Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: Recovery Mode

It has been a whirlwind four weeks.  Monterey –>the halls of Seattle Children’s Hospital–>the rotunda of the Montana State Capitol–>back to Spokane to start packing for our Christmas Day move.

Yes, we’re moving on Christmas.  Yes, we’ll be lucky if our relationship survives until New Year’s, when we drive me, the pups, and half of my belongings to Montana, where I will live for four months.

Because that’s not enough, I’ve done all of this sick.  I had the flu, then a sinus infection, then a throat issue.  And now, I am finally (kind of) on the mend.  Hopefully, regular blogging can resume next week, because I have a list of posts that I want to write before 2018 pulls up stakes.

My Lord, it’s almost 2019.  *breathes into paper bag*


Kyle and I have a very tough time finding TV shows to watch together.  He loves The Walking Dead, that show gives me nightmares.  I love Great American Baking Show, that makes his eyes glaze over.  But the one thing we both love is a good documentary.  So I am really looking forward to the new Netflix series 7 Days Out (De. 21).

The docuseries covers big events in the week before the happen, including some of my favorites (The Kentucky Derby, the Chanel couture show).  I’m fascinated by process and what goes on behind the scenes, so this will be a great thing for us to binge while we’re packing.

Other documentaries we like: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E), Sour Grapes, and Panic: The Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis from Vice.

Since accepting my job with the Legislature, my mind has been overtaken by one question, “What the f**k and I going to wear?”

The Montana Legislature is not a super formal place.  So I probably don’t need that many suits.  Dresses will work, but they will need sleeves.  And I really don’t know how to dress my new, two sizes larger body for work.  But, I thought I might buy two or three nice dresses to supplement the handful of things from my closet that fit.  Here are some I am considering:

Michael Kors Georgette Shirtdress ($195)

Black Halo Derek Sheath ($345)

MM Lafleur Ellis Dress ($265, also in plus)

Also, if you’re hunting for new workwear, Bloomingdale’s has the best selection.  All price points from around-$100 to just under-$1000.  And you never think, “These fools think I can wear that to work?”.

“Hollywood Still Doesn’t Know What to Make of Childless Women.” Yeah, them and everyone else.

I received this Diptyque Carousel and Candle set last year as a gift.  The carousel spins as the hot air rises from the candle.  It’s surprisingly soothing.  And it makes a good gift for anyone who always has a candle burning.

Tandoori Chicken with Rice Salad is one of my new favorite dinners.  You need to marinate the chicken for at least an hour, not the thirty minutes the recipe calls for.  And the spice mix for the chicken takes a little bit of time to make.  But when it’s done, you have the most flavorful chicken dish that is sure to be a dinner party crowd-pleaser.

It’s going to be cold in Montana.  Like, real cold.  Chip ice off of your eyelashes, does this toe look purple to you, cold.  But I still own two dogs, and they still need to be walked.  (Because Avery is a greedy little butterball.)

So I picked up a pair of Under Armour Cold Gear leggings.  Because nothing says, “Montana,” like athlesuire long johns.  I really hope it’s not cold enough to need Carhartts, but that could definitely happen.

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  1. Denise says:

    Best of luck to you on the move! Remember – it will all work out because you will find a way to work it out. You don’t need to know how you’ll work it out yet… 🙂

    On the ‘dressing a different body’ topic, I’ve had this experience recently, my scale has changed 15 pounds since early August and suddenly nothing in my closet fits. Pants fit up until about -10 pounds, but once you cross the -15 pound barrier nothing looks good any more. So I joined a subscription service from Rent the Runway. I get 4 pieces a month (though you can get more) so you can try out different pieces and sizes to find out what works for you. I figured i’d continue to do it until I hit my final ‘new size’, whatever that is. In the meantime it’s been very helpful in helping me dress my changing body and helping me look put together as well. Read the reviews and you’ll do fine! I’ve seriously considered purchasing a couple of items but then that’s not the point, right?

    December 14, 2018/Reply
  2. MOnica T says:

    That article about childless women is fascinating. Do you think it is male writers or female writers who imagine that a childless life is no life at all? This is one form of sexism that seems to spare no gender. Some women feel more strongly about the need for procreation validation than men!

    December 14, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think it’s both. I don’t have kids, I hope to, but I don’t know if that will work out. On a regular basis, women in Spokane are very dismissive about it. You’re not included in most events because they assume you won’t want to be around their children. You’re reminded often that you don’t know what it’s like to be busy/stressed/tired because you don’t have kids. And you’re asked by complete strangers if you’re planning to have children/why you don’t have them with reckless abandon, because these aren’t personal decisions. I’ve also been told by women I just met (on four damn occasions) that being 36, “I better get on that!” Which always makes me wish there was a better response to that, “Then mind your business.” Maybe I’ll just start handing out condoms to mothers who massively overstep.

      It’s not as much trouble in D.C., as long as you’re single. I’m sure it gets worse if you’re married.

      Men, I’ve discovered aren’t as interested in knowing whether you have kids or why you don’t have them. But I think they assume, because they’ve heard it so much, that every woman wants kids and if you don’t there’s something off about you. Though I had a boss years ago who would take me to lunch to educate me on why I needed to be married and have kids, and it was infuriating. Especially since I couldn’t tell him to fuck off.

      December 14, 2018/Reply
      • pompom says:

        A-FREAKIN’-MEN! I get this allll the time. Being married does add a weird layer to this interaction. Not better or worse or whatever, just different. And hoo boy is it obnoxious, regardless of your relationship status. I do not want and we will not be having kids, and that choice or status doesn’t get the same airtime that having kids does, which, whatever, but if one more person tells me I must not know what it’s like to really love or be loved…

        December 15, 2018/Reply
        • J says:

          I knew at 23 when I married that I did not want children. It’s been interesting to chart society’s reaction to this as I’ve aged. In my 20s, I got the condescending “you’ll change your mind”. In my 30’s, the response was more “good choice!” from the sleep-deprived friends with toddlers. In my 40s, people are stupefied to imagine how I spend my hours every day if not in the care and chauffeuring of offspring.

          Now, after seeing so many friends struggle with fertility, when people ask me if I have kids, I respond, “No. And that’s by choice.” My goal is to acknowledge that I was lucky to *have* a choice in that outcome, but also to shut it down without the pitiful puppy eyes (wondering if I couldn’t conceive, found a partner too late, didn’t find a partner, etc.)

          December 15, 2018/Reply
          • emilyd says:

            I’m 48 and I don’t have kids, and I absolutely hate that awkward puppy-eyed moment* — but it has never occurred to me that I could just say “by choice.” Wow, mind blown! I think I’m going to try that next time.

            * I also hate the concerned head tilt and “Do you mind if I ask you something?” I always know what’s coming next. The thing is, when I tell people I didn’t have kids because I just didn’t want to, they never seem satisfied. I always wonder, what answer are they expecting?

            December 15, 2018/Reply
            • Belle says:

              I’ve discovered that most people, especially women, have never questioned whether they wanted or would have children. I’m glad so many women feel that kind of certainty about such a serious choice. But for people who feel the exact same certainty the other way, there is just shock and occasionally derision.

              Kyle was very certain he did not want children until we’d been together a while. When he told folks he didn’t want kids, he got a mix of reactions, but usually people would just tell him he’d change his mind or that it was selfish to just not want to give up any freedom/money/time/etc.. So it’s not just women who get it. But I think men don’t get the same level of derision women do.

              December 15, 2018/Reply
          • Belle says:

            I get the “How do you spend your time?” question a lot. People ask me if I travel a lot. As if that’s the only way you could fill that time. I always just tell them that I spend my time the same way they did before they had children, doing whatever I want.

            December 15, 2018/Reply
      • MOnica T says:

        I do have a kid and it’s still surprising by how much pressure there is…to have MORE. And before I’m accused of shaming polite small talk I want to mention that there is a great deal of difference between asking “So do you plan on having kids / having more kids?” and “You MUST have kids / more kids!” I get everything from depriving my daughter of sibling love (hate?) to needing to have a “spare” in case something happens to my daughter…SERIOUSLY. You don’t know why I’m not having more kids, so when I say ‘no we’re good’ that’s where you get to talk about how much you love having 5 kids because you grew up an only child or pretty much any other topic, just not why my decision is wrong…for me.

        December 17, 2018/Reply
      • Shannon says:

        I get these questions quite often (I guess I”m a young looking 46). I try to have compassion for people who ask about the kid-topic…they are only trying to find a common bond with me.

        The answer I give (with a wry smile and a shrug) is “No kids…just didnt work out for us”…which is the truth. We tried for a long time but decided IVF wasn’t for us and that was that. There was hope it would happen but…nope. So now with hot flashes etc, it’s obvious we are passed our moment for it. As annoying as they are, that response usually ends the questions/derision/encouragements.

        December 19, 2018/Reply
  3. Allison says:

    Have you worn the under armour leggings in cold yet? Would love a review, I need to replace my long underwear for snowshoeing and skiing, and I like to wear something under my ski pants that I can wear alone, as I usually go get a beer later and like to ditch my snow pants in the car.
    Also, per the other readers comment, I’ve used LeTote for work clothes when I just got sick of everything I own. The brands aren’t as high end as RtR, so it’s a little more affordable and I felt like it fit into my Denver office better. So if you don’t love RtR, check out LeTote.

    December 14, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I have. You need to be doing aerobic activity for them to be warm enough for below freezing temps. If you’re just standing around, you will get cold.

      December 14, 2018/Reply
    • kate says:

      A little pricier than the UA tights but I have and love PolarTec tights from Athleta. I run outdoors in temps down to around 10 F. I pull out the PolarTec when temps dip below 25 F.

      December 15, 2018/Reply
    • Anna says:

      They’re awesome. I have a pair from about eight years ago that I still use. Back when I ran, I wore them regularly in below freezing temps (ran a half marathon in 11 degrees and a snowshoe race no problem). I’ve also worn them under a knee-length coat to work at the farmers’ market where I’m standing in the cold for hours, and I’ve been fine.

      December 15, 2018/Reply
  4. Kate says:

    Just wanted to say that I’m so proud of you for continuing to pursue this work. I’d given up years ago but I would hate to see you do the same. I’ve been a reader for years and am always cheering you on.

    December 14, 2018/Reply
  5. Kim says:

    Get thee to a Uniqlo! The HeatTech layering pieces are lightweight but toasty warm, and reasonably priced.

    December 14, 2018/Reply