31 December 2013

The Seabiscuit of Smoothies: Green Apple

aesthetic fauna // green apple smoothie
The spectacular thing about language is its propensity for pliability. When I explain to an inanely picky almost three-year old, for example, that the foreign substance in his breakfast cup is a green apple smoothie, there's a pretty good chance he's going to put that phrase together in such a manner that the smoothie is made out of a green apple, when in fact, green and apple are adjectives describing the smoothie, and the former is representative of a couple ingredients not toddler-approved. Luckily for me, it passed the taste test, and I didn't exactly have to lie.

26 December 2013

From Me, To You

aesthetic fauna // sketchy santas
via Sketchy Santas
I find that wishing someone a (insert overenthusiastic adjective) Christmas can be disappointing, as the holidays can be overwhelming for even the most lionhearted of merrymakers. The idea that the entirety of this season has to be jingle bell-ish and joyous is completely absurd, kind of like telling a parent of two small kids to relish every moment. Right. 

Thus, I alternatively wish for each of you a few minutes of solace before you close your eyes tonight, a spark of gratitude, a moment of warmth. I'll share with you my end-of-day joie de vivre (and let the rest fade away): two safe and rosy-cheeked faces, rapidly tiring. The constant snowfall quietly blanketing the world around us in white. Airplanes. Family, enveloping us and our children. Generosity. Humor. You, staying with me as stubbornly as I continue to write my way towards an unbeknownst destination.

Have a very something Christmas, everyone. And if Christmas isn't your thing, take that part out and relish your day anyway. Or at least have a chuckle at the photo. 

Much love from Wisconsin. Stay warm, people, inside and out.


14 December 2013

Hanging with the Tough Kids

After flirting with the BLUNTmoms on Twitter for a while and trying to impress them with my creativity with four letter words, I can finally announce that, somehow, they've fallen for my ruse. I am officially One of Them. These ladies are the drinking, swearing moms in the room, but no matter how empty that bottle of bubbly is, they'll correct your syntax faster than you can shoot off a dirty look. They are both the right crowd and the wrong crowd at the same time, in the best way.

I have found my people.

With fanfare and a flurry of excited hand movements, I made my grand entrance yesterday raving about your jerk kids.


p.s. Don't forget to enter the BLUNTmoms $325 cash giveaway by tomorrow!

02 December 2013

Cyber Monday, or Everybody Just Likes Cash

copyright Virgin Media
If you've spent the last few days emptying your wallet, or you just like cash (these two scenarios should cover, like, everyone), listen up. The often snarky, sometimes bitchy, but always on-point BLUNTmoms have a fresh giveaway. Minty fresh, in fact. No cutesy products this time, people. All you have to do is follow the instructions below and you'll have a decent shot at


That's right. $325USD, paid via PayPal rather immediately. No gimmicks. You have until December 15th to win.

28 November 2013

License to Give Thanks (and Have Your Whine, Too)

Image credit: Copyright Bettmann
November, for Americans, is a complicated month. Thanksgiving, a holiday beloved by many and taught in primary schools as a day in which Native Americans and settlers held hands and hugged over a great feast, is plagued by historical inaccuracies and, at worst, atrocities.

We are told to be grateful for what we have and to want not, yet the biggest shopping day of the year immediately follows, in which people reliably turn into monsters, and on each other, in pursuit of The Lowest Price. Seriously, everyone. Stay at home tomorrow and spend time with someone, even if that someone is your cat, or yourself. And if you're feeling unexplainably aggressive and consumeristic, punch a pillow and do some online shopping. And don't feel guilty about it. (But maybe keep the punching part to yourself.)

Being an expat has meant giving up my traditional interpretation of most (American) holidays, or at least bending them into a different shape. This will be my third Thanksgiving abroad, and they have ranged from sharing a table with a roomful of welcoming American friends who Get It, preparing a full spread for a miscellany of nationalities (Dutch, Pakistani, Dutch-Pakistani, and Russian), and, now, well, nothing. It just feels cheap to try to cook anything less than a full feast, so I'm not even trying. At the haggard state I'm in, I know better than to be using fire or knives.

18 November 2013


aesthetic fauna // roar
I really hate arbitrary repetition. Like, really, really hate it. But what I'd hate even worse is not pursuing a chance of a lifetime. Scratch that. TEN lifetimes. If you follow me on any social platform or are my address book, chances are you've already received an appeal from me. I have entered into the 2014 Fjällräven Polar competition. Winner takes all. And when all = a spot on a 300km dogsled route from Signaldalen, Norway to Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.
If you voted, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you haven't, you can do so here. I would be forever grateful, and send you some happy thoughts and deep gratitude from the top of the world.

The mere thought of realizing this fantasy leaves me breathless. Very few times in your life will you have the opportunity to bestow upon someone such a gift, with as little effort as a quick vote. Now, friends, is one of those times. And, should you feel so inclined, share with your social network, whether it's by tweeting, sharing, posting, shouting from your rooftop, or mentioning at the water cooler at the office.

Do it. I triple dog dare you. 


15 November 2013

Green Literacy

In my ongoing quest to justify my obsessive succulent propagation, I came across a DIY planter at Apartment Therapy (does this guy look like a tattooed Christian Bale, or what?) and knew immediately whose Christmas tree it needed to go (grow?) under. My pal Christine loves her personal library so much that she couldn't leave it behind in an overseas move. Including the books she hates most.

Planter-making means book-defacing, so I knew I'd have to find one she would never, ever, ever need. And with her ever-growing foundation of Dutch, that language barrier doesn't present a viable argument. Thus, I was presented with a challenge. At my neighborhood secondhand book shop, I found an answer to my dilemma: a German-to-Swedish dictionary. Snap.

12 November 2013

Speculoos Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

aesthetic fauna // speculoos cranberry pumpkin muffins
There's nothing like the imminent arrival of guests to inspire spontaneous housecleaning, which is the main reason I invite people over, and the main reason our house gets tidied up. Win-win. The key is to leave one area laughably messy, so the eye is drawn to the chaos. Then no one notices food caked on the side of the high chair or the dust bunnies convening under the sideboard. It's similar to the deceptive but undeniably effective way I approach personal hygiene.

The other day, a very dear friend showed up with some very bad news. The good old US of A is eating up yet another one of my friends, right in time for Christmas. Bah humbug, times a bazillion. In a last-ditch effort to charm her into staying, I served her my best breakfast burrito, my favorite muffins. Although my pitch failed, at least my house got clean, I got to squeeze one of my favorite people, and she left with a full belly.

09 November 2013

An Affable Muse: The Cameraman

aesthetic fauna // an affable muse: martin buday
Meet Martin Buday. He tended bar at my favorite Greeley haunt, and we became fast pals after a few conversations unearthed a great deal of commonality (innate weirdness and quirky taste in movies). He's a marvelous photographer and credits his love of art and Indiana fried chicken to his grandfather.  Marty's eye for desolately alluring scenes is particularly evident in his ongoing Stay Golden series, which curiously examines and celebrates the man-made environment. Many of the photos were taken in my old stomping grounds, so I revisit the images often to satiate my need for a breath of home.

After his stint in Colorado, he got back to his Pennsylvania roots and moved to Philadelphia earlier this year. You can see more work or pop in to say hoi here.

Stay golden, people.

aesthetic fauna // martin buday
Untitled (Hedges)as featured on FlakPhoto

07 November 2013

The Scared is Scared: Bianca Giaever's Antidote to Gloom

If the sky above you is as dismal as the one hovering above Holland these days, you're going to want to take eight minutes out of your day to let in some light. And if you live in the tropics, you'll need to liberally reapply your sunblock at some point, which conveniently takes approximately the same amount of time.

This brilliant short film by Bianca Giaever will send a quiver of glee through even the most ice-bound of hearts. She harnesses the disorganized genius of her 6-year old's mind and organizes it into a poignant reminder to us that humanity is alive and well. 

Get your happy on, people.


06 November 2013

Thing Love: Rob Brandt's Crumple Cup

aesthetic fauna // rob brandt crumple cup
We had to start from the beginning, in terms of stuff, when we transitioned from Den Haag to Amsterdam in June and, thus, from furnished to unfurnished. Tableware, towels, a vacuum cleaner. Some of it isn't worth making interesting (i.e. vacuum), while some of the other things totally are. Conveniently, the Dutch are known for their design; here, quirky products prevail.

In my quest to thoughtfully set our table, I remembered a display of drinking cups I ogled longingly when we first moved here. There was a two-month lapse in between finding a babysitter and making friends, so I'd ditch the kid and spend hours making eyes at expensive kitchen gadgets at a shop in town.

05 November 2013

A Dirty Girl's Guide to Looking Clean

aesthetic fauna // a dirty girl's guide to looking clean
I started this post almost a year ago, in response to Sweatpants are The New Black over on The Nomad Mom Diary. Lynn is one of my muses, and although we've only met in person twice, we're basically BFFs por la vida. Whether she likes it or not. As soon as I was privy to her genius, I latched on like a leech.

She commences with this gem:
Listen up expat mommies. I am sick of you moms who rock the playgroup center like it were a catwalk at fashion week.
My initial response was an enthusiastic, "I know, RIGHT??" And then a friend pointed out, rather bluntly, that I should shut the fuck up, that I am that mom. And I had a bone-shaking laugh about her observation, and some things to say about it. Really, what it came down to was a realization that I am a master of trickery, and that I should pass along some intel to the pissy sweatpants mommas out there, and call a truce.

04 November 2013

On Homelessness

aesthetic fauna // fly
For those of you who already read my entry in the Expatica I Am Not a Tourist blog competition, I apologize for the repetition; redundancy sucks, I know. This time around, though, it's complete with fun links (a blogger's equivalent of song and dance). 

Sincere thanks again to all of you who voted me into first place; I am so very grateful.

A few months ago, I came across an article detailing general Dutch opinions about some of the nationalities who have settled within their borders. They feel ambivalent about the British. The French and Italians have nice holiday destinations but are frowned upon for various reasons.

Okay, fine. But Americans? Loud and empty-headed.

03 November 2013

Herfst Quickies, and a First Place-ish Kind of Day

My Sunday included some pretty terrific things, which were welcome guests after a gray and taxing week.

1. Beginning: I slept until 9.00 while baby daddy folded the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and wrangled the kids.

2. Middle: I was totally tickled and honored to win first place in the Expatica I Am Not a Tourist blog competition, the spoils of which included meeting some fine new peeps and a free spot in one of the Amsterdam Writing Workshops.

3. End of the Middle: I (nearly) finished a meal on a cafe terrace, in between hail storms, while both kids snoozed in the buggy. At the same time. This kind of thing just doesn't happen very often. Much obliged, little people.

4. End: Right before carrying big bunny to bed, the two of us crafted chestnut critters together. Well, kind of. He sorted googly eyes and dictated where the glue and feathers went. Photos to come; in the meantime you can visit our goofy darlings from last year here.

5. End of the End: A newly de-bearded mustached guy brought me a late dinner in bed.

Thank you, day.

31 October 2013

Be Creepy.

aesthetic fauna // haunted air
If you're like me and crave weird all year long, you can order the book immortalizing these, and other, marvelous late-October parenting decisions. (David Lynch wrote the introduction, so it's professional-grade creepy). Centering this bad boy on your coffee table should precipitate interesting conversation, or awkward silence, depending on whom you've invited over for (red-dyed) earl grey and (corpse-shaped) shortbread cutouts.

Happy Halloween, people. Let your inner freak run free today.


p.s. Can we just, for one second, imagine sending our kids to a party in one of these getups, in a sea of princesses and frogs and pumpkins and sheet ghosts and pirates? Baaahahahahaa.

28 October 2013

A Separation

aesthetic fauna // ruthie
Despite being steeped in unseasonably luminous sunlight, this past week has weighed heavily upon our home. On Wednesday we bade farewell to Ruthie, maven of mischief, devoutest disciple of affection. Her humor buoyed us for over a decade. And, oh, those ears. I could write an ode to their softness.

Adieu, best good dog.


22 October 2013

Darling and Dear Always Wins

In an attempt to not pass along my marrow-deep fear of spiders to Julian (totally legitimate), I have been overcompensating by smiling maniacally at the horrible demons hanging between shrubs on our walks, singing songs about them at lunch time, encouraging him to point his Fisher Price camera at them, and drawing pictures of them donning various accessories on the chalkboard. Now he's half terrified, half obsessed, and I'm not sure I've taken the right approach; he's either going to end up with a full-fledged phobia, or a career in arachnology. Yes, that's a real thing. All this time devoted to thinking about a class of invertebrates I've spent my life avoiding has been making me feel jumpy in bed, and any time I feel a hair tickle my neck.

21 October 2013

The Results Are(n't) In

As the grown-up version of a kid who had panic attacks during more than one piano recital, I'm generally not into entering contests. Submitting work to literary magazines causes me digestive problems and lost sleep. But in a sudden rush of impulsiveness, most likely caused by long-term absence of quality REM sleep, I submitted an entry to Expatica's "I Am Not a Tourist" blog competition, fourteen minutes before the midnight deadline on Friday.

And if scrolling to the bottom of that very long list is too much for you, you can just vote for the first one you see; conveniently, it's in alphabetical order. 

Bedankt/thanks/gracias/merci/etc. etc. etc.!! 


Sleep with me.

gilded bed
I must confess. Lately, another mama friend and I have been fantasizing about sleeping together. 

20 October 2013

Quickies: Barcelona

I'm taking a break from scaling Mt. Laundrypile, which has been slowly accumulating and procreating in every corner of our house, to give you some more España, this time the margin notes to our brief adventure in Barcelona. I like thinking of iPhone photos that way: complementary, not entirely necessary, but as a lens to better understand a broader experience.

19 October 2013

Butter, Baby.

I was commissioned by the mister to bake for his colleague's baby shower. Totally awesome; I am always happy to quantify my love in flour and butter, even if for a roomful of strangers. Since the context was a high tea, I settled on shortbread. Bummer. (Not.)

Following my tradition of joining flavors in ambrosial matrimony, I went with three, hoping at least one would be exactly what the almost-mama was craving: glazed lemon + earl grey, double chocolate, and pumpkin topped with gingered chocolate.

16 October 2013

1 Tsp. Barcelona

On Friday night we landed in Barcelona, and our flight out was exactly three days later. Although it was hardly any time at all in a city of almost five and a half million, we squeezed enough in to go home happy and well-fed. The main objective of the trip was to get the mister behind the wheels of some fancy shmancy cars at the F1 Circuit de Cataluya (an embarrassingly overdue 2012 Father's Day and birthday present). It's a good feeling watching your better half from a distance, knowing his biggest quandary so far in the day is having to wait a little long for his Ferrari.


15 October 2013

Slacker Smoothie

Most days, I skip showering without realizing I'm skipping showering. I wearily grab the day's outfit out of the nearest laundry bin of clean but unfolded clothing. This morning, after a confusing conversation in which an elderly woman at the supermarket asked if I was okay, I pulled out a compact and realized I'd slept with mascara on and not consulted a mirror before leaving the house. It was an all-time low for me: pushing a double buggy around with raccoon eyes. Bad ones. 

Maybe this is the beginning of Letting Myself Go. Maybe it's a short-lived phase. 2010 Jess (before kids) would have been curled up in a ball for the rest of the afternoon, completely ashamed. No, wait, this NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED to 2010 Jess, under any circumstances (unless we're talking natural disaster or imprisonment). October 2013 Jess is too tired to care. She shrugged, said "Nee, dank u wel.", cleaned up with her hoodie sleeve, grateful that the hoodie, too, was black, and walked off mostly unfazed.

14 October 2013

aesthetic fauna // eat me

Because it's Monday. Because sometimes you just need to watch a kid dismantle an eight-legged unicorn cookie.

xxx+o from Barcelona,

13 October 2013


This one's kid-heavy, people. Grandparents and the child-crazed, rejoice. The rest of you may want to sit this one out. 

I basically have just been doing the following things, and only the following things for the past month: 
1. trying to shower twice per week
2. taking pictures of mostly my kids, then getting SUPER EMOTIONAL that I'm not taking nearly enough. (Still playing the hormone-blame-game.)
3. neglecting doing dishes
4. trying to pull off sweatpants with oxfords and a leather biker jacket, amongst other sartorial abominations. 

So, I guess you might want to stick around, at least to make fun. And in case you missed any recent installments of Quickies, you can catch up here.


12 October 2013

Thing Love: Modern Himmeli by HRUSKAA

succulent planter
As much as I like to lust after things I don't have, I also love the things we own, especially those purchased since our move from Den Haag to Amsterdam; in going from fully furnished to completely unfurnished, we were able to start with an empty living space and fill it with thoughtfully curated items that would make someone else's house feel like home.

11 October 2013

Grow Forth and Multiply, Vertically.

I believe in regeneration, in regrowth, in the power of healing. Metamorphosis. Reincarnation. Wait. Don't get all theological on me, now. I'm talking about plants. (You should have gone with your first instinct and known better.)

A few months ago when my mom was visiting, we went to the infamous floating Bloemenmarkt on the Singel Canal, in search of succulents, which are scarce at best in Holland. I've had little luck finding them in physical shops, and ordering plants on the internet feels funny, in the bad way. I get all touchy feely when it comes to things like plants. Fortunately, at the market resides van Zoomeren, boasting an impressive selection of carnivorous plants, cacti, and succulents, an odd duck in the sea of tulips. I walked away from the market with 24 plants and big plans. And a week later, I stumbled across a random rack of huge Sempervivum clusters at the neighborhood flower shop; thus, my flora stock grew considerably.

10 October 2013

A Public Service Announcement to All Babies

Go The F*** To Sleep 
It's totally one of those Do as I say, not as I do things; Frankie's inner troll comes out during the hours of 11PM-7AM. And during most napping hours. 

In case you somehow missed the reference, watch this. Unless you're offended by profanity, in which case we should probably part ways now, and permanently. It'll be better that way.

Okay, seriously everyone. Close those peepers and get your REM sleep pronto; don't let the dark rings under my eyes stop you. 


09 October 2013

An Affable Muse: The Juggler

It's both wonderful and heartbreaking to write about sad, lonely times 
and have readers say, "me too." -Pete D.

Okay, so Pete Derk's not a juggler, really. But I couldn't come up with a classification to squeeze him into (the best I did was The Heartfelt yet Ironically Snarky Intellectual, which didn't feel right, either). I'm talking poems, fiction, non-fiction, comics, a radio show, screenplays, and probably more that he hasn't yet unveiled, like inventing time travel or solving the Jacobian conjecture. You see my quandary; juggler is the best I could do.

10 September 2013

Saturation // Celebration

Here on the North Sea, rainy season has arrived with an umbrella-warping zeal that's hard not to be dazzled by. Out walking the dogs after dinner tonight, I exchanged nods of solidarity with the other pedestrians and cyclists, all of us momentarily united in our startled sogginess. One girl had a mouthful of laughter, audible over the sheets of water hitting the tops of parked cars. 

08 September 2013

An Affable Muse: The Author

christine stocke
I may be the worst (ever) at keeping in touch, but I at least mentally visit the people in my life quite often, whether our last rendezvous was yesterday or a year ago. In the middle of my very routine lovefest the other day, I was suddenly blindsided with admiration.


I know some crazy talented people. And I had the sudden urge to call everyone I know on a rotary telephone, one by one, with a fervent, "CHECK THIS OUT!" But it's, like, the middle of 2013. And I have a blog. So I'll do this the efficient way and introduce you to, in no particular order, some terrifically creative folks you should go virtually visit. Or personally visit. But call first, or it might get a little restraining-orderish and weird.

Today, meet Christine Stocke. (I imagine all of you doing the AA thing right now... "Hiiii, Christine.") I knew her as Christine Stroik in high school. We come from the same Wisconsin town of 30,000 but managed to mostly avoid each other, for no spun reason, really.

Fast forward to 2012. I got an email from her saying she was moving to Den Bosch, an hour and a half away from my front door. In the past year, after a wildly successful first date, we've found that we're unsettlingly alike. Wonderfully quirky and thoroughly genuine, she loves improper humor and good food, making her a supreme being in my universe. We should have had ourselves a platonic pal commitment ceremony of sorts a long time ago, but I guess we can't blame our fifteen-year old selves, who didn't know anything about anything.

But I'm not here to tell you how great Christine's personality is. This lass can write. Her poems and fiction have been picked up by a number of notable publications, including the 2012 Best New Poets anthology, which is a pretty huge honor. Visit her young blog to get in touch (and see photos of a massive, old dictionary that came loaded with random peculiarities stuck between the pages), or her Etsy shop for signed pieces, or to request a custom poem or short story.

07 September 2013

Quickies, Through Time and Space: The Forgettables

So, I guess this is kind of a series now. I'll go with it, and officially replace my Sunday Snippets posts with Quickies ones. These "in-between" moments are so sweet and capture my days so perfectly that I feel the need to share some of them, not just the ones I've perfectly focused on and framed.

02 September 2013

On the Cusp of Autumn, A Triad of Thing-Lust

red raincoat
one: This gorgeous Stutterheim raincoat, in red. Part of my obsession with Stutterheim is the unique and intimate self-image the company has (its tagline is "Embracing Swedish melancholy at its driest"), and the feeling I have that if this brand were a person, we would get along quite nicely and have much to talk about, under an overhang somewhere, sipping something steaming, in the middle of a rainstorm. The other part is the product itself. I've never found a raincoat I actually wanted to wear, one that is classic in design, well-constructed, and bucks the trend of hi-tech performance gear. Until now. And, as we enter rainy (and chilly) season here in Holland, this one goes to the top of my list.

"Melancholy shouldn’t be confused with depression. Melancholy is an active state. When we’re melancholic, we feel uneasy with the way things are, the status quo, the conventions of our society. We yearn for a deeper, richer relationship with the world. And in that yearning, we’re forced to explore the potential within ourselves – a potential we might not have explored if we were simply content. We come up with new ways of seeing the world and new ways of being in the world... Embracing rain is a good start." Read more here.

pendleton blanketPendleton Blanket
two: Either of these Pendleton blankets (links here and here, respectively). I very literally have been dreaming of owning one, as the coolness of the changing season begins to creep into our nights. The classy 104-year old company just opened a flagship store in Milwaukee last weekend. In an old firehouse. Seriously, Wisconsin friends, check it out. Our families are conveniently located near Milwaukee, so you can find me there in late December, drooling and fondling beautiful textiles. 

Void Watch
three: This Void Watch, because the color combo and kicky design get me every time. (And the free worldwide shipping is pretty super.) I imagine the only problem with buying it would be that I might get hit by one of the gazillion modes of transportation in this city because I wouldn't be able to stop ogling the thing.

Stay dry, warm, and on time, happy people...


01 September 2013

From Napoli, with Love: The Sweetest Trifecta

Neapolitan Party
While you were busy singing "I scream for ice cream!"I went home and whipped up two batches of the stuff: strawberry rosewater, and vanilla bean. And a chocolate cake.

I've never been a plain vanilla ice cream person, but David Lebovitz' recipe turned my stubbornness on its ugly little head, bean by crunchy minuscule bean. I followed the recipe exactly, except I doubled it. Because not filling my ice cream maker to capacity is a sin I just can't commit. And then I hit the repeat button but added boiled-down fresh strawberries, scaled down the vanilla, and tinged it with rosewater. Add Nigella's flourless olive oil chocolate cake, and I had a ramped-up, multimedium version of one of my favorite childhood ice cream flavors.

31 August 2013

Quickies, Through Time and Space: Berlin

Following my recent turn towards a more mobile lifestyle, here are some quickly-snagged moments from our brief exploration of Berlin. If my more in-focus look at this splendidly quirky city wasn't enough to make you go airfare-hunting, I hope these do. Everyone, look BERLIN-WARD! 

Go. You'll love it. Pinky swear. 


22 August 2013

Quickies, Through Time and Space: Bazouges-sur-le-Loir

feet, ball, can
Right up until the very moment I lifted my iPhone out of its slim little package, I was anti-smartphone. Completely. Once, in 2009, I bought a Blackberry and returned it the same day; the constant access to the Interwebs was too much for me to handle. I liked being unavailable sometimes. I liked that online was a place I could get to from a computer, and nowhere else.

21 August 2013

Pithy Bytes: Everyday Clips From an Happily Ordinary Life, Zomer Edition

I won't go as far as saying Happy Wednesday, but I am finding my mood lifting considerably with each cup of coffee. A couple more, and I should be able to open both eyes fully. Yes, it's 2:17PM.

If the middle of your week is looking anything like mine, you'll welcome a dark little place where only your ears have to work. So close those peepers and take a listen to what my summer's sounded like (an admittedly grammatically incorrect but affectionate nod to my fellow radio nerds)...


16 August 2013

The (Berl)in Crowd

I know it looks like we've been traveling a lot, but, really, we took two trips in six months. I'm just starting with them to lure you back. My birthday/Mother's Day combo pressie from the mister was a four-night excursion to Berlin, with (drumroll)... built-in babysitting. We just got back on Monday, and I'm still feeling all grungy, in the best way. Berliners have heel leuk style - undercuts and leather jackets abound.

15 August 2013

Reappearing Act + France, You Hurt So Good.

Hey, happy people. Remember me?

Hmmm. (Insert that awkward silence where no one responds.) 

Although I don't blame you for abandoning this ain't sailin' ship, I passionately bid you to COME BACK, COME BACK! We have much silence to make up for. I miss our chats.

17 April 2013

News, and Scenes From an Otherwise Quiet Weekend

In Expat Land, when someone commences a conversation with "I have news!" it's either a. pregnancy or b. relocation. Thank Jesus I don't have the former to announce to you.

Now calm the eff down.

15 April 2013

Baseless Guilt, and Birthday Cake

Recently pregnant people shouldn't be allowed to plan their child's birthday parties. Or be at them. They, in fact, should be far, far away from anything remotely emotional, like at a conference for international arbitration, or an empty, dark room piping Muzak out of tan computer speakers.

Hormones, combined with a 4:30AM bedtime after a neurotic cookie-decorating/party-planning frenzy, had me tearing up every few minutes during the party and filling up with feeling of deep regret. Deep regret not about my parenting choices or the emotional damage I've caused my child, but instead about the facts that I didn't make the decorations I'd planned, that big bunny wanted nothing to do with his birthday cake, that I put too much pasta in the pasta salad (thus, throwing off the flavor/pasta ratio and rendering the salad uniformly bland), that I didn't get as many photos as I'd wanted, and that no one told me my suspenders were a couple centimeters off-center in the back. 

Yeah. I know.