Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012: you taught me

2012, you taught me to move home to Massachusetts, to live in a dingy basement apartment, and to feel joy during my walk to work.  To love Armenian grocery shops.  To look forward to a long Saturday morning run, followed by a latte and a warm welcome home. 

You taught me that there is no greater feeling than that of safety (2011 might have taught me the opposite).

You taught me to wear a gold sequined mini dress to my cousin’s pub in Connecticut, and to own it in the most carefree, blissful of ways. 

You taught me patience in working through Chris’s long, miserable stint at unemployment, and you also taught me what a saint he is for putting up with me when I went through the same.  You taught me we’re a team.  And when one half of the team is miserable, it’s up to the other half to hang in there, put aside the bullshit, and smile…whatever it takes.  Even better, to do whatever it takes to make the gloomy half smile.  And not to do it because I have to do it, but because I want to do it.  To be there for him when he’s sad…because he so much more so is there for me when I’m sad. 

On a beautiful day in June, you taught me to bear my soul in front of the people I love most in this world.  You wrapped me in your warmth, allowed me to feel every single second of that entire weekend, and to love – to truly love – the beauty of what I experienced.  To know in the depths of my soul just how valuable those precious days were.  To look around.  To breathe.  To laugh and to cry.  To be.  You taught me to be a wife.

You taught me to travel the coast in a 1986 camper, on a honeymoon of windblown hair and no air conditioning.  To eat lobster, to drink beer, to try mussels, to hike mountains, to swim in the sea.

You taught us to keep the biggest secret of our lives and then to share the biggest secret of our lives.  To feel our world change in an instant, and yet to know that we would be alright because it’s us and we figure things out. 

You taught me to see the tiniest little fists on a screen in front of me and to feel my heart swell ten times its size with the purest form of love I have ever felt. 

You taught me to move into a house and to make it our home.  Our quirky, little, cozy home.  The place we will begin our life as a family not of two but of three and maybe more. 

And finally, 2012, you taught me – no, you reminded me – on a daily basis to look at the man beside me and smile because I know that we are in for one heck of a ride as we stumble through this world together.  To see and feel the beauty and the fortune of having him in my life.  To eagerly await all of the years to come, while somehow managing to embrace the present. 

2012, you were packed full of life changes and big moments, and for each and every one of them I feel truly blessed.  Cheers to an equally blessed 2013.

Slowing down, taking a breath

We’ve been going, going, going since returning home from Hawaii, and week 24 finally offered us a little room to slow down and take a breath.  A much needed, soothing to the soul, breath.  A breath that leaves room for simple daily pleasures, a pot of homemade soup, a bit of reading in bed before dozing off into the magical land of “my body simply cannot take another moment of being awake” sleep.  It feels good.

Our new world feels good too.  We stumbled upon an odd little antiques mall right by the homestead last Sunday and wound up purchasing a little cobbler’s bench at what we were assured was a steal of a deal.  Steal or not, it’s an interesting little table/chair/we’re not really sure, and it fits right in amongst the rest of the quirky casa.  We also found this incredible little workshop where a lady refinishes old furniture into new, vibrant hues that somehow maintain the old feel.  It’s clear her work is done with love and care, and it’s also clear that someday we will possess a labor of her love.  While our exploration of the neighborhood has just begun, we feel more and more confident by the day that we chose the right spot, and that our house is indeed our home.  We choose to ignore the fact that we need a decent couch, some curtains, all of the furniture for the baby’s room, the list goes on and on.  We’ll get there, and in the meantime, we’ll enjoy the ride.

Speaking of rides, last Saturday we drove down to Connecticut for Christmas with the family there.  Chris, the mother, Mimi, and I went out for a glorious lunch at Shady Glenn (cheeseburgers and eggnog milkshakes, yum!) before heading to JoAnn’s for an evening of celebration.  I only have one picture from our adventure, but I love it, so here you are:

The mother and the grandmother: they are so cute.

The Aardvark Home

Weeks 22 and 23 included some of the highest highs and the lowest lows, none (thankfully!) related to poor little Mango; s/he was just along for the ride.  We came home from Hawaii, tan and relaxed and ready to take on the house-buying world.  Little did we know we would spend our first days back at home trying to sort through a mortgage from hell, struggling to get in touch with the stupid Sovereign Bank mortgage lady (she only returned phonecalls from the mall, and only looked at documents on her iPhone), and wondering if, in fact, we would be homeless or homeful.

After stress – lots of stress – and more time on the phone than either of us enjoys, our saga came to a close at the exact moment our house came to a close.  We did it!  And then we went back to the garage where the car was parked, Chris pushed me and the car to a start, and away we drove, all three of us (me, Chris, and the car – Mango doesn’t squeal yet) squealing with delight.

We met at the house that night after work, ate pizza, drank beer (just a teeny bit!), and celebrated our joy as the walls echoed around us.  We were home.  In the most quirky of all little houses, we were home.  And it felt wonderful.

We moved piece by piece, but the majority of the work took place over the weekend with two saintly helpers: Scooter and Tracy.  No major glitches aside from the car being in the shop all day and the box spring not fitting up the stairs (enter saintly helper #1, Tracy, who drove to Franklin to retrieve a split-frame box spring for her pregnant cousin so that we would have a bed to sleep in that night).  We spent most of the day schlepping things around the house, but all told we were pleased with our efforts.  Oh, and the car was fixed (we think), and Chris was fed meat and cheese and a solo cup (yes, a SOLO cup) of wine by the Armenian mechanic, so all was right with the world.  AND we found the most wonderful little neighborhood tavern, Dunn Gaherin’s, that we will call our own now that we have a home.  A HOME.  It feels so good.

Some photos to share:

Our empty living room:

The kitchen, oh how I love the kitchen:

First dinner – pizza delivery – in the new home:

Celebratory sips:

Unpacking is not fun:

But caboose-like sheds in the backyard are (future home of the chickens)!

Back patio and tiered gardens for the Spring:

The back of our home (for some reason I don’t have pictures of the front yet?):

And bathtub Mary (she came with the place):

A final reflection on the nature of a home: it’s weird…up until now I knew we were having a baby, and I know having a baby doesn’t take all that long in the grand scheme of things, but somehow now that the baby has a room, and we are settled into the home in which the baby will live…it all feels very soon!  In a wonderful way, but I think I’m now realizing just how crazy this whole pregnancy thing is… it’s very fleeting…and, cliche as it may be, very precious.
So far I’ve had what can only be considered an easy pregnancy – I felt crappy for a while, but nothing severe and not for too long – so often I almost forget what is happening to us, and, more specifically, what is happening to my body.  I’m incredibly fascinated by the whole ordeal…and I find it to be quite a peaceful experience to be so very in tune with some tiny little being with the cutest little fists I have ever seen…but time goes quickly, and life gets in the way, so I think all I’m saying is that constant reminders to cherish where we are in life and what we’re going through never hurt.  Our first home, our first baby, our first year of marriage…we’ve lumped it all together into this magical year of change and growth and love…and even though it has just become our normal – our reality – sometimes it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and reflect on the overwhelmingly positive string of emotions we have been blessed to feel this year.

We’ll take flack for this your entire life

Well, we did it.  We created our very first “Oh, you were there when you were in Mom’s belly” moment, and we did it in style in Hawaii.  Sorry kid, you win some, you lose some.  We most certainly won some in this situation, as we spent weeks 20 and 21 in Hawaii with Chris’s family: a week on the Big Island, and a week in Kauai.

We snorkeled, built sand castles, saw lava (real lava!), hiked to waterfalls, played in waves, swam in tide pools, ate fish, drank mango smoothies, relaxed, and enjoyed.  All in all, it was two glorious weeks of sun and warmth, exactly what we had hoped it would be.

Mango’s (I’m stuck on Mango indefinitely) photo shoots got a little more interesting as well, as we found black sand beaches and canyons makes for much prettier backdrops than drab plaster walls.  Oh, and we hiked to a GREEN sand beach!  It was absolutely beautiful, one of the highlights of our adventures.

As pictures (even crappy ones) speak a thousand words, here we go…weeks 20 and 21 in photos.  We’re over halfway there!

Week 20 at the Black Sands Beach!

Chris pondering a jump off the Southern-most point in the USA:

And taking the leap:

And climbing back up!

Hiking into a canyon…

A wee belly at 21 weeks!

Mango’s (and my) first helicopter ride in Kauai (Merry Christmas to us from Jody!):

And there you have it, two weeks of bliss in paradise.  I’ll be back soon with more – following paradise we had a wicked week of home buying that culminated (thank goodness) in Mango’s first home.  That is a big whoa.