For the first time since my dad died in 2013, his birthday falls on a Wednesday. To say I’m obsessed with anything but his memory today would be absurd.
I’m grateful to have an understanding boss and team so I could work from home and sort my feelings away from a cubicle. I had plenty of meetings to keep my mind occupied, but it inevitably drifted many times today to how he would be celebrating.
Slick Rick was larger than life in many ways. He was not the most patient or affectionate father, but the values he instilled in us were exactly what we needed (even if we didn’t know it then). My brother and I inherited his work ethic, commitment to community, quick temper and affinity for wrestling. Our mom loved him throughout 33 years of marriage and countless ups and downs.
Dad’s stroke in 1995 changed our world overnight. He wasn’t expected to live, let alone recover. He took that prognosis head-on and regained his ability to talk, walk, write and drive — while being permanently paralyzed on his dominant right side.
Growing up with a handicapped father taught me a lot about how cruel the world can be and how much life can change in an instant. We didn’t always get along, but I’ve lived every day of adulthood trying to make him proud and see the result of his parental guidance.
It hasn’t gotten easier to keep his memory alive these past 5.5 years but I’ll keep honoring him in big and small ways as long as I can.
143 always, Big Guy ❤️
At my brother’s wedding, November 2012
I thought I’d take a different approach this week, since a common theme has surfaced time and time again recently: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
The Good: My beloved laptop did not have a meltdown, as I feared it might, while my young nieces played assistant and tapped, tapped, tapped away on my keyboard Monday night. I was fortunate to be able to work remotely during a quick trip to Florida, but man was I fearing the worst while they oohed and aahed over a non-touchscreen device.
The Bad: I did have a meltdown. A fatal flaw of mine is taking on the weight of the world, and it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. It’s part perfectionism, part insanity, but I can’t seem to let things go or let others “do” for me. This often manifests itself in my impatience and lack of trust, and sometimes, it gets so bad I go into full shutdown mode.
The Ugly: The emotions from said shutdown, plus from seeing my family for such a fleeting few days, made for quite the ugly cry. Thankfully, hugs from my nieces, comforting words from my mom, support from my brother and sister-in-law, and all-around love from extended family and friends helped me get through the worst of it. Just goes to show, no matter how old you are, your support system is everything.
Which of these smileys most closely fits your week? Let me know in the comments below!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I’m spending it in New York with some of my very favorite people. So far, we’ve managed to clock in more than 11 miles of walking, the Museum of Mathematics, countless tasty treats, and — tonight — we’ll add The Rockettes to the list.
I couldn’t be happier to spend this time with my mom, aunt, uncle and cousins. We don’t see each other often, and when we do, it’s not a collective vacation. I feel incredibly blessed to be here with them, and I hope time slows down juuust a little bit during the rest of our trip.
A more reflective year-end post is coming, but I’m just enjoying living in these moments for now. Cheers, y’all!
In case you didn’t know it, Christmas is in five days, people. FIVE. If you’re like most of the folks in my circle, it kind of snuck up on you and now you’re stressing to get some gifts in time. Well have no fear, y’all. I’m here to save the day:
- Ban.do Agenda: You know how there are just some products that have a cult-like following, thousands of reviews, and are both functional and fashionable? The ban.do agenda is at the top of that list for me, as I’ve committed to switching over and am completely in love. There are different options to keep the party planner in your life organized, and it ships quickly too!
- A Subscription Service: These days, we’re all about automating. Whether it’s curating your wine selection or replacing your razors without a second thought, check out this list of subscription services your Nice List will love. No matter your budget or recipient, there’s something for everyone.
- GiftTree Basket: The ultimate in gift baskets, GiftTree really knows how to make a statement. I recently received an ultra decadent collection from a friend, and it inspired me to gift my boss with a spa-centric basket for a restful and restorative holiday. Again, there are tons of options for different price points and recipients, and it ships next-day without an extra cost. Boom!
- Your Presence 😉 Finally, there’s often no better way to celebrate the holidays than being with the ones you love. While last-minute travel plans aren’t exactly relaxing, it can help put the cheer back in your spirit. I’m more than pumped to say I’ll be spending most of next week with some family members in NYC, and it’ll be worth every dingdang penny.
However you celebrate the holidays — and no matter what gifts you send (or not) — I’m wishing you and yours a wonderful winter week ahead. Be safe and stay thirsty, my friends!
It’s taking all of me to not get political up in here, so let’s just breeze on past the pleasantries and jump into other topics:
- Air Conditioning: We had record-breaking temps in SF last weekend, and while 100 degrees doesn’t sound all that bad, consider experiencing it without central air. My tower fan became my BFF, but it wasn’t enough for Saturday’s misery. Thankfully, a friend and I sought refuge in stores and bars to beat the heat. Woof.
- Irma Prep: I’m not talking about LuLaRoe, y’all. As yet another hurricane makes its way to the States, I’ve got my eye on Irma. Paths aren’t always predictable, but I’m staying in close contact with family and friends about their evacuation plans. In the meantime, all I can really do is sit and wait. And tell the same thing to my thoughtful friends and co-workers here who keep asking about it 😉
- NOT Fantasy Football: Are you as surprised as I am? After about eight years of juggling fantasy teams with pools. pick ‘ems and survivor leagues, I’m taking a break. Well, from the fantasy part at least. I’ve declined four invitations and couldn’t be more excited to just watch the games this year without a ton of invested interest. Bonus: I won’t have player paralysis because I have someone in one league but am up against them in another.
- Magz’s Big Birthday: What’s the most exciting thing tomorrow brings? My momma has a milestone birthday to celebrate! I won’t talk numbers, because I am a lady, but I have high hopes for the year ahead. The best is yet to come for my favorite mother, and I can’t wait to see what her next year brings. 143 always.
I’m back in the not-so-Sunshiney state of Florida this week for a longtime friend’s wedding and to spend time with my family. Despite the stormy start, we’ve managed to make do with endless entertainment — ranging from sing-alongs to sea creatures. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few highlights of the trip thus far:
Before we jump into this week’s distractions, I cannot sit idly by without voicing my disgust for Trump’s tweetstorm plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military. I cannot fathom the courage it takes to identify as trans and to voluntarily serve our country — then to be denied the latter for any seemingly legitimate reason. If you’re as outraged as I, please take a moment to call your representative, then sign and share this petition. To my trans friends and followers, please be reassured I admire your strength and am here to support however I can.
Now, as I’d previously planned this post… In the interest of an upcoming trip back east, I figure there’s no better way to honor it than with four Florida finds:
- #WigginOutWedding: Not that I need a reason to travel 3,000 miles per se, but my good friend Cheryl’s wedding next weekend is justification enough. I can’t wait to celebrate with her; her fiancé, Stephen; our families and friends; and to “wig out” for the new Mr. and Mrs. Wiggins! T-minus nine days to party time.
- A Snooty Statue: 69-year-old beloved local treasure, Snooty the manatee, died Saturday at the South Florida Museum. From tragedy comes triumph, though, as a petition is circulating to replace a Confederate memorial statue near the aquarium with one of Snooty. Get your typing fingers ready to sign, folks. It’s what Snooty would want.
- Aunt Amanda Babysits: Any visit home means special time with my nieces, and I’m going to be gifted with a WHOLE DAY during this particular trip. I’m hoping my mom will be on hand, too, and it’ll be a rainy day so we can just stay inside for a movie marathon. That’s realistic with a 1- and almost 4-year-old, right? Woof.
- “Sell Out” – Reel Big Fish: Truth be told, this came on while listening to Spotify’s current #ThrowbackThursday playlist. But, I can’t hear it without thinking of “cruising” with my fellow 9-year-olds and jamming to this new (to us) thing called ska. Oh, and how I’m a sellout for leaving a startup to resume my role as a corporate drone 😉