Two Teens And Their Mama

Friday, March 24, 2017

Simply And Quietly

This week I came across a post by Krista O'Reilly Davi-Digui called What If All I Want Is A Mediocre Life?  Krista is tired of the voices telling her to compete and improve and strive for excellence.  It's wearing her out, because what she really wants is a simple, quiet life.

I liked most of what she had to say, although I disagree with the word "mediocre" to describe that life.  Taking a break and enjoying the moments that surround us is hardly unremarkable or ordinary.  Simple and quiet can be beautiful.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?  It's too easy to get caught in competition, to feel like you're never measuring up to everyone else. Even though I'm working on being the best me I can be, often times that doesn't feel good enough.

I'm almost fifty.  Most likely, more of my days are behind me than ahead.  Time suddenly feels short, with so much left to do.  That definitely gives me pause, and I feel like I need to make purposeful decisions as I figure out what to do with the rest of my life.  There's pressure and anxiety and a little fear, all coming from within.

But maybe I'm meant to live simply and quietly.

It doesn't mean I don't have goals and dreams and wishes upon a star.  Will I ever write a book?  Will I travel the world?  Will I make a difference?  

I hope so.  I'm planning on it.  I won't win the Nobel Prize, or climb Mt. Everest, or find a cure for cancer.  But maybe the small things, the everyday joys, will be just as important. I'm a good mom, a good wife, a good friend. I work hard to help make our business successful.

The rest of the answers will come, just as they have before.

Simply and quietly.

I'm linking up today with my friends at The Blended Blog for Friday Loves.  Head over to see the great things Deena has rounded up this week!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Fever Fashion: Floral Bomber

Spring, oh spring, where are you?  

Yes, I live in Seattle, and yes, it's supposed to rain. BUT... there have been only three sunny, mild days since the start of October.  We've had more than 37.5 inches of rain in the last five months - and our average ANNUAL rainfall is 37.49 inches.  Which means it could stop raining until September and we'd still meet the average.  And, we had more snow in January and February than Minneapolis.

Sigh.  I'm so over it.  I have two options:  move to Arizona, or go shopping for spring clothes to take my mind off the gray gloom.  I'll never get my husband to the desert, so shopping it is! After three months, my ban is officially over. The kid is still in college though, so I won't be going crazy.

My very favorite spring trend, carried over from last year, is florals.  So pretty, so feminine, and so spring-y.  I'm also loving bomber jackets, because they totally bring me back to the 80's and my super special high school style.

Clearly, this floral bomber jacket was meant to be mine.  It even has my signature high school colors - dusty rose and sage green.  It's lightweight and silky and fun.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe  

Now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.  I'll just be over here working on my ark.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mindful Monday: Welcome Spring

It's been a long winter.  And even though the calendar tells me that today is the first day of spring, it seems winter isn't quite done with us yet.

But eventually it will have to give itself up.  Spring always finds a way.

I'm ready.  You?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Once A Mom, Always A Mom

This week, I learned a very important empty nester lesson.  The method of delivery wasn't ideal, but the message was clear.

My boys still need me.

Sounds obvious, but trust me, most days I feel pretty redundant in their lives. Which truthfully, is a good thing.  If I've done my job well, they're off in the world, making their own way, figuring things out, without calling mom for advice every five minutes.

So while I might complain, for the most part I've resigned myself to the new role, and I'm trying to enjoy the show from the sidelines.  But then the phone rings at 10pm, and your mama gut immediately senses danger, you're off the bench and back in the game.

Thomas has been home on spring break, and Wednesday night he, Conner, and a group of friends headed to the YMCA for a pick up basketball game.  Thirty minutes in, Conner went up for a rebound and it didn't end well.  As he lay on the court, all he could say to his brother was "shoulder".

This is his fifth dislocation, so he knows the pain and he knows the drill.  It's not pretty.  The YMCA called an ambulance, and Thomas called me.

Let me say this, and every mother will yell amen.  Whether they're 2 or 22, when your baby is hurt, nothing else matters. I couldn't get myself to the Y fast enough.  In fact, I beat the ambulance by three minutes.

The relief on his agonized face as he saw me walk in broke my heart.  In that moment I realized that no matter how old you are, sometimes you just need your mom. To hold your hand, and tell you it's going to be okay, and politely (?) tell the paramedics that MOM IS HERE, AND SHE'S GOT THIS.  

And on that very long night, there was comfort in that, for him and for me.  He's got some tough medical decisions ahead, and I have every confidence that he'll make his way and figure things out.  But I'm not going anywhere.

My boy still needs me.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pros And Cons of Invisalign For Adults

For most of my life, I was fortunate to have straight teeth, not even needing braces as a teenager.  But seven years ago, things started to shift.  My dentist blamed it on our old friend gravity, which can push the jaw forward as we age. Thanks a lot.

As my teeth became more crooked, I found myself very self conscious.  I hated smiling for pictures, and said hello with a closed mouth greeting.  My front tooth was pushed so far back it looked gray.

My crooked teeth, the day I started treatment.

I finally made an appointment with my sons' orthodontist, and after a consultation, he told me I was a candidate for Invisalign.  I was surprised, as I didn't think Invisalign was an option for adults. Although I did plenty of research before starting treatment, I've learned a lot in the last twelve months, so today I'm sharing the pros and cons.  Let's start with the good news:


-  The most obvious pro is that the aligners are invisible....sort of.  While it's true that I don't have a mouth full of metal, necessary attachments and elastics are noticeable if you're close to me.  But generally, they're fairly invisible.

-  The aligners are removed to eat and drink.  This makes it super easy to clean your teeth, and there are no restrictions on popcorn or sticky foods.

-  Speaking of which, oral hygiene is improved, which is extra important as we get older.  My dentist loves me right now, since I'm flossing and brushing at least five times a day.

-  Advances in Invisalign treatment now allow for correcting other issues besides crooked teeth.  Overbites, underbites, open bites and gapped teeth can all be improved with Invisalign.

-  Since my teeth started shifting back to their correct position, I've experienced a significant reduction in the number of migraines I get.  While this isn't true for everyone, my orthodontist has seen this in many of his patients.

-  You can see what your teeth will look like when everything is complete.  Called ClinCheck, it's a computer simulation that shows the changes as your treatment progresses, and the final results.


-  The aligners have to be worn 20-22 hours a day for the entire treatment time.  In my case, that's 2 - 2.5 years.  It's tempting to remove them and leave them off sometimes, so you have to be disciplined and compliant.

-  The attachments and elastics are a pain in the butt.  Attachments are just that:  composite material that attaches to your teeth to help the aligners do their job more efficiently.  Elastics are used if there are any bite issues, which I have.  Both are uncomfortable at first, and clearly visible to others.

-  Invisalign is expensive.  It varies depending on where you live, but in the Seattle area, total treatment cost is about $5500.  In my case, however, the cost of traditional metal braces would have been the same.

-  The aligners are painful and hard to get used to in the beginning.  I never found it too terrible, and ibuprofen did the trick.  Aligners are changed out every few weeks, and the first two or three days are the most uncomfortable.  As my teeth have gotten straighter, this isn't as much of an issue.  It's an awkward challenge to remove the aligners at first, but you quickly figure out a routine that works.

-  There are some things that have to be given up during treatment.  For those who like to sip on coffee or tea all day, traditional braces might be a better fit.  Only cold water is allowed while the aligners are in, as other beverages can warp or stain the trays.  I also haven't been able to find a lipstick or gloss that doesn't rub off on the aligners.


It's a year into my treatment, and I'm about halfway done.  During the first few weeks, I wondered if I'd made a huge mistake.  I was in pain, the aligners were uncomfortable, and every time I wanted to eat something I had to go through a routine of flossing and brushing. But I think the results so far speak for themselves.

If you're thinking about Invisalign, I say go for it.  In the end, the pros outweigh the cons, and a confident smile can say so much.  I still have a while to go, but I have no regrets.  If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Paris Is Always A Good Idea: The Last Day

And just like that, we've come to the last day.  Sadly, I still haven't found my good pictures. I'll have my IT guy (aka college boy) look into it when he gets home for Spring Break, but I fear they're gone forever.  

I had been looking forward to visiting the Louvre for thirty years.  And since it had finally decided to pour rain in Paris, it was the perfect day for some museum hopping.

We got up early and took the Metro directly to the underground mall at the Louvre, getting there about thirty minutes before opening.  Our plan was to go straight to Mona before it got too busy.  We were second in line, right under the inverse side of the famous pyramid.

Once through security, we made a bee line for the Mona Lisa.  Actually, we had no idea where we were going, so we followed the signs and made a sort of zig zag bee line.  I had read that the painting can be hard to see, as the room gets crowded quickly, and she's kind of small and behind glass.

We found our way, and just in time.  This was the scene two minutes later, and pretty soon the entire room was filled.

Next stop:  Venus de Milo.

After that we roamed around with no clear agenda.  Which was probably a mistake because the Louvre is massive. I'm sure there are so many things we missed.

I'd like the emerald crown for my birthday, please.

Of all the things, this is what my hubby was drawn to.  Not surprising.

After many hours, we left the Louvre, had a bite to eat, and headed for the Musee d'Orsay. This museum houses the best general collection of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Gauguin and Degas in the world.  In other words, Impressionism - my favorite.

I loved the Musee d'Orsay.  It's inside a former train station, and the architecture is beautiful. The sheer volume of famous artwork is impressive.

By this point we were museum-ed out.  A quick metro ride brought us back to our apartment where the sun had finally made an appearance. That's our little terrace up there.

After a quick nap, we ventured out for one last evening in Montmartre.

We people watched, had dinner, and picked up a few souvenirs.

And then it was...fini.

One of these days I'll get around to writing a wrap up, with all of my do's and don'ts for a first timer's trip.

But for now, this.  If you have a chance to go to Paris, do it.  Don't hesitate, just go.  Paris is as romantic, beautiful, breathtaking and glorious as you imagine.  I hope to return again someday, but I'll never forget the magic and wonder and joy of the first time.

Thank you, husband, thank you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Fever Fashion: Spring Snow

Welcome back to Spring Fever Fashion with my lovely friends at The Blended Blog.  Thanks to everyone who linked up with us last week!  We keep growing and it's because of all of you.

Last week I talked about the snow at my house and's still snowing.  I can't remember a March in Seattle with so much of the white stuff.  Regardless, it's always chilly and wet this time of year, so you'll usually find me in sweaters.  Surprise, right?  

During the winter to spring transition, I put away all of the turtlenecks and heavy knits, and bring out the lighter weight lovelies.  Add in a pretty color or fun design, and you can feel spring-y and warm at the same time.  Or warm-ish.  I added a coat after I took this picture.

Work meetings this week required dresses.  I might have tights and boots on, but at least the fun colors, print and bell sleeves remind me that spring will eventually get here.  Right?.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe  

Now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle. 

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