September 17, 2013

Assorted Stuff.

I am so excited for this week, I can't even tell you.

I turn 31 on Thursday, and that morning, before the sun rises, I get to kiss my kids and my husband goodbye, board a plane by myself, and fly to San Francisco. This trip is a beautiful, immensely thoughtful, surprise gift from Nekos, who arranged for me to meet my best friend, Brooke, out there; she lives in Spokane, and I literally haven't had more than an hour or two of alone time with her in the past four years.

When she moved away from Nashville four years ago, I cried like a child. I still feel her absence every day. Needless to say, the fact that we get to explore this magical city on the bay together, bundled in cardigans and scarves, cheeks flushed with wine and wind from the bicycles we're planning on renting--that is just such a gift. I have this feeling that when I return, I'll be reacquainted not only with her but with myself. I forget to visit with myself nowadays because there's always someone's sippy cup to fill, someone to pick up or drop off, some deadline that's past due, or some stupid thing on my phone that I feel like I need to waste an hour looking at.

I also have romanticized San Francisco--and, really, the entire state of California--my whole life. This is in part because there's this grizzled old writer, Rod McKuen, who set almost all of his poems in San Francisco and Sausalito. My mom wrote one of his poems, "Ellen's Eyes," in my baby book, so Rod and I, we are kind of meant to be. Call him corny if you want, but I will defend Rod to my dying day.

This little getaway will give me more "me" time than I've had in years. An entire flight to read magazines, drink a carmel macchiato, and listen to my iPod? No kids to shush, coddle, or fidget with? This can't be real. Brooke and I found a room to rent in an apartment on Fillmore Street via, which is how I found the apartment that Nekos and I stayed at in Barcelona two years ago. (Best lodging experience evvvvver.)

I am kind of dreading two things about the trip, though. One, I am going to miss my kids. Isn't that crazy? I crave time away from them, and yet dread it at the same time. I'm especially dreading being away from little Livvy, because she is always with me, always on my hip, and it will just feel strange not to have her there. But I know Nekos and my mom will take great care of her and Tessa. And two, I dread the breast pump. I wanted to be ready to be done with breastfeeding by this trip, but I'm just not quite there yet. This is my last baby, and nursing her has just been such a great convenience, money-saver, and source of joy, that I am going to take my pump along and pump it and dump it for four days. Doesn't that sound like hell? I'll have one double electric pump at the apartment where we're staying and one single manual pump to tuck into my purse. Sometimes being a woman blows.

We are definitely still taking recommendations for things to do while we're in San Francisco, so if you read this in time, could you leave suggestions in the comments below?

In other news, Livvy has learned to stick out her tongue. This I find delightful. I keep sticking out my tongue at her so she'll do it back. It's the silliest thing ever to happen to her.

And I launched a website for my freelance writing, editing, and marketing business. It's called "Black and White Type," and I'm hoping it helps me drum up a bit more writing work. The site was so easy to build via Weebly that I can't believe I put it off for so long.

Speaking of new websites, my mom started a blog a few months ago. It's called "Pretending to Be Grown Up," and she is balls to the wall with it. It is so super good and honest, and I'm really proud of her.

Lastly, I started the process of ripping up the carpet upstairs and painting the floors "Antique White." I've only done the hallway so far, and still have Livvy's room and the master bedroom to do, but I am enamored of them. It was easier to do than I thought, actually, not counting the hundreds of staples I had to pluck out of the floor with pliers. The floors just needed a light sanding after that, a good scrubbing, and then two coats of Sherwin Williams's Porch and Floor paint. I didn't put anything on top of it, as I'm just going to let it weather and wear how it may. I can always touch it up if I want to, but these floors are beat all to hell anyway, so there's no sense in trying to put lipstick on that pig.

My upstairs has always been the ugly stepsister of my house as far as I'm concerned--all because I'm embarrassed of the carpet--but I can't wait to spend this winter plodding around on these creamy floors and picking out some pretty new area rugs for them. My hope is that by removing all that carpet and padding--and all the allergens they hold--I can alleviate my allergies, too. I'll definitely chronicle the floor-painting process here. And, can you even imagine how much money I'm saving by doing this myself instead of paying someone to put in new hardwoods or fresh carpet? Thousandssssss.