Joie d’Eve

The Ubiquity of King Cake

It’s a frequent lament in this city that king cake season, starting on Jan. 6, is pure sabotage for anyone trying to start the new year off with a resolution to eat healthier. I get it. I don’t even particularly…

Fake It Till You Make It

  I’m trying really hard to pretend everything is OK. That I feel fine and normal and am back in a routine and finding comfort in it. And I guess that’s partially true. I like having my kids back in…

Making Peace

I had my first actual COVID-19 exposure this week. Up till now, I’ve had sort of fleeting scares but nothing that actually left me feeling at risk. I’m fully vaccinated and boosted, I mask everywhere I go, and I see…

New Year, Same Old Me

  This has long been one of my favorite weeks of the year – I’m off work, the stress of Christmas is behind me, and I have no real obligations to do much of anything beyond maybe catching up with…

A Christmas Memory

  My mom came over on Christmas Eve last year, and I wasn’t even all that happy to see her. I was busy trying to wrap the last of the presents, and I was so scared of COVID-19 that I…

What Truly Matters

  Last Friday was Grandparents’ Day at Georgia’s school, her first one since losing my mom, her beloved Gigi, this spring. At first, she was nothing but excited about the day – her godmother and her grandfather would be attending,…

Vaxxed and Relaxed

  The last time Georgia had to have bloodwork done, she head-butted a nurse in the stomach while trying to flee the room, so it says a lot that she willingly rolled up her sleeve to get her second dose…

Driving Toward Acceptance

  I remember, when my pregnancy with Ruby progressed to a point where I no longer worried every second that the pregnancy would end in miscarriage like my first one did, I suddenly switched gears and became terrified of labor…

Holiday Heartache

  It was “Feliz Navidad” that did us in.  Georgia and I were driving to school yesterday morning (she has two days of school this week – thanks, Hurricane Ida), and we were both cheerful – me because I am…

Thanksgiving Test Drives

  It’s the happiest time of the year for me, and I definitely don’t mean Christmas.  The weeks before Thanksgiving are my absolute favorite because I start trying out recipes for the big day.  Some recipes are standard and not…

Vaxxed and Fabulous

  Georgia hit two big milestones this past week.  First, thanks to the CDC and FDA and scientists and miracles, she is now eligible for the COVID vaccine, which she received last night. My gratitude and relief are immeasurable.  Second,…

A Season of Giving Thanks

  The turning of the calendar page is forcing me to try to move into a new season. It’s true that 2021 has been the most brutal year I’ve ever endured, but it’s also true that, to some extent, happiness…

Working Overtime

  Grief is a full-time job – and every bit as boring and stressful and somehow predictable and unpredictable all at once as a real 9-to-5. Just as I have a routine of washing my coffee mug and making my…

Baby’s First Quarantine

  Well, we survived our first quarantine. I don’t really know how we managed to make it this far, honestly, although I assume it has a lot to do with the fact that we basically dropped out of society for…

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler… ?

  Yesterday’s blog post by Errol Laborde got me thinking about Mardi Gras, which isn’t something I usually do in the dead-center of October, but these are definitely unusual times. So I started contemplating: Do I want Mardi Gras parades…

Normalized Abnormality

  It’s been almost 19 months now, and the craziest thing, I think, is that none of this even seems crazy anymore. My kids and I all get in the car with masks looped around our wrists like scrunchies. My…

Crazy Time

  I don’t even know what a normal year looks like anymore. After almost exactly 39.5 years on the planet, I had a sense of seasonal trends and rhythms when the pandemic hit in March 2020, as well as the…

The City I Wish Care Would Remember

  Maybe I’m just getting old – after all, I am now (as of last Thursday) 41, making me not just 40 but officially in my 40s – but I had no interest in attending the trash parade this past…

Our Ida Saga

  I keep saying I can’t possibly take another thing: COVID, my father’s illness and continuing decline, two car accidents in as many months, seeing my rape translated into 15 languages and on the front page of the New York…

Shot in the Dark

  They say compassion is the key, and I understand that. They say shaming gets us nowhere, and I agree. In fact, I know it to be true in my own life: When I kept wearing my mask in public…

Conflicting Emotions

  “I’m so bored,” Georgia said last week, kicking an abandoned toy across the floor. “You’re back at school. Sis is back at school. All my neighborhood friends are back at school. I WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!” “I know,”…

Ready or Not

  I cried the first time I dropped my child off at day care when she was 9 months old. I didn’t know if she would eat baby food (she had terrible reflux) or whether the day care provider could…

Living in Fear

  I wrote about COVID last week and immediately got an email to the effect of, “Aren’t you sick of believing all the lies? Aren’t you tired of living in fear?” And you know what? I am tired of living…

COVID Redux

  Ugh, we were so close. Once I was fully vaccinated in early April – and even more so once my older daughter was fully vaccinated in June – I had started running into the grocery store without my mask,…

A Summer Recipe

  I tend to be the type of person who works things out in my heart and mind mostly by writing about them. Sometimes I share it publicly and other times I write it down just to get it out…

To Mask or Not to Mask?

  I guess I’m in the minority here, but I’ve never really minded the masks. I never found them hard to breathe in or uncomfortable. Sometimes I’d wear one into the store and forget to take it off even once…

Sparking Anything But Joy

  I am a champion procrastinator, but even I couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s been two months since my mom died, and I finally had to reckon with cleaning out her place. Walking in was the hardest part…

Teen Angst

  Due to some high school orientation activities, as well as her oral surgery, Ruby’s annual summer trip to St. Louis was later than usual this year. She normally spends all of June and July with her father and his…

Surgical Scars

  Everything is admittedly bittersweet lately, less than two months after the sudden death of my mom, but my older daughter’s oral surgery, scheduled for this Thursday at Children’s Hospital, is especially so. Ruby, who inherited many of my good…

Camped Out

  I’ve had such mixed luck with summer camp for my kids over the years. Ruby did a variety of camps with a variety of enjoyment levels, and although she adored Camp Point Clear, she opted not to go this…