Currently, I’m Wearing a Magic School Bus Dress

Which really means that one of my life goals has been unlocked.

Currently, I'm wearing a Magic School Bus Dress and doing a Currently post! What have YOU been up to lately? #oldschoolblogging #personalblogging #bloglife

Speaking of which, I’m sorry I haven’t been around much this week. I know I have done better in the past and throughout this busy summer. We’re at crunch time now, with four more weeks of summer vacation. Yesterday, Des had his five-year-old well checkup (excellent bill of health!) and Scarlet will have hers next week. She only has one more week of camp, and Des “graduates” Safety Village camp today. I mean, really. There will be a graduation ceremony. I can’t forget having one-year-old Des on my lap (in overalls!) at Scarlet’s Safety Village Camp Graduation, and she scowled the whole time! LOOK:

They sort of get better and better.

You can laugh. I did a lot. After camp week, we have a week of craziness and road trips and the kids go to Cape Cod without us. Cassidy and I will be heading to Boston for Comic Con and my $300 ticket to spend time with Tim Curry. That’s the life dream part. The week after that takes us to New Jersey for a belated birthday party with the entire extended family. Then another week of last minute summer stuff, and then Scarlet goes away with her best friend’s family for three nights.

Then, in theory, the construction on our house begins. We’ll have to be displaced from my office and the master bedroom for a long time while we get a new master bedroom/bathroom suite. With doors. With LOCKS. At some point, we’ll be displaced from the whole house while the floors are being redone, but hopefully that will be in October when I’m already in New Jersey anyway. I don’t know what it will be like to set up another office for myself for awhile. I’m busier than ever and I never work with laptops. I have to drag my giant iMac everywhere. Plus, sharing a small full-sized futon in a small room with Cassidy for 2-3 months! Ah, romance. We sleep in even smaller quarters in Cape Cod and we always do well with that.

So I’m sorry I haven’t been as around. I’ve had some interesting career stuff lately. I’ve been doing a side job for a few months now, and I’m not sure why I never announced it? I think I may wait on that because it’s going well and I may be announcing a brand new role soon. It might require some juggling because I’m already busy with mama-ing, photographing, blogging, influencing, and data-entering, but everything I do (except mama-ing) comes in waves and ebbs. And I’m prone to nuttiness forever. Stay tuned, and stick with me, because I’m going nowhere! Or somewhere! But not away from here.

I may just take occasional week-long pauses from personal blog posts, because.. summer.

Now, it’s Currently Time! Feel free to write your own sometime!

Currently, I’m..

Reading: “The Last Anniversary” by Liane Moriarty – hot on the heels of reading Jennifer Weiner’s autobiography.

Planning: I dunno. My editorial schedule? A series of potentially life-altering conference calls. The kids’ Cape Cod Trip next week. Meeting up with some of my favorite blogger friends, like we do every summer. Kindergarten orientation stuff!

Stressing: Honestly, just see above. I also hate my brain every other day, but then I rather like it on the in-between days.

Wishing: I make a lot of wishes, and sometimes they come true 20 years later. True story, if all goes well at Comic Con. Also, I often wish for the stability of my own brain, and the strength and happiness and PEACE of my loved ones. Plus babies.

Feeling: Relatively mellow, considering I’m solo parenting for four nights. And that life is sort of always at the edge of a big cliff, but that doesn’t mean that the fall down will necessarily hurt or not be somehow protected/protective.

Listening: I’ll provide a video! It’s giving me some pretty significant feels.

Eating: (I took this verb from the Happy. Pretty. Sweet. blog) I really need to tell you how satiated I am after what I just ate. Consider that I’m writing this on Thursday night and that I didn’t have a Peanut Butter Cup Sundae from Village Green Ice Cream this morning. There’s ice cream, and then there’s peanut butter cup ice cream. There’s sundaes and then there’s Village Green ice cream sundaes. It’s like they’re all instructed to put magic in those bowls. You can’t imagine.

Wearing: Well, we covered that already, didn’t we??

Loving: Planet dresses. Hot Topic cosplay dresses. Peanut Butter Cup sundaes. Monarch butterflies, clean slates, and fresh possibilities. Cats with perpetual kitten faces, and dogs that act like cats. Chickens that always reply to me when I call to them. How much my family loves me. Spring rolls, chef salads, and breve lattes. (look that up if you don’t know what it is)

And, this shirt!

Hoping: That all of your dreams come true. I think I made that reference before, but maybe in regard to wishes, and not dreams. And it’s actually an Ally Sheedy line from Maid to Order. How’s that for DORK? I mean it, though.

Happy August!

I Have Vacation Hair, on Birthday Eve

When I used to travel as a kid, especially to Florida, my hair and eyes would change color.

With my nearly black hair under constant vacation sun, and with my hazel eyes that flash green in sadness and anger, it’s not hard to imagine those colorful possibilities. It’s perspective, colored with a little sun and air and change and YOU.

When you travel sometimes you remember all the things you don't want to remember about yourself, but sometimes use it as a chance to effect positive change.

The thing is, you’re different on vacation. It’s different air and water. It’s shared spaces or different shared spaces. I had four siblings as a kid, and have experienced shared bathrooms/bedrooms, but even that is different on vacation. It’s not a rambling, three-story, six-bedroom house to share. It’s often a condo or set of hotel rooms. You’re not in your own element, necessarily, and you don’t have your own elements of beauty and comfort. You’re trying to find space, or to fight for it.

And admit it – you’re also fighting against that vacation hair.

Unless you vacation in the west, in which case your hair is perfect. Or unless you’re one of those people who can achieve perfect salty, beachy waves with all that humidity. My kids have got that down like pros. Vacation hair professionals.

Sometimes, when you’re on vacation, you may slip back into your childhood self – fighting for space, attention, hair gel, and someone to want to walk on the beach with you. One footprint in front of the other. Two sets of footprints, side by side.

It’s endlessly fascinating. You see, I’m someone who can disappear. And I’m someone in bright color too. I’ll never stop searching for answers whether it’s super powers, being an ambivert, the super powers of being an ambivert, fears of abandonment, riding on the cusp between being a Cancer and a Leo, experiencing my father’s death, or growing up with four squabbling siblings – each one trying to carve their own square of happiness, and best position in the minivan/Suburban.

Maybe it’s all perspective, like hair and eyes and humidity, and wrinkled clothes out of a suitcase.

Maybe it’s space and time, and every skin you shed when you grow, and every skin you reattach when you feel threatened. Back into the cocoon, back into the molting, back into the regression, the abyss, the black hole – unable to see just how far and wide and stretched you’ve come. You’ve become. You’re becoming. You’re so colorful sometimes, and you can’t see it.

I remember traveling during those formative preteen years. I’d have my vacation hair (vacation bangs in vacation humidity!) and my not quite right clothing choices – having packed in a haste so as to be done with it – and I’d see other kids my age on vacation. I’d want to say, “I swear I’m cool in real life! I really am!” And they’d probably say back, “Suuuuure you are.” Just kidding. They’d probably shout back, telepathically, “I swear I’m cool in real life too but I’m somewhat freaking out because I have vacation hair and I want to know if my needs are being met, and if I’m being seen, and if I’m being swallowed up by my family in this crowded place, in this new place.” At least, that’s what I now imagine they’d say.

I used to think I was the most awkward, disoriented, fearful human alive. Turns out there’s lots of us. And we’re brave too.

I never actually struggled as much as you might have thought. I always had friends, vacation bangs and all. There’s always been a block – in which it’s hard for me to keep them close and for so long; luckily a few always slip through small filters.

Like tiny insects getting into the screens of our beach house! Only much nicer.

The thing about progress is that it sticks forever, but one small move, one small doubt, and you think it erases everything. I’m learning that they can’t see that. They might see a photographer, or a writer, or both. They might see color and brilliance and vibrancy and talent. I hope they see kindness and inspiration, or have at least once. Maybe they see charisma.

My kids? They see their mama. And nothing going on inside my head erases that.

When you travel sometimes you remember all the things you don't want to remember about yourself, but sometimes use it as a chance to effect positive change.

Even if I see an awkward girl – fading, hideous, incapable.

There’s never been a clear reason to feel this way, although most likely, the reason I do is as clear as day and night. And it’s funny how with vacation hair and vacation thoughts, I can’t see the progress, but I feel it in everything. Like when they sing “Happy Birthday” to me at the dinner table, and smile/entertain my kids while I doze with the new Jennifer Weiner book on my chest. It’s the way I might steal away for ten minutes to get dressed, and Des will say, “Where WERE you for so long?”

So I sneak here to write notes. Both kids come in and silently fold themselves into my embrace. The dog does too.

The thing is, I’m not invisible. I’m just partly hidden sometimes.

And I can’t wait to figure out how to make that feeling – and not myself – grow smaller and dimmer in the rearview mirror.

These are all iPhone photos, and camera phones shall follow.. one day(ish).

Can you relate?