Category Archives: PostaWeek2011

Get Smashed

With cake of course.

Balance Overload is celebrating its first birthday!

While I have been a pretty neglectful mother over the past couple of months, I couldn’t let this milestone go unnoticed. On November 17, 2010, I wrote my first post and told five people. It would be another month before I would reveal to the masses (Facebook) that I had started a blog.

It took awhile to get comfortable with the fact that I was writing about myself, my life, my thoughts and reflections, and it was out there for the world to see. But mostly I was worried. Worried that friends and “friends” (Facebook) would think I was vain. “Why does she think anyone cares that much about her mundane life that we would want to take a break from writing status updates about our mundane life to read it?,” they thought in my imagination.

I still worry about that. I still wonder sometimes what am I actually writing about and why do I think anyone cares? Moving forward, I plan to really evaluate little Balance Overload and try to determine the direction I want to take it. I thought this would happen naturally as I started writing, but honestly, I am still not sure. I feel I want more focus. I feel I want to give more to those who read it, so it’s not just a story about my life, but that I offer something readers can take away. Food and recipes are out — but surely there is something else, right? It might be a whole new blog. Who knows?

There is a quote I snagged from a blog awhile ago that said: “Think of something valuable and share it with the world.” I wrote it down on a Post-it note and it’s in my office. I’m still trying to think of my something valuable.

But let us not forget that this is a party! Blogging this last year has been such a wonderful experience. I reunited with my first love of writing and I feel I connected with some of my friends in a different way. I even made new blogger friends for who I am so grateful for every time I read one of their posts or they comment on one of mine. I can’t thank you enough. There are some amazing writers and creatives out there who have so many valuable things to share — I’m blown away.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support and encouragement of my little hobby! And you are such gracious guests, I know you won’t even mention that I clearly messed up and thought the anniversary was today and didn’t realize it was actually yesterday until I linked to my first post. I hope this is not an indication of what I will be like as a real mother one day.

Have a great weekend and a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Life In Bullets

You might recall I have a blog. She’s been a little silent through October and up until now, which is ironic because the month itself was anything but (not to mention that I am usually anything but). Professionally and personally, October always seems like the busiest month of the year. Am I alone in feeling that way?

But we soldier on. So, in soundbite format, here’s what’s been occupying my time in the last month:

  • One strike away. Twice. Heartbreak.
  • Siri.
  • The new television season.
  • American Horror Story on FX.
  • Reading online obsessively about American Horror Story.
  • Having nightmares because of American Horror Story.
  • Attending weddings.
  • Planning a wedding (I have a dress!).
  • Alternating between sweaters and flip-flops because Dallas is ridiculous.
  • Trying to find the right energy bar or post-workout food/beverage to stave the blurry visions and headaches off I’m getting after my personal training.
  • Drinking more water.
  • Forgetting to drink more water.
  • Turning 34. Will it be as busy as 33?
  • Trying to figure our where in the world is Matt Lauer — otherwise known as the annual reminder that no matter how great it actually is, your job totally sucks in comparison.
  • Counting the minutes until Thanksgiving.

What’s missing from this list? Books. Blogging. Google Reader. The part of me who loves to read and write has been absent lately. While I have my theories as to why (most of them surrounding horrific scenarios derived from American Horror Story), I think it’s just a simple matter of focusing on other things.

I miss reading and blogging and I think my life is fuller and more balanced with these hobbies around, but I also don’t feel the need to force them. They then move from hobbies to obligations. It’s kind of how I feel about our “passions.”

Hopefully my inner hipster-sitting-in-a-coffee-shop-with-a-composition book-and-an-e-reader will resurface soon. In the meantime, please share some book recommendations below and/or what you are enjoying this new TV season!

Thanks for reading!

Happy, But Not Satisfied

This weekend, while escaping to San Antonio for a brief getaway, JB and I consumed our eighth bowl of guacamole in 24 hours as we watched the Texas Rangers clinch their 2nd consecutive World Series bid. I even broke my stringent rule of not sitting on the same side of the table when out to dinner (I hate when couples do that) so JB and I could both be in prime TV-viewing position.

We cheered too loudly in a we-think-we’re-in-a-sports-bar-but-we’re-not type of way during the exhilarating 9-run, 3rd inning. And later, we high-fived from our hotel room (in bed by 10p.m. each night!) as the celebratory pile-on of players and coaches happened on the field about 300 miles to the north of us. I lived vicariously through Facebook updates and pictures of friends in attendance.

But as the longest-tenured Ranger’s Michael Young said, we’re “happy, but not satisfied.”

This year, it’s not enough just to go to the series. This time, we have to win it! We’re favored, we’re expected and anything less won’t be good enough. But anything can happen, so in honor of our World Series run starting on Wednesday, I am re-posting my Why I Love: Baseball post that ran this past March to mark opening day of the 2011 season. Who knew what our season had in store at that moment?! And it’s not over yet.

Go Rangers!!


Why I Love: Baseball

The state pride!

The noise of the fans!

The Captain!

The awesomeness of the game! (ok, and yes, men in baseball uniforms. Sue me.)

Happy Opening Day people! Beyond the start of baseball season, it’s also a glorious sign that summer is around the corner. My interest in baseball started as a boy-crazy middle schooler who watched the games on TV because I thought the 2nd baseman was cute.  It blossomed into a true love and respect for the sport and it has weathered salary strikes, losing seasons, and just average-looking 2nd basemen. I even kept the stats for my high school varsity team, which is ironic seeing as I dropped a statistics class three times in college before accepting that the psychology minor wasn’t going to happen.

These pictures are from a playoff game last year, but *one day* I will take off work to spend the Rangers home opener at the ballpark. So get up your antlers, do the claw, and brush up on your singing, it’s time to go out to the ballgame. Best of luck to the Rangers (Cliff Lee who?) and to your team of choice.

Unless it’s the Yankees.

Does baseball opening day mean anything to you? Any special memories related to baseball? And if you want to read about other things I love, here is a movie and here is a teen-focused, country cross-over star.

A Year Of Sweetness

To celebrate the Jewish New Year, it is tradition to dip apple slices in honey as part of the Rosh Hashanah* holiday, which starts this evening. Among other meanings that I probably wasn’t listening to in Hebrew School, it represents the wishes for a sweet year ahead, filled with hopes of happiness and prosperity.

This past year was brimming with sweetness for me, and I feel so incredibly grateful. From trips to engagement, from a new career opportunity to a new home, and even starting this little blog, it has been a time of much happiness with friends and family.

I can only wish the same for the new year ahead for all of my fellow tribe members celebrating tonight. And even for those who are not, we really don’t need an excuse to wish for a little sweetness in our lives, right?

So here’s a heartfelt L’Shanah Tovah* (“for a good year”) to everyone!

* I don’t usually post about Jewish holidays because I never know the correct way to spell them or their accompany greetings. Everyone does it differently and I feel like your level of “good Jew” is being assessed by which way you choose, as I’m sure there is a “right” way. Hopefully they will still let me into services tomorrow.

The Longest Commute

Have you ever looked over at the car next to you during your morning commute and wondered if he/she was laughing at the same radio talk show you were? Or singing along to the same station you were tuned to?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I looked over at all the cars driving alongside me on the way to work wondering if they understood what the hell was happening. I knew we were listening to the same thing because their faces showed the identical feelings of bewilderment, panic, and sadness as mine.

As an American, I felt (and feel) these emotions as everyone did. But the full (and perhaps shameful) truth is, I don’t think about the day and its impact regularly. When I do reflect, these are some of the memories that stick out after that long commute:

  • I remember my friend, later that afternoon, worried about getting flowers sent to his mom because her birthday was the next day. I remember feeling simultaneously dismayed and grateful that he could be thinking about something so normal.
  • I remember the eerie feeling of going to work the next day in one of downtown Dallas’s tallest skyscrapers. Everyone was silent on the elevator up to the 47th floor.
  • I remember how, in relative terms and for however briefly, we all supported and looked to the president to help us through this. Like people say when estranged families mend their differences after a loss, it’s a shame it takes something so tragic to bring us together.
  • Since I’m such a pop culture fanatic, I remember how 9/11 played into the entertainment world. I remember Saturday Night Live’s season premiere with Paul Simon performing “The Boxer” as New York City first responders stood stoically in front of the American flag. How powerful music can be. I remember the discussion of whether shows like Friends and Sex and the City would edit their New York skyline shots that included the Twin Towers (I think SATC did edit its opening credits). I remember the awesome “Tribute to Heroes” concert/telethon shown on every broadcast channel. It was the least annoying I had ever found Bono.
I know I am extremely fortunate that I didn’t have a direct loss or impact from 9/11 that grips my memory. This weekend, my thoughts are with the 9/11 families, survivors, emergency personnel, and military members and families who remember every day.

Coffee Photo Revolution

While catching up on my Google Reader this Labor Day morning, Amber at A Day Without Sushi mentioned she was participating in a Coffee Photo Revolution started at One Sister’s Rant.

As it turns out, I adore coffee. I’m not good at taking photos, but the thought of participating in a revolution on Labor Day is fantastic. The idea was just for coffee lovers like myself to post a photo of their cup of coffee on their blog, link it up with others, and share the joy that so many of us feel from our java.

Coffee makes me happy. It appeals to all my senses — most significantly I love smelling it brew and hearing it poured. And of course, the taste.

Some of the best coffee in Dallas, at Oddfellows in Bishop Arts District

Coffee makes me excited to go to work. I look forward to waking up at my desk (not sure what I am doing during that 30-minute commute) and checking emails while I sip on some Folgers (seriously, I don’t have to be fancy with my coffee).

Representing at work -- Go 'Cats!

Coffee is a reminder of how much JB cares about me. When I stumble downstairs on weekend mornings, I can smell the coffee he brewed for me before he left to play golf. Sure, I could make it for myself, but this gesture is always so much easier sweeter.

And coffee is time spent with friends. In high school, we started hanging out at this Starbucks place. And it’s where we went to catch up when we were all home for winter break during our college years. And just today, I enjoyed a relaxing brunch with two great girlfriends as we all injected our beloved caffeine — even if the restaurant had run out of coffee mugs.

We'll drink out of to-go cups -- just BRING US THE COFFEE!

Not surprisingly, we were not the only ones looking forward to a steaming cup of coffee as they caught up with friends, read the paper, recapped the weekend or just enjoyed a day with a high temperature of only the upper 80s. It’s just the sort of thing that calls for a coffee kick.

Mmmm… I’m already looking forward to work tomorrow.

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, do you just enjoy it in a healthy way that people enjoy a beverage or has it taken on a whole new level like me?

A Freshman Again

Just like the children popping up on my Facebook news feed in their proud parents’ pictures that I skip past totally love, I, too, embarked on a first day of school this week (though JB surprisingly did not feel the need to capture this moment in photo).

After five years at the same university, I was part of the energy and excitement of a fresh school year at my new employer. While students start trickling in prior to the first day, seeing a campus turn overnight from the quiet of summer to the buzz of college life is like stopping by a bar at 3 p.m. and then going back at happy hour.

There is a vibrant rebirth for sure, but there are nerves too — from freshmen, transfer students, and new professors getting ready to face a group of 150 18-year-olds with the expectation of being enlightened. And for the first time in five years, from me. I was the new kid just like everyone else, so I thought I would share some tips for me and all the others feeling a little out-of-place as they head back to school:

Don’t rush home the first chance you get. I have never felt so alone and homesick as I did the first (maybe also 2nd, 3rd, 4th….) week of college. If I hadn’t been 1,000 miles away, I’m sure my laundry and I would have been tempted to seek the security of home as much as possible. And in a new job, before you develop a sense of community, it’s easy to leave when the work is done.

But so much of college (and working at one) happens outside the office or classroom. It happens at residence hall move-in, the welcome back barbecue or the volleyball game (What? Some schools don’t have football!). And you have to be there to experience it. Besides, the washer and dryers in the residence hall now text you when your laundry is done. They TEXT you.

Remember there was a time you felt lost and confused in high school, too. But by the end of that first year, you were a pro. And eventually, you will be at college too. No one starts out Van Wilder.

At my former employer, I felt comfortable walking into any meeting and answering student questions (why yes, I do know how to get to that building). I walked across campus and the faces were familiar, if not friends. But if I really think back, I remember the first year when I never wanted to go to anything alone and was hesitant to speak up at a meeting because I didn’t trust my knowledge and ideas yet. If you give it time, freshmen students quickly become next year’s orientation leaders and freshmen employees become veterans.

Be in the moment. Finally, don’t start counting the days until winter or summer break. My wedding date has been set and it’s basically a school year away. I’m so excited, I find myself wishing it was already June. But life is way too short for that — I need to enjoy everything leading up to that time just as much.

Students take so much AP and dual credit these days in high school that by the time they get into college, they only have a couple of years left. And I totally understand this for financial and other personal reasons. But sometimes I wish they would just slow down a little and take it all in. Your “first day of school” moments are numbered.