Starbucks

As cliche as it sounds, starbucks was where I slowly fell in love with my husband.

When we started dating it was immediately a long-distance affair. He lived an hour away from me and could only afford to come visit with me on the weekends. When he did come home, a lot of times he was so busy with school (that’s what I got for dating a mechanical engineer….) and had so much homework that we’d spend the weekends at starbucks: he was doing homework and I was reading. But we had so much fun together and between complex equations and copious amounts of reading, we talked about a lot.

Starbucks was at the center of our relationship; I was very literally ‘Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop’ (you’re welcome for that bit of sappy, love-sickness…)

We decided the name of our future children over chai tea lattes; we discussed what we thought about religion and politics over caramel macchiatos; we dreamed up our future home over iced, green tea.

Hours sped by too fast as we opened up our hearts to each other.

Tonight, we had one of our first starbucks dates in a long time; we dreamed and laughed and joked and flirted just like the old days. Conversation going from funny to serious like a rollercoaster.

So thanks Starbucks, I owe you one!

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Last Weekend

I’m coming off a high and if I don’t write about it now the moments will lose their potency.

My family came to visit me last weekend and it was so wonderful. I was able to participate in a way I wasn’t while they were here for his birth.

It was a Friday night and as soon as they walked in the door they made a beeline for my son’s room to watch him sleep–which turned into him waking up to coos and kisses from all four of them.

There was lots of baby snuggles and lots of laughter. Late night trips to Wal-Mart and binging on the junkiest of junk foods. Belated birthday presents. Dancing to Bob Marley at breakfast. Hair cutting and coloring hair unicorn colors. Bonfires, smores and guitar playing; interperative dancing and stupid made up songs. Wheel barrow races, piggy back races, cartwheels and headstands. Amazing spaghetti and tipsy laughter. Watching/making fun of the movie Twilight and laughing until our ribs were sore and the glorious moment when the baby slept through it all!

When they left on Monday all I knew was that it wasn’t long enough and distance is a heartless bitch.

Watching my son interact with his Pepere, Birdy, Aunt Douglas and Ayou was such a wonderful experience; one that I hope to witness more and more through the years.

So until next time family; no one knows how to do family quite like you guys.

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Secret Confessions of a Bad-ass Wannabe

I have always wanted to be perceived as the heroine, the bad-ass, the one who takes charge of situations and doesn’t back down. A girl whose bravery took people aback; who could speak her mind without there being a tremor of fear in her voice.

I want to be that girl who could hold her own in a fight; like the Bride in Kill Bill, Catwoman, Ellen from Supernatural and Michone from The Walking Dead.

This girl can teach the boys a thing or two about being tough. She can keep up with the baddest of the boys and give them a run for their money.

A motorcycle riding, hair whipping, red lipstick wearing, punch throwing, smack talking, tattoo sporting bad-ass.

And it’s not for lack of trying…no! The problem is, if I do those things they come across as cute no matter how tough I make myself out to be. It seems the more tough I try to be the more adorable people think I am; it’s incredibly frustrating.

My sister’s favorite taunt when I’m trying to be tough is, “I can be hardcore.”

This is a quote from Bubbles on the Powerpuff girls; me and my sisters are the Powerpuff girls. My youngest sister is Buttercup because of her tough, outer shell and short hair. My middle sister is Blossom, because of her red hair, bangs and sweet attitude with a touch of bossiness. Me….I’m Bubbles, because I’m the cute one; because the things that Bubbles says are exactly the kind of things I would say.

When I do daring, dangerous things, people get worried about me rather than awing at my bravery. When my sisters look tough and amazing in our grunge inspired photoshoot, I’m the one derping around in the background and taking cutsie pictures because I don’t know how to look tough.

Growing up, when I would get mad at my sisters they would laugh at me! To this day I am mocked for my angry face. Even my husband says that I’m going to have the hardest time being mad at our children because my angry face is just going to make them laugh.

I don’t get taken seriously when I’m angry; instead I’m the laughing stock…

I am not (and will never be) perceived as a bad-ass–I will always be the cute one.

It’s something I have fought my entire life, but I’m learning to just embrace it. Because you know what, there is a bad-ass hiding in me somewhere. The cuter I am, the less you’ll see it coming……..

Bubbles 4

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Hands

I’ve been fascinated by hands for as long as I can remember. At a very young age I would memorize the veins, lines and shape of my mom’s hands. The way her ring would twist on her finger. The way my dad’s hands were rough and gentle at the same time.

To me, hands are incredibly beautiful. I always felt like I understood someone better by knowing their hands.

I was always particularly fascinated by the hands of the woman who played the piano at the church I attended as a girl. Every Sunday morning after church, I would run up to the piano so I could watch her play as people left. Her pale, almost transparent skin stretched thinly, just barely veiling thin, slender, bony fingers. Blue-green veins rippled under her skin as her hands moved effortlessly over the keys.

And as I’ve grown older, I’ve loved to watch the hands of the ones I love change as time steals by; leaving work and stories etched into every line and contour. Young hands of little girls turn into womanly, delicate hands. The hands of grown-ups grow thinner, veins protrude from underneath thin skin. And yet some details remain the same; a scar, a freckle, certain lines.

On the night I fell in love with my husband, he played his guitar for me. And as I watched his hands strumming out a Coldplay tune for me; as I memorized the beautiful shape of his hands and fingers, I knew I would watch those hands grow old.

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Dreaming Of Summer

As we delve deeper into the mild, tender days of spring, I find myself dreaming of summer.

What is it about summer that makes everything magical?

I love everything about summer: the splash of icy water that relieves you from the heat, whether at the lake or the pool. Lazy afternoons spent in the sunshine with a book, good music and a coca-cola. The smell of sun screen, sun tan lotion or bug spray permeate every outdoor activity. Late night bonfires and making smores. The fireworks during the Fourth of July. Ice cream and snow cones. Barbecues in the background where friends gather over burgers and a beer. The long days that slowly and hazily drift into dreamy nights. Gorgeous sunsets where jewel-like colors splash the sky. The feel of the sun on bare legs and arms. Night swimming with best friends. Walks in the muggy evening. Driving fast on the interstate at night with all the windows down and the music turned all the way up. Spending hours on the beach. Making tie-dye shirts and fingers being stained a rainbow of colors. Afternoons in the hammock. Tubing on the lake.

Summer makes my heart beat fast and reminds me that life is supposed to be lived wildly and recklessly because we only have so much of it to live. Summer is incredibly magical and it seems to be over too fast–I feel like that’s what makes me devour every single second of it as much as I can.

Summer is on its way and I welcome its youthful presence happily.

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The Hundred Acre Woods

Behind my childhood home, there was a hundred acres of woods. They didn’t belong to us but the owner had told us we could meander throughout their wilderness as much as we wanted–we definitely took them up on that offer.

Those woods were incredibly magical and we had all kinds of adventures in them.

At the end of our driveway was one, solitary, street light and one night it went out. There were no other street lights nearby and a darkness so deep feel upon our home and the woods. It was summer and I went out onto our back porch and there, in the woods, hundreds of fireflies were twinkling in the darkness. I have never witnessed anything more enchanting in my life.

Every Thanksgiving, after we had stuffed ourselves to bursting and we’d cleaned up the kitchen. We put on layers of clothes and went out into the woods for a walk. A short walk deep into the woods and you would come upon a small creek that ran throughout. Me and my sisters (and any friends that happened to be over) would all slip off our shoes and sink our feet and calves into the icy stream. We’d follow the creek as far as we could until we heard the distant voices of our parents calling us back. The walk home was made with numb feet and wet shoes and socks.

There was one night I had my friend come spend the night with me and the next morning we decided to dress up like princesses and go play pretend in the woods. Me, my sisters and my friend spent many an hour on our appearance–we had to look like for real princess! With giddy excitement, we greeted the crisp autumn air in light, flowy dresses and cloaks. We ran out into the woods and decided we should dip our dainty, princess feet into the creek. We began the trek into the woods and five minutes later we came upon a man dressed in camo and orange–a hunter! He had a gun slung over his shoulder and very sternly he said to us, “Where do you girls think you’re going?” We must have made an odd sight as we told him we were just going for a walk. He then told us very seriously, “You are all going to go back home, it’s hunting season and you could get seriously hurt. Where do you live?” He asked. We explained it wasn’t far and he motioned for us to turn around and march back. He followed us home to make sure we made it home safely. As our home came into view, he stopped me (the obvious leader of the group) and lectured me on the importance of safety in the woods during hunting season. My cheeks were crimson from embarrassment and anger that he had cut our game short.

We filmed many a magical, princess movie in those woods. We escaped from scary witches; we were sisters that enjoyed frolicking together; there was an especially dramatic movie where 5 princess sisters go to play in the forest and they all get separated by an unknown and unseen force. Back in the day, it was our cinematic masterpiece.

Those woods were an escape for me as a young teenager as I filled my head with fairytales. I so wished to be the heroine in those stories, the ones that prove their bravery and ride off into the sunset with their prince charming. If Disney has taught us anything, it’s that the heroine’s life begins when she meets someone in the forest…and I wanted it to be my turn so badly. I used to take long walks by myself, especially in the fall and just let my thoughts wander; we had a beagle at the time that would follow me during my walks, making sure that I was safe. There were many times we would stumble upon a herd of deer, their big ears and soulful eyes pricking up at my presence; for a moment all was still as we observed each other. A quiet moment of two different creatures watching each other and then the heart throb moment as the stillness was shattered by hooves beating into the earth in escape.

I miss the woods a lot. I think in a way those hundred acres embody the childhood of me and my sisters. The sweet smell of the earth and the stillness of it’s cathedral trees whisper of our laughter and adventures. The times we escaped into it’s quiet for comfort; the way it’s peace was so tangible it was something you could wrap around you like a blanket or a scarf against the cold.

We were raised to enjoy the wild taste of nature in the depths of that forest. In a way, I think the mother-like comfort of that forest has wrapped its roots around my heart and followed me as I left.

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Heartstrings Hurt

I received a text from my youngest sister today about the soundtrack for one of our favorite movies.

It read something like this:

“You know that feeling when you feel something so hard it’s almost like your heart has to work extra hard just to beat? I have that now and I can’t handle the feels!”

I’ve spent my entire life trying to explain that feeling and she summed it up in one sentence!

That feeling is something I get most often when listening to good music–the kind that pierces into your soul and makes you feel things that you didn’t know were there. I get that feeling when a thunderstorm rolls in during the spring and summer; the trees are so green and the sky is so dark and there’s this smell in the air that is unlike any other. I get that feeling during my favorite parts in movies; the parts where it doesn’t seem like a movie but like you’re watching real life unfold in front of you.

Having your heartstrings pulled is a painfully beautiful thing. But in those moments I’ve never felt more alive.

So here’s to the people who feel things so deeply it becomes physically painful–I salute you!

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