Friday, September 20, 2013


React to this term: comfort. 

Comfort is watching snow fall outside your window as you're cocooned in your grandmother's colorful old quilt.

It's finding that perfect spot on your love's shoulder as you tuck in close, close enough to smell the scent ingrained in your bones and to feel his heat on your chilly toes.

It's your freshly bathed body sliding in to a bed made of warm, clean sheets; sipping steaming cider as a fire crackles; pulling on that old beaten sweatshirt that you just can't bear to part with; being brought tomato soup as you lie sick on the couch.

Comfort is finding warmth both inside and out when the world outside is chilled. Granting yourself the gift of love. It's taking stock of your life and gifts and being careful not to ask for anything more in a given moment.

Comfort is a treasure found in small acts, acts that could easily be skipped but are worth it every time.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Taking Stock

Getting home at 1:00am after two flights with a toddler does not lead me to creative writing mode (today's Blogtember topic.) So, I'm skipping, and doing this little Taking Stock post instead, found through Sydney who originally got it from Pip

Making :: grocery lists
Cooking :: chickpeas on the stove and baked oatmeal in the oven
Drinking :: raspberry zinger hot tea
Reading :: blogs and texts. a trip to the library is looming.
Wanting :: the second trimester feel-good-energy. I'm 14 weeks, so bring. it. on. 
Looking :: forward to season premieres next week
Playing :: that game with babies where you say "no" and they do the forbidden about twenty kagillion more times. (this, in fact, might be a bit of a lowball estimate.)
Wasting :: time. it seems like I'm always wasting time. 
Sewing :: *crickets*
Wishing :: I could go see a close friend recovering from a traumatic health event. 1500 miles never seemed so far.
Enjoying :: every time Declan tries to unlock our doors, high up on tiptoes with contraband keys in hand. thanks so much, goodnight gorilla. 
Waiting :: for that long awaited sign that now, right now, is the best time for errands. 
Liking :: our new house.
Wondering :: boy or girl.
Loving :: when Peyton helps a mama out and brings me tea and food and stuff. laziness feeding and love showing at it's finest. 
Hoping :: austin gets rain.
Marvelling :: at Declan's ever growing mind. 
Needing :: a shower. and a bagel. 
Smelling :: probably not too fresh...
Wearing :: leftovers that weren't packed for the trip. we all know how that goes i think. 
Following :: the changing prices of plane tickets home.
Noticing :: what i miss about portland, like open windows and delicious tap water.
Knowing :: those clothes won't put themselves away. 
Thinking :: of sweet molly and matt, friends who are in the process of welcoming baby #1 into the world as I type.
Feeling :: pretty much ick.
Bookmarking :: recipes that I will likely never fix.
Opening :: nothing that I've bookmarked.
Giggling :: at my boy's guppy mouth kisses. 

Just join on in. It's cathartic.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our Misty Getaway

{our view.}
Blogtember took a halt for me when we decided to hop on a plane to Oregon.

As I type, I'm curled in bed with the blankets tucked close, sweater on, and wool socks tucked into my pants. Our door is open to let the rush of the ocean in, heavy salt air and the roll of waves colliding with rocks. Little man is sleeping in his hotel crib tucked in a closet while Peyton finds a bootleg version of the Ravens game to fill those nap time hours. It's a family vacation at it's best: relaxing, cozy, and seasonally appropriate. A celebration of 3 years of marriage and the relative ease of traveling with just one tag-along.

We return on Wednesday, after exploring this rocky coast and Portland for a week. Then it's back to the daily grind of cleaning and cooking and dog walking and hot weather managing. I'm not quite ready, but it will have to do. And until then, I'm soaking in enough fall to last me until October, when hopefully it will at least attempt to set foot in Austin.

 Wishing you all a cozy Sunday,

**Also, thank you all so much for the love and support for our announcement on Tuesday. We are excited and stunned and just thankful that I'm finally feeling a bit more human. 
Thank you, thank you for all your warm wishes.**


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We Got Ourselves a Minivan...

Day 6 - Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn. 

And you might want to watch this to see why. 

(I might even be back with yesterday's topic later... But, you know, some things take precedence.)

Happy day. 


Friday, September 6, 2013

And So Began Labor.

Day 4 - A story about a time you were very afraid. 

It was one of those special nights in Texas, where rain was pouring down outside in the setting sun and we were playing games cozily around our table. I was thirty-eight weeks pregnant, counting down the moments until we met our boy.

All of a sudden there was a loud crack and out went our power. Cozier still, right? Pass the Pigs by candlelight? Stuff of my dreams. I threw trotters, double snouters, and leaning jowlers like it was my job. Then came the light. Three eery surges of electricity that came and went in our house. Followed by nothing. Darkness. 

Within a second Peyton was glancing out our back window screaming that our yard was on fire. Our tinder box of a dry Texas yard was ON. FIRE. I glanced, dialed 911, then tore out the door to warn our neighbor. As she took control of the call, I went to the peek out her back window, and all I could see in our yard was orange. The entire corner was aglow. 

That's when my barefoot, 25 extra-baby-carrying pound feet raced back to my house, thinking of my husband and three dogs inside. Not to mention the things I realized we weren't going to get out, as in, everything else. Pictures, keepsakes, journals, identification, computers. As I ran in the front he was going out the back, yelling at me to grab my dog and go. Within a minute we had dogs securely next door, neighbors and firemen outside, and finally a moment to breathe. I was heavily pregnant, standing barefoot in the dwindling rain, staring at the house I truly believed was about to burn down. 

And friends, it didn't. It beyond luckily didn't. A line had come down in our yard and whipped around when the three surges happened. The power company tried the surges again as I was looking from the neighbor's, causing a fire to whip around the area. If it weren't for the rain beforehand, we would have been toast. Literally, toast. But besides the massive amounts of adrenaline racing through us for hours afterwards, all was well. And as we all joked that if this wasn't going to start labor then we didn't know what was, little did I know that the back pain that would follow twelve hours later was just that. The start of our baby's debut. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Go To Bed Angry.

Day 3 - Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

I'm sure we've all heard the advice - "Never go to bed angry," right?

And to that I say, "B.S."

If I had followed this well meaning tidbit, I likely would:

a) have lost much needed beauty rest.
b) never have come to any conclusion on the issue at hand.
c) have no husband right now.
d) all of the above.

You see, I'm virtually non-functional at night. It's genetic. A truly small molehill (for instance, Peyton wears too many Tennessee shirts) becomes Mount Kilimanjaro in a matter of moments. And then I have to walk away. Walk away and go to sleep and wake up in the morning with a bright new perspective on life and those shirts. (Or at least no urge to dance around them burning in a trashcan.) 

And I'm not saying this works all the time. 

If there is a big problem at hand, and P. is there and wanting to talk about it, then I'll soldier through as long as it's productive. But with me being the relationship communicator of the two of us, that rarely happens. 

How 'bout an example?

I'm peacefully sleeping in the cloak of the night, when in stumbles the husband at 1:30 after falling asleep on the couch. I can't go back to sleep, I hate all his stupid Tennessee shirts, I hate the way he breathes, and I hate that he keeps waking me up. In my night time, completely sound mind, I decide that the only solution is divorce. Luckily though, sleep starts to overcome me before I can get those un-takeawayable words out. And when morning comes, all is well. In fact, we get some hearty chuckles out of the situation. I tell him my night time thoughts as we cuddle. 

"Do you actually want one?"

"Of COURSE not," I laugh. 

"But did you at the time?"

"One HUNDRED percent."

**Pulls me close. We laugh. Life. Is. Good.**

All this to say, I am not rational at night. 

So my advice to you is simple - go to bed angry. Not furious. Not leaving a spouse hanging and banging on the door. But just make it clear that some things are talked about with a fresh mind. And often, I've found, the problem will iron itself out by morning. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Leave? Ha!

So let's say my boss comes in and starts animatedly talking.

"Gee, boo, gee, booo ahhhh!" Says he, pointing and gesticulating at me wildly.

Translation- "Mother, you've worked so hard and done such a fantastic job at raising me so far that I am giving you a three month reprieve. Go, be free, wander!"

"Ha!" I'd say. "Why in the world would I want a break from my life?!"

I mean, why would I want to leave a baby who runs around the house like a looney toon, tearing things out of drawers and off of shelves faster than I can say "no"?

Or choose to relax on Greek beaches when there are public pools all over this fine city?

Who would even think about taking bike rides in the crisp New England air when they have a perfectly good stroller and 100 degree weather at their disposal?

Or hope to have a snowy Thanksgiving meal when they have the opportunity to eat outside with friendly mosquitos?

Not I, my friends, not I.

I mean, I was simply throwing those other options out there... 

**All photos link to source.**


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Roots Run Deep

There's this thing called Blogtember and I'm doing it. Which means I'm alive. And blogging.
And glad to be back. kinda.


Day 1/20 - Describe where, or what, you came from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

{taken this summer at my mother's family plot in cincinnati.} 
I come from teachers.
Professors. Musicians. Travelers.
People who are passionate about their work and followed their callings.

I come from people who care- for the world, for others, for the effects of their actions.
People who have strong morals and values ingrained. Not because they fear a higher power; but because they simply know what's right and wrong.

From a mother who taught my son to stop and smell the flowers (he does. always.) and a father who filled our house with piano sonatas when he arrived home late.

I come from a family I love; a family that sits together for dinner with moments of silence beforehand; a family whose traditions and ways I strive to incorporate into my own.

I come from a city centered on colorful birds and blue crabs. Where water is a way of life and greenery is abundant. Where going to the track means horses, not cars. A city with pockets of good and pockets of bad. There's love, families, and pride, but also murder, drugs, and crime. It doesn't come with a user's manual; it's not always an easy place. But once you find the beauty that you know you earned, it's hard to shake. I proudly say that I come from Baltimore.

Yet I chose another life. One full of Texas sun and heat, with a husband who thinks Saturdays are for football and works to live not lives to work. A tech-junkie who has trouble disconnecting. A man who gives our baby his bath and bottle every night and cleans up the kitchen after I cook. He's around for the long haul and all the lovely little moments in our days, and I couldn't have chosen better. I settled on a clean city, spit and polished, where grass doesn't grow because there's a drought and thirty-eight murders in one year is a record. Where music and horned cattle are king. A city that I love to the core, am happy to call home, and balances my other in the best ways.

But those roots, they sure run deep. They made me find diversity in a city so vastly white, living in a neighborhood not sheltered by an HOA or backyards and fences. They lead me to a crowd of purple on Sunday afternoons. They make me turn on NPR's Fresh Air as I'm chopping vegetables. They take me on outdoor morning adventures with Declan to find acorns and feathers. Just as I wouldn't take back the choices that brought me here, I am also so thankful for the gifts that I had no say in.