A glimpse

airforce dad

Driving home from work Wednesday, I caught a glimpse of a man who I swore was my dad. Same salt and peppered wild and coarse hair, unkempt and growing out from his usual military haircut covered slightly by a fisherman’s cap.  The same clothes too big, on a small and too-tired frame, wild-eyed and wandering with a slightly medicated walk. I slowed and came to a stop, staring. It wasn’t my dad, of course. He’s been gone 4 years later this month, but for a few seconds I found myself resisting the urge to park and run after this stranger, just to make sure.

That’s the thing with loss, especially tragic loss, years later it still doesn’t seem real.

My light turned green, and the Dad lookalike moved on, swallowed by a sea of people, heading home from their jobs or to wherever they were headed. I thought about it on the way home-was it really that he looked like my dad? Sure, there were similarities, or was it that haunting stare of mental illness that shadowed his face that made me think of my Dad? As much as I try to keep the good memories in front, the sad and dark ones creep in. Memories of pain and terror in my Dad’s face, his muscles strained, as he tried to make sense of the flashbacks that were haunting him as I tried to help him understand that it wasn’t real, that he was in his hallway at home and that I was there. Feelings of complete helplessness as he spiraled further down into mental illness, unwilling to accept help, until the very end.

I kept thinking about that man; did he have someone who was there for him? Was there a daughter like me, tired but wanting to try, expecting to finally get that call that he was gone, after so many attempts at ending his life? How was she holding up?

4 years and logically I get that he ‘s gone, but emotionally it’s still hard to accept. This time of year is hard for me. I dive into work, keep myself busy with friends and events, but it still creeps in and hits me like a punch to the gut: he’s gone and he won’t be back. I get in a good cry or two and move on, the waves of sadness coming and going. There’s nothing that makes the feelings go away, but I did learn the hard way that shoving the anger, the grief, the sorrow deep down is a recipe for disaster, coming out in the form of reflux, sleepless nights, and the inevitable crying. So I sit with my grief and think about my Dad, cherishing the good times, reconciling the bad and waiting for this to pass.  Here’s to the memory of my Dad, gone too soon; and that man, whoever he was, and him getting to where he was going.

How do you deal with grief?
Yours in love


P.S. Totally confused? You can read about that time in my life here in the lower posts on that page.

Taste Washington – A recap

I. Love. Wine. If you follow my Instagram, or have ever come to my house, you’ll see that I do not have a shortage of wine.  It’s a nice way to wind down a long day, it’s always perfect for a celebration, or a girls night.

Recently I attended the Taste Washington event held yearly here in Seattle and hopefully you did too! Wait, you didn’t?!  Let me show you quickly why you need to plan ahead and attend this event next year.
Taste Washingtoncured meat platedessertstacopearl and stone wine coB. Leighton

That’s just a quick glance, too! Taste Washington 2016 was held at the Century Link Event Center March 31st through April 3rd, and boasted 225 wineries, 65 restaurants, and various food businesses. Each row was filled with groups sampling their best products. It was a perfect opportunity to stroll through the event, learn about the wineries, meet the vintners, chefs, and taste to your hearts content. I saw old favorites, and found some new wines as well. So what did I love?

Let’s start with the old favorites:

Bartholomew Winery

In addition to being an all around nice guy, Bart Fawbush makes some wines that are solid too. Located in the old Rainier Brewery Building, the husband and wife team have an intimate tasting room where you can enjoy a tasting or a glass (or two). I love their Carmenere and the Aligote, and they even make a lovely Rose. The prices range from $17-$38 a bottle, and you won’t be disappointed.

Cave B

Cave B will always have a place in my heart, not just for the wine, but for the resort. I stayed there years ago, pre-baby and had one of the best vacations in recent memory. Located in the Columbia Valley, the winery boasts a wonderful restaurant, amazing grounds, and stellar Cliffehouses. The wine is wonderful as well, particularly the Semillion and the Barbera. The wines, like the grounds can be pricey, but I love them so it’s worth it. You’re looking at between $18-$50 a bottle.


This is one of those wineries that has been like coming back to an old friend-reliable, fun, not dramatic. I had a chance to try their Sauvage Savignon Blanc and instantly thought of pairing it with seafood. So light and fun. Prices here will run you $25-$60.


Oh, Kestral, you remind me of so many trips to Leavenworth with friends, and nights out on Capitol Hill. I love their port, their Signature Series Petit Verdot, and their Raptor House Syrah. It’s easy drinking backyard barbecue wine, that you can pick up at any local grocer, and the price point is also easy: $13-$60, with most coming in at or under $20 a bottle.

I could go on about old favorites (Owen Roe, Scarborough, Nota Bene), but how about something new?

Charles Smith

A recent addition to Georgetown, over by Sisters and Brothers restaurant, is a funky tasting room offering multiple wines. My favorites were the B. Leighton Petit Verdot and the Gratitude. The Secco Pinot Noir Rose was fun and fizzy, and the prices range from an easy to swallow $12 to a totally worth it $45. Some of the labels (Kung Fu Girl, for example), can also be found at your local grocer, but why not stop by their Jet City tasting room?

Pearl and Stone

Last up was a new (to me) winery that was one of the last of the night. Passionate about their wines, and excited to share, the Pearl and Stone team were a joy to hang out with. I tasted their Unemployment Beach (a rose) and Wandering (a tasty red blend). Both were nice easy to drink wines that would pair perfectly with friends and a fire on the beach. The prices were easy too, coming in at $18-$30.

There you have it! I highly recommend attending next year and making a weekend of it. You won’t be disappointed.

What Washington wineries are your favorite?

~Yours in wine~




On holding back

This is one of those posts that don’t really fall into a category, it’s about me and my thoughts and giving you, dear reader, a little glimpse into mommahood over here at MMG.

True story: I hold back. I don’t always jump in with both feet. Sure, I make some shit show decisions, but lately…there’s a block. There’s a wall, and seriously, I don’t even know what to do with it. I don’t even know if I would have realized it, had it not been pointed out to me by a friend lately and there was even a perfect descriptor: Tentative.

And it’s true. And weird. When the hell did I become shy; so unsure? When did I start holding back and stop doing what I know makes me happy? When did I start second guessing things in my personal life?

Work? Pfft. I’ve got that. I’m pretty darned confident in my decisions and requests. You need something researched, handled, coordinated? I’m on it. Process or program changes? I’m your gal. That kinda stuff is my strong suit-it’s not about me which really makes it easier. It’s about getting things done and improvements made. It has a start and end. The crazy and flux doesn’t get to me as I know I can handle or control it and happily, the buck often stops with me.

I clock out, and it’s like a light switches off. Call it decision fatigue, being tired from being “on”, or whatever, but I just start questioning everything. I leave work, come home and the house that was just clean is destroyed (as in toddler level warfare went on while I was out). Being a mom is tough, and stressful and I second guess everything and worry that I am not doing enough (who doesn’t!?). Kiddo has been in a phase (ummm…since birth) where I am her favorite person, which means constant snuggles, games, dancing, and at the risk of sounding like a kid myself-constant touching. She’s an awesome side kick, but holy crap, when can a gal pee by herself??

You combine all that with very little “me” time and shit yes, I am tentative. At the end of the day, I have no energy left for decision making as I am in mom survival mode and I am tired.

So. Damn. Tired.

I’ll own it. I don’t need to volunteer for multiple organizations and blog in addition to being mom and corporate job lady. I don’t need to pack my calendar full, but you know what? I do. That cocktail with friends? I am pretty sure that’s keeping me sane. The class I co-teach weekly? I can bring kiddo and she gets to play with other kids. Writing? I keep that around to get this all out of my head.

So where does that leave me? Well…I…huh. I have no idea, but something has to give. I’m starting to bring it back to the way I handle work: delegate, coping skills, and write it down to get it done.

I made the decision that I’m getting a maid-my spare time and sanity are worth the cost. I’m restocking my wine fridge, too.  Those things I want that make me happy, or provide a reprieve from the crazy? Add those to list as I’m doing those too. Is this going to make me less tentative? Maybe not in all scenarios, but something has to give, and dammit. It can’t be me again.

So bring on the wine, the momma’s night out, date nights…it’s time for a change. Oh, and new maid? I’m sorry in advance.

How do you find balance when you have to be “on” all the time?

~Yours in momma craziness~



Back to a moment

It’s funny how a scent can do so much-bring you back to a moment, connect you to someone, remind you of a place. For me, scent is emotive, and I connect so many scents with memory.

Tonight, I reached for soap to wash my hands, grabbing blindly to wash off my kiddos bright blue bathwater after letting out the drain plug. I inhale.

Johnson & Johnson’s no more tears bath wash. I smile. I never buy it. It’s crap, but her dad picked some up.

I inhale and smile again. Instantly, I am at Seattle Children’s Hospital, out of the NICU and in specialty care. We’re being taught how to give our 5 day old baby a bath with an ng tube.

There’s squeals; mine and hers. Laughter; ours and the medical staff. Everyone has gathered around our little amazing baby as they know we’re on our way out of the hospital soon. That smell; that clean, soapy smell reminds me of every passed medical test we had to go through, every exam, every medical team amazed at how strong my baby was, at how strong we were.

I stop and look at Izzy now, post bath. Her hair is slicked down and she’s so big now, reasoning with me why she shouldn’t have to eat dinner or go to bed. She’s three and soon, she won’t need me. I inhale and smile. She’s still my baby girl.

Izzy pic

Yours in love