July 25, 2013

Thought-Provoking Thursday: Stranger Interactions

I came across this post on the New York Times Lens blog. At first glance I thought to myself, "What's the big deal? It's not that hard to get strangers together." I was critical. Then I read the post and I looked at the photos. I have been captivated. I don't know what's more intriguing - the stranger who look comfortable together or the strangers who are clearly uncomfortable.

July 22, 2013

Labor Day for the Royals

I didn't think I was engaged in the whole Royal Baby frenzy, but when I got a text alert at 3am that the Duchess was in labor, I got intrigued. I remember feeling some pressure before I was in labor to hurry up and have the baby so everyone could hold it. I can only imagine what Kate is feeling.

I was reading an article about how the Royal Labor was progressing. It was a completely vague and uninformative article, understandably. What struck me in the article was not so much the attempt to fill space with limited information, but I was stopped by the fact that parents in the UK have waited to name their newborns because they want to either name their child after the Royal Baby or they want to avoid naming their child the same name.

This blows my mind. It's not that I don't believe it; it's just that I don't understand being so attached to a family I do not know. I would not be able to hold off a few days in naming my child, waiting to see what someone else does.

What are your thoughts?

July 19, 2013

Friday Fantasy

I recently chatted with a friend who said she cannot stop daydreaming about the future. I share her sentiments when it comes to travel.  Many nights after the kids go to sleep, John and I will browse Airbnb and fantasize about staying in fun places across this world. This week, New Zealand has sparked my interest.

July 18, 2013

Thought-Provoking Thursday

John starts his law program in two weeks. We have had a great, busy summer. We still have one last trip to go on before our summer of family fun is over. I have loved being together as a family this summer; we have definitely built many, many memories. I am ready for the next chapter to begin, though. We have known that John will be going to law school in August since this past December. In many ways I feel like we have already gone through school and are now ready to move forward. This feeling makes it hard not to jump ahead three years in my mind. As much as I keep telling myself to stay in the moment - to practice all the mindful tactics I educate my clients about - I can't help but tricking myself into thinking about life after law school. I tell myself that it is good to prepare, that we need to be strategic and think ahead. These thoughts are traps and they barrel me forward in time, to a time that I cannot predict, no matter how hard and long I imagine it.

I still go there though.

I am actively running the pros and cons to living in different cities and regions of the country. I know all this thinking is in vain, that in the end we will move wherever we move, and we will adapt to wherever we land.

I still go there though.

My mind is making it's own U.S. News and World Report list of best places to live. Really, USN&WR should contact me for some generalized stats and perceptions. I have been factoring the benefits of living near family, regional perks, cultural hubs, school systems, accessibility to other places, living costs, outdoor activities, community involvement, friendliness, opportunities for kids, proximity of close friends. All these categories lead me down longer, more confusing and theoretical paths. And did I clearly mention that I don't have much factual data that I am working with here? I get nowhere with my thoughts.

I know three years from now things will be clear, and I am almost certain that life and where we end up will be nothing like what I could imagine right now. I know we will land where we need to land, but I cannot stop myself from weighing out ideas. I imagine so many different places having very different influences on our family. I know there is no magical place, and I am not sure John and I are people who will truly ever settle down somewhere for the long haul, so we can have many different experiences living in different places. Now that we have kids, though, it seems a little more critical to find a good spot.

What do you look for when you think about places to live? Where is your ideal place to live?

July 15, 2013

Royal Watch

With the birth of the Royal Baby any day now, I am realizing how out of the loop I have been about this whole hullabaloo. I am not sure what turned me off from keeping up with the Royals, but somewhere along the way I zoned out.

Today, as I was loading my groceries into my William and Kate tote, I got to thinking about their upcoming venture into parenthood. I cannot imagine what it will be like for them. I just read that Kate did not have any baby showers because it would be deemed inappropriate,  given that she and William have plenty of money. Practical Royals. They definitely don't follow the lead of Hollywood. I give a nod to Kate for her prudence, but I also feel bad for her. I hope that there was a secret shower so Kate got to have some sort of gal pal time to giggle about pregnancy. Because that's what showers are all about, right?

In my eleventh hour intrigue of the Royal Fetus, I have learned some interesting things. The most interesting news I have come across, other than the fact that Americans are far more into the Royal Bump than Brits, is news of Heidi Agan, a Kate impersonator. Heidi, like most lookalikes, has a real rags-to-riches story. I get the sense that there is a formula to being a hired lookalike: work as a waitress or minimum-wage job, have multiple people insist that you look like someone famous, alter your appearance in one subtle way, and - voila! You are moving up in the world and almost completely indistinguishable from a celebrity. 

For years I have known that celebrity impersonators exist. I am almost certain we have all seen the move Dave at least half a dozen times, given the repeat nature of TBS movies. Even though I know about impersonators, it all seems theoretical. Looking at Heidi Agan's Facebook page, and all the work she does, leaves me feeling betrayed. She was walking arm-in-arm with Barbara Walters for a brief stint on 20/20, answering questions about the baby. Babara WaWa did come clean that she was talking to an impersonator, but it was weird. How many celebrity impersonators have conducted entire interviews that I undoubtedly ate up?

July 12, 2013

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! John and I will be trekking around North Carolina all weekend. This is likely our last multiple-night child-free trip for a while, so we're indulging in the simple things like leisurely walking through stores, sitting down for coffee, sleeping in. It's be wonderful. Yesterday on our way to North Carolina we pulled off at an area that look promising for a short hike. We ended up stumbling upon the tallest waterfall East of the Mississippi. I love the things John and I happen upon while we're adventuring.