Romanticizing the Claw Foot Tub…Don’t Do it.

This isn't a photo of our bathroom but it's pretty much the same tub.

This isn’t a photo of our bathroom but it’s pretty much the same tub.

When we were taking a first look at the condo we eventually bought, there was one thing that stuck in my mind when we left – the beautiful claw foot tub in the master bathroom.  I had never lived anywhere that had a claw foot tub so I had nothing but romantic ideas about the tub.  I imagined sipping wine while taking a luxurious bubble bath.  Well…that’s pretty much where the romantic thoughts ended because, well, that’s where the movies’ portrayal of the tub ends too.  Regardless, I was excited at the prospect.

The day we moved in, I couldn’t wait to use the tub – albeit a shower.  This is precisely when my hatred started.  Have you ever taken a shower in one?  It’s the worst.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve banged my shin as I’ve raised my leg high but not high enough to clear it’s sides.  Then once your inside, it’s like you are wrapped in a cocoon of shower curtain. Seriously, it’s a 360 wrap of curtain.  Then, comes the lack of shelving for shampoo and soap.  Because it doubles as a shower, I can’t buy one of those pretty wooden shelves that rests on the tub.  Instead, we balance our stuff on the edge, leaned against the wall…this starts another world of problems.

A claw tub does not sit flush to the wall.  Instead it has approximately six inches on every side.  Six inches of space that allows the filth of shower and wetness to get into the crevice of every stone that surrounds it.  I almost knocked myself out, followed by getting stuck when trying to clean it.  I had my arm as far as I could stretch, trying to reach the floor and darkness below.  Before I knew it, I slipped into the most precarious position that I thought for a moment I might die of starvation.  There was no way I was getting out of it on my own.

So this is my warning.  If you ever have the chance to have a claw foot tub, don’t…well, unless you have a separate shower,  Then, totally do it because they are pretty.  But only do it, if you don’t plan to take baths.  Those are worse than the showers.

You’ve been warned.

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Sausage Casing

You know what a man should never see?   A woman, specifically a significant other, putting on tights.  I wiggle, shimmy and dance to pull the tights over my soft legs eventually pulling the waist of the tights as high as they will go. 

The waist of the tights are secured under my bra.  I make every effort to prevent the waist of the tights from slowly rolling down my midsection exposing the softness tucked neatly inside. 

The sheer nature of tights leave nothing to hide.  Panties are frequently wadded up underneath and the squeezed shape of my body begs to be let loose. 

It just shouldn’t be seen.

Wardrobe Decisions

Cowboy BootsI am always antsy the day before a trip. For one reason, I wait until the very last minute to pack every time. It’s a bad habit that will most likely never change.

There is a lot of thought that goes into packing for a trip home. When I was in college, the primary one was do I pack all dirty clothes to take advantage of easy access to a washing machine or do I pack half and half? I once brought home a 55 lb suitcase of dirty clothes. Luckily, it was before the days of being charged for luggage. In my twenties, I thought about how often I would be out with friends. And now in my thirties, I think about how many lounge outfits I need because let’s be realistic – when I am at my parent’s house all I do is sit around, eat, drink, watch tv, hang with the family, rinse and repeat. It’s awesome.

This year is a bit different. While lounge outfits are still what are being primarily packed, there is one other factor to consider. My mom is getting me a pair of cowboy boots for Christmas. I have been dying for a pair of boots and picked them out myself. I know they are already wrapped and under the tree, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. When I do, I will have four days left at home to wear the boots. That means, I have to plan four outfits that I can wear with my new boots. It also means, I have to actually get dressed in real clothes for the last half of my vacation.

I love skirts and dresses with cowboy boots, but I also have a newfound love of skinny jeans after working my butt off at the gym. I have a lot of decisions to make today – maybe a spreadsheet will help. What do you think? What should I wear with my new boots?

A Year of Firsts

2012I always get nervous the world is going to end as the new year approaches. It’s a worry that happens every year. There are so many things I want to accomplish and experiencing the end of the world isn’t one of them.

This year introduced a lot of firsts in my life. Some of them have been life changing, while others have been fun – like owning my first car. So without further ado, here is my countdown of firsts that happened in 2012.

1. I moved to the suburbs.
If you asked me two years ago if I would live in the suburbs, I would have laughed in your face. But alas I fell in love, and believe it or not, January 1st will mark my one year anniversary in the suburbs. It has been an ,err, exciting time.

Seriously, I can’t wait to move back to the city. That’s on our list of things to do in 2013.

2. I bought a car.
Her name is Tiffany, and she is amazing. The whole process of buying a car was awful. Thank goodness, Tom, was there coaching me the entire way. If I were by myself, I would have run out crying after the first five minutes.

3. I became a manager at work.
There isn’t much to say about this one, except yeehaw!

4. I tried Quinoa and love it!
We recently had a gym built in our office so I’ve been on a real health kick. I grew a giant boyfriend belly the first year I dated Tom, and the latter half of the year I have been working my butt off to get rid of it. Quinoa was one of the foods I discovered that is a healthy alternative to rice. It’s too bad I’ve eaten more white rice in the last week than I have Quinoa in the past three months. Please note, my intentions are good, I swear!

5. I converted to Apple products
I haven’t put my iPad down since the day I bought it. It’s turned into an obsession. Then, I recently got an iPhone. I’m a convert, what else can I say?

6. I started a blog.
It’s my favorite hobby to date. While I struggle to keep at it consistently, just like the Quinoa, my intentions are good.

There is one other first that is going to happen this year. Tom is coming home to Alabama for the first time. He will meet the rest of the family, and I get to bring to life all of the childhood stories I have shared with him. I have never brought a boyfriend home to Alabama. This is a big first for me (and him). I hope the first of many.

Happy Holidays!

This Too Will Pass

HopeA wise woman once told me to treasure every second of life. I had called home to complain about the minutia of my college life. I was an early twenty something navigating my way into full-blown adulthood. I needed my mom to not only listen but to point me in the right direction. She did that night, just as she always did when I was younger and just as she continues to do today. She told me that time will only go by faster as I get older, to be the best version of myself every day and that life always goes on no matter the circumstance.

Ten years have passed since that conversation with my mom, and yet, I still think about those words every day. Each year that goes by seems to be faster and more of a blur than the year prior. Time seems to be whirring by as I go about my days. Most of those days are filled with laughter, routine, joy and love but then, there are some days that are unexpected. Last Friday was one of those days.

Time seemed to stop as details came out about the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. There were so many precious and innocent lives taken too soon. My stomach lurched into my throat and a sadness came over me. It wasn’t the first time the holidays came with bad news. A few years ago, while I was home to celebrate Christmas, my mom learned she had breast cancer.

My mom was the first person I called when I left work on Friday. Her words were echoing through my head.

Always treasure every second of life…be the best version of myself everyday…life goes on no matter the circumstance…

The day I found out about my mom’s cancer is one that is etched into my memory. It was a few days before Christmas when the phone rang. My mom left the room to answer it. She had been holding the phone, as if expecting the call. I sensed something was wrong.

“Was that your call?” my dad asked.

“Yes.” They both disappeared into the kitchen.

My heart fluttered in my chest. My niece and nephew were crawling on top of me. We had been playing all afternoon. I don’t get to see them very often so every chance I get is a blessing. But I couldn’t stop my mind from shifting to my parent’s quiet whispers in the other room. I didn’t know what was happening but I knew it wasn’t good. We aren’t a family that keeps secrets.

The kids were oblivious to the change in the room as my parents emerged from the kitchen with forced smiles on their faces.

“Do you want a glass of wine?” my dad asked.

“Yes.” It was only three in the afternoon but we both needed it – although I didn’t know why. My mom came back to her recliner and gave me a smile.

“Is everything okay?”

“No, but I want to wait until your brother is here. I’d like to tell you together.”

I took a gulp of wine. My thoughts were running rampant. My sister, Lana, wasn’t getting into town for another day, and my other sister, Avery, wasn’t able to come home this year. We were each going to have to hear the news at different times.

Just as time stopped on Friday, time stopped on this day. My senses were heightened, and I was worried. The conversation felt forced as we talked over the elephant in the room. When my brother arrived, I was cautious and quiet. I didn’t want to start the conversation but I was anxious for it to begin…it never did. There was never a good time for my mom to tell us. My nephew was old enough to understand, and she wasn’t ready for him to know too.

The next day, my mom and I were running errands when her phone rang again. This time it was unexpected, and it was her doctor. When she was finished, silence hung in the air.

“Mom. Are you sick?” I knew the answer before I asked. Tears were welling in my eyes.

“Yes. They found a lump. I had a biopsy last week, and it’s cancer.” At a time when I should have been the strong one and be there for my mom, as she always had been for me, I wasn’t. I started crying. I was overwhelmed with emotion. The idea that my mom was immortal was no longer true. The reality hit me like a rock. I was numb.

“Elyse, please don’t cry. I’m going to be okay.”

This Christmas will mark the third year my mom has been in remission. While it’s hard not to think about that painful day every year as Christmas approaches, it has also become an important reminder. Life is precious, and we only get one chance at it. I am living the words my mom told me in passing a decade ago, and creating my own words too.

1. Do one thing every day that makes you happy
2. Give hugs to those you love frequently
3. Remind yourself, that this too will pass

Baby Fever

I took this photo while waiting to get my oil changed.  The little chair made me warm & fuzzy inside.  Seriously, the fever is in full force.

I took this photo while waiting to get my oil changed. The little chair made me warm & fuzzy inside. Seriously, the fever is in full force.

I have baby fever.  I laughed the day Lana told me the same thing four years ago.   It was a few days before her 30th birthday.   We were walking to our favorite neighborhood hot dog joint when she almost melted at the site of a baby in a stroller.   

“Oh my gosh, Elyse, did you see that little girl? She is adorable.” 

I looked at her cross-eyed.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  Lana had never been one to coo over babies.  Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t kicking babies on the sidewalk, but she always had an indifferent attitude toward them. 

“Where is Lana and who took her?” 

“It’s strange.  Everywhere I look, I see babies.  I want one.”

I was shocked at the revelation.  Lana always seemed more interested in her career.  She worked a lot and as a result was very successful at her age. 

“I think my biological clock is ticking.”

“That really happens?” I asked.

The first time I had heard about the elusive clock was as a young girl.  I was watching Look Who’s Talking.  At the time, I didn’t fully understand the concept but I wasn’t worried.  I was going to get married right after college and have babies in my late twenties.  Timing was never a question.

I’ve always known I wanted a family.  I played dolls and house regularly as a little girl.  My Christmas list was littered with the necessities – doll clothes, strollers and diapers.  I wanted the real deal, well as close as I could get.  I remember the smell of a fresh diaper.  It was a sweet perfume.  I would learn later as a teenager babysitting, that smell didn’t last long in real life.  In fact, I regularly gagged changing diapers, but it didn’t deter my want for children.

Even though I want kids, I didn’t feel magnetized toward them like Lana did.  I thought she was crazy so I teased her often about her newfound baby fever.  What I didn’t realize is that as the years passed, I would soon be experiencing the same fever. 

It’s a strange phenomenon to want to hug every child.  I find myself smiling, fighting the urge to scoop them up and give them a twirl.  I want to cuddle a baby and rock her to sleep.  I want one.

I know like Lana, my fever will too pass.  And the reality is as it passes so does the optimal conceiving window but I am not deterred.  It’s something I have always wanted.  My time will come.

Side note for my mom and dad: No worries guys, I’m hoping that ‘time’ is after I am married.

Yowza…Liebster Award Nomination

The first thing I look for when I sign into WordPress is the notification button.  While it may seem vain, I love the idea that someone enjoys what I write or even better identifies with me and leaves a comment.  My dream is to be a published author so I can get out of my cube and instead spend my days pining away at a computer.  I have so many ideas for that first book and have started it many times, but so far they have been failed attempts.  I struggle translating the stories I tell myself in the car or lying in bed to something I’m happy with on paper.  I hope it happens one day, but until then, I will continue to get practice through my blog – playing with various styles of dialogue, descriptions and the flow of a story.

On Friday, I signed into WordPress to see what was going on in the blog world.  Much to my delight, there was an orange comment box.  I clicked on the comment to read it and much to my surprise, I was nominated for a Liebster Award (thanks again, mannalexandra, for the nomination).  I am incredibly flattered to be bestowed such an honor! This award comes with some homework, such as telling more about me, answering questions and paying it forward. 

Okay, here goes!

As a nominee, I have to do the following:

  • Post eleven facts about myself
  • Answer the questions the tagger has set for me and create eleven questions for the bloggers I nominate
  • Choose some people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in my post
  • Go to their page and tell them
  • Remember, no tag backs

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