Friday, February 20, 2015

Life is Made of Days Like This

Sorry, I haven't been around this week. Now that a negotiations paper is done and a facilities paper is almost done, I have time to catch ya'll up on my life over the past two weeks. On February 9, it was some holiday. A presidents birthday. I don't know which but believe that I appreciate his birth. Cause day off. Duh. 

First, I was going to hit up the Monday sale with Jamie, a cousin from Bryan's side of the family. Bryan had band practice with the guys and Shep and I were on our own. The plan, at first, was to take Shepherd and Isaac but then we realized that they would be hard to wrangle. I got ready as quickly as I could, got Shepherd ready and grabbed all of our stuff to load into the car. Except I couldn't find the keys. 

Bryan took them to Fresno. I was so ticked. I called and it was looking as though I was going to have to bow out of my plans with Jamie to wait for stupid Bryan to turn his stupid truck about to bring me the stupid keys. I tell Jamie that we probably can't go and she got mad and came to pick us up. We dropped Shepherd with Troy and went on our way. 

It turned out to be the best day I've had in a long while. 

We walked around, I bought some L.A. Girl makeup (don't worry, I googled, it was legit.) and ate some tacos. It was AWESOME. 

I have always wanted the second holes done on my ears but never pulled the trigger. I didn't do my makeup because I had hoped to film that day, but alas, it never worked out. Too bad I didn't foresee that because it would nice to not look haggard when I look back at these pictures, but this is real life, yo! Jennifer is the one that pierced our ears and she was really sweet and did a great job!

Then, to celebrate, Jamie bought me a pretzel! I haven't had one of these in forever and it was so dang delicious! 

We also got a drink and frito/nacho boat from Minnah's Cafe, which was not bad. I'm not a huge fan of nacho cheese. I like regular shredded cheese on chips. It's the way it ought to be!

Jamie's boyfriend Troy asked that we bring home food, so we stopped at Geta Express to grab him some food. He deserved it for watching both boys for most of the day! He sent text updates as the day went on AND  he got Shepherd to eat lots of healthy food. Love that guy. Shepherd even fell asleep on Troy! It was so cute. 

It was an amazing, fun and lowkey day. It almost felt like we were young and free again. It was so nice to have a taste of that again. And I LOVE my earrings. Glad I finally got it done. Thank you to my niece Kyndall for inspiring me to get it done.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Double Eye Infection

I'm writing to you from home today because I have a double eye infection. The worst part is that anything I used on my eyes (makeup wise) has to be thrown out. No, I guess the worst part is feeling like I have sandpaper in my eyes. The second worse part is the makeup thing.

Of course on the day that I have a conference in Fresno and just a busy, homework rich week I'm struck down with some insane eye thing. I got up early this morning and was at the walk in clinic when it opened. I was the second patient seen and the nurse practitioner said that "this" has been going around.

He never said what "this" was. Bryan went to get me a couple movies, a coffee and some disinfecting wipes and most importantly, the eyedrops. Two drops every four hours for seven days. There are two bottles.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate putting stuff in my eyes? Like, legitimately loathe anything going near my eye. I am supposed to wear glasses but the last prescription I have was before I was pregnant and when I wear them I feel jacked up. But I don't want to go to the eye doctor because it's always a fight. I won't let him dilate my eyes. Once, they made me do that blowing air test and the first time, I didn't know what to expect. The second time I winced while having a major inner meltdown. They tried to do the right eye twice and I walked out.

I ended up getting a migraine from that experience.

My eyes have always and will always be super sensitive. I don't like anything touching my eyeball. Ever. When I tightline my eyes with eye liner, I gently lift the lid away from the eyeball so that it never, ever, ever touches. I don't even like my own fingers to touch my eyeball. So 1. I don't know how this eye infection happened because I never touch my eyeball and 2. this is absolutely torture.

Towards the end of the day I have to wash all my bedding, especially my pillow cases and my towels/wash cloths. I'm contagious for about 24 hours, but he said that it's only if I touch my eyes and then touch someone else. Which I don't do anyways.

I have to be at work tomorrow so I'm just going to go in and wipe down my desk, work, wipe it down again and leave. Ugh. I just remembered that I have chinese food in the fridge that I wanted to lunch today. Gosh DARN IT. Stupid eyes.

Oh! And did I mention that although my body feels fine and my mind is sharp, my eyes are so sensitive that watching too much TV/YouTube/Reading/Anything starts to make my head hurt. I've spent most of my morning just lying in bed with my eyes closed thinking about life.

Do you want to know the WORST THING you can do to someone that has anxiety and depression? Corner them in a room and give them absolutely nothing else to do but think. They'll be mad in no time.

Happy Hump Day!

PS. My sister made me go to a hybrid pilates/yoga class yesterday and I am also sore. I'm happy to have worked out but wish it wasn't followed by cabin fever in my bedroom. Hate you, Kari! (Love you too, though!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

All Aboard the SofaBoat!

Turning our two couches into a SofaBoat has been a tradition in our family since we became one. Bryan and I would push the two couches together when we were first married. We'd cuddle up to lounge and watch movies. It is one of our favorite family things to do. Adding Shepherd to the mix makes it even better. 

Bryan and I have largely opposite schedules so spending family time together is rare, let alone having much alone chill time. On Saturday night, Papa and Lee asked if Shepherd could spend the night with them and we figured he's old enough to enjoy the experience. Plus, Shepherd in the morning is something everyone should experience. His morning cuddles are the best. So, we decided now was as good a time as any and it was good that we were in the same town for his first night away from us! 

As you can see, he was pretty excited to go! Oh, did I mention that this was the first night that Bryan and I have both slept away from him? We had planned on my going to go out to Harris Ranch with Bryan for his gig and to spend the night, but after that huge school project, I just wasn't up for it. So, unbeknownst to Bryan, I planned a low-key night at home! 

I moved the couches (all by myself) to SofaBoat position, rented Get On Up from Redbox, and laid out our favorite pajamas. I went to Target to pick up some of our favorite movie theater candy and threw a cozy blanket down. I wanted a really cozy atmosphere so I lit some PartyLite tealights. I think Bryan was pretty surprised when he walked in! I even set up two ottomans, one to help getting into the SofaBoat and one to hold coffee/remotes. :) 

Of course we made sure the SofaBoat was still together for Shepherd once we picked him up from Papa and Lee. He loves it. Actually, it's still together. As I write this, we are all chilling in the boat. Well, not Shepherd he's climbing all over Bryan. We love SofaBoat!

We loved the movie and didn't end up getting into any of the snacks. We spent time working in the studio and Bryan built my sewing table! I'm so excited to learn to sew. You know, in-between school, work, mom-ing/wife-ing, the blog, Lauriana Cosmetics, LC's blog, and various video projects. :) 

Hope you had a great weekend! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Checking In

I'm drowning in a 80 page paper soooo....

Have a good weekend and have a drink on my behalf!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Musician's Wife

Bryan made me go to one of his weeknight gigs a week ago.

I say made because he literally made me go. I didn't want to go. I don't go to his gigs often anymore.

There are a lot of reasons why I stopped going. For the first year or two, I went to at least one gig every weekend, either a Friday or a Saturday. I would go to Harris Ranch all the time, sit and read a book or decompress after a long week. I'd go alone or with friends or family.

Between two years and two and a half years, I really started to taper off. It got worse as I became pregnant and almost non-existent once Shepherd entered the world. Now I go infrequently at best.

There are many reasons why I don't go anymore. Many are logical and practical and more than a few are based on emotions that are so convoluted and varied that it would take a lot of hours on a counselor's couch to unwind them all.

Before I continue to write, it's important to lay a foundation. I love Bryan's music. I know all the words to all of his songs. Many of them I've helped write or shape in one way or another. And I don't mean helped to write as in, gave him the life experience to write them, but that too, I guess. Some of his songs are about me. I mean more of, he came to me and asked me what sounded better, what word to choose, I've helped him structure a line in a verse that he was having issues with, I've listened as he played a series of the same notes except for one nuance and helped him choose which flowed better. A sounding board, if you will.

If you've downloaded or purchased his CD, it would never enter your mind to picture me listening to the rough tracks, giving Bryan my opinion on volume, sounds, breaks. I have a good ear for music production and Bryan utilizes it. My actions, outside of actually attending the majority of his gigs, show that I am all in on the music thing. I promised him sitting on the floor of the rented house on Malone street that I would support him in his music career and I meant it. That doesn't sound all that noble, of course a wife should support her husband's dreams! Duh.

Promising that I would support his music career was not just promising to support a dream. It was also promising to accept what our future could look like, whether that meant we were starving because of his dream or we were rich because of it. It meant promising to be without a husband most evenings, to be a single mother at night, to never have dates on weekends or a dance partner at a wedding. It meant giving up a stable life, dealing with drunk girls hitting on my husband and giving up my dream of being a stay-at-home mom. For me, it was a sacrifice to promise Bryan that I would support him in his music career and it still is.

I could have easily promised him that I would support his career and done just the opposite once the vows were said. He's admitted that he thought that is what I would do and was maybe even a bit surprised that I didn't. Spouses have the ability to squash their partner's dream with a sort of ease and it happens all the time. When I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom on Malone street I had three choices: I could not marry him, marry him and kill his dream, or marry him and support his dream. I chose the latter.

That night, Bryan made promises to me too. Ones he didn't keep.

In spite of that, I continue to support his dream. I continue to live this life, this life that is the opposite of what I dreamed of. It lacks the stability I craved for my future when I was a kid in an unstable environment. It replicates for my children a household where the father is "absent" just in different ways than I experienced. I do it because I love him and I promised I would. I'm not a woman that makes promises lightly. I looked him in the eye that night and I promised him that I would do it and I never said it was contingent on whether he held up his promises, although there have been many times that I cursed my own name, wishing I had slipped in that caveat.

But, I didn't.

Like I said, my actions reflect that I support my husbands dream.

My heart however, doesn't.

Back to the gig he made me go too. I invited my sisters and Bryan's cousin Jamie and no one could attend. He forced me to sit at a table right next to his set up. My phone was dying and Shepherd was crazy. I felt so uncomfortable.

Bryan starts to play and the crowd is so into it. They're eating it up. He sounds so good. Basically, he's killing it and I wish I was anywhere doing anything else. It's only a matter of time before someone notices me there, watching Bryan. Playing on my mostly dead phone. Not looking angry by any means but not looking particularly engaged. I'm a mom dealing with a toddler sitting at a table right up front with everyone else. I was trying hard to project the opposite of what I was feeling and I think it was working, because I was approached multiple times by strangers.

If you'd like to be a musicians wife you must get used to the fact that people will come and talk to you. Sometimes it's really engaging and pleasant. Sometimes it's less so. Sometimes it's downright horrible because people get drunk and they say things they might not say while sober. I've accepted this as part of my reality as being the musicians wife.

A woman comes up to me and gets real close to my face. She had just smoked a cigarette and she exhales, "Are you his wife?" and I try to keep myself from physically recoiling from the smell as I smile and say "Yes. I am." She jumps right in with "Oh my gosh. You must love having him at home. He is so good. He should RHHHEALLY go on AHHHHmerican HHHHIIIIdol. He would WHin!"

It's sweet. Truly. But also, she is about, two inches from my face and people are watching. People always watch the girlfriend or the wife. They whisper about the musicians wife and point her out. They look at me and judge me if I'm on my phone, if I look upset, if I look happy, if I look in love, if I'm looking at Bryan as though he is the entire reason I exist.

They make comments to others or even to my face if I am not beside myself with how amazing my husband sounds/is/looks. The judgement is so hardcore, especially if they even get a whiff that I am bored. "I saw you sitting over here, do you not like his kind of music?" They'll say. "Honey, you should get off that phone! You're missing your husbands amazing show!" Family members have even said that I should make a point to be overly engaged because it doesn't "look good" to have the musicians wife do anything other than look enraptured by her husband. My M.O. is usually just to enjoy it without feeling pressure to act or behave a certain way, but that usually is not good enough for others and more often than not, they have no issue telling me so.

"Oh thank you, that is so sweet. We've discussed it a few times but we haven't pulled the trigger. We're not sure that is the best way to go." I say pleasantly to the lady so close to my face we would be kissing  if I puckered my lips.

Not only is this woman a smoker, but she's also quite a bit tipsy.

"Ohhh, HHHHe should RHHEALLY go on AHHHHmerican HHHHIIIIdol. I'd VHHHOTE for HHHim."

"Aww, thank you. We appreciate it so much. I'll make sure to tell him."

I do tell him. I know that what she means is that she sees potential in Bryan. The potential to succeed as a musician, to make it big. That is very sweet and both he and I appreciate it. It's always American Idol and that I must love having such a sexy/hot/talented musician at home.

Most people who watch Bryan fall in love with him. People are surprised by him. If you think his CD is good, his live performances are fifty times better. Everyone fawns all over him. Young women, old women, men. Whether it's yeah he rocks! or he's so talented! or he's so handsome! People love him. And they come to me and tell me variations of:

- How blessed I am to have Bryan.

- How lucky I am to have Bryan.

- How nice it is that I have a musician at home.

- How romantic is must be for me to have a man to sing me love songs.

- How wonderful it must be for me to be married to such a sexy musician.

And that is why I stopped going to his gigs.

While everyone else is gushing about how great Bryan is and how amazing it must be to have a musician for a husband and they make comments and wait for me to praise Bryan right along with them, I find myself just smiling, nodding my head and saying "Yes, he's really great. It's wonderful."

He is and it is. It's not their fault that they don't understand that every gig, every conversation about lyrics, every gig planning session and every time we sit down to run the numbers that it all brings up that night and those promises. It brings up the pain of following through with something regardless of what you sacrifice for it. It brings up that he hasn't done the same and that I try not to let that matter. When I see Bryan play music I am simultaneously happy and pained about it. How amazing must it be to live ones dream. How amazing must it be to have a spouse that sacrifices for the good of the other. How amazing must it be to watch your child grow by day and do what you love by night.

On any ordinary day, I can deal with it. I'm authentic in my desire to see Bryan take music as far as it'll go. But in my heart, I have the pain of broken promises, I have the weight of making a promise that I probably shouldn't have but can't go back on, the worry of an uncertain future. In my heart I hold the loss of my dreams while holding the support for his. I have the day-to-day struggle of living with and supporting a musician. People see the show, the performance, but they don't connect it to the hard work Bryan puts into it or what our family experiences in pursuit of a dream.

Being the wife of a musician is an amazing experience. But remember that the next time that you see her, sitting at a table alone or with friends, working the sales table, chatting up perfect strangers, remember that at that moment she is living his dream and to do that, she may have had to give up quite a few of her own.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The State of Blogging

I've been reading blogs for a long time. I've also been writing my own blog for a long time. We've come to an interesting place as both readers and writers. Readers are starting to lose the blogs that they love. A lot of writers are closing up shop. One recently that I was devastated to lose was Young House Love. They are just one of many.

If you are an avid reader like I am, you may have also started to notice the shift in the way writers are writing. Many have 'click to tweet' buttons that are perfectly formed "bait" sentences that readers can share. Typically they represent the heart of the post. It's a good way for readers to save something they love while also bringing in potential traffic to the blog. 

It doesn't necessary bother me when I see it. I mean, it's typical that people share a post while extracting a quote from it. This can make it easier for the reader, which as a writer, is good in many ways. I might have a slight eyeroll because I feel like there is a growing trend of writers that are specifically writing in order to.. go viral? Maybe?

I notice it a lot. I'm sure we've all experienced the pinterest hooks, where we see an image and we click on it and it's crap. 

When I started writing, I didn't write to try to build a blog business. I'm not a good decorator, I can't build things. While I may be able to help you get on a budget (even though I suck at maintaining my own) or point you in a direction for makeup, I didn't build my blog on either of those things. I didn't build my blog on anything other than... my life. 

It's rare that I even share a written post on my personal Facebook. It feels weird. I have many friends on social media that shove their new business ventures down our throats and I don't want to be that person. Also, this isn't how I make my living. I don't need this to support my family so maybe that is where the difference truly lies. 

I do know this, there are many bloggers who are still going at it in a way that I respect, for whatever that means. Many of the bloggers I follow do it not because they have to, but because they love writing. They love sharing their lives, their strengths and passions with others. They may not have to do it for the money so the authenticity is there. 

That's important to me. And while we have had some casualties, like Young House Love, there are also some blogs that have grown brighter. 

Here are a few bloggers that in my opinion haven't lost their voice, even if it has grown and matured over the years. Many blog about their life, only two have a very specific focus (Which I've noted below).  

Bye Bye Pie (Warning: Language)
Thrifty Decor Chick (Home Decor)
Flourish in Progress (Warning: Language)
An Inch of Gray
Graceful Order (Home Organization)

Who are your favorite bloggers and have you noticed the same trend I have?