Tag Archives: marriage

Momentous Occasions

3 Aug

We’re rapidly approaching a highly anticipated date. August 11th is the date of my very dear friend, Jaclyn’s wedding.   Jaclyn and I went to college together, graduated the same year studied in the same major, worked in the same field in the same with the same highly interconnected clients… but we didn’t really know each other then.   We met a few years after college.   Jaclyn was my ultimate partner in crime in the days when downtown Santa Barbara after 10pm was like my second home.   Though I had many partying pals, Jaclyn was my most dependable trooper.   I can’t even remember an occasion when she bailed on a late night plan, or turned down a last minute idea.   We drank margaritas on balconies, danced till the clubs closed, danced on the street after the clubs closed, noshed on veggie dogs and chili fries at 2am, and generally tracked down any excuse to postpone ending each night, regardless of what the next day would bring.   Now this isn’t always the case with downtown buddies… but luckily, Jaclyn became one of my most treasured friends, irrespective of our extracurricular activities.   Other words, this was not a friendship that ended when the crazy party days ended. Be it coffee dates, long weekend trips, unexpected babysitting gigs or stolen minutes on the phone while she’s running late to work, we still try and cling to any excuse to postpone the end of each time we spend together.

She’s brave and she’s clever, she’s deeply perceptive and endlessly compassionate.   She’s beautiful and filled with strength, sensitive and sweet, and she has one hell of a shimmy on her!  She’s marrying a lovely, wonderful man who, without hesitation, can provide you with a list of dozens of reasons why she blue him away from the moment he met her.

We’re excited to witness this union, excited to spend time with friends, excited for a mini vacation (and excited for Mason’s first solo sleepover with the grandparents)!

 

And I also have to say… this day is momentous for another reason… the six month, super strict period of my elimination diet ends this month…

So after what is sure to be a gorgeous and love filled ceremony…

I get to eat absolutely whatever I want at the reception buffet!!!

Meat… cheese… desserts galore.

Oh, how I am counting down the days!

Lessons in Marriage

25 Apr

I’m reminded, last night, as I have been many many times over the past year, of the importance of owning up to your own shit.

I remember reading a line in a book sometime, years ago.  It said that sometimes we don’t even realize we’re in a bad mood until we’re around other people.  It’s like, our moodiness is hard to recognize until it can bump or crash up against another person.

Never have I found that to be more true than in marriage.  And I give myself a huge, internal pat on the back whenever I can pause in the middle of some misplaced crankiness that I’m splattering all over my bewildered, and most often innocent husband… take a breath… and explain what’s really going on in my head.  Resisting the urge to imply that he is somehow to blame.

Most of the time I can get there… even if it takes me a while.

Sometimes I can’t.

But I sure do try.  Because we’re allies in this life we’ve created, not scape goats for our own individual tantrums.  And I like it better that way.

Coffee Date

27 Feb

coffee in italy

If we were to grab a cup of coffee somewhere… I would hope it would be a shop that’s a little bit funky.  With couches and club chairs that are a little beat up, and hopefully a fireplace, and some old vintage tin signs on the walls.

I would probably have to order an herbal tea, although I would long for coffee in my cup, because although most coffee shops have non-dairy creamers now, very few have non-dairy, non-soy creamers.

We would pull up a couch or a chair, and gaze at the fire for a second.  I’d pull my feet up onto the chair to get a little more cozy, take a deep breath, look you in the eyes and smile.  Partly because I feel at home in coffee shops, and partly because I feel so comfortable with you.

I would tell you how we really should do this more often, and I would mean it with all my heart.

I would tell you about how I ate a handful of trail mix at work the other day, and mid dried kiwi, I realized it much have sugar in it.  But I would also be sure to say that I was tempted to eat the garlic bread that came with my quinoa pasta yesterday, but resisted.  Small victories, right?

I would tell you that I have been thinking so much about the future lately.  Where to live, how  to live, where my baby will go to school, how to make sure we’re laying the foundations for the kind of life we want to be in day to day, and that sometimes those thoughts are overwhelming.

I would tell you that this coming Thursday, is the last day until March 31st where both Mark and I are not working.  That of the four weekends this next month, two weekends I work straight through, and the other two weekends, either he has a conference or I have a workshop.  I would be clear in saying that I’m SO excited for these workshops… for the travel up to the bay area that they require, and for the workshop itself… but I would also admit that having that little time together worries me a little, and is not a pattern I want to set up.

I would tell you how we talk about how we want to be intentional with the time that we do have together.  The couple hours after Mason goes to bed and before we fall into ours.  And how sometimes, like last night, we do a great job working on a project together, talking, poking fun at each other, until we get too tired to do so anymore… but how a lot of the time, we’re so in need of a break by the end of the day that it’s blog reading and hulu watching, next to each other.

I would take another deep breath, and a sip of tea, and I’d ask about you.  How your days are going, how you’re juggling everything.  Are you excited about where you’re headed? Are you nervous? I would ask you if you ever get that little voice in your head trying to tell you that you need to reconsider, and what you do about it.

I’d tell you that Mason’s skin was started to smooth out.  The baby softness was returning, even after a few days of these oils, and this diet.  And then we gave him some milk over this weekend while I was at work, that I had pumped at the beginning of the month, before I started eating this way.  And didn’t realize what we had done until his little cheeks started to roughen up again, and a rash spread across his chubby little legs.  Blast!

But my eyes would light up as I tell you how excited I am, because that means that it is working!  That he won’t have to just learn to live with it because food really does heal if you pay attention to what it is you’re eating.

And as I start to sparkle with possibility, I would tell you how I want to do everything.  I want to live in Portland or Corvallis, and Kent and Brooklyn, and Venice and Tuscany, and maybe even in Providence Rhode Island… just to try it out.  I would say that I want to write for a living, start an etsy shop, get a degree in Nutrition, do more yoga, knit more prolifically, read more books, give my baby all the time and attention he wants, spend more time cuddling with my husband like we did when we first started dating, take Ruby on long walks…. you would laugh at mean little as I almost start vibrating with excitement when I think of all these things.  And then when I pause to take another breath… I would say that I’m trying to learn how to pace myself.  To readjust and tame the nudge inside me that makes me feel like I should try to do all of these things at once.   And pick a couple each day, or each moment.  So that my time has a bit of focus.

After my rambling comes to a close… we would sit and sip for a few moments.  Each thinking of our own string of possibilities.

And we would catch eyes again and smile.

And of course the time would run out too soon.

We would gather up our bags, I would probably take my tea to go, since I’m such a slow drinker.  Cast a longing glance at the pastry display, and walk with you to the front.  I’d give you a big hug, say, “it was good to see you”

And we should definitely do this again soon.


<post inspired by Casey Wiegand>

A story, the hardest part. Part 3

15 Feb

Lighted alley

Just to be clear… I did not think that the telling of this story would fall into chapter form.  But so goes life with a little one.  I write in bits and pieces now.

Between feedings, naps, and playtime.

You may have noticed that since parts 1 & 2… I’ve stalled.  Again… building courage… potentially because the lead up is a little easier, and the harder part comes next.  I looked over those two posts, and they read almost like a love letter to Mark, my now husband.

Which is appropriate I suppose.  It was because of him, that I started to view having children less as a startling life interruption, and instead as starting a family, creating a future built off of an amazing love you have for another person.  These things had just never clicked for me before in that simple way.  And life would not be what it was now had it not been for him.

So, onward…

Like I was saying in my “part 2” I had always thought it would be a no-brainer.  An automatic response.  Because they tell you, it’s just a microscopic collection of cells at the very beginning, right?  But everything that I thought before, and everything that other people told me meant absolutely nothing.  Nothing in comparison to the reality that a tiny being had started to form in me.  When you begin to feel that tiny realization grow… that unimaginable bundle of potentiality… size and development and science and religion and well-intentioned advice and warnings… they all mean nothing.  And the wonderment and the awe… they only crescendo.

Me, I’m a reader.  I’m a researcher.  I devour as much information as I possibly can when my interest has been peaked.  And to say my interest had been peaked at this developing little soul inside me… well that’s a ridiculous understatement.

I soaked it all up.  I shyly but excitedly spread the word to my friends and those I worked with.  Mark and I talked and planned some more.  We even found a one bedroom apartment to move into together, contacted the landlord and submitted an application.

It felt much longer… but it must have just been days.  Because from awareness to completion… that pregnancy lasted almost exactly two weeks.

And this is what was the hard part.

Not the miscarriage itself, there was no pain or physical difficulty.  Mine was all emotional.  I laid out the contrasts in my former self in that last post to highlight the extreme mental plowing I had to do in order to prepare my mind and my heart for the embarking on a journey towards motherhood, towards partnership, towards putting someone else’s needs before my own for as long as they needed me to develop and grow and thrive and learn.  These were things to which I had barely given a second thought, previous to these two weeks.  And so much processing and soul searching, reality checking and dream analysis went into reworking myself from the girl who pulled over to the side of the road and sobbed in terror at the news, to one who could not contain my wild reverence for what was about to happen to our lives, whose eyes sparkled whenever I told someone new.

Two weeks.

And then I miscarried.

The day we were going to drive down to Orange County to tell my parents, I started spotting.  A nervous hour of monitering led to a cancel of that morning’s breakfast plans, and a five hour stay in the emergency room.  No pain.  Just suspension.  Confusion.  Disbelief.  Not even disbelief in the sense of “How could this happen to us?!”… I wasn’t there yet.  I was still really in disbelief.  I did not believe the events that were occuring.  I still thought that everything had to be okay in there… this was just some rarity.

I laid in a hospital bed, Mark stood or sat next to me.  We held on to each other.  We talked very little, except to acknowledge that people were giving us mixed messages.  A bait of hope that this was a false alarm, followed by some casual statistics of the frequency of miscarriages this early on.  Doctors and nurses came and went.  Blood was drawn time after time for test after test.  Ultrasounds were done on two different floors.  They wheeled me in the bed through the hallways, under the fluorescent lights, with inconclusive results.  Blood pressure checks, the same questions over and over, the same numbness and dazed feeling that came over me in the clinic two weeks before.  When life as I knew it had changed… the first time.

I made up a story about not being able to get out of work for that weekend, and texted it to my parents.  We went back to Mark’s place after leaving the hospital, a follow up appointment at the county clinic for Monday morning, and some more Gelson’s comfort food.

Looking back, I’m so impressed with how we handled that miscarriage.  That may seem like a strange thing to say, but it stands in stark contrast with the poor way in which I handled the second miscarriage I had about six months later.  But after the first one, we leaned on each other the way that a couple should.  We cried and we held each other and we looked to some healthy distractions, but we let the emotion out when we needed to.  And as time went on, even well into the times where we had the inkling that maybe we should have been “passed it” by then… we still told each other when there was a day that we were feeling particularly heartbroken, and needed maybe a little more patience or sensitivity.

And we had to go back, through the lists of people we had sheepishly, yet excitedly told about our big news… and tell them what had happened.  That was so hard.  Because then you had to choose whether to paint on a brave face, or cry on the spot.  And then there were always people you had forgotten to tell the updated story to… I was leaving a class at the massage school one day when one of the student receptionists asked me an excited question about my pregnancy.  It stunned me nearly into tears and I pasted on a smile, said itwasfine, and booked it out the door, letting her believe, for a while longer at least, that I was still glowing… not wanting to tell the story again just yet.

I remember feeling, even a couple weeks after the 2nd follow up appointment confirmed in hormone levels that I had, indeed, miscarried… like they were all wrong somehow, and my little one was still growing inside me.

Eventually it sunk in that it was over.  All that mental shifting… all that planning… all that excitement and wonder and hope and anticipation… it was gone so quick I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Like it never happened.  Life could have gone on just as it had before.  Only it couldn’t.  Not a chance.  Everything had changed.  Only I felt I had nothing to show for it.  We had grown up and taken a huge breath of courage and stepped forward in commitment to each other and this new baby… and were left standing with our hands open and empty.  And our hearts so much more than a little bit crushed.

What’s amazing is that as I type these words… I can feel myself wanting to skip over parts.  Having to go back and fill in more little details, because I’m still trying to avoid telling the story, even as I tell it.  And as I write, I can feel the emotions that I’m typing.  Which is possibly why I’ve been stalling continuing.  Who wants to relive this stuff?!  What crazy head feels the need to tell this story almost two years after the fact.  After time has passed, and a lovely marriage to the man in the story, and a beautiful baby boy born healthy and gorgeous are part of the new story…

I talked about bits of the lead into this in here and here.

And I’ll talk about it a little more in one more wrap up post… but for now, I’ll just say this…

There’s something about having two people in my life that I love more than I ever thought possible.  Two people who depend on me in such drastically different ways.  Whose lives are so permanently intertwined with mine, that not a moment goes by where we are not affected by each other.  Our lives, our contentedness and our spirits are nourished by each other.  And this amazing and relatively new fact… makes me want to be to best version of myself that I can possibly muster up.  For myself of course, but this new and seemingly stronger motivation is to be a model for my son, and a support for my husband.  And as I’m trying to bring attention to every part of my life… I’m realizing that my best self… experiences every moment of her life, and listens to and learns from the heartbreaking times as well as the times of elation.  I think that being present to even those moments we’d rather rush past, is a way of showing respect to this life we’ve been given.  Of treasuring it.  Of saying to God or the universe or whatever you believe plays a hand in the rhythm of our lives, “I’m not wasting it.  I’m invested in every moment.  From the mundane to the movie-worthy.  I will be present.  And I won’t be afraid of being seen.”

Holding Back

13 Jan

There’s a way in which I am holding back, from the deepest parts of my heart.

And I’ve only just become aware of it.

Just recently been able to string it together

The hints of it in a small collection of instances and odd occurrences.

A dream that left me feeling heavy

An inner resistance to a mundane change that didn’t make sense

A hesitation, around one of the most basic and fulfilling forms of expression


And strangely,

It’s because I already love so breathlessly…

                                                              with such awe

                                                  and such reverence,

That it’s hard to tell that there are even deeper wells inside of me to access.


I’m holding back for a reason familiar to humanity.

I’m holding back, because I have lost before.


And that loss, builds a barrier.

Even if it’s thin enough to let love through as it grows, changes, expands.

Portions of whole heartedness still get caught in the web that is left.


And time doesn’t heal completely,

if you don’t take the time

to understand the effect your own story has on you.


And the benefits of avoidance,

or oblivion,

do not outweigh the heartbreak

of not experiencing the truest

and most unabashed depths of love.


                             The love of motherhood.

                                                          The love from being a wife & partner.


I want to be able to devour these emotions wholly and completely

and let them pour freely out of every pore in my heart and body and soul.


and to be able to do this…

I think I need to tell my story.

This is me.

28 Dec

This is me.

This is me.Right now.

Right here.

Not  separate from who I was.

Not just a floating island  composed of the circumstances that make up who I am today.

But a culmination of everything I have danced with and walked with until this point.

Every thing.  Every thought.  Everyone.  Every event.  Every friend.  Every fight.  Every smile.

Every pause.  Every leap.  Every breakfast and every cup of tea.  Every cocktail and every cigarette.  Every kiss and every shock.  Every heartfilled emotion-exploding moment.

I am my ten year old self.

I am my single wandering self.

I am my married and in love self.

I am the self that is a mother.

a new mother.

long skirt and laceI am someone who feels pretty and enlivened, wrapped in a long soft skirt and lace.

I am someone who relishes the time alone with black tea, cream, agave, some music, and someplace to write.

I am someone who will never stop singing.

I will always feel magical around strings of lights.

I will always feel more at home in my life when I am creating.

my familyI am someone who needs to be around people I love.

I love that I am with a man who loves everything that I am.  Who says he’s proud of me almost on a daily basis.

I love that this same man who loves me for who I am helps me to hold myself to the standard of all that I have the potential to be.

And this man… this gorgeous, kind, silly, patient, dedicated, endlessly loving man also helps me to be gentle with myself whenever I fall short of that potential.

I think that it’s my turn to be on top of the world.

I am trying to be very conscious about enveloping myself in every moment of this new life I’m creating.

The moments that are happening right now are the quickest to slip away.  And I want to be sure that I am living up to it all.

In my own way.

Who I was, and who I am… while so very different in some ways, are the same person.  Traveling among hints and wisps of who I am becoming.

And I love that.

watching my babe sleep

I love the layers and complexities, and how much love can bubble up inside one human being’s heart.

I love feeding my baby, and watching him sleep.  I love every facial expression he makes and every crinkle of his brow as he tries to understand all he can about the world around him.

We’re similar in this way.

Maybe we are all similar in this way.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers