Category: marriage

aging, bar life, lifestyle, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, reflection

a hazy summer

via L.A. Brown Photography/Martha’s Vineyard Magazine

How precious of me.

I thought I’d just spend my summer writing, while mulling over my journal at the beach, painting outdoors and hiking every trail with meditation walks on this lovely little island.  Sure, I’d fit in my social media duties and work, as well. It was going to be summer on the island, just like it used to be.

I knew it would get busy. I knew our little bar would get busy. I knew that the population of this island was going to grow by 100,000 tourists. I knew all of this.

But, wow.

At night, I take off my eye make-up with a slather of coconut oil and there is a moment of hazy blindness before I rinse if all off. (LivingLola beauty tip: Coconut Oil is like magic. You’re welcome.) This summer is that hazy blindness, except there is no rinsing off the cloudiness of the past eight weeks of crazy busy. It is all a blur.

I never expected to work this hard for a bar, of all things. But, I have to say, I have enjoyed the challenge.  It has been a good kind of getting-to-test-yourself kind of crazy. I think I may have even found my limit. So, I’ve got that now.

I look at what Larkin and I have built; the friendships that we are establishing, the life we are creating, the strides we are making.  Turning this little iconic 70-year-old bar into what we have coined, “the best little live dive on the rock”. LivingLolaFunFact: Many islanders refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “the rock”.

We are honored and humbled. Blessed with accolades, news articles, interviews and we even made the New York Times. Not bad for our first year. Larkin and I have a knack, a way of making things happen when we are both on the same page, in the zone. Our flow is amazing, almost a yellow brick road to success, as long as we are both headed in the same direction.

If either of us gets distracted or are not fully on board for a project, that is when we wobble, or worse, fall. I don’t mind falling. We are one bad ass team when it comes to getting back up. We’ve had our share of practice time in our 28 years together.

Now, we are in … Read the rest

bar life, empty nesters, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, poetry, The Ritz MV

dwell in this


Nothing brings Larkin and I closer, than working on accounting together. And, by closer, I mean closer to the “His and Hers” matching urns of our ashes, that may or may not be scattered in the same general vicinity, someday.

Working together, running a new business these past several months has been a dream come true except for the monthly dose of Quick Books nightmares. Nothing brings on a hot flash faster for me than an Excel Spreadsheet.

Him: How did you code that check? Me: Miscellaneous. (my favorite)  Him: You have to code it a specific expense.  Me: If I had wanted to be an accountant then, I would BE an accountant!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Yep. We are on our own now. No office support staff for L. No full-time housekeeper, helping me to make it all look effortless. It is just him and me, a mom and pop operation, sifting through bank statements, bills and receipts. Sitting at our computers and recounting the week’s sales and expenditures turns me into a 9 year old, trying to sit still in class.  

Me: Hey, look at this pic. Does this dress look blue or gold, to you?  Him: Get off Twitter! It’s blue. Focus!                                                                       

I want to write, paint, build, design, create, dance, sing, watch TCM or have a root canal and a mammogram at the same time. I do not want to work with numbers with my business partner in his work voice. There is a tone in his work voice that I do not care for. I prefer, husband voice.

It is hard to believe that we were once that suburban couple, raising kids in an affluent neighborhood. Our defined roles, so fortunately traditional. I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom, carpooling to their private schools and volunteering on every committee to make sure that their childhoods were everything that a Disney Channel show promised. I cooked, baked and nurtured those little chickadees until they flew east for college, then migrated to the west for the beginning of the rest of their lives.

He ran the businesses, I ran the house. Our “work” paths never crossed.

The structure of our lives was so scheduled, planned and executed it almost seems impossible to me that we actually adhered to such a manicured time frame. I never overslept once. We lived well. We were happy. We acknowledged our success and fortuitous luck. … Read the rest

lifestyle, marriage

living wide

September. Almost the middle, no less. Wow.

Larkin and I have had some big decisions to make lately. Some were made for us. What happened to the lazy days of summer?! Business life, family life and our personal life have all posed big crossroads for us.

“What do they call it…when everything intersects? The Bermuda Triangle.” – Sleepless in Seattle

When a challenge appears, you can look at it as a speed bump to slow you down or an adventure to live and learn from.

After almost 25 years together, I know this much is true about our relationship:  Lark and I will always choose adventure.

It’s a main tenet of Living Lola. When faced with a challenge, presented with a slight chance at a dream or risking it all for what’s behind Door #3, we are just crazy enough to do it.

The doubt, fear and uncertainty usually lasts…about…9… seconds…then, we are all about, “Oh, we can so do this!” High-five-ing, trash talking ensues. Nobody is a bigger fan of Jack & Lark, than we are.

Don’t get me wrong. We practice The Art of Doing Nothing like a freaking religion. Just ask the “family” bag of M&M’s and “family” box of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies we can put away, lying in bed, watching movies and DVR essentials. We celebrate our down time, full-out. Also, a Living Lola tenet.

Just when it gets comfortable and settled for a length of time, boom! We can shake things up pretty quickly by taking a sharp left turn, that wasn’t even on the map.

“Hey, let’s get married!”  they said, after only knowing each other for two months.

“Let’s put our kids in private school and move to the city!” they said, soon after they moved into their new suburban dream home, that they had built.

“Let’s buy a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard!” said the couple who lived 2000 miles AND a ferry ride away.

“I know! We can sell our big house and get rid of all our stuff and get a grown-up townhome!” they cried, when their kids left the nest…and kept coming back.

Yep. Adventure is calling. I can feel it coming. Something is in the hot, September Texas air.

Read the rest

Latina, lifestyle, marriage, parenting

The Aisle: An Olympic Sport?

What comes with having three 20-something girls, each with their own large circle of girlfriends, is the realization that no news travels faster, spreads wider and cuts like a light saber through general conversation than Guess who is getting married?!

It is 2012 and we all just giggle, gasp and guffaw at nuptial news like women at the “Meryton Assembly Ball” in a Jane Austen novel.

My girls, in particular, have been cursed/blessed with a matriarch that was wedded at the ripe ol’ age of 22. “Ugh,” they all sighed.

It wasn’t planned or arranged. It just happened. Just like they cannot plan or arrange when it will happen for them. (Although their father might just like the opportunity to “arrange” their partners.)

There are plenty of books, advice and well-meaning analysts and bloggers like Penelope Trunk that have written volumes about not only how to find and land your mate, but WHEN you should meet “Mr. Right.” Someone even came out with “rules”. Remember that brouhaha? There is even a book by Tracy McMillan based on her popular two-part essay on The Huffington Post telling you WHY you haven’t found that right person just yet.

Even my mother-in-law, a champion for women’s rights, a celebrated educator and author will most likely ask the girls if they have a boyfriend before she inquires about their job, school or general health.

So much has been written lately about “having it all” with the media swirling around the rise of the new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She will have the opportunity to balance pregnancy, marriage, motherhood while running a major company, right before our very eyes; her every move, no doubt, covered by every media source from the Wall Street Journal to People magazine. (My guess is that they probably already approached Naomi Watts to play her in the movie. No?)

My Google Reader is not filled with articles in regards to a “cure” for bachelors or advice on landing Mrs. Right. I cannot recall any story about a newly appointed male CEO having to discuss how marriage or fatherhood would affect his job performance.

What is the fascination with women getting married?

I personally feel, the honest truth, is that it will happen, when it happens. And, it is most likely inevitable.

I will conserve my opinions of working women having it all, to focus on … Read the rest


for better or worse: a guide to 23 years and counting

In 1987, I was 21 and I fell in love. In a nightclub. Heavy on the fog machine and even heavier on “The Cure.” It wasn’t the first time I had met the 31-year-old Larkin, but it was the first time I “saw” him. The way we both remember it, through all of that artificial fog, we finally looked at each other and just fell.

Like many couples, you start dating and spending more time together. Lots of phone calls just to hear each others voice. Then you start to have those long amazing talks, swapping all of your stories over long, slow bottles of wine, finding that you connect on a deeper level. You realize you have never felt this kind of connection. And then, as I always tell my girls, you just KNOW.

Is there anything more wonderful, scary, brave, crazy, romantic, insane than falling in love?

We all grow up with an image of what marriage is going to be like or look like.  That image can be quite damning for those who feel a need to itemize qualities or define their future Mr. or Mrs.

For instance, I swore I would never marry someone with kids. And, Larkin said he would never marry again, after his first marriage. Did I mention that we actually made these statements to each other, on one of those aforementioned wine fueled “amazing, long talks”?

Obviously, like most imbeciles in love, we threw all caution, warning, parental feelings, sound advice and genuine criticism to the wind. How could we go wrong?! I was a “Model/Actress”, (which meant equally less in 1987) and he was a cool, nightclub owner. Wasn’t this exactly what Jane Austen was talking about? Or maybe I’m thinking Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. You can see where I’d get confused.

In six months we were engaged, six months later we were married and six months later we were pregnant. It was just like Han Solo making the jump to light speed with the “Millennium Falcon”. We didn’t just fall, we kicked it in to hyper-drive and dove in head first.

Today, we have been married 23 years. “Been married” sounds so casual, like “been there, done that.” No one says we’ve “achieved” 23 years. Or, “earned” 23 years.  Or, even “survived”. That last one may not look as nice on a Hallmark card, but truly, it is … Read the rest