Counting down

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I keep thinking about what the day would be like.

“The day dawned bright and sunny, and the trees swayed lightly in the wind. Somewhere in the distance, she could hear a light whoosh of a car driving by as she sipped her morning coffee. She smiled, gazed out of the window and planned her Saturday. It stretched out in front of her, breezy and casual, long and lazy.

As she brought her cup to her mouth to take the fifth sip, she suddenly felt it. An all-consuming feeling in her ever-growing abdomen; she had to set her mug down and hold on to the window sill. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. It subsided almost as suddenly as its advent and she let go of her tight grasp on the sill. She smiled to herself and rubbed her belly lightly.

She roused her husband from his trance-like analysis of a soccer match on TV, and told him what had just happened. He jumped up with a giant grin on his face, grabbed their already-packed bags set steadily by the door, and mentally planned the fastest route there.

It was time.”

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Or more like this?

“Yet another thundercloud clapped loudly in the sky, and she looked up from her computer, already agitated about the implications the awful weather would have on her commute. The day had stretched on seemingly forever, and the pressures of projects loomed over the team heavily as they fast approached their deadline. After several meetings of discussing more strategic game plans, she finally decided to call it a day. A quick pit stop at the water fountain, and she’d head home. As she wriggled into her coat, she suddenly felt a strong ache resonating throughout her entire body, leaving her almost breathless. She held on to her chair and waited for the sensation to pass, and she heard the rain coming down more heavily in the background.

She reached over to her phone and called her husband, who was stuck in a meeting. It’s happening, she said, and he assured her he’d be there as fast as he could. He ran out of the room, grabbed his keys, haphazardly packed his computer bag and dove headfirst into the pouring rain. He drove as fast as he could and weaved in and out of the tumultuous roads the storm had created. She jumped in as she saw his car approaching the parking lot, clutching her stomach, face contorted in pain, just as he realized they weren’t prepared with their bags or things they would need.

It didn’t matter. It was time.”

I have no idea how the story will all unravel- but all I can say is, it will be SO SO soon! Stay tuned folks ūüôā

IMG_8554photo cred : Jen

Mostly Sweet with a Dash of Sass

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I’m not particularly known for my patience- I often blame it on my generation altogether and how much we revel in instant gratification (that’s me taking all y’all down with me), but of late, I’ve been plenty antsy.

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In a good way though. Mostly because I cannot wait to meet the itty bitty bean (I’m currently about 30 weeks along) and see what he thinks of our world! I often¬†ponder about what he’s going to be like- a perfect mix of me and my husband perhaps? Sweet, smart¬†and goofy (husband) with a little touch of sass? (obviously me.)

Will he pick up a one-off trait from his grandparents or an ancestor I’ve never met? This is a fun one.

True story : I¬†eat my food piping hot; the steam would not even have begun to settle down and I’ll¬†just casually fork a healthy portion into my mouth and start chewing. Whereas most uh…normal people would wait for a more comfortable temperature probably.The first time my parents realized I did this, my dad immediately exclaimed – “She’s just like my grandmother!” My GG (great-grandma) grew up in India and was notorious for jumping up at the dinner table and heading back into the kitchen to warm up¬†her freshly cooked food. NOT in a microwave I might add.¬†I’ve never had the honor of meeting this fine lady, but it always does make me smile that we share something so arbitrary and intricate. I do think we’d have got on well. I’d also like to point out that we as a clan just proved that want-for-food-at-boiling-points skips a few generations. Ground-breaking science really.

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That being said, I really do spend a lot of time thinking what my future baby will be like- he’ll develop his own personality sure, and bring with it plenty of mischief, giggles and silliness. And probably pick up a random quality of a great-great-uncle-16-times-removed. I suppose at the end of the day, it mostly won’t matter, because he’ll be awesome-sauce regardless and will ooze cool all day everyday. (Momma’s boy syndrome predictions are extremely high.)

Conclusion? I’ll take the sweet, the sass and a whole lot else that’s coming my way- and as aforementioned, I CANNOT WAIT!

Sing along Saturday

I was driving back from brunch with friends, and  suddenly got that overwhelming urge to break into song. I happily gave in to my whim and sang at the top of my lungs (all while the guy in the car next to me shot me a few bemused looks.)

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“My heart beats like the wings of the birds, that rise from the lakes to the trees….” Yeah, one would think I belted out some T-Swift, except I went for some old-school Julie Andrews instead. (I¬†am¬†firmly of¬†the camp that there is no¬†bad moment to sing along to Sound of Music.)¬†Happy tunes either way, and that’s really what matters right?

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There’s much to celebrate methinks. We did a short “babymoon” to the Big Apple last week and had an absolute¬†blast.¬†A nice long weekend¬†and summer’s victory lap;¬†it was the perfect setting for quality husband-and-me¬†time, although I have to admit I slept and napped a fair bit in the city that never sleeps. Highlights? String lights at the Chelsea Market, a train-track park at Highline (my husband loves trains and was like a kid in a candy store), Book of Mormon’s Salt-lakeuhhhh-Ceeeteeeee rendition, Central Park perambles to watch the sun set and sampling much of the city’s finest food fare (I refuse to count how many calories were consumed over the course of the weekend.)

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“Start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be part of it, New York New York…” I told you the sing along bug¬†was infectious!!!

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Brunch with friends,¬†trips with loved ones, croissants aplenty¬†and¬†sunny Saturdays- yeah…I bet you’d¬†probably break out into song too.

xo

A Mid-Summer Morning Dream

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Yeah, I know- I’ve actually been away that long and we’re in the middle of the summer. I’ll just take a few minutes to make some casual run-of-the-mill excuses. We moved house, I got a new job (yay!) and then summer happened and I forgot all about sitting in front of a computer during non-work hours. You guys will forgive me for that one right? I live in the tundra where this only comes around once a year and not for very long either.

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It’s been an interesting summer. Now that we’re properly playing house, I’ve had to learn about de-weeding and landscaping a garden, telling the difference between an oak tree and an elm tree (my knowledge of botany extends to trees are tall and shrubs are small), asbestos, basement leaks….and believe it or not…POWER OUTAGES. That’s right- we had a terrible tornado last weekend and we were without power and it was 90 degrees out. Ah well, I guess with my new job (that I like), I was in dire need of some material to complain about. My husband says yay.

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But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s never been better. I get to browse lovely paint colors, lounge around in a beautiful sunroom, wake up in a 100 year old house that is ripe with history (and several quirks) and potter about in a kitchen with an actual island. The best part? Making new memories with friends and family, hosting large parties, feeding hungry (and thirsty folks) and getting made fun of when our more¬†“house-broken” friends watch us deal with home owner issues. It often feels like a beautiful hazy dream where you walk through the morning mist, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how perfect it all worked out to be.

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Maybe it’s like a¬†mid-summer morning dream, but it really could extend into a Shakespearean-esque night too. And I’d say, all’s well that ends well.

xo

Being Me

IMG_7084I was sitting in a seminar yesterday. A big auditorium, great acoustics and an inspirational speaker telling all the women at my workplace to “brand ourselves.”

Sounds like a bunch of corporate hogwash? Probably. I got absolutely nothing out of it- except the lady speaking to us inspired to me write something honest, true and candid. (She certainly wasn’t being any of those things.)

I’m not here to announce that this is my magnum opus ( I doubt anything I write has that potential), but I do solemnly declare that this is me keepin’ it real.

I was told to “be bold” at this seminar yesterday- and frankly I was just confused by that. Be bold how? Tell me please. She obviously didn’t- I wasted 2 hours of my life that I will never get back on this thing. Ah well. Moving on.

I’ve recently been undergoing a serious case of analysis-paralysis about “life”, which was basically stemming from me being not-so-happy with my job, and frankly, it’s been exhausting.¬† And in my whole quest for self-knowledge, I’ve realized that the most important thing to do is to accept yourself for who you are. Despite all my faults, I’m kind of pleased with myself. (not in a patronizing, look-at-me sort of way, more of the yes-I-can-do-this-you-go-girl kind.) I AM coolio, Julio. And in the interest of keeping it real, I have to credit my husband with helping me realize most of this. (Perks of being married to your best friend.Oooo….I think that needs to be a hashtag.)

IMG_7030Your job does not define you. Neither do your family, your friends, your monetary status, the size of your house or how many pairs of shoes you own. YOU define you. Be whatever you want to be. All you have….is you. And maybe that seminar-lady didn’t give me any instructions on what being bold was, but if I were to be my own motivational speaker- i’d chalk that up to my definition of BOLD. Being bold enough to be real. Faults, quirks and the whole works.

And while I am cool beans, my husband is pretty awesome for helping me realize all this about myself too. He deserves some/many beans.

So go out there, and keep it real. If you’re impressed with yourself, everyone else will be too. And suddenly, being you isn’t so exhausting anymore- it’s just natural and fun.

OK, I’m off my soapbox now, I promise. Bon weekend tout le monde!

Three Decades Later

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Yeah- it’s that time. I’m getting old, you guys. I know I’m supposed to be slightly sulky, a bit wary of finding a plethora of gray hairs the next time I brush my hair, and basically follow a strict protocol of “a minute on the lips, forever on the hips” because my metabolism has slowed down.

However, I wouldn’t trade these things for the world. I’m good with it. (Except maybe the grays, I plucked one out this morning).

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Why life is so fab:

1. I can have conversations when drinking alcohol. And remember all said conversations, even if they don’t make much sense. Because it was probably in a dive bar or in somebody’s backyard.

2. My parents are cool again and I want to be just like them. I also wish they would move somewhere closer to me.

3. I sometimes don’t recognize pop stars and listen blankly and wonder what happened to good music. Before excitedly breaking out into a N’Sync song.

4. I get really excited when I get carded at the liquor store- (Look, he doesn’t believe that I’m over 21!)

5. Interior decorating is so much more than picking out what color futon you want in your room.

6. Getting all dolled up for a party is the most fun part, and by 11pm I’m busy wondering when jam-jam time will roll around.

7. I have lengthy discussions about what to name my children and possibly also pick out their future profession. (I wouldn’t really recommend engineering.)

8. Hearing things like “I’m trying to find myself” is just…funny.

9. I love talking about the glory days of when I was in school and life was all simple but for complicated math, and then promptly using my calculator to do simple arithmetic after this declaration.

10. Attending a book club and thinking it is the coolest thing ever.

11. Being comfortable in my own skin.

12. Self-awareness of my shortcomings and grateful for the people around me that have accepted them.

13. The acute realization that mac and cheese is so much better when it doesn’t come out of a box.

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Yeah, like I said, I’m set. Pop, fizz, clink to me.

 

Keeper of Secrets

photo-9“I’ll let you in on a secret.” You know the moment when someone tells you that and a surge of excitement spreads through your body, because you’re suddenly going to be in possession of some information that only a handful of people know? You’re one of the chosen ones. You’re special.

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Yeah, I love that feeling. It’s quite glorious. And mind you, I’m not talking about silly, callous and vapid gossip- I’m talking a sweet, happy secret that you want to hug, caress and keep under your pillow for safe-keeping.

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I felt that way recently. I had MLK day off  (I initially felt that I barely deserved a vacation day after just coming back from one, but that was a very teeny-tiny fleeting thought really) and I found an able and willing adventurer in my friend, and off we went to explore and unlock the mysteries of the day.

We really didn’t have much of an agenda. What was supposed to be coffee and chit-chat turned into stumbling upon an alleyway worthy of a Diagon Alley moniker, us interrupting several people that were actually working that day, and a splendid mural that allowed me to make the graphic below. (Obviously in spirit of the great man himself.) We also considered opening a fantastic door leading to the coolest stationary shop/paperie I’ve seen in the city yet!

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I loved being let in on the secret finally. Minneapolis has plenty of gorgeous alleys just waiting to be explored- and although the city is a fantastic secret keeper, her allure isn’t her exclusivity, it’s actually in her open-door receptiveness. It’s taken me about three years to realize this, and I’m glad I’ve finally looked under the veil and uncovered her whimsy, unusual and slightly erratic beauty. And when you’re ready, you’ll see it too.

jen(Jen obviously has.)

 

xo

Full steam ahead

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3 weeks in and 2015 has casually decided to inform me that it’s not wasting any of my time. It’s on a mission- it’s full steam ahead. It’s ready to rock and roll.

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I’m not sure how we’re 15 years into this millenium and I still am wondering what I want to do when I grow up. But you know what? I had 2 glorious weeks (yes, I really did go on vacation for that long and somewhere a baby-boomer just cried into their pillow) of vacation to relax, get some much-needed Vitamin D and get plenty of clarity.Clarity on what, you may ask? Or you may not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Just really on what was important to me – my family, my friends and the health of our minds and bodies. C’est tout.

As for the rest? I say, let the pieces fall where they may. My jaunt to the motherland was like a pleasant breeze in your face on a gloriously sunny day, and it helped me realize all of this important stuff. Yay to me.

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The best part of all? I realized it didn’t really matter if I am still a tad confused every now and then. Life would be complete snoozefest if I had it all figured out already.

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At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ll figure out where the windy road is taking me next, but until then, here’s me toasting to plenty of adventures. Bring it on 2015. Let’s do this.

 

 

Some stars, mostly Stripes

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There comes a time in every lady’s life when she just becomes…boring. I kid, maybe not every lady. I certainly have. I’m getting ornery and one-dimensional in my old age (and I have vowed to speak in alliterations of “O” apparently) and it’s seeping into everything I do.

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All is Light

It’s been a while since I’ve seen sunshine. Sadly, we’ve spent a week with the sun masked by some ominous clouds. Even worse, I received the whole “cloudy with a chance of clouds” weather report via text. You know, just because I decided that this would be the week where I would leave for work before the crack of dawn and then had to casually ask people if the sun had come up.

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