Tag Archives: Husband

Fourteen Years.

The memory is fuzzy now, a mixture of images and emotions, pauses because I really have to think. Fourteen years. I got off work at Osh Kosh B’Gosh in the outlet mall and you were waiting on the curb with your best friend and this beautiful girl from your apartment complex. It was hot and I was giddy because I knew you had waited hours for my shift to end, your cute face appearing inside the store when there were still hours left.

The three of you followed me home in your 80’s five liter Mustang with the leaky T-tops. My dad was just getting off work in his business suit and you were forced to shake his hand in the garage. I grimaced for you. It had to be a strong handshake, your death trap of a car parked out front and that smile on your face.

We decided to drive to a party at a childhood friend’s house. You rode with me in my Mazda 626 that kept on dying when I tried to get anywhere outside of Folsom, more than 200,000 miles on the odometer. Somehow, that night, it made it. You braced yourself each time I braked. We laughed anxiously. Your friends followed in the Mustang.

The party was tame by teenage standards, if anyone drank we had nothing to do with it. Instead we talked and talked until our faces were so close together that I wondered if you always talked to girls so close and then I thought it would be less awkward if I just kissed you. Later you claimed it was your plan all along for me to make the final move. It was the sweetest, gentlest kiss of my sixteen years. I knew you were different than the other boys.

You had to leave early, but at my best friend’s house we talked on the phone, a call filled with long silences and shy laughter. We decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Fourteen years later I am sitting in bed with our daughter scribbling these thoughts into a journal with just a nightlight. Like usual, it is 4AM and everyone else is asleep. I am at my mom’s and you are home, but with our sleeping child warm against my leg, I feel like you are here.

She is the most beautiful part of us but I am also glad we had those nearly fourteen years alone together first. High school dances, endless summer nights, college weekends in Davis, trips to Europe, our Berkeley apartment, our first house, the most beautiful wedding I could imagine. So much life lived, but so much more to go.

I love you, Alex.

Fourteen Years

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Thankfulness Thursday: Four Years Married.

So little time, in the grand scheme of things, but still a world away from where we started. In the spirit of Thankfulness Thursday, I am grateful for four years of marriage to my best friend of more than a decade. I know it might be a used term of endearment, but it is true. Without our deep friendship, none of the rest would matter.

And, as excited as I was to walk down the aisle four years ago today, I am even more excited about what lies ahead. Life may be unpredictable, as the last couple weeks have reminded us, but it is also deserving of faith in the future. Tonight, I put my trust in life, love, and gratitude.

Wedding

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Those absurdly beautiful moments…

As I walked down the little country path with my arm through my father’s, the lace hem of my wedding dress was gathered in my other hand as not to pick up too much dirt along the way, the sun glittered through the trees. Time stood perfectly still for just a moment, my entire life suspended in two parts, one married and one not. My closest friends and sisters smiled back at me, their bohemian tresses moving in the wind. We giggled as we walked, careful of the uneven ground in satin heels, giddy over what was happening, my dad’s tight squeeze of my arm.

I wanted to walk just a little slower, to savor those moments before my dad gave me away, but also a little faster to see Alex’s face when he first saw me, his bride in the dress I carefully hid for months. I floated, euphoric, tethered to the ground only by the twinges of melancholy that come with the arrival of life’s most anticipated milestones. I was my father’s little girl and my soon-to-be husband’s wife. Everything at once. Tears and smiles, past and future, present.

Last night as I remembered the peace I find in my wedding day, this memory surfaced to the top. For months afterward, I would sit in my cube and look at the pictures, reliving those intense feelings, the happiness they brought even on the most stressful day of work. Weddings may only span a few sweet hours, but the memories are lasting magic.

Photo credit: H. Starkey

With my dad on our unexpected hike to the ceremony site. Photo credit: H. Starkey

Photo credit: E. Heizer

My beloved friends and sisters as we waited to walk across the bridge. Photo credit: E. Heizer

What are your most absurdly beautiful moments? Do you escape inside them, like I do?

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Women: We Could Learn from Our Men

I am sure you have already seen these clips before. The first is the real thing, the second is a parody. Women are asked to describe themselves and focus on their weaknesses. Men are asked to do the same thing and overplay their strengths. While both offer an unbalanced self-image, I think we women have something to learn from our beloved male counterparts. A little self-love could do us some good.

A friend sent me both these clips a couple weeks ago, I watched and laughed (and cried) and then moved on. However, the messages stuck with me. Out at dinner with friends, a girlfriend and I noticed how our husbands like to talk themselves up, “I’m great at… One of my strengths is…” We laughed because we never go around giving lists of our positive qualities to each other.

Maybe we should start.

 

 

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Tales from a first-time homebuyer: Our Story

I wanted to write some sort of blog post for my husband’s birthday… At first I was thinking something sentimental, some story from our past. Then I decided, why not blog about homeownership. He’s working to expand his blog to include more personal touches, hopefully I helped!

Sacramento Real Estate

My first guest-blogger just so happens to also be my wife, imagine that good fortune to get such an established blogger over here typing for me! She plans to return with more stories about homeownership and I plan to include more personal touches like these on my blog going forward. 

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We bought our first home three and a half years ago, the summer before we got married. My husband had just graduated from SF State and I was an economic analyst down in Berkeley. We wanted to move back to Sacramento, our hometown, where for the rent of our 650 square-foot, one bedroom apartment on busy Shattuck Avenue, we could own a whole house with a yard and three bedrooms. We had visions of dogs, lazy backyard barbecues, and maybe even someday, children. I had visions of no more homeless people waking me up in the middle of the…

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Life Behind the Wheel of a Vintage Car

I like cars, especially old ones. When I was a little girl, I would hold my dad’s hand as we walked through weekend car shows. We’d climb inside our favorites, I would sit at the wheel, hardly able to see a thing. I can still smell the old leather and gasoline. I was a little girl in a man’s world, my dad and brother’s. A die-cast, Porsche 9-11 Turbo Slantnose, red, sat proudly on my dresser. I assembled it on my own.

In high school, I learned to work on my 5.0 mustang, side-by-side with my husband, (of course, he was just my kid boyfriend, then). He loved cars. I wanted to prove I could do anything a man could do. My dad flew to LA to buy me that beast. I still remember the look on my senior project advisor’s face. He was an old man assigned to all the car projects. I was the only girl. I walked him out to the parking lot and showed him the ram-air I installed, how I changed the spark plugs, put in a new starter, modified the exhaust.

This weekend, an old gold Mercedes sat in front of my dad’s house when we pulled up. Not an unusual sight in our family, an unexpected vehicle with vintage flair. A new project, maybe, but not the usual variety. This one looked pretty slow. Turns out my dad volunteered to help sell the relic– nearly 40 years in the same garage. So much family history.

I was tempted to trade keys, cruise around town like a little old lady with the convertible top off, my big sunglasses, and dog in the passenger seat. I would definitely be the quirkiest teacher in the lot. The smell of that old leather almost sold me on its own. Maybe not the most sensible choice, but something I cannot explain. As I sat behind the wheel, I was transported back in time to when my aunt and late uncle were young, excited to have such a fancy new car, life somehow simpler with a tape-deck stereo. Didn’t hurt that the sun was putting on such an epic show in the clouds, time and life suspended momentarily.

Stereo

Old Car

Vintage

Sunset

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Shameless Plug: Sacramento Real Estate

Okay, so this post really only applies to a small segment of my audience– those of you who live in Sacramento and/or are interested in Sacramento real estate. In my past life, I was an economic analyst who covered Sacramento real estate from the Bay Area, so I know those two qualifiers do not have to be mutually inclusive.

Enough rambling, I’ll get to the point. This post is a shameless plug for my husband’s new Sacramento real estate blog. He’s an agent for RE/MAX Gold and a darn good one at that. He’s now also dabbling in the art of real estate blogging, which is an art, because I had to wade through all kinds of this stuff back in that last lifetime (a few years ago). Some was useful, some was not. I’m happy to report Alex’s blog gets straight to the point, and I like that. I’m clearly not as disciplined…

So, if you’re interested, click and follow away– happy house hunting or market following, whichever it may be!

And, his mascot is pretty darn cute too. Like how I managed to sneak a pic of the dog into this post?

Like how I managed to sneak a pic of the dog into this post?

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Thankfulness Thursday: Three Posts Left…

Three weeks left, so three thankfulness moments:

Each morning this week I’ve awakened a half hour before I need to get out of bed, giving me time to appreciate my snuggling dog and husband. More often than not, I’ve been the middle spoon. Tuesday I lay awake and realized there was nowhere else on earth I would rather be. No where. Sharing one pillow with a dog and a spouse may not seem like heaven to many, but it is to me. Now if only the alarm didn’t have to go off at 6AM…

So grateful for these two guys!

A student in my class wrote me a letter today. She asked me to please talk to her in the same voice she used with me, calm and quiet. Unfortunately, she was caught in the crossfires of some stern words to another student. I did not yell, but I was short with her. Her little note humbled me. Instead of feeling bad I just felt like she was right. I apologized and kept the reminder with me all day. The same student is working on casting a kindness spell on our classroom. Maybe it already worked on me. As long as she keeps her spells positive, I am grateful…

Waiting on my doorstep this evening was a box full of herbal tinctures, vitamins, and teas. I’m on an experimental quest. I’ll spare you the gritty details. Most of us have one medical challenge or another (or maybe multiple). I feel fortunate mine is minor compared to many. However, doctors cannot fix it. Pain killers have been my only option. Recently, I discovered a different path. I’m seeing a woman who combines physical and mental healing with massage and home treatments. Might sound a bit hippie to some, but I feel empowered. Might just transform into a full-on hippie yet. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude…

Today was challenging but writing all that made me feel better. Maybe you should give Thankfulness Thursday a shot too. Only two weeks/three posts until Thanksgiving!

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Don’t forget! Thankfulness Thursday linkup at Domestic Fashionista. It’s funny, I almost wrote about watching some of my students battle writer’s block as we’ve started NaNoWriMo in my classroom. Turns out Ashley over at Domestic Fashionista already had this topic covered for the week! Great minds…

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Life is short.

Yesterday I arrived home from work and sat in the car, letting the NPR story finish, attention caught by a piece about apartment rents in San Francisco. The economic analyst in me still lives beneath the surface. That and I often sit in the car to let a story finish.

This time, however, I looked up to see Alex coming to my window. Odd, I thought. Maybe he is wondering why I am still sitting here, alone in my car.

Then I saw his face and I knew something was wrong. My thoughts raced, he didn’t want to talk until we got inside. I couldn’t wait.

“Is someone dead?” I asked, a bit panicked.

“Yes.”

Before I even had time to ask who, he told me. A friend’s wife. Her heart stopped without explanation as she sat in the car in front of her house before she came in from work. Unexpected. Tragic. Heart breaking.

Now before you offer your condolences, please know, they are misdirected at me. I am deeply saddened by our friend’s loss, but I only knew her from weddings, brief interactions. For me, the sadness is in knowing how devastated Alex’s long-time friend must feel. This is the guy who was a big brother to Alex, let us borrow his super-fast Mustang to drive to prom, helped me learn to work on my own 5.0 Mustang a year or so later.

I cannot even begin to imagine what he must be feeling right now. How deep his grief must be. She also had a son.

Life is so unpredictable, so fleeting. Since Alex shared the news with me, I have been haunted by this quiet whisper of nothing lasts forever, nothing is certain. For Alex the haunting is something more jarring. It changed the way he looks at me. His eyes clinging to the present. His friend’s forlorn words on the other side of the phone still fresh in his mind.

There have been other losses in our relationship, but this is the only one that has ever made him look at me differently. That alone has followed me around all day, tapping me on the shoulder, reminding me. Life is short.

Tonight I just want to remind you to hold those close to you a little tighter and tell them you love them. That’s my plan.

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Weddings: Korean Pop & Fleeting Moments

Yesterday was wedding day. Not mine, but a good friend of Alex’s got married, and I also attended the bridal shower of a friend in the morning. I was honestly a little nervous to attend both because I can be shy when I don’t know people, and in this case I only knew the bride at the bridal shower and the groom (through Alex) at the wedding. However, I’m beginning to think the shy Olivia is mostly gone.

The lovely bride-to-be on our brunch cruise

The bridal shower was great– I bonded with the bride’s sister-in-law-to-be and one of the bride’s good friends from San Francisco. We’re already in cahoots to plan a bachelorette party complete with choreographed dance moves from my current obsession, “Gangham Style.” I tried reposting this video once before, (and it’s gone super viral since then), so you may have already seen it, but I’ve taught myself the ridiculous horseback riding move. Cracks me up every time.

This video was actually a source of bonding at both events. At the wedding, I was strategically seated next to a librarian, which was good thinking. Turns out a librarian and a fifth grade teacher are automatically friends. Then you add in a little “Gangham Style” and it’s a party.

Yesterday was a really good reminder that sometimes the things we dread, like social situations where we don’t know many people, can actually turn out to be a lot of fun. I, for one, need to give myself more credit instead of assuming I’ll feel uncomfortable. The other reason yesterday was great was because it reminded me why I like weddings so much.

I know people complain about extravagance and silly customs, but I think weddings and all the parties that come before are wonderful. We live lives that go by so quickly, filled with so many every day moments that are incredibly meaningful when stacked together. Weddings give the appropriate time to pause and reflect on what all this means.

Even though I did not know the bride or groom very well, I was touched. Listening to their stories, the speeches given by the most important people in their lives, I thought of the most important people in mine. I love the symbolic act of coming together as a community in honor of love and family, even if in many ways it’s just a fleeting moment, like everything else.

Photo booths are my favorite wedding craze at the moment. One of Alex and my first dates was to the state fair as teenagers where we took pictures in a photo booth. Laying these pictures side by side shows 12 years captured. Man life goes fast.

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To Be With You

Hurtling down an unknown highway, sitting in the middle of a crowded minivan filled with people from various points in my life, I died in my dream tonight.  As I was declared gone, all my lives were listed off, some men, mostly women, a ratio that was oddly pleasing.  However, as the list was read, I panicked.  I was afraid there was no turning back.  I still had so much to do, I still wanted to be with you.

Then I was reassured we’d still be together, in time, if that is what we wanted.  Once I trusted this was true, I was alright.  All the while, “To Be With You” played loudly in my head.  As if on cue, my husband crawled into bed, waking me, rousing me to say, “I have good news… I’ll still get to be with you.”

Then I cried, knowing how much I hoped my words to be true, because deep inside all I want is to be with you.  Song still playing loudly in my head, I grabbed the laptop, and we watched the music video together, the lyrics forcing more tears down my cheeks.  The moment passed, my husband quickly fell asleep, cat and dog breathing quietly nearby, our sweet little family that I never want to give up, me still awake, softly singing, maybe even still crying.  All because someone emailed me a lip sync rendition of that song yesterday.

I share because I’d like nothing better than for this to be true.  Also because I hope the thoughts will stop swirling through my head and that now I’ll be able to go to sleep.

Hold on, little girl
Show me what he’s done to you
Stand up, little girl
A broken heart can’t be that bad
When it’s through, it’s through
Fate will twist the both of you
So come on, baby, come on over
Let me be the one to show you

I’m the one who wants to be with you
Deep inside I hope you’ll feel it too
Waited on a line of greens and blues 
Just to be the next to be with you…

Good night.

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Will Teach for Time

I am a collector of things you can cannot touch.  Words, pictures, memories.  Right now my focus is summer.  Today is day 13.  I do not know how many days remain.  Enough, I guess.  I refuse to count for fear they will disappear too quickly.

I would lie if I said that summer had nothing to do with my decision to become a teacher.  However, I could not teach if I did not like the work.  Ten months of misery would not be worth two months of freedom.  Instead, summer is the perk that makes the pay more tolerable, helps me through those days with angry parents, makes me smile when my classroom is in upheaval.  In my past work life, I discovered that time is worth more than money.

Summer is time.  Time to refuel.  Time to reflect and grow as a teacher, wife, friend, human being.  Time to do the jobs that do not pay but feed my soul.  Time to write.

Everyday I am asked by people who do not teach, “How is your summer going?”

Splendidly, I respond.  I’m actively collecting all those little moments that will get me through the inevitable challenges of the coming year:

Listened to my sister’s high school poetry night, got lost in words, some funny, some sad.

Sunflower in Fair Oaks with my husband, he rode his bike seven miles to meet me. I drove in an air conditioned car.

Veggie burrito, healthy, much tastier than it looks. While other moms took their kids for Happy Meals, mine took me here. We’d feed the chickens and play in the park. I developed a fear of roosters.

Veggie nachos, probably the winner, but don’t tell Alex.  He gloats too much when his choice is best.

Sunday dinners with family, swimming, eating, happy.

My birthday came a little early today, make that a month and a half to be exact. My sweet husband bought me a new recorder of words, which I’ll put to good use. The irony of marriage, I’d tell him not to buy it if he asked, but I’m grateful that he did. And, yes, that is the cat you see on our dining room table, maybe you should rethink coming to dinner, I’ve given up on chasing her, at least today.

Much like the dog, I’ve also lazed about. Recharging is required to be a happy teacher. Scratch that, recharging is required to be a happy human being.

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