Wednesday, August 29, 2007

save the date

I love doing wedding stuff. It is one of the few days in your life that you can anticipate change. And look forward to it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the local playground

Last week I ventured to our neighborhood playground for the first time. Here are my observations.

#1 - No nannies.
Although, on my 3rd and 4th visit I did encounter one nanny each. These were not the wizened Hispanic women I ran into in Chi-town. No. They were babies themselves. Tan young things right out of college.

#2 - Moms believe ads.
I heard a mom repeat a line from a local commercial like it was a fact from her pediatrician. Crazy. The power of marketing.

#3 - Stereotypes exist in the World of Mom:
• The New York Transplant. Painfully thin and tall, hair extensions, Chanel sunglasses, 4 inch wedge heels (on the sand!), camo capris and a $200 t-shirt.
• Mrs. Kate Spade. Polka dot flip flops with matching visor, tailored button down with starched bermudas.
• The Triathlete. Totally ripped bod, Oakley sunglasses. Any or all clothing from Title Nine or Athleta, all of it technical material.
• The Urban Outfitter. Tan, short, all jersey clothing that only looks good on small women and long wavy hair. She could have lived in Evanston.
• The Hippie. Long flowing dress, no shoes, playing in the sand alongside kids she didn't know.

If anyone needs a variety of women for focus groups, you now know where to go.

good prevails

I sometimes feel like the evil in this world is taking over in such a bad way that it paralyzes me. Small things scare me that would I never ever think twice about normally. The news is awful. We rarely hear about good things happening on this earth.

But last night I walked outside at 2 am and had to squint at the moon. And it reminded me that the light wins. Nature is such a good example of the spiritual (and for many it IS the spiritual). Even in the darkest of places light shines. Nature regains it's place in a deserted cement parking lot. As much as humanity totally ruins what God has made, both outside and inside ourselves, it is still there. We are given an infinite amount of resilience. We just have to remember who wins.

(thanks, cary)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wolf Mother vs The Singer-Songwriter

Just so we're clear ... Wolf Mother is a band, not a name I call myself when it comes to defending our child.

Music is super important to T and me. And D loves music. All kinds. Classical, rock, folk, kid's music, even the awful electronic stuff that comes from some of his obnoxious battery-powered toys. He "noodles" to all of it. Noodling is a combination of head rock and body sway, much like what the hippies do at jam band concerts.

So T and I try to play our favorite stuff in the car (and at home) to give D a wide variety of musical tastes. Inevitably we end up playing Wolf Mother over any of my folky musical choices. They are an Aussie band ... and I picture all of them with long greasy permed hair (probably far from the truth).

"Metal is good for him" says T over the pseudo-seventies ballad "Woman".

I know this, but do not think that a little acoustic guitar will hurt his testosterone levels. Folk singers can be manly, they are just more in touch with their feelings. So we will do our best to strike a balance between head banging and love your brother/mother/earth music.

And, for the record, I like Wolf Mother. And so does D.

Friday, August 17, 2007

multiple partners

I absolutely love working with my husband. It is both the easiest and most challenging partnership I have ever had. Sometimes we finish each other's sentences. Other times we need to help each other understand things (which doesn't always come easy). But we grow exponentially. I like to think that it adds years to our marriage... and I mean that in GOOD way.

Almost everything you see on this blog has had the input of T. He always makes the work better.

I get the occasional opportunity to work with other writers. It is great to step out of our world and get a new perspective. There are so many talented people in our business ... our friend Kevin is one of those people. He wrote some ads for Pitchfork Media, the erudite music critics from Chicago. These were so much fun to art direct.

Thanks for the great writing, Kevin.

Monday, August 13, 2007

personal geography

We're back from vaca in the North Woods. It was a good week. My head has been swimming for the last 10 days with this post ... so I will try and make it short.

My friend Ashley worked with inner city kids when she was in grad school at Yale. They had the kids map their lives. And they meant for them to do it quite literally. Map the inside of your house, your walk to school, your drive to your grandma's house, etc. What she told me was fascinating. Most of the kid's maps were very small. And by the size of the map they could tell if there had been abuse or if the kid would make it out of their circumstances easily.

My sister-in-law talks about her home town in her blog and how it has shaped her today.

I say all of this in thinking about my personal map and T's personal map. I think that where we grow up molds us in so many more ways than we realize. T misses the Midwest. So much that it hurts. He misses the water. And the familiarity of the city. The perfectly laid out streets that make sense if you get lost. He misses the drive up to the far corners of Wisconsin.

I like Chicago but I feel like I am missing something as I drive the flat roads that are laid out so symmetrically. I miss being physically held by the hills of my youth. The gigantic green trees that cover the city like a blanket (if you go to Google maps, it is sometimes hard to find a house in Atlanta with the satellite view because of tree cover). I miss the roads that curve around the city like a river ... only making sense to those that have lived there their whole lives.

All of these things make us feel safe. And at home.

My dad's family is from Colorado. My grandparents met here. I wonder how much of this "safety from place" can be passed down. They saw the mountains everyday. And the vast expanse of plains, golden almost year round. They dealt with the snow blowing across the roads like pictures from the dust bowl. I love these things even though I didn't grow up with them. Did they feel safety from the mountains, holding them to their home? Did their rivers become my Peachtree Road?

I don't know the answers.

I want to find a place where both T and I feel at home. It could be here in Colorado. Or closer to some mountain lake (wouldn't that be sweet!). Or back in the Midwest, at the bottom of one of the three hills in Chicago.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

a moment

At the end of an exhausting day of playing, D and I went outside for one last hurrah down the sidewalk. He loves the neighbor's yards (their grass is much more plush than our dry, yellow weeds) and he veered off into their soft, high grass. I occasionally can get him to lie back and look at the sky with me, his head right next to mine. And today as we looked up a huge bright orange butterfly danced and danced above our heads. D followed every movement that it made. It was beautiful.

Moments like that are not accidental.