Muck

A glass or two of wine tonight led me down the ole memory lane –¬†tearing up at old photos and cringing at old blog posts. It’s been six years since we landed in¬†the land of la la. Two years longer than I lived in Chicago or spent in high school or¬†college.

A lot happens in six years.¬†And a lot can feel like it’s not happening in six years.

I got¬†stuck many, many times.¬†Stuck like thick, muddy clay that’s hard to wash off. When you’re in it, you. are. in. it. Like there is no way to get it out of your skin. And it hurts, especially when it’s there too long. But slowly, excruciatingly slowly sometimes, the crap starts to clear and one day you¬†realize it’s washing out. And then¬†days, or years¬†later, you¬†realize it’s gone and it was¬†exfoliating. You shed some stuff that needed to be shed and you’re renewed¬†because of it.

The muck¬†can suck. But what¬†skin doesn’t need some exfoliating from time to time?

 

August

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The month of birthdays, anniversaries and first days of school. When August would come as a kid, it meant birthday presents and a few more weeks of freedom in the summer sun before the new school year started. Summer was the best. It was sad to say goodbye to it but the thought of a new beginning with different classmates was exciting. As was buying a new trapper keeper. And new sweaters for fall.

Summer is different in Southern California. Or maybe it’s just different as an adult. We don’t get a real change of season. Or a real reason to change.

My recent birthday was not a significant number but, as usual, I reflected on the last year 33 years.¬†How far have I come? Is this where I thought I’d be? What are my plans for the future? What do I want to do with my life (ideas welcome)?

We cling to new years, new jobs, birthdays…whatever reason we can to give ourselves a fresh start.¬†It’s so hard to remember that, really, every day¬†is a new beginning. Every minute. Every second.

So for this fresh start, I will try to remember that. To be more present. To not dwell on the past or figure out the future. Enjoy the summer sun. And be excited about the little things. Like watching my 9-month old discover a button or a shoelace.

Nothing is as exciting as that. Not even a new trapper keeper.

More Than Ever

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I’ve called my Mom in tears more in the last six months than ever before. I’ve asked her what to do more times than ever before. I miss being near her. More than ever before.

Being a Mom is the greatest gift. Full of too much love to handle. To know I would give my life for my daughter is scary. And amazing.

But being a Mom is not always easy. It has given me loads of self-doubt. It has tested my strength.

My Mom does it with so much patience, kindness and grace. Her love never wavers. Her heart is always open. I hope I can do the same.

I appreciate and love you, Mom. More than ever before.

Ready or Not

Crib

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m ready. I get it. It’s what’s going on in my life, but what exactly should I be ready for?

Utter exhaustion? Dirty diapers? Labor? No. No. And never.

We’re doing what websites and friends say to do to prepare for a baby.¬†Classes. Some reading googling.¬†Organizing the nursery. But it’s impossible to be ready for something we’ve¬†never been exposed to. Something that will change our lives in ways we can’t understand¬†right now.

There was a time a few years ago when I couldn’t imagine being at this point in my life. But I’m¬†here now and I’m more mentally ready than I ever have been. We’ll never be totally¬†prepared. The time will never be perfect. But¬†sometimes it’s remembering how far we’ve come, how much we’ve grown,¬†to take that leap of faith and boldly¬†say “yes, I’m ready.”

I’m ready to be open to the vulnerability that comes with being a parent. To be¬†patient with the uncertainty. I’m¬†ready to¬†meet her and have new experiences¬†during this one life we have to live.

And I’m very much ready to¬†ditch the maternity clothes, eat sushi and¬†have a glass of wine.

Moments

My favorite moment from my favorite movie

The mind gives us moments of brilliance. And fear.

It gives us moments of doubt. And courage.

They can be fleeting or linger.

The mind is complex. And has a very strong pull. Toward happiness. Toward sadness.

It can be a dangerous, dark place. Bigger than us. And impossible to navigate alone.

Rest in peace Robin Williams. Thank you for generously sharing so many of your moments with us.

The View at 32

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This was the view outside our bedroom window at our new apartment tonight. So cliche I know. A photo of a SoCal sunset. But everytime the sky glows different shades of red or pink or orange, it amazes me and I try to appreciate it.

We’re all moved into our new apartment, thanks to some great friends and a husband doing double duty while I make a human. Being in a new place always feels weird. Like going back to school at the end of break. Excited for a fresh start. High hopes. And a little sadness of what has come to an end.

What I’m not sad about though is laundry. When you haven’t had a washer and dryer in your place since living with your parents, it’s an absolute joy. I thoroughly enjoyed doing laundry tonight. I was almost giddy about it.

I realize that in a year, at 33, I may have a different choice of words. Especially with the constant laundry that I hear comes with an infant.

But, for now, I’ll continue doing my laundry dance with hope that, next year, I’ll still appreciate the view.

Purge and Pack

The Inhulsens (Oma, Opa, Aunt Rie, Uncle Bep and Aunt Joe) Arrive in America

The Inhulsens (Oma, Opa, Aunt Rie, Uncle Bep and Aunt Joe) arrive in America.

It’s been over nine months since my last post. And¬†as I said in that post, it had been six months before that. I really do suck at blogging.

This pattern may continue but, today,¬†I’ll pretend¬†that it won’t. Why today? Because¬†I’m putting off¬†purging and packing our stuff.

In the last nine months, I changed jobs, lost my Oma and got pregnant. And now we’re moving to a new neighborhood.

Pregnancy is overwhelming.¬†I’m often awake at night wondering how we will raise another human being. In a small two-bedroom apartment. In Los Angeles. And what opinions do we listen to.¬†What brand of baby gadgets do we get. And will it all fit in our apartment. Where will we finally find a daycare. What will our baby girl¬†look like. Will she be healthy. And how will we ever choose between gray and charcoal for the nursery.

And then I look at the photo above. And feel ashamed. And so ridiculously lucky at the same time.

My Oma had a lot of hardship and heartbreak throughout her 91 years. More than any of us even know about. She struggled through war. Through pain. She left loved ones. Left belongings. And she boarded a boat to a foreign country with only her husband, three children and faith.

She still managed to love and care for her family. She lived for her children and gave so much love. I am where I am because of her.

We have too much crap. In our houses. On the Internet. In our heads.

Time to purge and pack. And have faith.