I AM ALIVE

Apparently I only like to post here A) about once a year and B) when we get a bajillion inches of snow.

Here’s a picture I took on Monday morning:

So now you know why I’m here. JR had Monday off for Presidents Day, and then school was closed for snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. They’re closed tomorrow as well, and since it’s only going to be about 3 degrees for the rest of the week, I think he and I will be likes peas-and-carrots until Monday morning.

(I love my child, I really do, and I’m grateful for the time with him. But I’m also grateful that bourbon is a thing that exists.)

Anyway, some updates…

I’m happy to report that Ross is still my husband. He brings me a cup of coffee in bed every morning and tells me I’m pretty/smell good every day, which is wonderful of him considering he’s been putting up with my crazy self for almost 12 years. I love and like him very much.

JR turned 6 in November. I’m still recovering.

He’s in kindergarten at our neighborhood school, and he’s doing well, especially now that he knows he doesn’t have to say every thought that pops into his head. His teacher is kind and smart and looks like a Disney princess. We think it’s going to be a great year.

JR loves video games, LEGO, and insisting that he can’t read even though he totally can. He also loves having long hair and doesn’t care that tucking it behind his ear would keep it out of his food. He still lets me kiss him goodbye at school drop-off and prefers for me to cuddle and sing him to sleep every night. I’m grateful for these gestures because I fear that days as the apple of his eye are numbered. That is ok and natural and sad.

I’m still working for our church. Currently two out of the three women in our office are pregnant. I am not one of them. I just make sure the kitchen is stocked with snacks that make neither of them want to throw up.

Running is still one of my favorite things, although an injury to my Achilles tendon last spring/summer and then various illnesses and crazy weather spells have made it hard to keep at it consistently. The Monument Avenue 10k is in a month, and I’m not sure if I’ll be ready. I am sure that I probably won’t die.

I read 35 books in 2014. My goal is to read 40 in 2015, and I’ve already made it up to 11. And yes, I’m counting the chapter books I read aloud to JR because, hey, books are books, dudes.

Shooter and Zapp, our two dogs, are still with us. Shooter is almost 12, and Zapp is 10…ish? Shooter’s eyes are getting cloudy and he’s either going deaf or becoming a real dick because he doesn’t respond to his most of the time we shout it at him. His old age has earned him the right to join us on the couch in the evenings. There he snores and passes gas in the way only a grumpy old dog can. He is still quite handsome. Zapp is still gorgeous and prancy and dumb and incredibly sweet. JR tolerates them most of the time and will occasionally assault them with bursts of affection.

That’s where we are now. I’d love to hear what you all are up to. Hopefully I’ll be back again soon.

Oh hey

Ha! I’m just getting this in under the wire. As you can see, I’m three days shy of not posting here for an entire year.

I supposed I should explain my absence. Up until this week, I wrote a weekly column about parenting. The process of coming up with ideas and then actually writing about those ideas was wonderful but also time consuming and draining; it didn’t leave me with much time or energy to share things here as well.

But! After thinking it over for a while, I decided to pass the column on to someone else. I mean, I’ve been writing about my child for that audience for four years. The idea well was beginning to run dry, and now that JR is five (!!!), I feel like our expiration date for over-sharing on the Internet was getting dangerously close.

So here we are. I’m hoping to pop over here more often now that I’m no longer feeling crushed by a weekly deadline. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m feeling good about it.

These dreams…

When I first went on Zoloft, I started experiencing some CRAY-ZEE intense dreams. They were extraordinarily weird, usually involved some sort of disaster (natural, personal, professional, you name it) and seemed to go on forever. I would wake up exhausted because of what my brain was putting me through as I slept.

However, now that things have balanced out a bit, I’ve swung to the other extreme. On the nights I do dream (which aren’t as often), my dreams are about such everyday things that I have a really hard time distinguishing between them and real life. Not that the events of these dreams would be worth bringing up in conversation, but still.

Some examples are:

1. Making iced coffee over and over again.
2. Drying my hair.
3. Fixing the thermostat.
4. Folding JR’s laundry.
5. Working–not even especially stressful or exciting work. Just regular work where I go about my business, drinking Diet Coke, and making lists.

Part of me is grateful to have such a mellow dream-life. I get myself worked up enough while I’m awake, so the break overnight is probably needed. But it still makes me feel stunningly boring.

Things I’m loving these days

[Here's where I'm supposed to apologize for not posting for almost three damn weeks, but sorry-not-sorry. I've been busy working and parenting and watching lots of television and napping. While I've missed you all, these things are also very important.]

1. Doc Martin. Yes it’s a random British comedy that was recommended to me by my mother-in-law who heard about it from her 80-year-old neighbor, but I love it and I won’t apologize.

2. Suri’ Burn Book. Things like this remind me that the Internet can be a wonderful, wonderful place.

3. Iced coffee. I’ve got two huge jars of the concentrate in my fridge right now and I’m consuming so much of the stuff that I’m usually levitating come 11am. But when done up right it tastes like chocolate ice cream SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?

4. Our new car. I feel like a jackass for putting this on here, but after nature tried to destroy my life, I feel like I’m allowed a little excitement. Ours is gray (“graphite”, actually) and looks much like the Batmobile.

5. This song. All members of the Catrow Family sing their hearts out at the chorus.

6. How JR calls pistachios “mustachios.”

7. He also calls movie theaters “movie laters.” I can’t bring myself to correct him.

“Shut UP, Dawson.”

I have a nice little routine for when I need to work on my parenting column for RVANews.

Each Sunday evening, I go down to the basement (or “retreat to my lair”, as we sometimes call it) and settle in to the couch for an evening of writing…and watching eleventy million episodes of Dawson’s Creek.

Usually it takes me three or four hours to crank out words that aren’t horrible, so I’m witness to perhaps an unhealthy dose of Capeside drama each and every week. And it’s made me realize something.

Dawson. You suck.

I mean, I knew this to a certain degree when I watched the show off and on during it’s original run–especially when you compared him to the force that is/was/will always be Pacey Whitter. But watching the show now, with more mature and experienced eyes, I now understand that Dawson’s not just a angsty teen. He’s also just a jerk.

A big, giant, cry baby jerk:

I really don’t have anything else to say about this, other than “PACEY RULES, DAWSON RULES.”

(This post was brought to you buy the year 1998 and an extreme lack of sleep.)

Listening to (over and over again)


Her voice. Her accent. Good LORD.


How can you not love a song that makes such a simple and wonderful promise as “You’ll be happy”? (FYI: She does kind of shout a couple variations of the F-word, but you’ll be ok, I think.)


Fiona Apple, where you been, girl? Also: Tidal, her debut album, came out ALMOST 16 YEARS AGO. Also also: I bet I still know every word to every single song on that album.

What are you listening to, folks?

Accent vlog: My big face and dumb voice

I figured you all could use a break from cop-out posts of pictures and links to other things. So I’m giving you my big face and dumb voice! (As the title of this post suggests.)

I explain the whole reason why I’m subjecting you to these things in the actual video, so you can watch it to find out. But here are three things I learned from watching it myself…

1. When I am uncomfortable with a word (for whatever reason) I MUST say it in a weird way. For example, I don’t *really* say “blog” as “blaaaaahg.” I mean, I do, but it’s on purpose. Because I just do.
2. I am possibly a bad daughter?
3. My mouth moves funny when I talk.

Ok, so here’s the video. Isn’t the freeze frame fantastic?

Here’s the deal if you want to make your own…

The instructions are to say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?