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