10 Things I’m Grateful I Did Before I Settled Down

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Mine was, as it always is, chaotic. 

I had, as expected, zero time to do anything moms of the 1980s seemed to have time to do (ahem, shopping!). So I purchased most all of my presents online. I made it to Crate & Barrel just once to get a few little do dads, but that was about it. 

A lot of good things happened, though: 1.) I got to spend a ton of time with my mom, dad, brother, and his baby girl. 2.) My husband and son were super sweet. 3.) I was reminded how lucky I am to have such cool inlaws. 

Yet, as time is of the essence, I can’t help but think about all of the things I would never have time to do now — from traveling to other countries to playing weekly shows with a band. And to anyone in their 20s and early 30s who wants to marry and breed, these are things that have contributed, ultimately, to my satisfaction. I don’t feel like I didn’t missed out on much. 

 And now, the top ten things I am grateful I did before I “settled down”: 

  1. Traveled to London in 2001, on a whim, to see my friend Jason. And I hit up Amsterdam on the same trip (what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam). 
  2. Enjoyed a trip to Paris with my whole family, and to Scotland, with my parents. 
  3. Toured the East Coast (twice!) for two weeks — once solo and once with my band. Speaking of bands, I had about six of them. Grandma’s Mini, which I formed in 1999 with Ann Brandstadter, was my first one! 
  4. Dated a lot of interesting, and not so interesting, dudes. Made for good writing inspiration (“Eggs” and “S&G” are two of my best tunes). 
  5. Lived in four culturally rich, interesting, and diverse cities — Washington, D.C., New Orleans, La., Chicago, Ill., and Brooklyn, N.Y. Perhaps that’s why, on some days, Fairfield, Conn., seems so suburban. 
  6. Enjoyed dozens of media/magazine/rockstar parties as a super-connected, music-arts writer living in New York. I can’t believe I actually felt “old” at 29!
  7. Wrote for dozens of major media outlets while living the freelance lifestyle in Brooklyn. As in Brooklyn, N.Y., where everyone cool lives or aspires to live. 
  8. Attended graduate school at Northwestern University and was only one of 20 students accepted to the magazine journalism program. Ah, magazines … 
  9. Accidentally discovered a second career I am passionate about — guitar teaching — through chance encounters and volunteer work.  
  10. In 2006, after a soccer match on the west side, swung by Dorothea’s super-fun birthday party. There, I happened to meet the man who would ultimately become my husband. It took two years for me to see he had all the qualities I ever really needed in a man, but I’m so glad I saw the light eventually. 

Ok, so, I never got to study abroad or backpack across Europe. I’ve yet to record and produce an amazing, full-length album, though I do have a sub-par album and a smattering of perfectly recorded singles. I am only 60 percent through my novel, and I cannot imagine when there will be enough time to finish it (see previous entry). There’s still some stuff left to do. But today I have a dream for a son, incredible guitar students, and an amazing writing career (though I’m less than perfectly prolific when it comes to my personal stuff, or so it seems). I also own an adorable little house with said husband. 

Life is, ultimately, about experiencing amazing things. What have you done? And what are you holding back from doing? 


Another baby is coming!


Nathan and mommy, Thanksgiving 2013

Yes, there it is. I said it. Not on Facebook or on Twitter. But here, on my beloved Rockmommy blog I don’t spend enough time with — I am 30 weeks pregnant with a girl or a boy. A baby. They said I couldn’t even have one. Boy, were they wrong! 

While I’m excited — after all, I did want two kids … eventually! — I am scared as shit. I had my life all perfect: Writing, teaching guitar, enjoying being a hot, MILF-y mom. Going to shows. Traveling. Spending time with my little dude. And then it happened, again. 

Zack’s first Father’s Day. 

We enjoyed a nice lunch at Flipside, our favorite burger joint in Fairfield, just the three of us. And I noticed at the playground an hour later that I was feeling unusually nauseated after my “normal” burger salad lunch. So I asked Zack to watch dude so I could “go to the bathroom.” That’s when I took the test. Seconds later, it’s “honey, I’m pregnant again.” 

The rest of the day was a hazy shock. Not one of relaxation, which hubs undoubtedly had hoped for. 

And now here we are. After whittling down to a Size 2 (yes, I am still guilty of vanity, that hasn’t changed), I am now as big as a house again, uncomfortable and getting up a zillion times to pee. 

This time, it is so much harder! 

Little dude wants to be held and carried and loved — how is he going to react when I have to share my love with another? I plan to go back to teaching guitar in late March — will my amazing mother in law need me to hire an assistant? How am I going to handle four loads of laundry a week, twice as many bottles/sippy cups, and less money to spend on myself for the little things that make me happy? 

I’m grateful, indeed. But still freaking out.