Entries Tagged 'Friendship' ↓

Mama Bear Friendships

Friendships — the real, legit kind — surprise me sometimes. I think I know how I will be or give or take from those friendships… but it’s not until things get real that I really do know.

My closest friend in the world has had some amazing blessings in her life. And she has also lived the worst kind of tragedy. And I have lived from afar for most of it. But still, there is this visceral reaction to her emotions and experiences that just doesn’t seem at all eased by distance. Weird.

Have you ever had a friend like that? The kind that you never see but you would jump in front of a train for without even knowing that you have?

Phone pain

On the phone, trying to stop a falling piano.

When tragedy struck for her, my reactions were unexpected but I suppose not surprising. I wanted to be exactly by her side as if there was a way I could absorb some of the pain, buffer it, distract it, just (oh God please) STOP it. I remember thinking that it felt like a piano was falling on her over and over. And while jumping in front of that piano wouldn’t protect her pain, there was a chance I could stop even the tiniest, slightest bit and share it and take some fraction of it on so that she wasn’t alone in that deep well of pain. I wanted to be right there, but I also wanted to take up the least amount of space. I didn’t want to be anything else she needed to care for or explain to or think about.

A protective, pain-sharing, invisible shield. With the very best intentions.

I don’t think I protected her one little bit. I do think I was in the way a little. But she graciously allowed me in that space. There was enough piano pain for everyone, you know.

And now, a very wonderful blessing has arrived into her life. Oh, you guys, she is the best, sweetest kind of blessing. 8 lbs, 12 ounces of joy with a helping of her mama’s dimples.

I spent a lot of time Facetiming my friend tonight, only just barely home from the hospital.

Have you had baby? If so, do you remember those first days when your milk comes in and all hell is breaking lose in your body, things no one can see but… WHOA… shit is getting real, you know? And still, everyone wants to celebrate that wee one, and be there, and “help.”

Once again, she graciously let me in. And I was with her when she really just needed alone time. And a handful of Motrin and, sweet mother of God, some sleep.

It’s funny, now that so much good is happening, I almost feel like I want to step back (which is not too hard to do this far away). Again, I am having unexpected but not surprising reactions to this GOOD. I feel like I want to leave her in it. I want to make space for as much joy as possible to come rushing in and wrap her all up. I don’t want to take ANY of it for me. I don’t want to step in front of it or stop it or experience it for her. SHE GETS IT ALL. She deserves it all.

But she gave me some, still. I watched her oldest hold her youngest in the middle of a peaceful cloud of pillows, while people fussed beyond her closed door in the kitchen. What a gift.

Of course, when your favorite loved ones experience very very good things and very very bad things, I think we ALL go “mama bear” for a little while. Something deep down bubbles to the top and acts out on love and instinct, rather than acting on “what is done.” Not that I am really doing anything a million miles away.

And not that I am acting on those feelings entirely, either. Because my feelings are telling me to throw everything to the wind and get on a plane.

But there is GOOD right now, you know? And it’s hers. And her having that good brings me peace and less anxiety about jumping on a plane. I’ll see them all eventually but… everything is (oh God, thank you) OK.

Anyway, I don’t have moments like this often. I thought “mama bear” reactions were strictly for children and husbands and parents and siblings. But friends like these are chosen family and she is so very, VERY much a part of mine.

And I am so very grateful that my closest and dear are all very GOOD right now.

All is well.

And there are dimples out there, people. DIMPLES.

First World Friendship Problems

I’ve come to the conclusion that being a grown-up can make you a terrible friend. Not only does it make you a terrible friend, it renders you fairly useless at finding new friendships and gives you no hope of fanning the flames of any potential ones.

Let me explain.

I used to be a pretty good friend, or so I thought. I wasn’t the kind of girl who had dozens and dozens of flighty, here and there friendships. I’ve been a cereal monogamist from  he start. I always focused on a few but loved those few with all I had.

So nice of me.

Fast forward to now. I don’t call my friends. That just takes too long. I hardly check my voicemail. That takes too long, too. I follow them on Facebook certainly, but it takes something really cool or really, REALLY cute to inspire me to make any effort to comment. I don’t see my friends. Because that would require calling them. And making a plan. And organizing childcare.

And it’s not that I don’t think I am capable of being a good friend. I’m just not being a good friend currently. At least, not very well.

But I love my friends, right? I do. I really do. They are worth every effort, of course. So why don’t I make that effort?

*Insert whiny, super dramatic groan here.*

Because I’m too busy. And too tiiiiirrrred.

Waaah.

Being a grown-up — and my definition of grown-up means a bill-paying parent with a mortgage and too much laundry to do — requires that you put friendships at the bottom of your priority list.

I remember learning about an animal behavior theory in college. This is a complete bastardization of how it works (its been a couple decades) but it goes something like this: An animal’s behavior very often depends on it’s environment and immediate needs. So, if it’s life is in danger, food and sleep are back-burnered and an animal does anything in its power to get safe. If it feels safe, ok, then it’s about food, water and shelter. If that’s taken care of then, then sleep is on the agenda. Once they have got that need under control, it’s about procreation — find a mate, make a baby and then take care of the baby. Then, if all of these more important needs are met and accounted for, an animal will… wait for it… play.

That’s me. I’m too busy knocking the rest of my survival list down to think about something as self-indulgent as PLAY.

Ok, yes, I am being dramatic.

(Can I get a resounding “FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!” from my personal Greek chorus? Thanks…)

I hardly, HARDLY (no really, I mean it) have the worst, most exhausting, impossible life. Hardly. But I can’t help it. When the day is done and everything is crossed off the list. What do I do? Do I call a bestie? Or call someone I’ve been meaning to have drinks with for two years? (I actually know a few people like that.) Nope. I go to bed.

So I blame being a grown-up. But really, I should blame myself. Women all over the world manage friendships with far more on their plate.

Remember when I talking about how I wanted to “mom date” again? Yeah. Well. I still do. I still want to meet a couple choice moms, just like me, who I could call and go grab a beer with when I need to. And the crazy thing is that they are here, around, if I only sucked it up and TRIED more.

Wait. “Say Yes To The Dress” is on. I’m already in my pajamas. Man, wouldn’t it be nice to be rested and ready to go tomorrow morning? Yes, yes it would.

So the friendships flounder and I suck out-loud at being the kind of friend I always prided myself on being.

Instead, I just go with the standard, “My real friends understand. THEY get it.”

Sure. SURE they do.

Promise I’ll try harder.

(Cue Greek chorus: WE DON’T BUY IT!)

I said “TRY.”

 

 

Weekend Magic

I went away this weekend. I got to be with friends on an beautiful beach with warm white sand, rustling palm trees and orange sunsets. I know I only traveled an hour from my house, but places like these always seem part of some far-away Tom Cruise Cocktail inspired Never-Never Land in my mind, where drinks always have umbrellas and reggae plays in the distance.

I saw umbrellas in many drinks. And I heard reggae drift over the sand dunes.

Needless to say, it was pretty much exactly what everyone in the whole wide world needs what I needed to regroup a bit. And as we sat there wrapped in towels poolside, with dripping hair, scarfing down messy platters of nachos and sharing stories from our childhood – my soul sighed and put up her feet.

What a rare, magical thing to find a self-indulgent moment of time to connect with people like this. Smart, comfortable, confident, funny, kind women ground me and inspire me. They always have and they always will.  I am besides myself with gratitude for the 24 hours I had to recharge with each of them.

(Pic taken by Angie from A Whole Lot of Nothing because I was an idiot and forgot my memory card.)

And then, after hours of endless conversation late night in our hotel room, we finally headed to bed. And that’s when – oh yeah – I decided to check my phone. There was a message with this picture attached.

My seven year old had lost another tooth. I panicked a little. Did my husband have the whole Tooth Fairy gig down? It was well past everyone’s bedtime, so it was too late to check in. What to do. I just had to assume he had it covered. Ok. So I put the mommy guilt aside and tucked myself in for a rare restful night’s sleep without children sneaking in besides me to steal pillows and twirl my hair.

(…Of course, I had a stress dream about my high school headmaster yelling at me for not getting a certain assignment done in time – which is about right…)

The next morning, my husband relayed with confidence (and the teeniest bit of swagger) that he had, in fact, donned his imaginary fairy wings with pride and made magic happen. He even had our seven year old write the Tooth Fairy a note.

So while I “just let it go” this weekend (just like the Tradewinds Resort logo insisted), my husband made sure to capture a small moment of little boy wonder.

And I thought I would share it with you of course.

There is magic everywhere, if you look hard enough.

Bending in the Wind for Anissa

Last night, I read a message from a husband telling his wife’s friends that she has had a stroke. Anissa Mayhew was in the ICU and we had no further information.

A stroke. A mother, a blogger, a friend, my age, infatuated with Edward Cullen and looking forward to a Disney Cruise planned for tomorrow, had a stroke and is now unresponsive.

I don’t claim to be Anissa’s BFF. By no means. And I won’t get all freaky and make this tragedy all my own. But my heart has broken regardless. If you know Anissa even in passing, or from reading her blog, you will understand this. Anissa’s reach extends far beyond her immediate friends or family in Atlanta. And I am having a very hard time expressing all that she has done for everyone else… Really, just go and read about her. I know I just won’t do her one stick of justice.

anissamarch5So, I’m far from her BFF but I know her. We’ve met a few times and I consider her a friend. We shared a stroller at the March of Dimes walk this year. (By the way, she organized that group. Local Tampa bloggers came together – see pic here – to walk for Maddie because she organized it. It’s just how she rolls.) Our kids have played together. She promised me vodka at the Type A Moms conference. When my friend’s baby passed away, I found myself immediately typing an email to her. HELP. What do I do? She told me to BE THERE for her, don’t back away. Did you know that she went to 9 funerals for children this year? She has seen loss, she knows it well, SHE has been the rock that so many people have depended on. She told me she hated being considered some expert on the subject, who would? But she sure as shit knows how to love her friends. And she gave me advice about how to love better during tragedy and pain. She gives and gives and gives.

So now she is experiencing a horrible tragedy. Her brain bled. And she hasn’t woken up.

Did you know she happened to be on a segment on the Today Show this morning? It was about spanking children. Do you know how she suggested we punish our children? Have them sit on the floor, face each other and hug for ten minutes. I laughed hard.

And then the tweet I cracked up at yesterday and had to retweet:

RT @AnissaMayhew Don’t tell anyone, but I made $326K from blogging last year but I blew it on bacon and the Jonas Bro fan club.

If you’ve heard about all the recent drama regarding bloggers deserving to be paid, I assume you are laughing and loving it just as much as I did.

So anyway. Not long after that tweet  (hours?) she collapsed. And is now laying in an ICU. Unresponsive.

Life has plodded on today despite this news, as it always seems to.

But then I was driving home from my 3yo’s school today and Ani came on my MP3 player. Not surprisingly, I couldn’t help but think of her.

buildings and bridges
are made to bend in the wind
to withstand the
world,
that’s what it takes
all that steel and stone
is no match for
the air, my friend
what doesn’t bend breaks
what doesn’t bend
breaks

She  knows how to bend, to make room for it all, she has withstood so much. She bends and moves and works against it and surives it all with laughter and love and the purest kind of charity.

we are made to bleed
and scab and heal and bleed again
and
turn every scar into a joke
we are made to fight
and fuck and talk and
fight again
and sit around and laugh until we choke

Anissa is a really funny woman. Really funny. Wit and humor weaves its way through every post, every conversation, every experience. She turns every scar into a joke. And those in pain around her find that they can breathe again when they laugh.

Whether she likes it or not, she has become an example to so many. She is familiar with death. She knows a parent’s purest kind of fear. So many have looked to her. What do we do? How do we do it?

So Anissa, now its you. Our hearts are gripped with fear but we don’t have you to ask what we should do. But I know your example has already put the wheels of charity and support in motion. If there is one small bit of gratitude I have right now, it would be that I am comforted knowing you are getting all the love you’ve given back right now. Karma is your bitch, she owes you BIIIIIG. The love is coming – for you, for your family, for the community you’ve created, and have left waiting for your return.

Wake up Anissa, fight back again. So you can turn this scar into one more joke. You, of all people, can do this.

For any and all information regarding Anissa, please visit the Aiming Low website where her family is posting updates. Also, please be careful about the information you share and be sure it only comes directly from Aiming Low. Finally, please respect their privacy at this very difficult time. Thank you.

Type A Mom Conference: Finding My Community

And I’m back.

tamcarBack from something quite mind-blowing. And now I have the task of summing it all up into words, words, words… words which brought me there in the first place. Words which I’ve learned will wield quite a bit of power if used well. Words which better do every woman there and the entire Type A Mom experience some attempted variety of  justice. No pressure. So here I go.

Connecting with people online comes with the blogging territory. If you didn’t already know that, consider yourself informed. When you blog, you interact, you contribute, you gain readers, make friends, read others, become immersed in peoples lives and then connect on many social media levels again and again and again, everyday. What I mean is: I have a lot of online friends. I don’t care what your “ew, that’s kind of creepy online stalker-ish” thoughts are on such friendships – I have them and I’m proud of them.

So. This weekend, I had the opporitunity to travel deep into the hills of North Carolina and seek out some of these very women to meet in “real” life. Women who, over the course of four days, became more than just words. They became people – with great accents and loveable mannerisms and diverse backgrounds and fabulous shoes and hysterical stories and gorgeous children and genuine hearts. They live, they breathe, they are more than just a 140 character tweet. Yes, all of my apparent imaginary friends had come to life. In Asheville.

Clearly, I was busting with so much squee, glee and enough “OMG” that I saw stars and felt a teeny bit faint. I was, for all intensive purposes, frigging besiiiides myself I tell you.

So let me get down to these amazing people.

First up, I meet Corina at Down to Earth Mama and Ilina at Dirt and Noise. You wouldn’t have thunk it was for the first time. But those are my girls. They were from the minute I met them last Thursday. Smart, funny, sassy, thoughtful, invested… and did I mention smart? So smart.

tamwomenUpon arrival at the bar the first evening, I was greeted by a delish Type A Mom cocktail along with Kelby and Astacia themselves. Friends continued to arrive, glasses raised, the laughing roared, hugs were traded, wonderful moments all around. That night my heart soared as I found Moosh in Indy, Pundit Mom, Deb on the Rocks, Sugar Jones, Anissa Meyhew, Heather Spohr, Melanie Edwards, Susan Peyton, Angela England, Jennifer James, Mary Davis, Renee Ross and so so many more. And over the weekend, I was introduced to such fabulousness as Cecily Kellogg, Laurie Smith, Rachel Herrscher, Arianne SegermanJulie Roads, Barbara Jones and Nirisha.

(Maybe, somehow you don’t know who a few of these women are. But they are kind of a big deal. And not just to me. So go find them, bookmark them and get to know them too. For real. You won’t be sorry.)

That same night, Kelby showed me the Type A Mom magazine where she had dedicated that issue to “two astounding mothers of Type A Mom editors who passed this year”. My mother was one of the two she mentioned. So yes. In that bar that night there were tears too. Thank you Kelby.

Oh wait! There were panels! I mean, they were kind of the point to all of this right? And those panels practically deserve their own post. So much was hashed out. So much was discussed. For instance, we tackled some of the following questions:

How can women involve themselves in politics of any kind as a blogger? What effect can we actually have? What are our expectations for working with companies and PR representatives? How do we advocate for ourselves? What level of professionalism is expected? How do we blog with authenticity? How to we keep it real and keep on writing? How much do we share? What the hell is SEO and how do we get a clue about it? Does blogging mean any kind of long term pay off or future as a writer? Did you know blogger karma always, ALWAYS pays off? Can’t we be ok with being paid in cupcakes and cough syrup or should we demand actual payment for our writing and reviews? Should we be called Mommy Bloggers? Does it matter what we’re labeled?

The panels and the thoughtful discussions they inspired were enough in of themselves. And I learned a great deal. But those panels (as fabulous as they were) weren’t what left the greatest impression on me.

tamtableIt was community. It was realizing that while I blog at home in my own stay at home solitude, there are women out there who have my back and support me. It was understanding that every blogger – no matter how well known – puts her pants on one leg at a time. We all have insecurities and frustrations with blogging, we all have hopes for our futures with our writing, we all -to the core- appreciate those that read us, we all find our momentum from the most impressive element of this conference: community.

To all of the women there sharing hugs and affirming each other with conversation, thank you for gracefully folding me into this astounding community of ours.

Oh and by the way, I still don’t think I did this whole weekend any justice. To get a better sense, go here and read more. I will be adding posts as I find them so feel free to share some with me in your comments:

Down to Earth Mama

Cutest Kid Ever

Extraordinary Mommy

Triangle Mamas

Secret Agent Mama

Dirt and Noise

Pensieve has a ton of TAM posts linked here too.

And for way way WAY better more pictures, go check out the Type A Moms Flickr Stream.

Oh and by the way again. My favorite sponsors?

I loved the tee I got from Kika Paprika. I guess we all did.tamtees

Creative Memories was wonderful to share some amazing software that I am playing with right now (it is currently minimized below this window).

Little Debbie kept me full of chocolate cake. (I mean really, what more could I ask for?)

tamhat

And UV Skinz made my son very happy with this umbrella hat.

I’m Mom Dating Again

bffIf you’re a mother, busy with kids and work and married and have very little time for making new friends, you might have a good idea of what I am talking about when I refer to “Mom Dating”. And this weekend, as I was moving out one of my dearest friends and neighbors down the street – entirely too aware of the enormous void she would leave in my life – I knew it was time for me to get back in the game. I need to wipe the grape jelly off my kids faces, put something not so wrinkled on, buck up and start “Mom Dating” again.

As an overly eager college grad years ago, finding new friends was never hard to do. School and then work handed over heaps of new friends to sort through and bond with. But as I became (er… I guess it’s categorized as) a “grown-up”, those school and work friends and I have all dispersed, married and created lives of our own. Sure we call, we facebook, we skype. But we don’t have each other right here. For the spontaneous “bring the kids over for movie night, don’t forget the wine” kind of thing. For the “can you watch my kids so I can have the minimum number of eyes on my parts during my annual” times. For even the “if you let me borrow a stick of butter, I’ll share this raw cookie dough with you” moments.

So, to fill this particular empty void in our lives, we “grown ups” have to on-purpose, fully on the prowl, get out and start Mom Dating. It’s actually no different than regular dating except that it’s done on playgrounds and there is no fretting over how long you hold each other afterwards.

Ugh, but I cringe at the idea. Why? Like real dating, there are always some hurdles we must leap before finding “the one”. Like real dating, we have to put ourselves out there and risk rejection. Certainly trial and error has to be a part of the process but, when it comes to Mom Dating, I know what I am up against.

Finding Moms

When I’m scoping for moms, I keep my eyes open all the time for thirty something-ish mothers that kind of seem a little bit like me, trailing a pack of kids who seem no more or less wild than my own. I often find them in bookstores, grocery stores, Target. But really the best places to troll for moms are: playgrounds (it is the ultimate common ground), school or playgroup (your kids know each other, you see each other regularly, its kind of perfect), kid’s extracurriculars (didn’t you know Little League and karate were really all about YOU?), and libraries. One time I totally exchanged digits with a very cool mom at the library. Before she moved away (grumble grumble, Florida can be so transient sometimes) we were even kind of BFFs for awhile.

Giving the Right Impression

So now you’ve spotted a mom. But before she might allow her children to be anywhere near yours, you really need to give the right impression.  Firstly, always have your kids with you. A hassle (I know) but really, like the chick magnet cute dog my husband had in college, its the perfect ice breaker and establishes you as a 100%, genuine mom – just like her. You want to immediately portray that “Hi there! I’m a normal, regular mom too. See all of my screaming monsters that I’m trying reeeally hard not to yell too much at so I don’t scare to you off?”

Don’t Come on Too Strong

So I can usually break the ice and get this far ok. I’ll have my kids with me (check) and am usually not afraid to say something to another mom (er… check.) But, I’m warning you, be very careful at this very initial stage of friendship. When you first talk to another mom, (please, whatever you do) don’t come on too strong. While I’m not afraid to say hi, I am often too quick to try to relate, get comfortable and then (*cringe*) overshare. And that probably comes off kind of stalkerish and weird when I’m all “Hey, howya doin’, I sooo have cramps today, don’t they suck? I think my kid just pooped his pants, I gave him too many raisins, do raisins make your kids poop too much? My name is Caroline by the way, here’s my blogger business card, wanna email me?…” Shocking, isn’t it, when they don’t respond and then quickly shoo their kids away. Don’t come on too strong, ladies. Eeeeasy does it.

Find Something (Anything) Other than Kids in Common

This is the tough part. You’ve found that you’re both past the initial niceties and have launched into the next level of chat about where your children go to school, where you live, what your partners do. But then the real stuff starts to creep in, as it should. And the real stuff is what makes your friendship something… well, real. Where you’re from, how you raise your kids, what kind of values you have and then (*red lights flashing* warning, warning) in come your politics, religion, status stuff (if you even care) and the rest of it. This is about when you’ll learn whether the other mom is a just a ” ‘Hi, how are you?’ when you pass in Target” kind of mom, or a “regular playdates and lets friend each other on facebook” kind of mom, or a for real “pour your heart out late night over bottles of wine, BFF” kind of mom.

Please take note however. You don’t have to have absolutely everything in common. My dear friend who I just packed out of her house was not of the same political “persuasion” as me. And that’s a big one. While we had a couple rocky conversations, our friendship truly superseded that and it was, to the core, at the BFF level. Diversity and difference can make a friendship go round if you’re honest and accepting of one another.

You’re Friends but What About the Rest of the Family?

And now for one final and very important hurdle. While you and this mom chat regularly and truly seem to be connecting – do your children? Do THEY have anything in common with each other? And even if they do, what about your husbands or partners? Can your significant others hang out and enjoy each other’s company on a regular basis too? Because THAT’S the golden ticket friendship right there. If your family and your new friend’s family connect and enjoy watching the game on Sunday over a couple beers and a few burgers on the grill, hold on and don’t let go. That is a rare and important treasure to be sure.

So. Here I go. If you are a mom that happened to get my blogger business card (*smacking head* why can’t I just write my number on a Publix receipt with a crayon like every other mom), please know I mean no harm. I swear, I’m not a weird stalker chick. I’m just a regular mom who is sick of herding cats kids all day, looking for other moms who get it.

Maybe I need to put an ad in the paper. Maybe there is an online mom dating service. Maybe there is speed mom dating up at the local neighborhood clubhouse. If I can, I’ll try it – because taking the risk and finding a one of a kind kindered spirit is always ALWAYS worth the hassles of Mom Dating. Wish me luck.

Morningside Mom felt the Magic

magicoutsideYeah well. The Magic didn’t win. In fact, they lost by a lot. And we had to watch the Lakers win the entire finals championship. Not cool.

But the night hardly sucked. Not by a long shot. My sister in law got us access to the VIP party tent. We ate delish coconut crusted chicken, fillet, fried tortellini and rice krispie treats dunked in white chocolate. And as we munched, we checked out the various celebs (Joey Fatone counts, right?), the Mayor (of Orlando) and even a Senator.

And you know I am one for full disclosure around these parts. So let me just put it this way. Morningside Mom’s magical night out was helped along by a bartender at the open bar who pulled a rabbit out of her hat with a very heavy pour. Abraca-frigging-dabra. Good gracious. I certainly don’t get out enough. I’m just glad I didn’t get too close to Joey Fatone post vodka tonics…

(“OHMUHGODHAI!!!!!! Hows Justin??? I can do the ‘ain’t no lie, bye bye bye’ dance, wanna see? I saw you guys in concert once… remember?????”)

So the VIP tent lead to a giddy and giggling Morningside Mom, thrilled to be there within all the fun and hoopla, amoungst friends – and of course I wound up trying to make friends too. Yes. I’ve learned that vodka tonics inspire me to be friends with everyone in my section. I mean, what’s their problem? Why don’t they want to chat – be neighborly? It’s just a game. Sheeesh. Apologies specifically to Scott at the end of our row. I am not sure how much of the game I let him watch. (Smacking forehead now.)

Nevertheless. They lost. But I won. An awesome night out to be sure. Thanks to my sister for giving me a hint of a life for just one night.

My Heart Mourns in Iowa

I have this amazing group of friends. There are about twenty of us. We live all over, our backgrounds are varied, but from the beginning our hopes were the same. We all wanted to be mothers. And while we all began trying to conceive our children, we found one another online on a message board. That was almost 4 years ago. In that time, we have shared some of our most intimate details, we have been in touch with one another daily, we have become a sisterhood of sorts. We seek each other out whenever we’re near, some go on vacation together, some talk on the phone everyday. We’ve celebrated the births of many babies, we’ve stood by fertility heartbreaks, we’ve shared the routine and mundane.

Yesterday I found out one of my dear friends from this group tragically lost her 9 month old baby daughter. At this point, they suspect something related to SIDS took her life. She passed away during her nap. And so my dear wonderful friend is currently living her worst nightmare. Tomorrow, she buries her baby girl.

Since hearing this news, my life initially halted. I broke down repeatedly. But it seemed in a vaccuum, with no one around me feeling the depth of such a loss. And then, because her death doesn’t directly affect my daily life here, I was forced to continue hiccuping along. Her daughter is gone but I still have to get milk for tomorrow, my 5 year old still needs to be picked up from school and we are still actually having people over for dinner.

But really, I have wanted to hop on the next plane out of here. My heart isn’t here right now. It’s in a million pieces surrounding my friend in Iowa. While she sits in her home, staring at an empty crib.

This little girl leaves such beautiful memories behind. She gave my friend 9 amazing months of sweet smiles and happy blue eyes. She always said she was the best baby in the world. And I agreed with her. She slept so well. She never fussed. She adored her older sister. She laughed, she smiled, she carried on gladly. My friend’s daily updates on facebook would read something like this: “I’m watching my girl naw on a carrot in her high chair and laugh. She is just so cute!” That baby girl was simply a happy, happy child. And I know that happiness had everything to do with her very wonderful mother.

Thank God for the rest of my friends, however. Some of them are able to fly to Iowa for the funeral. Some of us will be there for her. I am forever grateful. Because we should be there. We have shared ovulating, seven week old heartbeats, ultrasound pictures, and finally, joyfully we’ve ushered so many babies into this world. When my two year old was born, they were told immediately – and they posted his picture and celebrated in their respective corners of the world. They were the first to call or send things. These women love their babies.

And now one of these babies has died. Its unbearable. And so part of our group is flying into Iowa from New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, they are driving from far corners of the Midwest, they are leaving their babies with husbands to group together in a potentially sketchy Comfort Inn they found on priceline. These women, my friends, will be there to surround my dear friend and hold on to her grief as she buries her girl. One of the babies has died.

Oh my heart is broken. I wish I could be there. I am so sorry I can not be. My friend. Her loss. Its horrible.

But the sun keeps coming up and my kids need me to help me with their homework. Life goes on. And it should. And it will for my friend too. She is strong and will move through this pain. One day it won’t hurt as much to breathe. I hope I can help her enough from where I sit here, so far away, in Florida.

Usually I have a point to my posts. Some sort of bottom line or moral to the story. But I don’t have one today. This post is simply my public profession that I am mourning the life of a beautiful 9 month old girl. So no words of wisdom today. There is simply no point to the death of a child. None.

My Fellow Bloggers Post about the Vivienne Tam NYC Experience

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So, you can’t enough of the NYC Vivienne Tam week, huh? Then please go read the posts on my fellow blogger’s sites. They did a great job and its fun to see this experience from several perspectives. Remember that some of us were parent/mom bloggers, some were fashion or accessory bloggers and others were technology bloggers. All were amazing people and I could not have picked a better group to experience this with!

The Art of Accessories
Moosh in Indy (She has video of our initial reactions to the surprise gift too!)
Tech Starlet
A Mom in Red High Heels
Notebooks
Techdiva
Tech Mamas
Mobile PC World
The Mama Bird Diaries

Of course these are not the only bloggers who attended or the only posts about the experience. There were and will be more posts. These are what I grabbed for the time being. (And NYC bloggers, share your posts here if I missed yours!)

Oh and are you STILL wishing you could get a bit of the Vivienne Tam experience for yourself? Well, stay tuned. I may have something to share with you all. Don’t get your panties in a bunch though – its not the HP mini itself. But its still pretty damn cool. You might even see what I’m talking about on some of the sites above. I’ll be posting about this “tech chic” giveaway very soon.

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

Experiencing the Vivienne Tam Show

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After an evening trying to whip myself together into some sort of presentable look for fashion week, myself and the 20 other bloggers tromped out into the rain to go see the Vivienne Tam show.

What did I expect? Some very beautiful, thin, doe eyed girls trooping around in fabulous outfits and a crew of fashionistas getting it so much more than I am, and eyeing everyone up and down. I doubted I’d see VT herself, but what do I know about how these events go down…

And what happened?

Well, we arrived, were escorted right in and handed glasses of champagne. And there was Vivienne Tam standing with all the models in front of a row of Touchsmart HP screens! After many pictures, the models moved on and the crowd mingled. The wonderful DWJ from the Art of Accessories grabbed my hand (I love this woman, by the way) and managed to get us in for a picture with Vivienne Tam herself!

Um. Is this my life? Here we are. (I have no idea what happened with my hair. I am clearly channeling “A Flock of Seagulls”. Whatever. I’m standing next to her!)

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And then a few minutes later, they lined up all the bloggers with Vivienne Tam and took endless pictures. This sounds silly but I totally had a red carpet moment all of the sudden. Little ol’ me. Whoda thunk. I don’t have a big group shot now but will post one when I do.

Anyway, we saw the amazing collection. Its absolutely gorgeous. I fell in love with a beautiful leather dress of hers and was amazed by the beauty of the detail in her dresses.

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A Mom in Red High Heels and I checked out the Touchsmart PCs. We pulled up our sites and took pics of ourselves at the event.

We talked to interesting people, learned more about the inspiration of her collection (which I hope to post more about in the future) and just generally had an amazing time.

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I think what impressed me most was Vivienne herself. She was so taken aback that we were all women bloggers there to support her show. She said it meant so much to have women supporting her this way and was extremely appreciative of us being there. I said to her that women bloggers absolutely adore this mini and all want one. Her face absolutely lit up. She spun around to some very nice man behind her. “Did you hear that?? The bloggers love the Mini!!!” She was genuine, she was warm, she was truly grateful to have us there.

Grateful. Yes. My words exactly.

What an amazing evening.

For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.

 

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