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I'm hoping to get back into the posting groove soon(ish), and would love for you to join along!

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About A Boy

It may have taken me 3 months to introduce him here on the blog, but it's entirely because I've spent every waking minute kissing these adorable, rapidly expanding cheeks.  On July 1st, we welcomed the most amazing little tub of love.


This is my son Wilder, and he's pretty fantastic.

Welcome to the world, Wild Man.
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The Great 2013 Hair Chop

Is this thing on?

(Taps into the mic....)

The last time I blogged, I was 7 months pregnant and contemplating a hair change.  Let's say that life has changed juuuust a little bit since then...  I've never really found a good way to properly catch up on this blog after my many extended absences, so I'm just going to jump right where I left off.

The hair, for one?  It has been chopped.

I made an impulse appointment at a local salon here in Wichita for one Saturday morning in April, and had the Mr. snap this pic before I headed out the door.

Pre-Haircut 2013

Insanity, that hair.

The Great Haircut of 2013

I don't think the sweet stylist was expecting to do a chop quite this drastic for a practical walk-in appointment...

W and Mama
(Photo courtesy Wichita's Gina Dreher Photography, whom I A.D.O.R.E.)

I'm totally obsessed with the new 'do, and feel like a person again.  I may wear it up on a French twist 90% of the time, but that still feels de plus chic compared the big limp hair donut previously affixed on the top of my head.  

Also?  The cut cost a whopping $28 before tip.  That's like a one-way cab ride in NYC.   

I love you, crazy cheap Wichita cost of living.
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To Chop or Not To Chop?

We have a hair situation going on over here, and I need some advice.  I'm going to take you on a little hair tour, and would LOVE your two cents!

Right now, I'm suffering from a serious case of what I like to refer to as SWH - Sister Wife Hair:

W 1st Birthday

Hair for Days

I mean seriously, look at that mop.  Hair for days over here.  I'm afraid some polygamist family is going to come up and proposition me to become their next wife or something.  I feel like sister wife extraordinaire Nicolette Grant from Big Love-

image courtesy here

To the best of my memory, I have had my hair cut twice in the last 36 months.  For real.  And it would be one thing if I actually did anything with it each day, but it is so long and unruly that it gets worn on top of my head in a sloppy clipped bun thing.


The true look of motherhood around these parts.  My poor husband.

I actually like my hair best when it's on the short side, which I had about 3 years back-
Bayless Cookbook Signing
Smile for the Camera
(PS, check out that smile on my mom's dog Talulah, is that not the funniest thing ever?)

This was an impromptu "I've got a fancy new client-facing job, so I best get a sassy professional haircut" phase, and I actually couldn't have loved the cut more if I tried.

Sadly, let's just say that my dear husband didn't share the same affinity for the new 'do.  He started gently making comments a few weeks after the big hair cut like "You know, I sure do love your hair long..." and "remember when you had that cute shoulder-length hair when we were dating?  I really liked that."  Bless his heart.  This is what my hair looked like when we were dating (ohmigosh who are those two young, skinny kids?!), which I think is what my husband keeps referring to-


While attending the BlissDom conference last month, I saw a girl with what can only be described as the most perfect hair in existence.  I found out that this gal was none other than Kate from The Small Things Blog- little did I know that I was just way behind the times and basically the whole Internet already knew and loved her (and her hair).

Photo courtesy here

See? Amazing.  Do you know about Kate?  Because if you don't, you should check her blog out now and read like every single post there is. And no lie, Kate's hair looks even more awesome in person than it does on her blog.  I die.

So now, instead of doing responsible things like sweeping the house and organizing the office during naptime this week, I've just been looking at hair pictures online.  Great use of productive time, Lulu.

So, riddle me this- how logical is it to make another big chop and transition to a haircut that actually requires styling, mere months before baby #2 arrives and my life gets thrown into (even more) chaos again?  Do I continue to sacrifice style (and let's face it, any semblance of attractiveness in general... haha) for the convenience of "let's take the large wig 'o' hair and clip it on top of my head again", or finally do something productive with my hair and take Tim Gunn's sage advice to just Make It Work?

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101 in 1,001: #102- Have Another Baby...?!?!

After spending hours upon hours plotting what I'd like to accomplish over the next ~2.74 years for my 101 in 1,001 list, there was one major item that honestly never crossed my mind - have another baby.

But lo and behold, here is where we find ourselves today....

Baby Bump 2

Surpriiiise...  A whopping 7 months pregnant with a bouncing baby boy!

I know... right?!  I'll be having a baby in less than 3 months, and am just now announcing it on the blog.

Why the secrecy, you ask?  What gives?

A few reasons, I suppose...  At first, I needed to keep a lid on the surprise while I figured out how on earth I was going to juggle 2 kids under the age of 15 months (gulp) AND still be able to do my job.  Once that decision was sorted out (at which point I was already 6 months along), I guess it's just been a matter of habit not to mention it.  Frankly, this pregnancy has been 180 degrees different than the last pregnancy, so unless I feel this little man-child ninja kicking my internal organs I *completely* forget that there is a human growing inside me.

I've "outed" myself to family and close friends, as well as on Instagram and Twitter, so am not actively keeping the secret any longer.  However, I still have yet to make any official mention of the little mister on Facebook yet, which I guess is a little odd, since that is the one social media platform I have which consists of all real-life friends.  At this point, I just find the thought of an additional Martini baby magically popping up on my Facebook feed to be pretty comical, so we'll see how that goes.

After 2012 brought us a new baby, a grad school graduation, 2 job changes, and a relocation to another state, I fully expected 2013 to be nice and mellow.  I guess I should have known better! haha

I'm past the feeling of being completely overwhelmed (most days), and we're both fully excited to bring another little nugget into the world.  Stay tuned for another adventurous chapter!

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Happy First Birthday to My Daughter

On The Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder


That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”


Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.


So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

Hospital Room Board

It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

DSC_0113 DSC_0118

Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.


Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,


Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.


When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.


The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.


So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)


Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)


If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…


For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…


Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.


Happy first birthday, our sweet baby girl.
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Hi! I'm Lulu.

After meeting so many fabulous new blog friends at BlissDom this weekend, and realizing that I probably have a few new blog followers that have joined along these last few months, I figured it's high time I do another post to properly introduce myself!

A few things about me:

  • I'm Lulu!  I grew up in Boulder, was a Kappa Kappa Gamma at Arizona State University (go Devils!), and am now a wife and mom living in Wichita, Kansas with my hard working, fun-loving husband (I usually refer to him on the blog as the Mr.)

  • I go by Lulu on this blog, because that's a nickname my husband has called me for some time.  I'm sure that may initially confuse those of you who have met me in real life under a different name...  I'm not actively trying be anonymous on The Dirty Martini Diaries, as even my former work Vice President reads the blog (hi JG!), but I guess I like that it makes me slightly less Google-able?
  • I have a daughter named W, who will be 1 at the end of this week (insert standard comment about time flying too fast here).  She's known on Instagram for her insane  mop of hair and scrunchy-face smiles:

  • We relocated here to Wichita in June 2012 for my husband's job (moving to a different state with an 8 week old baby? An adventure all on its own), and are getting used to life in the Midwest.  In the past 7 years, I have lived in Phoenix, New York City, Phoenix again, and now Wichita, Kansas.  Believe me, I'm still getting used to the transition of going from New York City to Wichita in 2 years' time.
  • I started this blog in 2008 as a way to keep up with friends while I was living in New York City and planning my wedding.  Needless to say, the content around here has changed a little bit in the past 4 years!  The bottom line is that no matter the topic, I try to be honest and try not to take myself too seriously.
Snack Time
  • I just transitioned to being a full-time stay-at-home-mom this month, and am trying to figure out exactly what that means to me.  I do know that I shower more and am finally catching up on paperwork I should have done last year, so that's a good start?
  • I turned 30 last year, and decided to commit to doing 101 things I've always wanted to do over the next 1,001 days.  I'll be focusing a lot more on that over the coming months, because I'm having a lot of fun with it.
  • I'm a firm believer that there are very few things an extra dirty martini (or 3) cannot cure.

Dirty Martini

Now, it's your turn!  Please take a minute to introduce yourself and let me know where I can find more fun things about you (Blog? Twitter? Instagram?)  

I look forward to connecting with you! 

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Of Baby Bums and Blogging Conferences

One of the things I never expected from this whole journey into parenthood was how fiercely passionate one could become over a a baby product... Let alone a product meant solely for a baby's bum.  As much as I adore the look of a chubby little baby bottom, there is nothing more challenging that wrangling a diaper-free crawler around the house while attempting to dry out a bad case of diaper rash.  One of the most prized products I've had in my baby arsenal has been  Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Ointment, which is the ONLY thing that has cured the occasional (yet miserable) diaper rash flare ups in our household.

I rarely work with sponsors on this little ol' blog of mine, but you imagine my the freak out excitement that ensued when I partnered up with Dr. Smith's be a Brand Ambassador for them at the BlissDom Conference this week.  I mean honestly, these people have made some of the uglier parts of mommyhood so much easier for me, so being able to be associated with the brand is a real thrill.

If you aren't already (and if you're a mom, you should be!) make sure to follow Dr. Smith's on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram- they'll be doing some sweet giveaways during the BlissDom Conference.  And for BlissDom attendees- make sure to stop by the Dr Smith's Sweet Relief booth for some goodies!

Also, stay tuned because I'll be hosting a fabulous Dr Smith's giveaway after the conference...  Whether you're a parent or not, it'll be a giveaway you'll want to enter!

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Blissdom I go!

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No More Google Reader?!

I just logged into Reader for the night, and got this surprising pop up:

Turns out Google will be retiring Google Reader in July....  Does this make anyone else sad, or just me?

Any suggestions regarding alternative options to aggregate the eleventy hundred blogs I've subscribed to over the past 5 years?


**Edited to add:  Lifehacker has suggested a list of acceptable alternatives here... Guess it's time to start converting all my RSS feeds...

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To Endings and Beginnings

I just saved my last Excel spreadsheet, sent my last e-mail, closed up my Microsoft Outlook, and logged off my virtual work connection for the last time.

Today is the last day of my corporate job.  Tomorrow, I become a full-time stay-at-home mom.

That's a misnomer, really, because I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom since we moved to Wichita in June.  It's just that for the last 8 months, I've been a full-time stay-at-home mom, a financial analyst working virtually part-time, and full-time small business owner all at the same time.  For the past 8 months, I've been trying to "have it all'- a career, a thriving child, a happy home life with clean floors and a hot meal on the table when my husband returned home from a hard day at work.  And you know what?  I've been failing at "having it all" pretty miserably.

Now failing is a strong word, and one my husband, manager, and parents would probably be quick to correct me on.  In all honesty, I've done okay on the career front because I've put my career before my child, small business, and home for the past 8 months.  I've done that because 1) they aren't paying me to do a half-assed job and play puzzles when I should be editing PowerPoint decks, and frankly, 2) I really love my job more than a person should humanly love a corporate gig.  I never once woke up and dreaded going to the office when I lived in Phoenix and was working full-time, and the only reason I dreaded working part-time virtually here in Wichita was when conference calls were scheduled during non-naptime hours and I knew I was going to be doing some serious baby juggling while on mute.

I finally hit my tipping point.  With a thriving, active 11 month old baby (good Lord, how is she almost 1 already?!), I just couldn't make it work any longer.  I got to the point where I had to choose between being a good employee and being a good mom - and I'll be honest, having to make that decision was very hard for me (harder than it should have been). But at the end of the day, my daughter deserves to be played with and not stuck in front of the Disney channel for 2 hours at a time because "Mommy just needs to finish up one last PowerPoint deck, ok sweetheart?  Go play with Mickey!"

The Lord has blessed us with some exciting new life changes in 2013, changes that will simultaneously push our budget limits and prevent me from pursuing the option of a full-time job at this time.  So the decision had to be made- let the Disney channel continue to raise my daughter, or put my (admittedly selfish) career ambitions and desire to unwind after a long day in front of Bravo the side for now.

I don't think I can even find the right words to express how I'm feeling about this transition.  Yes, there is a bit of relief there because I'll finally be able to find time for a shower more than twice a week (and if I'm being perfectly honest, change my day/night pajama uniform more than two or three times a week as well). I will have more time to prepare nutritious meals so the baby and I aren't stuck eating graham crackers for lunch (again), and thank the Lord I'll finally have time to deep clean this old rental house we live in (the dust bunnies around here are so big, I jump when I see one move out of the corner of my eye because I think it's a giant bug).

Part of me feels like a huge jerk, because I know that there are mothers out there who would die to have the option to stay at home full-time with their babies without any additional commitments.

Part of me is terrified, because we have been relying on every penny of that part-time paycheck...  I'm feverishly digging through our finances, cutting the few creature comforts we did spend money on (cable and an occasional takeout meal) and figuring out ways to save on the grocery budget (making my own bread?  Learning to coupon?).  But saving for college?  Finally getting out of debt?  What about all these fresh MBA loans?

There is also a great deal of internal trepidation- the "me" that I've held on to for so long- the spreadsheet crunching, contract writing, finance gal who would choose a well-fitting business suit and crisp white button down over a pair of jeans and a tank any day- she's officially gone now.  My identity for the last 9 years has been comprised a great deal by the title "financial analyst". It's on my business card, my tax forms, and heck even on the doctor's medical forms say it.  I have that title no longer.

I'm now a wife and mom that drives a minivan and lives in Wichita, Kansas.  And that's about all I've figured out right now.  It's time to find my new identity and begin the next chapter in my life.

1 Timothy 6: 6-8

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we should be content."

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Blissdom Blogging Conference 2013

T-minus 28 days until Miss E and I will be attending Blissdom 2013 in Dallas, Tx!

I know, right- going to a blogging conference when I haven't blogged in a solid 4 months, or even consistently for the past few years to begin with...?  Ehhh, what can you do.  Let's just call it a much needed, diaper-free girls' weekend where you're surrounded by people who don't think you're crazy for meeting many of your best friends over the Internet.

The last time I attended a blogging conference was BlogHer 2010 in New York City (stealing the post link to our trip from Erin because apparently I never wrote about it... shocker) with a couple of my main gals Miss E, Erin, and Mojito Maven.  The trip was everything I could have hoped for in a girls trip- great food, tons of laughs, and more than a few inside jokes created along the way.

I'll be honest and admit that the actual blogging conference bit didn't quite jive with me at the time...  I felt way out of my element in some of the sessions, listening to women explain how agonizing it was to draft and re-draft blog posts for hours on end until they felt they had gotten things just right.  I just kept thinking to myself "Um.... I just blabber on about whatever is going on in my life at the moment, and post poor quality pictures of it."  I realized that many of the women attending this conference considered themselves writers, publishing small snippets of their lives like short stories on their blogs.  Sooooo not my mindset.  BlogHer is a great conference all around, but I just didn't find what I was looking for at the time.

I decided to give Blissdom a go after reading many of the amazing reviews other friends and  bloggers had written over the last few years.  The biggest tipping point was the conference's move this year from Nashville to Dallas, where my parents live (hello, free child care!)  A few of my very close friends (again, all originally met through blogging... sensing a theme here) are DFW natives so add in some much-craved friend visits and it was really a no brainer.

One thing I'm loving about the Blissdom conference agenda is that there are different tracks for different interests.  Want to improve your writing skills? Awesome.  Looking to take your photography to the next step?  Come on board.  Time to grow your blog's business brand?  They have that too.  And, for bloggers like me that may not quite fit any of those paths at the moment, there's the Life Development path.

From Blissdom's website:

"Life Development is about living your own life better. About finding your true path and navigating it in a way that fulfills you and broadens your horizons.  These sessions have been carefully chosen and are honed to help us live our lives deliberately. As creative people, without understanding our “Why”, we are prone to burnout and misdirection.

This year, through the Life Development track, we will ignite (or reignite) our fires. We’ll have presenters who will help us assess our paths, seek our happiness, and identify any need for course correction so we can surge forward."
I don't know about you, but I feel like this is the kind of conference topic any blogger can get into.  Getting a little extra inspiration, hopefully meeting more amazing Internet-turned-real-life friends, and eating a lot of good food?  Count me in.  And who knows- I may just get my act together enough to write about how the conference went this time around. :)

Are you going to Blissdom this year, or know anyone that is?

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