Friday, February 19, 2010

Stayin' Alive

The long, drawn-out Iowa winter is kicking my butt. Seriously. Stupid Puxatawney Phil. I'm starting to go a little nuts. It is teaching me to search for joy in the little things. Here are a couple of little things that made me smile in the last couple of days.
  • Kenley had a well-baby check up this week and in UI Pediatric Clinic, I heard the song "Stayin' Alive" by the ever-falsetto Bee Gees in Muzak fashion. Yes, folks. Not only can you hear the disco hit that encourages what you are actually trying to do by visiting the hospital in the first place, but in a way that drains you of your will to live. Irony. Yes. Elevator-style disco irony.
  • I am not sure what my daughter thinks or feels when she sees me, but I am coolest person in her world. She gets so excited and shakes and kicks the closer I get to her. I am scared she'll one day learn that I'm not anywhere near as cool as she thinks I am. She gives me the best smiles and the most persistent weeping when she wants me to hold her, which is all day long. The downside is that she never gets tired of me. Ever.
  • I have discovered two new recipes that I would have been better without. One is Chicken Flautas. I now know the reason that corn tortillas exist at all. The other is homemade Spinach and Artichoke dip with Crostinis. I've made both twice in about a week. Not good if I ever wish to realize my dream of becoming a Victoria Secret model. (Yeah, Ramone. That'll happen.)
  • I do have to give props to If you click on ingredients above the seach bar and type in "corn tortillas" you'll find a recipe like Chicken Flautas that you have to make twice in one week. The fat girl inside me (and, well, outside me) rejoices. The Victoria Secret Model inside me does, too. She's been craving a cheeseburger for a long time.
  • Nothing brings me joy like my son singing "The Wheels on the Bus" (motions and all) and my baby girl giggling.
  • We have the coolest icicles dripping down the front of our house. They are seriously so impressive.

    And you thought I was exaggerating!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amy Macy

In my last blog post, I mentioned the advice that my baby brother gave me about owning the gray. He said that when you have the chance to be an example you should take it. It made me think of my favorite professor at MTSU, Amy Macy. To be sure, I had a number of favorite professors, but I just LOVED her. She was such a strong woman with a really cool career. She had done it all... from performing and touring to working the business side. She was a tough teacher, which made the really awesome grade on my SWOT analysis a beautiful thing. But, she was so compassionate and kind.

I remember stopping by her office shortly before Thanksgiving for some school related thing. I was an older than average student and super hard core. I had broken up with my latest boyfriend a couple of months before, but we were still friends and he had invited me to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. (He and our friends were mostly Samoans and one played for the Titans. These were some big dudes! We had TWO turkeys and a huge table full of American and Samoan food. I felt so petite and dainty!) I had mostly decided to decline and just use the weekend to get caught up on school work. I was working 3 jobs at the time and was a busy gal. Amy asked me what my Thanksgiving plans were and I told her about the invite, but that I was just going to use the time to work on school projects. I was a little emotional about it, feeling lonely around the holidays and I did not want her to see me cry. I thought she would applaud this, but she looked me dead in the face and told me to go. She said that Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays and should always be celebrated. A day set aside just to give thanks was a beautiful thing and shouldn't be brushed aside.

She also included me in a dinner at her house just before finals with her favorite students. There were four or five of us and she and her husband cooked an amazing turkey dinner for us. She was pregnant and sporting denim overalls. It was such a generous gesture. I loved her for it.

She would have been a favorite teacher of mine if she hadn't owned her beautiful silvery gray hair. Certainly. However, there was something so cool about her hair. I wanted to earn her respect from the moment I met her. She was so self-posessed. It is hard to explain and seems like such a small thing. As you'll see from the pictures below, she was YOUNG to be so gray. She was in her 30s and probably early 30s. She was pregnant with her first child in these pictures. I have worried about people thinking I am my children's grandmother when my hair is silvery gray, but no one would think that of her... and if they did, she would have laughed it off.

She was so hip and cute. So many boys in her classes got that goofy glazed over look that goofy boys get when they are crushin' on a girl. Her hair didn't say that she didn't care about how she looked. It more said that she didn't care what YOU thought of how she looked. She had such style and flair... and it was all hers. She wasn't a slave to trends, but she looked super-current. Not at all granola, even pregnant in overalls in her home.

She told me there was a secret society of women brave enough to own the gray. I was ready to embrace it and then I met my Cory, who was 22 at the time and I did not want to italicize our age gap, so I put it off. I'm ready to get a nod or a wink from other secret society members... and perhaps Amy Macy will know she was an example.

Matt O'Brien (Attorney that taught Copyright Law), me, and Amy Macy at NARM in Orlando, spring of 2001. Amy was obviously pregnant and worked tirelessly to help all of us nail down internships. What a trooper!

At the end of the Spring semester, 2001. I was days away from heading to NYC to my internship at BMG Distribution's Marketing Department. She was days away from meeting her baby girl. I had just been handed a scholarship from NARAS (the Grammy people). I'm absolutely certain she had a hand in that coming to be. What a rock star!

Friday, February 12, 2010

To gray or not to gray...

It's not really a question. It just is. The question is more about hiding it... and let's face it. As a friend pointed out recently, "You tell everyone anyway! What's the big deal?" Exactly.

I guess I was late for everything except the gray hair. I got my first gray hair when I was 16 and have gained countless more since then. I got a big jump on it as a missionary and even more as a mother.

I was talking with Kurtis (baby bro) about this the other night. He is my going-gray cheerleader (Cory too... just picture them in those little skirts :)) and made the best point. He said that whenever you have the chance to be an example, you should embrace it and be an example. So wise. So far, all I have needed to do to be an example is let my hair grow and not color. There is much more to say, but I am going to take advantage of my kids napping and shower.