Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowed In.

I mean, this is why you have kids.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All Good Things

Obvs it's been a little loco here lately. We've been busy with house showings, moving preparations, social engagements, luncheons, Gymboree, and banging our heads on coffee tables (wait, no, that's just Hendrik).

(Hendrik, who is currently "napping" or, more precisely, "trying to scale the crib to make a break for it.")

(Ah, kids.)

Anyway, all of this beautiful chaos has led to some very definite resolution-keeping from your lady-friend over here in Iladelph.

Friends, this year's resolution was a simple/vague one: All Good Things.

I first came up with it at the mall food court, where every human being is in grave danger of casting aside healthful eating options for the deliciousness that is Chick-Fil-A. I thought: instead of depriving myself this year, I will make my mantra "All Good Things". All good things on my plate to nourish and care for my body; all good thoughts when it comes to family, friends, and those ever-present bothersome worries, the fruitless and frustrating and unproductive "what-if" scenarios.

So far, I think it's working.

Since my two-week Starbucks boycott, my weight is down about 4 pounds. I've got 10 more pounds to lose to be back to pre-baby body, fifteen if we want to get silly and return to the illusive Wedding Physique. So far, so mediocre, only because J and I eschewed exercise this month in the name of family togetherness. Now, it's time to get back to business. I've got a summer to prepare for. The name of the game is TONED.

Body-after-baby aside, the real makeover in 2011 thus far involves my mental clarity. Remember my tendency to become paralyzed by inactivity? It's a vicious cycle for me, and in order to avoid any dangerous missteps, I need to be organized. I mean, ORGANIZED.

This involves having our living environment neat and streamlined. But mainly? Mainly it involves lists and spreadsheets. I am having a love affair with lists and spreadsheets.

I decided at the turn of the year that if I am going to get an MBA this fall, I should practice by running our home like a business. It's not easy being a domestic engineer, y'all. There are many, many things to coordinate. I'm like an event planner that works 24 hours per day. I've got to think cash flow, budget, bills and savings accounts, meal plans, social events, diapering and nap schedules; not to mention the task of keeping the house sparkling and clean enough to be shown in 4 minutes flat. (Really, J called me one day as I was stepping into the shower to tell me that a prospective buyer wanted to see the house in FOUR minutes. I got dressed very quickly.)

Enter: my spreadsheets. I've got one for my budget, in which I list all of the expenses I cover, plus any incidentals that creep up. I've got an ultimate family travel/packing list, which details every item that each family member could possibly need before taking a trip (this one makes travel ever so much easier with a high-maintenace babe). I've got an Excel doc for grocery shopping, which is divided into weekly "staples" and "non-staples" and lists price per unit, so I can properly bargain hunt. (Whole Foods ain't cheap, yo.) I've also got lists of tasks that need to be accomplished before a house showing, and my ever evolving "to-do" list that lives in my Franklin Covey planner, a reliable faux-leather binder/friend.

I am positively Type-A, you guys. And I like it. I feel like I am learning to clean up the mental clutter, allowing me to really achieve my full potential, whatever that may be. (I've got some ideas percolating, my sweets.)

So now that I have finally regaled you with my New Year's resolutions on January 26th, pray tell, what are yours? Have you kept any? Any game-changers?

Of course, I wish you all good things, my friends.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Mah People:

Happy New Year! I am sorry I have been away for eons. I have been living the fabulous life of the blogless. Jealous?

So there was Christmas. It was lovely/chaotic/stressful/delicious. Then there was New Year's, and you didn't see a post from me. Surely you thought - this is not the Melissa P. HomeValley I know and love! She lives for New Year's resolutions! Where for art thou, HomeValley?

Well, I return to you bearing BIG news. I'se been busy, see, along with my cohorts here at the ranch.

We're moving.

Ever so slightly south of PA.

Texas, y'all.

We're moving to Texas.

*writer scratches head, wonders if she herself read that right*

Alas, it's true! J received a job offer from a rather prominent institution in Houston, and so on the day after Thanksgiving? We left Snooze with his grandparents and we dragged our turkey-stuffed booties to the airport at 4 AM. We flew to Houston for the day. (That's where we did this, by the by.)

It was a pleasant day. The flight was on-time and uneventful, except that we listed the states, and I listened to the song Black Sheep by Martin Sexton. I mean, really listened. I even jotted down the lyrics, as tears pricked my eyes. Here's a sampling:

Sitting in this lonely town
Wondering when things are gonna change
Dreaming my life away
It seems these dreams turn into a bunch of dust clouds

Get my nerve up
But my past has been pulling me down
Wondering how long this black sheep
Gonna stick around

I remember somebody told me once before
You can never go home again, once you leave
Say anything just to steer me away
From the truth of who I am and what I believe

So I thanked him for his two cents with a handshake, and some sympathy
And I packed up my blue jeans
And I headed for this big prize
Of my freedom.


It was a moment.

The decision to move away from family is not an easy one, especially when you have a small child. Feelings are hurt. Loved ones are confounded/incredulous/doubtful.

In the end, of course, J and I had to be true to our hearts. And our hearts tell us that life is a gift; and that it is meant to be lived. I can't quell my adventurous spirit, and I don't want to.

Sometimes you just have to try that thing, scratch that itch.

All that said? We sipped our drinks in the Houston airport at the end of that day, and thought: We can do this. We're doing this.

And then, as the days passed... something didn't feel quite right.

I am going to yadda yadda you now, guys. You've probably got dinner plans.

Houston is hot - yadda yadda yadda - J got offered another fantastic position in Dallas.

The rest is history.

Now? We are in the throes of house selling/moving/job startin'/separating for a spell. Not the easiest few months ahead, but I love me a good challenge.

Life is meant to be lived, after all.

More to come. Until then: the stars at night, are big and bright.



(If you're not familiar with Martin, check him out. He's guaranteed to make you happy.)