I’m back!

After a site redesign, followed by a hosting move and several other missteps, I’m finally back in business. There were so many times I wanted to blog …but of course, all those amazing post ideas are long gone. (Short-term memory loss is part of getting older, right?) Ha.

So it has been a busy five weeks. We were in Michigan for Jim’s funeral, then back home for my birthday (a spa day with all of my closest girlfriends … it was awesome), then I was off to Vegas and Wisconsin for a week-long business trip.

There was a little silliness …

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And a whole lot of this … (I rediscovered my love of cocktails)


Which led to a little alcohol-induced oversharing between me and my colleagues, but it was fun getting to know them better (which makes me love my job even more), and we stayed at the Bellagio, so that was top-notch.

Wisconsin was much more pleasant in June than in November, and I even tried cheese curds this time. They were yum.


But the best part of the trip was this …

Welcome home banner

So here we are in July. We had a fun-filled, five-day family weekend to celebrate Independence Day (think Dave & Buster’s, Despicable Me 2, fireworks, lots of swimming…), and now we (being Dan and me) need a vacation.

But there is no rest for the weary, because Anabella turns eight this week, and we are hosting a slumber party this weekend. Lord help us! 😉


Moving on up

I got my new business cards last Friday. (I blurred out all the contact info just in case stalkers are reading this blog. However, if you can find me by fax, more power to you!)

Titles don’t mean much these days, but becoming a Veep of a global corporation was an incredible moment for me. I’ve only been on the job for three weeks, but so far I am enjoying every minute of it. It is refreshing to be excited to go to work every day!

However, there are things that I miss about my old department:
– The friendships … especially Stasa and Jen … miss you ladies!
– Free snacks and cokes (now I pay 75 cents when I need a caffeine fix)
– Telecommuting two days a week (Boy do I miss my Wednesdays and Fridays at home!)
– The view of Houston from the 40th floor (I still have an office, but no window. Boo!). I especially miss watching the hawks circling the building.

More on the new job later!

The Good, the bad and the ugly – part 3

The Ugly.

Crohn’s disease is an evil bitch.

I stopped getting my infusion therapy back in April and started Humira about six weeks ago. It hasn’t given me any relief yet, but I am hopeful that it will … I have two friends who have experienced tremendous improvement with their Rheumatoid Arthritis.

But that being said, the last two months have been hell. Not even the steroids seem to be helping me anymore, and I had a few weeks where I only left my house to go to work. I felt like I was developing a mild case of social anxiety disorder, so I’ve been doing my best to combat the desire to stay home all the time. (Don’t want to wind up a recluse with 50 cats and a home shopping channel addiction. Next thing you know I’d turn up on some crazy reality show, and it’s all downhill from there.) It’s so hard to stay hopeful and positive, so thank God that I have children. Sometimes they are the only reason I can get myself going.

One interesting part of this new drug is that it is self-injection. I am getting four hours a month back now that I don’t have to get my meds via infusion, but I had to mentally prepare to administer the shots to myself. The first dose was just too much to handle (four shots in the belly at one time), so my doctor’s nurse graciously offered to help. I nearly passed out, so thank goodness I didn’t do it myself at home. But now I am a pro … it’s amazing what you can do when you have to.

So help cheer me up … tell me about something that you now do that you never thought you could or would.

The Good, the bad and the ugly – part 1

Today, the Good. It’s been a great month. The first week of May, I went to Mom 2.0 in Miami. For those who don’t know, it’s a mom blogger conference. I met a lot of interesting women and spent three days at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, which was a much-needed treat on its own.

But, I also met Sam Bee, who was super funny and personable:

And I had Jenny the Bloggess sign her book for me:

With requested profanity, of course:

And I got to hang out at the Versace Mansion in South Beach.

We also went an Astros game for the first time as a family this month. The girls looked adorable in their Astros gear, and were excellent fans. Little Scarlett even has a superstitious side to her, telling me if we clapped 20 times before each batter, he would hit the ball. So cute. We ended the night with dinner at Vic & Anthony’s … a tradition Dan and I had long before kiddos came into the picture. Anabella had her first taste of their infamous crab cakes and Scarlett enjoyed some of the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had. (The blue box stuff might be out for good at our house.)

And the month ended with my birthday. A non-event really, but I had a lot of nice celebrations … ending with a birthday slumber party for me and my friend Kim with four of our dearest friends this past Saturday night at a fancy hotel. We brought in tons of food and cocktails, and just talked, played games and acted silly. (Some of us more silly than others, right Kim?) Through all the changes and the ups and downs of life, I am somehow lucky enough to maintain an amazing circle of friends. So grateful for that!

A new low

I’ve reached a new level of desperation this week. I’ve been back on steroids for several months, and of course, my face has blown up again. I had to get my driver’s license photo taken this week, and had a complete breakdown when I compared the new “moon face” photo to my previous photo. So, I went to the drug store and bought a tube of PreparationH. (Hard to believe I didn’t already have some with all my gastroentestinal problems, huh?).

So before I went to work yesterday, I put it all over my face. Yep. I did. Hemorrhroid cream all over my face.

It did make a difference around my eyes, but the shame of having ass cream on my face will probably keep me from doing it again.

Rhonda, World Traveler

Okay, not really, but life has been fun lately. Last week I was in NYC for a conference on creating content for social media. I not only got to stay in the city for three days, but I also got to participate in the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony for a second time. Can you pick me out of this photo?

The highlights were meeting and having a conversation with David Pogue at a networking event. I also was able to go to Mesa (a Bobby Flay restaurant) and enjoy an incredible meal. All I have to say is Shrimp and Garlic Tamale. If you get the chance, you won’t regret it. I also witnessed first hand the trainwreck that is Charlie Sheen’s tour of stupidity. My hotel was across the street from Radio City Music Hall, and all of the yahoos who wanted to catch a glimpse of him after the show were camped out in the street. I walked down to the drug store and stopped to watch people coming out of the show being interviewed on the local news …. surprisingly they felt they had wasted their $500/ticket. Duh. $20 would have been a waste. So it was a great trip, except for all of the mommy guilt, which I tried to sqaush with gifts from the Hello Kitty store and Toys R Us.

And today, I am headed for New Orleans for Mom 2.0!

Mom 2.0 Summit - April 14-16

Three days in New Orleans, hanging out and getting inspired with 450 fellow bloggers. How fun is that? I will also be live blogging for Mom 2.0, so look for my posts on their website here.

WTF? Wednesday

It’s WTF Wednesday and I’m sure all wondering WTF is up me. Well, the short version is that I’ve been really sick. Crohn’s is kicking my ass again … more than ever before. I’ve been on crazy meds, losing my hair, missing work, feeling like total ass all the time. And in between that, I’ve trying to participate in my life. So that left no time for blogging. Or laundry. Or porn. Anyway, I’m back on evil steriods and starting to feel a little better, so here I am.

Everyone else is great. Scarlett is still talking trash and acting like the Queen Bee, which I totally adore. Anabella is really taking off in school — writing, reading and getting blue stars all the time (instead of yellow sad faces). She also experienced her first “staycation” over spring break, but she was able to do a lot of fun things like Space Center Houston with her grammy and Matt. Dan and I took her to the rodeo carnival (she is a total daredevil, just like her mommy) and she spent a few hours working at my office one day. Remember when you thought it was cool and fun to go to work? Yeah, me either.

So here are a few photos. And I promise to get back in the blogging saddle ASAP.

P.S. Anabella lost her third tooth at the Rodeo while eating an ice cream cone. It was on the tip of her tongue and I managed to snatch it before she swallowed it. FINALLY the tooth fairy got to make a visit!

Sliding with daddy at the rodeo.

Hanging out in princesses dresses … ALL day in the princesses dresses, even out to lunch!

Happy holidays!

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the notes and offers of help during what was an incredibly trying time. Dan has mostly recovered, and so has Scarlett (did I mention here that she wound up with pneumonia too?), so hopefully life will get back to normal next week when school starts again.

Christmas was great. Even though I only had a week to buy all the gifts, wrap everything, decorate the house and do the shopping for Christmas lunch, somehow it all came together and the day was very — merry. And even though I have been off work for nine days, things haven’t been too tense, except for the occasional fight-to-the-death between Anabella and Scarlett. (are sisters always like this??) However, it appears that a few of Dan’s little “sayings” have rubbed off on my otherwise nearly perfect little three-year-old child during all the quality time we have spent together.

I am laying in bed and Scarlett is next to me watching a cartoon. She notices that I am on my cell phone and says “Mommy, I want to play my mouse game.”

Me: “I’m on the phone right now, but you can play when I am done.”

Scarlett (with a very serious face): “If you don’t let me play my mouse game, I am going to smack your ass.”

Nice job, daddy. Can’t wait until she pulls that out in school next week.

All my crushes

Several of my celebrity crushes were mingling on TV last week. First, Jon Stewart was on David Letterman (I have lots of love for both of them) – and they were totally hysterical together, as I would have guessed. (Side note: Poor Dan tried to get some “quality” time with me during the interview and I was all like “But JON STEWART is on DAVID LETTERMAN – I have to watch this.”) Later in the week, Justin Timberlake was on Jon Stewart. Another double dip of happiness for me.

Then I started thinking, I have really weird taste. I mean put those three up next to each other and it’s definitely a mixed bag. Especially when you add in some of my others, like Tom Colicchio and Dwayne Johnson.

Who do you all crush on?

WTF? Wednesday – I am 40!

Yes, I know I hardly look a day over 38, but I am now the big 4-0.

The last few weeks have been really hard on me. I’ve been engaging in lots of soul searching … questioning myself, my choices, where I am in life … all the things you ponder when you realize that you are, in fact, a middle-aged person.

But then last Friday, some of my dearest friends threw me an incredible cocktail party (thanks KB, Kim, Carol, Heather and Jeanne Marie!), and standing in a room full of amazing people, I had an AH-HA moment. It wasn’t that I was dreading 40. I was just sad about leaving an incredible decade behind.

I found myself in my 30s. I learned to trust my intuition. I became confident in my voice and my opinions. I married Dan. We traveled all over the world together. I went skydiving, and scuba diving, and I climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I went to a SuperBowl and the World Series (when the Astros finally made it to the finals!). I took Dan dog sledding. We built a home together from the ground up. I became a mommy to two gorgeous little girls – a job I was never sure I would be good at, and then found I loved more than any other. I started blogging and met a new community of people through the love of writing. I finished college after many years of night school. I learned to appreciate all of the people in my life, by losing a few that I loved most. I discovered that I am always the same girl on the inside – just a little wiser and now a little older.

Standing in that room full of people that I have made true connections with over the years, helped me realize that the 40s will be even better than the 30s. It’s the same journey, but the fruit of my 30s – the friendships I have built along the way – will be going with me.

Kicking and screaming into middle age.