Oct 8, 2016

I'm With Her

In what I feel could be a historic election, I am going on the record saying "I'm with her."

Who knows how November 8 will turn out. But either way, I want Cade and I need myself to know I voted for the most qualified candidate.

Is she perfect? No. Is she a shit ton better than the alternatives? Yes.

And even that said, I generally agree with her. Even if the alternatives were reasonable options, I'd still probably be voting for Hillary Clinton. Because she's very experienced, has an even temperament and sees domestic and family issues the same way I do.

If I had one wish for this election (but God knows I need about 10 wishes), it would be that the usually-vote-Republican folks who don't like Hillary Clinton could more often say "I disagree with her policies but she is a viable, generally fit to serve option." Notice I didn't say they would vote for her. That would be lovely of course. But almost more important I think is the ability to politely and intellectually disagree while still acknowledging that the person is not an unrealistic option.

In 2008 when John McCain ran for president, I disagreed with many of his policies. I did not vote for him. But throughout that election, I felt like he was a worthy opponent and probably a very good leader. He was just leading in a direction I didn't want to go. It didn't (and doesn't) make him a bad person, just someone who would tackle things differently than me.

I'd really like to hear more of that about Hillary Clinton. She's imperfect and she has a particular set of beliefs. But she's not a villain. And even if you are not going to vote for her, it doesn't take skin off your back to acknowledge her as a serious candidate and probably someone who truly wants the best for others (even if you disagree about how to get there).

Donald Trump, however, is not a serious candidate. He is an entertainer, a caricature. He is offensive and mean. He is quick tempered, irrational, prejudiced, out of touch and in every way unfit to be president. I'm sad for the GOP that he's what they have been forced to offer America in this election. For everyone's sake, I wish this were a better matched situation. But it is not.

So ultimately as voters we have three choices:

  1. A third-party candidate who won't win
  2. An offensive, ignorant, egotistical asshole
  3. An imperfect but well-meaning and experienced politician
The choice is ours and I am with her.

Sep 8, 2016

I'm Back!

Back in action folks. At least for today. No promises beyond that. What's happened since we last met up, back in February? Well...

  • Cade turned 3! He had a Curious George birthday party at the park.
  • I went to Boston for a business trip and got to see my roomies while there.
  • Ross and I went to Vegas. We saw Elvis and went out for fancy birthday dinner. And, best news of all, only lost a little money.
  • I went to a great great great conference in Nashville. It was really geeky. And the boys survived mommy leaving again.
  • I accepted the role of publicity co-chair for Chaps. My first order of business is email marketing.
  • We all went to Galveston for a family vacation. It was more relaxed than last year's beach trip, which though ultimately good, took some adjusting to. I was ready for Cade to need constant entertaining or risk meltdown and it definitely took a day to discover we could just vegge out. Ah, vacation.
  • Kevin visited for Fourth of July! We went to brunch, saw the local Fourth parade, watched baseball, ate pizza and generally just had a good time.
  • And then I went to Seattle. It seems like me getting on planes was a theme this spring and summer (truth). I helped Val and Justin make sure that baby Quinn was well cultured with  winery, brewery and vineyard visits. All in three days.
  • Sorta during all of that, Cade took swim lessons. It varied between "weekly torture session" and "wow - this is kinda fun." Given that last year it was 100% torture, I'd say that's an improvement.
  • I changed jobs. Still at Abila, now Digital Marketing Manager.
  • Ross has been uber involved in the union, specifically on a labor committee. He even spoke at an all-department meeting last month.
  • Oh right, and we bought a ranch. Yup, a ranch. 14.81 acres in Lampasas County that we now own. Ross is EXCEPTIONALLY excited but really, we're all pretty darn happy about it. And, at the risk of jinxing it, it just seems to be getting better. The day we closed we realized there are power lines on it, which is a huge cost savings and  yesterday we got a call about improved access to city water, another potential cost savings. So...knock on wood and all that.
So that's the "what" of what happened. Cut and dry facts. Not much reflection baked in. But I can give you that too. 

I feel like we've moved into a chapter in life where we are playing the long game. I'm not really a long game person by nature; I live to move fast and want fairly instant results. That's probably why I feel so aware of this shift. 

For example, parenting is pretty much always the long game. Cade is three and I think my friend Rachel sums it up best "Three year olds are two year olds who have gone pro." He's pretty extreme in all his ways right now. As in he's extremely naughty or extremely amazing and adorable. He'll call me his best girl or "my love" but then lose his ever-loving mind if asked to change seats at the dinner table (actual thing that happened 3 days ago). So it's the long game, wondering which side is going to prevail and be the person he's going to be.

My new job is also one of tiny tests, weeks of waiting for results and then rinse and repeat. My old job was similar but instead of "weeks of waiting" it was hours of waiting so this too has become the long game.

The ranch is the super long game. We bought it now but we won't build out there for at least 15 years (according to Ross), more likely 20 years (according to me). For now we're paying the bills and doing minor improvements. Don't interpret this as anything other than incredible excitement for the ranch. We're REALLY excited. It's a very cool, exciting and fun long game.

There you have it, cut and dry facts and reflection on this new game we're playing. Maybe I'll check back in 15-20 years when I have results to share. ;)

Feb 21, 2016


After almost 10 years of blogging, I think I'm taking a hiatus. There's so much wonderful living going on, I find it increasingly hard to take time to write about said living. Will I come back one day? Maybe, who knows. Will it be a lifetime hiatus that is better defined as just simply being done? Maybe.

So until we meet again dear blog readers! I have some livin' to do.

Jan 24, 2016

Painting Party

I'm aiming to finish decorating the guest room this spring. Or at least this year. Friday night I enlisted Cade to help me.


As you can see he was a very hard worker.

Now unfortunately Lowes had a snafu around my paint color so my sample bucket and my full-size bucket were labeled the same but did not actually match. So I had to redo the wall Cade helped me with using the full-size bucket color. The end result is a shade lighter than I wanted but I'm telling myself it is for the best because it will help keep the room from looking too small.

Painting should be finished this week so we'll see.

Jan 20, 2016

New Year Resolutions Update

20 days in and still going! But dang, this not touching the spending account thing is harder than I expected. Top of the list as for why: vacations.

I went to pay our credit card today and thought "gasp! That can't be right! Someone has our card!"

Ah, no. You just booked a spendy (and lovely) hotel in Vegas Cheryl. Oh and you booked a condo in Galveston. You brought on all your vacation expenses for the year in the same month and before your annual bonus arrives.

Which leads me to the number two reason: bonuses. Not complaining! But when you know you have a bonus coming you so so so want to start playing with some of that money. Do things like you know, book a beach condo for summer vacation. But stop! Wait! Don't book it until you actually have the money!

At least that's what I should have said to myself. Live and learn maybe?

Jan 14, 2016

30 Must-Haves When You Turn 30

Last night I read a Houston Chronicle/Cosmo article by reality TV star Lauren Conrad on 29 things every girl needs before she turns thirty. And I threw up in my mouth a little.

Some were practical and smart, like a fire extinguisher. Others, like a cake stand or matching napkins, were depressingly inaccurate. If you want a cake stand, by all means, go buy one. But a necessity? I think not.

It got me all riled up. So in response, here is my list of things you really do need when you turn 30.

Actual Necessities 
1. 401k - Only 30ish more years til retirement, so you better start saving now!
2. Education - Whether it is a college degree, on-the-job training, by 30 you should have the education you need to support yourself. Even if you don't work out of the home, having the ability to if it all goes to shit is really important.
3. OBGYN - For your health, find a doctor you trust and see them regularly. They'll know your medical history and can help you more effectively.
4. Bank account(s) - No more money in your sock drawer. Be a grown up and put it in the bank.
5. Fire safe - Even just a small one for your social security card and similarly important paperwork. You may even stick a few sentimental things in there; ours has the DVD of our wedding photos and our ultrasound pic of Cade.
6. Health insurance - Hopefully with Obamacare we all get some help getting this.
7. Relationship with your parents - As in a good one. Parents or whomever played the "raising" you role. Knowing you as a self-sufficient adult should be their payout for all the times they grounded you, helped with homework, etc.
8. Active activity - One you can actually stick to. Swimming, running, yoga, whatever, you need an active activity to help manage weight, stress and generally be in good health.
9. Life insurance - God forbid something happens, you should have at least enough life insurance to cover the funeral and ideally enough to help your family pay off any major debts like a mortgage.
10. Will - While we're on the topic, you need a will. It should include end-of-life care instructions, and if you have dependents, a plan for their care.
11. Fire extinguisher - I told you, I agree with some of Lauren Conrad's suggestions and this is one. You should really have a fire extinguisher, maybe two.
12. Designated driver - Every time you drink, have a plan to NOT drink and drive. Your date,  your friend, Uber, the couch at the place you are drinking. You are too old to risk the safety of yourself and others because of alcohol.
13. Family plan - Not the "husband, 2.5 kids and a dog" kind. But the family planning kind. Want kids right now? Great, you know how to get them! Don't want kids right now? Great, you know how to not get them. Be an active participant in your sexual health and family planning.
14. Sense of self - You probably tried on a lot of different hats in your 20s (and you'll probably keep doing that forever). By 30 you should sorta know who you are or at least be closer to figuring it out, and be COMFORTABLE with it. If you are a working woman, that's wonderful. If you are an incredible wife and mother, that's wonderful. If you are an enthusiastic patriot and community servant, that's wonderful. Just like it's OK to hate cooking, love cooking, really enjoy country music, love sappy chick flicks or hate red wine.
15. Confidence - Right there with your sense of self, the confidence to be that person, to stand up for what you believe in and be a leader in your own way.

Really, Really, Really Good To Have
16. Flashlight - Again, Lauren Conrad wasn't all wrong.
17. Tool set - Again, she did OK on this one.
18. Adult email address - Please say goodbye to HotHon3y@aol.com. You can't apply for a job or mortgage with that. Use your name or initials.
19. Facebook privacy settings - Understand them and put a few in place. Your boss does not need to see you in a bikini. Really.
20. Resume - Especially if you work outside of the home, but even if you don't, a relatively current resume is always smart to have on hand. You never know when you'll need it.
21. Realistic Budget - No matter how much or how little money you have, a budget keeps it in check. You should have one and be reasonably good at sticking to it.
22. Get outta debt plan - Maybe it is to get 100% outta debt or maybe just to pay off your credit cards. Either is great and the less debt you have, the more freedom you will gain.
23. Passport - Fingers crossed you have a really fun reason to use it. But if a last minute need to travel abroad (remember, that includes Mexico and Canada) comes up, you don't want to be caught in the cluster that is often expedited passport requests.
24. Roadside Assistance Plan - Whether its your own two hands, a paid service or a few reliable family/friends, make sure you know how to bail yourself out if the car battery dies or a tire goes flat.
25. Negotiation skills - Very important for salary, car buying, home buying or even just vacation rental. Or having a toddler.
26. BFF - A girlfriend, husband, your mom. At least one person who you love and can share everything with. You deserve someone to celebrate your highs with and help you through the lows.

Nice To Have
27. Wow outfit - one outfit that you feel really good about yourself when wearing. Doesn't matter if it is work, date-night or what. You deserve to have something you feel fabulous in.
28. Comfortable mattress - Another Lauren Conrad win. You spend 1/4-1/3 of your life sleeping. It should be good quality.
29. Boots - Maybe they are cute, but they should definitely be functional for whatever your winters are like. Now if you live in Hawaii, you can probably substitute flip flops here.
30. Kitchen Favorite - Depending on how you most like to use your kitchen, you should have something in your kitchen that you really really love. Cake stand (to each his own), wine glasses, food processor, margarita machine, it doesn't really matter. Eating and drinking are important, let's enjoy them.