Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Vacation

If you recall, last year was the worst Christmas ever because of complications from my neck surgery. So it makes this year's trip home all the sweeter. We leave tomorrow for a week and a half in the snowy mountains of Colorado. I'm most excited for Claire who will get to soak up all the love and attention from her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Also that she'll experience Santa and all the presents for the first time (well, not the first time, but memories are starting to form now and she'll remember it). I'm also excited because my social calendar is full! I really miss my family and I'm looking forward to some one-on-one time with each of my little sisters, with my mom, and then the times we'll have celebrating with the families at large gatherings. I'm looking forward to sharing my favorite childhood Mexican restaurant with Claire - that is more about the Disney-esque entertainment than the food (I saw my first man in Speedos diving off a waterfall there). And, of course, I'm really excited about taking 2 nights just for Huz and I (the first 2 consecutive nights alone together since Claire was born!) in Vail. We'll go skiing, shopping, eating, and plenty of soaking in the Jacuzzi.

Blogging might be sparse in the next few weeks as I make room for family and fun, but I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful holiday full of love and peace.



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:16 PM

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Infestations and Cute Hats

Huz and I are relatively new Joss Whedon fans. We have faithfully watched Dollhouse* over the last year and are amazed by the philosophical and ethical themes that a sci-fi television show can have, if done right. Of course the world doesn't seem to appreciate the intricacies of selfhood, desire, and the fine line of morality within the context of trafficking human bodies, so the show is being canceled. I hate FOX. If So You Think You Can Dance was on any other channel, I'd boycott. Anyway, since we've come to appreciate his work (Huz also watched Firefly which I didn't like), we started watching (cringe, I know) Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It sounded so cheesy at first and I resisted watching it, but we've really come to enjoy it. It's silly and sometimes dumb, but the characters are well developed and there is a lot to glean from them - from gender roles to teenage angst to accepting fate and making your own way in the world. The last episode we watched was rather dumb; it entailed the high school swim team taking steroids and turning into swamp creatures of some kind.

*Huz recently started writing guest posts about Dollhouse on a friend's tv blog. Check it out.

I came home yesterday afternoon and experienced a similar infestation, just not swamp creatures. Some how our kitchen had been taken over by bugs - there were ants on the kitchen counter and on the window sill, there were two lady bugs repeatedly crashing their hard bodies into the kitchen light (click, click, click), and then there was a big black spider crawling on the kitchen ceiling. I handled the ants alright, joyfully smashing them with a paper towel, then I ran out to the garage and got some bug killer to spray on the outside of the window where it looked like they were coming in. The lady bugs were more annoying than scary, but the big black spider on the ceiling? By that time I had had enough with insects in my house and spiders kind of creep me out. I screamed like a girl (but I AM a girl!) but Huz wouldn't save me because he was busy cooking dinner. So I stuck it out, got the vacuum cleaner out and sucked it into oblivion. I hope I can come home tonight to a swamp creature-free kitchen!

In other, more crafty, news, I decided to try my hand at knitting something other than a scarf this weekend. It had been at least a year since I had knit anything, so after a few quick YouTube tutorials (I seriously forgot how to cast on using just one needle), I was on my way. And I made this. In just two evenings. I'm so very proud of myself, especially because when I presented it to Claire this morning she immediately put it on. Yeah! I can knit something 3D! I see matching mittens in her future.



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:45 AM

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What Does The Number 15 Mean?

Fifteen. I remember being that age - I was deeply in love at fifteen. I gave myself to a boy for the first time at fifteen. It was a boy in my high school who was not in my clique of friends and who everyone was surprised that I started seeing (or, as we said in those days, "going out with"). I was a cheerleader who ran with a smart, but not nerdy, crowd - all my friends and I were in the Honor Roll, sang in the choir, and participated in all the school plays and musicals. He was a long-haired, ear-ringed, goateed guy who ran on the track team. He was brilliant but was bored by school and he didn't bother going to many of his classes. He wrote amazing poetry and he listened to a wide array of music, from alternative to punk to jazz. He was rebellious and starkly different from the other boys at school. He was a stranger who wasn't tall, but was certainly dark and handsome. I was strangely attracted to him - stronger than any other teenage crush I had experienced in my short life. What did he see in me? Must have been my goofiness, sarcasm, and free-flowing love. They say opposites attract and we did.

It was fifteen years ago, in December 1994, only a few months after graduating from high school, that I married this boy. My parents were shocked and upset by the news of our engagement. I distinctly remember my dad quoting statistics that it wouldn't last longer than a year and my grandma told me I dropped "a bombshell" on the family with the news. We thought we knew what we were doing, but in all honesty I was scared to death and we had no idea what we were doing - how could we? I, at a tender age of 18 and after going through a huge religious experience, could not know what to look for in a life partner.

And yet.

We've made it work for fifteen years. That number is staggering to me. How can I be old enough to be married for fifteen years? I have to believe that Providence had a hand in our relationship - that spark and connection we felt way back when we were only youngsters, it remains today. It's cheesy, but I feel as if we were meant to be. I found my soul mate - I'm lucky and I know it.

We celebrated last night with pre-dinner drinks at Nashville's best speak easy (I asked for something with ginger and pear and I received a lovely cocktail with sugared ginger and great spicy pear flavor) and Huz had a wonderful bourbon cocktail with coffee liquor and other goodness. We ate at a wonderful new restaurant called Miel. We enjoyed our meal very much. I started with a cheese plate that had 5 samplings of cheese from mild goat to salty sheep to an Italian cousin of Parmesan to a surprisingly strong brie to a sharp Irish blue. He had foie gras (sorry, PETA, but fifteen years is a big deal). For my entree I had an off-menu special that the chef had created that evening: suckling pork in a rich, earthy sauce served over roast squash and brie and cremini mushroom risotto. It was big and bold (I'm eating the leftovers for lunch as we speak) and amazing. Huz enjoyed a gorgeous venison dish with pureed cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and spaetzel. We both enjoyed a bottle of Cotes Du Rhone (it's amazing how we used to struggle to get a bottle of wine down - what does that say about us now!?) and shared an amazing little dessert of pecan tart with chicory coffee ice cream. They served it with a long golden candle lit in honor of Huz's belated birthday and our anniversary. The meal, the service, the conversation, and the company were all wonderful. I am very much looking forward to the continuation of our celebration as we take two days alone together in the beautiful town of Vail, Colorado in a couple of weeks. We will enjoy being just the two of us in this lovely room with this lovely Jacuzzi! Woot!

Huz - I'll say it a million times over, but I am so blessed to have you as my best friend, my spouse, my lover, and my partner in parenting the lovely child we have created together. Thank you for who you are, for what you mean to me and Claire, and for loving me unconditionally through all the ups and downs over the last 15 years. I adore you.



Prom 1992
prom 1992

Homecoming 1993
Homecoming - 1993

Our wedding 1994

The Best Day Ever 2007

December 2009
464 further cropped (1 of 1)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:38 AM

Friday, December 4, 2009

T-Day Report and The Virus

Thanksgiving was a blast. Seriously the best one I've ever had. We hosted 4 friends and 1 toddler which made our little house hum with chatter and little toddler squeals (both of delight and also in argument over lack of toddler sharing ability). We all ate dinner together at one table and one of the best parts of the evening came when I asked everyone to go around the table and give thanks. I started and gave thanks to each and every one of them since this very time last year I was being diagnosed and operated on for thyroid cancer. It was the scariest time of my life, yet I survived it thanks to the faithful love and support of my family and friends. Each person had a unique thing to be thankful for and there were tears of joy (and sorrow) in my eyes for each of my friends and husband. It was a beautiful little moment, despite the toddlers fighting at one point and one of my friends saying, "quiet, kids! can't you see we're trying to have some adult emotion over here?" Laughter was the obvious response.

After dinner we put the kiddos to bed (Claire in her room, of course, and Mya in a pak n' play in our room). Claire went, surprisingly, right down without a peep and after only a few minutes of protest from Mya, the adults had the evening to themselves. And what mischief we did make with many glasses of bacon-infused bourbon drinks and wine. I drank way too much and was obnoxious, but I was in good, obnoxious company so it didn't matter. In fact, the soberest of them all started body painting with whipped cream! I kid you not. I have pictures to prove it, but they might disown me if I post them.

The next day was filled with a hangover head ache for me. I still did a maternity photo shoot for neighbor friends in the afternoon, but I felt like hell. Or, at least I thought I did. The next morning I woke up REALLY feeling like hell. That is the day that The Virus attacked my body. From body aches, to head aches, to swollen, sore glands, to a sore throat, to an ear infection, to congestion and coughing....I have had it all these past 7 days. I'm FINALLY turning a corner (and just came back to work yesterday), but it lingers on. I hope and pray that this is the end of being sick this year because I do NOT need another ruined Christmas. I plan on celebrating my 15th anniversary with Huz next week and then the week after that we're flying home to Colorado for Christmas. Please let me be healthy for it this time!!!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday and that you stay healthy. I am grateful for health and when it's gone I sure realize how much I take it for granted.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:33 AM

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