It's about to get very real up in here...

So. Yeah. About this blog. Woopsie.

More than a year after my last post, I think it's safe to say that one of the number one most important things to remember about married life is that it's always changing, that there will always be a new challenge, that it's always the thing you'll choose over a hobby. Last year the challenge was a significant increase in responsibility in my work life. Combined with a very long commute, the time involved kind of overtook me. Instead of continuing to post, I continued to be present in my marriage.

That garden I mention below? We had a great harvest! The paneling? It got painted! (Hallelujah!) And many other big house projects were crossed off the list. Instead of blogging, we went out to fancy and not-so-fancy dinners. We added closets to our master bedroom. I got a promotion. We went to a concert and on a vacation. We celebrated holidays with our families.

And we made a baby.

We moved to a new house in a new city.

And we welcomed our sweet son Hugo Michael into the world on September 19, 2011.

So, that's what I've been up to. Talk about some real married life.


Since my last post ...

I'm not going to apologize (sorry!) for the lack of posts since March. I've been at 125 percent in my real-job life. Since this blog has been about love and relationships and the marriage journey, I felt it was more authentic to make my husband, home, and puppy the priority. Sigh. But, dear readers, I've missed writing, and I've missed you all.

Rather than post an insightful reflection on this idea, I'll give you what you want. Quick-and-dirty updates in the life of Sarah since March 25:
  • I literally jumped for joy while slopping the first long stroke of primer on our living room's knotty pine paneling. Bye, bye dated lumber.
  • New, big projects at the office. Long hours. See intro.
  • The Midwest's evil pollen counts + allergies = massive sinus infection. Intense antibiotics. Blah-dom.
  • We planted our second official vegetable garden. New this year: eggplants, cucumbers, arugula, jalapenos, heirloom tomatoes, and wax peppers. I still love watching Patrick tend our half-acre patch. He has farming in his soul, so focused and gentle with the plants. And still amazed at the seeds and how things grow. We're taking photos of the garden as it progresses, so you can see it as things bloom and get bigger.
  • One of the most influential teachers I've ever known passed away of cancer. I did not go to her funeral, and I think I'll always regret that. Some people leave an indelible mark.
  • First anniversary celebrated! Can you believe it?! This deserves it's own post. I know: how on earth could I NOT have posted about this on my blog about my marriage?! Epic failure.
  • New living room rug purchased may seem a small feat, but if you only knew the number of rugs considered and the indecision over which one to buy, you'd give me a few pats on the back for just committing already!
  • My little brother walked the stage in a cap and gown. The last high school graduation in our little family (for a long time anyway). Not surprisingly, I cried more than I did at my own watching him move his tassle from one side of the cap to the other.
  • Pine paneling still primed ... waiting for paint. Still. (Oops!)
Thanks for the encouraging comments, everyone. See you in a few months. Kidding! Some things are worth making time to do, and I think this blog is one of them.


Spinning, spinning, spinning

I've been reading (keeping my creative promise!). Now. Usually, when I pick up a book to read over a vacation I know just what I'm getting into, but this time I was completely surprised.

I must have read the book jacket hurriedly. I saw the National Book Award insignia on the cover and "check," off I went ... or something ... because I missed the book's major themes until I was deep into the story.

Let the Great World Spin is fictional, but it's based on a tightrope walker who teetered over Manhattan in 1974, crossing from one World Trade Center tower to the other. It's about the human desire for hope and recovery, about many characters' unique experience of a certain moment. And in the end, it's obvious that we're all balancing some kind of highwire. It's a human condition to do so.

Maybe a little heavier than I normally go for a beach read? Um, yep. Worth the surprise? Uh huh.

I'm a word junkie, but I won't bore you with cool phrases I circled in its pages (e.g. "Revolving doors pushed quarters of conversation out onto the street." Sigh. Yes, nerdy). But I will share this excerpt from the author's afterword. I'll share it because I think it's beautiful and true and because it makes me want to read another book, tell another story:

"A book is completed only when it is finished by a reader. This is the intimate privilege of art. In fact, it's the intimate privilege of being alive."


Real conversation

Me: I just can't believe it's almost been a year since the wedding.

Patrick: Feels a lot longer than that ...

Me: ... and a lot like it was just yesterday.

Patrick: Yeah.

Me: (Sigh, smile.) Yeah.


Pretty thing of the day: Small but mighty

Looking for a gift for a friend who is stronger than she knows, I found this pretty, simple necklace by Turtle Love Committee. I love the way the towering Elm's branches reach out, stretching beyond what you can see inside the silver circle. I'm all about gifts with meaning. The description of the item is a little story, and this phrase sealed the purchase: "You must place your hand on her trunk, and you'll feel the mighty power behind her bark."


Monday Moment: That unnoticed, that necessary

When two lovers first meet, the goal is to get noticed, to be interesting. A plunging neckline. A funny joke. The best date ever. The most thoughtful greeting card.
Spending a week with my husband on a beach, nearly one year after we said our vows, I realized why I so quickly fell in love with the poem, "Variations on the word sleep," by Margaret Atwood:

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear
I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary.

When two people actually inhabit love, the noticeable stuff is largely novelty. You're so necessary to one another that even the most private of all actions (sleep) is eased by your presence. Yet, you're also the unnoticed sweep of a hand at the small of a back. You're the in-out drum of breath beside the other person, sitting in silence, noticing only the crash of waves on sand. 

Ah, yes, this is home.



Sorry I've been such a slacker this week! Mayday.

Unfortunately, loyal fans, you will need to stay tuned. I'm heading out for a week of vacation. Our first real R & R together since the honeymoon. Sigh.

Happy spring, people!