Aging Fashionably

Lately I’ve had some trouble coming to grips with getting older. Not so much from a physical perspective, although the occasional errant gray hair and rapid deterioration of my metabolism are rather alarming.

It’s more the realization that the world of fashion feels more narrowed to me. For the first time in my life, I now look at clothes, shoes, accessories and question if they are too juvenile for me.

I still feel sad that basically my entire family mocked and dissuaded me months ago from buying a pair of Keds from the Taylor Swift design line.

(For the record, it was these.)

And with the transition to spring, I went through my (rather extensive) nail polish collection to pick something out, and for the first time questioned if I should really be wearing any of these colors. I suppose the pastel blues and mints are still okay. But I’m thinking the neon orange and bright purple and navy blue might not be professional for someone in their thirties?

And I don’t know if it was this realization that spurred it, or my general shift towards neutrals lately, but yesterday I did a little shopping to replace my almost-empty current favorite nail polish:

I remember having to figure out what dressing for your twenties meant – dressing young and fun, but not too young to still professional at work. Or not like a teenager at happy hour. Being thirty-one, a new mom, with a new mom-shaped body that is definitely not what I want it to be and still a work in progress, has left me feeling a little lost in an area I always felt so confident in.

 

Refueling.

I’m currently sitting in my living room, about an hour into listening to Teddy “cry it out.”

Although I’ve read mixed reviews, criticisms, and techniques on how to get a baby to sleep alone, in his crib, through the night, without strapping him into a particular bouncy chair (amen!) the general consensus is you’re going to have to tough it out at one point or another, and you should do it before they learn real words and scream “WHY MOMMY WHYYYY” while you do.

The problem is we’ve already gone through this, oh, about EIGHT times because the poor kid keeps getting sick, so we revert back to his chair in our room so he’s upright enough for his sinuses to drain and we can tend to him the five or so times he wakes up throughout the night. All good sleep habits die hard.

Hello, month nine.

NINE.

Yep, we are still at it. Not sleeping. Praying for a day that my alarm clock actually wakes me up at 6 am, instead of the baby at 4:30. (I still set it every night. Either because I am an optimist who believes that day might actually arrive, or a pessimist who still fears I will manage to be late regardless of the circumstances.)

At any rate, I am in need of distraction at the moment. So I figured I might as well blog about, whether or not anyone wants to read about it.

PAUSE.

Holding my breath.

The room falls quiet and my heart races towards hope as I think his strong will has bent to drowsiness.

Ohhh, no. Nope. Mistaken. He was just pausing to take a breath before launching back into it at 135%. Nothing but a pitstop.

He was just refueling.

Ceteris Paribus.

I abandoned my Twitter account about the time I abandoned this blog. After almost two years, and just about every life change imaginable, I found that the simple act of updating my profile pretty much sums up everything you’ve missed:

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Yep.

Quit blogging, quit selling on Etsy, got pregnant with my first child, became a first-time homeowner, said goodbye to my twenties, had a baby and became a MOM, quit my job and started a new one. Oh, and the baby stole my vision somewhere around month five, so now after 30 years of perfect vision I wear glasses.

But aside from all that – all things being equal (ceteris paribus) – I’m pretty much exactly the same person I was two years ago.

(Hah. Are we ever the same person we were two years ago?)

I spent quite a bit of time on this blogging discussing what it might be like to simply live life for a while without picking apart my every action, typing it up, then overanalyzing it some more.

Fighting that part of my nature has been good for me – action is good. But then the more you act on life’s opportunities, the less time you have to reflect on them, until eventually you realize two years has passed on your favorite pastime.

So I’m giving it a go again after a record hiatus.

Hello, world. How’ya been?

 

 

 

 

Shifting Gears

Last night my husband tried to kill me with a $400 road bike.

(For you cyclophiles, it was this one)

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First, with the purchase amount, then with trying to explain how to use a gear shift that has TWENTY-ONE gears, and finally by making me attempt to ride it.

Heart, head, body. All took a beating in the name of self-improvement.

Because that’s what we’re doing this year. Self-improving. Officially, we’re training to ride in the Hotter ‘n Hell 100 10k this August, but unofficially we’re attempting to generally be healthier people since we’ll both be in our THIRTIES by the end of 2015.

Did I mention this is also the first year I’ve decided to start using night cream?

Apparently when you’re almost thirty, things expand. Your ass, your assortment of skin care products, the amount of gears you have to awkwardly slide between to accommodate the different speeds in your life. Oh, to return to the time when five gears seems liked three more than you would ever need to make it to where you wanted to go.

Early Christmas Present

This Christmas, Aaron and I decided to give each other the gift of custom framing. (Wow, we are old.) He now has all four degrees and law certifications in the same nice frames for his new office (it cost a pretty penny, so it was also his “congrats on the promotion” present) and I got my beloved Goodwill cross-stitch reframed. Bringing it from the hideous 1970s (by my best guess) into a quirky cork frame perfect for the kitchen.

Before:

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After:

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I have to admit, even though I fell in love with the cork, I’m afraid it’s a little too kitschy and not classic enough and years from now I or someone else will look at it in the same disgust I looked at the old one…. thoughts?

Here’s a pic that shows one of the other, more traditional frames/mattes I was also considering:

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Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?

Several of my friends who are very involved in volunteering and community events, often in a capacity very dissimilar from their day job, have started getting business cards made to pass out when networking. Eventually, the temptation was too great, and after a little time on VistaPrint.com, I’m now the proud owner of these:

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Refreshingly, I only spent $20 for 150, which I’m guess will last me a prettttty long time.

Curious – what are your thoughts on personal business cards? Would you get them? Do you think they are silly? What would you/do you use them for? I’ve heard of mom cards before, for sharing with your child’s new friends parent’s, but curious if there are other creative things people are doing with them…

Shopping Inspiration

I’ve been doing a lot of window shopping lately, which always gets me in the creative mood (and curbs my spending appetite).

Behold, inspiration:

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And the one thing I did actually buy – because it was from Goodwill and under $3, and well, I’ve developed a recent obsession with cross-stitch:

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Oxfords for Women: Fashion Do or Don’t?

Oxfords for women. Would you or wouldn’t you?

For me, the answer requires quite a bit of specificity. I’m not a fan of clunky man shoes for women. As much as I like menswear styles on women (ties and sports coats and hats and such) my feet remain anti-feminist and demand girliness.

Here are a few of my favorite, acceptable menswear inspired women’s oxfords:

Cole Haan “Tompkins” – on sale now for $129

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Several dead-end Pinterest finds that are impossible to track down and actually buy, but at least a good reference for inspiration. (Don’t you hate when that happens?)

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All You Need Is Love (And Narcotics)

Yes, in 48 hours my chemical makeup has reversed from 80% snark, 20% sap to the other way around.

(Meanwhile, Aaron’s chemical makeup has also shifted to include a much larger percentage of pain meds – not that he ever normally takes narcotics – whatever, enjoy the parallelism.)

Bear with me, or skip this post entirely if you’d rather wait for my usual sardonic, self-deprecating, shopaholic posts.

BECAUSE.

Because, I feel like it just needs to be said – typed out for posterity – for the whole world and especially the people in my life to hear.

BECAUSE.

Because you are amazing.

I’ve always known my life was filled with family and friends and coworkers and bosses and my husband’s friends and coworkers and bosses that truly, deeply cared and gave a shit about us.

288_716712470380_3989_nAfter the week I’ve had, I now know it more than ever. And honestly, it’s overwhelming. The phone calls, the texts, the offers of help. I think it would take all of my fingers and toes to count the number of people that have made open-ended, anything-you-need offers of help in any way they can.

And, even though Aaron may tell you differently at this point in the diagnostic process, this isn’t the end of the world. No one is dying, no one has cancer. But just the fact that there are so many people in our lives would jump at the chance if they could to alleviate any pain – physical or emotional – just to see me and Aaron happy and healthy is absolutely extraordinary.

While I hope and pray that none of you ever need it, I do hope and pray that I am given the opportunity to do the same for each and every one of you.

BECAUSE.

Because my life is blessed for knowing you.

How to become less of an “all or nothing” kind of person.

c5d816cd18ec1aaa4428daa732edc9a6Recent opportunities presented and lost have thrown me for a loop this past month. After allowing myself to believe we might be moving back to Houston sooner than planned, the crash and burn has meant forcing myself to adopt the “grow where you’re planted” mentality, rather or not I’m 100% onboard with the prospect.

The good news is, I feel for the first time in, oh, 13 months? that I’m starting to build something here. I joined the local Junior League, I made some friends. I have commitments to volunteer, and places to be. I got a YMCA membership. Hell, I even joined a fruit & veggie co-op. (And my juicer comes in the mail today! Who am I?)

Comfort zone be damned, I’m trying like crazy to put down roots so I don’t always feel completely adrift.

I think what’s helped me more than repeating this annoying mantra of “grow where you’re planted” is to try to see life as less linear and more a collection of days. Living days in sequence causes more black and white thinking – I’m here or I’m not, I’m on a diet or I’ve ruined it, life is or isn’t exactly what I want when I want it.

Because when you think of your life as a collection of days, there are less stepping stones, less waiting for something to happen, and no ruining of diets or goals. Instead, like a game of cards, you focus on collecting more good days than bad.

Even if life doesn’t immediately become exactly what I want it to be, and I can’t control or know when I will get certain things out of it, I do know that I have infinite good days ahead, available for my own choosing.

Austin Rocks.

Dear Diary,

Last weekend I went to Austin and bought rocks.

Well, that’s not all I did, but it’s the funniest part (to me) because my husband thinks I’m crazy and that you shouldn’t go to Austin because the hippies will get you and I’m particularly vulnerable to their subversive ways.

(Which is also funny because he is an Austin native and my sister, who like me is a native of Texas’ most corporate city (Houston), is the one who brought me to the rock store in the first place.)

Regardless of who coerced whom, I ended up at a place called Nature’s Treasures that had an outdoor quarry rock yard in the back, an on-site psychic/tarot card reader, and what I’m pretty sure was some sort of spiritual healing class happening that included meditation music (with whatever the drum equivalent of a rain stick is).

At one point I became separated from the group, and a salesperson noticed I looked confused. He showed me to the outdoor rock yard, saying they might be there. When we didn’t immediately spot them, he said “or there might just be something out here you were meant to see.”

But it’s hard to feel spiritual healing and hear cosmic messages when outdoors in Texas in the summer.

Unless you’re dehydrated.

And hallucinating.

Either way, I managed to find three things I couldn’t live without, which, only upon bringing them home did I realize that their hippy-chic appeal doesn’t really flow with my pseudo mid-century modern hoarders aesthetic.

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I suppose they work on the porch where there’s a stronger nature vibe going on.

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(Really, Lauren? A wind chime?)

Cute though, right?

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Cool Specs.

I recently read a blog post by the lovely Karen Walrond in which she shares her eyeglasses obsession – particularly on Rivet & Sway glasses (and a wonderful $50 discount for her readers).

So of course, I took a look. Then fell in love. Then immediately made my first eye appointment in oh, two or three years?

(If I’m going to spend $199 minus $50 minus 10% off for first time buyers, I want to make sure my prescription is still right!)

Here are my three picks I plan to have mailed to me through their “Try 3 For Free” program. (Let’s face it, I’m dying to have the ones that are half pink, but I don’t like to leave things to chance, and I have an unusually round face.)

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On actual people:

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