Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Anxiety and the Anti-Hero

Thank goodness this month has 31 days or there's no way I'd get a whole SECOND post in. I have a lot of catch-up: Mother's Day, a visit from my parents, the fully finished backyard, our new couch that is like a cloud but better, the finished game room, the kids' last day of school, Maggie being perfect, and the cats being cats, but I feel called to talk about why I think I'm living so much more in the moment of our every day. I'm writing less, which does make me sad, but sleeping more. Loving more. Being more. There is so much about this year that is and has been extraordinarily HARD. On every front--personal, professional, marital, parental, physical, emotional--all of the fronts that there are and all of them have had their moments of hard. And yet, I have never felt better, more grounded, more loved, more loving.

And this is really all thanks to antidepressants. There's no other way to put it. It's better living through chemistry and I feel compelled to tell you about it.
As I've written before, I never thought I had anxiety. Not because I thought of having anxiety as bad or weak or somehow less, but simply because I wasn't anxious. I wasn't a worrier. New things excited me. Long to do lists made me ready to seize the day. Plans were my favorite and last minute changes in plans were my second favorite. I was an under-worrier about the kids and if I've learned anything it's that perhaps I should have worried a little more. I always saw the best case scenario and felt confident I could handle the worst case if it presented itself so there was no need to worry about it in advance.

I also slept horribly. I obsessed on things that happened years ago that made me sad that I couldn't fix but would catch my brain in unending thought-loops anyway. When I felt like things were slipping I was an absolute asshole to the person I love most. I could feel myself get tight and mean when there was a lot to do and I felt like I was the only one shouldering the responsibility to do it. Now that I pay attention, I can feel my heartrate rising in those moments. My patience thinner, my irritation higher, and my ability to handle the situation made a million times worse by KNOWING there was no reason to feel or act that way but being unable to stop. This isn't me, I'd think. Does it matter? said the person who bore the brunt of it all, if it's who you're being?

No, I finally realized, it didn't matter. In the words of my personal Poet Laureate, it's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me.

Therapy changed my life in helping me get over some things that were hurting me long past the time period they deserved and helped me better love my beloved. It helped with anxiety, but I remained unaware (or unwilling to be aware) of how much my anxiety was still affecting me. I thought I was on a sufficient dose of anti-depressant and I cruised along, better in so many ways, but still working way too hard to NOT do what I could now see and feel were destructive things. When we moved to Dallas, we had a mental health crisis with one of the kids and found a psychiatrist who helped so much. It finally occured to me that perhaps I didn't have to be stuck in a position of being able to see a problem, moderate it, apologize for it, but not actually STOP it. It hadn't occurred to me before that something could help me do that.

An increase in dosage and several months later and the change has been genuinely life-altering. As my doctor said, it's not supposed to be that hard to act in a way that is consistent with who you are. It's not supposed to take teeth-gritting effort to NOT get in your own way. I am the most me I've been in a very long time and it has affected every area of my personal life.

For one, I sleep. I sleep so well. Rather than delay what I know will be a frustrating 1-8 hours spent trying to sleep by staying up late reading or writing or watching another episode of whatever show we're on, I EMBRACE bed. I go to bed FIRST. Bed is my favorite. On the weekends if I'm lounging on our outdoor couch in the screened-in porch and I feel my breath slow and my eyes get heavy, I nap. I nap even though I'm not pregnant or super sick. I have never done that--never been able to do that--in my entire life. For the first time in at least 30 years I'm getting 8 hours of sleep at night and you guys, it is incredible.

We moved - TWICE! - and traveled a lot and I have been exactly the person I want to be in the lead up to every one of those events. I have been able to be the person who I AM. I have handled the lists, the packing, the logistics in the way that is true to me- embraced them, handled them, planned them, and executed them with a steady heartrate and minimal yelling. Now if I yell at anyone, it's on purpose. It turns out then I can use my words, when I can say, hey, tomorrow is going to be stressful and I can feel my anxiety about it, please help me manage it by not making me feel like everything is dependent on me, magic happens. My partner can partner me. Rather than alienating myself through my own behavior, I can now be embraced, loved, supported. And being loved makes me more lovable. It's the best of feedback loops and the polar opposite of where I often found myself before.

This transformation of self has been well timed, since the last year has also been the year I've needed to feel the most... complete and whole with myself and my little family. We left our friends and social circle in Fort Worth and moved to a new city full of preexisting social circles with multiple kids big enough to make their own friends completely free of any connection to me. I lateraled into an office where I'd never worked and had few connections. We moved into a rental house with no connections and then a street with tight preexisting connections and we are outside of all of them. People have been wonderful and we're slowly growing ties here, but there's no doubt I have not had a year of adult life with fewer parties or casual get-togethers, and while that would normally send my extroverted FOMO-filled self spiraling, it's been... okay. Our kids are older and full people in their own right. They're fun and funny and we adore them. We've done more together in the last year than we have since they were tiny and it's been so nice. Landon will only live with us for three more years and I'm so grateful for the peace I've felt when it's just the five of us.

This August will mark 22 years that James and I have been together and I honestly don't think I've ever liked him more. I've never loved him more either - he's the best partner I could possibly imagine and has taken up the mantle in running our family more seamlessly than I would have imagined, but I also just LIKE him so much. I get so excited when I see him, when we get to be together, when it's just us hanging out in our fluffy chairs in our room, or cuddling on our now much bigger couch, or watching our kids play in the pool. He's my favorite and he's more my favorite than I thought anyone or anything could ever be. I used to think our first year of dating, or our first year of marriage, were our greatest years ever, but I think this one might just top them. I'm a much better wife and he's able trust me in a way he sometimes couldn't before and we're a million times better for it.

I think we're all on a life-long journey to figure ourselves out. At 40, with thousands of blog posts written and thousands more nights spent spiraling in my own mind, I feel like I'm just now getting to see who I really am, and I like her an awful lot. Thanks for reading along.

Sunday, May 14, 2023


As usual, all intentions towards blogging fell by the wayside and here we are, two weeks later, with me at the kitchen table, watching Hamilton on Disney+ with the girls, wondering what all we've done over the past two weeks.
I know last Saturday I went out to our beautiful new patio (or cattio, as we call it, since Milo has adopted it as his own personal palace) in the morning when the boys were at a swim meet and the girls were sleeping. I had my laptop, fresh cup of tea, and a Milo, but somehow my laptop immediately went on the ground and I started re-reading a book (the finale of Kresley Cole's Arcana series which she FINALLY finished; I flew through it and then had to re-read it twice to make sure I didn't miss anything and while I loved it I also still can't decide how I feel about it) and then an hour went by and the lazy portion of my day was over. No regrets, but this is why I never get to write anymore.
The final pieces of the pool, patio, and landscaping are coming together. It's rained every day for the last million days, so some final projects have been delayed (like the string lights that need to be hung, our pool shelf chairs that couldn't be delivered in the pouring rain this week), but I love it so much.
The kids are outside ALL THE TIME. They're playing soccer and putt putt and jumping in the pool and I'm realizing we missed having a pool and backyard for the last year even more than I thought. And I thought we missed it A LOT.
We eat dinner on the patio every night, the fan keeping the increasing temperatures tolerable, and the kids play and giggle in the pool and on the turf after dinner while James and I chat in the bug-free safety of the screened in porch. There's something deeply grounding about being in fresh air.
In other finishing touches, I got a new (faux) tree for our entryway and Landon named him Peter and I feel like he's really happy here.
This is my favorite little part of our new home (besides the cattio). I adore that console, I love the piece of art I bought from a Spanish artist before we ever knew we'd move to Dallas, I love the little brass butterfly that was my Grandma Jo's, I love the books and faux orchid I can't kill and the picture of my favorite humans and the glass bowl we got as a wedding gift from my dearest family friends that was the first and still only thing I've ever gotten from Tiffany in that gorgeous blue box. Every bit of this makes me happy.
I've realized that all my pictures are generally of Cora because she's the only one still tied to our schedule and phones while her big siblings gallivant about East Dallas with their friends. So here's Cora at Landon and James's swim meet last Sunday:
I told her and Claire they couldn't have any electronics, so it was old fashioned coloring and bracelet making. I'd show the picture of Claire who did not at all initially appreciate this gift of a cord-free day I was giving her, but I don't think she'd appreciate it and she did come around and spend a big chunk of the swim meet drawing cute animals with Cora and making up stories about them.
Also on Sunday, Cora participated in the White Rock Games with some friends from her school. They were the "Hot Cheetos" team and Cora was VERY EXCITED to get to run against her peers. She really, really likes to run.
It was a HUGE event, I had no idea, and after many rounds, she ultimately came out with the silver medal for the 50 yard dash against at least 100 other kids. It was awesome and she was so excited.
And, crazy story, the 3rd grade girl who won the gold medal turned out to be the daughter of the couple who hosted me when I attended The University of Chicago Law School Admitted Students Weekend in April 2005. I kept watching him in the stands cheering for his running and thinking, I know that guy.... But I've met so many people in the last year- through work and networking and having three children in three new schools- that I couldn't get a lock on why I knew him. Finally, I just yelled out the name I thought it might be- a call back from 18 years ago, when I was newly engaged and he was newly married, and his head turned and he said, "Rebecca?".

It's nice to know I look enough of the same. It was great to catch up - he's now GC of a pretty big company and has 3 girls, one of whom Cora is now dreaming of racing again. Life is a complex tapestry and I love when old threads pop back up again.

(That picture isn't relevant, Maggie just really likes our new law chairs and looks forward to sunning herself in style all summer.)

As I mentioned I have almost no pictures of Claire or Landon, but I did save this text because it is the PERFECT encapsulation of life with an almost-teenager who has a phone. I need an auto response for "I'm at work" and "Text your dad." But I also get tons of "I love you" memes and gifs and random, deep updates into her day and life and if texts about chips are the price I pay for the good stuff, I'll take it.
(Takis are a neon orange spicy chip that I find disgusting and my kids adore; I buy them for birthday parties and that's about it.)

My beloved Bonnie came by last weekend to style me for more of Spring. Her album of outfits is my fashion Bible every morning as I pick out something to wear.

A film student at SMU had asked to feature her in a film project, so this visit involved the film student, a bunch of equipment, and her assitant Ayron and my house, closet, and clothes were so honored ot be part of the project. Bonnie is amazing and I'm so proud of the business she has built based on her talent and enthusiasm for fashion and making women feel amazing.

I'm sharing this video in spite of the fact that I CLEARLY had no idea I'd be on film just because I'm so proud of Bonnie and I love how her work makes me feel at my work.
(Those Sarah Flint Perfect Emma shoes are the workhorses of my closet. One of my best investments ever.) In other highlights, I JUST LEARNED, literally on Friday, that our fridge- this fridge that came with this house we bought seven months ago and is one of the great loves of my life, has a secret interior water dispenser!
I've been walking over to the sink every time I want to fill my glass after getting ice from the freezer. Seven months! Even worse, my husband and children figured this out two months ago and no one told me. In their defense, they "thought I already knew because I always know everything."
It's now Sunday and I'm doing my favorite thing, which is spending time alone downstairs before anyone else wakes up, drinking tea, petting the pets, and savoring this space and home where we are slowly growing roots.

Happiest Mother's Day to all my mama readers. To mother is a verb and it is expressed in so very many ways. I plan to celebrate by watching James and Landon assemble the last of our outdoor furniture, making everyone join me in a family bike ride, finally getting to see the card Cora has been laboring in secret over for the past week, opening a present I know James bought because he told me not to check the credit card app, and eating a delicious dinner he is going to cook while I sip champagne by the pool and watch my ducklings swim. I can't wait for everyone else to wake up so we can get started!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

5 on a Friday (er, Saturday) (actually, Sunday)

Copying the theme of great bloggers before me, I thought I'd catch up on things non-Taylor Swift with a quick hits list. Here are five random things I thought were worth covering when I sat down just now, without my emotional support work laptop because our firm is updating some systems this weekend and I had to leave it in the office which is something I've never done since I re-joined and it's acutely uncomfortable. Yes I can login with this personal laptop if I had to, but it's not the same. Milo is holding me for comfort.
Anyway, I just sat down to watch the latest episode of Top Chef Season 20, which is generally the highlight of my Friday evening, post-work and pre-boys getting home from swimming, and thought I should blog! I should blog while I sit alone on the couch with popcorn, Top Chef, cat, and my non-work laptop. So here we go, five things on a Friday!

1. A foyer full of boxes. After months of having boxes everywhere in the house - moving boxes, furniture boxes, Amazon boxes, and more - we've finally had a nice clean foyer for the last several weeks. Until last week when I ordered all our new patio furniture and it arrived on the same day.
Our backyard isn't done yet, but we thought it would be soon, so James and Landon go to work assembling the furniture while the girls and I were at the Taylor Swift concert.
Landon questioned his life choices (I offered him a ticket).
But then we got rain every day forever and the backyard still isn't done so we have a million chair options in our living room. Milo appreciates them.
2. Lake walks. I love so much about our new city, new neighborhood, and new home, but I think perhaps my favorite thing about it is living near a beautiful lake and getting to walk along it almost every day.
Any day it's not raining, or I'm not waking up in another city, I walk 3-5 miles along the path with my 50 lb bulldog in her stroller.
I listen to podcasts: Pod Save America, The West Wing Weekly, We Can Do Hard Things, I smile at the people who smile at Maggie, and I admire the wildlife. This is our first Spring here and the baby ducks and abundance of birds has been so fun. In the evenings, while Claire is at rowing and the boys are at swimming, Cora and I will often ride our bikes around the lake looking for Claire. When I go on my morning walks I walk very fast- faster than some people run, but with Cora, even though we're on bikes, we cover ground slowly. We stop often.
We talk about the ducklings and the birds and the trees and that one dog that just walked by. Since I've already had my walk I let Cora set the pace of this outing and it is a delight. She is a bright soul and I like seeing the world through her eyes.

3. Cora's art. Speaking of Cora, she is our independent child who often spends hours on her own in her room, always busy, never looking for input or collaboration.
At the moment she is working on a "Peace Place." She has yet to explain what precisely that is, but it is beautiful and she is working very hard. She did show me her list of things she's going to draw for it and it is, in true Cora fashion, incredibly detailed. She will follow it to the letter, because this is Cora, and then she will start a new project.

4. Wine/cooking. Now that we don't have Becca in our lives any more (we miss you Becca!), James researches, shops for, preps, and cooks all of our meals. It's been an interesting adjustment- he is allergic to planning more than 6 hours in advance, so he goes to the grocery store everyday and I have to bite my tongue a lot for the sheer inefficiency of it, but it works and he does it well, and I'm not the one cooking.

Last week he decided to make a vegan walnut lentil bolognese. He called as he and Landon were headed to swimming to let me know it was simmering and to stir it when I got home.

James:"Oh, I used some of that wine you had in the pantry because the recipe needed a cup."

Me: "We don't have any wine in the pantry right now."

James: Huh, well there was a bottle and I opened it.
Oh. THAT wine. It was the $300 bottle of wine I won at a business development event and was saving for a special occasion, which turned out to be last Tuesday night.

The bolognese was incredibly delicious, and should you choose to make it, I think it would still be delicious even with much cheaper wine.

5. Newcomer of the Year. Landon's high school swim banquet was this past week and it was earnest and adorable and full of nostalgia for me remembering my own high school swim banquets.
Landon was awarded Newcomer of the Year, which made his ears turn pink and he waved to everyone from his seat at a table instead of going up to the get the award until his friends finally made him.
The seniors gave their speeches, which were emotional and wonderful and again full of memories for me. High school swimming is so wonderful and remains one of the brightest spots of my life. The seniors also give silly "paper plate awards" to every member of the team, and this year Landon and his best buddy got the annual "Best Bromance" award.
Forever thankful to this sweet extrovert who adopted Landon in the first week of school and decided they'd be friends. The slideshow was filled with photos I hadn't seen of Landon and I was particularly struck by this one, and asked the senior parents who put it together if I could get a copy.
I'm good at living in the moment, and we are, but sometimes it takes my breath away that he'll leave this house in 3 years.

And now it's Sunday. I'm sitting at our new table in the screened-in porch finally finishing this post I started Friday. James and I decided to go on an impromptu date that night, so I had to go change and didn't go back to my laptop. Then yesterday we had a family work day, finishing the furniture assembly and setting up the porch. We now have a couch in the screened-in area and I adore it so much I accidentally fell asleep on it for nearly 2 hours yesterday afternoon when I sat down to finish this post. Milo has since taken up my post.
It's been a wonderful weekend- full of little projects and no big plans. And now- it's off to my walk! Happy Sunday everyone.

Sunday, April 23, 2023


Friends, I tried to be practical and frugal after I was initially not selected by the Ticketmaster gods to buy tickets to any of the Taylor Swift Dallas shows. It's okay, I decided, it's been an expensive year, the girls have never been to a concert so they don't know what they're missing and we never do big crowded things. This is fine. I planned my birthday Rice Ladies trip to Colorado for the same weekend and didn't think about it again.

Then everyone I know went to one of the Dallas shows and I was filled with crushing regret. Not for my trip- that was a highlight of my year, but I felt like this concert was one of those moments where whatever the cost and hassle, you're just glad you went. And so I jumped on the internet, decided we didn't really need to landscape our front yard this year, and bought three tickets to one of the Houston shows coming up in two weeks. Middle of the stadium, halfway up, directly in front of the stage. They cost a ridiculous amount, but I hadn't been to a concert since 2006 and the girls had never been and I decided this was every concert and sporting event we've never taken them to because we're bad about planning things that involve local hassles.

We told the girls a week later. They flipped. I booked us a hotel room north of Houston, on what would be our drive back home to Dallas. On Friday I checked them out of school early and we road tripped down I-45, playing a 4 hour "Road to Taylor" playlist Claire had made.
We stopped at Five Guys (Claire's favorite restaurant) for an early dinner, checked into our hotel, changed, and continued on to NRG Stadium. Claire wore an old pair of white shorts I no longer fit into, my favorite pink silk top, my earrings, my necklace, and most of my makeup. I can't believe how grown up and teenagerish she's looking, my little 12 year old Clairebear.
We parked on the street near the stadium and followed the crowds streaming in.

There were lines and crowds and a palpable buzz from thousands of people who were VERY EXCITED to be there. It was wonderful.
We checked out the merch, bought snacks, and found our seats. They were amazing.

The group to Claire's left were four friends in their early-20's who could NOT have been more excited to be there. They adopted Claire for the night and she danced and sang with the best of them. Everyone around us - moms with kids, moms with mom friends, 20-somethings, 30-somethings, dads with delighted daughters, EVERYONE, was just so excited. The show hadn't started yet and we already knew it was going to be worth every penny.

And then Taylor came out, to screams and tears and explosions of joy all around us.
She performed 44 songs over 3+ hours and it was simply incredible. The show, the graphics, the design, her costumes and costume changes, the sets, her songs, her voice, her little talks between them... it was a core memory I'll never forget. Both the actual show, but also watching the girls watch it.
Claire danced and sang and screamed and cried the entire time. Cora sang to the songs she knew, smiled through the ones she didn't, and true to the Cora that she is, announced she was done about halfway through because it was time to go to bed. She still enjoyed it - loved it, she said, and she does NOT exaggerate just to be nice - but if she could have curled up on the floor of the stadium for a 30 minute nap and then popped back up for the last hour, she absolutely would have done so. I went and got her a funnel cake instead, which seemed to do the trick.
We walked back to the car, retelling our favorite parts, and drove back to the hotel. Cora was asleep before the car was in drive. Claire made it 10 more minutes and then she was out. We got to the hotel about 1:15 a.m., both girls were sleepily agreeable to transferring themselves to the bed from my car and we all passed out. It was the best night ever.

We woke up around 8 the next morning, enjoyed the hotel breakfast, and did some shopping for summer clothes since I had them stuck with me for the next several hours and drove back to Dallas, arriving just in time to hug our boys before they headed out for a swim meet.

Another day later and I'm still just buzzing from the whole thing. It was an EXTRAORDINARY concert. I don't know that any other will ever top it. She is an amazing performer, a talented artist, and a brilliant businesswoman. Cheering her on with my girls was something I will simply never forget, and I know they won't either. No regrets. We'll make the front yard look nicer next year.

Sunday, April 16, 2023


I am so behind in blogging- St. Lucia seems incredibly far away and it's been non-stop action since then.
So I typed that first line 3.5 weeks ago and never managed anything further. As an example of why, this past week found me in Chicago for Monday to Wednesday, DC from Wednesday to Thursday, and speaking on a panel in North Dallas on Friday. My carry-on suitcase and I had a wonderful time, but were very glad to be home.
In reviewing this old draft, it seems I managed to upload some photos when I started it in March, so let's go through those to start. Like this random one I guess I took on a family bike ride. I do love those.
We have some house updates! Back then it was that our last little in-house project, the beautiful built-in we added to our game room, was complete! We spent a weekend unpacking the very last boxes in our house, which was soothing to my produtive little soul, and I think it looks so great!
Now I'm just waiting on the last piece of our orange sectional to arrive after the first corner piece was made with the wrong fabric. We're so close!
And, jumping back to present day, our pool, which has been a large hole in the ground since early November, is finished!! It was filled while I was in DC and it looks SO BEAUTIFUL. The final landscaping begins tomorrow and I just spent the morning agonizing over the selection and ordering of patio furniture. We are so, so excited to have a pool back in our lives. Until last summer I hadn't realied how much of our parenting depended on being able to say, "why don't you go for a swim?" or "why don't you invite some friends over to swim?".
We're all excited to have that back in our lives. Cora had two friends over today to swim, Claire had a whole gaggle over yesterday, and Landon had a friend over this afternoon. Maggie and I did have done our path along the lake every day for the last 3 days and she is feeling very fit.
Also something I'm always excited to have in my life- the brilliant Bonnie who came to style me for Spring.
I can't tell you the comfort and ease I get from her little album of outfits. Before a work trip I'll just flip through and pick a few that share the same pieces and bam, there's my packing list. And there's such a confidence that comes from knowing it's an outfit Bonnie put together. I still feel like me, just a more stylish version, and I trust her so implicitly that even when it's an outfit I never would have put together, I still feel like me when I wear them. I feel so lucky to have such expertise and joy in my life. And it has so completely changed how I shop and think about my wardrobe. Instead of buying one "outfit," I buy high quality, longer-lasting "pieces" that combine to form so many outfits. I've slowly reduced the number of items in my closet and I truly love each one of them.
Like this gorgeous silk top that was my Spring treat from Vince. Paired with the black pants from 1.5 years ago and the white Veronica Beard blazer that was my biggest treat of Spring 2022.
I wore that when I gave am in-person talk to a hedge fund last week and it may seem superficial, but clothes matter, and the way you feel in them matters more. Thank you Bonnie! Maggie loves you almost as much as I do.
Moving on! Backwards. As I mentioned in the last post I had an amazing little trip to Colorado at the end of March. My sister-in-law flew up from Houston to meet me in the airport and we met up with my sister in Boulder to do a yoga class and hang out with her three girls before our planned journey up the mountains to my parents' house in Winter Park.
Unfortunately a big blizzard descended upon the mountain and we all decided it was safer to stay in Boulder for the night, so while we were sad for our Chief Rice Lady to not be able to join us yet, we had a great time going downtown for drinks and dinner and then sitting around my sister's fire pit and drinking prosecco from the silly straws she ordered.
On Saturday morning we did a gorgeous and TOUGH hike up a mountain- 1.5 miles and 1300 verticle feet straight up to gorgeous views and a great sense of accomplishment.
From there my dad drove down the mountain and we drove up to meet our mama bird and go straight to the hot springs.
And then we dressed up Colorado style (jeans and sweaters) and ate at the famous and delicious Tabernash Tavern for a birthday dinner.
And after that we put on pj's and did EVERY favorite thing I have, which includes playing cards, eating chex mix, drinking prosecco, and watching Top Chef. It was absolutely everything I hoped a 40th birthday Rice Lady getaway could be.
On Sunday Tamires got up early to return to my brother and her babies and my mom, sister, and I went cross country skiing, something I'd never done before and found out that I LOVE.
It's so beautiful and serene and a great workout, but more relaxed and simpler than a day of downhill. If I thought I could convince my speed-demon husband and children to join me, I'd opt for cross country over downhill skiing every trip.
From THERE we stopped in Golden to meet my dad at our favorite pizza place and then I Ubered to my law school friend's house in Denver because crazy enough, years after graduating, two of my very best friends from law school moved to Denver and live about a mile apart and we got to meet up for drinks and dinner and it was so wonderful.
On the home front, Claire has joined the rowing team and now rows on our beloved neighborhood lake 3x a week. It's really hard work, but she's enjoying it so much and we love seeing her so excited.
I'll close here, because I've already posted too many pictures and jumped around too much trying to capture the last few weeks (months) of time, with a quick recap of the day, which is everything I hoped we'd eventually find in our new city. We woke up to a front yard covered in toilet paper and caution tape, something which apparently didn't happen in DC and Potomac, MD where James grew up, but is a sign of great favor and popularity here. We sent Claire out to start cleaning it up (because it's always Claire who is the intended recipient of this odd form of love) and then a car of boys (the very ones spotted traipsing about our yard around midnight) pulled up to help and I got to watch her flirt and hold court with a whole gaggle of 13-year-olds. James had gone to pick up Landon from a friend's house where he spent the night last night and take him to practice, and then met me, Claire, and Cora at Cora's soccer game, which they won, and in which Cora was a fierce defender. We brought a teammate home with us, dropped Claire off at a nearby restaurant to meet up with friends and eventually walk home. Landon had a friend over, everyone was swimming in the new freezing pool, I took Maggie on a long 5 mile walk along the lake, and Clarie swung by with her crew before she and Landon and their friends went to a friend's house one street over to play on a slip 'n slide. Friends were collected, our kids came home, and now our 3-pack is at the park at the end of the street while James and I chat and make dinner. We'll eat outside in the screened-in porch and listen to the waterfall in the pool and I am grinning ear to ear because this, this is what I wanted for us all.
Happy mid-April to you all!