Getting Older is Not For Wimps.

The other day I was at the mall looking for something smashing to wear to a VERY cool, amazing event I’m going to this weekend (of course I found nothing, NOTHING!) and I caught myself saying the following things:

1) “Why is the music so damn loud in here???”

2) “What, is this dress cut for toddlers??”

3) “This needs to be looser”

It used to be the case that these are the phrases that I would only hear when out shopping with my mother– from my mother.  But now all of the sudden I am saying them!

THEN  I was backing out of my driveway the other day and almost ran over an entire family when I caught the sight of, like, 30 new grey hairs sprouting out of my head. Evil, wiggly things! GAH!

And finally I went to the doctor and was smacked upside the head by the knowledge that I am 1/2″ shorter than I thought (am I shrinking??) and 8 pounds heavier!  Could my metabolism be shutting down at 33??? No more mindless hummus and chips???

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No, seriously, what is happening?  I feel like the aging process went from 0 to 60 in a matter of 6 months and now all I want for my impending birthday is to have a bunch of lasers pointed at my face to help erase all these ridiculous sun spots that are multiplying like friggin’ rabbits despite the SPF 2,500 I wear now.  I am pretty sure my mom warned me about this when I was a 16 year old lifeguard slathering on OIL and baking in the sun 8 hours a day. Why didn’t I listen????

It’s so strange to watch yourself change in this way, and I know this is child’s play compared to what’s to come, but you also couldn’t PAY me to be 21 again.  No thank you. I was one of those weird people who did not like college and felt kind of lost and tortured in my early 20’s.  Although I still feel unsure of a lot of things, time and life has given me a more solid ground to stand on and understanding of myself.  I can only assume (and hope) that that only grows with age along with a greater acceptance of one’s self.  Like Sally O’Malley. She’s my role model.

This whole recognition of getting older thing just means it’s time to be more diligent about taking care of myself and knowing that confidence and happiness is the best beauty treatment there is (#besideslasers). Because no cream is gonna do it. And fighting it tooth and nail is like trying to staple jello to the ceiling. Pointless. I’m a little less scared of cutting my hair for fear that men only like long hair (I got a man and he better like my hair whichever way) and a little MORE scared of everyone’s health and making sure I do something important and real in this life. It’s a re-balancing of concerns and desires, I suppose.

How about all of you??? Anyone else feeling like they have entered a long term relationship with Father Time?

Renovation Update: Blood, Sweat and Tears

This was our first full week in the house and it was a particularly trying one. Moving into a construction site is hard- you can’t unpack and settle, everything is filthy no matter how much you clean and if you are like me, you just start making lists of how many more additional things you want/need to fix.  While I know in my heart I am so lucky to have the ability and opportunity to renovate this house, I admit that I spent a good solid several hours last week absolutely losing my shit. I do miss the city. I know  I just moved and all change takes time to get used to. And I know that renovating takes time. A long time- like two years. Oh, and a boatload of patience is so crucial (which I don’t have in spades).  But these are all things that will hopefully test me and in time make me a better person. So Sunday I bucked up and worked on the house with fervor and enjoyed peeking around the neighborhood and spending time working on the yard with my parents and Andrew.

Andrew was also busy painting, like, everything in the house, so I focused on the stairs which were really bugging me because the previous owner had painted around the runner and they looked beyond ghetto and were the first thing I saw when walking in the door and set my mood on “foul”. I have one recommendation for those painting stairs with spindle balusters…. HIRE A PAINTER. Holy sweet mother of all things sacred, taping off and painting these things was one hell of a job. I nearly went cross eyed and lost most motor function in my right hand after FOUR hours of working on them.

Before I painted, but after I became intimately acquainted with blue painters tape… and a gallon of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.

GAH.

After, so so much better and cleaner. Also note Andrew has been making progress painting our hall Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. And we hope that this year we will save enough to have the floors, stairs and banister re-stained a very dark walnut. Oh, and I’m gonna have a wool sisal runner made with banding for the stairs. Lots to do. Lots to pay for. :)

Looking down at the powder room you can see we still have to paint the trim but the new wood floors were laid in there and in the new hallway to the right where a closet used to be (awaiting poly)

See our new hallway- this small decision made a HUGE impact on light and flow. And because I love the original dentil molding so much we had to figure out how to finish this off. So we re-purposed molding from the walls in the dining room we plan to knock down when we do the kitchen next! Now we just have to paint the trim and walls and this space will be great!

But back to the powder room- pondering wallpaper for this teeny tiny space… really feeling the Hicks Hexagon on the right… the grey/blue colorway. I was thinking I’d do something crazy and huge scale and bright, but the more I see the house change the more I feel like it should be modern but subtle in color.

Also loving the new colorways from Cole & Son of the large scale diamonds, the large scale Hicks and the grey/tan smaller Hicks shown above…. decisions, decisions.

I have loved this paper my whole career so I feel like it would be a smart choice.

I also love this Phillip Jeffries Grasscloth in Chain Link pattern…. I have a client who has her powder room in it in orange and its adorable.

So gross before. UGH. That floor. Can’t wait for the new toilet and teeny, tiny pedestal sink to go in from Waterspot and the sconces from Lamps Plus!

Speaking of Lamps Plus, my Robert Abbey Bling Flushmount came for the master and I was so super psyched! Putting the individual glass drops on was quite a job though…. I poured a glass of white and rolled up my sleeves….

Two layers of individually wrapped crystals. On boy.

My fingers started to go numb at this point but I was loving the look.  Finding stylish flushmounts isn’t easy and this is such a great one!

TA DA! (Bedroom still not set up, styled or organized- that mirror has since moved)

My mom edged all my pachysandra with rocks my dad dug up from another part of the yard. Crafty folks.

The yard is looking SO SO much better!

Our view across to the neighbors from our chairs in the back (our wine time spot).

While out walking and exploring the neighborhood the other day I saw this adorable little sign outside a gorgeous house and it made me smile.

LOVE this house on our street. Columns make me weak in the knees.

Another house that made me drool. That PORCH!

Quite the entryway, eh?

Sweet Oliver LOVES our mulch. So much that he rolls in it and then runs up to my bed and rolls around in it making it look like I’m planning to plant a garden in there. But look at that face, how can I be mad?

And then there is my “first born”, who takes after his mom and is quite anxious about the move. We go splitsies on these.

And when I got in bed last night I found this book under my pillow with a bookmark it it to this page. I knew immediately it was from my dad who had been at the house working today. So sweet, I need to remember this.

Renovation Sponsors:

The Blame Game

Forgiveness

I was laying in shavasana at the end of a nice yoga class this morning, preparing to settle in for my typically fidgety, ADD attempt at relaxing, when this beautiful, soul stirring song came on.  Normally during this time we should be half-conscious and repeating mantras of peace and serenity- but my mantras typically are things such as “I really want a sandwich” or “I hope that fabric isn’t back-ordered” or “I wonder what Rob Pattinson is doing right now“.  But today something really strange happened. As I exhaled slowly and let the music whip up some deeper thoughts in me I heard my self say (in my head, not out loud, that would be embarrassing) “It’s not your fault”. Wow, what was that brain? What did you say?  Then again I exhaled “it’s not your fault”.  It just came to me and it felt so, so nice to repeat that to myself as I lay there still as stone. A little forgiveness, just for me.

Blame is a funny thing. As someone who has always struggled with self esteem issues I tend to blame myself for everything that goes wrong (and not take credit for that which goes right).  No matter what the situation is at hand- a frustrated client, a friend giving me the cold shoulder, even illness in myself- my default setting is think up all the reasons why it’s my fault those things are happening or how I must be the reason someone is acting or feeling a certain way. It’s a really tough thing, and I think it’s a very common thing, especially for women, to constantly blame themselves.  And it’s a hard habit to break too.  You can tell yourself that most likely it’s not your fault that your client is being crabby with you or that guy didn’t call you back, but deep in your gut sits an uncomfortable anxiousness that just maybe it IS you. I don’t think it’s self-centered to feel this way, but rather self-less–because in a small way you are always putting yourself last and not believing that you are a good person deep down.

And sometimes things are your fault and instead of getting angry with yourself, why not try to accept those mistakes as lessons, learn from them as much as possible, and move on. I tend to  really harp on mistakes, blaming myself for being stupid, scatter-brained or lazy and wishing with every ounce of my being that I could go back and make a different decision. And then I focus on that wish endlessly. This is a HUGE FREAKING WASTE OF TIME.  But we all do it and it’s just another way of blaming ourselves for being human. I have learned that every mistake, bad decision, and shitty time in my life has lead me to a better place.  Someday this will sink into my brain and I’ll skip through fields (holding hands with Rob) and finally be free of the burden of self-blame.

I feel a little like today was a step towards a breakthrough- I feel slightly lighter in my heart right now and as I keep going through my day I’m going to just keep saying that to myself. It’s NOT my fault. Life is tough. Everyone has a lot of factors in their lives that make it difficult.  I certainly do, so I need to believe that everyone else does and that is what might be affecting their behavior. Just as everyone in this life will make mistakes, big and small, and live through them.  As long as I do my best, work hard, be a good friend (to others and myself) then I should be able to relax into the notion that this too shall pass and that everything is NOT my fault.

Just a little Jack Handy-esque “Deep Thought” for you on this Thursday! :) And just for giggles, maybe get yourself or someone else in your life who is going through a tough time, this fabulous little message flower from EmersonMade.

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