Friday, November 26, 2010

five years

About a month after we were married, I started to notice some changes in Hubby. Just subtle shifts. Little things. But they worried me. He seemed to be pulling away, withdrawing.

Then came the weekend that he packed a bag, said he was going to the Big City to hang out with people he used to work with. And I wasn't invited. Those were all the details I got. He disappeared. Didn't come home. Wouldn't answer his phone. Just gone.

Then came the weekend he looked me in the eye, told me the worst kind of lie, and drove away.

Then all hell broke loose.

And it stayed loose for a long time.

Hubby was at the start of the breakdown that, unknown to me, had been years in the making. He was shutting down, pulling away, turning into someone I didn't want to know.

I was falling apart at the seams trying to keep everything together. I lost 30 pounds in the blink of an eye; wasn't eating, sleeping; was barely functioning.

So much, too much, was coming to the surface. Lies (and lies and lies and lies), hidden pieces, self-centeredness, inability to love.

There was too much yelling, too much fighting, too much crying, too much silence.

There were so many times it felt like he was doing thing specifically to try and get me to leave. And I kept say that if he wanted this to end, he would have to do it.

And then one day I said "Five years. I'll give it five years. If things are not markedly better by our fifth year, I'm leaving and you won't see me again." What I meant was "I cannot do this, cannot live like this for one more day, one more minute and I want to leave right now this very second." Five years was the life raft I threw out to myself.

And then came rock bottom. In a horrid whisper-scream and a flood of tears. And I saw everything in a new light. How can you know anything but to lie when that's all you've ever seen? All you've ever known? All you've ever been shown?

Hubby wanted help. And he wanted to talk, and he wanted me there so that he wouldn't tell lies. And I heard things that made me sad and angry and horrified, all in equal measure. Things I couldn't believe, things I didn't want to believe. Things I had to believe. Because they were true.

And little by little, in tiny baby steps, things started to get better.

Hubby had to make unbelievably hard choices. He worked every day to become the person he wanted to be. He had so much to learn, so much to do.

It was hard. It is hard.



There are still issues. Of course there are. I'm sure there always will be. But they are hurdles to jump over, not mountains to claw over.

Today is our fifth anniversary.

The only bag I have packed is my purse. Because we are going out to celebrate this small miracle of a day.

Five years seems to have gone by so quickly, and it seems to have been a hundred years long.

We've both changed almost immeasurably.

But there is no one else I'd rather pass the time with.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

you capture - I ate this

Hubby and I went here

and I ate this.....

It might be the best thing I've ever eaten.

Seriously. It was that good.


see more at Beth's

Sunday, November 21, 2010

a list for a sunday

1. Ohmygosh, I'm busy these days.

2. I feel the pressure of time right now. Like there so much to do and not nearly enough time in which to do it. I'm sure part of this is invented by me. But part of it is the knowledge of what's coming up in the next few weeks and knowing how much time that will take.

3. I moved too quickly through Target today and forgot a bunch of what I needed. But somehow came home with a new pillow.

4. I feel horrible and guilty for having not yet read the proof copy of Hubby new book of poetry. It arrived this week. He asked me to read it, and I want to read it when I have time to give it my full attention, and not hop up and down 37 times to do other things. And that doesn't seem to have happened yet.

5. It's not Thanksgiving yet and I've already cried twice over Christmas related things. I heard John Lennon singing War Is Over on the radio. And I saw the words "yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

6. There is not a Trader Joe's anywhere near me. But sometimes Hubby and I manage to luck our way into being near one. (You know, in our extensive travels.) The thing is, every time we go into a Trader Joe's, we buy junk food. And that's it. And I don't know whether I love or hate the person who invented those chocolate chip Dunkers.

7. I'm up to eight miles for my long run now. That makes me happy. Although it's slow and it's hard. And I'm not sure how much of the hardness is my knees' inability to "go" and how much of that is the extra weight I'm sporting these days. I'm still happy, though.

8. My four year old goddaughter has already told her mother that she doesn't like turkey, and she's not eating it on Thanksgiving, because it "used to be real and it still looks real." (That's my girl!) Her mom told her she's going to Aunt Chocolate Girl's for Thanksgiving.

9. The busy nature of the coming weekend made Hubby and I decide to have Thanksgiving dinner at home (and Thanksgiving dessert with the whole family). So we will be making our very first fully vegan Thanksgiving dinner. I'm excited about that.

10. I have been listening to Josh Groban's new album, Illuminations, pretty much non-stop since I got it on the day it was released. I might be kind of in love with him. Hubby and I had a talk about it. He understands. He's heard the album, too.

PS - Hubby is snoring on the couch right now. It's 6:49. I'm jealous.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

you capture - inspiration

Hubby. He's calm. He doesn't worry about things. He's able to let go. He's very relaxed. (I keep hoping these things will rub off on me, because I'm kinda the opposite.)

He's grown more in the past five years than some people will grow in a lifetime. He has every reason to be angry and bitter. But he's not. He's happy.

He works hard. And he provides. And he looks good doing it.

He inspires me. Every day.

(These photos were part of a series of author photos he asked me take for his fifth (!) book of poetry. I was honored to do so.)


See more at Beth's.

if there's a rocket tie me to it

Do you ever have so much to do that all you do is kind of wander around and feel busy, but you don't really seem to actually do anything?

That's me.


Last week was the craziest week of the year at work. And now I am very behind there. Very.

And my house seems to be filling with clutter that never seems to go anywhere; it just seems to build and multiply. It's like Gremlins. But clutter.

And where is all this laundry coming from? There's just two of us here.

And I don't seem to really go grocery shopping anymore. I just kind of buy stuff and try to turn it into a meal. Sometimes it works. And sometimes we just go buy a sandwich instead. (And I kind of miss cooking meals.)


Last week at work, Work Friend and I mailed out 200 letters to families who might need some help this Christmas season. Two hundred is a lot. That means we could potentially be shopping for 200 kids. Two hundred is a lot. This is the third year in a row that our number of letters sent has doubled.


Next week is Thanksgiving. We're entering my favorite time of the year. I need to remember to stop and notice that it's happening. I don't want to miss it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

you capture - serene

So, I laughed when I saw what this week's you capture task was, because I knew this week was going to be anything but serene. Hubby did, too. That was why he suggested we take a random Tuesday evening dinner trip to our favorite weekend spot. It's a place that is always so calming and lovely, and it sounded like the perfect idea. And I took my camera along, thinking this would be the perfect setting for 'serene.'

And it was! Oh, it was! The weather was lovely, the restaurant, the beach, the town were all calm and quiet. It was so perfect. And absolutely none of it wanted to be captured on film.

Not the perfect lighting by our table.
Not the perfectly still water, the harbor lights, the slight sliver of the moon.

Not what I thought was a crane, but was, apparently, the Loch Ness Monster.

I don't know what was happening. I just couldn't take a picture, couldn't get my setting right.

So what was the only picture that even remotely turned out?

Yeah. That would be my food.

And that pretty much sums up the week - not working out quiet like I hoped, but at least I have food.

So you'll just have to trust me that it was a wonderful, relaxing, serene bit of calm before the storm, and be content in the knowledge that I have lovely memories to get me though the crazy remainder of the week.



see more at Beth's

Saturday, November 6, 2010

two posts in one. about chocolate.

My One Running Friend and I signed up for the Hot Chocolate Run back in February. How could we not?

We knew we were in for something good when our bib numbers had tickets for fondue and hot chocolate.

But really, our expectations were exceeded.

The run itself was lovely enough; a brisk sunrise loop along the lakefront. However...

When we came through the finish area, there were the traditional bottles of water and cups of Gatorade. But instead of bananas and apples, there was chocolate. We were encouraged to fill our pockets. So we did.

We came out of the finish area and into the Fondue Tent (ohmygosh I loved the marshmallow trees!), where we were given our own little fondue tray. (That was where the fruit was. Because fruit is way better if you dip it in chocolate. Especially rich, creamy, hot, melty chocolate.) (Did I mention it was freezing - literally - at this race?).

Then it was on to the Hot Chocolate Tent, where we got our rich, creamy, steamy (Did I mention that it was freezing?) hot chocolate, with which to toast our run. And the day in general. Because, let's face it, it was a good day.

It was like a convergence of all things good and true...

PS - It really was a convergence of all things good and true, what with the running and the chocolate and the fact that, when I woke up in the morning, the ground was covered with snow. If U2 had somehow been involved, the whole thing might have rivaled Heaven.


Hubby's birthday was this past week. After he managed to get me the Bono cake for my birthday last year, I knew I better go big with his cake this year. Which meant, of course, his man-crush Sting. But I just couldn't go with Sting's face on a cake. Face-on-a-cake had been done, you know? So I went with this.....

The owner of my favorite cafe created this cake for me. She knocked it out of the park. Big time.

And Hubby still got Sting's face on a cake. Kinda.

PS - This was the inside of the cake. Because Hubby will only eat chocolate cake. (Yeah, he's a keeper, that Hubby.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

you capture - silence

Halloween didn't really exist for us this year. As others were putting on costumes and getting ready to trick-or-treat, we were headed far away from everything.

For three days, it was quiet.

We spent our time outside. We were the only ones there.

It was beautiful.

It was calm.

Even in the short times we were inside, it was calm.

Words just weren't needed. Or necessary.

It was just time to breathe.

Time to see.

Time to be.

And that was everything we needed.


See more at Beth's.