If you haven't been to a winery in the Fort Wayne area on a Friday or Saturday, you haven't been living. You also probably have also had the chance to enjoy a bevarge without a massive line. I love the local wineries and so does everyone else. It isn't just the actual wineries that are busy anymore though. The great selections of food trucks are dragging people out and keeping them there.
Last week, my friend Jessica wanted to hang out. Part of me was like, no, I'm tired. The other part was like, oh, did you say Country Heritage? We haven't been there since Switchfoot performed. I was there a few weeks ago getting silent auction items, but I wasn't there to just relax.
We arrived and got a really good parking spot (shocker) and we went in. We separated. She wanted the food truck "Who Cut the Cheese" and I wanted wine. We both stood in crazy long lines, but mine finished about 30 minutes before hers. Did I mention that it was REALLY busy?
We enjoyed a bottle of Fall Harvest. She had two sandwiches and I stole some of her fried pickles. after getting some much needed food, we went to do a tasting. Since I recently did a tasting, I was excited to try something a little different.
My first wine was Pinot Gris. This was a good wine, but it was very plain. I sat there tasting it and I kept thinking, am I crazy? Is it supposed to be so flavorless? It wasn't bad at all. I partially wonder if it just ties to my lack of love for white wines. Jessica later tried it and said "well that's kinda plain" and I immediately felt better about my assessment.
My next wine was Marechal Foch. I was drawn to this wine from the word smoky. I have a love for dry reds and I instinctively love when they are described as smoky. The first assumption I have is that it was aged in a bourbon barrel. I asked about the flavor and it wasn't. It was indeed just the aging with the wood. Perhaps it was the difference between the aging of cherries over grapes? Who knows, but I was really impressed.
Next I tried Lacresent. This was not actually on my list, but it was on Jessica's. We ended up just tasting each others so we could get a wider range of tastes. This wine is described to have aromas of apricot and citrus as well as peach. It was actually more dry than i expected. I really thought something with so much fruit would be sweet. I think I still prefer the super sweeter Two EE's peach, but it was indeed good.
Vinter's Cuvee was my other love for the night. I knew by the description that it was going to be love at first taste. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet, and Sirah, it was a perfect red for this dry red wine loving girl. I felt like I should just buy some to have for every dinner party.
Cayuga White had the most accurate description in the tasting pamphlet. The exact words I said were light and crisp. I looked down only to see that written down. It really was a great wine.
Dos apples felt like nos apples! I totally get the cute name, but all I tasted was pineapple. I love pineapple and I really liked this wine. It was sweet and It tasted like it should be served on a beach. I just wish I could taste more apple!
Lastly, I tried Blueberry Estate Grown. I couldn't handle more than the sample. It tasted good. It was just too sweet. It was great for a desert wine, but I just couldn't help but taste blueberry. I asked one of the employees and they probably thought I was crazy. I dare you to try it now without thinking banana!
I love Country Heritage. If you haven't been out there, you should go.
I actually don't have many pictures with my sister. These days, she rolls with the kid and takes plenty with him. Most people that know us, know that my sister and I are not close in age. I want to say she is 8 years older than me. We didn't always get along as kids since we had to share a room for a while. I liked pink and she liked blue. I was girly girl and she was a tom boy. We never disliked each other. We just annoyed each other.
I give her crap a lot. She gives it right back to me. I think one thing is extremely important when I point out why I am thankful for my sister. I don't care that we didn't have that fun sister relationship that you see in the movies. I was able to talk to her when it was important and she trusted me enough to help her with her son.
My sister is a really good mom. She is really messy and lets him get on an iPad too much, but that kid is a precious gem. He is smart and funny. He loves with all of his heart and he sees the world in a way that I wish I could. That he learned from her. She showers him with love and support. When he is with is dad, she is out ubering to make extra cash. She has taken him to all of his karate lessons, gone to the school parties, and let him do all of the things he wants. She makes it work. I am thankful that my nephew has a mom that cares that much.
My second family member that is on my thankful rounds is my dad. My dad is one of the nicest guys you ever meet, but sometimes you need a shovel to dig through the sarcasm. Don't get me wrong, I like the sarcasm. I am fairly certain that is what kept all of us together sometimes .Growing up, I would receive 10,000 points every time I did something good, I would be told I was going to eat icecream cones for dinner, and I always had someone to walk with. Even as an adult, he loves to help me, he gives me real world advice, and prepares me for all of the debates I could ever need.
It wasn't until I turned 29 that my dad and I became polar opposites on politics. I don't want to say that I moved so far in one direction, but I think he was on one side of the spectrum and then he fell off. After a while, his evening political debates forced me to pay attention to the news and they forced me to have responses and jokes ready to retaliate.
Aside from driving me crazy, he really is one of my best friends. I couldn't imagine not having him around. Whenever I am downtown, I call him while walking to my car and he says "are you downtown" because he knows I somehow always end my day there. He makes fun of my address, he teases the roads in my town, and he has an uncanny ability to guess what road I am on just by time passing.
I may not always appreciate his kind of passive aggressive ways of getting me to do something, but I do appreciate how much care is behind the thought. At the end of the day, I am prod to be a daddy's girl. I am proud to drink out of a mug with my dad's face on it. I am also proud that he is my crazy family member.
I have been single for 6 years. I have been fairly content with this for a long time. I don't go out and try to meet new people and I don't really worry about the proverbial clock that is ticking. It just doesn't phase me. That was until last night.
I have no idea what changed. I don't know if that poisonous microwave popcorn did it or if I just saw the wrong post on Facebook before I went to sleep. I was cursed with weird dreams of returning ex-boyfriends, people professing love, and family members having kids.
I hereby recognize why I do what I do. I had one great love and it didn't work. I have held everything up to that and probably mildly sabotaged everything that didn't feel like that did. At some point, I realized that nothing was going to work until I gave in and let everything go. I am fairly certain I have, but is it too late?
I know some people will laugh and say, you are 30. I know, but I am 30! I know how to work! I know how to network! I don't know how to date! I don't even know how to have a relationship. At what age is it too late? At what point do we ask for help? How do you ask for help?
I don't think I secretly want kids. I can always borrow nephews, niece or a rent-a-niece. I do wonder if it is too much to wonder if it is too much to want a little bit of happiness that isn't just mine.
When I think of my mom, I think of two separate songs. One is "Return to Pooh Corner", mostly because she still makes fun of me because it took me until my twenties to realize it was about Winnie the Pooh. The other song is "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift. Yes, I am one of the Taylor Swift fans and I probably always will be. I remember listening to it the first time and thinking, awww that is just too cute.
My mom is my twin and my trampoline. When I fall, she shoots me back up again. That is totally how she would want to be remembered. She has let me take weird adventures and let me make excuses for bad habits because, quite frankly, we both have them. I talk to her every day. We finish each others sentences and we know exactly what we would order at different restaurants. For the record, it would be catfish most places. If it is McDonalds, she wants a cheeseburger with only ketchup and onions.
We don't fight very often, but when we do, we don't stay mad for long because I don't think either of us could go very long without talking to each other. For her birthday this year, I went to one of our favorite clothing stores, New York and Company, to get her a new top. I walked around for a half hour and kept putting things away. Later that day, I gave her the shirt, but I was still hesitating because I really liked the one I had before I checked out. She picked that original shirt to buy before we left.
We complain about each other, but at the end of the day, we can't live without each other. I get mad when she keeps working too hard and her pain gets worse and she gets mad when I put work before myself. I guess I learned it honestly.
Excerpt from "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift
There is a video I found
From back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you're talking to me
It's the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarfs
And Daddy's smart
And you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world
And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to write a post about why I am thankful for all of my family members on various days before Thanksgiving. Some will have some sappy moments, and some will have some humorous moments. No matter if it is messy, happy, painful, or loving, you should be thankful for family.
I wish I had enough time to get more people in this, but with more immediate family, I have to exclude some super cousins, aunts, and uncles. I will try and do a wrap up post for these ones right for the holiday.
I challenge you to tell everyone why you are thankful for them!
Most people that know me know that I have two books, okay you caught me, three books that I call my favorite, and I just can't pick which actually takes the prize. One reason I love all of these books is because they are strong female authors, but another reason is because they are so much like me.
The first book is Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg. I have talked about this book so many times that I am not sure if a single person around me doesn't know who this is. As COO of Facebook, she has been a pioneer for women's rights in the workplace. I laugh sometimes when I say that too. I have always been so conservative, but when I ventured into more professional roles, I learned just how bad equality issues really were. I had no idea that I would have to stand up and defend myself and my work ethic against a man. I especially didn't know that there was a difference between pay for a man with a family and a single woman. Sheryl's book gave me the confidence to stand up for myself. She also opened up some very important discussions about roles in the workplace and home.
I hated The Office. I admit it. I really tried to watch it. I sat in my apartment one summer when I was 29 convinced that I was going to watch it and that the only reason I didn't like it before, was just because an ex-boyfriend did like it. I couldn't be more wrong. I want to say I got to episode 3, but I don't even know if I got that far. I got to where Dwight dismantled a CPR mannequin during a safety class.
I wanted to like the show, but not for Steve Carrell. I was a fan of The Mindy Project and I knew of her on-again off-again romance with BJ Novak and I wanted to see it come to life on screen back when she was Kelly. I had to stick with Mindy. I loved TV Mindy, but I was really a fan of real life Mindy. Her book of essays were on point. She was talking like she was any other single woman that was absolutely sick of being alone and judged for going to McDonalds, she hated being a bridesmaid, and she was tired of being considered heavy.
The first time I read her second book, Why Not Me?, I sat and read it in one sitting. I felt like I could hear Mindy's voice in my head. I took that book everywhere. I read excerpts to my friends and family. I bragged on it like it was my own. Mindy Lahiri may be a hot mess, but Mindy Kaling is a hero.
A few days ago, a was speaking to a group of business majors about professional development. Somewhere in the sea of what-ifs and interesting scenarios that we were talking about, we got on the topic of work-life balance. For these students, they called it the class-life balance. I don't care what you call it. It is like coffee with creamer. One part is fairly unpleasant yet necessary, but the other part makes it better. Depending on who you are, you can read that either way.
When we started talking about the work-life balance or the class-life-balance, we were talking about how one student's father would like her to play music more. She is typically busy with work, class and a social life. I asked her if she loves music. She does, but she hate to practice. I can sympathize. I loved performances, but practicing on my own was enough to make me gag. If you have something that is hard work, yet it brings you joy, you should still consider it as part of your balance.
The next question and comment that arose was about me. Have you mastered the work-life balance? Hell no. I am fairly certain that No one has mastered this. At 5:00 pm, I may walk away from my desk, but that doesn't mean my brain is off. That doesn't mean that I stop being an employee of my company for the next 16 hours. That doesn't mean that I don't talk to my co-workers. That doesn't mean that I don't check my email.
I would say that most of the opportunities that I am afforded outside of work are at least 50% because of work. I make enough of a name for myself at work that I can take that and go to different organizations in the community and say, I'm from this company and I accomplish all of these things. I can really help your cause. People tend to remember that and your company favorably.
Every night that I go home and try to relax, I think about what I need to do the next day, what I should wear, what barriers I may face in the day, and how I will overcome my challenges. It is difficult for me to shut my brain off. I think some people have an easier time when they just aren't as passionate about what they are doing. When you love what you do or what you represent, you give it just a little more space in your heart and mind than it probably needs.
I really am trying to improve on my balance. I don't do yoga and I really suck at meditating. I love to read, but I eventually end up putting a book down to go do something that needs to get done. What I am trying to do is step outside of my comfort zone. I am challenging myself to go somewhere that I am afraid to go. I am challenging myself to meet people that I am afraid to meet. I am letting that fear of the new take some of that space away. I am not letting work control me anymore. I am letting me control all parts of my world, even when it is scary.
This world is full of crazy shit. People can be cruel, heartless, and they can and will do anything to succeed. Every day, I am more and more amazed at how far people can go to make themselves look better instead of making the collective whole look better, Every job, every group, and every sport I have been a part of, someone wants to be the best and they will hurt someone to be that person. Many times, they aren't that person at all. Many times, they are faking it, but they have such a positive external image that they can fool anyone.
It amazes me every day. It amazes me every day that we aren't cherishing our co-workers and other colleagues for their unique talents. We aren't seeing what it takes to be a team. Many times if we see a team, we are seeing a small team instead of the larger collective team. One person's actions can impact so much more.
I have been blessed to have certain co-workers that I value and cherish as family. I believe that they are extremely valuable assets to my team. My team is not just a work team. It is a life team. I can go to any of these people and say I need help even if it is 1 AM. They may throw a phone at my head, but they know me and they would recover after a cup of coffee.
My co-workers are my friends. My friends are my family. Don't forget that families stick together.