Oh what a weekend

It’s quite possibly the most cliche phrase ever uttered on a Monday, but – man – I wish it were the weekend again. Luffy and I had a wonderful weekend and I would pay good money to rewind the clock to Friday so that we could do it all again.

The weekend started a few hours early for me when I left work around 1:00 on Friday afternoon. I picked up some lunch for Luffy and I and headed to his office for a little desk picnic. I don’t know about you (and your SO), but seeing him earlier than usual always puts me in the best mood. I then headed out to run some errands and clean up the house a bit in preparation of our EPIC Saturday plans.

First up Saturday were our standing lunch plans with Luffy’s parents. Not all that exciting, per se, but always delicious. We then headed over to a friend’s house for the last baby shower. This one was co-ed (and hosted by mutual friends), so Luffy tagged along. We had a wonderful shower, filled with fun games (the boys tried to guess the flavors of baby food and then, in a much more appreciated game, tried to drink beer from baby bottles), tasty food, and good company. Our friends outdid themselves and some of my favorite outfits came from them (seriously! little tiny Fullmetal Alchemist and One Piece onesies!! so adorable).

And then, as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, Luffy arranged for the most delightful treat for me and our friends: a private Frank dinner, hosted at our house.

Now, I’ve talked about Frank before, but one thing that I didn’t mention is that they actually offer in-home cooking (and some of the Frank experience) for private dinner parties. It wasn’t something I’d ever seriously considered (little awkward with just two people, don’t you think??), but Luffy decided that it would be a lovely thank-you to our friends for hosting our shower and a surprise for me. AND I’M SO HAPPY THAT HE DID. We had THE BEST time. He didn’t quite get to make it a surprise for me (he had to check that I was ok with it being at our home because, you know, he knows me and knew I’d want to clean all the things before I had professional chefs using my kitchen), but he did do all the heavy lifting of the planning and the prep.

Our chef arrived at little after 6pm. Our friends arrived at 7pm. Champagne was popped at 7:10 – and things only went up from there.

I’m not a food blogger, so bear with me and my woefully lacking descriptive skills, but you guys! The food! Was just unbelievable! We had risotto balls and THE MOST INCREDIBLE SOUP I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE and octopus with assorted supporting cast members (like a delicious black bean sauce and a Cara Cara orange wedge topped with beer salt!) to create your perfect bite and chicken with waffles and blackberry ginger sorbet with granola and chocolate chunks. The soup! Best soup ever. Tasted like queso, but even more delicious. And I had three waffles to accompany my chicken. And Luffy told our chef that I like pickled things, so there were many freshly pickled items to choose from. And the dessert was incredibly refreshing and the perfect way to end the meal. The entire evening was wonderful. The wine flowed like water (for my non-pregnant friends) and they even made a couple of non-alcoholic mixed drinks for me. I had to turn in earlier, of course (a friend practically put me to bed herself after she caught sight of my drooping eyelids), but our friends stayed until about two in the morning.

Our Saturday was packed full of activities, so we did absolutely nothing on Sunday except enjoy the rain and football (and knock out the thank you notes).

Ahhhh, weekend perfection.

Ode to Champagne

Napa was wonderful, thanks for asking.

We had a few false starts on the trip that threatened to overshadow the whole thing (miscommunications abound and a lesson on why you should never leave men to plan things, or at least, these particular men), but it turned around in the end. The first night, we passed the time playing Cards Against Humanity and drinking wine and/or bourbon. I had never played the game before  and I have to say that I did quite well, although Luffy and I might now be known for some very questionable things (our choices might have provided a little too much insight).

Saturday morning we congratulated ourselves on being capable adults as we managed to both pull together a breakfast feast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, and fruit AND have all eleven of us dressed/showered/ready-to-go by the time our limo bus got there. We then cracked open two bottles of champagne for the bus and headed to our first stop: Domaine Chandon.

Now, if you know much about me at all, you’ve probably been able to pick up on the fact that I love champagne. I adore champagne. I will never, ever turn down champagne unless you offer me some $2 crap that is disgusting. (Also, because this is the internet and it helps to be clear, when I say champagne I mean sparkling wine, not the actual French champagne. I do not discriminate against sparkling wine or prosecco or cava or champagne. Does it have bubbles? Check. Pour me some.) Anyway, out of all the champagne that I’ve had over the years, I have a few favorites and one of them happens to be Chandon. I love almost every variety of theirs that I try and give mad props to them for being a great value (so good! so well-priced!). So I was super excited that of all the wineries in Napa, the birthday boy decided Chandon would be a great place to visit AND tour. Woo!!

It was fantastic. The tour was great (and enlightening! I had no idea how they made champagne) and our guide was fantastic. We did a private tasting and our group (which, to be fair, did have 10 drinking people) polished off five bottles of champagne and a bottle of wine. Glorious. And it wasn’t just me. It was unanimous that Chandon was our favorite stop of the day. We went to two wineries afterwards, but one was nothing special and the other was ridiculously expensive and pretentious ($30 for a tasting (which is basically one glass of wine), or a free tasting if you bought a bottle (of which the cheapest was $86)). Chandon was definitely the best! After our wine tour, we stopped off at a grocery store for snacks, liquor, and girl scout cookies (great combination, no?) and then headed back to our little abode for an evening of board games.

We had an AirBNB house that was really great – set up high on a mountain and far away from the town (seriously, it took half an hour just to drive up the mountain road). The sleeping arrangements were a little iffy because we had 11 adults and the house promised it could sleep 10. They brought an air mattress for the single guy and called the problem solved. Then we showed up and realized that, yes it could sleep 10, but one couple would be on a pull out couch and another couple would be on a twin trundle bed. Since we arrived the latest of everyone, Luffy and I got the pull out couch (we were saved from the trundle only because Luffy is 6’5″ tall and you try fitting all of that on a twin bed). Other than that hiccup, the house was great. The view, from the back porch, was gorgeous.

Luffy and I left early Sunday morning to head to San Francisco to meet  up with a friend for brunch and then head to the airport. We got back late last night, which means I’m dragging a bit today. But! The trip was short and fun and, most importantly, included really excellent champagne! Smashing success!

When to stop reaching out

Question: At what point in a fading relationship do you stop reaching out? At what point do you, metaphorically, call it quits and stop calling/emailing/texting? At what point do you admit that that person, whomever they may be, doesn’t mean the same thing to you anymore?

My title makes it seem like I have an answer to my question, but I don’t. It’s something I’m working through right now.


I have (had?) a best friend, Liz (who I first talked about here). To recap, Liz was my best friend all through school. We were inseparable until our life paths diverged. I moved away while she stayed put. I got married while she doesn’t date. I am trying to have a child and Liz has always been fairly certain she doesn’t want children (I’ll be your children’s Aunt Liz she always told me). Since I wrote that original post, we’ve exchanged one round of catch-up emails and one round of happy-birthday texts.

I found out today, via Facebook, that she’s approaching a major milestone in her life. She’s graduating from Grad school this spring (I knew that much), and then she’s moving away from our hometown because she received a full-time job offer. It’s something that’s in her field of expertise, and one of her dream jobs actually – if not quite her dream location (she’s still going to be in West Texas and I know she’d love to move some place like Colorado or New Mexico if she could). A huge moment for her. And I found out through Facebook.

To be fair, in this day and age a lot of information gets disseminated through Facebook, even if it’s something important. Almost especially if it’s something important (let’s face it, it’s fun to see those Likes add up!). But it did make me question – is it too late for our friendship? And will I kick myself later on in life if I’ve let our relationship fall by the wayside?

Lately, our emails have become shorter and shorter. Quick updates about ourselves and our families. We don’t text. I tried to get her to Gchat with me, but that didn’t go over. We’ve been looking for ways to make our communication easier and faster (like I said in my first post, laziness probably kept us friends for far longer than it should have), but nothing’s worked out so far. Plus, over electronic communication, the spark and pop that made our friendship shine isn’t there. Or has it faded with time? We haven’t talked to each other on the phone in so long that I have no idea if it’s still there.

And while it would be far easier to stop emailing or calling and demote the woman who once was my BFF to Facebook friend, will I be ok with that decision? In ten years, will I look back and truly miss her and regret that I didn’t keep making the effort? Right now it feels like I’m the only one in the relationship making any effort (I’m always the one who initiates our communication), but perhaps once she’s settled into a job – will she have more time to chat? Or maybe if she eventually gets married – will we find common ground again? Or maybe once I have children – will she make the effort to be involved in their lives like she once promised me she would?

I feel like I’m on a precipice right now. I can either keep up the friendship, even though it’s already feeling one-sided. Or I can sit back and let it fade. We all know that friendships – relationships – take work. They don’t just happen, so I won’t kid myself that our friendship would magically continue if we were to both stop trying. Part of me is interested to see if I would ever hear from her again, but the other half of me doesn’t want to test that. And, let’s be honest, I’m sure there are thousands upon thousands of “childhood friends” that didn’t make it into “adulthood friends.”

But.

But, there’s so much history between me and Liz. We spent so much time together when we were young. We laughed so hard and knew just how to make each other smile. I’m not ready to give up on that yet. I’m not ready to let her fade away.

So I’m not sure when I’ll stop putting in the effort to reach out to her, to say hello and ask her how her life is going, but it won’t be today. Today I’ll email her, ask her about her new job and wish her the very best.

 

Small Moments II

My troubles ovulating have been forefront in my mind lately. Perhaps it was the crashing hormones last week, or the fact that my follow-up GYN appointment got moved up three days and now I only have a week (only seven days!!!) to ovulate on my own. Whatever the cause, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Not so much in a negative light – more just wistful. Luffy, ever optimistic and supportive, reminded me to appreciate our time together right now. So this is a reminder for me, to embrace the joy in the small things that make our life wonderful right now.


Our friends who live in California were in Austin this past weekend. We decided to visit them while they were a three hour car ride, rather than a four hour plane ride, away. We packed up the car with a few essentials on Saturday morning, kissed Jas good bye, and headed out through the rain. We had some great meals and stayed out until the early morning hours. We drank whiskey and danced to 80’s hits (the bar we inadvertently went to was having an 80’s night, complete with costumes and music videos). We slept in to a shocking 8:30am and then took our time getting breakfast. We made it home in time to curl up on the couch with Jas (after she tried to convince us that perhaps it was dinner time? food? now? rowr?) and watch football.

We had a wonderful weekend and it’s definitely something we won’t really be able to do after we have children. I mean, I’m sure we’ll see our friends. I’m sure we’ll still travel and visit other places. But to pick up and go like that on a whim? Doubtful. To stay out until 2am like we’re in college? Probably not. To sleep in until a ridiculous 8:30?! From what I’ve heard, nope. So right now, while our only encumbrance is making sure Jas gets fed on time, I’ll appreciate being able to set off on our next adventure at a moment’s notice.


Two weekends ago, Luffy and I happened to get the bulk of our chores done on Saturday. Sunday dawned chilly and a little overcast – perfect weather to do absolutely nothing. Which is exactly what we did. We spent the entire day watching TV or reading or playing games without a care in the world. The house was quiet and peaceful. I appreciated being able to bask in the glory of having absolutely nothing urgent to take care of.


Beyond things like a quiet house or travelling without notice, I really, really appreciate the time I get to spend with Luffy. Just him and me. I know our relationship, the one between just the two of us, will continue to strengthen and grow in the coming years – regardless of what happens on the fertility front – but it’s also nice to just have each other to care for right now. And our little pumpkin Jas.


Just a little reminder, to anyone trying so hard to conceive and especially to myself, slow down. Grieve for the process that seems to go so smoothly for everyone else, but keep enjoying life. Keep finding those small moments.

When you fall out of friendship

I’m at an interesting point in my life right now. I’m four years out of college, nine years out of high school. I’ve been in the professional world for four years, at my current job for two. I’ve been in a relationship with Luffy for three years. I haven’t lived in my hometown in four years. I’m moving farther away from my school years and my adolescence, which means that I find myself falling out of friendships.

If you were to ask me, right now, who my best friend is, I’d say Liz. I’ve known Liz since I was in the third grade and we’ve been best friends since sixth grade. We were inseparable. We went to the same middle school, high school, and college. We talked constantly, always made sure to pair up for any school assignments that we could, and consulted each other on every important matter (re: a clear phone for my room – the coolest or the lamest??). I knew her phone number by heart and it’s still one of the few phone numbers I actually know. (My brother’s cell number, for instance, I have no idea what it is since I always had a cell phone to store it.) She’s the answer to all of my security questions. She was the maid of honor at my wedding because of course she was, she’s my best friend.

So yes. Liz is my best friend. Except that my wedding was also the last time I saw her. We last exchanged emails at the end of June. My phone tells me the last time I called her was … oh wait, my phone’s log doesn’t go back that far. She’s never seen my home. She’s only visited me twice since I moved to Dallas and I’ve visited her once while I was home for the holidays. It’s not that we don’t enjoy each other’s company or talks; it’s just that life got in the way.

One of my favorite bloggers over at Wait But Why put together a post a couple months back that really hit home. In it, he discusses the different types of friendships people have and how those friendships can be good, bad, or quirky. For me, Liz is a blend of types six and seven – “The Historical Friend” and “The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship.” The whole article is interesting and humorous, so I suggest you go read it (or anything Tim writes, he’s hilarious), but in the meantime, a little summary of the two:

  • The Historical Friend – Someone you became friends with when you were really little and then stayed friends with throughout the years. The catch here is that you would not be friends with this person if you met today because you just don’t mesh now.
  • The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend – Basically, Tim talks about where I am right now. (It’s like he’s speaking to me!) Up to about the age 24 or so, everyone is on somewhat the same life path and moves through the different phases about the same time. Most of this has to do with school, right, everyone graduates at roughly the same age. But now, after college, people start maturing and branching off at different paces. And these different paces can suddenly mean that you don’t have much in common anymore.

Now I imagine there are a lot of us out there with friends who fall in between those two categories (especially if you’re about my age). For me, Liz is a casualty of this. She’s not quite a full-on Historical Friend because I do like her and we might possibly still become friends if we were to meet today. We do still enjoy our talks, when we have them, if we have them. She’s not quite a full-on Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend because we’re not the “darker, more permanent” type that Tim goes into (go read!), but it still describes our relationship fairly accurately.

For us, we are both studious, type A girls with a silly sense of humor. We both like to read and we both appreciate a job well-done. But now that school’s over, that doesn’t get us very far. Our life paths are completely different. She graduated college with an art degree and started part time work, trying to figure out if there was anything she could do with her obscure degree. I studied accounting and then went on to graduate school. After I graduated, I moved to Dallas and began working full time. She decided to go back to school then to get her masters. During all of that, I had gone through an abusive relationship and come out the other side while she had spent her college years not really dating anyone at all. Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m married and trying to have children and she’s still working on her masters degree and hoping to find a job within the next six months. She’s also fairly sure she never wants children and has no interest in finding a life partner beyond her pets right now.

Like Tim said, we don’t have that much in common anymore. Proximity (and, let’s face it, laziness) kept us friends for far longer than we probably would have been otherwise. Now our emails are short and our missed calls go un-returned.

In some ways, it’s sad. She was my rock throughout grade school and now we can barely gather the enthusiasm to catch each other up on our lives. Time, and distance, has a way of deteriorating even the best of relationships. On the brighter side, I’ve also been introduced to a lot of new people – through my work here and through my husband. So as I’m letting go of some friendships, I’m reaching out for new ones.

Small Moments

One of my absolute favorite trance groups likes to say that life is made of small moments. Luffy and I went down to Austin this past weekend to see them and came away with a few such moments.

Above & Beyond played in Dallas the night before they played in Austin, but Luffy and I managed to convince our friends that they needed to experience this particular concert with us. We drove down Friday morning, dragging our cat along with us, excited about our weekend plans.

The concert itself was absolutely incredible. There is something so deeply moving about Above & Beyond’s music that it’s hard to capture in words. It makes you stare up at your significant other in awe and love, marveling at how life works to bring you together. It makes you reach out to your friends to touch and hold, secure in the knowledge that this is your chosen family. It makes you feel. In an age where the majority of song lyrics cover shallow topics like drinking and partying, A&B’s music is a welcome respite. We left the concert feeling vibrant and enamored.

Another item on the weekend’s agenda was a Family Dinner. Luffy had explained to me, back in the getting-to-know-you days of our relationship, that his group of friends in college had a standing weeknight dinner with each other. They took turns hosting and cooking, swapping stories from their week over board games or decompressing together with wine and movies. Not everyone always made it, but someone could always be counted on to eat Family Dinner with you. When Luffy told me about this, I was enchanted. I loved that his friends gathered round to share a meal. I loved the way they helped prepare the meal together. I was also a bit envious; I had certainly never had an experience like this or even a group of friends to do this with. So when one of our friends suggested we partake in Family Dinner on Saturday night, I was ecstatic.

Saturday we headed towards Rainey Street (a collection of houses converted into bars) and spent the afternoon talking and drinking, reminiscing and catching up. We then moved on to a friend’s home where we all helped in making dinner. Burgers and stuffed avocados were on the menu, as well as wine and bourbon and my caramel stuffed brownies. It was far from perfect; dinner finally came together at 10:30pm and we made do with sliced bread when we discovered no one had thought about hamburger buns. But it was all I had imagined and more. I am fantastically lucky to be embraced by such a wonderful group of friends.

When we drove back to Dallas Sunday morning, we were completely exhausted and yet utterly in love with our life and each other.

Life is made of small moments like these. Small, wonderful moments.