A letter to Dad on his 70th birthday*

*Which was March 13, but then we had this whole global pandemic happen, so I think he’d understand my cause for pause.

 

Dad's birthday
Slick Rick,
It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone six and a half years. I remember thinking you were so young to die at 63, and now today, you’d be 70. SEVENTY. That sounds so old somehow.
I’d like to think you’d be watching the world news without worry, knowing you’d already survived a terrible car accident, a few wars, and a massive stroke. You always had an eye out for prepping, whether it was with stockpiled paper goods or those Army MREs we thought were such a novel treat for dinner.
I know you’re so proud of Adam. He’s been resilient as ever this past year, welcoming their third baby girl into the world and overcoming some awful work news. He brought you a beer today, of course, and I hope your neighbors at the cemetery don’t mind that he doesn’t share. You’d love all of your grandkids equally, but I’d kill to see you and L have a battle of wits. She would wear out your patience and then give you that devastating smile to make you melt.
You must be proud of Mom, too. She sold the house on Rusty Circle, the same one where you had the stroke and spent the last days of your life. She’s making big changes that are scary, but she’s not alone. You’re always with her, even if she’d prefer if sometimes you’d just let her spoil the granddaughters without question. Her move to be closer to the kids is something you both would have enjoyed in this phase of life together.
I hope you’re proud of me. I’m trying to write more in my free time, which I’m getting a lot more of lately. I’m doing well at work and constantly look to you and Pop for the encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing, not worrying about what others think. I have some incredible friends who made root beer floatinis in your honor tonight and I cried even more than you did when we saw Mr. Holland’s Opus.
There’s a lot that’s happened in the last year, and I hope you’re still listening to me each day. I know you’d prefer I curse less and have more patience, but I do have you to thank for those qualities so it can’t be all that bad.
I miss you every single day and can’t believe how much you haven’t been physically here to see. I can’t believe how much there still is to come. All I can do is hope and pray you’re watching over us; taking breaks with Food Network or The Weather Channel; and grilling burgers to your heart’s content for all of our loved ones up there.
Sending you all my love,
Mouse

My 5-Star Reads from 2019

No time like the present, eh? I read 94* books last year — thanks to a long commute + it’s now part of my job — and have a goal to finish 100 in 2020.

If you’ve started (or abandoned!) a reading goal or are stuck on what to read next, here are the books I gave 5 stars to after reading them in 2019. It’s a pretty even split between new and old, fiction and nonfiction, plus various genres.

And while I’ll happily discuss books with anyone, anytime, I do not need to hear your thoughts on why a book “sucks.” We all have our preferences; if some (or all) of these aren’t your style, simply share your faves so I can try those out, too 🤓

background book stack books close up

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Fiction

Nonfiction

*I read 94 books from cover to cover. For the first time in a while, I allowed myself to abandon books I wasn’t enjoying. I listened to some in audiobook format, but did not make it through any from start to finish. </end disclaimer>

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Oh hello, 2020. We’ve been expecting you.

Between the resolutions and the parties and all of the holiday hoopla, it’s kind of incredible to think another decade is upon us and what the next 366 days will bring (thanks, Feb. 29)!

What am I most excited for? Possibly the Olympics, or following my 15-year HS reunion’s inevitable drama on Facebook, or meeting my reading goal of 100 books. Seeing my nieces grow, achieving new goals at work, moving back into a space of my own… the possibilities are endless, but it certainly won’t happen overnight.

I mentioned I’d be taking a hard look at the things that serve me and don’t, so I’ll also be stepping away from these WOs. It might be for a little while, or it might be forever.

But I’m excited about some projects I have in mind and to give myself the space to create those things — and share my progress with you, too.

Thank you all for reading and sharing your stories with me these last 8+ years of WO and 9+ of the blog. Lots of love — here’s to the next chapter!

WO: Weekly Obsessions

In case you haven’t heard, it is Jesus’s birthday and there’s no better time to spend with family, friends, and those you love. I’m doing just that with my friend’s family, who’ve graciously opened their homes to me the past two days.

However you spend the holiday season, I hope you find peace and joy during what isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year.

Spread love, lend a helping hand, do your part to make the world a better place. And if you can find some time to relax in there, too, that’s all the better.

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Truth be told, I just finished baking 4 dozen cookies and crashed into bed thinking “Ah, day is done.” And then my brain alarm went off like a GD nightmare siren as I realized it was, in fact, Wednesday and I hadn’t posted (again).

As much as I’ve enjoyed entertaining(?) you all for the last 8+ years of weekly picks, I’ve found it so much more difficult to keep up with (1) since my job changed to being a tastemaker for my company, and (2) since so much of my “free” time is spent catching up on the ~3h I’m out of SF for each day.

I’m so grateful for those of you who’ve stuck through it and continue to read faithfully, but I’m taking a long, hard look at all of my commitments — virtually and IRL — to better understand what serves me and what drains me.

This isn’t a farewell, per se, but a new chapter is on the horizon for Wittyburg, the site, and Wittyburg, the human. As that continues to shape up, you’ll be among the first to know.

Cheers to cookie fever and chasing your dreams!

WO: Weekly Obsessions

What do a 5:35am alarm, a 7:30am should in class, six meetings, a 2h 10m evening commute, and a girls’ night at Olive Garden have in common?

They’re all elements of this particular Wednesday. Woof.

Just when I thought I couldn’t get any hangrier, my fellow commuters managed to pull all the annoying stops out, but a lot of laughs with some dear girlfriends and some snuggles with an infant really helped bring me back down to earth.

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Hello, it’s December. Of 2019. The last month of the 2010s… how in the hell did that happen?

My brain cannot process this information, nor is it capable of looking ahead to the next decade (or day, or week, or month, or even the yeeeear).

Instead, I’m curling up to binge seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and Google holiday card designs and basically avoid all sense of reality until the NYE ball (or other shoe) drops.

Blame it on the jet lag or lack of sleep or meeting marathons but I simply cannot werk any longer to deliver the goods tonight. Promise you won’t hate me for it?

Now, I’ll sashay away. Xoxo