No More Sushi, Or When Thomas Realized I Wasn’t Perfect

As I mentioned, Thomas and I met on a cruise at the bar in church doing mission work for poor orphans.  There was a sushi bar on the ship.  I had never had sushi, in fact, the idea of eating raw fish had never occurred to me.

ERIKA JULIA DAUGHTERS No More Sushi, Or When Thomas Realized I Wasnt Perfect

We are still friends. We are positive our daughters will be BFF also.

I was on the cruise with my BFF Erika, who is very sophisticated and sort of a foodie. (For those of you paying attention, this might sound familiar.  You are in fact correct. This was the second year Erika and I packed our bags and set off in the wilds of the Caribbean. Also familiar? Me meeting the Love Of My Life and Erika rolling her eyes and plastering a smile on her face).  She was thrilled, and wanted to go every night. Not really. At least this year she got sushi out of the deal! Because God likes to see me squirm, we met Thomas and his friends at the sushi bar every night because they loved sushi too! No one noticed that I did not eat a single piece, that I did not even attempt to bring the ‘tasty treat’ anywhere near my mouth.  Thankfully, there was also Chardonnay at the sushi bar, so I busied myself with that. 

sushi No More Sushi, Or When Thomas Realized I Wasnt Perfect

When I would go visit Thomas, he always suggested that we go out for sushi, as he assumed I loved it. (Also, one of the waitresses at the local Japanese restaurant was a “hottie”, and he and his roommates LOVED HER. They still talk about “Sushi Girl” with a wistful look in their eyes. so perhaps the suggestions of sushi were doubly motivated .Personally, I did not see it as she was not that cute, but what do I know?) Because I was attempting to be the worldly, sophisticated girl that LOVED sushi on the cruise, I had to agree.  Every time. Do you KNOW how much sushi I had to eat? A lot.  Because there was NO Chardonnay at this restaurant, I had to actually EAT the sushi. Also, I had to drink beer (which, at the time, wasn’t a deal breaker.  In today’s world, it would be.)

T J CRUISE 2003 No More Sushi, Or When Thomas Realized I Wasnt Perfect

Finally, a few years after we were married, I fessed up.  I do not really care for sushi that much.  Yes, I did learn to tolerate it, but for my money, I would rather go somewhere else.  Thomas looked me, started laughing, and confessed that he felt he had also eaten his life time quota for sushi.  Four years later, and we have not been out for sushi once.

However, there was one more big secret to reveal…

The Forgotten Boyfriend

The other night, my husband and I were lying in bed, when he reminded me that he was not, actually, Boyfriend #3. After I thought for a minute, I realized that he was technically correct.  Somehow, I had completely blocked out the jerk who, for over a year I had called my boyfriend, until one day he took my heart and smashed it into a million pieces, set it on fire and then stomped on the ashes, just to make sure it was broken.

broken heart The Forgotten Boyfriend

Here’s how it all began… After N and I broke up, my BFF Erika and I went on a vacation.  We had just graduated from college, and before we joined the real world we wanted one last hurrah.  We were young, easily impressed, and ready to have some fun.

So we booked a cruise, packed our bikinis (and measuring cups), and we were off.  Of course, our first stop was the bar, where we met a super cute guy and his friend.  We started talking to them and they started buying us drinks (duh, we were adorable!)  (Allow me to digress for a moment about BFFs… everyone needs a friend who will ‘take one for the team’.  Erika TOTALLY did.  When said “cutie” and his friend wanted to hang out with us all week, she had no choice other than to put her game face on and attempt to make the best of it.  Thanks again girly!)

julia josh The Forgotten Boyfriend

:::Not my cutesst look:::

K (the super cutie) was too good to be true. He was sweet, he was successful, he was a gentleman, and he was totally in to me.  As life has taught me, (JULIA’S MATH: Anything in excess becomes a weakness.) The first red flag should have been the circumstances that sent those two guys on the cruise in the first place… The cruise had originally been booked as K’s HONEYMOON and when he couldn’t get a refund AFTER SHE CALLED OFF THE WEDDING WEEKS BEFORE, he decided to go anyway and take his friend. 

I was 22, and was not going to let things like a pesky ex finance’ stand in my way! He was perfect, and he was all mine! He lived in Florida, and I spent the next few months being whisked down to sunny, warm Florida from cold, snowy Chicago and treated like a princess.  (To be fair, it was way less expensive to treat me like a princess ten years ago than today. It was also way easier to impress me.) K even flew to St. Louis to treat my dad to a play-off Cardinals game when I wasn’t even in town!

snowy chicago The Forgotten Boyfriend


sunny florida The Forgotten Boyfriend


this is the first post, you can read the rest tomorrow!

Six On Sunday, Version 14

1. Pockets Still Amazing!

julia tanya1 Six On Sunday, Version 14

2. PBJ.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fantastic! I spent much of my childhood hating them, and I cannot figure out WHY because they are delicious.  We do have a bit of a disagreement at our house about the jelly part though. I am firmly Team Strawberry, while my husband is Team Grape. We served PBJs at my daughter’s birthday party over the weekend, and it was the adults elbowing each other to get at the tray instead of the kids! We used strawberry jam (Team Strawberry all the way!) and squishy white bread. Oh, and we used cookie cutters to make cute shapes and get rid of the crusts.  The sandwiches were declared to be as good as the Uncrustable frozen sandwiches. (Uncrustables are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the crust that are frozen. To me, this is the BIGGEST RACKET EVER as they are expensive. I am so mad I did not think to do it and trademark it.)

3. Overzealous Ushers. At church today, the ushers sat us in a row that was already crowded. Now, the Catholics like their personal space. No one ever wants to move over, so people tend to move as little as they can possibly get away with.  The lady already in our pew was not thrilled at the sight of a family.  None of us were thrilled when another family of four was escorted to our pew. We ended up standing sideways because that was they only way we would fit. It was worse than Christmas Mass, and really challenged me to have kind, Christian thoughts about said usher.

church Six On Sunday, Version 14

4. Home grown Tomatoes. Are amazing. My sweet husband does his best to keep me in tomatoes all summer long. He staggers the plants, so we have them as early as possible in the spring and as late into the fall. However, this year a combination of extreme heat, no rain, and a busy flying schedule have made it impossible for him to keep up with demand. I ate my last one this evening, and I am very upset about it!

tomatoes Six On Sunday, Version 14

5. Great girlfriends. I have the best. Everyone needs girlfriends that are honest about everything, from career advice to advising on highlights.  When the chips are down, you need to have people in your life who will be brutally honest. I mean, who else will tell that your highlights are, in fact, brassy? Most ‘friends’ acquaintances are too polite and too sensitive to your feelings to give the brutal honesty we all need.

6. Trader Joe’s Hummus. It’s the best, the freshest, and the most addictive. Hands down.

My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

So, I married my third boyfriend. In real life, he is perfect.  However, on paper, Thomas was THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I WANTED. This makes life difficult interesting at times.  (Young couples: find a good therapist.  Trust me when I say that you will need one at some point. We LOVE ours.) At times, I wish our thought processes were more in line, but I when I stop to think about “Julia, Unchallenged” I sort of cringe.  I can be ruthlessly competitive (again, things to an extreme are NOT GOOD), and if I was in a marriage with someone as competitive as I am, we would have blood lust over simple things such as who did more chores (I cannot imagine the potential outcome of a Monopoly game). So, balance is good. I feel balance in most marriages is not about two extremes, but the heart wants what the heart wants, right?

Thomas is twelve and a half years older than I am. This is surprisingly less of a  big deal than you would think. As we both get older, the age difference becomes even less noticeable…

t graduation My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Thomas, circa May 1985

 The only time my husband even remotely sounds like a “Chester” is when we discuss the events of 1985.  In May of 1985, Thomas graduated from high school… and in September, I started kindergarten.

julia 85 My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Julia, circa 1985

 AGH! I know!  We can have entire conversations with cultural references that make no sense to the other one- for example; he will discover some terrible late 90’s show on cable and ask me if I remember it- um, no. I was at the bars from the late 90’s to early 2000’s, not watching TV because I WAS IN COLLEGE! Thank God for VH1’ s “I Love the 70’s and 80’s” because it provided context for many questionable references. (For both of us.  Thomas didn’t know much about He-Man, She-ra, or My Little Ponies.)

Lastly, Life Advice: In the end, marry someone who can make you laugh; marry someone that you want to make laugh, because nothing can stop a fight in its tracks faster than a silly, shared joke.  And, finally, marry someone that you would pick for the volleyball team, even if you wouldn’t pick them first.


t j laura wedding1 My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Thomas & Julia, circa May 2011


How To Cruise, Zone Diet Style

So, when I did the Zone I did it Big. I Committed. I had a measuring cup with me at all times.  I went on a cruise during the Zone Period, and I brought my measuring cup with me.

[Read more...]

Six On Sunday, Verison 3

  1. family 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3

    My Family-

    Family.  My parents came to visit this weekend.  We had a great time, and it is so nice to have an extra playmate for Emma. She is NONSTOP all the time (wonder where she gets it).  I also had the opportunity to meet some ‘long lost cousins’, and I am hopeful that we will stay in touch.  My family is so small and live so far away, it’s great to have some close by.

2. Old Friends.  We went to Party Chic again this weekend (LOVE that place) for drinks with some friends. I have been friends with Mike since seventh grade, I used to sneak out and go to his house to hang out.  On Saturday, we had drinks with Mike, Caryn (his lovely wife), and their son, Brooks. It is surreal in some ways to be hanging out with our KIDS! I mean, we were friends way before we could drive!

julia emma alena brooks caryn 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3
Julia, Emma, Alena, Brooks, Caryn

3. Craigslist.  It’s genius! And it’s so simple!   

4. Disney World. I have never been (I know I am one of like twenty five people total in the country who hasn’t been to Disney World (four of the others are my immediate family). Christmas has become tedious the past several years, and we are looking to start new traditions and new ways of celebrating.  The family is discussing taking a trip together in lieu of giving gifts, and Disney World has been mentioned several times.  Any advice on where to go/ what to see? Also money saving Disney tricks?

5. Toddlers and Tiaras.  Seriously these people are cray cray.  Part of the price of admission for a pageant should be placed into a trust for the years and years of therapy these girls are going to need.

toddlers 150x150 Six On Sunday, Verison 3
So Much Therapy

6. Baskets. We are rearranging and redoing our entertainment centers. As we live in a really small house, everything has to do double duty- a TV stand is also a cabinet for various things, like DVDs, blankets (for watching TV), and of course, toys. (At some point, the elves from FAO Schwartz snuck into our house and spread the love. My child has so many toys is it embarrassing. Her favorite toy is still Mommy, which is both endearing and maddening.) All new shelves equals all new baskets… and many trips to Michael’s!

And The Winner Is…

So only my mom and my new BFF Angie (love you girl!) voted… and the vote was tied.  And then my BFF  Liz (even though she didn’t vote!) sent me this…

winner 300x210 And The Winner Is...

And she won!!  Hope you agree…. (and if you have met me, you do).

Your Vote Totally Counts!

Regardless of your political affiliation, I need your support! When I put my posts online, a little picture pops up. I need to pick a new one (you know, spice things up!), and I need you to vote for which picture you like best. (I know I am being such a taker, please bear with me!)


Stalker 300x210 Your Vote Totally Counts!

Stalker? Who me?



Im Funnie 300x167 Your Vote Totally Counts!

I'm Funny


BFF 300x210 Your Vote Totally Counts!


Thank you in advance! Love you all! (Please vote on in the comments section or on Facebook!)

The Registry Will Never Steer You Wrong!

I remember my first trip to Babies R Us. I (we) walked in, dazed by the bright glow of the fluorescent lighting.  As my

baby shower girlfriends 300x241 The Registry Will Never Steer You Wrong!

More is Better when it comes to Girlfriends who host wonderful showers!

eyes adjusted, panic set in. Sheer, raw panic. (I have always been in the More-Choices-Is-Always-Better camp. My mother is Captain of this camp, and she is impressive… and relentless.  Why would one settle for only five choices when with a little more effort (and internet searching), you could pick from ten? When is more data not a good thing? Up until I got married, I subscribed to this camp. My husband is from the more rational camp of If-We-Like-the-First-Choice-Why-Would-We-Even-Look-At-Any-Additional-Choices? We had a meeting of the minds (he almost lost his mind when he was introduced to the Julias Math way of making decisions), and I now try to align myself to his camp- or at least narrow down the endless options before I get him involved.) Babies R Us takes the More Is Better mentality to a whole new level. An endless, infinite, vast level, of everything baby related.  The store is at least twenty thousand square feet.  That’s twenty thousand square feet crammed with baby related paraphernalia.  After my breathing returned to a more normal state from the panic attack, I turned tail as fast as my pregnant self could and ran to the safety of the car.  This process was repeated several times. I was finally successful (and success is defined as touring more than three aisles) after eight or so attempts. 

Thankfully, I am not the first one who has had a panic attack in Babies R Us. It must happen a lot, because Babies R Us does have a way of dealing with this situation. They have a Registry! The helpful staff will provide a tour of the store, and a detailed printout with recommendations (requirements) for everything you could ever even possibly think you might need. (This mentality is one that is adopted for everything baby related during the first year of your baby’s life. The first trip out of the house is EPIC. As a new parent, you pack EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. The mountain of luggage is enough for a family of five going to Disney World. For two weeks. Just when you start congratulating yourselves for a job well done, you realize that you did, in fact, forget something.)

baby shower gifts 300x225 The Registry Will Never Steer You Wrong!

Opening gifts (fof course rom the registry!)

I wish we could have registered for another room in our house.  The amount of stuff required for one teeny tiny person is unbelievable.  Truly out of this world- car seats and bouncy seats, strollers and pack and plays, swings and bumbo seats.  Once you decide what you need, you have to choose the options, which are, of course, limitless.  Baby gear these days is more tricked out than Snoop Dogg’s tour bus.

The decision process is brutal, and not just because of the hormones. It is so brutal because of the guilt.  As a first time parent, you want the absolute best for your baby. One adopts the ‘Best At Any Cost’ mentality.  The previously mentioned hormonal swings made it difficult to reason with a pregnant woman- I know some men would say that it is always difficult to reason with any woman, but whatever.  And so, it is very easy to lose sight of the big picture- said baby isn’t going to know the difference between 200 count thread sheets and 400 count. Baby isn’t going to know if you purchased those sheets from Pottery Barn Kids or Target. (My mother had an obsession with these sheets. These sheets didn’t match the handmade, personalized, monogrammed bedding I received- and I think she considered asking me to get all new bedding just so we could use those sheets.) However, in that moment, it is the most important decision you have ever made.  This is why we have items like this:

zaky pillow The Registry Will Never Steer You Wrong!

The Zaky Pillow

The Zaky Pillow: This is a set of fake hands that lies against your newborn to trick her into thinking that it’s you. It’s almost too creepy for words. And wrong. So very wrong. Even the description is creepy: “Leave a hand with your child!” We’d like to see the studies of these poor babies 10 years from now who found out their loving parents were really disembodied mummy hands. 

And, The Baby Keeper .The Baby Keeper is a contraption that hangs your baby on

baby keeper The Registry Will Never Steer You Wrong!

The Baby Keeper

the back of a public bathroom door so you are “free to go.” The picture says it all. Convenient? Perhaps. Sanitary? No way. Trusting a single hook will hold my baby safely over the hard, nasty bathroom floor? Not a chance in hell.

Once you make all of your choices (and are reduced to a hormonal sobbing heap), you sit back and wait for your baby showers.  Baby showers are generally more fun for the guests than for the Mommy as the Mommy isn’t able to drink any of the delicious sangria that their wonderful girlfriends made (true story), and she is so preggo that even breathing is uncomfortable. However, there are gifts. And the gifts make it up to the Mommys- no sangria, piles of gifts= equal trade. Just please remember that you cannot outsmart the Registry.  Also, the only woman who is more sensitive than a bride is one is who is about to become a mother, so please purchase accordingly.

Even Ten Years Later, Some Things Remain The Same

“First there’s Kappa, then you get married,  then there’s Junior League, and then you die.”
-A Southern Belle Primer, Or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be A Kappa Kappa Gamma



bid day 300x200 Even Ten Years Later, Some Things Remain The Same

Bid Day!

I was never asked, “Were you in a sorority?” I was asked, “What sorority were you in?” Not too shocking, given my love of delegating tasks to less senior people, making all decisions with the help of a committee (and then changing my mind forty two times), and a love of matching tee shirts.  Although it has been a few years (like, ten) (shut up I cannot believe it either) since I was in college, the game appears to be the same… 

A Google search provided this as the Most Important piece of advice for Rush Week (heaven for some, hell for others)

Look good on Day 1. Day 1 is when a ton of the cuts are made based on looks, just because we don’t have enough time to really get to know everyone. This is the day when you should take the extra time to perhaps wear those false eyelashes (if you know how to put them on). I also appreciate a PNM (potential new member) who leaves the flip flops behind and wears some hot wedges or a cute dress. If you wear jeans and a t-shirt you will most likely get asked back to those jeans and t-shirt kinds of houses. If that’s what you want then more poweropened eyes college ecard someecards 300x167 Even Ten Years Later, Some Things Remain The Same to you.

Now, to be fair, I did make some lifelong friends while I was a sorority girl, and, interestingly enough, most of my besties today are my ‘sisters’ even though we attended different schools. However, I am assuming you don’t read this blog for rainbows, unicorns, and happy endings… And so, with that in mind, I give you:

Shit Sorority Girls Say

It wouldn’t be so damn funny if it wasn’t true!!!

Sorority girls: Anything missing? I remember saying “LIKE” like all the time… and breaking into snaps (we were above clapping) randomly.