New Address

As mentioned, my blog has moved. Certainly an upgrade.

What this means for you is just that you will now need to go to www.thebennett4.com to read my blog. Save it as a favorite, add it to your RSS feed, set it as your homepage (nanny and grandpa) but in the meantime, you can always come here and click on this link to get there. LINK

Please come visit me in my new space!


Up in The Air

I wrote this post last night on my flight back from Austin. Have a great weekend.

I'm still amazed that in flight wi-fi is no big deal now. Really, I'm just amazed that our kids will not even understand how or why we ever did anything for hours at a time, including flying, without access to the internet. I say that because I am posting this on my flight home from Austin. I have a lot to fill you in on, so here goes, no order, just thoughts.

My blog is about to get a major update. Get ready to be blown away by a sophisticated new look and feel. I've been needing to do this for a while- the blogger platform is okay- but not what someone who works day in and day out in branding, digital strategy and evolving technology, should be working on. Also, it's always made me sad that the URL is "thebennett3". Poor Holden. So, I'll have a new address too, that is more relevant to our current family status, which I will share with you all.

The trip to Austin was not what I expected. I expected to really miss it and feel sad, and I didn't. Don't get me wrong, I miss the people...but it's pretty hard to miss the heat and crunchy brown grass. I think August and September are the WORST months of the year in Austin, so I'm sure that's a big part of it.

Also, I didn't plan on being sick. I was SO sick. I'm only starting to feel better today. Again, it was still so fun to see Nikki, Courtney and Carrie (and B and Zach), but I guess I had pictured us doing a bit more...poor Courtney, she really got me at the worst of it. I basically just laid on their couch for like 48 hours and alternated between Advil gel caps and Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches.

I told my clients about my move. Such a relief- I hated not saying anything and also- they were so great about it. I was sitting in a room with about 8 clients, including the CMO and I just came out with it. I said "Okay, so I have some news..." and I paused. They all tilted their heads and paused with faces like "WHAT." So then I just explained that I had moved and that I had been working remotely and it seemed to be working for me, and if it was working for them, I would keep on with that for the time being. The CMO quickly said "Works for me..." and everyone nodded and was like "AGH. We thought you were going to say you were quitting." I learned that technique from Steel Magnolias (best movie ever, by the way) when Weeza is explaining that her nephew broke the news to his parents that he was gay by first saying:

"Momma. Daddy. I have something to tell you. I've got cancer and I've got six months to live..." when they got all sad, he quickly said "I'm only kidding. I'm just gay."

Ha. I owe many of my best moves to Shirley Maclaine. "THIS IS FOOTBALL. People want to talk about touchdowns and injuries. They don't give a damn about that grape shit." So many good quotes.

I almost just barfed on this flight. Like really. This is hands down the most turbulent flight I've ever been on. I was doubled over, with my Corona pressed against my neck like a regular cold compress, praying to the good God above that this would not be the way it all went down. There are many ways to die and I think one of the least dignified is on a plane, listening to bad jokes from the guy two seats over, while the girl just to the right of me watches Epic while eating the worst smelling Chinese food I've ever smelled. I think I dodged the bullet, it's been smooth sailing for about 20 minutes now.

I'm so ready to get home. This is the longest I've been away from Davis and Holden and I can literally feel their soft cheeks and smell their sweet skin. I had time to swing by the Co-Op today so I brought Davis a little UT football uniform, complete with a white jersey (he has orange), football pants, and a helmet. I think he will love it, especially after playing football with Charlie last weekend. I think that as cliche as it is, football is going to be his sport. The kid loves to tackle. I also got Holden a little UT cheerleader uniform. I am going to DIE when she puts it on. And so help me, I will get a picture of her in it with a little white bow in her hair if it kills me. (A far more dignified way to go, right?)

Did I tell you I painted Davis' room and the kitchen? In like 5 hours, no tape, no plastic floor cover, no mistakes? Well I'm telling you again. If I don't land a job that I love in Minne, I might just start my own painting biz. I actually thought that to myself while painting. Sometimes I get a little carried away. Anyway- it looks great and makes a huge difference so now I am completely inspired to paint Holden's room and our bedroom. And I know what you are thinking- it's a rental house- but environment is everything. And it only took 4 hours. And, I think the paint they chose for the bedrooms is such a shame- I almost feel like I owe it to the house. It's such a good house and who paints walls buttercream anyway?

I had breakfast with Ahmad and Stacey yesterday. It was so fun to catch up and Ahmad's story was so good, I wish I could share it. But too much background is required and also it's not my story to tell. If I'm going to divulge secrets here, I suppose I must limit it to my own.

Ahmad and I had some real talk, as always. Some good thoughts to ponder. Like: how can one find the balance between being a person that never stops learning, moving growing (moss doesn't grow on a rolling stone) while also being a person that is thankful and can truly content with what they have? Is it possible to be taking advantage of this life to the full extent while also being content? We didn't come up with the answer- but we probably will eventually. We also talked a ton about using your gifts to give to the world. And how to really just go for it- feel so joyful, so carefree, so ready for whatever God and the universe has for you. Things we're both always trying to do and be. I love that guy. And Stacey too. She just had to leave early for a work meeting. I miss working out with them.

The sunset right now is so beautiful, I wish I could take a picture. It's like the hot pink you would find in a vaurnet shirt from the 80s, with sherbet underneath and then an amazing lilac gray beneath it. God is just an artist.

Okay, that's all I have. Hope you had a great week.


Hand Foot Mouth

Guess who has it? Davis, and...yours truly. Guess that's why my glands have been so swollen and my mouth looks like WWIII. What a bummer to be here in Austin, for work and for play, and to be feeling so poorly. Blech.


Grin and Bear It

Pictures from the weekend...

So Davis' favorite thing about the zoo was the splash pad. We didn't know there would be a splash pad, so he had to strip down and go in his new superhero skivvies...which was absolutely no problem for Davis. If he could wear just his underpants all the time- he would. Especially since I got him a pack of Marvel superheroes undies last week at Target.

I love the joy on his face in this picture. I feel like pictures like this capture the BEST of childhood.

Holden was not as bold.
Keep in mind it was probably 75 degrees outside.

My favorite thing at the zoo was this crazy bear that basically just swam right up to the window and put on a show. I am such a dork at the zoo- I cannot get over things like this. It was amazing.

Holden Eloise liked the bear, but LOVED watching the penguins dive into the water and swim around right in front of her.

Everyone was tired after our trip to the Minnesota zoo. Her hair is getting so reddish. It's so cute.

And also 75% of the time, her hair is sort of a shaggy mess and she looks like a hobo. But, we're growing it out so we can do a cute lob (long bob) AND she won't wear any clips. Separately, girlfriend is a total swinger. She loves it.

This is a picture of Saturday night at Krissy and Patrick's. So awesome to play in such a green backyard in 75 degree weather. Summer here is amazing.

Okay, back to work! Last night, Carrie and I dined at one of our favorite spots in Austin, Pluckers. Don't judge. It takes a real woman to conduct a business meeting at a wing spot. Amazing people watching on a Monday night at Pluckers- those people are the regulars. So much fun to spend time with Carrie and Zach, and hug Porter and Mary Mae. Ugh, I wish I could take them back in my suitcase. But Carrie and I are off and running with our project and will probably have a reveal in a few months.

Oh, and it's important to mention that we totally stalked Jan last night. And she drives a YELLOW Ford Escape, which I think says a lot. Also, she has lots of what Carrie refers to as "jick jack" visible across the top of the windows. Pillows, teddy bears, oh my.


Hello Again...

I flew back to Austin today for a few days of meetings with clients this week...

It felt both typical and boring to be driving around town and also weird. The jury is still out on whether it is a good idea to be back so soon, but I am excited to have a few evenings with friends nonetheless. My first stop was Nikki's. Well honestly, my first stop was Sonic...to get a diet coke with a splash of vanilla. It didn't disappoint.

I started to tear up on my way to Nikki's- I guess just because I was excited to see her, because I didn't really feel sad. Just overwhelmed with a feeling, I suppose. We talked and caught up with Tony and then headed to Uchi for dinner. So good and of course, so much fun to talk the whole way through.

Here is what is not fun...and this is gross but I have about 20 raised sores on my tongue right now. And they are tiny, but they hurt like you cannot even believe. I don't know if it's secret stress or the Palomas we drank at Krissy and Patrick's house Saturday night. Or both. (Secret stress: stress that hasn't surfaced yet, or that you are unable to reasonably articulate or define from whence it came...)

We had so much fun this weekend- I'll recap that later, but just thought I would say hello- since I haven't posted since Wednesday. This will be a quick and busy week, but I will try to keep you up to date.

Things to note: it's hot as all get out here. Really. And my Chevy Cruze rental has black leather seats. Get serious. Also, I have mixed feelings about being back in the office tomorrow. Again, excited to see friends, but feeling the need to move on.

And I am having breakfast with Ahmad and Stacey this week and I cannot wait because Ahmad has a story for us that he has been waiting to tell in person. DYING to know what it is.

Also, my left gland is sore to the touch...the one by my tonsil.
What the heck? I'm falling apart.



What I Love Wednesday

1) That I have a happy hour date with Regina today. She is a realtor, and also, the sister of the CEO and owner of Great Clips, and is about, I don't know, 65-70 years old? She is a total stitch. Super direct and just 100% midwestern and I loved hanging out with her when we were looking for places to live. Honestly, Bennett's boss kept checking in on us (mainly me- ha) that weekend in March when we were here looking and deciding...and I told Bennett to tell him that Regina is the one that sold me.

2) That we are going to a BBQ with a few couples at Krissy's house this weekend and that I was also invited to a trunk show party with a bunch of girls in a few weeks. I told Bennett "Well hell. I'm just going to have to buy whatever I like. I will pay my way into these friendships." HA.

3) The weather here. It's beautiful. It feels like fall feels in Texas- you know- November/December weather? There is a breeze in the air and everything is alive.

4) Davis and Holden's school. Seriously- I feel so good taking them there every day. Such a blessing.

5) That I am going to Austin on Sunday for work next week. My clients will be in all week so we'll do dinner one night, but other than that, I'm going to stay with Nikki, Courtney and Carrie, and I'm super excited.

6) Learning about people. Last night our landlord came over to fix a few things around the house. He is about our age and he is so interesting. He owns about 7 houses, runs a 100+ person operations team at a major company in town, is a property manager for a bunch of properties in Minnesota AND Iowa, AND he is working on his MBA. I had like one million questions I wanted to ask. At one point, I looked at Bennett and said "Do you realize how hard this is for me? I know I have to stop, but I have like 20 more questions I feel I need to ask..." He goes "I know, Sam."

7) That for some reason, even though I forwarded my mail, a bunch of it just keeps getting sent to Jan. She is sooooo annoyed, and I sort of love it. I think I'll let it ride another week or two.

8) Caribou Coffee. It's the local coffee shop around the midwest. I know, I know. I was supposed to get a coffee machine, but I have purchase anxiety. There are so many out there and I don't know which one to get and I would hate to buy one and then just keep going to Caribou. Also, I sort of love going to Caribou. To see people, to answer the daily trivia question, to enjoy the coffee.

9) That my sister told me about a dream she had after watching a Pedro Almodovar movie that totally freaked her out. It included Davis being an inanimate little plastic sailor man from Maine...and Holden was a piece of oatmeal. And she was dead serious and quite concerned because she said I had Holden swirled in with all the other oatmeal. HA! I think her dinner was laced with crack.

10) That Kirsten and I talked yesterday and laughed our brains out about Davis' poopisode at the airport and how Andy accidentally peed on a 6 week old the other day at the pool...and mostly that we are planning a BALLS OUT road trip following her nursing school graduation in August 2014. I seriously CANNOT WAIT.

Happy Wednesday!



I spoke with the director at the kids' school yesterday and she let me know that Davis' shift into Pre-K will begin on September 3rd. And that once the kids are in Pre-K, they wear uniforms. WHAT? I don't know why this is such a big deal to me, but it feels really weird. The shopper in me got really excited and went right ahead and ordered a slew of uniform choices, but the mom in me, felt really sad that Davis is a big enough kid to be wearing UNIFORMS.

I just didn't really picture him wearing uniforms, ever, let alone when he is four. But I am excited that he is moving into Pre-K. I think it will be good for him because it's even more structured and focused on learning and he has already shown so much growth since being at this new school, I can only imagine he will have even more progress in this next setting.

Thank goodness I asked if I could order regular pants from like Gap or Old Navy because NERD ALERT- the uniform pants are super dorky with an elastic waist band and no pockets. So anyway, I ordered a bunch of navy and khaki rip-stop cargo pants for him, a few pairs of navy and khaki shorts, and then several of the polo shirts from the uniform choices. How much is Davis going to hate wearing a BUTTON SHIRT every day to school?

I will say this- this school is breaking him of his bad eating habits. Yesterday he said he ate a whole burger for lunch. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal- but a month ago- he never would have tried it. And now that his only pants options are navy, khaki and denim, he will have to wear jeans instead of track pants and polos instead of t's. YES!

So since he will be so preppy during the week, I guess I will indulge him and let him wear track pants over the weekend. I said I would never buy another pair of them, but in this instance, I think I will.

A few other things that I want to remember, no rhyme or reason:
Davis calls fire alarms "fire walarms" and he thinks fire comes out of them. It's about the only thing he's ever been the slightest bit afraid of.

Davis is constantly talking about how big he is getting and the other night as we were lying in bed, about to go to sleep he said, very sincerely "Mom. I'm gonna ask you something. When I get bigger, can I ride a motorcycle? By myself? Because there is one seat...for one boy."

He also says "omy" instead of "only"

He has started to apologize a lot- without prompting. It's awesome. He's growing up and sensing other people's feelings naturally, vs. by force.

He also looks at Holden a lot and will say things like "Holden looks so pretty..." and he is so protective of her. Last night we found a dead mouse in the yard and we put a bucket over it. The second Holden would even walk that direction, he would panic and say "Can you please go get my baby sister???"

Holden has gone from calling milk "mulk" to now calling it "mup" - it's amazing. I now refer to it as mup.

Holden says "yeah" a lot as a response. It's pretty cute coming from her.

She LOVES to read and will hand you book after book until you tell her you have to take a break for a minute.

She still loves to wear Davis' costumes. I think I need to get some more costumes for these kids- they love to pretend, which I also love.

She has been DROOLING like a faucet with her teeth coming in- I had to change her shirt three times yesterday.

That's all I got for now!