Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Pitching to Real Moms, the Ones Who Aren’t Perfect"

Well, that was an intriguing article on my laptop courtesy of the digital version of the NYTimes. (less paper, less clutter, less agita over all the articles I should read- but I digress.) The Mom Complex is a marketing division of the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. recently created by Katherine Wintsch who saw the need to market to real moms and not the ad mom ideal (casting an articulate attractive woman whose clothes always match her environment as well as her children's.) You can't really stage the kind of domestic chaos that often passes as our normal. You know, clothes never put away ("after my show is over"), beds rarely straightened ("I am only going to get back in to later") and dirty dishes resting comfortably everywhere. ("Mom! I forgot! Chill!!!") That's when I want to leaf a magazine, any magazine, and savor those images of more perfect worlds where people (i.e. kids) faithfully maintain their obligations, the bathroom, their hygiene and their love of mother. Even the imperfect ones.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Dose of Curiousity

I don't normally comment on an image from a website- but as I checked out today's Nowness dispatch about Bryanboy's visit to the designers DSquared2 in Milan, I was fascinated by the image above. Are they skates? Are they shoes? Where exactly do you wear this stylish footwear?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chaos Control

I'm actively trying to sort and relocate accumulations that need to go. Odd collectibles,
tag sale finds, apparel and hot items are making their way out the door as gifts, donations, Ebay, Craigslist, and consignment. It's time to reduce and I am focussed on this task. Watching the leaves turn I know that winter hovers in the not too distant future. The goal is to have more order and less clutter before the holidays and all the chaos that they bring..

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Crush from Afar (very very afar)

My husband gallantly gave me a "hall pass" to explore my romantic feelings for Ryan Gosling. I was very grateful, but as this is a total impossibility (the age thing could be a problem, as well as my absolute dedication to said husband and kids), I am happy to be an admirer of this talented young actor. And now I have a small crush about which I intend to do nothing. Sweet feelings to enjoy from afar.

A Moment in Time

I was doing an edit to find photos to send to my friend Kirk who is embarking on a long convalescence from hip surgery. I want to print some photos from our visit there last summer to
give him something fun to remember. Pouring over the photos of their after dinner table, lit by candles as the dusk darkened to night- I notice my son sitting in the group and looking at me with a quizzical expression. Hopefully, this recording of our daily moments large and small will one day serve to carry them back to happy memories of our life together.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

He's Back

Wrapped in a similiar package to American Idol but flashier production values, we settled in last night to watch the premiere of Simon Cowell's The X Factor. I guess winning the approval of the panel on the X Factor is a better career builder than going to school, studying for years doing all the small parts until the moment a real opportunity arises to shine. The contestant who practiced alone and unknown in her bathroom and cried when the judges drenched her in praise seemed like a distinct anomaly, but whatever.

It was fun to see Simon Cowell on camera again- clearly happy that "his competition" boasts the biggest prize. For once, Simon didn't seem as brutal as one of his fellow judges,
L.A. Reid who might be more savvy about pop singers than Simon. When Reid gave his approval- you felt this contestant must have some talent. Anyways, let's see if this becomes a cultural staple around here. I might be done with all hype, heart wrenching back stories and flashing graphics. Spending an evening reading a good book seems like a much more appealing idea.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Worrier in Me

I am someone who was born anxious. While cultivating a calm outward demeanor, I am often raging with uncertainty inside. It's in my dna for sure. I can worry about things large and small. Will the current famine in Africa ever end? Will the recently planted perennials come back? Will my husband's day go all right? Will my son get on the soccer team? Will my daughters more than pass their mid-terms? Will the roofer do a good job fixing the roof? Will the President figure out how to get along with Congess? And so it goes- day in and day out. In my earlier life, as a professional photographer working in New York City where you committed all your work to film and didn't see your results for hours or days- well, that was a bonus land for worrying. Will the lab ruin my film? Will my shots look okay? Will the client be pleased? Will they file Chapter 11 before I get paid? Will I get paid? Oh yes, photography back then was a dream profession for someone who is predisposed to agita. Combine that with marriage, three pregnancies, buying a house- it all makes for a bonus land for the anxiety inclined. I have gotten very philosophic over the years as most things have mostly worked out. I actively cultivate things that make me feel calm, like caring for others, gardening, cooking, creating and contributing. But on a bad day, when I can't muster the outlook to focus on feeling positive, well- it's a hey day for my worrying nature. Best not to go there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Country Day and City Night

We had the chance to head out yesterday without our children (as they had no interest in coming along). In the afternoon, we found ourselves strolling the polo grounds in Greenwich, Ct. while taking in the St. Regis Polo Cup. Nothing like a bunch of well to do folks enjoying the company of each other. A throw back to another time when the rich displayed their wealth with a complete lack of inhibition. Of course, my husband's love of vehicles was in full force as he admired an all black Harley Davidson motorcycle (something he wouldn't mind owning in another lifetime).

Later, we made our way to the city to attend Karen Finley's masterful performance Make Love. The audience who relished her interpretation of Liza Minnelli was a very different crowd than the one that attended the polo match earlier in the day. I am always struck by the diversity of what NYC and its environs has to offer. In a matter of blocks, miles or minutes you can travel from one distinct world into another.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For those seeking

Sometimes you see a sign that begs to be photographed. Every economic indicator says it's a rough world out there for most working people and not getting better any time soon. It's a reminder for me to be grateful for all the blessings that I am lucky enough to have.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A visit with friends and more

A Sunday excursion meant the chance to visit friends in Woodstock for lunch. They are the parents of three with one on the way and it was fun to hang out with their young children. I sometimes forget how engaged we all were as a family when my kids were little. Took me back to all the meals together, often requiring a major sweep of the floor afterwards. Something about a highchair, a toddler and a bowl of ziti. Driving back we picked up my son and his friend who were mountain biking nearby. They got in the car sweaty and hungry and grumbling about the bugs and the tough climb up the hills before they could barrel down on their bikes. Still, we watched Due Date on the way home and the jokes and innuendos of the dialogue were easily shared. Children no longer, every day we are more on the same page and that's something to relish as well.

Almost home the guys gamely allowed me a pit stop at Woodbury Commons so I could visit the Pratesi outlet. I roamed the back of the store to scope out the bargain section- and there they were, further reduced- 30% off clearance today! Beautiful boudoir pillowcases of the softest cotton ever. A dream find for this frugalista and lover of exquisite things at the end of a fun time away.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Return of School

It's noon and the house is eerily quiet. I forgot what is was like to have solitude in the middle of the day. It was all back to business this morning. Hair freshly combed, the printer spitting out the newly minted thoughts destined for review by their new teachers. Breakfast, check. Papers, check. Cells phone, check. A quick look in the mirror and then out the door with the excitement of seeing old friends, new faces and having a new set of routines. The first day of school on a beautiful September day means the beginning of the next chapter for mom, as well.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Musings of a Sentimental Mom

Sometimes the anticipation of the return to routines is so great- the appeal of the demands of regular schedules so desirable, that I forget how much I like having my children around- if only for the sake of seeing them, talking to them and sharing with them the highs and lows of daily life. The frustration of their clutter, inconsistencies, and laziness often overwhelms me. I can't wait for school, camp, whatever to occupy them and free me to work, create, and proceed in the fashion that suits me. But tonight, as we eat dinner and discuss the demands of back to school it hits me and hits me hard. It's only a matter of time before they are off and on their own, calling in to touch base and running their own lives. Motherhood presents no shortages of challenges, yet the pleasure of their company has been the most incredible experience of my life. Very little compares or means more, for me, in the end.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who Knew?

James and I treated ourselves to a grown-up excursion today and made a road trip to a hallowed place of all things sleek and powerful, Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. This was the third and final day of a holiday weekend of a rally and races highlighting classic cars. My husband was in heaven and the vehicle worship was fascinating. Like when I first saw all the re-enactors who loved dressing up and pretending it's the Civil War, I was amazed by the passionate display directed towards objects comprised of metal, upholstery and rubber wheels.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Le retour de la beauté

There I was at 7 a.m. this morning greeting my very smiley Sarah with her duffle bag et al at Kennedy Airport fresh off the red-eye from the West Coast. Sometimes nothing is nicer than picking up a loved one and seeing them in the flesh, happy, healthy and full of stories to share. So many anxieties pass through me as a parent when I send my children off in to the world and so much joy fills me when I hold them in my arms again.

Today is also my mother's (and Sarah's namesake) birthday. A mere 97 years ago my mum entered the world and on this day my Sarah came home to us.