Fall Risk

Fall Risk hospital love hard

The nurse wouldn’t even let me through the doors of pre-op until she had slapped a bright yellow bracelet on my arm proclaiming FALL RISK. Honestly, I didn’t know whether to be insulted or impressed that she knew me so well. I went with the latter.

If there are two better words in the English language to describe me, I haven’t yet found them.

I am, of course, a literal fall risk, even when I’m not on anesthesia. I am clumsy and uncoordinated. I fall down stairs. I fall off my bike. I trip on chair legs, sidewalks, even air. I prefer to think of it as a talent rather than a liability. At any given time my body is adorned with more bruises than jewelry and, usually, I have no idea where they came from. Read more...

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My Break Up With Social Media (And What I Learned In the Process)

why i broke up with social media detox and what i learned

It’s been over two months since I broke up with social media.

I wish I could say it was intentional, that it was part of some noble plan to be more mindful.

But it wasn’t. It was apathy.

Honestly, it was a lot like the end of every other mediocre relationship you stay in too long out of habit. Until one day, you wake up and you simply don’t have the energy to care anymore.

Like all relationships, the love affair with social media started out so promisingly.

The idea of being able to stay connected to the daily lives of friends and family regardless of geographical distance was revolutionary, much like email had been 10 years earlier. Read more...

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This is Forty

40th birthday this is 40

Last month, I bid my thirties farewell. There wasn’t much fanfare. No dark clouds in the sky heralding the end of life as I know it. I just woke up one day and was 40.

40 is a tricky number. To some it is a dirty word. To some it is a chance to throw a big fun party that rivals your wedding. To some – judging by all the articles titled “40 things I’ve learned at 40” – it is apparently the age of total enlightenment.

But no matter how you slice it, 40 can be weighty. Read more...

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The Picture We Never Took

Last Friday was apparently National Sibling Day.  I didn’t know that was a thing until I saw the plethora of pictures pop up on Facebook and Instagram.  Hallmark used to be the inventor of fun but meaningless holidays.  Now it’s social media.

But maybe it shouldn’t be a meaningless day.  We have holidays to recognize mothers and fathers – why not brothers and sisters? They are, after all, our first friends and our first loves.  It is from our siblings that we learn to share – the affection of our parents, the space in the backseat of a car, the last piece of cake.  From them we learn how to fight fairly and how to forgive. We learn how to keep a secret and how to communicate without uttering a word.  We know each other’s greatest sins and biggest dreams. We have seen each other at our best and at our worst and we love each other anyway. Read more...

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A Year in Review

I should have known that 2014 was going to be a . . . challenging year when it began with a virulent bout of the stomach flu.

But things started to look up after a week at Disneyworld with our favorite people. After the Lucky Orange Pants had the time of their life at the ACC tournament and the Sweet Sixteen.  At Will’s preschool graduation. An unforgettable weekend at UVA basketball camp.  When my brother got engaged to the greatest girl in the world.  After an inauspicious beginning, 2014 was looking like the best year on record. Read more...

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Special Friends

25 years ago, my parents decided to have a small Christmas party in their new house, inviting a small group of their special friends.  In some ways, the party has changed very little from its original incarnation.  Every year, people subtly begin asking in September whether we have picked a date yet so they can mark it on their calendars.  Every year, my mother bests herself with witty turns of phrase on the invitation.  Every year, my dad makes sure that everyone’s glass is full at all times.  Every year, there is a giant 12 foot tree in the living room.  Every year, we take our family picture in front of it right before we open the front door.  And every year, we invite only our special friends. Read more...

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Three Boys and a Girl

There were three little boys at my brother’s wedding this weekend.  Two of them were mine.

That night, filled with so many firsts, was the greatest night in their little lives.  The night they were no longer just children in a sea of adults.  The night they were grownups too.   They donned tuxedos and bow ties just like all the big boys did and checked the football scores while they waited.

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They solemnly walked down the aisle of the church, clutching the rings in their sweaty anxious hands.  Halfway down they forgot to be nervous, briefly breaking character to wave and smile at familiar faces in the crowd.   They sat in the pew – the very first pew – and poured over the wedding program, tracing over their names again and again with fidgety fingers. Read more...

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What Do You Say When Words Aren’t Enough?: A Sister’s Love Letter to Her Brother

Ever since my brother got engaged 4 months ago, I have been thinking about my rehearsal dinner toast.  But every time I sit down to write, my attempts come up feebly short and I go back to mainlining M&Ms and coffee.  I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I have been at a loss for words (this is the fourth in case you’re curious) and I don’t know why.   It might be because I subconsciously feel the need to overcompensate for the absence of our witty and eloquent father, who no doubt would have given the greatest toast ever.  It might be because I am trying to figure out how to get through the whole thing without blubbering. Read more...

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How Love Changes (And Why That Isn’t a Bad Thing)

Last week marked the fifteenth anniversary of my first date with Billy.  I know most people probably don’t celebrate such anniversaries but my parents always did (February of 1967 in case you were wondering). Their first date was a comedy of errors. My mother, having been dragooned into a blind date at Yale, disliked my father on sight. My father, already cranky due to lack of sleep, was further peeved because he thought he had been assigned to another girl and thus spent the weekend trying to steal what turned out to be his own date.  It was a rather bumpy start for two people who would, by the end of that first weekend, begin a 50 year love affair. how love changes and why that isn't a bad thing Read more...

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What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

Last week marked the official end to summer.   This was old news to many of us who said goodbye to summer weeks ago.  Perhaps at the exact moment we were photographing our children (looking the best they will look all year long) holding their Pinterest-inspired first day of school signs.  We have already grudgingly readjusted to the strictures of routine and schedule and simultaneously given up caring what they look like when they go to school.  Nearly one month in to the school year, my boys left the house looking as if they had not brushed their hair in 4 days.  And last week I let them wear stripes on stripes.  Don’t judge. Read more...

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The Family We Choose

08 12 14_0001This is what 38 years of friendship look like.  Easy.  Real.  True.

38 years ago, our mothers asked each other to be godmothers to their new daughters.  27 years after that, we were each other’s maids of honor.  Fast forward another 3 and we are godmothers to each other’s babies.  And all the moments of all the years in between are just too good to reduce to words.

When we were younger, I idolized her incredible spirit of adventure, her fearlessness, her inimitable ability to make everyone laugh, her giant heart that embraced everything and everyone.  I still do.  But now I admire how she didn’t sacrifice those qualities on the altar of adulthood.  Instead, she effortlessly parlayed all of them into her marriage, her children and her work. Read more...

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