The last time…

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/harrykeely

The last time Andrew and I took off for an overnight in D.C. It was warm and beautiful. We had dinner at Komi. We took a Segway tour. We stayed at at a Kimpton Hotel. I love Kimpton.

In a couple weeks, we’re going again.

For no reason.

Just to get a night away and be a couple.

Of course, it’ll be cold this time. But, again, we’ll stay in a Kimpton (a different one this time) and again, we’ll eat great food and sleep late.

It amazes me how hard it is to get time alone together now that the kids are older. When they were young, we had a standing sitter – every other Saturday – and we’d go out.

But now, there’s driving to do, places for the boys to be. Kids here. It’s just way more complicated. Way more.

We all know that to be a good couple, you need time together without the kids. And sitting together in the stands at wrestling tournaments does not count.

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50 lessons and 50 blessings.

What is it about big milestones that make us want to make lists?

I was planning to write about 50 lessons I’ve learned over the years and tell you about 50 blessings in my life.

I’m sure I’ve learned more than 50 things and I can assure you I have more than 50 wonderful things and people in my life.

Instead, I’m going to go all minimalist here.

I’m grateful for all the people who have taught me anything – good or bad.
I’m grateful for the people who love me. And for the people I love. I think there’s a lot of overlap there.
I’m grateful for knowledge. And for being told I’m wrong so I can try harder.
I’m over the moon grateful for my sons. And my husband.
And for the ones who’ve stuck by me no matter what.

I’m thankful for the 9am phone calls. I’m thankful for the peace in my home.
I’m thankful for my work, which I love. And the clients who trust me.

It never occurred to me that I’d be 50 one day.

Crazy, I know.

But here I am.

And I’m grateful for where I’ve been and I can’t wait to see where I go.

Lucky.


I read a lot of blog posts every day. And a lot of articles and tweets and Facebook updates. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming.

Much of what I’ve read the past few days have made me stop and think about who I am online versus who I am to my family and closest friends. Am I doing right by the ones who love me most of all?

It’s easy to get caught up. To play that one more game of WWF. To read that last post, to laugh at that thread.

I want to be in my life.

You see, I have a wonderful life. Amazing and independent and thinking teenage boys. A husband who worships the ground I walk on. Friends who would never ask why and just show.

I’m not a religious person, but I look forward to the Jewish New Year. It’s a time to reflect on the mistakes of the year passed and look ahead to do better. I appreciate that time. To stop. To think.

September is a time of transition. From summer to fall. From happy-go-lucky to school.

And I’m ready to thoughtfully move into the next season. But I secretly yearn for the next summer to roll around.

Shake it, baby, shake it.

The earthquake today was crazy. We all made a quick bee-line for the basement. We waited until we were sure it was over. The boys were a little scared. It was a little scary.

But I admit, I was so glad we were all together.

His & Hers.

We’ve been alone for three weeks now. No kids. Just me and the hub.

It’s a little too quiet.

On the other hand…

I’m living without a schedule. Dinner is whenever. I can finish what I’m working on. Now. I can play Words with Friends. Now.

And please don’t misunderstand, we’ve had some great “date nights.”

Dinner at Restaurant Eve. Lunch at Volt. Antiquing in Frederick. (Looking, not buying.) Midnight in Paris. Artscape. A night at Rehobeth Beach with dinner at Henlopen Oyster House.

I’m exhausted (and full!) just thinking about it.

Five.

More.

Days.

Can’t wait to see my boys.

Good practice?

Photo credit to "greensmoke"

Here I am on day 4 of no kids in the house.

And it feels like it’s been quiet for months.

It’s not even that my guys are so loud (though they are sometimes), it’s just that there’s activity. Laughing.

And please don’t get me wrong! Andrew and I are laughing – and we’re spending some great time together. It’s so odd, though, making plans and going out with no consideration of the kids. We have no kids! Not for 3 more weeks.

3 more weeks. Wow.

They’re rooms are neat. Sheets changed. Bathroom mats and towels fresh. Laundry folded and put away. All I really need to do for them is write letters. Oh, and remember to mail them.

So what will I do with all this time?

I daydreamed about organizing my iPhotos. (I have thousands of pix.) Cleaning the address book on my computer. Categorizing my iTunes. Being crafty.

What have I done so far? Worked. Relaxed outside. Watched The Voice final. Shared a really nice bottle of wine with Andrew. Burger night at Twist & Turn. Picked up veggies and fruit from our CSA.

At this moment, I am giving myself permission to reduce my expectations for accomplishing anything (except work, of course) and use this time to unwind and enjoy my husband.

And hoping to take a little just me time, too.

Maybe this is good practice for the future.

January 8th

On this date in:

1642 Astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy.

1815 U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

1935 Rock ‘n’ roll singer Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss.

1959 Charles De Gaulle was inaugurated as president of France’s Fifth Republic.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty.

1973 Secret peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam resumed near Paris.

1976 Chinese premier Chou En-lai died at age 78.

1982 AT&T settled the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against it by agreeing to divest itself of the 22 Bell System companies.

1987 The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000 for the first time, ending the day at 2,002.25.

1991 Andrew and I had our first date.

1996 Former French president Francois Mitterrand died at age 79.

1998 Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sentenced in New York to life in prison.

2007 A Moroccan man convicted of aiding three of the four pilots who committed the 9/11 attacks was sentenced by a German court to the maximum 15 years in prison.

2008 U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, the only officer charged in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

So? Did you catch that? On this day in 1991, Andrew and I had our first date.

The rest is history.

The start of the adventure.

This photo was taken 6,538 days ago.

In Maui.

Andrew and I had been dating about a year. I knew he was the man I was going to marry. Of course, that was assuming we could travel together. Some people just can’t.

Travel together, that is.

We had some of the most wonderful meals. We went to a kitchy luau. We snorkled.

And, as you can see by the photo here, we went sea kayaking.

I remember the hotel, The Plantation Inn. It was small. Really nice. Not pretentious. The restaurant had the most amazing fish. It was a kind I’d never heard of before. Something local. The best fish I’d ever had.

The trip was an adventure full of unknowns and new experiences.

I don’t think I ever told Andrew it was my first time snorkeling (outside a swimming pool) and I was really scared. The kayaking was a major effort in the waves but I didn’t want him to see how hard it was for me. It’s not that I wasn’t in good shape; I worked out regularly. It was just hard. A lot harder than I thought it’d be.

I was still putting my best foot forward; hoping that he wouldn’t change his mind about me. Feeling insecure, but all romantic and lovey, just the same.

We talked about marriage as the trip neared the end. We considered just getting married right then and there.

But we didn’t.

We did decide that he’d give up his rental and move into my house. And we decided that we’d be engaged by the following June. Looking back, what an odd decision, but hey, here we are.

The next big adventure after getting used to each other’s living habits? Moving halfway across the country. (We’d gotten married just weeks before the move.)

Then new jobs.

Baby #1. Baby #2. Baby #3. All within 3-1/2 years.

I’ve told stories of the years in between and I’ll continue to tell the ones I haven’t. But, not today.

Today, I am just thinking.

Thinking about the journey. So here we are on a kayak together. We’ve committed to stay on that kayak.

Forever.

Until death do us part.

But let’s be honest. Sometimes, I don’t paddle as hard as I should. Or just on one side. Sometimes, I’m busy playing with my iPhone and don’t notice that we’re headed for a rock.

Or he’s aiming for that beautiful lagoon and I’m dreaming of open water.

And sometimes, we’re just not in sync. Or we’re unable to keep a straight path.

Sometimes, we need to stop paddling and just be. Because those can be the nicest times of all.

The adventure continues.

Together.

(note: I edited this post from its original form to better reflect what I meant. 8/29/10)