Wednesday, June 26, 2013

MSO Rin's brain didn't make it back with the rest of her luggage, so she's going on a quest to find it. The problem is, since she doesn't have her brain, she's heading west instead of east. Sigh. Kids these days.

We'll be back to your regularly scheduled programming around July 8. Should another Wonder Woman choose to post, just consider it a bonus for your loyal readership!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MSO Rin made an executive decision to give the Wonder Women a break this week. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she didn't have time to come up with a Wonder for the week and then write her Monday post b/c she was getting ready to go spend the rest of the week with Wicked M (and see super jane, too!). No indeedy. It did not.

Now ... can G Love get a last-minute flight north for under $1K? Not likely, but she'll be with us in spirit.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I generally like to spend time alone and be by myself.  My husband likes to remind me of how when we were first living together that I laid down a law that I needed five minutes to myself when I got home from work every night.  I just needed that five minutes to decompress and shed my day.  I prefer quieter activities to loud and crazy ones.  I find big groups of people make me anxious and I almost always wish I were at home, in my comfy clothes, and watching some sort of trashy television.  Part of it is that I am an introvert.  I am shy.  I worry that people will not like me.  I mostly worry that people will not like me because I do believe that I am sort of hard to like.  I can be opinionated.  I can be bossy.  I am a know-it-all.  I own all of these parts of myself but I hate being judged because of them.

Growing up, I never had a lot of friends.  I have always been the type to have one friend and make that one my bestie.  We would do everything together.  Then, my friend would move away.  This happened to me consistently through elementary and junior high school.  In high school, I made a few friends through sports and was subsequently dropped by those friends because I chose to attend a different college than they did.  Nice, huh?  So, as I look back through my life I have really only had a handful of best friends.  True friends.  People who I felt like I could tell anything to and that I would do anything for.  I always felt like those people felt the same way about me.

I have found as an adult that friendships have only become more complicated. People have careers, kids, spouses, etc.  It makes getting together nearly impossible and my few truly good friends have become scattered across the world.  I have to admit that I often find myself lonely.  Superman travels for work every week and I find myself with a lot of alone time in the evenings.  Most of the time this is a nice reprieve from the craziness that is day-to-day life with a toddler.  However, there are some nights that I desperately wish I had a girlfriend I could call to come sit on my couch with me, drink wine and gossip with.

In the last few years, my circle of friends has become even smaller.  I had a friendship that I had fostered since college that slowly slipped from my grasp.  I am still confused by how it happened and what exactly I may have done wrong in the situation.  My friend never said a word to me, but our friendship grew strained and with distance factored in, it was easier to just let things go.  She just slipped away.  There were actually three of us that had been friends since college.  We did most everything together.  The other two girls in the friendship were friends before I came along and I felt mostly lucky to just have been accepted as part of their pair.  We complemented each other well and we had a lot of fun together.  We all had varying interests and did our own things, but we could always come back together and be ourselves.  I treasured that relationship and felt like I did everything I could to keep it strong.  Part of me desperately wants answers.  The other part of me definitely does not want to know what happened.

The part of me that definitely does not want to know what happened is because I have another friendship, a family relationship actually, that has erupted into a firestorm and I have been given "answer" after "answer" and they all hurt.  I have been ripped to shreds and told that I am nothing.  Someone who I loved dearly and never expected to hurt me has hurt me deeply and the relationship is not likely to recover.  How could it, really?  How could I ever want to spend time with people who have decided I am not a good person and that I do not have the best of intentions?  I am still shocked by how this all happened.  It has been months and my brain still cannot reconcile a situation that I walked into with a hopeful heart was used against me as an ambush and a chance to break my heart.  I have tried several times since this initial ambush to put the pieces back together again and have been met with resistance and repeated attacks.  This person is lost to me.

This post may not make any sense to anyone.  For that I am sorry.  I just had to get some of this out.  It has been a rough time for me lately and I have been doing a lot of soul searching.  I apologize for using Wonder Women as a way to work out some of my issues.  Still, I do believe that Wonder Women was started with some of this in mind.  I just miss my people is all.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Likes and Dislikes - Then vs. Now

I like:

1) sales at the grocery store - I love saving me some money, so when I can score something for cheap, I'll stock up.  My younger self never ventured to the store except to purchase beer.

2) cheap gas - I will drive just a teeny bit out of my way to save a few pennies on gas.  My younger self wouldn't even bother to check the price because I knew my allowance would be coming at the week's end.

3) losing 1 lb. - Good Gosh it takes me FOREVER anymore to drop 1 lb.  My younger self would realize that my pants were getting a little tight.  I would only think to myself, "I think I need to lose a pound or so" and viola -- the pound would magically disappear.  I swear I never tried to lose weight; it would just happen.  Why does that not happen now!?!?

4) a clean home - My younger self loathed cleaning.  I look at pictures from when Jas and I were first married and am embarrassed by how our home looked!  Somewhere, somehow, I became a little bit obsessed with keeping my home spic 'n span.  I love a shiny, clean home - especially when it's mine!

5) mowing the yard - What a great workout!  I can burn nearly 500 calories push mowing our near 1 acre of land.  It's awesome! 

I don't like:

1) staying up past 10:30pm even on the weekend - I just can't do it!  My eyes automatically close at 10:30pm.  It's involuntary, really.  My younger self wasn't much better; I'd usually hit the hay around 12:00pm even on the weekend!

2) sleeping in - This is a weird one, I know, but I have found that I'm actually more tired when I sleep in.  This means that I set my alarm for 7am on the weekends.  I feel better and am less cranky sticking to my normal sleep routine.  My younger self never set an alarm clock on the weekends.  I couldn't get enough sleep back then!

3) big social gatherings -  My younger self craved parties.  Oh how I loved a big get-together with loud music and 100+ of my closest friends dancing in a small room (I never did, however, like the club scene).  Now, I would much prefer a smaller group of friends.  There is still music and me dancing, but it's not so large scale anymore. 

4) rap - Just kidding.  I still love rap.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Glamorous Life

1. Tanning
THEN - Awesome!  I went to the beach and I got so tan, and I don't even have bad tan lines because I moved my straps!  I look hot.
NOW - Awesome!  I went to the beach and every inch of me is as white as ever - I even remembered my ears and the tops of my feet!  

2. Exercising
THEN - I just ran two hours, but I'm still so faaaaaaat because I ate THREE Papa John's breadsticks.  Ugh, why am I so gross?
NOW - I squeezed in a half hour run into my hectic schedule, and it was awesome but now my knees hurt so baaaaaaaad.  (I no longer care about being fat.  The glory of 35.)

3. Boys
THEN - He likes me??  Then I must like him!  It matters not whether he's remotely interesting, kind, funny, attractive to me, or has any motivation and skill.  He likes me!!!  I'm in LOVE!
NOW - He did all of the dishes, laundry, mowed the lawn, dropped off the recycling, changed the garbage bags, and made dinner while I flopped all over the couch holding a miserable sick 3 year old.  Then he rubbed my shoulders after the 3 year old finally went to bed.  I'm in LOVE!!

4. Alcohol
THEN - Giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle.  Tee hee.  I think I'll have a CIDER.  I'm so bad!  Hoo hoo, I've only had one and I'm tipsy!  Giggle giggle.
NOW - It's ok to have three glasses of wine on a Wednesday night, right?

5.  Leisure Activities
THEN - Lay out on a beach towel on the grass and read a book.  Or maybe go for a swim, then lay out by the pool and read a book.  Go see a movie.  Get ready to head out to the bars at 11pm, get moderately toasted, return home and sit out on the porch stoop with friends, having one last drink and wondering about life.  Sleep it off til noon, then spend the remainder of Sunday watching movies and eating junk food.  
NOW - (this space intentionally left blank)

6. Sick Days
THEN - Awesome!  I have a sick day, that means I can relax and watch bad tv!
NOW - Shitballs.  I have a sick day, that means I have to try to bill from my couch despite my bouts of vomiting, and will probably work all weekend.

7. Money
THEN - OK, I think I have enough to cover student loans, rent, car insurance, food, gas, and utilities.  I don't really have much left over, but I'm cool.
NOW - OK, I think I have enough to cover student loans, mortgage and rent, car payment and insurance, food for four, gas for two, daycare, health insurance, pet care, home maintenance, car repair, savings, retirement, and utilities.  I don't really have much left over, but I'm cool.

8. Eating
NOW - Fuck it.  Yummmmmmm.

9. Women's Equality Issues
THEN - Huh?

10. Home Furnishings
THEN - This thing I found in the dumpster will look awesome in my living room.
NOW - This thing somebody on etsy found in a dumpster and re-finished will look awesome in my living room.

11. Coffee
THEN - Gross.
NOW - Nectar of Life.

12. Vitamins
THEN - Always bought them, struggled to swallow them, threw them out three years past expiration.
NOW - Flintstone gummies, ya'll.  It's the mature way to get your daily B6.

13. Kids
THEN - I want them.
NOW - You want them?

The More Things Change ...

ME NOW: I like kale and spinach and bok choy and fennel and will even eat tomatoes and mushrooms when they’re in a really great recipe. Actually, I enjoy the majority of produce found at our wonderful farmers’ market and will even go to the farmers’ market just to go even if I don’t need to do any veggie-shopping. ME THEN: Tomatoes? Mushrooms? Never. Please pass the Wavy Lays and French onion dip—those count as vegetables in my book. And why are you setting your alarm for 8A on a Saturday to go walk around a parking lot to look at plants?

ME NOW: I cover myself in SPF 15 or higher every single solitary day, even in the middle of winter when there’s no sun to be seen for a week. ME THEN: Who says Norwegians can’t get tan? Watch me! I will spend the entire summer before sophomore year of college stretched out on the back patio from 11A-noon … prime baking time!

ME NOW: I love my Ford Escape Hybrid. ME THEN: What’s a hybrid? Are you still talking about plants? Did you end up becoming a science writer like Dr. Mac suggested?

ME NOW: The Boy and I get a kick out of trying new wines from all over the world. We usually make our picks based on the label art. It’s our little way to travel every couple of weeks. ME THEN: Hey, weirdo, wine is for snobs. Where’s the Mike’s Hard Lemonade? Also, while we’re discussing alcohol, tequila is gross—it smells and tastes like gasoline. ME NOW: No it doesn’t. Tequila is awesome. Just don’t drink too much of it … you get mean. Really mean. ME THEN: Whatever. At least you don’t like beer now. Do you? ME NOW: Ugh, no way. ME THEN: Good.

ME NOW: My idea of a perfect date is curling up on the couch with The Boy, wine in hand, after a yummy home-cooked dinner to marathon-watch “True Blood” or “Battlestar Galactica” or “How I Met Your Mother” on DVD. ME THEN: Except the wine part, that actually sounds pretty good. But you should at least go to concerts or out dancing or throw a party or something every once in a while. ME NOW: Yikes. Those options sound so exhausting.

ME NOW: We are recalculating our budget in anticipation of putting our condo on the market/house-hunting in the near future. ME THEN: Why do you need a budget? Doesn’t your job pay you enough to just buy what you want when you want it? ME NOW: And what job is that, exactly? ME THEN: I don’t know … something in publishing or writing or theatre or something … right? ME NOW: And that is why I have a budget. You probably should have spent more time thinking about career goals and less time fretting about boys during senior year. I mean, life is wonderful and I’m just where I want to be, but still, you had absolutely no clue how to look for a job. It’s a little embarrassing. ME THEN: I have no response to that.

ME NOW: I am extraordinarily excited about the prospect of meeting the kids of two of my best friends this summer—one in June and one in July. ME THEN: Wow. Kids. That’s wild—they must be so happy! I don’t think I’m interested, personally. Not not interested in your friends’ children … I mean in having any of my own. ME NOW: I knew what you meant. And that doesn’t change.

ME NOW: My thrilling Memorial Day weekend was spent doing laundry, cleaning the house, and moving almost every stick of furniture we owned so we could have the carpets done. ME THEN: My thrilling Memorial Day weekend was spent driving two states away to hang out w/my sorority sisters and drink and see Dave Matthews Band for about the eighty-fourth time. I win.

ME NOW: Sometimes when I get to the top of the stairs at home after a long day at work, especially when I’m carrying groceries or something, just for a few seconds I feel like I got hit by a small but powerful truck. ME THEN: Maybe you shouldn’t have stopped going out dancing all the time. That’s the most fun kind of cardio in the world. And it must be the secret to keeping in shape, because, dude, do I get sweaty when I dance! ME NOW: Well, there are other forms of cardio that are actually more fun ... ME THEN: I don’t get it.

ME NOW: One of my favorite little thrills at work is getting to use our colored Liquid Paper on forms that are blue/yellow/pink/green. ME THEN: That. Sounds. Awesome. Do you also have cool pens? ME NOW: Yes indeed. I’ve mentioned them before. ME THEN: Up ‘til now, I wasn’t sure about you. But I think you might not be so lame after all. ME NOW: Thanks. You might not be as frivolous as I thought. I’ll be sure to mention that in my current blog post. ME THEN: What’s a blog? Are you talking about plants again?

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Little Thrill

As a young person, there are sure to be a lot of things that you said you would never do;  things that you said that you would never care about.  There were definitely things that never crossed your mind that you would consider fun or a big deal.  These days, though, if you are anything like me, you are finding that there is a certain thrill in some things that your younger self would die over.

Superman and I have this happen to us periodically.  One of us will come in from somewhere and exclaim, "I just got the best deal at yzgyzg (name changed to protect the corporate machines!)!"  Seriously, I just saved so much money!  We both celebrate a little and then give each other that look.  It is a look that we both know well now and after we see it, we always laugh.  Then, one of us says something like, "Man, my twenty-two year old self just died a little inside."

It is a funny thing how time sneaks up on you.  As a kid, you always want to be more grown up and bigger.  Then, before you know it, you are an adult and you are doing adult things that are a lot less fun than you thought they might be.  Paying bills, for example.  However, as a young person with my first job and my first apartment, I used to get so excited when I had paid all of my bills for the month.  I felt such relief and accomplishment!  Then, it would occur to me just how little money I had left over and the sixteen year old in me would be all, "Ugh!  I just want some new shoes!"

So, here are some things that have recently happened to me or that I have said that would shock the hell out of my younger self.

1.  I recently got all geeked out over the fact that I fit all of the dinner dishes into the dishwasher like a Tetris master.  I even did a little dance.  Who am I??

2.  I managed to stay up until 11 o'clock one night two weekends ago.  This was a major accomplishment.  Anyone remember how 11 o'clock used to be when we would be leaving to go out for the night??

3.  Woo!  I slept past 6 a.m.!  (Actually, Superboy slept past 6 a.m. and this was MAJOR cause for celebration!)  Young me cannot even believe that getting up before noon is an option.

4.  Yay!  New patio furniture that we got on sale!  Young me still cannot believe we have a house and that we even need patio furniture.  I mean, aren't adult always going out to dinner and doing fun things away from home?!

5.  I just drank three beers.  In a row.  And I did not fall asleep!  Young me cannot even believe this one.  I mean, three beers?  That is it??  And they were not even really beer as they were more like cider.   Young me would have pounded actual beers and then done some shots and would have been ready for more.  Me now is just ready for bed.

6.  Oh my gosh!  I finally got rid of the baby's diaper rash!  Young me is all, "Wha???"

7.  I got out of Target for less than $100!  Actually, young me is quite impressed by this.  That is quite a feat, folks.  

8.  I totally just painted the hell out of that bathroom.  Look, no mistakes and all done!  It is beautiful!  Young me is just like, "Dude.  You painted a bathroom.  This is your excitement now??"  Other iterations of this excitement include, "I just found the perfect shade of gray for our bathroom!" and "Wow!  There are so many paint colors to choose from!  We may have to go back to  Sherwin Williams to get more paint chips!"

9.  I just found the perfect thing to go in our upstairs nook.  Finally!  I have been looking for months!  Young me is just dumbfounded.  You spent actual time looking for furniture?  Why are you not sitting by the pool reading a book and working on your tan?

10.  Man, my knees hurt.  Young me is frightened by this.  Things hurt now?  Yes, yes they do.  We also make old person sounds now.

11.  Oh my gosh.  Did you see Superboy's face when we gave him his first tricycle?  He was just so happy.  I will never forget that face so long as I live.  Young me is happy about this too.  I mean, you finally got to where you were supposed to be, lady.  

Being an adult is not all that bad after all.  In fact, it can be quite awesome.  It is just funny how you can going along and SMACK(!!!) you realize you are not quite as young as you used to be.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Belated Happy Place

Sitting on a balcony terrace, a tall cold beer in hand.  Riotous flowers spill over the sides of enormous terra cotta pots perched on the terrace.  Over the edge of the terrace wall, down below on the square, a band has set up on a portable stage.  They play, and a crowd in front of them dances, or perches on the walls around the fountain, sit in camp chairs and chat.  

The air is hot and dry - none of your Southern humidity here.  We order light appetizers - it is too hot for a meal.  The beer is cool and refreshing.  We sit at a tall table, feet hooked into the crossbars of our stools.  We talk, and sometimes we don't talk.  The evening passes, and eventually we walk down a set of steps and head into the square ourselves.  The official band has packed up and left, and two old men remain, strumming Old Crow Medicine Show while a little boy spins in a circle.  Eventually, we wander over to the art district, sip complimentary wine and pore over paintings that we wish we could afford to buy.

I've never lived in Santa Fe, but sometimes it feels like my home.  I'm drawn to that city, its vibrant downtown square, its happy residents, its art and sense of life.  It has all of the jubilation of New Orleans, but none of the dysfunction.  

This isn't like "outside" or "the theater" - in that it's very specific and it's pretty darn far away from me.  This is not a place I can go when I need a recharge (that would probably be outside and/or the theater!)  But it is a place that makes me very happy whenever I am in it.  It was the first thing that sprung to mind when I thought of how I would answer this question.  One day, we've talked about being snowbirds (what's the opposite of snowbirds?  heat-escaping birds?)  We would spend winters in our Gulf Coast home, but summer up in Santa Fe, where the temps are much more bearable.  

I'll make sure to bring my guitar.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Friday!

No "wonder" for this beautiful Friday because my brain is already in weekend mode.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Actual Magic

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, “Montana is my happy place.” It made me smile and nod … right on, man. Mine, too. But my fellow WW have written so evocatively (or will, in G Love’s case, I’m certain) of their happy places that are out-of-doors and/or related to nature and the seasons—I’m not going to repeat what they’ve said. I’ll just smile and nod … right on, man. Mine, too.

And yet. My hands-down happiest happy place is a theatre. Any theatre, any performance, anywhere. I prefer evening curtain times but I’ll take matinees, too, so let’s add “anytime.” Theatre is active, breathing, ephemeral art. It’s actual magic, being practiced right in front of you. In a theatre, you have permission for everything (except having your phone on): laughter, tears, breathlessness, longing, delight, heartbreak, anger, love, disappointment.

If you’re on stage, you are transported by your character’s needs and actions … you conjure with your humanness. If you’re backstage, you are transported by the rhythm and mechanics of what must be accomplished … you add to the incantations with your craft. If you’re in the audience, you are transported by the willing swan dive away from yourself and into the story … you complete the charm with your investment.

No matter what mood I’m in beforehand, the moment I step into a theatre, I’m on the cusp of happy. I know there will be magic worked around or with or through me and the anticipation of it is intoxicating. To be present for an honest-to-goodness spell—to be part of an honest-to-goodness spell—is simultaneously soothing and exhilarating and frightening.

Theatre is alive. Celebrating with something that’s alive … what’s happier than that?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Happy Places

I have always tried to focus on finding happiness in the little things every day.  I found that if I placed too much value on one single thing making me happy that I was setting myself up for failure.  However, there are some things that make me happier than others and those have always been my happiest places.

Some of my happy places are seasonal.  For example, I love to sit outside in the summer sunshine while reading a book and working on my tan.  Feeling the warm sun on my skin and losing myself in a mindless read has always made me gleeful.  I love sitting at a winery with a glass of wine in my hand in the springtime.  The flowers are bursting with renewed colors and everyone around me is always so happy to be out of the house and out in nature again.  In the winter, I enjoy curling up on my couch with a trashy magazine or a cross stitch project and losing myself.  The snow falls outside my window, I am snuggled up in a warm blanket and I have a glass of mulled wine at my side.  Ahhhh, cozy.  I find that in the fall my favorite times involve some sort of project -- carving pumpkins, making decorations, etc.  I guess that is just my time to prepare for winter and settle in to months of being inside.

My happy place these days is spent with Superman and Superboy.  I love when the three of us are all together and laughing.  Superboy is always doing funny new things and Superman and I love to look at each other over the top of his head and smile at each other with delight.  The three of us shooting hoops is fun, the three of us reading books together is a joy, and the three of us eating dinner together on Sunday nights is heavenly.

There has been one constant happy place in my world though.  It does not matter what season it is or what is going on in my life.  I recently reclaimed this happy place for myself on the two days a week that Superman is home.  I am running again.  After writing this post, I realized just how unhappy I was with my body.  My workouts are great, but running will always be my working out soul mate.  I truly missed it and I decided that I was no longer going to talk myself out of doing this one thing for myself.  So what if Superman has to rearrange his schedule a little bit?  I do that every day of my life now, so I decided to be a little selfish.  I am pleased to tell you that running is exactly as I left it.  I can blast my iPod and pace myself to a little Britney Spears.  I love rediscovering my running playlists.  I love exploring my newish neighborhood and waving to fellow runners.  What I love most is that it is fantastic exercise and an amazing way to clear my head.  It gives me 45-60 minutes to just lose myself and turn off the noise of my everyday world.  I pound that pavement and reclaim myself.  That is my happy place.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I wonder where my Happy Place is....

Lately, I've been focusing on my happiness.  It's not that I'm depressed or really unhappy.  It's just that I came to the realization a couple of weeks ago that I'm living life on autopilot.  I'm not really enjoying my life.  I'm not really, truly, 100% happy.  I'm ho-hum and for whatever reason I'm having trouble with it.

After this realization, I decided that I was going to be purposeful in my happiness.  I would think of those things...those events...those people that have brought me joy over my lifetime and intentionally place them in my life.  For instance, I have admired my rose bushes and other flowering beauties that grace my landscaping for years.  They make me happy to see them.  Work, however, does not bring me so much happiness.  So, before leaving for work last Friday morning, I snipped a beautiful rose and some other tiny flowery thingy, and placed them in a dainty, light blue glass vase.  I brought the tiny vase into work with me and sat it next to my computer monitor.  That tiny glimpse of my garden brought me much joy that day. 

It's things like this that I'm trying to incorporate more into my world.

Just yesterday, I discovered where my Happy Place is.  I have always enjoyed the outdoors.  I have always loved the smells of outdoors, the sounds, the woods, rivers, and creeks.  I didn't realize until yesterday, however, just how much nature calms my soul and rejuvenates me.

After dropping my youngest off at a birthday party, my oldest daughter and I drove about 10 minutes to a state park.  We paid our $5, stuck the receipt on the dash, parked by the nature center, and took off in search of adventure.  And while we found some adventure in scaling a massive, slippery with mud, nearly vertical hill which left my daughter in tears with fear, I found peace; I found beauty; I found rest.  I found pure happiness in those woods.  I guess you could say that I found myself.

I realized yesterday exactly how much I love the woods.  It also donned on me that I've been depriving myself.  I haven't escaped enough from the hustle and bustle of Mommy World to focus on me and what I like to do.  I'm always giving to my kids and my husband.  I do what THEY like to do all the time.  Very, very rarely do I ever do what I want to do!  So, I'm putting my foot down!  My family is more than welcome to join me on my next nature hike, but even if they decide to do something else I know I'll return feeling happy, rebooted, and ready to go.

So what about you?  When life seems crazy and you need a break, what do you do?  Where do you go to refresh your soul?