Mostly Good 14 Years

On this date, 14 years ago, we got married. (It’s a picture of a picture because we got married back before people got digital copies. In fact, I’m pretty sure our photographer shot using actual film.)

wedding

Now, the rule of thumb in pretty picturesque bloggerland is that you write the wonderful and amazing and good – especially about your spouse. Because it’s public. And you do not show your cracks in public. It’s better to make everyone think that you have it all under control and that your biggest problem is which pinterest project to tackle today.

Well, I’m going to say this: Jesse is wonderful and amazing and good. He’s also almost completely my opposite in every imaginable way so quite regularly drives me bat shit crazy. Honesty, folks. You’ll always find a good dose of that here. The reverse is also true (but Jesse would probably be too kind to ever say that because of that whole completely my opposite thing).

But in all seriousness, any of you who have been committed to someone for any length of time know that there are years and then there are years.  Some years are smooth sailing, some go by so uneventfully they are lost to the ether and then every so often…you’ll have a year full of surprises (and not the good kind of SURPRISE! but the Dear God, can we just catch a break, PLEASE), and setbacks, and life-altering-big-decision-where-do-we-go-from-here conversations, and all you can do is hold on and hope the crazy rollercoaster will stay on the rails. You know, a hard year.

We’ve had one of those.

I look at the picture of that young girl above. Her ideas about marriage, and life, and love were all so precious. She didn’t have one iota of a clue about what marriage looked like. She was completely oblivious the future times when the only thing holding it all together would be a scrap of love and a whole lot of white knuckled stubbornness. And I’m grateful for that…because I can tell you, that girl wouldn’t have done it.

This girl is glad she did. Because if I was going to white knuckle a part of my life with anyone, it would be Jesse for a million and one reasons. This isn’t that kind of post, so I won’t name them all here.

But he’s helped me build a life in the last 14 years that is wonderful, and amazing, and good. At least most of the time.

The Countdown Has Begun

quote

I’m loving this quote right now. We’ve been looking at to-do lists and saying “someday” or “when we get our plan in place” or “when we decide about…” and I’m over it. So this little mantra of mine (for the last two weeks anyway) and a general case of I-might-as-well are getting things done.

We are only a little over a week from school starting. Next week Wednesday, we will be meeting new teachers and putting school supplies in desks. Thursday, I will be dropping them off for their first day. Piano and dance lessons will start. Soccer’s fall season will resume. We will be busy. We are ready, but also wishing for a few more weeks of sunny days at the park or pool.  We are actively soaking up the lazy summer goodness while adjusting to school sleep schedules.

Knitting: I’m still working on those August socks. I just haven’t felt like knitting. I should have them done over a week ago and all I have left is one heel on one sock. I just can’t make myself.

Reading: I’m rereading Wurthering Heights. I collect these beautiful Coralie Bickford-Smith hardcover Penguin classics and I try to keep my purchases to books I’ve either read or books I’d like to read, but then I just set them on my shelves so they “look pretty”. I’m trying to remedy that by actually taking them out and using them. Because used books are prettier. Also the characters in this book are terrible. TERRIBLE.

Watching: I watched the second season of “Pushing Daisies” and enjoyed the whole show (though it really didn’t end the way I wanted). Next up was the movie “Seeking a Friend for the End of The World” which was so darkly funny. I laughed aloud often but I don’t know if other people will find it is comical as I did? Finally, I watched the first two episodes of “Stranger Things”. I was a little nervous because it’s labeled as “horror” and I’m such a wimp about reading or watching anything even slightly horrific. I’m too prone to the heebie jeebies and nightmares. In the first five minutes, I was sure there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to handle it, but it’s very well paced. The minute I start getting too creeped out, I’ll turn it off and find some comedy.

In my kitchen: I don’t know if it’s that we’ve had cooler temperatures lately or if it’s my need to try and eat healthier, but I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately.  I made these pistachio bites but I think next time I’m going to try making them with almond butter instead of emulsified dates to cut down on the sugar. We’ve also been loving this fresh rainbow salsa. We eat it with chips but yesterday I threw it over a grilled chicken breast and it was a super delicious way to add some veggies.

I’m also attempting my first quilt. I’m terrified. I spent over 3 hours getting the fabric laid out last night and I’m already certain that when I made my stacks again I screwed up the order so I’m going to have to check each individual row. I’m hoping to start actually sewing it once the kids are back at school but if I can get my August socks done yet in the next day or two, I may work on that instead.

What’s new with you?

Tuesday Things

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who messaged me, commented, sent me recipes for lemons on pinterest, offered me a hug and a listening ear. I appreciate all of you. I suck at uncertainty and yet, I’m in an uncertain place trying to figure my way forward (or even what direction is forward). Your kindness, thoughts, prayers, recipes mean a great deal. Moving on…

tuesdaythings

I just finished a 5 day burst of prednisone for an allergy issue. Because Jesse is a smart man, he took the kids to the cabin for the weekend and left me to my own devices (see: side effects include crankiness). The additional side effects of not being able to sleep or sit still may have something to do with all that I managed to get accomplished the last few days but who am I to look a chemically induced mania gift horse in the mouth? Yay, organization!

Watching: Pushing Daisies. I bought it off iTunes because my most trusted television advisor recommended it. It’s one of those shows that I feel you could watch again and again and again and keep finding new layers of awesome. It’s funny, sweet, poignant and clever. Basically, it’s perfect knitting television and I love it.

Knitting: I’m working on my August pair of socks for my Desert Vista Dyeworks Monthly Sock Club. I’m trying afterthought heels for the second time. I’ve finished one sock (without the heel) so far and I’m almost done with the toe on the second. I might actually get done in time this month to knit something besides socks for a bit. Though exactly what, I haven’t decided. And then…there’s only four months to go.

In other knitting news, I’m going on sock yarn diet. I had it all packed away from when we had the new flooring put in and while unpacking and organizing it, I realized that I have enough to make socks (and shawls and hats and all sorts of yarn goodies) for months if not years. Why does there have to be so many amazing dyers and yarn shops out there?!?

Reading: I was reading Frankenstein but I managed to misplace it just as it was getting good. I know it’s around – in a car, in one of the many totes we take from here to there, hiding under a piece of furniture but I haven’t felt a whole lot like reading since we got back from Michigan. I reread Little Women because I knew I had read it but remembered nothing about it and was kind of surprised. It just felt …trite? preachy? I don’t know. Two and a half stars. I also read The Hypnotists Love Story because Liane Moriarty is usually good for a beachy, poolside, summer read. It was good, not great, not even close to my favorite (Big Little Lies). The best I’ve read recently is Brown Girl Dreaming. I’m starting to think that I either need to read YA/Junior Fiction or classics. I’m really struggling with finding anything else these days.

What are you watching, reading, working on in your corner of the world?

When Life Gives You Lemons

lemon curd

Are we even allowed to talk about making lemonade out of lemons anymore? I mean, it was cliché before but Beyoncé has to have that trademarked. So as not to step on the Queen’s toes, I made lemon bars.

The last three months have been full of breathtakingly beautiful, and amazingly ordinary, and I’ve shared a lot of that. What I haven’t shared is the crap bag of difficult in between the beautiful and ordinary. The reasons for not sharing are many. 1) I’m not Anne LaMott and as much as I appreciate her writing, I am not the sole owner of this story. 2) I can’t do the words. Or at least I can’t make the words due justice to the experience.  3) I’m beginning to realize that sometimes it’s okay to say, “I’m going through a difficult time right now.” and not share the reason. And I know that there are people in the world who are going to judge that and roll their eyes and have something to say. So, if you’re one of those people, go find another blog. Because I need positive thoughts and prayers or whatever it is you put out into the universe for the people you care about and I don’t want to explain the details. (And it’s my little corner of the internet, so I get to do that here.)  There isn’t a reason for anyone to worry – we are all healthy, we are all going to be okay. I have just hit one of those bumps that life can throw at you. It’s hard, it sucks, I’m not exactly certain things are going according to plan. I don’t even know how to plan which alone tends to be a bit of a struggle for me. (Give me a problem and I’ll organize that bad boy into submission. See here, here, here, and here.)

Which brings me to the half a case of lemons that’s been sitting on my counter since Sunday, the perfect metaphor. When I agreed to split the case with my friend, I had all these ideas in my head of what I would make. Then they arrived and I was feeling kind of punky. Then once I started feeling better, it was hot and I had too many other things to handle. Then I used one and realized that they were larger than I had planned. I hated the stupid lemons sitting in that box. Sour, bigger and juicer than expected, useless because I didn’t want to deal with them. I wanted to leave them there to rot.

Which on top of being wasteful, never works.

So I searched and searched and searched for my favorite lemon bar recipe and couldn’t find it. Finally I gave in and pulled up another recipe that someone had recommended to me awhile ago (it was okay). I’d like to find my other one. In my searching, I found a recipe for raspberry lemon muffins. And strawberry (or raspberry) lemon popsicles. And I juiced and juiced and juiced and poured that juice into ice cube trays so that I’ll have “fresh” lemon juice on hand.

I made a plan to get through that box. And I’m loving all the tart and juicy goodness.

I wish everything was that simple.