February 13, 2014

Five Years Later and STILL Feelin' the Love!

I can't believe five years have gone by since my life-changing adventure, 31 Dates in 31 Days! So what has happened since this?


Well... this:



And this:




And of course this:


Seriously, I am so grateful for challenging myself to do something daring/crazy/possibly-publicly-embarrassing five years ago. Who knew one lil' risk would yield so much awesomeness?
I'm also grateful for the men I met through the project (especially my husband! So glad he decided to be one of my dates!).

Feelin' the love!
Happy Valentine's season y'all! :)

December 2, 2013

Three Lessons on Love I've Learned in the Last Three Months

The last three months have been a crash course in parenting for me. I've learned how to master the art of changing a diaper - and how to change it again just a few seconds later. I've interpreted the cries from my daughter, differentiating "I'm tired" from "I'm hungry" and "Hey! Hold me higher so I can see everyone in the room!" But the biggest lessons I've learned all have to do with love.

Lesson #1: The Heart Can Hold an Infinite Amount of Love

Apparently I was the Grinch before my baby was born.
Remember how his heart "grew three sizes" on Christmas? As the anxiety/shock/weariness of childbirth wore off and the reality of this tiny new person's life set in, I took a look at her little hands and tiny lips and cried with pure joy. In fact, I would cry at everything. A sweet congratulatory card would make me whimper. The kindness from the lactation ladies helping me with nursing would trigger tears. Even commercials showing families excited over new cars would get me going.
My husband and I would look at each other and declare our baby's perfection. And I would bawl with happiness of our little blessing. I was one hot weeping new mommy mess.
And I loved every minute of it.


Lesson #2: Another Word for Love: YUM

During the first two weeks of motherhood, a bunch of friends from church stopped by to bring my husband and I dinner. Every time I would thank someone for making an extra couple servings of dinner for us, the response was, "No problem."
How scrumptious is she??!!
So maybe it didn't seem to be a lot of effort on their part, but to me, those meals helped me focus on my baby while I was still physically recovering from my delivery. In those few minutes of them dropping off food, seeing my baby, and declaring "What a head of hair she has!" I was able to visit with friends and remember how lucky I am to know so many great people.
Sometimes showing love can be done with a meal, a visit, a phone call. It doesn't take much. Just a little effort can change someone's day from frazzled to blessed.

Lesson #3: The Secret Sauce of Love is Made from Forgiveness

I'm pretty sure it was only the third day of being a new mom that I declared myself a failure. The baby was crying and I couldn't figure out what she wanted. I loudly sighed to my husband, "YOU take her!"
And then I felt awful. Was I the worst mom ever because I couldn't help her? Or worse - because I couldn't handle her???
I realized then that feeling like a failure probably just comes with parenthood. A sign of my earning my stripes. I know I'll have plenty of opportunities to mess up as a parent - and just as many opportunities to forgive myself and everyone else around me. Forgiveness seems to be the key to accepting that we're human and gives us the strength to move on and become better.

And I'm so grateful for my husband, who's already proved to be the world's best dad. I knew he'd be a great father when I married him and I'm so grateful I finally get to see him in action. Watching him as a dad makes me fall in love with him all over again.

I do feel like the luckiest mom in the world. This baby girl has changed my heart and life forever.
Happy 3 Months to my sweet little lady!

P.S. It's Cyber Monday. Books make great gifts! Grab a copy of 31 Dates in 31 Days today!

August 19, 2013

"Nesting" is the New "Date"

I'm just three days away from the due date of our first baby. Over the past few weeks, I've felt the constant surge to prepare. After all, everyone keeps asking, "Are you ready?" Which becomes a question that helps me assess, just one more time, whether I've gotten the nitty gritty ready in our two bedroom apartment for this little lady.
I mean... getting on my hands and knees to scrub the underside of a toilet while maneuvering 40+ pounds of extra body weight into the teeny-tiniest corner of a bathroom is totally normal. Right?
I can't help it if I have a 3am urge to Google the best, natural solutions for getting rid of grease on my kitchen's range hood. Or if I find it to be a good investment to spend $40 to rent one of those huge carpet cleaning machines to make sure our flooring is clear of any electron-sized allergens. This is nature's cruel punishment to expectant moms, forcing us to get our nest ready for our chicks.
Truly, nesting is a natural curse occurrence for all moms. (Yep, we can blame SCIENCE!) And sometimes, all this "getting ready" might make us growing belly gals look a little crazy.

See? Major improvement and totally necessary!
Simple evidence that I might have lost it: Last week I steam cleaned the white linen seats of our dining room chairs. I decided the steam cleaning wasn't good enough. So I dragged my husband to the fabric store. And we began ripping off the old fabric to replace them with something more "kid-friendly."
"Dear," my husband says reasonably, "Do we really need to start taking apart these chairs at a quarter 'til midnight?"
Well... of course!
Besides, what else am I going to do? I'd rather have my brain on getting ready for baby's arrival instead of constantly having the freak out of WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO WITH THIS PARENTING THING?
Surely I'll mess up as a parent enough times in the first six weeks to fuel her therapy sessions later in life. But at least my baseboards will be the envy of Martha Stewart.

Upon my lists of "must-dos," I've included "spend quality time with my husband before our lives as us are seemingly over." While we've still managed to go out on a few dates and explore more of Los Angeles, I can't help but keep getting distracted by that naughty list of MUSTS:
 *Purchase new sewing machine and fabrics to create perfect little dresses for baby
 *Thoroughly organize all of my greeting cards by size, color, and theme
 *Clean all the possible gunk off of our remote controls and electronics
 *Decide which diapers will be the best/most affordable/earth-friendly/rash-depleting for my precious bambina.
And of course, I'm doing all this while trying to continually connect with my husband AND remain as Zen while prepping for my natural, beautiful experience of welcoming a new human into the world.

I've accepted that this is just where we are right now. And so far, my husband (who has not only humored me through this process but has assisted me when it comes to re-organizing everything down to the utensils in the kitchen because it "just makes sense"), has held up through all my craziness. Hey, at least I haven't sold our couch on a whim. (Oh! A great idea!)

I've become convinced. My husband's love, support and tolerance through my nesting - THIS is what true love is made of.

I just can't wait for our eventual reward of our little girl.
Who will no doubt poop all over my newly-scrubbed carpets in the first five minutes of her arrival.

July 16, 2013

Dishing About Dating, Breakups, and Heartbreak Coaches

Last night I visited the folks at HuffPost Live to chat about dating, heartbreak, and how I decided to go out on 31 Dates in 31 Days after my painful breakups a few years ago.

Our panel discussion was launched by the news that Katy Perry sought the help of a Heartbreak Coach after her breakup with Russell Brand. Admittedly, I'M still getting over the fact that they split. So sad!

Ever since my project unexpectedly led to a totally changed life, I've become a Dating Coach - so of COURSE I'm going to fully endorse the idea of going to a Heartbreak Coach!
Hey, why not?
Going through breakups can be tough. In fact, they can cause some major life traumas. Your friends and family can do wonders when it comes to picking you up off the floor, or getting you off the couch, or handing you another gallon of Ben and Jerry's. But sometimes you might need the unbiased opinion of a third-party. Maybe that comes from a coach, or a therapist, or even just your hair dresser. Either way, if you're headed for heartbreak, I feel for you and hope that no matter how you deal - you heal.

For now, here's the video from last night's interview (and a chance to see me at eight months pregnant. Yowza!):


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