Living a colorful life.
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
…is me. I am every crayon in the box.
…is you. You are every crayon in the box.
Some days we are Burnt Sienna. Other days we are Purple Mountains’ Majesty. On good days we may be Razzle Dazzle Rose. On bad days we may be Screamin’ Green.
On happy days we could be Sunglow. On bad days we could be Unmellow Yellow. Pick your color. Make your choice – it’s all up to you.
Samantha Jones from the first Sex in the City movie, 2008, said:
I can’t color enough, I would color all day every day If I had my way, I would use every crayon in my box.
This blog is about Every Crayon in the Box. Be a color. Love a color. Live a color. Color your picture. Live life, laugh lots, and love.
I love Chris Brogan. I get his newsletter every Sunday morning straight to my “priority mail” inbox. Two days ago he wrote about the Six Pack Abs effect and how using those words maintains the sales of Men’s Health magazine by at least 30%.
The newsletter continues by asking, well, how do you get six pack abs? A: a lot of work.
I LOVE six pack abs. I love eight pack abs. I love men with nice abs, shoulders, and an amazing iliac crest. If a man is good looking and has that little dent right above the hips leading to the south, WOW.
I’m jealous of women who have four pack and six pack abs. I adore all female triathletes. Take
Mirinda Carfrae , for example…just look at that link.
Sigh. They all WORK on their six pack abs.
I work, but not on my six pack abs. I have a job, a good one. I used to workout every night after my day job, focusing on triathlons, losing weight, building some solid muscle…
I’m still affected by what happened at my former gym, THREE years ago. I can’t stand it. I won’t repeat the story.Last year I pressed on, did a couple of local triathlons, but when I ran into a director from my former gym post finish I was so distraught I ended up with lesions in my esophagus.
I don’t get it. There are hundreds of thousands of triathletes out there; I have a new tri club that I love – really nice people – and I ended up with lesions.
Why do I care? Yes I was heartbroken. I spent a lot of money and time at that gym, only to have all THAT happen. With the “must workout five times a week” mentality from the trainer I hired and the getting “mad” if I ate too much of something, it took me a year to stop thinking about how mad he’d be when I bought some Milanos at the grocery store.
Why am I still so affected by it? I’ve read hundreds of articles, many books and lots of quotes about tenacity, letting go, forgiveness, peace, honesty…
I’m writing this, over two thousand miles away, on my balcony overlooking the beach in Vieques, PR. It’s so beautiful here. I got here yesterday; I’ve been sick for two months straight, AGAIN. Swimming, my favorite activity, is on hold for a while with sinus / blocked ears / temporary hearing loss symptoms. I gained all my weight back, stopped my half marathon training in March and I just feel really gross.
But through my sunglasses, in my pale white shamu body and almost miraclewear tankini (I will NEVER buy one of those), I see beautiful men with six pack abs, nice shoulders, and that gorgeous iliac crest. YUM.
I’m in such a beautiful place.
I plan on doing a whole lotta nothing here. I plan to lose these worries on this long overdue vacation and throw these three-year pains out of me for good.
I also plan on looking at men who have nice six pack abs here, and admire their hard work.
Thanks to Chris Brogan for the inspiration, thank you Shamu; thanks to Men’s Health for telling men to get six pack abs…
…and thank you, Vieques, mother nature. YOU are BEAUTIFUL.
I once was a Catholic and I say that while laughing. Why? Because as I’m writing this I am comforted by the fact that we have a new pope.
WE have a new pope.
Habemus Papam! WE HAVE A POPE!
I’m comforted by this. I’m comforted that WE have a new pope! My Saint Mary’s Rome Program friends and I are salivating, just wishing we were there. From our school in Rome, where we lived for 9 months, we could walk to Vatican City, via Corso Vittorio Emanuele. I can not imagine what the students who are over there today are experiencing and we’re all dripping with envy that those young ladies are participating in this amazing journey!
Then I remember that Rome is the place where I stopped being a Catholic. I was 19 when I decided I was no longer Catholic.
The opulence. The perversion. The corruption. The PEOPLE.
Last week I watched a video that Pam Spano put on her blog. It was about why people leave the catholic church. Fr. Barron says that people leave the catholic church because of other people. Makes sense, right?
When I was in Rome I saw our church leaders living in luxury. In the SMC Rome Program we all took art history classes. We had an amazing professor and she taught us so much about the rich history of the Catholic church, the wonders of the men behind all of that AMAZING artwork in churches. Absolutely stunning, absolutely beautiful, yet irony was everywhere. Is this really what God wanted? All this amazingly EXPENSIVE artwork? What happened to praying in the catacombs? Praying in simplicity?
OK Catholic friends. Time to stop reading this. Close your eyes. Here we go.
When I was 19 this famous work of art was the last straw for me in my own dedication to being a Catholic:
Bernini, as we discovered. did this amazing work for Cardinal Cornaro, who intended for it to be his own funerary chapel. But as our professor explained it, there are many interpretations of this work.
In this amazing work, St Teresa is in pure ecstasy. This is a closeup of her ecstasy.
This is how she receives her ecstasy:
And these are some of the people who are watching her:
An interpretation of this work, as mentioned by our professor, while we stood in front of this amazing chapel, was one where St. Teresa was experiencing an immaculate orgasm in front of an audience.
For a 19 year old, raised as a Catholic, going to church on Sunday even though Christmas was on Saturday, not understanding the opulence that was in Rome and experiencing the irony and interpretation of outright perversion that is in this amazing work, in a Jesuit church, all of this was too much. I’d had it.
I was done with the Catholic Church, there were MANY reasons to leave the Catholic Church.
Now I have a hotei tattooed on my shoulder.
I am a certified Reiki practitioner. Catholic nuns are actually known to controversially practice Reiki. I am a VERY spiritual person. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in his teachings. I LOVE Mary. I believe in his mother Mary. What I don’t believe in is the ultimate doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Shortly after I left Rome I had a close relative die of AIDS related bone cancer. I knew that the Catholic Church viewed homosexuality as a disorder and I could not live with that. I was so angry that this relative had gone through so much pain, both physical and emotional, societal. I was angry that the Church had taught me about procreation vs. sexuality, that it was morally wrong to be a sexual human being.
And the guilt behind all of that. I’m sorry, Jewish friends, but Catholic guilt is WAY worse than Jewish guilt because Catholics don’t talk about it. Guilt is meant to be internalized and sins are repented. Reconciliation is to be made on a weekly basis, in a small room, offering up your sins to your priest and God, not annually where you can openly express your sorrow to those whom you have hurt. ONCE A YEAR.
Many years later I met Jack, co- founder of the Chicago House, one of the first safe places for those with AIDS to go to, feel safe, and rest.
To which we both say: “I DON’T BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCES.” And that’s all I have to say about that.
So here are my final thoughts on Catholicism.
I don’t believe Catholicism is a religion of convenience. I don’t believe it’s personally adaptable. I believe it’s a way of life. You either believe in the doctrine with your heart and soul or you don’t. I agree with Fr. Barron it IS the people that make others leave the church, but it’s also because of the people who made the Catholic Church what it is today. And it’s a Church full of luxury, irony, corruption and perversion, all created by people.
So instead of preaching the bible and living the irony why not EMBRACE the luxury? Prosperity, in Buddhism. Why not embrace sexuality instead of telling Catholics that it’s wrong? Adam and Eve made us mortal because they had sex? It’s WRONG to be sexual human beings, but it’s ok to have an immaculate orgasm? Is it really about the spirit VERSUS the flesh? How about priests - and this is from personal experience – seminarians, priests who have left the church to get married – EMBRACE THEIR SEXUALITY whether hetero or homo, BEFORE they take their vows of celibacy?
Maybe if embracing sexuality was considered in the Catholic Church there wouldn’t be so much perversion and corruption. When St. Paul went to Rome and observed sexuality as open and embraced he was appalled. Why is that? Why not embrace both the spirit AND the flesh?
What do I know.
Will Pope Francis I, a Jesuit who lives a life of simplicity, steer his Church in the right direction, one that our ancestors created? Will he enforce the removal of perverse abuse of power or will he allow for it to remain hidden?
I once was a Catholic. I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic schools for 16 years of my life. I am comforted by the Catholic Church. I’ll attend mass every now and then but I don’t attend Eucharist. My personal irony is that I was very happy in my high school’s catholic ministry, creating mass, being a Eucharistic minister, tending to my spirituality and my gifts. All of that left me in Rome.
I believe that the Catholic Church needs to remain. I believe that there’s a reason for it to be here, a proverbial yin to a yang, but I hope for renewal and I long for change.
OK Catholic friends, I’m done. You can open your eyes now.
I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. I love pinning ideas to my boards. I love seeing the inspirations of other people’s boards. I also love #pinchat, run by our fearless leader Kelly Lieberman. Unfortunately I don’t get to chat as much as I like because of work, but I still keep up with the group.
I finally uploaded my work that was inspired by Pinterest. One of the topics in a #pinchat early last year was about not just pinning but actually accomplishing something that you’ve pinned. I done quite a few things based on inspirations I’ve see on Pinterest, and here are some images from my “Inspired by Pinterest” board:
Thank you, #pinchat, Kelly, for your amazing tweet chats. Thank you for bringing on such incredible guests. Thank you for the amazing connections I’ve made through your group.
I hope to continue to be inspired by Pinterest, says my very, visual spatial self.
Today marked 12 years since my Dad passed. My Dad, the ”Saint” (his ears would always go to heaven), the Board of Trade legend, was only 56 when he died. We were all very lucky to be there during his transition, which was absolutely amazing, horrifying, relieving, extremely sad and knowing all in the same moment.
My life had forever changed after that moment of transition.
It is because of him that I take more risks. It’s because of him that I swim, bike and run. It’s because of him that I make sure that I don’t lose my voice. Because of Dad I speak out when things do not seem right, no matter if people side with me or not.
Crazy as it is, the absurdities about which I’m currently vocal remind me of Dad’s famous trip to McDonald’s. Every week we had one pizza day (usually Friday) where we’d order from Jake’s on Waukegan Rd. in Glenview, and maybe once or twice a month we’d go to the drive thru on the very same street, a few miles north.
I once lived in Glenview, IL where no drive thru’s existed. When McDonald’s on Waukegan Rd. installed their drive thru in the late 70′s, the invention seemed amazing. Oooh…watch the boxes travel near the ceiling down to the sort chute-thingy by the south end of the building. The cashier would take your money at a window and then give you your order. AMAZING.
See, one sister had to have a cheeseburger with ketchup only in her Happy Meal. I remember many times taking the trip to the drive thru where we’d have to wait for her special order. We’d have to park, in other words, until someone could come out and provide her special order with the rest of our yummy burgers and fries. Does anyone remember what waiting was like for an eight year old?
Even then, despite waiting, that darned Drive Thru still got the special order wrong, and one day my Dad just had ENOUGH. He got home, realized that the special order was NOT ketchup only, became so angry that he got back in the car, with the cheeseburger, walked into the McDonald’s, asked for the manager, and THREW THE CHEESEBURGER at the manager.
Although I am sure that the above was facilitated by some hungry, whiny young daughters, really now, how difficult is it to make a cheeseburger with ketchup only? In the early 80′s I guess it was a task.
The point? Sometimes you just have to throw the cheeseburger back at the manager, especially if it’s messed up at the drive through for the umpteenth time. I mean, really.
SOMETIMES YOU DON’T GET WHAT YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO THROW THE CHEESEBURGER THAT IS IN YOUR HAND AT SOMEBODY, THROW IT RIGHT IN THEIR FACE. IT’S CALLED LIFE, AND WE’RE ALL LIVING IT. THANK YOU FOR THIS STORY, MATT DAMON. (“YOU’RE WELCOME, GUYS” – MATT DAMON.)
Anyway, that’s what Dad would do, and sorry Brad Pitt, Matt Damon (who also has four daughters)…
But most of the time when Dad came across obstacles he killed people with his kindness. He was a great storyteller, charismatic, magnanimous, made people laugh.
That was his advice to me. When it came to your enemies, frenemies or the like: “Kill em with kindness.”
Dad took things to heart, and when he was passionate about something he was not shy to show it. He was loving, hugging, interactive, supporting. He was “Saint Earl” because with four daughters there wasn’t a lot of physical fighting, just a lot of yelling and slamming of doors. We were his “Queens in Training” or Quits (one of his Board of Trade buddies made that up) and my mom was always the queen.
He’d sing horribly at Sunday morning mass. He was totally tone-deaf, but he’d still sing. He didn’t care.
He’s say, if I cut my finger and cried about it: “Amputation’s the only answer”
If I was angry about something he’d say “Better to be pissed off than pissed on”
If he called me in college he’d greet me with: “Hi Geek!”
He brought Mom to Rome, Italy while I was studying abroad there and took all my friends out for pizza near Piazza Navona.
He’d come visit me at work in the late 90′s. He’d take my friends and me to Leo’s Lunchroom in Wicker Park.
He hated my ex-fiancé, and all my boyfriends got nicknames: “L the Lizard,” “Bozo,” “No Show J,” others (I’m protecting the innocent or not so innocent here)…
When I think about those things and remind myself of the obstacles I’ve faced throughout my life, yes, I definitely always say:
What on earth would Dad do?
What would Dad do? Everything. But most of all he’d LOVE.
I know there isn’t a color in the crayon box called Linen, so I’m making it up, right this minute. To me, Linen would be a blend of the color Almond with Banana Mania and White, and it looks like a very pleasing, natural off-white finish providing the look and feel of clean fresh linen fabric woven from well washed cotton or flax. Linen also symbolizes starting fresh, new – after all it’s the third day of the new year, right?
I was thinking of the color Linen and the texture, smell and feel of its freshness.
Linen fabric feels cool to the touch. It is smooth, making the finished fabric lint-free, and gets softer the more it is washed.
I’m starting new this year – new job, new client, new opportunities, new avenues; not everything is all shiny and sparkly but things are just linen,
freshly pressed linen.
Mmmm….can’t you just smell it? Don’t you want to hop into a bed newly made with fine, fresh linen?
I’m not starting over, necessarily, just doing what I can, in the moment, with the fabric that I already have in my hand. I have a lot of fabric and I made it all by myself. Metaphorically speaking, it’s what I’ve woven over the past 42 years, the decisions I’ve chosen and how I have made it to today.
The fabric of our lives (insert woman singing “the touch…the feel…of cotton…”)
Yea, I know.
But it’s true, though – each and every one of us has woven our own fabric. And what do we choose to do with it?
I’m going to use what I have and do what I can. Good words to live by.
And just breathe.
Freshly pressed linen. Color with linen, not with a blank slate but clean, made from your own fabric.
Time to start.
There were a lot of lives lost unnecessarily in this country this year. Most recently we lost 20+ innocent lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings on Friday. So far we know that the primary suspect is Adam Lanza, who shot himself after killing his mother, so many innocent children, and those who took care of them.
Earlier this year we had James Holmes, also around the same age as Adam Lanza, open fire during the opening scenes of The Dark Knight Rises at a movie theater in Aurora, CO.
Women were also involved in committing senseless acts of violence. Locally, a woman killed her own son as well as a child she was babysitting. In New York City, a woman has been charged with killing two children she looked after on a regular basis. Also, when I was a senior in high school getting ready for prom, we had Laurie Dann commit senseless acts in an elementary school nearby.
I am not a mom. I have five nieces and nephews ages 9 and under, and I love them all dearly.
I reacted the same way that so many others did on Friday – I WAS BEYOND ANGRY. I tweeted out the anger and deleted it. I was angry that this young man had the resources to do what he did; that this had to be planned, that children my nieces and nephews’ ages lost their lives.
Why is this happening – these senseless acts of tragedy?
Just WHY? How do these young American men just feel the urge to get up one morning and just open fire on innocent ones, children, adults, in their own neighborhoods, their own neck of the woods, or kill themselves?
To me it’s demonic, but it’s also senseless, and how do people recover from such senseless tragedy?
This is the answer I have: AWARENESS. Of mental illness.
There are so many stigmas against mental illness, STILL. Even though we saw that Zoloft happy cloud about 20 years ago on our TV’s, the stigmas toward mental illness remain the same.
Why is it OK for someone to have a chronic neurological condition but it’s not OK in our society for a young man to begin his early 20′s by experiencing symptoms of psychosis, a common path that leads to an illness such as schizophrenia? Do people truly think that people diagnosed with illness such as bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia have a CHOICE to be ill?
Psychosis = Etymology: Gk, psyche + osis, condition.
Psychosis is a condition of the psyche, or an illness of the brain.
I answer with AWARENESS and ACCEPTANCE. When is this country going to stop looking down on those who have diseases of the brain, of mental illness, and stop treating these conditions as “mental?”
“Oooh that woman is psycho.” “Holy cow that guy is MENTAL.” “He’s too neurotic. He needs therapy.”
Or the worst: “that was retarded.”
We all could use a little therapy, let’s face it.
When is this country going to remove the conventional wisdom surrounding those who are truly ill with diseases that affect the brain?
These illnesses of the brain do not just go away. They are serious, chronic and REAL. They need to be recognized, embraced just like any other disease, and need to have just as much awareness around them as Cancer, Diabetes and AIDS.
And I don’t know about you but my family has had its share of illness across the board. Why are diseases of the brain treated any differently than any other illness?
I think that it’s time to seriously address the needs of the mentally ill. It’s time to become more aware of the signs of psychosis, often found in young men reaching their early 20′s. It’s time to say there is help out there; medication is available and FUNDING to pay for these WILL be available.
The majority of the last 20 years has been such a pure, hellish nightmare for me and my entire family. As guilty as it sometimes makes me feel, the sense of complete relief that came over me once I knew Timmy wouldn’t face the death penalty, nor would he be likely to ever again have the opportunity to harm anyone (or himself be harmed), was palpable…
Throughout Timmy’s proceedings, the media portrayed him as a monster, so I guess that makes me the monster’s mother… and that thought, that mischaracterization of both my son and me, hurts deeply. Because, in truth my Timmy is not, and never was, a monster… what he was cursed to be is one of the literally millions of hopelessly and irrevocably mentally ill individuals in the world today. He suffers from a severe form of paranoid schizophrenia that renders him incapable of controlling his thoughts, emotions or actions when, for a variety of reasons—some beyond his control—he is off his medications. And I did everything humanly possible within my power to keep him on a treatment regimen, but, alas, to no avail. - Jeanette Halston-Tiggs, mother of Timothy Dalton, Jr., who killed a police officer
Timmy and many others are not “monsters”, they are ill and caused senseless acts of tragedy because they needed help above and beyond what was afforded to them. They need help; they are so sick and this needs to be accepted, RIGHT NOW.
Because just maybe if we recognized these brain illnesses NOW, embrace that they exist and more assistance is offered to maintain them, maybe we wouldn’t have to experience Christmas after such a senseless tragedy.
There are no words to explain the loss of a loved one. There are no words to console a parent. There are also no words to express the helplessness felt when a child is ill.
This will be Christmas after a senseless tragedy in our country. This will also be a Christmas after an illness was not managed properly. This will take a village to move through the pain, sadness and despair, but it will also move a mountain if we can wrap our arms around the need to help those who can not help themselves. That includes the mentally ill. They are sick. They need our help.
Christmas after senseless tragedy. I know for some it’s too soon to forgive, but we will have to try.
I’m pretty stressed. I’m in limbo, again, not really sure what’s going to happen next with my career – things look promising, but I’d like to be settled so I can keep getting the help that I need to move forward with triathlon training.
I got myself back to the gym tonight and I swam for an hour and a half. I was pretty proud of myself seeing that I’ve been feeling like I’ve had better days lately. But all was well, including a half an hour of swimming nonstop tonight.
And I thought – I can do this. I can keep training for triathlons. I love to swim. I love to bike, not so great on the run. So what’s stopping me from moving forward, from keeping on to keep on?
So I look at the above photo – I retrieved it from the ‘net over the weekend (it may have come from Joost Lindeman)- and I think, yea! You just need to keep going, Margie. Who cares about limbo, you can still run. After all, what’s the point in not trying?
Then I was driving home tonight and I heard P!nk’s song Try. I love P!nk; so many of her songs resonate with me. When I got home I looked at Try’s lyrics. Maybe the song’s about being in passionate love with someone and fear of getting hurt, but there’s a verse that speaks to a strong desire to just try:
Ever worried that it might be ruined
And does it make you wanna cry?
When you’re out there doing what you’re doing
Are you just getting by?
Um yea I’ve been getting by. I’m tired of it and I don’t want to muddle in it anymore. Limbo or not I’m going to, once again (like we all have in our lives), pick myself up and walk, er run, peels and all. Time to put the running shoes back on the pavement, stop being so scared, feeling “burned…”
…like they say in one of my favorite movies, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel:
The only real failure is the failure to try. And the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment. As we always must. We came here and we tried, all of us in our different ways. Can we be blamed for feeling that we are too old to change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again? We get up in the morning, we do our best. Nothing else matters. But it’s also true that the person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. But perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same. So we must celebrate the changes. Because as someone once said…
So true so true. So I tried tonight and I swam a nice long distance. I enjoyed it, immensely. I’m glad I tried. I’m ready to keep trying or “tri’ing” (had to put that in here somewhere) because, well, I want to.
If there’s something in your life you’ve passionately wanted, whether it’s having a mate, a child, something on your bucket list , what is keeping you from doing it, from checking it off your list? Are you disappointed? You tried? Well keep trying. I know I will.
And then you’ll be able to tell yourself, in the end:
So I guess it’s about time that I talk about a phenomenal event that happened 2 Thursdays ago – my photo shoot with Marc Hauser.
Now that my brother in law notoriously named my pictures my “Glamour Shots” Thanksgiving Day, I am lovingly ready to tell the story.
Actually I’m pretty sure Marc Hauser would not be happy about my pictures being called “Glamour Shots.” Then again, maybe he’d get a kick out of it, who knows. But all I know is that two Thursdays ago I had an AMAZING afternoon.
See, I used to live down the street from Marc, in Bucktown. I didn’t know him well, but I knew him enough to stop by while walking my senior dog Max during our usual routine. That routine from early 2004 on was:
If we got the chance to talk to Marc, we’d talk about his fall, his recovery, the pain he was experiencing. Oh and I also took piano lessons from someone who lived upstairs and helped around his studio. I lasted at those lessons for about a minute; the woman’s keyboard was too wobbly. I think that was before the accident.
Anyway, chatting with Marc was fun.
Then Marc left the neighborhood. Rumor in the neighborhood had it that he didn’t have the money to keep the place and someone took the place from him outright. I was happy to find out that it was not the case last Thursday.
I don’t think Marc remembered me, and when I showed him a close up of Max he said “HE LOOKS LIKE A RABBIT!”
Oh my. So I frantically showed him some more pics in Max’s later years, including one where he was barely getting through the piles of snow. GOD I loved that dog dearly. Life goes on.
So yes this “glamour shot” was actually a Groupon that I bought in September, 2011. I couldn’t believe that Marc Hauser was selling opportunities to shoot with him at a steal but I figured I knew why, or so I thought from the conversations I had with him in the past.
But I knew I couldn’t do this photo shoot alone. And I waited until the very last minute to set up the shoot.
Physically, right now, I feel awful.
I have gained a bunch of weight back – a lot of stressful stuff came into my life over the past couple of years and I’ve been fighting back tooth and nail. Some of the stress has waned but it has left me a physical mess, or a “hot mess” as T Ro would call it. Yes I still have a trainer. He’s there for my sanity and for the fight of getting back to not being such a hot mess. Actually not being such a hot mess would probably mean not fighting back so much but I digress…
…so this stress and this weight gain has wreaked havoc on my body once again and instead of my body breaking down with repeated upper respiratory infections and surgeries I now have hypothyroidism and possibly Celiac’s Disease, the former diagnosed and the latter to be confirmed / not confirmed in the next few days. Oh the autoimmune system.
So I feel like A HEIFER. I am so uncomfortable in this weight. I know how I got here. I know what stress does to my body and I have been here before. What I haven’t been able to do is just ACCEPT who I am in the here and now, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
This is where Annie comes in.
I have known Annie for over 20 years. We met when we both studied in Rome our Sophomore year in College. Since then We probably hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years but caught up on Facebook. Oh amazing Facebook. Well, a few months ago Annie had left the advertising world and started her own business called AK Style and Edit. I knew this photo shoot was coming up, I HAD to do the shoot because the Groupon expired November 21st so I contacted her for help.
We met at Starbucks. I met her smart as a whip gorgeous daughter, Hannah and she so wanted to be part of the experience. Annie talked about her business and what she could do to help. I brought my tablet to show her my Pinterest board (I seriously HATE shopping) and we set up a plan – we’d meet again at Oakbrook the next Tuesday.
The next Tuesday was Election Day, which was perfect because practically no one was there at Oakbrook. Not only does everyone know that I hate shopping but worse I can’t stand shopping with crowds., no thank you.
Annie wanted me to meet her in the basement of Macy’s so we did. I immediately put the jokster hat on, showed her a carpet of a coat and said “don’t you think this is sooo just me?” Yea uh-huh, no. Time to get to business.
I followed Annie up to the “whateverth” floor. I’ve been on that floor before but not with Annie. I was so glad that Annie was there because I was so lost by the time we were done. I’d tried on a million different things with her. I came prepared with my “scuba suit” as Annie called it – black tank top, tights, so we could quickly try things on and get them off asap if they didn’t work. I was dazed and exhausted at the end but SOOO GLAD we did that shopping trip. I have some AMAZING work clothes now and everything I bought was ridiculously, reasonably priced.
By the end I had my photo shoot gear and I just needed to get a few more things. I got everything pressed and met Annie and her makeup artist Morgan a week later at Marc Hauser Photography.
Did you click on that link? Do you recognize Marc Hauser now? HELLOOOO?
We all got there ridiculously early. Naperville to Chicago took 25 minutes. We got there before Marc’s 2:00 pm appointment; not a problem, in fact I got the door for Marc when his next client rang the bell. While she showed up we silently went to the back room; Annie and Morgan went into high gear to start their magic.
I put my better in shape “scuba gear” back on – with a new bra, new tank top and tights (apparently new black looks better than faded in photos) and my kick-ass booties that I bought post shopping trip for a whopping 30 bucks.
Morgan started doing my makeup. I will tell you I did NOT recognize myself.
Here I am before the makeup:
Here I am after the makeup:
Um, Is that amazing or what?
Then put the killer new clothes on and first shot Marc took – look at that!
Where’s the weight again? Oh yea in my stomach, which you can’t see in this KILLER JACKET!
Glamour shots…THIS IS MARC HAUSER, Y’ALL! And Annie K, and Morgan Marie Beauty.
I can look beautiful and AM beautiful at ANY WEIGHT. Despite the stress, despite the health issues, despite the fighting back and feeling like shit I am ALL WOMAN.
And yes, KB, my decolletage is AWESOME.
So thank you, Marc, for taking such WONDERFUL PICTURES. You are so talented and may your art continue in the manner that you choose it to.
Thank you so much, Annie, for giving me that boost of confidence that I so needed.
And thank you, Morgan, for your amazing artistry. I hope both of you have a successful journey ahead of you.
So this Thanksgiving weekend, I give my thanks to the past, for good reason, the present, for what I am and for the people that I love, and for the future – new opportunities, networking, amazing people.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.
I haven’t been on here for a while. I have a TON going on – some life changes – AGAIN. Do those ever stop? Will I ever be settled in one place, have a nice home, and just feel like I can physically, emotionally, spiritually REST?
Not eternal rest but to have that sense of fulfillment, joy, love, relaxed, feel WHOLE in this life.
I have a lot of friends who have lost loved ones this year. We say: HOW DARE YOU LEAVE US???
I watched Cassadee Pope sing that song last night on The Voice and she was so like:
And it reminded me of loved ones on the other side, not just for the loss of my Dad but for those of my friends who have lost their parent, their child, their significant others very recently…
Then I remembered that those whom we think we have lost are really right here with us – all of them, all the time.
If you want to press the crazy button right now, go ahead, because I will tell you that I FEEL my Dad’s presence, all the time. He gives me gifts. He introduces me to situations and events in my life, sometimes seemingly chaotic, where I KNOW that he’s been there for me, reminding me that there is NOTHING I CAN’T HANDLE.
I really do believe that the people that leave us too soon are meant to for another reason – to watch over us on the other side. I am a very spiritual person and too many things have happened in my life to think that those moments, those soft touches, those amazing feelings that might occur after maybe even the tiniest smallest event in our lives happened because our loved ones are on the other side, watching over us.
So this Thanksgiving I am grateful to family and friends, and for those who are on the other side watching us.
For David, Kari and their ginormous family.
For the 4 D’s and THEIR ginormous family.
We are thinking of you this year.
And for everyone else reading this, THANK YOU.
Did you know red and blue make PURPLE?
And not in a CMYK way just plain red and blue, with the tempera paint we used in elementary school, or used as a toddler while fingerpainting.
See the right side of the painting? There’s red, mixed with some blue and VOILA! We have some purple.
I live in the greatest country in the world. I want to move forward. I’m tired of people wearing red OR blue over these past few weeks. And the only state of swing I want to think about is this:
Because this is what we’re all about: making sure our kids have a promising and bright future.
Can we work together now? Do we have to keep looking at red and blue as two separate colors? Can’t we have a little bit of blue in mostly red, like a red violet or the reverse – a violet blue?
I don’t want to see any more slamming of this public figure or that. And NO we are not going to become AMERIKA we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, red, blue, green, purple, orange, tan, yellow, black, white and SO MUCH MORE.
50 states in all colors. Let’s work together, PLEASE.