Gooey Goodness

The last couple days have been…rough. I’m exhausted, I’m stressed, I’m feeling a bit discouraged and I’m a little disappointed in the lack of concern shown by some of my friends. I don’t want to get into it…it’s just been a lousy few days.

So tonight, as I was cleaning up after the older kids went to bed, I walked into the kitchen and found this……

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….a big pile of gooey goodness. I guess the world isn’t too bad after all.

I love it when that happens.

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Doing What We Can

While the East Coast was bracing for Hurricane Irene and everybody was panicking about New York City, Jason and I sat in our Atlanta area home, watched the projected path and remarked “Whoa, that’s going right through Vermont…and those rivers are going to flood.” We had no idea that it would rival the Great Flood of 1927 or that it would literally cut our hometowns off from the rest of the state.

We expected some water damage, but we never expected that rushing water would wipe out entire roads.

We didn’t realize that our friends’ homes and offices would literally fill with water.

(Photo by Megan Schultz)

And we never imagined that the unthinkable would happen.

When the water had cleared, and we’d finally heard from our loved ones, we wondered “What can we do?”. We felt completely powerless and ached to be there to help. Within a day, we started seeing Facebook status updates from friends elsewhere in the country expressing the same sadness, frustration and feelings of helplessness. Once a Vermonter, always a Vermonter.

While I started pitching stories at work, relaying information from person to person about the conditions of roads & pimping t-shirts, Jason realized that he needed to get his hands dirty. He needed to feel his muscles ache from hard work. He needed to be there.

So, that’s where we are. In 2 weeks, Jason will head up to Vermont. He’ll work wherever he’s needed and do whatever he can. By that time, things will be organized enough that a week’s worth of work by one person will make even more of an impact. Exhaustion will be setting in, and he’ll be able to relieve residents.

The cool thing about all these little towns in VT is that a little will go a long way. Please consider donating whatever you can (no matter how small). 100% of this money benefit communities that Jason will be serving.

And if anyone would like to help in any way at all, travel with him, meet up, send something specific (this is all very fluid right now), let us know!!

Peace, Love & Maple Syrup,
Jessica

Sitting in My Hometown Sun

For the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about my family’s trip to Vermont (our annual pilgrimage to the mother-land).

Here are the points that I wanted to convey:

  • I grew up in VT
  • I no longer live there
  • I did not appreciate it when I was there
  • I miss it now
  • Being in VT brings me a certain happiness that nothing else does

I’ve spent a week’s worth of commutes to and from work trying to decide what exactly I’d say…how I’d even start.  Admittedly, I’m still in my post-vacay, “why the hell do I have to live in GA?”, pissed off at the world period, so whatever I wrote was probably going to be pretty jumpy and emotional.  Don’t worry, I get like this every year.

The more I thought about it, the more one particular song ran through my head.  First, it was the words….then it was the tune….and suddenly I couldn’t think of anything else:

When I Die  –The Waifs

When I die won’t you bury me
In the town where I was born
Most of my life I’ve been rambling free
When I die I want to come back home

Ever since I was a baby child
I knew I was born to roam
I had to climb to the top of the hill
Just to see what lies beyond
Now seasons change and I am still the same
I don’t belong to anyone
Still a piece of me will always be
Sitting in my hometown sun

In my time I have seen ten thousand setting suns
And I made my bed where I lay my head
And it never hurt anyone
It could be said that a girl like me
Ain’t nothing but a prodigal son
And just like that prodigal boy I’m gonna finish off where I’ve begun

Do I dream about moving back to Vermont?  Absolutely.

Does living in VT look this good because I see it as unattainable right now?  Probably.

Do I have doubts that I’d be happy actually living there?  Yep.

Who knows what will happen.  But one thing is for sure…a piece of me will always be sitting in my hometown sun.

(this is the view of my parents’ house if you’re sprawled on the grass in their front yard on a beautiful, sunny day)


Going Bowling

I’m lucky enough to work for a company that provides several nice lactation rooms for all your breastfeeding & pumping needs. It’s one of those things that most people don’t know about until they’re in the position to need it. The usual reaction from my childless co-workers is “What?! We have one of those??”. Of course, my 6 daughter Amelia had the best reaction when she learned about it.. “There’s a special room?…Why don’t you just crawl under your desk to do it?” (oh, to be 6…).

I’m in a pretty good routine now at the end of my third week back at work. My co-workers know the drill (where I’m going, when I’ll leave, how long I’ll be gone), but a few of the young, childless, single guys obviously don’t want to acknowledge that they know what’s going on. I get it. It’s weird to them. It’s weird to put that image together with a super-hot co-worker who they see every day.

One such co-worker, Chris, who has a knack for getting into not-quite-work-appropriate conversations with me and then blushing a deep shade of scarlet, has found a graceful way for me to make my exit. One day last week, I picked up my bag and said “Ok, I’m going to go….”, trying to think of what else to say (other than “….milk myself”). Chris quickly followed up with “…bowling?”. The day before, we’d had a conversation about how much my pump-bag looks like a bowling bag.

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The whole thing is pretty old and clunky…definitely not subtle or well camoflaged. So, he said that and we all had a good laugh and there was a sigh of relief because nobody would have to say the words ‘pump’ or ‘breast’ (not me, I don’t care. I’ll say the word ‘breast’ all day long. Breast, Breast, Breast…)

So, we have a fun new euphemism and everybody feels comfortable. Hooray.

Of course, after a few days of “bowling”, Chris & I discussed how awkward it would be if we ever received an email from our manager announcing that we’d be having a department wide team-building outing….to go bowling.

Especially if they were providing the drinks.

Honda Love…

When you work the same hours every day, it makes sense that when you arrive to work you’ll park in approximately the same place every morning. I know I do. When I pull in, I see the same group of cars parked in the same few rows in the back 1/3 of the parking deck. Generally, the parking configuration varies a bit. However, at least 3 days a week, I find myself (& my Silver Honda Pilot) parked next to the same car (Gold Honda Pilot).
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Now, I know that Honda Pilots aren’t rare. In fact, looking at our parking deck, Pilots are the new go-to automobiles for young, hip families (SO much cooler than a mini-van). And I fully admit to occasionally parking next to another Pilot just for fun. But I’m starting to feel like this gold/silver Honda flirtation is getting compulsive. There are other Pilots around (steely grey, periwinkle blue), but Gold and I always seem to end up together.

And it gets weirder…
The other day, I was walking out and found the Gold Pilot parked to the left of my Silver (this is when I snapped the photo above). I was walking between the 2 cars and I happened to see a carseat in the Gold Pilot. I took another look and found that the Gold Pilot had an infant seat behind the passenger seat, a convertible seat behind the driver’s seat and a booster seat in the third row. This, oddly, is the EXACT configuration of carseats in my car. Exactly.

So, here’s my theory…
Either I have a Single White Female situation going on and this childless person is trying to take over my life OR this person is destined to be my friend. Thoughts? Either way, the other car was A LOT cleaner then mine, so it’ll probably be a good influence for me to hang out with this person.