Sziasztok – Farewell

Well, coulda seen this one coming.

Since my last post was in June, and had no real content, and as we creep up on the first anniversary of our wedding, I think it’s time for me to officially say goodbye to this delightful little blog. I’ve appreciated everyone’s company, well wishes, thoughtful comments, and echoing silence; it’s been a great year and I’m glad to have had this space for discussion and reflection.

I’m starting a new chapter of my life as I enter graduate school and what little free time I have now will soon vanish, no doubt. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and excited to have my husband and partner at my side through this new adventure.

I’m still reading A Practical Wedding and a couple other insightful wedding/marriage blogs, so you’ll see me prattling around there. Keep in touch, everyone.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.  ♥


This spring has been hugely busy and extraordinarily transformative, and this has lead to a lot of Hurry Up and Wait. I have a busy summer, but I find myself chomping at the bit. This summer is teaching me the pleasure of anticipation, and the peacefulness of patience.

  • May – Work weekend #1
  • May – my 5th reunion from college
  • May – long weekend in Maine
  • June – Work weekend #2
  • June – Work weekend #3
  • June – hearing about on-campus housing for graduate school
  • July – two week trip to Europe
  • July – long weekend with friends (“vacation”)
  • August – wrapping up work
  • August – packing our apartment
  • September – moving
  • September – starting graduate school

Hurry up and wait…

ruh roh

My last post was March 16, for our six month anniversary. I keep thinking about pulling together wedding wrap-up posts, with pictures, and discussion, and thinking about our wedding. I see people who got married AFTER us who have already finished discussing their weddings. I’ve always LOVED those posts, and couldn’t wait to do my own.

But I’m not writing mine. I haven’t really started thinking about it, I’m not too worried about it, and I’m just really passive about the whole thing. Maybe it’s because life has gotten so busy since the wedding, maybe it’s because I like our photos but don’t LOVE our photos, maybe it’s because I’m not immersed in weddings like I once was. I don’t know if I’m too far distanced from our wedding to talk about it, or just getting far ENOUGH away to really understand it. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m ever going to do a wedding wrap up post.

I started this blog to dump out my thoughts on planning the wedding and preparing for marriage, and it’s been an amazing outlet for all of that. After the wedding, I thought that I could continue this as a LIFE blog; I created my Mighty Life List, I started chasing my dreams, and talked about life as a newlywed.

But life has been so darn busy that I haven’t had a minute to think, let alone talk about it here. I don’t know where this blog is going, and I don’t know how often I’ll post, but it’s been a wonderful place for me this past year or so. It’s been an outlet for stress, for fear, for excitement, for happiness, for the tumultuous nature of major life transitions.

We’ll see what happens next.

six months

Six months.

180 days.

4,344 hours, give or take.

Around this time six months ago, I was hanging out with the girls at the hotel while they finished getting ready. I was still in jeans and a blue button down. I’d managed to snag tea from Starbucks and I was sipping that, grinning at my crazy friends and generally pretending to be calm.

The rest of the day went by in a blur, we were married sometime around 5:50 pm, and then partied until the wee hours of the morning.

We’ve had a great six months. It kicked off with a week on the beach (mmm, champagne), and has been wonderful. Bear has worked hard at school, and my job has been going well. I applied for and was accepted to graduate school. We’re talking about moving closer to Bear’s lab. Life keeps going on and on, and I’m so glad to have him by my side, on our wedding day, and every day.

I was crazy about you then and now
The craziest thing of all,
Over ten years have gone by
And you’re still mine,
We’re locked in time
Let’s rewind

Do you remember?


I am at home, with my husband.

He is working fervently on a Big Project for his PhD program; it is his second-year presentation, similar to quals, prelims, or orals in its intensity and importance. Being the Overachieving Bear that he is, he’s doing his presentation a semester early (he started school during January last year, so he was told he had to do this presentation early or late; he opted for early). He has his computer in his lap, surrounded by a sea of papers and charts and equations. His legs are crossed at the ankle, his sock-footed toes curling over and over again in a comfortable reflexive twitch. His brow is slightly furrowed and he is intent on his screen and his papers, sometimes stopping to scratch at his beard while reading over his notes.

This, right here, is the definition of companionable silence. Him with his papers and me with  my book (which I have abandoned, for the moment, to share my thoughts with you). I am glad he is here (as opposed to being off in the library or lab office), and I am glad I have had the pleasure of knowing him these past ten years. We are quiet, in our own very separate worlds, but we silently orbit one another, circling far away and back again. We are two little specks in the galaxy, tiny, separate stars flickering our own lights in the faraway darkness. But we’re still here, together.

And it hits me, just how lucky I am.

…Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Not Yet

I don’t want a baby.

I really don’t, honestly. Not yet. I don’t want kids, I don’t want a baby, I don’t want a family, I don’t want any of that. Bear is still in school, I’m just applying to school, and it’s not the right time. We’re not ready, I’m not ready, and we still have some things we want to do before we get there. It’s just not our time yet. I know this, I’m happy with this, I’ll proclaim it from the rooftops. I DON’T WANT A BABY. No, thank you.


I don’t know if it is clucky twenty-something hormones or if getting married has triggered it, but I love babies. I want to cuddle one and coo at one and smell that warm, creamy, milky baby smell. I want to blow raspberries on little baby feet. I want to put my finger in a tiny hand and feel it clamp down with all those tiny bitty muscles. I don’t want a baby of my own; I just think I’m overdue for playing with one. It probably has also been a big part of my increasing need for a dog; I need affection, something to care for, and happy, sloppy kisses. Sometimes, when I whine to Bear yet again that I want a dog, he looks at me with a sideways smirk and says, “No, you want a baby.” And I smack him on the arm and say, “Yes, but I really want a dog.”

But along with this clucky confusion is this weird nagging when I find blogs of young mothers. Women with pictures of round bellies, little baby shoes, redecorated nurseries. For a couple years now, I’ve been telling myself I’m “way too young” to have a baby, to shoo away maternal urges. But more and more, those young mothers I see are my age. They’re a year or so older, or exactly my age, or maybe a year younger. The first couple times it happened it surprised me a little, but now when I find out a young blogger is pregnant, I immediately wonder how old she is. Is she my age? Could that be a life I’m not choosing? Specifically not choosing to have a baby this young? To be a certain age when my children are born? Before, I was “way too young” and I waved my hands at the notion. Now as our lives catch up with us, my handwaving slows down, and I blink warily. This could be our lives. It could have been. But it’s not.

Bear and I have talked about our lives and our choices very candidly. He is in graduate school for his PhD, and will have at least a few more years before he presents his dissertation. I have only just applied to graduate school, and will be starting a program in the fall, and I’ll have a few years before I’m done. When I’m done with school, we’ll probably start thinking about having a baby. Bear will be finishing up his program and then heading to a postdoctoral program, and while not ideal to move with a baby, it’s better to uproot a family before kids are in school than later. Look, all these plans! Ideas! Hopes! We have talked about our baby family and when to grow it, but in ways that allow for us to grow and live our lives and chase our dreams. We’re thinking it over, planning our future together. It’s exciting, when I think about it.

Buuuuuuut. I still feel this flutter when I read a new blog about a pregnancy or a new baby, and realize the mother is my age. It’s like our own little family is waiting inside me, biding its time. It’s in hibernation, sleeping sweetly until we’re ready for the tornado that it brings. It’s smiling to itself, thinking, those fools; they know not what they are asking for. So I feel the flutter of not-yet and try to live my life with fullness and exuberance, and total child-free-ecstasy.

Not yet. But I’ll keep bugging my husband about getting a dog.

Listening To Kate

Well, I found her. Kate Braestrup, that is.

After my ridiculous week thinking about her, my husband and I went on errands Saturday morning that brought us right by a Barnes and Noble. “FINALLY!” I crowed, telling him we Absolutely Must Stop, even just for a minute, so I could grab this book. “You know what book it is? You know the author?” My husband knows me well; let me loose on a bookstore (any bookstore) and I’m prone to emerge several hours later, many dollars lighter, and a bag full of books heavier. “Yes, I even know what section it’s in.” (Biography, I realized after perusing the entirety of that used bookstore last week).

I strode purposefully into the Barnes and Noble and REFUSED MYSELF the pleasure of looking at any other books, any other author, anything else. Torturous. I did, however, break the rules a little—I bought Kate’s memoir, Here if You Need Me, but I also picked up her second memoir, Marriage and Other Acts of Charity. What can I say; I’m a sucker for interesting books on marriage. I got scolded for my rule-breaking, but it was worth it. The rest of Saturday was a blur of other errands and activities, but I woke up late on Sunday, and Wes slept in, and I thought it was as good a time as any to crack into my new book. I ignored our messy kitchen, I avoided starting the Wedding Recaps for the blog, and I didn’t clean the bathroom as I should have.

Instead, I brewed tea, ate breakfast, and curled up on the couch with Here If You Need Me. I made it through the first chapter without much fuss, diving in to her stories of life in the Maine woods. And then I proceeded to weep for the next fifty pages. After the first chapter eases into Braestrup’s style and rhythm, the second chapter starts to talk about her story. It talks about her husband, about their relationship, about his death. So, here I am, barely six months married, reading about losing your spouse. So I sat, and I wept.

It was immensely powerful, and definitely a little hard to read. But it was wonderful, and uplifting. I kept plowing through the book, page after page. The search-and-rescue stories, her reflections on ministry of the people and woods of Maine, the anecdotes from a non-parish ministry. And her stories about her family, her life after her husband dies, her relationship with the world. It captured me.

I did go through it pretty quickly, so I’m still digesting and thinking about the book; I’ll probably re-read it soon, to really take note of the things that make me stop and think. I loved Braestrup’s style, and it reminds me of the kind of writing I do- where random anecdotes somehow relate to Real Big Issues, and how our lives intertwine with the world so quickly and naturally.

As we (I say we, because it felt like I was tromping through the woods with Kate, so we were in it together) got to the end of the book, I couldn’t help but notice that it was all a love poem to the game wardens. The whole book was infused with her affection and devotion to her service; how important her work is, and how much these people mean to her.

I hope to enroll in divinity school, but I’m not entirely sure that I want to be a parish minister. I’m more inclined to want to do something like Braestrup has done- minister to a community that isn’t necessarily specifically about religion or faith, but needs a little ministering to. I’ve been thinking about becoming a college chaplain, and I feel like chaplaincy is a good mix of my skills and interests. And exploring these ideas and plans are itty bitty baby steps on my way to getting my degree.

I guess Kate was following me because she had to tell me something. I’m still working out what it is, but I’m glad she got to tell me.