Tag Archives: shopping

Want vs. Need: The Bucket List

Is it a want or a need? I ask myself this question a hundred times a day. Sometimes it is a slippery slope and I can feel myself justifying before I even get to the answer. Somewhere in between the wants and the needs is a space for the things that we feel we “deserve.”

I want a new pair of jeans. I need to wear something. I deserve to wear a pair of jeans that fit and make me feel good. But none of that answers the question – Do I buy the jeans?

Nine times out of ten I come to the conclusion that I don’t really want or need to buy the object in question. I go around and around in my stay at home mom mind and I decide “Nope. Don’t buy it.” I am fortunate to have a partner that lets me budget our family’s expenses. It makes sense this way. I do the bulk of our spending. Food. Kid stuff. Clothes and whatnot. I have a good handle on what we have in the “Fun Money” pile and I think we do a pretty good job of spreading it around the family. Sometimes just feeling like I could buy the pair of jeans is all I need.

And then I got this fitness bug. I want a gym membership. I need the hour and a half to myself. I deserve this head space and so do my kids. It makes me a better parent. So. Gym membership is a green light. Whether it falls in the want or the need doesn’t matter. It works for us. Embarrassing truth: I spent more on Diet Coke and peanut M&Ms in a month than I spend on a gym membership for the entire family.

And then I picked up what might be the potentially priciest hobby one could choose in the realm of casual athletics. Don’t pick one sport, Kelly. Pick three. Well, all you need to run is shoes. And a better running bra. And the swimming, well, you only need a swim suit. And goggles. And a cap. And you can ride almost any bike if you’re looking to finish not compete. And I was lucky that my mom had a bike I can use. Oh. I need a helmet. I found a triathlon suit online for wicked cheap that is remarkably unflattering which means it must be a good one as they all seem to be more unflattering than the last. I just need sunglasses. And a water bottle. Oh, man, I get heinous chafing when I run in a wet sports bra so just one thing of Body Glide. And maybe a few energy drinks or something. And even if my tri-suit was inexpensive I don’t want to safety pin my number to it so I will need a racebelt. But they are only five bucks.

And that’s it. That is totally all I need. Right? The elastic shoelaces that make my running shoes turn in to slip-ons were a splurge. I admit it. Best six bucks I have spent in a long time.  Still cheaper than a great glass of wine.


This sprint triathlon training has been riding the fence between want and need since the beginning. Even just signing up for one is spendy. But I feel so good. I am proud of myself. And it has nothing at all to do with my kids. That’s huge.  It’s worth it. What’s that old saying – “Happy wife, happy life.” Hanging in our laundry room when I was a kid was a little plaque “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Mama is happy. This is good. It is like the trickle down economics of “Fun Money” spending.

I’ve blown about a hundred bucks in the last fifteen weeks. That is in addition to the hundred bucks my mom slid in to my back pocket the last time I was at home.  I promised her I’d not spend it on groceries.  Two running tops, a sports bra, six pairs of socks, a new cap, a water bottle, a headband and a pair of sunglasses later I took this picture for her.  “Done. You spoil me,” I wrote in the text. I comparison shopped and considered different options for weeks before I almost let that hundred dollar bill burn a hole through my wallet.


It’s Thursday.  Three more days and it is “Race Day.”  I have worked hard. I am really excited.  I have read a million blogs.  I have looked at a million lists of Tips for Tri-Newbies.  Tie a balloon to the bike rack so you can find your bike.  Don’t think so much about what you look like.  No one is watching you.  Don’t get upset when the 80-year-old woman on the mountain bike passes you. Pass on the left.  Don’t litter.  Put your stuff in a bucket.  Set up your transition area on a towel and use your bucket to sit on while you put your shoes on.

A bucket.  You can get a 5 gallon bucket at Home Depot for three bucks.  I could let Em decorate it with a Sharpie.  “Go MOM! You can do it!”  It made me smile to think about it.  But I have a bucket in the shed.   I don’t need a new bucket.  I just don’t.  Not when I have this one.

I’ll be the girl with the hot pink shoe laces and the paint covered Sherwin Williams bucket and the tears running down her face.  Wish me luck.

The Bucket

Just call me Norm.

I remember when I used to have a bar. My bar. I went there almost every night. If I missed a night or even two I felt like it had been ages since I had been there. If I missed three days, forget it. I started to convince myself that there would be new regulars by the time I got there, a new bartender, even worse – a new doorman.

You guys are “my bar.” And this is my way of apologizing. Here. It’s my ID. I will show it to the doorman in an effort to say “Hey, I don’t expect you to know who I am anymore, I know it seems like I haven’t been here in weeks, but it has only been six days.”

What have I been doing? Umm. Nothing extraordinary. I have fallen in to a good routine. I have been to the gym every day. Even days that I did not want to go. At all.


I have read board books until my eyes have crossed. I have passed these rhyming nonsensical books off to my seven year old and asked her to read them. We all read and read and read some more. I love that my sweet girls like books. I do. But so help me, a day without “Goodnight, Moon” would not be a day without sunshine.


I made the most incredibly perfect sunny side up eggs. The yolks were golden and they required not even a pinch of salt. It has been well over a year since I have purchased an egg in a store.


I get my eggs from a friend. This week I met that friend for lunch. I left with two dozen eggs from Heritage Acres Farm and some knowledge. After lunch we took a quick stroll around downtown and she clued me in to the fact that there is an unbelievable little vintage shop near the post office. Uniquitiques. I am a sucker for vintage aprons and linens. A rack of cute dresses that probably won’t fit a girl like me with a nursing rack. But there was a book case of vintage boots. Vintage. Cowgirl Boots. Oh, hello. A sweet lady said “Oh, you like the boots, follow me.” We followed her through her maze of a shop.

And then my eyes fell out of my head and I dropped to my knees.


Row upon row upon row of boots, y’all. Rooms full of boots.  ROOMS.  They’re not cheap. But they don’t have to be. For the gal that wants an unbelievable pair of boots and wants to shrug and say “these old things?” when someone says “Good gawd, those are Gorgeous!” this is the promised land.


I took Lucy in for her 12 month well visit. Two months late.  She is a-ok.  She is long and lean with a freakishly large noggin.

I took myself in to the doc for my annual reminder that I have allergies.  Some years my seasonal allergies rest in my sinus cavities and give me headaches that feel like dirty, dirty Mad Dog hangovers.  This year I am feeling lucky to have an ear infection. I skipped a swim workout and opted for extra cardio instead.  Lucy skipped a morning nap and we made up for late in the afternoon.  A couple of hours of shut eye and we are feeling pretty super.




I have Easter lights up in my kitchen.  The Easter Bunny will be stuffing plastic eggs with jelly beans and chucking them around the yard this weekend.  No chocolate in the eggs this year, the weather is too outrageous.  It was in the 30s this week but it could be 70 by Sunday.


So, that’s what you missed.  A whole lotta nothing.  I have fallen in to a good routine.  Just in time to hit the road for Spring Break and mess it all up, but that’s how it always works, right?  Get your kids and your house and your head in to a groove and then turn it on its head.

Speaking of heads.  There was a day this week, maybe even two, that I did not hate my hair.  I still long for my sock bun and I am sick and tired of sporting the “I am growing out my bangs, what’s YOUR problem?” face and accompanying barrettes. But just one day that I look in the mirror and think “Ok.  So, that kind of looks like it isn’t a wig or someone else’s head.” Yeah.  That’s not too bad.

How about you?  What’s shakin’? I haven’t seen you in forever.





What’s in a Name?

source: onesmartbrotha.com seriously. that's my source.

We can’t all be Dwayne Wayne. Even the actor that played Dwayne Wayne on A Different World, Kadeem Hardison, had a pretty stellar name.

Dwayne Wayne was never invisible. He never got away with anything. Even the tiniest of actions were noticed and hijinx ensued. Remember when Dwayne ran for Student Concil President. The Reverend Jesse Jackson even noticed and came to visit Hillman College. He got attention. And it wasn’t just the glasses.

I don’t think I want to be quite as high profile as Dwayne Wayne.

But I wear glasses. And still, sometimes, I am invisible.

“Where are my pink shoes, Mom?”  “What’s for dinner, Mom?”  “Do I have PE today, Mom?”  “Great dinner, Mom.”  “Don’t forget to call and get a life insurance quote, Mom.”

Mom gets attention.  But sometimes it feels like no one sees me.

When MQD and I were dating  he started calling me Mom. It was cute. I liked it.  He was acknowledging that Mom was who I am, and that he was okay with it, and he understood it (the best he could.) When Em decided she was going to start calling him Dad I followed suit. It’s easier to change your name if everyone in the house joins in.

And now we have a new baby in the house so there is an awful lot of sickeningly sweet “Can you see your Daddy?” “You look just like Mommy…”

I think for a lot of couples some of the most intimate moments are spent in bed. Not like that. But staring at the ceiling. Or in the dark. When you can speak your mind and no one can see your face. Eye contact becomes unnecessary when you are moments from falling asleep. The trust is implied.

With a newborn in the house sleep is at a premium and pillow talk is non-existent. But we find the time. Lucy is settling in to her own routine. After Em goes to bed she will give us about ten minutes of smiling at the ceiling fan. Occasionally we even get a few minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

This weekend Em was out and about and MQD and I were on a “mini-date.” “Mini-date” is marital code for let’s have a conversation and not screw around on our phones while we talk.  We get the intimacy that we used to get in those late night conversations  on the floor with our two month old instead of in the sack.  But I’ll take it where I can get it.

So, we were on the floor in the living room with Lucy Goose, making faces. Talking, laughing. MQD said something stereotypically female and chuckled. And then in case I had not seen the hilarity in his comment he added “That’s what it’s like talking to you.”

“Yeah. But I’m not a lesbian, you can’t act like that. There’s one girl in this relationship.”

And without a moment’s hesitation he added “No. There’s three girls in this relationship.” Not in our family. He said in our relationship.

And that is how it should be for now. Our family dynamic has changed. And now our relationship must evolve to include all three girls, I suppose.

In the moment I kissed him (and wrote down this conversation in my phone quickly.)

But later it stung. I don’t want there to be three girls in our relationship. Not all of the time anyway.  Sometimes I want to be his girl.  His only girl.

A long time ago be said “you look hot, Mom” and I felt my knees crumble. He like-liked me. And he loved me for who I was. Seven years my junior this adorable 25 year old boy he really liked me.

Years later those seven years don’t seem like a very big deal.

And Mom? Now she wants to be Kelly again. “Can you do me a favor? When it has nothing to do with either of our kids can you please call me by my name?”

That poor guy can’t win.  But he rolls with it.  First I wanted him to fall in love with Mom. Now I want him to see Kelly again. It shouldn’t matter what he calls me. He tells me dinner was good every night. And that he loves me every morning.

Later that night he tossed it back at me “Thanks, Kel.” And I smiled.

It’s just a name.

But Mom is never going to wear those sick heels in the back of her closet. And Mom is totally never going to fit in those leather pants.  Mom actually wants to know what exactly is an occasion to which one might need to wear leather pants.  But Kelly is going to wear those heels.  And dammit, she’s gonna wear them with those leather pants.  Anywhere she damn well pleases.  Soon.

Now to decide on my glasses.

The Perfect Accessory. And the whole "I can read street signs and see the TV" is a nice bonus.