Lots of irons in the fire, folks!

You know how I’m always saying I wear eleventy jillion hats? Figuratively speaking, that is. I think it’s reached a fever pitch now, y’all. So I’m about to list ’em for you, and then ask a favor. You knew that was coming right? Of course you did. Because y’all are fancy schmancy mind reading followers.

1. Full-time, mom

Lots of people would just stop here. After all, it’s a 24/7 PLUS job. Especially with The Beans. Which is why it’s listed FIRST.

2. Creator, Co-Producer and actress for THE BAR, a new comedy web-series coming soon from Bless Her Heart Productions.  

Trust me. You wanna know more. And you’ll want to get in on the action. Now, watch this.

3. Stella & Dot  jewelry stylist 

Oh, and I just promoted to Lead Stylist, which means I have people under me now. Wanna have a Trunk Show?

4. Kitten mom.

Let it be known, I didn’t intend to have a cat. But it was destiny. His mama abandoned him, and I took over when he was a day old. Round the clock bottle feedings…keeping him clean and safe…basically like having a newborn. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about THAT. We named him Hiccup and he is almost 7 weeks old now. Eating food on his own, potty-trained, getting into mischief. I guess he’s a toddler now? Regardless, he’s the cutest. cat. ever.

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5. Mixologist/Bartender at one of our favorite local spots. 

This was an accident. I swear. But I’m gonna roll with it, okay? You should too.

6. Volunteer at our church. 

God called, and I need to make sure my ticket to Heaven is punched. Enough said.

7. Blogger 

This is no surprise. I mean, you wouldn’t be reading right now if I stopped wearing this hat. But, recently I’ve been doing more posts like this onethis one, and this one.  Oh, and this!!  So I think it’s kind of a big deal.

Since seven IS a lucky number, I’m cool with it. That is, until somebody hands me NUMBER EIGHT. Because I simply don’t see the line most people believe exists somewhere between ‘overextending yourself’ and ‘why-can’t-I-say-no-insanity’. Yeah, that.

Anyway, remember when I said I needed a favor? Well… here it is. I want y’all to help me with #2. Oh, stop snickering like Beavis and Butthead.  I’m serious. Please consider donating to the Indiegogo campaign for THE BAR. We have the best ensemble cast ever, and it’s hilarious. Not to mention there are some serious, tangible perks to donating! Every penny counts y’all and we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there (See what I just did? Do you recognize that line from the title song of another iconic Southern film? Hint: Smokey).  It’s my baby, and I really wanna see it blossom. But if you can’t donate, I totally understand. You can still SHARE THE LINK TO THE CAMPAIGN WITH EVERYONE YOU’VE EVER MET. Or share this post you are reading. Or even better… BOTH!

 Love y’all. Have a great weekend 🙂

Put it in the universe.

EmmaCate3 EmmaCate2 EmmaCate1

I was going to wait until tomorrow to jump back up on the blogging horse, but then something happened in the car today that reminded me of happy times, prompting me to start early.

So here I am.

You are likely wondering why these pictures are leading this post, right? Or not….but I’m going to tell you anyway.

The first thing to know (if you don’t already) is I put the ‘fan’ in FANactic when it comes to all things associated with the Dave Matthews Band. I’ve been a stalker fan since they’ve been a band (1991), and have attended an obscene number of shows. There are some very uncanny coincidences associated with my love for all things DMB.

~~ Dave and I were both born on January 9th, although he is 5 years my senior.

~~ He has a song titled “Dancing Nancies” which I used to think was about me, until I read somewhere that it’s about male transvestites in the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

~~ His charity organization is called “The Bama Rags Foundation”. I’m from Alabama, but he is not.

~~ My first choice for college was a small, private liberal arts college in Virginia called Sweet Briar College. I applied and got in, but couldn’t afford to go, and instead accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama. Dave met his wife at Sweet Briar College.

~~ I haven’t missed a tour since they started doing them, and often attend concerts alone if The Man is busy and I can’t find a running mate.

~~ When I turned 30, I said to The Man, “On my 35th birthday, if we have more money than we know what to do with, will you please hire Dave to play at ‘our’ party?”  He said, “Of course, Baby Girl.”  **Side note: I did end up meeting Dave, but it wasn’t because The Man hired him, and he wasn’t playing at our birthday party…lol. Through a strange twist of fate, a dear friend was able to hook me up with a gig working as an extra on the single episode of “House” Dave played a role on, and ironically enough…we taped the day after I turned 35. I made sure to introduce myself, even at the risk of being tossed off the set. He knew exactly who I was (apparently he’d been told I would be there?) and wished me a happy belated birthday.

Anyway, the pics above were from the 2nd crazy coincidental meeting we had. Below are a few facts leading up to these photos:

1. These pics were taken in 2007, on Sugar Bean’s 8th Birthday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.

2. About 3 weeks before these were snapped, a publicist friend of mine who knows of my obsession, called and said he was having brunch with another friend who used to be Dave’s publicist, and wondered which show in LA I was attending on that tour, in case she still had connections and could set up a meet and greet. I told him the show in Irvine, because Sugar Bean was going with me as her birthday present. Unfortunately, he called a few days later and said she no longer had an “in”. No worries.

3. Exactly 2 days before the concert, while I was in hellish traffic on the 405, my cell phone rang. I answered, and a girl named Lauren said she was calling from “The Warehouse” (the official DMB fan club…which I am a member of) and wondered if I was attending the show in Irvine later that week. I told her I was planning on it, and then she asked if I would like to meet Dave before the show. I think I muttered something to the effect of “Oh holy hell…did Alfred put you up to this?”  She said she didn’t know an Alfred, but my name had been randomly selected by the fan club as the winner of a pre-concert “meet & greet”…for reals. I continued to grill her, until I was satisfied I wasn’t being Punk’d, and promptly wet my pants, grinning from ear to ear all the way home. YES. THAT REALLY HAPPENED.

4. I took that t-shirt away from her once we got home and promptly stored it in an air-tight container. It’s never been washed and she will only get it back at my death.

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How about that grin???

Proof positive that it pays to put things into the universe if you REALLY want them to happen, huh?

Now…why am I telling you all this? Because I want to. And because it’s relevant to the happy time I was reminded of today in the car.

Each time I gave birth, I was listening to music through headphones. Guess what artist was playing? If you answered “Dave Matthews” you win a gold star! Now, in fairness to each individual life I brought into the world and because each of the The Beans has her own unique personality. Despite the fact, I didn’t know what each bundle of joy would be like once she was born, I chose a different song for each one, and put that on repeat until they entered the world. They all know what their song is, both by name and when they hear it, as well as what their sisters’ songs are. Call me crazy, but it’s an important detail in my estimation.

Sugar Bean’s song is ‘Jimi Thing’, Butter Bean’s is ‘Trippin Billies’ and Sweet Pea’s is ‘Rapunzel’. Of course these are also 3 of my all-time faves, hence why I chose them 🙂

Anyway, today when I picked Butter Bean and Sweet Pea up from school, ‘Jimi Thing’ was playing on the stereo, and was quickly identified by Butter Bean as Sugar Bean’s song. Oh, and if you are wondering if I’m “that mom” who rocks out with the windows down while in carpool line….I TOTALLY AM. Wouldn’t have it any other way. But I digress. Back to the conversation that ensued:

BB: This is SB’s song!!

Me: Yes…it is 🙂

SP: What’s my song again?

BB: Rapunzel

SP: Right! Now what is that song about? Princess Rapunzel, or another Rapunzel?

BB: Mama, what’s it about?

Me: Oh…I’m sure it’s about Princess Rapunzel (smiling devilishly).

Thank God they didn’t inquire about the meaning behind ‘Jimi Thing’, right? 

 

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What’s In My Purse?

So…in lieu of my somewhat usual, “It’s Friday…For Real” video blog, I decided to post something equally intriguing.

I hope.

The thing is, I’m battling bronchitis, which kind of makes me sound like Froggy when I talk, so I really didn’t want to be on film. And that’s just my voice. Haven’t been sleeping well…so…you know, I’ve got the next trendy line of dark-colored, luggage hanging under my eyes.  Call me vain. Whatever. Back to my purse. Which, speaks VOLUMES about a lady, right?

Here’s the photo. I’m gonna list the items, but it’s up to you to play “I SPY” and spot them, because I don’t have the slightest clue how to add arrows and labels and all the other stuff on top of the picture to make it look really cool.

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In no particular order….

1. Star Student Report for one of The Beans. This is to let me know she can read, write and compute numbers as well as, if not better than the other students who took the test. I don’t put much stock in these reports. My kids are bright, and happy.

2. The Warehouse envelope my DMB tickets arrived in 2 weeks ago. Haven’t posted about the concert yet. I’ll get to it. Promise.

3. An appointment card for The Beans for their next dentist visit….in 6 months. They just went yesterday, so the card has not yet been lost.

4. A really long ass receipt from CVS. 3 items bought. Lots of coupons…I WILL NEVER USE, because I will forget I have them.

5. Multiple pens & a Sharpie. If this needs an explanation, you either don’t have kids or don’t live in LA. God Bless You 🙂

6.  A Gerber camping knife. Goes everywhere with me, and I can open it with one hand. Comes in handy more often than you think, and solicits very quizzical looks from the other moms when I whip it out after someone asks for scissors at a PTA meeting.

7. My cobalt blue Stella & Dot Tech Wallet. I LOVE THIS. You should get one….here.

8. A black headband…because you just never know when you’ll need to pull your hair off your forehead, revealing some wrinkles. Seriously.

9. A Stella & Dot look book. What? I’m a stylist, and I like to book and sell on the go 🙂

10. My keys. Pretty self-explanatory, right?

11. A zippered, fabric pouch/coin purse. I may or may not have stolen this from one of The Beans. It holds metal money nicely, and LA is full of parking meters.

12. Various coupons for sandwiches at different places. Maybe I will remember I have them one day when I’m hungry. Who knows?

13. Union Square Scarf in Midnight Bloom from Stella & Dot. I adore scarves. They are the PERFECT accessory. If I don’t have one on, there is usually one in my bag. Honestly, I feel naked without them.

14. Residual checks from SAG-AFTRA. One belongs to Butter Bean, who said the F-word in a movie 3 years ago, and the other belongs to me for voice-over work on a TV show. Mine is for $0.03, after taxes. Hers is exponentially larger.

15. A red, “wallet” thingy that holds important papers. It should be in a safe deposit box somewhere, probably. Although I think the only thing in it now is my marriage certificate? Don’t ask.

16. A slip from the USPS to pick up a letter. Funny thing is, they are supposed to knock on your door to try to deliver it first. Didn’t happen. I was home all day. Postman was apparently too busy to climb the driveway to the door. Hmmm….

17. My Passport. Because you just never know when you may need to hop a flight and skip town, right?

18. A 4-leafed clover I found in Toronto the last time I visited. I have a gift for finding them, but this is the only one I’ve ever found in another country 🙂

19. Mini-look books from Stella & Dot. See #8 above.

20. My actual “How Does She Do It”  bag from Stella & Dot. Have you still not checked out the line? Shame on you!

21. An Epi-pen. Because I am allergic to a lot of shit. Mostly pain killers and antibiotics, but still. You can never be too careful.

22. Various receipts tucked inside a small journal. I have a crappy filing system and I like to write stuff down when it pops in my head. What can I say? There may be a method to my madness…

23. A book of sticky notes. My upline, S &D sponsor, Heather, gave this to me when I went to Vegas for HOOPLA. It’s been in my bag since, and I’ve used it many times for lots of stuff. So it stays.

24. The metallic pouf that matches my bag. Wouldn’t you like to know what’s INSIDE? Um…no.

25. Tiny hair clips. I’m letting my bangs grow out, so I usually need something to clip them back with. Just got a new pack, and decided my purse was the safest place for them, since I have 3 young girls who live with me, and are always in search of hair accessories. And they have been known to bring home lice from school. Just sayin’….

26. A prescription bottle. Enough said.

27. A rat-tail comb. It gets tangles out. Not without a fair amount of screaming though. You’ve been warned.

28. Notes on a script I am now collaborating on. When it’s done, I’ll let you know 🙂

 

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Cold turkey.

 

Yeah, pretty much. I bend, but I don’t break.

“Well hello again, blogosphere….and loyal followers (if I have any left). It’s really nice to be here again. I’ve missed you terribly, and almost went bat-shit crazy several times during my absence.” 

That is what happens when you are forced to quit seeing your therapist (aka..this blog) cold turkey because life just gets in the fucking way. Right along with chronic insomnia,  hair falling out, and clothes becoming too big, because eating ranks even lower on the totem pole than updating your online journal. At least that’s how it happens for me. And I’m here to tell you, it’s really not an option for me from here on out, as I enjoy this gig. THAT I know for sure!

So. What’s been going on that dragged me away? Let me make a list…

1. I got a job. To be fair, I work from home, on the computer and set my own hours (which technically are from 6pm til my eyes close). Therefore, it really shouldn’t interfere with my main gigs of mommy, wife, writer (which, ironically got me the job in the first place), sister-friend, volunteer, etc….BUT I actually LOVE what I do, and I’m an over-achiever. What can I say? I suppose I get in my own way, and despite my best efforts to go without it, I do need to sleep sometimes. Whatever.

2.  We…as in The Girls and I…were invited to a couple of events (also because of this blog) and those took up a little time, but were well worth the investment. The first was on August 4th… the launch party for Universal Studios Home Entertainment‘s  “Twinkle Toes: The Movie” on DVDThose of you familiar with Skechers’ line of shoes known as Twinkle Toes probably know all about this, especially if you have daughters. The event was tons of fun!! The Girls bedazzled tote bags, enjoyed coloring pages at an art station, and watched outstanding dance performances by the students of the Academy of Dance Westlake Village. Oh, and we were gifted with a Universal Studios Home Entertainment Kids Summer DVD Package that included the Blu-ray Combo Packs for An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars, Hop and Big MiracleAll great movies, btw, and The Man actually mixed the post-sound for Big Miracle, so it was very cool to get that one 🙂 Anyway, thanks so much to Jacqueline Cavanagh at Click Communications for inviting us, and Nancy Walters and Michelle Slavich for making sure we had a great time. You ladies ROCK!!

Our second outing was to attend the opening night performance of Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson Theatre on August 10th. Honestly, when I got the invite from Jason Martin at Center Theatre Group, I almost died!! Seriously. Not only am I a big ole theatre geek, but to be given the opportunity to take The Girls, who have seen the movie 87,000 times,  to this…of all plays…as their very first trip to the theatre was, let’s just say …. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!! And if just attending wasn’t enough, our complimentary seats were in the FRONT FREAKING ROW!! How does that happen? Are we that cool? Maybe it was because of my use of “that word” in this post. I don’t know. To say that we were wowed from the moment we arrived is a massive understatement. I’ve never seen my daughters so engaged and excited by something. At one point, they were on their feet, ‘oooohhing and aahhhing’, while witnessing Mary Poppins fly overhead from the stage to the top of the house, and it truly warmed my heart to see the sparkle in their eyes as they enjoyed the outstanding performance.  A kick-ass, special ‘Mommy n Me’ outing. I can’t thank Jason, who made it possible, enough. I don’t know him, but he’s a hero in my book now 🙂 Here’s a photo of us in the lobby just before the show. Can you feel the excitement???!!!

In the lobby, before the show!!!

Last but not least, the other outing I attended…without The Girls….was the 6th Annual Community Gala and Fundraiser for The Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center on August 16th. My dear sister-friend Kim Poirier invited me as her ‘plus one’, and we had a glorious time. It’s not often that I get invited to events for such fantastic causes, so I jumped at the chance to attend. There were vendors of all kinds, yummy food, and spectacular musical performances by students from the Center as well as well known celebrities. If you don’t know about this center and what it does for kids….do some research and donate to them if you can. They are doing great things with the youth in this city, who will no doubt go on to be some of the leaders of tomorrow. Here is a fun pic of Kim and I with “waxy jazz hands” after we were treated to chocolate parafin hand dips from one of the vendors. As you can see, we are total cheese balls….

“Waxy Jazz Hands”…LOVE IT!!!

And here is our post-event, red carpet photo. She got to actually walk the carpet and be snapped by the paparazzi before the event, as she is a big deal here in the world of Hollywood! I’m just lucky she thinks I’m cool enough to bring along 🙂

We were wearing the same color scheme…navy and red, but didn’t plan it…lol. Great minds think alike, right?

3. Dang…I didn’t ever think I would make it to number 3!! THE KIDS WENT BACK TO SCHOOL on August 20th. Two in elementary, and one in….gulp.…7th grade. Holy crap, I have a middle-schooler! Where did the time go? But I digress. Most mamas have MORE time once their kids go back to school, right? But the preparation that goes into getting them prepared to go back is an energy draining, time consuming, pain in the effing ass. Not to mention is expensive. The school supplies times 3 left me with a buckshot bank account and thus, a stress level that needs Xanax. Daily. But I am happy to report that everyone has done marvelously in their first few weeks back, loves their teachers, and is adjusting to homework again. Oh, and The Oldest Girl landed in Advanced English (wonder who she takes after…lol:-) and her science teacher has HOT PINK HAIR!! How great is that?

4. Now here is where it gets tricky up in here…and sad….then happy again. My niece, Meaghan, got married last weekend. You may remember me talking about her in this post. She is more like a sister than my niece, as I was only 14 when she was born, and we have spent A LOT of time together over the years. She even came to LA to live with The Man, The Girls and me for a summer while she shot a movie. Good times, I tell ya. Anyway, she asked me to be a bridesmaid back in May and I was elated! Ordered my dress right away, and was anticipated it to be smoothe sailing. God laughs when I make plans, remember? As I have mentioned several times before on this here blog, times have been, um…challenging for us, financially speaking, over the past few years. It’s been an endless roller coaster. So, as the wedding date approached, it became clear I would need to make a devastating call, and decline the honor to serve as a bridesmaid, because I couldn’t afford a plane ticket, nor the payment for my dress. That was one of the hardest calls I’ve ever had to make. I was in tears for days, depressed beyond belief, because the trip would have meant I would be able to see my whole family, whom I haven’t seen in 2 full years. Knowing how much I wanted to go, my very precious Oldest Girl put her brain into action and conspired with my sweet MIL, who surprised me with a plane ticket and the funds to pay off my dress, just 1 month before the wedding date. Obviously, I broke down in tears and finally knew what those families on Extreme Home Makeover must feel. To me, it was that special.…like winning the lottery. I will NEVER be able to thank her enough for that gift. EVER. Needless to say, it was a beautiful occasion that went off without a hitch. A traditional Southern plantation wedding, complete with shrimp and tomato grits, and sweet tea served in Mason jars with striped straws. Every detail was perfect. Oh, and the first University of Alabama Football game of the season was happening that day too, so there was a big screen tv set up at the reception, because in the South….football is a religion….and nothing gets in the way of it. Plus, both Bride and Groom are alums of UA….they even had ‘Yeah, Alabama” played instead of the standard Wedding March, as they floated back down the aisle as husband and wife. I, of course, was singing right along and yelled out a quite audible “Roll Tide” as I was the last to walk down after them, and my exit happened to coincide with the lyrics of our Fight Song…lol. The icing on the cake was that our Bama boys smeared Michigan State into the field, 41-14. Roll Tide Roll, baby!!!! And of course here are a few pictures…..

The stunning bride and her very proud aunt!

Our wedding “Mookie” faces. It’s a family thing…lol.

Might be my fave. Megz had a bug under her dress, so I had to lend some extermination skills. RFLMAO…..only me.

And finally…..THE ENTIRE WEDDING PARTY being, well…ourselves. How great is this picture????

BEST. GROUP. PHOTO. EVER.

So that’s what has been happening with me, and why I had to take a break. There’s actually more, but I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s post, because I’m sure y’all are like…”OMG. This is soooo long”. But I do promise to write again tomorrow, because I need to talk about what just happened on September 5th….that made September 6th much more bearable than it ever would have been.

Be sure and come back. I’m going to bed, as it’s 1:30 where I live, and my eyes are trying to take a nap 🙂

xo,

N

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