Thursday, December 30, 2010

Or I'll just buy something that is decidedly NOT a clog

I ditched the clog fixation. I mean seriously, what was that?

I think all the analysis I did to put together yesterday’s post really helped make it clear that none of those shoes were really what I wanted. I should put that kind of consideration into every purchase I make, write out detailed pro and con lists, ask people for advice. Just think of all the money I’d save! (Not to mention all the time I’d waste…)

My brother and I ran into Kohl’s at lunch today because he had to get a few links taken out of a watch he got for Christmas (we work for the same company, in the same department, with the same boss… if you didn’t know). While he was dealing with his little errand, I ran up to the shoe department to check out their selection, to see if they had the perfect elusive clog I was desperately searching for, at a much cheaper price mind you. And they were all ugly. Because Newsflash! Clogs are ugly.

But they did have these cute little boots on sale, for $30. And they totally fit the bill.


Cute. Flat. Not bulky. Inconspicuous. Comfortable. Easy. Cheap. Perfect.

So behold, yesterday I was prepared to embrace my inner frump and purchase a pair of $100 clogs, and today, instead, I bought $30 boots from the juniors section at Kohl’s.

Yeah, I’m pretty much THAT all over the place in the rest of my life as well. Thanks for humoring me yesterday ladies.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sensible Shoes

Ok, so this is going to be a bit of a tangent from my normal postings of domesticated mom-ness, but bear with me. I need some advice.

I’m in the market for a pair of clogs. Yup, you read that right, I said clogs. FRUMP ALERT! Yeah, I know. Seriously though, over the last month I’ve come to the realization that I need the Minnesota Winter equivalent of a basic flat or moccasin, which is what I live in during the spring through fall months. Something with a little more oomph than a flat, that I can easily throw on with jeans or cords, or maybe even work trousers, that will not freeze my little toes off while I’m running multiple errands with Gus in tow, or trouncing through fresh snow in the darkness of my work parking lot at 5:00 PM, brushing off and scraping the windows of my car.

If anyone has a better idea than clogs, please, I’m listening. I simply can’t wear boots every day; they don’t work with all outfits. Skirts and dresses, sure, but it’s not feasible to do that every day, nor is it feasible to wear skinny jeans every time I go casual.

I’ve considered these cute oxfords pictured below, but when I really think about it, I only see myself wearing these with dresses and tights, skinny jeans or slim cords. If I threw these babies on with a basic pair of boot cut jeans I’d look like a little boy. Or just a really unfashionable, dumpy woman, stuck in the 90’s.

Steve Madden Oxfords

But hell, maybe clogs will just give me the same look?

I don’t know, am I being that person on What Not To Wear who keeps whining to Stacy and Clinton about how “comfortable” a certain pair of really ugly shoes are?

I swear, I’m not going to throw out all my cute heels and boots. It’s just, well, some days, when there’s a foot of snow on the ground and you’re looking at a day of doing the car seat dance with your toddler, (in and out, in and out, “Please cooperate honey, I know you’re sick of being repeatedly strapped into this thing, here, how about a cookie! And here’s your favorite book! {singing} The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…”), well you know what I’m talking about. I need an easy pair of mom shoes that are not hideous and are not tennis shoes (puke).

So I’ve found a few clogs that might work, all of them have their own virtues and follies… you tell me. Which pair of only slightly offensive sensible footwear is worthy of my spending my Christmas money from grandma and grandpa?

1. I know these pretty much look like slippers, but they sure look sensible, and comfortable! And I like the red. If I’m going to embrace this kind of look, then why not do it with a funky color at least? These I would definitely not wear at work, maybe on the way to work, but I’d have to change into something once at the office. They sure look like good car-scraping shoes though. But definitely, ultra-casual. Too casual?

Clog 1

2. Gosh. I don’t know about these babies. Every time I look at them I change my mind about them. First I’m all, “cute details with the stitching, I like the buckles!” Then the next moment, I don’t even know if they’re even remotely cute. The width of the toe frightens me a little, do they resemble clown shoes a little too close for comfort?

Clog 2

3. Very simple, classic clog, but with a twist. And that twist is metallic? A little wedge? Hmm… I like the slight heal, but the metallic thing reminds me of Betsy’s silver spacey moon shoes from our freshman year of college. This could be shaky territory.

Clog 3

4. These are adorable. I mean right? Adorable. I could even wear these with a cute little skirt and tights, or a sweater dress. They are almost in that bootie territory, but not quite. Definitely chunky, but for some reason the chunkiness is not freaking me out. And chunky seems to sort of be coming back into vogue. I also like that the toe doesn’t seem so wide, it’s a bit more tapered than a lot of the other clogs I’ve seen. My only hesitation is the heel. Does it go against my driving need here for something that I will be able to slip on and run out the door with the boy? Will it go with a tee and cardigan, my basic at-home uniform?

Clog 4

5. I am a lover of all things moccasin, and these are cute… and simple, and inoffensive. And very Minnesooootan (said with my very best Midwestern accent). Not as versatile as the last ones though, that’s for sure, you can’t dress these guys up. But yeah, I like. And they’re on sale and much less expensive than the others. I could take my remaining $50 and go buy a sweater!

Clog 5

6. Gosh, I like the last two, and now the rest of these shoes seem really lame. These last ones especially, I mean, ugh. I don’t even know why I bookmarked these ones. At this moment I can find no reason to put these anywhere above any of the others. I guess they’re pretty classic Danish clogs. So there. With ugly buckles. Ok, no.

Clog 6

Ok, so there you have it. Now I’d like your opinions, if you have them. Which ones are contenders? Or are you still reeling from the fact that I’m considering buying clogs, and that I’m talking about them on my blog?

Ha! Clog! Blog! Sweet, an unintentional rhyme! Neato. Seriously though, help!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And so it begins

We’re in the home stretch, of the “Holiday Season” that is, and I could not be more excited. Per usual, it’s a little overwhelming, juggling both of our families and trying to find a way to actually spend quality time with everyone rather than feel like we’re constantly running from one place to the next. There always seem to be hurt feelings on someone’s part, but we really do try so very hard to make it work.

We kicked off Christmas last night at my brother’s house with a laid back night of Chinese take-out, a huge batch of my mom’s home-made Chex-mix, and pecan turtle cookies purchased from the local bakery down the street from my house. Dinner was followed by some competitive Wii tennis, a rowdy game of Pictionary, and Sid the Science Kid.

Re: Sid the Science Kid… our rambunctious little toddler had to be somewhat distracted whilst the adults attempted to play a board game. And for the most part, a few episodes of that strange PBS show did the trick, though Gus did steal the little plastic hourglass timer at one point. I won’t lie, getting it back involved a bit of negotiation.

Christmas Gus

After getting home last night at 9:30 and putting a very sleepy little boy to bed, I had the very sudden realization that the rest of our weekend looks to be insane. And that made me very sleepy as well. My friends, we are in for lots of CHRISTMAS over the next few days.

Tonight is Christmas with Dan’s immediate family. I can’t wait. There is likely to be insane amounts of shrimp and cheesy potatoes and cookies eaten, hilarious stories told, squeals from little children, manic dogs ripping apart wrapping paper… all the stuff that you can expect from a big family being together to celebrate the holiday. It’s hard to explain it, but the chaos, the anticipation, the wide-eyed babies… it’s just all so wonderful and insane. It is Norman Rockwell on crack. It is family to the nth degree. It is CHRISTMAS.

Friday I will hopefully have time to get a few of my last-minute things done, Santa still hasn’t wrapped Dan’s stocking stuffers that he went out and bought yesterday during his lunch break, and a long time ago I promised to bring a salad to my grandma’s, so that probably means a trip to the grocery store on Christmas Eve. Hmm… that sounds pretty much like my worst nightmare. Maybe I should try to take care of that today.

We attend church on Christmas Eve with Dan’s family and it’s my favorite service of the year. All the little girls decked out in their white tights and satin and velvet dresses with big bows, the beautiful sanctuary decorated for the holiday, and the countless familiar hymns… The closing hymn is always “Silent Night”, for which they turn down all the lights and pass out these little white candles to everyone in the church. It’s incredibly serene and beautiful, and every single year leaves me with goose bumps and a little lump in my throat as the service comes to an end.
We don’t make it to church very often throughout the year, but the Christmas Eve service is usually one that rejuvenates my faith and sort of inspires me to get more serious about joining a congregation. I’d like to really do that this year, instead of talk about it, and I think Dan and I have decided to become members at the Lutheran Church his parents belong to, and to really get more involved in their community. So hopefully we make that a reality in the New Year.

After church, this year we’ll be heading to my grandparents’ house for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of potato soup, sausages and sour kraut. How very Midwestern-y German of us… It’s so funny to hear what every family’s traditions are, I love that they all seem to have their own very distinct way of celebrating the holiday. Especially here in the Midwest, everyone’s meals are so… well, weird. I’m not going to pretend that my grandpa’s (very distinct) potato soup (lots of onions, very thin cream based, mashed potatoes as opposed to chunks) is not a strange tradition to have on Christmas Eve. But for me, it is Christmas Eve. Just the smell of it brings back memories of thirty people all crowded into their tiny living room, opening gifts, one by one, youngest to oldest. My brothers and I sleeping on the floor of my grandparents’ porch, dreaming of Santa Clause and candy canes and scooters, while my parents sneak out to midnight mass.

On Christmas morning we’ll have brunch with my parents and brothers, and exchange gifts amongst my immediate family… then it’s off to Dan’s aunt’s house for more food and cookies and games and family.

It’s a lot. And my motto is definitely to “go with the flow…” Because if I think about the logistics… about Gus staying up super late 4 days in a row and how THAT might go, about fitting in his nap on Christmas day during the one-hour drive from my parents house to Dan’s aunt’s… about making sure we bring the right gifts to the right houses… it all sounds very overwhelming. But I do think it’s worth it, and it’s hard to complain about the fact that we have “too” much family to see over the holiday. We’re really so lucky and blessed to spend time with all these people we love so much.

Soooo… here goes nothing. Merry Christmas everyone!