Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Littlish Announcement

I noticed I haven't posted many photos lately. Heck, I haven't posted much of anything lately. So for those of you who are more faithful readers, I hope this is a nice post to see to reward your regular checking in. With a photo that I decidedly did NOT take, but was certainly involved in the process.

Mr. Right and I are expecting a little one. Hopefully in late June. Yay! Gulp. Yay!

PS. That's the head in side profile, tilted back. Baby is looking up, probably at my stomach, wondering what the heck it is I just ate. Sorry, baby. Gummy bears and kimchi, probably. That's about the standard right now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Putting Down Roots in the Bath

We are settling into our new life in Melrose. Just like in any new situation, there's the honeymoon phase and then the, 'uh oh, this isn't good' phase. And we're moving through both. There hasn't been any major surprises about the house, thank goodness. We are coming to see that the previous owners weren't exactly exacting about the wonderful updates they made. (Thanks for the brand new windows that don't actually close/lock, guys!) But we are coping and planning for what needs to be done.

I have noticed a shift in myself though, a shift that makes me happy. After leaving Pittsburgh for Washington DC so many years ago (ugh, was it really 15 years?), I haven’t lived in a place that felt like I was there for the long haul. DC was great but never felt like I'd stay, then off to grad school in California which was temporary, and then to Boston. Boston somehow managed to turn into "home" in a way that Pittsburgh, DC and Santa Barbara never did. DC was just too short of a visit. And Pittsburgh and Santa Barbara both call to me and still pull me in many ways, but the call is never one that said "you're home." I always felt a little itchy while living in both towns, like I wanted more than they could offer me. It's a very personal thing, and even an unpredictable thing. I have no family in New England. No history longer than my 12 years living here. But it's where my roots are now dug into the dirt, even moreso with the addition of my local-born husband with his two local kids and his enormous local family. Yep, I'm here for a long haul in New England -- not necessarily til the end of my life -- who knows where we'll go? but for a good while.

Despite my feeling that Boston would be home, I never settled on a physical home. I've had a apartments that I loved, no make that LOVED, and I still miss. But I knew they weren't IT. Part of it, yes, I'll admit, was waiting for Mr. Right. And part of it was knowing I didn't want rent going down the drain for many more years.

Here we are then, Mr. Right and I, our first home bought together. I've been unpacking and putting away dishes and hanging things on walls I haven't seen in a decade because where was I going to put them except in my new home? So there they are on the wall, my great-grandmother's apple crisp recipe in the kitchen. The beautiful Talavera plates from Mexico I never used because I didn't have a cupboard for them. The glass grape sculpture that my grandmother saved for me because no one else wanted it (I was fascinated by it as a kid). It's a wonderful feeling that my personality is now shaping this place. To surround yourself with things from your history and family and travels is such a pleasure.

The loudest signal, however, of my newfound acceptance of the new place is a small thing. I decided to take a bath. I can't explain it; I'm not a huge bath person as showers are just easier, but every once in a while, I enjoy the warm water and quiet time. Yet if I'm not really settled into a place I have no interest in the tub. But here, in our new home, it was time. And it felt great. I guess that means I'm home.

So how about you? How do you know if you're home (or not home?)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Resolutionary Road

And we start the new year off, the new decade. I just poked through my previous posts to see if I have ever discussed the new year resolution thing, and I was surprised to see I had not. I want to share something with you that I have found pretty helpful. The whole "I want to be nicer to whomever, or lose 50 pounds thing" just never worked for me. But somewhere along the way I picked up the habit of writing out some things I would like to accomplish in the coming year in terms of FUN things. Like one of my resolutions last year was to bike the Cape Cod Canal. Not a huge accomplishment, but for whatever reason, I got attached to it, and we made it happen this past October. And now I can consider it part of my life's adventures.

I am sucker for those life lists that you hear people working on, and I've maintained a relatively informal one in the back of my planner for the past 5 years or so. I'll try to work things from my life lists into my year list. And sometimes things that weren't on my life list appear on it once I've gone to do this because it was such a cool accomplishment that I want to make sure I treasure it.

One of the most important part of working on the goals for next year is going over what you accomplished (fun things or not) in the previous year, some of which were never on your list in the first place. It really brings a sense of closure to the year. Then you can build your next year list of fun things. 2009 was a particularly big year, with the selling of our home and the buying of a new one, as well as starting to take classes toward a potential new career. This year will probably have less ambitious goals as we settle into our new lives here in a new town. I'm fine with that too! Establishing our life in a new community will be an important goal.

Okay, I'll admit I like lists. And this may be way more life introspection than you've ever wanted. It gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction. It doesn't have to be something you do on your own if that doesn't appeal to you. For the past few years, Mr. Right and I have been setting aside an evening to work on our individual lists and share them, and we even create a few shared goals (ie have a dinner party, cook a special meal (we thought about goose) take the kids on a family vacation, etc.) It does help us figure out our priorities for the year -- it was an impetus for our trip to DC in the summer with the kids. Ugh, I hope that doesn't sound like we are these fabulously organized planners of our lives. Not in the least. But we enjoy doing this together, and it does work for us. Don't knock it till you've tried it!

I'll try to get some of my lists posted up in a side column here.
So what are you proud of that happened in 2009? And what are three fun things you'd like to do this year? I'd love to hear if you want to share.