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Rick and I decided to stay home and have a 1929 inspired New Year’s Eve.

Basically, sit on the couch and spend zero dollars.


Dude, not spending money is so damn boring.

But with a myriad of New Year’s Eve shows to choose from, including a live performance by the Jonas Brothers, things started to really liven up.


Oh wait, no… that’s not what happened.


Here we go.

While Rick was folding laundry, I did my part by watching TV. I loved the hilarious and brilliant Kathy Griffin co-hosting with Anderson Cooper on CNN. But NOTHING surpassed the Scope Kiss Cam on ABC.

Dear Head Honchos over at ABC,

Yes, a kiss at midnight is a New Year’s Eve tradition.

And yes, it’s totally hot to watch beautiful celebrities make-out in some steamy movie.

It is, however, completely gross and vomit inducing to watch random people shove their tongues down each others throats while wearing big arse parkas and giant, electric blue Nivea hats in Times Square.


A Faithful Viewer (IF you promise to make “Grey’s Anatomy” good again or at the very least fix Meredith’s hair)

And I did feel sorry for some of the TV reporters who could barely speak because their lips were so cold and frozen in the 0 degree weather. But then they kept using dumb words and phrases that no normal person every utters like, “revelers” and “closed to vehicular traffic.”

And to think I wasted my pity on them.

Of course, these were my favorite little New Year’s girls.



But now that the holidays are over, I will miss having an easy, light way to wrap up emails. You know… “Happy Thanksgiving,” “Happy Holidays,” or “Wishing you a wonderful new year!”

I mean, what am I suppose to write now?

“Despite the frigid cold and dreary winter days, hope your January doesn’t make you want to curl up in a ball and cry while gripping a bottle of Mad Dog.”

Yeah, I guess that could work.


There was a time when I would leave a bar in Madrid at 3 in the morning, jump on some Spaniard’s motorcycle and enjoy an exhilarating, high speed spin around the city.

Or another time, when I was headed to Charleston, South Carolina on a Friday night to hang with my best friend Jo (yes, contributing mama Jordana), when I learned the flight was delayed. I had the following conversation with an airline worker:

“Why is the flight delayed? I have plans to go out tonight in Charleston,” I politely but urgently ask. I’m a 20-something single girl and I have PLANS. To go out.

“I’m sorry but we’re having a mechanical problem with the plane.  We’re waiting for a replacement part,” replies the airline worker.

Unsatisfied, I press for more information.

“When is the replacement part getting here?”

“It’s hard to say.”

“Well, who needs one little replacement part? It’s a short flight. Let’s just give it a go. The bars are only open ’til 1 am, you know,” I joke.

Well, sort of joke. I mean, let’s get this plane off the ground lady.

During my teens and twenties, I felt so damn invincible. So courageous. So strong.

But somewhere along the way fear crept in. I started to hesitate. About too many things.

I now can think of a crazy amount of reasons why it’s not such a brilliant idea to hop on some random guy’s motorcycle in the middle of the night in Madrid.

Or why an aircraft replacement part might be slightly more important than a night bar hopping with my friends.

But with this maturity, I’ve lost something along the way. A certain boldness.  A boldness that offers up life as it is meant to be lived. The full experience.

I know it has a lot to do with having children. It seems the more I have to lose, the more people I desperately love, the more paralyzed I become.

I want to protect my children from the evils of life and keep them safe forever. I want to be here on this earth for them as long as possible.

Of course, rationally, I know I can’t control their destiny. Or my destiny. But I keep trying.

So this year, I pledge to let go of a little of the fear. To have trust in the universe. To have faith in a higher power. To let go. Just a tiny bit.

Because I want my children to see me as a loving, independent and courageous spirit. The kind of mother who would absolutely take a ride on a motorcycle every now and again.

With a helmet.

The Spaniard is optional.


I can’t believe I told you about my big disco night out in Memphis and never mentioned the most totally awesomely awkward part.

The bathroom.

Thank you to Janna (my brother-in-law’s sister which makes her my 3rd cousin or something) for the reminder.

You see Raiford’s, now known as Hollywood Disco, has one of those bathrooms with NO stall doors.

Never been in one?

You are missing out ladies.

You see, you get to pee while sitting next to someone (most likely a stranger) who is also peeing.

And since there are no stall doors and only a partial divider between you and the other lucky gal,  you can make eye contact, use each other’s toilet paper and share witty banter… ALL while peeing in unison, or not in unison if you’re more of the independent type.

Or if you’re more like me, you’re just TRYING to pee.  Because really, I could have 16 draft beers, only to walk into this very public ladies room and suddenly I absolutely can’t go at all. Not one little drop.

I don’t know how guys do it standing side by side at the trough.

Apparently the woman’s bathroom at Raiford’s just underwent a renovation too.

There used to be a mirror in front of the toilets so you could actually get glimpses of other gals’ privates.

I’m sorry I missed those glory days.

I need a stall door.

Just a little privacy to do my lady business.


So Christmas in Tennessee turned out to be awesomely cool.

And not just because you can fill up your tank, grab a packet of condoms and pick up a fresh salmon roll all in the same establishment.


You just can’t get that kind of convenience up North.

My sister and brother-in-law were incredible hosts and party masters. My brother-in-law, Erik,  can cook up shrimp etouffee, gourmet turkey meatballs, three kinds of quiche, manicotti and still has time to party with us like a Memphis rock star.


Yeah… I’m still not showing you Erik’s face. I like my brother-in-law cloaked in mystery.

One night all of us danced until 2:30 in the morning. But at one point late night, I looked around and thought, “Who let in all the dumb, underage kids?”

Apparently, they were in their mid 20s.

This is my sister Quinn on the dance floor.  Notice the focus. Notice that when there’s a fog machine, your body just sort of takes the lead.


And not to be outdone. Here’s my mom a little earlier in the day showing us her tap moves, adding a splash of the Rockettes.


No fog machine or cocktails required.

Oh and this weekend, my sweet mom learned about this ritzy new technology called the iPhone.  She noticed that 4 year-old Dylan is really intrigued with the gadget and started asking questions.

Apparently the Apple marketing team has not been targeting the 65 year-old former tap dancer, current Buddhist, now getting a masters degree in social work demographic. I don’t know what they’re spending their advertising dollars on.

My girls loved their holiday in Memphis. Look at my little one in her sweet Santa dress and too cute red hair bow…


Oh you don’t think that’s my kid? Man, you are like eagle eye over there. Ok. That’s my sister’s adorable niece, Abby.  My girls dressed more like this…


There is something so lovely about the traditional wedding veil and…


the acrylic, Dream of Jeannie, halter top on Christmas eve.  Super sweet Memphis mama Martha loaned the girls these cute dress up clothes. Honestly, I don’t know why I even bothered packing actual clothes.

On Sunday, we were sort of  sad, super sad, ridiculously sad to pack up, say goodbye and head home.

Summer was obviously the saddest because she had to give up her little princess green halter top.

She dreams of a magical day when she heads back down South and they are reunited once again.

mama bird notes:

I wanted to give a big congratulations to my newest contributing mama Diane LeBleu. Her most recent mama bird post, “Merry Christmas! I Have Breast Cancer!” was just reprinted on the awesome New York Times’ Motherlode blog.  Click here to visit Motherlode and Diane’s piece.


I have one of those hacking coughs right now.

The kind where people stare at me on the street and are either…

A) Panicked because they think I am choking and are contemplating whether they have time to save me because they’re already late for a 2 pm blow-out appointment at their hair salon so they can look extra sassy for the holidays or…

B) They curse me because they think I am spreading some kind of nasty, dangerous virus or…

C) They judge me because I  absolutely must have a 2 pack a day cigarette habit to sound this horrendous.

There’s a lot of phlegm involved with this cough. It’s super sexy. Just ask my husband. He mentioned that I coughed in his face last night. Look, if he can’t recognize a little foreplay, his loss.

So despite this cough and the crazy cold weather here in New York, I headed out this weekend to get a pedicure. And then I walked home in the freezing hail in my flip flops.


Yeah my toes were cold. But it’s so much better than ruining a perfectly good pedicure.

That color is black onyx.

The guy next to me at the nail place was getting the very same color. That’s how life usually rolls in the West Village.

Anyway, it’s been so darn cold the last couple days, that I’ve actually been going out like this…


How ridiculous and dorky do I look? As I get older, I’m getting closer and closer to that pilly ski hat a certain relative of mine always likes to wear when the temperature drops.

Mom, you know I would never out you or your fashion choices on this blog.

Anyway, my dumb winter hat kind of makes me long for the days of the summer visor.


When I looked just as dorky, but I was so much warmer.

But I am gratefully headed for warmer weather tomorrow. We are flying to Memphis for the holiday.  You can bet my Jewish husband never thought he’d one day be celebrating Christmas in Tennessee. He’s just praying for some tasty southern BBQ.

I can’t wait to show everyone my black onyx toes.

And if I don’t see you at Graceland, Happy Christmas to all.

mama bird notes
These days contributing mama Karen Palmer Bland is trying to explain to her kids why Santa won’t be stopping at their Jewish home this holiday season. To read more of this hilarious post, click on contributing mamas.

kelcey kintner