Eat

Cedar-Wrapped Salmon (And Me Turning 35)

cedar-wrapped asian salmon recipe for the grill

I turn 35 tomorrow. (And the day after that, my son graduates from preschool, which is even more perplexing. ...How did this happen? Am I happy about it? Am I going to cry massive crocodile tears? The answers: I have no freaking idea, yes with qualifications, and ohhhmygoodness yes.)

The fact that it's my birthday has nothing to do with the photos of salmon in this post (other than the fact that I suppose I should be ingesting more omega-3s...?). It's just on my mind.

The thing is, I've never been into New Year's resolutions; New Year's is a holiday that I'm not especially fond of because it stresses me out (HAVE FUN! NOW!), but beyond that, I've never gotten that grand "Hooray! This is my chance to start afresh!" burst that apparently motivates dedicated resolution-makers. This birthday, though, I'm sort of getting that feeling: the desire to hit the refresh button in certain ways. I don't think it's any mystery that I've been going through some searching with regards to how I can live better, feel better, and mostly be better, as a partner and mother and daughter and person. These are obviously things that I've always thought about to some extent, like everyone, but something about this particular moment in my life seems different.

Home

My Dog Matches My Bedding (or: Kelly Van Halen Makes Blankets, And That’s Kind Of Amazing)

Lhasa apso on a soft blanket

Don't worry; he's literally going in for a bang trim today. Vision is imminent.

OK, so I have a thing for blankets. Kind of a big thing. (Whatever, as fixations go I think enjoying a nice, fuzzy blanket is a pretty non-terrible one.) The blanket pictured here both perfectly matches my dog and sort of feels like him, except better (sorry, Virgil). Let's say you crossed him with an extremely fluffy baby panda, and then gave the whole deal a nice blowout: that's a pretty good approximation of the softness level we're talking about.

And you know who makes the one pictured here? Kelly Van Halen. As in Van Halen's ex-wife, which is...I don't know, I thought that was sort of random and interesting. Apparently she's been designing homes for years, and recently decided to start making luxury at-home essentials - starting with the blanket you see here.

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ENTERTAINING

The Great Outdoors

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Alisa + me + babies | Our newly redecorated backyard

The fact that I love our house is a bit of a lucky surprise – purchasing a home that you’ve only seen on a FaceTime video is…well, a questionable decision, at best. But I do! I totally love it.

The one thing about our place that I wasn’t quite sure about when we decided to buy it: its size. It’s about the same square footage as the house we moved out of, which had been starting to feel a bit cramped for our growing family. And yet this house feels way more expansive to me – partially, I think, because it’s all on one level, but mostly because of our outdoor space.

Lifestyle

The Great (And Elusive) Family Photo

Even when you’re a parent, and even when you know better, you’re still a human. And if you’re me, that means you get annoyed about having wasted money, and embarrassed about having made a pretty big scene in front of a relative stranger who was clearly not super pleased with the situation. You get mad at a three-year-old, and then, as a bonus, you get mad at yourself. It’s as awesome as it sounds.
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Links & Love & Stuff

Career Code by the founders of Who What Wear
How to make the dad in your life feel like he’s snuggling a baby koala, what I’m bringing with me on this morning’s flight (yes, another flight), and something that Facebook’s advertising department reallllly thinks I want to own (and may be right, although I know better than to buy them).
Eat

It’s All Happening

The Ugh Fine sweatshirt from glam camp

Sweatshirt that nicely sums up my feelings about this "aging" thing

In celebration of the fact that I am about to turn 35 and am kind of weirded out by that, here are a few of the many (oh, so many) ways that I know that I am old:

  • I have to use toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth because of my sad, sad gum situation (one that is, of course, entirely my fault).
  • I am more excited about the fact that I have managed to grow a tomato plant in my backyard than makes sense.
  • I take acid reflux pills, like an actual grandmother.
  • Yesterday, I googled the words "mayonnaise substitute."
  • The other night, Kendrick mentioned that his neck has been hurting him when he wakes up in the morning, and we had a serious conversation about whether orthopedic pillows might a worthwhile investment.
  • The music level in Abercrombie and Fitch makes me furious.

And, of course, there's the fact that I've spent the past few months realizing that I need to start consciously putting things into my body that are good for it, rather than whatever's in front of me and doesn't require a fork (usually macaroni and cheese, which totally counts as finger food). This, as you might have guessed, doesn't exactly come naturally, so what I've discovered is that it's best if I do that put-good-stuff-in thing sometime around 8AM, when I still care.

DIARY

High Alert

Does cognitive behavioral therapy actually work

I met with a therapist today. Not a psychiatrist - a therapist, and specifically one specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy. What CBT is, essentially: an intensive, results-geared 12-18 week course of therapy during which you learn specific techniques that you can use to better cope with your anxiety (or depression, or whatever it is that brought you in).

I sat down on the therapist's couch next to a little machine bubbling lavender-scented steam into the air and gave him my best "Look at how happy and okay I am!" smile (because, as everyone knows, the most important part of therapy is convincing your therapist you totally don't need it. ...Right?). He asked me why I was there, and even though I knew this was a pretty unhelpful way to begin the session, I told him the truth: that I didn't know.

It really was true; these days, I feel more or less...fine. Great, actually. My anxiety is under control; my insomnia has virtually disappeared. I'm stressed about various things, of course, but they feel like things I probably "should" be stressed about, like travel and mortgage payments and such. I only booked the appointment in the first place because the psychiatrist who I see about once a month to check in on my medication suggested it, and so while I paid for that day's appointment at the reception desk I also scheduled a new one with his colleague. And then all of a sudden it was a month later and there I was: sitting in a therapist's office and talking about feelings.