Tag Archives: office

How I spent my random vacation.

We have 6 bedrooms.


We have 3 people (4 if you count Binky the Wonder Dog, and we probably should because he would be the first to tell you he is effing “people” and don’t forget it,) in our family.

It is too damn many bedrooms, but whatever.

So The Mr has one bedroom upstairs as his office, and I had previously taken one of the bedrooms in the finished basement as my office.

This left us with 2 fully-outfitted spare bedrooms. 2 bedrooms just sitting around waiting for someone to come along and sleep in them or whatnot.

The spare room in the basement is TRICKED OUT – you get your own LEVEL of the house, FFS. Walk-in closet, the best TV in the house, surround sound, my favorite sofa, and a private bathroom.

The one upstairs is smaller, you share a bathroom with our 5 year old (“Captain-NO-Aim”) and his army of bath toys, and you are right up in the day-to-day of our family’s crap. It was the 2nd tier spare room, for sure.

It was also time to transfer Jr to a true bed, since he was bustin’ out of his Toy Story toddler bed to an extreme degree.

So I developed “The Plan.”

The Plan entailed us moving the queen bed from guest room B into Jr’s room next door, then moving my office into said unneeded guest room, and then finally the changing of my old office into Jr’s exclusive playroom.


We moved the bed into his room and got him rocking and rolling as a “big boy” (although he does still have to take a semi-hilarious running jump to get into the thing for the moment.)

Then came the last 2 steps.

And a confession. I have a LOT of stuff.   I had been cramming the clothes Jr had outgrown into that unused bedroom closet for going on 4 years, and when we moved in I had just shoved boxes marked “Keri Office” into my office closet and shut that dang door.  Then filled two bookshelves with a fraction of my favorite books in that room (hello, English degree nerd girl,) slapped some pictures on the wall and called it good.

A reckoning was coming, people.

I took a whole week off of work to make it happen, people. (And also because I had hella comical amounts of vacay accrued, yo.)

Things started off well:

Mimosa buneh ready 4 ALL THE PROJECTS.

But things, um… deteriorated kinda quickly from there…. (this is the kind of crap you miss when you don’t follow Keri on snapchat – @reluctntnburbs.)

I quickly discovered I hadn’t really purged ANYTHING from the time we had Jr…. I threw it in bags and moved it out of The Treehouse when we left the city.

There was this:

Uh oh.

And this:

Oh noes! It’s one of 80 hats I apparently liberated from the hospital!

Which escalated to this:

That escalated quickly.

And a LOT of this:


And this:

Ruh roh, queso. (With a SPOON, mind you.)

And of course this:

That salad is to keep my wine company, people.

Big ol’ shocker – Keri wasn’t handling change well. Because we have NEVER seen that before (ahem – hereand hereoh and lookie here…  I DIGRESS!)

Anyway – after I  succumbed to my weeping and eating honored my emotions regarding the treasures that avalanched out of my closets I discovered in my purge, so much more than just a clean office started to come into view. I was able to pack a few boxes for dear friends who have little guys that can get more use out of the tiny cutie clothes and I have taken two car loads of various gear to donate at A Precious Child.

Plus, in both Jr’s packed away gear, and the books and writings coming up from my former office, I have revisited so many special moments in the history of Keri.  I re-read papers I wrote in college (dang, college Keri could REALLY pick apart a Virginia Woolf novel.)  I sat in the Big Blue Marshmallow Chair, now newly rehomed in my office, and laughed and cried my way through the journal I kept for Jr during my pregnancy and our first few months together after his birth.  I brought up the table I use as a desk, remembering that it was a cast off from the University where my paternal grandparents worked, as a groundsman and a cook, and thought back to my memories of them as I sat, palms flattened against the top.  I repositioned, again and again, the mid-century modern typing table that my in-laws bought me after I fell head-over-heals for it during one of their first visits after we moved here, grateful that they love the history of things as much as I do.

Andplusalso, that cool old TV in the corner was my mom’s family’s when she was a teenager.

Did I get it all done in a week? No – I ended up taking the long way around, for sure. But it’s coming along nicely… both rooms are, actually.

And spending that week sorting and laundering and dusting and moving and living with those things that have gathered through the years allowed me stop and think and truly know what needed to stay, and what needed to be released back out to find another round of use and love.

Hokey? Of course. But it helps my heart, so I’ll take it.

Otherwise I am just the woman who spent her vacation drinking mimosas, eating chicken wings, and crying into a pile of 10-24 month sized punk band shirts.

(Let’s never speak of this again, shall we?)

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Filed under Mom life, musing

Burning Question – Now with bonus buzzwords!


It’s time for another round of Keri’s Burning Questions….
This one gets all corporate about things,  y’all.

Here it goes:
Using “Ladies” as a greeting/salutation in business correspondence – yay, or nay?

Examples (as a bonus, I’ve included as much business jargon as I can cram into each example, because funny):

I just wanted to touch base about how we are leveraging our latest deep dive before I run it up the flagpole.


Hi Ladies,
Ready to reach out to the client with the new verbiage since I’ll be out-of-pocket for the rest of the week.  Let’s talk turkey about the action items we outlined during the cross-fuctional call last week.


So-  is “ladies” acceptable here, or not?

You guide me.

Shout it out in the comments below!


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Toddler Law. Just Sayin’.

A toddler doesn’t ALWAYS have to poop in his pants.

But if he does, it is when you literally have one foot out the door, running 20 minutes late already, on a day when every big wig you care about from the East coast office is going to be on site at your location.

And it is a monster messy poo for the ages.


Just Sayin’.


Filed under Just Sayin'

Parallel thoughts.

A shameful confession: Outside the office is a section of street where parking is allowed, and, although there is AMPLE free lot parking in the comically large suburban office lot behind the building, the street offers quick access to the building’s door. This makes it a delight for me certain people who may be wearing unsensibly high heels and carrying way too much crap back-and-forth to the office.

HOWEVER, the other day this super-sweet spot was open SMACK in front of the building and I passed it by, telling myself it was too small for Frederico Escapé:

It wasn’t too small. You could get a damn Econoline van in there.

After parking in a different, less awesomely-close spot, I realized this and it hit me :I am in danger of losing my parallel parking mojo.

FORSOOTH! Do not speak such vulgarity!  (The English lit degree pops out every once in a while, I can’t stop it.) 
I have long spent an inordinate amount of time ribbing The Mr. about his lack of parallel parking skills.  He has used many excuses for why he can’t take various killer spots throughout our years together:  his last Acura had “blind spots” that prevented it,  the Jeep is “too big” and “the backup camera alarm is too sensitive,” and my personal favorite he “doesn’t see as well at night,” (HELLO, you are Driving Miss Keri here, pal – PRECIOUS CARGO – update your prescription, yo!!)

The point is, Keri can parallel park.   I remember distinctly going with my mom and my dear lifelong girlfriend to go see a potential apartment in the city for soon-to-be-college-student-Keri a few weeks before high school graduation, and seeing a tiny spot on  the crowded street.  Too small, remarked my friend and I.  OH NO – not for my mom who learned to drive in the city!!  She wedged her little Sentra into a spot I didn’t think would fit a Vespa, and my friend and I gasped in awe.

I was hooked.  I had to do that too.

So I did.  NO NO – So I *DO*!!

There is no way in hell I am losing my ability to fit Frederico effortlessly into spaces that appear to be Yugo-sized.  I can’t tell you the joy I feel in executing a perfect park right in front of a patio full of people at happy hour, when every dummy out there is just DYING for me to take out the bike rack beside me or jack up my hubcap.  Forget it, suckers – not City Keri, not Reluctantly Suburban Keri, not even So-damn-old-they-repo’ed-my-licence-Keri.  Never.

The shame of abandoning a bomb-diggity parking spot is NOT one I will accept as normal. Mamma’s not going out like that.

RAGE RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!  (English lit degree again.  I am totes sure that Thomas would be down with me borrowing it to talk about my mad parking skillz.  Yep.)

If you need me I’ll be setting up a makeshift parallel parking obstacle course with the trash bins in front of the house.

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What really happens when the shades go down.


I have a confession.

I own this now.  It belongs to me.

 The suit

Hello, suburban soccer mom warm-up suit.

BUT KERI – what about thisAre you giving in to this?   What about that “I will not be assimilated” stuff?

Didn’t take long for all that to go out the window did it?  How is the minivan shopping going, Ker?

NO NO – but wait!!

I didn’t pick it – I swear!!  I CAN EXPLAIN!

It involves Corporate Keri, and participation, and cuddly 80’s cartoon characters.

No Really.

Each year the office has a blow out Halloween Costume Contest, with different groups and teams interpreting a theme and going all out – costumes, pumpkin decorating, and even (oh yes it’s true,) cube/office decorating.  This year we decided to really go for it – opting for a furry group of cartoon characters from our youth – who shall remain nameless until Halloween because we are THAT crazy serious about the competition.

The next thing I know I am at the Kohls (which is pretty suburban mom of me too, BTW,) in front of a  giant display of semi-fuzzy velourish sweat suits in every conceivable color, making my selection. (What’s that?  You say “velourish” is not a word? That has never stopped me before.) Of course, Black and Grey were the two selections I was drawn to, but alas, these options had no coordinating fluffy characters in the cartoon land to which we are paying our homage.  Unable to stomach the idea of full-body royal purple, or the baby-est of blues, I settled on a light tan that worked well for one of the characters. I  plunked down my debit card (do I have any “Kohl’s Cash”? Um… no,) and left the store with a plastic bag hiding my purchase.

Here is where it gets truly shameful.  While The Mr. was upstairs reading Ten in the Bed for the eleventy billionth time with Jr, I decided to try the situation on “just to see.”  As soon as I zipped that fuzzy jacket up under my neck, a strange and powerful sensation washed over me.  I felt warm, and relaxed. I sunk onto the sofa and stretched my legs out in front of me.  The fireplace toasted my velour suit as I curled into its generously proportioned comfort.

Mmmmm. Cozy.

I was asleep in two minutes.

Uh oh.  The Mom suit has magical powers.  It soothes and swaddles and calms.  It warms the limbs, and the soul.


In the days since that first encounter, the pull of the suit’s siren song is strong.  I feel it, luring me after long days on endless conference calls, enticing me as I brace against the fall chill to get home.

Twice more I have given in. The rewards it promises have not gone unfulfilled.

I can’t quit the Mom suit.

Don’t misunderstand me – you aren’t going to bump into me squeezing Asian Pears at the grocery store wearing it or anything.  Hell no.


The idea of wearing it, on purpose and with good reason, to the office all day on Halloween excites me.

For the rest of the year?  After a long day fighting the “have it all” working mom fight – I might just pour a big glass of wine, close the blinds, and give in to the power of the suit.


Filed under musing