The Love of Your Own Life

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

I do. I love me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a Valentine’s Day box, my teacher always had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was left out. Not even one that I often hear guys claim is “made up” for women to get gifts. (Well fellas, if you treated your gals “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). We’d wake up to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a box of chocolates. Always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations for a dollar and the members would drop the carnation off to your designated Valentine anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. Open flung the doors and our band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whomever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

And it didn’t come from a love interest. Or the non-existent boyfriend I had at the time. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend gave me the best Valentine’s Day memory. Why? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

If force dancing with your head taller than you female cousin at your uncle’s wedding isn’t a grand gesture of love, what is?

More importantly, regardless of whether we are madly in love with our kids…

I mean…

COME ON.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our romantic partner…

Thank you boyfriends of yesteryears.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, co-workers….

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with extended family…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about)…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love – let alone like – yourself as your own #1, no one will love the you who is meant to be loved.

Bitch, I’m a Queen. A Queen Bitch Supreme. And I know it.

Be your own damn Valentine.

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Appropriately colored libations required.

I’m taking myself out with First Mate tonight – same as we did last year – to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how bad ass we both are in our own right.

Now treat yourself to your version of a stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day. You deserve it.

Be the love of your own damn life.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Dog Days of Summer

If you know me in the slightest, you know that my fur kids are people to me (whenever I walk in my front door, no matter if I just took the trash out, I holler “where my peeps at?”). My world revolves around them. And, suffice to say, I have had the greatest honor and pleasure of rescuing a small zoo.

But there are always fur babies that hold an extra special spot in your heart and I’m sad to share that I came home from work last week and found that my chug, Precious, had passed away. She was in the exact spot where she normally awaits my arrival home. Although, upon calling out, her little tail didn’t wag and her head didn’t pop up in excitement of seeing her mama after mere hours away from one another.

Coolest chug on the planet.

To say that I am devastated is an understatement. I am having a hard time writing this now – and yet as we all know too fucking well – life moves on. For me, I’m trying to comprehend the timing. I’ve lost my two best fur friends within a year. Two fur peeps that were like guns in holsters by my side, one on each hip constantly. My chest has been heavy and my heart is honestly in pieces. But with my constant support system of the fabulous humans in my life, I’ve managed one moment at a time. One bestie told me that if she didn’t know me, she’d think I had Munchausen Syndrome of drama because so much shit has rained down in the last few years. But unfortunately, it’s all true. Which is why I always let people go first when we talk about how our day has been.

Ted and Presh. Best buddies playing forever over the Rainbow Bridge.

I dread walking through the front door where I found Presh but on the first day the task had to be done, I had a bouquet from the most kick ass friends in which a girl could wish greeting me. They were sitting right outside my door, easing the burden of the inevitable door walk through.

Flowers are a grieving gal’s best friend.

While I wanted to wallow in bed with the covers over my head, I realized I do have rent to pay, lights to keep on and four pussies to feed. When I came into work, pink roses awaited my arrival.

Team members showed their love.

My cousin and his wife were thankfully in town Friday and Dada CBXB and myself went to meet them for a much-needed Skinny Pirate(s) after the longest fucking week. While I do pride myself in being current, I couldn’t help but die when I snapped a pic of our cocktails and saw that a walker was in the background. If you get to Dalts before 5pm, you’ll be sharing the bar with people who make you feel like a newborn. And I don’t hate it.

Can you tell we’re related?

In my Iowa twin news, there were getting prepped for the arrival of Coo Coo (yes, that’s the phrase we use for grandpa – always keeping it classy).

Hunk of the month. I’m talking about the boy, not the dog.

Swish swish full of swag.

Coo Coo made it just in time for cocktail hour on Saturday.

Jazz hands run in the family, obvies.

Another thing that runs in the family? Fabulous nails. Princess B set out to give Auntie CBXB a run for her patriotic mani money.

Red, white and blue-hoo!

Tootsies too.

Same color scheme, slightly different approach for this old broad. I can’t wait to make Sister CBXB give me a manicure next time I see her since she’s got mad mani skills.

Patriotic claws.

While Coo Coo and the twins were living it up in Iowa, I was having a time getting my ass outta the bed.

Rasta and the sun coaxed me out of the mini where I floated the day away.

We were slightly alarmed after seeing the obviously-required-by-the-codes-department-sign hanging at the pool that missed vital information…

Who’s gonna save me?

Getting ready for a bath (full of bawling my eyes out) post swim, First Mate called and saved the day. She swung by with Bota Box Rosé (seriously the best box of wine on the market at the moment) and we chit chatted and then started to binge watch the show Younger (seriously an easy-to-watch-thirty-minutes-of-fuff). And then my main TV crapped out. Did we let ruin our slumber party?

The Gulp ‘n’ Go.

Nope. We moved the cheese platter, popcorn and the pussies into the bedroom.

Our Cardboardeaux Rosé accompanied us.

Nothing like nestling in for a binge…until someone says “I just need to rest my eyes,” and it’s lights out. So First Mate saw herself out of the mini after her host rudely passed out.

Slumber party shenanigans.

Starting the newest novel by Ruth Ware, I decided it was better to get more vitamin D while reading than complete and utter darkness under the covers. Sunday Funday found me back at the pool in 95 degree heat. While I have gained 40 pounds since Rapegate, the one perk of the extra LBs has been the enhancement of my flat chest (oh and I have pride in photos and videos that make the rounds to friends).

Wallowing in the sun.

Complete package.

With must needed thirst quenchers.

Again when I was side eyeing the bath tub (Precious would sit on the toilet while I bathed – again, nothing but classy white trash), knowing it would cause a tearfest, Bird Lady happened to call and suggest a cocktail and snack outing.

When she saw me she said, “Your hair looks really great. What did you do?”

“I finally washed it.”

So fresh and so clean cocktail hour.

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for helping this gal, who is seriously trudging through the muck of life (I mean fucking seriously, was I a serial killer in a past life?), feel loved, important and heard. Words, gestures and hugs go the longest way.

Can’t wait to see her again and Bear again. Two great loves of my life.

Take care of yourselves. Look both ways before crossing the street. Make sure you don’t fall down any stairs. Wear a floatie in the lake. Make sure that seat belt snaps. Because if you’re reading this, I love you. And my heart can take no more losses at the moment.

XOXO –

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Summer Snaps

While it seemed the month of January lasted 100 days earlier this year, how in the fuck is it now the middle of June? Bananas.

I’ve taken a slide down the regression train the last two months in regard to Rapegate and its aftermath full of PTSD and what not but – BUT with the help of my family, friends and fur balls, my wheels are still on the track, although daily WD40 is required at this point. Here’s what kept me moving and grooving…

Sometimes all you need are ladies who help keep your crown held high. And wine. Lots and lots of wine.

A night in with laughs, snacks and shenanigans.

I decided to get CPR certified, so maybe when I’m having my own panic attacks I can calm myself the fuck down (just kidding…only chewing on Xanax and getting on all fours does the trick for me). When we were practicing chest compressions on our dummies, the instructor asked who I was mad at…angry much? Yes, I believe I will be taking up kick boxing or kung fu in the near future.

It was the shit watching Nashville’s NHL hockey team, the Predators make their second appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs, complete with watch parties.

Fang Fingers!

While they didn’t make it to the end, it was a season full of fun with reasons to partake in cocktails whether they won or lost.

Reasons for seasons.

There’s always reminders that I need to stop and smell the roses lilacs, compliments of my Princess B. She knows what’s up.

She reminds me that I always have time to stop and smell the wine.

Not drinking alone if your cats are home.

Or your chug.

Summer sports are in full swing and I think I have a sports star in the making with Prince B.

Sports stud on the rise.

I don’t know if Prince B could do it without the support from his sister, who clearly only comes to his games to watch.

Cheerleading at its finest.

You wanna know what else is a ‘holy fuck?!’ moment? My Iowa twins graduated Pre-K. We have official kindergarteners on ours hands people.

First and last day pics.

As soon as the summer vacation commenced, these two were on it full speed ahead.

Vacay the right way.

Oh and my tender-hearted nephew is about to melt your heart. Even if its dead and cold. He recently shaved his head because he wanted matching ‘dos with his dad.

Like father, like son.

In other happy news, my dophew, Spike, celebrated his third trip around the sun.

Spike with his fave kind of bone.

And in possibly the best news yet, the mini manse’s pool opened.

Summer hydration IV.

Rasta and I celebrated our one year anniversary – we met at the pool last year. Awe.

Alcohol and Bad Decisions.

More happiness with my fabulous stylist who not only is one of my besties but makes me laugh AND makes my hair dreams come true.

He does the hair. I provide the accessories.

 

The pink glitter cup he gifted me left me with surprises in my pie hole.

Sequin tooth in place. Does this give me street cred?

Bird Lady and I found a new bar, Firefly Bar and Grille, where I want to move in as they have their Christmas lights up all year long inside. Better yet, when one strand burns out, they leave it up and just put new ones over the old strand. Be still my beating heart.

Firefly and feeling fine.

When my gal pal from college came in, we shut that damn bar down while showing off our jazz hands we perfected in our collegiate show choir. Yep. We were cool like that.

Jazz hands still on point.

There have been many a Friday night where I want to stay in and get wild with organization. But this keeps happening…

So I catch up on how to murder people without getting caught. Don’t piss me off.

I’m also happy to report that Nashville is finally joining the 1980s and offering wine on Sundays now. We still can’t purchase liquor but I’ll settle for Jesus juice.

Miracles do come true.

Speaking of miracles, my loudmouth was allowed on a golf course to play a bit of put-put (or as real golfers call it, golf) while also delivering snacks and booze. All for a fabulous cause – Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Over $300,000 was raised for the kids.

Koozies make the best earrings.

When they told me to stock up the cart with snacks, I pretended I was on Supermarket Sweep and took just about everything in sight.

Griswolds of the golf course.

Roaming around on the golf course are sheep and being the animal lover I am, I wanted to take one home. But I settled for a photo instead, where they look like white blobs behind a big slob.

The famous sheep with a gigantic asshat.

In other famous news, Princess B got all dolled up for her second recital. And while I am very proud of her, I am also beyond jealous of her costume and am considering an extreme diet so I can squeeze my ample rear end into it.

Dancing Queen

Since she supported her brother in baseball, it was only fair he happily did the same…complete with the proper dance picture pose.

Hands on hips.

I used to be an avid jogger. My bed seems so much better these days, yet, First Mate got me out of my shell and coaxed me into participating in a Coconut RAD (Random Ass Distance) Run. Rasta was so moved, she made us a support poster.

The only way I will run anymore is if I can also hold booze.

One size fits “most”…uh, yeah, right.

While we were far from first place, we were also far from last. And, we couldn’t say no to rum in our coconuts.

Middle of the pack finishers!

No better way to cool off than a party day with Dada CBXB.

Race day cool down.

Suns Out, Buns Out.

I took one for the team, rounding up my dad’s ginormous sandals when it was time to leave.

You all know how much I love my fur balls and one in particular is having some issues. Precious the chug passed out yesterday on the way out for a walk. She’s been to the vet and had tests done, so please send your good juju her way.

Hopeful to get some pep back in her pitiful step.

That, my friends is a long winded catch up. The many reasons I have to smile has everything to do with you.

Thank you.

XOXO

CBXB

CBXB!