2018-03-31 Austin Day 3: Perfection

None of my exes live in Texas but now some of my best friends do. Steph moved to Texas about six months ago so now when I visit, we’ll likely be coordinating visits with her too. Still, Texas is big and they live south of Houston so in order to do that, some extra flying or driving by someone will be required. For this trip, they drove to Austin and we all converged in the house here.

Last night we went to a familiar winery which is connected to an Italian restaurant. It was a perfect night.

A perfect car ride out to the vineyard, complete with stops on the way to buy water bottles and mega-bucks lottery tickets. I don’t buy lottery tickets, but apparently the jackpot is like 300 million or something. They proposed that if any one of us wins we would spit the money 5 ways (me being the ever-present 5th wheel). I didn’t buy any tickets but they said I would get a cut anyway, just for being here.

I said I didn’t need 1/5th. I’d be happy if someone just paid for my masters degree. And perhaps my kids’ colllege.

I wouldn’t expect anything really, but having that immediate burden lifted would erase all remaining doubts that I was meant for this new path I’ve chosen.

The evening continued to be perfect as we rolled up to the counter in the wine tasting room. A flight of 6 wines with Steph and I swapping out one of the regular reds for a semi-sweet. I’m not a wine connoisseur and I know what I like and if there’s one rule in life, it’s that you should have what you like.

During the tasting, I caught Steph up on the scoop with JS and happily skipped all the chronological “dating” BS leading up to when we met. He’s already passed the initial scrutiny by Rebecca and her husband. That’s a good sign. Though they did say that with my lack of dating experience, my dating age is about 23 and I probably still have a lot to learn. They are probably right.

The perfection persisted as we got one final glass and headed outside to talk and wait for our table at the restaurant to be ready. We landed at a picnic table that just happened to have one of those giant Jenga set on it. Game on!

We played for a bit and the the epic game of the century happened between Rebecca and Steph. Each move more impossible than the last. By the end of it, we were all standing a safe distance away from the table and high-fiveing each other after each successful placement.

There was a photographer there taking pictures so you can look for us in next month <insert tourist magazine name here>. 😜

By the time our table was called I was quite buzzed and having the best time. Our dinner was, of course, also perfect. I don’t even have a favorite “place” let alone a favorite “entre” in my own city, but I have one here! Pork chops, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. If only I had a Trattoria Lisina back home.

Unlike the old days, we were home by 10:30 to relieve the babysitter and I was probably in bed asleep by 11pm. It’s more than fine by me.. it’s Perfect.

Today is “party” day. An elaborate but casual event has been planned and shortly we’ll be going out to do some last minute shopping for that.

Cheers to Friends and Perfect Vacation days!

~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-06-18 The Nature of Friendship

Last night I visited a friend of mine who just bought a house in CB, across the river from Omaha. It really feels far out of town and they grilled and we sat on their back porch and talked as the sun went down. It was really nice. We played with their drones and they talked about finding the house and what kinds of fun things are coming up in the near future.

I told them about quitting my job and not having another and they were very excited for me. Nobody seems to be too worried at all, which is nice. No lectures or advice or words of wisdom being thrown in my direction. Maybe they all think that I’m a grown up and can sink or swim for myself. Let’s hope they are right.

We did not talk about the relationship status or Matt at all, which was also nice. I did not tell Denise we broke up until after Christmas this past year, mostly probably because I was hoping it was only temporary.

Denise and I have been friends with since she moved to CB in 6th grade. We went to elementary, middle-school, and high-school together. She is one of a very few people that I am still friends with from HS. Really, I only keep in moderate contact with a couple of people “from those days”. And moderate is being a bit generous.

The others are Kelly, Laurie, and Rio, who I also graduated with but did not go to elementary school with like Denise. We see each other on FB, which you know is no substitute for a real connection, so I feel like I know what is going on in their lives, but I really don’t. Nor do they really know what is going on in mine.

Of these four lovely ladies, only Rio was in my wedding when I got married when I was 19. The others were Danielle, Stacey, Erika, and my sister Lindsay. Besides my sister, I don’t talk to or see any of these people anymore. Danielle moved farther away (albeit not that far), Erika and I had a pretty significant falling out many years ago, and Stacey has moved on from this life.

Thinking about it now, it is interesting how people come into and out of our lives. Things happen and as time passes we grow and change and so do they. Some people we grow closer to and others we grow apart from. It feels like a very natural occurrence and one that we should not be too upset about. For a very long time I was upset by the end of my friendship with Erika, but eventually let it go. You have to let it go or those kinds of things will weigh you down your entire life. And life is too short for that.

Denise and I talked about Erika last night too, as a similar thing happened with them. We were once a pretty tight group of friends, back before I had my kids, and we went for walks every week and talked about everything. We bridged the gap between Nebraska and Iowa and it did not seem that far, until one day it was. First we stopped meeting every week, and then girls game night that was once a month stopped too. Eventually, our annual Christmas Cookie baking event also stopped being scheduled. Other things and other people became more important. It was sad for a long time, but then, as more time passed it didn’t feel sad anymore, just “the way life is”.

Last night I found myself staring off into that sunset off her back deck last being at peace with all of it. It’s was a good feeling.

I think I need to get to a place where I’m at peace with my relationship with Matt. I certainly have that with regard to my ex-husband, and also the one other person I dated semi-seriously. I even have peace with my relationship with Josh, which is an ongoing thing. We have an understanding, and a mutual respect for each other, and care about each other while still recognizing there is no future there. We’ve been through the trials to answer the question, “can we just be friends”, with yes.

Denise seems to be very happy now in her new place with her man and all is right with the world. They are making plans for the future and that is how it should be. I’m very happy for her.

As for me, I’m getting there too, slow and steady. I think I’m on the right track and moving forward. I’m moving forward and looking forward to the future, which is a good sign.

Now Let’s Do Sunday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-16 To Market, To Market..

To buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again, Jiggety-jig.

I’ve mostly gotten out of the habit of reading my last blog post when I open my laptop to write the next one. It’s really in the interest of time. If I start by reading, the next thing I know I’m editing and then comes the re-read. Rinse and repeat. So I have to just not hash over what it was last time, or yesterday, or the day before that or I will never get started on today.

Today, however, I was faced with an incredibly interesting situation… Reading what I wrote yesterday when I don’t remember what I wrote because I had been drinking. It’s not the first time and I am sure it will not be the last time, but I will say it happens very rarely. So I read what I wrote and in my head I’m all like “yup, it happened just like that”.

That was me out on the back patio of Jeremy and Rebecca’s house with a half open bottle of Prosecco that nobody wanted to finish on Mother’s day but also did not want to throw out. That was me climbing up on the side wall of the patio, not hesitating to grab that bottle and shake it until it fizz-squirted out the top while I giggled. Wishing I could have a do-over, because you know, I could have done THAT better, I tried to shake the bottle again, which, as it turns out, just looks ridiculous on the video Rebecca decided to film of that moment.

She sent me the video today and I received it while being driven to the airport. As I watched it, I was thinking to myself, “wow, I look really hunched over and my posture could be so much better. I need to work on that”. This was closely followed by “and now I’ll finally have the time”. Which was closely followed by “I really don’t feel so good”. Hangovers are a bitch.

I’m in the air again now and I’ve been processing all the conversations and decisions and thoughts I’ve had these past five days. It’s pretty freaking amazing that in the course of five days, your outlook on life can get so much better. I’m leaving Austin a better person. I’m leaving Austin a happier person. I’ve made my mind up and it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me. It’s not sunny up in this aircraft, but I feel like I should be getting my shades out. 😃

I can see snow capped mountains in the distance and unless I’m totally off, it means we are nearing Denver and about to make our descent. After that I only have one flight left and I’ll be home.

To market to market to buy a fat hog.
Home again, Home again, Jiggety-jog.
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-15 Austin – Mother’s Day Sunday Fun Day

It appears that each of my blog posts are a day behind. I’m writing about yesterday when I wake up and that’s probably because I don’t want to miss a minute of the action during the day/evening to write. This time is no exception.

By the time I got up yesterday morning the bounce house had already been delivered and there was a wonder full smell of baking brunch goodies wafting through the house. Folks were if full-on hosting mode and preparing for guests to start arriving at 9.

I did some stretching and exercise in the exercise room and avoided all the prep until I heard other people start to arrive. Once that happened, I got ready and went to join the festivities.

It was such a great day. I snacked and had mimosas on and off for several hours and just kind of hung around different conversations. They had about 13 adults and 8 kids. It was one of those things where it felt really relaxing to just be present and chat and there was no pressure or anxiety that I sometimes feel around a room full of people. I’m sure the mimosas help with that.

I also did not hesitate to be “one of the kids” in the bounce house. It was a giant blow-up obstacle course complete with a set of stairs you climb up and slide to slide down. I’m not sure if I dominated the bounce house or if it dominated me. I’ve got a few nasty bounce house burns from the slide that still stung when I woke up today.

I was a touch sad to not be with my kids on mother’s day, but I spoke to them both and will be back home on Tuesday. I called my mom and talked to her too for a little bit. She admitted to having a hard time not having any plans with her four children today. But I reminded her I would see her on Tuesday also, and that it’s just another random day (which is really how I feel about it), and that it will be OK.

I really have always disliked the “day” holidays. Mother’s day, father’s day, bosses day, and valentines day is the worst. THE WORST. So I tend to kind of downplay any fan-fare and just treat it like any other day. In this case though, having a party (that I did not have to plan, or host, or prep for), was quite amazing.

I’ve already done a few work things this morning but think I’m going to take advantage of the nice/cool start to the day and go play some tennis. Lance has agreed to play with me so as long as he is still open to that, I’m going to make that my priority. The work will still be there when I get back. It’s (in the short term) unavoidable.

Love Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-14 Austin – It Just Keeps Getting Better

I woke up on Saturday after a glorious 9 hours of sleep. I can’t tell you when the last time it was I had 9 hours. Friday after work we went to a place called Stubbs which is an outside BBQ place where they not only serve drinks but also have a play are and play equipment for the kids to run around and climb on. It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids had fun and we had fun. There is nothing like that in Omaha and I think it’s brilliant. Someone should really create a business like that in Papillion.

After that we came back home and just kind of sat around some more chatting and they went through their normal bed time routine with the kids. It seems we got most of the “Miss SugarCookie” drama out of the way the first night, so the focus was more on politics and current events and things going on in their world. To be fair, I was so sleepy I don’t remember a ton about it. I was not sorry about hitting 9PM on a Friday and declaring I needed to go to sleep, and as parents of two young kids, I think they were fine with that.

I’m still sort of amazed I sleep so well here. The kids get up pretty early, but I don’t hear them. Even still, my kids are older and don’t really make any noise in the morning at all. My waking up at 3 or 4 or 5 is all mental I think. What is it about being here that is different? Maybe it is that I don’t have to cook or clean or plan or try and fit everything into a day. Whatever happens happens, and my brain knows that??

Saturday was pretty low key too. Jer cooked me breakfast in the morning and then he went off to grocery shop and pick Lance up from the airport and Rebecca took the kids to swim lessons. While all of that was going on, I walked the path in their back yard and did a lot of thinking while listening to Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber. I created a playlist for this trip, which includes the newest album from both those artists, among others, but their tunes seemed to come up in the shuffle the most. It was a lovely walk under the most brilliant blue sky ever. Not too hot and very therapeutic. I got in over 10K steps before they arrived back home.

I had to work for a little in the afternoon on a customer project whose database and application are being upgraded this weekend, but it did not take me much time at all and before too long, we were getting ready to head out for some adults only fun. We visited a winery called Hawk’s Shadow, which was way up in the hills outside of the city. The view was pretty far and after having a tasting of several of their selections we each chose a glass to sit and enjoy the view and conversation a little longer.

We caught Lance up on all my drama, and he’s officially joined what I am now calling my Austin Advisory Committee. Adding a third member makes sense in case someone is needed to break ties in any decision or advice being given. 😉 Really it is good for me to just have some validation of all the things I am thinking already. Some of the things that we discussed feel like no-brainers at this point, but some of the more sensitive things, having to do with my relationships, are tougher for me to agree on. My heart disagrees with my head where Matt is concerned, but I am on the inside looking out. They are on the outside looking in and for them, the course is clear on what I should be doing.

“Cut and Run”, is the advice. I’m going to have to think through that a little more. I know they are right, but thinking and doing are two different things completely.

As we were sitting and talking a few quotes from a movie I had never seen came up. “Talladega Nights”. Lance insisted that we watch that when we got back to the house, so that is what we did. I think I was perhaps the only one to stay awake for the entire show. Maybe Jer did too. It was a good show. I rarely watch movies, especially ones in that genre of humor, but I enjoyed it.

Today is Sunday and also Mother’s day and there is a full day of activity planned for the morning and into the afternoon. They are having a group of friends over to have brunch and celebrate, several things, not just Mothers day, but it will involve mimosas and a bounce house. Sounds like a winner to me. 😃

On that note, time to get out of bed and say good morning.
Cheers,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-13 Austin – Working and Catching Up

Sadly the first order of business when I arrived on Thursday (after lunch of course) was to dig right into some work stuff that was of the utmost importance, according to my former boss who is now the Chief Operations Officer. Behind that I have feature “X” that is broken and is of utmost importance according to our President. Then we have customer “Y” whose current set of issues post go live is of utmost importance to, well, the customer. Then we have customer “Z” who does not go live until June, but their issues are something I am directly responsible for and that project, in my world, is also of utmost importance because that’s a new site whose image in trust in us (and in me) is at stake. I won’t go into items “Q”, “R”, “S”, or “T” which pop up during my work day and somehow whoever it is thinks an immediate response is necessary. It is no wonder I feel defeated when trying to make anyone happy.

After getting as much done as I possibly could from my desk in the spare bedroom of my Texas Bestie’s house, we cut out for dinner and after that came back to the house to continue “catching up” over a bottle of wine.

I tried to do the best that I could to lay out all the puzzle pieces that make up my current work situation and after going over the 5th story that adds relevant detail, her advice to me was to cut and run. She reminded me that this is the third trip here where I was lamenting about all the drama and dis-satisfaction.

I am the one who offered up first that I have already considered quitting, and had done number crunching to see how long I could be on hiatus before even starting to look for another job. I admitted to not only needing to break away from my company but also break away from working completely for a while. Her advice to me was to plan for 3 months of just doing nothing (not working or looking for a job) and take time to just live and do things that are satisfying to me personally. After 3 months, which would take me into September or October, start to look again and probably by the first of the year next year I will have found something new and will be completely recharged and ready to give it my all again.

We joked about writing my resignation letter. We joked about shooting my Survivor application video, and by the end of the night, we were admitting we were pretty serious about it.

Later that evening at the house is when we put the work stuff aside and focussed more on the relationships I’m tangled in. We talked about the weird back and forth with Matt, having continued communication which has increased in the last month. At this time, Jer was there too and both of them had the same advice which was that I should cut off contact completely because it was not healthy for either one of us. They are right, but this is a tougher pill to swallow then all the work conclusions somehow.

I’m going to need a little more time to consider the things they have said and I don’t think I am ready for the conversation where I tell him we can’t be friends. It hurts my heart to think about it, but at the same time, I understand that all that is exactly why I’m not really able to get over it and move on. I just need some time and space in my own mind to really build up the courage to do what needs to be done, because I know it will be really tough.

To sum up, so far, I’ve done a ton of work and we’ve done a ton of talking, and now that it is the weekend I need to break free, as much as I can, from all of it, and just enjoy my friends and Austin. Lance arrives today so that will add another dynamic into the mix which is sure to be super fun.

Over it and Out,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-12 Live from Austin Texas

Every time I visit here I’m reminded how this is my home away from home. There is no other place in the world I feel more at home that is not my actual home. I sleep well here, eat well, and generally feel so much better about my life. Most of that is thanks to Rebecca and Jeremy are without a doubt the hostess and host with the most.

I’ve known Jer since high school and he was one of my ex-husbands best friends. He was in my wedding and years later when it was finally his time to find the love of his life, he did better than most. In the last 8 years, she has become one of my closest friends. I often think it is a shame they don’t live in Omaha, but if they did, then I would not be able to escape to Austin and have just the very best R & R ever. Not exaggerating.

Yesterday when I arrived we went straight to Sushi lunch which was great and then I worked the rest of the afternoon. I’m heads down on the latest, most important thing that is on fire. I worked straight through the afternoon from my bedroom in this beautiful house and did not stop until it was time to get ready to go out to dinner.

After dinner, we came back to the house and I caught folks up on all the things that have happened since last we spoke (in November of last year). This includes everything with Matt, and my work drama, and even a little bit about Josh. We shared a bottle of rose wine and they offered some really great advice and life experience. It’s a little bit of validation for things I already know, but am afraid to admit, and also a few new ideas I had not really considered before. All-in-all, a good chat. I’ll probably have more to say about all that advice later.

We got to sleep at a descent hour and I slept for almost 8 hours and woke up feeling very refreshed and ready to take on Friday. I’m a little short on time now, so I’ll have to write more to fill in the gaps later. For now, it’s just feels good to be “home”.

Loving the Austin Life,
~Miss SugarCookie