subdued, simpler, smarter, selfiebration-ish


Back from BlogHer14, missing pretty much all the parties and the sessions yet my head and my heart are full.

For me, there was scarcely any time for pictures but plenty of time for meeting up with old friends; not all as life and commitments always are calling, but some…enough to fill me up with the love, inspiration and encouragement I have been missing…needing. And all together we were enjoying our time. Time to hug a lot. Time to network. Time to talk about our writing, our photography and what drives us to post and create on our spaces. Reflecting on the fact that, yes, we are the “veteran bloggers”. Time taken to realize that, OMG, our kids are growing (grown) up much too fast while we seem to be getting older, perhaps grayer, achier and a little creakier. No one really wants to talk about those hormonal hot flashes but thank goodness for the Yoplait Greek Yogurt fans one could pick up in the Expo hall along with some other swag.

side note: Today I learned that swag is actually an acronym for “stuff we always get”. So says my darling daughter, Abby….The more you know.

I do regret not planning to attend the full conference as it did seem to be getting back to the basics…the blogging, the writing, the putting ourselves out there because we are enough in everything that we do everyday.

Thank goodness for Twitter and BlogHer live blogging everything. I know it’s not the same but it’s almost enough.

Meanwhile there were still many opportunities to be engaged here networking, walking through the expo, screening a movie coming soon to a theater near you, enjoying delicious food while talking with incredibly smart people about that which they are passionate about, sitting together in a suite with an incredible view discussing women, health issues, politics, mid-term elections, changing the world, telling our stories, empowering and encouraging one another.

Meanwhile, Khloe Kardashian showed up in the Expo Hall.

Whatever.

This was a much more subdued, simpler BlogHer and I definitely liked it. I’ll write more about it later. For now it’s family circus time.

 

 

invisible in a bikini


Summer is most definitely here and the time is right to bare a little skin at the beach, at the pool, at the water park, at the lake and even on the Dirty Delta because it’s hot, we want to get wet and because it’s fun.

It is fun.

Well, for the body confident, the tan, the fit, the young.

If you listen to women’s and girls’ conversations about swimsuits it would seem that it isn’t fun at all. At one point in all of our lives we have had that moment of anxiety and self-loathing as we regarded ourselves in a harshly lit dressing room dressed in the bikini that looked perfect on the rack. “What happened?“, we wonder, as we regard every real and imagined imperfection, dimple, roll, sag, stretch mark perfectly highlighted in the most non-flattering light possible as we stand before the most unforgiving (and likely angled) mirror.

And while most of us fretted, stressed, starved, covered up and berated ourselves for not having the confidence to rock that perfect two piece swimsuit there are women all over the interwebs and in the news right now who are wearing that bikini and writing about it or posting pictures of it: a fat woman, another plus sized woman, an insulin pump dependent diabetic beauty queen, a woman living with Crohn’s Disease and a colostomy.

Oh, and a 52 year old woman wore a bikini poolside every day last week while staying in Las Vegas with two of her daughters and her grand daughters.

No one noticed. No one cared. No, not because I am over 50 and everyone knows that women of a certain age are indeed invisible once they are women of a certain age. No one noticed because everyone was too busy having fun enjoying that perfect pool, with their perfect, over-priced, poolside refreshments on a perfect sunshine-y day. I doubt anyone could see my birth date stamped on my ass indicating that I should not be wearing that bikini…including some of the men I caught briefly glancing at my ass as I walked by. Even if they could, I doubt anyone really cared. Nor did they care that my exposed, rounded belly once carried four of my five babies…at least no one asked. And although they might have noticed the blinding paleness of my SPF 50 coated body, no one stopped me demanding that I cover up right now. No one really cared and neither did I.

I wore a bikini every day while in Vegas last week because I wanted to…because I can…because I have limited time on this Earth to feel the sun on my skin (protected by sunscreen of course)…because the weather and that gorgeous pool pretty much said so.

I’ve got 99 problems


…but the drive home ain’t one of them!

We are home, after an 11 hour drive, home from Vegas. According to navigation, it should have been an 8+ hour drive…you know, without traffic, road work, potty training 2 year olds and distractions like that.

We made a few stops.

Stopping in Jean, Nevada, we discovered where old slot machines go to die. They comp gas but they don’t sell Dramamine…for your information. Goldfish crackers, plenty of water, perhaps a little bit of antihistamines and frequent stops along the way helped deal with that motion sickness problem. Frequent stops including a stop at the Phillip S. Raines Rest Stop near Tulare. When I learned last year that my photograph was part of the display at this rest stop, I knew that I had to stop there and see it for myself in all of it’s glory.

There it is!

Courtesy of me!

Yeah, I’m kind of nerdy in my excitement over seeing my work on display at a rest stop on CA99 just south of Tulare, California.

So glad we stopped.

 

 

what happens in Vegas (with children at dance nationals)


Well, you know how the saying goes.

Most of the drama, the marley burn, the sunburn, the blood, sweat and tears, the headaches and especially all that water under the bridge we are leaving behind on the dance floor…as every good dancer does. It is our final dance competition, dance nationals as dancer and dance mom and yes, there was all of that and more that happened here in Las Vegas.

I wouldn’t want to go through this eight year-long adventure with anyone but my tiny dancer.

But let us all pause briefly and take note that I look so damn skinny in this picture standing next to my daughter who dances for hours every day. I did. We did.

Because what happens in Vegas stays there…for now…until we get home. That’s going to be a whole ‘nother adventure.

we are THAT family


Here we are at the Green Valley Mountain Resort for Nationals!

Whoo-hoo!

This place is glorious! Off the strip, in Henderson, away from all the glitz, glamour and depravity and despair that is the Vegas that we love and not love so much, this is the perfect place I am thinking for a Dance Nationals Competition and Convention.

I’ll try to post pictures and a more fair assessment after my favorite dancers have done a little bit of dancing and competing later. For now I am exhausted. Literally. The last 36 hours I have had perhaps a couple hours of sleep choosing instead to kiss my favorite son and see him off to his seaside adventure and annual spoiling thanks to Auntie Toni followed by packing and driving through the night to get here in Las Vegas…er, Henderson.It really seemed like a great idea, driving all night with a 2 year old and a 6 year old crammed into a car loaded with so much dancer stuff. It really was a great idea as everyone, but the driver (me), did get some sleep.along the way.

SOME” being emphasized here.

Oh, and no one judge me for leaving a bag of barf along the roadside somewhere in between the middle of nowhere and Yermo, California.

Nevertheless, we are here…

yeah, we are THAT family. You pretty much KNOW that we are here, no matter where we are, because 6 year old and 2 year old sisters and exhausted mommies.

Perhaps after a good night’s sleep…

Good night!