Don’t Worry Future Stella, I Would Never Share Details of My Sex Life

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Dear Future Stella,

I had to take two weeks off from writing you letters. I felt like I needed at least 14 days of space after Valentine’s Day to avoid giving you too many graphic details regarding your dad and mine’s very ferocious sex life. I would not have been able to contain myself if I had allowed myself to sit down and write you a letter that next week. It would have been impossible to avoid sharing what I wore (or more accurately what I didn’t wear) and I would have felt compelled to share photos and/or video footage. In the euphoric phase that follows Valentines Day my letter to you would have certainly included my deepest, and most erotic feelings I have for your father.

However, as the laundry started piling up and dishes began to multiply I started to return to reality. When the number of times your dad farted under the covers began to accumulate faster than my 401K, those sensual moments dissolved into a blury, faded memory. I could return to my usual letter writing tone, which is bitching extensively about Current Stella. So here we are.

Needless to say, a lot has happened in the past couple of weeks. Thank God, for your sake, because otherwise I would have most definitely described the many positions I was in on Valentine’s Day. But I won’t. Unless, you want to know about that? If I have completely misjudged your feelings towards my incredibly bold and daring sex life, then just call me and I am sure I can catch you up to speed.

In the meantime, I will just briefly touch on some main points that happened recently. First, there was our naughty Valentine’s Day weekend (we actually were visiting your G-ma and Grandpa for the holiday). I was able to photoshop a couple of shots from that weekend to make them a little bit more PG for you.

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Your G-ma went full on love crazy and filled the day with hearts and red and mushy gushy romance. You should call her and thank her for this because if she wasn’t there to make us heart shaped pancakes, it would have been Current Stella bringing your Dad and I breakfast in bed and about 9 solid hours of entertaining herself.

We spent the rest of the lovely weekend doing some of Current Stella’s favorite things, like dining at nice restaurants and wine tasting. When you become a parent Future Stella, its important that you always engage in activities that your kids want to do. I had to kiss my days of spending countless hours at the park and in toy stores goodbye and trade them in for things Current Stella likes to do, which usually means entering establishments that have liquor licenses. She’s such a strange kid.

Other highlights from the past couple of weeks include two illnesses for Current Stella, one resulting in an extra early visit to the doctor after getting absolutely no sleep that night. Your Dad and I are used to getting no sleep (because of our hearty sexual appetites) but it’s incredibly rare for Current Stella to pull an all nighter. She has always slept through teething, fevers, even the stomach flu- so we knew she was sick. And she was, really, really sick. She’s such a pain in the ass when she doesn’t feel good. She wants to be alone (which is downright bizarre) and her whining intensifies to irrational proportions. The other really lame thing she does is get super high maintenance and demanding regarding the flavor of her medicine. She likes grape and only certain kinds of grape. Give her cherry and she will make herself throw up. This is incredibly frustrating when medicines like oh, and inhaler, don’t come with flavors. She would seriously rather stop breathing than allow non-grape meds to enter her system. Future Stella, are you still a stoic-yet-pain-in-the-ass sick person? I bet you are.

Your dad and I attended the annual auction for Current Stella’s school this past weekend. We bid on an array of sex toys and some sensual oils but we were outbid so we ended up coming home with tickets to various activities with some of our favorite parents we have met so far. It was one of those nights where we were having so much fun and drinking too much wine that we only took 1 photo. Oopsie.

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Current Stella had a playdate this week with a boy from her class who she fully crushes on (hard). If you asked Current Stella how it went then she would have said it was heavy on the date, but if you asked the young boy he would have said it skewed more in the play direction. Current Stella has a lot to learn in the male department if she ever wants to have such an active bedroom like her parents do. First of all, she kept trying to grab his hand on the walk from their school to our lunch spot. He would swiftly move it away and instead of making her feel weird, he would just pretend that he needed to make a fake gun and fire it at birds. Such a gentleman. Current Stella laughed and played along with his kinder swagger. Then, Current Stella started to copy everything he was coloring on the kid’s menu. She also blurted out that she knew how to spell his name and knew where he lived. Now, when you only know how to spell about six words total, this can come off as a bit stalkerish. He didn’t seem to notice that Current Stella was even talking so I think she actually was able to brush this one under the rug. The biggest mistake of all happened when the food came. Current Stella decided that was a good time to inform this sweet kid that she still needs help washing her privates when she takes a bath. Talk about a giant red flag/game over move- yikes! I started to sweat wondering if he was just going to beg to go home and never call again. No normal human would ever want to continue a date if you mention this at all, let alone over a meal. He gracefully switched the subject to Star Wars and asked Current Stella is she likes Storm Troopers. This guy is either going to be a politician or a damn good salesman. He made the most impossibly tragic conversation turn normal before you could even blink. He’s a pro and totally out of her league. Then, as if to prove he’s not totally in the friend zone he started to quote a Drake song. “You use to call me on my cell phone. Have you heard that song Stella?” Stella saved the date by answering in song, finishing the line, “when you need my (insert word that made no sense)” He bought it though, and was quite impressed that Current Stella was picking up what he was putting down. I actually felt uncomfortable and intrusive, like I should leave them alone. Then I remembered that privacy is over-rated and I vowed to never, ever, leave Current Stella alone with a guy. As long as Star Wars is a thing, or as sure that the sun will rise, I will be just like I was on this day- the 3rd wheel. Something tells me that every date you ever go on will have 4 wheels actually, your Dad will want to join in. 20 bucks says we will makeout first. Calm down- in 2025, thats like, what, a dollar?

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, today while taking our dogs for a walk you pondered out loud, “I wonder what I will look like when Im way-” pause “-like your age?” I actually think about this all the time. Sometimes when I look at you, I swear, its like I can see the adult that you will become. I wonder if your skin will stay so creamy looking, or if your eyelashes could possibly get any longer. I fantasize about your cowlick disappearing although, as a professional, I know that will never happen so even if the details are blurry when dreaming about your future physique, I always picture a strong side part. More than what your hair or skin will look like, I wonder if other parts of you will stand the test of time. Your fierce independence that allows you to weather any sickness without any coddling or non-grape medicinal intervention which juxtaposes quite impressively with the heart-on-your-sleeve, no-game-playing, genuine-affection giving attitude you have on dates. Just like sex with your father, you continually get better and better.

Love,

Mom

That Time Gum Ruined Everything

Dear Future Stella,

The only thing that really matters in life happened this past week- the Broncos won the Super Bowl. This is baby book material because this is the first time they have won in Current Stella’s life. I can’t remember what her first words were or how old she was when she rolled over front to back but I will always remember this.

OK, wait, I have to interrupt this to bring you a live play-by-play of what is happening right now with Current Stella. She is going ballistic because I threw away her gum (it was an empty package). She is just beside herself. Currently she is in her room, crying, and going on and on about how that gum is the only kind she likes and how she actually, really needs gum. She keeps saying I am lying at her (not sure how you lie AT someone but whatever). This is a direct quote heard from behind her closed door, “I am always allowed to have gum and now anytime anyone talks about gum it makes me sad. I really need my gum. I want to have my gum back. She was being so nice today and now she’s being mean. I just want one piece of gum because its so good. I know I had a piece left. She threw it away on purpose.”

Now there is silence except for occasional straining sounds and angry grunts. Anyway, here’s the thing. I can’t be certain there wasn’t one piece left in that package when I threw it away. If there was, I didn’t see it. Gauging by Current Stella’s rage she is probably right that there was a single piece left that she was hoarding for today’s ration after school. That is how her brain works. At the store yesterday she begged for gum in the checkout line because she was running dangerously low. I declined to purchase a new pack however, mainly because our cart was filled with an embarrassing amount of sugar as it was (Super Bowl food) and I knew I was going to get hit up hard by the Girl Scout Troup outside so I ultimately said no. I am regretting this decision now because she is just hysterical in there.

I had to take a break from this to go deal with Hurricane Current Stella. Here is a follow up to the rest of our evening. I will hopefully eventually circle back around to my original thoughts but I just thought you would want to know how that whole thing ended up.

After a 15 minute tantrum, she calmed down and I thought we would finish the night strong. Monday nights are always so special because it’s just the two of us. WRONG. When she came out of her institution, AKA her bedroom, and joined me in the kitchen I decided to tread lightly. I mentioned to Current Stella that I ordered her hot lunch for tomorrow. I thought this would make her so happy. Ever since my parents got her this amazing lunch box for Christmas I have been packing her lunch every day. Well, she mentioned that sometimes she still wants hot lunch. Ask and you shall receive- I can be that kind of bad ass mom on occasion. I really thought this was going to excite her. Boy, was I mistaken. She spiraled into all kinds of crazy almost immediately. She doesn’t want hot lunch, she wants a REAL lunch, whatever the hell that means. I was the lunch lady today at her school so I also ordered her hot lunch today so that she would have to come through the line and see me. She loved seeing me at school and ate the crap out of her food so on my way home I decided to order it for her again tomorrow. I am also on lunch duty tomorrow so I thought all of this made sense. I had no idea she has a very strict policy about not eating hot lunch two days in a row. Tears were streaming down her face and she looked at me with such disgust. How could I fuck this up so bad? She couldn’t believe my incompetence about getting her lunch wrong.

While I prepared her dinner I wondered if sending your kids to bed without supper is still considered a thing and if it is, how I could pull it off. Then I remembered she hadn’t had a bath in days so I had to power through two situations before I could reclaim sanity.

When I was filling up her bath water I remembered I had some little vials of bubble bath designed to improve one’s emotional well being. There are a bunch of different potions depending on what you are going through. I was planning on using these for myself but it was clear that Current Stella needed these more than me. It was a tough call to determine what kind of remedy she needed because she was so wound up at this point she needed everything so I just threw a bunch of different stuff in there, kind of like an emotional Hail Mary.

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That stuff is crap and didn’t make a dent in her overall mood. She still looked at me with the glare of death and complained about every. Single. Thing.

At this point, my evening was only going to improve once she went to bed and I could curl up on the couch with my lap top and a glass of wine, writing to the future kid who hates me so much right now. So here we are. She’s in bed, I am inhaling the scent of the most wonderful candle and reflecting on what the hell just happened tonight. If I did throw away her gum, and the more I marinate on the scenario it appears likely that’s what happened, then I feel pretty bad. She’s just so organized and methodical that I could see how she would have saved that last piece for the right time. The injustice of someone throwing away something so special is definitely frustrating. However, she’s the most empathetic and understanding little girl to everyone about everything, why is she so harsh and angry when it comes to my mistakes? I can’t help but think that this is the beginning of the tumultuous relationship that is a mother and her daughter. Of course when your Daddy (do you still call him that?) got home from work she was all smiles and affection. Not one mention of the gum, or the lunch, just hugs and gratitude for her unicorn pillow that is all clean (because I washed it).

Anyway, what was I even talking about? Oh yeah, The BRONCOS!!!! The Super Bowl was in our backyard and we didn’t go, which might be something I regret forever. However, if I could go back in time and change one thing in the past 24 hours I would probably use that power to unthrow away Current Stella’s gum instead of attending the Super Bowl. If that doesn’t show you how much I love you and how sorry I am for mindlessly tossing something that was so coveted by you then I give up. Are you still mad at me?

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, if this matters at all, hypothetically speaking if that piece of gum was still in its package on our counter I still wouldn’t have let you have it tonight. You had a few Girl Scout Cookies and begged for a marshmallow so there was no way on God’s green earth that I would have said yes to a piece of gum on top of all that. Hopefully that makes you feel a little better. So really, I saved you from what would have been an even bigger meltdown. You’re welcome.

Love,

Mom

I Have Been Waiting 20 Years to Tell You This

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Dear Future Stella,

One of the reasons I started writing these letters to you was so that I could open up and tell you things that would not necessarily be appropriate to tell Current Stella. I was afraid that if I waited until she was mature enough to hear certain things then I would have forgotten and she would never know how I was feeling or the details of things that happened during her childhood. This is one of those letters where I need to get something off of my chest and it’s probably been killing me your whole life. Are you ready? Sit down or maybe float up in the air, whatever it is you guys do these days. It’s about your Dad.

I work on Saturdays. All things kids and boring always happen on Saturdays. I used to think it was great to work that day because I got out of most bridal and baby showers, and taking Current Stella to every birthday party was officially your Dad’s job. I loved that the concept of a “soccer mom” could never happen to me because you had to actually go to the games to be seen with a van full of orange slices, unflattering jeans and a baseball cap. Then I found out that most birthday parties serve booze to the adults and that soccer moms usually have a little extra zing in their Starbucks cups and I started to regret my schedule. Then Current Stella actually started playing sports and the other parents and your dad would send me snap shots of her playing and looking sporty. They would gush about how great she was doing. That’s when I started to really resent my Saturdays. Your dad would tell me about every poor kid that lacked athletic ability and I would beam with pride and relief that you were omitted from these stories of unfortunate genetics. When basketball started and your dad volunteered to help coach I seriously began to loathe Saturdays. I hated missing these moments of what could only be the dream team exuding dominance against their pint size opponents. I pictured your dad down on his knees, holding Current Stella by the shoulders and encouraging her to own that court and take that ball from whatever obnoxious brat was on the other team. “It’s yours” he would say. Current Stella would bare her teeth, grunt a couple of Neanderthal sounds and get out there and bulldoze the kid with the ball and return it for a 3 point shot. This is seriously what I pictured based on how your dad talks to his teams on television and how much he praised her skills. I would come home from work on Saturdays and he would tell me how she almost scored and that she did such a great job. I kept thinking how hard that basket must be to make because if he’s celebrating an “almost score” then it must really be tough. Then Current Stella would tell me how much fun she had and I just would fill up with sadness and deep regret. I would go to bed thinking about jobs I could get that didn’t require work on Saturdays. However, I knew if I couldn’t switch careers it would be a heartwarming tribute when Current Stella finally got inducted into some sort of athletic hall of fame. She won those games for me, she would say, because I could never be there.

Then I got shingles and I couldn’t go to work for a full week. Not really because I was contagious but it was really painful and it affected my dominant arm (which you kind of need to color hair). When Saturday rolled around I was healed enough to finally get to go to your game. I was so excited.

I have to tell you Sweetie, I don’t know which was more painful- my shingles or Current Stella’s attempt to play basketball. She is terrible. I mean, just horrendous. It pained me to tell her “good job” and “way to go, Kiddo” after watching her just flail around the court with her mind in a completely different universe. She keeps her hands up, I suppose to be ready to block the ball, at all times- even on offense. She’s always where the ball isn’t and it’s unclear if she even knows that half the kids out there are not on her team. Here’s the really painful part- because she’s only 5, they make it almost impossible to mess up and she still blows. The basket is basically her height, they are allowed to double dribble, travel, and they cant get the ball taken from them. They wear wristbands in different colors that match the color of the opponent they are supposed to defend. When you tell Current Stella to find her person she searches her own team frantically for the matching wristband- which she obviously never finds because that person is a)on the other team and b) on the other side of the court shooting point after point.
Every person on her team scored multiple times except for Current Stella. I am not sure if anything she did out there fit under your dad’s description of “almost scoring” but I hope not. The worst part was, her team technically won and so she left feeling proud and elated and because it’s frowned upon to tell a kindergartner how absolutely shitty they are, I had no choice but to congratulate her.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t really think you were going to be a professional basketball player, or any pro athlete for that matter. I just assumed that based on your Dad’s freakishly amazing coordination and his extreme high standards when it comes to honing one’s skills that despite all of it you would at least be like the Little Engine That Could. I also assumed that if for any reason your performance was sub par that he would be brutally honest about it and have you outside on the courts until your fingers were bleeding. I actually worried that his need to dominate and win would be too much pressure on you. Our team is about to play in the Super Bowl this Sunday and if Peyton Manning played like Current Stella did even for 5 seconds your Dad would physically go down to the stadium and swing punches at children and scream obscenities at elderly Bronco Fans. Gushing about how Peyton almost scored a touchdown would never cross his mind. He sees something in Current Stella worth praising even when the rest of the spectators are looking away in embarrassment and wondering if maybe Current Stella just got out of a major surgery and the anesthesia hadn’t fully worn off yet. Seriously, she’s that bad.

He just proved to me this last Saturday that he must either love you way more than I thought possible or he’s a sick liar. I just thought you should know that he’s capable of such unconditional loving support. He might have been telling you a bunch of exaggerated nonsense about how wonderful you are at everything your whole entire life. Stings a little bit I bet. I know, I just thought you should know.

God, that felt so good to just type that. I feel lighter, and more available for Current Stella emotionally now that I have said my peace.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you (like most kids your age) are obsessed with balloons. I personally don’t get it, but whatever. Your teacher had 100 balloons in the classroom for the 100th day of school. Each kid got to take home 3 and it was kind of weird how happy this made you. On the way home you lost 2 of them so that last one was a big deal. I really can’t stand the balloon hoarding that is trending big time in your life because you feel the need to keep them until they are prune-like. I find this creepy. In an attempt to speed the process up I suggested you give it to our neighbor upstairs because it was his birthday. I told you this would make his day. You were skeptical but ultimately ended up writing “Happy Birthday Mike” on it with a sharpie and marching it upstairs to give him while he was in the middle of playing poker with his buddies and most likely waiting for the strippers to arrive. Almost instantly you regretted this decision. You needed that balloon back in your life and until you got another one your body would feel like it was missing an appendage. Your G-ma and Grandpa were visiting and they cannot stand for you to want for anything so promises of bigger and better balloons the next day came flying your way. The next day, your Grandpa took you into the grocery store to pick out a balloon and this is the one you came out with.

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Way to be awkward Pumpkin.

Love,

Mom

P.S.- Enjoy some photos from our past week

Here we were checking out Super Bowl City.
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I would like to leave you with this picture of you pretending to be a dog with Gail the Puppy, which is my absolute favorite idea on this whole planet.

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This is a Test. Future Stella, Can You Read This?

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Dear Future Stella,

How are you doing kiddo? Having a good day? I bet you are not. I went ahead and checked this date (January 26th) in 2025 and it falls on a Sunday. Specifically, the last Sunday of the month of January. You know, the Sunday before the Super Bowl, which means no football. See, I knew it would suck. I am sure you are aware of my deep obsession with the Denver Broncos. In fact, if we win the Super Bowl this year then I am going to get a tattoo of Peyton Manning on your lower back so hopefully you are a fan too. If the Broncos were lucky enough to make it to the Super Bowl in 2025 (like they did in 2016) then that Sunday is going to be a very anxiety ridden day for me. Future Stella, this year the Broncos not only made it into the 50th Super Bowl but the game is being played here in San Francisco. I will probably be on my death bed and regretting not getting tickets to the game but they are thousands of dollars. I don’t even think I could sell Current Stella for enough money to get your Dad and I there and she’s probably the most valuable thing that I have, besides Gail the Puppy of course. Not that I checked the going rate for a toothless five-and-a-half-year-old girl with golden hair and unique eyes who can almost read. If for some reason I did end up selling you and you are reading this from your new life, don’t be mad, let this be inspiration to follow your dreams no matter the sacrifice. Also, it probably means you didn’t have to get that tattoo so thats nice. As I am typing this I am having a major epiphany. The chances of the Denver Broncos playing again in the Super Bowl here in San Francisco in my lifetime is zero. However, I could have another kid tomorrow if I wanted to so really, I would be foolish not to try and sell Current Stella. I have not looked into it much, but maybe I could pawn her and then one day buy her back? I could also yank her from private school and stick her in public just for one year and that would save me enough cash to not only buy 2 tickets to the big game but also parking and maybe even a hot dog. I am only teasing you, I couldn’t sell Current Stella, mainly because its illegal. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Denver Broncos were headed to the Super Bowl again in 2025? If they are I bet you have a bunch of bandwagon friends that all of a sudden are sporting vintage Manning jerseys. If anyone questions your authenticity you just show them these pictures.

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Your first Broncos game.
Your first Broncos game.
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We made it to the Super Bowl one other time in Current Stella's life.  We lost to the Seahawks.
We made it to the Super Bowl one other time in Current Stella’s life. We lost to the Seahawks.

I have been so stressed out about the Broncos that I gave myself shingles. Seriously, a doctor today told me I have shingles. I have a virus that old people usually get because their immune systems are not as strong and so any amount of unneeded stress will cause their childhood chicken pox virus that has been living dormant in their bodies to erupt into a nasty rash that is so goddamn painful that they start to look forward to their own deaths. Except I am not old and I don’t want to die. If it wasn’t the Broncos that stressed me out it had to have been hosting a family the size of a Major League Baseball team’s active roster for Christmas followed by some psycho super flu that slowly sucked the life out of me for the next two weeks. I was so behaved once 2016 came because I knew I had overdone it. I gave up coffee. I quit drinking wine (during the week) and I started giving myself relaxing facials twice a week. I drank a ton of water and slept for at least 8 hours a night. I started using hand cream religiously. Instead of losing 8 pounds and looking 10 years younger like I had anticipated, my body decided to give me shingles. As I type this I want to gnaw my left arm off because if something so much as a tissue touches the skin surrounding my armpit I might cry. Future Stella, you won’t have to worry about ever getting shingles because you were vaccinated for Chicken Pox. Lucky bitch.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you are learning how to read and every time you sound out words like “ka-ka-aa-aa-nnnn- can!” I almost forget that my arm feels like someone removed all the layers of my epidermis and all of my nerves are just sitting exposed, radiating shooting pain anytime so much as a breath touches them. Its so amazing to watch you figure it out. I don’t think you are like genius material or anything like that, but I do think you are going to be smarter than me (which isn’t saying much) and that’s really cool. I am so delighted that you are learning how to read. Reading is my medicine, my escape, and my number one source of independent enjoyment. This is the most excited I have ever been as a mother for you to acquire a new skill. Don’t get me wrong, walking was kind of magical, as was the first time you said “my little pink puss” in reference to your purse- but reading is heart swelling to the point of bursting material. The only thing that will ever top it is when you finally learn to wipe your ass. Anyway, I like to picture the two of us cozy on a couch, each with a book in our hands and a dog at our feet. You are maybe 15 and I am still 32 and I don’t have shingles. We are in one of those luxurious houses that don’t really have walls but flowy white material swaying softly in the breeze. We are not talking and we are both lost in what we are reading. Maybe there is a naked underwear model there serving us food and drink or perhaps a Native American woman named Eyota is sitting in the corner behind a giant loom making me a rug- the details are not that important. What is important is that we are both just devouring our books and we can pass the time just fine with no sounds or forced conversation. That would be such a perfect day.

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Love,

Mom

Current Stella is Halfway to Six and her Grandpa is Halfway to Ancient

Dear Future Stella,

Today was Current Stella’s half birthday. She turned 5 and a half. I remember being obsessed with getting older and getting so excited to be able to add any fraction onto my age. My Uncle Ricky always made my half birthday a big deal so I wanted to do the same for Current Stella. To make today extra special for her I had a mini half party set up for her when she got home from school. I had a banner hanging with only half the letters to spell Happy Birthday, I cut the cupcakes in half and put 5 and 1/2 candles on hers. I wrapped a present to look like it was divided in half and even cut traditional party hats in two to make it extra silly. It was a big hit for Current Stella.

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Now that I only have 6 months left to plan Current Stella’s birthday party I am getting a little stressed out. She keeps switching themes and being really noncommittal about her plus one. These gigs don’t just happen in a month so I need her to focus and start making some decisions. She’s way into this crap called Shopkins and threatened to have that be the theme which would blow hard so I need to somehow make them disappear.

Your Grandpa had a birthday this past weekend. He turned 61. Your Grandpa is the definition of a Capricorn to me- practical, ambitious, wise, cautious, and patient. Things that will always remind me of him are fishing, boating, Bloody Marys, ice cream, and napping. Heres a little tribute to the man who would stop at nothing to achieve happiness for all the women in his life, us included.

This is the first photo I have  of just you two
This is the first photo I have of just you two

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I believe this is the one and only fish he has ever caught
I believe this is the one and only fish he has ever caught
Your Grandpa is famous for his unconventional packing methods
Your Grandpa is famous for his unconventional packing methods
He's an expert napper
He’s an expert napper
even at a live concert with thousands of people
even at a live concert with thousands of people
But he's an even better Bloody Mary maker
But he’s an even better Bloody Mary maker
He always finds the ice cream
He always finds the ice cream
Now go get a glass of whatever you are drinking and cheers this man
Now go get a glass of whatever you are drinking and cheers this man
and wish your Grandpa a Happy Birthday!
and wish your Grandpa a Happy Birthday!
before you came along we used to go to Healdsburg for his birthday
before you came along…
We used to go to Healdsburg for his birthday
We used to go to Healdsburg for his birthday

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Your Gma is also a Capricorn but she doesn’t really seem or act like one to me at all. She sends out a stronger Sagittarius vibe in my opinion. I know I briefly mentioned her birthday last week but she didn’t get the full treatment because I had so much to say about the holidays. Your G-ma is basically my best friend and I’m so glad she didn’t abort me, give me up for adoption or intentionally leave me a park. She’s really good at making friends, growing plants, and she is the least judgmental person I know. We get along because we both enjoy shopping, lounging, and a good book.

Your Gma didn't leave my side when I was 10 days past your due dade and I just wanted you out of me.  She was my saving grace during your first days of life
Your Gma didn’t leave my side when I was 10 days past your due dade and I just wanted you out of me. She was my saving grace during your first days of life
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You spent your first Halloween with your Gma
You spent your first Halloween with your Gma
Gma teaching you the very tricky art of shopping in a foreign country- her specialty!
Gma teaching you the very tricky art of shopping in a foreign country- her specialty!
Her love for the San Francisco Giants is real and intense
Her love for the San Francisco Giants is real and intense
She always laughs at my jokes, even the ones directed at her because she gets that I only tease the ones I truly love.
She always laughs at my jokes, even the ones directed at her because she gets that I only tease the ones I truly love.
sun + water + wine + each other = awesome sauce
sun + water + wine + each other = awesome sauce
She brings out my carefree wacky side
She brings out my carefree wacky side
two rafts floating side by side is our idea of the perfect day
two rafts floating side by side is our idea of the perfect day
Although she didn't teach me to cook or do much of it when I was a kid, we both love it now. Her one go-to dish when I was little is still my all time favorite- ground beef tacos in hard shells. Sort of like Taco Bell, but better- not nutritionally, but just better.
Although she didn’t teach me to cook or do much of it when I was a kid, we both love it now. Her one go-to dish when I was little is still my all time favorite- ground beef tacos in hard shells. Sort of like Taco Bell, but better- not nutritionally, but just better.
Your G-ma was my first ever client and she would let me do whatever I wanted to her hair.  Only beautiful women like your G-ma can have that kind of confidence.
Your G-ma was my first ever client and she would let me do whatever I wanted to her hair. Only beautiful women like your G-ma can have that kind of confidence.
Fine dining, and fancy cocktails? We will always say yes to this scenario
Fine dining, and fancy cocktails? We will always say yes to this scenario

Your G-ma and Grandpa are one of the cutest couples to ever roam this earth, and roam this earth they do. A lot.

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you helped me make homemade baked chicken nuggets last night. You did a great job except that your dad was up all night puking and then spent most of the day shitting. I am not blaming you per-se, but you were in the driver’s seat on that one. In hindsight, allowing a child at age 5.4999999 to handle raw chicken was probably a poor parenting decision but we have been binge watching Master Chef Juniors and those fuckers are like shucking scallops and making risotto so I just thought you had this one.

Love,

Mom

About Last Month…..

Dear Future Stella,

Well, that was weird. Almost an entire month went by since the last time I wrote you a letter. This was partly intentional as I like to take a break from this blog when Current Stella is out of school and partly unitentional due to the awesome flu that 2016 decided to welcome me with. I am back to feeling tip top and I am so overwhelmed by everything you have missed in the past month that its almost debilitating to begin, but I will do my best to skim through it all.

First of all, Christmas happened. You wouldn’t know it is over at our house though because we still watch Home Alone on the daily thanks to a bizarre obsession by Current Stella. She has the whole thing memorized and makes the scream face in just about every picture these days, even the professional ones we had taken during our Christmas Extravaganza that I will explain more below.
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This year I thought it would be fun to host our family here in San Francisco for 4 days. That breaks down to 11 adults, 4 senior citizens, 3 teenagers, 3 small children, 5 dogs, 1 puppy, and a partridge in a pear tree. It took months of planning, weeks of stressing, days of recovering, but resulted in hours of fun and many moments of disaster. Some of the highlights include:

The Scavenger Hunt
I put together a 3-day competition between 2 teams; Team Shelby and Team Casey. Team Shelby was mostly girls with the exception of my Uncle Mike. Team Casey was mostly boys with the exception of my sister-in-law, Connie. This race had us ubering around San Francisco, swimming in Oceans, caroling down aisles of Walgreens, and my personal favorite, re-inacting the nativity scene on a stranger’s lawn. My team won and if you are a hardcore feminist cover your eyes and skip this part because we really couldn’t have won without our single male on our team. He carried our team to victory.

Meet someone who works in tech, then take a picture with everyone staring at their phones
Meet someone who works in tech, then take a picture with everyone staring at their phones
Take a picture with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
Take a picture with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
Ride a muni bus and collect the muni ticket
Ride a muni bus and collect the muni ticket
Take a picture in front of a Victorian home.  Extra points for getting Grandma to flip the bird
Take a picture in front of a Victorian home that is decorated with Christmas lights. Extra points for getting Grandma to flip the bird
Take a selfie in the Westin St. Francis elevator
Take a selfie in the Westin St. Francis elevator
Take a selfie with a Santa Claus
Take a selfie with a Santa Claus
Order and drink an Irish Coffee from the Buena Vista
Order and drink an Irish Coffee from the Buena Vista
Take a picture of a cable car
Take a picture of a cable car
Eat something containing dungeness crab and take a picture of it
Eat something containing dungeness crab and take a picture of it
Take a picture with your Uber driver in front of the car
Take a picture with your Uber driver in front of the car
Take a group picture all eating candy canes
Take a group picture all eating candy canes
Find a stranger wearing 49er or SF Giants gear and take a picture with them
Find a stranger wearing 49er or SF Giants gear and take a picture with them
Ask the bartender at Tacolicious for his autograph
Ask the bartender at Tacolicious for his autograph
Jump in the pool at Hotel del Sol
Jump in the pool at Hotel del Sol
Meet a dog that is dressed in a holiday sweater and take a photo to prove
Meet a dog that is dressed in a holiday sweater and take a photo to prove
Take a picture of a stranger who looks like Santa Claus
Take a picture of a stranger who looks like Santa Claus
Take a photo of a stranger who could pass as an elf
Take a photo of a stranger who could pass as an elf
Take a video of your team singing a christmas song walking down an aisle of Walgreens
Take a video of your team singing a christmas song walking down an aisle of Walgreens
Purchase a $10 juice and drink it as a team. We did this one as a video so we could prove we actually drank it.  I decided to freeze the frame when Uncle Mike is drinking his. With a wig on. Because we are the girls team. #winning
Purchase a $10 juice and drink it as a team. We did this one as a video so we could prove we actually drank it. I decided to freeze the frame when Uncle Mike is drinking his. With a wig on. Because we are the girls team. #winning
Find a girl wearing workout clothes but doing something unhealthy.  This chick was not happy to pose for a picture of her buying gummy bears
Find a girl wearing workout clothes but doing something unhealthy. This chick was not happy to pose for a picture of her buying gummy bears
Find someone vaping or smoking weed in public
Find someone vaping or smoking weed in public
Ask a gay couple to kiss for a photo
Ask a gay couple to kiss for a photo
Find something in a public compost/recycling bin that shouldn't be there
Find something in a public compost/recycling bin that shouldn’t be there
One member of the team must run up the Lyon Street stairs while another member films
One member of the team must run up the Lyon Street stairs while another member films
Take a photo of something dead hanging in the windows in Chinatown
Take a photo of something dead hanging in the windows in Chinatown
Take a group selfie on top of Coit Tower.  Although a terrible photo, this one took so much effort. Coit Tower was closed the first time we tried so we had to come back the next day.  The line was so long and we made the cut off by one person and by the time they got to the top it was pretty dark. Team Casey didn't even attempt this one
Take a group selfie on top of Coit Tower. Although a terrible photo, this one took so much effort. Coit Tower was closed the first time we tried so we had to come back the next day. The line was so long and we made the cut off by one person and by the time they got to the top it was pretty dark. Team Casey didn’t even attempt this one
Have at least one member of your team get into the ocean up to their neck.  That little dot you see is Uncle Mike, the only male member of our team, and the only member willing to get into the freezing ocean when it was hailing out.
Have at least one member of your team get into the ocean up to their neck. That little dot you see is Uncle Mike, the only male member of our team, and the only member willing to get into the freezing ocean when it was hailing out.
Act out the nativity scene on a stranger's lawn
Act out the nativity scene on a stranger’s lawn
Take a picture with a random wearing a Santa hat
Take a picture with a random wearing a Santa hat
Feed the ducks at the Palace of Fine Arts
Feed the ducks at the Palace of Fine Arts
The Winning team.  According to official rules, the losing team must have this photo framed and placed on their bedside table for the remainder of the year
The Winning team. According to official rules, the losing team must have this photo framed and placed on their bedside table for the remainder of the year

Christmas Caroling on Christmas Eve
I made a big batch of hot toddies, forced everyone to don gay apparel and then we hit the streets singing our tone-def hearts out to the houses in my neighborhood. Most people were not home, some were not interested, but most were really into it. I am also fairly certain we serenaded some sort of serial killer rapist.

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Christmas Day
I was so nervous to have the full group of 21 humans and 6 dogs in my apartment all at once. Its just a lot of beating hearts in a small space and there isn’t anywhere to sit or be all loungy-cozy the way one should be on Christmas morning. I made a spread of breakfast finger foods for people to enjoy off a toothpick while trying not to step on a dog or small child. In an effort to streamline the process, I allowed Current Stella to indulge in the Christmas morning I always longed for. I let her open all of her presents all at once, in rapid fire succession. At one point, she was opening a gift and then tossing it (literally throwing it) in a giant pile of new swag before going for the next one. When I was a kid we had at least a dozen people in a giant circle. First, we usually had to wait for my Uncle Ricky to wake up and join us. This took forever and always pissed me off. Then, someone would put on a Santa hat and dig through the enormous pile of gifts to find one gift for each person. Then, someone would usually have to pee so we would have to wait. Once everyone was accounted for, we would go around, one by one and open our gifts. There was always a story that went with each gift so the process took hours. Once each person had opened their gift, the adults would break to make Bloody Marys and then we would repeat the process all over again. I am not exaggerating when I say that it took all day. All day. My version this year took around 20 minutes. It was glorious and you know what, when we went to write our thank-you notes, Current Stella remembered EXACTLY what each person got her. There was not one thing forgotten or unappreciated so you can suck it to those who might find my method a bit unorthodox.

Santa brought Current Stella the Snow White Barbie and the Mulan Barbie
Santa brought Current Stella the Snow White Barbie and the Mulan Barbie

Later in the day I had planned (slaved is a better word) this amazing dinner party at the Big Four Restaurant in Nob Hill. We rented a private room with sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline and I decorated the tables with festive flower arrangements and framed photos of my entire family on Christmas over the years. It was so fun to stroll down memory lane while eating some outrageously good food.

The Nutcracker
The day after Christmas all of the girls in our group got all dressed up and went to go see the Nutcracker. The costumes were unreal and I couldn’t take my eyes off the male dancer’s bulging pants. I also re-learned a valuable lesson. If you want something done right you should do it yourself. Throughout this planning process I tried to outsource as little as possible because I am a perfectionist and I have a certain vision in my head about how I want things to go. One of the few things I did outsource was asking my mom to call this number on the morning of the Nutcracker to pre-order champagne for the intermission. I heard about this tip from a friend who said waiting in line leaves only a few minutes to chug the bubbly. Needless to say, my mom “tried” calling the number but couldn’t figure it out. My friend who gave me the tip was at the same show as us and she was leisurely sipping her champagne while the rest of us were standing in line. Strange how the number worked for her….

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The Dogs
In the middle of planning this multiple-event holiday, the mom of Current Stella’s best friend, mentioned that she was going to get the kids a puppy for Christmas. She was trying to find someone to keep the dog for the week leading up to Christmas so it could remain a total surprise. I stopped thinking clearly or listening after the word puppy and I was like, hell yes I want it. I got all weird and sentimental because we got Gail the Puppy for Christmas only a year ago and I can still taste her puppy tongue mixed with the smells of fresh pine and I needed this again in my life. A puppy is like a newborn baby but worse because they don’t wear diapers. They need like total undivided attention which seemed totally doable with hosting 21 people and working some of the busiest days I would ever see at the salon so I said yes quite enthusiastically. Then you add my parents’ dogs, my aunt’s dog, and throw in my existing two and what you get is a really fucked up episode of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan minus Cesar Millan. The pack would tear through my house like a tumbleweed of hair, each one trying to exert their dominance. Like their ancestors before them, their territory was being marked with urine and it appears this year’s coveted real estate was the wrapped presents under the tree, our white shag rug, and Current Stella’s special chair in her room.

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If I ever do it again (which I won’t), it will be dog-free and kid-free (Current Stella included). It will last for way less time, involve less people sleeping and peeing on my couch, not as many events, and cost way less. Basically, next year I am just going to send a Christmas card like every other sane family in America. Who am I kidding, I am already buying Christmas decor on sale to make my Second Annual Christmas Eve Caroling 2016 a bit more festive.

Almost as soon as the last car pulled out of my driveway I got hit hard with some kind of super virus. I remained down and out of commission until basically this week. It was dreadful and so unfair. I still cough like I have smoked since I was 5 and my nose is just a constant stream of liquid. Everyone around me is all New Years motivated and my social media feeds are just bogged down with healthy recipes and workout motivational quotes and tips about decluttering my desk and I just can’t even. I just want to go back to my happy place where I am surrounded by every single member of my Christmas celebrating family, where there is a cold egg nog cocktail in my hand, some dog is taking a shit on my pillow, and someone is getting a tattoo of Macaulay Culkin on their ass in my living room because, you know, the scavenger hunt.

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Birthday Shout-outs

Your cousin, Danielle turned 5 on New Year’s Eve. You two are pretty cute together and one day her birthday is going to be some of the drunkest nights of your life. Trust me.

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Your Gma also celebrated a birthday on January 2nd. What a total shitty birthday, no? The party is so over by the 2nd. Most people cannot even deal with one more celebration or cocktail. I was so cracked out on Sudafed that I barely remembered to call and wish her a good one. Your G-ma is such a loving, wonderful grandma to Current Stella. She’s not too shabby of a mom either.

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Future Stella, I Love you. Current Stella, your new favorite thing is announcing when things are not fair. Its not fair that I get to stay up later than you, its not fair that I get to wear lipstick, and its not fair that I don’t have to go to school. To be fair (lol), I would give just about anything to go to bed at 8pm, abandon makeup all together, and spend the majority of my day being a student. Out of frustration today with all of life’s injustices you declared that you just want the whole world to be fair. Preach child.

Love,

Mom

Lots of Red, Green and Blue

Dear Future Stella,

I am one of those annoying people who love the holidays. I truly enjoy my family and spending time with them. I have not lost anyone that makes this time of year hard for some people and I really feel grateful for that. I love the decor, the music, the smells and most recently, eggnog. This year is going to be really fantastic because I am hosting our whole family here in San Francisco. 21 people. We have room for 6 comfortably so the remaining 15 are so fucked. I have lots of fun things planned that I will tell you more about next time.

Current Stella was exposed to every type of holiday cheer this year. My grandparents from Florida got Current Stella her first menorah, her Catholic school exposed her to the nativity scene and told her about the holy Virgin Mary, and I explained to her that a Virgin Mary is only acceptable when you are pregnant, otherwise the Vodka is pretty important.

Getting the Menorah was nostalgic because I remember celebrating as a child and I am really glad that Current Stella got to experience it. I am not jewish, and neither is Current Stella but your Grandpa and his whole family are and they are really special to me so I wanted Current Stella to get some exposure. I was roughly 8 the last time I lit a menorah so I had to take some help from Google to remember what to do with it. I read about how you light the candles from left to right and how you have to use a separate candle to light each of the candles and how they have to burn out on their own. I even looked up the daily prayers on Youtube so we could be completely legit. The only problem is I am constantly confusing my left and my right (in fact I failed my driver’s test the first time because of this) so the first few days we failed big time by lighting the candles in reverse order.

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Here is me as a kid with my sister lighting the menorah
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We finally did get the hang of it and we managed to finish all 8 nights without burning our hair or our house down so thats impressive.

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Switching from Hanukkah to Christmas, we had plenty of fun in that department as well. We met my cousin Jon (ironically Jewish) downtown to watch all the lights in Union Square turn on and then we took the cable car home. This city is gorge during the holidays.

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As if Judaism, Catholicism and Christianity weren’t enough religion for one week, your Dad decided to throw in a little Scientology by dressing up as Tom Cruise from Risky Business for my company’s Christmas party. The theme was 1988. I dressed as a Robert Palmer girl with some of my girlfriends. I had no damn clue who Robert Palmer was before this party because I was 5 in 1988. Hey, Current Stella is 5 now, so promise me Future Stella that if you ever go to a party that is 2015 theme you will dress as Caitlyn Jenner. Thats going to be a winner. Speaking of winner, your Dad won the costume contest that night. First of all, Risky Business came out in 1983, not 1988. Would it kill them to do some fact checking? Second, he doesn’t even work at my salon so shouldn’t he be ineligible? Third, the “judge” was a raging homosexual with a thing for your Dad. Im telling you kiddo, there is corruption everywhere you look and here is proof.

Here I was with my well thought out group costume that took weeks to plan

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Here is your Dad, who dug all 3 components of his costume out of his closet the same day.

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And here is your Dad campaigning for his victory

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Seems fishy, no?

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you created this bullshit discipline chart on our fridge a couple of weeks ago. You made this all by yourself, and it was inspired by the one your teachers use in the classroom. All of the kindergarteners begin each day with their clip on the green ribbon. If they misbehave they move to the yellow ribbon and if they mess up again, they move to the red ribbon and they have to visit the principle. No matter what ribbon you end up on at the end of the day you get to start fresh the next day on green. You pride yourself on the fact that you have never been off the green ribbon. Well, one day you made this chart on our fridge and you, Daddy, Phyllis, Gail the Puppy, and myself all have our own labeled clips. If any one of us does anything that you don’t like then you move our clips off the green. If I ask you to put your socks on, or say you can’t have fruit snacks for breakfast, you march over to my clip and immediately put me on the red. I never even get a chance on the yellow. Its so fucked up. If Gail or Phyllis barks you move their clips and, like your clip in the classroom, yours never leaves the green.

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The other day I came home from work and noticed this on our fridge

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Apparently, riding your ass all morning to get out of the house in time was enough to create a whole new category- the blue ribbon, and its even worse than the red. I have never left the blue ribbon. You just keep me there and I don’t even get a fresh start at the beginning of each day. If I move my own clip back to green you waste no time finding a reason to put me on blue. This is about as fair as Father Cruise winning a 1988 costume contest for a 5 year old movie. Santa is watching and he hates cheaters.

love,

Mom

Happy Birthday to Me

Dear Future Stella,

I had a birthday this past week. I turned 32. That’s less than a decade older than you are right now in 2025. I know in my brain that I’m not old. My reproductive system is hypothetically completely functional, despite the fact that I wish I could permanently disable it. I have three more years to have another kid without it being labeled as “high risk” and at least a decade more if I wanted to figure out a way to have another baby. I have not reached an age where I am medically responsible for certain recommended procedures (mammograms, colonoscopies). I could potentially go back to school and gain the knowledge to start another profession entirely, and still have time to have yet another successful career. If I didn’t have one penny in the bank I could still provide for my future if I started today. I don’t even think about Botox and face lifts or stare at my wrinkles in the mirror. I have a few gray hairs, but nothing that demands my constant attention. I generally still know what is in style or what the current music sounds like and I can honestly say I enjoy a little bit of both. By definition I am a millennial who are notorious for being young and obnoxious.

However, I can’t help but feel like an old hag. I need at least three months notice if I am expected to get in a bathing suit. I am not eligible to be a contestant on The Bachelorette. I don’t ever get carded. If I wasn’t so vain I would have an actual mustache and goatee. I am constantly having to google what certain acronyms stand for. I have no idea how to Snap Chat and even worse, I don’t care to. I wouldn’t go to a music festival unless I could bring my own couch, blanket, wine, Gail the Puppy, and if I could wear sweats and one of your Papa’s old t-shirts.

Future Stella, you have a few good years left. A bunch of older people will tell you the best is yet to come and maybe they are right. I hope so, for both of our sakes, but from where I stand- you are living the dream right now. Being 25 is kind of amazing. Maybe you are done with school, maybe you have a shit ton more. You maybe have met the love of your life, or maybe there are six more to meet. Maybe you still live with me (hopefully not) or maybe you are living in another country. The possibilities are exciting for me to think about and I just want you to know that it is a very steep decline from 25 to 32. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For my 32nd birthday I fulfilled a long time dream of mine. Your daddy took me to a Denver Broncos game. I have been a fan since I was a small child. I grew up in an area of California that was very far from any major football team. My dad, a 49er fan for life, was in a Monday Night Football group and they had a very strict “no girls” policy. This intrigued me so much and I wanted to know what was so cool about football that us girls couldn’t be a part of. One day I asked my dad which team was the absolute worst in the league. He told me the Denver Broncos. Oddly enough I was born in Denver even though I moved to California as a baby, so Colorado would forever be on my birth certificate. Therefore, the Blue and Orange Stallions just seemed like a natural choice. Also, I have always been one to root for the underdog, so it just made perfect sense that I immediately became a diehard Denver Bronco fan. The following two years they won back-to-back Superbowls. I know it, and they know it, it was because of my obsession with them. I had a life-size cutout of Terrell Davis in my room and I would collect just about anything and everything that was even remotely related to that team. When I met your father and learned that he too was a Denver Bronco fan, I immediately said yes (in my head) to his inevitable will you marry me question. Neither one of us had ever been to a professional football game and I think its safe to say, we nailed it. Your Grandma and Papa came to stay with Current Stella in San Francisco so we could make this birthday dream come true.

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My mom, your G-ma, is a huge San Francisco Giant’s fan. Not to get all weird and morbid, but I know for the rest of my life I will always think of her when I’m watching a Giants game. If she ever passes, which she can’t because she is immortal, but if she does, I know I will find great comfort in knowing she is watching all the games from the best seat in the house. I also envision her tending to a massive magical garden and dancing around in beach attire with a glass of the finest champagne. That’s how I picture my Post-Life Heaven Mommy. It’s actually really therapeutic to imagine a Post-Life Heaven Mommy. If you need help coming up with my post-life description let me help you out. First of all, hopefully I’m in pajamas. I can also guarantee that in my post life I will never miss a viewing of what I call a “Pink Cloud Alert.” A Pink Cloud Alert happens during those few minutes right before the sun rises and sets that turns the surrounding clouds into the most delicious salmon pink color. It gets me every time. Also, my post-life self will have Gail the Puppy at all times except that in heaven she will be able to talk and we will just hang out on one of those cushion cabanas that fancy hotels have by their pools (I love those things). My post-life self will read a book and write in a journal every single day, and check Instagram roughly every 5 minutes. If I ever see you doing something embarrassing on social media then I will see to it that you wake up with a massive zit on your face. Post-life mommies can do shit like that. Oh, and I almost forgot, during football season, my post-life self will be running down the sidelines smacking all the football players on the butt.

Here was my Birthday Pink Cloud Alert
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And here I was on my 32nd Birthday
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The day after my birthday your Dad and I explored the “island” of Coronado. Your dad is pretty much obsessed with ferries or any activity that involves being on the water so our 5 minute boat ride to the dock of Coronado was way more fun that it should have been for him. Once we were there we rented a tandem bike and pedaled all over. I am embarrassingly sore from it. I swear getting older really blows.

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Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, today you came home from school and told me that you learned how to “Whip” and how to “Nae Nae”. I was so embarrassed for you because that dance has been around for almost a year and it is definitely no longer hip. AND you were doing it wrong. I might be really, really old, but I know cool and that wasn’t cool.

Love,

Mom

Some Things Were Meant to Change

Dear Future Stella,

I like to consider your Dad and myself spontaneous and adventurous. We like to try new foods, explore new places and try out new sex positions all the time. However, there are a few things that we hope never change and we look forward to them year after year and some of those things happened this past week. One is the tradition of going to your Grandma and Papa’s house for Thanksgiving. It was here where Baby Stella tried her first food ever (Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes) and this past Thanksgiving was as good as it always is except for one minor detail that I will explain later. The second is hitting up Madonna Inn the next morning for breakfast and paying our hometown Santa Claus a visit. Who needs makeup to make rosy cheeks, a fat suit and a fake beard when you are a 70-year-old-alcoholic-who-hates-shaving-and-loves-food? Lastly, we make a big production out of getting our family Christmas tree each year. We take about 3 seconds to pick it out and roughly 4 hours consuming the free beer the lot has to offer.

Thanksgiving in 2015 be like

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All of the above pictures came to a head right before the meal was about to be served and your Papa had had enough. We all held hands in preparation for Current Stella to say the blessing and your Papa said he wanted to say something really quickly. I don’t remember exactly what he said because honestly I just went up to my happy place in the clouds because being in the actual presence of his anger was a little too much for me. However, the gist was something to the effect of “What the fuck is up with you loser stupid millennials and your fucking devices? What happened to family and spending time together? If you don’t get your heads out of your asses and your eyes off your screens then don’t ever come to my God damn house again. It was terrifying and awkward mainly because he called out one person in particular BUT all of a sudden we got a whole lot of……

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Man, kiddo, do people still get together for Thanksgiving or do they just hang out virtually in 2025? Do we send a bunch of turkey emojis to our loved ones and call it a day? I super hope not.

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I bet you can’t make “cousin pyramids” on your phone. Actually, I bet you can. Its probably some lame app or some Snap Chat feature but it’s not the same as getting to do it in person. Side note- check out your cousin Anthony’s transformation in the pictures above in just one year!!! I could barely believe it. He’s like an actual man now.

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Who is going to squirt whipped cream in your mouth at Virtual Thanksgiving? Just yourself which isn’t nearly as cool.

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Whats the point of getting all cute and dressed up or setting the table if you have nobody to spend the day with? Might as well stay in your pajamas and eat off paper plates for your Turkey Day 2025.

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Lastly, who on earth would want to watch television when there are Grandparents like the ones above who just want to hang with you? Nobody I want to raise would ever want to spend Thanksgiving disconnected from their loved ones.

The next day we all woke up a little groggy and wondering if Papa really flipped a lid on the whole family or if we were just dreaming. Unfortunately, it was real but when I heard it be re-told the next morning it appeared the version I remembered was waaaaay tamer than what he actually said. Yikes. Not letting it ruin our tradition, we all headed to the Madonna Inn for breakfast. Current Stella likes it because they have pink sugar in a salt shaker on the tables that she can eat instead of her breakfast that we order. The Madonna Inn goes nuts with Christmas decorations so its the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit. Here is a little trip down Madonna Inn Memory Lane.

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After breakfast, we go stand in line to meet San Luis Obispo Santa. He’s classic. For fact checking purposes- I have no actual evidence of him being an alcoholic or loving food or hating shaving. In fact, I am now counting three different Santas which is cracking me up because I have this disorder where I can’t tell people apart that well so I truly thought it was the same dude for the past 5 years. Whoopsie.

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This year Current Stella asked SLO Santa for a Snow White Barbie doll. I really thought it would be easy to get but when I typed it in to google, about 25 different variations popped up. Cool. I will take a direct quote from Current Stella “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

Current Stella’s Elf on the Shelf, Payton, also made his appearance this week. I made the mistake of looking on Pinterest to see what other parents do with their Elfs. Fuck that! Moms be making outfits for their elfs and creating like entire scenes and shit. No thank you. Here was my very creative Elf placement.

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Current Stella’s elf is already missing his hat. Last year, after your Dad already put all of the Christmas crap deep into storage, I found Payton’s hat. I distinctly remember hiding it in a place I would remember next year. I have no idea where it is. Current Stella has not noticed that her elf is hatless but it is only a matter of time. I have heard Current Stella talking to Payton and its pretty damn adorable. Today I heard her explain to the Elf what Gail’s stocking looks like because last year we didn’t have Gail the Puppy and she wanted to make sure Santa knew which one was hers. As the official Santa of this house, don’t you worry your pretty little heart- Gail the Puppy is getting everything on her list this year and I would never forget which one is her stocking.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, today I surprised you and took you to a movie after school. We saw Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. You were terrified practically the whole time which is so ironic because the movie is about a pussy dinosaur who has to learn to be brave. I really think you should watch this movie like once a week for motivation. Also, during the movie you asked me what the highest number is that is not infinity. I still have no idea what the answer is but I can guarantee that whatever that number is, I still love you a tiny bit more.

Love,

Mom

I Really Super Hate ISIS

Dear Future Stella,

I feel like the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. I tried to find the origin of that phrase for you but I could not, but from what I can gather- its not good. Every time I read the news it is so tragic. To be fair, I just started using this new feature on my iPhone that updates me with the top headlines, so before this week I really wasn’t reading the news BUT STILL, there is a lot of really crazy things happening out there! Recently, some terrorists have reeked havoc in Paris, randomly killing 130 people. I just can’t even. Its so fucked up. I know we were both taught to not use the word hate, but I can honestly say I hate ISIS. I don’t get it, and I am not going to pretend right now that I understand any of it because I don’t. I can say that amidst all the dark the light always shines through. Emerging from all these tragic stories are so many wonderful people doing extraordinary things for mankind. In the same Paris venue that stupid assholes opened fire on a group of young adults just trying to enjoy a live concert, other complete strangers came to their rescue. Within hours on social media I felt united with kind souls all over the globe who just wanted this madness to end. I remember this happening after 9/11 as well. So much sadness and horror, yet I had never felt so close and connected to fellow neighbors. I can’t help but feel hopeful that the good will triumph the bad. You tell me though, Future Stella, did we overcome those misinformed, shockingly ignorant terrorists? I am naive by nature and hopelessly optimistic so I am not the best person to ask about this. I do hope you stay informed with what is happening around you. Life can be such a pleasant little bubble and its so easy to be blissfully unaware about what is occurring just outside of your zone. Especially at age 25. Just some food for thought.

Speaking of food, we are approaching Thanksgiving. This year we are heading to your Grandma and Papa’s house. This is actually the only place Current Stella has ever spent Thanksgiving thus far. She has committed to eating turkey and green beans. She won’t try stuffing and she won’t try mashed potatoes (despite the fact that they were her first food) and she told me today that there is no way she will eat pie.

Thanksgiving has always been spent with your Dad’s family for the majority of our relationship. In fact, I remember when we were just dating and he invited me to go to Thanksgiving at your Great-grandma Stella’s house. Some of the most repulsive pictures were taken of me that day. I was in beauty school and experimenting with “chunky” highlights- a look that can bring me to blowing “chunks” faster than my last post.

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The woman you were named after referred to me as “The Skunk” from that day forward and I really can’t blame her. After she passed away, the holiday moved to your Grandma and Papa’s house. Your widowed Great-grandfather would show up for the meal (but mostly for the dessert) and then he would want to immediately return to the nursing home where he lived after Original Stella died. This was incredible for me to see because originally he had to be dragged there kicking and screaming. Your Grandma made sure to serve his pie on the same plate as his dinner immediately following his Thanksgiving meal because that is what Original Stella used to do for him. He needed his pie ASAP. He had been with Original Stella since they were teenagers and he had always had that pie on his plate right after he finished his turkey and gravy so your Grandma knew better than to switch things up at this point. Thanksgiving was so sweet with him and I really miss him being a part of it. He had the cutest smile, Future Stella. It was jovial and it just screamed the message, ‘I love pie and I couldn’t hurt a fly.” I wish those stupid terrorists could smile like that.

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Your Grandma really takes on a lot at Thanksgiving. She single handedly puts on the whole event from start to finish. If decorating, shopping, cooking, and cleaning for 20 people seem like a lot for one person to do, what if I told you she also hosts your Papa’s ex-wife on top of that? Yeah, she really does. She has somehow managed to set aside some very deeply personal issues for the greater good of her family. Terrorists, are you hearing this?? Sometimes you have to be in the presence of people who are fundamentally opposite of you and although not ideal, you might find yourself enjoying it.

Future Stella, I hope you always have an abundance of things to be thankful for. I read in a book once that if you ever stumble upon a full moon you should look right at it and say the next few things that come to mind out loud. On my way home tonight I turned a corner and almost ran smack into the full moon. I remembered this advice and without thinking I said “blessed, happy, lucky.” I am so grateful to be alive. I am so delighted to have a life that I find enjoyable. I am so incredible fortunate to have people like Current Stella in my life. Those terrorists would do just about anything to take away all the emotions I feel when I am looking at the moon. They can try all they want but they can’t destroy the moon and that means that they can never win this. There will always be people who can’t help but be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for life when looking at that round ball of light and that will always trump the evil.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you fell in love with a snow globe at a store this past week so I bought it for you. Inside the globe there was a mommy bear with a baby bear on her back. You broke it 24 hours later. It smashed in a zillion pieces on our hardwood floors. You were beside yourself and couldn’t comprehend the injustice. You were so pissed that it was filled with water. You thought it was really snow. You said, and I quote, “This isn’t fair. The snow globe was so special to me and I didn’t even get to show my babysitter. Why was it filled with water? Bears can’t live underwater. It doesn’t snow underwater. Mommy, do all snow globes have water in them?” I couldn’t really tell if you were more angry that the globe had broke or if you were feeling deceived by its design. I answered truthfully, that I had never actually broken a snow globe so while it makes sense that they are filled with water, I had never seen that before. You then requested your next globe to not be filled with water and to contain real snow. Yeah, ok.

Love,

Mom