How I Feel Pretty

I have a whole blog dedicated to being so “pretty” that bad things can’t affect me. In case you’ve read everything on my site and still wondered what tha hell is going on here, that’s the tongue-in-cheek intent behind the space I take up on the “internets”. But there are many, many days that leave me not feeling so pretty.

I’ve allowed years of my life to pass by me while I live in a fog on autopilot so that I don’t have to feel. Sometimes life’s shat gets stuck on my shoe and I can’t get it off. Now, maybe I’m off base here, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m not alone in this. So how do we get our mojo back once the fog lifts and we wake up?

As a girl I dreamed of growing up so that I could BECOME THE BEST EVERYTHING AND THE WORLD WOULD REALIZE MY GREATNESS. I was totally unprepared for the infinite number of reinventions that we have to go through as women. We’re constantly having to adapt and change and it seems like as soon as we get one situation under control and feel comfortable with ourselves relative to our surroundings, life snatches the rug from under our feet. We’re left crying on the bathroom floor one month away from being homeless and destitute and trying to figure out our next move without having to call our parents AGAIN to bail us out.

When I was a flight attendant, the saying went that all of the best flight attendants are “fluid and flexible”. In that world you have to be. Schedules are constantly changing, you’re part of one team and perfectly in synch only to have someone on another crew call out so guess what- you’re now on that crew. And you’re responsible for the safety of hundreds of people, several times a day, that you’ve never met. I was totally unaware at the time how applicable this is in every day life.

College was the first time I’d really ever been away from home. I had a really hard time adjusting mentally. I was a total stranger to myself. I had no idea how great I was at being me so I tried to control EVERYTHING. I think my entire freshman year was spent in a fog grasping at straws that kept slipping through my fingers. I’d lost my granddad to cancer, my family was experiencing issues that I couldn’t fix, and I was torn between being able to make my own decisions and not wanting to let anyone down. But slowly I learned to navigate.

By the end of college I had it all figured out. I was confident. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I remember the cruise I went on with my roommates for spring break (which also happened to be my 21st birthday). It was seven days of fun with my best friends. And for seven whole days I felt pretty. Because I was happy. I look back at pictures and I’m so nostalgic for that experience. The ship was old, our rooms were small, but we didn’t care! We were having too much fun to worry about that. It was my first time on an airplane. My first time on a ship. My first time on a tropical island. I felt so free and happy.

It feels like every time I can say “I feel pretty” it follows that same pattern of feeling free and confident. And it usually follows a time I’ve conquered a “first”. My first tattoo, moving to Italy by myself, realizing I was making a life for my daughter and me, coaching little cheerleaders and hearing them laugh and have fun, all of these things that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do but I did! And it’s realizing those milestones that I never thought I could do that make me feel pretty. It’s bigger than superficial attractiveness. It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling that tells me I’m more capable than I ever thought possible.

If I’m being honest, I haven’t felt pretty for a while now. I’ve been in a fog. I feel out of control. It’s all my doing. I’ve lost my voice. I’ve lost command of my life. It happens. When you become a mom and a wife and an employee and a boss and a mortgage payer, and a loan payer, and the kids want to play sports and go on field trips, and have growth spurts so you have to buy new clothes again for the child that just outgrew everything last month, and everything else that goes with living, it’s easy to flip the switch to autopilot and let yourself glide through the motions of life with no purposeful intentions to guide your plane to the destination you want.

But then you wake up one day and you itch for something different {hopefully it’s not THAT itch}. You may not know what you need or how to get it. You just now that where you are isn’t where you want to be. It’s time to stretch. Get fluid and flexible again. It’s time to rebrand yourself and get out there.  And remember that it isn’t going to happen all at once.

So, I’m off to put my big girl panties on and make a plan. It just takes one step. No more excuses.

How many times have YOU had to rebrand yourself? Lost count? Me, too.

Please like & share:

Thanksgiving Spirit

It’s almost Thanksgiving, y’all. The spirit of giving thanks is all around. To perpetuate that spirit, I’m going to share with you an experience I just had with a lovely woman that, I feel, will leave you all questioning your own giving spirit, wondering what more you can do to be more like her. Sit back, enjoy, and allow this to enable a moment of self-reflection.

As I do everyday, this morning I ordered my Starbucks coffee and breakfast on my mobile app, parked my car inside the lines of the parking space I chose (I’m getting really good at that now; it only took me 2 years!!), and turned off my car to grab my stuff and go inside.

Before I could get out of my car, I heard a “thud” and my car moved! An earthquake! It must be! But, in Atlanta???? I look over to my passenger side to see a lady give me a nasty look as she’s getting in her car. That’s right, y’all. She purposefully hit my car with her car door. Now, I could have done nothing. But that’s just not who I am.

So, all 5 feet, 2 inches of me steps out of my car and walks around to see if my car has been damaged. As I do that, I look over at her and she rolls down her window. That’s right. I witnessed a Thanksgiving miracle. She was able to get into her car! How was that possible when I was parked so closely??? Y’all, she must be in God’s favor. In a minute, you’ll see that’s obvious.

With her window down she says, “You nee ta park in tha lines ness time!” To which I replied, “I did!” and motion to my tire, which is clearly on the correct side of the line.  As evidence, I submit the following two pictures.  The first shows that I AM parked inside the line (I’m the red car, BTW) and the second shows a bigger car that parked in the same space after her with both doors wide open.  Without (and this is the kicker) smacking my car {SHOCKED FACE!}.

parked-car-1

 

 

parked-car-2

 

As she backed away from me and my Chihuahua-esque furiousness she yells, “Happy Thanksgiving, BITCH!” Clearly a nod to my Lola. She’s so thoughtful! Although I’m not sure how she knew I had Lola… she must follow me on Instagram.

Luckily my car’s ok. No scratches. I wished her well as she drove off. Have any of you had holiday encounters that embody the spirit of giving quite like this one?

Please like & share:

Career Crisis

Full disclosure: I’m going through something right now. A career crisis. And it’s affecting everything else in my life. Not in a good way, either. I wish I could say, “This career crisis has done wonders for my marriage! And my kids, they can definitely tell I’m happier with being miserable for 8 to 10 hours a day. I’m such a better parent.” Unfortunately, I bring less exciting news. I mean, it’s exciting because I don’t know how the journey will play out but it’s not “yay” exciting. Not yet, at least.

The problem is that I don’t know how to fix it. I can’t be the only person at this stage of my life. There have to be more of me out there (scary, I know. But also FASCINATING, right?!). I feel bad for feeling this way. I have a career. I have a career that allows me to help financially provide for my family. But I’m spending days of my life performing work that doesn’t fulfill me and what I know I’m capable of. Unfortunately, my mom wouldn’t let me major in Super Hero-ness in college. SO it pretty much ruined my life. Thanks, Mom.

I’d love to pivot into something else but I don’t know how the skill set from my current career translates into something else that would prevent me from having to start at the bottom again. I’m in that unique situation that I’m sure a lot of us are in. We have bills. We have expenses. We have responsibilities that dictate we bring in a certain amount of money. I don’t want to have to tell my kids that they can’t do sports or participate in a certain activity because we don’t have the money. I’ve been there before and it’s no fun.

Part of my problem is courage. In all honesty, I have zero confidence in my ability to float doing what I love: entertaining people. Friends here and there (and everywhere – oh, come on, I had to. It RHYMED) have told me I’m “entertaining” but that doesn’t translate to carving a living out of it. I know I can do it. I know I can stand on a stage and kill it. But I’m scared. And I keep making excuses: The Open Mics are too late, they’re too far away, I don’t know for sure it’ll be funny. If I can just get that first attempt under my belt, maybe it’ll be ok. But that first step is the one that makes my feet feel like cement.

I need to bring myself out of my comfort zone. Worst case scenario, I get booed. Maybe a tomato thrown at my face. (That still happens, right?) I can recover from that, I think? It’s no worse than going to work at an office and having people point out your faults. Is there a cry room I could go to at a local college in case I need it?

Ok, how about this: let’s do this together. Let’s all face a fear. Get out of our comfort zone a little. Then find my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/atleastimpretty) and let me know how it goes. Or leave me a comment below. I think we’ll all be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, if we fail, at least we’re pretty!

Please like & share:

Killin Life 20 Minutes at a Time

Twenty minutes. That’s just about all the time I have for anything in my life. Am I alone in that? If my family wants me to cook, it better take twenty minutes or less. Do I need to look like a goddess? We’ll see what I can do in twenty minutes. Cuz that’s just about the amount of time my kids will give me before things start melting down.

It really is the perfect timeframe to target when I’m trying to accomplish something. Fifteen minutes is super unrealistic. Even I know that. Thirty minutes? OH EM GEEE! That’s SUCH A LONG TIME! But twenty minutes. In the words of Goldie Locks, that’s juuuust right!

So I decided recently to make it my mission to scout out anything that will make my life even more awesomer in twenty minutes or less and for as little money as possible. (Cuz if I’m broke I can’t buy the makeup I need to transform ma face so it won’t matter how long it takes.)

In the three days that I’ve been on this mission I’ve discovered three dinner recipes that should take than twenty minutes to whip up.

Recipe #1 was posted to my Facebook page At Least I’m Pretty by a member of ma pretty posse, Rita. She didn’t provide a name for the recipe so I’m gonna name it Pomegranate Wine Spritzer. And it goes a little something like this:

Pomegranate Wine

Ginger Ale

I don’t know how much of each goes into it but I’m guessing it’s just a splash of ginger ale. Like a drop. Juuuuust a drop. Easy, delicious appetizer. Thank you, Rita!

Recipe #2 is more of a main course. Evermine.com shares the following super simple, delicious Fall sangria recipe:

1 bottle of red wine, 2 cups of apple cider, 1 chopped apple, 1 chopped pear, and 3 cinnamon sticks.

Mix it all together in a pitcher and throw it in the fridge for a few hours and voila! All done. If you want, you can get super fancy and rim your glass with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Cuz who doesn’t love a good garnish?!

For dessert, I give you recipe #3. If you search Pintrest for Fall cocktails you may come across southyourmouth.com’s Wicked Autumn Apple Sangria. It’s a white wine based sangria. All you have to do is dump 1 cup of vanilla vodka, 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups apple cider,1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 honeycrisp apples, 2 pears, 1 orange, and 2 bottles of dry white wine in a pitcher, stir it up, and put it in the fridge for a bit (if you can muster the self control). The fruit should be cut up, just FYI. You won’t get the juicy yumminess if you don’t. And that just WON’T do.

So, there you go. Pretty simple and less than 20 minutes to assemble.

I feel like my life happens in 20-minute increments. Anyone else have a 20-minute life hack?

Please like & share:

Diary of a Day Dreamer

Hi, I’m Erica and I’m a day dreamer. {And in unison I hear, “Hi, Erica”}. Most of my day, since my memory began, has been spent thinking of crazy scenarios that would never happen in real life but I feel that I should be prepared for… you know, just in case. I used to think that the zombie apocalypse was one of those scenarios but now I’m convinced it’ll happen soon, like maybe tomorrow, or Saturday. Although, I really hope it doesn’t start on a weekend. Chances are, I’ve had a glass of wine or two and won’t be able to accurately assess the situation. So maybe Tuesday? {Thank you, TWD. Now I’m prepared for it. I just need a big stick, a crossbow, and a pointless character like Carl to keep me safe.}

Anyway, this “what-if” day-dreaming is really starting to get in the way of my doing great things, like sitting through an entire episode of Ice Road Truckers without zoning out and realizing I have no memory of how that truck got passed the lake with the crack in it. Or finishing my ice cream before it gets all melty.

The problem is it’s AWESOME to contemplate these “what-would-happen-if” situations. I don’t WANNA stop it. Let me explain. Imagine you’re sitting in your kitchen and you wonder (perhaps out loud to your unsuspecting husband), “Hey. What would you do if you were sitting here one morning drinking your whisky coffee and Richard Simmons just walked in? Would you be mad that he just walked in uninvited or would you be like, ‘That’s my wife’s spirit animal, Richard Simmons, in my kitchen. Mi casa es su casa, Ricardo!’ What would you do?” In my mind, I need to be prepared for the day this happens. My husband, on the other hand, just drops his head, shakes it in disbelief, and walks away wondering why he chose me. BECAUSE I’M PREPARED FOR LIFE!

You need another example? Good. I have plenty. What would you do if you were drying your hair with your favorite hair dryer and out of the corner of your eye you notice something in your room. You look over and notice a Yeti in your house walking toward you. (The monster, not the cup. That’s a different “what-if” situation.) Should you be scared? No! He just needs your hair dryer. And my GAWD is that mane of his luxurious. You hesitate a little because you know that all that drying will kill your hair dryer, but hey, it’s a Yeti. So you strike up a deal. A hair dryer for a selfie. He gladly accepts and even gives you a rock-on sign in your pic, which is odd because you didn’t even know he knew about that sign. You post it, it’s validated for authenticity and you become a millionaire. BOOM. Then you hire Mary Kate and Ashley’s manager and become a BILLIONAIRE. All because a Yeti broke into your home to use your hair dryer.

The useful application of this superpower of mine is that I’m literally prepared for ANYTHING. I’m an expert at this now. Along the way I’ve met friends who are just as good at this as I am. Remember my college roommate?

What “what if” scenarios are YOU prepared for?

Please like & share:

What It’s Been Like to be Me in 2016

2016 has been the craziest year since 2011 when I got married, had a baby, and purchased our first home. This year hasn’t been that crazy. I’d say it’s been cray. Not cray-cray. Just cray. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing (or like Steve Buscemi dressed in a Taylor Swift skirt and crop top), it didn’t start off indicating the whirlwind was a-comin. Quite the opposite. We finally finished a 4-year renovation. Phew!  Now we can sit back and enjoy it!

January, February, WHAT????  We relaxed for 3 months. THREE months. As I’ve ranted about before, I came home one day to my hubs telling me he found a realtor!  Yay!  “E!  It’ll be awesome!  We can get a house with a basement!” He says.  Sounds so simple.  Like if Miley Cyrus and Ryan Lochte had a baby.  That baby would be “simple”.  Only it wasn’t as simple as a Michte baby.  At all.  It was stressful and complicated and scary!  Like if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had a baby.  Chelsea Handler.  That’s their baby.  I’ll name those 3 months my Chelsea Handler months.

Now, the next 2 months are a blur. All I know is we sold our house, made 2 offers that weren’t accepted, and 1 that finally was. It felt like a lifetime, waiting til closing. Closing day was INSANE.  We closed on both houses in one day. And we moved. On the same day. Closing day. Ugh. Now we can rest!  LOL, I’m so silly.

Nope. Three weeks after we moved we went on family vacation. Which isn’t really vacation. It’s just uprooting your life and transplanting it to another location. I mean, it was fun and all. But NOT a proper vacation.  Most of it was spent trying to keep the kids from destroying the sea turtle nests.  No pressure.  Oh, and we came home to packed boxes.

The proper vacation happened 4 weeks later. Yes. Time for rest. Sunday through Thursday of couple-time. Oh, it was lovely.  Then back to crazy for August. School started, meaning my tiny little man started kindergarten. WHAT? Nooooooo. It’s bad enough that Bella is in THIRD grade!  Dam. “They” tell me that this isn’t optional. Life can’t pause. Yeah, well “They” are pathetic a-holes.  I DON’T LIKE IT!  (Ooooh, now I know where Roman gets his tantrums from) Ugh.

Little did I know that while I was out living ma life lika fool, tryin to keep a job and 2 kids alive, a storm was a’brewin’.  Anyone out there have family members that think they’re the long lost Kardashian?  Maybe they are.  I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me.  Maybe they think they’re famous, only they aren’t, and they get pissed when people don’t treat them as though they’re famous, because they aren’t, then they get pissed and play the victim when you stand your ground and then the overreact by cutting off all of your communication but not before calling you names that even YOU wouldn’t use, among other, worse things… maybe.  Just hypothetically speaking.

In summary, this year’s been crazy.  I’d be ok if 2017 is super boring.  That would be ok with me.

Please like & share:

If I Were President

Last week I posted a letter to Hillary Clinton. I received a few responses suggesting that I should be president in 2020. I don’t disagree. I’m pretty awesome. But I’m pretty sure that there are lots of reasons why I wouldn’t be the best option. So I guess I’m a shoe in.

But it got me thinking. What would it be like if I really were president. It would go something like this:

I think I’ll run for board of directors at the local rec department. Yay! I won! Fuuuq, I won. Guess I gotta figure this thing out. I’m killin’ it! Uniforms ordered, check! I think I’ll run for something bigger, more important. Like PTA president. Nah, I cuss too much and drink whisky. Ok, so maybe not that. Wouldn’t wanna class up tha joint so much that I make people feel inferior. Go big or go home, right? I’ll run for Commissioner. Of something. Hmmm… which one doesn’t have anyone else running? I’ll take that one. Done!

Somehow I’ve lasted the entire term without getting impeached and ousted. That means I’m amazing. Now I should run for something super important. Like Senator. Hey, Hillary did it. I can totes do anything she can do, but better. But I can’t even get more than 12 people to read my blog on a given day… hmm.

I think you get the idea. If I were to win something like the presidency, it would only be because I’ve Forrest Gumped my way all the way to the top. I mean, I guess it’s possible. But imagine all the gray hair and wrinkles I’d have by the end! No thank you. I have enough of those on my own. Bad news, I still need to figure out what I wanna be when I grow up. Besides Darren Knight’s BFMF (Bella just taught me this. She said it means, “Best Friends Maybe Forever”. Looks like she might have a sight fear of commitment).

Please like & share:

5 Things I’ve Learned from My Marriage

My husband holds a special record in my life. Our relationship is officially the longest relationship I have ever been in. In the 8 years we’ve known each other, I’ve learned some things. Below is a list of 5 things I’ve learned so far:

  1. I have to compromise. I have to compromise. I have to compromise.
  2. People who snore go to sleep faster than I can find my favorite wine in Costco. And I know exactly where it is. And I get that before I get anything else. So it doesn’t take me long, that’s my point.
  3. His hugs make me feel safer than I’ve ever felt in my life.
  4. Watching him comfort our children makes my heart cry happy tears.
  5. The hard days feel like I’m fighting for the heavyweight championship but the other 99% of the days are wonderful and make it all worth it.

My husband is my best friend. And I love him with all my heart. Unless he’s snoring. Like he is now.

Please like & share: