You Know You’ve Been Married 6 Years When…

Sep 30

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  • you happily spend your anniversary budget buying odds and ends for the playroom
  • your big date night is an hour and a half out of the house eating delicious and doesn’t-break-the-bank italian food while drinking wine by the glass
  • you “realize the dream,” established in your 1st marital apartment, of having a full wall of ikea bookshelves (photos soon – there’s still a lot of moving, decorating, unpacking to do).
  • you laugh until you cry when in the middle of a semi-serious late-night conversation (okay, it wasn’t serious, it was about someone’s innate ability to grow extremely long leg hair), someone has fallen asleep and begun to babble about something completely unrelated (you can decide WHO is WHO).
  • your big gift exchange at the end of the day, is limited to heartfelt cards
  • your parents forget that they bought you book of mormon tickets for your anniversary and so they send you a second gift – score!
  • your biggest extravagence of the day is to indulge in tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner

not sure about you, but all of the above seems pretty appropriate for 6 years.  i have a gross cold, his back is sore from moving an enormous amount of furniture.  it’s pretty insane to think about how much has changed over the last 6 years – cross-country moves, new careers, a curly haired kiddo and another one on the way, losing grandparents, buying a house, a remodel, a hot tub, a tattoo, not to mention nightly dinners, monthly bills and an endless amount of laundry.  sometimes life is a lot – a lot of running on empty.  but at the end of the day we look at each other, and our wall of bookcases, and realize we really are living our dream – together.

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A Family that Hikes Together

Jul 23

followed by some hot chocolate and a bagel.  sounds pretty good to me.

this sunday, mother’s day came in july as i got to sleep in and the rest of my sweet family vacated the house, almost quietly.  it’s hard to believe that ABN can still carry EBN – but they were both into it as i think the faces and hats (i love the exchange in the 2nd to last photo) suggest.

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The Way We Were

Jul 15

in getting ready for our basement reno ABN moved his office into my office.  for the next several weeks it will serve as storage for both of us, much more than a work space that meets either of our needs.  in the process of moving, ABN came across a few large files containing memories from our early years.

apparently, i used to be a different kind of wife/fiance/girl friend.  and while i have very limited recollection of this extended period of time, there’s physical evidence to prove it.  lots of physical evidence.

i wrote love notes.  long, detailed, poetic love notes.  i’d leave them next to the bed, tuck them into his suitcase, and slip them into the mail.  i decorated the apartment with posters of encouragement during the long months leading up to the completion of his dissertation.  it should be noted i was also freaking hilarious, with tag lines like, “he’s bringing sexy back….to computer science,” and “in the wise words of rabbi hillel, ‘if not now, when?’”.  i made personalized birthday gift certificates for breakfast in bed, movies of his choice and eye ball massages (i vaguely remember that being a thing) and an itinerary made out of a construction paper collage and color print outs for our first trip to LA.

all of this leaves me thinking the following:

1. i clearly used to have way to much time on my hands

2. did i ever work? – because i sure put that color printer we had in the office to good use

and 3. i sorta miss that girl

i’m not crazy.  i know i’m not the same person, in the same place.  not only do i not have time or energy to create massive art installations (after, i’m raising a human), i realize i don’t spend my days thinking about being in love.  and i used to.   i’m just as in love with him now as i was back then, but so often, we’re rushing and running and before i have the chance to acknowledge what i’m thinking about feeling, the moment has passed and i’m picking squished spinach patty off the floor.

so yeah – the love notes are making a return.  most likely not in quantity but hopefully it’s the thought that counts.  (and some times, it might be in the form of a special dessert – because EBN likes to bake and what better way to show love than with sweet treats).

and with all that, we’re off to home depot, to pick bathroom tiles because that’s how we roll.

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10 Years Ago Today…

May 20


this might be my very favorite photo from college. it’s horrible quality (how did we ever exist before digital cameras?) and the lighting didn’t help either. these girls were my everything.  we were being silly on a group camping trip, as was often the case, after little sleep, too much wine and secret rendevous that had yet to be divulged. my smile is so big – i think i still had myself convinced that everything was going to work out just fine…

(deep breath – this is going to be long and rambling…)

10 years ago today, i did not graduate from college.  i should have graduated from college.  i looked like i was graduating – you know, cap and gown, family assembled.  dinner parties to celebrate 4 great years.  everyone assumed i was graduating.  everyone also assumed that my life was not a freaking disaster on wheels held together not by super glue but by an ancient elmhers glue stick that had dried up and didn’t have enough stick left to keep two pieces of tissue paper together, let alone me.  i was the only one who knew the truth – as hard as i had tried to ignore it and stuff it deep down inside – the truth reared its ugly head during my dreams (which, logically, is why i quit sleeping).  and so i knew eventually the truth, all of it, would come out.  and that not only would i break into the inevitable million little pieces that i knew i really was, but that the people who i cared about the most, would be pretty broken, by me, as well.

it’s amazing that all of this was 10 years ago.  because it also means that 10 years ago (give or take a day or two) i started to rebuild my life – with life-saving support from my parents – the two people i had hurt the most.  it was time to move forward from a past that only i was to blame.  learning to rely on others to support me in the same way that i for years, carried so many of them.  it has been one long and winding and often cliched road.  i am a work in progress.  and on days like today, and this weekend and probably next – when large groups are joining together to celebrate, in caps and gowns, i tend to itch and turn red and retreat.

i don’t think all the details are important and in truth, whether it be as a survival mechanism or just…time passing…i don’t remember them all.  i can tell you that i am 100% responsible for not graduating when i should have.  and for not asking for help when i needed it (help is a loaded word…no?).  i am grateful for the friends and family who supported me at a time when i had given up on myself (it was a dark few months, once all those walls i had built up came crashing down) and for doctors who listen and provide medication when the going gets really tough.  i’m grateful for the jcc in manhattan who stuck by my side holding my job for me for a month so that i could go to summer school and then presenting me with a complete life once i arrived on the upper west side.  i’m thankful to hunter college for providing me with a chance to take creative writing classes and to one completely forgettable journalism teacher who allowed me to take a final exam two weeks early – so that i didn’t miss a wedding back in california (it might be hard to understand but when you are really broken – and i was really broken – something like a wedding becomes your everything).  and i’m grateful to brandeis – the institution that i did, eventually, graduate from.  it’s hard for me to think back on college with great fondess (more on that below)…it’s just complicated now.

in finding myself – and my truth – i lost a lot.  while in college, building my walls and creating my fantasy world, there were countless moments of pure joy – often around my own dining room table, drinking ridiculously cheap wine and sweet red cocktails. cuddling on my bed with a life-sized rainbow trout, singing while sitting cross-legged in a circular classroom, kissing behind tall trees, meeting jewish rock stars and creating life long friendships with roommates, and classmates and indians and orthodox jews.  but it is just so difficult for me to think about these moments now because i’m no longer able to ignore the chaos that was going on with me – behind the scenes.

i have no idea where this post is going (not my typical style) except to add one more thing – i am not the same person i was back in 2003.  i’m stronger, i’m gentler, i’m more thoughtful, i’m quieter, i’m consistent, i run from drama, i crave alone time and family time and while i still try to do it all – i realize i can’t and i make an effort to slow down.  sometimes it takes an extra push (or 2) but i ask for help when i need it.  i’ve worked really hard to get where i am – it continues to require constant effort.  it is not my natural way.  sometimes i get closer to slipping back than others.

it’s thanks to ABN that i’m here today at all.  at my most broken, long before we became us, he was the one person who was able to get close.  as he carried my boxes into a dorm room i didn’t recognize – after my friends had made the reverse trip only days before – he was the first person i let help me, the only person i let hug me.  at a time when i had completely given up on myself – and shut out everyone else – this guy who was kind and gentle reminded me that it was okay to smile and to hope for a future.

i like to think that all of this happened for a reason.  i’m not sure where my “issues” came from, or if there was a trigger or whatever.  but i’m pretty sure that if the shit hadn’t hit the fan when it did, i wouldn’t be sitting in pacifica right now.  and i wouldn’t be loving on my sweet family.  and, even though i’m a bit itchy this week, and a bit anxious, and a bit on the edge…there really is no place i’d rather be.

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A Different Kind of Bedtime Routine

Jan 03

i think it’s safe to say – i’m not a great sleeper.  i used to have trouble falling asleep – and for years i’ve had trouble staying asleep.  i get up to pee, to check on EBN.  i stare at the clock, willing myself back to sleep before another minute, then hour pass by.  i get cold and so put on an extra layer.  i get hot and then take off said layer.  and i’m up with the sun – making lists in my head of all the things i should be doing, while at the same time, too tired to actually get up and anything.

none of this is new.  it’s just my way.  even on vacation, even when EBN is safely with her nani and p’pa and i’ve got not a care in the world – i’m up bright and early.  i.just.can’t.sleep.  i literally think if ABN met a genie and had just one wish, it would be for me to get some sleep.  which is sweet – pathetic – and sweet.

in the last couple of weeks my routine has changed – slightly.  i’m not sure i can claim better sleep but every bit counts…right?  it started with socks.  we’ve had a couple of cold weeks here in pacifica (i mean, cold by my standards, not by anyone else’s) and for whatever reason while the rest of the house is toasty warm, our room – not so much.  so, although i haven’t done it since i hit puberty, i’ve started sleeping in socks.  it’s crazy, i did it one night and now there’s no going back.  i can’t settle in unless my toes are toasty warm.

and then, and this is the best, ABN bought me THIS.  yep, i’ve got a clock that projects the time on the ceiling.  it’s amazing.  it means i no longer lay in bed wondering what time it is before finally rolling over, craning my neck and feeling – defeated – that i’ve waited so much time when i could have been sleeping.  it’s basically amazing – and i’m not really sure my life was complete without it.

i’m not going to lie – a brief soak in the hot tub (which includes a glass of red wine) doesn’t hurt my sleep either.  cheers to feeling well rested.

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The Best of 2012

Dec 31

there’s a tradition in my family that dates back further than i can remember most likely because it started way before i was a glimmer of an idea.  whenever we go on a vacation, at our very last meal, we create a “best of” list.  best hotel, best activity, best sight seeing, best meal…you get the idea.  it’s a tradition that ABN and i have continued as we’ve gone off on various adventures.  i’m responsible for coming up with the categories.  we then sit apart and fill in the blanks individually and then over our last dinner we compare answers.  it’s a fun way to appreciate all that we have experienced and to review the time that was (in both of our cases, before we forget).

so i thought i’d put into practice a little “best of” over here at freckles in the fog.  it’s been a banner year – full of food, books, crochet, ridiculous toddler antics and so much more.  and so, without further ado

THE BEST OF 2012 – according to LBN:

movie seen in a movie theater: i think i saw 4 movies total (which is probably more than i saw in 2011 – here’s to conintuing the momentum in 2013!) and they were all winners.  but my favorite, without a doubt was MOONRISE KINGDOM.  it helps that i had zero expectation, that i saw it in great company (ABN), that we had a fab babysitter at home to watch EBN (DBN) and that the soundtrack was basically as good as the dialogue as good as the costumes as good as the quirk.

best netflix: we don’t do movies at home because i always fall asleep (fatal flaw) but we love to catch up on all the tv shows that everyone else is constantly talking about that we are late in the game to get to.  best of the best, without a doubt, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.  we started the series way back in january, finished it in june and there still isn’t a day that goes by that i don’t think about how great that show is.  so great.  i think one of the  reasons i watch parenthood now (another great show) is because basically nothing makes me happier than a FNL guest-star.  i just think it’s cruel that LUKE and VINCE couldn’t have appeared in the same season.  we’re watching THE WIRE now and when VINCE was killed off at the end of season 1…well, it was just too much.

best book: the one goal i set for myself in 2012 was to read more.  fine.  then i went ahead and i set the completely ridiculous goal of reading 35 books.  what the what?  with people, vanity fair and the new yorker as well as, you know, raising a toddler, i quickly realized there was no way that was going to happen.  according to my GOODREADS account, i read 16 books which i am going to take as acceptable.  for 2013 i’ll aim for 20.  looking back over the list there were a number of real winners.  i’m not sure if it was my favorite (i had a run of really good fiction in the first quarter of the year) but AGE OF MIRACLES seems to have had the most lasting impact.  i would give a very strong recommendation for sure.

best get-a-way: BIG SUR

best date night: i can only narrow it down as far as two, one LOCAL one IN THE DESERT

biggest adventure: DUH

best holiday: in the last year it’s become pretty clear that we do holidays pretty big in this house.  from decorations to special menus there is a lot of attention paid to detail and it’s been fun to have EBN fully participate.  whether we’re talking about our weekly lighting of shabbat candles or banging her tamborine at the passover seder, she’s an essential player.  speaking of passover, that shindig holds the top spot.

best recipe night: there were so many good ones.  i realize now that i haven’t updated since we started paleo which is a shame because so many of the recipes have been so delicious – i’ll be sure to get on that in the new year.  but our meal from our backyard was a true highlight for sure.

best place to work: PROGRESSIVE GROUNDS

best discovery: without a doubt, WOODY’S in palm springs.

we just sort of happened upon this hamburger joint (it’s literally the front of an old grey hound station) that has live music every night.  we went twice during our very short trip – the first night we heard jazz and the second time rockabilly.  we can’t wait to go back.  palm springs feels really far away.

best home improvement: my photo wall.

best crochet project: i really love the chunky circle scarves i’ve made.  gotta get on one for myself.

best mama moment: it’s impossible to pick one.  but enjoying FREE TO BE with EBN has been a really really good one.

best family adventure: packing up and heading to sacramento for father’s day was a true highlight of the year.  from the time in the pool to the train museum to the hours spent at barnes and noble it was the perfect little get away.  i think we need to make this an annual event (but maybe we’ll go for mother’s day in hopes that it won’t be 98 degrees!)

 best EBN face: STINK

and finally…

best video of 2012: 

 

 

it’s been a truly spectacular year.  thanks for sticking around, seeing us through and taking the ride!

wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2013

xo,

LBN, ABN and little miss EBN

 

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