Warmth in the sun and cool in the shade. Bonfire smoke in your face. Kids running and giggling and plucking beautiful weeds by the fistful for their mothers. Grandfathers and great grandfathers and the clink of horseshoes in the lawn; gruff and gentle. Chocolate cake smeared on baby-turned-toddler faces because first birthdays deserve to be celebrated at least twice. Celebrated with bright new dresses and stacks of wooden puzzles. Sugar crash nap in daddy’s arms. A newly planted redbud tree, a sapling meant to grow alongside you. Jonquil and clover.
Rosalyn is asleep now. She was a bit fussy this evening; she’s tugging at her ear so we’re keeping an eye out for an infection. It’s cold season and she’s a daycare baby. It’s probably an ear infection. Please, don’t be an ear infection.
I’m heating up leftovers in the microwave and relishing in the dim silence while the green flashes count down one hundred and twenty seconds. I want more hours in the day. I want to get home from work with our baby and have hours to relax, go for a walk, cook dinner together, eat together, wind down, then bedtime. As it is we get to pick one or two of those things before lights out. So microwave it is, then.
Upstairs two dogs are being bathed and hating every second of it. Andrew lets one of them free and I can hear her wriggle and squirm against the carpet, ecstatic with her new, clean freedom.
I bring up dinner and he jokingly asks where his big glass of wine is before striking a pose in his pajama pants to make me laugh. I am so serious. We’re an odd pair.
Nothing extraordinary is going on. I can’t imagine this tiny piece of time would mean as much to anyone else. Perhaps with their cast of characters, not mine. But it is mine. And I wanted to remember it.
This weekend was really, really good and it was just what I needed. The previous week was hard. There were a few things that didn’t go right and got under my skin, working nights did not jive with the baby’s schedule at ALL, and overall I was feeling pretty rundown. I needed a pick-me-up something bad and thankfully I got that.
Right now, Rosalyn sleeps her longest stretch of the night in her bassinet next to us. After that her sleep can be a bit restless so she moves into our bed so we can nurse and fall right back asleep. It’s a balance that works well for us; I get some hours of rest by myself and then when she joins us we all get much more sleep than we would have by trying to put her back down in the bassinet only to wake up again in forty-five minutes. Saturday morning when she was ready to wake up for the day, Andrew offered to take her downstairs so I could try and get a little more sleep after a rough week. I suppose I was even more worn out than I thought because he was able to put her down for her first nap in the bassinet AND get her after she woke up without me even stirring. I’ve been struggling with being able to fall asleep lately so I only slept for about an hour and a half but it. was. GLORIOUS. And I woke up feeling so much better and so grateful to my husband. Rosalyn got even more dad-time as I went out to get a haircut. All three of us loved it.
The main event was lunch with my dear friends Pearl and Kenny as they got to meet Ros. They both recently graduated with their Masters and it made me realize that our college years are a little further behind us than I realized. I know everyone says it, but its true: it still feels like yesterday that we were getting into shenanigans like crashing a dog’s birthday party in New Orleans. I actually still had a portfolio of Kenny’s and Pearl had a stack of my photographs that we exchanged and it felt a little bittersweet. That part of my life is over.
Sunday we broke in the new baby jumparoo and it was THE most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. She looks so grown, what happened to my tiny tree frog? After grocery shopping and an impromptu the-baby-is-still-asleep-in-her-ergo-what-do-we-do froyo date my sister came over and we took our crew to the pool. It was Rosalyn’s second time and we stayed in the water quite a bit longer than the first. While she has an apprehensive look on her face, she never cries (and believe me, she doesn’t ever shy away from crying..) so I’m going to interpret that as her enjoying the water, if you don’t mind.
This week I begin my longterm daytime schedule and I am thrilled! I worked the second shift for about two years and before that I had a series of odd jobs, all of which had strange hours such as beginning my day at 4:00am or not heading home until 2:30am. Last night Andy and I were cooking dinner with Ros hanging out in her jumper in the kitchen and I just about cried from happiness. That moment was exactly what I wanted.
This weekend was a rare occasion in which both parents and all three children were under the same roof as we came together to celebrate Father’s Day and two birthdays. As it should, life has taken us kids in three different directions and so it’s always nice to bring it back to the start. I wonder when it will stop feeling funny coming back to my first home and staying in The Guest Room rather than what was my bedroom. Every afternoon I spend at my parents’ home I am impressed and envious at how much green they have surrounding them. I truly did not appreciate that enough while I lived there (or does it always feel that way when you think back to the past?). I have a hunch that my being enclosed by townhomes and manicured landscaping is what has sparked my need to bring more green into my home.
Our days together as a family fortunately/unfortunately included visits to the hospital to spend time with my grandparents and Uncle Greg & Aunt Tricia. Fortunately, because I love spending time with them and am grateful I was able to see them two days in a row. Unfortunately, because I’d rather family time not include hospitals and oxygen and beeping and that ultra-sanitized air. It is part of life, sadly. And I am counting my blessings — especially the one that means I am close both in relationship and geography to my family. In times like these it feels like the most important thing I have.
If there’s a more “dad” photo than this then I don’t know what it is.
There are several happy, bright moments that stand out in my mind when I think about our wedding day. Three of those moments involve my dad.
1. Our walk down the aisle/hill and I how I was so excited I was practically jogging. But he insisted that I slow down and enjoy the moment.
2. Andrew and I walked into the reception to find that my dad had taken the mic from the DJ in order to do the honors of introducing us to the crowd. I grinned so hard and thought, “That’s such a Clyde thing to do.” I loved it.
3. Our dance to Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection”. It was the perfect song for us two and the hall lit up with laughter as they recognized the opening notes.
It takes a special person to choose marry into a family with teenagers, let alone want to adopt them. I was sixteen and already fiercely against the idea of having men in my life; he gently and unwaveringly took on my seething disdain. Now twenty-four, I’m often joking and pointing out the traits that I “must’ve gotten from Dad” despite the blatant impossibility. We are the quiet ones at the table — skillfully stirring the pot and sneaking shared rolled eyes when someone says something particularly dramatic (*cough*MomJackShelby). He is the top source for all jokes inappropriate, quickly followed by Mom exclaiming, “C-lyyyyyyde!” While my mom is forever annoyed with each new tattoo, Clyde reasons that the people with tattoos will soon be doing the hiring so he doesn’t mind too much (although I think he’s mainly just glad that I’m not asking for the money to get them done). He always does my taxes and reminds me to take care of the interior of my car. He gives me more Poker chips when I insist on going “all in” on every hand because (A) it’s super fun to say and (B) I have no idea what’s going on in that game. He agrees to watch our dogs even though Robin poops on their carpet every. single. time.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thanks for choosing to be in our lives despite all the reasons we gave you to say no. I didn’t think I wanted a dad and you changed my mind. I love you!
Oh, and happy birthday too! (;
A naturally decorated Easter egg.
Andrew and I hardly ever get both sets of parents under the same roof at the same time, so we offered to host Easter at our home this year. Scott, Summer, Chris, Lauren, and Jack were missed but we had a full house with Don, Rita, Ricky, Mom, Dad, and Shelby (+ three dogs!). I’m a fan of the quiet, but its always fun to have the place buzzing with life once in awhile. We did it potluck brunch style and had a fairly impressive spread of food! I tried my hand at quiches (tomato +broccoli and kale + garlic + mushrooms) and its safe to say they’ll be a staple in our house for awhile. So good and so simple! Be prepared to clutch your pearls though, those crusts were pre-made! Mom brought cupcakes from our favorite local bakery Sugar Kneads (they also did our wedding cake!) and Andrew dusted off the bar cart for mimosa fixin’s. Besides Robin letting us know that there were entirely too many people in HER house, we all had a great time!
The house smelled pretty incredible thanks to the contents of this pan.
I don’t know if its the Spring sunshine or the three day weekend I just had, but I’m feeling refreshed and renewed, excited for the next few months. We have several fun things on our calendar to look forward to, one being the Taking Back Sunday show later this week! There’s also a certain husband that I have a first anniversary with. (:
Part cat, part guardian, all crazy.
I hope you all had wonderful holiday weekends, hopefully filled with friends and good food!