Sunday, June 16, 2024

IT'S JUNE

Oh my goodness you guys. Life! It is so much! I have two half-written posts from May and I do want to go back to them, but I'm sitting here on Sunday night, watching swimming Olympic Trials on TV surrounded by the rest of my crew on the couch and I am DETERMINED to draft and post something before I need to log back into work when the swimming is done. And so, we're jumping to June. The month started with the kids in Houston with my parents and the rest of my family. They had a blast with their cousins and did lots of lake swimming, bowling, arcade playing, and more.
James and I continued to camp in our own house until the power finally came back on after 5 days without. We did enjoy a few extra date nights with our children gone (and with our house too hot to stay in until the sun went down anyway).
The real highlight was the Saturday we got that was kid-free, with electricity, and without my having to work. We went out for brunch, napped, and went out for dinner and it felt as luxurious and restful as a multi-day vacation. (Also, I love that navy blue dress because I feel like I have butterfly wings from the back.)
The kids got back very late Sunday night after a new round of crazy storms grounded their plane in Houston, had them deboarding, and then reboarding, and then finally back in Dallas. Claire started summer school the next morning (she is getting her health credit ahead of the fall, which is great because she gets a feel for the new school and has a routine which we have learned is VERY CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for her but hard to keep in the summer) and then celebrated her birthday on Tuesday!
That's right- our chunky little baby biscuit is now a 5'6" lanky 14-year-old about-to-be high schooler!
I had to be at work early, but she wanted me to join her in the honor of her birthday Starbucks, so she was up early with me and got that strawberry acai lemonade before 8 a.m.
She requested her beloved BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad for dinner and snickerdoodle cookies for dessert.
Oh! and on Monday night I was walking to my car to head home from work, planning to swing by Target to pick up a little something for the next day's birthday girl, I saw an email from NBC Universal asking if I could be on CNBC Last Call to discuss E*trade user Keith Gill (aka "Roaring Kitty") using social media to discuss his trading. "Absolutely!" I texted back, while immediately googling everything about the end of that last sentence. I got home, re-curled my Day 4 hair (knew I should have washed it that morning, but I was going to work out and the kids got home so late Sunday night), put more makeup on top of my morning makeup, moved around my office to make sure nothing weird was showing up behind me, and signed on to the Zoom link I was sent.
Five minutes later I heard "five, four, three, two, one, you're live" and off I went.

As always, my kingdom for an advance list of questions, and to be honest I still haven't actually watched my clip, but it was fun!

On Wednesday I was up at the crack of dawn to take the fancy bus to Houston to be the moderator of a panel with the Regional Director of the Fort Worth Regional Office of the SEC (my old boss/my old home!), a dear friend and former SEC colleague (and now partner at another firm), and one of my own corporate partners, for a great discussion on all things SEC Enforcement.
I was very glad I had my suitcase with me because my original outfit had a blazer that perfectly matched the background, so I switched it out for another minutes before we began. Our panel was as exciting as an SEC panel can be and then I was back on the fancy bus, this time to Austin, to attend a summer associate event that night and spend the next two days prepping a witness for, and defending my witness at, SEC testimony.

I got back Friday mid-afternoon, fairly certain the week had been 100 days long, and I had another email from CNBC asking if I could appear again and OF COURSE.
Once again with the re-curling of unclean hair and layering of makeup and I was back, now in a hot pink blazer that kind of looked red on camera, but it worked. James and the kids were watching me live on the TV in the living room with three of Claire's best friends over because we were hosting her birthday party as soon as I was done!

And so, I logged off the NBC Zoom and went straight to Gloria's where Claire had requested her birthday party dinner be held. The girls were so sweet, sitting at a separate table, while James and I got a date (and the check for the teen table) several tables over. After dinner we all came back to the house for a nighttime swim for the party goers and an ice cream cake I made about 10 minutes before they were ready to eat it.
And so what felt like the longest week of the year ended, this time with power and without an expected tornado.
This past week was also pretty full. It began with a bang of hosting a dinner at the house for all our female associates and summer associates in litigation on Monday night.
25 amazing women in total, we filled all our tables the girls helped me decorate, ate catered fajitas, and drank delicious frozen margaritas I picked up from a nearby restaurant. (Funny story, the restaurant doing the catering doesn't deliver margaritas, so I ordered two gallons to go from a restaurant near our house. They said I couldn't order alcohol to-go without also getting food, so I added a single serving of their chocolate cake to the order and walked out with two one-gallon bags of margarita and a little doggy bag of cake.)
Maggie wore her finest dress and was a natural at networking.
It was such a fun evening. I really enjoy recruiting and mentoring and love anytime I can spend extra time with smart, strong women.
Tuesday at 5 a.m. saw me on my way to Houston for work, I got back Wednesday night, and I had to be at work very early Thursday morning. Thursday was also Maggie's first day of doggy daycare!
We've been looking for a Dallas boarding place for her and this one has great reviews and requires a day of daycare to make sure the pup fits in with the rest of the pack. We've been having someone come to the house 3x a day while we're gone, but Maggie just really likes other dogs and being deaf, I think she takes her cues on what's happening in her world from having people around and so gets verylonely and sad when we're gone.

And so off to daycare she went, my Apple AirTag letting me know I'd left her behind, in case I had misplaced my bulldog on accident.
She had the BEST day, though I was white knuckle driving to pick her up about 1 minute before closing at 6 pm. It cracked me up that after all those years of fighting daycare closing times for my human children, here I was voluntarily signing back up for it for my dog. But she loved it and I think she's going to go once a week for as long as it makes her happy. The owner said she doesn't run a lot, but she stands in the middle of groups of dogs and just smiles and looks so happy and that sounds exactly right.

Friday night was our firm's Casino Night- our biggest summer event. It was Western themed and everyone got a hat. As always, I loved my hat in the moment and yet know I am unlikely to ever wear it again now that I'm home.
And today is Father's Day! We celebrated our favorite dad with cards, presents, and a trip to the delicious biscuit place we loved in Savannah that just opened in Dallas! James was so excited.
The afternoon was watching Olympic Trials prelims, swimming, and enjoying being together all day which doesn't happen all that often on the weekend anymore.
Inspired by the Olympic Trials, I too got in the pool to swim.
Dinner was all of James's favorite things: roasted beets and spinach salad, grilled salmon, beet greens, and mashed potatoes made with Japanese sweet potato mixed in. It was a great day.
And that's a wrap! Somehow we're halfway through June. Work is busy, summer is flying by, it's already way too hot outside, and Olympic Trials Night 2 just ended! Time to jump back on my other (work) laptop but I'm pressing publish first. Happy Father's Day to those who celebrate, and Happy June 16 to everyone!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

I was never meant for the Oregon Trail

I have half-written at least five posts since my last one, which you all gave such beautiful comments and sent such beautiful emails after reading. I've been super busy at work and life and just trying to be fully present for all of it. With the holiday on Monday, I got really close to actually finishing a post, but there was so much to catch up on that I ran out of time. Plus we needed to have some lazy family pool time, and then Landon had a date that night and I wanted to be suitably unoccupied when he came home so I could hear about it.
Then on Tuesday morning at exactly 6:05 am we SHOT out of bed as our phones screamed at us at a higher volume than I thought my permanently-set-on-silent phone could go.

TORNADO WARNING. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

I jumped up to fully standing by the bed while James rolled over and silenced his phone. I went downstairs and saw a green sky. I ran back up and bumped into a Claire emerging with wide eyes from her room under a blanket. The wind was WHIPPING around the house, lightning was crashing right on top of itself, and the thunder was so loud our picture frames shook. I heard the tornado sirens and decided it was time to move the family downstairs. Cora popped up when prompted, but Landon took about five hard shakes and even then, as the entire world sounded like it was crashing down from heaven into his room with its wall of windows, finally woke up with an exasperated "what?!!!".

We assembled in our little cubby room hallway between the garage and the house. Plenty of room and no windows, with doors that close on both ends. At one point, we felt the pressure change. My ears popped. Milo went full poof. Maggie, our deaf dog who barks once a year, starting barking like crazy. It felt apocalyptic. I'm certain a funnel cloud was nearby.

A few seconds later, our power went out. Cell service was down. The storm raged. And so we sat on the floor. Eventually, the wind calmed a little and we moved out to the living room. Around 7 a.m. we all tumbled onto the couch and fell back asleep together. I woke up again at 8:15 and realized we still didn't have cell service or data or power and I really needed to get to work. And so I did, getting ready with my cellphone light as the sky outside was still black as night.

Once at work I had about a million emails that had come in between 6 a.m. when I lost cell service at 9 a.m. when I arrived in the office in jeans, very unwashed hair in a bun, and no makeup. Work was constant. No one I'm currently working with is in Dallas, so the day started at 100 mph and stayed that way until about 10 pm.

The girls joined me at one point, to borrow the office WiFi and air conditioning and cold beverages. James came for a bit and set up shop in a guest office. Everyone (but me) went home at 7 and James made dinner by lamplight because he is more frugal than I am and wanted to use up things in the fridge. The only things that work in our house are the cold water, the oven, and the stove top. He made some delicious burritos and washed everything in cold water. I got home at 10 and ate a cold burrito that was incredible.
Landon and Cora were able to sleep at friends' houses who had power. Claire, James and I were able to sleep fairly comfortably in the house, since the storm had brought in a semi-cold front. Claire needed all 3 lanterns in her room, but was able to sleep after some initial doubts.

On Wednesday morning, all 3 kids went to the airport to fly to Houston for a pre-planned, but now incredibly well-timed, trip to stay with my parents for a few days. They packed their suitcases with dirty clothes they couldn't wash before they left. I worked a lot and used some hotel points to make a reservation near the house in case we still didn't have power. James and I met for a 7:30 dinner reservation by my office and then headed home to deal with the pets. The house was pretty warm and stodgy, but we felt the pets would be okay for the night, so we packed our bags and headed to the hotel about 9:45 pm.

Where we were turned away at the front desk because they were out of rooms. "But we already paid for the room?" I though I very reasonably countered. "Sorry." said the front desk clerk who was not sorry. And so we walked back out to the car with our bags and our home printer under James's arm because he needed to print a bunch of shipping labels for Fike Swim orders. From the parking lot we were able to book another, pricier, hotel further away.

We finally checked in at hotel 2 at 10:15 pm and passed out immediately. Hot showers were enjoyed in the morning and then I was at work, wearing the same jeans and hairstyle I wore the day before, and James was back at our hot house taking care of the pets. As a side note, I will be wearing jeans on my person and my hair on top of my head until power is restored.
Another storm came through midday with tons of lightening and our estimated time of power restoration went from "end of the day Friday" to "hopefully by the end of the weekend."

Luckily (?) I guess, the new storm brought lower temps again, so James and I are back at the house, planning to spend the night with our animals like the pioneer people we now are.

Tomorrow is Friday and if we still don't have power I'm blowing all my Marriott points on a night at the Ritz. This week has been INSANE and this was supposed to be our special fun time without children and dammit we will enjoy it. Even if all my food is rotting in my fridge and my kids helpfully washed their dishes before they left without realizing the disposal doesn't work without electricity and so now things should start growing out of my sink drain any moment. Also our roof is leaking even though we just paid a roofer what seemed like an unreasonable amount to fix the leak (in this 4 year old roof) a month ago. But EVEN IF all that, we will have a nice Friday night, here in a house in the 21st century (maybe, yet increasingly unlikely) or in a very nice hotel that allows dogs so Maggie can live the luxury life she deserves.

In truth we're very lucky right now. The house is fine, other than the occasional smell, the kids are happily ensconced in Houston, and James and I can deal. My office has power and that's where I spend most of my time anyway. But would I still like for the power to be magically restored by morning? Yes, yes I REALLY would.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Tortured Poetry


Law School 3L year, 2007

I have so many pictures from the last two weeks as I've been launched back into the real world. It's been so busy it's hard to imagine that only a month ago I still had a uterus. Now I'm back to very much full time hours, multiple great, active cases, two work trips done with NY and DC scheduled for next week, cute Spring outfits ready to go thanks to a recent visit from Bonnie, squezing in walks before work (or after), and not having nearly enough time to blog or finish the TV shows I started. I write all these great posts in my head while I walk along the lake and I never get to write them down. So tonight, while Cora is finishing her "energy efficient house model GT project" to her insane perfectionist standards (I thought I had high standards, then I had Cora and learned that my standards are garbage), I am determined to get this one thought written down.

And that grand, incredible, must-blog-it thought is this: I really like "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart" by Taylor Swift from The Tortured Poets Department.

TTPD is not my favorite album of hers, but I do really like a few of the songs and this is one of them. It just speaks to me. And while I was walking today (after 9.5 hours at the office and before picking up Cora from swimming while James took Claire to the doctor to get a pink eye diagnosis), and listening to it on repeat, I realized why:

'Cause I'm a real tough kid, I can handle my shit
They said, "Babe, you gotta fake it 'til you make it" and I did
Lights, camera, bitch smile, in stilettos for miles
He said he'd love me for all time
But that time was quite short
Breaking down, I hit the floor
All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was chanting, "MORE"
I was grinning like I'm winning, I was hitting my marks
'Cause I can do it with a broken heart.

This is working mom life to me. Maybe it's all life, but I've experienced most of mine as a working mom and this is it. I am a tough kid. I do handle my shit. Lights, camera, bitch smile now rocks through my head before every Zoom call. I may not wear stilettos much anymore, but there are days when I'm walking out the door in my business clothes and I'm leaving one metaphorical mess or another behind me and it's just that: lights, camera, bitch smile. This is my job, it pays for our life and everything in it, and sometimes you have to walk your stilettos right around an emotional teenager, an annoyed spouse, a sad bulldog, and/or whatever else you know you're going to have to pick right back up when you get home again.

I've been pretty head over heels in love with James since 2001 so the romantic heartbreak I think our goddess Taylor is alluding to doesn't hit with me, but I have absolutely had pieces of me shattered on the floor with my emails chanting MORE. I've been grinning like I'm winning, I've been hitting my marks, and I've been doing with with a broken heart.

I've been in important on-the-record testimony in another city while a child was blowing up my phone, sobbing and terrified, in a full-blown previously unknown mental health crisis. I've had mornings when I have to leave things with James unfinished, both of us annoyed, neither of us able to fix it in the hectic morning rush and hating, absolutely hating, knowing that my marriage, which is the often taken-for-granted absolutely-rock-hard foundation of my life, is shaky and weird and I simply cannot fix it right now. I've missed things: not any big things, but plenty of little ones. I've worked through family drama, personal spirals, health issues, and more. We all do. We can do it with a broken heart.

I love my job. I mean, I wouldn't do it if I didn't both need money and get paid, but I do genuinely like it. I love being a counselor to my clients. I like the statutory certainty of the federal securities law framework combined with the persuasiveness of case law and regulatory interpretation. I like the order of working in my own office, I like spending most of my days reading and writing things, and I like being around other adults pretty much all the time. I love business development- I love speaking and writing in my area of expertise, and I genuinely enjoy making connections with people in the market. But it's hard. The actual work is hard, but FAR more than that is the hard of doing it while the rest of your life is being lived in and around you.

I never want to focus on the negative, and I don't. But I've found it's important when I mentor our younger associates to let them know that yeah, this feels hard because it is. I have missed things. I have had really hard moments where I was a better lawyer than a mom for that short time block, and while it makes me sad, I'm also still certain it was the right thing to do right then. None of us are doing this perfectly. We need to judge in broad strokes, and in my quiet moments of reflection, I do think I'm a good lawyer who serves her clients well, and I do think I'm a good wife and mother to the people who matter the very most to me.

But it's hard. And sometimes you're doing it with a broken heart.


Law Firm Partner Retreat, 2024

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Updates of All Kinds

Hello from my Tortured Poets Department listening party! I'm still untangling the songs from one another to determine my favorites, but so far, I just like listening to all 31(!) on repeat while I go about my day.
Recovery update: I feel 100%. I know that I'm not really, because when I do things like take a slow 2.5 mile walk (my watch is so confused; I'm getting messages like: "your pace has changed" "who are you? blink twice if you need help") and make one trip outside the house I then sleep like a rock for 11 straight hours that night, but I really do feel good. My biggest struggle is remembering that I had major surgery only 7-9 days ago and I'm still not supposed to lift heavy things or push myself too hard (like by using this time at home to reorganize every closet, which I'm totally doing anyway, but you know, carefully, and making James do any lifting).

Cora ended up sick all of last week, so my snuggle in at home and watch grown-up garbage TV time was severely curtailed, but I did learn more than I ever wanted to know about the ruthless world of wild cats through all of her documentaries. They are so sad you guys. Cora told me I'm too sensitive for the real world. This is 100% true and probably explains my fictional reading preferences. I finally made her watch Incredibles 1 and 2 with me, plus the two newee Jumanjis, and she was like, ok this was fun, but can we get back to educational viewing now?
Luckily she went back to school on Friday so I could watch all of season 1 of Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis from my couch as my recovery plan intended. I love a house show and the clients and results are fun. I'm obsessed with Ashley Simpson-Ross and Evan Ross's new bedroom in season 1. Moose even subbed in for Milo's nursing duties and reluctantly watched an episode with me. As you can tell, he was really excited about it.
I'm also caught up on the new season of Top Chef (love! it's in Wisconsin and Kristin is doing a great job as host; my mom came over for the day on Monday and we watched every episode out so far and then craved pretzels and cheese afterward), Loot Season 2 (also LOVE; hate that they're making me wait a week between episodes; don't they know my real life is looming and this is my narrow opportunity for binging?), Ghosts (so fun; finished every season), and a re-watch of Seasons 1-4 of the West Wing because it's my comfort show and I slept through 90% of the watch party in my early days of recovery.

I also organized and edited my photos from August-present and uploaded them into Shutterfly so I can start on the next year's photobook at my convenience. And ordered a few large prints for some new frames in the house. We had an appointment with a local AV company and they'll be here next week to install speakers, wifi access points, and a new TV upstairs. We've met with a landscaper twice to go through our plan for the front yard: new drainage/irrigation system, a parking spot for Landon that doesn't require me to call him everytime I pull up to yell "move your car so I can get in the garage!", a sidewalk, some raised planters, and plants we cannot kill. These are the two final projects for the house and I'm excited to get them going. We were supposed to do the front yard project last year, but I spent that budget item on Taylor Swift tickets (#noregrets), and now I'm glad we waited because having a third driver (and knowing a fourth isn't far behind) has really changed our needs for the front of the house and this new plan is going to be so functional and great.

Speaking of functional and great, I've decided to finish organizing our master closet- the front part is perfect but the back is just plastic bins and the two feet I gave James for all his clothes. He's recently re-discovered that he likes looking nice when he goes out into the world, so I'm re-working the closet to allow for the non-workout-wear I'm hoping he'll buy. Two dressers and two shoe racks have now been purchased and are in-route to our house. He doesn't yet know the new closet plan involves assembling two IKEA dressers, but I'm sure he'll be so excited when he finds out.

On Wednesday I took advantage of my reclusive recovery life and got a photofacial with medium depth chemical peel. As I've written before, I LOVE an IPL/photofacial. I think they are by far the most effective way to improve skin: the procedure is short, there's little downtime, it's non-invasive, and my skin truly glows for a good year after. I had been missing the place I used to go in Fort Worth and was delighted to get a recommendation for a woman in Dallas. She was aggressive but incredibly knowledgeable and clinical. She recommended adding the chemical peel, which I've never done, and it was definitely an intense experience. I'm currently in my shedding stage (like a snake, I told my confused children who wondered why my face was falling off) and I'm excited to see results in a few more days.

Today I'm off to the salon to get a haircut (I scheduled this appointment at my last appointment, like a real grown-up who is now getting her hair cut more than once a year) and my first ever hair dye! We're experimenting with covering my grays that appeared out of nowhere and have multiplied since. I will never keep up with a true hair dye routine and don't really want to; I love the color of my hair and get compliments from strangers all the time, but I'd like to start figuring out a good way to basically keep the color I have. I think today involves a glaze? Or icing? It was something dessert-adjacent. We shall see.

I've also pretty much gotten back to work. Still from home, but I pulled down my out of office message yesterday because it felt more annoying than helpful. I'm very glad for my complete abdication of my email inbox for week 1 after my surgery- I've looked back at text messages I sent that week and I have NO memory of receiving or responding to them, so I'm thankful I had temporarily deleted my work email app from my phone completely. Last week I eased my way in to my inbox. I'm on a new matter I'm genuinely excited about that may have me heading to Houston next week, but it's by choice. And I'm taking the cushy Vonlane bus instead of a plane to be more gentle with myself.

But all in all, things are very good. The humans are good and the pets are perfect. I leave you with this convo I had with a good friend (who I originally met through this blog! 15-ish years ago?) on Monday:
Don't worry little organs, I plan for the rest of you to stay put.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Putting all the T in the TMI

Reporting in post-surgery, down one uterus and a cervix, up a few more holes in my abdomen, and post-good IV drugs and a million hours of sleep.

It's Day 3. My pain is very low and managed with the extra-strength ibuprofen. My middle is a little swollen and generally just feels weird/off. I've taken two short walks, one yesterday and one today, and slept for 2-3 hours after each. I've taken two showers, one yesterday and one today, and slept for at least an hour after those too. Sleeping is kind of my thing right now. Sleeping, healing, and not tracking the few email conversations I read enough to trust myself to respond to any of them.
This hysterectomy was a long damn time coming. In a world without health insurance approvals and doctors who like to start with the non-most-invasive option possible I would have done this about 8 years ago when I reconciled myself to the fact that Cora was our last baby. I'm going into the whole story here because I think women's stories are important and not talked about or studied nearly enough, but this is your warning if the title wasn't enough.

My periods got worse after each pregnancy. After Landon, an IUD kept them in check. After Claire it was an IUD + continuous birth control. After Cora it was an IUD + stronger continuous birth control. I'd been on some form of birth control since I was 18 and never had an issue, so using two kinds at once to keep periods away didn't bother me as long as it worked. And it did work and it didn't bother me for a pretty long time.

And then, about 2.5 years ago I started getting yeast infections. I'd get them treated and a few days later they'd come back. Then my skin, which in the last few years has become highly reactive, decided to develop a contact allergy to yeast, which means the cycle of yeast infection + contact dermatitis + yeast infection was unending and deeply, deeply awful. My pelvic floor decided to get involved and became WAY overactive, basically trying to shut down anything that might try to ever touch me. Sex, which is my very favorite thing, became painful and nearly impossible. I developed vulvar eczema in reaction to the creams and medicines, so basically my entire pelvic area was flipping the fuck out.

I saw my gynecologist many times, a dermatologist, a vulvar dermatologist, and a pelvic floor physical therapist (amazing; that therapy should be covered for all women, I can't believe I hadn't been to one before). After 2 years of trying to figure out why everything that had been working fine for fifteen years suddenly went haywire and the vulvar dermatologist (who I loved and was amazing, but is the only one in Dallas and it took nearly a year to get in to her) suggested it could be a long term reaction to hormonal birth control.

I went off it and the skin conditions improved tremendously but the periods were out of control and I simply refuse to have that level of monthly carnage in my life. So we did an ablation. We combined it with removing both of my fallopian tubes because once they've scraped and burned out your uterine lining you absolutely cannot get pregnant. So I did that in November. It was an outpatient procedure, I took off a couple days of work, didn't really tell anyone, and all was fine.

Except the periods didn't change. AT ALL. Turns out, in rare cases (OF COURSE), an ablation will "fail" due to adenomyosis, where the uterine lining has at some point decided to grow into the muscular wall of the uterus, and so I finally just got to take the whole thing out. The doctor was able to do it laparoscopically and my ovaries remain with me, so I don't have to worry about HRT or early menopause. I no longer have a cervix, so I no longer have to do pap smears or worry about cervical cancer. I can't get uterine cancer any more either and my risk of ovarian cancer goes way down, so that's nice.

My poor abdomen has three new incisions and hopefully been cut into for the last time. My insides feel swollen and a little confused. I'm home for the rest of April, exclusively resting for this week, and then likely increasingly working from home over the next few. It's amazing what surgery takes out of you. My pain is well managed and I feel pretty good, but I sleep a lot and it is clear it's the only thing my body really wants to do. I'm not supposed to lift anything over 3 pounds, and I can't do cardio for at least 6 weeks or have sex for 12, but I'm just glad to be at the end of what has been a very long journey involving way too many tests and scrapes and stirrups.

And now, back to sleep.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Total Eclipse of the Heart

You guys. My week of travel was great and terrible and so fucking long.
(Picture from Landon on Easter morning, giving up on ever finding his Easter basket. Also me, last week.)

I flew to DC Monday morning. Flight was fine. I was on calls up until boarding, answered emails through the flight, and had a Zoom as I was in the Uber. I did get to have dinner with a good friend and client in DC. The friend label meant I could exercise the friend-exception to my "no drinking mid-week or at work events" rule, but only with one glass (a lovely rose) because I had a few more hours of work to do at the hotel. It was a lovely little respite though. Meeting up with friends, clients, and other contacts on work travel helps personalize the travel, which can sometimes be lonely.

Sadly, Monday was the last day I got to utilize the walkability of any city I was in (though I did walk 2+ miles to the dinner, which always makes me very happy) as it poured rain for much of Tuesday.

I worked out of our DC office, hosted a women's initiative lunch, had a 4 hour video call, and then raced off to the SEC alumni happy hour that ASECA always hosts after the PLI SEC Speaks program. As always, it was really wonderful to see friends, new and old, and lots of former colleagues.
I was supposed to attend the dinner, but talked to so many people during the happy hour that I skipped the dinner to grab a meal with a different good friend and attendee and then went straight to the airport to fly to NYC. That flight took off at 10 pm, landed at 11 pm, and I was at my midtown hotel at 11:30. Sleep was elusive, so I worked for a bit, prepping for the presentation I had the next morning.

Wednesday woke up RAINY. My hotel was only 3 blocks from our office, which is just ridiculous to cab, so I broke out my trench coat, travel umbrella, and sneakers, and lightly jogged through the sidewalks with my suitcase to the office. Prepped a little more, headed to the NY SEC office for my presentation, getting absolutely SOAKED (still carrying my suitcase) with two false drop-offs at wrong addresses along the way, and put myself back together in a bathroom.
The weather was getting increasingly worse. My 7 pm flight was delayed. It took 90 minutes to crawl to LaGuardia airport where my flight was delayed more. Ran into a fellow Dallas partner in the airport and shared a glass of wine (at this point, I no longer cared about any of my mid-week health rules; also, she's a friend). Found out my flight was canceled. Got rebooked on a different flight, that was promptly delayed. Then delayed more. And every direct flight from NY to Dallas the next day was now booked (and overbooked). Also, my watch was being mean to me.
At 12:30 a.m. my flight was reset for 1:27 a.m. and I was damn grateful for it. I will also note that I have never sent so many emails as I did between 1-3 a.m. There's really someting to trying to do work when everyone else you know is fast asleep...
I landed at 3 a.m. and got home just before 4. I had video calls starting at 8 and I looked so pale, even for me, but I was HOME and I could attend Landon's high school swim banquet and I was so happy.
Also shocked, genuinely shocked, that pictures continue to reveal that he is MULTIPLE inches taller than me.

On Friday morning I headed BACK to the airport, this time with James, so we could head to Savannah for one of my associate's weddings. It was our first trip to Savannah, maybe our 4th trip ever alone together, and also maybe the 4th wedding we've ever gotten to attend together. And it was SO FUN.
Sure, it might have been nice to be home and my suitcase was very tired, but the weather was perfection and our historic B&B was gorgeous and luxe (thank you credit card points).
Also, Savannah has very liberal open container laws. Mimosas to go for the win!
Our B&B host told us that Savannah is for "eating, drinking, and walking" and she would help us with the first two. And with incredible breakfasts at 9 a.m., wine and apps at 5 pm, and cookies and port at 8 pm, she definitely did. Also the walls in the parlor are hand-painted and this is now a dream of mine for my study.
We ate great food, stopped for biscuits every 90 minutes, and I wore two of my Dirty Dillards dresses including my very favorite one for a dinner date Friday night!
I also shopped for fun things, like an awesome romper and these adorable shoes. I also picked up a pair for my mom.
The wedding was beautiful and I loved getting to dance with my favorite forever date.
We flew home Sunday, took my dad out for an early birthday dinner and a big thank you to both parents for watching the kids. My mom wore her new shoes, and so did I, and my romper!
Then on Monday we had the TOTAL ECLIPSE!
Of course my astronomy-loving-dad and former-science-teacher-mom stayed the extra night to witness this miracle. I worked from home and then at 12 pm, we had our glasses ready and were grabbing salads to go.
I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting magic. I've seen a couple partial eclipses and thought they were kind of neat, but also nothing I'd travel for.
But this. This was really extraordinary. The sun got smaller and smaller and then totality hit and the world went dark like someone had flipped off the lights. The winds died down. The birds went silent. It was extraordinary. We could hear the kids yelling in excitement over from the elementary school where Cora was observing the eclipse with her classmates.

The world is so big and I am so small and the universe is so amazing and I will never, ever forget it. I feel so lucky I got to sit on lounge chairs in my backyard with my parents and my James and watch this incredible event. (picture below from a friend with a fancy camera)
Claire texted from her event at the Cotton Bowl exclaiming "that was amazing! so gorgeous!" and even Landon who had been skeptical about the whole thing texted, "that was actually pretty cool." And Cora wrote in her scientific conclusion that "This was the most special day of my life. I will always remember when I saw the total solar eclipse." And same.

Today I went into the office for the first time in April (how has this month already been so long? I guess the 6 cities in 6 days thing?). I gave a virtual presentation on the new SEC Climate Disclosure Rules, sent about a million emails, and wrapped up as many things as possible because tomorrow I'm actually out again for the rest of April.

I have a hysterectomy at 7:15 a.m. and frankly, I could not be looking forward to it more. This should decisively end 2+ years of medical issues, doctors appointments (so. many. appointments.), and general distress. I will be in the hospital tomorrow and possibly Thursday, not working the rest of the week completely, and then lightly working from home until May l. So, it's already been quite a month, but let's bring on the scalpel. I'm ready.