November 27, 2012

sunnypickles working mom tip #1

Leggings become pajamas in two easy steps. Rip off that adorable tunic and throw on your ratty old fleece. Don’t answer the doorbell – you’re in your pjs after all.


October 2, 2011

Dear Baby (October 2nd)

I wrote this almost a year ago – holy cow, a lot happened since then! We did find out it was twins, dealt with the loss of one, found out the other was healthy, went to Key West, bought a house while Adam was in Vegas, moved, bought another car (suburbs!), and then fell madly in love with our Ellie Rose when she arrived.

Dear Baby,

I’ve known about you for a week now, and all I’m hoping for is that I’ll get to know you some day! It’s an odd feeling to be so excited, yet know that there’s a big possibility you aren’t THE baby that’s supposed to come to us. So my plan is to stay positive and hope you are until I get information telling me otherwise.

I think that because it was a long and difficult process just to get to this place, my fear sensors are still on high alert. I’m fighting them as best I can, with your Dad’s help. He’s in a similar place, though he’s struggling with the fact that we have to go act all business as usual, when we both know it’s not. We’re nervous, but ready to shout about you from the rooftops, and plan for your arrival. We also want to know if you have a buddy in there – going the fertility specialist route often = TWINS.

So far I’m feeling fine. My boobs hurt, and I’m starting to have weird dreams and pee a lot at night. It’s probably too early for the tiredness and nausea to set in, but I’m grateful for all the physical symptoms because they remind me you’re there. Thank you for that. Take care and enjoy all the good things I’m eating. The fajitas your dad and I made together last night were delicious! I hope you like oatmeal because I have it every morning…




May 15, 2011

Soul Searchers

I’ve never been a dedicated journal writer, so I’m not all that surprised it’s been harder for me to keep posting.  But I’m craving some sort of creative outlet right now, so here I am!

I’ve been quite busy doing lots of soul searching lately.  I’m going through a difficult time in my life and for better or worse, it’s affording me lots and lots of time to think.  Normally this isn’t always a good thing for me, but this time I’ve been trying to do all that thinking differently.  How can I feel less sorry for myself?  Can I just let go?  How can I embrace joy, even when it’s not my own?  What can I do to interrupt the negative thinking, and take a break from trying too hard to fix things?

There are actually many answers to these questions.  Sometimes it’s simply that I can’t, and that’s ok.  I’m not great at just being sad and asking for help, but I’m working on it.  This is a huge area of growth for me, and I’ve had to discover who can help when I am feeling overwhelmed and the hope is just a little too far out of reach.

Other times all I have to do is:

  • Dream.  Lately I’ve been plotting what I want to be when I grow up (most recent thought: I want my own TV show, especially now that Oprah is calling it quits).
  • Dance.  I recently shut the door to my office at work and did just that, using this video
  • Call/see/write a friend.  Especially if she’s my sister, and we’re eating those Big Daddy’s fried pickles you can see on my new header.
  • Take a walk.  And buy myself a treat.  Like a new pen or some bubble tea.
  • Do a yoga class. Especially ones taught by Kevin or Siobhan or Dibora or Melissa…

And now I’ll write, right here.

September 7, 2010

Sore Losers

A few weeks ago, Adam and Emma (a semi-former Critical Exposure staffer) repaid a bet.  You see Emma, Adam, Claire (another semi-former staffer) and I had a serious, throw-down, trash-talking March Madness pool: we filled out our brackets at the last minute, forgot who we picked as we watched the first games of the tournament, all while explaining who the good teams usually are to Claire.

We settled on a high-stakes bet – the losers had to make the winners some sort of dessert.  Claire won, due to that special March Madness law of physics that states the least educated pool member must win the pool as often as possible.  (A true story: last year a friend’s four-year old won her office pool – and $150 bucks! – by picking the mascot he liked best in each match-up.)  I came in second because while winning the pool is nice, beating Adam is even sweeter and my priorities were rewarded by the basketball gods.

So what did Adam and Emma, two of the finest citizens of our land make us, FOUR MONTHS later?  Behold, the dessert of sore loser-hood: Beaker (Claire’s hated nickname/namesake) imposed over a Duke Blue Devil.  On a cupcake.

July 6, 2010

Target on a Tuesday

This is it, the last day of my Renewal.  I had one main goal for today: to go to Target.  To me, the best part about not working a regular 9-5 job (or retirement!) is that you can go to Target on a weekday – a Tuesday, perhaps – at 10:30 in the morning, when NO ONE ELSE IS THERE.  You can park right next to the entrance, choose whatever cart or basket you’d like, and stroll the store at a leisurely pace buying things you need (toilet paper), things you think you need (travel-sized Clorox wipes), and things you can admit you don’t need at all, but really, really want (parmesan goldfish crackers).

Mission accomplished.

And actually, that applies to this entire six week experience.  I had to make some tough choices about where I wanted to be when, but think I made the right ones.  I know I’ll get back to the Hudson River Valley to see the Roosevelt home; I’ll spend more time at the beach next summer; I’ll get back to NYC to see my buddies who live there.   And if I must go back to Spain to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao, or explore Ronda and Cadiz, then I’ll just have to make it happen.

What I appreciated most about this time away from work was the time itself.  While it did fly by overall, it moved slowly enough for me to enjoy.  I got to write and be carefree and put 100% of my energy into the things that interest me most – spending time with friends and family, cooking, reading books.  I also had enough time for reflection, to look at what I’d like to continue to improve about myself, like letting go and worrying less, letting whatever happens, happen.  The best part is that will be helpful at work too!

My friend, Lauren (Rhetta), told me that the main partner at her old law firm used to instruct his staff (upon returning from their sabbaticals) to make a list of things they wanted to accomplish and/or improve about their work and working styles.  I thought that was a great idea, and I’m going to take it one step further by sharing my list with all of you.  Yes, you can help keep me honest (especially those of you who work with me)!  Again, my overall theme is, “letting go.”

  1. Leave work at a reasonable hour so I can spend more time doing the things I love – being with family and friends, yoga, cooking, blogging(!), etc. (which will ultimately make me a happier employee).
  2. Delegate, delegate, delegate (see # 1).
  3. Remember that it’s ok if some people aren’t happy with my decisions, especially when I follow my gut and know the decisions are right for me, for my team, for our work, etc.
  4. Leave the office – and all it’s glorious trappings of work and worries – at the office (will also help me enjoy # 1 more).
  5. Focus on the parts of my job that I really like – managing staff, developing new ideas and ways to advance my team’s work, and providing project leadership.
  6. Take a walk around the block during the day from time to time.  Stand up to take phone calls and even answer email. (I don’t miss sitting all day.)
  7. Take at least a two-week vacation next year.  One week is not long enough to unplug completely.  (Neither is two, but it’s better than 1!)
  8. Schedule lunches, coffees and meetings with co-workers and colleagues I either admire or whose company I enjoy, especially on days when my calendar is more open.

I could probably add ten more, but I am trying to let go and all.  This is a great start and will be a good reminder list down the road.  In the meantime, I do plan to keep blogging here.  I really enjoyed writing about this adventure, and want to see if I can transition to sharing the everyday now.  Thank you again for all of your comments, emails, and encouragement.

Parmesan goldfish, here I come.

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July 6, 2010

Nothing Could Be Finer

Last stop, North Carolina.  It was a wonderfully relaxing way to end the travel portion of my renewal, and great to spend so much time with my family in places I love – Atlantic Beach and Raleigh, NC.

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July 6, 2010

Spain Wrap-up

There’s so much more to tell about Spain, and I’m already two weeks into the inevitable memory fade that happens after even the most wonderful vacations!  I did write a few quick posts from my phone in JFK, but the stupid wi-fi network there ate them somehow.  (When I find the little gnome that keeps doing this to me…let’s just say he’d better watch his pint-sized back.)  So for posterity’s sake, here is a brief Spain wrap-up, in my favorite form – the LIST.

General highlights of the trip:

  • Bike tour through the Penedes wine region, and the rosé cava we sampled there, via large pours that cannot technically be called a “tasting” because that connotes merely a few sips in the glass
  • The Gaudi architecture in Barcelona surpassed my expectations
  • Everything about Hotel Esplendido in Sollier, Mallorca – the pools, views, massage, food, staff…
  • The Alhambra in Granada
  • Mosaics and tile everywhere – Barcelona, Granada, Seville…
  • Getting lost in Seville (and the accompanying relief when we found our hotel each night)
  • Stumbling upon a soccer rally in San Sebastian for their local team

Food highlights:

  • Tapas and eating late
  • Jambon everything – sandwiches, croquetas, even by itself
  • Tomato bread (essentially fresh tomatoes rubbed onto bread)
  • Our picnic in Parc Guell
  • Churros dipped in hot chocolate
  • Sangria at Hotel Espendido on Mallorca
  • Thxoli wine in San Sebastian
  • Dinners at Pla and Bar Mut in Barcelona

And finally, the photos:

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July 1, 2010

Niecelet Wins

I’ve had a wonderful time in NC visiting ALL my family, but my niecelet (my cousin’s daughter feels like a niece, so “niecelet” gets around the technicalities) wins first post/update. You would win if you had on silver chucks and a pink tutu too.

June 21, 2010


See this group of older guys on the beach and how they’re all shirtless? I was wearing 3 layers when I took this. Even better, many of them had already taken a morning dip in the sea.  Adam and I did manage to take our shoes off eventually, but we cheated by waiting for the afternoon heat and sun.

June 21, 2010

Good Sport Award

The award goes to Adam, who got drenched from behind by a wave that crashed unexpectedly high against the sea wall in San Sebastian. I did manage to ask if he was ok before I started laughing.