#snOMG: Makeshift Preparations and Being Lucky

#snOMG: Makeshift Preparations and Being Lucky

“Expect just a dusting up to about ½” of accumulation.”

That was the word on Monday night. At 8am on Tuesday, in spite of the forecast changing to 1-2″, our school district sent an email stating that, “Based on information we have received from the National Weather Service and our Inclement Weather Team, the OUR County School District will open all schools today.”

At 12:30pm on Tuesday, our school district sent an email stating that school would be closing at 1:30, to come get your kids. Luckily I saw it on Twitter at noon and left work. I left work that is 40 minutes away.

Three hours later, I pulled in my driveway.

I was one of the lucky ones. My son was able to go home with a friend across the street so I could park at home and walk to get him.

My husband, who was supposed to be leaving to go to Canada for work, tried to leave to head to the airport, spun out three times (full 360’s), and after 3 hours, abandoned his car in a subdivision because Uber was able to come pick him up. The airport shut down. No trip.

He walked down our driveway 5 hours after he left the office.

He was one of the lucky ones.

All under one roof, I realized I wasn’t prepared. I had prepared for maybe one night with just me and the kiddo. Jason was supposed to be gone. I had not planned for otherwise. I felt panicky knowing that I hadn’t done all I could to prepare for this mess.

We were prepared for fun, though. As reports of people being in cars for 8-9-10 hours crept in, we were throwing snowballs and dusting off the toboggan.

Fear and mass chaos gripped the Atlanta metro area while we sipped hot chocolate and took cute pictures in the snow.

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Around 7, it was decided that Jason needed to walk about a mile and pick up one of Henry’s friends whose mom, at that point, had been in the car for 7 hours and was sitting still where she had been for 2 hours. Jason bundled up, got his walking stick, grabbed Henry’s hiking boots for the friend, and set off in the dark and cold to retrieve an 8 year old whose mom was stranded.

He was one of the lucky ones.

There were children spending the night in schools. And cars. And floors in shelters. Henry’s friend spent the night and the morning here until his mom could safely navigate the roads to get him. We had pancakes and snow creams, went on the toboggan again and again, made snow angels and made memories. She was grateful and my heart was happy to be able to help her.

Our city wasn’t prepared for the snow, the ice, the traffic disaster, any of the insanity that has occurred. None of us were. I wasn’t prepared with food and stuff for more than just me and the kid, but we have managed.

We made (very cold) lemonade out of the lemons we were handed, because sometimes you just have to do that. At the ended of the day, makeshift preparations can make sweet memories. Because after all, as long as we are all safe, warm, fed, and together, we’re always prepared, very lucky, and full of love.

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Just Write: Performance Enhancing Drugs

Just Write: Performance Enhancing Drugs

It’s not a secret that I run. It’s not a secret that I have osteoarthritis that does, in fact, give me fits. I swell, I hurt, but I go on.

When I started running, I had just been to the rheumatologist for the most severe swelling I’ve ever experienced. And that’s saying a LOT if you ever saw me while  I was pregnant with Charlie!

When I went, I showed her my feet and ankles and she gasped! THAT is not a real good sign. She immediately prescribed me a high dose diuretic and over the next two days, TWELVE pounds was pulled off my body — of fluid!

Don’t believe me?

feetSo after doing a battery of tests, I was placed on a medication that gives me a low dose diuretic and pain reliever/anti-inflammatory every day. I’ve tried to not take it, but I immediately puff up like the Pre-Rheum picture. It’s a no-go.

Fast forward to the present time. I see my rheumatologist every 3-6 months. I have a toe that’s fused together now, that won’t bend at all. I still run on it. I have fingers that sometimes don’t want to work enough to carry containers of plants at work.

I have knees that will probably have to be replaced. But you know what? I’m going to get the good out of these, without wearing them out too quickly.

Last time I was in her office, it was about a month before the Wine & Dine half marathon. She asked if I’d ever had a cortisone shot. I felt like she was offering me illicit drugs. I was like, “Uh, no? Should I have? What is it? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?”

A little numbing spray and a few injections later, and I was all set. I had bionic knees. The shots didn’t make me faster, but they made me not feel so much joint pain while running.

Today I went back for more performance enhancing drugs, er, cortisone shots. This time it didn’t bother me so much. It goes quickly from feeling like you have jell-o in your knees to feeling like your legs are full of lead. But after work, I hauled myself to the gym and did 2 miles on the elliptical. I took it easy and slow.

A little performance enhancing drugs never hurt anybody did they?

(Looking past you, Mr. Armstrong.)

This has been my installment of Just Write, hosted by Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary.

 

Just Write: The Doctor’s Office

Yesterday, I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office, waiting for a consultation with Henry’s doctor. He wasn’t with me. So I was the lone mother sans child in the well waiting room. Even though the waiting room was the “well” one, there were still people hacking and there’s technically no wall separating the “sick” from the “well” so I’m unsure how that works. Germs just know which side to stay on?

Anyway, when I sat down, I realized there was a baby crying in one of the rooms. It was loud and screechy and muffled. I tried to drown it out by watch Cars on the big screen and by watching the little guy next to me walk across the chairs all proud-like while his mother stood anxiously by his side waiting for him to fall.

The screaming didn’t stop. I take that back, the baby did stop for a second. And then started a wailing, sad cry. My heart fluttered.

I recognized the feeling. I didn’t like it.

The couple sitting by me was discussing their household budget. I tried to listen to them discuss their mortgage, phone bills, school tuition, and whatnot instead of listening to the crying. But it didn’t help.

There was a small baby in the back of the office crying a cry that was causing me to have an anxiety attack.

Recently I’ve realized that I can’t be around small babies. Babies who are newborn to about 2 months old, I just can’t even look at. It fills me with all the emotions and then my heart feels like it’s about to explode. Apparently, small babies crying for long periods of time cause this same feeling.

It’s been ten and a half years since Charlie cried unconsolably for hours before stopping. It’s a sound I’ll never forget. And then the silence that followed is a sound I’ll never forget.

And apparently sitting in a doctor’s office listening to that same sound brings that memory back even stronger.

This has been my post for this week’s Just Write, hosted by the lovely and talented Heather from The Extraordinary Ordinary. 

It’s Just Hair… Or Is It?

It’s Just Hair… Or Is It?

I remember a very specific trip with my mom to our stylist.

This particular trip, my mom had her hair in a low ponytail, just like it had been for months (or years). It was long and boring and starting to gray around the edges. We went in to see Glen, our trusty stylist, and she said she was ready.

So he took her ponytail, lowered the elastic a little bit, grabbed his sharp scissors, and cut. I remember the sound. I remember seeing my mom without her ponytail. It was strange. I remember feeling like my mom was “old” then, like those old ladies who get their hair washed and set every Friday.

In hindsight, she was probably only about my age. Maybe a little older.

I realized a few weeks ago I wanted a change. I’m tired of waking up in the morning, throwing my hair in a ponytail or bun or worse, a ponytail that ends up in a bun on top of my head by 10am. I’m tired of feeling frumpy (not that long hair is frumpy) and complacent with my beauty (ha) routine.

So today, with the help of my friend Tracy (an instructor at the Paul Mitchell School here in ATL), THIS HAPPENED:

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After a straightening treatment to take the curl (mostly) out of my hair, the most amazing shampooing I’ve every experienced, Tracy put my hair in a ponytail and cut. There was a good 6″ of hair in a 1″ thick ponytail when she was finished.

And then in an Edward Scissorhands-like fashion, she turned this (left) into this (right).

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I’m at that point where I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry… I’ll let you know after I’ve had to fix it by myself, I guess!

And if I hate it, it’s just hair, right?

Lounging at the Heat Lounge

Lounging at the Heat Lounge

I don’t pamper myself. Heck, I don’t even maintain myself well. I don’t pedicure or manicure or even regular get haircuts. I just… I just don’t. My husband jokes that I missed a few classes in “Girl School.”

When I was asked if I’d like to come enjoy services at a new blowdry lounge in Dunwoody, of course I jumped. My hair has gotten so long and if you know me, you know it’s thick, full of body, and just kinda does its own thing. It’s much easier to just throw it in a ponytail or top knot and go. In other words, I’ve gotten lazy. (No, you’re not lazy if you do those things, but I honestly have gotten that way.”

The idea of somebody just washing my hair and blowdrying it out smooth and silky, though, made me happy.

I wasn’t expecting the fabulousness of the place.

Heat Lounge is in Dunwoody, on Peachtree Dunwoody in the shops across from Home Depot. When you walk in, you’re immediately taken by the beauty of the space. The orange splashes, the Moroccan tile floor, the beautiful wooden bar (yes, BAR), and the comfy looking chairs. They spared no expense decorating and thinking through the design, which made me feel instantly in love.

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The blowout salon features products by Moroccan Oil and MICA products, which are 100% mineral makeup. They use them exclusively during their hair and makeup services and they’re available for purchase, as well.

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I was greeted by Brittany and asked first (and foremost) whether I’d like some wine, champagne, water, or something from their cappuccino bar. It was only 10:00 in the morning, so cappuccino would be the obvious choice, but it was a holiday weekend and, well…

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Brittany asked how I’d like for my hair to be. Honestly, I didn’t know. I told her just to do something pretty and simple. She went with the sweet and soft, I think. It would be blown out and given a little curl at the end.

She took me back for a wash and scalp massage. I could have stayed right there all day long if it’d been possible. But it would have certainly been hard to drink my wine laying back in the chair.

IMG_8301When Brittany was doing my hair, she made me face away from the mirror which was actually awkward at first. But once I had about half a glass of wine, it wasn’t so awkward and made me kind of excited to see the big reveal when she was done!

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Unlike a salon, where I normally feel like the stylist is rushing through the blowdry and styling process to get to their next client, she seemed to really take her time. I felt like I was truly being pampered instead of just shuffled in and out.

Finally she was done. And right in time… my glass of wine was empty! She turned me around and my hair was flat, smooth, silky with a little flip at the end! It was perfect!

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Because Heat Lounge is so new, they gave me a quick tour of the place.

Heat Lounge is able to accommodate small parties (bachelorette, wedding, girls night out, birthday, etc) in a private lounge room. It’s beautifully decorated and fully functional inside the closed doors. There is a chair for facials, blowouts, makeup, and even a sofa for your friends to lounge around and sip on their champagne.

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Out in the main room, there is a row of makeup stations. Everything is neatly organized yet inviting – unlike some places you go that seem “off limits.”

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For the new year, I decided I was going to treat myself right. This will include regular trips to the Heat Lounge for services, including facials and blowouts. I’m planning to cut my hair short, so this should help me maintain it without too much drama and desire to grow it out and throw it back in a ponytail!

To find and connect with Heat Lounge
to make an appointment or get more information:
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Disclosure: I was provided services at Heat Lounge in Dunwoody in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

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