Posts Tagged With: joy

thoughts that hatch in the middle of the night

It’s the middle of the night and I’ve been up for hours. Thoughts swim around in my brain. Angry little fish bumping into each other but never giving way to get anywhere.
I don’t write. Not even in my journal.
I don’t read.
I barely even scroll instagram.

I want to do these things. I just don’t.
You may find yourself wondering, mais pourquoi pas? (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re cool.)
I don’t know why.
I do know I’m not behaving in my normal way and that has everything to do with it.
I do know I’m feeling the pressure of getting ready to leave one house and get settled into another.

I find it difficult to just be.
There are more people in the house. Two of which I am especially eager to spend time with after being apart for so long. But I’m used to being alone more than I’m with other humans.
This situation is tricky but can be managed.
I need to take time for myself. I need to read and write. I need to journal. I need to organize and prioritize. I need to rest.
But damn if I don’t want to spend as much time as possible with the mad little toddler running around my house!

Thing 1 and I talked a little bit about this Wednesday morning. She’s used to being more quiet too. She’s got the mental load for her little family with the curious situation of being in someone else’s house. She’s constantly aware of what Baby K or the dogs are and what they’re doing. She’s adapting to being an adult while living with her mother. It’s easy to fall into old patterns.

I’m tired of feeding five adults and a toddler.
If I don’t feel like feeding YBW and myself, it’s no big. But now all these other people are depending on being fed. Now, Husband N is quick to ask if he can help do anything, and follows detailed directions well. And Thing 1 does cook occasionally, but for the most part I’m doing the heavy lifting.
This needs to stop.
Thing 1 and I will make a meal plan and create a schedule of who cooks when and that will solve this situation.
We’re both game, we just haven’t done it yet.

Thing G will move to his mother’s over the next ten days. (She lives five minutes away so it’s not going to be a ‘great big move’ it’s just him shuttling his stuff over there.)
This makes YBW sad.
I feel his sadness.
I also feel a bit of relief. Thing G is one thing I can stop actively concerning myself with in this time when I have so many things on my plate. I can slip him off the plate knowing he’s safe and well loved at his mom’s and give myself that small sense of one less thing to pay attention to.

Baby K is exhausting.
Parenting is a young person’s game. That’s why grandparents are a bit older. Forty nine years and sixteen months are not always the perfect combination. But I cannot express my love, joy, and gratitude that I have this opportunity to be with her. To watch her learn and grow. To experience her sense of humor. To build a strong relationship with her.
I understand how truly blessed I am to be involved in her daily life no matter how tired I get.
She’s nearly mastered coming down the stairs in a safe way! And not only do I get to witness that, I’m helping her learn how to do it!

I miss YBW.
We’re never alone anymore. Which is simply the way it is, but I didn’t realize how it would feel.
I suggested we do a ‘date night’ even if we don’t go out, just plan to be together.

We’ve offered to look after Baby K so her parents can spend time together.
It would do them some good to just be.

It’s been just over a month. Literally, less than forty days. We’re still in survival and adjustment mode. I mean, good God, how could we not be? But survival mode simply isn’t sustainable.
Now’s the time to get our selves organized. Our routines. How we choose to be in this house together as one big family. How we choose to be in this house together as two small families.
I know we can do this.
I know we’re all willing to do this.
I think we’re all at a place where we kind of know we need to tweak it.
All it takes is open and honest communication and a willingness to be flexible.

You know, I’m feeling better already just from writing about it.
Of course, I’m still not ready to sleep…
Maybe I’ll take a nap with Baby K later today?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

tricked out kitchen in a smart house

When it comes to the new house, YBW is eager to make it a smart house. He’d love for there to be a central command (thingie) that we can tell to do what we want it to do. You know, like saying “OK Google” or “Alexa” but it’ll be connected to all of our house and have it’s own name.
It feels so Varrick to me.

(For those of y’all that don’t know, this is a The Legend of Korra reference. I did not enjoy Korra anywhere near as much as it’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I absolutely adored.)

Anyway…
YBW is all about making the house work for us. To be able to control lights and thermostat and even the garage door from a tablet. That if we weren’t sure we’d turned out the lights on the ground floor he could push a button from the bedroom so we didn’t have to go down and back two flights of stairs. He wants the house to do as much as possible from a central hub.
I love to watch his brain work. See his face get all excited at the smart house possibilities. He’s committed to making our forever home one that does all the things we need, and many of the things we want.
For the most part, I’m interested in learning how to use it once it’s set up, but I’m less enthusiastic about choosing how to set it up. He’s cool with that, as long as he can get his geek on. He’s super patient when I ask questions that probably aren’t applicable, or he just explained to me.
I’m more concerned about surround sound for the big tv, and speakers around the house so I can play music. But there is a bit of pleasure at the thought of being able to turn things on and off from a screen…
We each love what we love, right?
My husband loves science and math and tech and super cool nerdy things. He is getting to play with that in creating a smart house that works for him.
I support this fully!
I’m like, get your geek on, bud! Hook it all up and make it do your bidding. (But please let the command be “Zhu Li do the thing” so I’m constantly amused.)

I want to get my geek on in the kitchen!


This picture is the kitchen at the model.

My kitchen will have a bigger island (my favorite design option). It will have another row of cabinets above the wall cabinets up to the ceiling. The hood vent will be hidden behind cabinetry. And the lower cabinets will have more drawer units than cabinets with doors.
All the cabinetry will be navy and look a little something like this.

I’m salty about paying so much for a brand new house and having wire shelving, so…
I may want to trick out the pantry.
I’m already designing closet systems for our closet, probably Pax from IKEA, but I’m also looking at Easy Closets.

The laundry room is on the bedroom level (thaaaaaank yooooou) it’ll start out boring, but I’ll fancy it up too.
With a roof deck, main level porch deck, and ground level back yard, I’m getting excited about designing outdoor spaces too. Plant life and lighting, water features and accessories will create beautiful spaces for us to be outside.

Now, if YBW’s smart house can control outdoor lights and fountains, etc. or could somehow make my laundry run, I’d be inclined to get as excited as he is!
“Zhu Li do ALL the things!”

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

one week in

One week in and we’re (mostly) settled.
Baby K’s room is organized and furnished.
Seven large (reusable) shopping bags of food and one cooler of frozen food found a place in our cabinets and freezers.
Dog beds, food, treats, leashes and harnesses organized.
Thing 1 and Husband N haven’t yet organized their clothes in their room, or been able to put some things away. But they have comfy pillows upon which to lay their heads. And yesterday, I (think) I fixed the shower curtain rod so it won’t fall down randomly in the middle of the night.
We’ve got new magnetic cabinet locks in the kitchen, and gates at the stairs. We say, “Off!” more than we ever have before, but the giant puppy is learning he can’t express his love by climbing up the front of us. And even though dogs aren’t my chosen animal, he and I are becoming especially close.

I’m joyful to be around my daughter and her family!
I am also exhausted!
I don’t know if it’s that I’ve forgotten how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, or if I just blocked it! Of course, when my babies were babies I was twenty years younger.
Baby K keeps us on our toes.
I’m having a hard time not wanting to spend all my time with her.
In the past, if they were here, it was for a limited time and I had to get as much time in as possible. Now, they’re here all the time. I’m beginning to realize I can pace myself.

Thing 1 and I ran to Target yesterday. With the exception of the drive here, a pediatrician and vet visit, it’s the first time she’s been out in the world since they left here in March. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself!

I’m working to remember that my life is different than it was a mere week ago. I’m working to remember that I’m separate from my daughter and granddaughter. That I can do my me things while they do theirs.
That said, I’m currently watching Baby K, clad only in a diaper, go through a stack of CDs while her mama tells her, “No ma’am.” and is guiding her to put them back in the bag from where they came.
I’m amused.
I’m joyful.
I’m doing my me thing while still enjoying being with my daughter and her family.

From Baby K’s room at the opposite end of the hall from mine, I just heard Thing 1 tell Baby K, “Come here and let’s get dressed. I’m tired of you being a diaper baby.”
I giggled.
Exhausting or not, why would I want to miss that?

Humans are so much more adaptable than we realize.
We get all complacent. Inertia keeps us stuck in our ruts.
But when presented with an opportunity to adapt (for the most part) we’re super capable!

One week in and I’m realizing how truly blessed I am to be with my granddaughter.
One week in and I’m realizing how exhausting it is to have a toddler in the house.
One week in and I’m realizing my daughter is a grown woman and mother and doesn’t need me to actively mother her.
One week in and I’m realizing balance is the thing that will keep us going.


We got this!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day seven

Today is the last day of International Week of the Birthday.
Even during this strangest of times, when everything is different and we’re all a bit fearful, I feel celebrated. Part of that is me just being me. I love birthdays! The day you came into the world is the most precious and sacred event and should be celebrated to the nth degree!
Earlier this week I wondered perhaps a grown woman shouldn’t be as excited about celebrating her birthday as I am. But the more I considered it, the more I realized who else should celebrate the anniversary of my birth more than me?
I’ve lived through every moment of my life. I’ve made it to this place where I can say, I’m forty nine years old and I am (for the most part) content with the me I am.
What’s more cause for celebration than that?

I’m not exactly the me I intended. In many ways I’m so much more! In other ways I see room for improvement. But I celebrate that too!
I am this me, and can continue my work to become an even more me.

This post didn’t go the way I expected when I began, but I quite love where it lead us.
Even though IWotB is ending today, I’m going to keep celebrating my me. The me I was. The me I am. The me I work to become. Because each version of me did, and will continue to live my intention, learn and grow, suffer and backslide, experience love, and loss, and I will celebrate every moment with joy and gratitude! I choose to celebrate the good, bad, ugly, and indifferent, because they created the me I am today. And I’m worth celebrating!
I encourage all y’all to celebrate your yous. The past, present, and future you. Celebrate becoming the you you long to be. Celebrate your you, I promise you’re worth it!

Crowley is my spirit animal

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day six

I went to the nursery today.
It was the first time I’ve been to a public place without legit reason. I’ve only been to the grocery store. I debated going to the nursery. Do I need to go somewhere that wasn’t specifically essential? Is it worth risking my health, and the health of others to get some herbs?
I went alone at 8:30 in the morning, expecting to find the nursery pretty empty.
Nope.
But because I wore my mask and gloves, and I knew exactly what I wanted and where it is got it and immediately checked out, I felt like I was successful.

I came home and planted the herbs. I repotted Thing G’s aloe plant into an appropriately sized container. I repotted the maiden hair fern, and the gardenia into larger containers. I swept the porch, watered all the plants and got in the shower.

Did I need to go to the nursery today?
No.
But I wanted to.
And I wrestled with the decision for several days.
Jessica encouraged me to go as long as I was appropriately safe. She said, “You have to do the things that bring you joy!”

I realize I’m feeling guilty for going out when I didn’t need to.
Is this how life is going to be for the foreseeable future? We feel badly about ourselves when we do nonessential things that bring us joy?
Maybe it’s just me?

I was safe.
I didn’t dawdle.
I got what I needed and got out.

You know what!?!
Buying and planting did bring me joy!
Dirt under my fingernails even though I wore gardening gloves.
The smell of the soil when I watered the plants.
Such joy!

As long as I do what I can to be and keep others safe, maybe it’s OK to do what brings me joy. However, I don’t think I’ll go out again for a while.
It occurs to me conflicted feelings will be with us for as we move forward.
I must remember ‘accept don’t judge’ applies to myself as well as to others.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day three

I woke to my husband jumping into our bed and kissing me.
Then he said:

I had Duck Donuts for breakfast. My favorite cake donuts, one maple drizzle with bacon and one cinnamon and sugar. With freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee we brought home from our trip!

YBW went into his (home) office to work and I read for a little while.

I took a break for lunch and watched the second Disney Family Singalong.
Y’all I’m a Disney loving girl for sure!
If you haven’t watched either of them, please do. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
I immediately chatted Thing 1 to tell her it was on Disney+ and we chatted while watching it together. Baby K was eating her lunch and singing away with John Legend and Jennifer Hudson. My Birdie heart grew three sizes!
What a lovely accidental birthday pressie!

This afternoon we went up the street to our neighbors and hung out on the porch. (at the appropriate social distance) Meredith and Beau made me a card and we drank four bottles of bubbly.

I absolutely adore my friends!

Thing 2 called me and we talked while YBW and I made breakfast for dinner. Bacon, scrambled eggs and french toast. The most perfect birthday dinner.
We finished the evening watching one of my all time favorite movies, The Parent Trap.

I had a VERY Roby day.
Happy Birthday to me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day two

YBW is working from home this week so when he finished his 12:30 conference call, he invited me to go for a walk.
As we neared the front of our neighborhood there was the question of which way we were going to go. Then I remembered it’s gosling time at the pond up the road from our neighborhood!

The parent geese were super pissed when we walked by. They were hissing and craning their necks and bobbing their heads at us.
YBW was talking in a calm voice and I was saying softly, We’re not going to hurt your babies. I just want to take their picture.

It’s sunny and breezy, a beautiful day. Though still only in the 50s, which means it’s a bit chilly for porch life in the shade of the house.
When we came home he got on his computer, and I’m organizing my bookshelf and making a stack of books I’ve read to go to Josie.

I’m going to open a bottle of wine and enjoy the rest of my day.
Y’all do the same!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IWotB 2020 edition ~ day one

Yesterday was Mother’s day. Also the first day of International Week of the Birthday.

YBW and I planned a shoot day, but as it turns out, he was feeling a bit wonky in his belly, and my head was trying to hurt, so we decided against that. Instead we went over to the construction site where our new house will (eventually) be.
The first building has plumbing and electrical.
The second building is missing the topmost floor.
The grading is almost finished for the third building.
The fourth building is still a big ass pile of rubble.

This is the same model as ours at the end of the first building.

After about an hour going through and taking photos of the unit, we headed for home.
We sat at the table on the porch for a while before YBW decided he wanted a nap.
I got settled with a coca cola, book, and notebook. (the coke helped my head feel better)


I’m eager to dig into this book.

And then the phone rang.
Thing 2 said: Happy Mother’s Day!
We talked for nearly two hours.
I said: Thanks for letting me be your Momma.
She said: I’m so glad you’re my Momma. She paused for a moment and said: I’m so glad to be your kid.
We talked for a few moments about the difference in meaning between those two statements.
Essentially, my daughter is content to have me as her mother, as well as being content to be my child. And these are two very different things.
(this may actually become another post)
As we do every single time we speak, we said: We need to do this more often.
She giggled and told me, I’m going to talk to you Tuesday anyway!
I said: Wow! Twice in two days. That means we probably won’t talk for a few months!
We decided that might be too long.

While I was talking with Thing 2, Thing 1 called. We exchanged texts earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken. I texted her I was talking with her sister and would call her asap.
We talked about how even though this is her second mother’s day, it feels so much different than last year. Baby K was still brand new, and she was excited to be with her Momma on mother’s day for the first time in many years.
But this year, mother’s day is real. She has a daughter who can walk and talk. She has a daughter who can express her joy and love. She’s having a ‘real’ mother’s day.
My eldest daughter is a mother.
It doesn’t get any less weird the more I say it.
I can tell you that it is so wonderfully cool though!

When YBW woke from his nap, we ordered delivery food and watched the last two episodes of season two of Westworld.

I had a very Roby sort of mother’s day and first day of IWotB.

Even though the world is still shut down and in chaos, and I’m not getting to celebrate the way I’d like…
I’m chock full of love.
I’m chock full of gratitude.
I’m celebrating the forty-ninth anniversary of my birth in new and creative ways.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Birthday, Baby K!

Today this little girl celebrates her first go around the sun.

We’re not celebrating it the way her parents planned.
No party.
No (extended) family.
No friends.
No bumble bee themed ‘Happy Bee-Day’.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not celebrating her wherever we are!
We’re celebrating her joining our family.
We’re celebrating her milestones.
We’re celebrating her life.

But I am reminded of the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas…

“And the Birdie, with her Birdie-feet ice cold in the snow room temperature on the floor, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And she puzzled and puzzled ’till her puzzler was sore.
Then the Birdie thought of something she hadn’t before.
What if Baby K’s birthday, she thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Baby K’s birthday, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

This precious baby girl has brought so much into our world.
The love, joy, and gratitude are enormous, and they are real!

Won’t you join me in celebrating Baby K’s birthday by sending love, good vibes, prayers, cheers, (or your favorite way to celebrate) to her today.
Please and thank you!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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