A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trophy Wife-ing

My trophy wife data comes from observing a good handful of Las Vegas women who have forgotten they’re not Kardashians…

A COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A TROPHY WIFE

Regardless of your social media platform of choice, avoid taking selfies without Snapchat filters. Use only the dog or flower crown filter lest you should reveal your age (and pores).

If your Starbucks order is not to your liking, or if the drive-thru employee put the order label over the cup’s logo AGAIN, thus ruining above mentioned selfie with your drink, address the issue. Let your complaints fly off of your lips with the same sharpness as the needle that has just injected them. If that sounds harsh, you’re better suited to hang out with the soccer moms, not the trophy wives.

Make an effort not to furrow your brows in your Starbucks scolding. Never show signs of emotion, specifically on your face. Trophy wives everywhere look to Victoria Beckham for inspiration. Not only will this impassiveness keep you mysterious, it will also prevent you from draining your Tom Ford fund on Botox. A few more laugh lines and you’ll be shopping at The Rack.

Although some may interpret this unexpressive attitude as heartlessness, it’s better than being considered sweet. Trophy wives should never like anything sweet, unless it’s the agave-based dressing on sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic kale. Anything made without this sugar substitute will later be carved off by a surgeon.

In the rare and unfortunate event that this should happen, clothe yourself in as much Lululemon as possible to distract eyes from any healing scars. Better yet, accessorize your Lululemon with jewelry, preferably something with a giant designer logo. Sparkly Chanel logos are best. This is a typical trophy wife defensive maneuver used to blind those that seek proof of plasticity.

Plus, nothing says, “I work out hard,” like Lululemon and Bvlgari jewels.

Below, trophy wife fail. Fail fail fail.

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California-ing and Wondering When Webster’s Going to Employ Me

Vacation mode. I want to say something like, “It’s where your mind is, not where your feet are,” but my mind wanders away from me exponentially more often than I’d consider myself vacationing.

Currently: trying to figure out how to sleep my little family in one room, with a two and three-year-old who both still nap, and a two-year-old who is a little big for the pack and play but won’t go to sleep without one, climbs out sporadically, and spends an hour at bedtime trying to find other people in the dark room using echolocation style squawking.

In fact, I’m writing this at 6:40am as I’m feeding that little two-year-old Goldfish crackers to keep him quiet. Low volume cartoons aren’t helping the cause with the occasional, “I WANT THAT,” at every commercial.

Sooo I’m not sure if he caught the vacation mode drift.

I’m readjusting my original vacation mode statement to, “It’s not where you are, it’s where your child who doesn’t sleep later than 8AM is.”

Roscoe sure is a cutie, though!

Other than being a little tired, Gus and Roscoe have been having the time of their lives. You can tell by the photos that Roscoe is still lukewarm about beaches…

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To My Stay At Home Mom Friends: You’re My Heroes

To the moms that refer to themselves as “just a mom”:

You are everything that I hope to become.

This can further be summarized by saying, “You’re the (little poo emoji)!”

Instead, I’ve chosen to use more eloquent (mature?) words, because this has become a personal, deeply moving topic for me. You stay at home moms have been on my mind often the past several months.

Let me back up before I continue.

I was raised by a father who grew up farming. I legitimately don’t know if you’ve ever seen a man with bigger calves or more muscular, callused hands. The ability to earn a living was often discussed, with emphasis on “earn.” His fatherly preaching? Don’t stumble over feelings of entitlement, work hard, don’t expect to always be taken care of, education is crucial, and women developing a skillset that will give them the ability to financially support their families know what’s up with Survival 101.

(I’m sure that went over my head for a good while, but when I spread my wings, I was grateful for the realistic perspective.)

My dad wasn’t necessarily a feminist, but he very much applauded and encouraged women’s self-reliance, married or not. (A woman empathetic to the effort required to make ends meet makes a great partner, right?)

Because of that, I have MAJOR admiration for women in the workforce. Whether they’re employed out of necessity or by choice, their representation in every sort of job fills me with pride.I could go on and on about women with successful careers. For a long time, I was one of the “work by necessity and don’t stop at Marshall’s on your way home because you can’t even afford cereal” type. I worked six days a week, and now, with kids, I’m relieved to be down to part time (which somehow still exhausts me with two little guys at home).

Working as a mom is tough, emotionally as well as physically.

But, even as I work part time, do you know who I am REALLY in awe of?

Stay at home moms. The “just a mom” moms.

Motherhood shouldn’t overshadow their capabilities. They are just as strong, determined, educated, and powerful, yet honorably decline the workforce. All those student loans? Unrealized dreams? A promising potential career path? Affording a different lifestyle?

Do you know how much faith that takes to watch these things fade in the rearview, even if they’ll be revisited in later years?

I’m so amazed by these women (and very specific women who I hugely admire) and their steadfast decisions to just to stay home with their children.

And by “just to stay at home,” I mean join their kids hand in hand on the front lines, battling a scary world. These moms are wise, and know that, if they can afford it, their time is most valuable teaching their children before sending them off to the world.

“Just a mom” is a woman, who, by choice:

braves the isolation that comes with young motherhood.
makes do with just a little less than she might if she worked.
is completely, utterly, painfully selfless.
stretches herself to be everyone’s everything, constantly.
never stops.
never gets a break.
is always, always on the clock.

Before I had kids, I asked of stay at home moms, “What do they do all day, every day?”
Now, I wonder, “How do they do it all day, every day?”

Although I’m not ready to throw in the towel with my job, I wonder if I am brave enough to become “just a mom.” For years, I’ve found enjoyment working outside the home. Am I brave enough to let go of years of schooling and hard work? Am I that selfless? Will I lose myself? Maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s the refining process that creates the unsung heroes of every family.

You “just a mom”s are everything I aspire to be.

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Taking a Minute to Remember Sue

The other day ended with Brian happily swatting flies out of our kitchen with a (new and pretty, I must add) dish towel, and telling Gus, “That fly can run but he can’t hide from the inevitable. Can you say ‘inevitable’?”

Brian’s face while he playfully whipped the flies (and our bums) with the towel reminded me how most men are, deep inside, boys. Youthful, funny boys.

I’m jealous of that inextinguishable playfulness, and hope that, with three boys in my house, it will rub off on me.

On second thought, much of Brian’s youthfulness may be attributed to genetics. His grandma, who recently passed away, was eternally young.

Literally. I don’t believe I will ever see a woman in her late 80s bounce around like Sue Scurr. The word unreal comes to mind.

I will forever think fondly of Sue. I had the pleasure of meeting her the same day I first met Brian’s whole family. We were headed to his sister’s wedding reception, so I was a little “EEEE” about meeting his whole family at one time. Any feelings of nervousness dissipated after I was suddenly arm in arm with this immaculate, stylish woman! Sue seemed about twenty five. She was bubbly, lively, bright, and made me laugh. Good humor always bridges generational gaps, doesn’t it? I felt so welcomed! I’d made a new friend, even.

Before I knew that Sue had a name other than “Grandma,” I knew she had a late husband she deeply missed. Within moments of meeting Sue, she spoke fondly of Harry. While I was trying to remember people’s names at the wedding reception, she told me all about Harry. Never, ever, ever did I have a conversation end without her mentioning how she missed him.

That’s why this photo brought the happiest tears to my eyes. After twenty years, her reunion with Harry must have been indescribable.

(I also hadn’t realized that Harry and my son share a birthday! That makes me smile.)

Although I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, these beautiful photos from my awesome in-laws made me so grateful for family. Isn’t Sue beautiful? I’m not sure what she’s holding, but I wouldn’t doubt she needed an iPhone to take selfies of her glamourous wardrobe.

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Baby Showers: The Ghost Expense in my Wallet

I love babies, and am kind of obsessed with watching my friends become parents. Truly. Witnessing my best friends experience parenthood is, unexpectedly, one of the biggest joys in my life. I get emotional thinking of the new love that reroutes their lives, the parenting inspiration they are to me, and…

I am wiping tears right now, so I’ll just stop there.

Consequently, I enjoy celebrating with them at baby showers.

Modern times (and Pinterest) also call for baby “sprinkles,” which are usually thrown for second, third babies, etc.

This is all great, unless you’re Mormon, like I am.

THAT’S A LOT OF BABIES.

Showers and showers mean we LDS women make it rain more than Lil Wayne.

Weddings and babies, man. I don’t know if I can afford this religion. I definitely can’t be forking out money for everyone’s Dock a Tot registry dreams for five people a month without signing up to be an Uber driver. How about a nice box of breast pads?

(If you’ve seen me at a shower lately, don’t worry. Now you know that I REALLY wanted to be there. 🙂 )

If you haven’t been to a baby shower or baby sprinkle recently, let me lay it out for you:

The expectant mother’s mom squad is always there, talking in high voices about baby names they love, that, in my humble, I-named-my-child-Gus opinion, are not names. If there are multiple X and Y and silent Zs and stuff, that’s just not a name, or even a word, but I’ll be by the brownies.

There are not brownies at showers these days, only mini donuts. I wish they were full size donuts. I know cronuts are too much to hope for, so I won’t even address that.

Expectant mothers love flower crowns, which I also like! Flower crowns are pretty, until someone gets carried away with foliage…in which case, I am reminded of Jesus. Don’t be offended. Overzealous flower crowns remind me of Jesus’ crown of thorns, but maybe that’s just because I’m just super holy all the time. Who am I to say? I feel guilty about my thoughts being borderline sac religious, so I look for brownies again, just in case I missed them.

My next baby, I am throwing a party called the “Fat Ash Bash,” and there will be brownies. In lieu of gifts, there will be a donation for postpartum mom reconstruction, because, what the.

Hold me to it.

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The Skinny on Microblading from a Squeamish Someone

First, let me tell you that I didn’t get my ears pierced until right before prom my senior year of high school, because I absolutely can’t handle anything medical or needle related.

And, if I just referred to piercing my ears as a medical procedure, that’s also telling. I’m sure the sixteen year old at Claire’s that pierced mine was highly qualified and preparing for her fellowship at the upstairs location.

In short, I can’t hang.

I first heard of microblading a little over a year ago. You know about it, right? Microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic process to enhance eyebrows. A sharp tool (noted) is used to deposit ink in skin to create natural-looking, individual hair strokes. Although it’s not as permanent as a tattoo, my microbladed brows have lasted me over a year without fading. I just went in for my first “color boost” to freshen the up at 11 months and 1 week. I now treat my brows’ ages like babies.

You should probably Google your questions about microblading facts, because I don’t know how accurate Ashton-pedia is, and I’ve already told you everything I know. Still, my friends and clients ask about my experience on the regular, so I thought I’d share my own personal FAQs on my two microblading experiences! Solely my opinions, but I like pretending I’m an expert right now.

Does it hurt?
The real question is: DO YOU WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL OR NOT? Have you seen the process? There’s no way to avoid some discomfort…unless your microblade artist has prescription numbing cream. (The girl I go to, Boston, works at a MedSpa, so the numbing cream is a major bonus!) I’ve had it without numbing cream the first time, and it made me cringe, but was totally tolerable.

What if you don’t like your brows?
Well, I guess you just hope people like you for your stellar personality.

Just kidding. There is a removal process, but THAT sounds like a real process and still takes time. Do your research on your microblade artist, and keep in mind the whole “you get what you pay for” thing.

How long does it last?
I’ve seen various places advertising it lasting 3-5 years, but in my experience, I’d say about two years. I like my brows fairly defined, and found that if I go to someone who takes time to really get the ink in, they’ll last for a full year without touch ups (professional or my own filling in)!

Would you do it again?
Dare I say yaaas? YAAAAAAS. Even without the numbing cream, yes. I love them.

I’m feeling this FAQ. (Thank goodness I’m not still single because I had an epiphany about replacing dinner dates with a printed list of personal FAQs, since that’s the kind of scripted conversation first dates really are.)

Please take time to appreciate this “after” picture I sent to Boston, the girl who did mine, because the first 30 I took would make you scream and throw your phone. It still might.

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From the Fluent in Blonde Archives: Mom Swimwear for the Community Pool

Even thought this was originally posted in 2014, right before my first postpartum swim season, I still haven’t quite figured it out. I’ve stopped caring, I guess, but maybe I should still seek out the “community pool swimsuits” runways this upcoming Fall Fashion Week.

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Ahh yes, pool season…brings so many nicks to my legs, and new hurdles to motherhood.

Lathering a baby in sunscreen is kind of like greasing a pig (I would imagine). The other babies in the pool probably assume Gus has some sort of skin discoloration disease because his mom can’t figure out how to completely rub in the sunscreen before he slips away to lick the chair. They are just dots of impenetrable sun protection.

And, question: how do you know when there is something other than water in a swim diaper?

Another question: what do moms wear to the pool? The Victoria’s Secret 2010 swimwear is left in some unseen corner of the dresser, and maternity swimsuits are not applicable here…so. Do moms wear Speedo brand for Michael Phelps speed in catching a pooping kid across the pool? Do moms wear goggles if they need to rescue a sunken Sophie? Do they wear the swimsuits with skirts attached? Do moms even wear swimsuits? I know they aren’t actually swimming, and I know for a fact they don’t lay out, so maybe just some kind of moisture wicking active wear is best for the pool.

I kept asking Gus, but he was busy emptying his diaper bag for 20 minutes.

A favorite activity.

Gus gave me his insight on motherly swimwear choices after we got home. While I was rocking him to sleep after the pool, he broke it down for me.

He said, “Mommy, if you wear a:

wet suit, that would be ideal. I’m sure you can find one on eBay!”

bikini, you will remind me that I’m hungry all the time. It’s like a self serve ice cream machine on a cruise. ”

tankini, I will assume that the glaring white skin around your waist is a floaty and try and grab on when the water at the steps gets choppy.”

one-piece, you will have a perma-wedgie, because one-piece suits are not one size fits all. I don’t mind that, though, because you won’t be standing still long enough for anyone to notice…unless you stop chasing me and just let me eat those dead bugs I always find.”

We really bonded over our swimwear heart to heart. I like to think that, and not the afternoon of wading, was why he was extra cuddly all evening. I love that little head resting on my shoulder.

If there is a seasoned mother that has any suggestions other than wetsuits, that would be great. At least no one will pay much attention to me with this cute face nearby.

(Maybe my next post will be a 2017 “seasoned mom” answer.)

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Where Did My Baby Go?

I’ve had a lot of feelings this week, and it makes me feel like that girl pouring her heart out on Mean Girls. (“She doesn’t even go here!” “I just have a lot of feelings.”)

This month has proved to be another with no promise of a baby. Does that sound pathetic for someone who already has two beautiful, healthy children? I am so blessed! The feeling of deeply wanting a baby is overwhelming, and weirdly isolating, because I don’t believe husbands ever drown in that emotion like women do.

Disappointment is a frustrating feeling. Sadness with an undertone of anger.

Waking up the day after a miscarriage or negative pregnancy test is the worst.

Kind of like when you get dumped, if you can’t relate. Has that happened to you? Did anyone ever break up with you? You wake up the next day, and there are just a few glorious seconds of amnesia, and then the previous day’s events come flooding back to your mind like an aftershock.

It’s kind of like that, only with less Beyonce break up playlists from your best friends.

The inside of me feels a little wilted, and I let myself experience those feelings for a few hours, but I can never be upset long with Gus and Roscoe keeping me busy. My sons are my best buddies, and without a doubt, angels sent to my home.

Oh, were you looking for a blog that posts about gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free brownies? I’m sorry.

My current baby turns two at the end of the week! Can you believe that? I am always emotional about birthdays, but this suddenly talking dude is getting to be SO fun that it emphasizes the sweet in bittersweet. I’m soaking in the last few moments of having a 23-month-old while I can still refer to his age in months. Just look at this face!

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Every Beach Trip is Shark Week When You’ve Watched Too Much Shark Week

They say home is where your heart is, and mine is always, always at the edge of the water.

Not far in it, though, because that’s scary and seaweed-y. Too many years of Shark Week.

(I wouldn’t mind a small nibble though, just something that would promise a small scar to elevate my street cred, especially to my boys. I’m envisioning being my kids’ elementary school show and tell object, walking into a spot light in an awed room, commanding attention as I solemnly part my leg hair to show them the 2” scar from what I’m positive was a teacup Great White…)

Oh, sorry. I digress.

Don’t let me watch Air Jaws again this year.

I think I got more smile lines this week from watching my boys beam. We waded in the chilly water, but mostly just played in the sand and exchanged, “This is the BEST, right!?” looks.

My heart feels right at home smelling any salty ocean air, but there is one beach in particular that I love. It’s where I’ve watched the sun set for years and years.

Are you a sunrise or sunset person?

Me? I’m a sunset girl. I think it sounds more romantic, less morning-breath-y. I love the dramatic ending to the day, a fiery exclamation point to punctuate the last moments of daylight. I like the way the sky dissolves into blackness, slowly but unrelenting, the way black ink bleeds on paper.

But.
A sunset is hardly an ending.

A past-life me would reassure you that dusk is just when the night is beginning.

There is a tangible energy that sunsets produce. Instead of blackness, the world suddenly sparkles with a thousand lights. There is a buzz of mystery. At nightfall, the world is suddenly exciting, delicately filtered by moonlight, and forgiving of seen-in-broad-daylight blemishes. Wait, is that why I like sunset?

There is a magnificence in feeling so insignificant watching one of nature’s shows.

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Has Anyone Started Dreaming in Boomerangs Yet?

It’s been said that once you truly comprehend a new language, you start dreaming in it.

It makes me wonder if every person active on social media has suddenly experienced endless dreams (nightmares?) of Boomerang videos over and over and over and over and over and over and over and three new views and over and over.

Just curious.

(I haven’t yet, but I have yet to master that Boomerang wiggle, and I am positive that’s a prerequisite.)

Although I mainly use this blog as a reference website for writing samples, can I incorporate other stuff? Like, I don’t know…crappy iPhone photos? My favorite blogs have always been those that show me a glimpse of a person’s (slash total stranger I’m convinced I’m friends with) real life, and you can really get to know someone through their low-quality, quickly snapped pictures. A screenshot of the 72 open browser tabs on their phones, too, perhaps? I’ll save that for next time.

Maybe I’ll do that weekly and make a “My Life Monday,” or “More Than You Want to Know Monday!”
“TMI Tuesday?”
How about, “What the Hell’s Happening Wednesday”?

Yes. I like that one, but my mom would probably thin smile and that’s scary.

Also, it’s not Wednesday.

Also, my kids aren’t allowed to say “butt,” sooo I won’t say PG-13 words like hell. I definitely won’t say heck. I sure as hell won’t say heck. (JK, Mom!)

Anyway, here’s the past week:

I went to a friend’s baby sprinkle. You know that group of friends that you just kind of elbow your way into because they’re fun? Or do you not do that? Here are mine. I really like them and I’m way happy they were forced into the shackles of my love.

After Destiny’s shower, I made the most of my thirty minutes in the mall before the stores closed. I bought my son shoes, had an item to return, and I bought several pairs of sunglasses, because I will break and/or lose them all before July. I had to text a best friend to ask for her opinion while simultaneously doing the same with the Nordstrom girl helping me. (Like I said, forced friends. “Do these look okay? Do I look like I think I’m 17? Do you want to go to spin?”)

I ran into a girl at the airport wearing these shoes, and I had five minutes left to casually run to the other side of the mall to decide if I was pulling the trigger on copying her. The run! The color decision! It was all very thrilling. I’m saying I bought these shoes for Mother’s Day, but I am still holding out hope for a will. Shoes just sound appropriately less morbid for Mother’s Day.

We went swimming with a few friends at our friend Dylan’s house, went through the carwash at least six times, celebrated our friend Trey at his birthday party, celebrated the opening of a friend’s soda store, celebrated my friend Jackie’s birthday at a Backstreet Boys concert.

Wow. I guess I know why my boys napped so well.

Every week, I’m more and more in love with these little guys. Even with a bunch of fun events, my favorite moments are at home. Seen here: playing In n Out Drive Thru in Halloween jammies. They even ask, “You want animal style?” #proudmom

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