Friday, August 30, 2013

california, here we come (well, in about a year)


I've already announced this elsewhere on the internet so it may or may not be news to you reading it now, but Zach's summer internship has officially paid off-- he got the job offer, and accepted. It was his top choice, and the position/company will hopefully provide a good (enough) mix of fulfilling his career aspirations and ambitions, and working for us as a family (aka allowing us to see him every once in a while).

And, it means that in about a year (or little less than, eek!) we will be packing all our stuff up and moving back to California, again. I have a LOT of different feelings about this-- excitement at going back to the SF bay area with its perfect weather and friends we've missed; relief at having the job thing settled and knowing where we'll be going next so can start planning and thinking ahead; dread at having to go through another cross-country move and figuring out the logistics of getting our stuff, our kids, and our cats back west; a deep ache in my heart knowing that we will have some very, very difficult good-byes to say come next summer (i'm trying hard not to think about that one).

But before all of that, it means that this second year of business school should be smooth sailing. One of Zach's biggest time-sucks last year was the hunt for his internship, and now that he's set for a job he'll have a lot more free time on his hands. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about that.

Also, for those of you keeping track: Zach gets home in two days. TWO! DAYS! (well, about 2.5... assuming the travel gods smile down on us on monday, he'll be getting in around midday or so) The past week whenever we've updated our sticker calendar D has counted down how many blank days till his return and gets really excited about the day getting closer. It's almost surreal to think of having him around again, it feels like it's been so long, but we're all pretty pumped.

Monday, August 26, 2013

my wild things {week 5}

I'm filing these under that class of photos that are not great in technical terms (I shake my fist at that annoying mix of natural and indoor light that I never know what to do with other than turn into a crappy black & white) BUT that I still swoon over because they are adorable and capture a slice of our everyday life.

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(he recovered quickly, btw)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

just keep swimming...


At the beginning of the summer I printed out these calendar pages for us to mark off the days that Zach was away (they're far from Pinterest-worthy, but hey I never claimed to be crafty). I remember putting it up on the wall for the first time and feeling kinda depressed because laid out in all those blank squares across three whole pages, it looked like a really, really fucking long time. 

Zach has now been gone about 9.5 weeks, with 11 days left to go (...we're a couple days behind on our stickers). Looking back... no, it hasn't gone by quickly. I mean, it's passed, but it feels like it's been a really long time since Zach left to start his internship. Don't get me wrong, a lot of this summer has been fun and awesome. Just today the boys and I went to a nearby lake with friends and had a great time throwing playing in the sand and water and just enjoying a gorgeous day out. But the summer has also been really long, and I'm tired, and it feels like my body is made of lead and my brain made of mush. And I kinda feel bad for complaining, I keep thinking of military families who go through long deployments, or all the single parents for whom my ZOMG SO DIFFICULT solo-parenting summer is just...everyday life. And then I feel like a wuss. But, that's where I'm at right now. Zach will be home in 11 days, and we'll make it and it'll be fine, but I kinda feel like I'm coasting into the gas station running on just the hint of fumes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

my wild things {week 4}

My sister and nephew have now been here for about a week and a half. It's amazing watching him and Q (just 2 months apart in age) play together and copy each other and just be so funny together. Also, LOUD. Oh man. Their volume level goes up to ELEVEN. They are hilarious and adorable, and they're also both two years old so we've also had plenty of fights over MINE MINE NO IT'S MYYYY TUUURRRNNNN. I think my favorite parts of their visit so far, though, is when the boys put on their superhero capes and run around. We may be entering a superhero phase...

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

dusting off my soapbox: feminism, solidarity, and intersectionality

I used to honestly not understand how women could not consider themselves to be feminists.  I used to think everyone who shunned that label did so because of how "feminist" has become a dirty word, synonymous with "angry man-hating lesbian" ("lesbian" of course being considered a horrible insult for some reason). I have since realized that feminism, at least in the US, has a very problematic history-- one that focused almost exclusively on the concerns of middle-class hetero cis white women, and excluded nearly everyone else who didn't fit those labels. Mainstream feminism has been overwhelmingly white and repeatedly asks women of color, LGBT women, etc for their support and solidarity while ignoring and even silencing their concerns, issues, critiques (one recent example- that time The Onion called Quvenzhane Wallis the c-word and many white feminists either ignored or actively defended the "joke"). As a result, there are many, many people who reject the label of "feminist" because feminism has basically shat all over them.

If you follow me on twitter, then you're already well familiar with the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen hashtag that's taken over the past couple days. It was started by Mikki Kendall (@karnythia) in response to white feminists sympathizing with Hugo Schwyzer (and ignoring his victims) after his recent public meltdown, but it quickly became much, much more than that-- a global conversation about the need for diversity in feminism, for including ALL women not just superficially but in action.

Here are several great write-ups about the hashtag and the conversation it's sparked:
Reading the tweets is not easy...they are painful truths to face.  But worse still was watching the reactions of many white feminists who took them as an attack and became defensive and combative, often using the same sort of silencing and derailing arguments that we get so aggravated at men for using when we call out sexism. Owning up to your own privilege, and realizing that however unintentionally you've been hurting whole groups of people, sucks. But what sucks even more is remaining willfully ignorant when others point out the truth. You cannot claim to want solidarity and sisterhood and for all women to unite together in this fight against sexism, while simultaneously ignoring and silencing women of color. Our feminism MUST be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

Monday, August 12, 2013

my wild things {week 3}

We've got a bit of a full house here right now, it's a bit wild and chaotic and loud and hectic but that's kind of what "family" means to me so I'm enjoying the hysterical adorableness of it all. 

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Friday, August 09, 2013

list blogging 8.9.13


listening to: The Postal Service. Also, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have been my running buddies lately.

reading: don't laugh but... I'm currently reading James and the Giant Peach for the first time ever. (I have also never read Charlotte's Web. Can I blame growing up in a different continent?) I also have bell hooks' Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center on my bedside table.

weather: (mostly) gorgeous, sunny, just warm enough during the day to feel like summer but cool at night. So basically, just about perfect. I'm a little weirded out by having had such a hot June and July and now a cool August, but hey I don't claim to understand New England weather at all so I'll just take it.

feeling: a little overwhelmed, if I'm honest. Right now my mom, sister, nephew, and niece are all here and I'm feeling a bit intimidated by this role of playing hostess-- figuring out things for us all to do, food and meals for three adults and four kiddoes with varying taste preferences and schedules, etc. BUT these are also all people whom I love dearly and am so glad they're here, and as I watch everyone playing together and enjoying each other's company so fully I feel a little overwhelmed with gratitude.

looking forward to: Zach getting home in THREE!! WEEKS!! (...and a couple days) We're nearing the home stretch, though I know the very end won't be easy... I have a feeling I'll be crawling out of my skin with impatience as his homecoming approaches.

making me happy:
  • cold-brewed iced coffee. I've been brewing small batches lately, makes for a nice afternoon treat.
  • this time-lapse video of photos of the earth (at the bottom of that post).
  • watching Quinn & his cousin play together-- lining up cars down the hallway, holding hands while laughing about who-knows-what, etc.
  • talking social justice and social media with my sister Criss.
  • chatting, in person/via text, with good friends who just seem to get me.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

new hampshire skies

I'm realizing that one thing that may have contributed to the funk I was in last week was that I barely got out to run.  So that's an important note-to-self... When Jenny and I started running we always went in the morning, but I'm finding that I really enjoy getting out in the evening. It's a nice release at the end of the day. Also, I swear there's something about the light here during the golden hour...or maybe it's the combination of that warm glow with all the green of the trees, I don't know. But the sky and the light here in that hour before sunset are just so unbelievably stunning. It's great motivation to get outside and bask in the beauty (at least while I can, as the days are rapidly getting shorter already- sob! - and soon timing my runs with the light will be a bit tougher).

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(these were all taken just with my phone, and only the last 2 photos were processed at all. related aside- the iphone 5 camera is amazing)

Saturday, August 03, 2013


"But being a stay-at-home mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, where she was always and never by herself." - Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior
A few months ago I read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, and when I came across the line above it stopped me in my tracks. I really appreciate writing that makes me stop and read a line or passage a few times over to really savor and absorb it (that's one of the things I love about writers like John Green and Markus Suzak). And the quote above? Oh man. It was almost like this punch to the stomach, because HOLY CRAP did I know exactly what she meant. 

To be clear, I love being a stay-at-home parent. I love getting to be with my kids all day and really take them in as they grow. I'm freely choosing to be here, and every time I've questioned this choice I come back to knowing that this is exactly where I want to be and what I want to do here and now. But...yeah. One danger of the job is it can feel pretty damn lonely sometimes. 

I've been thinking of that quote a lot the past few days. Last week felt fairly amazing, but this past week, for whatever reason, has felt a bit tougher. It's just felt...lonely. I don't think the kids are being more difficult or anything, I think it's just been a shift in my mood. I miss Zach. They days have felt long, and just wear me out. Hanging out with friends helps, but maybe it doesn't happen much one week or when you do manage to get together the kids keep you all so busy you hardly get say two words to each other.  By bedtime I'm dragging and just trying to get through it. And then once they're in bed I look around my too-quiet, too-empty house and just feel...blah.

The loneliest kind of lonely.

But. My mom and niece flew in today, arriving tonight just in time for the boys to see them before going to bed-- I will never tire of how amazing it is to see the joy in all their faces when they are reunited. The next couple weeks ahead will be filled with family and cousin amazingness and will be anything but lonely. I made it to here, and now I get a major break. That sound you hear is me letting out a big fat sigh of relief.

Friday, August 02, 2013

cm blog circle: mobile phone

I may be trying to use my big camera more often, but my phone is still the camera that is always with me and thus ends up capturing a lot of our everyday moments. Here are a few recent favorites. BTW I've been really into the updated VSCOcam app lately. 

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Next up ~ go visit Stephanie Powell


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