Monday, November 24, 2014

That's a Wrap.

...And, we're back.


    Back in the...OK, you get it. I won't sing that song, but it's always so damn catchy, and I find myself humming it whenever my plane lands on the runway here in THE Apple, and I emerge from the gate. Bags in hand. Dog wiggling in her bag, desperate to be set free from its confines. Groggy from my nap. Checking my phone. Wondering if I rounded up all of my stuff. Yes, that's the routine. And, then....humming. Like a gigantic dork. Every time.
OK, so...

Let's wrap up the past month
Wrap up in style afterward, cool?

   I've been gone from New York for exactly one month. My southern accent might have even emerged...a teeny bit. Thanks, Mom. I can hardly process that time, though--one month. This month has felt like both ten years and ten hours. However that happens. Like I mentioned (here), traveling and withdrawing from the madness and subsequent stress and debilitating anxiety has proven to be just the remedy that my mind, body, and soul craved. I'll emphasize my friend Heather's term once again--Renaissance. An extremely gritty and often uncomfortable personal Renaissance. And, you know what? That's OK. It's been hovering over me for the past year, and I've finally found the courage to make some changes in my life. I have always considered myself moderately brave. A survivor. Someone who can acknowledge their feelings and shortcomings. But, it can prove difficult to ultimately be your own catalyst for change. Daily change. Leaving New York to spend time with family has been a goal of mine for years. I've just never closed the deal, afraid almost, of departing this city's chaos. It's ingrained in our lifestyles. It has to be-survival of the fittest. Or the hardest-working. Or, the luckiest. Your choice.


   My time was divided between Rosemary Beach, Florida (be jealous of my sandy feet and kaftan-wearing self) and Memphis, Tennessee, where my parents reside. I spent my mornings walking and strengthening my knee (an injury I've been struggling with for four months). Lots of coffee was involved and typically outdoors. In Florida, I dug my toes in the sand (like you're supposed to), book in hand, surrounded by family with entertainment provided by my almost-two-year-old nephew. My oldest sister is seven months pregnant with her first child, so...there's that. She was actually quite pleasant, despite my initial uncertainty (love you, sis! I was kidding...kind of). We cooked together, strolled through local shops, ate delicious seafood at our favorite spots, and mom baked cookies in the evenings. It was magical--by the way, can I go back now?

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     In Memphis, I watched an obscene (obscene! I'm ninety years old, apparently) amount of Hallmark holiday movies with my mom (Sidenote: I constantly made fun of my mom's affinity for these over-the-top cheesy films--can we even call them "films?"--Now, I'm the one spearheading the campaign. Funny how that happens with age, eh?). I attended my cousin's "camp-themed" fourth birthday party, had the opportunity to finally participate in one of my oldest sister's baby showers (first pregnancy, mind eight showers from Nashville, to North Carolina, to Memphis), reconnected with childhood friends (and their little ones!), inhaled the breathtaking transition of the Tennessee seasons (See below-I'm in awe of its beauty). Lastly, I even roadtripped with my mom and aunt to East Tennessee to check on close older relatives, who are struggling. Although my family lives all around the country, I have no words for how incredibly priceless it felt to be able to be present with so many different members during so many incredibly important events. In person. In damn person. Not via phone. Not via video or text or email or Facebook. I was there, face-to-face, interacting. Birthday parties, reunions, baby showers, new baby announcements, illnesses, moments of joyous celebration, and moments of infinite sadness. I'm tearing up all over again with gratitude for the time I did have, despite wishing for more of it.

I was there. In the flesh. That trumps all, despite what the world tells us
Enveloped by acceptance, encouragement, and genuine love. Bottom line. A month of that combination performs even the most difficult of heart surgeries, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Oh, and how could I possibly forget? I ATE AT CRACKER BARREL...TWICE. That, friends, is medicine in itself. Sign me up for a dose of biscuits and gravy any day.  

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    The temperatures dropped to the thirties at the end of my stay to all of Memphis's surprise, but even that didn't prepare me for the bite of the cold here in New York City. Like, bug-eyed, shimmying and shaking protocol when your asshole friend used to put ice cubes down the back of your shirt in fifth grade. That's me. That's been my life since my return. Point: I'm constantly chilled.

    Firstly, I own a ton of coats. I love them. We're stating the obvious here. From leather motos to vintage seventies faux fur to a classic double breasted wool. But, two years ago, I purchased the most fabulous wrap coat with an oversized collar, which doubles as a hood. It's on trend yet still ladylike....oh, and most importantly, warm. Most outerwear serves a fashion-related purpose with mildly-warm properties. My chic AND very warm coat is a bit worn out, and I've been toying with the idea of replacing it. While shopping in Florida with my mom and sisters, I stumbled upon  the most fabulous T Tahari leopard wrap coat that I fell in love with immediately at Saks Off 5th. Of all places, Florida? Restraining myself, I decided to mull over the purchase overnight. Unshockingly, I never made the 30-minute drive back to the outlet. In what can only be described as a winter miracle, it came across my laptop screen just yesterday. Oh, and in an array of colors! And reduced price! Win. This style + additional colors (wine and mink-hued) are offered on other sites (discounted), but the VERY LOWEST PRICE was found at Saks Off 5th again. 

On the Saks Off 5th site, the coats are listed at $279.99 (marked down from $400).
But, even better news: 
Enter code: GOBBLE for an additional 50% off (YES, I just wrote 50%!)
Enter Code: FREESHIP for--you guessed it--free shipping

That's $140 even for a feminine, classic coat. I like a good deal, but I lurrrrrv it when it should or could have been a splurge. 

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Shop more T Tahari:

Yeah, girl, yeah.
Get that coat.

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