Pinterest, Parties, and Pearls: Elle Turns One

Last month I turned thirty-three and discovered my first gray hairs, but I didn’t lose my cool. It sounds strange, but I feel as though I earned every one of those little gray babies. I’m getting old and I’m ok with it.

Here’s the part where I reflect.

I don’t regret many of my young-life decisions because they taught me a great deal, but if I could go back and change just one thing what would it be? Would it be to have more patience, or compassion? Would it be to work harder? No, if given the chance I would throw a better first birthday party for my son and it would be epic.

Just three years ago we threw Luke’s first birthday party. At the time, I remember thinking it was pretty boss. (Do the cool kids still say that?) Then, last week we went to a relative’s first birthday party that was complete with every Pinteresting detail imaginable. In walked regret complete with tutu and pearls.

I came home and sifted through old photos determined to find something from that first birthday that would be of equal or greater value to what I had just witnessed. This is what I found.

The photo quality is poor because it was probably taken on a four, or five-year-old camera phone (add to list of regrets), but the sentiment isn’t lost. There stands my better half groping the bosom of a cardboard cut-out at our only son’s Hawaiian luau-themed first birthday party. 

Why don’t you look at some other pictures while I snot-bubble cry, okay?

Drum roll, please. I give you…
Elle’s First Birthday
-Love a nice entry-
-This is mostly where I hung out-
-Beautiful cake, but also note that no one is being groped in these photos-
-clipped to the blinds were “A Year of Firsts” in photo-
-Pearl detail on the refreshment bin-
-Beautiful-
-The only time at the party that she didn’t act like a lady involved cake-
Is it wrong to want a do-over kid just so I can throw a better party for him/her? I’m sure kids are born every day for worse reasons than that. Quick! Someone tie my tubes!!

Moms Getaway Part 2: Three Women And A Mission

After arriving at our destination, the rest of the weekend went as smooth as clockwork. We lounged on the beach and by the pool. We shopped and ate amazing food. We watched TV in bed, and most importantly of all we laughed. We laughed a lot.

Nice culottes, Granny.
 Caliza at Alys Beach
George’s at Alys Beach

When Sunday rolled around we packed our things and prepared for our journey home. Loren Leigh and I were in the bathroom packing our toiletries when Mary Marshall walked in and informed us that there was a leak downstairs. We all rushed down there to find water coming through the ceiling. A pipe somewhere had burst and the water was finding its way out by pouring from a speaker.

Mary Marshall’s first responder skills were right on point because before she even alerted us,  she had scoured the cabinets for a bowl large enough to contain the leak, thereby sparing quite a bit of furniture from damage. I’m pretty sure she was a paramedic in her former life.  I made a quick call to my uncle for some guidance.

My mind flashed back to the Luke Wescott flood of 2011, and I knew that we needed to get the water out of the ceiling as quickly as possible to keep it from spreading. I could hear my uncle’s confidence in me wavering a bit, but I like to think that he reflected back to the Billie Jean King in me that just one week before had put together a fire pit all by herself. He said, “If you can’t get the speaker to pop out, then at least poke a hole in the ceiling with a screwdriver.”

A larger garbage can had replaced the bowl because the water began steadily dripping down from all around the speaker frame. Mary Marshall held the ladder steady while Loren Leigh handed me tools like a surgical assistant. Every time I pried the edge of the speaker down,  more water poured out.

“Why don’t you get down and let me try,” Loren Leigh offered. I was happy to oblige. Then, with her bear hands, (That’s not a typo. I’m fairly certain she was channeling a grizzly bear) she took hold of the speaker and slowly pulled it down with arms shaking like a weak armed Olympian doing a pull up. With that, the leak slowed to a drip and our crisis was over. I like to think of that whole experience as our team building exercise for the weekend.

Piece of cake!

Afterward, we did the only thing that seemed appropriate. So back to the outlet malls we went. A little retail therapy always slows my heart rate back to normal, much like a prescription- a really expensive prescription.

Eventually, it came time for Mary Marshall to say her goodbyes and head to the airport. However, about thirty minutes later she called to say that Loren Leigh had left her J. Crew shopping bag in her rental car. “No problem,” said Loren Leigh. “Just leave the bag at the rental car place and we will come and get it.” We were then reminded by the rental car agent that under no circumstances could an unattended package be left at the airport, AND if she checked the bag she would be charged extra. To make matters worse, there was absolutely no fitting it in her already full suitcase.

That’s when the rental car agent made a suggestion. It was half insane, half brilliant. So Mary Marshall boarded her plane wearing four additional sweaters, a pair of socks, and a bracelet purchased earlier by Loren Leigh. She really took one for the team that day, dressed as what could only have looked like a homeless person layered up for a good night’s rest in a city park.

The ride home for Loren Leigh and me was much less eventful considering that we had a car charger for our phones. Had the navigation system not instructed us to make four consecutive U-turns, and then circle through a trailer park scary enough to give Honey Boo Boo nightmares, we would have made it home in under five hours. Hey, there’s always next time.

Route that navigation system took us on.
We thought it was a driveway, too.
And, you gotta love the curtains.
Can I get a “Row Tide?”

Maisie Day-sie

Earlier this week, Luke and I took our friend Maisie out for her birthday. After lunch we had ice-cream.   Then, it was off to the movies to see Brave, followed by shopping at Target. If you haven’t seen Brave, I won’t ruin it for you, but the lead character spends most of the movie saying she wants to change her fate. It wasn’t until the movie was over that Maisie looked up at me and asked, “Why does she want to change her feet? They look fine to me.”
“Bless her little heart,” I thought. She had watched the entire movie thinking that the protagonist, who was barefoot for most of the movie, was self conscious about her feet. Oh, to be five years old.

Miss Mae and Luke