Also? I learned how to do a craft. Groundbreaking, I know.
A few things I learned this week.
A long drive can be made to seem shorter when there is a little surprise at the end of it. We drove home from California a couple of weeks ago. The girls held it together for most of the drive. However, I was ready to stop by the time we got to Vegas and call The Strip home. Our new depressing, neon colored home.
Three bags of Haribo gummy bears and two Jack in the Box stops later we pulled up to the house. And there sitting on our doorstop was a lovely package from LA Bumble Bee, two little candles that smell like Spring. And my goodness, after a 10 hour drive to a house that still felt like the flu we had left behind the week before…it was exactly what I needed.
Four isn’t as bad as three but it is still a wild ride. Zuzu at three years old was a tornado of emotion. Ups and downs and flips and turns and tantrums the size of the winning pumpkin at the Georgia State Fair. Four has been more predictable. There are three good weeks for every bad one. And my oh my – those weeks are a joy. A blissful bomb of happy and sweet and MOMMY, I LOVE YOU!This week was a bad one. Bad like she spends twenty minutes looking at a wall instead of saying “please” and I threaten to take away Christmas three seasons before it happens.
My goodness. I am ready for those three good weeks.
And finally. Since Eve, women have proven time and time again that there is no mold they can’t break or set of expectations they can’t exceed. Stereotypes and clichés are for the weak minded. That being said…there are few things that a piece of chocolate can’t make better. Like when one child won’t sleep and the other won’t budge and your dad is going back in the hospital and syrup spilled under the fridge where no mop or cleaning rag will venture and your jeans aren’t fitting and suddenly you are struck by the thought that maybe Pretty in Pink was overrated as a movie and if that is the case what does that say about your adolescent development and…. And then you take a breath have a piece of some sea salt chocolate and realize that any day that can hold the lovely combination of fleur de sel and 60% dark cacao can’t be that bad of a day.
Here’s to a weekend full of chocolate. And love. And skirts that fit because who needs those damn jeans anyways.
When we are not posing for professional photos we are generally covered in yogurt and the residue of toddler tantrums.
Recently, Seek Company asked to interview me for a series they do called “Everyday Brilliance”. I try to associate myself with the word “brilliance” whenever possible, so of course I complied. (I kid, I kid. But really.) Seek Company is business that sets out to translate the brand-to-buyer relationship into a human-to-human one. They lead ethnographic immersions and deliver multi-media storytelling. They believe that each consumer has a story to tell and they set out to get it told.
Naturally, now I want to work for them when I grow up.
And now…the interview….
Hello Meg! We’re so glad to get to chat a bit on the topic of everyday brilliance. We spend a fair amount of time combing the internet everyday, seeking to learn from others that have a different view on life than we do. When we stumbled across your blog, Meg In Progress, we knew we needed to get inside your head a bit more.
Q: First off, tell us a bit about who you are, what you do, and why you’re part of the online community at large.
A: I believe every day has a spark of the transcendent. However, it is easy to forget all that lovely, transcendent business when I am covered in spit up and both of my kids are screaming. Writing helps me to remember.
Q: What about the practice of writing helps you to remember that “every day has a spark of the transcendent?”
A: I truly believe there is power in moments of quiet and reflection. When I sit down to write, I am able to view my day as an observer. There are so many lessons and bright sparkling moments we miss when we are in the midst of reacting to or against them. Writing about each day forces me to acknowledge those moments must be there and sends me on a search to find them.
Q: In the midst of the mundane, what keeps you curious? What practices do you have in place? What tips do you have for us?
A: Oh curiosity! The cause and the cure of all my curiosity lies in reading good books and reading them often. I think the world is waiting for us –practically begging- us to discover it. My greatest discoveries (and often the greatest ones are the simplest truths) come to me on days when I have read well and taken myself outside. Go on long walks. Read good books. Rinse. Repeat.
Q: In your post entitled, The Whole Wide World, you talk about this marvelous experience of reading a book on Pompeii as a kid, and you remark, “everything had changed.” Well, we strive to have experiences with people that change how we see brands and products. What advice do you have for our teams as they head to the field, and need to have those “everything had changed” moments?
A: I think the most important thing to remember is that, at our core, most people are really very much the same. We want to know we have value. We want to know we have a place. We want to know who we are. Once we realize what we have in common, I think it is easier to understand and accept all the political, cultural and lifestyle differences that seem so unfamiliar.
Q: You talk of showing the world to your little girls, in the midst of the mundane. What helps you bring these everyday moments of brilliance to their awareness?
A: Sometimes it is as simple as pointing out the flashes of brilliance in the moments they occur. A little shout of “Oh my goodness, girls! This is special! Can you see this is special?” However, more often than not, it is them showing me. It happens daily, like when they ask me to count the stars or twirl with them in the middle of a crowded park. By participating in their natural awe, even when it makes me look ridiculous, I am validating their point of view. It is a lovely thing, teaching little girls that their wonder is absolutely valid one twirl at a time.
Q: How has being a mom helped you to see the “spark of the transcendent?”
A: Do you have a few hours? Being a mother has taken everything and frosted it in possibility. Yes, there are plenty of days when life seems constricted by laundry and dinner making yet again. But then there is the first time my youngest smiled or the day Zuzu finally learned how to write an R. I know those are simple things. But that smile, that crooked ‘R’ and every other little triumph and lesson are as close as I’ve gotten to seeing the infinite workings behind this thing we call life. Unfettered joy and the age old pursuit of higher knowledge all bottled up in a regular old Thursday? How could that not change my life for the better and the deeper?
Because my life looks like this never.
Some days are absolutely painted rainbow fantastic. Other days, you unwittingly walk around with egg in your hair from the breakfast your one year old threw at you. Just a scrambled tidbit that sits atop your head until four o’clock when the nice old lady in the grocery line plucks it out and hands it to you. Mmmm. Crunchy. This post is for those other days. The hours that are long and would be made better by a little color, a treat, a trip from the ordinary. The days that need a tiny something to help you remember it is good to be here, even when you are covered in day old egg. Maybe especially when you are covered in day old egg.
5 Ways to Treat Yourself Under $5
1. Buy a lovely card, fill it with pretty words and give it to a good friend.
When I am dulled by the doldrums, being unexpectedly kind to someone is the fastest way to make myself feel better. There is something healing and exciting about looking out of oneself for the happiness of someone else. So I take myself to the cutest local store and buy their most expensive single card. Then I think good thoughts and use a good pen to write them all down for someone I know very well or hardly at all. I love leaving a crisp envelope with looping writing in a mailbox, just waiting to be discovered. It is hard to feel worthless when you have a made a difference in someone else’s day. Even if that difference can fit into a little blue envelope.
2. Get yourself some red lipstick. Wear it like you mean it.
Kate by Rimmel London. Just under $5 at Walmart.
Oh the healing power of drugstore lipstick!
A woman with red lips is the kind of woman that can pick up the pieces of a day and make it what she needs it to be. She is the kind of woman that does not let circumstance dictate her outlook. She is the kind of woman that knows tomorrow is another day. I know what you are thinking…All of that from a tube of red goop? To which I reply,
The Alison Show has a fantastic piece on The Best Drugstore Lipsticks. This woman knows what she is talking about. If I were you, I would listen to her.
3. Bring home a succulent, pot it in an empty salsa container, marvel at your awesomeness.
Lovely succulent in a can idea from Cake.
There is something delightfully renewing about introducing a new plant to your same old space. I love succulents because they will survive under the harshest conditions (ahem, my ever loving care) and are small enough to add to any space. And you can find them for as low as $2 a piece.
4.Buy a chocolate bar of luxurious provenance.
Okay. Confession. This is my favorite chocolate bar and it rings in at an astounding $12. I know. But! Finding myself in possession of a Mast Brothers chocolate is a rare thing, indeed. I generally make one chocolate bar last for three days. And if my 2nd grade math skills serve me right, that is a mere $4 a day. So….under $5? Ahem. The point here is that it is a little luxury just for you. Any chocolate that you think is nice enough to hide from your children will do here. When the kids are screaming and the house is a mess, break off a piece of a cacao masterpiece, lock yourself in the bathroom and let that chocolate melt in your mouth. A few moments of transport. Dearly bought and dearly deserved.
5. Purchase a new song. Go on a drive. Play on repeat.
The power of music! The joy of a well written ballad, bad 90′s pop and hipster bluegrass fusion. Roll the windows down, turn the volume up and sing until there isn’t any room for insecurities, bad feelings or maybe-I-should-haves. My current favorite for long drive rock outs is an oldie but goodie by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Medicine. Oh, sing it Grace baby.
Of course, succulents and discount lipstick can only go so far. Sometimes the fastest way to get over a bad day is to remember there is a tomorrow. And that it will be brighter than today because it can be.
These tights were supposed to bring on the spring. It didn’t work.
A few things I learned this week.
Love is an ever expanding never dividing sort of thing. When Riley drove me to the hospital to have our Viola I cried into the cold window. I was so afraid of not loving this new little girl the way that I loved her sister. Nearly a year and half later and I am so far removed from that fear I can’t even understand it from a distance. Viola is all smiles and sweet and don’t make a wrong move because she will bite your finger off…really. She knocks me over with her big smile and “HI GUYS!” when I walk into a room and picks me back up again with sloppy kisses and neck nuzzles. She has my whole heart and Zuzu has my whole heart and every day (even the hard ones) I thank the Lord for the room He has made inside of me for each of them.
There is no such thing as a good homemade pastrami sandwich. Not unless you brine your own meat and own an industrial meat slicer or happen to live behind the counter of a NY based Jewish deli. (A Jewish deli is one of my top ten dream places to live by the way. You know, a little cottage situated between the rye and homemade pickles). While we were California we went to The Hat for a late night bite. As far as pastrami goes The Hat provides a meat that ranks maybe a 7 out of 10. But it was good enough. And now I am in Utah, a pastrami desert. And it hurts. And I am hungry.
Sometimes what you are doing really is just enough and you have to be willing to let go of everything else. My life is full right now, bursting with the bitter and the sweet. I feel keenly every possibility I let tumble by, every friend that deserves a call and every moment that wasn’t the way it could have been. My house is dusty and my children are generally messy. I haven’t made cookies with my babies since the fall. Riley leaves work tired and comes to a home that still needs laundry done and the calmness of his bigger hands. I am tired.
After a good conversation with a better friend this last week I decided to make peace with this season of my life.
I am doing what I can do and (for the most part) I am doing it with a smile.
And maybe right now, that really is enough.
Here’s to a weekend of love for you and yours.
All photos are from this weeks ever exciting instagram feed. Find me @Meg_in_Progress!
We are in California and the puking has stopped…for now. I am instagramming the journey one dive restaurant at a time. Check it out here.
It was my birthday yesterday.
We ate here
Viola cuddled with Riley’s parents
Also food here.
I found the engagement pictures where Riley and I look like fetuses.
And there is sun.
I swear that Zuzu is here, too. She is just never still enough for all my picture taking. Here is one of her from Utah in case you can’t remember how cutsie that little gal is….
Tomorrow we go to Disneyland. Where I am sure there will be more than one picture of Zuzu trying to burrow her way into a princesses gown. Don’t you want to see it? On instagram? With me???
Love to you all.