The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Friday, July 31, 2009

26+10

This isn't one of those, "I'll always be 29 posts."

Really.

I am 36 today and I love it. The title is a reference to a night 10 years ago, wherein I made a complete ass out of myself in front of several dear friends and my future husband who at the time was just a guy I thought was trying to get in my pants and then dump me. (I had le grand chip on my shoulder.)

Anyway, I had decided back when ZZ Top She's Got Legs was the newest song on the radio that I would grow up, get married, have three sons, kick the husband to the curb and get a job that let me wear stilettos and jeans to work. That night 10 years ago I wept as if my world was ending.

"I didn't do it."

"Do what?" they asked me with tender concern.

"Any of it!" I wailed.

"Of what?" they murmured as they encircled me.

"Kids. Husband."

They were incredulous. I had a great job, a hot and doting guy and a world of possibility ahead of me.

I cried and sniffled (it was actually the big, ugly kind of crying...snorfling?)

I had expected 3 boys.



I had planned on divorce.



I had no idea what I needed. Here's to unanswered prayers and happily ever afters. Thanks for sharing in mine.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cents of Peace


Life is a blur of scampering out the door before open houses and squeezing in swing time and walks before bedtime and baths. My days in Chicago are already a distant memory of hot mid-day walks and twinkly nights upon the fringe of the merrymaking. I had one moment, during a walk with Leslie, that I stole for home.

We were in Millennium Park and she exclaimed, "Oooh, I'm putting my feet in the water!" And before I knew it she was squatting down and yanking off her shoes. I sighed, it seemed like so much work to take my tennis shoes off in the heat and then put them back on, socks sure to be damp with sweat. She let out a sigh like a dog curling up by a fire and I caved.

The water was incredible and the stones along the trough were cool and slick. I wiggled my toes and felt myself relax, my hands behind me and the sun shining upon my face. I looked at Leslie and saw a similar peace. We sat in a contemplative silence as people on either side of us began to follow suit.

Glimmers of sunlight reflecting off coins in the water caught my eye. I thought of the girls and Sean, of pennies tossed in Placid and Burlington. I felt silly and hopeful. I reached my hand in my pocket and slid a shiny dime between my fingers. I peeked at Leslie from the corner of my eye and as she leaned in looking at her own toes I dropped the dime silently into the water.

Unspoken wishes and s dreams of reaching an as yet invisible finish line.

As I remember the soft, soft splash, I feel a quiet hope.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hey, it's me

I wear contacts, at night I take them out and put on my glasses. Sometimes on the weekend I'll keep my glasses on for coffee and maybe a run to the grocery store or Lowes. People know me without glasses, switch up something as little as glasses and it throws people off a bit.

I'm at BlogHer. Some people know me for this blog, some people know me for my other blog, or from twitter and, well, some people don't know me at all. Watching people's faces as I introduce myself and they struggle to place me is odd, I know it mirrors some of my own reaching for names and connectors.

Last night after one such introduction something occurred to me, say what you will about crowds and cliques, hierarchies and oligarchies, it comes down to self. Contacts or glasses, blogging or talking, I am who I am. There is not a person I can meet or not meet who will change that.

I love tortilla chips.

I adore the word inimitable.

I don't get the Robert Pattinson thing (may have to do with turning 36 in six days)

I blush easily and am kind of prudish, yet I curse like a trucker.

I am passionate as a mom, getting better as a wife and loyal to the end as a friend.

I can write. I can dazzle. I can. I am.

Why would I ever forget that?

Have you forgotten you?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can you roar?

A few weeks ago, maybe even a month now, I posted an entry on Facebook that had something to do with going for a run and feeling kick ass about it. That wasn't it, but the point is that in the string of comments it turned into a big roar. Young friends, older friends, close friends, distant friends and I think even some of those "accept as friend"s but-you-don't-really-know-who-the-hell-they-are, friends.

It got me to thinking that maybe we need a little more roar, or, more specifically a little more license to roar. On the last day of this month I'll turn 36, which isn't a huge deal, but...

I'm increasingly aware of the you'll-look-back-and-wish-you'd-been-kinder-to yourself tsk-tsking. Or worse the realization that like the asshole who dumped you in your twenties, you never really knew how good you had it. How great you were, roar-worthy, if you will.

So, without further adieu, I give you a roar for myself that came via a couple of photos taken by my mother-in-law.





Go ahead, give yourself a roar, I promise you deserve it.

Christine, why don't you start?

And you.

And, just to populate the dance floor enough to entice the rest of you, how about you?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BlogHer and a for sale sign

Denise put out a tweet about a post Shash (say it shushy and breathy like Posh) did regarding BlogHer. It was brilliant in its "Let's-have-a-little-fun-but-offer-some-pearls-at-the-same-time theme." I pledged to lift the idea and use it here.

The difference with the Primer About Amanda for BlogHer is I am not technically going to BlogHer. I went last year and had an experience I'll never forget. It wasn't like Mrs. Flinger's, but it was incredible. This year I am flying to Chicago, but have no pass to the conference, though I did diligently sign up for the waitlist. I'll be shacking up in the conference hotel with the sure-to-be-divine Mommentator and the I-bet-she'll-be-awesomely-fiery Texas Red , this is to say, I've never met either of them.

I'll also be hanging with Mrs. Flinger, I say hanging with, but hanging on may be more appropriate, because while Shash alluded to a certain emotional sitch that might flow through the conference, I've got my own. See, as I sit here, I am waiting for the For Sale Sign to go up in our yard. It isn't a bad thing, we want to sell our house, are looking forward to the next chapter and transitioning from a brilliant first home to a home that will fit our family of five.

We did this three years ago and it was hard. I was pregnant, we had a kitten, a toddler and a growing business. Then we got an offer. Our buyer died. It was heartbreaking, feeling angry and disappointed and then slapping ourselves because, my god, the poor man died out of nowhere.

I am nervous about the reaction to the For Sale Sign and I am anxious about what may happen. This is compounded by heading to BlogHer without a baby or a pass. It leaves me feeling naked, uncertain and compelled beyond my normal 150% determination, to accomplish something.

This is a bit long, let me get right to it.

My house is for sale.
I am traveling without my last nursing baby.
I am unsure of what's ahead.
I want desperately for it all to coalesce into something that provides more for my family.
I am terrified* and exhilarated** and hopeful***.

My name is Amanda, what's yours?



*I hate flying.
**I may actually make friends.
***I have, and will continue to, bust my ass for my family's gain.


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Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Not a Competition

Ok, this is an assignment.

No, wait, maybe it's more of a request...

A plea?

A bewildered shot in the dark maybe.


What do you do when people insist on competing?

This is not about my family, our best friends, our partners or our co-workers, so exhale and read on ;)

Seriously, what do you do when you find yourself in a situation wherein people are measuring themselves against you and foisting this bit of information or that on you so as to assert some sort of dominance?

Do you lavish praise? Reassure them through your words that the focus is on them, that they are in fact the most amazing people of all? Because honestly, it exhausts me, I have what I want, am where I want to be and wish everyone well.

I know the answer is you suck it up and deal, just wondering what you've done.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Way


It was a glorious, if occasionally blustery, day spent celebrating the fourth of July with our Pownal pals.



I felt bad for the ponies as the Newfies effortlessly dwarfed them.



The sound system was creative and mobile.



The hammock and impossibly lush surroundings made the day seem magazine perfect.



The wind was straight from the Kansas to Oz opener.




Fin embodied the way we all felt about the day.




Thanks to Deb, Rui and Harold for delighting us once again!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Four-titude

Briar.

My first and, as it turns out, a veritable emotional echo. I'm not saying she is not her own person, but withering look and dramatic gasp alive, this child has my most annoying quirks. We are in what I can only believe is a preparatory stage, flexing muscles and building scar tissue to prepare us for what will surely be a lively number of years of push and pull and scream and gasp.

I am at once amazed and exasperated by her growing attitudes, whether it's the militant adherence to rules, the know-it-all snobbery or the desperate depth of emotion. I try to honor, acknowledge and accept each one, but I fear I may be becoming toxic for the "likes" and the sighs.

"Like, mah-um, I need to like, do it like, how I need it."

Just when I think I'll have to banish the use of the word she swoops in and wipes Fin's runny nose, hugs her sister unprompted or simply says, "I just love you so much." She is amazing. Tonight we stood in front of the computer and searched for answers.

What do snails eat?

Where do kangaroos sleep?

What state is Paris in?


She understood for the first time that the computer is not just my work, it can be a gateway. She could have stayed all night. Bedtime brought new questions and new aspirations:

Does being a mom hurt?

Can I be more than one thing?

Will we always be us even if stuff changes?


I know that many days I feel like I am suffering the attitude of four, but tonight I realized I am witnessing the fortitude of four.



Special thanks to Mike for the beautiful photo.





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