Wednesday, December 17, 2014

if the fate's allowed.

the holiday season has once again snuck up on me and due to the craziness that has become my life, i'm not only low on energy, but also spirit. we head home to nc on the 22nd and i'm looking forward to a few extra sets of hands to keep sam occupied while i curl up in front of two familiar trees, and rest my body and mind.

as the season unfolds, it's hard for me to ignore the changes that will be present. our holiday table will noticeably be two people short, and i don't think any of us will be able to find the right words or condolences for the losses we've suffered this year. of course we will be adding sam, who brings an exorbitant amount of joy to all of us. but with him being the age he is, there's also a ton of work to be done which means a lot less relaxing (and therefore reflecting) for me.

on a professional note, i'll be leaving the company i've been with for the last three years at the end of the month. what started out as a job that i so desperately needed has become so much more. of course the work had some great moments, but it was the people that kept me going each day. and i had the honor of being surrounded by some of the best i've met while living up here. these few i've shared my days in and out with don't just know me. they know my family, my home, songs that i like, phrases i often say and other friends i have. they receive my holiday card and with them i've shared past experiences and even some secrets. it's going to be hard to leave our day-to-day routine that has made us all more than just co-workers, it's made us good friends.

unavoidably, time removes us from people and places. and time removes people and places from us. it's simply a thing that as i get older, i become more aware of, but find it harder and harder to accept. but i also know that the wonderful moments we were lucky to share together in the first place, will keep us coming back through the years (even if it's just in our minds) for the super-sweet reunions.

my work husband
the one and only e.cox

miss jillikate

an unforgettable day in portland with l.bell

 super-team lisa 
(in more ways than one)

Monday, September 8, 2014

summer lovin'

in short, i had me a blast.

the spring and summer seasons have flown by and i traded my usual loves: the beach, picnics on the river, soft serve, travel, beers, boat rides in NC... with one new obsession. 'twas a different season indeed but every day was so amazing. i learned more, loved more, cried more, laughed more and my heart melted more than all of the days, in all of my life's summers combined.

i've returned to work and as september moves on i find myself eager to introduce sam to his first fall. we'll do all the basic fall things that e and i have made traditions out of over the years, and i'll hope to be instilling a love for autumn into his heart, the same as i have in mine. a look at the previous post is a nice reminder that all things go. so i am remembering to enjoy the ride, no matter how bumpy, in all its beautiful blur.

i never lived til i lived in your light
and my heart never beat like it does at the sight
of you baby blue, god blessed your life.
i do not live 'less i live in your life.
- a father's first spring, the avett brothers 
(these words ring true for this mother too...)

a different kind of day at the beach.

those baby blues staring up at me.

sam and sophie getting strong on the mat.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

and then there were three

Pisces, Virgo rising is a very good sign,
Strong and kind,
And the little boy is mine.
Now I see a family where the once was none.
Now we've just begun.
Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun.
- kenny loggins, danny's song

i've been on hiatus but for very good reason. shortly after my last post the little bean inside of me decided HE was going to come on out early and bring us some much-needed joy.
samuel davis fletcher arrived nine days early on april 12th at 7am and everything about it was pure magic.
it was a long and tiring 31 hours of labor that began at the stroke of midnight on april 11th and i've been running on fumes since, but over the span of that laboring time i don't think i've ever felt more empowered or more in love with e.
in the wee hours of the morning of the 12th, when the whole city was dark (we had an excellent view of the entire boston skyline...) with my sister stretched out on the recliner beside my bed and my e sitting beside me watching the monitors, i experienced what i'm sure will be the most intimate moments of my life. a playlist e and i had taken weeks to compile played softly in the background and the two, sometimes three, of us were singing along in whispers as song after song filled the room. the only other sound was the beeping of the baby's heart, letting us know that all was OK and he/she would be joining us soon.
as those tunes played, e held my hand and we just sang to each other. songs that had been part of our relationship for nearly nine years filtered past those speakers and tears streamed down our faces as i sweetly remembered memories from past lives: the first dance i ever shared with e; girl weekends with my sis; a sing-a-long with my best friend; a dance party at the beach with my whole family; me walking down the isle to marry my love. the list of memories that flashed in my mind continues.
around 5am i was told the end was finally in sight and i began to push our child into the world. with a new playlist blasting upbeat tunes, my sis, e and i sang along in between contractions. carol king was belting her hit, "i feel the earth move" and the sun was just beginning to rise across the charles when sam came squealing out and e announced through tears that we now had a son.
the feeling that came over me was first relief: my workout was complete and the babe was OK. then, as they plopped that slimy baby on top of me it was pure love mixed with fear. over the next two days, my sis, e and spent the days and nights in a joyful shock, recounting what had happened in amazement. e and i shared laughs and cries. the emotions that ran over us were so raw as we realized that we'd just changed our lives, our families - the world even - by having this little one. all i could think about was how sam would never ever know how much i loved him. he made me melt in so many ways that it hurt.
i've spent the last almost five weeks trying to stay afloat as we adjust to life with a newborn. i can't remember what sleep feels like and some days i feel like i'm doing it all wrong, as i can't console sam and i have no idea what he needs/wants. multiple times a day i walk past a mirror and barely recognize the woman that's reflected back. not only does she not have a large belly anymore, but she's barely got her hair brushed and she's never out of pj's.
on the rare occasion i can take a shower and enjoy it, i look in the mirror to search again, closer this time, for the woman that i went to bed as the night of april 10th. i see her beauty products in the bathroom cabinet, her clothes are hanging in the closet upstairs and if i scroll back far enough on my iphone, i see recent parties she's been to or trips she's been on. but during the waking hours (which are pretty much around the clock) i can't find her.
sam's arrival forever changed me. changed us. and to be honest, it's something i've been having to remind myself to accept. perhaps this is the strongest feeling of all that no one really prepares you for. it takes time.
i couldn't be more happy that e and i have a healthy baby boy that has officially made us a family. i look at his face and think of how hard i prayed for him. how he's been to greece, nc and puerto rico with me. how he grew inside of me and how he found comfort in my heartbeat day in and day out - just like i found comfort in his on doctor's visits. most of all, i think of how when he left my body, he took a big chunk of that heart and whoever i was before that.
no, sam will never know how much i love him. and he'll never know, just like his dad, how much he changed me and is challenging me to be a better woman than i was the day before. but i'll spend the rest of my life telling him both of those things. 

I don’t remember, were we wild and young
All that’s faded into memory
I feel like somebody I don’t know
Are we really who we used to be
Am I really who I was
- lucky now, ryan adams

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

life after death.

i was in yoga the other night when our teacher mentioned that a close friend of hers had recently written a blog post discussing what a tough transition heading into spring was. our intimate class of 5 contemplated this statement and went around sharing how we very much agreed. it seemed to be that each year, all of us had a great expectation of spring: to bring beautiful weather, sprout blooms, warm our faces with sun. but each time, we are reminded it's simply not that easy.

especially up here in new england, we wait a little longer for spring to appear than anyone else in the country. it's something i've talked about before and it's something i seem to have to remind myself when march rolls around each year. i read the said blog post yesterday, when our instructor passed it along. it talked of how spring, although bringing a promise of life and a renewal of love,can be painful. after all, the perfect bud must break through the soil and then it's shell in order to bloom a beautiful flower. this is a process that happens over a matter of days - only if the weather proves to remain compatible - and perhaps, because we're so excited to see these signs of life and warmth, we disregard the work and growing pains that the plant is going through to become something that will be such a temporary pleasure.

if i read back on this blog, each spring i've cataloged the life returning to my streets up here and therefore, to my heart. i've talked of how i begin to thaw my insides, readying myself for the promise of great things ahead that will surely come with this revival. but this year, i'm writing something different. spring arrived just a bit over a week ago and with it came the reminder that this new life inside me would soon enter the world - a month from the day, actually. there couldn't be a better or brighter promise for this year's future than that fact. but shortly after its arrival, much like the weather up here proves to do each year, the season brought a cold cloud upon my life with the death of my gram.

in short, i sit up here in my new england "spring" and aim to make sense of unfolding events. i struggle between happiness for this baby that will be arriving any day and sadness for the loss of a true, great friend and family member. it's the most intense parallel i've ever faced. i alternate between anger and love, and i ask for answers that my 31-year-old self should know by now i'll never get. and for now, at this moment, on this day, it's hard for me to see that the trees will bloom, the grass will grow, the sky will be blue, cloudless and sunny some day, and that my heart will once again feel full. i know this must happen, but like the feeling of bare feet, i just can't comprehend it all at the moment.

alongside sweet memories of my gram that i keep on replay, i also repeat that "april showers, bring may flowers" in hopes that tears over today's loss will give way to an incomparable and forgiving joy, later in the month when this budding life inside me finally arrives. and how glorious i'm sure that sunshine will feel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

there was a dream...

and one day i could see it.
minutes after i found out i was pregnant: (3-4 weeks)

33 weeks preggo

those lines up top are from an avett brothers song and i just love them. although e and i didn't get serious about starting a family until last year, being pregnant and becoming a mom was something i naturally always thought/wondered about. how i'd look and feel and dress. as we began to give the thing a real go, starting this chapter was something i dreamed about - day and night - constantly.

now i see this little bean inside me (and very clearly at that!) and it's glorious. we're six weeks out (give or take) from meeting the one that's been kickin' around in my belly for quite some time. in a way, those six weeks still seem far off, but in others, the life-changing meeting seems like it's tomorrow.

as the big day draws closer, i'm finding myself short on sleep and long on a to-do list. but my mind wanders off, thinking of the past. stages of my life flash before me at the oddest times creating an amazing montage that reminds me where i've been, who i've been and people i've met. i think about the future a bit - where i will go, who i will become and who i will meet. it's bittersweet and beautiful, and unlike any thing i've experienced before.

e and i are enjoying these last few weeks/weekends to ourselves and each other before we officially get a new roommate. we're taking bets on who's nose it will have and calculating its chance of being a redhead, and we're of course wondering the big q: when it's all said and done, will we have a son or daughter.

out of all our adventures since we left home, this will for sure be the biggest and bring the most joy. above all, it will undoubtedly change my perspective forever.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

if you like (virgin) pina coladas.

last week e and i escaped the polar vortex part deux and headed (way) down south to one of our favorite places: vieques. it was the third time we've visited this little island in the caribbean, right off the coast of puerto rico, and time and time again it's proven to be an excellent destination for us.

what ensued were 5 days filled with secluded beaches, snorkeling, eating sticky, fresh fruits, reading and just enjoying each other's company. many called this a babymoon, but we just called it vacation. we've made a commitment over the years to do a little winter escape and this year was no different. but in some ways, it did feel more special.

i'd been on the fence with taking maternity photos, but in the end, i knew i really wanted to capture this time in our lives. so i thought that vieques would be a natural, low-key backdrop for us. i found a photographer and we shot a few photos at the house we stayed in once again as well as on the beach, and i was pleased with what he captured. still, in looking at these photos, the ones e took on his phone and even just glancing at my shadow in the sand, it was hard for me to grasp the fact that i'm pregnant. my body, which has gradually changed to me + e each day, drastically showed it's transformation when i was in a swimsuit. it's pretty amazing how it's grown to accommodate this little one inside of me - knowing it's not done but any means, but that so much progress has taken place.

leaving vieques was bittersweet this year. i knew that a mental (and even more of a physical) transformation was going to take place over the next three months to get me through the end of my pregnancy and labor. i knew that demands for my time specifically would increase and that my relationship with many - myself included - would also go by way of my pre-baby body. and much like that silhouette in the sand that was hard for me to recognize, this too is something that i just can't wrap my head around yet. i also knew that our times in vieques (and beyond) would never be the same again. in the same vein, i knew my heart would change as well for the most lovely reason.

when shit gets real in april, vieques will undoubtedly be my happy place where i'll allow my mind to escape. and one day - hopefully next winter, we'll get to share this great getaway with our little bean. and tell it stories of how we sat on those beaches and decided to give the baby thing a go. then the next year, we sat on the porch of that big house and discussed what their name would be. most importantly, it will always be where e and i escaped to carve out uninterrupted time for each other where we would discuss our hopes, dreams and goals. then return to real life to try and make them happen.