Thursday, May 20, 2010

the pleasure of your company

I have been back for a few days from my weekend gettaway with my girlfriends and have been thinking a lot about friends. With the new "Sex and The City 2" movie about to be released (that's next Thursday, people, so get your cosmo makings together!), the topic of friendship seems everywhere. My own young daughter has been dealing with the drama and growing pains of friendship in her gradeschool world--it has been so hard and it seems to start early. Since she was very little, I have told her to be herself, that there will be people in this world that you may not get along with, or even like all that much, but it more important to be kind and loving than beautiful. Don't ever be the mean girl, try your best, and walk away if you have to. I hope it helps--I feel her pain as if it were my own. I also need to listen to my own advice from time to time.
Back to Sex and The City...I love those characters and I think everyone seems to find a little bit of themselves in one or more of them. Of course everyone seems to think they are "Carrie", but truth be told we can't all be her, now can we? ;) Miranda might be a bit boring for some, Charlotte can be prissy, and no one would ever admit they were anything like Samantha, but maybe a little combo of all four is a good thing.
I have talked with my Mom a lot this year about friendships, how mine have changed, grown, disappointed, filled my life with laughter, and been an amazing and necessary part of my existence. She told me about the people that came and went in her life for different reasons, some hers, some theirs. I was told today that friendship is a little bit like clothing, and I agree. Some of it fits perfectly and you don't even have to try, some of it doesn't over time, and its good to know when to be open to someone new or revisit someone you have known forever and appreciate them. I know people have a love/hate thing about Facebook--I joined because my reunion was being planned through it, but over time I have reconnected with several old friends, even my childhood best friend, Kathy, who I adored then and still do, even though we haven't seen each other for years. I got to meet up with a sorority sister, Laurie, on my trip to Palm Springs because she saw my post on FB, and even though its been 15 years since I had seen her it felt like last week. Thats what I'm talking about.
I think the biggest compliment I have ever received has been being told I am a good friend. I think the luckiest day I ever had was the day I married my best friend. I hope that the people in my life know that how much I love their humor (I am talking to you, Kari), and their big hearts (Ms. Kacy--) and come next week, I will be joining the crowds of girlfriends off to the movies, and will be raising my own cosmo glass--to friendship. cheers~!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

hello sunshine

Packing is a fine art. I am a notorious overpacker. I like to think of this as being somewhat of an overachiever, but maybe its really more of being an optimist, or a boy scout. I mean, I am prepared for any fashion emergency, right? I have made many trips this past year to visit my parents, and I almost always hear "Don't bring too much, Lisa", when I announce my impending arrival. Yes, I know this is a deserved reputation. I have actually now almost always underpacked and it is an irritating experience. More irritating than injuring yourself lugging a heavy suitcase or crossing your fingers when heaving the bag onto the weight machine at the airport check in. I am going back to what I am good at.
I have read countless articles on how to pack for a trip, written by glamazons that zip off to Capri or Paris, jabbering about making sure to pack that "new Pucci bikini in all colors" (um, ok...I do have a Pucci scarf....) and yet I have retained almost none that I have read. I do know you are suppose to pack with a color theme in mind, say, black and grey with some white, but its hard to do. My friend Lindsay went to Paris and brought one pair of lovely black boots and that is it for the whole time she was there, plus a tiny suitcase. I admired her and yet I knew I would never be that girl. I like choices. On my trip to Paris last year I did have maybe three pairs of shoes, which I thought was excellent, but also brought an extra almost completely empty suitcase for shopping. Well, I was prepared at least.
Packing your suitcase is a very personal thing. I found this out after my husband and I started out in our marriage sharing a suitcase for trips. This always ended badly because I would change my mind and decided to hunt for the top that was inevitably in the bottom of the suitcase. My normally mild mannered husband was not mild mannered after several of those scenarios and we moved to separate suitcases and a more blissful start to our vacations.
Today I packed for a weekend in Palm Springs, which could not be more different weather wise right now than Seattle. I chose a theme of yellow, turquoise and grey. With some white. And, well, I am close anyway. I did follow the instructions for using accessories to help an outfit change from day to night. I tried everything on, edited out a few items and most importantly, brought a change of clothes and bikini in my carry on bag. Having had my lovingly packed suitcase go AWOL on me a couple girls trips ago, I know now to have an emergency kit with me, and by that I mean clean underwear tucked in with the lipgloss and wallet. I am ready to go--with room to spare. Sunshine, here I come.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Love Letter for My Mother

My Mom is an amazing woman. I know most people think this about their mother (or they should), but I know it is a fact with my mom. She is one of those people that truly is selfless, a rare and beautiful bird in this jungle. She has been married to my father, another amazing person, for almost 51 years and theirs is a love story of faith, determination, acceptance, fulfillment, and most of all the deepest kind of love and respect for each other that we all dream of in our own lifetimes.
My parents raised four kids, we all went to college and onto life and into our own marriages, the least amount of years being mine, all fifteen years of it and happily counting. They showed us you hang in there, you care, you don't always get your way, and you always say I love you, and mean it.
My mom is my best friend, but it wasn't always that way. I was a typical crazy, irresponsible teenager and I still remember her telling me there was nothing I could do that would make her not love me. Those words mattered, and I have said them to my own daughter as well. I remember being embarrassed, in typical teenage fashion, by her unfashionable white socks and mothering ways, and now I look back on that time and know how lucky I was, and am. I had one of those moms who was actually home when you came home from school every day, she baked cookies weekly, and set the table and cooked meals on a shoestring. She also listened, and cared. We didn't have a ton of money, but I never knew it or felt its pain, my parents kept that to themselves and let us be children, and my mom went without often. Once, when we had an argument on a Friday evening, I stomped off with my friends to the high school football game, and later my sister found me, with a hand written note from my mom, saying she was sorry. I couldn't believe my eyes, and it changed me. I will never forget that she showed me what it was like to love, always.
My mom was diagnosed last March with ALS. It is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It has been a tough year for my family, for my parents. Sometimes its felt like the longest goodbye ever, and it has made us feel angry, sad, sleepless, helpless, worried. It has also made our close family, closer. As my sister said, she has learned you don't get to choose what happens to you in this life, but you can choose what you do with it, and we have all chosen to spend more time together, to find joy and peace and even laughter in the right now. My mother has chosen, as always, to put her family first, to love her husband every minute, to show each of us how to have a life well lived. She never stops giving either. A quilter for many years, she continues to sell her miniature quilts on the Alzheimer's Association website to honor her father and mother in law. From her wheelchair, she chooses to keep giving. I chose this Mother's Day to tell you, Mom, I love you, I am proud to be your daughter, I know I will always have you with me. Love, your daughter

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

pool party

My annual girls weekend getaway is coming up next week and with it the inevitable problem of, yes, you guessed it, getting in a swimsuit. I saw a movie once with Annette Bening where she said the two most terrifying words for a woman in the English language were, "pool party". There are six of us that go on the yearly trip to catch up, get some sun, and get away--they are my girls and I love them. What would life be, after all, without our BFFs. Doesn't matter if you are seven or fifty-seven, you need them. Anyway, we come in all shapes and sizes, but the other five are for sure the following: in fabulous shape, tall, gorgeous, funny, fun, loving and look great in swimwear. I am the sixth one, the oldest, and the most likely to have a panic attack in the room prior to hitting the pool (yes, that actually happened two years ago...thank god my sister in law answered the phone back in Seattle). Well, since then I have been busy making peace with my imperfections and working to look the best I can, and....finding a suit that hides and enhances. I am not 25 but I am not 105 either. I just want to make sure I know when the ship sails for the bikini-- that I have boarded. Yet, surveying the racks today in the swimwear department at Nordstrom I divided the suits into three categories: 1. Meant for a teenager, 2. You worked hard all year--buy it and flaunt it sister! and 3. Throwing in the towel--otherwise known as the "tankini". Hmmmmmm.
I think I mentioned before that swimwear departments need a counselor or a adult beverage available for purchase, or both. :) I think if they got better lighting than everyone would be happy, including the salespeople, who would sell more suits! Anyway, I definitely think finding a great salesperson is key. I forgot a suit when we were in San Diego last September and ended up getting dropped off at one of those beach town swim shops crammed with a million suits. My husband said, "How long will you be?" as he prepared to hang out in the car and I answered, "What? OMG, you can't wait. This isn't a quick errand. See ya!" Anyway, despite the fact that the person helping me was super young didn't matter...she knew every suit and its fit in the whole place and was a great help. Plus I was honest (and realistic) and ended up with a great suit.
I am looking forward to next week and my favorite ladies and having a lot of fun. I plan on having my spray tan, drink, suit and attitude all in the proper place.