Monday, December 13, 2010

The beginning

Week Four - 10/3/10

{I wrote this to Baby H the weekend we found out we were pregnant.  I wanted to capture what I was feeling so that I could remember that magical feeling forever}

Dear baby,

I can't believe you are finally happening.  I have been dreaming about you for what feels like my whole life.  I am not a patient person but I knew this was something I had to wait for.  I had to be ready, your dad had to be ready, and our life together had to be ready.  Even though I know you are never really ready for something this big, I am ready.

I knew you were with me even before you could tell me.  You made me very tired just 1 week after we made you.  5 days after that first feeling I came home and confirmed it with a pregnancy test, even though it was too early (mommy does not have patience).  Your dad was watching a show on planes when I handed him the test.  He asked if it is was for real and I said yes.  We both started crying and touched my belly.  We are both so happy to have you with us.

We went to your Grandpa Ukki's house this weekend to meet your cousin Kyle.  We had to keep you a secret, which was very hard.  I had to pretend to drink alcohol and sauna, 2 things that are very popular on your father's side.  I kept looking at Kyle and imagining what it will be like to have you there, too.  I can't wait to meet you, but for right now I am content to have you inside my belly where I know you are safe.  I'm so happy I get to carry you around for 9 months and nurse you to life.

When we got home tonight I took one more test to make sure you weren't a dream.  The test was still positive and I couldn't have been happier.  

The world has changed so much in the last 5 days.  I can't wait to meet you on your birthday.


Your mommy

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Honeymoon {November 2008}

{This post is a little late.  Our anniversary was November 15th but I spent the day in bed with a cold.  I've been a little under the weather (I think it's called morning sickness) but I'm feeling much better!}

Most people reading this already know that we got married in Jamaica.  Actually, if you're reading this you probably attending the wedding.  Your wedding day is one of those days that stays with you for a long time.  And I hope by remembering the little moments each year, I won't forget.  But this post is about our honeymoon in Jamaica.

We decided to honeymoon in Negril at a little place called Rock House.  We had a secluded room with a private deck and outdoor bathroom. Our room had no tv or internet.  It was just the two of us and the sound of the sea below.  The weather was terrible.  Their was a tropical system sitting right on top of the island that came the evening we checked in and didn't leave until we were back in the States.  Our resort was known for snorkeling, with private ladders leading from our balcony right to the sea.  But we didn't touch the water the entire time we were there.  The water was too rough and the ladders were taken up.  We couldn't even swim in the pool b/c it was so close to the ocean and the waves were knocking into the pool.  But it was still perfect in every way.
We spent our days just the two of us lounging on the deck reading, sleeping, and eating.  You hardly saw another person because the resort only has 34 rooms.  It was the perfect way to honeymoon.  When we did want to be around people we went to the outdoor lounge area where their were board games, a bar, and internet.  Or, we explored Negril and it's colorful people.  The food was amazing...

As were the sunsets and vistas...
But the very best thing about our honeymoon was 10 days alone with my best friend.

Thank you for an amazing honeymoon in paradise and two perfect years of marriage.  I will cherish the memories we have created for as long as I live.

You have given me the greatest gift on earth and I can't wait to go on our next adventure together... parenthood!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Summer {Part 2}

bumblebees bzzzzzz'd
lazy dogs lay
Butterfly flowers...
And succulants grew...
In my secret garden

laying poolside
with twin babies
toy cars vroooming
and a quick trip to the city by the bay
All good things must come to an end.  Goodbye Summer, 2010.  

Hello, Fall.  I'm ready for you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

I think there is a conspiracy between the U.S. government and Hollywood to try and sway the general tv watching public into not having children.  Maybe our government sees another baby boom coming and thinks it will be too much on our fragile economy to handle?

I turned on the tv last night and a movie called Motherhood was playing.  Have you seen it?  It's an Uma Thurman movie, not her best by a long shot.  The jist of the movie is how to balance motherhood, self, career, and marriage, and how it's just not possible without becoming a crazy neurotic bitch.  I stopped watching after stay at home mom, Uma, has a particularly bad day and decides she is going to run away.  She jumps in her station wagon, lights a cigarette, pops in a tape of something she would have listened to before having  children, and heads for New Jersey. 

Maybe there have always been movies like this and I'm just now paying attention to it because I am in my child bearing years (at least according to society and the ladies in the grocery check-out line. Not according to science.  Science would've liked me to be done having children and expecting my first grandchild).  But I remember movies like Baby Boom and tv shows like Murphy Brown, portraying mother's as strong women who balanced career and motherhood.

Anyway, back to the point.  There is a lot of stuff out there right now that focuses on women's lack of control of self once becoming a mother.  There's a whole genre of "mommy bloggers"  that focus primarily on how hard it is having kids.

Another movie that scared me to death: Marley and Me.  I was so distracted by Jennifer Aniston and her tirades and fighting with her husband after having kids that I forgot the movie was about the dog.  I'm sure there is some truth to all of this but isn't there a good side to having kids, too?  Where are the shows about that???

Schools should stop preaching abstinence and instead take their students to the local movie theatre for a little show and tell.  The scene in Marley where Owen Wilson's character stays in his car longer than necassary after a day at work because he doesn't want to go in and face his family was enough to make me want to practice abstinence!

A girl can dream

Now that Markus is based in San Francisco and reality is setting in that we may be moving to the city by the bay, my new obsession is to look at craigslist apartment ads in our favorite neighborhoods.  Most in our price range are studio and 1 bedrooms.  Which, after owning our 3 bedroom  home for the last 3 years, can be a little depressing.  We will think of it as the "living bohemian" chapter in our marriage.  It will be quaint and kitchy.  I envision myself scouring flea markets and buying local produce from the farmers' market on the weekends.  And, on the upside, I will have no problem decorating an apartment that small!

But after laying my eyes on this listing over at Hooked on Houses, I'm not sure I can downsize.  I'm thinking we need to start playing the lotto!
The size is a little garish for my taste.  I don't think we need our own basketball court or au pair suite. Our children can play basketball at the Y and our au pair can stay in one of the 7 bedrooms ;)  But I will take that kitchen, the views, and the fabulous decor and attention to detail.  The molding alone makes my heart skip a beat.  Not to mention the panoramic view of San Francisco from almost anywhere in the house.

More photos can be found on the properties web site.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There's an island way out in the sea

In June
 we slipped down to the islands 
and spent a few days in paradise
 It was nice.  

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.  ~John De Paola

Good night, moon

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer 2010 {Part 1}

A baby was born, Ella Josephine Fowlkes.
Markus is a natural with babies. Can't you tell from his posture in this picture? He also shaved his head without telling me. I wasn't a fan but it grew back quickly :)
We did some yard work to get ready for summer. I forgot how green our grass can be. Oh, and check out the fence. Markus pressure washed it, and everything else that he could get his hands on. And I finally convinced Markus to re-stain our deck. It was reddish brown and I HATED it. Now it's a beautiful green and I LOVE it. It's such a beautiful color. I wish I could paint the house green!

We threw a party on Memorial Day. The adults played ladder golf
Girls vs. Boys
And the kids had fun with the water toys
Christian, Weber, Capri - Age 2
The Morales twins were also there. Look at those eyelashes!
There was a day in July where we didn't think we would see this guy again. Charlie got out of the back yard and spent the night in puppy jail. This was the photo we used for his missing poster. It makes me really happy to look at this photo, now that he is back home.
We got out on the golf course once. Markus has such a better swing than me. I'm just worried about hitting the ball. I don't really care where it goes as long as it's up.

We went to see the Flying Squirrels game for Father's Day. That's the name of our new baseball team. Their motto is "have fun, go nutz".

Weber is telling Markus "Dude, this is my Sasa, Step off".
But that's okay because his sister stole my man later in the game. Twin power.
Whew, I'll have to finish this up tomorrow, it's almost my bedtime. I took more photos than I thought and I'm only in July. Stay tuned for part duex...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do you wanna?

That sentence makes our dogs go crazy! It doesn't matter what you say afterwards, they know they are going for a walk. It's the same thing everyday; Charlie has to sit and be quiet before we put his leash on. Meeko, not so much. The saying "you can't teach a dog new tricks" was invented because of Meeko.

So, you would think after almost 2 years of going on walks, Charlie would hear "Do you wanna" and immediately sit down. But, without fail, he acts like a crazy animal. I love it and hate it all at the same time.

What a goof!

Friday, September 10, 2010

10 things I love about Fall

10. Sleeping with the windows open
9. toasting marshmellows & snuggling to keep warm by a fire
Dexter, Dexter, Dexter!
7. Mums, winter pansies, & asters
6. Halloween
5. Apple picking {& pie eating}
4. Fall back
3. Boots, sweaters, & jeans
2. Pumpkin patch {& carving}

1. Fall Foilage

What are you looking forward to with the change of seasons?

Goodbye, Summer

I have been reading a lot of posts about the end of summer and how much fun everyone had. I am not one of those people. Summer is usually my favorite season and I look forward to it starting December 26th. But this summer was off. I was restless. It was too hot and I couldn't find my grove. August was especially awful. I'm glad it's over. I'm hoping September will bring better weather, a better mood, and more time with family & friends.

Life has changed since the beginning of the summer. My perspective is different. One of the things that has changed is Markus' job. We started the summer in anticipation of him landing the job, and when it finally came my nerves set in. All of the what ifs and daydreaming about a new life together became a reality. Reality is waaaaaay different from daydreaming. Be careful what you wish for. It's scary and a little lonely thinking about uprooting our family and moving to California. But I'm also really excited and looking forward to a change. Our life has felt a little stagnant the last year and I am open to new possibilities and challenges. I just keep trying to remember that wherever you go, there you are. I think that is the key to making this move successful. I have to remember that if I am not happy with myself then I will not be happy with myself in a new place.

And so I am going to take the change of seasons and the change of our new life as a time to work on myself and figure out what is making me unhappy. I don't like feeling restless and not being able to sit still and relax. I did not read one book this summer. Not one. I didn't have the patience to sit down and relax enough. I didn't work on the house or take pictures. I didn't cook or entertain. I hardly went for walks with the dogs or did yoga. I wanted to go to concerts and I didn't see one. I blamed it on not having anyone to go with but I could have made more of an effort. And I certainly didn't blog because I didn't have anything nice to say. Looking back I'm not really sure what I did. And that makes me sad that I wasted what could be our last summer in Virginia (at least for awhile) doing things I can't even remember. I think when we got the news of Markus' new job I just froze and stopped living. It was like the news was too much to take and so I just didn't do anything.

So I'm getting all of this out in the open so I can make a conscious effort to work on doing things I enjoy and making myself content again. And hopefully the change will do me good. If I'm not back to blogging and taking photos in a few weeks, send chocolate and anti-depressents ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Seems like a no brainer

You can get with this:
Or you can get with that:

I think I'll get with this 'cause this is where it's at.

Easier said than done.

I had no idea when we visited San Francisco last August that we would be back so soon. Nor in my wildest dreams did I think we may be moving to the city by the bay so soon. It was fun to walk around the neighborhoods and dream about "what if" but now it may be our reality and that is blowing. my. mind.

I'm going out to SF in a few weeks to scout out the neighborhoods, see what we like, and see where we can afford (If Markus makes 1 more Oakland comment I might punch him in the face). I have a feeling we will like much more than we can afford. But that's okay because I think I will fall in love with the city and spend most of my time exploring.

I'm really looking forward to this trip. There will be no visiting tourist attractions or running around trying to squeeze it all in. I plan on just hanging out and living as if we were residents of the city. I hope that's the way it's going to go, anyway. And I'm also hoping to escape the heat. It will be nice to be outdoors and not feel like you are in a sauna.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Have you ever wanted to take the clock and stop everything around you so you can stand still and just think for a minute? Catch your breath and look around to see what needs to be done. That's how I am feeling lately. There are so many things I want to do but not enough time. But I don't even know if that's true. I think there is time to do everything I want to do, I'm just wasting it.

When I was younger I could waste an entire weekend sleeping in until noon, watching tv, ordering take-out, and not showering until it was time to go out for the night. Now I feel lazy and unproductive if I sleep past 8 a.m. on the weekends. If I don't check off everything on my to do list by Saturday afternoon and add some more stuff for Sunday. I feel like if it is nice outside (and by nice I mean below 95 degrees and not raining) I feel like I HAVE to be outside doing something. What I don't exactly know, but I know it's too pretty of a day to be sitting inside watching tv. So lately I have tried to slow things down a bit, not stress if the house isn't clean and the laundry all done. Sit on the sofa and watch a movie, in the middle of the day!

And it feels good, but I still hear the voice in the back of my head telling me the laundry needs to be done, the house needs to be cleaned, and for god's sake woman, the sun is out - go do SOMETHING.

I want to do so many things this summer because before I know it summer will be over. And this week is the last week of summer I will have with M. He leaves for training on Sunday and when he finishes summer will be ending and he will be practically living in another city - on the other side of the country. Oy!

How do you cram the whole month of August into 5 days? I don't want to spend his last 5 days on the couch watching tv or doing chores. And selfishly, I don't even want to share him with other people. I want to stop everything and do all the things we never got around to doing this summer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Let the FUN begin!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! I just turned in my last assignment for this semester and I'm D O N E! Hallelujah, praise the Lord, pass the plate around one. more. time!

It has been a very challenging 6 weeks. Every weekend has been full of homework. I feel like all I have done is read and write and edit and crop. I'm looking forward to having the summer "off" and returning to my normal activities, like writing on this blog without the fear of my professor returning it with red marks and negative comments.

I hope y'all are already enjoying the summer and have something fun planned! We are working on it...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finding Inspiration

I needed to be reminded of this today. Sometimes I forgot that I can't control everything that is happening in my life. I just need to go with the flow and see where the road takes me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm Baaaaack

Hello, Internet! Did you miss me? I didn't mean to take such a long break from blogging. It just sort of happened. I signed into my blogger account this morning and realized my last post was my 99th post. Kind of odd I decided to stop there. So this is my 100th post. Pretty neat to think I have strung together enough thoughts to make up 100 posts on the wall. And, I think my first post was sometime last April so it's been {off & on} a year of blogging. Woohoo! I haven't looked back to see what I was blogging about last year. I don't think enough time has passed so I'll save that for a rainy day sometime in the future.

I think part of the reason I haven't blogged in awhile is because I'm constantly writing for school and I've gotten a little burnt out. I don't really enjoy writing. I do, however, enjoy blogging. I don't have to worry about punctuation or perfect grammer on the blog. Everyone who knows me knows I am bad at that and math. So, if you have come here for perfect spelling and interesting math problems, you have come to the wrong blog. Sorry, folks.

I'm also still grieving over the loss of my Grandmother. And I know that has something to do with why I haven't felt the need to blog. I've been working through my grief internally and haven't really felt like sharing much of that with anyone, except my husband. He gets me and has been so helpful in this process.

And lastly, school, work, chores, and life in general, has been kicking my butt a little. I am not superwoman. I cannot be everywhere at once doing everything that is asked of me or expected of me (most of those expectations are my own because I want to be superwoman). I know a lot of women struggle with this balance. I am learning to say no, take time for myself, prioritize, and slow down, a little at a time. When did life get so busy?!?

I hope to catch up in the next few days on the stuff that is worth mentioning. Before I forget the details of our life, I would like to document them on this here blog. So that when I am old and senile I will be able to remember all the little things that make life great.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I don't know where to start so I guess I'll start at the beginning. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately and I'm not quite sure why. Nothing much has changed. I remember a few weeks ago feeling like life was great. I was getting back to a good routine of work, school, exercise, and catching up with friends and family. I had an exceptionally good day on Friday, the 5th. I went for a run with my friend Susan and had a great weekend planned ahead with Markus finally home! The weather was starting to warm and spring was just around the corner

And then my beloved Grandmother had a stroke on Saturday and by Thursday she was gone. I tried to compartmentalize everything by saying it was expected, she was 86 and had been suffering from cancer for quite some time. I knew there wasn't much time left with her but you can never prepare yourself for how quickly they deteriorate before death. I have seen it before with other family members who have succumb to cancer but never with someone I was so close with.

The days between her death and the funeral are a blur. And then I went back to my normal life but it's not normal with a loved one who has been there for 30 years suddenly gone.

I don't feel that immense sadness you feel when you hear about a disaster or see sick children on television. Which is what I thought I should feel. But I do feel something that is constant and every once in awhile it rears it's head to say she is gone. Or something will trigger a memory and then it comes rushing forward. I guess this is what grief is like.

Sometimes I feel so angry that I want to scream or hit something. And sometimes I feel restless and can't think of one place I want to be other than with her. I find solace in knowing that she is in a better place and with loved ones who have passed. But I also find myself being selfish and wanting my grandmother back. It makes me so sad that my children will not know her. She was the most amazing grandmother and hopefully some of her traits will live on in me. They are very big shoes to fill and I find myself thinking of ways to be more like grandmama everyday.

I also find myself saying the serenity prayer a lot these days too, which helps to keep things in perspective and realize there is something greater than me.

Thanks for listening. It feels really good to get all of that out of me.

This is one of my favorite more recent pictures of her at my wedding. She was so happy to be there and was always smiling.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Music Monday: Oh Canada

If you know me very well, then you know I have an affection for all things Canadian. Their accent, music, and Candice Olsen are enough to make want to visit. But after watching the Olympics this past weekend and learning even more about our friendly neighbor to the north, I feel a trip to Canada in our near future.

There are so many artists from Canada that I love so I thought I would feature some on Music Monday in honor of the Vancouver Olympics going on right now (so excited!).

Sarah Mclachlan - She was my first Canadian love. Her album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which was released in 1993, is still one of my all time favorite albums.

Fiest - Most recognize this artist from the iPod Nano commercial that featured the song, 1,2,3,4 off of her latest album, The Reminder. But it's her sophomore album, Let It Die, that grabbed my attention. I love the song Mushaboom about the village with the same name in Novia Scotia and the simple life of raising a family and tending to the home.

Leonard Cohen - K.D. Lang, another great Canadian talent, performed his song Hallelujah during the Vancouver opening ceremony. But my first exposure to Cohen was through his album Ten New Songs, and I have been hooked ever since.

Great Lake Swimmers - They had me at Ongiara. It's a little bit Canadian folk and a little bluegrass. Perfection.

The Be Good Tanyas - Their albums Chinatown and Hello Love are in heavy rotation at our house. I wish they would put another album out so I could have a chance to see them in concert. Again, another blend of Canadian folk and Southern bluegrass, which seems to be my favorite combo right now.

Thank you, Canada! I hope to visit your beautiful country very very soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010