Tag Archives: friendship

t is for thanks. and turkey.

10 Oct

thanksgiving is a special time – good food, copious amounts of chilled chardy and entertaining family drama.  but sookie sookie, i have another, more secret, reason for loving thanksgiving.

before we get to that though, you may recall that i have told you the story of the first time husband and i met (a ball + vodka + a disappearing act). what i neglected to mention in that little tale is that in between the first meeting and our official coupledom, there was about seven months. (when i said i ran away – i wasn’t kidding…)

well it was seven months of being just friends – seven months of learning about each other and of building to that moment. you know, the moment when you realize that hey – i’d like him to be my more-than-a-friend.

and well for us that moment came on a thanksgiving weekend. we had been talking a lot, and one night – in typical ‘him’ fashion – he randomly invited me to travel five hours to come and spend the holiday with him and his friends.

now, i’m a logical human girl, so i knew this was kind of odd. i knew that most people would probably have said he should be wooing me in more obvious ways, like say, with a giant panda bear and maybe a string quartet and champers on a picnic blanket.

so after making mental lists, pivot tables and several venn diagrams on my options –  i swiftly got on a bus and made my way into the vast unknown.

and yup, since we hadn’t really spent much time together since the epic first meeting, it was a little awkward at the beginning. i mean, what did i know about this guy other than the fact that he dances well when drunk and likes pizza kind of a lot?

but then something funny happened.

i was standing in his parents’ kitchen, freezing my tush off and looking out on the deck at him with his big group of friends. they were all talking and laughing and telling stories from 10 + years ago.

i just stood there thinking: “wow, this guy loves his friends. and they love him. and i love that. oh f*&k…”

and i feel like, honestly, that was the moment – simple as it was. i knew that in that instant i would probably never be a so-called logical human girl around him again.  if he wanted me to take a bus to the moon i totes would: c’est l’amour.

so thanksgiving is a wonderful time for all of the normal reasons – but it will always be just a little bit more perfectly perfect for me and him. i will simply never forget that feeling of standing in a freezing cold kitchen being insanely and irrationally thankful that he asked me to come visit.

happy turkey day, kind readers. (and happy non-wedding anniversary, kind husband.)

t is for thanks

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the thing about india.

1 Sep

so the funny thing about being thrust into this whole india situation is that i’ve come into contact with events almost everyday that have made me question life, my existence and the choices i’ve made.

frankly, it gets to be a bit exhausting.

but i think that, in addition to a deep appreciation for the more hilarious events in my life, what i’ve derived from all this is a true sense of”make it count“. (thank you jack dawson)

i’ve seen so much crazy stuff – kids getting hit by cars, animals taking their last breath, men having the shit kicked out of them and so on – that you know – i figure that if today is it, i want to go out feeling like i did it the right way.

so i’ve started saying what i want to say to those who need to hear it.

for me this has meant a simple “i love you” or “i am grateful for you” – to more complicated admissions like “i’m sorry i was a total see-you-next-tuesday”.

i think the latter is the more interesting of circumstances because it means having the guts to put yourself in a situation where you are likely to be told off. it hasn’t happened yet, but as i hit send last night on one of these “i’m sorry” notes to someone from a long time ago, i realized that i was opening myself up to a possible shit-storm of insults. so it goes i guess…maybe i’ll just avoid my inbox for a while.

(or only read emails whilst drinking chilled chardy. yes, this seems like the more reasonable option.)

the point is, that because of india i feel i truly understand how f*&king short life is. i think i get it now -and not just as a saying on a t-shirt or some shitty motivational cat poster – like i really get how fleeting our existences are. because i’ve seen it go down.

i kind of want to punch this cat in the face.

so i am trying to live my moments by being as honest as i can be. i want to know that when my time comes i can be confident that i left nothing unsaid that needed to be said, and nothing undone that should have been done.

so this is the thing about india: this insane – totally insane – country is teaching me to be humble and kind to those who have touched my life in a way i never imagined.

and i think that’s probably important.

your secret identities.

11 Aug

you know, blogging is kinda weird.

basically being a blogger means you push your heart and soul out into a public forum, only to be found, analyzed and probably severely mocked by your worst enemies. ok, and maybe a few others too.

(um, so more importantly, in my version of these events my enemies are smoking menthol cigarettes out of those cruella de ville cigarette holder thingys, drinking amaretto sours and wearing fur hats. what? i’m pretty sure this is the truth.)

i am perpetually curious, so i’m always wondering who is actually reading this crazy never-ending teenage telephone conversation. but because i can never truly know, i often just tell myself that other than maximus and the diabolical dog (he can totally read), not a lot of other people really care about these goings-on.

but it seems i was a scooch wrong. i mean, lord knows i’m no oprah, but it’s been nice to learn as of late that i do have a pack of friends along for this ride. having you reveal yourselves, kind readers, has been a treat.

but more than just your identities, it’s a pleasure to know that despite my ridiculous stories, endless swear words and habit of accusing 1.2 billion people of asshole-dom, you keep coming back for more.

(by the way – totally ask yourself what this says about you. god, you’re so weird.)

i’m officially 120 days in now, and while it may not seem like it, this post is all just to say thanks. thanks to those of you who i now know are with me, and thanks to those of you who have yet to show yourselves.

in closing, because they inspired this post by revealing their kind readership, and because i did spend their june wedding day mostly moping for lack of not-being-there-ness, i should say congrats to the fav family brother and sister-in-law. you are loved.

happy to be able to share this with you - what a beautiful couple!

 

the arrival of an infamous box.

10 Aug

the favorite family is so-called for many reasons: some of them do things like make the babe who calls me auntie al and create perfectly perfect wedding dresses.  others teach me the value of appropriately timed ‘friends’ quotes for almost any social situation – a skill i take seriously.

but more than anything, the favorite family is favorite because when they’re around i know that, no matter what happens, i will never be alone. it’s kinda like a never-ending hug.

so you can understand my excitement when i learned that they were sending a box – a box of love, if you will – all the way to india! (lord knows i love to stock-pile me some love – and chardonnay – for the crappiest of days here.)

but after successfully leaving canada the box-o-love went POOF and disappeared.

panic ensued.  hair was frantically pulled out. a few tears were shed. dramatic scenes took place with postal workers named wendy. (man, poor wendy)

but then something strange happened. just as curiously as the box vanished, today it showed at my apartment! sure, it was mostly bottomless and looked as if a ferret had rifled through the contents seeking out tiny top hats for an all-ferret production of ‘chicago’, but it was here – and that was all that mattered.

wowsers! the fav fam certainly delivered on their promise of love in a box.

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so tonight i spent the whole evening casually rearranging my new tokens and singing along to adele. it was beyond stellar.

i can almost 100% guarantee that thanks to the love box, this weekend i will be dancing around my apartment  wearing a canada t-shirt and an eye-sleep-cover thing whilst drinking chilled chardy and licking what was a bag of chocolate chips and is now just one giant chip. thank you heat.

so with that mental picture in mind, consider your mission accomplished fav fam. xo

nothing that you are.

3 Aug

when i was about 13 i wrote a letter to my 30-year-old self that went something like this:

dear 30 year old al,

hey, how’s the future? well all’s good here i’m just kicking it in 1996 at my best friend trish’s* house and we’re totes planning what our lives are going to be like. she wants to be a dinosaur expert and marry ray* and live in australia.

as for me, i want to be an advertising executive, marry greg mcdaniels* and live in a 4 bedroom house with a terrier named irish.

so self, i hope that no matter where you are that you will find this letter one day and it will help you stay true to what you once really wanted.

love, al

*names have been changed to protect the guilty. and also because it’s fun to make up fake names for real a-hole people and talk about them  publicly. hey, just saying.

although i don’t have the letter in front of me, i give you a money-back guarantee that this is almost exactly what it contained – save a few details about being best friends for life with trish and wearing our broken heart be/fri  and st/ends necklaces to the grave. classic stuff.

bff 4 life. not.

so fast forward just 5 short years later my lost 18 year-old-self wrote yet another letter to future al.

this time it was an attempt to capture myself at 18 – because apparently i going through some kind of crisis like the plot of the 1991 movie “hook” where figured i’d grow up, become a yuppie jerk and forget how important it is to follow your dreams. or something.

i found this second letter shortly before leaving for india as i was rifling around looking for my travel neck pillow. i opened the letter, laughed hysterically, cried a little (both ironically and seriously) at how ridiculous i was and then 3-pointered it back into the box.

(i then watched the diabolical dog do a jaunty tap dance routine to “i got rhythm” for about 12 minutes. but that’s a whole other post.)

anyway, what made me think of these letters is our only-human propensity to sometimes be  so “in it” we can’t see “past it”.

ok sure, in my examples i was just a stupid angsty kid, but the phenomenon itself can be applied to about a bajillion (real number) things in this life: break ups, jobs, friendships, family, and yes, even moves around the world to countries comprised mostly of mud and spice.

something sneaky happens when we are blindly passionate, scared or committed – our rational thinking takes an indefinite caribbean vacay and we’re left romping around lost in the cold with no snowsuit having to pee.

basically, we lose our ability to see what really matters through all the other crap.

and really, the only way to find our way home, so to speak, is to surround ourselves with honest and hilarious people.  sometimes we all just need to be told to buck up, get our shit together and focus on the big goal. all in a way that doesn’t make us want to put our heads in the oven.

as evidenced by the above anecdotes, i could have probably used a few of those good people in my life over the years. but now, as i quietly and carefully “approach 30” (it’s not real if it’s in air quotes), i have several wonderful people helping me stay focused on what really matters.

and more than this, i’ve learned how to be one of these voices-of-sanity for others. most days, that is.

i didn’t become an advertising executive (do they even exist) and i didn’t marry greg mcdaniels, (he was always kind of a douche anyway) and i will never punish a dog with the name “irish”. so i guess, in the end, i am nothing like the person my younger self had so desperately hoped i would be.

but then again, what did she know?

he’s a good egg.

2 Aug

i have no idea what the phase ‘a good egg’ really means or where it originates from, but in my almost-asleep-dom i think it refers to someone or something being kind of awesome.

so tonight as i fall into my advil cold and flu slumber, (because apparently food poisoning has morphed into a cold? yeah, i said what the f*&k too.) i am using it to describe my husband.

because man, he’s a good egg.

i really won’t regale you with all the exact reasons, because there are lots and that could get boring really fast for everyone involved, but basically today he said all the right things at all the right moments – and i just really appreciated that.

(appreciated it in general, yes, but also appreciated it more specifically because my day consisted of breaking down in uncontrollable tears-o-rage in a hospital parking lot during a rainstorm. a story for another time, perhaps? then again, maybe not.)

whether it’s listening as i gab about my coworkers, the people who are disappointing, the people who are uplifting, the ever-plotting diabolical dog or our high maintenance house – he just mixes a mean cocktail of 1 part support, 1 part humor and 1 part love.

so as i literally drift off i am, more than anything, just really grateful for him today. as my friend and my more-than-a-friend.

(cause forget all the marriage crap, what’s obviously most important is that he’s totally dreamy.)

‘night bitches!

you are not alone.

31 Jul

it’s been a crazy week.  i am literally  not joking when i say i haven’t found a good opportunity to hit up the b-log (real word) and tell you what’s truly going on.  basically, as i hinted in my last post, i got a bit of a life this week and basically chose that over you. get over it.

monday was a write off (cause it’s monday, and they suck), tuesday i was in the field, wednesday i was drunk off sangria, thursday i was drunk and then at harry potter 7 x 2, friday i got food poisoning, saturday was still poisoned and then sunday (i.e. today) was still poisoned but drunk.

(hey, doesn’t alcohol kill germs? no? bueller? bueller?)

basically the theme for all of these events has been the americans – as their kindness and excellent taste in wine has continued to make my life good.

for example, miss jp often lets me take advantage of her driver, comfortable beds and hot running water when i need it. she’s very considerate of my situation – which is much different than her own.

and today was no different, as i was invited to brunch with a whack of consulate workers. i was all thinking: “great, greasy bacon and eggs and maybe a little toasty-toast thrown in there – just what the doc ordered.”

oh but no. no no. no no no. i knew i was in trouble when mrs. a and mrs. b showed up in dresses and i was in boyfriend jeans and a white t-shit. f*&k.

in response to my obviously horrified face at their outfits miss jp’s exact words were: “i knew if i told you that we were going to a 5-star hotel you wouldn’t come. you look fine. this is on me.”

needless to say my glorious bacon-and-egg theory was shot to shit.

the hotel was super fancy-pants and the food was unquestionably deelish. everything was tiny versions of itself – tiny asparagus, tiny sangwiches and tiny tartlets – which is how i truly know it was 5-star.

when the yum brunch was over about 4.30, most everyone decided to head across to the hotel bar to continue the booze-fest. i was, of course, excited at this because as you may recall: girls just wanna have fun.

naturally, on the way over miss jp told me that: “rounds 1 through 3 are on us, so just enjoy.”

and while i was starting to feel like a bit of a charity case, i do enjoy beverages, so i figured i’d repay them all in hilarious jokes, early 90’s dance moves (you can’t touch this!) and snide remarks.

of course, i repaid in full.

three indian-cosmopolitans later i’m pretty sure the alcohol had killed all the food poisoning germs still living in my body and i was feeling good. like batman good.

but it was time to go, as all good things – even afternoons of drunken debauchery – must come to an end.  as we stepped back outside from the fancy lobbies-and-tiny-food of the 5-star hotel to get into the car i exclaimed: “wow, i almost forgot that i was in india there for a while.”

and i totes wasn’t kidding. i had actually forgotten for a while that i wasn’t at home, hanging out with a bunch of friends making jokes and dancing to mariah carey. as you do.

but then something really weird happened: mrs. a started to quietly cry.

i felt really awkward, seeing as i was sangwiched in between mrs. a and her wife in the car and i had no sweet f*&king idea what had upset her. so, like a minx,  i just tried to casually keep the conversation going so she could gather herself. (because for serious, there is nothing worse than being uncontrollably upset and having everyone ask you what’s wrong. i literally want to punch babies when that happens.)

as i got out of the car at miss jp’s i asked her what was wrong with mrs. a – honestly worried about her unexplained upset-ed-ness.

miss jp said, and i quote: “she just really hates india.”

oh, just that, eh? sure. no big deal. (!!!!!)

now don’t get me wrong, this place is the armpit of india: it’s dirty, crazy polluted, technologically-stunted, vulgar and just generally hard to live in. but for diplomats – with their giant apartments, huge salaries and drivers – i figured that hey, life wasn’t so bad here.

but no matter who you are, what you have or what you don’t – it’s just hard to be in this situation. mrs. a is here as a diplomatic spouse, she doesn’t have her family, great professional opportunities, good networking or the ability to do all the things she likely enjoys. so yah, it probably sucks for her.

and i guess before today i never really saw all of that. i just thought – what the frig do these jokers have to complain about?

but i was wrong. and in thinking about her tears i couldn’t help but tell myself: “al, you are not alone.”

while i feel for mrs. a more than anyone, it’s good to know that, upswing or downward funk, the bottom line is still the same: we all miss our lives at home.

now, i’m off to listen to some 60’s rock and think about the husband’s arrival in exactly 1 month…

hannah told me this was a nice picture (of me, duh). and even if it is old, im vain enough to believe her and put it on my blog.

what we do to get by.

13 Jul

hannah told me a while back that you gotta do what you can to cope while living in a developing – or in india’s case, a transition – country.

(in hannah’s case this meant flashing the florida gator’s flag to every tanzanian, singing disney to herself and sneaking into the congo. you know, the typical stuff.)

for me, coping sometimes means drinking a bottle (or 46) of chilled chardy and then dancing around my apartment to 60s rock and roll.  sometimes it is allowing myself to feel brave, even if it’s just for a moment.

but mostly it means relying on the  the man i married.

the husband and i got into several good habits as soon as i landed in this crazy country of mud and spice. right off the bat we both bought tiny computers (1/2 because it was practical and 1/2 because he likes things that make him feel like a giant) and brushed off our skype accounts.

we committed to talking at least 2 times a day – at the beginning of my day and end of his, and at the end of my day and the middle of his. confused? sure ya are.

just carry the 2 and divide by 54.3 and you’ll deduce that what i’m trying to tell you is that we’re basically conversational wizards.  even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.

he's my #1

another thing we started a few days after i arrived was the ‘nighttime picture’. now i know this sounds like some kind of creepy sexual reference, but it’s not.  because that would be really awkward. for everyone involved.

anyway, l’epouse simply takes a picture of himself as he is wrapping up his day and sends it to my email. i usually receive it when i’m just booting up my computer at the office, so i always feel a little more connected to what he’s up to.

you know, seeing his face is not a bad way to start the day.

and our modest strategies seem to be helping me (and him) get through each day.  sure, we have our fights – lordy we’re both far from perfect – but we always figure it out. because that’s kinda the deal with the rings, i think.

so maybe it’s weird to lump the husband in with chardonnay and shameless self promotion tactics as coping mechanisms – but what can i say – he’s always going to be the #1 way i get by here.

but wine is a close #2.  (sorry sweetie)

about 90 days.

11 Jul

when i was 18 i put a countdown up on my bedroom wall noting the days until i was free from the evil grasp of high school. because my brain is full of random shit, i distinctly remember that this countdown started at 87 days.

i guess that at that particular moment 87 seemed like a lot of freeking days to be stuck hating your life every moment – as you do at 18. (wait – or was that just me? awkward.)

but as time has a tendency to do, my countdown slowly wore out, i graduated and then moved away for a very long time to recover from 5 years of self-inflicted emotional distress. higher education, jobs and a wedding happened – and soon it was 3,650 days later and i was living in india.

as of today i’ve been in this crazy country of mud and spice 90 days. and just like i did after graduating high school, i’m feeling pretty proud that i’ve made it this far.

(cause lord knows i never thought this whole “india” thing out very carefully – step 1: get a job, step 2: get on a plane, step 3: [crickets])

i am so proud of reaching day 90, in fact, that today when someone called me ‘brave’ – which i normally kind of hate – i secretly thought to myself: “dude, i am kind of f*&king brave! yeah! [insert end of the ‘breakfast club’ fist pump here please]”

but, admittedly, even with this perfectly fantastical 90-day milestone, i’m still counting the days – just like at 18. i’m really not trying to wish this year away, but i can’t help but be a pinch forward thinking.

it’s 51 days until le husband comes to hang out and 240 days until i will be toasting on canadian soil to my oh-so-super-brave year-long achievement. it’s 241 days until ill be driving around in my car named veronica to see the babies who call me auntie al. and it’s 241.5 days until i’ll be drinking a chilled chardy with said baby mamas. perfection.

my guess is that, much like my ridiculous tenure and subsequent escape from high school, on day 246-ish we will all be laughing about this whole crazy thing together.

me: “hey, remember that time i moved to india?”

you: “yeah…that was weird.”

july 11th is also 1/3 of team goodtimes - the italiana's - birthday. happy birthday darling girl! xox

sent with love.

31 May

there is a running joke in the team goodtimes family about hannah’s ability (or inability) to wrap packages for the mail.  to put it bluntly, upon arrival most of her packages look like a carefully-crafted letter bombs. awkward for everyone really.

since sending things to each other is almost a pre-requisite of being in our trio, hannah’s handicap (i use that in the most pc way possible, of course) has yielded many hilarious moments over the last 5 years.

however, i regret to tell you that i have never had the foresight to photo-document these incidents. this being the case, i sadly have no contrast for the package i happily received this past friday from hannah.

it looks like an adult sent it.

i hope you will take my word for it when i say that, in comparison to her previous works of ‘art’, this looks like an adult wrapped it and not a sugar-crazed toddler. even better than her wrapping job was the fact that it was chock-full of useful things for life here – like gator-gear (duh) and bug spray!

candy (my coworkers love!), itch-stick (i love!) and jello (for jello shots - everyone loves!)

to take blog notes?

attacked the ants, but they've only multiplied. bastards.

happy 1st wedding anniversary hannah + pete! thanks for the picture!

thanks hannah!

so thanks dear friend for abstaining from your typical mail bombing ways to make certain your love-filled package would clear indian customs!

hauling ass.

21 May

well it’s been a crazy week: i’ve been here there and everywhere. i’ve met with the americans. i hung out with our clients in their homes. i got told i was beautiful. i got told my nail-biting habit was dirty (it is). i rode a motorcycle for the first time.  i saw my first dog roadkill.

and while all this excitement has gone on, there has been one consistent theme to this week: hauling ass.

indians generally don’t move very fast.  they kind of like to linger when they walk, don’t much care if you’re trying to pass them and certainly aren’t worried about getting anywhere on time.  it’s stellar, really.

but there are some situations when it’s in your best interest to pick up your pretty little feet and move the hell outta the way. here’s a few from my weeks adventures:

1. when standing at the side of 4 lanes of traffic with 103495 people, 345 autorickshaws and 5049 motos, cross carefully taking one step at a time with your hand out. then find the opening. then HAUL ASS!

2. it’s sunny one minute and the next the sky is darker than you’ve ever seen it. the wind picks up and the droplets start to spit out of the clouds.  with garbage, dog pee, human pee and food covering the streets – the last thing you want is to get caught in the downpour and end up in pee/garbage soup. so HAUL ASS!

3.  you desperately need a ride to the market but it’s rush hour and all of india (yes, all) is looking for one too.  the line up for autorickshaws is huge – but – up in the distance you see one empty seat in fast approaching car.  out of the corner of your eye you see the guy beside you make his move towards the auto….duh – HAUL ASS!

so – while certain people and processes move slower than molasses here, i can confirm that without the tried and true principle of ass-hauling, i’d probably be screwed.

on a totally unrelated yet equally as awesome note:

birthday wishes from india.

thank goodness for americans.

19 May

it’s been a wild 24 hours but despite all the craziness of the last day, i have learned one key thing: thank goodness for americans.

here’s the rundown:

1. i got invited to a dinner with usa embassy workers here in kolkata: win.

2. i bravely planned to take the metro to dinner: win.

3. taxi driver didn’t know (or understand) the metro stop location, i yell, he drops me off on side of road at rush hour: lose.

4. new taxi driver thinks it would be fun to screw the white girl out of money, takes convoluted route to metro stop: lose.

5. metro is awesome, i find ticket, train and stop easy peasy lemon squeasy: win.

6. i find restaurant (italian place predictably filled with westerners.)  as soon as i leave metro station, despite rush hour traffic and near-death road crossing escapade: win.

metro ticket to prove bravery, and pizza to prove...hunger?

7. embassy workers are nice, inviting, unpretentious and incredibly welcoming: win.

8. trouble finding cab upon leaving restaurant, and when cab eventually located, driver drops me off in confusing spot in the market: lose.

9. panic, get lost and cry: lose.

10. get found, thank jesus and decide to keep crying: win.

11. get home, find out sienna’s born, cry again: win.

12. get no sleep because of #11’s excitement factor: lose.

13. try to find western union in morning, head to 2 banks, fill out 5 forms, get told after 2 hours you can’t send money from kolkata using western union: lose.

14. get home from work and find cable is out because of giant storm that prompted colleague to exclaim “i think we will have a twister-thing!”, fear for life: lose.

15. get an email from 2 new american embassy worker friends inviting me to birthday party next week that involves “libations, snacks, red velvet cupcakes with frosting and dancing at a club”, realize those are all my favorite things: win.

16. write this list, conclude win/lose ratio is preeeetty much even and decide to eat sour cream and onion chips: you decide.

spent.

things your mom and i have learned.

18 May

a note from al: i’ve had this post ready to go since may 11th – the original bean due date – and  i’m excited to say that i can now officially post it!

sweet one, you just have no idea how long we’ve all been waiting for you! it has been months – years even.  and some of us, i won’t say which ones, have been waiting a lifetime.

so after all this anticipation i’m sure you can see why today is just the best day.

while i can’t be there in person to welcome you, this doesn’t mean i don’t love you.  cause man, do i love you.

in my lingering absence i have spent hour after hour during these last few weeks thinking about how i could celebrate your arrival home – while i’m 12,000 kilometers away from home.

and then it hit me.

i’d be the robin to your batman! the watson to your holmes! i’d give you all the best things your mom and i have learned together from 27 1/2 + 28 1/2 years on this earth.

lesson 1: never ride alone.

steph + al horsing around

life is better with more than one: your troubles are easier and your joys are greater. (also…your pinot grigio is always colder. but this is a convo 19 years hence. 18 1/2 if you’re lucky.) build strong and enduring friendships – cause partner – the ride will get bumpy and you’ll want someone there who loves you to guide you home. giddy up.

lesson 2:  just go with the flow.

steph + al getting creative.

sometimes things don’t always work out how you planned. from bad haircuts (me) to broken noses (your mom) , you just gotta work with what you’re given.  embrace the unexpected early on babe, and you’ll always ride fast and high.

lesson 3: do your own thing, chicken wing.

steph + al looking smokin'

from this day forward people will tell you who to be – mostly with your best interests at heart of course! but if your mom and i have learned anything, it’s this: make your decisions for you and no one else. you may end up dressed to the nines in a room full of threes, but at least you will have worn what you wanted.

lesson 4: think not always of thyself but of others.

steph + al caring, sharing and daring.

it pains me to report that you will have bad days – very bad days. but always remember that  out in the mists there is someone having a worse day than you.  be compassionate, be kind and be sympathetic to those around you.  nothing feels as good as spreading the love.

lesson 5: love the ones you’re with.

wait...three? we're missing two.

while family comes in different shapes and forms, it is without a doubt the most important thing in life. embrace these (sometimes crazy) people – cause while family members can be the hardest to love – they will always love you the hardest.

so you see baby dearest, while i simply can’t be there shower you and your amazing parents with love,  i hope that for now you will accept these perfectly proven pearls via your ma and i as sort of a ‘hey! you’re here and i love you!’ thing. cause, let me say it again, man i love you.

welcome home,  sweet sienna. xo

pardon the interruption.

10 May

today i woke up feeling a little digestively challenged. all i will say is that i made some unfortunate vegetable choices last night and now i am off sick from work. of course, feel free to insert your own creative imagery here.

so as i sit quietly in my air conditioned mecca, i thought now would be the right opportunity to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming with some goodtimes.  team goodtimes, to be exact.

i’ve mentioned lidia and hannah a few times now since starting this confounded blog, and since i promised to share my stories of friendship and friendship fail-dom, i thought team goodtimes was the perfect place to start.

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i met lidia and hannah in 2006 when i shipped myself off to (the developing country known as) france for my last six months of university. hannah was  loud, obnoxious, incredibly american and lived across the hall from me in our dorm.  lidia, on the other hand, was quiet(er) but had a wonderfuly quirky sense of humor.

i immediately adored lidia – but as for  hannah – not so much.

listen, i’m the first to admit that i can be a judgemental bitch. but hannah was really outgoing you guys, and that freaked me out. as enthusiastic as hannah was (is), i was (am) equally as stubborn when i decide something is not for me.

yet despite weeks of suffering through my prickly demeanour, hannah broke me down with her obvious sense of loyalty, compassion and kindness. sure, she was over-the-top about everything, but that meant the girl knew how to have fun. and i liked it.

so with our mutual love for lidia in tow, team goodtimes was born.

i asked hannah last night how the name team goodtimes came about because i guess the french wine had eroded my memory. this is what she said: “al you gave us the name. you said we should be called team goodtimes because…we always have goodtimes.”

and while obvious, i guess it gets the point across.  we’re fun girls.

sometimes it's exhausting being so fun.

friendship is tricky and sometimes (many times) i don’t always get it right.  but, what’s beautiful about this is that my many failures have brought me to the point where i know a good thing when i see it. and folks – team goodtimes is just that.

over 5 years has gone by since our first days together – and while we are all on different continents – my dear team goodtimes girls still find time each day in their busy schedules to warm my heart.

i guess that’s just part of our deal. and i love them for it.