Friday, January 31, 2014

Goodbye is the hardest word.

The time has inevitably come. (Big Sigh.) I go back to work on Monday and it's time to say goodbye to some of the friends I have made along my maternity leave journey. Consider this my open letter of farewell to my onscreen bffs.

To the local 4 NBC morning news team: I will miss your awkward morning banter and stunningly inaccurate weather forecasts. Some of you should take some remedial reading courses or at the very least, get some glasses and ask the teleprompter kid to up the font size a few notches.

To my dear Willie Geist, co-anchor of The Today Show: My gosh you are charming. I will honestly miss your kind humor and unique sense of style when it comes to journalism. I like you. I like you a lot. And Al Roker, I will miss your weird weather style. You are funny and odd, but irresistibly charming.

To Rachael Ray: Sometimes your teeth and incessant, over-exaggerated clapping drive me crazy, and I wish for the love of cheese that your wardrobe consultant would buy you a new pair of wedge knee-high boots, but for the most part I will miss you. You've helped me get a little more creative in the kitchen (Joey will miss that, I suppose) and your friends have taught me some useful organization and "sense of self" tips.

To the entire cast of The Chew: Said in my best Dorothy Gale voice...I think I'll miss you most of all. Sometimes, Michael, Carla, Daphne, Mario and Clinton were the best part of my day. In no one's mind does this group make a stellar ensemble cast on paper, but on screen you are magic. I will miss our 1 pm life sessions. Perhaps I will DVR you and we can still have a fling?

I'm nervous and excited and anxious and sweaty about Monday. I'll be off the grid for the weekend, mostly eating my feelings in cheese and ice cream. Au revoir!

P.S. - Blogger user "bhan" that commented on the Barre Bee Fit post, please send me an email at kveedub{at}gmail{dot}com!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Real life.

I got hit by an unwelcome truth bomb this morning: if you were to look at my half of of the bathroom countertop, you might think I'm 476 years old and also very smelly. Here's why:

Legitimately that hot mess contains no less than 11 different age-defying moisturizers and serums (none of which are actually doing anything about my early onset oldness), 4 brands of deodorant (necessary?), 5+ hair products worthy of Rapunzel's locks and enough Birchbox samples to get me through the next Polar Vortex.

I know. I have a problem.

But you see, this problem is SO SATISFYING...and I know that most of you probably share the same problem, amirite? As for me, I'm a product whore and am TOTALLY ok with it. So, I thought that today I would share my top 3 body, skin and hair products. Try to find them a-la-Where's Waldo in the above photo.

  1. Aquaphor. I know what you're thinking, and no, it's not just for the childrens anymore. I use it for all the things. Under and around my eyes before bed, as a cuticle moisturizer, on my feet (with socks!) as an overnight softener...and pretty much anything else. It's the bomb dot com of moisturizers in my world.
  2. Marcelle BB Creme Golden Glow. The underexaggeration of the century would be that this stuff has changed my life. For real. I got it as a sample in my Birchbox last year and it's one of maybe 3 things that I've actually purchased in real size. It's a BB creme + bronzer but not in an "OMG I look like a Kardashian that got stuck in a tanning booth then went to a rave and got blasted with unicorn dust" kind of way. It's a universal shade, so it works for all skin types, which is necessary for me, as when I have to pick the shade myself I either end up looking like Casper the Ghost or Kevin Hart. In summary, it's the perfect mix of all things--moisturizes and gives that little extra glow to perk up my tired face.
  3. And for the hair, Chi Silk Infusion. On any given day, my hair can be my bff or my worst nightmare. More often than not, it's a hot mess and I wave the white flag and just rock a ponytail like it's my job. However, when I actually put 2.5 seconds into a real blowdry and style, this stuff rocks my socks. It's lightweight and smells absolutely devine. 
And for my next trick, I will attempt to organize my bathroom. But we all know that's not happening...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Selfie Saturday.

Yesterday felt like a split family kind of day, as Joey lost his damn mind and went ice fishing from about 6am-4pm. As soon as he walked in the door, I flew past him like a Category 5 Hurricane in what was my first glimpse of the sun in about 3 days. Must. Breathe. Fresh. Air.

I spent my two hours of freedom at Target (which should surprise 0% of you) and in a somewhat shocking surprise, Home Depot and Lowes. Warning: I got crafty with my kitchen chandelier as inspired by my dear friend Sarah. It may or may not involve a can of red spray paint, vintage canning jars and Edison bulbs. But more on that later.

To share snippets of our days with one another, Joey and I sent selfies throughout the day. And what's a blog for than for sharing pictures of myself and my family?

They were in the basement, which is Alex's new self-claimed man cave. 
One might also call it Train Central. I think we're up to five different sets. It's fine. I think.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Harper and the Hippo.

3 months in a blink. To prove that time is not my friend, I go back to work in 2 weeks. Ergo, I'm starting to sink into a deep pit of depression regarding that. All sorts of emotions in that stew.

Anyway, here's our happy little Harper at 3 months:

I KNOW, RIGHT? She's just a happy little girl. Full of smiles and as chill as can be. Her faboo hair accessory was a gift from her Auntie Sarah of so sarah designs. We'll unveil 2 new ones at 4 and 5 months!

A few notes about our girl at this milestone:
  • She laughed for the first time on January 17. I was kissing her on her belly and my hair must've brushed against and tickled her and she let out a laugh/snort/grunt right from the tips of her toes. I'm guessing she'll have a very loud and very, um, unique laugh like her Momma.
  • She's 100% on formula now (hip, hip, horray for my boobs being my own again!) and burps like a grown man. She gets many high fives from her brother for this feat.
  • Her hair remains out of control, and there's no real hope for containing it. We're all so curious what she'll look like in a year with all that dark fluff.
  • She still sleeps like a dream come true. 9pm-6am every day and I can't clap my hands hard enough to show my appreciation. A DREAM, I tell you.
  • She's a tall skinny minny. 16% for weight, 50% for head and 70% for height.
  • Speaking of brother, he's still her #1 fan. I can't gush enough about how wonderful he is and how much he loves her. In fact, he wanted to be a part of our little photo shoot because "brudders and sisters should be together!"
Regarding the GIANT in the above picture, I have no idea what you're talking about. It's not just a river in Egypt, people. Even Harper can't deal with how much he's grown, as you can see.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A different type of bar(re) code.

January is the month of the Resolution. And for me, it's also the month of giving up on those Resolutions. So for 2014, I'm not setting any hard and fast goals. I simply resolute to the following:
  • I will be happier.
  • I will be more spontaneous.
  • I will be healthier.
That last one is tricky--I'm purposefully not attaching any lbs. or inches or stupid half marathons to it. Because, as we all remember, the only time I run is if it's from a bear or toward a Qdoba. I digress.

In the effort of committing to that last goal, I was delighted when a friend of mine approached me about a very cool opportunity. She is the co-owner of a new fitness studio local here to Metro Detroit, Barre Bee Fit, and dropped me a line asking if I would be willing to try out their classes and also share the experiences with a few friends to help spread the word about the studio. Very interested, party of 1 right here.

Here's the awesomesauce news: I'm committing to sweating it out in 6 classes over the next 30 days and I want to bring YOU with me for free! (Sorry in advance to those readers not in Metro Detroit!) So, if you live within driving distance of Birmingham, Michigan and you want to join me in trying to "Live by the Barre Code," keep reading.

When I was contacted, I honestly didn't know much about Barre Bee Fit, other than I assumed it incorporated some kind of ballet. Hi, barre. Duh. After a little more research on my part, I've learned that not only do the classes include the ballet barre, they also incorporate choreography, weights, kettlebells, and resistance training. There are 8 different types of classes that you can sign up for depending on your target areas, time commitments and goals. I AM ALL ABOUT THIS. (Personal disclaimer: I'm willing to try all the classes except the Barre Burn, because I'm not interested in dying.)

So, do you want to spice up your workouts? Try something new? Come "Live by the Barre Code" with me! I'll choose 6 readers to join me in 6 different classes--and no worries, we'll work around both our schedules to make it work. I'll chronicle my experience here on the blog...always good for some entertainment.

How to enter? It's easy! Simply "like" Barre Bee Fit Metro Detroit's Facebook page and leave a comment here and tell me one of your New Year's Resolutions. Or, if you're not into blog comments, shoot me an email at kveedub{at}gmail{dot}com. I'll select 6 readers by January 24 to join me!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy birthday, my love!

Happiest of days to my one and only, my love. To the man who has the voodoo magic to make Harper poop, the zest for life to teach Alex the joy of the wet willy and the patience of Job to be married to me.

I love you a million billion zillion.We are so lucky you are ours!

Photo from Harper's baptism day, Dec. 22, 2013.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hello from us.

I never go around to sharing the photos we had taken around Christmastime. I think I was busy? Or drunk? Or something.

Anyway, the story of picture day is sort of hilarious. We had the photographer scheduled to come to our home at 10 am. I was so excited--our first photo shoot as a family of 4!

That morning, we all sat down to breakfast (mmmmm...Cinnamon buns) around 8:30 am. Harper was nommin' on her bottle and we were all in our unshowered, early morning glory.

Imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang at 8:45. It was our photographer. For our NINE am photography appointment. Come again?

After I picked my unbrushed teeth up off the floor, I had to haul it. She had other appointments lined up that day, so it was use my 9 am slot or lose it. Story of my life.

Long story short, I was showered, dressed, makeup-ed and ready to rock in 13 minutes. A RECORD. Since boys are lucky and don't have to worry about blowdryers, Spanx and makeup, Joey got Alex and Harper dressed and we were smiling for the camera in no time flat.

I always get anxious on photo days--I don't know why. Maybe it's the pressure to look just right, smile just so, and ensure everything is picture perfect. C'mon, though...that's not real life. Something hit me as I was sweating profusely that morning, running around like a madwoman to prepare for pictures in record time. I started laughing and thought to myself, "Well, these are pictures I will NEVER forget."

And I won't. I checked myself at the bottom of the stairs and reminded myself that that's what pictures are for. They are to preserve a moment in time. A precious snapshot of a time, a year, a moment that I will never, ever get back. So what if Alex's socks don't match and Harper needs a diaper change and Joey's glasses meed to be cleaned and I may or may not have deodorant on? That's what it's all about--capturing REAL life. And that morning, we captured our reality:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Kindness is King.

What kind of world do we live in that kindness is no longer considered the "norm"? Let me tell you a little story...

I was in Costco the other afternoon (maternity leave leads to a VERY glamorous life, I tell you). The lines were a little cray since it was just a few days after the recent Snowmaggedon here in the Midwest. Anyway, Harper and I were about 6th or 7th in a long line of people with full carts.

I noticed the man in front of me didn't have a cart or anything in his hands to purchase. Instead, he was on his cell phone frantically trying to reach someone. I assumed it was whoever had his cart elsewhere in the store filled with bulk wine, toilet paper and frozen pizzas and he was just simply holding their place in line. As he got closer to the cashier, his calls got more frantic to urge whoever was on the other end of the line to get to checkout ASAP.

Sure enough, just as it's his turn to hit the conveyor belt, his other half strolls up with a cart full. No biggie, right? They put their stuff on the belt, pay, and then it's my turn.

As I started to put my items on the belt, another woman came up to me and grabbed my arm to get my attention. I'm rather used to this when I have Harper with me--people stop me in the most random of places to tell me how beautiful she is, or to comment on her big eyes and mound of hair. But not this lady. She had other intentions.

She stopped whatever she was doing and came to tell me that she was SO surprised and proud of how I reacted to what had just transpired. She said that she would have read that man the riot act and told him to get to the back of the line. "You handled that so well, with such grace--and with a BABY in tow!" she said to me.

I thanked her because her words were genuinely kind and her intentions were true. But really? Really?!? What kind of world do we live in that having patience and treating others with kindness is considered NOT the norm? That when you witness something that seems so normal and so mundane that you go out of your way to compliment someone on it because it's NOT what you expected to witness? I was in a line, waiting my turn...just as others were. I had my child with me because I CHOSE to bring her to the store with me. It was just regular, normal life at a busy store.

Don't get me wrong, I was appreciative of the lady's comments and I do love that there are people in this world who go out of their way to lift up and compliment others. But I didn't do anything special. I did something that everyone else should have done...something that didn't deserve kudos or compliments. But my every day patience was viewed by others as being different or special. Have you ever experienced that?

I struggle with what happened not because it was bad or wrong, but because I want to be certain that in all things I am setting a good and right example for my children. And beyond them, that I am living my OWN life in a way that is calm and true to myself. Imagine if Harper had been old enough to understand the situation and I had acted the way in which that lady "thought" I should have reacted. What kind of example is that? What kind of world is that?

I'm not super sure where I was going with this post, other than it was something I wanted to share to encourage others to practice every day patience and kindness. Slow down. Be kind to others. Say "please" and "thank you" - - because, after all, you never know who you might inspire and you never know what sort of battles those around you are fighting. Be blessed!