Friday, November 22, 2013

belly up

because i spent the first part of my pregnancy paranoid about something going wrong, and because i spent the second part of my pregnancy paranoid that my face looked swollen, i didn't do maternity photos or really any documentation of my growing belly. except for a handful of photos that my co-worker katie forced me to pose for while we were at the office, which is why the majority of photos of me as a pregnant person are against a cubicle wall.

but, it's better than nothing, right?

maybe it's because baby b came early so i didn't have time to get sick of being pregnant, or maybe because my pregnancy was relatively easy, or maybe because my memory has already become artificially rose-colored, but i actually sort of liked being pregnant.

yes, i was swollen and exhausted and my back hurt and i had heartburn for the first time in my life. but i also got bigger boobs. (holla!) and people are nice to you when you are pregnant and everyone wants to take care of you and it's amazing to know that you are growing a life in there. i liked all of that.

so i am glad i have these few reminders at least. especially because it already feels like a long, long time ago.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

before baby

while my mom was still here she graciously offered to watch baby b while AWD and i had a few last dates. like to dinner and a movie for our anniversary. or to costco. every time we came home we just sat in the car for a few minutes thinking about how, in the good old days, we would have just walked into the house and done whatever we wanted. like go to bed and sleep in. but now when we walked into the house there was a baby and that baby needed a lot of time and attention and not a lot of consecutive sleep.

more on this later, but those first days and weeks (ok, a month at least) after you bring a new baby home are hard. like, majorly hard.

luckily, even though i was tired and increasingly swollen and huge and even though humid summer in d.c. is not the greatest for pregnant ladies or anyone else, we did manage to squeeze in some decent pre-baby fun which i will recount here. for posterity.

fourth of july barbecue at willards (still not as good as austin, tx barbecue, but good) and patriotic desserts.

a kennedy center date with dinner on the roof and the world's greatest performance of anything goes.

a movie theater with reclining seats! (this was actually a date with EH while AWD was out of town. still counts.)


a nats game.

a soccer game.

and a blue crabs game.

and then, almost just as summer ended, so did our pre-baby life. at least we went out with a bang.

Friday, November 8, 2013

try, try again

the second time i got pregnant it was on purpose. but i would say our reaction was less giddiness and more cautious optimism. we didn't tell anyone and we hardly talked about it even between the two of us. wait and see. that's really all we said. i didn't think i could bear another miscarriage and thinking about it would make me break down, so i tried to just put the whole thing out of my mind until we could be more sure.

wait and see.

the first time i heard that little baby's heartbeat i started to cry i was so happy and relieved. i could have listened to that sound all day. even after i had seen the baby on an ultrasound, even after i could feel her  kick and hiccup and move all around, even after we passed that magical point where she could be born and survive and there really wasn't anything to be worried about anymore (not that that stopped me), i lived to hear that heartbeat. it reassured me more than anything else. and every time we listened the doctor would say, it sounds perfect. clear and strong.

when my baby is old enough to understand these kinds of things, that is the first thing i will tell her.

you have a strong heart.

Monday, November 4, 2013

if at once you don't succeed

the first time i got pregnant it was an accident. though not the i'm-16-and-my-boyfriend-is-a-loser-and-my-parents-are-going-to-kill-me kind of accident. more of the huh-we-thought-modern-birth-control-was-a-little-more-reliable kind of accident. so, maybe it's better to say that the first time i got pregnant it was a surprise.

and not an unwelcome one either, but certainly not a planned one (is there even such a thing as a planned surprise?) so we definitely had to process the shock. there were lots of things we had been planning to talk about "at some point" that we suddenly needed to figure out right now.

did we need to move into a bigger house? buy a house? what would i do about work? what kind of budget were we looking at? did we need to cancel travel plans?

then there were the larger issues. what kind of care and birth experience did we want? doctor or midwife? hospital or something else? and what kind of parents did we want to be? spanking or no spanking? strict bedtimes or not? pay for college or help our kids support themselves? sports or music lessons or all of the above?

and finally there was a suddenly expedited process of mentally and emotionally accepting and preparing for something that came before we had expected it. it was irreversible. our lives would never be the same first there was shock. then terror. then a lot of nausea and misery and panic. i felt so incredibly unprepared for what was coming, but i also felt like there wasn't much i could do to prepare for it anyway. i felt like i should be doing-- or should have done-- something, but i had no idea what that something was.

but next came total excitement. we told our families and they were thrilled. we made a list of names. we started looking at baby furniture online and following our baby's development week by week. the thought of a little human coming to join our family made us happy, and it brought us closer. it was our biggest, most exciting partnership yet and we were so looking forward to all the things ahead.

it was with all that hope and excitement and the thrill of the first-ness of it all that we went in for my first ultrasound, around nine weeks. i am sure time has shaded my memory a little bit, but in my memory we were almost giddy. AWD took a picture of me lying on the exam table. we could not wait to see our baby.

if we had known more, we would have known right away that something was wrong. the ultrasound tech didn't turn the screen around to show us the image of our healthy, happy baby. i had to ask to see anything. we didn't know that the image on the screen should be moving, that if everything was all right the tech would be pointing things out and printing out pictures. when i asked if we could get pictures-- our baby's first picture!-- she handed me a piece of paper with a number to call. then she told me to get dressed and asked us to wait in the lobby.

in the lobby, i started to feel like something wasn't right. we were waiting for a phone call from our doctor. but why would we need to talk to our doctor if everything was as it should be? AWD said he was sure everything was fine. this just must be the way they do things. how were we to know any better?

someone came out and told us to go ahead to my doctor's office, just a few floors up in the same building. that seemed like a certain bad sign. but, i am always looking for bad signs, always expecting the worst and i made a conscious effort in that moment to trust that nothing was wrong. that everything was fine.

up we went. to the waiting room. then the exam room. then there was the doctor asking questions like, did i have any bleeding? had i felt any cramps? and then the words "abnormal results" and "no heartbeat."

no heartbeat.

no heartbeat.

i cried. and cried.

i knew it, i sobbed. i was afraid something would go wrong and i was right.

no heartbeat.

i knew it.

we were shocked all over.


it seemed impossible to know what to do next.

we had two options. wait for my body to take care of itself, or go in for a surgical procedure. i am terrified of needles and i had never had a surgery in a hospital before, but just waiting around for my pregnancy to end on its own seemed way too scary and sad and lonely. so i opted for a d&c and we scheduled it for the end of that week.

we checked into the hospital in the morning, we were home by that afternoon and just like that it was over. it felt like it was over before it even began.

what i remember about waking up from the surgery is that i was hysterical and i wanted AWD.  i felt disoriented and a little empty. there is something depressingly final about a miscarriage. when i woke up in the morning i was pregnant and by the time the day was over i wasn't.

to put it simply, i was so so sad.

the ultrasound image of our lifeless, heartbeat-less baby haunted me. i found myself wishing i had never looked at that screen in the first place, frustrated that i had been so naive, angry that i had forced myself to believe that everything was fine even though it felt wrong.

i also had the feeling that i had started something that i didn't get to finish and it left me feeling disorganized and a little bereft. there was nothing to do but file away the list of baby names and pack up the blanket and onesie my mom had already sent. nothing to do but go back to work, go out with friends, and get back to our routine and stop talking about what exciting thing was going to come next.

almost as soon as we had managed to wrap our heads around the idea of having a baby, the baby was gone. that might have been the hardest part.

the first baby shower i went to after my miscarriage was a nightmare. every time i heard someone was having a baby i felt so happy for them and so sad for myself. sometimes i would go to the grocery store and see a pregnant woman and i'd have to leave my cart right where it was and run out to my car and sit there and cry.

i did a lot of crying.

but here is something amazing. everything was fine. even when it didn't feel like it-- even when i didn't feel fine-- it was. i was.

for one thing, we quickly learned we were not the only ones. we had friends and family all come forward to share their own stories and grieve with us. though i didn't-- and still don't-- understand why heavenly father would give us a baby we weren't planning for only to take that baby away, i did have a distinct impression that the loss of that pregnancy was not my fault and there was nothing we could have, or i suppose should have, done to change the outcome. this kind of thing can make you feel like a failure, but i was blessed to put those thoughts quickly and permanently out of my mind. i also never felt like that was our one chance and now we would never have children. i never worried about getting pregnant again, which i know so many people do. that was another blessing i do not take for granted.

and gradually, i came to understand that we hadn't even lost a person. that the lifeless, motionless shell i saw on the ultrasound screen was just that. not a spirit, not a person. not alive at all. we had never heard a heartbeat, we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. it was over before it started and that was a comfort as well as a disappointment. our slate was clean and we still had all the same things to look forward to. just later. as my mom described it, we were back to plan a. and i felt like we were moving forward with a new strength and empathy to our marriage, a new understanding and vision of each other, a shared loss and shared experience of overcoming it that added new depth to our relationship and a new gratitude for each other and the blessing of enduring together instead of alone.

i've written before about the big lesson i took away from this experience, but i'll say it again with even more time and perspective under the bridge. bad and hard things are nothing to be afraid of. they will come, we will survive them and worrying about them before they happen or dwelling on them afterwards only robs us of whatever joy we could be experiencing in that moment. even if that moment is hard.

i feel like there's a lot of talk about whether or not our experiences should define us, and i guess i am not totally sure where i come down on that issue. but i do believe we are made up of the collection of our experiences and our reactions to them and this experience will always be a part of me and how i see myself and the world.

and i think now, on this day at this time, i can say with all honesty that i wouldn't give it back even if i could.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the stork has landed

our baby girl is here! she arrived on september 3 (10 days early and so officially not taking after her mama on the timeliness (or lack thereof) front), weighing 5 pounds 12 ounces (she's a small one) and measuring 18.5 inches long.

yesterday she turned seven weeks old, which seems impossible both because it seems too short and too long a time. days and nights and weeks all sort of run into each other and the only really certain thing is that life is a whole different ballgame now. (example: it is almost 10:30 and i am still in my robe. and my robe is covered with spit up.)

that's all i'm going to say for now, because i want to give the story and experience the attention and recounting it deserves, for you and for me and most especially for our baby girl. so, more to come. but suffice it to say, we are awed and  thrilled that baby b is here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

showering love

one of the greatest fortunes of my life has been that, wherever i've been, at whatever time in my life, i have been blessed with kind and loyal and good good friends. some of them were friends for a particular time and season when i needed them most, and some have turned into my oldest, longest friends but they have all brought me so much goodness and learning and joy.

and so, even though showers can be a little bit of an awkward thing because you're basically inviting people to a party so they can give you presents, i sure do love gathering with my favorite people to celebrate life's happiest things. and that is exactly what my baby shower was.

miss angela and sarita bonita threw a gorgeous bash, and i just looked around and thought how lucky and happy i felt to have all those stunning people in my life, and how even luckier and happier i felt that  our little baby will have them looking out for her and cheering her on. they will love and protect her like they have loved and protected me, and i can't think of a better gift in the whole world.

in addition to defending my celebrity baby name game title (undefeated!), we all wrote down our wishes for baby girl. if all of those wishes come true, she will be the most successful, imaginative, confident, forgiving, disciplined, loving person who ever lived.

and i hope she is.

here are my wishes for her.

i hope you learn how to be gracious and forgiving
i hope you have confidence, but not conceit
i hope you never forget how much we love you
i hope you create safe spaces for yourself and others
i hope you respect yourself and your talents
i hope you become happy

love, mom 

Friday, July 26, 2013

sail away

yesterday was the kind of day that just sort of wears you out with its rotten-ness. 

but then, after all the work and drama was over, i picked up matt and ABK and headed to the marina. kathryn was waiting for us (dinner group complete!) and off we went on a little sail.

the weather was divine, cool with light air and gorgeous sunshine, kathryn made a feast and we spent a blissful two hours on the water.

and, as a bonus, ABK agreed to teach my children how to sail.

no bad day can survive an evening like that.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

open happiness

everyone has been asking me if i've had any pregnancy cravings and by and large the answer has been no. i haven't had any wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-need-to-eat-chicken-wings-or-i'll-die cravings. but lately i have been dying for a coke.

the thing is, carbonation is giving me bad acid reflux and i haven't had any caffeine since i started this whole baby-growing business because i already get kicked in the bladder 500 times a day and i'd rather not give the little lady any more energy.

but man, do i want a coke.

so the other day i was at our regular lunchtime deli, and i saw that they had coke flavored gummy candy. and i thought to myself, maybe this is the answer to all my problems! so i bought them. and i ate the whole bag.

i'll spare you the suspense.

a bag of coke flavored gummies is not the same as a tall, cool glass of coke.

not at all.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

family out evening

back in the days when i lived in the slc, some of my favorite friends and i made a little tradition of a twist on the mormon family home evening. we called it family out evening, and instead of staying home for a lesson and a treat, we would all go out together for, well, mostly treats. but togetherness is what matters, says i.

AWD and i have been trying to get in some good family-oriented routines now that we've got a family on the way, and we made a step in the right direction last night with a family out evening of our own. and even better, it could not have been more mormony: shopping for strollers and cribs at target and dinner at cafe rio.


i guess this our life now? 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


you know what makes a hot and muggy thursday a little better? (or good at all?)

a free slurpee.

oh, thank heaven.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

'til we meet

it was a tuesday this year, april 23rd, that marked two years since briana passed away.

i thought for a long time about what i wanted to do to honor the day. a service project? a small gathering of friends? a donation? a big batch of lemon bars? but life caught up with me and i never really settled on anything and then there i was, sitting at the doctor's office hearing the ultrasound tech telling us that the baby we are expecting in september is a girl and i was so relieved and so happy and i started to cry and then i realized.

it was april 23rd.

i don't miss briana the way i used to, with an intense sadness that would come crashing down unexpectedly and try to stick around, and i think that is as it should be. i miss her now in the sort of way you miss a friend who pops in every once in a while but who you wish popped in more.

i wonder if she would like mumford and sons and the lumineers or what she would think of the wendy davis fillibuster or pinterest. i wish i could ask her why my attempts at her favorite shortbread recipe keep going wrong.

i have had for some time now a strong and satisfying feeling that she is busy, engaged and moving forward with her life on the other side, and that we should be doing the same here. sure, i wish she could see my belly, feel my baby kick, give me assurance and advice. but i am also learning that i can forge my own way and find my own answers. i am proud of that, and i think she is, too.

in my head i have an image of briana on the other side, getting our baby ready to come. telling her stories about me-- what kind of friend i was and what kind of mom i might be. they will never meet on this earth, but i think they are already friends.

and if, a few years down the road, it turns out that my baby can make a perfect batch of buttery, sugary shortbread, i'll know for sure.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

no work, all play

our weekends and other free days have been an endless stream of cleaning and weeding and unpacking and organizing and finance-reviewing lately, and there are few things i find more demoralizing than feeling like my life has been taken over by mundane, administrative tasks. so i unilaterally named last saturday no-chore saturday. and, (un)surprisingly, received no complaints.

so, instead of what has become our boring norm, saturday was all sleeping in and homemade muffins for breakfast and more sleeping and  a day trip adventure to leesburg.

ever since i moved here i've wanted to go to old lucketts store, a magical place filled to the brim with every weird and wonderful vintage and antique thing you could ever want. it was everything i had hoped for. i walked through every room and touched almost every treasure. though i think AWD is rubbing off on me because, while i normally would have walked out of there at least with a strange bust or a couple colored mason jars-- something!-- every time i picked something up i thought, where would i put this? or, it would make the house seem too cluttered. people, this is definitely a shift. i wouldn't classify myself as a minimalist, certainly, but AWD seems to have turned my previously maximalist ways into something more middle-of-the-road. (and he couldn't be happier about it.)

i didn't walk away empty-handed from the roadside farm stands, though (corn! peaches! cherries!), and we grabbed a delicious lunch in historic downtown before heading back to washington city.

and you know what? it turned out that putting off those chores didn't matter one single bit.

Friday, June 28, 2013

take me out

the outdoors is a swimming pool lately, all heat and humidity and stickiness, and there has been a lot of unexpected rain to boot, but we braved it all for a nationals game on wednesday, and it was totally worth it.

there was a home run, a stolen base on a passed ball (one of my favorite baseball events ever, second only to a stolen base (preferably home!) on a wild pitch), a huge ice cream cone (unrelated to the play) and the nats won.

i'm a little behind, but hello summer!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


as it turns out, buying a house and then moving into it and then unpacking all your stuff and then organizing all your stuff and then deciding what new stuff you need to buy and then choosing that new stuff and then getting it delivered/set up/put together is all a pretty time consuming affair.

i have really wanted to be organized from the start this time, so i've spent a lot of time decided exactly where things should go and then putting them there. which isn't to say there aren't some things just tossed into closets to be dealt with later (like when we move out in 38 years), but i've been trying.

and it's coming along. really nicely, actually. maybe some day soon i'll show you?

one thing that we just didn't have the time or energy to tackle this year was the yard. besides the basic maintenance (AWD mowing the lawn, me purchasing and then killing some hanging plants), we haven't done much. but, as it happened, it didn't matter. because we have the most gorgeous hydrangea bushes in the front that bloomed gloriously even in the face of drought and neglect. i added a few impatiens to the window boxes and, voila! we look like we know what we're doing in the garden department.

plus, i can snip flowers from my very own bushes and enjoy them inside, too.

and that, my friends, is bliss.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

lock and key

we've been homeowners for about 30 hours now. (don't worry, this won't be a running hour-by-hour tally.) i mention this because we have already made a trip to home depot, and AWD has already started and completed our first home improvement project. new door handles!

i did my part by first lying on the floor of what will be our living room, day dreaming and distracting him by reading articles from the onion out loud, and then looking online for a new couch. isn't he lucky to have me?

we also moved over some clothes and i hung a few of our paintings on some of the nails left in the wall by the previous owners. they're the previous owners because we are the current owners! isn't that wild?! as my friend jenn said, "scary! and amazing!" (she is getting married this weekend and i wanted to tell her the same response applies. but i didn't. because i am nice.)

p.s. doesn't AWD look good with a screw driver?

Monday, March 25, 2013

chaos theory

the inside of my house looks like this.

needless to say, it is not a relaxing or joyful thing to come home these days. it is stressful and sort of awful and all that awaits me is more packing and some kind of frozen dinner on paper plates. we are definitely in the home stretch (closing tomorrow! moving saturday!) but i have to confess that, over these past few weeks of upheaval and anticipated transition, i have not been in my happy place.

so, i decided to come up with a coping strategy. my struggle against anxiety has been mostly lifelong (i'll get back to you on whether i am winning at this one or losing), and i am pretty proud of the fact that i can recognize (belatedly or not) when i need to step back and figure out a way to get myself back into saner territory.

so, here is how i am coping these days.

1. set attainable packing/moving preparation goals. each night, or in the morning, i outline my packing and preparation goals for the next/that day. this has really helped the endless list of things to do seem more manageable. i don't have to do them all today, i just have to do these things today. when i am done, i can do more if i want. or i can get in bed and read a book.

2. ask for help when i need it. four very kind and dear and selfless friends came over on saturday morning and by the time they were gone my entire kitchen was packed. all i did was take things out of cupboards and find more boxes. this was a blessing.

3. take a break between work at work and work at home. usually i can come home from work and dive into whatever it is that i need or want to do that evening. but coming home from work work and going directly into packing work was really making me nuts. so, i imposed a 30-60 minute post-work/pre-work decompression time. i can do whatever i want, except take a nap or watch TV, because those two things suck me in. mostly i've been taking warm baths and talking to my mom on the phone. it's made a real difference in my ability to tackle the looming projects with new motivation.

4. review my progress to remind myself that i am making progress. every day, mulitple times a day, i tick off the things that are done. it's actually a lot of things. and then i tick off the things that need to be done. that list is getting smaller. then i divide that list into the things i can do today, and try to put the rest out of my mind.

5. remind myself that life will not always be like this. we will, in fact, move. our boxes will get unpacked. our lives will return to normal, except even better than normal because we'll be in a new house with a blue door and a solarium and two whole bathrooms. as they say, this too shall pass.

now, i don't want to give the impression that i have implemented this perfectly, or even close to it. just the other morning my stress got so much the better of me that i was a heaving, crying mess on the bathroom floor at 8a.m. and AWD and i decided it might be best to call it a mental health day. but, i'm trying. and that's what counts, right?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

no place like home

as you might recall, AWD and i took a hiatus from house hunting in february.

so, naturally, AWD kept looking at houses for sale online.

and naturally he found one he really really liked.

and naturally he convinced me to look at it online as well.

and naturally i liked it, too.

so naturally, we went to see it with our tireless realtor.

and naturally we liked it even more when we saw it in person.

and naturally there were at least a dozen other couples looking at the same house at the same time who, presumably, all liked it, too.

because, naturally, we decided to put in an offer and so did 17 other people.

but, naturally, our offer was chosen against all odds.

so naturally, in the midst of our "hiatus" we became homeowners.

i am hesitant to post photos of the inside, because the sellers have it decorated really nicely, and i don't want my home organization skills to be compared to theirs. but the adorable outside looks like this.

i am also not posting photos of the inside of our current house,  which is a chaotic mess of boxes and half-disassembled furniture, the very thought of which sends me right back into psychotic breakdown territory.

but, the end is in sight. we close on tuesday, move next saturday and then live in our new house for the rest of our natural lives. because i am not doing this again.

all the life-threatening stress aside, though, we are thrilled. and the bedroom in the basement has its own bathroom and half kitchen (perfect for guests!), so we hope you'll come and visit soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

the friendly skies

i wouldn't categorize myself as a person with bad luck when it comes to air travel. but actually, i have pretty bad luck when it comes to air travel. in the past five years or so, i've been stranded overnight twice, had numerous (too many to count) cancelled flights (including the same flight being cancelled three times), some lost bags and some missed connections.

so i don't know why i was surprised when i checked in for my flight to san diego last week and i had no assigned seat. i mean, the desk agent didn't seem concerned so i wasn't too worried. until i realized, well, i had no seat. and my co-workers/traveling companions did.

and they were already through the amazingly, confoundingly long security line and i wasn't.

and they were on the plane (and so was pretty much everyone else) by the time i got to the gate and said to the gate agent, hey there, i don't have a seat.

(i should also add that one of my co-workers had my much-desired bagel with cream cheese with her. so, i *really* needed to get on that plane.)

the gate agent said i had to wait until everyone was on the plane, but that the flight was overbooked and it wasn't looking good.

while i waited to learn my fate, i struck up a conversation with a woman also waiting at the gate. she said she had just retired the day before and was on her way to visit her kids. but she was waiting around to see if she needed to give up her seat because she had nowhere to be fast and $600 sounded pretty good.

and i said, as it happened, i needed a seat since my co-workers and my breakfast were on the plane. and i wasn't. and when she heard that she walked right up to that gate agent and next thing you knew, i was on the plane.

eating a bagel.

i wished afterwards that i had asked for her e-mail, or even her name, so i could say thanks. she really was the nicest. maybe my luck is changing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

going (going) back (back) to cali (cali)

i am in san diego (really oceanside) for business. for a week.

sometimes i like to complain about long work trips that require lots of flying and, well, working.

but also, yesterday i ate ice cream on the beach and when i come back to my room at night my bed is made and there are clean towels.

so actually, there is not a lot to complain about. especially since it's supposed to snow in d.c. on wednesday and i haven't worn a jacket or socks since i got here.

before you know it, i'll be complaining this business trip ended too soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

anatomy of a perfect valentine's day

we had a fabulous valentine's day for two important reasons.

one. valentine's day marked the end of our most recent sugar fast. which sounded too depressing so we called it a sugar-free adventure. but it was actually still sort of depressing either way. the end was welcome. we marked it with a whole batch of great-grandma's ginger snaps.

two. AWD has become a master of surprise, and whisked me away for a valentine's day weekend getaway. we ensconced ourselves at the black horse inn, a charming civil war-era building turned into a bed and breakfast in the heart of virginia farm and horse country. we had breakfast made for us every morning, and our room had a jacuzzi and a fireplace.

i'll leave it at that.

we explored the little town of warrenton (old houses and the old jail museum, plus loads of delicious food), and spent a day at the dulles extension of the air and space museum learning all about the discovery space shuttle and other wonders.

the only bad thing was that it ended.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

anatomy of a perfect weekend

start with chinese takeout on a rainy friday night. crab meat wontons are a must.

watch we are marshall, which you thought would be lame, but which is actually pretty good. warning: it will make you miss coach taylor and the dillon panthers really bad.

on a rainy saturday morning, sleep in. eat breakfast in bed. take a nap. listen to car talk. eat lunch in bed. take another nap.

clean the house (way more fun with two of you!), hit the grocery store (way more fun with two of you!) and then head to the movies. sadly, not even bruce willis can save a good day to die hard.

on a sunny sunday, have lunch with friends, bake a big cake and watch the oscars.

the only bad thing about this weekend was that it ended.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

from the heart of my bottom

one thing i loved about japan was that any western thing japanese people tried to do was always a little bit, well, off. like signs on people's doors that said "sweet home sweet" and signs in shop windows that said things like, "thank you our customers, from the heart of our bottom."

so this valentine's day equivalent ritual of men screaming things they love about their wives from a stage in a parking lot is, well, perfect.

read the article here.

and watch the whole spectacle below. even if you can't understand what they're saying, it's pretty awesome.

the universal favorite seems to be: i'm sorry i've gained so much weight over the last seven years, but that's because the meals you cook are so delicious.

i can see that line being shouted in my not-so-distant future, too.

we can cry about it, or we can dance about it

there have been a lot of gray and rainy days around here lately. my routine on gray and rainy days is to get up, go to work, come home, get in bed with all my clothes on and wait for AWD to come home. and when he gets home i say, i hope you want to make your own dinner or go out, 'cause i got nothin'. or some variation on that general theme.

but today, the sun was shining and it was warm and pretty much nothing could shake the good mood i was in. aren't those days so wonderful? and they probably wouldn't be as wonderful without the gray and rainy, so i guess i'll say i am grateful for those days, too.

which is good news because the pernicious "wintery mix" is in the forecast for tomorrow.

also, if you are looking for something besides sunshine to put you in an intractably good mood, i also recommend this pep talk from kid president. it was all over facebook a week or so ago so you've probably already seen it. but, if not, enjoy! (and if so, enjoy!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

welcome back

let's just say january was nothing to write home about.

it was cold. we were sick. we watched the inauguration on tv. we watched downton abbey online. we gave up sugar (again). and we spent every saturday house hunting with our realtor, until what can only be described as a psychotic break(down) (mine) led us to conclude that a break from that particular project might be in order. i tell you what, nothing will make you feel more broke and hopeless than searching for a house in northern virginia. but now we sleep in on saturdays, so i am much happier camper.

and february has been off to a pretty good start. i won $500 in a drawing at work. we are still watching downton abbey. the end of our sugar-free adventure is in sight. and so is valentine's day, which AWD always does up in romantic style. plus, the days are already getting longer and sometimes it's light when i leave the office. what joy!

so, i think it's safe to say i'm back. and glad about it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

year in preview

i used to think of goals as a finite thing. you make one or maybe two. you work on them. you accomplish them once and for all. you move on to a few more. an open and shut case, if you will.

i now see goals as a much more fluid thing. i feel like i am making, and remaking, them all the time. as long as you (i) don't get overwhelmed, i like this sense of perpetual motion and improvement. and i like making goals that address the things that are most on my mind at that moment.

so, i've made some new years resolutions of sorts, but they're really more like the goals i want to focus on for now. i might stick with them for a while, or they might fill their purpose quickly and then i'll move on. we'll see.

one longer-term thing i did for the year was pick a theme. i've never really done that before, but i decided to give it a try. so, my personal theme for 2013 is "more holiness give me." my really major goals all deal with taking my spiritual life to the next level: regular prayer and scripture study (not just reading), fasting with a purpose, service and temple attendance. i know i could get more out of my relationship with deity, that i can commune more deeply. and i know that will make the rest of my life better, too. (not that it's bad, naturally, but better is always a good thing, right?)

and that's where i'd like to focus most of my energy. but, i have some other goals, too. more exercise and less sugar. more family dinners. more letter-writing. more sewing. more patience and thoughtfulness.

i don't want to say 2013 is going to be the best year yet, because that seems like an impossible thing to know and i don't want to hurt all the other years' feelings. every year should be the best yet, don't you think? so instead i'll say, 2013 is going to be an imperfect and wonderful year. and i'm pretty pleased with the start i've made.