I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

    Honestly!
  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.

as always, sticking together

Almost fourteen years ago, I managed to capture an amazing shot of the men in my life and what proved to be one of my most favorite photos of them.

A photo of the hand of our son, Daniel Quinn, scarcely 30 weeks adjusted age and just 2 pounds and the newest member of the Kilo Club, as he tried to grasp the index finger of his father’s hand.

One year later, as we celebrated Daniel’s first birthday and the finalization of our adoption, it served to remind us just how small he really was and how far he had come then.

A year after that, it would receive a special photo journalism award in a local photography show as it astounded the judges with one who truly was Fearfully and Wonderfully Made…it also irritated a local photo journalist that an amateur photographer would receive such an award…over her entry.

Today that photo is properly framed and hanging amongst so many other treasured photographs of our circus act here under The Big Top.

But today, inspired by the works of Red Methot’s Les Prèmas, I tortured my men with a photo shoot…as a mamarazzi will do.

Fourteen years later we prepare to celebrate tomorrow, as we do every year, because every birthday of a 1 pound baby boy born 4 months too soon is something one must always celebrate. We celebrate our preemie, Notre Préma, as parents should. Tomorrow this most extraordinary and most favorite son shall be FOURTEEN YEARS OLD which absolutely deserves all the shouty caps and everything else that we could possibly offer him. Oh, and I should add that we couldn’t possibly be more proud and happy that we get to call him our most favorite son…as we do every day. On the cusp of completing his fourteenth year, he is suddenly aware of the fact that he is our only son…but yes, absolutely, our most favorite son…something that we all celebrate here under The Big Top.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Robert Fulghum

blogtography 2015 edition

What a year! A year where I found myself having to DEAL with so much. It almost makes me afraid to choose a word for 2016. Almost. Just wait. I’m working on the right word for the new year. Until then, let’s enjoy 2015 in pictures and blogging.

Never a bridesmaid…until this year.

The 0300 phone call that literally changed everything under The Big Top and perhaps made me wish that I had not chose DEAL as the word for 2015.

I run like a big girl!

When you regard a mother of five healthy, bright, engaging children, ages ranging from 28 to 13, you might imagine that this person certainly can manage the care and feeding of someone’s beloved fur-baby…

80 days later…

Sometimes the most challenging conversations with your child are the times when you are least expecting it.

It’s true we actually shouted “SMEGMA” as the photographer got this shot.

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there. ~Amy Li

Literally five seconds of kind of famous. Definitely going to need an entourage when I report to work tomorrow night…and dark glasses…and someone to hold my stethoscope.

It never is easy to leave a piece of your heart hundreds of miles away from home.

Perhaps we are horrible people but the laughter we shared together throughout the evening made it all so right.

Today I am going to focus on this good, this incredible good

2015 nearly done…thank goodness!

Bring on the images of 2016.

holiday mad adorableness

So that impossibly gorgeous married couple I know so well because the wife is my darling daughter #1 shared a picture of themselves from a holiday party this weekend.

Naturally I grabbed a copy of it for myself; after I shouted, “Stop being so adorable!” Because, really, they are just too damn adorable. I wish I was that adorable! This shot really would be a perfect holiday card except for the fact that their even more perfectly adorable children aren’t in the picture.

Of course, that will not do because they are my perfectly adorable grand babies and they absolutely must be featured in their holiday cards.

Hollie and Ben, naturally, agree and they asked me to help them get the perfect holiday card photo.

You can’t imagine the fun.

Then again…

Meanwhile, the much-coveted Scarborough Family Circus Holiday cards are here and ready to send out.

Let me know if you want one.

photo dump: the wedding edition

I know I have been rather coy about my sister’s wedding, especially about my bridesmaid dress. Then I teased a little, and a little more. Then I got all secretive because it’s the code. But I did offer a little peek. And then…nothing because of lame excuses like back to school and moving a child to college far from home and selfies and PTA rejects and a new tattoo and life.

But, at last, one month later.

Rehearsal because you need to practice.

But before it gets TOO boring…

strike a pose…

or two.

And share hugs.

And eat and drink because the next day Ange and Matt are getting married!

But first we need to get the bridal party ready.

Ready!

But first let’s strike a few poses…

And melt because it is hotter than balls…even if we aren’t wearing literally 14 layers of tulle, which I imagine is almost as hot as menopausal hot flashes that soak your hair and dress while posing in the hotter than balls sunshine…then again I’m not sure because I have never, ever worn 14 layers of tulle.

Wait. One more pose.

You know, on Pinterest this seemed like a really good idea…

Okay, time to get this party started. The officiant is here and he likes to start on time.

Really.

Bridesmaid badge unlocked.

And my sister is a Mrs….soon to be Dr. Mrs

Definitely something worth celebrating with cake.

As soon as they slice it up.

Beautiful adventure. Beautiful day. Beautiful Mr. and Mrs.

Thank you little sister and brother in law for sharing it all with my beautiful family.

I still never get over the fact that I had a part in all this beautiful-ness that is my family…and this picture reminds me of that again.