Friday, July 22, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Entertains

It's fair to say I've hosted a lot of get-togethers. A LOT. I think the poor people who lived next to us on Beverly or the other unlucky souls who lived above us in our apartments at Woodlake would concur. Back in my twenties, entertaining guests meant a crock pot full of Que Bueno and several bags of Doritos. If you were lucky. Most of the time we wouldn't sacrifice room in the fridge for food, as the beverages were of utmost importance.

I realized today just how far the proverbial pendulum has swung. One my most favorite people in the world, Fehmeen, who happens to be married to one of my other most favorite people in the world, ALS Boy, came to visit me in Pleasantville. Fehmeen and I met in the teacher credential program a million years ago and hit it off instantly. She is the strongest, most confident, most no-nonsense person I know, and I don't say that just because she has been dealt a pretty difficult hand in life. I say it because it's true. She is amazing.

She deserves a lot more than Que Bueno.

A woman in her thirties knows who she can trust, and when it comes to culinary matters, I trust Ina (thanks, H). In true domestic goddess fashion, I chose an appetizer that sounded very posh:Blue Cheese and Yogurt Dip (Gorgonzola, Greek yogurt, Mayo, lemon juice, shallots)

Added some guac because the avocados were perfectly ripe this morning:
(Avocados, lots of lime juice, garlic, onion, salt and pepper)

And made... that's right... MADE... cocktails:Ruby Red Grapefruit Margaritas (Ruby Red Juice Cocktail, Triple Sec, White Tequila, and lime)

I maintain that some of the worst decisions of my life were made when tequila was involved, but again, this is Fehmeen. She is special. And no one deserves a mid-day margarita more than she does.

The food was great, if I do say so myself, but the company was better. I think Dan and Anna would agree:
And even though Fehmeen kept me up way past my mama-in-her-thirties bedtime, I am still on a high from seeing her yesterday. She reminds me what it means to be a good friend, a good mother, a good teacher, and of course, a good wife. No wonder ALS Boy loves her so much. She makes my attempt at mature entertaining look pale in comparison.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties is Hot

It's rare that you will find me complaining about the heat, particularly since moving to a state that is synonymous with long, cold winters. Today, however, that all goes out the window.

It is HOT.

It is 100 degrees-not-counting-humidity hot:It is the-windows-are-sweating hot:It's the-storm-clouds-are-coming hot:
It's too-hot-for-clothes hot:
A woman in her thirties has probably had her share of extreme weather, and I am no exception. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that the weather is always a good excuse to treat oneself. Today will include Dairy Queen, hanging out near the air conditioner, and TiVo. Clothing optional.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties Identifies

Dear Anna B. Nanni,

This week you are eight months old. Let's think about this for a second. Are you thinking about it? Good.

Remember how I said that six months might be my favorite time with you? Well, I might have been mistaken. In the past four weeks you have figured out how to sit in the grocery cart for longer than a minute:
Explored your technological side (again, you are your Daddy's girl):
And spent more than a few leisurely days by the pool:
There's been a lot of laughing going on in this house, too:

And let's just say I could listen to that laugh all day long. When people ask me about you all I can say is that you are so much fun now. Not that you weren't fun before. It was just a different kind of fun. The fun before included a fair amount of paranoia and sleepless nights. This fun includes jogs around the lake and raspberries on your tummy. So it's different.

This is not to say that we don't have our moments. This week you got your first cold, and you are still snotty and congested. At church recently you laughed loudly during the consecration, which would have been enough to send me straight to Sister T's office back in the day (though the people around us found it hilarious). And you teased me with a week of 12-hour sleeps, you stinker. Let's get back to that lovely place, shall we? How about tonight?

A woman in her thirties should have a pretty clear idea of who she is. I have always identified myself as a wannabe writer, a book nerd, and a teacher, pretty much in that order. But now, since you, I identify myself first as a mother. And here's the crazy part-- this new identity makes me want to be better at all those other parts of who I am. I don't know how you do it, but in eight months you've taught me how to be me.

Thank you for giving me you.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Woman in Her Thirties is a (Re)Patriot

I love the fourth of July for two reasons. One, it reminds me of childhoods spent at the pool. Every fourth of July meant father-daughter races, holding pies on the diving board for the annual auction, and scouring the lawn in the weeks afterward for loose change dropped from swimmers' pockets. Good, good times.

The second reason I love the fourth is because I have a newfound appreciation for my country after living overseas for three years. In China, I was an 'ex-patriot', a horrible term implying that I have broken up with my home country in favor of another. Don't get me wrong-- I love China and loved my experience there. But if there's one thing that my time abroad taught me, it's that we've got it pretty rad over here, all things considered. Take a day during the summer to drink beer, grill out, and be thankful for it.

So that's what we did. Here's Anna, with her stars and stripes:
And here are a few images from the Pleasantville Parade. We showed our love for our fire fighters:Our Veterans:Our horses with sparkly hooves:Our clowns:Our marching bands:
Our superheroes:
And our dogs:
(Alright, fine. Dan was technically not a part of the parade. Here he is hiding between L's legs-- he wasn't terribly excited about all the noise.)

The rest of the day was spent swimming and barbequing, and hanging with (making out with) friends:
And last night, as I rocked Anna back to sleep after the fireworks woke her up, I couldn't help but think that I'd just spent my most perfect woman-in-her-thirties Fourth of July yet. I was thankful for my city, thankful for my friends, thankful for my country, slightly tan and filled to the brim with good food. Just as our forefathers intended.