striving to find the balance: chaos, clutter, and Bulleit bourbon.

There’s a dollhouse in our living room that exudes a certain lifestyle and image. Almost every day, our little girl voids the rooms of it’s plastic furnishings, painstakingly lines up the characters, tables, and tea saucers, then perfectly places them all back into their small space. It’s a constant reminder of how she views her world.


I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not perfect. As much as I try to harbor the scintillating negative thoughts and emotions that invade my day, occasionally I slip up. This morning, after thrashing through bedsheets and pillows and piles of toys, I cried out in a wallop of stress and frustration when I couldn’t locate big girl monkey. Rhea was scared, and I callowed in guilt. The last kind of mother I ever wanted to be was one who lashed out with impatience. Yet here I am.


Sometimes, the balance seems unbearable; being everything to everyone can take a toll on your mind and your heart. I keep telling the sommelier I need a date night, and it’s not because I think he doesn’t appreciate me, but because I just need a break. A break from the responsibility of planning and structuring, a break from the schedules of dance class and breakfast meetings and lunch meetings and teleconferences…then cleaning the clutter and making dinners and feeding dogs and giving baths….And I don’t want to give the impression that I have absolutely no help… because that’s not true.


I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband who cooks and picks up and stays home when I’m out of town on business. And parents and sisters and in-laws who have all done their fair share of child rearing for us. But it’s hard, y’all.

Somedays I wish I had a less challenging job, then I could spend all my free time focused on my daughter. Instead, because I actually do love what I do, most nights I find myself sending emails or doing reports after she’s in bed, or multitasking if I have deadlines to meet. Then the chores lose themselves in the chaos. And the clutter. And then I’m in the chaos. It’s a never ending cycle.


So, needless to say, Hatha yoga has been my friend. And recently, I’ve joined my sisters at an extremely early morning boot camp. But some nights, what I really look forward to… is a bourbon concoction that warms my belly and stays my fears. Personally, my standard homemade concoction is Bulleit Rye Whiskey on the rocks with a splash of Campari, angostura bitters, ginger ale or ginger beer, and muddled orange. For those unaware to the world of Kentucky Bourbon, Bulleit has been making headway in small batch distilleries for 150 years. Using straight rye, the snarky, spicy structure of the bourbon exudes character, while the finish is smooth with a touch of vanilla and oak. I kind of feel like I’m in an episode of Madmen when I sip it.


It’s delicious. And balanced. And while not as satisfying as a deep hug from my beautiful, sweet daughter, it does the job. And so will I. Because as a working mother, that’s the commitment I’ve made to myself, my little girl, and my husband. We will prevail, as a family.


Cheers, y’all. Live life with balance.

sometimes you just need a beer: finding joy in doing it all.

Ever have one of those days?  Where you wake so early that your stomach hurts? And you can’t concentrate because your mind is starved for rest, and love, and peace? And you feel like crying. And yelling.  And your shoulders are tight.  And….it’s only 10am?

Today was one of those days.  Again.  I seem to be having a lot of them lately.

There are so many responsibilities we take on as working mothers.  I won’t lie.  I wake up scrupulously early sometimes just so I can check email, peruse my updated territory performance data, and create my daily task list.  Once Rhea is up and about, it’s all milk, toast with butter and jam, and Daniel Tiger on DVR.  On our way to school, we talk about our day, if mommy or daddy is picking her up, and the colors of the leaves.  During the past few weeks the windows have been down while the words “orange”, “red”, and “yellow” have floated towards the front seat.


Once we arrive, I take her hand and lead her to her classroom to leave her for the day; and sometimes for the night; and sometimes, but rarely, for the week.

From nine to five I work extremely hard, and smart.  There are challenges that present themselves on a daily basis, and while I have no qualms handling them, mostly I overanalyze and overthink situations. Well, we all have short comings. Even so, I am very successful in my career.

Here’s the thing, though.  I find joy in showing my daughter that she can be anything that she wants to be.  She can be an executive, a chef, a writer, a wife, and a mother.  She can have it all.  She deserves it all.  If she even wants it all; because maybe she makes the decision to choose just one.  Or none at all.  And we will love her no matter what.  Because that is what parents do. And it is her choice to make.


When I pick Rhea up from school the radio turns from NPR to Toddler Tunes.  And once again, our conversations revolve around lunch items, art projects, books, and what we are cooking for dinner that night.  We usually come home to frenzied dogs and a house that is in desperate need of a maid.  Repeat: I really need a maid.

Sometimes balancing it all gets tremendously heavy; my shoulders ache with the weight of my world.  Most of the time, a glass of wine will relax my mind and heart and set my dreams into motion.

But tonight, I want a beer; because sometimes you just need a change.  So, I chose Austin’s own Adelbert’s Brewery to quench my thirst.  As far as my knowledge of foams and yeast and nuances of hops reside, I am beyond novice.  I am no cicerone.  But, what I do recognize is that I like a saison style beer, so I grab the Philosophizer at just under $10.  It’s clean and somewhat light, with citrus notes.  And it’s from Texas, so it’s local.  A perfect end to my day.  A break from the normal.


Ahhh.  Just what the doctor ordered.  I can do it all.  again…  tomorrow.  And you know what?  It is worth every minute.  Because Rhea will know that everything is possible.  Because I have loved her enough to show her.

Cheers, y’all.