I Won’t Show You My Nails. But I Will Share With You My Waxing Story. Notes on Getting Ready For BlogHer.

This morning my husband brought my daughter into our bed around 5:45AM hoping for a little bit more sleep.

Her big eyes were staring right back at me and her cute smile right underneath it.

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No more sleep but some precious cuddling.

I have two older sons and am very cognitive of raising her to not really care what she looks like, but rather, focus inward.

I kissed her and the boys and then headed out the door. To get waxed and my nails polished before heading to BlogHer. I had already made a promise to myself, you will not Instagram your nails for BlogHer. That’s so 2009. You have moved beyond.

Then I also thought, as I drove, why the hell did I obsess over the color of nail polish I would shake Maria Shriver’s hand with when I found out last May she’d be at my house the next day at 10AM.

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And by the way Lindsay, what color nail polish are you wearing?

And had I ever remembered what color nail polish a woman had worn?

I am a woman who used to wear flip flops and tennis shoes out. Does vanity make me stupid? Yet, somehow as I age and especially after having 4 pregnancies I realize I like my body healthy and yes, sexy, however that is I deem it.

First I headed to spin class. In my Lululemon pants.

Before you judge me, oh judge me whatever. I needed to get there and help alleviate my anxiety. It has grown tremendous the last month.

It can offset my heart and cause an SVT attack.

I wore my Expressing Motherhood shirt and the teacher said, you came here with an intention, what was it? For me it was to get my heart rate up. I have an SVT and I need to keep my heart healthy. I looked at my reflection and looked at the heart my friend has in part of the design.

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Healthy heart.

I wanted to get off the bike a hundred times. But I stayed. Sweaty, I left feeling good. Off to  the nail salon.

It’s a salon I haven’t been to in years. I asked if I could get a bikini wax.

A woman said yes, she had time for me.

OK, I promised no Instagrams of my nails but I’m headed into bikini waxing, stay with.

“You want regular or Brazilian?” She said in a heavy accent.

“Oh, well, oh geez, just regular…” that’s when she started taking over.

“Let me see. You will be so happy Brazilian is no big deal,” she said.

“Oh, well, I’m a mom of 3 so this is pretty no important, you know, I’m just busy,” I started rambling. Half apologizing and half just doing what I do.

“Where are you going?” She asked.

“A conference, for women/mom bloggers. Maybe I’ll go swimming?” I made a funny face. Then she really took over.

“You have three kids,” this is where I thought she would say, you need to have time to yourself instead she said, “Men get bored, they go out and start looking around. Men are bastards anyways.” Then there is pain and holy smokes she has started what I am assuming is a Brazilian plan.

“Holy smokes,” I laugh and cringe as I am sweating. But she is so utterly entertaining me that I let her continue on.

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Look how relaxing I make dinner with three kids look.

“You have had babies, you can do this,” she says. “Men go out into the world and now they see the ladies who look like this and this is what they want.” I giggle, inwardly as I think of my shy husband who works from home walking around LA seeing this.

“Men are dogs,” she says right before a part I’m utterly terrified of happening happens. Then she throws me a curve ball, “I had only one man, can you believe that?”

“Oh, wow, how long?” I politely say, sweat building on my forehead.

“40 years,” she says.

“How did he treat you?” I asked.

“Very good. Like a princess. That is why I don’t want to date. I got spoiled. Plus after a while, sex is like a chore for a woman.” I think of Mommy Tonk and how much material she is giving me.

“Did you divorce?” I asked.

“No, he died, 10 years ago. He was volunteering over in Iraq as a doctor and his camp was blown up.” Suddenly I felt no more pain.

She had me captured.

“Turn over,” she said.

“I’m so sorry to hear about that. Did you have kids?” I asked

“Yes, she said, I had them very close together, two sets of twins 14 months apart,” but the way she phrased it I didn’t want to ask more questions. I had a feeling something painful and much more raw would come up and I didn’t want to probe.

“Look, look how good you look,” she said as she handed me a hand mirror. I looked thinking, holy shit, this woman is awesome and being a woman is hilarious and wow, just what happened.

“See you did it,” she said.

I thanked her and tipped her big.

Then I got my nails done and she did the toes of a fellow older woman whom obviously was a regular.

This time the woman who waxed me listened to the woman talk about her family and her upcoming travels.

At one point the waxer said “Life is sad, what can we do,” when they were talking about the clients ailing mother in law.

The way the two women hugged each other after the pedicure ended made my heart warm.

Two women in bodies they probably never thought they’d have. Aging bodies, essentially.

The waxer caught my eye and smiled. I left the salon and on my drive home I passed a model in Griffith Park, taking off her dress and stood without any modesty in her underwear and bra until the other dress was handed to her.

She was young and perfect.

I didn’t really envy her. I wondered how she would stand up against the test of time. I wonder this a lot lately. And more I think of it internally. Because man it’s hard. You have to become so brave to age. All of the things you see happening to your loved ones and to find out new ailments about your body which can be sometimes, very scary.

I adore older women who are happy.

I had one more stop on my day.

To my dermatologist office to get some saline put into some spider veins I suddenly have.

Despite my day of “beauty” what I care about and fear about of course is my family. For health.

These minor distractions, such as my nails, waxing and fighting the inevitable aging of my body are just things I do to make me feel good.

It doesn’t mean any depth is lost.

Oh, I forgot to add one more quip from my fabulous waxer. She said, “Tonight, after you do the Chugga Chugga you might need some hemorrhoid cream.”

I had no idea what the hell she was talking about.

All I know is that it made me laugh.

I had a hard day yesterday, controlling my anger with my kids and husband.

Sometimes I just want and need some peace and time to myself.

All of the writing, the nails, the silliness, the depths of my soul, which I wish I could make lighter, enjoy the superficial sometimes.

Yet, sometimes, what appears superficial is just me taking care of myself. And by the way I totally enjoy people’s nail photos from Instagram. BlogHer related or not.

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Suddenly feeling a little insecure about the post. I knew I could make it strictly comical but they un-folded with such femininity I decided to just add it all in.

I will return to “The Waxer” I enjoyed her stories. I want to ask her more questions when I’m feeling a little braver. It takes balls to grow older, that is for sure. Just not hairy balls.

What, I couldn’t resist.

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ExMo MeetUp: Discuss “Girl At The End of The World” With Author Elizabeth Esther

I’m so excited that local SoCal author Elizabeth Esther has agreed to attend an ExMo MeetUp where we discuss her book “Girl At The End of The World.”

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The dates, time and place will be announced soon but do get your copy.

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Here is an out-take from her book.

I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.

Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of these highly specialized skills ever got me a job, but at least I’m all set for the end of the world. Selah.

A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.

Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.

In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail.

 

 

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When Friends Leave LA

Whenever someone leaves LA I become melancholy and also insecure.]

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I mourn the loss of their presence, even if I never see them. Just knowing they are here somehow is comforting.

A lot of my friends and past co-workers have left.

It makes me also wonder, should we have gone, should we?

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I know so many people who have left LA.

It’s a hard city and very expensive. A lot of my acquaintances go back to the city they are from. Yes, they face the brutal winters but I see them surrounded by their friends and family and I know they are rich in all of that.

I remind myself too, that I don’t really have a place like that to return to. I had a nomadic childhood and one thing that has been wonderful for me about LA, has been the lack of the old established families.

I have always wanted my kids to grow up in the way I envied the other kids I saw when I moved from town to town. Surrounded by adults and children who had known them since they were babies.

So yeah, let’s try that in La La Land. OK, maybe not the easiest challenge but what I have found unique about raising kids in a city is that the parents cling together because we are like “Shit, we are raising kids here.”

Today, deep in some questioning of whether or not we should have bolted I reminded myself my oldest was off to sleep at his friend’s house tonight. His friend he’s known since, well the womb.

I just take some breaths and realize that perhaps LA summers are not as picturesque as others. Others who are able to head to homes they have outside of LA, surrounded by greenery, mountains or cornfields and a slower pace of life.

LA gets hot, people get grouchy.

People leave and I get it. But I’m not going to let myself slip into  a sadness or questioning this time.

For a nomadic childhood I have actually been able to carve out a nice space of my own here. Even if it’s a little weird, stressful and holy cow how much?

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Of course, I wish I still had my wrap around Iowa porch where we’d sit outside and people would drive by and just stop and say hello. Once, someone drove a lawn mower over.

But even in LA, people have walked over and knocked. Well, OK, weirdos but also friends.

So despite another person leaving I am resigned to know this is where I have chosen to stay. I’m comfortable here and I thrive in this hazy and crazy city.

 

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Our Last NYC Tote: Giveaway

This week I spilled water on my computer and broke it. That’s the bad.

The good is due to more free time I cleaned my closet and found one more beloved tote.

Designed but my great friend Nete Oernsholt for our NYC show in 2009.

We are giving it away. Just like it on Facebook. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.

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Expressing Motherhood is Headed to BlogHer

Expressing Motherhood is headed to BlogHer.

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Please say hello if you are going and know us or want to get to know us. I’m headed solo, Lindsay here.

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Our twitter handle is @exmoshow

I have never been but have been to Mom2Summit and Campy Mighty.

I’m looking forward to talking, walking and taking it in. I look forward to connecting with past performers from shows in our other cities such as NYC, Boston and Chicago. Please say hello!

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ExMo Alum News

Summer is here and so is some social media de-toxing. Well a bit anyways.

Mommy Tonk is wrapping up their Summer Tour, so proud of them.

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ExMo alum Michelle Brooks has her play, “Family Planning” debuting this week in Burbank at the Colony Theatre.

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ExMo alum Nicole Blaine has her on-going LA hit stand-up show going on monthly. Michelle Villemaire and myself went and saw it on her one year anniversary show. If you are interested in losing your virginity to stand-up I urge you to attend and de-flower yourself there.

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ExMo alum Elizabeth Aquino has released a short memoir on Amazon it’s doing very well. A great Summer read.

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ExMo alum Michelle Villemaire have launched a new blog titled Shiksa Chicks.

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Please drop us a line and let us know what you have been up to ExMo alum. We’d love to hear from you!

Our next show will be announced soon so get to writing.

 

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Take Your Kid To An Eye Doctor

A few years ago I overheard some moms saying that a specialist had come to their school and tested many of this kids and talked about how many kids go un-diagnosed in the “hey I need glasses department.”

I remember my mommy radar buzzing saying take your oldest in.

I didn’t.

Cut to us asking his teacher if he might be dyslexic.

And then finally cut to me taking him in at 6. Only to find out he could not see very well. He needed some help.

He was far sighted.

My pediatrician never suggested I take him in and neither did a teacher. With glasses my 6 year-old became a reader. He could see and his headaches abated.

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I remember thinking I should take my middle child in. I didn’t.

Until two days ago.

As he sat in my lap and suddenly could not make out the very large shape in front of him for the eye doctor, I sat back in the chair and felt panic begin to overtake me.

My middle child, it turns out, really can not see well, at all.

My heart sank.

We’ve had a difficult time with him. He gets tired, screams. Turns out he is probably doing that because one of his eyes had given up and was turning in and he was working so hard to see.

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We literally can not wait for his new glasses. A whole new world will be open up to him.

Ever since he was little I knew something was off and I couldn’t pin point it down.

I talked to the nice man at the eye doctor who makes the glasses and he said he’s been in the eye business for 20 years and he sees this happen all the time. And the eye doctor said the same thing!

WTF?

Why aren’t we being told to take our babies in?

You should take your babies in between 6-12 months it turns out.

Most children will have an eye exam in school around kindergarten or first grade. The American Optometric Association however, suggests parents should take their children in for their first official eye exam by six months old. While that seems young, the earlier you start caring for your child’s vision, the better.

Kids can’t verbalize what they don’t even know. My child doesn’t know the world can be any clearer. I literally, again, sorry to repeat myself, but can NOT wait for his glasses to be put on his face.

The eye doctor was so glad I brought my 4 year-old in because once he turns 8 the eye would be almost un-treatable.

Anyways, this is just bizarre to me. I don’t understand why pediatricians aren’t telling parents to take their kids to the eye doctor.

So do it, you have nothing to lose and possibly some sight to gain.

 

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My Right To Bare My Arms – Literally I’m Going to Stop Wearing Cardigans

Jessica Turner’s piece on putting your bathing suit and getting out there was great. I have been swimming FINALLY this summer. Granted, it’s a rash guard and a bikini bottom but I’m out there.

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A month ago I declared mentally and to Shannon from Mommy Tonk I was join going to take back the right to bare my arms. Literally show my arms off. I have been sweating for too long now.

Here is my video clip on it. I like to be a bit silly. You might know that about me by now. But I’m also being serious. Seriously silly.

 

 

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Save The Date: ExMo MeetUp Back To School Pampering

Make sure you save the date and/or get your ticket for our ExMo MeetUp August 24th at the Assembly Salon in Beverly Hills.

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Mommy Tonk and Expressing Motherhood headed over there last month to get our hair done before one of their LA gigs.

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We had a really great time chatting with the owner Jessica. She has made the salon easy to park and cozy. You can also bring your kids to both get your hair done if you like!

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Our ExMo event will be for moms only, not that we don’t love our little ones but hey, it will be the end of the Summer, we will deserve a little of that. Here is some info on the Assembly Salon.

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L.A’s first braid and ponytail bar has gained great accolades from InStyle, Marie Claire, Lucky, Glamour, and many more, all within its first year of opening. Another fantastic point of recognition that really speaks to who we are is being starred as “one of the best places in LA to bring your pint-sized princess.”

Assembly offers fresh, fun styling for hair, makeup, and nails inspired by global fashion runways and epic red carpet moments. Services include braided styles, blowouts, updos, makeup, 5-free vegan friendly nail care and more.

Assembly chooses the products we use keeping in mind making the salon as healthful and less toxic as we can while providing beautiful results. We strive to make it a fun social environment where women are comfortable bringing their children or being while pregnant. Our hair product line is Kevin Murphy, which is cruelty free, and strives to be as less toxic as possible all while providing excellent styling. It contains ingredients like lavender oil, mandarin oil, and honey.

We love hosting many events, including parties for children. Examples of big hits with kids are manis with 5-free vegan friendly polish and organic lotions, and most definitely our braids and ponytails with ribbon and glitter. We are happy to create a customized program for your party!

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We offer mommy and me classes for moms who want to learn more about braiding. Many moms come with their children for mother daughter time. And expectant mothers absolutely love getting braids that will stay put during their delivery so they can be comfortable and even photo ready!

Assembly has become the place to go for all busy women looking for up to the minute, quick styling. This year’s Awards Season included a bevy of braided beauties styled by Assembly such as singing sensation Judith Hill of The Voice, the beautiful Nathalia Ramos of Arrested Development and Bratz fame, and Katie Aselton of The League. Assembly is known for their fashionable hairstyles and flawless makeup among the stylish Los Angeles set, having worked backstage at the Grammys, and with many corporate clients such Rebecca Minkoff, Free People, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bloomingdale’s, and the celebrity- packed “invite only” Parties at Coachella.

This event is only $5. You will get food from Daphne’s, sample some fresh pressed juice from Orchard Flats and get some great goodies from Organic Tanning Salon OATS.

GET YOUR TICKET HERE

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ExMo Alum Elizabeth Aquino’s New Book “Hope for a Sea Change”

ExMo alum Elizabeth Aquino has a new book out. We are very happy for her and wanted to share the news with  you.

She has published her short memoir Hope for a Sea Change: a search for healing by Shebooks. The e-book is available for download through Shebooks and Amazon.

 

When her three-month old daughter Sophie is diagnosed with a rare seizure disorder, Elizabeth Aquino and her husband Michael, are thrust into a nightmarish world of impossible decisions, toxic drug cocktails, and talk of brain surgery on their tiny child. As they grapple with the harrowing progression of their child’s seizures, they grow to understand that the doctors know little more about how to heal Sophie than they do. They are in a terrifying no-man’s land. This narrative of unintended medical trauma and the search for healing through alternative means will sear you with its stubborn hope, unexpected grace and abiding love.

 
“Elizabeth Aquino’s medical odyssey with her baby daughter, Sophie, just reached inside and wrapped my heart in a fist. I feel both broken and illuminated by the grit, pain and grace of this family’s harrowing search for healing. This is parenting at its most extreme. This is vast and stubborn and steadfast love.”
 
– Rosemarie Robotham
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