mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

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Random Monday Thoughts

Hello friends out there in the great blogosphere!! Have you missed me???

Let me first begin by apologizing for my rather long hiatus. I thought I would be gone just a couple days but days turned into weeks and before I knew it, I was smack in the middle of June!

Of course I could just tell you that life at Casa Chaos got in the way of my blogging.

There were end of school year parties, a family “vacation” to Amish country and the conclusion of the 2013 t-ball season. Combine that with some family drama, health scares, strep throat, daycare, Donuts for Dad (with a special guest appearance by Mommy) and job stress (my newly redone resume looks amazing btw) and that would be just a taste of life at Casa Chaos.

The more I thought about it, however, I decided Screw that!! I will not play the “pity/martyr card”  with you my fabulous readers. No, I will be honest with you and tell you the real reason I have been MIA.  Deep breath…and the reason I have been MIA for so long is because…..

I have been on a holiday with my one true love, my soul mate George (Clooney of course). We have been traveling the Italian coast and it was just breathtaking (Seinfeld reference anyone???).

Lounging  on his boat by day and eating and drinking (LOTS of vino) by night. It was hard work. It is not easy being wined and dined by a handsome movie star. However, the relaxation, romance, and blogging material alone, was well worth the trip.

And not without further adieu I bring you my Random Monday Thoughts….

1) What’s in a name?

Apparently NOTHING if you are Kim Kardashian and her Baby Daddy Kayne West who named their new baby daughter North. Yes, if you hadn’t heard (if say perhaps you were in a coma or living on the moon) their baby’s name is NORTH WEST.

Seriously??

These are 2 grown adults, both in their 30s, and they named their child a direction on a map? For months all I read about was how Kim and Kayne wanted nothing more than to have children. A baby girl was all they ever wanted because as Kim said (I am totally paraphrasing) “What is better than a baby girl?”

So you know you are having a girl (for at least 4 months right?) and this was THE absolute best name 2 well-rounded, well-traveled, ADULTS could come up with – North – Nori for short????!!!

I think it is a safe bet, that in the weeks, months and years that Kimye and North are in our lives, we will forever hear the meaning and reasoning behind their baby’s “unique” moniker. Who knows, maybe we will grow to love it too (not).

Let me just say this, when I was growing up “Nicole” was not a common name. Jennifer, Lisa, Mary and Susan were THE names of the times.

Never did the chick on Romper Room “see” my name in her Magic Mirror and I had a better chance of winning the lottery than finding the name “Nicole” on a cup, key chain or necklace at the mall.  Good luck North!!

2) Mimosas ROCK

Saturday I was VERY lucky (thank you Mom, Aunt and the husband – it takes a village to have 4 kids) to be able to meet 2 of my dearest friends for brunch. I have written about R & H before and how we have known each other since 1986 and been there for almost all of each others’ “firsts.”

No matter how long the span of time in between visits, we can almost always pick right up where we left off and this past Saturday was no exception. As soon as we sat  (and H ran across the street to get some chilled champagne) I knew we would have a good time.

In between catching up on our families, talking about work, pop culture and Candy Crush, R&H were also able to give me a bit of slack about my sudden blogging hiatus (I didn’t tell them about George, I didn’t want them to be jealous).

Thank you R&H. Thank you for being a part of my life, loving me despite my flaws, and “getting” my sarcasm. Most of all, I would like to thank you in advance for NOT making fun of me, or giving me a bad “grade” when it is my turn to plan brunch.

Next stop for us Mall Day!!

3) Milestones galore

When you have 3 kids with June birthdays (well 2 are twins so do they count as 1 or 2???) , it’s a busy month.  Throw in a kindergarten AND a pre-k graduation (a week apart) and you have mayhem!!

First J, my blond-haired, blue-eyed Buddha Baby turned FIVE!! Wtf, I remember J’s birth more clearly than any of the others, how the heck can he be  5?????!!!!!

J had a great day with a paper crown, party at school, dinner at Red Robin and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing. Top that with a brand, spanking new bike and you got yourself a kick ass 5th birthday.

Next came the twins Kindergarten graduation. OMG my babies, the boys who at the age of 3 hid behind the door for 2 hours every Wednesday at YMCA art class were done with kindergarten.

As I sat next to my mom and watched M sing and J stand there frozen, I could not help myself from reliving their lives in my head.

When they were born, I remember crying, begging actually, the nurse to not release me. How can you let me take care of not 1 but 2 babies??? I have no idea what I am doing??? I sobbed.

While I have no been the best parent these past 7 years, I guess I have not been the worst either because the twins made it to 7 (well next week) and completed kindergarten – yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Class of 2025

Class of 2025

M asked me the other day when he will be a man. HA!! Little does he know that he will ALWAYS be my baby.

Lastly, we had J’s pre-k graduation this past Friday. Never have you seen a graduate more excited than J. Look here he is marching in with a grin from ear to ear.

The Graduate

The Graduate

J deserved every bit of that excitement too. He has worked harder than anyone I know to battle his ASD and come so far in such a short time. I am proud to be his Mommy. Congratulations J!! I can’t wait to see what else you will accomplish in the years to come.

Congratulations J!!!!

Congratulations J!!!!

Thanks for reading, have a great week!
ps – H I dedicate this post to you, xoxox

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Belated birthday thoughts

As some of you know, I went to college at the University of Delaware WAY back in the early 1990s (gasp!!). I started off my college career as a very shy, homesick  girl with HUGE “jersey” hair in a “triple” (3 girls crammed into a dorm room made for 2) on the first floor of the Russell A dorm.

While I can not remember the names of all the 40+ kids that lived on that floor in the fall of 1990, I can actually remember a few.

There were my neighbors, Paul and Dan who were a little OCD with Taco Bell.  Julie and Dawn who lived down the hall, the annoying sorority girls who lived across from me and this tall, lanky kid from NY named Jeff.

Whereas I tended to hide in my room, Jeff was a fixture in the hallways talking to everyone and anyone. He was sarcastic and loved to do this joke about Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog.

Over the years I would see Jeff on campus and we would chat. He was a writer for Delaware’s newspaper The Review and by senior year he was the editor.

After college we exchanged some letters (yes, we had to write letters and mail them with a stamp) before losing touch.

Life went on, I got married, had some kids and then came Facebook.

Voila there was Jeff after all these years.

Jeff Pearlman was now a “famous” author AND writer for Sports Illustrated. He was married to a woman he completely adored and had 2 beautiful kids.

Over the years, we exchanged messages and I read Jeff’s posts and blogs on Facebook. While I couldn’t always relate to the political or sports-related ones I could always relate to his blogs on family and kids.

This past April, Jeff did a blog in honor of his 41st birthday here. He reminisced about celebrating his 21st birthday 20 years earlier at the Stone Balloon in Newark, DE.

After reading it I was instantly transported to my own 21st birthday also spent at the Stone Balloon.

May 20, 1993 was the series finale of the beloved NBC sitcom Cheers and I remember cramming in the Cristina Towers lounge with friends watching the finale and saying farewell to Sam, Norm, Cliff, Woody and Carla.

Afterwards, my roommate and walked to the Stone Balloon and took our place in line with some friends. I was holding my ID tight anxiously waiting my turn to get inside.

When we walked in, I felt disappointed or let down. The inside of the famed Balloon looked like the basement of a fraternity house not the mecca I had heard about for years on campus.

It was hot and dimly lit packed with co-eds drinking beer. The music was blasting and I happily downed any shot given to me.  Finally I was 21!!

Funny, I can’t remember what I wore yesterday but somehow I can remember a drunken night 20 years ago.

That YOUNG, drunk girl had no idea that 20 years later she would be a mom to 4 boys living in suburbia and driving a mini-van.

Young Me had no clue about “life.” That it a mixture of joy/sadness/humor and strength.

The good eventually outweighs the bad and everything happens for a reason – even if that reason isn’t always clear.

I won’t lie, there are times I wish I could go back in time and be that young, naïve 21yo again – except with the knowledge I have now.

I would tell her to loosen up, follow your dreams, never give up and most importantly be happy.

Stop comparing yourself to others, appreciate your true friends and family and all the little things in life. And know that you are not as bad as you think you are (lol).

Thank you Jeff for this little trip down memory lane and for allowing me the use of your blog.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your Tuesday.

Random Monday Thoughts

Hello and welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts – previously titled Random Thoughts on a Monday Morning.

I was all set to blog about autism and how much it totally sucks, but after I started writing I got depressed and decided to change gears and be more carefree.

Now if I were a smart blogger, one who would like to attract new readers,  I would make “Random Monday Thoughts” a weekly post. However, knowing myself the way I do, that would cause me stress every Monday and frankly, I don’t need any added stress to my life at the moment.

Now without further ado, I give you my random thoughts:

1) Hello, my name is Nicole and I am quickly becoming addicted to Candy Crush

Do you play this game on your tablet or mobile device? A couple of months ago, I had downloaded this app and wasn’t all that thrilled with it.

It seemed like a Bejewled wannabe with candy and annoying music. I played it a couple of times before deleting. I would see things on FB and friends would send me requests for lives but I never gave it too much thought.

Then last week, I decided to give it another try and OMG I am hooked! AND I even got the husband to play and he is hooked too.

The kids think we are nuts and beg us to let them play but we told them it’s for “adults only”. Currently, I am on Level 25 and I cant wait to play again tonight and see how far I can get.

2) Am I just too old for The Vampire Diaries??

The husband and I are always looking for a new tv series to watch on dvd. It occured to us a couple years ago, that we do better with a series when we can watch it in huge chunks rather than one time a week. You can become immersed in the show AND there are no commercials.

It started with “Burn Notice” then there was “Breaking Bad”, “Homeland”, “Revenge” “Castle”, “White Collar”, “Mad Men”, “Chicago Fire” (this was on On Demand) and now “The Vampire Diaries.”

I was excited, I love vampires (hello…I was Mrs. Cullen for the longest time) and Mrs. Jeter loves the show and talks about it all the time I couldn’t wait.

This past Saturday night, after I had lost all my lives in Candy Crush, the husband and I sat down to watch and all I can say is Meh.

It had all the parts for a great vampire show – hot vampire (check), hot vampire bad-boy brother (double check), annoying, kinda whiney love interest of vampire (check), small town surrounded by woods (check), old mansion that the vampires live in (check).

On paper this show is perfect. However, after watching 2 episodes (one of which was the pilot) I just dont know, Stefan and Damon are seriously NO Edward and Carlisle.

While watching the 2nd episode, I texted Jeter, went on EW (the holy grail of tv) and did a Google search (can I multi-task or what?) to see what they thought and all said the show gets better the more you watch it.

I will give it a another try or 2 and let you know my thoughts.

3) Summer Book Club

A couple of years ago, I tagged along with Mrs. Mayor got invited to a book club in my town and I loved it. It is hosted by my blogging mentor CC and the group of women is great. There is always LOTS of food and/or wine and the discussions are always varied and never dull.

Book club meets every other month from Sept till May.  We take the summer “off” due to schedules and vacations and the overall craziness of the summer months.

I will confess, I miss book club in the summer. Yes, I know I can read w/o being in a group setting, heck I have been doing that my whole life. It’s just that I really like getting together with “the ladies” sans kids and husbands. It’s relaxing and something to look forward too.

That being said, I have come up with my own version of a Summer Book Club. In this “club” we will read a trashy, beach book once a month (June – August), meet and discuss said book over margaritas. Who’s in????

4) Flip-flop season has officially begun

Friday I was lucky enough to get my first Spring/Summer 2013 pedicure and what a treat it was!!

Finally after months of waiting and keeping my feet all cooped up in closed-toe shoes, I was able to break out my flip flops (neon pink from the Gap) and and flaunt my pretty toes.

It felt freeing to be in my flip-flops and it meant that summer is VERY close. I even took out all my sandals and did a shoe fashion shoe for Molly (my daschund). Is there anything better than finding a brand new pair of sandals you forget you bought at the end of last season?????

5) I have no willpower

Since starting this post before lunch, I have given into temptation and eaten 2 pieces of chocolate out of the the Russell Stover Milk Chocolate Sampler Box I have “hidden” in my desk for chocolate emergencies.

and lastly

6) Girlfriends are a blessing

Girls/women often get a bad rap for being catty, gossipy, jealous and bitchy/moody. Sure, sometimes (very rarely) some are like that but they are also nurturing, kind, fun, loving, funny and always there.

I would just like to give a shout-out to all my girlfriends, both old and new. I may not always show it or tell you but I really appreciate your friendship and all the laughter we share.

A special thanks to Mrs. Mayor for hosting a really great time Friday night. Who knew sitting at a kitchen table with some yummy rice crackers discussing a certain priest could be so much fun 🙂

Have a great week everyone, thanks for reading!

 

Me Being Philosophical (yikes!)

I have felt very philosophical since Hurricane Sandy stampeded on us over a week ago. It’s a change from the sarcastic, cynical and  occasionally witty Nicole that is usually around. 

Dont be scared, it’s not like I have sat around pondering world peace or the holy Trinity while wearing glasses. my hair in a bun and sipping on a glass of sherry.

I don’t know, maybe it was seeing all the devastation by Sandy or how amazing it is to see regular, everyday people helping one another in a time of need that has gotten me thinking. 

Regardless, today on the way into work my thoughts were all over the place. I was deep into a Maroon 5 song (I swear Adam was speaking directly to me) and I was thinking about the people in my life today. Some have remained a constant, family (of course) and a few very close friends. Others, however, have entered (and sometimes left) at the most random times. 

I guess I have Facebook to blame or thank for this. Now you can’t “hide” from your past or present, it is out there on every social media site. Seriously though, did you ever stop wonder why someone enters your life at a particular time?

Is it divine intervention that brings someone you have not seen or spoken to in close to 20 years back into your life? An old “best friend” that you lost contact with or an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend that you dated many moons ago?

Maybe it is just coincidence that these people happened to find you on Facebook or saw your picture in an Alumni magazine. Heck, maybe they were just stalking you and decided to send you a message. I guess we can never really know.

There have been a couple of people that I have reconnected with that I truly believe were brought into my life for a purpose. These people have shown and shared with me things that I didn’t know existed.

Personal stories of heartache and survival that made me think Hey, if X can overcome all that, I can TOTALLY get through my life drama.

Others have shown me things about myself that I either took for granted or didn’t bother to appreciate. They have shown me (or at least tried to show me – I am a bit stubborn) that I am smart, witty, independent  and, more importantly, a good person.

I am a person worthy of anything I want as long as I am willing to go after it. I am not the same shy, insecure girl I was “back in the day”  who didn’t think she deserving of x, y or z and chose to settle instead.

I don’t know if these “new” people will hang around for the long haul, pop up every now and again or simply disappear back into oblivion. If I am being honest, I really hope they stay because they make me happy. Their comments, messages and notes truly bring a smile to my face.

Thanks to all of you and Happy Thursday!

Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise (Jersey style)

Recently Mrs. Jeter and I were issued a temporary leave of absence from our daily lives. It took a LOT of planning (and in my case a LOT of pleading) but by the grace of what could only be our Fairy Godmothers, we were granted blessed with 48 hours of childless, bliss or in other words “girl time.”

I wont lie to you, in the weeks leading up to this trip I was a little nervous. Jeter and I have been friends for 12 years, however, we have never spent that much time together. I am sure our husbands would beg to differ, citing our constant texting as “time spent” but seriously, that is NOT the same.

In all our years as friends Mrs. J and I have never shared a room, stayed overnight at each other’s homes or even “gotten ready” to go out in the same space. Bizarre right???

Thoughts of Suppose my snoring annoys her? Will she HATE that I take so much time to do my make-up? Will she yell at me for leaving hair all over the bathroom like the husband does? OMG suppose she doesn’t want to watch E News and MTV?????

Well as is usually the case with me, my worrying was for nothing (technically I guess you would have to ask her if and of the above annoyed her). I can honestly say, Mrs. J and I had the ABSOLUTE  BEST weekend I have had in a VERY long time.

The weekend was not spent doing exciting, once-in-a-lifetime activities, like skydiving or bungee jump – though we did attempt tattoos but the places looked scary.

Instead it was spent on our own terms. For the fist time, in God only knows how long, there were no schedules to follow, no kids to feed, chores to be done and no scheduled time to be anywhere.

No, we were FREE in every meaning of the word. We shopped, ate, drank (a lot), slept and watched tv. We laughed (like a couple of middle school girls),  gossiped, shared hopes/dreams/fears and even sat in silence doing our own thing.

At times we tried to re-live our youth, pretend we were different people than we are in our everyday lives. People who were 23 again – carefree, single and “fun” with the knowledge we now possess at 40 (a pure fantasy right?). It was great.

Those 48-hours flew by. The months, weeks and days leading up to the trip were just a blur as we drove north on 295. Jeter blasted her “90s Playlist” on her iPod trying to keep our moods bright but happy but I don’t think there is any playlist that could have accomplished that.

The mood on the car ride home was sullen and I even cried (ok, I may have been a tad hung over). We consoled ourselves by being thankful that we were able to have the weekend to enjoy and would have happy memories to last forever. We even made plans for another trip this summer (shhhh don’t tell the husbands yet).

I am sure to some our weekend may not seem all that exciting – two 40-somethings spending the weekend together in a college town. But to us it was perfect and more importantly it was “us”.

The past couple of days I have been thinking over our weekend, reliving bits and pieces and trying to come up with THE best moment. Was it staying up till 2:30am or staying in bed till 11:30am?? Was it browsing the mall in peace, laughing non-stop or singing along to VH-1’s Best of the 90s Videos?

Who knows. Maybe it was all the above or maybe it was none.

All I do know is that when I think of the weekend it makes me smile. In fact, I think I smiled all weekend. A genuine, happy smile.

Thanks for a great time Mrs. Jeter! Thanks for being my Thelma and being my friend – Lord knows it is not always an easy task!!

Until June 2013….

My “camping” experience

Anyone who knows me will agree that I am not “outdoorsy” by any stretch of the imagination. I like the indoors – malls, Target, the movies, my  house etc. – and make no secret about it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like going outside, I am not  agoraphobic. I LOVE to sit on the beach for hours or at a pool or even on a park bench and people watch but that’s about it. I am not into hiking, biking, skiing, rafting or camping. A stroll around a lake is fine but hiking boots, bugs and steep inclines are not my thing.

The husband is a true “outdoorsman.”  Fishing, mountain biking and kayaking are just a few of his obessions hobbies. That we ever got together is probably a miracle. I remember on our first date, after a couple of glasses of wine, me rambling on and on about my dislike for all outside activities.

When the husband told me about an upcoming camping trip, I did not even try to hide my disdain. May as well let him know from the start that I AM not a camper I thought to myself.

Over the years the husband has tried to persuade me to camp but I have never given in. Perhaps I am not being fair since my only “camping” experience was a girl scout camping trip back in the mid-1980s.

Ugh, I can still remember that weekend like it was last week. The troop leader and her husband were a little weird, very tree-hugger-ish, and I remember sitting in the front seat of the husbands pick up truck for what seemed like hours to get to the campground.

They had instructed us to buy and bring actual camping equipment (canteen, some sort of pot for cooking and a sleeping bag) and we slept in a gross cabin ON THE FLOOR. The bathroom was communal and required you to walk in the woods to get to it – yikes!

We cooked breakfast on a fire and I was reprimanded for having juice and not water in my canteen. It was cold and everything smelled like camp fire. It was then that I realized camping was NOT for me.

The husband, however,  has gone camping a couple of times with friends and even took the twins once. The twins LOVED it (go figure) which gave the husband dreams of our family renting a camper (as if I would sleep in a camper that other people have used) and taking camping vacations.

I thought about it (ever so briefly) but life is too short for me to spend a week in a rented camper.  I want the boys (all 4) to experience it though, so I told the husband camping will be their “male bonding.”

This past Saturday, the twins were invited to a “camping” themed birthday party for their friend and fellow Blue Flame M. The party was from 5-9 and families were welcome to camp in the backyard after.

Normally, this sort of party would worry me but M’s mom is my friend C (also fellow blogger, Senior Soccer Mom and occasional kettlebell work-out partner) so I knew it would be a good time.

I was not wrong!

From the minute we entered the yard, the twins were off playing and I was left to fend for myself – among the other moms, dads and adult beverages. Occasionally, I would glance at the pitched tents around the yard, but I never got a pang of campers envy.

The night air had gotten cold and the thought of sleeping outside did not appeal to me. I told the twins the tents were “props” so they wouldn’t feel bad (I was ratted out though).

There was music and laughter and marshmallow toasting around the huge fire pit. It was SO fun. All the parents were relaxed and enjoying themselves and the kids were totally entertained.

Hmmmmm, maybe this is what camping is all about? I thought to myself. I guess it could be appealing if you went with friends (or George Clooney) and just hung out around a camp fire?

All good things must come to an end and soon it was 9pm and time to pick up the little kids at my brother’s house. The twins whined but eventually relented (exhaustion was on my side). We said our good-byes and promised that next year we (i.e. husband and kids) would camp out.

On the way home I could still smell the camp fire in my hair (this smell hung around forever btw) and I thought that was my kind of “camping” adventure – wine, fire pit, friends and home in my own bed by 10pm!

Uh Oh

Classic Margarita on the Rocks with Salt at LA...

Classic Margarita on the Rocks with Salt at LA Food Show (Photo credit: Muy Yum)

Last Friday was the unofficial end to summer, as well as my 7th day of “vacation” with my 4  children and I was in the mood to  consume alcohol celebrate.

I texted Mrs. Jeter and we came up with a plan – Chilis, 8pm for margaritas and chips (only if gluten-free for Mrs. J).

Friday was a very looooong day for me. The twins were fighting, J was in über ASD mode and L was having an attack of the “terrible twos” times 1000 so my countdown to margaritas began around 10am.

Friday-night outings are a rarity so I made sure to take full advantage. I wore my new “going-out” jeans, re-applied the make-up that had worn off hours before and sprayed on some perfume before running heading  out the front door.

The music in the van was jammin’ all the way down Route 130 south as I made my way to Chilis (jealous?) and all I could think was WHOOOO HOOOO, I AM FREE!!

Mrs. Jeter and I were feeling extra daring and sat at the bar. Looking around, I sadly noticed that we were the not only the youngest patrons, but also the best looking. Wow, we really got to get out more!

Time flew as we (mostly me) devoured the unlimited chips and salsa and drank iced cold margaritas, on the rock with salt. We were laughing and telling stories and no one was interrupting us – except for THE annoying bar tender chick who seemed constipated when she had to ask us a question.

Before long we heard the sounds of a vacuüm and realized that it was indeed “closing time” (insert music of Semisonic song in background), look at us, a couple of “old ladies” closing down the Chilis!!

I don’t even remember what time it was when we got outside and started talking by my van. A little while later I glanced at my phone and saw 12:30am and figured it was time to go. Me and Mrs. J hugged good-bye and promised to text each other in the am.

I was in a good mood driving home and blasted the 80s music as I dug around in my purse for some gum. The road was empty except for some ass in an SUV who had practically attached himself to my bumper.

I was in too good a mood so I let him pass me and continued singing – and searching for my phone charger (I can multi-task even while driving). All of the sudden I saw orange cones up ahead and a bunch of flashing lights. Oh is must be construction, I thought as I raised the volume on the next song.

Suddenly the right lane ended and all the cars ahead of me came to a stop. There were police cars everywhere and a yellow sign – uh oh, this was not construction, I was in the middle of a DUI check-point.

OMG, OMG oh crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I began to panic. This was it, all those years of thinking I was “fine” to drive were now coming back to haunt me. OMG what was I gonna do?? OMG pleaaaaase don’t pick me, I am in a mini-van for Christ’s sake. Can you pull over a mini-van for DUI? Crap, do I look guilty for chewing gum? were just a couple things that ran through my mind. 

I couldn’t even text Mrs. Jeter for moral support because holding a cell phone was a definite no-no. The 2 cars ahead got asked to pull over (including the ass that had cut in front of me) by a big police officer holding a flashlight. Help me!

Finally it was my turn. I opened the window and tried to look “normal” before I was greeted with Good Evening ma’am, we are conducting a DUI check have you consumed any alcohol tonight?

What do I do? Do I say no? What if I say no and they pull me over and find out I was lying? Do I tell the cop I had 1 drink? Will he really believe I only had 1 drink? WTF????!!

I took a deep breathe and said that I had 1 margarita at Chilis (I figured no one would make that up).  One drink at Chilis huh? the cop said skeptically as he peered into my windows (what the hell would I be hiding in a mini van??).

You wouldn’t be talking on your cell phone would you? was his next question. Um, no, I am actually charging it I said as I held up the phone still attached to cable (whew, thank GOD the phone wasn’t on my lap like it always is). Oh, so you are charging it? he asked again looking in my damn windows (really?).

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the cop handing me a MAD pamphlet and told me to have a good night. You too, have a nice weekend! I said in a high-pitched, squeaky voice.

OMG OMG OMG I survived, I didn’t get pulled over THANK YOU GOD!!!!

I drove home with the radio turned down really low and did not go over 35mph. When I got home a feeling of relief washed over me. I can NOT wait to tell Mrs. Jeter was all I could think as I crept into the house and got ready for bed. We “old ladies” sure do know how to have a good time!

**this post in no way condones drinking and driving**

Heaven is a place on Earth – for 3 hours and 10 minutes anyway

Mrs. Jeter & Me

A few months back, Mrs. Jeter and I came up with our very own “bucket list.” Unlike the typical “bucket list” ours did not consist of jumping out of an airplane or climbing Mt. Everest. Ours was a simpler list consisting of an all-day Seinfeld marathon, getting tattoos and a beach day without kids AND red Solo cups (it’s a work in progress).

Between the 2 of us, Mrs. Jeter and I have 6 kids, each with a different camp/school schedule (not to mention some with ASD), full-time jobs and spoiled husbands which leaves us with ZERO time for ourselves. However, we were determined to cross at least one thing off our list this summer.

This past Friday, our determination, with a little divine intervention, paid off and at 9:15am we found ourselves on 195 south heading toward Pt. Pleasant. Yes, Mrs. Jeter and I were about to embark on our first ever beach trip together with NO KIDS!!

There was just one problem, I had to be back to “reality” by 3pm to pick the twins up from camp. That only left us a little over 3 hours of beach time, would that be enough??  After minimal debate it was decided that 3 hours was better than 0 hours so the plan was set.

We met up in the Panera parking lot and must have looked like a couple of teenagers jumping up and down and giggling. OMG it was really happening, we were really going down the shore!!!

We threw our bags into Mrs. Jeter’s minivan and took a quick inventory – chairs (check), umbrella (check), iPhones (check), red Solo cups…damn it no cups! Ugh, how the heck would we consume the margaritas I had stashed in my cute Vera Bradley cooler with no cups?

Wait, I had an idea, I could run into Panera and buy 2 iced teas – quench our thirst AND re-use the cups for Jose Cuervo. Problem solved and we were on our way.

The ride to Pt. Pleasant flew by as we reminisced of summers past – drinking at the Tiki Bar, baking in the sun for hours (and hours with an spf of 10) and summer shares. Mrs. Jeter was even able to spot one of the houses she had rented like 15 years ago. I offered to take her picture in front of it but she passed.

We parked in the closest lot (what’s $15 when we had 3 hours of beach time ahead of us) and ran up to the boardwalk. Together we just stood there, chairs in hand, in complete and utter amazement. Are we really here? Is the sun really shining? Are the kids and husbands really not here?

We paid for our beach tags and bolted to find the perfect beach spot – preferably far away from any skinny girls in skimpy bikinis. We set up camp quickly and settled into our chairs before letting out a huge, collective AHHHHHHHHHH!!

The next 3 hours were nothing short of bliss. For 3 hours we had NOTHING to worry about. There were no drinks to pour, no phones to answer or work assignments due. Instead we sat in beach chairs, facing the water, sipping margaritas under the hot, August sun smiling and laughing.

All good things must come to an end and our beach day ended WAY TOO SOON. It felt like I had just sat down and before I was packing up and preparing for the car ride home – NO!!!!!

We decided to give ourselves one last treat before heading home and dined on ice cream (soft serve vanilla/chocolate swirl) for lunch. It was THE perfect ending to THE perfect day.

It hasn’t even been a week and already my beach day seems like a lifetime ago. Pretty soon I won’t remember what we talked (the drama of KPatt and our love of Magic Mike, obliques and Princess Kate) but I will always have my beach memories (and some pictures) to help jog my memory every now and then.

Thanks Mrs. Jeter!! Next item off the list – tattoos!!

This is NOT lemonade

The underappreciated K-turn

Rear view of a 1996 Chevrolet Beretta Z26. Cam...

Rear view of a 1996 Chevrolet Beretta Z26. Camera used was a Nikon Coolpix 5000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I grew up in New Jersey and you can not get a driver’s license until you’re 17, therefore, your 17th birthday is a BIG deal. All my friends counted down the months, weeks and days leading up to their big day and it was an unwritten rule that on your actual birthday, you would come into school late after taking your driver’s test. Friends would pass their newly printed license around as we made plans about where they would drive us after school (Garden State Plaza anyone?).

 I was sort of the exception to this as I did not get my driver’s license until 5 months AFTER I turned 17. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t want to drive. I couldn’t wait to drive! I hated depending on friends,or my mom, to pick me up and drop me off someplace. I remember standing in my friend’s basement waiting to see who drew the short straw and be forced to take me home.

No my problem was that I did not have a car and my mom was less than willing to teach me to drive and/or let me use her blue Hyundai Excel hatchback. To this day I really don’t know what my mom’s problem was but she refused to teach me to drive. Instead she sent me to driving school the summer I turned 17. OMG it was hell!!

An obese man in a pea green station wagon (no, I am not exaggerating) picked me up at my house and made me drive around for an hour in a car with no air conditioning. I can clearly remember driving in this green tank passed the Bergen Mall in Paramus and wanting to cry feeling completely humiliated. (Mom eventually took pity on me and put me in another driving school with an elderly teacher who called me Nadine (not my name) for 4 weeks)

However, there was one person who took pity on me, my friend R.  One night when she was driving me home (poor R was like my chauffeur that summer – and many more to follow) in her black, Chevy Beretta, she pulled over on West Pierrepont Avenue and told me I could drive her car up back up the street. OMG, really????!!!!! 

We quickly switched seats and I buckled myself in and mentally prepared. I remember being very nervous as I stepped on the gas pedal (a little too hard) and up the street we went (flew is more like it). It was amazing!!

I also remember R teaching me how to do a K-turn right before my big driving test. She made it seem so easy and I prayed that I would be able to master that and parallel parking, get my license and finally be able to drive.

Well  I passed the test but had to wait 4 more years for a car. Occasionally Mom would let me borrow the Hyundai but more often than not it was me in either R or H’s car calling “shotgun” and playing with the radio (H only listened to Led Zeppelin – yuck).

Yesterday I was making a k-turn on a small side street in Princeton and had a flashback to that summer night, LONG ago and it made me smile. I still can’t parallel park or back up into a parking space but I can drive straight, merge and k-turn like a pro! Thanks R!!

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Take 3 advil and don’t call me in the morning (please)

For weeks my friend Midgie had been asking me where I wanted to go to celebrate my birthday. I suggested the diner or On the Border for a margarita and some guacamole but Midge wouldn’t have it  This is a big birthday and you will not go to On the Border!! 

After much thought it was decided me, Mrs. Jeter and Midgie would meet in Princeton and pick a bar when we got there.

All day I fretted over what to wear. Would jeans make me look fat? Why didn’t I lose 10lbs? OMG look at all the gray hair showing! Do my black, patent wedges scream mom?  What do I do about my big mom purse, surely it can’t be cool to carry a Vera Bradley tote for a night out with the girls. Wait, do I look like I am trying too hard??!

At 8pm we all gathered and decided to head on over to the Alchemist and Barrister (A&B for the locals) for drinks. Me and Mrs Jeter were excited but Midgie was nervous, second guessing the venue and wondering if we would have been better off at the Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant.

We crammed ourselves around a small table and carefully read the menu before selecting our drinks of choice. Margaritas for me and Mrs. Jeter (the waitress told us it was a great choice because her mom loves them – Midge didn’t get why this was a little insulting) and a vokda-something for Midge.

We laughed and ate nachos and made up stories about some of the other patrons and had a great time! I was feeling fine and happy and it never really occurred to me that I should maybe slow it down or (gasp) stop. I figured I was drinking water so I was good (lol). Finally after I spilled my glass of Cabernet and posted some mushy Facebook post the girls decided it was time to go.

I stood up and attempted to walk out of the bar looking cool and put together but instead I tripped out the door (note to self all the “kids” wore flip-flops not wedges) and stumbled up the hundred or so steps (ok, maybe it was only 10 but it felt like 100) to the sidewalk.

I was ready to party and told Midge to call up her boyfriend so we could meet him out. Midge, being smarter than her 27 years,  knew it was time to get me home and off we went to find her car with me whining behind her.

 We were almost at her car when I spotted a very well dressed man sitting passed out on a park bench. He was wearing a blue dress shirt and fancy shoes without a scuff on them.

Only in Princeton could you see a well dressed man passed out on a bench. I frantically searched for my phone deciding I needed a picture with this man ASAP. This was the stuff memories were made from! It took some convincing, Mrs. Jeter and Midgie thought he was dead, but eventually they gave in (see below).

Midgie dropped me off at home and I somehow managed to make it upstairs and to pass out (literally) in my bed. I woke up the next day to see my bangle bracelets strewn all over the floor and my hair piled on top of my head in a clip.

My head was pounding and all  I wanted to do was turn over and bury my head in the covers, however, someone else had other ideas Mommy? Mom? I want waffles!  MOM, you said 5 minutes a long time ago, how long is 5 minutes because I am hungry????!!

Nothing brings you back to reality quite like the sound of a hungry 5yo. It took all day to recover from my night out (old age SUCKS) but it was worth it – I wonder if Princeton Man would agree.

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