a fraction of your smile/or a fragment of your mind

Well, in case you weren’t in the loop, folks I am pregnant. Already it’s been quite the journey and I can’t believe it’s almost half over, because it feels like it just began. The first quarter of this year flew by because I was basically a zombie from early February through early April. In the past two weeks or so I’ve really started to feeling ALMOST 100 percent back to myself again.

Pregnancy is a bitch in the beginning, chickadees. I’m surprised by how I didn’t really know this but also by how many people online/in real life are like, “Oh yeah it kicks you in the crotch.” It’s shocking to be so tired all the time and so grossed out by food AND nauseated – turns out morning sickness has nothing to do with the morning. (On the plus side, I have finally learned how to spell nauseated on the first try.)

I definitely wasn’t ready for the way I felt. It was like having mono and the flu. I would come home from work exhausted and eat chicken tenders and french fries and crawl into bed at 8 pm. Weekends were for sleeping in and taking afternoon naps. I had to cancel trips, hangouts, exercise plans, book clubs…the list goes on. As I entered my second trimester I realized how lucky I was that the weddings I have are all in this time period. Now coming home from work and cooking seems tiring, but five weeks ago it was impossible.

It’s shocking to know this is normal, common, and expected. It’s shocking to know that you are not supposed to tell anyone you’re pregnant in the first trimester when you feel so, so shitty. When you are dragging your feet at work and peeing every 20 minutes and can barely remember how to answer emails. Your friends start to wonder what’s up (hopefully wondering if you’re pregnant and not if you hate them) and you can’t be excited or nervous about your future because all you can see is your bed at the end of the day.

This is all to say of course I am happy I am pregnant, but damnnnnnnn folks. Building human life is difficult! I wanted nothing to do with all foods. Cucumbers, chicken, fries, and cold fruit smoothies were my solace. I was quiet (Jeff probably appreciated that!) and the only exercise I got was my slow, slow walk with Luna in the mornings.

The good news is I’m in Week 17 – I’m on the other side of the first trimester and my appetite is back and I can exercise again. I stay up until 10:30! I go out on weekends! I cook! I am now finally excited about what’s to come. I’m starting to plan again. I have weddings to look forward to (baby’s already been to one, we start ’em early around here!) and am looking pregnant which boosts morale (except when I cannot get my clothes on. Oh well.)

Work knows, friends know, the Internet knows. I can talk about it. And, if you’ve been pregnant, I want to hear about it! How was your first trimester? Did it blow? Were you shocked? Did you have food aversions? Did you have to take a break before getting dressed in the morning? Did you cry when your husband/wife/partner offered you a grilled cheese because why on earth would someone eat such a horrible thing?

I have a lot of feelings about feminism as I slide into this pregnancy, and will probably share them here, but for now let me just say that if you have been pregnant you are a fucking warrior and deserve ice cream and snuggles and a raise.

Sorry/not sorry if this becomes a place I talk about pregnancy/babies for a bit.

xo

Ain’t No Gift Like the Present Tense

 

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In case you didn’t know, because I am vastly behind on my writing, we got a puppy you guys! Her name is Luna, and we’re completely smitten with her little face. She and the kittens are getting along swimmingly so far, and we can’t wait until they’re all a year and older so that we can breathe a sigh of relief for keeping them happy and healthy and out of trouble.

Puppies are a bunch of hard work, as are the kitties, but I feel like it’s all worth it when she snuggles up at night and goes crazy when we get home just because she’s happy to see us. It’s like all the emotions you normally feel when you see someone you really love expressed physically – and that’s something really special.

Luna | Providential LifeJeff is currently on an around the world trip for work, and having these three little monsters relying on me is pretty insane, I won’t lie. Luckily, we have INCREDIBLE friends who are helping out with Luna Bella – people watching her when I have previously-planned events, checking in on her at lunch when I can’t because I work too far away, and just generally being gung-ho about stopping by to see her little mug.

 

Luna | Providential Life

So here we are – a year into having our house with three little ones and full hearts. It’s like where we were meant to be and yet something I never expected, all at the same time.
Luna | Providential Life

Welcome home, little Luna. We’re glad you’re here.

101 Dalmatians & 20/20 Vision

1910034_509145321661_3165_nWhen I was 9, my BFF Lauren turned 10 and to celebrate we went to see 101 Dalmatians in theaters. I forgot to bring my glasses. We had to sit in the front. She doesn’t remember this, but I always did. She forgave me, apparently, and we stayed friends (and eventually she needed glasses, too.)

I’ve worn glasses since I was 7 or 8, and contacts since I was 12. Over the years, I have had various times when wearing glasses has been a nuisance or inconvenience:

The time I lost a contact in the ocean and had to walk back to my beach house half-blind.

The times I wanted to stay for a sleepover but couldn’t because I didn’t have contacts on me.

The time I lived in China for 2 months but the smog was so bad I had to wear glasses for most of the trip.

The several times I had to schelp to the store after arriving somewhere on a trip to get contact solution so I didn’t have to buy a hundred travel sized ones.

The time I put my contacts in two bowls because I couldn’t find a contact case and one of the bowls hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly enough and somehow I got garlic in my eye the next morning.

You get the idea. Not the worst thing, but glasses and contacts haven’t been the best part of traveling, camping, sports-playing, etc., over the past 20-something years of my life.

20140929_131100_DSC_183810399494_549504536471_162879_n 24325_536225158756_395265_nWearing contacts and glasses have always been part of who I am. But I am happy to say on Friday I am getting corrective lens surgery so I will no longer need these fashion accessories (although maybe I’ll get some clear lenses for old time’s sake.)

There are a handful of things I am SO EXCITED about: being able to see in the middle of the night; waking up on a plane and not feeling a jolt of panic at the blurry surroundings; going camping in the backcountry without needing to bring in lots of contacts, soap, etc., to guarantee my hands are clean enough to put contacts in…the list goes on.

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This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and I can’t believe it’s finally going to happen. I’ve been wearing my glasses all week in preparation of the surgery, but by this time next week I’ll not need anything anymore. I will have just a little more freedom than I have now. And I am so, so thankful for that. Even though I am nervous (lasers near my eyes, yikes) I know this is going to be the beginning of a life-changing experience for me that will change the way I live my life. I can’t wait. I’ll never make anyone sit in the front row of a theater again.

Here we go!

5gts: in your ocean, ankle deep

It’s Friday before July 4th. Rebecca is here from London! So here are some good things floating around my lovely life:

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  1. We got kittens! Two cuties named Cosmo and Izzy. Izzy (above, left) is our little girl, and Cosmo (above, right) is our shy guy. They are very fun and we’re having a blast watching people (read: Becca and Ana’s) reactions to these fur balls.
  2. As I mentioned above, Becca is here and she’s staying with us – lucky people we are! I’ve missed her so I am glad to have her settling in for a long stay and can’t wait to celebrate the Fourth with her.
  3. My first podcast with Traci is up! It’s called “That’s Our Jam” and we talk about everything from holidays to hot dogs to history. It has been a super fun project to work on and I’m glad to finally share it with you guys.
  4. Three Day Weekend! Patio furniture is coming this weekend to lounge on for the holiday. And we have a new grill. How lucky are we? I can’t wait for hot dogs & watermelon salad & blended margs.
  5. My garden is coming along nicely, and we might have spaghetti squash by the end of the season if we’re good to the plants. What a great summer this already has been.

Happy July, kids!

love is all you came here for

My birthday’s here. 3-0. I’m one of the last to join the club, and so I feel like it’s a threshold I’ve already passed, with a line of spectators waiting on the sidelines for me to finish, screaming encouraging words my way like the end of a race, so excited for me to join them on the other side.

I’ve already started saying I’m 30. I used to always graduate to the next age when my BFF turned older than me in January. Since I started dating Jeff when I was 20, I feel like I’ve spent the last year in his and Nikki’s shadow, watching and learning and practicing for someday when.

But 30 still means something anyways, because doesn’t every year? Every threshold? Every moment. It’s a day like all others, except it’s not, because it is a reminder to ourselves to check up on our integrities and make sure we’re in line. At least, that’s how I feel about it.

I usually try to do this on my birthdays, to share and ask you to learn something, do something, be something, change something. 30’s no different. Some modest advice, and requests, from me to you. Without further ado:

ONE: Sign up to donate blood marrow.

TWO: Find somewhere to donate blood locally.

THREE: Donate your time. This is one of our great equalizers, isn’t it? I’ve been neglecting this one, and I’ve got to get back to it. Alternatively, donate your old shit. You probably don’t need it.

FOUR: Help me save the bees. No bees, no food, big problem. Our bees (and other animals) are on the decline, and we have to do our best to help save them.

FIVE: Educate yourself about inequality. Watch for it. Bear witness to it. Change it. Example: the other day someone mentioned something to me about how I don’t like confetti or balloons because I’m not “that kind of girl.” What? Hello? I don’t really like (or purchase) confetti or balloons because I care about the environment, and find those things wasteful. I’m pretty sure I don’t think that has anything to do with my gender, however.

SIX: Find something every day to be thankful for. Practice gratitude. It can be so hard, but each day honestly is such a gift and we should all try to be a little more appreciative. Try to remember this when you’re cut off at a light or late to work or drop your breakfast or spill your coffee.

SEVEN: Speak up every time you stand. Speak up for those who can’t. Speak up for those who won’t. Speak up and speak out. Speaking your mind is one of the greatest gifts of our free countries. I hate when people say “Let’s not talk politics” because politics encompasses lit’rally everything about who we are as people and community and because it all affects us. We must have civil discourse in order to advance our thinking. Speak to open minds, but keep yours open, too.

EIGHT: There is always someone with more than you. There is always someone with less than you. Jealously and envy beget bad juju. Instead, see SIX and also: every time you see someone with something you want – a) figure out if you want it because you need it; b) think about how you could obtain it; c) think about what obtaining it would really mean d) do something about it or let it go.

NINE: Vote, please. Just do it. Civic duties have come at a cost.

TEN: Pay the fuck attention to food. Please?! Friends, please, please learn about what you’re putting into your body and how you’re fueling your life. Here is a good start.

ELEVEN: Share your tunes with me. I am jamming to new Matt Wertz, Brett Dennen, Beyoncé, and of course Hamilton. What’re you up to?

TWELVE: Open a door for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a real door. Recommend someone for a job. Offer to read someone’s paper/story/resume. Keep your eyes peeled for that perfect chair someone mentioned to you. Pay it forward in little ways that don’t really take much time out of your life. It’ll make everyone’s life just a little easier.

THIRTEEN: Practice your mantra. Here are some good ones, “Other people do that, I don’t do that.”; “Good for her, not for me.”; “Just breathe.”; “I am here.”

FOURTEEN: Try something new. Eat a new food, listen to a new band, drive to work a different way, walk a new path, try a new exercise, learn a new style of clothing or dance or speech. Keep it fresh, keep it fun, but challenge yourself!

FIFTEEN: Put yourself first where you can. The healthier you are, the healthier you can be for, to, and with others.

SIXTEEN: Get outside! Enjoy the outdoor world! Here’s a site for places near LA, but I swear, a quick Google search will help you find a place near you. You’d be surprised what some fresh air can do.

SEVENTEEN: Drink more water.

EIGHTEEN: Taking breaks is OK. Quitting is OK. Crying is OK.

NINETEEN: You know that thing you always want to do but never get to? Today, do it. #TreatYoSelf

TWENTY: Put the phone down. Look into someone’s eyes. Pay people attention. We all are guilty of not doing this more.

TWENTY ONE: Tell people who you love that you love them. 

TWENTY TWO: Get into yoga. Here are some places to get started. (Here, too.)

TWENTY THREE: Be aware of the environment. Shower shorter. Sort your trash and recycling. Use reusable bags. Reuse paper. Turn off the lights. In the words of me (apply as necessary relating to your local struggles) “THERE IS A DROUGHT, PEOPLE.” We get one world, like our one life. Use it wisely. Here’s some help.

TWENTY FOUR: Never be embarrassed of who you are. What the fuck for? I love Hanson. I love bad TV. I love good books, I love love, I sing loud in the car, I speak my mind whenever I want. I am loud most of the time, I like to talk, and I like to tell people stories, and I don’t shy away from any of it. Whatever, this is me. Get used to it.

TWENTY FIVE: Treat others how you’d want strangers to treat your mom.

TWENTY SIX: Find your anthem. Play it loud and proud. Mine jam now is “Sorry” by Beyoncé.

TWENTY SEVEN: Everybody fucks up sometimes. If you do, do your best to fix it, learn from it, and leave it behind. 

TWENTY EIGHT: Just breathe.

TWENTY NINE: Stop those little habits you hate that you do. Pay attention and spend time trying to stop. (For me, I pick at my nails when I’m nervous…I’m working on it.)

THIRTY: Keep on learning. Learning is living.

Mom, thanks for having me 30 years ago. Y’all, thanks for reading this. I love ya to bits.

xo