Quick Takes


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I can't put into words my adoration of Downton Abbey.  That's why, when perusing Hulu Wednesday night in an attempt to numb myself to sleep on the couch and finding that the second season of Downton Abbey was available for viewing, I forewent words and squealed a loud, foreign sound similar to that of a teenage girl finding One Direction serenading her at the front doorstep.

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Watching Downton Abbey has me yearning for a different sense of womanhood.  The love story of Matthew and Lady Mary wound by the allegiance to unforgiving virtues whispers in my soul a conversion to greater modesty, respect, and poise.  The show has me searching for new heights of femininity which I will likely follow up with a copious amount of reading and pithy actual change in my daily living. 

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This morning, after debating whether a trip to Lowe's deems a shower necessary or not, I made an impulse decision to jump in the shower. I figured I could be quick and that I didn't need to secure/confine/white jacket my son in order to do so in peace.  However,  there was a silence when I stepped out of the bathroom, one that had me searching through the house in nothing but my bath towel.  While I should have been concerned about a possible neighborly sighting due to many opportunities for window exposure, I was focused on Thomas's safety...and the can of white paint which I spent thirty minutes trying to open earlier with every conceivable tool in our house.  A toddler has a way of sniffing out smashing impossibilities or excavating ancient paint cans their mommy has unsuccessfully attempted to open.  I spotted a splash of water on the entry room rock floor and my eyes shifted up to see in split second motion picture fashion an open front door, a garden hose gone wild, and a blur of a toddler wearing nothing but his diaper and a grin. 

The actions which followed were horrifying.  Me hiding behind a wall and hissing begs at Thomas to retreat inside.  Me sprinting to my room for clothes.  Me sprinting back to the living room because my bra was where I had left in that night I watched Downton Abbey wee into the night.  Me sprinting back to my room for clothes, 2nd attempt.  Me running out of the house to chase down a toddler, my eyes darting arrows of frantic madness and yet also thinking, "Do I have clothes on?" as a neighbor drove by and I politely waved so as to retain a semblance of normalcy.

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This escaping toddler incident illuminates the stark contrast between me dreaming for a supremely feminine life and me celebrating a shower which doesn't invite chaos into my home.

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Oh, and that 1st QT about me numbing myself to sleep.  No worries.  That was just because my husband was out of town.  He's back now, so there won't be any more willful adherence to television marathons.  Instead, we do this routine where I tell Paul every detail of my day, and the new evolution of my goals, and the progress on my project list and so forth until the point where I ask Paul a question and he musters a "huh?", "yuh", or a "hmm", and I decide I should stop talking and go to bed. 

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Earlier this summer I posted about the ridiculous mantra all or nothing.  I'm still trying to put this into practice because I think, in appropriate instances, it can be a very healthy mindset.  My happiest moderation find has been taking a stroll around the neighborhood after dinner.  I don't put on a sports bra or tweet my mileage or push myself to a heart rate of any extreme.  The fresh air and the quietness is enough to reward me for an action so minimal.

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If you haven't checked out Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary, the hostess of Quick Takes, you should.  She's equal parts helpful and hilarious.

Quick Takes


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Yesterday, Thomas and I visited an Asian market in town to buy ingredients for pho bo.  As I tightly squeezed past customers I tried my best to not appear as an intruder.  Because here's me, flipping over bags, bottles, cans, packages, thinking Where's the English? and generalizing everything as I made my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th laps around the tiny store: Okay, Noodle Aisle, Sauce and Oil Aisle, Candy Aisle, Seafood and Things I REALLY Don't Recognize Aisle. I was so disoriented from the missing convenience of being able to read that I couldn't tell basil from ... well, I just couldn't find the basil.  


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Thomas likes to say no.  He draws a strong sense of authority from it.  However, as I've recently enrolled him in Discipline Reform School, I thought I could quench his thirst for command in a more tasteful manner. And so I bring you a book we've checked out from the library twice now.  
Check it out.  Your no-toting toddler will figure the rest out. I promise.

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Recently, I've been thinking about my view on friendships and how I generally let my social anxieties and introverted streaks take over too often.  Being a good friend isn't about personality type or tendencies though. It's an integral part of our life's experience. So, maybe I need to do some rethinking.  Let me ask you--What makes a good friend?

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We visited Silver Dollar City last Sunday. My son was thrilled about this.  And I was too. But I just want to get one thing straight:
1.  I got pregnant three years ago
2. My equilibrium is forever off
3. And now my toddler asks that I join him in rides that spin in a twenty foot diameter under relentless, all-seeing heat of the sun where I cramp myself into a contorted position specifically designed for suffering, sweating, and under-the-breath swearing as he yells and hoots and hollers a special kind of happiness because Mom's in the backseat of him bouncing, jolting, and seeing a vision of her unbalanced equilibrium induced vomit hitting the pavement four feet below. Yeah, that.

Other than that, it was an awesome day, especially the part where he fell asleep in my arms on the train, likely exhausted from dragging Mommy unto rides and bouncing in frogs.

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Summer started two weeks ago.  I've just been sitting around, watching Ellen, painting my toe nails, and eating bon bons. Um, NOT! Okay, I've had a leisurely cup of coffee [Read: I drink bottomless cups of coffee], I read and play with Thomas almost anytime he wishes, and I've had the time to rip up my string cheese abs at boot camp, but it's been super busy here too.  In fact, I've had a few moments where I've looked at my summer project list and thought: Not. Enough. Time. ACKKK!  

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This morning I created my vanilla extract starter as suggested by Ina Garten of The Barefoot Contessa.
Put a dozen vanilla beans in a bottle, fill with vodka, and wait a month--so says my cookbook. We'll see. I'll put it under taste tester inspection in July.



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Have a lovely weekend!