Are you ready for some life-changing obsessions this week?! You are?! Hint: This will not include the anger-inducing “schedule” feature on WordPress, since it failed me so hard last week.
Anyway, get set — this is not a drill.
- Hoisin Chicken Stir-fry: I haven’t been shy about professing my love for Blue Apron. And despite some ingredient issues recently, including with this very meal, it’s my go-to for creating delicious dishes. I couldn’t give this any more than five stars, but I would if I could. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you’re as in love as I am.
- Silencing FB Live: If you’re suffering an endless slew of Facebook Live notifications, you’ve wondered, no doubt, how to make them stoppp. I was only seeing the option in-app to turn off individual notifications, but there’s a way to do it from the ol’ desktop that takes two seconds and will save a million headaches. Dramatic, much? This article explains.
- Magz’s Birthday: It’s my favorite mom’s birthday today, and as she celebrates (undisclosed number here), I have to reflect on how much she’s impacted my life. From keeping our family together during tough times to answering all of my “how to adult” questions, Magz is deserving of a gold medal and a fantastic year ahead. Cheers!
- “Starving” – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f. Zedd: I heard this song on Spotify a few times without realizing how often it’d get stuck in my head after. You may recognize Hailee from “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect” or the upcoming “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out, her pipes sound even better with a little pop-funk in the background.
It’s been an emotional week for my home state, particularly for the city of Orlando. I woke up Sunday to my family and friends there marked as “Safe” on Facebook, but there are more than 50 families who weren’t as fortunate. I’m still collecting my thoughts into coherent sentences for a separate post, but until then, here are some things to help us smile through the pain:
- Hallee’s Birthday: Hallee Sorenson is a vibrant young woman, who happens to be autistic and celebrated her 18th birthday alone last year after invited guests failed to show. Her cousin Becky has now invited all of Facebook to send Hallee birthday wishes via mail. If you can take a few minutes to brighten this young lady’s day, cards can be mailed to:
34 Wellesley Way
Bangor, ME 04401
- Magz Retires: The mother of all teachers — my mother — retired last week after 32 years of teaching foreign languages and life lessons. She spent 22 years at the same high school and has inspired countless students throughout her tenure. True to form, she’s still working hard this week and grading AP tests in Cincinnati. There’s a large margarita on the rocks (no salt) with her name on it when I see her next month.
- T-Rex Competes on “America Ninja Warrior”: The T-Rex costume has provided plenty of laughs in various viral videos, but this one might just take the cake. I don’t think I could complete any of these obstacles in regular clothes, let alone an inflatable costume. Spoiler alert: T-Rex’s tiny arms may be his downfall.
- NYC Gay Men’s Chorus on “GMA”: Driving out the darkness with a message of positivity, my friend Marc and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus shone brightly on Monday’s broadcast of “Good Morning America.” Their message of pride and joy to comfort the grieving Orlando and LGTBQ communities is truly mesmerizing.
On a final note, as Father’s Day approaches: If you’re fortunate enough to have a relationship with your dad, please call or spend time with him — anything you can — on Sunday. A close friend of mine just lost her father to cancer, 50+ children in Orlando won’t be celebrating and there are things so much bigger in this world than our stubborn differences and disputes.
First and foremost, please assist me in wishing my favorite Mom a very happy birthday. Love you much, Magz! Cheers to another year of health and happiness. And without further ado, this week’s pretty little things:
“Maggie May”: Confession: I am slightly biased in this choice, as it reminds me of my momma. But whether it’s the connection to my mom or the easy beat that keeps me relaxed, all I can say is that I simply adore this jam.
Cobalt Blue: This particular shade of blue is absolutely gorgeous and a regular staple in my wardrobe. With dark hair and fair skin, I can always rely on cobalt to make my features work for me. Lucky enough, the wedding I’m in this weekend showcases cobalt bridesmaid dresses that are to die for — and avoid the dreaded “27 Dresses” moment.
Margaritaville: This wedding promises to bring together good friends, good drinks and of course, good music. The bride and groom are avid Buffett fans, and I’ve been enjoying summer sips and music in preparation for a long night of dancing and, did I mention drinks? Wasting away again, indeed. Salud, Charlie and Jen!
Long Weekends: Between Chicago last week and the Labor Day + wedding combo, I’ve had back-to-back shortened workweeks. While I don’t love cramming all of my to-do lists and responsibilities into an abbreviated timeframe, it feels incredible to have five days off in a row (for the first time in more than three years)! I. Dig. It.
This marks my 10th Weekly Obsession post — and the longest commitment to a relationship I’ve made in a long time. Some changes are coming to the WOs shortly, but in the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying ’em.
There are a lot of exciting things that a 16th year brings. Wealthy parents may shower their teens with an outlandish party, sometimes documented on MTV’s sickening show. Other kids receive a license and unleash hell on the local roads. But today, 16 marks a personal anniversary that isn’t so sweet.
I woke up to sirens the morning of Aug. 15, 1995. Mom sat at our dining-room table, head in her hands and crying softly. “Daddy’s had a stroke,” she said, and though my 8-year-old mind had no idea what that entailed, seeing a parent weep signals a sudden simultaneous sense of insecurity and understanding.
It was the morning of my third-grade orientation — at a new school, no less — and Grammy would take me to meet my teacher, Mom explained. I don’t remember if I cried then, but I do remember an overwhelming numbness. When adults talk to you, rather than around you, it often forces you to grow up yourself.
Gram took me to the hospital that afternoon. I held Brother’s hand and walked tentatively into the room. I will never forget what I saw and heard: Dad hooked up to beeping machines, doctors giving Mom information about local funeral homes, and Brother telling me that Daddy might not know who we are. Even now, it brings over a wave of emotion that I can’t quite control.
The following months and years brought fresh feelings of frustration and questioning. From walking to writing, and eventually driving, Dad had to relearn every basic function. As the sole southpaw in the family, I was tasked with helping him learn to do things with his now dominant left hand.
He still walks with a limp, and there are days when mobility is not its best. And, I am still selfish at times — worrying how he will walk me down the aisle or complete a father-daughter dance. We aren’t perfect in our relationship, and I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to what I perceived as the idyllic “Daddy & Me” situation.
But, I love him. I’ve learned from him. I respect him for the man he’s become. And I raise a glass to him this evening, 16 years into the new life that was thrust upon him.
I’ll always be your Mouse, no matter what this world brings upon us. 143