Category Archives: It Only Happens Once a Year

This is not a “Lifestyle” blog.

Happy 2017 friends.

Here’s the thing.  I didn’t despise 2016 like some did.  It is the year I became a mother.  It was the longest-shortest year in which I lived a thousand lives and died a thousand different deaths.  But it wasn’t an peaceful year either.  I didn’t have an “easy” baby. Nearly all of our appliances (and one car) died.  I got some moles removed and biopsied and I got mastitis twice.  So I think it is okay to say I am tired.

When I was at yoga the other day, the instructor was extolling the virtues of letting things go that do not serve us.

Here’s the thing.  I have let everything go this year and most of it has not been by choice.  Running?  Let go.  My body?  No longer mine, nor will it be for the forseeable future.  Sleep.  Quiet time.  Friendships.  I have no intention to “let” anything else go because if I am going to be so honest, I am tired of having things taken from me.  When I was writing in the 365 day-five year journal I received before Critter was born, I remarked in response to one of the prompts that I was quite impressed by how much less I need in my current existence to survive/have some level of enjoyment and enthusiasm in my life/keep growing.

All of this is to say that I feel like I haven’t had a lot to say in the last two weeks and when I think about what I want to write or share with you all, I don’t even know where to begin.  Right now my “lifestyle” blog feels more like notes from a ship’s logbook. End dispatch. 

I have no resolutions and I have no “Intentions” because this is what my life looks like right now.

Toys and chaos, people. Toys and chaos. 

I have no idea what to promise you all for 2017.  I’ll keep posting what we eat because the Friday Food Round-Up! is something I have loved to do.  I’m sure there will be some updates on our finances and what that looks like with buying and selling a house.  And of course the odd missive about our boy baby who is soon to advance to the next level of big boy.  After that, it’s all a mystery.

If you’re still reading, thank you for coming along for the ride so far.  I hope your 2017 is a beautiful one. 


Happy Birthday to Me.

Today, friends I am 29.

I feel like I should have some sort of profound thoughts to hold forth on.  Perhaps the lessons learned during the golden birthday year?  Reflections on my first birthday as a mama?

Above all things, this year I have become gentler.  I have tried to be kinder to me. I have tried to be kinder to others.

We spent the weekend replenishing our La Croix stores, care of a special delivery of 15 can packs to ALDI.  #blessed.

This morning, Brady and I celebrated year four at Lake Harriet.  

We walked instead of running, but the rain held off, and it was still just as lovely.  Someday, we’ll run together in the morning again.

Critter blessed us with a family-wide afternoon nap, which we have badly needed.

I went on an expedition to Target and tried to source some new things that would expand my wardrobe.  I ended up with cardigans and breton-striped tops and the things I thought were experimental will be returned to the store, so let’s just say now that nothing is changing.

We went on a date birthday dinner  birthday dinner-date and tried TERZO, another new-to-us restaurant.  We actually relaxed.  It sort of felt…normal?  Someday we’ll go on another one.

I received a most excellent assortment of gifts: A pair of gold-beaded Minnetonka Moccasins, the rest of the June Lane china I needed in order to complete my china set.  Three of my favorite movies that we have never owned: Twister, Remember The Titans, and Independence Day.  A book of photos from our vacations of me taking pictures of things.

It was all quite nice.  So this is how we start the 29th year.

A Birthday

It is my 27th Birthday today.  Since I neglected to write a The Blog Is 6 post, we’ll be doing a belated observance of that as well.  Why not celebrate all of the things?

I am not sure if this place is the magpie’s treasure trove of shiny things, if it is the reflecting pool in which the reflection is amplified by the water and the proximity to it, if it’s a shop window with noses pressed to the glass for a better look, or if it is simply an extension of our living room.  Sometimes it feels like all of them.

Six years later, I am still writing, and you are still reading.  I know that even if you did not, I would still be writing because like the people who have to make music or dance or sing, these words are inside of me always waiting to escape.  But as I share my stories, it is continually humbling to hear that I am not alone when things are Hard.  That I am not the only one.  And I hope that I am able to stretch that branch out to you as well.  For the days when things are spectacular, I am glad that you are here too.  Joy shared is joy doubled.

I know that it is not uncommon for bloggers to share their birthday/Hanukkah/Christmas gift haul with their readers.  So let me take a moment to share with you the magnificence of this year’s offering.  Some of you may remember that about two weeks ago, we headed over to Benihana to use my birthday BOGO coupon.

Our photo was taken to commemorate this special and momentous occasion.

Benihana 1 And then Marcus ordered me my own special Benihana coffee mug.

Benihana 2

Really, could it get any better?  Because I know that it could not.

I believe that technically speaking, I am either in my mid-twenties (a broad term) or my late twenties (an ominous term).  All I know is that this is the first birthday ever where I have looked in the mirror and thought to myself, Girl, this is clearly not your 21st birthday all over again.  How tragic, I know.

Apparently last year I declared that watching the Kentucky Derby Live was on my bucket list (check!) and that I wanted to catch a walleye (I’m going to attempt it on September 14!).  I am apparently nothing if not consistent in my whims and wishes.

For all of the really great things that happened in the past 365 days, Year 26 was a profoundly difficult year.  Spot died.  Friends got incredibly sick.  Things were challenging.  I am sure I could dedicate more time to ruminating over all of this, but at the end of the day, it happened and I am changed.  It is time to move on.

This year, I just want to have fun.  Period.

Very truly, this is probably the last full year of my life that I will be Not Pregnant or Mother To A Family Of Children.  Marcus is four years older than I am, and even though he happily would have accepted the mantle of fatherhood years ago, I am lucky he understood that I needed those extra years and that extra time.  The five years since college have been filled with so much adventuring and sorting out and creating.  I don’t want to say that this year is about tying up loose ends (because it isn’t) but it is about having fun and doing things for no other reason than the fact that we can.

Even though 26 left a mark, it is also a year that made me comfortable.  I have become more and less patient with myself and others.  I have become 100% unapologetic about loving the things that I do.  I have become 100% intolerant of bad behavior.  I learned how to drink whiskey for real and I took up a regular flossing habit.  I finally feel like I “get” adulthood, which is a godsend.  Because the first few years after college were like some sort of life-sized game of playing pretend.

So with all of that, let’s begin the 365 day countdown to what will (finally) be my Golden Birthday.

The 26th Year

I loved the goals that I wrote for Year 25. At the heart of all of them was the idea that I needed to stop wasting my time and mental energy on the things that don’t matter, and that I needed to start to saying Yes to the things that could make my life fuller.

You live life reactively if you live a life of No.

Saying Yes I…

Finished two marathons.

Saw the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Prayed at the Western Wall.

Row boated in the middle of Central Park.

Twirled in the Hall of Mirrors.

Ate deep-fried hard shell crabs out of a styrofoam container on the side of the road in the Carolina sunshine.

Floated in the Dead Sea.

Ran with the bulls.

Walked in the light of the Midnight Sun.

If I was looking to check boxes on a bucket list, this year would have pretty much brought the house down.

What’s sort of ironic is the fact that I don’t actually have a bucket list. Though if I did, it would contain the following: Watch the Kentucky Derby live, catch a walleye, catch a muskie, live on the water.

But this year was not about crossing things off. It was about living presently. It was about living as much as possible.

I am not setting any goals for my 26th year, and the reason for that is very simple.

There is no single life change I could make that would drastically increase my quality of living or the quality of the relationships I have.

So this year, for the 26th year, I have decided to start keeping a gratitude journal.

Because sometimes, thankfulness is enough.

I have been blessed with plenty.

A belated birthday.

On May 20, Tenaciously Yours, turned five.  Marcus and I were riding a Greyhound from NYC to D.C. and even though I had meant to post something, I just didn’t have the time.  Or the words.

The Blog is five.

When I started Tenaciously Yours, I had just moved out of The Theta House and into SigEp for the summer.

And the next five years would see me moving in and out of The Theta House one more time, into my parents’ house’, out of my parents’ house and into my first (and only) apartment, out of that apartment and into the home that Marcus and I share.

I have written in this space through an engagement and a wedding.

Converting to Judaism.

Losing (and keeping off) 60 pounds.

Learning how to run.

Finishing marathons.

Learning how to cook.

Cooking everything. To the tune of 114 Friday Food Round-Ups!

Traveling.  Everywhere.

I feel like there is so much to say and at the same time, there’s not very much to say at all.

I don’t know why I had to start writing That Spring.

Sometimes I don’t know what compels me to continue.  Except for the fact that I think I am a better person when I am able to write and for whatever Godforsaken reason, I can’t commit to writing in an actual notebook.

I certainly didn’t know how many beautiful friends would come into my life through blogging.

Do you guys remember that time back in the 90’s when everyone was truly afraid of revealing their first and last name on the internet?  That if someone knew who you were then almost certainly they would be a serial killer and SHOW UP ON YOUR FRONT STEPS?

What the hell was all of that about, anyway?

Blogging seems like such a small thing.  To stuff all of your thoughts and actions into a time capsule that occupies a sliver of server space or a bit of the cloud somewhere.

But my life is so much bigger because of this right here.  So much fuller because of this right here.

Happy Birthday, Tenaciously Yours,.

Back to Normal

America! 713

The day before we left for New York, I distinctly remember looking at Our Tree and being So Fussed that we would miss its blooming while we were away.

We got home after dark last night, which meant that when I woke up this morning, I was so pleasantly surprised by white blossoms just barely hanging on to the branches.

Snatching my phone off of its charger and running into the driveway to see it properly from the outside and to capture the moment was more of a reflex than a well thought-out plan.

All is well.

So we are home.  Finally.

I got nine hours of uninterrupted sleep last night.  Considering that on a good day I’d call a straight six an accomplishment, I’d say being reunited with my own bed was nothing short of magical.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a delicate sleeper.  Give me something functional and I’m usually good to go.

But apparently I needed this.

And today, the “weekend” day I haven’t had since May 12 or so.  Doing piles of laundry, attending to my mitts and paws, actioning some low-grade decluttering.  Dinner with family.

Restoring order to the nest.



Like I said, last week was wild and as a result, I am beyond behind on blogging.

Last weekend, Mom, Dad and I decamped to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha.  I’ve been meaning to go for a few years now because (1) what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have to say is important to hear and (2) they are old as hell.

We did the whole trip in about 30-ish hours, leaving Plymouth at 3:00 PM on Friday, spending the evening in Des Moines.  We left for Omaha at 4:00 AM on Saturday morning (it’s about a two-hour drive) and then left at about 2:30 PM for an 8:00 PM arrival in Plymouth on Saturday night.

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So it was sort of a whirlwind adventure.

I packed a dress-cardigan-heels, because I knew the only way that I would possibly run into Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger/Bill Gates was if I was dressed impeccably or looked like an urchin.

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If you couldn’t tell, it was cold and rainy and windy and generally miserable outside.  To our surprise (as well as the rest of The Masses) they ended up opening the Century Link Center early.

That was pretty much wonderful because we were able to stake out some seats fairly quickly and get to the business of visiting the expo.

What’s at the expo?  Well, during the meeting you’re able to purchase merchandise from Berkshire-owned companies like Brooks, Dairy Queen, See’s and Justin Boots onsite in the convention hall.

Mom and I left Dad to look over our seats while we headed out of the arena and down to the convention hall.  We didn’t have a massive agenda while we were down there, but we did grab Berky Boxers from Fruit of the Loom, an eclectic assortment of candies from See’s and some Warren and Charlie M&Ms from the Mars booth.

We had only just wrapped up our first shopping stop when I saw the cameras and the bodyguards not 20 feet away and realized that was where Warren was.  So, I am not too proud to admit that I hustled over there as fast as I could and attached myself to the press pool.

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And for my best efforts over the course of five minutes to avoid a fit of hyperventilating and shaking, I was rewarded.

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With a shot of moi on ABC’s This Week the next morning.

So that was pretty much the peak of the day for me.  I’m sure that sounds heinously superficial when you think about where I was and what I all got to hear that day, but seriously kittens it was so WILD.

After Mom and I wrapped up our shopping, we hustled back up to the arena and I headed back down to the convention hall with Dad.

More shenanigans (and a bit of Dilly Bar eating) ensued.

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And all of this before 8:30 AM.

Weirdly enough, we ran into a few people we knew while we were down on the floor.  One couple was from church and then there was a gang composed of one of my father’s former co-workers, his 11-year-old daughter and another friend of theirs.

Go figure.

This was obviously wonderful and incredibly awkward at the same time.  Even though pretty much everyone in attendance walks around looking as if they have won the lottery, We Do Not Talk About Money.  So really, the only available conversation topics are: How long have you been coming?  Where did you stay?  Did you buy anything today?

At which point, I would sort of do a present face.  So great to see you, more Dilly Bars please.

As for my thoughts on the actual meeting, and the Q&A, it was plainly: overwhelming.  One part church, one part rally cry.  The Woodstock of Capitalism.  Full of Really Important Stuff.  If you want a good picture of what all was said and how people seemed to feel about that, I’d direct you to the NYT’s DealBook Live Blog of the event.  Or this set of notes for something a bit more comprehensive.

What I do feel qualified to say is that it was nothing short of astonishing to watch 30,000 adults sit quietly for seven hours and listen to Warren and Charlie speak.  30,000 people.  Seven hours.  Completely silent.  I do not know that I have ever witnessed anything like that in my life.

And just like that, in (truly) a blink of an eye, our day was over and we were headed back to real life at full-speed.