Monday, September 22, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name...

On Saturday, my husband posted this picture on Facebook of me holding an absolutely stunning bouquet of roses from Kalla. Beside the photo he said "Happy Anniversary, Honey! I love you!"

And the responses were insane.

Can you blame them? People on Facebook were astounded at the bouquet of over 52 enormous roses and rose buds, arranged in a lovely vase; the entire thing is bigger than my head and weighs at least 40 pounds! My husband quickly achieved "best husband of the year" status in the minds of many a Facebook Friend.

Had I been ON Facebook when he posted that picture, I might have stopped the onslaught of assumptions that this arrangement was a gift from my husband for our anniversary. While he brings me flowers with decent regularity, a bouquet of this size is not something I would have been very happy with him purchasing on that particular day, considering the fact that we were going out of town that weekend for our anniversary trip! For 2 whole days, only our teenager, cats, dog, and helpful neighbors were able to appreciate its beauty. When I returned home from our anniversary weekend rendezvous, the roses awaited us, looking just as fresh as when they arrived, if  not more so.

The truth is, these flowers were a gift from the Kalla flower company. Kalla was a sponsor for a summertime Chicagonista Live! show in June, and as a blogger thank you, they provided bouquets as gifts for everyone who attended* the live taping of ChicagonistaLive; isn't that amazing?

This bouquet is called the Athena and Artemis and retails online for $200. The delivery was in the most secure and appealing box I've ever received flowers in, and their hardiness, at 4 days past delivery, reflects the caliber of roses used.

I haven't received any payment for this post, and I wasn't even politely asked to do one. This is absolutely on my own steam and desire to spread the word about their work. I'd totally recommend for any event you need to brighten up with flowers!

*Truth #2: Even though I have lived in the Chicago suburbs my entire 38 years, I still get lost when I try to get downtown via the 290/294/yaddayadda method. And so, even though I had over 2 hours to travel a distance that should have taken 50 minutes, I ended up about an hour NORTH of Chicago, in traffic, crying and sad. I missed the ChicagonistaLive show! The only show I have been able to attend. And I missed it. AND I WAS CRYING. But MJ and Kalla took pity on me and included me in the blogger outreach, which is why I am sitting at my kitchen table in September, writing a blog post, while blissfully inhaling 50-some enormous roses.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Snapshot memories

17 years ago today, the weather was GORGEOUS, much like it is right now. I clearly remember certain details... Like walking into a nail salon for the first time in my life, only to turn around and leave because the SMELL! The FUMES! I couldn't handle it. I went home and did my own nails (as usual) for the next day, which was my wedding.

We had a very fun rehearsal that night. Complete with the whole "bouquet made from bridal shower gift bows" and much laughter, despite the very serious setting of the Catholic church we were getting married in. I remember how the soloist and pianist both had shocked expressions on their faces when I paid them. They had said "whatever you feel is appropriate" in terms of payment; can you imagine that? I didn't think I was overpaying, but it was obvious that I was.

We ate dinner at Connie's Pizza in Naperville. I guess I should say "The restaurant formerly known as Connie's Pizza" because it's now a road house grill or something. This saddens me. Their pizza was great, but the best part was that for the rehearsal dinner, I finally got to eat UPSTAIRS. The upstairs section of the restaurant had been an enigma for me throughout my entire childhood. So mysterious! It seemed fitting that on the night of my wedding, I was finally allowed upstairs. Connie's knew I was an Adult.

I remember giggling with my girlfriend in the family room of my parents' house. I wasn't living at home at the time, but it seemed strange to sleep in the apartment with Patrick on our wedding night, especially after all of the lies we told to the Catholic marriage counselors. ("No, we're totally not living together.") . She was adorably pregnant with her first child and wanted to sleep on the recliner to support her back, so I slept on the couch and we watched old movies and had popcorn...

All that night, I kept looking at my hand, with only the engagement ring, knowing that in just a few hours, I would be wed to my best friend....

17 years ago I was envisioning and imagining and wondering about what our lives would look like. 17 years later, I am still envisioning and imagining but also remembering and treasuring all of the moments we've shared.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I actually had a great day today, until I tried to write a blog post....

Agitated. On Edge. Writer's Block. Mosquito bites. Barking dog. Stiff neck.

The house smells weird.

The kids are bickering about video games. My turn, your turn. Yours was longer. Mine was shorter. LIFE IS SO HAAAARD to be a middle-class suburban kid!

Is it time for bed? 6:20 pm? So, if I fall asleep now, I'll be up at 2:30 am. FANTASTIC.

The sarcasm is flowing thickly today in the house of Becker and I am not fording it well.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


"Mommy, I'm making toast; do you want some, too?"

"Thank you, Corinne. Yes, I'd like one piece, please."

"Do you want it buttered and with cinnamon?"

"Definitely! Thank you."

"Oh, also, do you want it cooked or raw?"


"Raw? Do you mean.... just... bread?"

~Still not feeling like my writing mojo is back, but I have tons of things in my head I need to record. It may be time to start up a new handwritten journal....

Friday, September 05, 2014

Love is the Water

I've always loved painting with water colors.

It fascinates me how, with ample water and brush strokes, a miniscule speck of paint can cover a vast area of paper.

One drop will change the shade of an entire painting.

People are a bit like water color paints.

Even the smallest person can change the world's hue, if they have loved and been loved enough.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

7 Long Ass Days

I've been walking around the house, feeling disjointed and incomplete. Patrick and Corinne have been off on a grand adventure together since last Friday and I could not be more happy for them. I also couldn't be more muddled and out-of-sorts if I tried. Ever watch "The Jerk"? Remember the scene when Steve Martin* is talking about how time feels different, now that he's been with Bernadette Peters for 4 weeks and 3 days?

I keep replaying that in mind.

It's only been 7 days since they left, but it honestly feels like 3 weeks and 3 days.

The first day seemed like 5 days, and the second day was a Saturday, and I was sick, so it only seemed like 3 days, but the next day was a Sunday, and that felt like 4 days. Monday was Labor day, and it didn't feel like anything other than a day, but Tuesday.... Yeah, you kinda get where I'm going with this, right?

I'm not fully certifiable (yet). I'm just living without 2 of my best friends and I don't know what to do about it.

It's good that it's raining; I can stay in my pajamas and drink coffee by the window and no one will randomly stop by to notice that I'm braless and unbathed.

*The only celebrity crush I'll admit to.**
**Besides Jimmy Fallon.***
***And Amy Pohler. I obviously have a thing for comedians that started on SNL.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What a quaint thought

You would think that in the absence of writing, I would be doing something constructive with all of my "extra time."

Wouldn't that be nice?
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