September 11, 2020

I'm Doing My Best

Or at least trying. I have wanted to sit back down here and catch up with you all but time passes differently these days. The minutes, hours, days, weeks and months seem to pile up without my having taken much notice. When something unpleasant comes up, I tend to think to myself, in the blink of an eye it will be over and in my rearview mirror. This can sometimes be a blessing, but often feels distressing. 

How are you? How are you coping? Are you making the most of quarantine? Are you full of anxiety over all the very difficult things going on in the world? Do you sometimes need to shut out the world around you and focus on the things you can control in your little world? I'd say all of these describe me but that last one is my constant companion.

Things here have been good, heartbreaking and everything in between. In June I lost my dad to cancer. I feel so grateful to have spent the last 10 years getting to know who he was and reconnecting, well, no, actually, just connecting for the first time. You can read my side of our story here. There are so many layers of loss with his passing, but I am truly thankful.

So here I am, after so many months away, trying to get back to life. I feel like I've been treading water. I have struggled to find time, energy or desire to do the things that give my days depth. That doesn't mean that I haven't done any of those things, but when I do, they don't feel as satisfying or enjoyable as they did. My enthusiasm for them has lagged. I picked up my camera for the first time the other day and could not remember how to use it. And today I literally could not remember how to get the photos off my new camera for this post and had no idea what was even on it. Life is weird. It turns out I had not uploaded photos since December 2019 which is okay because I've hardly taken any this entire year.

My days are full of gardening, cooking, cleaning, running a household and generally being the chief caretaker of all the things. Rinse and repeat. I often don't feel like I'm accomplishing much of anything other than surviving but that's okay. That's enough. I'm thankful for it. In fact I have a lot to be thankful for. 

My Sweet Man is still working from home and it looks like he will continue to for the next year. My baby girl was home for 5 months (and was honestly a pleasure to have around even though I mourned my empty nest) but has gone back to college and an experience that is in no way fun but she is doing her best and being so self sufficient- paying her bills, budgeting, working, getting to know her 3 roommates and working hard in her classes. My big girl started a new job that she loves, got a puppy and is getting married next month with the reception in our backyard. It's to be a very small affair and has been made very complicated by the current state of things. 

As for me, I have managed to accomplish a couple of things- the biggest of which is a huge garden project that I look forward to sharing with you as soon as I refresh my photography skills. I also redecorated Emma's room when she moved all of her possessions to her new townhouse. Other than purchasing a new mattress, boxspring, paint and curtain rod, I used things I already had which felt really great and my bank account heaved a sigh of relief! It's not what I want to do in there long term but we have some sagging floor joists that need to be seen to before we can do any projects that are more substantial around here. If it's not one thing it's another in an old house, but thank goodness we love her. 

Hey! Look! I blogged! It's hard to know where to begin, so I just began. There's a little song I've been singing to myself for the last 6 months which is just basically me singing "I'm doing my best" to myself over and over whenever I need to hear it. I need to hear it a lot some days. So I hope you enjoy these random unedited photos from 2020 because "I'm doing my best, I'm doing my best!"

Random things from the last 6 months:

-I got a new lift bowl mixer in the color milkshake and I'm smitten
-I grew so much food this spring and summer, some of it from seed
-I've got a sourdough starter and I'm loving the things I've made
-I rarely eat dessert anymore
-I'm currently obsessed with scones which aren't technically dessert as they have little sugar in them
-My health is good except for a low heart rate issue I'm currently seeing to
-Clover is finally calming down- although she has been pestering me since I sat down to write this blog post and it made me rethink that statement
-I'm still knitting. A lot! Mostly simple things throughout all of this but I'm now currently obsessed with colorwork
-I really need glasses and a pedicure but I'm trying not to go anyplace I don't have to. So readers it is.
-I miss magazines and the one time I went to Barnes and Noble their shelves were bare but I really want to try again because AUTUMN and CHRISTMAS
-The cats are finally (mostly!!) getting along with the exception of when Mouse is hangry. In related news I hide from the cats every day from 2:30-3:30
-We are currently only using one car and let Emma take the other to school and I'm actually liking that. Now there is only 1 car sitting in the driveway
-I'm in week 45 of my invisalign treatment and I can't believe how straight my teeth are
-Covid taught me not to care what myself or other people think about my thighs which finally allowed me to wear shorts
-I've tried to preview this post but blogger has changed and I can't get it to come up so who knows what will happen when I push publish!

Ok. I think we're caught up. What have you been up to for the last 6 months? 

Be kind to yourselves and OTHERS. And be well. This felt good so I'm going to try to come back again very soon. 

P.S. Ok, figured out preview but can't get my photos to center! Enjoy my left aligned blog post.

April 29, 2020

A Love Letter

Dearest Jim,

Twenty years ago today, our life together began in the little chapel in the woods that you found for us after an impossibly short courtship. Planned in six weeks, during the height of tax season, on a shoestring budget that did not include a photographer or a honeymoon but instead a celebration in our new home with just the people most important in our lives. Even then we had our priorities straight.

Walking down that aisle to the music of the classical guitarist you chose, I had no doubts, no fears and no worries. There was only you and the dream of our life together. We began the way we would go on for two decades, diving head first into new experiences without dwelling too much on the process. This has paid off for us time and again. Every choice we've made has been based on our marriage, family and happiness. We have been through more challenges than we ever could have imagined and each one has made us stronger. Our first three years of marriage alone, offered enough trials to do a relationship in, but we just kept forging ahead, hands and hearts intertwined.

Thank you for always showing up and doing the work, for sitting next to me as my equal, for holding me up when I have needed extra strength, for telling me I'm beautiful every day and still looking at me like I'm the only person in the room, for telling me you love me more times than I could count in a day, for respecting me, going along with my crazy schemes, giving me heaps of grace, encouraging my dreams, being the one who brings my ideas to life, for being a great provider for our family, for listening, learning and growing with me, for being a hands on daddy, for making us all laugh, for making me feel safe for the first time in my life. For being my shelter, my partner in crime, my best friend, my soulmate and the person who always has my back. More than anything, thank you for loving me the way every person should be loved and for giving me a life I had no idea was possible.

At last,