actions speak louder

That old cliche “Actions speak louder than words” is totally my mantra. Not sure why, but if I had a “love language” it would be this.  Of course, praise is never discouraged. I love words but to really  get me, one must know that actions matter beyond any discourse. And because of this, I have to take a minute to love on David. This past month was weird for our relationship. We have naively never really had a “hard time.” When we were dating we would dreamily say, “can we be models of love” for a job? But, seriously, we partner really well with each other. And with 10 years (almost) together, it still feels fresh, exciting, loving, and also comfortable, safe, and home. I get excited every night that David is coming home and I delight in our ability to be in cozy clothes in bed watching shows and laughing on a “date night.” This morning, I messaged David and said I was devastated, immediately he asked if it was the Dancing with the Stars results. He just knows!

So with this “hard time” we had it was hard to know what to do. We needed to figure out how do we process differences when we have always been so in sync with one another. We needed to figure out how to move forward but also acknowledge what just happened? We needed to figure out how to give weight to this experience but not give it so much that is holds us down or pushes us apart. David’s answer was to dig in with me. My biggest fear in any relationship is that when things get hard and I don’t know how to respond or am like a deer in headlights and just freeze up emotionally that the other person will fly off. Instead David’s response was crushing!

He was so actively engaged in working together that it helped me dig deeply into my confusing emotions, jolted me out of my rut, lifted my eyes to the beauty around us, hugged my soul, and helped me to not take everything so dangerously seriously. And as a result, our Mother’s Day weekend was SIMPLY the BEST. We did so many things together as a couple and as a family and we also napped and lounged. It was an amazing mix of all the things I needed to remember: that our love is an easy love even when stuff gets hard (as it will inevitably when you tie yourself for life to another) but that our actions help each other. Gosh do I love this man! So Thank you David for being active with me, for loving me, for knowing that I always want to walk with you into these adventures and that no matter what challenges we face you will also be my pick for reality show challenges! xxoo

 

 

Rituals

5AM the alarm goes off. David is the first to get out of bed. We have approximately 60 minutes to both shower, dress, take the dogs out and feed them, wake up the kiddos (if they have not already gotten up on their own), dress them, and get breakfast in before it is time to head to work and daycare drop-offs. Our morning pace is maddening. Everything feels precisely timed and like soldiers we move through our stations accordingly. But everyday after David takes a shower he comes back to bed and for what feels like an hour we just cuddle in. Sometimes we don’t say anything at all and just breathe and hug and maybe drift back to sleep a bit and sometimes while cuddling we talk up a storm about the latest news, our upcoming days, our weekend plans…..

Since  last month’s onslaught of a thousand transitions, I have been thinking a lot about the rituals we have as a couple that allow us to bring in some “slow living” into our busy days. It might seem silly but I am realizing that these slow moving moments are actually the pulse checks of my marriage that remind David and I about the primacy of our relationship. It wasn’t like we sat down one day and said, “Okay every morning we will do X and during the afternoons we will do Y,” but gradually overtime we initiated a few life pauses,  and these check-ins and moments bring in some physical touch and pace change. And without them, the day feels off-kilter. It was hard when I was reeling with emotion from our “reproductive future conversations” to want to be physically close, but it was precisely in those hard, HARD moments that those little marital tune-ups became critical reminders of why David and I chose to do this life thing together in the first place.

Why bother to do little rituals? It feels grounding, it feels comforting, and it is a mindful decision to become closer as partners. We aren’t obsessed with them, they sort of just flow naturally but I can tell the days in which we do them and the days in which we do not. During the day that slow pace moment is often a crushing hug. David and I will snag each other. It tends to be when one of us sees that the other is having a challenge: maybe a kiddo is screaming, maybe a pot of sauce just fell on the ground, maybe someone is so fixated on an activity (productive or not) that they cannot mentally break free from. In that moment, David will grab a hold of me or I him and just squeeze with all the might. It is hard in that kind of an embrace to not let go of the tension or fleeting anger. To not give in to that moment and to re-calibrate. So that is why these rituals are so important to me and my marriage.

They slow me down, they remind me that current tensions or challenges are fleeting, it brings back a physical touch when the business of life gets in the way of life. And most importantly it reminds me that we are partners and with love and communication and a little touch we can work it out (hug it out) and feel stronger together on the other side of our slow-living pause.

 

 

 

 

Permission, Support, Courage


On Friday, I went to a SoulCyle class because it had been a year since I last hopped onto a bike and I finally felt “ready” to get back in the saddle. Clicking into the pedals, the nerves hit and I started to think that I made a mistake. Was I ready to really push myself? Was I awake enough to make this session “worth” the price of the entrance ticket? The instructor came in and started doing that thing that SoulCycle instructors do where they positive talk about goals, body image, and motivation. It may seem sappy but it was exactly the message that resonated most with me. As she turned out the lights and turned up the music, it hit me that almost a year ago to the day, I took my last SoulCycle class and I was not alone. Tucked inside  was baby Owen who seemingly slept through the rigorous class. I remember taking that final class and thinking about meeting my baby soon after, about what he would be like, what he would look like, and when he would arrive. It was hard to be on the bike with a bulging belly and it was weird to be back on that bike without one. That class had been for Owen. It was to give him a fit pregnancy, healthy environment, and ideally an easy delivery. This class was for me. The instructor Charlotte started to talk about three words: Permission, Support and Courage. And, I am not going to lie, I might have teared up a bit in class as she shared her message and as I reflected on all that happened in those 365 days since I last saw Charlotte.

After baby, looking in the mirror can be a little tough and rough. A deflated belly is hard to process. Shouldn’t everything just go back into place upon the little one’s arrival, no?  It was hard the first time with Henry to see the transformation that occurs in the postpartum period and it was just as hard the second time even though I had my previous knowledge. This is where Charlotte’s message about permission hit most. We don’t give ourselves enough permission to heal and be and recover. Often when grocery shopping, I will see a magazine cover that says something like “So and so is back to pre-baby body in just 2 weeks!” and she is lauded and praised and touted as the norm. Good for her! Seriously that is some impressive sh*t! But, I have learned for myself that I need to give myself permission. Permission to soak in all that just happened: I grew a human. This baby took over my entire body cavity. He moved all of my organs, he stretched out my skin, he took my nourishment, he grew strong and fat and pushed my bones to their limits. This is a point of pride! It took 9 months to get to that point and I need to give my body permission to heal and slowly return to a settled place. It is also so important to give permission to just be in awe: WOW.  And permission to not exercise until my body really feels ready to tackle that. And you know what, it might always be a little soft and a little “flabby” or it might always look like I have a “baby bump” but then again I did have two babies and my body will wear those experiences because I am only human.

Charlotte also shared a lot about support. When you are on a stationary bike you can let the wheel fly. This means not having any resistance and just allowing your legs to rotate freely and quickly as though you were sprinting along. This feels good but it is not always productive as you coast. When you add that resistance by turning the knob, Charlotte calls out “add support!” and then you feel the tension on the wheel and your legs have to work to rotate around that axis. You feel the support as though the ground became thicker and you muscles start to say hello. Mommying can be very isolating. Some nights when you are awake 3 or 4 times in the night with your baby you know that you need to be there for them and comfort them but you ache for sleep and I ached for someone to help me.  “What happens if you don’t stand in your own way,” Charlotte asks  “what would happen if you actually pushed yourself?” It took months for me to really ask for help with Owen’s sleep. I thought that with baby 2, I should just know how to get him to be comforted and to sleep. Working full-time and having a toddler on top of a new baby was a new equation. When I finally really let David in to support me at night, we all started to sleep better. Yes, David woke up and yes he cradled Owen and rocked him as Owen screamed into David’s face for what felt like hours, but Owen learned to be supported by David and I learned to be supported by David and we learned that we are WAY stronger when we work together than when we think “we got this” alone.

The class ended with Charlotte talking about courage. She had us working our way up a hill and adding more and more support to the bike when she said, “Are you giving it all you got? What would happen if you didn’t hold back? Maybe you would fall but you would learn something. You would learn how strong you are and how strong you can be!” Owen is working on walking. He fearlessly let’s go of the coffee table and takes a few steps. He falls a lot, he smashes his face sometimes on that table, but he smiles and tries again and again and he is getting better. You can see his balance improving, his steps becoming more confident, and his legs getting stronger. He is one courageous little dude. And sometimes we have to remember to take those steps too in life. To get out of our comfort zone. To give ourselves permission to try and to be courageous enough to get back into that saddle!

Belated valentines

Yes, Valentine’s Day can feel a bit contrived but at the same time, I love it.

Since adding the littles to our family, days can be a blur of endless activity. Some weeks it feels like all we do it get up,  get everyone dressed, go to work, get everyone into pjs, and go to bed. So having a day to remember “oh hey, I love you and this crazy life together is a good one” is a good thing. There is no one else in the world who I would do this with than David. So I want to take a minute to say thank you to my love, my partner, my teacher, my critic, my comic, my shoulder, my rock, my everything. 

Sorry last night we were too tired to make our “romantic” dinner in. But getting to bed at 9PM wasn’t terrible and the steak was good tonight nonetheless. I love you, David.


hi!


It has been almost 8 months of inconsistent blogging. The usual excuses are the culprits. Primarily my lack of sleep and feeling pinched everyday for a free second are the contenders for my stretches of absence. As our family grew so too did the responsibilities and returning to work added on top of the heap more stressors and timing issues. By nightfall once the house was quiet and the papers of students graded, there was little energy left for much. Poor David has been so understanding and often from 8PM-8:30PM when I surrender to sleep, we would lay in bed for some pillow talk and have “our time” as a couple in 30 short minutes. But, at least those minutes were uninterrupted! This season of life is good though, I don’t want to give off the impression that we are not happy. Happiness is definitely a constant in the house and in my heart. It’s just very busy feeling and having a stride or a routine that let’s us balance these busy endeavors has been elusive.  Then we thought how do we make our lives EVEN MORE complicated? Ah yes, let’s buy a new house, sell our house, pack, and move all before Christmas! My sister-in-law called these early months with a new baby the longest shortest time and it truly is. Yes, there are hard days, yes we are all tired, yes we bit off more than we can chew, yes we are all laughing, yes we are all eating, yes we are all screaming, but it is flying by and I wish I could slow it all down and stay inside of this manic experience a little longer. I don’t want it to end even though I crawl into bed completely zapped every night.


With the holidays keying up, I am feeling particularly nostalgic for everything and blogging feels like the right endeavor to make some space for. These little dudes and this little life should be documented more consistently because I know that I will want these stories to read and read and read as our days continue.

3 years together

What!?!  How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!

When it became official: The Kiss