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Friendship, Utah, And Doris

4 Apr

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I’ve been in Utah for the past few days, eating fry sauce and grasshopper shakes, seeing friends and family.  Utah, Utah, Utah.

I have such a complicated relationship with this state.  I wonder if everyone does with their home?  Is Utah especially fraught?

It seems all of Utah is a small town.  I know this can’t be true, and yet, while in line at Cafe Rio today, there were four separate conversations with four separate groups of people who knew someone I was with.  We are all interconnected.  Probably related, too.

It was such a needed day.  I MISS THIS.  I miss my friends who are really my sisters at this point.  How we can sit down and cheer on the big meal.  How we can share our deepest fears and hopes and ugliness, how we can support each other anyway.

There’s a thing with old friends that can’t be replicated elsewhere and every day I wonder if California is worth that.  How can I replace Amy, the girl who reads my mind, the girl whose twisted heart turns in the same way as mine?  My sister, after 16 years.

How can I replace Breanne? My friend whose knowledge on every subject baffles me, whose opinion I want on everything?  How can I replace her humor, her resourcefulness, her absolute Bre-ness?

Or what about Mandee?  The most gentle, kind, graceful soul in every room.  The girl who tries so hard, who never gives up, who loves our friendship like I’ve always wanted a friendship to be loved.

And then there’s Caitlan.  With her way of bringing spirituality into all conversations.  With her intense passion for EVERYTHING, with her concern for random celebrities, and her pet causes and her desire to save the world.

These girls are part of my soul, the people I choose to surround myself with because they understand me and accept me in ways I can’t find anywhere else.

I miss them every day.  In an ideal world we all live next door, watching TV together, playing Rock Band through the night, living and laughing and just being with each other.

I recently saw the movie Hello My Name is Doris which is wonderful and you should see it right away.  It’s a character study executed flawlessly by Sally Field, not Sally Fields as I always have to look up.

It’s the story of a woman with my perfect fashion, a woman who wonders what she’s done with her life.  Who daydreams and hoards and falls in love with a coworker.

My favorite scene in the movie, though, doesn’t have to do with any of those things.

It takes place after Thanksgiving when Sally (Doris) is quite upset.  Her best friend Roz hurries over with a bag full of Thanksgiving leftovers.  Sally sobs into her arms and says she’s a joke to everyone and she has nothing to look forward to.  Roz simply says, “You have two kinds of stuffing.”

There’s no judgement in this scene, though there could have been.  Roz shows up.  She doesn’t berate Doris for any of her actions.  She just gives her two kinds of stuffing and tells her it’s all right.

There’s another scene, later, where it’s Sally and Roz and some other girlfriends helping Sally address a lifelong problem she’s never tackled.  Sally surrounded by those who love her.

I’ve been thinking about female friendships lately and always.

The advice they give you when you’re young, how boys come and go but friendship is forever, that advice is solid.  That advice, I’m learning applies even to adulthood when we think we know the boys we will always have.  When even long-term commitments and we-think-forevers are called into question, it’s Roz at the door with two kinds of stuffing and no judgement.

It’s your girlfriends who come help you with your big, lifelong struggles.

Or least it’s mine.

The worst part of adulthood is being away from those you love every day.  Childhood with your family all around and your friends for 8 hours a day, no one tells you this is it.  It only happens once.

Because I know, even if I lived in Utah, I couldn’t see my girlfriends every day.  They have jobs and children and husbands and mortgages.  They have families of their own, obligations and real life.  I would see them, more, sure, but not enough.  Never enough.

And so I press on.  I don’t know the answers to all of this, nor do I think I’ll ever have them.

 

 

I do know, however, that I have two kinds of stuffing.

 

Dirty Diet Coke, Baby

14 Dec

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I originally wrote this article for Self Magazine, which looking back on it wasn’t my brightest idea.  They asked if I had any recipes and I thought, well no, do you know me at all? And then I realized YES. Yes I have the best recipe and it’s something no one knows about and basically I’m bringing 12 million new daily hits to your website so let’s work through our feelings on that.

And then I realized it’s Self Magazine.  They are looking for creative ways to eat kale and avocados and, if we’re getting really wild, chia seeds.  They are not looking for diet sodas containing added sugar and cream. And I get that, I really do.

But the world still needs to know about Dirty Diet Cokes.

I have a lot to say about Dirty Diet Cokes, but I’ll go ahead and assume that you’re one of the 12 million new viewers brought to my blog by me posting this and skip to the stuff you really want.

I will say this, though: anyone who has ever met a Dirty Diet Coke has loved it.  I’ve had friends leave parties at my house only to go home and make their own and text me pictures of the process.  These are friends who are going out later that night to get…you know…actual alcoholic drinks, but find this sugary Utah treat is really want how they want to begin their night.

And so, without further ado, I present to you…Dirty Diet Cokes.

Go forth and be happy.

Serves 1

12 oz Diet Coke

1/2 lime

2 TB coconut syrup

1 TB Half and half

Ice

Fill a large glass with ice. Mix Diet Coke, coconut syrup, and a splash of half and half.  Squeeze the lime, leaving the lime rind in the glass.

You can play around with the proportions, I tend to go heavier on the lime, lighter on the coconut.  There is no right way.  There is only happiness, joy, and love.

That is the magic of the Dirty Diet Coke.

Home Is Where The Nachos Are

31 May

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Friday afternoon I found myself in a yin yoga class with Hilary.

Yin yoga is my favorite kind of yoga, mainly because I know I can do it.  I know I can stretch and grow and leave feeling refreshed.  Sometimes I go to these 1.5 hour hot yoga classes in Malibu, and all I can think is I’ll never be able to do this, I must give up yoga and probably everything else.

But yin yoga at noon at Pepperdine is one of my favorite things in the world.

Hilary smiles throughout the whole class.  You should really try working out with that girl.  Her eyes are closed, she’s in shavasana, and she’s got a big, broad grin across her whole face.

Hilary has many of the things I do not have.  It’s what makes us good friends, my eagerness to soak some of it up.

After yoga I told Hilary I wanted fries.  I saw an Instagram shot of fries and I needed fries and so to Duke’s we went because I know about their fries.

(And their nachos.)

(And their hula pies.)

We’ve been here nearly three years, Hilary and I.  I got a notification that the blog I started in London–a very sad, very small, desperate thing of a blog–just turned four.

FOUR YEARS OLD!  My London times are in preschool.  They no longer just happened.

I remember moving here, fresh back from London and everything was London this and London that and it’s not anymore. I hardly mention it.  It’s part of my history, and certainly not the most important part right now.

Not even close.

The boys Cait and I dated that first year we were here, the ones we gave nicknames and who were topics of conversation–they have grown older, grown out of their nicknames.  The other day I found out one of them is expecting a child with his now wife.

I texted Cait.

She responded with a picture of a burrito.

Three years.

Not quite.

Almost three years.

It’s enough to make a place a home, I think.  Or it’s getting close.

I get sad, sometimes, about my life here.  I have friends, and good ones.  But not that many of them.  And none who knew me before.  These are all “new” friends, people who met me when London was fresh.  People who have never met the boys who broke my heart or the friends and family who healed it.

My friends here feel so separate from the rest of my life, sometimes.

Rob has two friends from other areas of his life, a childhood friend and a college friend, who are both here in Southern California.

I envy that.

What I would do to have a childhood friend out here!  A high school friend!  My sole college friend! (Hi Laura!)

There are times when my life in California feels so separate from my life elsewhere.  My life in Utah, I suppose.

All of my siblings are back in Utah now, did you know?

You wouldn’t know.

For a stretch there it was only 1/5 Denning children in the Beehive State, all of us spread out, doing our own thing, likely never to return, and then without warning everyone is coming back but me.

It’s enough to make a girl think.  What am I doing here?  How long will I be here?  What do I want of my life?

I think these things anyway, but the prospect of all the people I love regularly gathering without me, I think them harder.

I have a life here.  I’m no longer at the stage where I wonder when my real life will begin.  I am living my real life, right now, this very moment, with the dregs of my cold tea and my California cherries and the four books I have open on my bed because nothing is really holding my attention reading-wise these days.

This is my life.  A life of yin yoga and french fries, of sea salt and foggy skies.

I don’t want to ever leave Malibu.

I think this fairly regularly.

Every time I drive up the PCH, past the stilted houses and the dots of surfers and the overpriced restaurants–I feel the air come back into my lungs and I think, “How could I ever leave this?”

Malibu feels like home.

I have my places.  A magazine stand, a burrito stop, my favorite scoop of ice cream.

Places take time.

So do people.

Rob reminds me of this when I’m feeling sad about being here.  “Jill,” he says.  “Your people in Utah have 15 years with you.  It’s natural that it’s different here.”

It’s natural and it’s hard.

It’s my real life, right now, this very moment.

Home Is

8 Apr

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Home is purple mountain majesties.  Snowcapped mountains, usually, stealing my breath away, following me wherever I go.  Teaching me how to take something for granted.

Home is dry, cracked skin.  Hair that will listen to me.  That long, flattering mirror in the basement bathroom.  It’s malls and Targets and suburbia galore.

It’s I’ll be there in 15 minutes and meaning it.

Home is my mother in the kitchen, using her mixer loud enough to make everyone comment.  It’s my dad’s pull-up bar that he looks at as a reward.  It’s a cupboard full of casserole dishes, a rusty swing set, a strip of land we’re calling a garden next to the shack we called a tool shed.

Once, when my parents moved out of state, I asked if I could rent out the tool shed and live there.

Home is a wall of awkward family photos.  It’s a grand piano in a grand piano room, where we gather to sing songs.  It’s that corner behind the couches with homemade afghans we fight over.

Home is a half acre of land.  Its snowy drives and Sunday walks.  It’s scripture study mornings and prayers over every meal.  It’s ping pong tournaments and card games and laughing until the neighbors comment.

Home is a puzzle piece.

An art exhibit dedicated to my great grandfather.

A glass cake stand always filled with dessert.

Home is a house.

A feeling.

A place.

People.

It’s the girl I was at 14 when I asked for bars in my window after Elizabeth Smart was taken.

Home is white shutters.

Home is curly hair.

Home is curved second toes and Christmas salsa.

Home is Handel’s Messiah all times of the year.

Home is love.

How have I not mentioned that?

Home is love

is love

is love.

 

Inspired by this writing prompt from Man Repeller.

The Baking Hive: A Utah Must

7 Jan

This beautiful, aproned bombshell is my friend Elisa.

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When I talk about Elisa I usually say she went to Berkeley and dyes her hair red and that’s all you need to know.

But there’s more.

There’s always more.

Elisa is the sort of person who lights up a room just being in it.  Her energy is contagious.  Her laughter, her enthusiasm, her loud love of life.  I look up to her in every way.  I have a huge stinking crush on her.

I met Elisa at church in London.  It’s amazing that anything good came out of my church experience in London at all, but Elisa was it.  I sat in the back and made some snarky comment, and at the end, Elisa came up to me and said “I overheard you.  You’re normal.  Let’s be friends.”

I was taken aback because who does that?  Who walks up to a stranger and proposes friendship right away?

Elisa does.

Elisa is such an extrovert.  The type of person who doesn’t wait around for what she wants, she marches up and asks for it.

That day Elisa joined a friend and I on a ferry trip to Greenwich.  We tried all sorts of food and laughed at all sorts of things and Elisa announced she had one week left in London.  She had been living in the UK going to cooking school and her time was up.  This was it.

“Let’s hang out before I leave,” she said.

I was the sort of person who knew I was leaving London and snailed my way out.  I spent months in my bed knowing it would all soon end and I could forget about it.  My last week there I counted down the minutes until I could finally say goodbye.

Elisa had one week left in London and went wild.

I went wild with her.

We tried Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.  We saw a musical.  We talked politics on the tube and I found Elisa to be one of those rare gems, one of those people who makes a political discussion meaningful and nuanced and exciting.

Sometimes I wonder what London would have been like for me if Elisa had stayed.

Certainly less lonely.

That’s the beauty of Elisa.

She makes me feel less isolated in the world and less isolated in my opinions and culture.

She shows me someone like me!  I have so many amazing role models of women as wives and mothers, but I have a precious few examples of women in business and careers.  I talk to her about things I don’t talk to anyone else about.

I talked to her about these things the first day I met her.

One of the biggest lessons from Elisa has been not to compare myself to other people.  Everyone’s timeline is different.  Do what feels right for now.  When it doesn’t, do the next thing.

I’ve watched her go from cooking school in Ireland, to an MBA program in Scotland, and now back to Utah for her business.

I’ve watched her slowly make her way towards her dreams.

Last month I visited Elisa at her dream– her very own bakery, The Baking Hive.

It was such a proud moment for me, I was practically bursting with excitement.

There was Elisa, apron on, doing what she loves–baking.  There she was using her natural abilities of nurturing and feeding and business to create something she is proud of.

Elisa is the biggest nurturer.  You feel hugged just being around her.

Eva Longoria once said that she collects amazing, smart, interesting women.

I feel that way too.

I collect incredible women and then I marvel at their bravery and success and strength.

I marvel at Elisa.

Last month as I sat on a stool and watched her bake, and ate cookies, and talked about life and goals and dreams I marveled some more.

Her bakery had only been open two weeks, she was tired and excited and so in the moment she hadn’t even reflected on how she was doing it.  Doing the thing she had dreamed of for so long.

Before my visit I was in a horrendous mood.  Maybe it was Utah or the holidays or something, but I was complaining something fierce.  Rob told me I needed to see Elisa.  She would make it better.

And I scoffed.

I had tried all manner of food and friends and nothing was fixing this mood, nothing I tell you!

And then a few hours with Elisa and suddenly my heart was light.

Suddenly I was giggly and giddy and that famous Elisa attitude–brazenly herself, brazenly happy–had rubbed off on me.

That’s the power of Elisa and her baked goods.

If you’re in Utah, you must visit her!  Support local businesses!  Support local businesses run by women!

Give her a hug.  Tell her I sent you.  Ask to hear her British accent.

I’m giddy with Elisa pride.

The Baking Hive

Address: 

3362 South 2300 East

Salt Lake City, Utah 84109

Hours:

Mon – Sat 9:00AM – 6:00PM

Get the Dirty Johnny or the Caramel Jaguar Bars or both.  Get it all.  Also!  Sign your kids up for her healthy kids after school baking classes. More information here.

On Waffles, I Guess

27 May

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My belly is full of an imitation Waffle Love waffle from my dear mother, who, after making the dessert twice has declared it to be her “signature dish.”

I was playing The Newlywed Game the other day, and one of the questions was about your parents–what is a quality you got from them.  Luke said I inherited my mother’s insistence that everything be the best in life.  Both she and I can’t just give a lesson, we must give a life-changing, earth-altering lesson, and we must fret about it every second of the way.

My mother can’t just make an imitation waffle, the imitation waffle must succeed the original and become her signature dish.

Fret, fret, fret.

I would say this is all pretty accurate stuff.

Shall we move along to the photos then?

I had a whole blog post planned about a recent photography epiphany that was sort-of inspired by these lush Huntington Garden photos.  But really, isn’t this place lush?  The lushest?

Lush is starting to feel like one of those words now that sounds really weird upon repeating.  I can’t decide if it’s a good weird like “splendid” or a bad weird like “Brazilian bikini wax.”

Oh hey, it’s almost summer!

The photography epiphany was centered around the idea that no matter how many photography goals I set, I just cannot lug that big camera of mine around in my life.  Can’t do it. Nope.

Just thought about aperture and had small, full-body shiver.

And for a long time I thought this dislike of real cameras meant that I disliked photography altogether.  Sometimes I even fretted about this.  Why didn’t I like photography?  I should like photography.  What does this mean?  What does it not mean?

And then, a few weeks ago there I was at the Huntington Gardens, snapping up a storm on my phone, taking picture after picture for no real reason but the love of a pretty photo.

And I realized it’s OK if I don’t take big camera pictures.  It’s OK if I’m only ever an iPhone photographer.

It’s 2014.

It will all be OK.

I actually got the idea to go to the Huntington Gardens and Library from an Instagram photo of a friend.  It’s weird how social media does that, introduces us to places and foods and clothings we never knew we always wanted.

Or maybe that’s just me and I’m a particularly susceptible consumer.

Hilary and I, susceptible consumers that we are, bought a box of “the best chocolate chip cookies in the world!” the other day at Vintage Grocers in Malibu simply because of their name and let’s just say, even when we followed the package’s directions to “air them out,” they weren’t the best cookies in the world.

In fact, I’m placing Famous Amos above them in terms of quality.

So they were pretty far down the list.

Speaking of Instagram! (whew, I was afraid this blog post was going to be scattered, glad this isn’t the case)

Speaking of Instagram! that same Hilary day, we ended up in a pool confessing our Instagram shames and watching the water slowly turn our skin into juicy prunes.  I talked about those people, you know the ones, the randoms you don’t actually know, but you sort of know because they are close friends with one of your Instagram friends.

And I have a few of these people.  I kind of feel like I know them even though I obviously don’t.  And occasionally I check up on their lives that I do not know and say, “Oh look.  They had brunch today.  How cute is that?”

And that’s an odd, 2014 thing.

I suppose this is sometimes the way those who read my blog feel about Caitlin.  I’ve had quite a few people who have never met her mention Cait in casual conversation. “That Caitlin, amiright?”

Caitlin, of course, loves this.  She’s Caitlin, after all.

And I mainly laugh.

I think that’s why we read blogs in the first place. Or at least why I do.  We read blogs, and tell stories and want to know details of other people’s lives because their stories might help us make sense of our own.

We connect to the world with our stories.

Or at least I do.

This is what I tell myself, particularly on days like today when my blogging is reallyyyyyy top notch.

Other things on my mind:

1. Kimonos

2. Pasta salad

3. Gas stations

Let’s go with gas stations, how about?

Utah has the best gas stations, and this doesn’t seem all that grand, but when you’re on a road trip and looking for somewhere with Nutter Butter bites and racks of licorice and Andy Capp’s Hot Fries, quality gas stations become terribly important and Utah becomes terribly nostalgic.

I know this because yesterday I took a road trip and my appreciation of Utah gas stations went up tenfold at least.  What is wrong with LA?  Why is it pretending to be a major urban center and yet failing so heavily in the gas station category?

What can I, personally, do about this travesty?

Real thoughts.  Real feelings.

It’s really almost summer, people.

It’s almost summer and I’m in Utah eating waffles.

It will all be OK.

Midnight Nachos

22 Apr

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When I told Michael I was doing the A-Z challenge, he respectfully requested that “M” be for Midnight Nachos.

Since I’m nothing but an accommodating, even-tempered individual who writes on command, I said, “OK.”

And look.  We made it!  I made it to M!

There were some dark days there where we wondered if that would even happen, but now on the other side it’s hard to remember a time before this sweet, sweet victory.

Michael, I hope you are enjoying this.

I can’t really pinpoint when the Michael midnight nachos tradition began.  It seems like it’s always been happening, or rather, should always have been happening.  Michael and I both grew up in South Jordan, UT, a town where most everyone sleeps at normal hours, and yet neither of us sleep at normal hours.

Midnight hangouts were the natural next to step in our relationship.  Midnight nachos shortly followed.

There’s only one place in the Salt Lake Valley that makes nachos after midnight, and it’s a bit of a drive, so midnight nachos always includes a lot of One Direction, a very specific order (no sour cream, half the amount of guac, this is a weird nacho place, people) and then a drive back to SoJo for our drinks.

Some time around 1:00AM we end up in an empty parking lot with a whole lot of cheese.

The nachos are generally as bad as you would think they would be, which is part of the charm.  Michael glares at me and says, “What is this?” and I say ,“Don’t look!  Let me add the 25th green salsa to it!” and then Michael scoops up the meat and says, “No really what is this” and then I shove nachos in his face.

Hilary recently said she met the male version of herself and I said, “I have no idea who that even would be for me! What is life?” and then 30 seconds later I said, “Oh wait.  It’s obviously Michael.”

DIVAS.

PS in the middle of a post: Last month Michael was Bruce Jenner for a costume party, and it still pains me every day that I was unable to accompany him as Kris.

Should I have used frequent flier miles and dramatically met him in Salt Lake wearing a leopard print dress?

Should I have cashed out my 401K for this dream?

Should I get a 401K so I can cash it out next time he dons a tracksuit?

DIVAS.

(PS over.)

Somewhere along the way, these midnight nacho trips turned into “tell all our secrets” trips.  It’s to the point where every time Michael pulls into my parents’ house and I sneak out feeling like I’m 16, I wonder what life-shattering reveal will happen that night.

Also, I never really snuck out at 16, and I’m clearly not sneaking out now as an adult, but something about standing in my parents’ driveway barefoot, at midnight, with a Sesame Street blanket wrapped around me feels very 16-and-sneaking.

Maybe it’s the One Direction.

I don’t often imagine living in Utah these days.  Utah doesn’t match up well with my current life and career goals and California stole my heart and refuses to let go.  But every once in a while,when I’m home visiting and Michael pulls into my driveway and I say, “OK so I’m in the craziest mood.  Also, where are your silk pajamas?” I consider it.

I consider investing in Utah real estate.

Because if you have someone in your life who understands the importance of a regular midnight nachos trip…

Well, that’s just not something to be taken lightly, is it?

The Mirror That Means Home

25 Feb

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This may sound crazy, but I think the thing I miss most about my childhood home is this bathroom mirror.

OK, I know it sounds crazy.

I have my reasons.

They aren’t good, but they’re there.

This mirror (that I hadn’t named before right now but have just decided needs a name) is called Rhiannon.

Sorry laptop.  You can be named PJ.

(My laptop was previously named Rhiannon after the Stevie Nicks song.  Are you following?)

(My laptop is now named PJ after PJ Harvey.  Are you still following?  Have you stopped following my blog altogether?)

Rhiannon is a great mirror.  Rhiannon is the mirror I sat in front of as a teenager and learned to pluck my eyebrows with.  It’s the mirror I used when I went through that bad over-plucking stage when I was 17, and the mirror I’ve been using to recover from that nightmare ever since.

It’s the mirror that means home.

I’ve never found a mirror I’ve liked so much, or a mirror and lighting combination that has worked so well for me.  Seriously, every time I get into town and go into the bathroom, Rhiannon reveals secrets about me and my eyebrows that my other, lesser mirrors never told me.

I got into Utah Monday morning at 3:30AM and as soon as I saw Rhiannon it was decided sleep wasn’t that important.  Eyebrows were.

And so I found myself sitting on the ground in the middle of the night, tweezers in hand, feeling perpetually 17.

I’m perpetually 17 when I’m at home.  It’s the sleigh bed and the museum to my past selves.  It’s the people who knew me at 17.  It’s the fact that I’m always a bit 17 and maybe always will be.  That might just be my age.

I have a friend who’s always a bit of a 13-year-old and I mean that in the loveliest of ways.

I am always a bit 17.

I debated coming home for Spring Break this year.  I think there reaches a point where your new life and new home sound better to you than your old one.  Where it’s easier to stay where you are.  You don’t want to mess up your routine.  You like your routine.

You like where you are.

I’m at that point with LA.

Honestly, the past few weeks have been a total haze of crazy.  I have several super angsty blog posts in my Drafts that will never see the light of day, but which outline the increasingly downward spiral of my mind in the past month.

One such post is titled “Sylvia Plath Mode” and details why I think Sylvia understands me like no one else in the world ever has.

For real.

I read it to Hilary and even she commented on the drama.  And Hilary is Miss 200% Supportive.

The post also talked about how I once named a fictional feminist girl band The Sylvia Plaths, and I really wanted to get that one into a post so here you go.

I once named a fictional feminist girl band The Sylvia Plaths.

Let’s just say it’s been a crazy month.

As I was finishing up some of the things that were making me crazy last week, I wondered if it was really the right time to go home.  I have a lot to do.  I haven’t been in any sort of a routine.  Maybe 20 hours in a car in one week was a bad idea.

And then Sunday afternoon I thought, “Nope.  Best idea I’ve ever had.  See you soon, Utah” and yadda yadda yadda here I am on my high school sleigh bed in Utah typing this at 2:00AM.

Also, I’m going skiing in a few short hours.

I wonder if I’ll ever have a routine.

Perhaps not.

I’m not really sure where this blog post is headed at this point, so before it spirals off somewhere weird(er), I have to say, I’m so glad I came home.

I’m so glad I’m spending this week with Rhiannon and friends and family.  I already feel rejuvenated.  I already feel like more myself.

Rob once asked me why I don’t blog more in Sylvia Plath mode and I think there are a few reasons for this, but the main one is when I’m in Sylvia Plath mode I feel very helpless and words escape me when I’m so out of control.

My words are coming back to me already.

I can feel it.

It’s good to be home.

SheKnows Saturday And Snow As A Novelty

21 Dec

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Finally, FINALLY I published a SheKnows post on a weekend.  We’ve known all along that these posts were begging for a Saturday or Sunday title and I’m so pleased today to finally fulfill their fate!

The last few days I’ve been the depths of despair/illness.  Something about this sickness has driven me to mid to late 1990s Sandra Bullock films, which is a pretty happy place to be.

Young Sandy is best Sandy.

Okay, all Sandy is best Sandy.

Also, it’s a snowstorm around these here parts and it’s all quite beautiful.  I’ve decided that my life is ideal when snow is a novelty.  I can cruise into Utah in mid December and catch the weather just in time for Christmas and then head on out when everyone is getting a little fed up with the cold and the January blues set in.

Lately in my free daydreaming time, I’ve been imagining a future where I am an author and can literally live wherever I want whenever I want.  In these daydream futures I have a home in Utah (three locations are currently under consideration), and I come to this home whenever I’m lonely/tired of living in New Zealand/PEI/the south of France.  I also come to this home every December for some skiing and hot chocolate and snow as a novelty.

What a beautiful life I lead in my daydreams.

And now for the SheKnows Saturday portion of this post! (Fate! Fulfilling fate!)

Santa Claws: 16 adorable kitties dressed up like Santa

Adorable holiday dog sweaters from Etsy

The truth: What your dog really thinks about Christmas

25 Ikea assembly fails

Whew.

SheKnows Saturday accomplished.

I’ll be carrying this victory with me for some time.

 

In Which I Travel To 9 Stores For Dove Dry Shampoo

16 Dec

photo-36

The thing is, my hair and skin just do not know what to do about the whole Utah situation.  From the moment I cross the state border and head to Swig sugar cookies there’s all sorts of confusion, and no matter how much I assure everyone that “We’re home!” and “This is fun!” I just have a multitude of dry skin and hair situations on my hands.

Enter Dove dry shampoo.

You should know that things are about to sound very sponsored-posty around here, and as deep as my Twitter connection is with the folks over at Dove, we are, in fact, only on first name terms and I do not have an unlimited supply of Dove dry shampoo coming my way for this here post, but maybe I should because Dove is the best and no other brand of dry shampoo will do.

Dove?  Bueller?

Right.

Continuing on.

My journey into dry shampoo madness began last Saturday at a Utah Walmart where I risked my life and limb for my Dove goodness.

To give this some context, you should know some facts I cannot prove, but have heard through the grapevine: My parents live in South Jordan, the city in Utah with the highest number of children per capita. Utah has the highest number of children per capita of any state in the nation.

I WAS AT THE WALMART WITH THE MOST KIDS IN THE WORLD ON THE BUSIEST SHOPPING DAY IN THE WORLD.

Or so it felt.

Walmart didn’t have the dry shampoo, obviously, you know where this story is going, and perhaps Normal Me would have accepted this and gone home.

But this was not Normal Me.  This was Post-Walmart Me, Determined Me, and Determined Me does not let things like near death stop my hair care regime.

Determined Me tries the next Walmart.  And Target.  Two Targets, in fact.  And Sally Beauty Supply.  And Bed Bath and Beyond.  And Ross.

It was all a bit of blur, actually.  Going into the stores.  Taking pictures of the blank shelves that read “dry shampoo.”  Making abrupt turns into random new stores, eyes aglow.

afterlight-6

I could feel I was in crazy town, and yet I wouldn’t get off the crazy train.  I had devoted my whole day to this, I would conquer!

Utah would not have the last laugh!

I sent out several texts to friends, pleading for rescue/validation in my quest. Hilary responded with the comforting, “Does anyone actually wash their hair in South Jordan?” Amy suggested that this dry shampoo search was a point of personal pride and she was behind me all the way.

She also told me Siri couldn’t help, meaning…

I was literally on my own.

Technology had failed me.

Target had failed me.

My mind was failing me.

By store seven I was in deep.  I told myself I could live without dry shampoo.  It wasn’t much of a life, this future of flat hair, but it was my future with flat hair, you know?

I could just go home.  Regain my sanity.  Take a shower.

Something.  Anything.  Bueller?

And then, a miracle occurred in the Riverton Walgreens.  A miracle that looked a whole lot like three Dove dry shampoo bottles (though I couldn’t be sure due to a possible mirage situation).

I found Dove dry shampoo!

It was not a mirage!

My friends confirmed via text!

There’s more to this story including a fairly great celebration dance by yours truly, but all you really need to know is that when I went to bed, I sprayed that Dove dry shampoo like there was no tomorrow, and when I woke up, I had the bounciest, fluffiest hair of my life and it was all worth it.*

Every last store.

*Added for dramatic effect.  My hair looked quite good, but in a regular Dove dry shampoo good way, and this whole thing was likely not worth it.  Except for the tweet from Dove.  That was worth it.  Because you’re worth it.

Wait, wrong brand.

I’m still in recovery.*