Bucket List Moments

I love award shows: Academy, SAG, Grammys, Emmys…and yes, the Tony’s. Comfy on my couch, in my pajamas, balancing a healthy-sized bowl of ice cream, is where you’ll find me during any of these broadcasts throughout the year.

With the exception of Sunday night. On Sunday night, I wore a dress and makeup – not a patch of flannel or a bowl of ice cream in sight – and sat in the audience at Radio City Music Hall.  That’s right, I went to the Tony Awards.

I have to say that again.

I went to the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night. 

It was A. May. Zing!

Thanks to my husband and the company he works for, who happens to be a large sponsor of the Tony’s, we had incredible seats. Mega-stars such as Denzel, Springsteen, Claire Danes, Laurie Metcalfe, Nathan Lane, Christine Baranski, Matt Bomer, Jim Parons, Amy Schumer, Kerry Washington, and the adorable Andrew Garfield (Yes  –Spiderman!) are among those who walked past us, a mere arms-length away, all night.  I was gaga.

Led by Josh Groban and Sarah Bareilles, the show itself was a veritable feast for the ears and eyes. Elaborate musical performances, presenters, winners and non-winners (there was not one “loser” in the place), entertained us for hours. Did you know that while you’re visiting the bathroom or the fridge during commercials, they’re still giving out awards? They take no breaks.

There were many humorous moments as well as tearful ones, in particular, the special award given to Melody Herzfeld, the drama teacher from Parkland, Fl,  who helped keep  65 of her students safe during the school shooting, which was followed by the surprise, emotional performance of her students on stage.

In the bathroom, a woman standing behind us accidentally stood on our guest’s (and my new friend’s) dress. She was horrified and apologized profusely, to which my friend assured her it was okay. Half an hour later, that same woman was on the stage with her cast, receiving her Tony! We peed with her! I whispered to my neighbor.

Steve returned from the bathroom, sat down and said: I just walked past Anna Wintour.

Oh, just another day.

After the show, we were invited to the post-Tony Gala at the Plaza. I kid you not. I didn’t think it was possible, but the night kept getting better. This is where all the nominees and Tony-award winners went to party after the show. I met Ari’el Stachel, who won for The Band’s Visit, shook his hand and told him I loved his acceptance speech. He thanked me graciously and then I took a picture of him with Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington in Hamilton.

Matthew Morrison (Glee)  was a doll, indulging me with a picture.

One word of advice: If you ever meet Andrew Rannells, the Tony award winner actor from The Book Of Mormon, Grammy award winner for Best Musical Theater Album, Tony nominee for Falsetto’s and Hairspray, Hamilton, Jersey Boys and The Boys in the Band actor, DON’T lead in with: I’m a huge fan…I loved you in The Intern. Take my word for it.

Food was in abundance and champagne flowed all night. Among other notables, we did miss Josh Groban and Sarah Bareilles, who were both upstairs socializing with the guests, and had left when we finally reached that floor. It was unfortunate but didn’t damped our high at all. After watching some performances by wonderful (unknown to us) singers, we finally pulled ourselves from the grandest party we’d ever been to and went home.

Here are some pics from the evening.

IMG_4286

The flowers are real! Aren’t they gorgeous?

IMG_4278

Champagne much?

IMG_4270

This is one of the main rooms at the Plaza

IMG_4295

 One of the performers at the gala – has a great voice

IMG_4275

With all of the stars in the building, this was still my favorite sight. 

Well, thank you for allowing me to share a memorable experience with you.

Next stop, The Academy Awards.

One day.

Talk soon. Kim xo

Hello!

It’s me. You know. Me. The one who seemed to drop off the radar for the past, oh..several months.

Hi. (I’m waving)

The last we connected, I was sending my first born off to college, commemorating the event with a nostalgic, Nope, Not Me post which expressed my sentiments at the time. Since then, the boy finished his freshman year and has returned to the nest for the summer. In a flash. My son being away was not the reason for my absence these past months. I have another reason.

I got a J.O.B.

That’s right. My first full-time-out-of-the-house job in 15 years. Now, you may ask, Where does someone who loves to write get a job?

If you answered: An accounting firm, you’d be a little nuts, but correct.

I know what you’re thinking. An accounting firm is the place where creativity goes to die.

Okay, maybe that’s what I was thinking.

So, I’ve been adapting these past months to the daily grind, as I like to refer to my new lifestyle. As difficult as the change is (I know, most of the world works, but give me this, ok? I’ve been wearing shirts with hoods for the past umpteen years and my commute went from fifteen steps to my home office to navigating traffic every single weekday, both ways, showered (by 7:00 am!) and dressed in pants and a blouse),  I find the most difficult adjustment for me is knowing nothing and having to learn everything. At almost fifty. I’ll give you an example: Since my last foray in an office, at the turn of the century, copy machines can now staple. Clearly, I’ve missed much.

So, among other things (cooking, cleaning), I gave up blogging for a bit. To adjust. To focus. To learn.

What I didn’t give up, is writing my novel. Which leads me to my news: I’m so proud to share that The Fabric of Us will be out this summer. August-ish. Here’s the blurb:

On the eve of Olivia Bennet’s fiftieth birthday, she and her husband, Chris, toast to the next stage of their lives. Their children are settled; Ella is married and planning a family and Nick is starting his senior year at college. After thirty years of sacrifices and struggles for their family, it is finally time to do all of things they’ve longed to do as a couple.

But life, always unpredictable, has other plans for the Bennets when Olivia gets shocking news that threatens all that she and Chris have built together.

Alternating between the past and present, The Fabric of Us beautifully unfolds the layers of a devoted marriage, exposing an interwoven thread of secrets and consequences that threaten to unravel a relationship once believed to be built on love, trust and faith.

Currently, I’m working on the cover with my fan-tabulous graphic designer and friend, Suzanne, (who also runs a publishing company). Suzanne designed my first two books.  I’m in good hands.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me.

I’ve missed you guys. I hope you’re still within earshot (you know what I mean). We have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll be sure to touch base weekly bi-weekly more often.

I hope you’re all well. Drop me a line and let me know what you’re up to.

I’m all ears.

~Kimberly

Nope. Not me.

As we come upon the final days before taking you to college, I make a vow to myself. I’ll be strong, happy and excited, as you are. I’ll feel the optimism you feel, the readiness for you to leave us as I know you are.

I will not miss the sound of your infectious laughter in the house or your wonderful sense of humor at the dinner table. I won’t miss passing your bedroom and glimpsing you sleeping or listening to your music. I’m not at all worried about you being so far from home. I’m not concerned that you’ll make the right choices.

I will not overthink what you bring to decorate your new room, the space that will be your home for the next nine months and hope that you are safe and happy and comfortable.

I won’t worry if we prepared you well to be on your own for the first time.

I won’t cry when we say goodbye, when we drive away leaving you behind. I won’t see this as you wave from your building. IMG_3351

I won’t count the days until Parents Weekend or Thanksgiving break or end of term.  I won’t wonder where the time went, how fast you grew, how beautiful you are.

I won’t miss you.

Nope. Not me.

Summer Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

Happy summer! They’re here, those lazy days we spend under the sun, reading and relaxing.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Dog Eared Days of Summer Book Giveaway.

For 12 weeks, Dog Eared Days will be giving away books of various genres, from children’s books, mysteries, humor, adventure and historical fiction. We’re already in week 4, so check out http://www.DogEaredDays.com.

This week I’m giving away 2 copies of Both Sides of Love.

To enter, just click here: http://www.dogeareddays.com/book/both-sides-of-love/

Week4

I’ll be back July 23-29 to give away copies of Letting Go.

The grand prize giveaway will go to one lucky winner who will win all eleven books. It’s going to be a great season!

Don’t forget your sunblock. Happy reading!

~Kim

 

Mother’s Day

So, this happened in the blink of an eye.

Sixteen years ago I was in a mall parking lot, wrestling with a foldable stroller while my toddler waited in the car to be released from his carseat. A woman passed me and said “I don’t miss those days.” I glared at her, finally got the stroller upright and locked and watched her walk away, by herself, carrying only a small purse. The memory is so clear, it’s as if it just happened.

Tomorrow will be my 18th Mother’s Day. Eighteen years of celebrating the hardest, most rewarding job I will ever have. Through the years, this day has changed significantly for me. I no longer receive hand-made cards and gifts with cute rhyming poems, cut-out hands listing reasons why I’m loved. My sons don’t run into my room at six am, jump on me and try to pry my eyelids open because they can’t wait another moment to hug or kiss me.

I no longer want to escape for an afternoon, spend some time shopping by myself, eat at a restaurant where the only meat I have to cut is my own, wearing something feminine, a nice break from spit-stained jeans.

Now, I have more free time than I know what to do with. My boys sleep until noon on the weekends leaving my husband and I to eat breakfast alone, giving me a glimpse into our future. It will be just us again soon. He and I, before the adventure began.

I’m not saying Mother’s Day is not wonderful now. It is. I’m surrounded by three men who I love more than I thought was possible. I can’t ask for more. It’s just…different.

I am also fortunate enough to be able to spend the day with my mother. Many of my friends don’t enjoy the same luxury. Their Mother’s Day will be spent with the memory of the very first person who loved them unconditionally. If you have your mother, hold onto her a bit longer when you see her.  You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I look at the moms of young children, at the store, the exasperation on their faces as they try to focus on their task while the repetitive Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, follows them up and down the aisles. Don’t take it for granted, I want to tell them. Don’t wish for these days to pass because they will – without mercy. And you’ll be nearing fifty, getting ready to send your baby to college, wishing for one more peanut-butter crusted, sticky-hugged, Sesame Street filled day.

I am now that woman in the parking lot who passed the younger me, struggling with the stroller. With one difference: I do miss those days. I miss them like crazy.

Happy Mother’s Day.

The Harsh Truth of the Past

I am a sentimental, nostalgic person. I have every Hallmark card my husband gave me over the past 24 years, all of the homemade cards and gifts my children made for me in nursery and elementary school, their first written words, pictures, early spelling tests and photos. These days, memories are saved on computers and phones, but for much of my life, photos were printed and held in boxes or albums. And I have plenty of each. A snapshot from every phase of my married life and of my children’s lives.

Each of my sons has a full bin of infant and child memorabilia awaiting them for when they embark on a life outside of our home. Through the years, I’ve saved items I thought they might love to have one day: things I thought important to them at the time, including but not limited to: baby books (each have two, completely filled), plush toys and teddy bears, favorite t-shirts, bibs, pictures and more. They’re going to want this stuff. I just know it.

Wonderful, right?

Wait for it.

My mother likes to tell a story of how I loved a doll so much, I carried the head around even after it separated from the body. That’s right. I carried a doll’s head under my arm. Under the other arm, I carried my bottle. In my mouth, a pacifier.

She tells it with a wistful smile, basking in the memory of my cuteness. I don’t remember this doll at all, but I can recite the story back word for word, it’s so ingrained in me. It’s a piece of my past.

Recently Mom found a box of my childhood memorabilia in her attic and brought it over. Excited, I foraged through it but was quickly disenchanted when I uncovered what waited for me. Inside I found all sorts of pieces I didn’t recognize including these corrective shoes for my severe pigeon-toed problem which, thanks to selective memory, my brain blocked out.

FullSizeRender

I wore this barbaric apparatus

I pulled out old report cards (note to self: hide from boys), school pictures illustrating questionable fashion sense and bad hair. (A perm, Kim, really?), and yes, the infamous, beloved, body-less doll.

This is no longer a sweet story but a creepy glimpse into my neurosis. I took the dismembered head and body out of the box and my children, 17 & 15, recoiled. I think my husband crossed himself but I can’t be sure. I was so totally focused on this horrific display into my past.

 Issues? Who me?

Staring at this disturbing time capsule, I came to the conclusion that some things are better left to the merciful mind, where time and self-preservation nestle reality within soft, rose-colored memories.

I placed the doll back into the box, along with the metal-barred shoes, the lackluster grades, the photo of me wearing a quilted shirt and frizzy hair, and replaced the cover (tightly). This box has a new home in my basement, in a dark corner, under thick cobwebs and hardened paint cans.

Maybe I’ll re-visit the boys’ bins.

Years from now, I’m sure I’ll look back on this new discovery with fondness.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Both Sides of Love by Kimberly Wenzler

I am so pleased to be featured in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore, part of a wonderful, comprehensive site that offers something for everyone. And just in time for Valentine’s Day. For views on books, music, humor and health, please visit Smorgasboard- Variety is the spice of life. Have a great day everyone.

I doubt that it has escaped your attention that it is Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.  So what better way to start the week than sharing some romance. I would like to welcome Kimberly Wenzler to …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Both Sides of Love by Kimberly Wenzler