Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: love

Us at 12 Years

We met when we were freshman at Berklee College of Music. 3 weeks into the school year, H kissed me and that was it. Some of our friends here in LA assume we’re high school sweethearts b/c we met so young. It’s crazy to think that we met when we were 18 years old. But we did, and fell in love, and it worked, so we kept it going.

And here we are, 12 years later.

Twelve years though, seems so crazy long that it doesn’t seem right. Now I know why people said we’d switch over to celebrating our wedding anniversary. Because two years sounds manageable, normal for someone my age, but twelve just seems nuts.

As H is a math teacher, I asked him to give me some numbers. I’m not sure if the list below makes it more or less mind-boggling.

We’ve been together:
12 years
624 weeks
4,380 days
105,120 hours
6,307,200 minutes
… give or take. We did split up for ~5 months in college and so much of our early relationship was long-distance (almost 4 years).

It’s been 4 years since he proposed.

And 2 years since our wedding weekend.

We didn’t really celebrate this anniversary with anything special. We did go climbing at Stoney Point, which is appropriate, since it’s our new cool hobby we do together.

The pictures above are from when we were waiting in line for Cinespia, an outdoor movie screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (so fun).

And here’s what I see: the two of us at 30 years old, still young looking but adults, who feel like they have their shit together and are feeling pretty settled in life. But we still have dreams and plans and things we want to do, both as a couple and separately, trying to make the most of the life we’ve built. And even though we’re not pictured together, I can guarantee you, we’re still very much in love. I would venture to say even more so than ever before.

Which is the best part of it all, for us both. xo

Support

“All problems are boring…until they’re your own.”
Red, Orange Is The New Black

For the friend who just moved away from all of us here in LA to pursue a master’s degree.

To the friend whose dealing with his mom being ill, or a grandmother passing away, or a niece being born and not being able to afford a flight to be there in person yet.

To the friends who had a little boy and came home from the hospital without a hitch.

To the friends who spent 2 weeks in the hospital while their baby girl fought off an illness.

To the friend planning her wedding, overwhelmed and frustrated, who is mad at herself it doesn’t feel like an an easier, happier time.

To the friend who lost their pet.

To the friend in the long distance relationship.

To the friend who lost her mom suddenly when she was 19.

To the friend who couldn’t find a job for 5 months despite 10 interviews.

To the friend that thought she found her dream job, and now it’s sucking really bad.

To the friend who accepted a job that is wrong for them because they have to pay the bills.

To the friend who moved to a new country.

To the friend who can’t conceive.

To the friend who found herself pregnant on (happy) accident.

To the friend who can’t quit smoking.

To the friend who can’t stop drinking.

To the friend who did stop drinking… and chooses to continue to not drink one day at a time.

To the friend who tells us they’re OK but we know otherwise.

To the friend who moved in with her boyfriend, and while it’s awesome, she misses having her own space.

To the friend who adopted a pet and is realizing it’s a lot more work then they thought.

To the friend who was was dumped.

To the friend who is home alone all day with her baby boy, loving him and going crazy from boredom.

To the friend who is eating healthy, counting calories and working out and can’t seem to lose “the weight”.

To the friend whose wedding proposal was turned down.

To the friend whose start-up hasn’t gotten funded yet.

To the friend who has no vacation time at work.

To the friend who’s waiting for the ring.

To everyone, all of us, who are scared to share problems and vulnerabilities with anyone because we all try so hard to look like we have our shit together and we think no one wants to hear it. That no one cares.

I’m here to tell you, if just for this one brief moment while you read my words –
I see you. I see you and you’re doing it. You’re kicking ass.

You’re waking up. You’re going through the day. Even if this feels impossible, even if it feels like life is damaged, I am here to say that, we’re all messed up in some way. We’re all carrying some burden and that’s OK. It’s life. We’re all doing the best we can. Really. Even you. I know it. You’re doing the best you can with what you have.

And, as one of my favorite quotes says “we’re all just walking each other home”.

I’m looking out for you. And I’m thankful you’re looking out for me. Happy Monday xo

Cheers To Two Years

Photo by Seba Photography

 

Celebrating two years of marriage today and I am still smitten by this guy. In the past year he’s cooked me dinners, walked Carter so I didn’t have to, let me nap all afternoon without judgement, learned how to make a mean omelet, graduated grad school (team effort), supported my dreams, stood up for me when I wasn’t standing up for myself, misplaced his wedding band and bought a new one (whoops) and took me to a rock climbing class that now has me hooked. He calls me honey, picks up the groceries and doesn’t expect me to do everything for our home life myself. He knows my style so well that if he picks clothes out for me, I am sure to buy them. He laughs at my jokes, doesn’t bat an eye at how neurotic I can be, and plays any song I request on guitar.

Oh, and I did I mention he put new floors in our apartment… by himself? #marriedagoodone

He is the calmest, smartest person I know and I’m a better person because of him.

Love you HJW. xo

day 4: love

Yesterday we had an entire day in Philly. It was SO MUCH FUN. I plan on sharing a longer post , but for now, here’s a shot in honor of August Break. See all of my August Break 2013 posts here.

We Must Make the Most of the Time We Have Together – One Year of Marriage

Honestly, I didn’t think getting married would change much, but I was wrong.

I had hopes. Hopes that marriage would feel the way I feel when I hear another couple is getting hitched. Words like romance and commitment. Standing together, united as husband and wife.

I also thought I was above it. I’d considered having the Goldie Hawn / Kurt Russell chat long before we were engaged. Maybe we didn’t need to get married. We loved each other and knew we were committed. What did a piece of paper or a rings matter?

But, it turns out, they do. To me, to us. They matter.

Soon after our wedding, H started grad school. Two months later, my sister moved in with us. Needless to say, this is not how I pictured our first year of marriage. I felt like we weren’t on the same page – we didn’t have similar goals. I felt responsible for much of our home-life. He filled his time with work and grad school. My sister crashed on the floor in our office. I traveled a lot for work and was lonely. We were caught up in the every day.

Life took us for a ride this year – work, promotions, traveling, family, my sister living with us, grad school, celebrating friends, combining our finances, beginning the house hunt. All of it was good, but stressful. It pulled us away from each other.
And like all things, I put too much pressure on it. Being Married. On us. Being husband and wife. I thought, “how can you love, and be that vulnerable and not make a Big Deal out of it?”

It brings me back to a core problem, the “shoulds” vs the “wants”. As in, because we’re married, we should do this / act like this / be like this / love like this…

Twelve months later, here is what I know:

I want more of US creating the lives we want TOGETHER.

H has amazing intentions, is an awesome husband and his job is incredibly demanding.

We are fiercely supportive of each other.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

We had the luxury of a 4-day weekend for our anniversary, and that quality time was just what we needed. In the beautiful card H gave me, he wrote “I can only assume the time will continue to fly by and the years will pass, without any concern for us. This reinforces the idea that we must make the most of the time we have together.”

(I knew I married the right guy.)

Today, I feel like we’ve come full circle… that a year into marriage, I finally have the peace, the love, the romance that I hoped a wedding would bring us. And H is right – we must make the most of our time together. Life is precious and short and flies by.

Getting married was transformative. And it wasn’t. We are the same people we were before marriage, and yet, we’re not. It’s vulnerable and it’s peaceful. There’s a solidity to it. And I can only hope our love deepens in this next year, no matter what life throws our way. And that we make the most of the time we have together, always.

How We Celebrated

Our one year anniversary was on 7.7.13 and we celebrated exactly as we do – in quiet, at home.

We had a four-day weekend because of the holiday. H went for the 1st anniversary sentiment of paper. He created a photobook of our wedding photos – something I had yet to do. It’s beautiful. I cried looking through it.

Our wedding was not just the happiest day because we spoke our love in front of our family and friends, but because it was proof that we are a team – that we could work together to achieve something so wonderful, to be experienced by everyone in our lives. That we could combine our intentions and talents and love and create bliss

He cooked the most delicious dinner of lemon chicken and rice. He ordered a cake like the one from our wedding – vanilla cake and frosting, with strawberry filling. We put our cake topper on it and used the Lenox cake set for good measure.

He wrote me a heart-felt card. I wrote one back.

I ordered us a map from the mad mapper on Etsy. It’ll be of our neighborhood, of this apartment, where we came together as a family, where H proposed, our hub for wedding planning, and where we adopted Carter.

And while the day wasn’t a wild celebration of hotels, vacation, wine and adventure, it was us. Quiet, private, loving and reflective of our homelife.

Just like our proposal, our wedding, our love… our one year was perfect.

And if you feel like dancing with your honey… try our wedding song:

Hello Summer 2013

Today is the longest day of the year. Happy Summer!

The Sun moves from the fun-loving social, sign of Gemini into the home-loving, nurturing sign of Cancer. Being that this always feels like my luckiest and happiest time of the year, I am welcoming the transition with open arms.

Kicked off Summer 2013 a little early with my parents in town this past weekend and a trip down to Newport Beach. My brother lives 4 blocks from the beach (and you thought I was spoiled.) We visited him, laying on the hot sand, dipping toes in the ocean and enjoying the sun.

Our visitors and work has kept me from here for a bit, but I’m working on a plan to be here a lot more often. Hope you’re all well. xo

 

 

At Home, in the Blues

 

 

 

And then we went to the Doheny Blues Festival.

The weather was warm, and the music was hot. We baked in the sun all day, H getting a ridiculous farmer’s tan. I slathered on the SPF 50. We lounged in beach chairs, relaxing with 10k other people. Luckily, H found us a spot right on the edge of the last section where people were setting chairs down. We ate BBQ, funnel cake, and tacos, and drank lots of beer and wine.

At one point, waiting for the Tedeschi Trucks Band to go on, I feel asleep on a blanket we put out. The sun was just sliding behind a tree, and the shade felt warm and cool at the same time. I was tipsy from wine, belly full of tacos, and I just felt this delicious feeling of…

Summer

and

Love

and

Peace

Blue music has my heart-strings more than other music seems to move me.

I discovered Susan Tedeschi when I was about 15 yrs old – a neighbor bought me her CD saying I sounded like her. Well, I was flattered, because this woman could sing. And I wish I’d kept hold of that thread through music college, because I think of how much more singing I could’ve done if I’d chased after this line of music.

Those memories bring me back to being 16 yrs old, at music camp, and so in love with life (and a boy). How at home I felt, surrounded by people playing music, holding hands with this guy who looked past my eyes and into my soul, and away from my family for the first time.

I remember being in a vocal workshop and us all going around improv-ing these blue lyrics over some changes. And I remember feeling this instance in my body, and letting it come out my mouth, almost too late where I’d missed my cue… but I hadn’t. And after that exercise, the assistant teacher came over and complimented me on my timing, on my voice.

I’d really had something.

But the next few years proved to be challenging, and music went off my map, or maybe I went off it’s. I remember a few years later, one teacher said she didn’t know if I “couldn’t hear the right notes, of if you just have terrible pitch”. Contradictory feedback, eh? And the second came at $1000+ / credit. (shaking my head – like wtf?)

Regardless, being back in the sun and grass, hearing those guitars come charging through the afternoon heat, and Susan’s voice flooding my ears – it felt good to be back there.

Wherever that is.

A Note For My Mom

My mom doesn’t know I write this, but I’m hoping to share it with her soon. And if you read along, you know I don’t mention other people much because this is public and I respect their privacy. This account is more for me, and whoever else it may help if they stumble upon it.

But I wanted to drop a note here for her, for us, and where we are. It’s been over a year since we had our most horrible (and hopefully last) insane knock-down-drag-out fight. The kind where you scream and yell and then hang up on each other. The kind where you get into bed and cry the rest of the day. The kind where, if this were a relationship with a man, I would’ve left. Immediately.

I tried to write about my feelings here.

It’s also been over a year since my mom has taken control of her life, taking herself through a weight-loss program that also touched her soul. And thank God for that, because now we have a real relationship.

And so, here on Mother’s Day, I just want to say how proud I am of her in the changes she’s made, in her attitude shift that allows her to enjoy and cherish life again. And how lucky I am that she’s come back to us, that we can have a true friendship now at this time in our lives, that she can appreciate the life I have, and how my husband loves me, and all of life’s awesomeness in general.

When friends ask me for advice dealing with a parent who is acting crazy, I can only say so much. The frustrations and anger back then were almost too much to deal with – I really thought I was going to have to limit our relationship for my own protection. But now that things are so much better, I don’t have much advice at all, because I didn’t change.

My mom did.

And for that, I can celebrate this mother’s day more than any before. Love you mom. xo.

Birthday Bonus

On Saturday our friends had us over for power-hour, pizza, hot tub time and a music trivia game. We had to be there by 5pm, which is unusually early, but they had the whole evening scheduled.

And what an evening it was.

We were all pretty festive by 8pm. The night swung from inebriated singing to heart-felt conversations. My favorite part of the night was when one friend started asking questions like they do on In The Actor’s Studio. I love conversation like that, and hearing my friends talk about their favorite people in the world or a sound that they hate, was so awesome.

And of course, my sister and girlfriends conspired to have a birthday cake for me – a cheesecake – which was delicious. At least, what I remember eating of it.

We all lost track of time. It felt like 9pm perpetually, and somewhere after 1am I laid down on their couch and passed out.

H woke me up at 3:45am. I was having a wonderful cocooned floaty sleep, thinking I was home in my own bed. When he told me we were still at our friends’ house, I bolted upright. We’d been gone almost 12 hours and the poor pup was left alone that entire time! I was sober by then, downed some pizza, and rallied to drive us home.

I feel like this account does nothing to explain the fun, love and craziness we all shared that night. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the kind of nights you’re lucky to have in high school, when you’ve spent the entire day on the beach and the entire night in close proximity to someone you love so deeply your heart may explode.

The past few years, I’ve been good about making plans for my birthday, but this year I was in no mood. The weeks leading up were slow and I didn’t feel very happy. But this night was more than I could’ve planned, or asked for.

When it comes to this group of friends, I feel so blessed. It was the perfect way to usher in 29.