Friday, October 1, 2021

The Last 8 Days

Hi all and welcome to October! September was busy and then it was bad and now here we are. I want to go back and fill in early September because it was wonderful- we surprised my mom for her 65th birthday and the kids met their newest, tiniest cousins and James and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary and the 20th anniversary of our first date. Claire had her first dance, Landon had a girl ask him out, and Cora played her first outdoor soccer game and scored her first goal! Maggie loved us through all of it.
There is and was so. much. good.
Also in September I applied for a promotion that was very wanted and much anticipated. A few interview rounds later and I found out I was not selected and it was such a devastating blow. I'm not going to get into the work part, but on the personal side, I just want to capture a few of the brutiful snippets of life that followed.
Cora was quietly working on her homework on my bed while I finished out my work day and received the call with the news. She looked up, saw my face fall, and whispered, "you didn't get it?". I shook my head and she quietly and carefully set down her work, got off the bed, and walked over to give me a long, quiet hug while I continued the call and it was such a source of genuine comfort.

Later, when the big kids were dropped off at home, I heard Cora run out the front door and knew she was probably warning them of the news, since they'd burst in the house to ask me for an update each day that week, and she didn't want me to have to answer. Landon walked in and says with an encouraging nod, "I'm sorry mom. Okay, so it's time to talk about our options? Let's talk about it at dinner." Claire immediately cried out, "but I don't want to move!" and Landon interjects with "Claire, can we talk in your room?".

Ten minutes later, Claire walked into my bedroom office with a house she'd found in another city I'd semi-jokingly said we'd move to if I didn't get the new role. "We can move mom, it's fine! I want you to be happy and I might even get my own room!" (Note: I don't actually think we're moving, but man do my children love me.)

James wasn't home yet, so he had no idea, and I just can't tell you how wonderful it is to feel such love and outrage and "we'll figure this out together"-ness from your own only semi-grown children. I cried my eyes out after they left for swimming, but their support and empathy for me was just another side of how much I love this little family of ours.

And then James himself was utterly pitch perfect. I got to feel all my feelings, he was here for ALL of them, we had some really good talks that even got into his as-yet-unshared feelings when he lost his job back in 2012, and eventually I almost got mad that he wasn't giving me anything to get mad at him for and he exclaimed, "Oh! We've moved to anger now! Great! You can yell at me if you want." And so of course I couldn't.

My family sent flowers. My sister dictated the expletive-filled card to a florist who refused to transcribe it. I reached out to mentors, friends sent cookies, and I gave myself space.

James and I went out for a date night on Friday - not the celebratory night I envisioned, but lovely as always to sit and talk with my favorite person.
On Saturday I taught my yoga class (I'm teaching a new 6-week yoga series at Urban Yoga, it's also available on the streaming service for you to take live or at your convenience later on. The studio has a $25 unlimited monthly streaming membership if anyone is interested! You could fit in the remaining 5 classes in one month. I get to wave at one blog reader already - hi Amanda!) and then took Cora to her soccer game.
A soccer game at which she tripped, fell, and broke her arm. Because the Universe was still mad at me and decided to drag her into it.
We went immediately to urgent care where they confirmed the break and set her up in a soft cast until we could get into the orthopedist.
We got into the ortho on Tuesday where she got her giant purple hard cast that has been considerably more comfortable for her than the soft one.
She's doing great, remains cheerful, and is enjoying the attention of everyone helping her at school and wanting to sign her cast.
In the days between the break and the cast, I managed to treat myself to a BBL facial and personal stylist shopping appointment at Nordstrom, both optimistically scheduled prior to knowing The News, but kept anyway because retail therapy is real and I decided I was still worth it.

I love a good laser facial and my skin was glowing the day after this one. This was my first time getting one at a doctor's office instead of a medical spa and they had a new machine that was painless, quick, and very effective. Big fan. I'm not wearing face makeup below and resisted the urge to put a filter on the photo.
The personal shopping appointment was really great. I've gained about 10 lbs in these Covid Times and they don't seem to be disappearing (then again, neither is Covid) and rather than continuing to get depressed and be mean to myself whenever I put on clothes, I decided to bring in a third party with a new eye and fresh perspective on what fits and flatters me.

the outfit I wore to the appointment, which I picked out all by myself

The appointment is free and the stylist reached out to me a few days in advance for sizing, preferences, needs, etc. When I arrived she had already pulled a number of items into a large dressing room and then we worked from there.

I tried on many things and ultimately selected the following items, all of which I really love, and some of which I actually really needed:

(1) Nordstrom Everyday Skinny Fit Stretch Cotton Ankle Pants. Kind of boring, but I didn't actually own black dress/work pants, because I'm terribly about buying staples and these are so flattering and comfortable and I really love them.
(2) Halogen Suplice Blouson Top. This is probably the only top I would have picked out myself without help and while I tried to stay away from things I could have found myself, I loved this one enough to buy it anyway. It's comfortable and flattering and looks great with the new black work pants or the white jeans I wore it with to lunch this week.
(3) KUT from the Kloth Jasmine Top. I would never have selected this top to try on and I just adore it. The colors are so pretty and it's so light and gauzy.
(4) Free People Gather Print Turtle Neck. This was the 2nd biggest surprise find and another I would have NEVER thought to wear. But it is so cute and so light and I just really love it. It looks great casual with jeans or under a blazer.
(5) Halogen Open Front Long Blazer. And speaking of, I didn't have a blazer that fit and now I do and this one is really flattering and light and still gives me a decent shape.

(I also forgot to take a picture in it because I knew I was going to buy it; the rest of these were snapped to send my sister and mom to assist me in my selections, though they mostly just wanted me to buy everything :)

(6) Finally, and I don't have a link for this one because it's not online yet, this dress that I scoffed at when I saw it in the dressing room - no way would I look good in a high neck, high waisted, bottom flounced, animal print dress.
And then, I just completely fell in love. It has a big tie in the back up at the neck and it is so pretty and makes me smile everything I think about it. No idea where I'll wear it yet, but it was my one fully indulgent, "this dress makes me feel amazing and I'll figure the rest out later" purchase and I have no regrets.
My parents stopped by on their drive up to Colorado and then Utah (they're doing much of the same trip we just did!) and I only took one picture- mostly to memorialize the fact that this is how Landon sprawls on the couch every night to chat with James and me. Sometimes he's completely upside down, but he's never fully rightside up and I stopped even noticing it until I saw him "sitting" next to my dad while they were chatting away. 14 remains a complete goddamn delight of an age.
And finally, I capped off Day 8 by chopping off 8" of my hair and I think I love it?
I haven't had hair this short in at least 15 years, so it's a bit of a shock, but it feels lighter and easier and I'm here for both of those things.
So that's where I'm at.

Landon is off to his first middle school dance tonight (he's vaccinated, it's outdoors, he voluntarily changed into a fresh shirt for the occasion), Claire playing with some new friends (she is THRIVING in middle school and loving every minute), and Cora and her broken arm are drawing Halloween scenes to tape onto our windows (it's her left arm and she's right-handed, thankfully). I have chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove, Great British Baking Show on TV (new season!), and two cats and a bulldog within a non-broken arm's reach. James will be home soon and we'll watch the new Ted Lasso episode when the kids are in bed. I'm still sad, but that's okay, because things are also really good and I've learned I can embrace both of those feelings at the same time.


  1. While it's so nice to read an update from you, I was disheartened to read that you got rejected for the job promotion, especially since I seem to recall that you had previously applied for a promotion and didn't get it (I think?), so I appreciate how devastating this must be, especially considering how hard you work. Thanks for sharing the downs (in addition to the ups) of your life; it's so much more engaging and interesting to see the "whole" person represented on a blog rather than a carefully curated version of the person. Best of luck with the path forward! And was the new city Chicago????

  2. So sorry to hear the job news 😔 thank you for sharing your life with us 💛 and that dress looks 🔥 on you!! So glad you got it.

  3. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the promotion. Your little family group reminds me so much of my little family team. I know that promotion is tricky in civil service and I’m sure in the private sector you’d be rising faster than you can say boo. Not saying that to make you feel like you should be in the private sector - just want you to know that it’s obvious that you are awesome.

  4. Ugh. I’m so sorry. I had the same thing happen to me earlier this month and I was devastated. I’m still feeling a little bitter about it. I’d scheduled myself a celebratory SF box and then sent everything back (and found the pieces I loved on resale sites for $40 or $50 cheaper to fit my not so padded budget). I like your idea MUCH better. I’d told Myself I’d hire a house cleaner after I got the new position - And then decided to do it anyway. Best money I’ve ever spent on myself.

    I hope Cora’s arm heals quickly!!

  5. A friend told me once, when I was struggling with not getting a job I wanted (and felt exceptionally qualified for) that “the path to success is rarely linear.” That’s been really helpful for me as I meander a very non-linear trajectory. I love that your kids were so awesome, and that dress is basically a cure-all for everything. I say wear it weekly!

  6. I'm so sorry you didn't get your promotion. 3 years ago same thing happened and I was really very disheartened. And I've just been promoted now into that same job. I feel like this time around everything was exactly right. My boss tells me weekly how amazing he thinks I'm doing and honestly, I have wondered if I needed to only get it now?

    Anyway, it's super discouraging and my heart breaks for you. I'm so happy your family is so thoughtful and caring xx

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about the promotion. Maybe it’s time to change companies? Anyway. The hair looks great, the skin looks great, and who cares about the 10lbs because you are clearly rocking them.

  8. That kind of disappointment sucks, but your kids and husband rocked it with their responses/support. And I love that you followed through with self-care and being kind to yourself.

  9. Your description of how all of you acted (and the way you wrote about the experience in general) is such an amazing example for any one, any family- you should be so proud of them and yourself, they are lucky to have that example going forward! And I do love the hair!

  10. I'm sorry about the job news; that sucks! I had a similar experience a few years ago and it was really hard (and left me second guessing my career choices). It sounds like you have an incredible support system though, and your strength of character is evident in the way you've handled the news. Here's hoping for better/exciting/positive career news for you and all of us in the future!

  11. I’m so sorry about the promotion. I had a negative job review several months back for my 2020 performance, and it was just terrible. While I wasn’t trying for a promotion, it was a very humbling experience, and I came close to switching gears and quitting entirely. For what it’s worth, I’ve had quite a few validating, encouraging things happen since that make me see that negative experience for what it was…a fluke and low point in a career that will naturally ebb and flow. I hope that this experience is the same for you, and that the peaks that follow this valley are positive and uplifting. (And also, what great lessons to teach your kids! I kept all my work drama from my kids, and now wish I had tried to reach them some of these lessons along the way.)

  12. I’m so sorry about the job. I know what it’s like. In the immediate, i hope you will draw boundaries to ensure work/life balance and allow time to yourself.

    You don’t have to make any major career decisions right now. It’s ok to give it some time for the dust to settle before making any moves. It’s also ok to make a move immediately! You know what’s right for you.

    Either way you deserve to feel valued and rewarded for your hard work and contributions. Your readers see how many hours you’re putting in and we are all behind you!

  13. I was crying just a few paragraphs in. Those precious kids are beautiful souls. And so are you! To be honest, I’m dumb founded bc who the hell wouldn’t want more of you & your beautiful skills, but in the meantime I hope you see how amazing you are!

  14. I think you need to keep the kids.

    I think, in the long run, civil service works out better for working women. What do you think?

    After many years of getting virtually every job Iapplied for, I hit a wall and was totally unprepared for it. like, again and again. recenty, I have twice been hired but turned the job down myself once I read the contract. Very disconcerting when you figure out you will lose money if you work where you have to pay your own expenses-- and the employer is upset at you! I am building stamina to get back at it...soon.

  15. I was so sad for you about the promotion but your kids are just great! What a team you have behind you.

  16. 1) You look great in your new outfits!
    2) I am so sorry about the job situation. I WOULD promote you in a heartbeat if I could.
    3) Missed reading your posts, happy you are back!

  17. I am so sorry to hear about the job. You seem like an amazing, hard-working, dedicated professional, and I am so mad on your behalf that they are not rewarding you appropriately for that. But oh my goodness your sweet kids' responses totally made me cry. You are clearly winning at parenting even if feels like you are not winning at work, and if you can only have one of those wins, that is definitely the more important one! Wishing you lots of future wins of all kinds!

  18. That haircut is STUNNING! Being a lawyer is a horrible mind f*ck but you are awesome and amazing!

  19. Love the hair!! Hang in there and love your story of resilience even in the face of disappointment. <3

  20. Thank you for sharing so honestly both the ups and downs. I think a lot of us struggle to imagine other people aren’t killing it all the time. It’s such a comfort (though I’m heartbroken for you) to see others try their absolute best and don’t always “win” either. Thank you for being you- the world needs it ❤️