Archive | September, 2011

Good Enough

29 Sep

Who knew the phrase, “Oh, and bring something a little dressy. We got a babysitter for the girls on Saturday night” would ever strike fear in my heart.

Dressy? Sigh. This used to be a no brainer. In fact, I used to feel like I had more “dressy” clothes than casual clothes. Part of the fun of a girls’ night out or a date with my husband was picking out what I was going to wear. Sure I might deliberate over a pair of shoes or earrings, but the mission of getting dressed was no problem.

Now I looked at my closet, meager from the massive purge I did recently, and terror struck me. Everything I tried on was too fancy, too faded, too blah, too wrong season, or just TOO. And gosh darn it I didn’t want to look *whisper* fat. Now, I don’t think I’m fat. Seriously. But like most women I have areas that I would like to improve and when I look into the mirror I started to fall into the trap of picking on myself.

If I was just an inch taller these pants would look better. Why is this so tight on my stomach. These jeans make my butt look huge. Blah. Blah. I’m not good enough.

And then I stopped myself, walked away from the clothes that weren’t good enough, and took a shower.

The one thing I was adament about when I realized we were having a baby girl was that I never EVER wanted her to hear me talking negatively about the way I looked. I didn’t want her to hear me say I was fat or needed to diet or that I felt gross or ugly. No way. I wanted to feel confident in who I was and what I looked like so that hopefully (fingers crossed) she would learn by example and know that the person she is and will become is good enough, more than good enough, a beautfiful person inside and out.

I stepped out of the shower and adjusted my attitude as I headed to the closet. I pulled out my favorite sweater of the moment, blew the dust off of a funky necklace, decided on a pair of sandals I rarely get to wear, and even threw in a cocktail ring for good measure. All of a sudden I’m excited about getting dressed up and going out for a delicious dinner with our friends. Good enough.

And I hope I can do my best to keep negative self worth words away from sweet Abigail’s ears because it would be so incredibly fantastic if one day she felt good enough to do anything.

Boo!

25 Sep

It’s right around the corner, hiding, waiting to yell “Boo!” as I pass by — this feeling of uneasiness. Creeping up. Like I’m out trick or treating, dressed as an Oregonian, but underneath I’m not. And I just want to get home because I’ve had enough and this costume isn’t fitting quite right.

When I feel like this I do things like check the weather in Lynchburg then Richmond. Search the MLS listings for a house I’d want to buy when we move back. If….and I need to stop because it’s torture.

It isn’t all the time like it used to be. But I miss my friends. I miss our families. I miss feeling like I knew what was going on. Now when a town or event is mentioned and I don’t know where it is or what it is I just smile and nod, instead of asking questions and looking it up later. I’m tired of the effort it all takes.

And it’s hard not to compare then and now. But I do. Silently. Because you can’t explain it and it’s rare that anyone even asks. It’s not their fault. I’ve been that person, and it’s hard to put yourself in a position of an outsider when you aren’t one.

It’s kind of like going to a sleep over. Things at your friend’s house are done a little differently and you have a great time. But it’s exhausting and you just can’t wait to get home.

I give Oregon a lot of credit. And I feel like I’m always complimenting it, but sometimes I know it’s empty praise. For the sake of others. I’m worried that although I don’t blame it for the sadness I sometimes feel, I’ll never really give it a fair shake.

So I stopped my little pity party and decorated for Halloween. It’s September but I don’t care. Last year I was robbed of my happy fall time and I could feel myself slipping into that same space. My favorite time of year was tainted by the fact I knew nobody and lived in a shoebox. This year I’m doing it right. The Halloween tree is up. Ghosts, goblins, and witches have come to visit. A spooky house is glowing once again.

And a funny thing happened on my way to fall…I started thinking about Abigail’s first trip to the pumpkin patch…carving a pumpkin to look like a certain special floofy newfy…trick or treating to our realtor’s house with a little strawberry in tow. (We had to show her off to somebody.) I had Newport memories. From last year! And it felt pretty damn good.

So happy fall, y’all!*

And for those back in Sweet Virginia.  Family and Friends, I miss y’all like crazy.  Still and always.

*Y’all = A word used by southerners that means “you all.” Try it. You’ll like it.

Oh, and nothing says fall quite like The Twelve Dogs of Christmas.  Don’t you think?

One Lovie or Two?

22 Sep

Awhile back I got a Facebook message from my childhood friend, Sarah. She was going to be on the Oregon Coast with her husband and family and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up. Of course I did. I hadn’t seen Sarah in FOREVER. They wanted to check out the aquarium so Abigail and I went along.

We had a great time trying to summarize what had been happening in our lives over the last 10 years,TEN YEARS, while entertaining and chasing a toddler around. Sarah’s mom was there, too, spoiling Abigail with gobs of attention.

The visit ended all too soon. But not before Abigail tore into the gift shop and grabbed a pile of white stuffed seals. Sarah’s mom decided that Abigail needed one of those seals so she bought her one. It was such a sweet gesture and made me have a moment where I wanted to hug her and say thank you. Thank you for treating Abigail like a grandchild and doing this very grandmotherish thing by buying her that little stuffed seal.

Sarah’s mom named it CeCe and it stuck — maybe because one of the only things Abigail can say perfectly is “SEE! SEE!” We call her Cecelia for long.

CeCe has become Abigail’s constant companion. When I get Abigail up from a nap or a night’s sleep and give her a kiss she holds CeCe up for a kiss, too. CeCe travels to friends’ houses and to the beach. She eats pancakes at our favorite breakfast spots. When CeCe was lost for a whole day I told Abigail that she must be out on some exciting ocean adventure. Twenty four hours later I found her in the master bathroom inside the cabinet. I wish I had a picture of their reunion.

Because of the constant paling around CeCe the white seal quickly disguises herself as CeCe the gray seal. CeCe gets washed in a pillowcase at least once a week, twice on really exciting weeks. I can already see the seal’s nose getting worn and the whiskers that were once straight out are now hugging the side of CeCe’s face. And it made me start to wonder if I should get a back up CeCe. I’ve heard of people doing that — having two identical comfort items so their child never has to be without it or if it gets lost another magically appears.

But I also think there is no way CeCe could ever be replaced. What makes this little seal so special is the story of how it came into our lives and how Abigail, with no encouraging from anyone, became so attached to it. Cecelia is one of a kind. I think Abigail feels that way, too.

So. What do you think? Should we get a back up seal? Does/Did your child have a spare comfort item “just in case?”

History Repeats

20 Sep

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  George Santayana

Apparently I am one of those people.

Some of you may remember a certain goldfish incident back in June.  For the rest of you, let me refresh your memory.Yes, that was awesome.  Hank missed the whole thing because I scooped them up so quickly.  It was cute and I had a really hard time being mad about it.  I gave my arm a swing and had to say, “You got me, Abigail.  Good one.”

Today, against better judgement, I let Abigail walk into the living room with the entire box of Cheerios.  (Can I just mention that it was the super size box of Cheerios?)  I needed to make dinner fast and figured, whatever, she can eat some cereal if it will keep her entertained.  I was heading out to a 6:30 movie with a friend and needed to get everything done quickly.

And what is it about kids that the second you think the phrase, ‘I need to hurry,’ they pick up extrasensory perception and decide that now would be the perfect time to do something like this.

Apparently Hank had learned from his previous mistake.  He was off the cold tile floor of the bathroom in no time and lapping up Cheerios like he was in a hot dog eating contest.  I contemplated letting him continue until they were all gone, but he started coughing and gagging from the velocity with which the cereal went flying down his throat.  So I yelled for him to “go to bed” and put the gate up in the bathroom doorway.

I then popped in Baby MacDonald (that was one history lesson I wasn’t going to forget) leaving all 2,387,204 Cheerios on the floor as I crunched my way back into the kitchen.  Ryan would be home soon and I would be tagging out to go watch what might have been the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time.

But it was still so great.  My friend and I were the only ones in the theater making it totally acceptable to whisper comments back and forth, laughing as loud and often as we felt like it.  I think I made a remark about how dirty the floor was.  I’d like to retract that statement.  See above.

Oh, Hanky Boy

17 Sep

There is an unsung hero in our home. Always present, lingering in the background of our lives, unless food or visitors nudge him forward.

Although it is hard for him to go unnoticed, he often does. Until 8:00 PM rolls around and he comes to lay at the corner of the couch, like an older sibling that gets to stay up for a secret bowl of ice cream after the smaller one is in bed. In his case the treat is attention in the form of a back rub with my feet.

I love my stinky, rotten to the core, mess of a dog. She does, too.

And just when I start to feel bad that the ship sailed 17 months ago on his life as an only child. I realize that maybe instead his ship is just now coming in.

A Delicious Place to Be

16 Sep

My sisters and I could always convince my mom to let us leave out a fully equipped play restaurant or doctor’s office or Barbie beach condo if we told her how long it took us to set it up.

“Please, mom. Can we just leave it out until tomorrow? It took us all day to make it this way!”

She would always say okay. And we would rarely play with it the next day because half the fun of those kinds of games is setting it all up.

So when the constant picking up gets overwhelming I step off the hamster wheel and look around. And I try to see the mess as not a mess, but a fleeting scene from a movie. A really good movie. One that I know I will want to rewind one day.

And I’m so happy that my apple has fallen so dang close to a certain someone’s tree.

It’s a delicious place to be.A special thanks to this post for helping me find some perspective.

Wild Weekend

12 Sep

It was a busy weekend around here. The city calendar was double booked with the Wild Seafood Weekend and the Rogue Gathering Surf Contest. But that didn’t keep my mind off the fact that 12 months ago, we were sitting in our realtor’s office being told to check out the same events mentioned above. We didn’t. We were on a whirlwind trip where the number one priority was finding a place to live. It was stressful, but I was left wondering if perhaps something good would come of all the madness.

Saturday morning Ryan and I drove down to South Beach to watch our friends compete in the surf contest, and as we realized the significance of the weekend we laughed. The kind of laugh that might be followed with a “well isn’t that something?”

We had pumpkin muffins while we waited for the contest to start. We chased Abigail’s sandy bottom to the water’s edge over and over until more friends came and provided distractions. We cheered when Ollie caught a great wave, which probably wasn’t so great to a professional like him, but was pretty amazing to a first time spectator like myself. Bella, the surfing dog, raced up and down the beach. And the feeling of doing something you’ve never done before, never imagined doing ever, combined with the comfort of being around friends made it feel familiar. Like it was our beach. And the funny thing is – it is ours.  We are a part of this community.That something good I had hoped to find in Oregon has risen like a wave on the ocean’s surface.  I knew it would come.  It was just a matter of time.  I am learning to let go.  To just be.  Be here.  And that has been oh so good for me.

So when Asia called at the weekend’s close to ask if I wanted to try stand up paddleboarding (SUP), I said, “Okay!”  We weren’t in the ocean, just out on the reservoir, where the only wave was a wave of happiness.  And that wave carried me all the way home.