Monday, June 29, 2009

Fingers Are Crossed

Baby #3 came home from preschool on Friday afternoon and proceeded to vomit profusely all over my house for the next 36 hours. Thank God for carpet cleaners and bleach (not in the carpet cleaner, of course).

Baby #2 woke up early this morning with an urgent need to hunch over the toilet as well. She's now paying frequent visits to bow before the porcelain throne.

Baby #1 and I have so far dodged the bullet, but I'm nervous as hell. The four of us are supposed to be boarding a cross-country flight with one layover tomorrow afternoon. The possibility of getting sick myself, while trying to shepherd my three children cross country by myself - especially when one of those three is a very active and strong-willed 21 month old boy - scares the crap out of me. No pun intended.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make it Happen

This is the message I am getting from so many different directions.

I guess it's really a kinder, gentler way of telling me to shit or get off the pot. Quit mulling over all the things I wish I could do, want to do, can't wait to do, wish I had time to do...and just DO IT.

So, my life either becomes a Mariah Carey song or a Nike commercial, but I have got to make a radical change soon.

This could get messy.


After getting yelled at by a flustered colleague this afternoon, I realize I really need to quit procrastinating and start making the next chapter in my life happen - NOW!

I'm listening...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Slice of Heaven

I returned to my real life in Phoenix on Monday evening. It was sheer joy to see my husband and children again. I missed them like crazy. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it was a treat to spend four and a half relaxing days in Miami, reconnecting with one of my oldest friends.

Actually, let me rephrase that. One of my friends of longest duration.

In addition to renewing our connection, I also had the good fortune to make a new friend as well. Carmindy's friend Pascale was also visiting, so the three of us had a weekend filled with great food, great wine, and lots of girl talk. I can't remember the last time I did that.

My friend's house is the perfect retreat. It's in a quiet neighborhood, surrounded by tropical flowers and trees. She has created an oasis of peace, and it was dreamy to be able to spend time there.

These last two photos are of the room I stayed in. I adore the carved piece above the head of the bed. It's an astrological calendar she had imported from Myanmar. Okay, it probably cost more than my monthly salary, but it was gorgeous!

After surviving the Great South Beach Flood of 2009, we decided to stick close to home on Saturday, and enjoyed a delicious home-grilled meal. Salmon, asparagus, and a mind-boggling kale salad. I'm craving it today!

On Saturday night we did the mandatory Miami nightlife experience. I got to meet some of Carm's friend's from New York, and we had a great time. Most of the evening was spent sitting in awe of the fact that many folks in Miami are still living in the 1980s. Amazing! Amusing!

One of the highlights of the trip for me was spending the day Sunday out on a boat with Carmindy, Pascale, and two other fabulous women named Dee and Melody. Five girls, a boat, great food, cocktails, and a beautiful afternoon...dreamy!

My husband was worried about pirates. I told him we were covered.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Crazy Weather

Yes, I know it's officially hurricane season, and I know that what I experienced today wasn't even close to the insanity of a true hurricane, but I got to experience wild Florida weather for sure.

The day started off beautiful and sunny, and I spent the first few hours in the pool at my friend's house.

Then we decided to head to South Beach for lunch and a dip in the ocean. By the time we finished eating at a place called The Ice Box (divine, by the way), the skies were looking a little dark, but we walked down Lincoln Road to Collins Avenue and accessed the beach by the Delano. It was looking even sketchier once we hit the sand and looked around.

My friend ran and took a 2 minute swim, then we grabbed our stuff and headed into the hotel because the storm was coming.

And was it ever.

It started with a good downpour, which soon deteriorated into gale-force winds, hail, and massive lightning and thunder. We felt pretty safe on the sheltered patio of the Delano. I got a little misted from blown rain as I sipped my Arnold Palmer and enjoyed the show. We marveled at the sheer brilliance of idiots with metal-tipped umbrellas, walking out into the storm when lightning was striking all around us.

Eventually the manager rounded up all the brave souls on the patio and ushered us into the hotel lobby area. It was getting dangerous, as palm fronds and pieces of hotels' facades were beginning to fly around. We were stranded inside the Delano for several hours because the valets refused to retrieve any of the parked vehicles, even after the worst of the storm passed. Another friend had joined us shortly before the storm hit, and was going to give us a ride back to our vehicle, but the valets wouldn't get her car.

We went outside eventually, and we saw why.

This was taken after the water had begun receding somewhat.

We eventually got the car (thank God it was an SUV) and began to make our way to my friend's vehicle.

The flooding we saw was remarkable.

This is one of my favorite pictures though...

This woman's smile and positive attitude were incredible! We called out to her and she just grinned and waved, seemingly unfazed by the situation. What an inspiration!

Upon opening the doors to my friend's car, we found several inches of water on the floor. It looks like the water levels had been high enough at one point to flood it. Her car is an SUV as well, by the way!

It took us a good 45 minutes to an hour to get out of South Beach, due to the flooding and resulting traffic back-ups. My friend decided that "survival of the fittest" was the best approach, and took advantage of her SUV's higher clearance to maneuver us around many of the snarls in traffic. Of course, this often involved driving through thigh-high pools of water and spraying everyone around us, many of whom had the car windows open. Ooops!

We made it home safely and decided to make it an order-in-and-watch-movies kind of evening.

Tomorrow's forecast?

More rain. Bring it on!

I'll Take It!

Okay, so I'm here in Miami, in the home of my dear friend who is treating me to a little R&R this weekend. It may not be a week of adventure in Dominica, but I'm happy to settle for this:

Not bad, right?

Wait until you see the rest of the house...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On My Way

I'm sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight to board. This break is long overdue. The week has been stressful and I'm on the verge of snapping after three years in Phoenix without a real vacation.

About six months ago, a dear friend of mine offered to take me on a girls' trip for my 40th birthday in May. We had a great week of adventure planned in Dominica, hiking to the Boiling Lake, exploring the rain forest, lounging by the pool, getting massages. I was so looking forward to the trip. Unfortunately, life got in the way and some things came up that prevented her from making any far-flung trips for the moment.

This same friend lives in New York, but has a home in Miami. She called me last week to tell me that she had worked things out with my husband so that I could come visit her in Florida for a long weekend. The nature of her work includes a lot of travel, so she used her accumulated airline miles to send me a ticket - FIRST CLASS - to Miami.

I have never flown first class...always wanted to but, come on, $2000 for a four hour plane ride?

I remember taking a trip as a child and being escorted into first class by a flight attendant in order to use the restroom. The people sitting there had these magical hot fudge sundaes, served in real glass dishes, with real silverware. I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen, and it made quite an impression on me. Ever since, I've looked enviously at those lucky folks seated at the front of the plane as I wrestle my carry on bags down the aisle on my way to a cramped coach seat.

Today I get to be one of those people.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Note to Self...

...when you hear something behind you that sounds like a crumpling paper bag as you seat yourself in the car, it's probably your pants ripping.

Double check before walking around Target for thirty minutes.

Just in case.