Musings | Somewhere in Middle America

Friends, I have a confession to make. I’ve been cheating on this blog with another.

I’d like to introduce you to Bunny + Dolly, my little baby blog.

Yes, that’s right. I’m having a baby! Actually, I’m having a baby pretty soon. My due date is July 9th!

I invite you to click here to read up on my experiences over the last couple of months–the good and the bad. I may be spending most of my time over on Bunny + Dolly for the foreseeable future, so please be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed while you’re there. I’m also playing around with the idea of keeping an abbreviated version of Somewhere in Middle America up and running on Tumblr, so feel free to check that out, too.


{self-portrait taken at 36 weeks}

I will be taking a break from SIMA as I adjust to the demands of my new full-time job. I haven’t had 40+ hour work weeks in almost three years, so I have to relearn how to balance business with pleasure.

For all the working men and women out there…

How do you find time to explore your passions and hobbies while managing your professional and family life?

{image via Pinterest}

There’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and I recently decided to not put it off any longer. So, I’m taking a short break from Somewhere in Middle America to get it done.

What is is? Well, you’ll just have to wait til tomorrow (actually, a week or so) to find out!

(image from anton sugar via mary ruffle)

Yesterday morning, J and I participated in a couple’s yoga workshop at Lotus House of Yoga. The instructor played a mix of romantic tracks while we pulled one another deeper into stretches, (literally) leaned on each other during balancing poses and, at the end, meditated on the melt-in-your-mouth magic of Lindor Truffles.

Her selection of Valentine’s Day-appropriate music got me thinking: What do you think is the most romantic song ever?

Off the top of my head, I’d say it’s pretty hard to top Sade’s “By Your Side.” Whenever I hear it, I melt a little bit on the inside (kind of like a Lindor Truffle). According to my husband, “If you play Sade, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some.” Do you agree?

PS: The ladies at Lotus House of Yoga are some of the sweetest I’ve met in Omaha. If you’re looking for a yoga studio in middle America, I highly recommend checking it out.

The other night I had a dream about Seth Meyers. I’m guessing he was on my mind after I saw the above SNL clip on Maggie’s blog. (In case you were wondering, I totally agree with Maggie and Seth on this one.)

In my dream, I was shopping in a florescent-lit department store with low ceilings in Nebraska when I spotted Seth. Although I recognized him from TV right away, I didn’t want Seth to think I was a crazy celeb stalker, so when our paths crossed, I pretended to not know who he was. We started chatting, and Seth confided that he had just arrived in Nebraska because he was fired from his job that morning. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that,” I said, as if I thought he just lost his job as an accountant or corporate executive.

As we maneuvered through the circular racks, he asked me about my life in middle America. I explained that it was rather boring, using the example that even if we went out on a Saturday night, my husband and I were usually home early enough to catch Saturday Night Live, which airs at 10:30pm out here. Then I realized what I had said.

“If you watch Saturday Night Live, you must know who I am.”

I could see the disappointment and disgust in his eyes. Seth was mad at me for lying to him. And then I woke up.

The moral of my dream: Don’t lie to Seth Meyers.

Back in 2009, I came up with eight non-resolutions for the new year, some of which I’m still working on, but I can’t remember if I made resolutions in 2010. If I did, I didn’t share them on the blog.

Since I feel as though I didn’t accomplish much in 2010, I decided I would come up with a short list of goals I’d like to achieve in 2011 and make them public to create a sense of accountability. So here they are, in order from most tangible to least tangible:

Do cardio at least three times per week

Learn how to play poker

Order my wedding photo album

Create albums of digital photos I’ve taken the past couple of years

Eat more fresh fruit

Wear bright colors on gloomy days

Learn how to meditate

Step out of my comfort zone more often

Quit comparing myself to other people

What are your 2011 resolutions? Are they actionable items or more abstract intentions? What can we do to help each other achieve our goals?

(image via idea-obscura)

2010 was a rough year for me. I turned 30 with much reluctance and little celebration, not understanding how I had reached such a milestone without achieving many of the life goals on my list. I watched friends become parents, wondering when it would be my turn and worrying that our friendships would change. I applied for but did not get multiple communications positions in Omaha and several paid blogging gigs.

My self-esteem took a nose dive. By the end of this year, I had run out of steam. I stopped blogging. I didn’t know what else to say.

So I started thinking, and I found myself wondering: What the hell am I doing in Omaha?

I’m in Omaha because my husband’s job requires us to be. He is the reason we are here, and I am here because I’m married to him. But, truthfully, that’s not good enough for me. What’s my reason?

Lately I’ve been thinking that the purpose of my sojourn in middle America is to try to figure out the answers to the big questions: What do I want to do with my life? Who do I want to be when I grow up? What type of wife/daughter/friend/woman do I want to be?

There is no better time than the end of the year to be reflective. It’s almost mandatory. And after the crappy year I’ve had, I believe that things can only get better. I’ve decided that 2011 will be the year that change happens for me. I will make change happen. I will do things that help me grow as a person. I will explore new areas of interest. I will align myself with positive and supportive people. I will get closer to answering those big questions.

(And, yes, I will begin blogging regularly again.)

Happy New Year!

(illustration by moonandlion)

Hello, remember me?

It feels like forever since I’ve been here. For the past two weeks ago, I’ve been feeling out of sorts, out of sync with myself. I attribute this to putting my hand through a window pane and hosting an out-of-state family member, among other things.

Because of the stitches in my thumb I wasn’t able to lift weights with my trainer, so I’ve missed four gym sessions so far. Of course, I could have gone to the gym to do just cardio, for which you don’t need your hands, but I didn’t. It never seems worth it to get myself to the gym for just 30 minutes of elliptical-ing.

When my workout schedule is irregular, I find that my emotional state is a bit irregular, too. Does that happen to you? Yoga often helps me find that missing balance, but, again, I couldn’t practice because of my hand.

Then, shortly after my injury, my mother-in-law came to visit for five days. I didn’t get much “me” time during those days, as we were busy eating, drinking, shopping and socializing. There never seemed to be a good moment to excuse myself to my office to blog, especially because we see my husband’s mom so infrequently, and I really wanted to make the most out of her visit. Not that I’m complaining! We had tons of fun, but you know what happens when you have company… your daily routine gets completely thrown out of whack.

By the time my MIL left, I had been out of my exercising and blogging (and working!) routine for long enough that it’s been hard to get myself back on track. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to live my life. But life is like riding a bicycle. First, you never really forget how to live. (Duh!) Second, like Albert Einstein said, to keep your balance you must to keep moving. And that sums up my problem right there: I stopped moving.

How do you get back to “normal” after set backs and distractions? How do you start moving again after being physically or emotionally sedentary for an extended period of time?


I have big dreams for my little blog.

Once I determine what the primary focus of Somewhere in Middle America should be (because right now it just seems a little bit all over the place), I hope to attract more readers. Once the readers come, I hope the advertisers will follow. And once I have advertisers, I hope to be taken seriously enough to guest post on other people’s blogs or to be asked to become a contributing editor on bigger and better sites. Ultimately, I hope to write for a variety of online and print publications; I want to be a freelance writer.

But I’m beginning to feel like the blog world is actually pretty small — incestuous, really — especially among design/lifestyle blogs, and if you don’t have an “in” with one of the big blogs on the block, well, good luck to you.

The other day Babble shared its list of the 50 Best Design Blogs for Moms, and, sure enough, the blogs of several of Babble’s contributing editors made the list. Now I understand that if Babble thought these women were talented enough to write for Babble’s parenting and family blogs (and I’m not denying that they are definitely talented women), then Babble must have been a fan of their original design blogs. However, I have a hard time digesting the thought that there are such a limited amount of great blogs out there that Babble had to reach within itself to find the best of the best.

Please don’t read this as an angry, jealous post or one specifically targeted at Babble. I’m just trying to illuminate the fact that there is this web-like pattern of inter-connectivity between blogs — or at least among the blogs I follow. And truthfully, as someone trying to break into the “big leagues,” I find it a little bit discouraging.

Or maybe I’m just burnt out. I imagine what it would be like to just unplug completely, to not look for potential blog posts in everything I do or to reclaim the hours I spend each day engaging in social media. What would I do with all my free time? Read books. Knit scarves and hats and baby blankets. Cook dinner more often. Clean the house more frequently. Go to more yoga classes. Spend more time practicing my photography.

But then I wouldn’t have an outlet for my writing, and what I love most of all is to write. And if I want to be a frequent guest blogger or contributing editor for other blogs, I’ve gotta learn to love the incestuous world of blogging because, deep down, I want to be a part of it.

Le sigh.

(image source)