The Trenches

Because he couldn’t open ALL the bags of popcorn in the store. PC: Instagram @kirstmccall

There was this one time many years ago, I was unloading groceries from the car, plastic bags dangling from both arms as I tried to backwards-kick the passenger side door shut. My toddler sprawled out in front of me right there in the grass, draped across my feet, and began to wail because he couldn’t have a popsicle out of the grocery bag at that precise moment. I took my dominant leg and scooped him up with it like an excavator at a demolition site, moved him expertly to the side and dumped him right back in the grass where he kept on wailing. I glided past him and into the house, catching the eye of my judgmental neighborlady in the process, who I’m sure thought she was sure she just saw me kick my kid. Read more

Ideal

PC: Instagram @monikaklicks

#relationshipgoals  When you see a sultry black and white picture of a gorgeous young couple tied up together like snakes under blankets on the couch watching Netflix.

#bestfriendgoals  And you wonder who you would invite to go hiking through Europe with you, if  you and a best friend could actually take a trip like that.

#lifegoals But then you come back down to earth because you know you probably won’t ever really own a home off the coast of Greece, overflowing with a garage full of race cars.

#fitnessgoals Because let’s face it, this is real life and we are all just regular, normal, average people who don’t spend hours and hours of each day staying in shape, looking perfect and making millions of dollars.

What is ideal? and What is unrealistic?  These are questions everyone asks themselves quietly, like I do, as I try to set goals for myself while at the same time being honest about who I am as a person and where I am in my life. They’re questions that trick me sometimes because (1) I’m an eternal optimist and (2) I don’t like to think of my behaviors, my habits, my future and my body as things that I can no longer control. Read more

Buy the Shoes

The biggest bang for your buck comes from my favorite designer Vince Camuto. All the timeless style you want at half the price, and worth every penny. Instagram @vincecamuto

The chime of the doorbell this afternoon signaled the arrival of a special purple box. I raced to my front door and there on the porch was the brown delivery package that contained my new Stuart Weitzman Nouveau black patent leather pumps. Stuart Weitzman shoes always come in purple boxes, did you know that? No one in my house gets my enthusiasm when I wake up and scream, ”Maybe it’s purple box day!!!!!!” but please believe me, it’s a big day. Most men don’t understand ‘Shoespeak‘ just like I don’t understand ‘Boatspeak’ or ‘Huntingspeak,’ and most couldn’t tell the difference between a slingback and a wedge if their life depended on it and furthermore, they don’t care. So I looked around for someone to squeal with me. I needed a woman to share my big day with but only the Labrador was here. Read more

bad day

Photo Credit: Instagram Princess and Empire Builder Extraordinaire J. Burch. Instagram: @jm_burch @theburchhouse.

Sometimes my students grow up to be my friends. Sometimes, strangely, my students even grow up to be extraordinarily special to me in ways I never would have expected, like when they turn out to be hugely successful and I actually seek them out for help or advice.

Under strange and special circumstances, a student even grows up to be the kind of person I deeply admire and envy. Now, that doesn’t happen as often as you might guess, because age and wisdom usually only flow in a single direction, in the way the influence of mentors is supposed to trickle uniquely downward. It happened here though, with this young scribe I once graded and critiqued. She has grown into a mammoth talent, a lifestyle photographer with crazy skillz-with-a-z behind the lens. She is becoming her own Southern wedding empire with three small children in tow, and her #dearjason tributes to her husband belong in Taylor Swift song lyrics.

But that’s not what draws me to her — it’s her writing. Read more