shop. I have a stylist coming on Saturday to rip through my closet. Tomorrow should be an easy work day.

Happy birthday to me… xo

 

This Grateful Season – Siblings

2012 marks the year that my siblings moved to Southern California.

I arrived in Los Angeles September 2006. My brother came out for an internship in February and stayed. And my sister arrived two weeks ago, taking up residency on an air matress in our office. So now it’s the three of us in California. Mom is happy we’re together, but unhappy she’s not with us.

I can’t really describe what it’s like to be 3,000 miles away from home for 5+ years and then all of a sudden have both your siblings within a 30 miles radius. As the oldest, it settles me, like a mother hen counting her chicks. We’re all here.

And now with the wedding, I officially added H’s siblings, these people who share his upbringing, humor and family, who allow me to be myself sometimes more than my own.

This will be the first Christmas we don’t go home – my parents are planning to fly here. Who knew that my spontaneous idea to take an internship in Los Angeles would shift the life plans of my family and my husband, but here we are.

Life is funny that way.

Read the post I wrote about my sister for last year’s Grateful Season here – Ricky.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Vegas Travel

Almost every October, my parents travel to Vegas to celebrate their anniversary (31 years!). Since I’ve lived in LA, it’s become a nice interim visit for us between summer and the holidays. In theory.

In reality it’s a weekend where I follow them around as they gamble, I drink too much, eat too much and don’t get enough sleep. It is exhausting, wears me out and I never seem to get quality time with them anyways.

This time my brother and sister both made it in. That helped. We were a four-some and could ban together to do our own thing as my parents were sucked into the blackjack table’s siren song. Let me repeat before the next paragraph: hanging out with my siblings is awesome.

While I do love seeing my family, this is not the trip for me. This year I think I’ve had enough. Our flights were delayed both ways, we were charged a “carry-on baggage fee” (Spirit Airlines sucks) that never popped up during check-in (wtf?!), I lost $60 on roulette, I drank so much I almost threw up, I had terrible heartburn, ate pizza 2x in one day, ate meals in the room (no delish buffet) and we split a bedroom with my siblings (my bro snores). Worst part, there is hardly any “quality time” with ones parents when they’re gambling. They don’t mean to be this way, I understand, but my take as of now is: can we plan a family vacation to another location…?

“If I get to sit by the pool, I’ll do a shot of tequila” I told my sister and H. I hate tequila. It makes me black out. I just said it because I knew lounging by the pool would never happen.

And I could really use that type of vacation right now.

Oh and for each time I was frowning, we’d joke “take a shot” so… go right ahead.

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy birthday to my dad today!

Honestly, I just wrote an entire post about my dad, the wedding, his amazing speech and how I’m so much like him, but it felt flat. Our relationship is deeper than a quick blog post. Our ups and downs more complicated than should ever be covered on the Internet.

But I wanted to write a public happy birthday for him because so much has changed for me since I was at a loss for words (and pictures) back on Father’s Day when I wrote this.

Then I wrote:

Being 20 days away from the wedding, I am most grateful for the chance to celebrate with my parents the life and relationship H and I have built. To acknowledge their support, love and influence on me as a person, and to use this as a milestone in recalibrating our relationship for the better.

I’m elated to say that the wedding was that and so much more. His father-of-the-bride speech was unbelievably intuitive, loving and really funny (see photo above). We have reset our relationship, brought it forward to the place I’d hoped for – me a productive adult with a loving spouse enjoying her parents for the people they are. And I think they’d agree all that work, and the changes, were for the better.

And the best news? Because of the awesome wedding (and the photographers) I now have a bunch of photos of me & my dad. And I’m looking forward to taking more… next stop: Vegas family vacation.

Happy birthday Dad – see you in Sin City!

Father’s Day

Today being Father’s Day, I thought I’d do the blogger thing and write a post for my dad. One where I can be all, “Love you Dad” and pat myself on the back for being a good daughter.

Because it’s all about me, right?

But my relationship with my parents has been off for almost 10 years now and no chipper blog post is going to shoot us forward into sitcom-land.

Even now, I struggle to write this and no one even reads my blog.

A shining example of this void is the lack of photos I have of my dad and I. I’m sure there are a few tucked away in files or on discs, but this is the only recent one I’ve found.

One photo, from a small excursion to Santa Barbara, back in 2009.

The chasm is apparent in all of my struggles to make decisions about the wedding. The difference between my fiance disagreeing with me about something and my parents disagreeing is that the latter would send me into hysterics. As if each decision I made would embarrass them or show how stupid I really am or just be plain rude. I understand now this is caused by shame issues – baggage that I continue to unpack with my therapist – and that our relationship has stalled due to my own reclusion, my drawing away to protect myself.

Most recently I asked my dad to pick a song for our father / daughter dance at the wedding. I expected him to send me a carefully thought-out list, possibly in numerical order of most to least favorite, with links and explanations for why he chose each. Or, I expected one song, thoughtfully picked and yet thouroughly unknown by anyone but my dad, a family friends’ song or something.

What I received instead was a Facebook msg that said “How about ‘My Wish’ by Rascal Flats for us? love, dad”

Ugh. Really? After all the years of a shared love of music, country music especially, that’s the song he wants? The high vocals, the cheesier sentiment, the power ballad radio air-play.

In my lack of consideration for his feelings, I called and explained that I don’t love that song or group, that H’s step-mom’s asked for it for them to dance to, and can’t we find something else? Surely, I thought, the man who knows music will have a plethora of suggestions up his sleeve. And wasn’t I being such an adult here directly communicating what I wanted and let’s work together for a compromise…?

But, it turns out, he had none. He was tired of making decisions, of discussing things, of trying to put effort into the wedding to only have me veto his decisions. Over and over again.

As our phone conversation went south, I could feel the misunderstanding there, but I didn’t know how to explain it to him. I did not realize till just that moment how emotional and sensitive my dad can be. How he really does put all of himself into things. And being that I’ve inherited these traits to an extreme makes direct, loving communication between us challenging.

Over the past year, I’ve learned so much in the realization that my parents are actual people with complicated internal lives that I am only partially privy to. I’ve also learned that the girl who had no princess dreams of her wedding, definitely has an intuitive check-list of how she envisions the day, and anything outside of that vision is incomprehensible.

I’m trying to relax and take it all a little less seriously. Nobody’s perfect. I mean, so long as everyone shows up healthy and the venue is still standing, and there’s a groom to get married to, I think we’re in good shape, right?

Being 20 days away from the wedding, I am most grateful for the chance to celebrate with my parents the life and relationship H and I have built. To acknowledge their support, love and influence on me as a person, and to use this as a milestone in recalibrating our relationship for the better.

Happy Father’s Day. xo.