5 THINGS I DISCOVERED: HOSPITAL EDITION

Since we spent last week in the hospital with Stella, I thought I’d devote a mini-post to some new things I discovered while staying at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

  1. There is no wine in the entire hospital which seems like a real missed opportunity.
  2. Hospital parking IS FREE. Do you know how much I used to pay at Cedars Sinai? Like $42 an hour.
  3. The guest bed situation in the hospital room is an absolute travesty. Like a legit prison cot from Orange is the New Black. I had to go buy all new linens and a mattress topper just to survive the second night. John opted for judgey martyrdom instead of soft blankets, but that’s cool, I had the last comfortable laugh. Sad prison cot pictured below. 
  4. Apparently glitter nail polish can’t be worn during an MRI because it’s metallic. Stella was pretty calm and collected the entire time we were there, but once we tried taking off her nail polish, SHIT HIT THE FAN.
  5. In our discharge papers, we had to promise not to let Stella drive tractors. Not exaggerating even a little.

Thank you all for your concern and good wishes the past couple of weeks. Stella is so brave… Her parents are not. On the way to the ER, she spent the ambulence ride discussing her rings with the paramedics. I spent the ride gripping my seat and trying to not throw up. 

Stella lasted three days hooked up to an EEG with a million wires on her head and body. She looked a little like a human iPhone being charged, but we decided her head wrap was very Grey Gardens. We’re headed back to Vanderbilt in a couple of months to do some further testing in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Another (less funny) thing i’ve recently learned is that it’s very difficult to diagnose a seizure unless the event is captured under proper surveillance. So we will be checking in for a full week in hopes we get some answers. The good news is that she’s totally fine in the meantime, and received 32 Elsa dolls and a unicorn for her good behavior.

Thanks for the support. We love all y’all. That’s southern for “many people.”

xo, C

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 17-18

Look, I missed a week or two of posts.. But read my last entry and you’ll see why. I’ve just been busy! And don’t you want me to be busy? So I’m not just your loser friend who moved to Nashville and binge watches reality TV while drinking champagne? Okay fine, I do that too. Now without further adieu:

  1. I went to temple on Yom Kippur (there ARE jews here) and the temple is called The Temple. Because what would you confuse it with? Another temple? Nope.
  2. I just found out that Sheryl Crow bought a CHURCH on EBAY and had it shipped to her Nashville house. When I say house, I think it’s more like kingdom of barns and architectural digest mansion – but I haven’t been, so let’s just call it a house. Still, she bought a church on ebay. And paid for shipping. Even Kanye West hasn’t done that. 
  3. Speaking of churches, I’ve discovered two types of Sunday traffic patterns: Utterly deserted and flying around town like you own the city, and DEAD STOPPED because church just let out. Avoid the latter.
  4. Pretty much everyone I have become friends with in Nashville is married to a Jeffrey or a Jermey. I have no idea who is who so as their name is coming out of my mouth its a 50% chance I’m getting it wrong.
  5. I went to brunch at Josephine, a restaurant in 12 South. I ordered the J’breakfast. The waitress was relatively mortified and told me it was the “J Breakfast” and not to be an uppity french asshole. My bad! Also, missed opportunity Josephine… J’breakfast is tres chic.
  6. I was told “you can’t swing a dead cat” is a southern expression… Well let me say for the record, it’s a GROSS one. But fine, I looked it up, because that’s what I do.. And the etymology is from the Mark Twain book Innocents Abroad. The book is about being abroad. Not in the South. But do we take credit for all things Mark Twain? Like how we take credit for all things Taylor Swift? What the hell, add it to the list.
  7. Taylor Swift, her holiness, came to town and IT WAS THE MOST FUN NIGHT EVER. Like, ever. I went on Friday and saw her perform with Steven Tyler and thought it was the best. Then John shot the second night and Mick Jagger came out. So number 1, a night of marital difficulty. Number 2, I want to kill myself just thinking about it. Here’s one of John’s show-offy-look-how-great-life-is pics. 
  8. Don’t hate me but gas is $1.95… It just keeps on dropping!!! Like will it be free one day? I DON’T KNOW!!!!
  9. A couple of days ago it was really windy and there was some pollen fluttering around the house. Stella thought it was snow. This might not go well in the winter!
  10. You can ship lox and bagels from New York. I know this because I just organized someone’s house where he had a file of lox and bagel receipts. #goals 

ALOHA.

Okay look, before you start coming after me with pitch forks forged from beach umbrellas, I am in Hawaii with my TWO CHILDREN. There are no vacations with children. Only trips with varying degrees of scenery. Granted, the scenery here is pretty spectacular… And we are here for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday, so we do have our family to help… But traveling with kids means still having to get-up at 7am, be in the room by 7pm, and balancing a piña colada in one hand, with a sippy cup and baby wipes in the other. So I just wanted to preface these pictures with a small sprinkle of reality to prevent you from completely hating me. Or actually, go ahead, Hawaii is the best.

For starters, there are rainbows. In this case, double rainbows. Stella informed us she had never seen a rainbow in real life, which I realized is because she grew up in California WITH NO RAIN.

Stella was also pretty excited that you get jewelry made of flowers. I mean, even Queen Elsa doesn’t have flower jewelry.

Sutton was just excited to play with an empty left over water cup because he’s a second child and is content with such things.

Meanwhile, I was happy drinking cocktails from large pineapples.

The kids love the ocean as much as John, but my pale skin requires me to make 5 minute breaks in the water and 55 minute breaks under the umbrella.

(Tankinis forever, amirite? Nothing like the beach to realize you have a mom bod.)

After we all got our fair share of sunburn, we decided to take a day trip to the Dole Plantation. Which basically consisted of a ride on the Pineapple Express and giant cups of magical ice cream called Dole Whip. Which I didn’t get a picture of because I was too busy eating it.

We’ve been actively trying to get a group shot these last couple of days, and so far, it is just not happening. Stella and I managed a semi-decent mother / daughter shot, and we were able to get one pic with my mother-in-law. But considering we are a party of 11, we are operating at 50% capacity at best.

So today is our last day.. we are trying to soak up the sun (in 5 minute increments) and enjoy the views. John and I even took Sutton on a hike.*

(*a 30 second walk up the grassy bluff)

 

It’s always hard saying goodbye to vacation, but it’s also a nice feeling to miss your home. More specifically, my house. And my bed. And my shower. And my wine fridge. Heading back to real life, and a VERY REAL DIET, tomorrow (right after the plane ride of snacks).

LA DAYS.

We spent the weekend back home in LA. I was worried coming back for the first time.. I’ve been so homesick and had just started to (kind of) find my footing in Nashville – so was I going to get on beloved land and lose it? Feel like I could never go back to Tennessee? Thankfully, I think I’m good, and don’t need to abandon my new life. But the other good news is that I don’t need to abandon my old life either. It was ALL there: Our friends, our family, our favorite Mexican restaurant, sushi, my old Target (don’t think I didn’t pay a visit).. It was a nice reminder that moving doesn’t mean LEAVING. You come back and it’s just as good. As much as things change, they still stay the same – and thank goodness for that.

It was a weekend of so many hugs.

And yesterday we spent the entire day swimming at my parent’s house, hanging out with my brother and some of our friends. It was basically the most perfect day ever.

For old times sake, Dashiell even brought his skateboard and rode around the tennis court like we were back in the 9th grade.

And to add to my perfect day: I was able to buy WINE on a SUNDAY, and at TRADER JOES. It was thrilling, really. I wanted to buy a whole case, but as my husband pointed out, the money I’d pay in shipping is probably more than just buying wine in Nashville. He’s just trying to rain on my cheap champagne parade.

HOUSE TOUR.

It’s been a big two months with our big move. Into a big house. With a lot of big rooms and even bigger closets. So naturally I’ve spent all my time happily arranging, organizing, and styling my house until I got it just right. And if my kids could just live in a separate building, it would STAY just right. But at least the constant cleaning up qualifies for exercise.

Since so many people have been asking for pictures, I thought I would take you on a little tour room by room. The only thing I’m leaving out is the lower level since that won’t be finished until the end of the year. In my dreams, that will be where our au pair lives. In John’s dreams, it will be some kind of music room and movie theater. In Stella’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace. In Sutton’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace because his big sister said so.

[ ENTRY ]

When you enter the front door, the dining room is on the right, and the office is on the left.

To the right of the entry table is a powder room. It’s fairly unremarkable except that it houses the pages from a 1920’s French magazine that I found.

[ OFFICE ]

The office is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It has huge windows, pitched ceilings, and is just not a bad place to spend time at the computer. I think this room was intended to either be a formal study or formal living room, but we had this desk built into the wall so it could function as a proper office.

[ DINING ROOM ]

The dining room is also one of my favorite rooms in the house because I’m a sucker for a coffered ceiling. We kept the room in a gray scale to compliment the Jim Marshall photos hanging on the wall. My husband, being a photographer, was insistent that ONLY Jim Marshall photos hang in this room. I’ve always loved these pictures, but now that we live in Music City, they feel more at home. Particularly the one of Johnny Cash giving us the finger from San Quentin.

In between the dining room and great room is a butler’s pantry.

[ GREAT ROOM ]

This room is the heart of the house. Living in an open floor-plan was new to me since our previous home was built in the 30’s and was so compartmentalized. But I’m finding that large open spaces can be just as cozy.

The doors off the great room lead out to the back porch. I’d take a picture, but it’s too hot. Sorry.

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[ KITCHEN ]

The kitchen is right off the great room (like everything else?) so we spend a lot of time here. It’s also where the food is, so we’d spend a lot of time here regardless. I love the mercury glass pendant lights, the beveled edge subway tile, and the marble herringbone backsplash. But again, I also just love any place that has food in it.

Our breakfast room (otherwise known as the place we eat all our meals since we never use the dining room) is adjacent to the kitchen.

There’s also a door leading to the back porch, and yet another dining table. We try to eat outside when it’s not 10,000 degrees which so far has been about 3 times.

[ MUD ROOM ]

Look… I am a Californian girl. We don’t have mud rooms. So just allow me the indulgence of loving EVERYTHING about the smallest room in the house.

[ GUEST ROOM ]

Since we now live so far from our friends and family, I tried to create a guest room that people actually wanted to stay in while visiting. Like checking into a nice hotel.

[ LAUNDRY ROOM ]

Nothing particular to note. I just think it’s fun doing laundry rooms.

[ MASTER SUITE ]

This is my favorite part of the house. As it should be.

Okay… MY BATHROOM. I can’t.

Also pretty excited by my closet…

I even let John share it (a small section) with me!

[ UPSTAIRS PLAYROOM ]

The kids own the entire second floor. Their playroom and bedrooms are upstairs which means so is the mess. It’s basically the best.

The best part about this playroom is right behind the above doors. It might look like cabinets, but it’s actually a humongous storage room that doubles as a secondary playroom. It also houses toys that don’t need to be out all the time.

It also gives me a place to hang Stella’s artwork because you know it’s not going on the fridge.

Stella and Sutton’s rooms are right off the playroom, and I love the wall that separates them. On the right side, it’s a drawing of Tinker Bell, and on the left side, it’s a drawing of Michael Darling dressed as Indian Brave, and both are flanked by Sweet Dreams and Sleep Tight.

[ STELLA’S ROOM ]

Can you guess what her favorite color is? You’d be correct if you said pink.

The branch above her dresser is a piece of the large cherry blossom tree decal that used to be in her room. I cried when we had to take it down for the move, and I smuggled a piece of it in my suitcase!

Here’s Stella’s closet. I hope she never accuses of me of not doing anything for her.

And her bathroom.

[ SUTTON’S ROOM ]

Sutton’s room has ONLY the toys Stella can’t lift or isn’t interested in. Virtually everything else has been stolen.

So that’s what our house looks like. For now. Because you know I love a project.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES.

If you want the brutal truth: Have a conversation with a 4 year old. Last night I mindlessly commented on the pleasant weather and said, “It’s nights like this where I almost think I could live here.” To which Stella replied, “But we DO live here…” Yes, Stella. We do. And I’m glad to know only one of us is having a hard time living in reality.

My entire life, I have had a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles. By the age of 17 I was over it and moved to New York City. I swore I would NEVER move back. But as they say… There’s just no point in saying never. So naturally, I moved back nearly 7 years later. Cut to 2015 when John brought up the possibility of Nashville, and all of a sudden I resurrected that itch to leave. I was done with the culture, the keeping up with the kardashians, the fact we couldn’t use public schools, the work-life balance – you name it, I was over it.

Now cut to today. My heart literally ACHES for Los Angeles. It’s like an ex-boyfriend I can’t get over. I only remember the good and discard the bad. I’m so homesick that I actually sit outside at night crying about evening walks, local coffee shops, night blooming jasmine – and can’t even bring myself to discuss our friends and family. That part is just too painful and needs to be placed in a box until a quieter time. For now, It’s all the pain I can handle to remember the smell of the air and the dry summer nights.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to force myself to explore Nashville in hopes of falling in love. And trust me, there is SO much to love about Nashville. But it’s also forced me to recognize how much I love LA and that it will always be my home. I guess that reality is bittersweet since I’m no longer living there, but it’s better to realize you love than to not love at all, right? I’ve also realized I have to stop comparing the two cities because there’s room to love them both. Nashville will never be where I grew up, that ship has sailed.. But it IS where my kids are growing up, and I feel really lucky they get to call this place home.

THE RED WHITE AND BLUES.

The 4th of July this year, in a word, sucked. Which is tough because I’ve been dealing with brutal homesickness lately and really could have used a star spangled day.

On the docket: A street festival in downtown Franklin concluding with a kids parade at 5pm, a cookout (formerly known as a BBQ) and dinner outside, fireworks at 9.

In reality: We wake up to dark rain clouds that do not understand patriotism. But WE do, so we dutifully put on our red, white, and blue attire and head over to Franklin. There were a ton of vendors and food trucks, and a live band, and bounce houses for the kids.. But there is just nothing fun about a looming rain storm. We walk down the street, take a picture with some flags, and pretty much run back to the car MINUTES before it started absolutely pouring.

And it kept raining. And raining. We ate outside anyway since the back porch is covered, but it was so depressingly gloomy. Not shockingly, the fireworks in our neighborhood were cancelled because it turns out it’s hard to watch fireworks in a monsoon. Downtown Nashville still had fireworks, but at that point, there’s no way we were going downtown in said monsoon. I actually think the only major win on the 4th was for the M80 business, because no storm was going to stop our freedom loving neighborhood from enjoying loud explosives while terrifying dogs and waking sleeping children.

The moral of the story: Droughts are bad, but on the 4th of July, droughts are kind of helpful. 2016 in Los Angeles.