two sundays ago, i discovered baby mac had reached the age where hiding from my weekly sunday FaceTime was more fun than actually talking to me. WHAT IS THIS, i thought. SHE’S ONLY 4. i’m supposed to be a fun aunt until, well, hell, until always. aunts are always the fun ones. it’s the moms that bear the full brunt of the teenage hormones (sorry, sister J) (and S-I-L M). she and bubba mac continued their game of hide and stay hidden, so sister J and i caught up instead. it was a rare treat talking like adults instead of filling in the blanks of the mad libs kids’ conversation.

last sunday, i came prepared. if baby mac was going to act like a teenager, i was going to get teenage advice from her. she danced around the room, a tiny ballerina on my phone screen. she plopped down next to her brother. she tore through the kitchen asking for something sweet. “hey, K,” i shouted. i waited until her face filled the view and then i unleashed the secret weapon, “what should i be for halloween?” she froze. her eyes grew pumpkin sized. her grin, a jack-o-lantern.

“i don’t know,” came tumbling through her teeth. her usual response. she looked towards her mom.

sister J prodded her, guided her, mothered her.

“a witch,” K said and looked right at me.

this sunday, i’m going to show her my costume.



in class last night, my mind wandered and my hand wrote in cursive. the only time i write in cursive is to sign my name. looking at the paper, my cursive resembles a third grader’s. it looks i’m writing in another language. pig latin and cursive. i don’t remember when i stopped writing in cursive and returned to printing.

cursive is supposed to be fluid and therefore easier to write, but when have i ever taken the easy route?

our homework this week is to write a terrible story.


how to do real estate

(1) go to a “first time home buyer’s course.”

(2) determine paltry budget.

(3) get preapproved for a mortgage.

(3) obtain real estate agent.

(4) see condos. lots and lots and lots of condos. little ones, tiny ones, medium ones, itty bitty ones.

(5) fall in love with one.

(6) make an offer.

(7) be the fourth best offer out of fourteen.

(8) despair.

(9) go to more open houses upon open houses upon open houses.

(10) get lost driving to open houses.

(11) start to recognize neighborhoods.

(12) cringe every time someone asks how the search is going and you have nothing to report other than three failed offers.

(13) go to more open houses.

(14) receive advice from parents.

(15) narrow search.

(16) hey, how about going to some open houses?

(17) realize some sort of compromise is going to have to be made.

(18) drag feet at the thought of a compromise.

(19) expand search.

(20) go to some open houses of places you really can’t afford.

(19) cry.

(20) make some appointments to view some condos.

(21) gather advice from friends who know more than you. drag some of said friends to open houses with you.

(22) realize you’ve totally neglected your current rental in the hopes of having a fresh, new space to call home. clean.

(23) fall further in love with current location and current neighborhood.

(24) continue to despise lackadaisical landlords and crappy, falling down apartment.

(25) curse your luck at looking for a place to buy in an assuredly seller’s market.

(26) crunch numbers again.

(27) get re-preapproved for mortgage.

(28) buy lottery ticket.

(29) go to more open houses.

(30) receive text message from your godmother who thought of you because HGTV had a boston-centric episode.

(31) smile.

(32) rinse.

(33) repeat.


secret santa

giving gifts is not something i take lightly. in fact, it’s quite an exhausting endeavor because in order for me to give a gift, it has to be good. it has to be meaningful. it has to make sense for the receiver. no generic stuff here. and so, yes, i find christmas to be a bit overwhelming with all the gifts i have to give at once, which is why i usually start planning what gifts i’ll give in october. that way i don’t have to rush and i can give each person not only the right gift, but a proper amount of time to figure out what said gift should be.

i’m in charge of organizing the sibling secret santa and doing so now means i’m just like all those major retailers who start decorating their stores mid-october. hopefully in a less annoying and bling-ed out manner. pumpkins and elves. the mash-up of holidays. family interlaced throughout. always family. always love. always laughter. always lucky.

i’m too liberal with my comma use. i use them to imply pauses, breaths taken. screw grammar. i’m living life on my own terms.