Trying out this mobile posting...I'm recovering from last night. I am still in the bed at 3 in the afternoon, but will get up long enough to shower and do it all over again. I am back home in the N.O.  And just as I have enough time to be free and somewhat reckless, I have enough time to reflect.

I was going to write another few stories about my dating experiences as of late, but then I thought about it. I exhibit certain patterns and I am attracted to the patterns of a certain type of guy. The ones that I think are one breath shy of being totally invested with little effort on my part are not as attractive/interesting. Maybe it's that I don't feel special...that I could've been any one or any face. But then I wonder if that's the same vibe that I'm giving off to the ones that I DO want to pursue me.

I mentioned before that 2012 has been a great year. I have been blessed abundantly. I have a great life, an awesome son, hilarious friends, and from what I can see, the best job that I've had to date. But when I think about it, I've never really been happy with a single status. Having a man was a part of my mental checklist: Save money, advance in my career, make renovations to the castle, and get married, etc. Maybe I'm not the only one. But when I think about being successful at all but one of those goals on my list, I feel that that is some sort of failure on my part.  Obviously, I have less control over the whole marriage thing and so, at times, it has been more of a frustrating journey than a spiritually progressive one. And not that it shouldn't be a goal for some (I can't speak for anyone else), it dawned on me that it is one of those things that may or may not make my life better. But my thought has always been that it will and, in a sense, I have been in wait...for my life to get better. This diminishes the value of everything else that has happened.  And instead of focusing and being more appreciative of the things that I do have, I have focused on what I don't.

My resolution for 2013...to be happy as a single person. To not lay in wait, but to enjoy myself right now. I had a conversation with one of my guy 'friends'. He said something so absurd and that made me wonder...why in the hell am I giving this dude any more of my time?  Everyone wants to be desired, but at what cost? So every guy that I am even halfway interested in right now will no longer occupy my mind rent free.  I need to address my own emotional needs, go forth, prosper, rinse, and repeat.

I will strive to be satisfied with my singleness and live my life 'right now'.  In the meantime, I have joined a running group, have found another organization to volunteer my time, am finalizing traveling plans, and will get back into my home improvements.

Starting with tonight, I will have more cocktails with the girls.  And if I should meet another handsome gentleman, I will be fun, I will be flirtatious, but I will be free of any and all expectations. I will already be out with the best date ever...me.  That's the only relationship that I need to work on.

natural hair anniversary #3

Since I have this once-a-month updating routine, I have fallen behind the times with this blogger stuff.  I have no idea who's reading me but I can see that the preferred updates are those related to hair.  It appears that many end up on my page for natural hair inspiration of some sort.  The search terms range from a particular hairstyle to some milestone.  So, I apologize for my lack of timeliness when it comes to hair updates.  Unfortunately, I haven't taken very many pics of myself to document the journey as of late, but I have included some pics that were taken of me to give you an idea of where I stand in my now 3 year anniversary mark, as of mid-June.

As seen above, I enjoy the fluffiness of an aged twist out.  Probably to the detriment of my hair, the drier...the more voluminous...the better.  I was once a fierce "re-twister" at night, but the pineapple method tends to elongate and volumize at the same damn time.  (Had a 'hood moment).  Another good volumizer is some old-fashioned "sexy time".  I didn't bother to prep my hair once and just allowed the constant "handling" of my hair.  When it was all said and done, I just made sure that I wasn't laying on my hair when I fell asleep.  Now, I wouldn't recommend this method if you work at a very conservative office.  But I got many looks when I walked in with some man-handled hair the following morning.  Good or bad, I didn't mind.  I loved the wild look.  I find that I now totally embrace frizz and am less impressed with the perfect curl.


However, a few times, I ventured back to the wash n' go.  I celebrated my bday, in the polka dot dress, with an updo that was simply a ponytail that I placed on the top and side of my head and left some hair out in the front to frame my face.  Pinned the hell out of it everywhere.  I just wet my hair that morning and used aloe vera gel to define my curls.  Aloe vera gel is great at elongating and defining at the same damn time, lol.  (Had another 'hood moment).  As for the pic in the purple sundress, I think that I just used goo gobs of the Sh.ea Moi.sture Thick.ening Growth M.ilk while in the shower to add weight to my hair while it was soaked.  I used aloe vera around my edges and twisted the front to look as it were a natural headband.  I was at a rather "earthy" event that day for lack of a better term and fit right on in.

OK, honestly, there is nothing special about this hairstyle.  I just wanted to show what Spec.ial Ed looks like now.  I ran into him at a festival here and had no idea who he was.  I mean, a group of us were just standing around and talking so he seemed like a regular dude to me.  But when I asked (b/c people kept stopping him for photos) and he said that he was the Mag.nificent, himself, I HAD to take a pic.  I went on and on about that episode of The Cos.by Show that he was on.  Yep, it was one of those moments that if I could rewind, I would have spit a couple bars from "I Got It Ma.de".  OK, back to our natural hair special...

If you're anything like me, you DO NOT look forward to wash day.  You want to extend the period between washes as long as possible, but you don't want to look as if you had a fight with the pillow and the pillow won.  I experimented with my steadily growing bushy hair one night and put some Hell.o Hydra.tion conditioner in a spray bottle and diluted it with water.  I only sprayed my ends.  I did not touch my roots.   I retwisted and just hoped for the best.  When I woke up, it was only slightly damp, but it dried like this.  I got a lot of compliments on it, but it's not often that I want my hair to be this perfectly curled.  But ok, that was my tip of the week.  Although, I think it's better to use a natural conditioner b/c over time, my ends started to feel dry.

Here is the comparison from last year to this year.  Honestly, I didn't think that I retained that much b/c I have been slacking.  The pic in the black is after I took down my pineapple.  Yes, I still had some eye boogie b/c I was half-asleep.  And yes, I could clean my mirror...

It's probably hard to tell the difference between the contorted monster claw and the more relaxed hand, but I have reached the bottom of my bra strap.

So, earlier this year I was having issues with my hair trying to lock.  My twistouts looked like ratty twigs.  Finger detangling and just combing with my wide tooth shower comb were no longer the business.  I am pretty late to the game, but I purchased a Den.man brush and have been pretty pleased with the detangling process ever since.  I don't think that the Den.man is supposed to be what's hot either, but I just didn't have that kind of time to be picking hairs apart ever-so-gently.  So there...I have sinned.  And I will probably keep sinning until it doesn't work for me anymore. 

And there it is.  Now that I am working remotely, I would like to believe that I'll spend more time nurturing my hair but I won't make any promises.  Life takes over but I WILL have fun with my hair along the way!

best week ever

I had been a ball of nerves for weeks.  And then  FINALLY, I got good news.  I sat at work on a Friday afternoon, wondering why I was still there at 3pm when it was waaayyyy too sunny outside to be couped up and behind a computer.  And especially now that I wasn't too fond of my current job, I looked for any reason to leave...headache, hangnail, bad breath, whatever! 

As I started packing up, I got a congratulatory email stating that I passed my exam!  It only took them 7 WEEKS to score a computer-administered exam.  But oh well..since I passed, I forgave them.  I happily marched over to my Dept. Head to gloat but, more importantly, be reimbursed for my efforts.  As I held the printed email up, I hoped that he could read what I was thinking.  Something along the lines of "Look at me now, look at me now...ohhhhhh...I'm getting paper...I'm fresher than a mug."  He seemed rather impressed, especially considering how one of his team leaders couldn't pass the exam to save his life.  I left him to marinate on that, bcuz Happy Hour was definitely necessary.

On my way to get a margarita about the size of my head, I get a call.  After 7 WEEKS of interviewing I was offered the job in DC!  I tried to play it cool as the guy was running down the salary and list of benefits.  PRAISE HIM!  When God shows up, He shows out!  I have been so unhappy with my job.  I just got to the point where I didn't want to design anymore.  When you have to sit in your car in the morning before you enter the building and at lunch to give yourself a pep talk, it is definitely time to move on.  Feeling unappreciated, wronged, replaceable, etc. is not a good look.  NOW, I will be getting paid more money to work from home (heading to DC occasionally) doing the function, which I loved the most on my current job, full-time.  I can also potentially move back to the N.O. anytime I want to.  It gets no sweeter.  They gave me the weekend to think about it, but my mind was made up during the conversation.  This job was better than any job that I could've possibly found in the N.O.

I already had plans to celebrate my birthday early with my girlfriends last weekend, but this was cause for an EXTRA toast.  We went to a tasting at a local winery.  We always start out so diginified, but by the end of the night, our shoes were off, dancing in the grass and on the stage with the band.  We followed it up with a champagne brunch on Sunday.  I couldn't think of a better way to bring in 34.

After a fabulous weekend celebration, I handed in my two weeks notice, first thing Monday morning.  I thought that after all I had been through the past few months that their reaction would've been "Ok, bye."  I never got the feeling that I was valued until the company attempted to counter my offer.  It's funny how I have been begging for more money that they could never find for almost 3 years.  The increase was comparable to the new job, but the stress was certainly not worth it.  The reaction that I have been getting from my peers and VPs alike is that I'll be missed but they understand how great an opportunity this new job is for me.  I will still see most during meetings for the professional organizations we belong to.  Others...well, bye!  

My dad, my stepmom, and my baby nephew came up on my bday.  I was spoiled!  J's dad came up on Thursday and my friends came down from northern VA to attend my baby's graduation from elementary school on Friday.  It has been a long time coming!  I am SO proud of my lil man!  We are both embarking on new beginnings and it couldn't be more exciting. 

Here it is...it's my last week at the current job and I have SOOOOO much stuff to do.  Let's see, I'll be checking FB, all my email accounts...oh, I think that it's my turn in Draw Something, gotta catch up on my forums...and maybe somewhere amidst all that busy-ness, I MAY do SOME work.

I encourage YOU to have the best week ever!