On the Edge

I sit on the edge of the ocean. This ocean is not the calm and serene ocean featured in airbrushed magazine ads for Tahiti or Jamaica. This is the ocean off the coast of Ireland, full of rage and tempest. The spray of the ocean breaking on the rocks melds with the gray mist of the sky and turns the whole world upside down. And there, in the in-between, I sit.

I am neither here nor there and I’m not fully sure that I ever will be safely on one side or the other ever again. Sometimes, when you slip in-between, there’s no full recovery to safety. All you can do is sit and watch and feel the spray.

The time I fought from drowning doesn’t feel so long ago. The heaviness in my chest, the emptiness in my hands as I cradled that which I blessedly couldn’t hold, the weight pinning my heart to the depths of my soul, it tried to crush me and now it haunts me. If I am stuck betwixt and between, can I ever forget?

Can I ever forget the look in his eyes when he came home fearing the worst? Can I ever forget the sound of his heart breaking when he told me he couldn’t remember the last time he wanted to come home to me? Can I ever lose in the distant past what was stolen from me? Can I ever escape the in-between?

Maybe this edge is where I am meant to live. Maybe we all are. Because once you’ve sat on these shores, you don’t forget. You don’t escape. You carry a piece of the topsy-turvy with you for the rest of your life.

Sometimes it threatens to overwhelm and crash everything down on top of you and around you. Sometimes it drags you backward towards the spray. Sometimes it simply reminds you where you once were and where you never will be. Sometimes the in-between saves you. Sometimes it takes you away.

I sit at the edge of the ocean, past and future crashing together in the salt-sea spray. I am of the in-between and I will wait to welcome survivors to this desolate shore. We may not ever leave, but staying doesn’t rob us of living.

I sit at the edge and watch the world around me crash. The sky and sea merge into one, and there in the in-between, am I.

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For Love of Family

sisters by law and love

sisters by law and love

Family. The joke goes that you can’t live with or without them. It’s true, but it’s never the whole picture.

One of my earliest memories is of one of my older sisters turning off the light in the bathroom on me. I couldn’t reach the light switch so I tried to wash my hands anyway. The water came out scalding hot. I was less than three years old, as we moved out of that house before my fourth birthday.

Isn’t that just the picture of sisterhood?

Another strong memory is of being on the bus with my two sisters. One was goofing off with friends when a pencil somehow got jammed into her eye. My oldest sister was at the back of the bus and immediately jumped up to go to her. The bus driver yelled at my eldest sister to sit down and she yelled back that he could stuff it as she made sure my other sister was okay.

Because sisterhood.

Family, to me, is such a difficult and fluid concept. There is the pain of family that turns their back on you when you make choices they don’t agree with. There is the warmth of friends who love you like family who remind you that no matter what, they will always be there.

Long before I met B, I always imagined that my future in-laws would be…non-existent. Seriously. I dreamed that my guy would be an orphan. Or estranged from his family. Thanks to a strained relationship between my Mom and my Dad’s parents, I knew there were worse things than dead in-laws to deal with in life. Prior to meeting his family, I remember asking him what if they didn’t life me and he told me that they didn’t have to be part of our lives if that was the case.

Because family.

Now, I love my in-laws. I am so blessed that out of the lot of them, only one person rubs me the wrong way. But, that’s bound to happen in life. What I do know is that I’m blessed.

I’m blessed by my family of origin. They have been nothing but supportive of me in my life. After B asked me to move in with him, three months after meeting him, I remember talking to my Mom and her telling me that I couldn’t do anything but give it a shot. She told me that I had to look at it from the perspective of what would I regret not doing. Her support is what gave me the courage to move from Texas to North Dakota and start an incredible life with him.

I am blessed with my in-laws. My MIL and I are two peas in a pod. I finally have a multitude of younger brothers and sisters (I’m the oldest of the group of us thus far). They have never been anything other than loving or accepting of me.

I am blessed by my family of choice (aka friends). I have friends that have seen me through everything. We’ve done everything from waffles and smirnoff to celebrate 21st birthdays before going to class to fifteen hour round trips to Austin for a night of fun. We’ve laughed and cried for years together.

Family. It’s so much more than birth and blood.

 

 

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Five for Friday v.6

crazy in love

crazy in love

(one) My adorable sister-in-law had a photo booth guestbook at their wedding. We not only got to keep one strip of the photos, but they also emailed them to an address of your choice. The other strip was pasted to a piece of black paper and then they had a silver marker to write a note to them. We’re doing the other version of the photo book guestbook, using one that features photos of us together from when we got married the first time and all the trips we’ve taken. Still I’m a little sad that we didn’t think of this, because I love that they’ll have a guestbook full of notes and pictures.

(two) We’re two weeks out from the wedding this weekend. I feel like I should be more panicked or at least have more to do. But, pretty much everything is taken care of. We still need to find a place for the rehearsal day feasting, but my MIL is in charge of that so I’ll just trust her to do it. The seating chart is done, the ceremony is written, and the music has all been picked. I still need to finalize with the bar guy, but I have that scheduled for lunch tomorrow. Mostly I’m to the part of getting to just coast in and enjoy everything.

(three) Sam and I ran two whole miles without stopping on Thursday. While I’ve run farther before, that was only by a mile and never without a little bit of walking in there. But, we managed two miles in 19:42. I’m pretty proud of that. Now to just have that pride help spur me out of bed early in order to run before work.

(four) Tonight we’re having dinner with a few of the couples we’ve been getting to know. This is the first place we’ve lived in four years of marriage that we’ve made friends this quickly. Either it’s because we’re getting better at it, or because the balance is finally somewhat evened out between who is doing the meeting. It’s really nice though to have plans most weekends with other young couples. Needless to say, I’m excited to see them all and have dinner and drinks to usher in the weekend.

(five) We are binging on movies this weekend! We started with Hercules on Thursday night which was very self-aware in how crazy it was and played that up the entire time. Next on the list are Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not sure if we’ll do them both in the same day, hit one each day, or save one for midweek next week, but they are both getting watched between now and next Friday.

Bring on the weekend!

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Weekly Wishes

Why do the weekends go by so quickly? We spent ours hiking, napping, making ice cream, and trying to hit the right balance between being lazy and getting shit done. I spent an hour vacuuming out my car today and I managed to achieve 98% dog hair removal. Other than that, I actually cooked dinner last night and tonight which is a rare weekend accomplishment. Still, it seems the weekends fly by way too quickly. I’m so not ready to go back to work this week.

In other news, we’re under 20 days until the wedding. I finished hammering out the wedding day timeline with the photographer today. Now we just need to pick where to have the Friday night “Welcome” dinner. The quotations are important because it will pretty much just be our wedding party and a few extra family members. I originally just wanted to do pizza at the hotel, but it seems that like everything else in life, nothing is that simple.

Reflections – Lows:

Driving out to base for events three nights last week. After the second one, upon leaving the base for a half hour drive home after 2130, I told B that I was opting out of the optional fourth night out there. It made for a long week.

Spending most of today being productive or chilling on the computer while B did homework. I know he has to do it, but I really do wish he would do it in bits and pieces throughout the week instead of cramming in four hours worth on a Sunday.

Reflections – Highs:

Picking up my ring. I love looking at it and struggled with paying attention at the dinner on Friday due to wanting to watch it sparkle on my hand.

Making homemade ice cream on Friday/Saturday. We mixed up a vanilla base and then added in crushed Oreos for a cookie and cream flavor. Definitely fun to do and nice to have a little treat that we made ourselves.

Taking the pups hiking this past Saturday. It was fun to let them go run and swim and ramble all over the State Park. They both came home and were nice and exhausted for a couple of hours.

Intentions:

Get back to the gym this week. Last week was crazy for it, but the time for excuses has past. I’m aiming for a good week of both eating and working out.

Find a place to have our welcome dinner. It really can’t be that hard, right?

What’s on tap for you this week?

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Friday Five v.5

Oh man it’s been such a week. Last week was rough at work due to being short coworkers every day of the week straight up to working our call center with only two people on both Thursday and Friday. Yesterday, my coworker had to leave early because of  still not feeling well so I was alone for the last hour and a half of the day. It may not sound like much, but it’s pretty brutal. On the other hand, I received another “drop in my bucket” which is a note from a coworker saying they appreciate the work I do. It’s a nice tangible addition to my performance journal which is what they review for my yearly evaluations. The best part of the week though? Getting the call that my ring was ready.

my gorgeous anniversary/weddinged gift

my gorgeous anniversary/weddinged gift

(one) Over Independence Day weekend, Brian and I bought each other weddinged/anniversary gifts. He got an awesome new gun and I got a new engagement ring. I fully intend on taking this new gun to the wedding just so we can do the traditional ring shot on it. My stone came in the Monday after the family wedding in Maine. I drove out before work to get it, excitedly tore into the box, slid it onto my finger and was underwhelmed. My rings didn’t sit nicely with it, the setting blocked the view of over half the stone, and my stomach caught at the idea that I was betraying my original ring and that I didn’t like this one. After living with it for a week, I decided I wanted to get it reset. On Saturday we dropped it off at the jeweler and yesterday, I got it back. You will never convince me that there is anything more stunning than a well set solitaire stone. I just can’t stop staring at my hand. Which is a fun newlywed habit to be back into right before getting weddinged.

(two) My freezer is currently hosting the freezer bowl for my ice cream maker and my fridge has the chilling ice cream mixture in it. I asked for the ice cream maker for Christmas and this weekend we’re finally making our first batch of ice cream. We’re making cookies and cream ice cream using oreos as the cookies and the French Vanilla base flavor. We almost scrambled our custard though as I didn’t trust my instinct and B wasn’t convinced he had witnessed enough bubbles or steam. Luckily we pulled it just in the nick of time and we have a wonderful mixture waiting to get turned into ice cream.

(three) I ordered twelve bottles of wine from NakedWines.com last week. I received a voucher for them from shutterfly and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to give them a whirl. So far I’ve tried two of the wines – a moscato and a pinot noir – and I’m super pleased. The wines are crowdfunded and thus from small wineries and I really like the concept. I’m not sure I have it in me to drink enough wine to be one of their “Angels” yet, but if ever I pledge 40 dollars a month to something, it would be to helping someone make their dream wine.

(four) We’re back in that waiting to find out where we move next stage. It feels like not much has changed from last summer. We don’t know where we’ll be living six months from now. We aren’t overly enchanted with our jobs. We have friends that we like, otherwise we’re not overly fond of where we’re living. It’s honestly not an easy place to be. I’m tired of moving. I’m tired of the uncertainty. I really hope that we can actually make this next move stick for three to five years.

(five) Three weeks from now we’ll be with some of our closest friends and family for the weekend. I’m incredibly touched that they’ll be joining us to celebrate our marriage, especially on our fourth anniversary. We have almost everything planned out and I’m ready to just be there and enjoy the time with them all. I’m doing my best to soak up every second of this whole experience – I’ve been planning this day for over four and a half years.

Happy Weekend!

 

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Weekly Wishes

After much debate in my head, countless hours of scouring the internet, and a frustrating early afternoon at the mall, I came home to have a drink. I was looking for the perfect rehearsal outfit. The one that said “beachy casual” and would mesh with cropped pants and maxi dresses alike. The one that could be worn all day (rehearsal at 1000, lunch to follow, welcome dinner much later in the afternoon). The one that captured everything about me…

Oh wait.

It’s just an outfit for a day? Fine then, I wanted it to be cute, summery, casual but still fun and special. Sue me. I wanted something, most importantly though, that I could wear again since that won’t be happening with the wedding dress.

One drink, an instant realization and ten minutes at the mall later and I’m now in possession of said outfit. White lace shorts, teal peplum top, and I can take on the world. Or at the very least, tackle this next work week.

my planned outfit

my planned outfit

Reflections – Lows:

One of my coworkers had emergency surgery this week. On top of worrying about her, we were also left short a person in our call center. It was stressful and the irritating part was my boss only stopping by to see if I had taken a short lunch the first day because, “we  can’t be paying over time.” No wonder everyone keeps leaving my department with such concern as that.

Reflection – Highs:

We had a BBQ dinner with friends on Saturday night. It was a casual pot luck and the boys played lawn games while us girls chatted. The food was good, the company better, and it was just the best way to spend a Saturday evening.

Finding my rehearsal outfit. This wedding has been in the planning for over four years now. It is a struggle to not want every little thing to be perfect. I can’t control if my husband will get teary eyed at finally seeing me in a white dress at the end of an aisle (spoiler: probably not as he never cries) but I can control other things and it’s a fight to not freak out over it all. But finding this outfit, brings home that if I just relax, it will all fall into place the way it is meant to be.

Talking to the jeweler on Saturday and knowing that my wedding present will be fully ready by the end of this next week. My amazing B bought me a new engagement ring and we’re getting it reset in the classic Tiffany setting because that’s what my heart desires. While sitting in the office I told B the price they would have to offer for me to be willing to go with it and their quote was under that amount. Talk about a win. Plus they’ll purchase the original setting of the ring from me and take that amount off of their quote.

Intentions:

Eat better. I have a new plan for eating. That mostly involves eating less food more frequently. I love my morning smoothie but it leaves me starving by lunch and even if I manage to moderate myself at lunch, dinner is either a total glut fest or I get really bitchy or both. So, now the plan is a breakfast sandwich when I get up (homemade and low calorie), the smoothie mid morning at work, a smaller lunch, a midafternoon snack (if needed), and then a light dinner. The hope is that by starting the day off well that I won’t ever reach the hungry-snacky part of the day.

Work out as best I can this week. We have something planned for four of five nights this work week. I’m planning to skip Wednesday’s soft ball game to go to the gym, but otherwise I need to do the best I can about squeezing in a workout after a game or dinner event. I’m not going to beat myself up though if that slides through the cracks.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather. It’s finally summer(ish) here. Temps in the 80s, lots of sunshine, and always a decent breeze. I know it will be gone before I know it, so I want to just soak up as much of it as possible.

What’s on tap for you this week?

 

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Getting Weddinged: Random Thoughts a Month Out

  • Seating charts are stupid. I understand that they’re expected and thus necessary, but that doesn’t make them not stupid. And they’re definitely on my list of things I don’t want to do this week but need to turn in a rough idea by Friday. I think. At least I need to tell them how many tables and how many people at each table. I just wish that people could be grown ups and figure out where to sit.
  • There are so many details to work out. Music playlist for the prelude. Ceremony script. Timeline.  Rehearsal plans. Packing lists. So many tiny things that all need attention and that only seem to be impossible to ignore at night when I’m trying to sleep.
  • Rehearsal dresses are stupid. I do not need another white dress. Yet it seems like the thing to do is to have a cute white dress for the rehearsal. It just seems impossible to find a cute dress that can be worn again for something other than a wedding related function. I’m just not the type of girl who goes out in white, which probably means I will pass on this requirement.
  • How does it feel so far away? I mean, we’re a month out and all the little details are piling up, yet it seems to early to be taking care of things. Which I know is stupid and wrong. I should probably be working on them instead of procrastinating, but that doesn’t seem any fun at all.
  • Sweating for the wedding is stupid. I won’t pretend that I’m not watching what I eat. Part of it is the general knowledge that I’m happier about ten pounds lighter than I am now. Part of it is wanting to feel my best on our wedding day. Part is knowing we have a family beach trip right after the wedding and really wanting to feel slim and sexy for that. However, it pains me that the wedding industry sells us this idea that if we aren’t a ripped, busty size zero for our wedding day that we’ve somehow failed as women.
  • I hope I have the time and energy to execute everything that I want to do. I want to be laid back, relaxed and have a good time. But, at the same time I know that means getting everything done ahead of time. I guess that means it’s time to bring it.
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