that time I got kicked out of a restaurant

I brought a hot dog onto the patio of a vegan restaurant. I know. Blasphemy. The thing was that everyone else wanted to eat at Native Foods, and I just wasn't in the mood for falsified meat. So I bought a hot dog and joined my family on the patio of the vegan restaurant. Not a minute later an employee came out and asked me to leave, despite the fact that my whole family had just paid a sizable sum for their cheese-less, meat-less meals. It made me want to slaughter a pig right then and there.

I know you're probably thinking, Well, hot dogs are the vegan antichrist, and you're right. Perhaps a hot dog wasn't the best choice of alternate lunch, but that's not the point. I don't think I was doing anything to disrespect the restaurant or its customers. I was, however, publicly humiliated for not sharing the same values, and there's something wrong with that.

I retaliated by leaving a scathing Yelp review. Vegans can send their hate mail to CharlotteEatsHotDogs@gmail.com 


not quite as planned

{Photo credit to my MIL for this beachy gem}

Well, I didn't get my crepe. What began as a wonderful beach day ended with me throwing up all the way home. Maybe it was a stomach bug, or maybe it was the prescription headache medication I took on an empty stomach that morning to stick it to the Headache Demon.

(And I'm not pregnant. I sent Josh to the store that night to pick up an overly priced test just so I could be sure. Goodness, while I am so, so grateful for my body and for all the miracles that come from pregnancy, my soul isn't ready yet to undergo that adventure again.)

So I've been doing my best to recover and care for the babe and fold laundry so that we can jet to Denver Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (What I was thinking for booking that particular flight, I can't be sure. It will either work out splendidly--especially since Josh will be with us this time--or it will be a living nightmare.)

I want to write about everything I've been feeling about my brother leaving for Brazil for two whole years, but I think I've been holding back on really processing those emotions. And yes, I have yet to take and post Asher's 11-month pictures. Maybe I can slip that in among packing, mopping the kitchen, drinking my ginger ale, and shopping for a new skirt to wear on Sunday.

Maybe. But let us not forget the lesson that the beach crepes taught: Even when you desperately want a melty, Nutella-y, banana-y mess of beachy goodness, sometimes you throw up on the highway instead.


on being an introvert, a Q&A part one

Today we're heading back to Cannon Beach, but this time with the entire Wilson/Snow clan. So while we're soaking up some coasting, I thought I'd publish part of a post I've been working on for a few days. You enjoy these thoughts, and I'll be enjoying my Haystack Rock crepe, thank you very much.

I'm an introvert, and sometimes I think I'm misunderstood. You know introverts, and you might even be one yourself. You're in good company. If you get overwhelmed by packed social schedules and large groups of people, you're not crazy or antisocial. Chances are, you're an introvert.

So I want to talk about that.

Aren't introverts antisocial and unfriendly?
Mostly false. Introverts are sometimes antisocial and rarely unfriendly. I certainly wouldn't say that unfriendliness is a characteristic particular to introverts. In fact, introverts deal with these misconceptions all the time.

So what is an introvert?
An introvert is someone who derives their mental and emotional energy from being alone. An extrovert on the other hand, generates energy through social interaction. When my calendar is packed with so many places and events, I burn out quickly, especially if I have a hard time carving out time for myself. I have extrovert friends who thrive on a full social life, but I need downtime to recharge my batteries.

Do introverts enjoy social activities?
For the most part, yes! Especially when they come fully charged, they can really enjoy a large social gathering and can even be the life of the party. It's not that introverts hate being social, they just need to be ready for it. As an introvert, sometimes I'm not ready for a big party, even if it's with good friends. Lots of factors go into an introvert's energy well: household responsibilities, work obligations, church duties, and let's not forget parenting littles. Sometimes I'm just so burned out emotionally that I can't bear the thought of mustering nonexistent energy for socializing. When I'm prepared, though, I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to parties and get-togethers with friends.

What counts as "downtime"?
Usually I count downtime as time that I have to myself with no commitments or obligations. Ideally this includes baby-less time with no household work allowed. Sometimes this happens. Sometimes it doesn't. Depending on the week or day, I can recharge while folding laundry or unloading the dishwasher. I'd rather that chores not be a part of my recharging, but sometimes they have to be. Any activity that leaves you feeling mentally and emotionally recharged can count as downtime.

How does family life work for an introvert?
I'm not going to lie, mothering as an introvert presents its unique set of emotional challenges. While my son is usually a ball of chubby delight, engaging with him does qualify as social interaction. Even on our best days, I'm often left feeling socially tired by the end of the day. Most of the time my time with Josh at night counts as downtime, especially if we're watching our shows. But sometimes I encourage Josh to go play his video game for an hour so that I have time for just me. (He's usually quite obliging.) Because my first priority is my family, I sometimes have to stretch out my energy pretty thin. Sometimes your life will be so busy that the time you have available for yourself isn't much. That's okay for a season. Even if you can plan out just half an hour for yourself, you'll know to maximize your recharge time.

How has motherhood affected your introversion?
Motherhood has produced somewhat of an introversion phenomenon for me. While I certainly experience the expected need for a baby-break, I also have developed more grown-up social needs. Just a couple of weeks ago, my girl friends planned a dessert night. I'd had a really rough day with the babe, so introvert logic might demand that I skip the party and stay at home eating ice cream from the carton. But instead, I felt an even greater need to get out of the house for a bit and not have to worry about anything baby- or household-related. I was gone for over two hours, and it was glorious. That girl time was just what I needed to refuel my tank. Later that week I did need to have a quiet, no-commitment evening, but for that night, girl-talk with the girls was exactly what I wanted.

I have a second part to this post that I'll publish maybe next week when I'm in Denver. Are you an introvert? What counts as downtime for you? Are you an extrovert? What is it like to have oceans-full of social energy?


gearing up

July has been a whirlwind, people. Like, seriously. This weekend, my lovely friend Laura came to visit (the first official house guest since the move!), and now all of Josh's siblings are coming into town. Then Saturday, this Wilson subsidiary is off to Denver on a 6:00 a.m. flight to hang with the brother before he flies all the way down to Brazil for the next two years.

Then it's August. I already feel kind of tired.

My posts these next two weeks may be hit and miss. I could be so tired that the thought of writing is absolutely absurd, but I could also be so in need of a personal break that I take to writing and let the flow of words ease my mind. So, who knows.

Tonight I leave you with a few tidbits.

:: If you haven't heard that J. K. Rowling published a new book under a pseudonym, you live under a rock. I so wish that I could claim that I read it before the news hit the fan, so that I could be the ultimate hipster. Also, I wonder if I wouldn't have wondered about the authorship, if you know what I mean. I'd kind of like to publish under a pseudonym.

:: John Mayer is a phenomenal live performer. Absolutely amazing. Laura and I went to his concert on Friday, and I can officially say that this was the best concert I've ever been to. So wonderful.

:: Oregon summers are heavenly. In the midst of figuring out how to organize my books and prepping for the family visit extravaganzas, we've been enjoying some pool days, more chocolate sugar cookies, and perfectly ripe peaches.


some summer coasting

We hadn't been to the coast since October, and I was hounding Josh to go. So we did.

Our first stop was in Cannon Beach, where we hit up our all-time favorite fish market.

Each of us ordered a plate of Pacific cod fish and chips, and we tacked on a cup of chowder for the babe.

He loved it.

Then we headed to our favorite beach, Arcadia, which is just a few miles south of Cannon Beach.

Asher accompanied us to the beach when Josh and I went to Newport for our anniversary, but he slept the whole time so it doesn't count.

He tolerated the sand for a little bit.

And he even touched the cold waves with his sausage toes.

We chilled on some blankets.

And we let the briny breeze muss our already mussy hair.

Asher didn't last too long at the beach and didn't seem keen on napping in the sand, so we headed home a little early--but not before we grabbed some crepes at Crepe Neptune on our way out.

Really, this day was just divine.


a new week

Last week was not my best. Don't you hate it when you know you're not your best? Even when I don't feel I deserve my best, I know my family deserves it. And that's what hits me hard, when I know that I've allowed my shortcomings to cheat my husband and son out of what they deserved from me that day.

So today I embraced the promise of a fresh start that Monday brings. I made some resolutions and didn't let myself succumb to the lazy. I listened to my babe more so I would know what he really needed today. I thought of ways I can serve those around me, and instead of seeing the drudgery of my day-to-day tasks I found stability and security in them.

Today started a new week, and I am ready for it.


status report, with some run-on sentences thrown in for good measure

I'm here, and I'm alive. We moved in over a week ago, and I'll be thrilled if we get completely settled in by Labor Day. It's just so hard to capitalize on any brand of organizing momentum when you have an adventurous crawler on your hands who doesn't embrace napping. So I've been trying to accept a little here and a little there as okay. And it is.

It's also hard to muster any kind of motivation when your upstairs is 90 degrees, because air conditioning isn't a given thing in Oregon, because really, you wouldn't even need to use it the whole summer. But boy when you need it, you need it. And for all those readers from more scorching climes than Portland, Oregon, remember that you have air conditioning and I do not. So complaining about the 90-degree heat is perfectly acceptable.

I've had several good blogging ideas, but whenever I think of them I'm either in the car or using my best energy to play with the babe, and when the time does come available, my brain feels like it's melting. So, there we are.

I'll wrap up my status report with a few tidbits from the past week or two:

:: Asher loves sparklers so much that he wants to touch the flaming magnesium.

:: The brother leaves on his mission in three weeks.
:: Asher has a Batmobile.

:: I made these last night and died.

 :: I've had my hair up in a bun almost every day for the past two weeks because it's been too hot to use the blow dryer.



As of 07.03.2013

Turns out that unpacking a home with a babe as your sidekick can really throw a wrench in your momentum and motivation. So things have been moving a bit more slowly in the settling in camp. But we're working on it, and today our home is looking much better than it did yesterday. Also, that boy with his out-of-control hair is the best sidekick I could have asked for.
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