Beating heart

It took me a long time to realize that I had completely the wrong idea about love.

I had always thought of love as a blanket that wrapped me up, held me tight and refused to let go. A place where I would arrive after a full out sprint.

I have a lot still to learn about love. Listen to that. I sound fifteen.

There’s the love I have for my kids. For my family.

Then there’s the love I have for the person I chose to spend the rest of my life alongside. The cure for all the misconceptions I had – good or bad. The person who loves me when I am most unlovable and who stays in my corner through it all.

I’m not Cinderella. He’s not Prince Charming. There’s no castle or pumpkin or fairy godmother. It’s not what I expected when I was eight – or even twenty.

But it’s spectacular. It’s worth whatever I have to give. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done and it’s the only work I hope never ends – because while I was wrong about what I expected, instead of a blanket I have a tapestry. A constant work of connects and effort so hopelessly complicated that it can’t be anything but beautiful. A marathon instead of the sprint. Something I never expected but worth more than I ever dreamed.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Of boobs and smartphones.

Since 2007 when I left behind my BlackBerry Pearl for an outrageously expensive device called an iPhone, I haven’t really looked back.

Well, that’s not true.

I tell myself that I embrace change, that I’m flexible and open to new things and cutting edge and all that. Truth is, it’s all a lie. I mourned MySpace like a close personal friend. I stayed with Xanga until it started growing cobwebs. And when I made the leap from BlackBerry to iPhone, I hated it. It was delicate and I was going to drop it, I knew it (and I did, several times). It was so much new to learn. But I did. And I jailbroke and hacked and felt very Sandra Bullock in The Net. I got so comfortable with the iPhone that I kept getting them when it was upgrade time. Where I previously got a completely different phone every time I was eligible (tiny Nokia, anyone? or what about the Razr when it was a thing?), I got into a groove where just enough changed but not everything.

And in the meantime, the rest of the free world did pretty much the same thing.

So I had the same phone as everyone else. Big deal.

And then Josh started his podcast, and in among the episodes we got the drift that maybe there were different phones we could be into. Maybe we were missing out on some great stuff because we were so comfortable in our expensive glass shell.

Then, thanks to Craigslist, this happened:

slide-1-whiteMy first Android phone.
I liked it, really I did. The screen was sharp and clear and BIG, the camera wasn’t bad, and the weather was right there so I could see that it wasn’t raining nearly as much as I wanted.

It was a lot to learn, but I was excited about it. I learned about Android rooting and hacking and sideloading and all kinds of stuff.

But I missed my iPhone. I still had an iPad, and I missed how everything synced together so flawlessly. I thought that would go away and soon I would love this phone and OS just as much as I did my Apple stuff.

Just the opposite happened. The more time I spent with this phone the more I absodamnlutely hated everything about it.

I felt like a baby. A spoiled brat. Which I suppose I am, but if I know exactly how to fix a problem WHY WOULD I NOT DO IT?

So, this. And all was right with the world.

The end.iphone-5-thin-side-640x353

And now for something completely different.

I am a girl, and I have boobs. The question of feminism and bra-wearing is one that I have never understood, really. I mean, I don’t think it’s sexist that I don’t want to be all flopping around willy nilly. No one is using me as a food source at the moment, so let’s REIN THOSE SUCKERS IN.

But in the 20+ years that I’ve been wearing bras, it’s not something I have ever particularly enjoyed.

I’ve heard just like everyone else that some outrageous percentage of women is probably wearing an incorrectly sized bra. I remember that episode of Oprah. Just like everything else in life, though, I just assumed it did not apply to me. How stupid would I have to be to be wearing an illfitting undergarment EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

However stupid it is, turns out I am just that amount of stupid.


I am a member of a community called reddit where everyone has something to say about absolutely everything. It’s fun times. The community itself is as big as the Interwebs, and it’s broken up into smaller sections called subreddits. The subreddits encompass…well, everything. From beers in the shower (r/showerbeer) to pictures of awesome abandoned stuff (r/abandonedporn) to, yes, how to properly fit a bra (r/abrathatfits). So after I read some stuff about how my bras were probably all kinds of wrong, I set about proving them wrong by measuring myself. Angels would sing in the key of 38D, lo and amen.

Except they were right, and the angels were singing more along the lines of 36H.

So that’s the tale of how I got a boob job just by changing bras.

keep calm and wear a bra that fits

Tomorrow’s post is about boobs and smartphones.

Been a while, yes?

A lot of times when I don’t post for a while its because I got out of the habit. More times it’s because I just flat have nothing to say.

I said as much on Twitter yesterday, which drew a response from the lovely Leslie in the form of this comic from The Oatmeal.

I’ll leave you with that.

I should make it a rule to drink beer.

Because even ONE makes me want to ramble write.

Saturday we had INTENDED to go to Tishomingo State Park with Dan, the kids, Amanda (omg my India Afar Amanda is home did I not tell you? Lucy adores her. It’s meant to be. She has to stay here forever) and her baby boy. It was a spectacularly planned event, one which which had been talked about for at least a week.

And guys, we just don’t do that. We don’t plan shit. Ever. Because as soon as we do, we get lazy or just generally turned off by the obligation of being somewhere and we ruin it.

So we went. The three Steens in one car, everyone else in the other.

We all arrive (we were a little late), and we proceeded to eat a sandwich picnic at one of the tables. I was SO excited. Josh had rented specialty camera lenses for his big boy camera, and I had my new point-and-click. Like a boss. We were READY.

Then, Lucy (who had refused to take a nap) started screaming.

Seriously it was like Jigsaw’s puppet and the squeally pig from the insurance commercials mated and the product was my child. Not only was it an impossibility to walk across the swingy suspension bridge, the whole idea of taking pictures was laughable.

I should have known.

So we came home. Basically we drove like an hour to eat some turkey sandwiches at a picnic table.

Sunday we redeemed our photography yearns, and went out to make lots of pictures.

Happy Monday.

written on Saturday/Sunday night, I would NEVER drink this early. Unless it was a mimosa. Or champagne and it was important. Or no one was there. Don’t you judge me.


Love and hate – a birthday manifesto

Dear husband, today is your birthday. To celebrate your 29 years on our planet, I have arranged a list for you. Things I love about you. Things I love about us. Things I also hate about you and us.

With love.

Part One, Hate.

I hate that you leave all your socks on your side of the bed where I forget to look until there is suddenly a mountain of smelly socks peeking over the mattress.

I hate that you have pretty curly hair and I DO NOT.

I hate that you are so tall that you can find things in the cabinet in two seconds after I have spent thirty minutes tearing pots and pans out into the floor.

I hate that you are so young. Twenty nine. Damn you. Your thirties are coming.

I hate that you can work all the PhotoShop nonsensery and I can do it no more than I can speak Greek.

I hate that I cannot even begin to play you in basketball.

I hate that I cannot stay mad at you for any time. It’s totally unfair.

Part Two, Love.

I love that you are my best friend. Full Stop. Everyone says that they married their best friend, but I don’t think everyone knows what they are talking about because we are on the wavelength.

I love that you (at least most of the time) listen to my opinion. You let me ramble with my psychoanalytic babble and my drawn-from-the-air opinions and what’s more, you agree with me lots of the time. Maybe you’re just pretending, but it’s the shit.

I love that when you cook, you ignore that I don’t like things like mushrooms and onions and weird shallot things and you put them in anyway – but you make them big enough to pick out because you want me to enjoy what you’ve made.

I love that you wait to watch our chef shows until we can watch them together.

I love that you hold onto things you love – like cooking, basketball – and you make a point to do them just for you.

I love that you have friends. I envy that because I don’t have go-hang-out friends, but I love that you do.

I love that you can argue with people like car dealers and bank tellers and people who are trying to sell things for way too much. It’s a strength you have that I lack. I admire that in you.

I love that we have so much more to go.

I love that you are supportive of things l love.

I love that you are mine.


So today, though it may not be the birthday you will remember always, I hope you can stop a minute and realize that today is a big deal because it brought me you. Years before either of us knew. I love you so much. Thank you for being everything.

Buzzing just like Neon

I’ve grown up in the South, where food is fried and biscuits are doughy.

It’s been good times.

When I married Josh, he was a normal fried okra dough biscuit eater just like me.

He still is, but over the years I’ve watched him become so much more. He discovered how much he loved the art of good food. And as picky as I am, I have branched out….a lot, for me.

So when we go on date nights or excursions or whatever, we like to see what we can find. Local, hole-in-the-wall places are always the best kind, and face it – there’s a sharp satisfaction in knowing you’re thumbing your nose at places with packaged preserved freezer food.


Last weekend we found THE place.

It was amazing.

We had no idea what to expect, but isn’t that always the best?

We got our beers out of the freezer, sat down, ordered burgers. I was not overly excited, I mean I’ve had burgers.

Then Josh got curious about the steak on the plates of the guy and girl close to us.

He asked them what was up with their steakful plates when the menu was clearly steakless.

Turns out you can pretty much custom order anything out of their fancy free range organic pampered and petted produce section. The girl part of the duo we befriended (I didn’t think to get her name, but her dress was awesome and so was her steak) chopped up a little sampling of the stuff they’d preordered so we could try it.

I had never wanted to fold an entire steak in half and cram it down my throat before…but now I have.

I didn’t do it, but I so wanted to.

Our burgers came and…



I want to go back every weekend. It was like eating at a friend’s house – a friend with ALL of the meat and ALL of the beer.

You guys should totally go.


Fifty shades of Magic Mike

It’s become a big deal these days for people to engage in being naughty. The Fifty Shades of naughty bondage, and this evening Magic Matthew McConaughey comes to theatres. Everyone seems to have an opinion on all the hubbub.

The first time I heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, it was on some Facebook status from one of those people who are on your Facebook because you know you knew them in high school but you just can’t place them and you accepted them because you didn’t want to be a bitch…

One of those.

And then I heard about it again on some talk show. Then my message board lady friends mentioned it. So I looked into it. I read it.

And here is my confession: it was entertaining. 

It was not as pornographic as I had been led to believe…but no big deal. I know where the porn button is on my computer (what – you don’t have one?). I’ve had sex before. I was not shocked at wrist tying or vagina balls or spanking. The writing was not exceptional, but not so repulsive as to drive me away (and what do I know, anyway? Who has the gojillion-selling book? Not I.).

So I read it and that was that. I was comfortable that I could have an opinion on pop culture and its latest craze.

Then it started – all the blog posts. All the Facebook and Twitter sharing of the blog posts. People were upset. People were offended.

Why, they said, should it be okay for church going, God-fearing women to be reading this overtly sexual book (and admitting it!), when they themselves frown upon their husbands having anything to do with pornography? THINK OF THE CHILDREN! God and Jesus and Lazarus risen!

I was amused at first, then the more I thought about this position…the less I understood it.

What’s the big deal? Read a smutty book. It doesn’t mean you cheated on your husband. Just like (here it comes, ladies) a little bit of man-panting after Kate Upton’s Hardees commercial doesn’t mean your husband is off banging his groupies.

It bothers me that we are, as a society and culture, so simultaneously obsessed and uncomfortable with sexuality.

I have kids. This means I have had sex. In most cases, that is the way things go. And I find it hard to swallow (wink wink) when Pastor Slickhair with his seventeen children tries to tell me that my sexuality is something I should never acknowledge.

Sex is just sex. It is human, fallible, biological, and primal.

Just like the person who eats nothing but McDonald’s and Twinkies is probably gross and unhealthy, so is the person who exists on nothing but hormones and lust. However, the person who eats leafy greens and soluble fiber? They deserve dessert now and then, right? Even more so when you have someone to enjoy the Twinkies with as opposed to having to sneak around.

I would much rather know that there’s porn stashed safely away for the taking than to worry that it’s being secreted behind my back. I’d rather be able to read a book about Anastasia whoever and her freaked out jillionaire sadist and have my husband poke fun at my “girl porn” than have to hide it and feel guilty.

Maybe that’s just me.

As for Magic Mike, I have no desire to go see it…mostly due to the visual attack of the movie patrons. Maybe I’ll catch it on DVD.

Being a person

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a party with no kids and no real time constraints.

Until this weekend.

Our friends The Wallins have somewhat concurrent birthdays, so they had planned a big party for this past Saturday.

Now, before my brain got all woobly and I started being anxious about things like my shadow and how maybe my shadow didn’t even like me after all, I was a party goer. I did the people thing. I loved it and I was good at it. Perhaps it is just a product of age and things like that, but more often than not I opt out of parties and people and being around other humans in wads.

For some reason, though, I wasn’t worried about this one. Maybe it was the fact that I really like The Wallins and I really enjoy all the JustUs Geeks and the little family it has become, maybe it was all the superhero themed wonder, or maybe it was just all the cake. I was excited.

It was so much fun. S’mores with marshmallows the size of my head, hamburgers, cupcakes, fire, pingpong, photo booth.

I saw people. I talked to people. And I had a good time. This is huge. HUGE.

I should be a person more often.