Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can we really have it all?


I am over-committed.

I definitely DON'T mean this in the, 'I'm sporting the jacket with the buckles, my roommate has invisible friends' kind of way. It's more the 'Oh! Of course I can help you by baking a dozen cookies even though I have three other events this weekend to attend/help/host' way.

It starts innocently enough - weekly bible study? - sure, it's just one day...and then, choir? - why not, again, it's only one day and before you know it, you have something scheduled every day of the week. And it's not like the commitments themselves are bad - being in community and of service is great for both intra- and inter-personal relationships. But doing all of this has come at an expense, and one I'm not sure I realize I've been paying for quite some time now.

Two examples of where this has hit really hard in the last few weeks are time with my husband and time with myself. In the case of my husband we have very opposite work schedules, so our time is limited, and I do treasure it. But what I didn't realize was that when I do get to spend time with him, I'm often burnt out from a full week of activities, work, and interactions, so I feel like I can never give him 100%...and that's not fair to him, me or our relationship! Yikes!

And with regard to time with myself, introspection is great, but what I really mean here, is doing things that feed me, personally; things such as reading, creative/artistic pursuits, painting, etc. I haven't even tried painting in so long, in part because I have a phobia of the white page, but also because I never allow myself a large enough chunk of the day where my mind is still functional to even TRY to put something down. What personal time I do have, anymore, is spent watching DVDs or early episodes of Gossip Girl because I'm just to wiped to do anything else. Not good.

So, are there enough hours in the day to do it all? Maybe. But not for me.

I keep thinking about the idea of 'having (doing) it all' and what that means in my life.
I've realized lately that perhaps that perhaps you CAN have it all, but then, you have to MANAGE it all too; and I don't know if I'm very good at managing it all...I feel more like I'm just fighting/managing chaos!

So it's time to take a step back. I haven't developed a plan of attack, but my weekly schedule needs to go on a diet. Carry less weight. Work more efficiently. Be healthy.
I know that like any good diet it's a balance of saying no AND yes to things in moderation, but where that balance is, I've not quite decided. All I know is that things need to change.
**Photo courtesy of parentsconnect.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nesting...

This weekend Matt and I were able to grab some time and visit Potterybarn and Restoration Hardware. First of all, who doesn't love the Restoration Hardware aesthetic? Okay, I know some might not, but it's definitely our cup of tea...but the prices? Seriously? I get paying for quality, but there's a line, and I think RH is flirting with it.
Back to our shopping trip. We were looking for some things to spruce up our place and here are some of the things we walked away with:




Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Set
(Photo courtesy of Potterybarn.com)

Matt had the brilliant idea of buying some Christmas things that are unique to us and our new traditions, and so we chose the Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Set. They are beautiful glass ornaments with vintage pictures and small silver tags with corresponding numbers. We got really excited about thinking of future Christmases, pulling these out and remembering back to this time when we were first starting out.



Pottery Barn Crown Molding Ledge

(Photo courtesy of Potterybarn.com)

We saw these ledges on our trip and bought them post-excursion in espresso because they didn't have them at the store. We are really excited to add more decor to the bedroom. We've been focusing a lot of our attention on the living room, and now it's time to give the bedroom our full and undivided nesting attention!


Restoration Hardware Wentworth Bedding
(Photo courtesy of RestorationHardware.com)
Okay, we didn't ACTUALLY buy this on the day, but we did see it in person, which was enough to change our minds from the duvet cover we were going to buy at Crate and Barrel. We both love the crest, and the material is wonderfully soft. And I love that we can change it up seasonally by just adding colored pillows and a throw.


Vintage French Linen Pillows
(Photo courtesy of RestorationHardware.com)

Love these! We bought the crest pillow (on the right) and the lumbar pillow - and they're even better in person!

They add a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to our living room...hahaha!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Engagment Photos! *Flashback*


What a weekend! Our church had their annual Christmas Show this weekend (of which I was a part of, being in the choir an' all) and it was fantastic! Rousing! Enegetic! Colorful! Cute (kids choir singing "Christmas Time is Here")! But I think now I need a couple days to recouperate!
So, while my mind takes a little holiday today, I thought I might post some of our engagement photos, taken by a our amazing friend, Susan Hughes of King Happy Photography, over the summer. Matt and I came up with the concept for the shoot on a whim one day while we were driving to Sonoma. Both of us having a love of history, literature and film, we wanted to do something fun for our engagement session that really represented all of those things (quite ambitious) and so we decided to do a modern twist on some of the couples that have inspired our own 'love story'.
Below you'll find our takes on Peter Pan and Wendy, Arwen and Aragorn, and Snow White and Prince Charming.
I hope you enjoy them!

Peter Pan & Wendy




Arwen & Aragorn, Lord of the Rings


Snow White & Prince Charming





Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Complexity of Being a Woman...



A Brief Thought...
(Images courtesy of Google images)
Having been married for a little over a month, I feel there is not much I can expound on with any semblance of authority, however one thing that I have been reflecting on a lot lately is my role, as wife, in this marriage; and what does that mean to me/ in my life?
I think what I 'struggle' with is this idea that I want to be Martha Stewart AND Lara Croft, and whether they are mutually exclusive or whether the essence of both exist can within one woman.
I want to be able to cook a meal from scratch and refinish and armoire as skillfully as wielding a sidearm while participating in an excavation in Egypt. It's how they manifest themselves in me that I am trying to understand - and knowing that despite their seemingly opposite characteristics, (I don't know that Lara Croft would ever take the time to craft a meal or that Martha would willing lacerate her arm to lure a shark) I would like to think that at some point I could find a balance that would marry the two. I think what marriage has done is pushed me to come to awareness of some of the archetypes and expectations that I have of both my role, and a woman's role in marriage - what that looks like given my strengths and weaknesses, desires, aspirations, etc. and how I can embrace those in both the life I have now and the goals I have for my future.
It has become an interesting point of introspection for me and I love that I am looking more deeply about the things that make up a woman and the many aspects of our personality, talents and skills that we can embrace on a daily basis.
We are fascinating creations, aren't we?!? :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Lists: My Favorite Christmas Movies

There are some moments that I love, because they catch me off guard and just elicit this immediate response of joy...and one of those is when my husband gets REALLY excited about something and it's like, for a moment, his ten year old self returns; I can't truly describe it but at that moment, it's like my heart just bursts (joyfully, of course), and yesterday morning had one of those moments. He and I were talking about the day and he realized it was the first of December to which he looked at me in all earnestness and delight and said "It's Christmas month!" I just about died. So, in honor of his exclaimation, I bring you the first of many Christmas lists...


My Favorite Christmas Movies


A recent addition to the list, and if I'm honest, not a movie reserved just for Christmas...but it's in heavy rotation this time of year :)


I cry. Every time. (And I've seen it like, a million times...)





Someday I hope to have a red dress, like Judy, and a daughter like Margaret O'Brien's character ;)


My sisters and I love to watch this movie together :)

I love, love, love this movie...and I hope to someday be celebrating all our Christmases back East!



So...what are your Christmas must-sees? I'm alwas looking for new Christmas favorites! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rounded out by love...

I'm very well aware of the freshmen fifteen,
I'm aware of weight gain during pregnancy,

But everyone failed to mention the backlash weight gain after the wedding.

And believe me, there is 'more woman to love' right now.

The jeans are snugger, and the sweatshirts have become my first line of defense against this 'extra coating' that seems to have found it's way around my waistline and thighs.

I think the hardest part is that I'm probably thinner than I was last holiday season but because I spent four months trying to whittle down to an appropriate bridal frame, I've changed my idea of my 'normal' body size.

So what do I do now?

Bless his heart, I think even if I ballooned to the size of a Thanksgiving day parade balloon Matt'd still love me, but I've spent the last couple weeks dodging mirrors and developed some very voluminous hairstyles to thin out my rounding face. I need to regain control!

And while, yes, it is about shedding some of this excess that I've accumulated, if you've been in this position, you know that it's more about not waking up in the morning feeling bloated, feeling uncomfortable in your own skin or even feeling restricted to a certain section of the closet; mostly for me, it's knowing that I could be making better choices and that even though I know that next slice of pizza will make me feel like crap, I do it anyway.

And I think this apparent trend in my life begs the bigger question: If I know the consequences of my actions (having done them before) and don't like said consequences, why do I KNOWINGLY continue in this behavior?

Friday, November 27, 2009

*Not* Hooked on a Feeling....

Today I had a case of the "icks," though it has been previously known to me as a hearty 'funk.' I have today off - it's a paid holiday - and I woke up with such hope, 'oh the things I could do with my time!' I mean, positively ambitious hopes...but then IT settled in, and all of a sudden, it was as though I couldn't DO anything. All I wanted to do was to engage in self indulgent behavior, none of it community orientated and nothing so idyllic as wanting to spend a day inside watching movies with a hot drink and the cat on my lap - it was just this lifeless, despondent, 'I'd rather look out the window or stare at the ceiling in my pajamas then try to think of anything productive' attitude that seemed to have a vice grip on my psyche. And the problem with this type of funk is that, in my experience, your natural inclination is this serious desperation to get out of it that you end up doing something--anything--instantly gratifying and without real substance. Case in point, I wanted - no, NEEDED - to go shopping. It was all I could think to do: spend money, get the high, get the stuff - everyone wins, right? I mean, we ARE in a recession, it IS black Friday; I'd be helping the economy...right?

Not exactly.

Having been in this place before, and after lamenting my frustrations to Matt, we realized that the most constructive way to get out of this funk seems to be the least intuitive (at the time) - and that is getting out and engaging in activity with people or at least doing something productive that requires I give something of myself or at least take a shower (!). It's hard because all I wanted to do at the time, was be selfish and do something that gratified me instantly, even if that 'something' costs me - be it money or my figure (I'm talking to YOU Cinnabon!). But seriously, it requires a certain amount of work on my part - work that, at that point, I didn't want to put it; I would have rather stared out the window and just hope for some sort of divine intervention. But no, I wanted/needed to combat this. I needed to know that there was a constructive way out; that i have recourse, a history of action against something so incredibly insidious and debilitating.
So my first step? Get dressed (Matt's suggestion)!

Pardon the tangent, but I find that this 'funk' is much like a recurring dream I have, where I'm running, but it's like my legs are in molasses or disjointed from my brain--I have to struggle against my own mind to establish a momentum that my body is striving to attain. And that's what I had to do; I had to start moving, create a momentum, regardless how slow or futile it seemed, to be able to combat this inner struggle I seemed to be having. First step, preparation for the day, and nest step - get moving...literally!

Once I had made the decision, I started out for Starbucks (free Internet) and the fog began to lift...and honestly, it's not completely gone now, but it's retracting and slowly I'm beginning to plan for the day, and it's starting to shape up positively.

Which make me wonder, has this ever happened to you?

Give Thanks!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Here are some of the things that I am so very thankful for:
My husband, Matt and our marriage
My family - and how it's grown :)
My friends and how we've all become so much closer over the last few years...
The rich blessings of a new church home and all the community and grounding that has brought to my life,
And a renewed sense of self that has come with the last several years. I went though a period where I felt really lost and it's amazing to feel this reclamation of my identity both of who I was and the new aspects I am able to discover through new relationships and experiences.
We had such a wonderful time at my mom's house with AMAZING family, food and a great walk to cap off the time, here are some pictures from the day....
I arrived at my mom's house and the cooking was already underway! It smelled AMAZING!
The kitchen - full of activity! :)

My mom and my sisters tearin' it up in the kitchen



My Grandpa never met a brain teaser he didn't like...you're watching a master at work.
For her college graduation Alyssa got a puppy, and her name is Merryweather. This was Merry's first Thanksgiving, AND she is adorable, so of course, there are a lot of pictures of her! I'm a proud 'aunt'.




The beginnings of Cara's Thanksgiving pie....
'Yay' for autumnal flower arrangements...

Nearing the final stages of Thanksgiving preparation...we're all starting to lurk around the table at this point....


The table's set, and we're nearly ready! Notice the colored glasses - those make their appearance at nearly all our festive holiday meals - aren't they gorgeous??


This is Indy, short for Independence, and she's a spicy firecracker...though not at the moment.


Look at that face!


Something's peaked her interest!




This is L.C. (for Little Cat) - I think she's like the Katherine Hepburn of cats....


My sister says that Eeyore and Merryweather have a love-hate relationship...Merryweather hates that Eeyore gets any attention, so she loves to throw her on the floor.


Cara putting the finishing touches on her DELICIOUS pear-cranberry berry pie!

Merryweather in her Thanksgiving finest!

Merryweather: The Next Victoria's Secret Angel... Look at that stare!

Eat, drink (sparkling cranberry juice) and be merry!


Mashed potatoes aren't my favorite, but they LOOK tempting!
Somehow the dictionary always seems to find it's way to the dinner table...case in point, looking up the exact meaning of 'pone.'

A Thanksgiving feast!


Indy, the cat, trying to persuade dad to oblige her with some leftovers...sadly, they never found their way to the floor....


The least fun part of Thanksgiving...the clean up