Saturday, December 29, 2007

so i've been busy

As requested, a picture of Scout with his favorite Christmas gift...Roscoe.

Seems like there's never time to sit down and blog. This I miss. I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions, but I do believe that everyday starts a new year. And so I will blog. I will find time to blog. I feel better when I blog.

Hit the wall yesterday. Mommyhood is great, but sometimes even mommies need a rest. Seems like Steve's work and needy friends have kept him away from home a bit more than usual, leaving me less "me" time and a little more stress. Additionally, Scout is awake much more these days, meaning I have to be more entertaining. I know...I don't have to be on all the time, but I do feel like letting his sit staring at toys he can't play with is not the best use of his awake time. By the time Steve gets home, I'm beat and out of ideas and energy. Unfortunately, so is he. And so there has to be a solution, and I'm working on it. I get that being a new parent means not sleeping much and seldom doing what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it. And so I am happy, but I need some more time away. I think that I will begin that after the change in the calendar.

Work sucks right now and so I will also be looking for alternative employment. I'm picky, and so it won't be easy and I want lots of time with the baby. Not sure how that will all pan out, but know that it will.

There's lots of snow here, and my world is frosted and beautiful. This I love. I've obviously adjusted to South Dakota's weather since I seldom feel the need to bundle up. It could of course be hormonal. I think I've been "warm" since I got pregnant. Other side effects: dry skin and a not-so-flat tummy. While I may be able to fix the skin thing...I'm not so sure about the belly.

I'm feeling good that I got this out there...

More later...

I promise

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Wednesday morning...the air is cooler now as autumn is virtually here. Breathing is easier, and the sun not nearly so hot as it's been. Darkness comes earlier, though the moon is often still in the sky when I wake. And it's September.

I am ready for the coming winter, to nest here, surrounded by snow. While the summers aren't nearly as long or uncomfortable as they were in Houston, it feels right somehow for it to end and become something different, cooler, more colorful. The plants I think are ready, too. The hibiscus have bloomed faithfully all summer long, and the impatience wilt in the afternoon sun, only to raise their bright orange faces again as the dew sits on their leaves. They need a rest and will have one soon.

This winter will be quite different I think, as the coming of the baby can't be far away. The doctor continues to reassure me that this process will end, labor will begin soon, and that all is well. In the meantime, I continue to try to maintain peace and to enjoy the tiny movements that make my tummy swell and swish. I surrender to the life force within, which tells me that timing is divine, and though we humans do like to feel as if we can control the universe, it simply isn't so where the natural world is concerned. The summer ends, the fall begins, and babies come when they are ready. Until that time, the body is a vessel for growth, warmth and development. It is simply not all mine anymore.

And I think that I would like it if my home is the same...peaceful...a place where we all grow, feel warm and develop. A place we share for a time with those we love, and a place where we let nature lead the way, where we can let go of the control for awhile, and just be the people that we are and that we are becoming. The rest of the world can rush and fret, thinking that every little choice and option really makes a difference. As for my little family, I think that we will try to surrender a little, and know that all that control is simply an illusion.

And so, sweet child, come when you will. I will be waiting for you as I have waited for the cooler nights and the changing of the leaves. They have arrived, as you will soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

tuesday morning

My unborn child is perfectly comfortable lounging on my bladder which is, according to the doctor pancake thin. Gotta love it. Yesterday's office visit was again uneventful. I think I'm supposed to be happy about this. How could one be disappointed when the doctor says that the baby is doing well and is right on schedule. And look at those little swelling. You're doing great. I can only be happy - there have been no complications or major problems. Life is good. And yet somewhere in my heart there is a longing to be done with the pregnancy and onto the next phase of this life's journey. Keeping peaceful and trying to stay in the moment is helping. I am trying to treasure each little kick and squirm, knowing that most likely, this will be the only time in my life I am able to feel growing inside of my own body.

On the other hand, I am a bit antsy about my sister's wedding in Ohio scheduled for October 6. The closer it gets, the more afraid I become about not being able to make the trip. At this point, I still anticipate the travel will be okay. But am somewhat concerned about alterations on the dress. My sister Mora threw a little curve ball announcing her own pregnancy, leaving the slew of bridesmaids playing musical dresses. Who will wear the size six she ordered is yet to be determined. My dress is on its way here, but can't be altered until after the baby is born. I suppose all will work out as it should...

The 17 hour ride in the car to Ohio post-baby may be a bit daunting, but I'm willing as long as this child makes a move pretty soon.

A special note to anonymous: Who are you and why are you concerned with my spiritual growth and beliefs? Be assured that my soul is not in peril, despite what you believe. I'm more concerned with your need to lead me down your path to God...We all must find our way through this life and our own spiritual connection. Mine's working for me. If I knew just who you were (a voice from the past?) I may be better able to address you. For now, be consoled. I'm good with the source, and the source is good with me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14

Update: There were absolutely no notable events that I am aware of that happened on August 10th. I have stopped thinking about what the message meant as there seems to be no answer.

My trip to the doctor was unremarkable. He said all is well with his usual smile and that the baby is growing and thriving. He continues to think I should eat more often. I do what I can. I suppose my little man is happy where he is. And who wouldn't be, right. Cozy and warm he is kept out of harms way and treated to ice cream and hot fudge at night. He cuddles up and rests when he wants, sleeps when he wants, and he is obviously not feeling the pressure to emerge. I'm okay with that...I have to be. In fact, perhaps I'm a bit envious, as it would be nice to be hidden away in a womb somewhere, feeling warm and loved, and just resting.

As for other events of my life, at this stage of the game my focus is solely on having this happy, healthy baby. So there is little to report aside from an occasional cook-out and such.

Basically, without wishing my life away, I want to have the baby and be onto post-pregnancy stuff, like staying up all night, breastfeeding and changing diapers. You know you're at the ragged edge when that stuff sounds good to you, no? Just as the baby is cocooned, so am I...waiting for the day when we can fly together.

Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10

Well, this date has been looming for me ever since I heard that strange morning message heralding the date. Since that time, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my baby and today's doctor's appointment, which turned out to be nothing if not uneventful. In fact, my doctors says it's more likely that the baby will come in September, based on my size, ultrasound, etc. And so I'm thinking, great...the baby will come when the time is right. But what was all the hoopla around August 10?

It's still early here and there have been few things to suggest today will be any more eventful than yesterday or the day before that. I sit here at my computer thinking there is work to do and things to accomplish. And so I wait for something huge...spectacular even, to suggest that the weird voice in my head that said, "on August 10" was something more that the wild imaginings of a pregnant woman.

In the meantime, life goes on, my heart beats and the world continues to spin. Perhaps it is I who should make something happen. What? I'm sure I'm not sure. But I will think about it, and ask those who suggested that something might be in the works to chime in anytime to give me a clue.

I remember thinking not too long ago that the joy of an ordinary day was something to treasure, perhaps that's the message.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

counting down

Today I pulled the elastic out of the waistband of my shorts. Who in their right mind would make maternity shorts with a wide band of tight elastic around the waist? I bought three pair, thinking that would be enough to get me through this pregnancy. As it turns out, with a bit of modification, they do work.

I have entered the stage in which nothing feels comfortable other than sweats, and in 90 degree weather, that is simply not an option. While I do feel blessed that this pregnancy has been relatively easy...not much morning sickness, no headaches, only occasional heartburn, normal blood pressure and minimal weight gain...I am beginning to feel the irritability and the fatigue. When I feel it coming on, I try to stay positive and do something that makes me feel eat hot fudge sundaes - a tasty, but temporary, fix.

The baby's room is almost finished and looks adorable. After a road trip to Ohio for a baby shower attended by many aunts and cousins and friends, we're set. If the baby were to come today, he would be born into a world where everything has been arranged for his ultimate comfort and joy. What a lucky kid, no?

I though, am not sure that I am prepared for the day when he decides that it's time to come out and take a peek into the world. Though I have shied away from reading about everything that could go wrong, I do know that labor is painful, and that it could be a long and grueling process. I'm sure that I have absolutely no idea what it will be like, but have opted to stay away from medication for pain unless of course I change my mind mid-delivery. This from a control freak, of course, who believes that the more I can "help" with strong, sensitive muscles, the easier it will be for the baby to make his entrance. I suppose we'll see.

And so I am counting down the days. My scheduled due date is August 30, but a voice whispered in my ear on waking one morning..."August 10." As I am one who believes that the universe often whispers information straight into our ears should we choose to hear it, I'll be ready. The frightening thing is that August 10 is just around the we go.

The baby is moving around as I type this, reminding me that my life will be different in the days ahead, and that ready or not, he's on his way. It's comforting to feel him and know that he is well. Today we will listen to lullabies as I hang the curtain in his room and put the final touches on the walls. He will be my baby and I will be his mommy, and we will both be loved in the way only mothers and their children can know.

Friday, June 22, 2007

summer begins

With so much going on, it seems I'd forgotten the Solstice. New seasons come and go, but this summer, the Solstice seems to reflect the new beginnings of my own life. And perhaps an end of the old things that do not serve me.

On the heels of the wedding bliss, tragedy raised its head. The cycle of life and death, joy and sorrow continues. Steve's tiny cousin Austin passed into the next life. At only three and a half, he had been such a joy to his family, indeed, anyone who had ever met him. For such a small child, he left quite a legacy of love and joy in his wake. In my own heart, I know that somewhere in time and space, Austin chose his time of passing, and that he now has new lessons to learn in another time and space. Unfortunately, this doesn't heal the grief felt by family and friends on his passing. Godspeed little one...

A new child is on its way and as amazing as it remains to me, Steve and I created it. Still blows me away that out of love, a child takes shape and grows and moves. My latest doctor's appointment confirmed what I already know, everything is good. The baby is due at the end of August, but my dreams and intuition tell me that perhaps he will arrive earlier. Messages from the other side have been very clear, and so I am preparing myself and trying to remember that the timing is divine and all is perfect. Throughout my entire relationship with Steve, things happen "on schedule." This continues to make me smile to myself, remembering to trust in the Universe and the plans we made together before I was born.

I've heard that when one is "with child", dreams become more frequent and very vivid. I've always had vivid dreams, and strange ones at that. Lately they have become even more telling. Last night I dreamed of a huge eagle flying into and landing in my back yard under a blooming cherry tree. There is no cherry tree in my back yard, but a pear tree that is now bearing tiny little fruits. As is my nature, I looked for the symbolism in all of it. Turning to the "Animal Magic" book, I find that the eagle is a sign of Spirit, and asks on to reconnect with the spiritual side. When I'm honest with myself, I know that I have fallen away from my meditation practice in the hubbub of everyday life. Time to get back at it, I think. The eagle also symbolizes creativity, new birth and healing. Imagine that. And so this huge bald eagle that flew into my dreams reminds me of my place here, and the lessons I chose to learn in this life. I know that the child that is coming for me to take care of will transform my life in many ways and open me up to love that I've never allowed myself to experience in the past. I do have fears...but have tried to keep them out of my own space, choosing instead to be filled with excitement and possibility. The little things will take care of themselves.

How I was lucky enough to land where I am now still throws me. Just not sure how one person can have the life I now have and all the good stuff that goes along with it. An optimist - I see that my glass is not only half full, but overflowing - and I'm not looking for anyone to tip over the glass any time soon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

reception and other things

I promised details...
The reception was in Wetonka, SD - Steve's home town...more than 200 miles from Sioux Falls. There are officially 7 residents that live in town. Most others around there are farmers from the country around there. My family, being a bit less rural, was somewhat shocked at the abandoned church, saloon and farmhouses "in town." But when Steve's Aunt Jacky zoomed around the corner in a golf cart to take them on a tour, all fears of what was to come were lost and smiles grew on every face.

The only (and I mean only) place to go in town is the Neon Moon. Some call it a bar, others a cafe. It's actually a bit of both, and people come from miles away to gather there. Young, older, with and without kids. It was built only a couple of years ago by a guy named Dave who wanted a place to drink that he "wouldn't get thrown out of." And so there in the middle of practically nothing is a great little place to go where people laugh, dance, listen to live bands, and generally have a good time. And so the reception was held at the Neon Moon. Sherry, Dave's long-time girl who moved out from California and Linda, Steve's mom, had the place looking quite festive. The locals had offered to bring some dips and salads to accompany the ham, pork loin, cake and punch.

Steve was a trooper about dancing - not only with me, but with the bridal party, his cousins, my mom, his mom, and even Wolfie and Bo. The little ones didn't last too long, and found a place to crash on top the pool table. They had a big time. As the night wore on, he was a bit easier to convince. My sisters had a ball, and even my parents, who aren't much for drinking seemed to really enjoy the entire night...which lasted until morning. As long as people were having fun, Dave let those of us staying in the rooms in the back continue the party.

Steve and I did go to our room before some of the others. And Ann was a hit dancing on the bar at 4 a.m. in Megan's boxer shorts. Sorry sis.

The best thing about the night was that two families from totally different places were able to feel so comfortable with each other. There was a time, just before the wedding, that I wondered just how it would go. But all my fears faded as the night wore on. People made new friends, strangers laughed together, and you could really feel the love. I guess that's what marriage is all about, the joining together of families...and the realization that no matter how different we are, there's something that makes us all the same.

Pictures of the wedding are posted at The password is Rohwedder. I will post some of the other candid shots on flicker when I get some time.

I'm starting to feel peaceful again...the baby and I have some quiet time and little by little the house and our lives are settling down. This is good. It's time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


It's Wednesday morning and hard to believe that the wedding is over and all the guests have returned home. What I know is that we've made tons of memories and left just about everyone with the warm fuzzies.

Steve's mom, dad and Aunt Jacky arrived first (on Tuesday night) to help with all the almost last minute details. My family began arriving from Texas and Ohio on Thursday. The house was full and the details were all that was left to tie up. The weather people were predicting rain, but with a little help from the gods, Sioux Falls stayed dry throughout the festivities.

The yard looked beautiful, thanks to Steve's careful tending for weeks before. Daisies and wildflowers bloomed everywhere and the hibiscus was its showy best all day Saturday, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Despite the wind, the arch remained in place all day long. Chairs and tables were set up and the flowers delivered. When I saw them I was thrilled. Each bouquet was made from Stargazer lilies, green hydrangeas, and pink peonies. They were amazing. Mason jars filled with the same were placed throughout the yard and it was unbelievably beautiful. A few river rocks in the bottom of each vase kept them standing in the ever increasing wind.

When it was time to dress, I had lots of help and was hugely relieved when it fit perfectly. Bridesmaids dresses fit with a few nips and tucks, and the groomsmen were oh-so-handsome in their "uncomfortable" tuxedos. I had chosen ivory jackets with black slacks and the choice was perfect.

Then it was 3 o'clock...I was so ready. The music started to play and one by one each couple made their way down the toward Lynnette - the officiant - and the garden arch. Emma and Matt, the flower girl and ring bearer were precious. And then it was my turn. When we walked toward the front, I knew that everyone in the place was touched, but me most of all. Regardless of all the landscaping, guests, flowers and music, this was what it was all about.

Daddy reached over and handed my hand to my husband, who gently took it and looked at me with such love and respect that I almost cried.

And Lynnette, in her own amazing way, began to take over and lead us - as she does so perfectly - through a ceremony that touched even the toughest hearts.

When my sister Ann did here reading from The Prophet - she had to stop occassionally to regroup as the tears were freely flowing. Which caused little Emma to sob, and the rest of the girls to pull out hankies. (Despite their overt manliness, even a few of the groomsmen later admitted they were having trouble holding back the tears.) When we said our vows, the weeping continued - I think it was because of the truth of it all. We committed to allow each other to be who we are with support and love. And promised that the couple we had become would be a greater whole. And when it was time for the kiss, everyone was feeling the love.

Perfect - of course. The entire wedding.

We exited, ate fabulous food, stood for tons of photos and everyone was happy.

The wind blew the arch down about fifteen minutes after the photos were finished - and it was so okay.

Memorable moments:
Steve's mom and Aunt Jacky giving me his grandmother's ring to wear.
Ann and Emma's tears
Steve in his tuxedo with his Larry the Cable Guy shirt underneath
All the sisters together
Matthew's grin and kisses
The look in Steve's eyes
My own tears
The beautiful flowers
The togetherness despite differences
The sound of the windchimes
Lynnette's strength and presence
My sister Ann's love

There are so many more....

The reception in Wetonka was fab...and I'll try to recap tomorrow.

Ain't love grand?

Suffice it to say that the music turned out just fine, and the food was delicious, and the ceremony went very well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's Wednesday again - and I'm on deadline. It's that "hurry up and wait" feeling that has taken hold, at least for this week.

Skies are overcast, and my mood is difficult to lift. But I know that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I'm trying to be productive.

The baby is indeed growing, and I've had my very first tummy pat from someone I just met. I did know that was coming, but it's a little strange. I thought it would really bother me, but it didn't. In some ways it's an affirmation that this is really happening, and soon, my stomach will be a billboard, connecting me with those who have gone before.

My goddess energy has dwindled...yes, I know, motherhood is the ultimate in creativity. I mean creating life and all of that, but in the meantime I'm having trouble feeling it. Is this weird, or normal? And what is normal? My life lately has been anything but. So many changes and so much to do that is out of the ordinary. But I'm adapting, and trying to reinsert myself into old good habits like writing and meditation. The yoga helps, but the pets seem to divert my energy at every turn. I'm chanting "ohm" and they're running around like tiny banshees barking at the mailman. Peace, right? So today they will have to spend outside while I twist and turn my body - gently- into poses that are perfectly modified for those "with child".

I am getting excited for the big family get-together that will be my wedding. It will be a chance for Steve's family to mingle with mine and everyone to happily commune over our good fortune at finding love and having a child. Miss my kids, miss my sisters, miss my mom and dad, miss Emma. So their faces will be a welcome sight. The wedding is only a month away - yikes - and I still have lots of little things to do. I'm down to making real choices, and not sweating the small stuff. Not really so difficult when I set my mind to it.

Some days I wonder just how this will all pan out, and long for October, or November, when one Saturday morning I will wake up and find that there is no big event to plan, and there are no preparations to make. I will hear the baby wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee and have a really lovely day. It's not that I'm not looking forward to all the stuff that will occur over the next few months. It's just that I'm sure there will be peace in the normalcy of life, and the everyday miracles are everywhere.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This is for Gewels and all of my friends who just want to know...boy or girl?

"Boy" says the ultrasound, a thrilling prospect especially for his daddy, who can't stop grinning. I, being okay with either option, am just glad to know and be able to plan. So we were busy planning "boy" when Steve came home after talking to a friend who said that the ultrasound may not be too accurate give the fact that I am somewhere between 18-20 weeks along. From the beginning, I've felt "girl" and my very special friend and psychic said, "girl." And Deb and Chris said, "girl." So while the medical community is pretty sure it's a boy...we're all left wondering. Despite all of that, I did buy the most adorable outfit for him yesterday. And if it's a girl...she'll look just fine in those overalls with the cars on them.

In other news...the wedding planning is becoming a bit nerve racking. Since Steve and I did the civil ceremony already, carrying out the "other" wedding planning seems a bit much. But as so much money has been sent, and it is a chance to share the occasion with family...we're doing it. Most of the planning is done...there are fittings and a few things to buy, but the big challenge is the music! Can't find a simple violin player to save my soul. So I'm thinking CDs and I'm thinking Celtic for the ceremony. Any suggestions are welcome. We can just play other music we love for the small reception we have planned in the backyard. I do need to start compiling a list and making a few CDs for the event.

And if all this hoopla weren't enough...I'm still trying to tie up all the (unending) loose ends with my ex, who continues to be difficult. Damn. I just want all of that stuff out of my space.

And so, baby and I are planning a quiet day of work and a little shopping. I have finally found a few options in modern maternity dressing (thanks for the suggestions Gewels), and don't feel nearly as odd in my clothes. (smile here)

What a life, no?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

a regular thursday

Well, almost. The beetle but the dust yesterday, leaving me carless. With no deadlines and no car, I'm here at home, trying to figure out the best way to spend the cold winter day. While it's supposed to be spring, it's freezing.

The shoe crisis has passed and I got my shopping fix last Saturday with Steve's mom and sister. Four lovely pairs of shoes later, I'm ready for the hottest maternity fashions. But now I'm having a bit of an image crisis. Maternity clothes just don't fit my self-image. They're a bit "cute." Which is a term I've fought most of my life. The little freckle-faced redhead girl was always "cute" and I wanted to be pretty, attractive, hot even. And so I worked on it. The accessories helped, but I've no belt that fits, nor would I want to highlight my midsection. I see pregnant women all the time with tight fitting tops that highlight their expectant situation. I, on the other hand, don't really like the look that emphasizes a belly button that has been misshapen by baby. And so I pick out little peasant shirts that so don't feel quite right and which undoubtedly make me look "cute." But a small price to pay I think for the prospect of having a child.

Next week I'm scheduled for an ultrasound and the revelation of just what sex this child may be. I think girl - Chris agrees as does Lynnette. Ann says boy, but I just think that's wishful thinking. In the meantime, I think about the nursery. Will it be very pink? Or should I paint dragonflies on the walls? For now I wait and wonder. I wonder just how ready I am for this massive undertaking which, admit it, will last the rest of my life. This changes everything that I thought my forties and fifties would be like. And I'm not sure what to do with that except to go with it. Right now that is the only option. I will follow my intuition about just how to do that. What I won't do is stay home all the time and make my number one "identity" mommy. Just don't see that happening. I will continue to be Melissa first, mommy, wife and whatever second. I know that one can get all wrapped up in motherhood. I used to have a hard time with women whose lives revolved around their children and I'm hoping I won't become one of them. The trap is big with sharp teeth that leave one feeling caught and sore and a little beaten up for the thanklessness of the job.

When I think of all of the responsibility of parenthood, I get a little shaky. I was (almost) done with that, and enjoying the lack of worry - but it begins again, as life is an eternal circle. We continue meet up with ourselves where we started.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

not just another day

Today I want to write about the regular stuff...Bush's address at the nation...having a shoe crisis...just the normal things that happen in life. I'm pretty tired of all the monumental moments...and lately, I've had plenty.

First the shoe's spring, and ususally I'm very excited to pull out all of my sandals and try them out again. This year, none seem to do. Even more discouraging, I went shopping and could only find one pair of shoes I liked. Perhaps the problem is really my toes, which haven't seen a pedicure in months. Is this life is South Dakota, where toes are covered for months at a time, and feet become tender from being wrapped in socks and shoes all winter long? I think not. I think that I was so very comfortable with my old pedicure woman, and now I can't seem to find one that I like that doesn't cost a foot and an ankle. Additionally, I'm having a pants crisis. This maternity thing has left me with only a few pair of regular pants that work. So I bought a few pairs of (dare I say) maternity jeans. They just don't work with the shoes I own. The only pair that feels right is my cowboy boots - not very spring-like. As if I need another question to ponder - what's a girl to do without her best shopping buddy. My sis is too far away to do a day at the mall. She always knows what works for me, even when I don't. And she knows when to stop for a rest, a glass of wine and Chinese food. She can never be replaced, and so I am left without sandals this spring. I am also left with ugly maternity pants. And if I'm not careful, I may live in sweats for the next five months.

Then there's today's news. For some strange reason, I listened to CNN today while I worked. I think I heard his coy and senseless cowboy comments 20 or more times. And all I can think can this guy not get it. But it's obvious he never will.
Worth mentioning...Our wedding plans were changed a bit with news of the baby...and so last Friday night, at a beautiful park at sunset, Steve and I exchanged wedding vows. Funny how it seemed so perfect after all the planning for the "other" wedding. When we first got engaged, we thought about getting married in the spring, at Palisades, in our jeans, with only a few people there. And what do you know...that's exactly what happened. Some things are just right.
Okay, so it was a monumental moment...but a beautiful one.

Monday, March 05, 2007

tiny little heartbeat

Went to see the doctor today and heard a tiny precious beating heart from deep inside my tummy. Amazing really. And hard still to believe that I was chosen by some tiny little being somewhere to be its mother. The doctor says all is well, but I already know that.

I'm finally feeling better - the waves of exhaustion and nausea have passed. And now I wait and prepare. Since all of this is so new to me, I'm not sure how, but am following my instincts and know this serves me best of all.

Today is really a turning point, the entire thing goes from perhaps to in fact. And I have so many thoughts about just how I want to be as a mother. The things I want to teach are so different than what I might have thought 20 years ago. And this wisdom I think will serve us all. I want to teach her to make time to be still and listen to the wind. To see the magic in the unfolding of each day. To believe that miracles happen every single day, and that thoughts have power and energy. I want to teach her to laugh at the world and herself and at me and her dad, and that the earth is filled with exciting mysteries. I want to teach gratitude for simple things.

I do know, though, that she comes with her own set of lessons to learn, and that she may have an agenda for her time here that I can't understand. Allowing her to be perfectly who she is will be a priority to me.

And I believe that each tiny spark of life, each soul begins the journey filled with joy. I never want to take that from her. That she can find joy and share it is my wish for her.

I think it will be a she...but haven't found out for sure. That will happen in a month. In the meantime, I will talk to her and sing to her and send her love from my heart to hers.

I am overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility, and yet, it all seems just right somehow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

so it's been a month

45 and pregnant....

Well, amid the twists and turns of my life this year, it shouldn't have been a surprise. I really thought I was over that...done with worrying about it. I might have heeded the warnings of friends and family who said I should be careful, that I might get pregnant. But I didn't, and I am...pregnant, and happy about it.

But I hate the word. I much prefer "with child". That's how it feels. I don't feel "pregnant", but most of the time I am reminded that I am no longer alone in this body. I am now sharing it with a tiny guest. This little bit of a person totally transformed the body I have known for years. The first indication was the way my jeans fit me. Can't explain it really, but they felt different somehow. Then came the nausea. I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as some of the accounts I've heard about, but cooking red meat was not an option for awhile. When it was time for my period, I exhibited all of the signs of a regular monthly cycle...bloating, sore breasts, etc. And I waited for the onset of the menses which never materialized. After a couple of weeks, I was sure I was pregnant or something was really, really wrong. I suppose I was in denial, thinking it impossible for me to have a baby.

I think about all of the times I laughed at the commercials for in-home pregnancy tests. "Just hold it in your urine stream..." And then I was there...doing just that and watching for the big blue plus sign, which appeared within seconds. No longer able to deny it, I went and bought another test, just to be sure - as if I wasn't already.

So now I am with child. My child. Steve's child. And I am happy. A little afraid of how it will affect the rest of my life, but happy.

I think it was all that goddess energy know, the otter...embracing the unknown...creating life. And we did. Once you ask the universe for all it's abundance, it responds, and you see all the dreams that you never believed would come true manifest before your eyes. Pinch this my life? Am I this happy?

The hard stuff...not smoking, decaf, eating fruits and vegetables when I feel like chips. The easy stuff...knowing that this is really a "love child", knowing the baby will be "Scout", knowing that daddy is the gentlest, kindest man I've ever met. But perhaps most of all, knowing that I can do this, perhaps better this time. And that I can discover the world all over again through the eyes of a child, while having the wisdom that comes with being 45 and knowing the importance of sharing the beauty of sunsets, being fearless, enjoying books, talking walks in the park and petting the dog.

We are truly blessed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the test

Noticed this test thing on Gewels' blog - Imagined I thought I'd try. Found it a little too accurate.

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

What do you think?


Last year at this time, I was doing much the same thing as I'm doing today. Packing and getting ready to move. Last year, I moved more than 1000 miles. This year, probably not quite a mile, from the SLRH to the - well, not sure what to call it yet - but we will own it someday. Last year at this time I was divorcing. This year, marrying.

Like the seasons, life repeats itself over and over again. And I wonder if we're all running in circles, or if it's the details that make each cycle new and different in some ways.

Unlike many people, I despise routine. Not a good thing when one works at home, where it's best to establish a "work day" routine. Sometimes I brush my teeth before I wash my face just to mix things up a little. Lately, I'm thinking, a little routine would do me good. Seems like every day is a new challenge - a new adventure (that sounds much better). And each morning starts with the same questions? Should I pack this morning? Work a little? Check my mail? Clean? Call my mother? The only constant seems to be the coffee - and this week I ran out of that sweet Irish creme additive, throwing my mornings way off. And If I pack, where do I start? If I work, where do I start? Maybe I should check my account balances as new home ownership can be expensive (ching, ching.)

And so I wonder through each day, jumping from one place to another, wondering if it's worth taking a shower just to get dirty again. What I know is that there is no quick way to do all this. I must pack one box at a time, knowing that in a few days I will be unpacking one box at a time. (There's that cycle again.)

February...hard to believe. And I am here, in South Dakota, where everything is frosted with white icing and the temperatures are predicted to be the coldest in 10 years. This, I suppose is one of those details that makes things different. This and the fact that when I wake up each morning, two sweet dogs lick my face and a friendly kitty crawls across my chest. And from the bathroom, I hear the sound of the shower. Reaching towards the night stand, I find a cup of hot coffee just the way I like it, left by a man who thinks I'm worth keeping around. When I get out of bed, I will make him a cup of hot chocolate, and we will sit at the kitchen table and spend 10 minutes talking before the day begins. This routine I love...this I will keep at the house that doesn't yet have an acronym. (Suggestions welcome.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

happy new house

I was watching a movie last night and the wife in the movie was saying that somewhere along the line, romance becomes the business of marriage. Today, I will take a step toward this "business" of marriage. Today we are closing on our new home. I'm not afraid of this. It makes sense in my world. What I fear is the "business" of marriage. I love the life I have in the SLRH with my SO. If buying a house changes the bliss, it will really piss me off.

So I'm committed not only to buying this new home, and getting married, but more than anything to keeping it from becoming business. I will tear the wallpaper off in the bathroom in joyful swoops and will not get upset if everything doesn't go just the way it's supposed to. If it takes weeks to make it look good, so be it. Life shouldn't be so serious.

I spent many years of my life thinking a lot about ways to stay in control of every little avoid any chaos. The message in this for me is that life is too short to be in control...I want to be zen, and to bend and stretch with the situations life affords me. I want to take it as it comes. And so this is the real commitment I make today when I sign my name.

My consultation with the angels today confirmed that "happily ever after" is indeed possible - when you keep the "happy" in it, find joy in the mundane, find bliss in a returned smile or touch. I think in fact that happiness is something we find ways to allude without realizing it. What's the point in creating things to be worried about. Life does indeed happyn (yes you can find happy in happen) if you let it. And behind the most innocuous dusty corner, one may find a little gem of joy.

One giant step for me...over the edge and into the unknown. Whew, what a ride.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

its a racket

I was on the phone with my sister Heather yesterday, who incidentally is planning a wedding of her own in October. What started as a simple "computer help desk" call ended up a very long conversation on the ins and outs of wedding planning. The verdict...the entire thing is a racket, created to make lots of people a lot of money and leaving brides-to-be thinking that a single blemish on their face with ruin the "most important day of their lives."

My biggest worry is the guest list...there are just too many people on it to fit in my backyard. And there seems to be no way to stop the insanity. But then, I'm not doing the huge church/reception hall thing. Simple, simple, simple. Wedding planners would be horrified. One of Steve's friends called and asked if I had chosen my "personal assistant" for the event. I laughed, and said, "I don't even know what that is." I thanked her for offering her services, but continued to say that I think that's what my sisters are for.

Heather worries, too. That maybe she should go ahead and get lasiks before the wedding so her eyes don't water too much, and that she should spend $1000 to get her face up to par. The dermatologist put the fear of "bad skin" in her head.

And then there's the dress. The women at the bridal shop all say you look fabulous; your attendants say you look fabulous. But when you look in the mirror, you are definitely fat. And it's nothing a good bra can fix. Do I refuse to wear the horribly uncomfortable control-top stockings and suck it in? Or do I buy into the hype and get heavy duty undergarments to fool the crowd.

I watched Bridezillas the other night after Steve had gone to bed. This crazy women had spent more than $50,000 on her wedding. The veil itself was more than $1000. The flowers were fabulous, but her dress, which cost a small fortune (and would be worn for a single day) wasn't' all that amazing. Worst of all, she walked around the reception with a clipboard commanding her guests to sit in their assigned seats. And while I wanted to think she was a total bitch, all I could do was feel sorry for her. She took the bait. She wanted the perfect wedding and reception and she was going to have it dammit. The saddest part is that there is absolutely no way she could have enjoyed herself, at least considering the footage I saw. What will she remember about "the most important day in her life?"

I try to stay calm, despite the fact that there is still a lot to do. I hope my face doesn't break out and that my nails look great on my wedding day. I hope that lots of the RSVPs send regrets so everyone has a place to sit in my backyard. I hope that I can find a band to play the kind of music I want to hear. But no matter what happens, I will get married on May 26 to a man that I love, and this is really the most important thing about "the most important day of my life."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

little reminders

I hate that feeling...eyes burning, the tears just one puppy kiss away. I think, "don't touch me, or say something nice to me, or I may just sob."

I had one of those days on Tuesday. I'm not sure if it was pms, the sense of time flying and leaving me without wings, or the immensity of the changes in my life. But whatever the reason, I was an emotional time bomb. No matter how many times I told myself to live in the moment, the future seemed to be falling in on me like plaster from a rotting ceiling, one dusty chunk at a time. My mind swirled with thoughts about all the things I should be doing, would be doing soon, and the cost of all the improvements. Worst part was that thoughts about all of these things kept me from doing all of these things. I was obsessing without guided action.

Around noon, Steve's cousin showed up with her daughter who I had agreed to babysit for the afternoon with her two month old puppy. I wasn't sure I could take it.

And it didn't really get any better throughout the day and night. Instead, little aggravations continued. I spilled coffee on my shirt, burned a hole in my sleeve with a cigarette, and had to pay my taxes. Urggggh. And then the groupies began to show up one by one to cement every insecurity I've ever had. First "an old girlfriend" called, then "an old roommate" called with car problems. It was after 8 when I was finally able to talk to my fiance, who is supposed to "be there" when I'm having a bad day, right?

I was angry and I'm sure that he could feel the tension. I think he was afraid to come home and face whatever demons were haunting me. After all, they were MY demons. He was up to the challenge - mostly. It was a big challenge. And he made dinner - mostly. Frozen food in the oven. And he made lists and put together a plan of action.

In the end, I felt a little better, but still had a hard time sleeping. I got up and played solitaire until 2, promising myself with every flip of the cards that tomorrow would be better. No surprise, it was. The key was this. Every time I felt a surge of anxiety, I took a breath and tried to remember the little joys of life. I lay on the bed and petted the dogs. I made tuna and noodle casserole (my comfort food). I read the blogs of my friends. I watched out the window for birds. I looked at a magazine. I watched Decorating Cents. I did get some work done in the middle of all of the joyful things. Which made me feel better, too.

Right now Elmo the cat is lying across my wrist as I type. Can't imagine that he is comfortable, but I guess he needs a little attention. Today he is my little reminder that life is good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

waiting for snow

South Dakota, they say, is a snow lover's dream. But I have yet to experience this phenomenon. While I did enjoy one pretty terriffic snowfall last spring, (I use that term lightly), this winter has been virtually snow-free - at least in Sioux Falls.

I think it might be unbelievably cool to build a real snowperson again, and make angels and have a mini-snowball war. I am after all a peacelover at heart. We get wind and predictions, and if we're lucky, a light dusting of white that virtually disappears with the warmth of the afternoon sun.

And so I wait, and I wonder if it was all a prevarication.

In the meantime, someone, somewhere is enjoying the snow. Don't get me wrong...the Denver deluge is more than I want. Just a foot or so would satisfy my cravings and inspire me to walk in the moonlight. I remain uninspired.

Shall I go farther north? Rumor has it that it has been snowing there. Must I travel to enjoy the shimmer and crispness of fresh snow? To watch the flakes fall through beams of light and gently land on my tongue as I lift my face to the sky? Or shall I wait for the perfect Saturday morning? One day I will wake up and rub my eyes, not believing as I look through my bedroom window that fate has finally smiled on me and given me a snowfall worth waiting for. On that morning, I will slug down my first cup of coffee, put on my snowpants, and head to the park. I will hear the crunch under my boots and revel my luck.

For now I suppose I will sit by the window and wait...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

the bees

Last night I realized that my mind is doing that thing again. My thoughts jump from one to another fearlessly with no net. And I try to think of solutions to 1000 challenges before me. I haven't felt this way in a very long time, and I have to say I don't like it.

Over the last year or so, I coasted. Did what I wanted when I wanted for the most part, not counting the pesky annoyance of work. My responsibilities were only to myself. I did my own laundry when I wanted, ate when I wanted, or didn't eat if that seemed more appropriate at the time. There were no plans. And now I find myself in a sea of them. From moving to wedding plans, there are thousands of little details to be handled, and they're flying around my head like bees in a field of sweet clover. And so I'm trying to remember that the bees come with the clover. This is not always easy.

I've pretty much decided I hate responsibility. Am I alone? Are there other out there who will acknowledge that life is better without them? SLRHs are easier to manage when the handy man fixes every little thing that goes wrong. And living together is almost as good as being married. I sure that those of you who hate responsibility as much as I do would think perhaps that marriage is almost as good as living together. There are just too many details.

I think that I so need to pull out "the jar". In this jar I have placed little slips of paper with my every hope and dream, acknowledging that all my needs are met, if not exceeded, and that the universe will take care of the hows. This has always worked for me. So why didn't I think of this sooner? Just stuff the bees in the jar. Seems simple right? Unfortunately there is a little piece of me that isn't quite trusting the jar right now. What if the bees escape and leave a big stinger right in the middle of my forehead the night before the wedding. The ugly welt will be right there for everyone to see, and just when I'm trying to be the princess. Yes, the welt will go away, but not before everyone points and whispers.

I ask myself why I care at all. The welt will go away...the pain is brief. And there are just soooo many bees. If I'm honest, I know that somewhere along the line I will be stung, and it will hurt, as that is the way bee stings behave. I may as well anticipate this eventuality, suck it up and buy some calamine lotion. It won't be pretty. But in no time at all, at least by June 1st, I will be rolling in the sweet clover, in my new home with the amazing fireplace and the bright sun room. And when twilight falls, I will see the stars in the eyes of my new husband.

Sting away.

Friday, January 05, 2007

new house

I'm meeting with the banker this morning. Yes, we're buying a house - a beautiful house. Just one more piece of the puzzle that makes Sioux Falls my home. From the beginning it felt right, but this little bit of icing makes it real.

When I moved to Houston, I remember thinking that anywhere I was happy could be home. And so, here I am happy, and here I am home. After all, it's a big country, and a change of address is just a tiny little thing, right.

Moving on the other hand is a BIG thing. I hate moving, and am hoping with all of my heart that the new house is permanent - the last big move. I'm collecting boxes and trying to put things in order to make the move as smooth as possible. I do dread packing everything up yet again. I've done it too many times in the last two years. But with each move I have consolidated, discarding that which no longer fits, looks good, or works. In fact, I have even disposed of things that aren't so bad, just are never used. And so I will consolidate yet again. It's almost like sweeping the soul clean of things that no longer serve me.

Talked to Lynnette yesterday, who reminded me that with the new year, it's time to put a period on the end of the sentence that was my life and move on to the next sentence, paragraph, chapter. The new story has begun, but an ellipses hangs at the end. Not sure where the future will take me, but trying to create the life of my dreams and believing in "happily ever after."

So I'm off to the bank to try and write a new home into the setting of my life. I think of its emptiness, and look forward to filling it. I will change the color scheme, and hang new inspirational art in my office. I will fill it with blue and chocolate, dreamy textures, and light. I will make it a place for joy - lots of joy. If there is something we don't love, it won't have a place there. That's a good place to start, no?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

the dress

When I was in Ohio in November, I picked out the dress I will wear for my wedding. So I searched Sioux Falls to find the same dress and finally found Kathryn's Bridal. There I again tried on this not-so-bride-ish dress. And when I tried it on, it felt right. Yes, I bought the dress...yikes...and now the search begins for the accessories that will accompany me down the aisle.

The groom, of course, is the ultimate accessory, and has already been picked. And while the right shoes and jewelry are very important, the groom must be perfect. While he says he'd prefer to wear jeans, I'm sure that he's looking forward to wearing the tuxedo and acting like it's a real pain. He insists that he will wear his Larry the Cable Guy shirt under his tuxedo, which is one of the reasons he is perfect. He is authentically Steve - always. This I love. And he allows me to be my authentic self - always. This I love even more. And the shoes, they will be Cinderella shoes, the sort a princess-for-a-day should own.

At the bridal store, I did sign up for the "princess package" which offers discounts on everything from alterations to invitations. A marketing ploy to make the bride believe that she is a princess when in fact she IS Cinderella, with thousands of things to do before the ball.

I am having many second thoughts about the color I chose for the bridesmaids dresses. Will it be mint green or celestial blue? Ann and Heather think the blue is pretty. Haven't asked the rest of the girls. But really, since I am the bride, I get to choose. Problem is I can't. So I'm trying to be a little spiritual and think about the chakras. Green is the heart chakra, perfect for a wedding. It is the color of growing things, and of the trees to which I feel a kinship. But is the color of the third eye chakra, which is all seeing, and which led me to Steve. It is his favorite color. And while I'm normally not a blue person, it reminds of ice and sky, of a cloudless day. Perhaps I should choose blue. Pink peonies will be the flower of the day, and both blue and green would work with these beautiful and almost forgotten flowers.

It seems that I have gone from an life void of responsibilities to a life filled with thousands of inconsequential choices. The wedding will, in fact, go on in blue or green, with peonies or some other flowers. In the end, these little details don't really matter. But hey, if there's gonna be a ball, it might as well be fabulous, no?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

happy new year

New beginnings, right? That's what this whole celebrating the new year thing is all about. But let me say for the record that I have had way too many new beginnings, and will settle for just firming out the edges of those things that have just begun.

I do feel somehow renewed though, as if I have been given a clean sheet of paper. Even the things that I neglected over the last year don't seem nearly as daunting as the year dawns. I suppose that it's all a part of the package. It does seem to give one the incentive to look back over the last year, recap and regroup.

The last year...ending the old that no longer served me, beginning a new relationship, finding a new house, engagements, new city, new family....whew... perhaps 2007 will let me become adjusted. And though I do feel as if I've been given a new life to create, which is somewhat of a challenge, I feel joyful at the thought of it. That clean sheet of paper can be filled with whatever it is I want to write, draw or color.

It begins I think with planning this wedding - yikes. Lots to do. Signed up at this wedding website and the worst part of it is that it reminds me just how many (few) days are left before the big event. It is funny somehow that I don't feel rushed or stressed. Just as if everything will fall in where and when it's supposed to. I do have lists...lots of them, and one by one they will be checked off. And the day will be beautiful and bright and sunny and perfect. We're manifesting that you know. And if it isn't, well, I suppose that all will be as it should be.

Whatever the case, my relationship will move into a more permanent space, and I will be "attached." Despite my longing for "freedom", the universe has offered me a "do over." And I intend to make the most of it, without giving up the freedom to be myself. I think I've learned many lessons...the biggest...1 + 1 = 2. Seems simple, no? And yet in so many marriages, there are no longer two people, just a sort of mocha blending of lives that leaves little evidence of the people that once occupied the space. Instead, I intend to continue to be French Roast, while Steve can continue to be Mountain Dew. We will not smoke cigarettes from the same pack and though I may make a hot dish or two, I will still love lobster and crab cakes, and will stop for lunch at the Chinese restaurant as I did yesterday.

I am expecting the best of the year...and will take the challenges as well as the blessings, knowing that each will teach me something, about myself, about life, about family, about spirit. And this is good.