Guess Who's Back...Back Again...

YOU GUYS. All Eminem references aside, I am finally coming up for air and plan to start posting again!

I've missed you. Like, a lot. It was a little bit like a break-up. You know how, after you break up with someone, you see something in the news or on your facebook feed or at the mall and you're like - OH, MY EX WOULD LOVE THIS I HAVE TO SEND IT RIGHT NOW! But then you think - oh. I can't share it with him/her. We haven't talked since I ugly cried in his car and made that bitchy comment about how he should date his dog. 

Anyway, I've been feeling the same. So many things happening in my life and happening in the world right now that I want to discuss with you all. But I'm still figuring out this parenting/working/balance thing. And I recognize that there really is nothing to figure it out - it's really just a matter of prioritizing what you do when the baby is asleep.  For the past four months, eating and sleeping have won. But I'm trying desperately to replace eating with writing - we will see if it works!

My goal is to publish blogs at least twice a week and update my instagram once a day. Give me a little more time to establish my routine, and then I can tell you which days specifically I plan on publishing. I mean, I've never been a person you can set your clock by (cue husband and coworkers rolling their eyes at how LATE I am all the time), but I am going to try!

So anyway. I wanted to apologize - not for ugly crying and bitchy comments about your dog, but for taking such a long break. Thank you for bearing with me. I will do my darnedest to not let that happen again!

Also, remember this song and this video? Talk about #TBT!

Be Back Soon!

Hi, friends! Working on this life transition thing right now. Don't have much space in my head for thinking, let alone time for processing. And that, of course, means no writing. I'll be back soon, I promise! 

Meanwhile, enjoy a few pictures from our trip to Michigan:

On the airplane. First family vacation.  

On the airplane. First family vacation.  

The beautiful Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As clear as Carribean water!

The beautiful Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As clear as Carribean water!

That Michigan sunset tho.  

That Michigan sunset tho.  

And finally, this hamburger shirt - no, JERSEY - from the airport. If you can find it, buy it for me.

And finally, this hamburger shirt - no, JERSEY - from the airport. If you can find it, buy it for me.

Love to you all!

Brand Spanking New

Oh look, we done gone and got a makeover! What do you think of the new site? It's still a work in progress, but hey - aren't we all?

There's still lots to do...I'm working on a new logo, and I want to update the "about" page, and I have grandiose plans for a next level of organization...but this is the first step. And one must start somewhere!

It's appropriate that my new site launches today, the same day I go back to work post maternity leave (to a new job, by the by). Just all kinds of newness! All kinds of change! I've always been a goal-oriented worker bee, so there was no chance I wasn't going to go back to work after a baby. But I have to tell you, it's been a roller coaster of emotions in my heart for the last week, as I've started Jack in day care and prepped for my return to work. 

But, much like a website redesign, at some point you just have to do it. You just have to rip the band-aid off and say - ok, let's try this. Let's make some mistakes. Let's adapt as we go. I feel raw and exposed, but I'm going to put myself out there. 

So that's what I'm doing. On all fronts. Just forging ahead, and we'll see what happens.

Good things, I hope! Good things, I know. 

From Jenn Gietzen

From Jenn Gietzen

Post Three Day Weekend Bits & Bobs

Happy Monday! Are we all moving a little slower today after a nice three day weekend full of fireworks, frosty beverages, and a fantastic U.S. Women's Soccer Team World Cup victory?

Well, say no more. Here's some fun stuff to look at while you pretend you're working.

1. First up, I just found out SNL released a cut sketch featuring my girl Aidy Bryant from the Michael Keaton episode toward the end of the season. Yes, it's true! It's like Christmas in July! Here's the sketch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VquS5Az_hBs

2. This amazing comic by Alli Kirkham on everydayfeminism.com perfectly illustrates the concept of consent. It's funny cuz it's funny...and it's funny cuz it's sad and true. I wish they would use something like this to educate young men on consent.

3. Perhaps a bit off topic from my usual bits and bobs, but this one is for you sports lovers out there (especially my Michigan homies). Take a look at this heartbreaking photo essay on the Silverdome (the old home of the Detroit Lions). I spent so many Sundays there as a child with my family creating wonderful memories (even if they rarely included wins). Although I love our new stadium, Ford Field, there will always be a special place in my heart for this big, old, crumbling relic.

4. Props to Natalie Portman for demanding a woman direct her Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic. More details here on variety.com (Also, I could not be more excited for this movie!)

5. Another hilarious comic, this one by Amy Kim and shared by Heroic Girls entitled "If Disney Princesses Had Mothers." Oh, these had me LOLing. Or would have, if I hadn't looked at them while nursing my baby in the middle of the night. My favorite is Belle's.

6. Dissolve just released this phenomenal list called The 50 Most Daring Film Roles for Women Since Ripley (meaning Ripley/Sigourney Weaver from Alien, of course). I am crazy about this list for about 652 reasons (or maybe just 50). I love it that Dissolve is celebrating badass depictions of women in film, I love reading what is basically a list of my favorite movies/characters of all time, and I love discovering new movies I've never seen before that have now climbed to the tippy top of my Must See list. A big thanks to my husband for sending this to me!

7. And in honor of yesterday's win, a great piece in The Atlantic (from the start of the World Cup in June) on how we need to include women's sports in the feminist movement. I totes agree!

Hope the rest of your week is peachy keen! Happy July, happy America, happy U.S. Women's Soccer Team!

A Nation United in Love!

**Note: I was traveling and away from a computer for the early part of this week, so my apologies this wasn't on the blog Monday morning, as I had hoped! Better late than never though, right? There's always more time for celebration!

YAY YAY YAY FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY!!!!

RAINBOWS times INFINITY!
(image courtesty of eonline.com)
Hearing about the ruling is going to be one of those times where you remember exactly where you were. This usually happens for awful things, like 9/11 or Princess Di's car accident. How lovely that this time it's something happy and amazing and wonderful.

As for me, I was sitting in my sister's car while she pumped gas. We were on our way to the mall by ourselves - a special treat for two moms of small babies (and yes, I had "Let's Go to the Mall" in my head the whole time). I was so thrilled I made Kristen stop mid-windshield cleaning and open the door so I could tell her! I was elated. Here's how others around the internet reacted, as well as some fun celebrating from brands too.

But it was only later that the full emotional implications of the ruling sunk in. I cried while nursing my baby boy and reading everything - the articles, Obama's speech, Justice Kennedy's ruling itself. It's a rare and incredible feeling to hold your child and know that the world got better for him that day. My sweet baby can grow up to love - and marry - whomever he chooses. Is there anything more simple and glorious than that?

I know there's still so much more to be done for LGBT rights across America. But this celebration of love - this law abiding respect for love - is an incredible leap forward.

It is truly the definition of a positive affirmation.



PS. Let's go to the mall...today.

Welcome to Motherhood aka Overplanners Anonymous.

Man, I thought I was a planner before. Then I went and had a baby. 

Even on maternity leave, I create these to-do lists (all mundane stuff, ranging from "grocery store" to "water roses" to "cut Jack's nails" to "write a blog") and then I stress over getting them done. It's as if I'm hard wired to do this and, even on the longest break from work I've ever had with the best company I could ever imagine, I still find ways to make a list and impose that stress on myself.

I don't know how to turn it off. I don't know how to not plan, to not stress. But I know I need to. I know the best times are when I can do that.

I swear he liked it.
Last week it happened by accident. I had our Tuesday all planned out, and then my friend Julie suggested we get our sons together in our kiddie pool. A terrific, unplanned idea for a 93 degree day! So I threw my to-do list out the window, filled up that kiddie pool, and we sat in it with the boys all afternoon. And it was fantastic! It was exhilarating! Yes, sitting in a plastic pool full of semi-dirty water in my backyard was exhilarating. Because it was the right thing to do for that moment. I just followed the feelings of the day and it landed me there, in that lovely little pool, with a good friend and two adorable babies wearing excessive amounts of sunscreen.

But the life of a mother is one of a planner. It's not something we can just cast off because we're feeling impulsive. We plan because we care deeply about our babies. We stress because we're leaving the house for three hours, and it's quite possible the kid could go through three shirts and eight diapers during that time. We schedule out the day so that the kids (and husband, by the way) are happy and entertained while still eating and sleeping enough. We make to-do lists so we can anticipate what is needed over the next few days to keep everyone happy, entertained, fed, and sleeping.

We hold the burden of the Designated Worrier in the family, and we do not take that job lightly.

So I recognize that it is not realistic to cast off all my primal desires to organize, plan, and stress. I will always do this; it is my way of protecting my family. And in fact, it often makes me feel better - a to-do list helps me wrap my arms around the enormity of it all. At times it is quite soothing to write everything down and capture it so concretely.

But I am going to TRY HARDER to at least not over plan, to let the day take its own course, to listen to my gut instead of my iPhone's list app. Especially now, on my maternity leave, when the only item on my to-do list for today should be play with my sweet new son.

And finish the day care paperwork.
And pack for our trip next week.
And wrap Brandon's Father's Day gift.
And go to Target.
And exercise.
And clean the bathrooms before company comes over.
And maybe take a shower...

Well. All we can do is try, right? :o)
Except when it doesn't and you're just really prepared.
WHICH HAPPENS OK. MOMS ARE COOL.