So, we’re moving into the new house tomorrow! The conference I’m helping plan is next week!

I’ve known that this shitstorm of activity was coming for weeks, but that doesn’t make it any less busy right now. It’s all awesome stuff (except the cold I have, which is 180 degrees from awesome), but I’m definitely feeling like the player at the bottom left of that pile. Just because the things you’re buried under are amazing doesn’t mean you feel any less overwhelmed. So much to do!

I’ve resorted to looking at this image, chanting internally that I can be this productive, and taking deep deep breaths.

See you on the other side!!!

(Top photo from when the other USC won the College World Series in 2010, bottom photo from What Should We Call Me?)


STFU, Parents

I’ve hesitated writing about STFU, Parents for a while, even though it’s quickly become one of my more rabid obsessions, taking over my life to the point where I think, “hm, what would STFU, Parents say about this” at least once a day. The hesitation isn’t because I think my obsession makes me seem like a bad parent (more like a sensible one, duh), but because I literally have SO MUCH to say about this that it seemed like a really intimidatingly long post to write.

But with the recent unveiling of Blair Koenig as the (previously anonymous) author of the blog, it seemed like a good time to share how amazing the site actually is. That link, like most of the coverage that STFU, Parents has been getting recently, pretty well misses the mark. STFU, Parents isn’t an attack on parents, or even a space for only non-parents to gather. I’ve been pregnant or a parent the whole time I’ve been reading, and far from being an unwelcoming space, it actually draws tons of parents who weigh in with their takes too.

So what is it? Nothing short of a complete, incisive takedown of the modern disease of gross over-sharing on social media. It focuses on the parenting arena, but could just as easily focus on people who can’t shut up about their pets, their medical ailments, whatever. It just happens that the experience of raising children particularly brings it out in people.
Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Evan!!

My sweet husband celebrates his birthday today!! Happy birthday to my dashing, goofy, loving, brilliant partner-in-crime. Let’s hope this next year brings you satisfying house projects, incredible professional opportunities, and plenty of chances to be reminded of how much your family loves you.

To celebrate, a quick retrospective of our past adventures!
Continue reading

Sherwin-Williams’ Paint Tools

We visited our new house for the final walkthrough today! It was the first time that we saw it without the sellers’ furniture, and it was incredibly exciting to imagine what the rooms are going to look like with our things in them.

As we walked around, I found myself especially daydreaming about what the walls are going to look like. Paint and wallpaper are so powerful in setting the feel of a room, whether you want it to be soothing or impactful, cheery or cozy. So since we can’t get in there and start painting yet, I’ve gone completely bonkers over online paint tools in the meantime.

Right now, I’m all about Chip It, Sherwin-Williams’ tool where you give them a photo whose colors you like or find inspirational, and they tell you what paint colors match the picture. Then you pop over to their Color Visualizer and you can look at that color (or related ones) in sample rooms to see how they look.

Without it, I never would have realized how cozy a dark bathroom might be:

Or how fun a juicy coral could be for Zoe’s room:

I can hardly wait to make some of these into reality. Play around, let me know what your favorites are!

Bonus link: TinEye’s Multicolor Search, one of my favorite color-inspiration tools. It goes the other way from Chip It: you provide the colors (and in what proportion), and it provides Flickr pictures that match those colors. Breathtaking!

The Last Name Project

Most folks who know me know that Phoenix is not my original last name. It’s fairly obvious when you see me, given that I’m 100% Asian. But I’m guessing that a lot of acquaintances assume I’m married, which I am, and that I took my husband’s last name, which… is partly true. Evan and I do share a last name, but that name isn’t one that either of us had before we married.

Instead, we made a choice that really fit both of our personalities and our relationship: we both changed our last name to something completely new.
Continue reading

Ridiculous Paul Ryan Photos

Let me preface this post by saying that I don’t normally talk about politics publicly, which is true. The fact that I don’t though, can imply to some that I’m disaffected or apolitical, which is patently false. Even for those who feel pretty strongly, like myself, there can be a great value in keeping one’s political affiliations private. It’s rarely relevant to any conversation and usually just sparks frustrating, pointless arguments.

Then why change now? Continue reading

Feeling Old At 30

I was just reading this post today, and realized that feeling old at 30 is nothing new to me. In fact, most of her examples could have been drawn straight from my everyday life: I refuse to believe there are college graduates born in the 90s (RG3!?!), I don’t really acknowledge that my university has the shiny new (or, ahem, 6-year-old) basketball arena that was built well after my graduation, and just last night I was extolling the virtues of concerts where you get to sit down (while we’re at it, could they have them start earlier too?). My favorite part of the Glamour post is this:

You don’t start feeling older at 40, you start feeling old the second you’re made to be around people who’re younger than you masquerading as adults. I say masquerading because there can’t actually be adults younger than you, right? We all feel like the youngest adults.[emphasis mine]

It rings so true for me, because while I absolutely love being in my 30s and cherish all the experiences of the last decade, I also hands down still think of myself as young. That’s the thing that you never realize as a teenager: as the years pass, you may get old, but that doesn’t mean you feel old. You gradually add into your life the trappings of adulthood, but you don’t necessarily think of them as such in your eagerness to move forward. Then one day, you look at people 2-8 years younger than you and think, “Well, they may live on their own, but how? It’s not like they’re real adults!” And that’s it, my friends: you are old. And smug. And, by the way, if you think that literally raising an infant will steer you away from infantilizing younger adults… you’d be wrong.

So yes, there is something poignant, and depending on your outlook, even bittersweet about saying that final and probably overdue goodbye to your young adult years. Yet, when I think about the actual experiences I had of being 16, 20, 24 — I can’t believe all the things I didn’t know and how much smaller my world was. My friend recently remarked that you are supposed to know everything you’ll know in life by 30, which is a staggering thought. I’d prefer to think that in every decade, your experiences and knowledge explode exponentially, so you’re always looking back at younger you with a fond (and smug) smile. I like that, especially the thought that one day, I will look back and say about 30-year-old me, “oh, man. You knew nothing, Abby Phoenix.”

(Photo courtesy of Someecards)


So, I might not have updated about this, because it’s all happened so fast, plus it’s almost too crazy to type, but: we close on the house in a couple of weeks! I KNOW. It’s also going to be an incredibly busy time for us travel/work/family-wise, so sure, of course throw moving into and decorating a new house onto the pile! Whenever I feel paralyzed by the heaps of work awaiting us (so pretty much the WHOLE LAST MONTH), I just look up pretty things online, as if that alone is enough to make it happen. Related: as you can see on the sidebar, I did give in to Pinterest — my enabler!

My latest obsession, especially when thinking about the colossal amount of wall space we are going to have to paint, is wallpaper. Continue reading