Monday, June 30, 2014

I was right.


People used to ask me why I didn't leave.
Why when we fought so much, and carried on like children sometimes
When you said ugly things and I did ugly things
And we looked at each other and it was like pressing on a bruise to see if it still hurt.

I don't answer.
I tell a joke.
I make something up.
I lie.

I don't tell them, because they don't really want to know.
They just want more gory details. More secrets.

But I save the best secrets only for myself.

So I don't tell them that there is magic in you.
That your rib cage seems to hold it like the gilded cage of ravens, and your eyes seems colored with it.
I don't tell them that I stayed 
Because there was something in you
That I was afraid I'd never find in anyone else.

And I knew then
Like I know now

I was right.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Three things that are good right now

1. This song:
  99 Problems by Hugo on Grooveshark
Part hood, part good.

2. Gifts of Challah bread from people that love me, so I can have challah bread banana french toast, with strawberries and syrup and a little powdered sugar. My favorite.

3. This video:

So maybe it was a rough week.
But we carry on.
There's always hope that there's good news around the corner...or at the very least, pizza.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How do you sleep?

It is 11:07 pm ... should I go to sleep?

My entire life I've struggled with my sleep schedule.
I am a night owl. I always have been, and I am afraid, I always will be.
I come alive at 9 pm, and am happy to be awake through all of the nighttime hours. 
No matter how much sleep I get, I hate being woken up in the early morning.
I also seem to need many more hours of sleep than most people deem appropriate.
My mother's mother always was a short sleeper. 
She would go to sleep around midnight, and was up at 4 or 5 am every day to see my grandfather off to work. She didn't go back to bed after he left, and she never took naps, claiming that this was all the sleep she needed.
I, however, am able to sleep like it's my job - and I am employee of the year.
I can easily sleep 10 - 12 hours, no problem, and also stay up for 18 - 22+ hours easily as well.

If I were a childless artist, this wouldn't be a problem. 

Unfortunately I live in the real world, and have two kids who have to be up, dressed, washed, fed, and out the door to school at a very specific time ever. damn. day. 
I am on a first name basis with the attendance secretary at their school.
Why are we late? Again?
Because...because..because we JUST ARE, OK?!

There was a study done - I forget where and I forget by who because I'm bad at sourcing my facts - that essentially isolated a group of people, and allowed them to sleep and be awake 100% on their own schedule, so long as certain tasks were completed within a 24 hour period. In the beginning of the study, almost everyone stayed on their current sleep routine - going to bed around 10 or 11 pm, rising between 6 and 8 am. The majority of people though, were very sluggish and unproductive in these early morning hours. 
As the study went on, the group broke off into three main sleep schedules:

People who stayed up late, were highly productive at night, and slept through most of the daylight hours, and for longer stretches of time. 

People who went to bed very early, rose very early, and were productive on an off through out the day, with several naps at various intervals. 

And last, people who slept for a few hours at a time, were awake for an almost equal few hours, and then went back to sleep for another chunk of time. This group typically experienced a larger chunk of wakefulness in the late morning/early afternoon, where they were also the most productive. 

The study basically showed that there is no set amount of sleep that each person needs, nor is there a "right" or "wrong" time of day to be awake, and productive.
Still though, I feel like a total loser for staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning, and then sleeping until noon. Or, going to bed at 10 or 11 at night, and sleeping until 9 or 10 the next day. 

I feel like an order to be a "responsible" adult, or a productive member of society, I have to be awake by 8 am, productive all day, and in bed by 10. 

I'm not sure it will ever happen, so if you ever need someone to talk to and make tater tots with at 2 am, you know who to call. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer then, Summer now.

favorite season {please stick around a little longer!}

When my siblings and I were growing up, we - and all of our friends - had a lot of freedom during the summer.
Although we were mainly confined to our own neighborhood, from the time we woke up in the morning, until the sun set at night, we were free to roam about and play with our friends, pretty much for as long as we wanted.
Nobody we knew had a video game system, with the exception of maybe a Nintendo that the whole family shared, and nobody had their own tv in their room, so it was rare that you had the luxury of spending entire days sprawled on the couch playing video games, or watching tv or movies. 
Outside was pretty much our only thing to do.
I think when I was a kid, and probably for most of the generations before me, parents didn't see entertaining their kids or doing a lot of "play" as their responsibility. They handled your basic care, spent time talking with you or doing things together as a family, but when it came to most of your imaginative or creative free-play, you and your siblings and your friends were on your own.
My sisters and I were lucky enough to almost always live in neighborhoods with lots of kids. {Shout out to the ghetto always having lots of babies}. So every summer, as soon as we woke up we'd hurry to do our chores, and then dash outside to be with our friends.
In an attempt to stay outside - and effectively away from parental supervision - for as much of the day as we could, we found creative ways to occupy ourselves.
We played marathon games of Uno, Gin, Rummy, Poker, 21, and BS. 
By the end of the summer our decks of cards were soft as soap lather, and permanently bent almost in half. 
We hopped on our bikes - or on someone's handle bars if you didn't have a bike - and rode down to the elementary school or the baseball field or even the public pool. 
We'd go watch community league baseball games for free, and then stay after everyone was gone to play kickball or baseball on the empty diamonds. 
Almost every night, the park filled up with kids, and sometimes their parents, for pick-up basketball, volleyball, or soccer games. 
We were sunburned, freckled, tanned, wild-haired, and free. 
When our parents finally did call us in, we'd all stay in one bedroom together so we could keep playing until exhaustion over came us. 
We would do almost anything we could think of to stay entertained, but surprisingly we never really did anything too stupid. 
Sure, we built skateboard and bicycle ramps in the drive way, or climbed up on the roof to hang out, or took off to McDonald's without telling anyone, but none of us were smoking, or drinking, or having sex. There wasn't any drugs, and aside from the time we jumped the back wall of a neighbor we knew was out of town to take advantage of their pool, we never really broke the law. 
There was always a huge group of us, ranging from my age to my sisters' ages, and summer was two straight months of freedom and comradery. 

I wouldn't dream now of letting my two kids do half the shit we were allowed to do when we were younger. 
Leave the house the WHOLE DAY, with no cell phones, no pagers, and be allowed to be anywhere in the neighborhood at any time? Nope. You can go outside, but for the love of Jesus when I come out to check on you I better be able to see you. 
Stay out from the time you get up, until nightfall without checking in? 
If you're going to be outside that long, you best come check in every couple hours at least.
Get on your bike at barely 10 years old, and ride it all the way to the nearest intersection to get McDonalds?! 

I don't buy into the idea that it's any more dangerous in the world now than it was then, really. 
I know there are more people in the world now, and the city gets vastly bigger every day it seems like, and neighborhoods aren't as tightly knit as they used to be, but every generation says "It's not safe now like it was when I was little", and I just don't think that's true. 

I think the biggest reason why we can't let our kids have the freedom that I had as a kid, and that my parents had as kids, is because being over-protective has become the norm. 
Children aren't allowed to hang out in groups and pretty much do their thing, from the time they're pretty young, so long as they all stuck together, so it's gotten to a point where kids don't know how to look out for themselves and for each other until older and older ages.

When we were little, kids stayed home alone after school at 7 or 8 years old, and during the summer it was you and your friends, and you could go all day without even seeing your parents.
We were raised with the expectation that when your parents aren't around, you look out for yourself, and more importantly, you look out for each other. 
The responsibility of independence was given to us much earlier, and it was that way with almost everyone you knew, except for the kid we all felt sorry for whose mother never ever ever let him out to play without a parent there to watch. 

Whatever the reason is that things are so different, I wish my kids could have a summer like the ones that I had when I was little. 
I tell them all the time that if I had a time machine, I would take them back to the summer I was 10, and leave them there for the whole thing. When summer ended I'd bring them back, and see which they preferred: now, having computers and tv's and internet and video games, but much less freedom to be outside with their friends and explore and roam, or then, with no tv of their own, no computer, no internet, no cell phone, no video games, but a huge group of friends, and a whole neighborhood to explore and call home. 

I think they would choose then, in a heart beat. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to love her

Kiss her neck

Hold her hand

Let hugging her turn into holding her

Be patient when she's at her worst

Tell her when she's at her best

Be unconditional


Show passion

Take pictures of her

Whisper in her ear

Answer when she calls

Listen to her feelings

Be around for the small things

Make sure she knows you want her around



Make her laugh

Don't magnify her weaknesses. She knows what they are. She's far more aware of them than you are. You see them, you deal with them, she owns them. She carries them. She lives them.

Love those parts too. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Night Swimming

When you swim at night, there are no bees. 
The kids are in bed so there are no demands being made to hold them, jump with them, watch them, throw them, help them. 
It's just you and your body and the night and water.
You move smoothly through the tepid water like sliding through velvet. This is what you imagine a cloud would feel like if you could touch one.
A floating, weightless, deep, soft pool of something that all at once is and isn't there.
Under water there aren't any sounds.
The world drops down to a muted distance, so much so that your thoughts hush too.
No replays of your last fight with your boyfriend, no repetetive thoughts about things that need to be done, no stress, no worries, no cursing all the things you forgot to do but didn't.
The world drops down to a muted distance, so much so that your thoughts hush too.
Just bubbles, the swoosh of your arms or legs cutting through the water.
You feel your body stretch and move and you feel powerful.
Night swimming is good for you.
It's important to be weightless, effortless, and silent.
To shrug off the heat and the sound and the mistakes of life, and sink down to the very very bottom of something so cool, so soft, so quiet.
It's important to remember what your body is capable of.
That you are not the sum total of your scars, your jiggly thighs, your soft tummy.
That you are still just as strong as you ever were.
That you are still weightless.
You are still limitless.
You are still perfect.

You are still free.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Six Things That Are Good Right Now

1. Making bacon and fried egg sandwiches for Jackson in the morning.
He likes to make the toast, put the mayonnaise on it, and crack the eggs into the skillet. It's pretty cute.

2. Swimming, swimming, swimming.
I don't think I'll ever live somewhere by myself that has a pool I'm responsible for, but I don't know how we ever lived without one two doors down, that we didn't have to pay for or maintain.

3. Roasted chicken flavored couscous with diced tomatoes and cucumbers, and hella minced garlic.
My addiction.

4. Sister Wives.
I've binged watched four seasons. I do not want to be a sister wife, I can not stop watching the damn show.

5. This song:
The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov on Grooveshark

6. These kids:

Happy Friday

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


A room with a view

Querencia: Spanish for the place where you are your most honest and natural self; your home; the place you instinctively return to; where your heart belongs.

Coffee with you in the morning.

Holding your hand in the car.

My head on your chest.

My side of your bed.

The scent you leave on my clothes.

The sound of your laughter.

Your hand on the side of my face  back of my neck  small of my back.

You when you're with me, me when I'm with you, us when we're Us.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I decided

Check out my Instagram: angeliquebruna

I decided on you, that was the thing.
I met you, and my heart said "That's it", and I chose you. 
And sometimes it was hard, and sometimes it was sad, and sometimes there was the taste of Tequila where there should've been the taste of your mouth and the shape of things we should've been saying to each other and just weren't
Sometimes it was goddamn impossible, and everything was too jagged and summers were too long and we had horrible timing.
But other times...
Other times it was waiting for our breakfast table and you'd hug me tight and hold me against your chest, there in front of everyone like we owned the restaurant
Other times it was coffee on your back porch, eggs in a hole, showers together, my head on your lap
Other times it was fucking paradise.
We had joy.
Pure joy.
Because I knew you, and you knew me, 
And all of our mistakes and flaws and shortcomings...
Everything we'd spent so long covering up with everyone else
It was all just there, out in the open between us two, and we looked at the big pile of who and what we both were, and looked back at each other 
And just said 

And then you put your arm around my shoulders, and we carried on together.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Things I dont get about boys


So last week we talked about things I don't think guys really get about girls.
To be fair, I will admit that there are probably just as many things I don't understand about boys. 

1. Guys nights. 
I mean, I understand why there would be entire nights you dedicate to hanging out with the boys. Girls do this too, we call them Girls Nights. What I don't get though, is the shit you guys do on your guys nights. As near as I can tell, boys nights consist of a few guys getting together, talking shit to each other, and otherwise doing a bunch of stuff they normally just do alone, like drinking beer, and playing video games in silence - except when occasionally punctuated by the occasional aforementioned shit talking. When girls get together it's a fucking event. We wear our cute PJ's, we stock up on wine, we rent a bunch of girly movies, and then we spend the entire time talking through them, covering everything from relationships to fucking ghost stories. Or we go out and go dancing, get white-girl-drunk and eat a bunch of jack in the box. I don't know about you, but most girls I know don't do most of those things alone. 
With the exception of a few rough nights in my early 20's, I try to only fall asleep while eating a cheeseburger and crying, in the company of my besties.

2. Not knowing where anything fucking is. Like, ever. 
My dad used to say when my sisters and I were growing up that uterus' must double as tracking devices, because we always knew where everything was. This was not true. The truth was that he NEVER knew where anything was EVER, and his ability to look for things was about as on point as a blind person describing the color blue. Really, anyone who knew where their own asshole was on their body, would've looked like a crack detective next to him. This seems to be true for almost every man I've ever met, even guys that live alone. Somehow, the women they know that come to their houses once a fiscal quarter know where their shit is better than they do.
"Hey babe, where's my-"

3. The way you eat.
I think any girl who has ever lived with a man in any capacity firmly believes that the boys in the house are similar to garbage disposals, or the family dog when it comes to food. No matter what it is, if we can't finish it, or don't want it, the guys will eat it. And, if they're really hungry, it doesn't even have to taste good or have much flavor. I mean, I've watched guys shovel whole plates of what can only be described as slop, into their mouths by the pile, and then ask for more. Yet, at the same time, they are suddenly incredibly picky about the weirdest shit. 
It's like "Oh, that grey, flavorless, texturless mush? Sure, load me up." and then they're all "Is there fucking mustard on this burger? I can't even do it. I can't even fucking do it, bro."

4. Nice guys finish last.
Nothing infuriates me quicker than guys using this trite bullshit to explain away some bitch not wanting them. I mean, it's no different than a guy who is a total fucking asshole, writing off every bitch who doesn't want them because "she's crazy". A girl isn't automatically crazy if they don't like you, and it might not be JUST because you're too nice. Maybe there's some other shit at play here that made her not like you. I mean, just because you're nice doesn't mean you're perfect.
Maybe you smell like a ball sack.
Maybe you make a weird ass face when you're having sex.
Maybe you talk about your mom too much in a way that's fucking weird or uncomfortable.
Do YOU date girls ONLY because they're nice? Is that the only fucking thing you're looking for?
NO. So why do you expect for that to be the only shit girls care about? Nice guys don't finish last. Shitty ones who overly French pronounce French words, do.

5. Thinking your farts are funny.
I don't get this. I've said that before. I will never get this. I mean, let's be real, girls fart too, but when we do fart in the presence of one another, we don't laugh about it hysterically and then try to out do each other. We don't have farting contests with each other. We don't fart while we're laying in bed with someone, and try to shove their head under the blanket to make them smell it. 
Not fucking ever!

Well, maybe someday someone can explain this shit to me.
Until then, I hope we all learned something here today.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

I'd definitely dress up and go out in public with my kids. I hope my husband has that same attitude.

Mother's day and Father's day have always been funny holidays to me.
And by funny I mean mostly stressful, usually depressing and disappointing, seemingly pointless things.
I am, however, a faithful holiday celebrator. 
I love every single day between October 1st and January 2nd. I am a die hard Valentine's day supporter. 
Easter sucks, but I still do all the stupid traditions because TRADITIONS MATTER DAMN IT.
So, every year, when father's day rolls around, I try to be hopeful.

This year, instead of bitching about how explosive father's day usually is between my dad and I, I figured I would go the other way, and try to genuinely get in the spirit.

I grew up with a dad who was entirely complicated.
He was mean, selfish, neglectful, and emotionally abusive, and at the same time savored family tradition, and gave great advice on hair styles. 
It was neat.

When I had Lainie, I had genuine hopes that her father would turn out to be a good dad. At the time I wasn't 100% sure what my definition of a good dad was - the best I could probably describe it as was "nice to kids, has a job" - but I was still hopeful.

Things didn't really turn out that way though.
But then I had Jack...
And that didn't really go much better.

This may sound weird, but I would honestly tell anyone I know that the first person I ever met who I would describe as a great dad, was Bill.
It's a cheesy, trite, played out thing to say, but when you're with a man who is genuinely a good father, it makes you even more attracted to them, and on this whole other level too, that's really hard for other guys to compete with.
Bill wasn't just a good dad to his own kids, he was always kind, generous, and respectful with my own children, and never made them feel out of place in his home.

Watching the way he parented made me realize that there was this whole other kind of 'dad' out there.

Dads who know how to cook, and know all their kids favorite foods.
Dads who drive crabby, tired, ungrateful kids to and from countless events, practices, recitals, appointments, even when it means missing work, time alone, or time with their friends.
Dads who wanted to get up in the middle of the night with the crying baby, because he loved rocking her back to sleep so much he still talks about it, 17 years later.
Dads who never refer to spending time with their own children as "babysitting". 
Dads who go to the corner store at 2 am for baby Tylenol without complaining, who change diapers for you while you're in the middle of something, who talk to kids like they're human beings who deserve kindness and respect.
Dads who put up with stupid teenage-daughter-drama and still tell her he loves her before she goes to bed and when they get off the phone, every single time. 

Dads who show up.
Every time, no matter what, even when you tell them not to.

Here's to those dads.

Happy Father's day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five things that are good right now

True Story: I haven't been this excited about Friday since last Friday!

As always, in no particular order...

1. Coming home to my babies after three days in Vegas.
Sometimes the best way to remember that being a single mom isn't so bad, is to not be a mom at all for a couple days.

I made them with the kids, and again on girls night with Lucia, Ryder, Jackson, and his permanent shadow, Aubrey. They are the bestest. 

3. Watching "Are You Afraid of the Dark", with Lainie.
I sometimes - lovingly - call Lainie my princess of darkness, because she shares my life long affinity for things that are a little creepy, a little dark, a little gothic, a little left of center. My favorite movie when I was growing up was {and secretly still is} The Addam's Family. Lainie's is The Nightmare Before Christmas. Because of this shared love for the macabre, we used to watch Ghost Hunters International together, but we burned through all the available episodes on Netflix pretty quick. In search of another show to watch together, I discovered that Are You Afraid of the Dark is FREE on Amazon Prime, and we watch a few episodes together whenever Jack is sleeping, or otherwise preoccupied. I loved this show as a kid, and sharing it with my little mini-me is pretty cool. 

4. Surprise Starbucks and coffee cake 

5. Blogging again. I know I was absent for a good long while, but it feels good to come back and tell stories and track the small moments of our lives here.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with. Candace Bushnell

When Lucia and I were 18 years old, we took an impromptu trip to California. 
It was late at night in the middle of the Summer, neither of us had work the next day, and we had a full tank of gas. 
We were driving around aimlessly in Scottsdale when I suggested a turn-around trip to California, Santa Monica specifically. To my surprise, she didn't say no. Lucia still lived at home at the time, so she called her parents to let them know she'd be crashing at my place - an almost nightly occurance by that point - and I called my friend Josh to see if we could switch cell phones for the night, because mine wouldn't have service in California and neither would Lucia's, and we didn't want to go that far with no phone. This was literally only sign of responsible planning on either of our parts before beginning our journey. 

In the middle of the night, armed with a full MP3 player of our favorite music, and a shit load of junk food, we ventured off on the I-10 freeway towards the symbol of freedom and happiness to all young girls - California and the beach. 

During the six hour drive, we blasted music, sang along to every song, stuffed ourselves on Chili Cheese Fritos, and stopped twice for sodas and once for a bowl of chili from this truck stop by the border that has really good chili. 
Sometimes we talked, sometimes we were quiet. We felt brave, and grown up, and excited. 

Just before dawn, we made it to the beach. 
It was completely empty, so quiet, a little cold. 
Eyes bleary with lack of sleep, we kicked off our shoes, left them in the car, rolled up our jeans, and walked side by side into the sand. 
For over an hour we wandered down the shore next to the water, watching the tide go out. 
We found a good place to sit and smoked our cigarettes, and talked about everything, but mostly about boys.
Both of us were experiencing a tumultuous end to a relationship at the time and leaned heavily on our shared experience. We were young, emotional, and over our heads in love. We both took our separate break ups hard.

Sometimes around mid-morning we started to get tired and headed back to the car. 
After a good 45 minutes of driving around, we found a high school parking lot we could stop in and sleep in the car for a while. 
We drove a Dodge Neon. 
Sleeping in the car was no easy thing.

On the drive back I remember sitting in the passenger seat and watching Lucia as she drove.
She'd been there for me so consistently in the last few weeks, I felt overcome with gratitude towards her. I don't know how I ever would've made it past that summer without her there.

Over the years I think we all meet fascinating people.
People with incredibly interesting lives, or wealthy families, or maybe some level of celebrity. They show us and introduce us to these new and amazing things, and they are dazzling. 
But you learn, with time, to hold on the tightest to the people who have loved you the most consistently through the hardest things. 
The people whose kindness and affection and opinion of you did not waiver during moments of weakness or periods of struggle. 
People who have come over at 3 am to hold your hand while you cried on the bathroom floor, half drunk and completely heartbroken over a break up. People who have showed up, uninvited, to make you soup and sit on your bed with you while you're so sick all you can manage to do is drift feebly in and out of consciousness for two straight days. People who have listened to you bitch about the same shit, a hundred million billion times, and just let you get through it, no matter how many times or for how many years they had to listen to the same shit. They were just quietly there for you. 

Keep these people, hold onto them.
These people who always defend you, who always forgive you, who love you consistently, even at your worst. 
Take trips with them, go on adventures together, make memories. 
Never let them forget what they mean to you. 

These are your soulmates, and they are so rare.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Monument Valley, UT/AZ:   Felt like a cowboy!

My freshman year of high school, my uncle Mark passed away and my dad went to Chicago for a month to have him cremated, and take care of his final affairs. 
When he returned late at night on Christmas Eve, he brought back with him my uncle's Harley Davidson. 
A 1987 Sportster, too small for a man his size. My uncle wasn't a big guy. Tall. but lanky in the way that everything he wore always looked good on him, and he had an air of coolness that seems to come with being underweight.
The handlebars on this bike are short, so my dad always had to kind of hunch over, usually with one elbow propped on his knee giving him an "I couldn't care less" look. 
Almost immediately after he brought that bike home, it became his daily driver. 
My sisters had both already grown up and moved out of the house, so there was no need to have any sort of family car with only one 14 year old kid at home - not that we ever really had a family car anyway. 
He took me everywhere on that bike. The grocery store, buying only what we could carry comfortably, school. friend's houses.
It got to the point that when we had to go somewhere, I just immediately put on my jeans, riding boots, and leather jacket without asking if we were taking the bike. 

One morning in the summer after I'd stayed up all night battling a particularly long stint of insomnia, he came into my room and said simply "Wanna go for a ride?"
In those days he wasn't around much. Usually drinking, or partying at a bar his friend owned, mourning the death of his younger brother, and struggling with the life he'd ended up in. 
I answered back "Sure" and got ready.
My dad has always been a stickler about proper motorcycle riding attire. 
Tough, thick jeans, boots that lace up and go at least an inch or two higher than your ankle, and a leather jacket, regardless of the weather or temperature. Also a helmet, obviously.

I didn't own a leather jacket, so my dad always had me wear one that had belonged to my uncle, which was an old Chicago police motorcycle jacket he'd bought at a surplus store. Being the 14 year old punk rocker I thought I was, this was very cool. 

I got into my riding "uniform", met him outside and hopped on the back.
I didn't ask where we were going. I didn't particularly care. It was over 100 degrees out already and I just wanted to start rolling already, because the sun was soaking into my black leather jacket faster than oxygen into my lungs.
We took off and made the winding trek out of our neighborhood, down the mountain we lived on the side of. I love the way you have to move with a motorcycle. The way you have to let yourself sway exactly in rhythm with it for every turn, every curve. It's like a dance. A balance. An agreement that's made between you and the bike and the road. You'll all move together, and nobody gets hurt.

We got on the freeway and headed north. Out of the heat, I guess. 
Traffic was heavy and drivers were inconsiderate for most of the way through the valley, but once we got to Anthem on the I-17, the road opened up before us like a great wagging tongue, inviting us into the mouth of the mountains and valleys and canyons beyond. 
We accepted, and revved the motor, switching gears. 
The day rumbled on in a blur of scenery, little towns sprouting up here and there like unexpected gardens, and then disappearing as fast as they had come into sight. Houses on the sides of hills, trucks with trailers and yard full of horses, little gas stations, diners, of course McDonalds. 
When you ride in a car, you feel the silence like a living thing during long trips, and after a while you start to need to fill it. With the radio, with conversation, with road games. 
When you're on a bike, the buzz and steady roar of the motor, the whisper of the tires against the blacktop, the wind rushing around your helmet, all blends together into a kind of silence that makes everything else fall away. 
You don't mind not being able to talk.
Nothing would improve on that silence.

We drove for a good while until we got into a little town, I think it was New River, but I didn't ask. We stopped at a gas station for Cokes and bathrooms and to stretch our legs. The insides of my thighs already felt bruised and numb at the same time, but it makes you walk in a way that suggests a natural swagger, and that's always cool. 
There was a diner in the same parking lot with a big ad painted right on the side, advertising the best pie in the state.
We stopped in and sat in a booth with a window. We chewed our pie mostly in silence. My dad looked out the window. I noticed that we have the same nose: from the side an angle so straight you could use it to halve a piece of paper, coming to a perfectly round drop off at the end. Wide from the front. Everything else I have is my mother's. 

After we finished the pie we saddled back up and continued on. The weather was already a few degrees cooler up there, and there was almost no traffic, since it was a weekday morning. 
I still didn't ask where we were going, and at this point I cared even less. 
I don't know if it's from years of driving a tow truck, or years of hitchhiking around the country, or both of those, or neither, but my dad always knows his way around, and seems to always know where he's going.
Because of this I've always been drawn to men with excellent navigational skills. 
Sometimes the things I look for in partners is exceptionally odd. 

Eventually we arrived in Flagstaff. It may have only been a couple degrees cooler, but if felt about a million. 
We stopped in a McDonald's parking lot, and I had already ripped off my helmet and leather jacket before I'd even gotten off the bike. 

We spent the day roaming. Roaming with my dad is akin to aimlessly walking, but for exceptionally long distances. Part hiking, part trespassing. 
My father is a story teller, but he has to be in the mood. When he is, it's hard to stop him. 
My favorite thing to listen to him talk about has always been women.
This may sound weird, seeing as how I'm his kid, and kids aren't supposed to ever want to hear about their parents dating, or falling in love, or doing anything disgusting like kissing. But I never saw my dad as an infallible parental figure, who was all knowing and perfect, and probably never did things like have a one night stand, or do drugs. In fact, quite the opposite. I've always been starkly aware that my father was - regardless of his parental status - still a person. A human, not just a dad, just as capable of mistakes, just as full of wants and needs and desires and fulfilled dreams as the rest of us. 

The way my dad talks about women is hard to explain. 
Few people really get it until they're on the receiving end of a story or a tidbit of advice about the fairer sex, and when they are, they always end up in rapt attention by the end.
He has a romantic and somehow simultaneously 100% real view of women. 
He sees them both as unbelievably strong and intimidating and capable, and somehow still seems to have a perfect understanding of their needs. 
The tragedy of his seemingly sage and infinite wisdom on the topic of women, is that it apparently doesn't seem to extend to his dealings with his own girlfriends, ex-wife, or three daughters. 

He told me that day - and several times since then, actually - that the thing he was never good at with women was communicating.
"I've never been too good at communicating with women. At least not in the right way, I guess. I keep all these feelings, all these thoughts, all these wonderful things I know about them up in my head and forget to say them. Or don't know how to say them. And I've learned that the quickest way to make a woman act 'crazy', is to stop communicating with her. Something about it makes them feel...known. Recognized. Included. Needed, too, I guess. See I've also learned that women want to be needed. They want to help us guys, they can't help it, they just do. The secret though is that you have to ask them to, otherwise they won't do it, and they'll be mad at you for never asking them. You have to communicate."

Around sunset we found our way back to the bike, and started the trip home. 
When we pulled into the drive way and he cut the motor, the sudden quiet without the rumble of the engine was almost unnerving. I quickly covered it up with more conversation. 

"So, who was the love of your life then? Was it Mom? Or Tonya? Or Kathy?" 
We'd been talking about soulmates and true love before leaving Flagstaff.
He was quiet for a while. For so long I thought he didn't hear me. 

"It was Kathy. But I never told her. You know, I never looked her in the eyes and said it and said I needed her. You know, it's like I told you. You've got to tell a woman things. You've got to keep surprising her with delightful little things. I hate how corny I sound, but it's true."
I nodded along to what he said, made my way down to my room completely exhausted, and fell face first onto my bed. 

For the first time all summer, I slept through the whole night.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Things Guys Don't Understand About Girls

Bitches Love Leaves hahahaa

Don't get me wrong, I love men. 
I do.
I don't believe that all men are those stereotypical, clueless about women idiots that are so often portrayed in tv shows and movies. I will give it to you that there are some men out there that truly get women. However, in my 26 years on this planet, I have also come to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that men and women are inherently different, and therefor there is some shit about girls that guys just don't ever seem to fucking get. 
Granted, there are probably just as many things about guys that girls will never understand. 
Like, why do you have farting contests with each other? 
I mean, really. That's disgusting. 
Why, of all the games and activities available to you in this vast and infinite universe, would you choose the one that involves two people sitting in a room of their own butt stink? 
Someone explain that to me.

Anyway, I think the world would be a much better place if there were a few general things that we could get the entire male species to fully grasp and understand.
Thus, the below list...

1. It truly does matter what we put in our fucking hair. I dated a guy for a while who washed his hair with the same body wash he washed his body with, and straight up did not fucking own shampoo or conditioner. You know what? His hair looked fine, all. the. damn. time. Once we'd been dating for a while I tried to bring a bottle of my preferred shampoo and conditioner over to his place to keep there, since I'd been showering at his house on a pretty regular basis. Homie freaked the fuck out. Not only did he see this as my way of trying to "trap" him and "mark my territory", but he just could not understand what was so wrong with just washing my hair with the same soap I washed my body with, like he did. I tried explaining to him that soap is not shampoo, and it was ruining my fucking hair. Needless to say, we got nowhere, and me and my shampoo left shortly after this.
NO, we're not being high maintenance or spoiled. If you don't want us to walk around looking Beyonce after she takes her weave out, then you need to come to terms with the fact that our hair is delicate, and what we put in it matters. Be a nice guy and buy the shit your girlfriend likes, so she can look pretty like you want her to.

2. Whenever we fight with you, there are always two fights going on: the Facts fight, and the Feelings fight. Guys are almost 100% of the time wrapped up in the Facts fight. Girls are 120% of the time in the Feelings fight. Most likely we're not screaming at you and crying because you didn't wring the sponge out all the way AGAIN, thus making it smell like moldy asshole, we're most likely upset because you feel like you don't listen to us. Put your detective hat on and look for the feelings behind what we're upset about, and the fight will end a lot sooner. 
Also tell us we're pretty.

3. We absolutely get overly emotional and sensitive sometimes and overreact to stupid shit because we're baking a fucking hormone casserole inside our bodies. But we don't want to hear about how irrational we're being. Regardless of how stupid it is, or if the way we're acting really IS because we're PMSing, what we're feeling in that moment is real to US, so just validate our feelings, listen to us bitch a little, and give us a hug. 
Also, tell us we're pretty.

4. It's the little things. I know this is such a trite and over used phrase, and everybody has heard it a thousand times, but what most guys don't seem to really understand is that when we say "it's the little things", we really mean that it's little shit that makes us the happiest. Small gestures that show us how well you truly know and understand us, and care for us very much. If a guy were to stop by to watch tv, and like...took my trash out, or did a few dishes while I was in the bathroom, I would marry that mother fucker SO fast. Nothing scores a fella points like changing his girlfriend's tail light, or running her car through a car wash when they notice it's dirty, or even just buying the soap they know she likes when she comes over for the weekend. 
Show us you know us, you get us, and you care. That's really all it takes. 

5. Girls do not look cute in the morning. You know that cute girl in Starbucks on Saturday morning, in the Victoria's Secret sweat pants and cute little tank top, with the adorable messy bun, and sunglasses, showing off just the right amount of midriff, with the glowing face, and shiny lips? Yeah. Bitch did not wake up looking like that, and just roll over to Starbucks all sexy and shit. She spent two fucking hours perfecting that "messy bun", she changed OUT OF the pajamas she actually slept in, and into those expensive "nice pajamas", and she slutted the outfit up real good with a push up bra and tank top no girl would EVER sleep in, and she DOES have make-up on. No girl wakes up looking like that. Ever. 

6. Speaking of pajamas: bitches love pajamas. Yoga pants, jammy pants, sweat pants, boxer shorts, baggy t-shirts, we love all that shit. When you're not around and we have nowhere to be, guaranteed we are in our pajamas, no bra on, with straight up homeless person hair, regardless of what time of day it is. This is why girls get so pissed off when you call us AT THE LAST FUCKING MINUTE, and are all "Oh, I'm two minutes from your house, wanna hang out?" or "Hey, wanna meet for lunch like, RIGHT FUCKING NOW?!" It's because we don't wake up and immediately put on our tight jeans and make-up if we don't have shit to do that day. We roll out of bed, and lay the fuck around just like guys do, and we look like shit. Giving us two minutes of warning before seeing you means one of two things:
Either A. I'm going to break a world record for becoming somewhat presentable in under 5 minutes, or B. that's the day you get to meet homeless, just-got-arrested-for-a-DUI-county jail mugshot-looking-Sarah.
Nice to fucking meet you. 

7. Girls want pictures with you. Yes, we probably do the whole "oh no, please, I look like shit" thing when you bust out your phone for a picture, but I promise you, taking pictures with us - and even better - sharing them on your Facebook, or making them your phone's wallpaper, or putting them on your desk at work, makes us feel like a million freaking dollars. Also, if it irritates you that we take so many fucking selfies, maybe it's because you don't take enough "us-ies". Yep. Just invented that word.

8. We cannot shave our legs every damn day. We just. can. not. Ok?! First of all, do you have any idea how long that shit takes? Basically forever. Secondly, we have to do some crazy ass yoga/Pilates/muay thai type moves in the shower to even achieve 100% smooth legs. Aint nobody got time for that every day. Also, it dries our fucking skin out to rake it with a damn razor over and over, every single day, trying to mow down hairs the length of a fruit fly's legs. Yes, you may be able to feel them when you touch our legs, but until they invent a razor that can distinguish between hairs so short they are barely even visible, and the top layer of MY LEG SKIN, you're out of luck. You can complain about my stubbly legs when I can complain about your nose hair. 

I hope we all learned something here today. 

Monday, June 9, 2014



When you photograph weddings for a living, you hear a lot of vows, a lot of sermons, a lot of speeches about love. Love and what it means, love and first Corinthians, love and the role of the lord, love and how to do it.
It starts to eventually feel like people are telling you that all there is to relationships or marriages is love. 
So long as you promise to love each other forever, everything will be fine.

I don't know.
I mean, I've never been married, and I've never been with someone for my whole entire life, but I have started to notice that it seems like falling in love is the easy part.
Sure, it's important, sure it's a huge factor, and sure without love you probably won't be very happy in your relationship, but I think if the day ever comes that I stand up in front of everybody I know and promise the rest of my life to them, I'd want to have something more to offer than just love. 

I'd want to promise to love you forever, because it is impossible not to love you.
Because in all the years that we've been together, all the mistakes we've both made, I've loved you for every minute, of every day. Even when we hated each other.
I'd want to promise to go to bed angry, and have faith that things would look a lot better the next morning, over pancakes or fried egg sandwiches.
I'd want to promise to support you in your dreams and passions, no matter how crazy or unique or scary they may be for me.
I'd want to promise to always be adventurous with you, and make our life together a life full of memories, full of exploring, full of wonder. To always be beside you when you went looking for a little trouble. 
I'd want to promise to take care of you, to be there for you and always be on your side.
To be the voice that always has something good to say about you, when it seems like the whole world is holding up a magnifying glass to your flaws.
I'd want to promise to be the one that reminds you of how special you are, how wonderful and amazing and brave you are.
I'd want to promise to always laugh at your jokes, and kiss you goodnight, and be happy to see you when you come home.
And above all else, I'd want to promise to never forget how lucky I am to be yours, and how happy I am that you're mine, and that I get to love you.
Because I have, I do, and I will.

I will love you.

Friday, June 6, 2014

10 things that are good right now

In no particular order...

1. Re-watching all the seasons of Friends in order. Lately I've been re-watching all the old seasons of Friends starting at episode one. I loved that show when it was on the air. It was one of me and my dad's "shows", something we'd always watch together at night before I went to bed, and I forgot what good, classic comedy it is. Also, when I was little I totally wanted to be Phoebe, but now that I'm grown up, I am painfully aware that I am, of course, Chandler. A show of hands for who is surprised by this? Oh right. No one.

2. Having a pool. When I was growing up we lived in exactly one house that had a pool, and my dad was so bad at caring for it, that after one measly summer of use, it was so neglected and dirty, you couldn't see to the bottom. There were actual tadpoles spawning in there. Now we have a community pool in our neighborhood two doors down from our house. No one else ever uses it, and we don't have to maintain it, we just get to walk down and enjoy it for free. Pretty awesome.

3. Jackson being back in his own bed. I loved co-sleeping with him, and I do like that he still sometimes gets up in the middle of the night and gets in bed with me, but there is something so nice about not taking a roundhouse kick to the left boob every few minutes from a very large six year old.

4. Girls nights. Lately Lucia and Ryder have been stopping by on Fridays, and while Ryder plays with Lainie, Lucia and I have some much needed girl time. We sit in my room and talk for hours, like two high school girls all over again. We even always somehow end up telling scary stories and creeping each other out, which is weird, and awesome at the same time. I used to not like girls when I was younger, but as I get older I realize more and more how important strong female friendships are in my life, and I'm so glad to still have two best friends that I've known for years to hang out and do hoodrat stuff with. 

5. Healthy kids. This one more or less speaks for itself, right?

6. Sunday morning toaster strudels.

7. Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. Ok, so maybe it's a little bit lame that two of my top 10 good things are tv shows, but it's the little things in life, right? I love this show, and after binge watching the whole first season in like a week, and then went through pretty intense withdrawals. Finally season two is out TODAY, and I am so ready to get my crazy eyes on.

8. This video, which I've watched like...20 times since I was introduced to it. Seriously makes me laugh out loud, every. single. time.

9. Dealing with it being Summer - so far. If you've read this blog before ever, you know that my anxiety gets inexplicably worse in the summer time. I call it reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, you might call it "insanity", but hey, tomato/tomahto, am I right? So far this summer though my anxiety has been pretty manageable, and I don't feel like I'm losing my least not from anxiety. I mean, I am still home all day with two kids who are out of school, so you know....we're lost past the point of calm, rational reasoning here.

10. Being happy. Life isn't perfect right now, it never is, and I'm not always the greatest at seeing the greatness of it all and being unabashedly happy. You might not ever guess this about me, but I can be a little sarcastic and cynical sometimes - surprising, I know. But, right now, as imperfect as things may be, I think they're improving. We're doing our best, and we're doing ok, and I am genuinely happy. And that's pretty fucking cool.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback to 2005, when Lucia and I had just turned 18.
I had my own apartment, she had her own vehicle, we both had a new-found sense of independence and freedom, and the idea that we were ultimate bad-asses. 
Which we totally were.
I mean, look at those belt buckles, ok? Mine is a FLASK. A real one! You could take it out of the buckle and drink out of it! 
Which I made people do pretty regularly.
Back then we had one kid between the two of us instead of three, way more disposable income, jobs where we started work in the late afternoon, and plenty of friends to buy us booze.
Life was pretty much the shit.

At some point we both decided to find boyfriends and "fall in love" and "grow up" or whatever, and pretty much ruined everything.

I mean, don't get me wrong, we have Jackson and Ryder now, and we're way more mature, and much more responsible with our money, and don't abuse our poor little livers nearly as much, but sometimes I do miss staying up until 4 am just to get the very first Hotzie sandwiches they put out at QT, or driving around all night interpretive dancing to all our favorite songs, or still being cute - and thin - enough to flirt my way into getting a guy to buy us booze with his ID. As tumultuous and wild and reckless as we were capable of being back then, we were still a damn good time. 

Happy Thursday.