Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: memories

Recently (February 2015)

finishing editing meeting minutes for a big deal meeting. this is much harder than I anticipated.

rolling with doing work when I have the energy, ignoring time and day of the week

going to so.many.places, starting with Austin next week.

updating the blog, moving it to a new home with a new look. Stay tuned!

watching Fargo (my Martin Freeman crush is deep). Walking Dead. Hockey. Can’t wait to binge-watch House of Cards.

reading Station 11. Just finished The Bone Clocks and Me Talk Pretty One Day.

remembering being read to as a kid, especially Charlotte’s Web at school and Little Women by my grandmother at home.

quitting alcohol, going on 3 weeks

thinking about creating a podcast

celebrating my birthday

loving H’s support, and how he’s obsessed with listening to a book on tape.

drinking hot chocolate with coffee

dreaming of babies #notpregnant

wearing a random assortment of pajama-like clothing

missing Stephanie

listening to Book Riot, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, Dabbles vs Doers and the Nerdist podcasts.

planning many, many trips

embracing the next few months are not what I thought they’d be, including 6 flights, but it should all still be pretty awesome.

spending less money, despite said trip planning travels.

wishing I could read in the bathtub all day, everyday. Actually, wishing for a better tub in general. (Birthday gift?)

feeling grateful this post-event season feels easier than other years

obsessed with Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (you’re welcome)


The 4th



Happy 4th of July weekend.

The 4th holds many memories for me: driving from Long Island to Philly in traffic after our engagement party. That could’ve been the year H’s grandpa passed away suddenly. Another visit to Philly had us laid out on blankets in a park, in walking distance from his other grandparents’ home, watching fireworks. One year H went back East and I stayed here at this same apartment, walking miles with a friend to see the same firework show I saw tonight. Some years we didn’t see fireworks at all, like when my cousin got married and it was pouring rain. Or last year before our wedding, when the fireworks were scheduled for a day that wasn’t the 4th.

Back in high school, we’d all go down to Pirate’s Cove and camp… dragging supplies of grills, tents, beer and food in backpacks and via little boats. Walking, we had to beat the tide or else we wouldn’t be able to get around. I remember someone had a portable grill with a griddle and was frying eggs the next morning. I don’t remember sleeping, ever. It seems like a dream now, those nights. Walking the dunes, making out with a boyfriend, peeing in bushes…

There was one 4th that I fell hard for a guy that was all wrong for me. It’s so long ago, sometimes it feels like it didn’t happen. But it did.

And yesterday was the most normal July 4th I’ve had in forever. We slept in, took the dog to the park. We went out to our favorite breakfast place and ate pancakes and french toast and sipped coffee that was mostly creamer. We cleaned up and packed up and drove to the beach. Somehow received a parking miracle and found a patch of sand. It was crowded. We met my sister and some friends, but for a while, it was just H and I. He surfed. I read a book. Friends arrived and there were drinks. We left to go back home to feed and walk the dog, shower, and then biked back. It felt so good to be flying through the streets on my cruiser. We hung out in a bar, walked a ways to the firework show, and made it just in time.

They were huge, and magical, and loud. H kissed me with excitement. At the prettiest ones, the big golden ones that seem to shimmer and wave into the darkness, I would hear a small sound come out of my mouth – an actual “ohh” or “ahh”. They are so wonderful. I wish we had them at other times in the year. Checking that off the summer manifesto list.

I love fireworks. And I love July for all of its summer loving.


Wrote this very early this morning, up with a sick pup. It’s working out though, since I’m not very tired anyways. 

2013 Summer Manifesto

At first I thought, “No way. Not another list with more pressure added to having the perfect experience, trying to live my days like the unachievable images on the interwebs.” Ahem, Pinterest.

But then I got to thinking. We’re young, married, renters, child-free with good incomes — we could have the best.summer.ever. Minus the pressure. We could set some seriously fun intentions for the next 2 months.

So I wrote up a sort of wish list. It ended up being exactly 30 items, though some things (like “revamp the apartment”) will have multiple steps. Even if I do 10 of these things, it’ll make for some awesome memories.

Kind of already got a head start when my parents were in town. Mom took me out for a mani/pedi and we spent a good chunk of time Newport Beach, welcoming in summer. So we’ll see how the rest goes. Thinking it’s gonna make for a pretty sweet collage come September.

See the sunrise
See the sun (set at the ocean)
Eat at Malibu Seafood
Read 4 books, 1 LA noir
(Currently reading 3… World War Z, The Untethered Soul & Made To Stick)
Take a weekend trip (Visit L&T 8.16.13)
Do a LONG hike (8/2/13 Probably only 3m, but it was TOUGH)
Eat a perfect peach (8.8.13 delicious sliced peach in a fruit salad during a work mtg)
Dive into Ali Edward’s Hello Story (7/24/13)
Hang some plants
Participate in August Break (Started 8/1/13)
Play Cards Against Humanity (7/27/13)
Take a silhouette photo
Get a mani/pedi (6/20/13)
AZ River Trip (7/27/13)
Swim in a pool (6/30/13)
Spend the entire day on the beach (6/15/13)
Bike to Playa Del Rey (walked this path on 7/7/13 but still want to bike)
Run – a trail, the beach path, a 5 miler
Create a feather wall
Finish up my digital scrapbooking class
Write a song and record it (with H)
Eat a tomato from our plant (7/22/13)
DTLA art walk
Make and eat s’mores (7/6/13)
See fireworks (7/4/13)
Celebrate our one year (Weekend of 7/5/13)
Take a day off just for me
See an action movie (We binge-watched 70+ episodes of Battlestar Galactic – this so counts)
Grill a perfect steak (8.11.13)
Revamp the apartment

*Inspired by Ali Edwards and Kelly Purkey
*If you’ve written up a summer manifesto, please share it with me. I love reading them. xo

Since this summer has been so awesome, I wanted to add a few items that weren’t on the list. Most are from our trip to Philly – and I plan on a better recap post – but adding these things here for now: kayaked for the first time, climbed a rock wall for the first time, swam and jumped at Dutch Springs, saw a Phillies game, ate a cheesesteak, visited Love Park, ran the Philly Art Museum stairs (like Rocky), saw a concert with friends, had my sister babysit Carter, clean our apartment and buy us flowers, started organizing the wedding planning scrapbook, H had our wedding photos printed up, and ate at Wawa (3x – ugh).

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I’m getting married. Whew. There, I said it. I find that with all the time we’re putting into planning the actual wedding, I haven’t thought much about getting married.

Add to that the kicking and thrashing I’ve done against having a registry and I sound like a spoiled child. I know, I know, but we thought that since we’re blessed with jobs, an apartment, and surely enough stuff for two people, the last thing we want is *more* stuff. We registered for our honeymoon, and let me tell you, that did not go over well. Apparently you’re supposed to have a bridal shower so people can buy you things you “need” and you can’t expect people to show up to a party without gifts. Tangible, bought-from-Target-has-a-matching-placemat gift. Apsht.

ANYWAYS – whether I can wrap my head around “upgrading” my “stuff” because we’re “starting our lives together” or not, I’m not gonna lie – I was freakin’ delighted that the above showed up on my doorstep.

Score one for my grandma. She plucked the green tea kettle right off my registry and promptly sent it along with a note that said “Tea for two” before other guests even received their shower invitation. I can’t tell you how awesome this is – that my first shower gift happens to be one of the most coveted on my registry and that my Grandma, who instilled in me a love of tea and elephants and Scrabble, is the one who gifted it.

It makes me think about traditions and family and all those awesome things that getting married should bring up (as opposed to panic about who to invite or sadness over not being able to afford a live band).

Growing up, my grandma (mom’s mom) babysat us a lot. And we had this pink plastic tea set. She’d fill the teapot with warm Lipton, and the little milk carafe and sugar bowl for us too. Then we’d each fill up our tiny teacups, mostly with sugar, and pretend we were sophisticated people. At least I did. Pretty sure my sister was tending to her stuffed animals and my brother was trying his hardest not to break anything so Grandma didn’t “holler” (her word, not mine).

I was her first grandchild and she spoiled me. Today was no different.

“Hi Grandma. Thanks! Yours was the first gift to arrive. I love it.”

“Oh, well. That’s good. I was the first one there when you were born too because I was down in my office and the nurses called me”.

And as I told her about how we struggled with the honeymoon registry being “acceptable” and that I was happy she liked both our Kohls registry and the honeymoon one, she said, “Well, it’s just very different, your generation from mine. Still, you’ll have some of these items for a long time and when you use them you’ll think ‘so-and-so gave us that’.”

She’s right. Now every time I boil water in my green kettle, I’ll think of her.

Let’s Hear It For New York

I wasn’t going to write about 9/11, but this came out in my morning pages today…

Yesterday, I heard this woman on NPR speak about her husband dying in the World Trader Center attacks. I still can’t fathom all of that completely…

I was at school, senior year. 17 years old. It was 1st or 2nd period. I’d made an excuse to go to my locker, to skip class for a few minutes, when I saw a friend in the hall. He’s an anarchist, so when he said something about NYC being attacked I thought he was joking. Even having grown up on Long Island, I didn’t understand where the towers were or what “an attack” on them could mean.

He pulled me into the principal’s office where news coverage was streaming on the huge TV mounted in the corner. I don’t know how long we were there, but we ended up back in class, AP Environmental Science (which we affectionally dubbed APES). By that time another friend, who always arrived late with dramatic flair, had appeared with a video tape of the morning news that he’d captured at home and brought in.

Rumor was a kid or two in the Middle School had a parent there. Maybe there were announcements and / or an assembly but I remember we were told to just go to class as normal. Then I was in the AV room – they had small TV monitors the could access cable on.

Back then I didn’t have an iPad, iPhone, iPod. We couldn’t get on a computer. I didn’t even have a cell phone. Did I call home rom the payphone and Mom said we should stay at school? Did I go and try to find my brother, who was in 10 grade, or my sister who was in 8th grade? My memory runs blank.

Eventually we did get home. School seemed business as usual though the day probably fell apart. At home I don’t recall my parents looking worried or talking about it. The guy I was dating at the time, secretly no less, came by my house. I remember being outside in the cul-de-sac with him, the sun setting behind him, a slight chill in the air. He’d gone surfing that morning with a friend and then his friend went to work in Manhattan. He hadn’t heard from him all day. I don’t think we ever did.

We went back to school the next day to our first APES lab period outside. It was humid, but cool, the sun just starting to burn off the dew. We could smell something burning. Our teacher informed us in her delicate English accent that it was, in fact, NYC smoldering. She also made it a lecture point to contemplate the health ramifications of being anywhere near Ground Zero.

We heard of friends’ siblings walking across the bridges to get home, especially my one close friend’s brother. The days were odd and scary. Off kilter, moving in a haze. The world changed. But then I was caught up in the biggest web of my life and any matters outside of my own minuscule high school head didn’t matter. The person I was Summer 2001 was lost until this year, 2011.

So in a way, this is a 10th anniversary for me, because I can only related to these tragedies from where I stand. I didn’t know anyone who died. I didn’t become politically embroiled or torture myself by rereading stories from widows or 911 calls. My survival instinct went into overdrive and I avoided it. All of it.

But I’ve always felt myself a New Yorker first, and an American second, so it’s intriguing that 10 years from the day my home was attacked, I find myself in Los Angeles. And loving it. And leaning more and more towards staying here. Or that it’s taken me 9 years to come back to the self that I shot off from back then. That I’m more me now than I’ve been since I was 17.

But that’s all for another post. For tonight, I’m relishing the first Jets game of the season, being in my own home with my fiance and doggie, and so grateful for all of those people who rallied, rescued, supported, saved, walked, and died that day.

Let’s hear it for New York…

Moment Alive

It was quiet. He caught me as I walked in the door and blocked my view. He seemed excited, nervous. My head was dizzy from the bright light of the foyer, the dim light behind him. The hour-long massage had loosened my muscles – I felt pliable and chilly. I wanted a warm blanket and sleep, but we had the whole night ahead of us.

Right beyond the foyer, the living room was set with a small table and chairs, candles running along the bookcases, pizza and wine set on the side. My emotions hummed. He had spent the time I was at my massage recreating one of our dearest memories.

It had been my 19th birthday. We were two college kids with no money, living out of each other’s dorm rooms in the middle of a freezing Boston winter. February is the bleakest month, but the wind off the Charles River makes it feel ceaseless. Any comfort, any sign of life is a tiny sparkle that will carry you through May.

That night he gathered his money and bought me pizza and wine. He asked my roommates for privacy. It was the sweetest thing. We ate and then napped. Later on we ventured out into the brisk, icy city to walk to Starbucks. We bought chai teas and walked to the middle of the Mass Ave bridge. The wind whipped over the bridge, the city lights reflected back off the river. I felt electric.

But here we were in LA now, 8 years later, with break-ups and reconciliations, cross-country telephone calls and long distance behind us. We have an apartment we decorated, merged our things into joint closets, and adopted a dog. It felt like a home life, so for him to pull that Boston birthday back into existence here and now was magical.

We ate gourmet pizza and drank red wine, just like back then. And we talked for hours. It meant so much to me that he shared his memories and feelings about all we had done together, recapping the foundation of our relationship. I’ve witnessed this man emerge from a sweet boy, a boy I knew in my heart of hearts was there to support and care for me, to create a nurturing love.

As the pizza disappeared and the wine made my face flush, I hoped this would be it, but I still didn’t know. I found myself sitting on his lap, ready to kiss him goodnight and turn in, but he held me there. He said, “You know I love you and there’s no one else I want to be with.”

My heart raced. He started to stand up and my hands began to shake. I think I started crying. I don’t remember what else he said, but he was on one knee and I was kissing him saying “yes”.