fall introversion

OMG- it’s Fall! I love love love FALL!

I love the fact that clothes cover a lot more of your body. It’s cozy and it’s flattering! I love boots and pumpkins and leaves. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving! I love being able to drink hot tea and coffee all day long without sweating! I love cool mornings and sweatshirts and needing to wear socks!

I also LOVE that it’s about to start getting dark early.

You heard me.

I have always loved it. I love a reason to head home early. To eat dinner early. To get the kids to bed early because it’s dark and they can still be fooled and it won’t last forever! To sit down on the couch with a glass of red wine and a book for a while instead of hanging out for another hour socializing outside (even though I love my neighbors with all of my little heart and they know it!). The change to fall and early darkness that makes a lot of people border on insanity and depression empowers me. It totally makes me feel like superwoman after a long, exhausting summer of long days full of activity and crowds and so very little time alone with only my family. Or with only me.

Because, here’s my “secret”. I am most certainly an introvert. And this change in seasons makes me much more comfortable in my own life.

As a noun, an introvert is defined as “a shy person” or “a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings”. As a verb, introvert is defined as “to turn inward”.

When I was young people described me as quiet. shy. polite. mild-mannered. Having fair skin, I’ve always blushed easily (bordering on turning fire-engine red if we’re being honest), and between that and a sheer lack of self-confidence I didn’t like being in front of a crowd. Particularly as an expert or a leader. I always found friends that were pretty comfortable in that role and kept myself out of the spotlight (generally) as somewhat of a side-kick.

Sometime during college something changed. To be honest, I lost weight and found some sort of self-confidence in the attention that came with being a young, slim, 6 foot tall southern girl with smarts. Then I started speaking up in a very sarcastic, self-deprecating way and realized that I could make people laugh. Also, enter alcohol. Beauty, wit, and talent of drinking (most) boys under the table. When you are in your twenties, that’s quite a  popular combination.

Post-college, due to good “people-skills”, a crazy fantastic ability to network, and a pretty decent resume, I found myself in fun, exciting jobs (after one awful month selling classified ads at a local newspaper) that gave me the opportunity to meet new people, impress the ones I already knew with stories of travel and events and even a few famous folks I met along the way, and continue my role as the life of the party.

Admittedly, I loved being fun. And I was. I am. Still.

My thirties were (and still are for some more months!) a little different. I still enjoyed having a great time, but it felt…different. It totally wore me out. I chalked it up to getting older. Having more responsibility. Kids. All of these things were definitely part of it. But they all were part of the bigger struggle as well- I was almost never alone. Down time was limited to early morning and late night. My mental checklist was never complete. Sometime I felt like I was drowning in the things that I couldn’t manage to get done, no matter how small they were. I didn’t want to miss out on anything, still worried about being a fun friend, so I tried really hard to not say no to invitations. I frantically tried to balance socializing with parenting and wife-ing and housekeeping and volunteering. I didn’t even realize how hard it was because I was just so tired and busy! It truly felt like life was supposed to be this way, and I don’t think I minded. Until I did.

I have heard, more than once, that introverts get their power from being alone. This is a strong statement, and it is very different from being shy. It simply means that to be an integral part of the party, first I need some time to myself. This makes total sense to me, and helped me to realize that it’s not so much that *I* have changed (though I have- almost 40 years on this planet will do that to a person), but my life has changed. I no longer spend long mornings cleaning my apartment and taking a walk and getting my nails done before a big night out. I spend the day in carpool lines, at meetings for my kids, at work, at sporting events…all of which require me to be “on” and talk and listen and be in a crowd. So, when I get home, I want to sit on the couch. I want to fold laundry in a quiet room. I want to read. I want to have a quiet dinner with my husband after the kids go to bed. I NEED to decompress just so that tomorrow is as good as today.

So, I am working on saying no. I just have to. Sometimes it’s inevitable- there are three kids’ worth of soccer games, practices, piano lessons, school drop offs and pick ups, teacher meetings, performances, homework, club, etc. I HAVE to say no a lot, because I chose to have and love three children and they fill up my days all on their own and I love it. But sometimes I have to say no just because I simply CAN NOT be even a glimmer of a fun version of myself today. Because I need to do this all again tomorrow.

I just hope you understand.


Shit’s getting real.

So, this summer I turned 39. I love birthdays, so I want you to know that I seriously can’t wait to turn 40. Milestone birthdays are the best because they give you a REAL REASON to celebrate for many, many days. So, when next June rolls around, you can KNOW FOR SURE that I’ll be excited.

Here’s the thing, though. This particular milestone has some other milestones attached. Like, I’m done having kiddos. There are three. They outnumber us and that’s slightly terrifying. So, no more. We’re settled. We know how to do this life for the most part, even though if you see/hear me at any given point after 5 p.m. you might doubt that. But, everyone is alive, healthy, happy (enough- I mean they are kids, they are no doubt tormented by wanting/”needing” something at this very moment). I have a virtually endless supply of wine, thanks to deciding that while I don’t PREFER boxes of wine, they are perfectly fine and are good to have around. I could go on, but my point is…

We’re all okay. We’re totally doing this life.

Here’s the OTHER thing, though. More seriously. I have lived a lot of my life fairly dissatisfied with myself. I mean, I know. That’s depressing and a whole other thing. But I’m sort of sick of it, and I’m sort of determined to go into my 40’s (and beyond) in a better place.

I don’t mean skinny. Or vegan. Or with a flat stomach (because let’s be honest- I love food, beer, wine, and I have three kids). Or richer. Or smarter (because, three kids). I mean, I want to feel good. And love (some of) the things I do (because, three kids, and I do not love Metal Gear Solid OR cutting 30 fingernails and 30 toenails every few weeks). I want to be the best, happy, fun version of myself (which can’t possibly be the 25 year old version of me, because she was totally exhausting).

I want to learn to say no.

I want to learn to say yes.

I want to do a handstand in yoga. And crow. And side crow.

I want to stop eating processed food (for the most part, because Sour Patch Kids).

I know that I need to (but will not say that I want to) stop drinking Diet Coke.

And I’m sure the list goes on and on.

And maybe I’ll hold myself accountable if I’m reporting it to (my family via) the interwebs.

We’ll just see. If nothing else, we’ll end it all next June with a big party.

Not a marathon, because I’ve done that before here, and it was just terrifying. Turning 40 is much easier. It certainly can’t be harder.

The baby-making table, that is?

Sometimes it’s easy to think about the little things about you that you might “donate” to your baby.

Good things, like:

Freckles. Height. Book-smarts. Love of reading. Kindness. Open mindedness. Love of music. The ability to follow-through (most of the time). Being on time.

Funny things, like:

Attraction to bad television. Interest in celebrity. Love of Diet Coke. Oddly shaped pinky toes. Double jointedness in pointer finger (only). Lack of flexibility.

Scary-to-parents things, like:

Ability to consume all fluids as quickly as water. Willingness to try new things (trust me, this can go either way).

You see what I’m getting at.

Then, occasionally, you really get to think about the SERIOUS things you can pass on to your baby.

Like your congenital heart defect.

That is my serious thing, anyway.

Today was one of those days.

We had our fetal echocardiogram today. We have had them with our past two pregnancies. It’s wonderful to watch your babies’ heart beat for over an hour. It’s also scary to know that the doctor could be seeing something that you don’t.

Luckily for us, we have never had that issue pre-birth. And also lucky for us, if we ever had an issue post-birth, we have a great relationship with a pediatric cardiologist.

And by that, I mean that we have to pay them lots of money every time we go.

But it’s worth the peace of mind. Of course.

And, by the way, I have managed to pass along some freckles…just in case you were wondering.


Yesterday, we had the “big” ultrasound.

IMG_2832(A family affair)

The anatomy ultrasound is REALLY all about looking at and measuring all the little bits and pieces of your baby to make sure he/she is developing “correctly”.

And our little baby is the definition of perfection. We feel so lucky and so relieved. I didn’t realize how much I needed this reassurance until it was over and we were assured that we had another perfect little baby. Believe me, I know we are lucky.

Admittedly, though, one of the most exciting piece of information that comes from this scan (if you are non-waiters, like us) is finding out the gender of your little one.

For me, this means I can really “get started”. On what? I am not sure. On names, on shopping for clothes, on just IMAGINING what life will be like in 4-5 months for this crazy house.

And once I found out I felt like I was on the downside of an adrenaline rush. I felt like I just wanted to go to sleep. But that’s because I am a worrier and I think that I didn’t sleep well for about a week prior to this appointment. My own issues, I think…

So, anyway, post-ultrasound Shaun and I have always gone out and bought our first little piece-of-clothing for the new baby. We did it with Hobbes (he got a polar bear t-shirt). We did it with Finn (he got a fairly useless but VERY cute fuzzy fleece jacket). And we did it yesterday. With the current kiddos in tow.

IMG_2833(Shaun’s choice- Finn helped with the pants!)

IMG_2834  (Finn’s choice)


(Hobbes’ choice)


Yes, sir. We are having another boy!

That’s three.

We are nothing if not consistent.

And apparently Shaun is strong with the “Y”.

And we are all SO EXCITED!

Boys RULE!

I would love to say that I am answering a question that had been posed to me by my many, many, thousands of adoring fans…but really, I am just rambling a bit about what I think people might wonder, when they see me wrangling my two boys in Target and then look up and notice that I am going to have ANOTHER ONE!

There are obviously a lot of reasons that folks decide to have babies.

And, obviously, some babies aren’t exactly planned.

Little old baby number three…he/she was a decision.

A decision that came AFTER the decision to NEVER have another baby.

As in, we sold/gave away most baby things. We had labeled and moved boxes of baby clothes into the attic, and then stacked many things on top of and around these boxes to make them nearly impossible for us to get to and drag down. We love my 4Runner and had decided never to get a minivan, or the like. We liked our household (human) ratio- two parents to two children. We like our house, with three bedrooms. We almost threw up when we had to buy FOUR plane tickets to New York last year to go visit my dad. That’s a lot of plane tickets, not to mention a lot of luggage now that you have to pay to check bags.

So, what I’m saying is, we were a totally happy family. And still are (of course).


So, why the big decision?

Well, all of the sudden, it just seemed like it was time to talk about it, just one more time. I had all sorts of random (sort of scary at the time, but now that they are over it all seems like it was okay) health issues with my baby-making-parts last fall. We thought for a minute that maybe someone would tell us that we COULDN’T have another baby. So, of course, we decided that maybe we wanted another one.

And I am one of three children (Shaun is an only child, so he’s totally out of the water with any number of siblings), so in the back of my mind, three was always kind of the “normal” number.

And, admittedly, I watch a lot of television shows that involve grown up families spending time at their parent’s houses for various reasons and it always looks like more fun when there are a WHOLE LOT of folks there for holidays, etc.

Plus, we didn’t have any more babies around our house. And we like babies (remind me of this when I am not sleeping anymore come November).

Hobbes will make an excellent older brother.

Finn will make an excellent older brother, AND he already seems to have the middle child role kind of down, to be honest.

Obviously, I was never going to actually get rid of all the baby weight I put on with both of my other babies, so why not do it all over again.

I am sort of kidding on that last one.

I enjoy being pregnant. Or, I should say, I ENJOYED being pregnant. I won’t lie, pregnant at 35 is different than pregnant at 29. But I still like it.

And that’s good, because I definitely am.

Pregnant that is.

And, 18 weeks in, I can already barely see my feet.


Yeah, as I’ve mentioned to some friends, third pregnancies ain’t no joke.


This was Hobbes on the first day of Kindergarten…


And this was Hobbes on the LAST day of Kindergarten…


I can’t believe he is so big. Ridiculous.

one, two, three…

I figure it’s not even worth apologizing for my absence. So, let’s just get to it!

One- I made this Strawberry Pretzel Salad for a cookout that we had this weekend. I had been craving a similar desert that my Nana used to make when I was little. Since Nana could have been Paula’s sister (in looks AND demeanor), I trusted Paula Deen to give me a good recipe. She didn’t disappoint. There is no picture because it may or may not already be gone.DSC_9171

Two- I am turning 35 this week. I am not one to be bothered by birthdays or the fact that they signify that I am, indeed, one year older. I tend to celebrate my birthday for at least a week every year. I will admit that I think that 35 sounds pretty adult, though. And I would say that I probably look 35. I mean, I certainly haven’t been carded in several years. Except by a guy who told me (when I thanked him profusely for being so kind as to make my day by carding me) that they carded everyone. So, about looking my age, yeah…I’m not really sure how I feel about that. DSC_9160 (2)

Three- That is how many children we will have by Thanksgiving.


Kilgariff, Party of Five…coming your way mid-November, 2012.

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