Episode 39: How Marriage Has Changed You

If we are not continuing to grow as individuals, then what are we even doing? Maybe that is too harsh of a view, but I often find that I have really high expectations for myself and others. I don’t feel bad about it. We should be striving to become the best versions of ourselves.

In all of those big, transformation life moments we should also seek out change. That’s what transformation is. But changing through a marriage can seem slower and harder to spot than the transformation experience of becoming a parent. One day you’re not a parent and then the next day you are. Poof.

This podcast topic was brought about when I noticed some change in Kamel that was slow slow ever so slow to reveal itself over 7 years of marriage and 9 years together.

It is also brought to you by this quote I read by Donald Glover:

“That’s what love I think really is at the end of the day,” he says. “It’s not even like a selflessness, it’s like an understanding that I’m making a safe place for you. It’s not safe out there. Somebody’s out to get you – that’s just nature. That’s just the nature of being, and I feel like yeah you can totally love somebody and still look out for yourself. But I think the question really is, do you see that thing or that someone else as part of you? If you see us, we’re a people together, we’re a tribe together – we depend on each other. Then you always are gonna want the best for them I think.”

How has marriage changed you?

Episode 38: The Challenge of Transitions – Part 2

Transitions continue to be hard for Kamel and I, even with all the practice we’ve had. Even with the compassion we attempt to bring to the table. Even with therapy, even with positive outcomes.

The hardest part of marriage, for me, is that there is another whole person standing next to you the whole time. This person has their own baggage, their own way of dealing with stuff, their own needs. That means part of my life now is responding to this other alien being who shares my house, my kids, my bed. Who shares my life. That’s hard. I really did hate Kamel through recording at least half of this episode. And when we stopped recording he hated me too. But then we were fine again.

Of the time we’ve spent being together here are all of the major transitions we have weathered:

-Lauren moving back to Seattle
-Lauren moving back to San Francisco
-Engagement
-Moving in together
-Commute and job changes
-Getting married
-Moving out of the city
-Pregnancy
-Adding that third tiny roommate
-More moves
-More job changes
-Moving back to Seattle
-More job changes including unemployment
-Second pregnancy
-Second new tiny roommate
-More job changes including unemployment
-Buying a house
-More job changes

Fin.

Just kidding. We’re about to be married for 7 years in July. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Episode 37: The Challenge of Transitions – Part 1

So much of life revolves around transitions. We transition when we change schools, when we move cities, when we change jobs, have kids, get married, break up, move in together, get a pet, and on and on and on. We are either coming out of or heading to some kind of transition. And yet, transitions don’t seem to ever stop being HARD. They hard to adjust to, hard on our stress levels, and hard on our relationships.

This week’s podcast begins with Gabriel discussing his next big transtion: Kindergarten in the fall.

This is a two-parter because we literally ran out of time. This week is a lot about Kamel’s reaction to our family’s transition of moving to Seattle and his new job and how that impacted him and by proxy ME. Next week we’ll revisit it and talk about how I react to transition and how I’ve seen that impact our marriage.

We are also looking for stories of transition from you! Leave us a voicemail (About a min long before it cuts you off) and tell us about some of your biggest transitions.

We’ll record next on Friday, so get your messages in by Thursday (5/24) night. Call 415 275 0551

Do it! Call now! It will be fun! Hearing from you is my favorite.

Episode 36: Season 3 – We’re Baaack!

We finally, finally, FINALLY after months!!! got our shit together and started season 3. Thank you to everyone who kept asking me and reminding me that you listened and you liked our little podcast and prodding Kamel and I that we should keep pushing to find time to make it happen. This is a little check-in on what we have been up to (Kamel likes to give a month by month break down ha!) and some ideas we have spinning around for the coming weeks.

New podcasts for season 3 will be up every Monday for the foreseeable future.

We are so happy to be back and continuing the conversation on real life, real marriage, real everything.

Episode 35: Did Trump Ruin Marriage? Part II

First of all, Trump did not ruin marriage. If anything he made it stronger. Are you married to an ass hole Trump supporter? FLEE. FEEL IMMEDIATELY.

Trump winning was a major wakeup call for me, but maybe it was a different (and probably bigger) wake up call for many who have ended relationships over these major issues. And that’s awesome. Don’t spend your life with someone who makes you feel small.

I do not think this is something that should be reconciled. It’s different than simply having differeing political leanings, or disagreeing on how states and the federal government should interact. Or even disagreeing on social issues! It’s different. Supporting Trump = supporting hate speech, and racism, and a genuinely terrible person who is only in it for themselves.

One more thing! At the beginning of this episode i do some house keeping stuff. And it’s true that episodes will be coming out on Fridays. Except… right now. It was SUPPOSED to come out the day after thanksgiving but then… life. I wish this ran like a well oiled machine, but it’s squeaky at times. Let’s be honest. More episodes coming soon!

Episode 34: Did Trump Ruin Marriage? Part I

 

This is a post I have been chewing on for like… a year. Almost a year. The photo attached to this post popped up in my recent memories on facebook. Heartbreak and a half. ALMOST A YEAR SINCE WE ELECTED THAT MOTHER FUCKER YOU GUYS.

Right after the election I was so angry and so upset. You know this. You read about it. But it was not just spilling out all over this blog, it was always spilling out all over my marriage. There was a lot of crying from me before bed. A lot of seeeeeeething at my husband’s complacency. A lot of firey firey aries rage threatening to swallow me whole.

I wanted to do a podcast about this right away but I couldn’t wrap my head around the conversation. Today it feels more grasp-able. We are all different people than a year ago. Today it’s easier in some ways to look back. This is a two-parter because I have too much to say and Kamel had a plane to catch.

Retreat-ing

I’ve never been to any kind of writing retreat thingy. I’ve never taken time away from the real world to think creatively (outside of school, but oh shit that’s not any kind of “break” when you’re working full time and schooling and trying to just LIVE goddamnit!). I’m generally put off by most writing retreats at this point because they all take so much time. And I don’t feel like I have it. Six weeks away from work and kids? I just can’t. Two weeks? That feels like it should be spent on a family vacation. Do I want these things? Yes! But not right now. Right now my time is needed most on the hustle, on the babies, on the grind.

But where does that leave me? Void of ideas most of the time. My brain turned to mush by the end of a day filled with reading and editing and using every ounce of training I can remember, using every ounce of work experience I’ve collected. Being professional AND creative. I am spent.

A few months ago I was invited to join an artist retreat. Art/Eat/Repeat. Creative people running away to an island to commune together over wine and food and the quiet spaces where you can finish projects and recharge your creative batteries. Color or read or write or knit or whatever. Discuss books, add to your to-read pile through recommendations from people who GET YOU. Stay up late watching Princess Bride or talking about your strategies to publish and where and why and how and when. Walks in the woods, walks on the beach, forever looking out the window willing whales to appear.

These are the moments you say yes to. These are the events that can flitter by without you unless you grab hold. These are the self care moments that keep you human in a world that tries constantly to chomp at bits of you until there is nothing left. Not even on purpose really, but the world is a selfish beast and all it knows is take take take.

Things I successfully accomplished:

  • Eating enough carbs for the month. Mmm… no regrets.
  • Walking 9 miles in a day – and that wasn’t even my main goal or accomplishment of that day!
  • Finally finishing The Underground Railroad and feeling broken inside after it was done.
  • Seeing an otter, and some wild ferret creatures, and a snake, and some bunnies, and many deer!
  • Walking on rocky beaches.
  • Reminding myself what I need to refill my creative buckets that I have been empty for a solid two years.

That last one is important. Because what I reminded myself – more like what I fully acknowledged after denying it for a while now – is that what MY creative self needs to function is solitude. How did I write a book in a year? I took a lot of long walks where I talked to no one and had no time limit. How did I write so prolifically in my early twenties? I had a lot of quiet people watching – whether it was commuting or bored at work or whatever – where I created worlds and scenarios and allowed my mind to unfurl. I do not currently unfurl. I run and then I sleep.

Did I complete my next great novel or re-write the short story I can’t shake? I did not. I finished a bunch of stuff on my to-do list that was filling me with guilt. And the space to do so is a goddamn gift. I also realized the reason for those longer retreat times – you need the space in the beginning to sit and do nothing and take long walks and stare out the window and drink 700 cups of tea and eat milanos and catch up on podcasts as you stare at the ceiling before you can write. You can’t come from a life that needs everything from you and jump into a life that demands of you to create. The transition is necessary.

When I left Kamel said, “I can’t wait to read what you write!” And when I get home he will ask me what I finished and I will say “nothing.” But I reminded myself how. I remembered how and why and what and where and when. I know it’s there waiting for me whenever I make the time to grab it.

Episode 33: Your Call is Important to Us

You guys. YOU GUYS. I was all like “guess what? Imma post once a week!” And then I disappeared off the face of the Earth. It’s how I keep you on your toes.

What happened? WELL! Kamel and I recorded a podcast again. YAY! We are BACK!

Then we went away for a beach vacation with my parents. It was delightful. The kids had a blast. The weather is fantastic. There was swimming and kite flying and sandy toes and board games. The best.

THEN Kamel went away for a business trip to Florida and abandoned me with the children. So it has been a go-go-go month and it will continue to be this level of crazy until after the holidays. But I’ll be here, in this space, as much as I can.

For now, PODCAST. Send us your marriage disputes. We’d love to pick sides.

 

 

New Approach

I battle with myself about whether or not I want to keep writing. There have been times in my life that I have posted and posted and posted and it just was like a river. And other times where it felt like I was reporting the news. This happened. That happened. Now you know.

But I’m struggling. I don’t want this space to die. But I also don’t want to report the news. I want to fire up the podcast again. I want to have this space be beautiful and thoughtful and real.

So for a little while I’m going to start posting once a week. As a writing routine. And to feel less anxious about STARTING. Just starting.

I feel like there is so much to catch you up on that I freeze. Where to even begin? I just need to start. So know this…

The house is still too big for me. But the downstairs is yellow now and that makes me really happy.

Kamel got a new job which gave us less money, but we restructured our finances and are budgeting really well so it FEELS like we have more financial freedoms. Amazing.

I got a raise and a title change at work. I feel so happy! It’s amazing what can happen when you ask.

Summer is almost over and I’m here for it. I love summer, but this one felt LONG. I’m ready for coats and big sweatshirts. Remind me of this in March when I’m over it.

We had lice. We all survived. It is way worse to imagine what it will be than to actually have it be. As is life.

Back posting more on the weekly. <3 I’ve missed you.

Small Joys and Happies

Sitting in the sun on the deck for 15 minutes in the quiet.

The sound of wind through the trees and my neighbors wind chime gently tinkling.

A small handful of frozen chocolate chips.

Having shaved legs.

Pedicures on my lunch break.

How a kitkat can be evenly split between my family.

Fae’s face covered in chocolate from her 1 stick of kitkat.

A really excellent workout.

New jorts! New jorts!

Lady’s night on the horizon.

Watching Gabriel eat blueberries.

Gabriel telling me he has to go back on his bike after his first fall and scraped up knee because, “Mom! I can’t let the bike win!”

Hearing Fae singing in the stroller on an evening walk after dinner.

What are your happies?