Turning Points

Extra Daisies...
Every year we went through the same exchange. She’d tell me what happened 15…20…24 years ago today. She’d tell me how becoming a mother gave her life meaning…and finally that I was born on the “hottest damn day of the year.” I’m not sure how that last bit first came out, but it became tradition. My mom’s words—all of them—were something I looked forward to every August 31st. She made me feel celebrated in a way only a mother can.

I am 30 years old today, and I hear echos of her still.

So, 30. I really don’t know where the last 10 years went, and I certainly don’t know where the next 10 are going. I can tell you one thing for sure though: I am going to appreciate everything. If I learned one thing in my 20s, it was how to go on…how to find the lightness even when everything is heavy. There’s always some good going on somewhere if you open your eyes to it.

Life is going to go the way life is going to go no matter how I react to it…I might as well be happy.

Settled Down Now

Life is back to normal now. The last couple of weeks have been tense as we finished up the last few details for our party on Saturday. Someone told me that we could expect about 70% of our invited guests to attend. In the end, it was more like 93%—yet another reason why I don’t gamble…because you just never know. I have to say that it was a wonderful day, and I felt very loved having so many people come out to celebrate with us.

But the tension—oh, the tension! Home life has been stressful.

I am a pretty chill chick. I haven’t always been this way, but I’ve had a—shall we say, eventful?—past several years. I’ve lost people, lost some dreams, lost the assurance of immortality that young people are so blessed with…what I’m trying to say is that there are much bigger things out there to worry about than a little party with 50 extra people than you tallied in your head.

Nicholas, my Nicholas…not so chill. And we’ll leave it at that.

Wedding Reception/Picnic - 8/27/11

But, when the day finally arrived, he was the sweet man I married again. Of course, he opened his first beer at 10:00 and didn’t stop for four hours, but you do what you have to do. We ended up with a lot of leftover beer, but Nick is staunch in his belief that he did his part—alluding, I suppose, to the minimal adult beverage that I consumed. Really, he did his part and mine…it’s teamwork you see.

The weather was perfect, the food was tasty, and the company was superb. It was a golden day in the record of my life.

I have mentioned before that I started falling in love with Nick and his obvious nervousness almost instantly. Well, a few weeks into our relationship he played a David Gray song for me. When the song ended, he looked at me meaningfully and said, “It’s the most perfect song I have ever heard.” I now get goosebumps whenever I hear Please Forgive Me. The song was an obvious choice when I put together the following slideshow of photos from the party. Thank you to everyone for sharing in our day!

Sophie Sunday

Yesterday, Nick and I hosted a picnic for our friends and family to celebrate our wedding almost eight months ago. Needless to say, the past couple of days have been full of little chores (and thinly veiled epithets at one another).

We both had Friday off, but I came home from work on Thursday and began one of my to-dos: pre-cutting the table coverings. I had a vision on how I wanted to spruce up a bunch of picnic tables. Earlier in the week, we stopped by the park to cut one of them so I would have a guide to cut the rest.


Sidebar:

I realized while cutting the table coverings that I had no right to pick on Nick’s meticulousness with the centerpieces. I knew the tables were 96 inches long and that I wanted six extra inches on each end. I measured and remeasured each of the 30-some sheets I needed to make sure they were all within a quarter-inch of 108 inches.

The main difference is that I make sure to close doors to bar all witnesses before I let my OCD loose.


I had two colors to cut: white and aquamarine. Negligently, we had left the aquamarine roll in the living room after cutting that first test sheet at the park shelter. As I set about creating a fail-safe process for myself to get the precise cutting done, I noticed that several feet of that color were unusable: Sophie had chewed through the first several layers.

I think Sophie has finally broken me in. My reaction to her destruction was not anger or frustration (both of which it had every right to be). No, my reaction upon seeing the holes was to laugh and quietly cheer, “Oh, Sophie!” while shaking my head in fond affection. It was in that moment that I realized that I was totally and completely whipped.

Sophie Jo

Preparations Underway

Centerpieces

We are having a picnic for our family and friends tomorrow to celebrate our marriage on the first of the year. We knew we wanted to reserve a specific park a short walk from our home for this party, but the village would not take reservations prior to January 1st. Ideally, we would have liked to have the park some Saturday early in the warm season. However, we were a bit busy during the first bit of January, and by the time we called to get a reservation, there were only a couple of Saturdays in August left. One conflicted with other plans, so that left August 27th.

We both have off today to finish up the last minute items—including the less significant but fun ones like putting little glass beads in mason jars. This was actually an idea from my friend Heather…there are a couple dozen daisies waiting to be picked up today to be used with these as well. We had ribbon too, but Nick and I decided we liked them better without. It’s more “us” this way (we’re just not ribbon kind of people).

Nick spent an inordinate amount of time measuring 9.3 ounces of beads for each jar using our food scale. I stared at him all the while, hoping my stern gaze would speed him along. If this is any indication what the rest of the preparations will be like, I think I might have to start drinking early.

Preparations

So, one GOOD side effect…

Yesterday I tried a high-dose anti-inflammatory medication (a steroid) that I’ve never tried before. I had to see a physician’s assistant the day before since my regular doctor was not in. He told me that if I use it with my daily pain medication, it would probably make me feel a lot better…and I have to admit, my back did feel better on it—but at a cost.

It was a scary day for me. My heart was racing and I was sweaty, jumpy, and very anxiety-ridden. Then, at about 3:00 in the afternoon, all side effects vanished and my back pain was back full force. I got in touch with my regular doctor and we have it all straightened out now.

But getting back to last night…

We have a big party we’re hosting on Saturday (a wedding celebration thing), so we’ve been tasky all week. I got home and changed out of my dress into a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. The shorts felt about two sizes too big. I looked at my legs and I had muscle definition back and everything—it felt like I was back in 2005! Ah, life before all this mess began. It seems like so long ago.

Still, as nice as it was to get a glimpse of old Laura, it’s not worth feeling that awful to get the inflammation (and thus its swelling symptoms) down. Wouldn’t that have been sweet though!?