Bubbles Are Key To A Successful Bubble Bath

t j savannah Bubbles Are Key To A Successful Bubble Bath

Grown ups!

For my birthday every year, Thomas and I escape flee take a trip together. Alone.  As  grownups.  This year, we stayed at a FABULOUS hotel in Savannah. This hotel room had, hands down, the most incredible bathtub. (The whole time we were there we were waiting for them to realize we were not cool enough to be staying there. As we were not asked to leave, I can only assume we are in fact that cool. That or else my uncool dollar is just as good as the cool kids’.)The kind of bathtub that COMMANDS a bubble bath be taken in it.  Of course, I took it for the team and announced that I would be taking a bath just as soon as I could locate some bubble bath. The number of baths I take a year (shut up, I shower quite regularly) has decreased in direct proportion to the increase in my child’s age, so I was so excited for my very own bubble bath.

photo 18 Bubbles Are Key To A Successful Bubble Bath

In theory, procuring bubble bath should have been easy. As you loyal readers know, rarely, if ever, do things go as planned for me.

I first tried the front desk, but they did not have any. (They also did not have shower caps, which was really weird.) The next day, when we were out and about, we popped into a CVS. (The best thing about vacationing domestically is that one still has access to places like CVS and Target.) Thomas and I both scanned the bath section and came up empty.  This CVS was huge, one of the biggest I have ever been in. Surely, if any CVS were to have bubble bath, this CVS would. We found an employee, and asked about the phantom bubble bath. Sadly, he came up empty handed as well.

Undeterred, I asked another employee for suggestions on where to find bubble bath. She could not believe that they did not stock it- , so she went and had a look at the bath aisle, and for good measure, the children’s aisle.. (I appreciate her Must-Please-The-Customer attitude, really I do, but three adults had already looked for it…) She suggested several places… and then mentioned we would have to drive there. As we were staying downtown, our valeted car was stuck in some garage, somewhere. Surely, there had to be bubble bath that was more easily accessible.

Thomas sighed and resigned himself to accompanying me on The Quest For Bubble Bath…

The Platform Of Second Guessing- Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

Thomas, my husband is great at making decisions. He evaluates the information, thoughtfully reflects, and makes a decision.  I am told that this is how most people operate.

My family, however, operates on a platform of Second Guessing.

Our first decision that had to be made was to choose the venue for the reception. We had done some research online, and had made appointments with a few locations.  (I used a lot of self restraint. I wanted to book nineteen appointments so we would have plenty of information, but I also wanted to shield Thomas from some of the crazy until after the “I Dos”.) We visited the first (Windows Off Washington for my St. Louis readers), and loved it. Thomas was ready to sign the paperwork and go have a beer. But, Thomas wasn’t making the decision alone. He was with Captain Information and Second Officer Second Guess. Sure, Windows Off Washington was great; it had everything we wanted, and we were perfectly satisfied… but… WHAT IF???

“What If’ is the second rung in the Non Decision Making Ladder.

WHAT IF… we liked the food at another place better?  …the dance floor was bigger? …was less expensive?

The possibilities are endless! Thomas politely listened to several rounds of this as he was trying to make a good impression on his Mother-In-Law To-Be (also he is extremely polite) and then spoke his piece.

possibilites The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

“I like it. Julia likes it. It has everything we listed. We can afford it.”  He paused. “I am not going to another place. You can go with your mother. I’m done”.


“I am not going to look anywhere else. I’m done.”

shut the front door funny signs The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

 The world stopped spinning. Time stood still. This man was willing to make a decision with only one option?! He skipped the first two rungs on the ladder! How was this possible?!  Would I live a life of regret that I could have had a better reception somewhere else?!  Would my family support such a decision, one made without 14,000 pieces of information translated into a Pro’s vs. Con’s Excel spreadsheet?! As it turns out, it was possible, we had our reception there and it was lovely. (I was the Most Beautiful Bride EverTM.)

And, there were many more decisions to make!

The third rung of the Non Decision Making Ladder is Attempting to Change Decisions That Have Already Been Made. We wanted to serve pork tenderloin at our reception. We had several debates utilizing the first two rungs of our ladder.  We actually made a decision, filled out the forms, and signed on the dotted line… and then my mother freaked remembered our Jewish guests.  Citing dietary concerns, she set out on a Mission To Change The Pork. I certainly want to be respectful and to honor people’s dietary choices, especially when they are driven by religion, but this was ridiculous because  we invited three Jewish guests…two of whom weren’t coming, and the third does not keep kosher.  She was Changing for The Sake Of Changing. 

She received extra bonus points for this move because of the timing as she made this announcement approximately three weeks before the big day. After several days of “discussion”, my mother won. She has many more years of experience at this game, but I hope I gave her a run for her money! A couple of weeks after the wedding, Thomas asked about dinner- why was he served chicken when we had decided on pork? I told him about my mother’s mission, and he thanked me for leaving him out of it. 

thanks deciding ecard someecards1 The Platform Of Second Guessing  Rungs Two and Three of the Ladder

I left Thomas out of it for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I wanted to make sure he was going to show up at the wedding! But also because he did not have the skills to play the Non Decision Making game. Today, though, I am proud to say that he is making progress, and learning to manipulate the rungs.

I am even prouder to tell you that I am learning how to actually Make Decisions!

note: Thomas gives things a once over before I post them… and he had NO IDEA about the pork. He thanked me for sparing him!  (My bestie Liz proofs all of my writing out of the niceness of her heart before I post. She is so amazing I cannot stand it. It takes a village, people.)

The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

I love, LOVE to be organized. I actually enjoy cleaning out my sock drawer.  I look forward to Spring Cleaning Day the way most people look forward to Christmas. (As a direct result, Spring Cleaning Day is a holiday that occurs WAY more than once a year in our house.) I have embraced my OCD and prefer to think of it as an OCDo.

Other than my Costco addiction, I like to think we live a streamlined life. We regularly clean out our closets (I have an itty bitty house with doll size closets), organize our drawers, and sort through the overflow of junk very important, random pieces of paper that somehow end up in my kitchen.

more is more The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

However, there is one area of my life where More Is More.  I am a Hoarder of Information.  There, I said it! I come by it honestly; I do not blame myself (I hold my family completely responsible). Hoarding information is a key step in the art of Non Decision Making, which is practically an Olympic sport in my family. When making a Non Decision, there are several steps one needs to take to ensure that nothing can be accomplished. I prefer to think of this process as a ladder, with several rungs. 

ladder1 The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

The first rung of the Ladder Of Non Decision Making is the “hoarding of information”.  Thanks to the internet, the ability to execute this step is ridiculously easy.  The biggest example that comes to mind is wedding planning.  There are so many decisions to be made when planning a wedding that even “normal” decision makers can reach overload status and become paralyzed, so you can imagine the circus that my mother and I turned it into when planning mine.

Thomas and I got married in my hometown of St.  Louis, and because it isn’t exactly next door to Atlanta,  we had to make several trips during the planning.  Since we had a limited amount of time (more often than not just a weekend to spend), placing any sort of limitation on this already taxing process is not recommended; however, my mother said she was up for the challenge. This should have been my first red flag…

red flag The First Rung of the Ladder of Non Decision

Really, it could not have been more clear.

The first thing we saw when we walked into her house was the towering stack of bridal magazines.  I remember glancing nervously at Thomas and hoping that he was ready for the Uproar (a game my family plays that delays a decision as long as possible by being “nicer” than the next guy.) Let the hoarding begin!

Thomas operates as follows (I suspect that so do most people):

  • Utilize Google to gain information on different options.
  • Pick two.
  • Review choices in person. If the first choice is acceptable, there is no reason to review the second option. (This is unfathomable in my family.  This concept simply does not exist for us.) (It is actually difficult for me to even write it.)
  • Make decision.

As I have mentioned, this is not really the way my family works. For starters, it is WAY too easy…

tomorrow, we will discuss the Second Rung of the Ladder…

More Information Means Better Decisions… Right?!

Decisions paralyze my family. Not only does everyone want to be nice, everyone wants to be right. The best way to ensure a good outcome is to do your research. As with everything in life, too much of anything can be hinderance… and, in this case, the massive information hunt hinders decision making…

In a quest to be nice (and to always be right), my family hoards information prior to making a decision.

Let’s use the example of choosing a restaurant again. At this point, a decision has been made. (and the angels are singing). Mexican was chosen (please note that “Mexican” was picked even though it was not mentioned during the original discussion. That my friends is the beauty of Uproar!). The decision was not fully made as only the TYPE of food was agreed on- which restaurant to actually patronize is the next decision. So, someone will take to the internet, to Yelp or Citysearch or Yahoo and research the best place for Mexican.

margaritas More Information Means Better Decisions... Right?!

Do they want the best margaritas or the best salsa?

uptown More Information Means Better Decisions... Right?!

Downtown or Uptown?

outside dining More Information Means Better Decisions... Right?!

Outdoors or indoors?

The possibilities are endless! Uproar can go on forever!! Note: In my husband’s family, they would decide on Mexican, remember a place that they had been before, or a place that someone had driven by, and get in the car and go. They would be finished and paying the check before my family ever left the house.

Julia’s Math dedicates that it will never be that simple. We are learning to meet in the middle; in reality, this means we go through at least TWO rounds of Uproar prior to leaving the house. We have lived in this area for about seven years now, so the good news (for Thomas) is that my choices of places to go are limited by experience – even I won’t go to a crappy place twice!

I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

So I’m not the perfect girlfriend… and I don’t like sushi…  Thomas was still willing to be my boyfriend. And then, I revealed that I also pretended to love football, and to really love to eat wings while watching football. 

football widow I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

Today, I mourn the beginning of football season the same way others mourn the end of it.(I found this article online at UK Daily Mail, evidently I am not the only one!)  I hate Sunday afternoons, because Thomas is “busy” and therefore is not available to fix things/do errands/yard work. As Emma still naps in the afternoons, one of us has to be home in the afternoon anyway so I cannot complain too much (yeah right, like silly things like FACTS are going to stop ME from complaining!)  Before she was born, we reached a compromise: Thomas would record the game and watch it later in the evening, so we would have an opportunity to “do stuff’. Initially, he was concerned that he would hear the outcome of the game. I assured him if he was with me, he would not hear a peep about football. In my world, I can go MONTHS without so much as hearing who is playing who, let alone a score! As I mentioned, I live in the South, where football is a religion.  On Sunday evenings, I Google all results so I know what to expect on Monday mornings from my colleagues. 

game day I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

As far as wings go, it has been eight years since I have eaten one… and I have lived to tell about it! Now, before you starting grumbling about how mean I am, and how deprived Thomas is, know this: on the road, Thomas eats his fair share (and then some. I don’t ask!) of wings, and watches football like it’s going out of style.  He is fine!

Relationships are much easier when one is not living out of a suitcase, and both parties are in the same time zone. However, I would be fibbing a little bit if I said I did not miss the anticipation of seeing Thomas, and of both of us being on our Best Behavior…

good behavior I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

:::Insert your own joke::::

Long Distance Love, Or How I Made Thomas Think I Was Perfect

So, I married my third boyfriend. (I am not counting my forgotten boyfriend; he sucked.) Like all things Julia’s Math, the road was not always straight, wide, and freshly paved, but I knew within two days of meeting Thomas that I would marry him. I know everyone says that, but I really did know (he, however, was not as certain). Unlike everyone else who says “I just knew I would marry him, it was so magical and wonderful and blah, blah, blah,” I am not saying I thought it was a good idea (I do now, of course!), as I mentioned, not only were we opposites of each other, but he was the opposite of what I thought I wanted. When I met him, I was 23 and just out of college, he was 35 and divorced …

fork in the road Long Distance Love, Or How I Made Thomas Think I Was Perfect

First of all, we lived a thousand miles away from each other. So, as most couples go to dinner and a movie, or out for drinks or to a baseball game to get to know each other, we would, instead, have to do things a little differently. Those thousand miles meant that rather than spending a few hours together, we would spend a few days together. Our ‘first date’ was thirty-six hours. I still remember buying that first plane ticket, my mouse arrow hovering over the ‘buy’ button on American Airlines. Not to sound overly dramatic, but it was one of those ‘Fork In The Road’ moments. I had a choice to make, and the ramifications of this choice would be life changing.  I had to choose to go to visit Thomas,  or not to go.  This was one of those roads were staying straight and ignoring  the entire situation wasn’t an option. Of course, I went, and had a great time.

fake1 Long Distance Love, Or How I Made Thomas Think I Was Perfect

Not Yet…

As anyone who has been in a long distance relationship will tell you, it is a very strange beast. It is very easy to put on a pretty face, or rosy colored glasses, or whatever reality altering accessory you want when you are in a long distance romance. For the forty-eight hours each month I spent with Thomas, I was a girl who did not watch her diet, who could afford to go out for dinners and drinks, who did not work out, who LOVED sushi, and who did not read while in the bathroom (shut up you do it too).

abscense Long Distance Love, Or How I Made Thomas Think I Was Perfect
In reality, I work out every day, watch what I eat, don’t really care for sushi, and I hate football (I live in the South, deep in SEC country, and I might have just risked my life!).

sec Long Distance Love, Or How I Made Thomas Think I Was Perfect

And, eventually, the truth had to come out… stay tuned…

Six On Sunday, Version 15

1. Mental Health Days. So, I wasn’t really around this week… hopefully you noticed! Suffice to say a busy week, computer issues, and general mental apathy are to blame. I won’t bore you with details (and I suspect you don’t really care), but I am back!

mental health day Six On Sunday, Version 15

2. Stupid ‘polite’ questions. I get asked all day long ‘How are you?’ I always say ‘Fine, thanks’. (NOT GOOD. People are NOT GOOD, it is grammatically incorrect.) I say Fine when I am not Fine, I say Fine when I am better than Fine.  Nothing freaks people out more than an honest answer to this question.  For all of our connections Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc-, people don’t want to engage with an actual person.

3. Birthday Candles (or the Parental FAIL continues). If you remember, I lost the birthday candles for Emma’s birthday cake last week at her party.  I found the candle (it was so cute- a pink sparkly 3) this week.  We brought cupcakes to her class in school on Friday for her birthday. I thought this would be a great time to use this candle (because I clearly cannot use it next year).  We lit the candle, she blew it out, and everyone clapped. I took the candle off the cupcake, and Emma started screaming. I thought she was pitching a fit because I took the candle away.  Turns out, she was screaming because her finger was covered in hot burning wax… (Thankfully, she was fine after we ran it under cool water and she got a band-aid.)

third candle Six On Sunday, Version 15

Caution: Wax is HOT

4. The Terrible Threes. All I heard last year was “The Terrible Twos” are coming, and to get ready.  So, the terrible twos are amateur hour compared to the Terrible God Awful Threes.  Emma goes zero- everything is lovely, roses and sunshine- to utter and complete meltdown complete with throwing herself on the ground, tears, and wailing.  It’s great, especially in public.

crying girl Six On Sunday, Version 15

Ready, Set, Meltdown

5. My Mom. Is Wonderful.  She was in town this weekend, and watching her with my child inspires me to be a better mother. I have a lot to learn, and some big shoes to fill.

6. The Furniture Project (Or My Husband’s Extreme Patience). Emma has outgrown her changing table (not diapers. The changing table.) I have been searching high and low for some shelving for her toys in her room.  I suddenly realized that I had the perfect thing already- her changing table. I found this awesomeness on Pinterest, and commissioned my husband to help me with the transformation.

282319470361037417 7lL6jZnP c Six On Sunday, Version 15


He has only said ‘Well that is information that would have been extremely helpful TWO HOURS AGO twice. (OK maybe three times.) I will keep you updated and post pics of my (his) completed genius soon…

If You Can Stand One More

posts about beds…

 (Here are previous posts about why sharing a bed is overrated, and what Thomas really thinks about our so called 50-50 split of our bed.) (Also, he claims this is more true to his experience.)

I was out of town on business this week, and I had the entire bed to myself. The entirely Heavenly Bed with six pillows.

As I shared before, the more pillows the merrier. When the stars all align- sleeping solo with many pillows- this is what I do…

bed If You Can Stand One More

This is what Thomas fights against every night.  He is the luckiest guy EVER.

Night night…




When I Tried to Detox/ Cleanse, or The Worst Idea I Have Ever Had

Now, I have a finicky stomach.  Sometimes (all the time), certain foods can make me bloated and rather, um, musical.  Thomas was (and still is) aware of this, so when I came home armed with stomach and colon detox pills, he not only turned white, he was rendered momentarily mute. When he was able to speak again, he wanted to be on the record as saying, “This Is The Worst Idea You Have Ever Had”. Whatever, I was a bride on a mission. 

crazy bride When I Tried to Detox/ Cleanse, or The Worst Idea I Have Ever Had

 He perked up when he realized that he would be working for the next week and a half, so he would spared the detox and everything that came with it.  Sadly for him, it was a two week detox.  We had a trip planned to my parents, who live out of state. So, the last several days of the cleanse we would be in a small, confined space for multiple hours at a time because we were going on a road trip. I never experienced the full effect of the cleanse because I was forbidden from finishing it.  Thomas threatened to wear a gas mask. At that point, I realized that it just wasn’t worth the embarrassment; if he was wearing the gas mask, clearly he wasn’t the source…

dog car When I Tried to Detox/ Cleanse, or The Worst Idea I Have Ever Had

This is how Thomas would have had to ride…

 While it feels good to point out why such diets are stupid, the truth is that weight and dieting are very personal, and very emotional issues. As the mother of a daughter, I feel I have a responsibility to model responsible choices. OK, preachy, adult moment over. (Hey, I heard that sigh of relief!)  That being said, I have had my own ups and downs with different diets. The diets that failed were not so much my fault as a direct result of family and friends intervening. Some worked, and one almost caused my husband to call off our wedding…

 emma july 20121 When I Tried to Detox/ Cleanse, or The Worst Idea I Have Ever Had

Bethenny Is Not an Expert, and Diets Make Me Crazy

Diets.  I cannot think of a more emotional word, or of a more lucrative industry.  It seems like everyone is an expert in weight loss these days, and is sharing their secrets in a book.  I was visiting a friend last week, and she lent me her copy of a book by a world renowned, medically licensed nutritionist.

bethenny Bethenny Is Not an Expert, and Diets Make Me Crazy

Oh wait; she gave me her copy of Bethenny Frankel’s book. I was, um, not impressed. WHAT A MORON.  She has taken common sense and managed to make it sound condescending, creepy, and downright stupid.  Bethenny is an ex- Real Housewife of New York (that city has always been the worst) (also, I never watched any of her spin-off shows based on the RHNY) who is now an expert in everything “diet”.  Her main advice seems to be to to waste food.  She says ‘taste everything, eat nothing’, which executes itself as the following: eat one bite of something and throw the rest away. She says it is better to be wasteful with food than wasteful with calories.  I have heard one too many stories of the starving children in Africa for me to accept that wasting food is a good idea.  Basically, her sole credential that affords the lofty title ‘expert’ is that she is (too) thin. She did go to culinary school, but I fail to see how being a good cook makes you an expert on weight loss.

skinnygirl Bethenny Is Not an Expert, and Diets Make Me Crazy

She did give us Skinny Girl drinks, which I will (grudgingly) admit are delicious, so I guess it’s a wash…

Other notably stupid diets include The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Raw Foods Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, and the Cayenne Pepper Diet. I am not prone to conspiracy theories, but it seems to me that the Fruit And Vegetable Lobbies are very influential… just sayin…

detox Bethenny Is Not an Expert, and Diets Make Me Crazy

And the cleanse diets? Good Lord help us all.  When Thomas and I were dating, I was lured into the detox-cleanse camp.  On the surface, it makes sense- we put a lot of chemicals into our bodies, and eliminating the buildup of said chemicals could improve one’s health.  The gurus also boasted of weight loss and as a newly engaged girl, I was definitely on the Crazy Bridal Weight Loss Train (WAY more on this train to crazy town later). I decided that a detox-cleanse was a capital idea.

Unfortunately, not everyone else had the same thought…

train Bethenny Is Not an Expert, and Diets Make Me Crazy