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?

I Died My Hair Purple

After Fae was born I felt like sunshine (tired tired sunshine). I felt like some blonde sunkissed hair suited me. I wanted to shake things up and feel fresh and I did!

And then the elections happened and I didn’t feel so sunshiney. I didn’t feel like I wanted to look like I had just returned from a long trip to the beach. I hadn’t. So, why bother? Did I feel fresh and fun anymore? No. I did not. I do not. I felt and still feel dark and stormy.

I also have spent a lot of my life looking at other people’s fun hair, fun fashion, risk taking images and felt envious. Envious at their confidence and how they took risks. Envious at how COOL they looked! Thinking I could never do something like that. I was too nervous when I was younger and now I’m too old.

I am not too old. But I am more confident.

The purple smelled like grapes. But I didn’t want to ask about it in case it was all in my head. It was supposed to be more of a bayalage situation. Where it stuck in the blonde but it only created a shine in the light on the rest of my hair. It came out more purple EVERYWHERE than expected. With definite highlights of magenta. But I liked it! The unexpected is always an adventure!

But here is why I will most likely never color my hair a fashion color again…

No one told me about the upkeep! The color bleeding! The mess! The amount of thought I have to now put into my hair situation.

For the first month my bath tub walls, shower curtain, and bath tub were died purple from the run off AND the use of the purple shampoo I have to keep my hair purple and not a sad washed out pink that it will eventually turn. It took a lot of clorox scrubbing it get it out, and now the run off is not so bad. But there are still purple splatters everywhere.

Easily for a month I slept with a towel on my pillow because my hair would bleed onto my pillow cases at night. Now I just use dark pillowcases.

I can’t use my nice cream colored fluffy towels, and instead use one of the kid towels that are actually purple so that I don’t get purple die all over my nice stuff.

I wash my hair very very infrequently in order to prolong the life of my color. Which is extra annoying when the only shampoo I’m using is the purple shampoo (which is almost like a gak consistency?) leaves a sticky/greasy residue on my scalp. So either, that’s just the color depositing life, or the shampoo isn’t really cleaning anything (Even though I am scrubbing, because I wash my hair literally one time a week and workout 4 times a week and sweat in my sleep ALL TIMES a week). Even rinsing my head causes color bleed, so I try to limit that as well to only once a week.

My nails are almost always purple. If I scratch my head, purple comes off under my nails. My mouse at my desk is stained purple. my keyboard keys have a purple tinge.

So, the upkeep sucks. But I love the look. I don’t want to just say “fuck it” and use normal shampoo and go back to my usual hair routine because then I will not get the most out of my purple hair experience. And if I’m only going to do this once, might as well do it right. Dark and stormy till the end.

Fae Turns 2 – The Video!

My happy, independent, little climber. I always forget how they are still such a BABY at 1 years old until I see the before and afters. We had this song picked out for months and months and months. What a fun year it has been!

Fae is 2!

At just after 3am this morning Fae turned 2! I’m having a hard time fully grasping that it has been two whole years since I gave birth to her. What have we done in that time? We have done so much in that time. And yet, it doesn’t feel enough.

Where would I be without her? I don’t know. I would have less joy, less sunshine, less purpose.

Fae is literally the happiest baby I have ever known. I am every day grateful she exists. And even as we move toward more independent thinking (read: tantrums) and difficult moments, I keep thinking how grateful I am that I had her second. Because if I had had her first, I wouldn’t know what the big deal was. She is a gift and I am fully aware of it.

(Lol… sorry Fae.)

Fae is always up for anything. She is my ride or die. She will go anywhere if she is clamped to me in the Lillebaby. She has only just recently been asking to get down when we go on walks so that she can hold her brother’s hand.

Fae is tough. She will tell you what she wants and doesn’t want. She will steal Gabriel’s food and RUN away with it. She can wrestle with the best of us and often comes out on top.

But, she does not like going outside with barefeet. She does not like having her hands dirty for prolonged amounts of time and will ask us to clean them. (Even though she refuses to use spoons even though she knows how and likes to SCOOP out her yogurt.) She doesn’t like  bugs or spiders and will go “ew! yuck!” and make grossed-out-faces when she sees one or THINKS she sees one. If she does get something on the bottom of her foot she cries and limps as though she has been stabbed.

Her favorite person on the planet is her brother, who she calls “mano.” I am probably second.

She climbs everything. She is the most physically capable 1 year old, 1.5 year old, and 2 year old I have ever SEEN. She has no fear, though she does ask for help when she needs it. And her abilities to scramper up ladders at the park, kitchen tables, rock walls, etc. amazes me.

Fae’s favorite words are…

  • Hermano (mano)
  • Mama
  • Daddy
  • No, mine
  • Nnnnnno!
  • mas
  • Arana
  • Cookie
  • Baba

She is very literally the light of my life. I can’t wait to see who she becomes in the next year!

Happy Birthday my crazy lady. I am so honored to be your mama.

What’s Happening?

I dropped off the blog with no announcement. My book club schedule  gone awry. Podcast… what podcast? What is even happening anymore?

I don’t know.

There are a good number of things I want to talk to you about. That I want to write about.

Things like… how I died my hair purple.

… how I LOVE IT.

… how I will never ever do it again.

Things like… what happened with my kitchen!

… how all of the construction finally ended.

… how now we have a space that feels more like me, like us, like ours.

… how the first summer in our home feels.

Things like… Fae is almost 2. She turns two on Thursday.

… how did that happen?

… how that is making me feel unaccomplished and frustrated.

So many things. So many marriage things I want to talk about on the podcast – which WILL return. With willpower. And time.

But I’m also enjoying feeling not rushed to the computer. Feeling like I don’t have 3 jobs. Feeling like I don’t even have time to think about what I think about, let alone write it down. There is no leisurely tea drinking, gazing out the window time over here. I have been so busy and feeling like I’m barely holding it all together. Barely squeaking past the deadlines, barely grabbing the kids on time from school. Barely making it to my bed before I fall asleep.

Kamel gets annoyed that I need to sleep so early. 9pm? Delicious. But I explain to him how I go hard all day, from the minute a child forces my eyes open, I am go go go. On the weekends we are up! and going! to the zoo! and to the store! and to the park! and snacks! and lunch! and naps! and yardwork! and laundry! and and and. During the week it is everyone to school, everyone to work, shoveling salad into my mouth in front of the computer, finding 45 minutes to sweat until I maybe feel like I’m going to barf. Kids. Dinner. Bath. Chasing babies in the backyard, beach towels, sprinklers, wiping down counters, folding more laundry, turn fans on, cracking open bedroom doors. Realizing I haven’t showered since….?

And being in it is good.

I want to be here too.

I’m finding my way back.

(TWO on THURSDAY. HOW.)