Sunday, January 13, 2013

Get OUT The Way

Ok. This post is a story about being a pregnant girl who has to pee. And the reason I'm writing about it is because it surprised me since I have a bladder of steel. A teacher's bladder. One that will last the entire day without so much as a suggestion of fullness.

So here it is. Yesterday, I went swimming. I had a 30-minute workout, so I made sure to go before I jumped in the pool. Every six laps, I would stop and drink and by the time I got out, I had to pee BAD. So I went, of course. Then I showered, got dressed, and drove FIVE minutes to the grocery store. And I had to go AGAIN. What the heck? What is wrong here?!?? This is unearthly. Well, I only had a few items to get... berries, sour cream, orange juice... backtrack to produce to get tomatoes... pressure is building... milk, black beans... crap, I forgot the hummus... WHY IS EVERYONE AT THE COMMISSARY TODAY? Can't you see I'm pregnant? Well, I'm three months, so no you can't, but CAN'T YOU SENSE IT? (One might be asking why I did not just use the restroom at the commissary. Well, because I didn't know where it was and I didn't want to ask. It makes perfect sense, really.) GET OUT OF MY WAY!! Deep breathing... clench muscles... it's all in your mind. Control is within your grasp. Ok, check out, pay, walk to the car. Good job. Controlling it all very well. Super job. Might as well stop to get gas, then. Getting out and pumping gas... hearing the gas gushing into the empty tank... oh, dear... NOT SURE I CAN CONTROL IT SO WELL ANYMORE... then I start SNEEZING! REALLY??!??! Could this get any worse? Yes. Do the dance... tap the foot... sway... more deep breathing... sneeze... look for an empty parking spot near the building... pullthepumpout... sneeze... grabthedamnreceipt... parkclosetothebuilding jumpout runinside trytonotlooklikeyouareinarush...there'sthebathroom!!!... openthedoor... shutthedoor... oh, glory. Glory, glory. Sweet relief. It's a good day. A really, really good day.

What can I say? I have excellent bladder control.

It's A Whole New Ballgame

Happy New Year! It's 2013 and news around town is we are having a baby. A real human. What am I going to do with another human in our house? I don't even know how to frost a cake properly. And, boy, is Wyatt going to be pissed to find out that after having to adapt to having another dog-creature in the house, he's now going to have to share us with a baby.

In all seriousness, though, we are thrilled. After having lost our last one in July of 2012, we were spending the first trimester taking one day at a time and trying not to get our hopes up while still maintaining our excitement for the present blessing. It seems we can relax a bit now, although you never know what life brings your way. Adam is a very excited dad-to-be and couldn't wait another few weeks to share the news, so we shared it with the world at large on social media, where we can read about someone's marriage proposal and another person's creative cat-shaving techniques in mere seconds.

So now I get to experience the adventure of pregnancy. Mine has been great, actually. During the first one, aside from some heartburn and unearthly salivation, I felt great. This one has been different. I've been way more tired... to the point that Adam really had to take over all the packing and arrangements to move back to Colorado. I've also been bugged by afternoon aversion to food that lasts into the evening. It started at about 6 weeks and disappeared around 11 weeks, but it's back again at 13 weeks. Any sort of meat just turns my stomach, so all I really like to eat in the evenings is salad, eggs, bread, and cheese. In fact, cheese is my go-to. Cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, grilled cheese. It's delightful. Until today when I ordered a grilled cheese at Panera. I love Panera! But they filled my grilled cheese with these pallid bits of bacon that ended my excitement of the grilled cheese. Ugh. Pregnant girl's nightmare.

Anyway, the next few weeks will be full of all kinds of fun milestones... kicking and a pregger belly and starting to realize it is all actually happening. Yeesh. It's going to be a wild ride!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Year One

A year ago tomorrow was our wedding day! The love and light from that amazing day will never fade. It's said that life is made up of the simple things and I can say that lines up with what we've experienced this year.  We love to think back upon those butterfly effect moments, those simple things, that led us to where we are today and it's thrilling to think that as we go about each day, we live many other butterfly effect moments that will lead us to where we go tomorrow.

In knowing Adam for four years, I've learned lots about him. But there are times in our life that what I learn about him comes in gigantic waves. We were surprised to find out early this summer that we would be expecting a baby early in 2013. I will never forget Adam's expression when I told him. His eyes lit up and for the first time, we began thinking about the family we were beginning. What do we do? I don't even know how to make kneecaps or anything! Within weeks, we settled into the grand idea that we would shortly be welcoming our first little one. I bought Adam the first book that he would read the baby and when we were in New York, we picked up a West Point onesie, so we would be prepared for football games. We shared the news with Adam's family and I sent a book to surprise my parents with the news.

Just a day after I sent this book, we lost the baby. I can't accurately explain the horror of the experience without detailing the entire process. It truly was awful. But we reminded ourselves to be grateful because it could have been worse. I cried for days and it was difficult to get used to the idea that I was only me again. But Adam truly provided so much of what I needed to be able to move ahead. I struggled quite a bit with the idea that our little one was not given a proper goodbye but Adam had the most assuring response and although it was so difficult, we made it through together. We decided to name our little one and to light up one of those paper balloons that you send into the sky. Of all the memories of our first year, although it is the most sad, it also is the sweetest. Knowing that I am married to a man of character that is strong and caring and supportive is absolutely priceless and it makes celebrating our first anniversary that much sweeter.

So, to my husband, whom I love more than anything... thank you for all of our special memories. You make my life rich and beautiful every single day. I love you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Luminous Woods

A space to breathe. To look into the sky. To let nature fill me up with a good, bright smile.

I love our woods. I've written about this place before. One of the things I love is the ever-changing face these woods present in the different seasons. Winter shocked me the most - with the barren, spiny trees that reached up, disappearing into the sullen skies. Dull and crispy leaves lay their heavy blanket on the cold earthen floor. The creek pools filled black with decomposing fallen leaves.

Somehow, though, just after the daffodils peered their sunny faces up at the end of the stalwart winter, but long after the flowering trees had dropped their blossoms, the woods bellowed out with a vibrant and swift herald. Trees burst forth with thick, luminous green that drew my eyes to the heights. Today, the branches were heavy with freshly fallen rain. I ducked under branches that bent low across the path. The air hung with a cool, refreshing humidity. I heard the stream beside me trickle, then gurgle, then spill, then rush, then tumble into the creek where one neighborhoods hill met another.

It is now when, if you walk quietly enough, you can see a raccoon whisk past and hastily climb a broad oak. And if you look into the trees just a little deeper than normal, you can see the full, white tails of the deer bounding away from the trail. Or stumble upon a box turtle waiting patiently for you to pass so he can continue on his way. Wyatt stops at the tree he knows the raccoon loves and paws at the rocks where the turtle can be found. And Butte pads along behind, happy for another trip into our favorite place.

I love our woods.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My New Spice Jars

This post should be called, "Pinterest has me Wrapped Around its Little Finger." Every time I see beautiful pictures of yummy recipes (Homemade Chick-Fil-A Nuggets - to die for) or smartypants ideas (shredding chicken in your blender? - genius!), I want to do something all uber-homemaker.

So, one afternoon while Adam was out, I decided to become freakishly obsessed with my new spice jars. Now, these aren't just any old spice jars. These are the Cherry Coke of spice jars... or the Cinnamon Sugar Donuts of spice jars - the fresh, hot, melty donuts that make you feel a moment of heaven. Mmmmmm. So I washed them and dried them and oogled them all afternoon.

Here they are:

Rad. I know. Big chunky-looking glass with burly metal clasps. I wish I knew what to equate this to in a man's brain. Maybe like a new drill or a case of IPA (hops make me gag). Anyway, these make me feel classy and like I am a really awesome cook.

I typed up some cutey little labels and pasted them on the way that all expert homemakers do it: scotch tape.

So here are four of the 44 reasons why I love these...
#1 - I can have something delightful to store my own spice blends in, OR...
#2 - I can fit a whole jar of McCormick's spices in there.

#3 - I can fit my BigMama tablespoon inside. This lady has been around longer than I have. She deserves some room.

#4 - Check out the silicon on these bad boys. Nothing is getting through that seal.

Seriously. How could these be more perfect? Oh, I know. They are 4.5 ounces and are $2 each at Crate and Barrel Outlet. Love them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Mediocre Stall

I've been an avid Everything-ist for a number of years. By this, I mean I have loved climbing and mountain biking and hiking and cooking and playing guitar and triathlons and skiing and yoga and road biking and scrapbooking. All of these things bring joy to my life in various ways. I feel a degree of accomplishment with each of these, too. Every one of these things I have delved into at various points in my life, forsaking all others to focus heavily on one or the other. But soon, my mind wanders to one of the other activities and I begin obsessing about the next wonderful thing.

Once I spend a couple months focusing on one, I feel confident and capable and above-average... and then this all goes away because I move on to something new. What has ended up happening is I am very mediocre at all of these. In fact, sometimes I feel like I downright suck at some of them. It makes me sad. I am beginning to think that I really want to be VERY good at something.

I like liking all these things. But I want to know everything about one of these and to have a high degree of skill in just one. It's just that... I don't know which one. I should probably choose one that I can do for the rest of my life. Yoga. And road biking. I will do those forever. But then in the winter, maybe I can focus on skiing. I don't know.

One of these days I will decide.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Very Happiest Day

The day, September 24th, was a remarkable day. It had snowed in Breckenridge the weekend before, but when we arrived, the weather was absolutely perfect. The temperature was in the low to mid-60's. The sun was out and the trees were beginning to change. Lots of people had come into town that weekend to see the beautiful weather and many strangers ended up being guests at our very special wedding.

The weekend had been so busy with so many loved ones around. Everyone worked so hard to make our wedding wishes come true. We had family preparing the rehearsal dinner, folks hanging paper lanterns in the reception room, and bridesmaids searching Breckenridge for the perfect wedding townie bike.

I shuffled from one event to the next and all of a sudden it was the afternoon of our wedding day. And I was alone. I walked down Main Street wearing a summery halter dress and trailing my veil from a bag I carried over my shoulder. The cool breeze and hot fall sun made me super happy. I stopped to get a sandwich at the patisserie, a bottle of wine at the the liquor store, and a toy for Wyatt at the pet store.

The people of Breckenridge made this day so
marvelous. The man at the liquor store added a little bonus to my bag. The tourists smiled and waved as we passed by in our wedding garb. The man in the rickshaw offered to pedal me to the ceremony site... right up to my dear grandfather who was waiting to walk me down the aisle. Their kindness was too much for me to take in that moment.

I walked across the bridge at the Riverwalk with my grandfather who handed me off to my father who walked me down to Adam. We got married right at the stone steps that overlook the Blue River. The sun was in its full glory, lighting up the trees and giving the perfect glow to my veil. The sunlight glistened off the water and I had never felt such a beautiful day before in all my life. Townspeople and tourists gathered at the opposite side of the bank to witness our ceremony. It was truly remarkable.
And this is what I said that day: "I, Stephanie, take you, Adam, to be my husband, God's precious gift to me. You are my constant friend, my faithful partner in our lifelong adventure, and my one true love. On this day, in the presence of God and all our family and friends, I give to you my pledge to stay by your side. To love you faithfully, to trust you and honor you through the best and worst of times. I promise to love you without reservation, to comfort you in times of distress, to encourage you to achieve all of your goals, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to always be open and honest with you. May we daily be prepared for God’s own divine purposes. I will love you today, tomorrow, and forever."

Eric, our pastor, gave a very touching closing remark at the end of the ceremony. One that I will always remember. And after a very joyous kiss and backwards dip, we left the ceremony site as man and wife. All of our completely wonderful friends and family followed through with our request to bring silly props: wax lips, feather boas, patriotic hats, funny sunglasses; and we headed around for a loop of Breckenridge. It was such a fun way to start off the party - we love-love-loved it.

Adam and I snuck away to a grassy hill and sat together for a wonderful moment before we came in to the reception. We ate and danced and toasted and I smashed cake in my love's face. And it was a wonderful, wonderful day. Many thanks to all the very, very special people who made our wedding such a delight. We love you and miss you every single day.