Bubbles

52 Thankfuls – 2018

52 Things to be thankful for this year. In a sorta particular order….

thankful.jpg

  1. Family
  2. Fireplaces
  3. Big coffee cups
  4. Paris
  5. Carousels
  6. Honest Friends
  7. Olive-pants
  8. My house
  9. Books
  10. Bosses who care
  11. Chasing dreams
  12. Mountains
  13. Yoga pants
  14. White dishes stacked
  15. Wool sweaters
  16. Twinkle lights
  17. Keyboards to type on
  18. Pasta makers
  19. Learning to sew
  20. Art supplies
  21. Walking paths
  22. The gym
  23. Ham, bread and cheese
  24. Phone booths
  25. Ukulele
  26. Clean water
  27. Flannels sheets
  28. Popsicles
  29. Champagne bubbles
  30. Hiking boots
  31. The Dinner Party
  32. Blog readers
  33. Magazine editors
  34. Roasting pans
  35. Our piano
  36. When my husband plays the guitar
  37. Text messages
  38. Bitmojis
  39. New friends
  40. Old friends
  41. Mussels
  42. Eiffel Tower
  43. Sunsets
  44. Hands to hold
  45. Cozy socks
  46. Handy men
  47. This is Us
  48. Traditions
  49. Learning new things
  50. Monet’s water lilies
  51. Gelato roses
  52. Magic

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. What’s on your gratitude list this year?

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A Very Merry Un-Birthday

“One’s unbirthday should not be confused with one’s half-birthday, which only occurs once a year.” – Wikipedia – Unbirthday

I had a roommate in college who cut hair. She wore dark clothes and lots of boots and was able to rock short hair in a way that would make my round head look, well, rounder. She dreamed of dropping out of our university to attend beauty school. Instead of studying she would spend nights in our co-ed house dying the hair of the boys who lived down the hall.

The boys would emerge from narrow hallways smelling of bleach. They’d strut towards us, proud of their new, burnt orange do’s while swooping their freshly cut bangs over their eyes with a vicious tilt of the head. Smooth.

I was dating one of those boys. He later became my husband.

I’d watch from the worn, scratchy couch across the way as this roommate would confidently wield her scissors, tucking clips in her layers of black, kind and sure of herself in a way I wished I could be. I was not sure of myself in college.

This roommate was also sure of celebrations and firmly believed in celebrating her half-birthday. ONLY her half-birthday. She and her mom would give halves of gifts and eat halves of cakes and celebrate making it another tilted trip around the sun. She hated her real birthday.

I liked this premise and tried to make it my own.

Over the next four years, I started acknowledging my half birthday too. I wasn’t ready to renounce my real birthday and chose to adopt another day of recognizing me. I’d shout to myself as my half-birthday approached and remind people I loved with text messages and emails. My loved ones didn’t get my obsessive need for celebration. Most ignored my cries for recognition – I’d survived another six months, so what? In most minds, my half-birthday was just another day. As Alice in Wonderland would say, just another un-birthday. We have 364 of them.

Not in my dad’s mind though. He was one of the only people who would follow my whims, get onboard my excited text message chains and holler “woo woo!” throwing a fist pump in the air as I urged others to come along.

Sometimes, I really just wanted to be seen.

He didn’t have to understand the why of my absurd claims, he would just start to play along.

Sunday was my half-birthday.

I texted my loved ones and whooped quietly in the morning and they responded limply. I ate half a muffin and would have tucked a candle in my homemade banana cake, but the waxy old sticks rolled missing in my drawers.

This year, in his absence, my half-birthday felt like an un-birthday and perhaps that’s ok.

I’ve been working on a running list of the many things we don’t do anymore as his bubble of absence grows and pops.

Half-birthdays turn to un-birthdays. Move air. Blow bubbles. Pop.

Vacation traditions fall flat.

Car caravans leave without our vehicles.

Lines fill at taco stands with feet in Chacos, not ours.

They’ll sleep in the valley, under the stars while we keep mending here instead.

Move air. Blow bubbles. Pop.

We no longer eat small bowls of vanilla ice cream.

I was in my garden this evening and saw this giant snail, carrying its home on its shoulders. My dog sniffed and sniffed, her breath blowing the cobwebs and dirt on this creature’s muddied shell.

I paused and I thought, “What is this snail carrying that protects, but no longer serves? What debris of home follows you, little snail, wherever you go? And what of me? The things I carry, my dirt, my dust, my joy turned to wispy webs of systems and traditions no longer serving a beautiful, bubble-filled heart.

A very merry unbirthday.

To me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blown Away

I’m almost afraid to say it. Things seem to be going smoothly, people getting along, and I’m basking in the support of others. Support that I thought maybe had ended due to doors closing, differences in lifestyle choices, friends moving away. Funny how when you ask the universe for something sometimes you have to wait, and sometimes answers come flooding in faster than you can say thank you. I feel like it’s flooding, and I’m floating, today, on the good.

As you can imagine, planning a wedding is well, expensive. Even when you try to get family involved and do things yourselves. And, as a self admitted control freak about funds, this has been well, uncomfortable. Dylan, my mom, my loved ones continue to tell me to relax, to trust in God’s provision, and to allow myself to use my resources wisely. I’m trying. But in my freak out moments I scream (metaphorically of course) I can figure it out! And so I put out a call to some of my friends offering up babysitting services. And I got a response and this week had the most beautiful experience with two little girls – ages three and one.

It was Friday afternoon and I was pooped and regretting the metaphorical scream and call to action and wishing I had just said no so I could go home and drink a beer and relax because I knew the weekend would be full. I put on my big girl panties and drove across town to a family I hadn’t previously met, and settled in to babysit for the night. We went through the routine – some games, some books, some mac and cheese and I was having fun. But as I cleaned up dinner and took those little girls outside to play I was blown away by the simple pleasure of bubbles (no pun intended). Do you know how fascinating those little soap suds are to little kids? When is the last time you let yourself watch those magical orbs grow and expand and float like they have no cares in the world. We took the wands filled with soap and spun in circles, playing on the grass, pursing our lips and getting covered in spit. Up unto that point, that bubble blowing experience was the highlight of my week. I hope they invite me back. I think I want to add bubble festival to my bucket list – that’s got to be happening somewhere in this country right? If not, maybe I’ll start one.

Saturday was my bridal shower. I woke up early – I was nervous – about what I can’t exactly pin down, but you know, I don’t love being the center of attention. I was overwhelmed, however, by how many people showed up to share their love and support and advice during this time of preparation for marriage. Does anyone else ever have anxiety that if you invite people they might not show up? Like if you plan a birthday party with all of your favorite things and worry, just maybe, no one else will want to partake in what you love? I was a little nervous about that. Again, however, I was blown away by how many women from different stages of my life showed up to say, “we love you, we are thankful we get to walk with you through this time, and we love that you are so in love” WHEWWEEE – isn’t that what we all want? To be loved and accepted and showered with good wishes. It was a great day – to those who participated – thank you, thank you.

What came of this too, was freedom to extend myself to old connections and say even though we are in different places, with different schedules and priorities I still care about you. I said it to my friends, they said it to me, and even if we were together for just a few hours, I felt immensely loved. And surrounded by pink, and by cupcakes, and by accessories that will help build my new life.

And someone bought us the gnome! (Don’t know what I’m talk about? Click Here) We started a hashtag #hueygnome so you can follow his adventures.

What blows you away in good ways? What are you asking for from the universe? What do you wish you hadn’t asked for?

And for those looking for a laugh I strongly recommend this little clip – the song has been stuck in my head ALL WEEK: