Friday Five 8.30

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Bryan said he thought this was over-wrought. But it made me weepy and sentimental, despite the fact we are at least 15 years away from it.

I thought this was a really beautiful, truthful depiction of the reality of marriage. 

I am not a big Skylar fan myself, but this made me think about why.

We are officially less than 2 months away from the baby’s due date. We are still working diligently on finishing up the bedroom and the space that will be “his”.  I am hoping to knock it out this weekend. I’ll post updates soon.

Speaking of this weekend, we have three whole days of very little planned. Henry and I are heading to the circus Saturday afternoon, but otherwise our calendar is wide open. I’m excited for the down time. Maybe some beach time. Definitely some park time. I am hoping to bake a little, nap a little, and work on some other little projects I’ve had on my mind. Happy Labor Day!

On my Best Friend’s Wedding

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Part of our trip back to Ohio in July was so we could participate in and attend Rachel & Imran’s wedding. I performed Matron of Honor duties and Bryan performed the ceremony for this super special couple. It was one of the best days of my life. I was so glad that I got to be there, and not only that, but I got to play a role in the day.

You see, Rachel and I have known each other for a while. We were roommates in college and best buddies in general. We spent so many hours, hours and hours and hours, talking about our weddings. 6 years ago, when I got married, Rachel was my Maid of Honor. And I think that ever since that experience, I was planning for the day I would be hers.  It was presumptuous of me, but it worked out in the end. When I heard she was engaged, I was so excited.  SO, so excited. And, in true Genevieve form, I went into planning mode. Planning all the awesome things I could do for her, the heartfelt and lovely things I would say to her through the process, and the endearing and maybe embarrassing things I would share with the guests at her wedding. My plans changed and evolved into a personal shower I hosted the day prior to her wedding and a speech I gave at her reception. Through out the process, I had nothing but positive feelings about all of it. I loved Rachel. I loved Imran. I loved their families and I was just so excited.

I woke up the day of her wedding still full of all this love and excitement. But the reality of the day began to dawn on me pretty early on. This speech I had been planning, memorizing and practicing for months would have its first and last performance today. All the awesome and exciting things we were doing together in preparation for the day involved lots of other people. It wasn’t going to be just me and her.  It was also her mom and her family and all the other important people in her life, as it should be. And so, whenever I saw the opportunity to, I would step back. I let other people fix her veil and help her with her shoes. My job was to support her and love her and be there for her. And this was what felt right. But I was surprised by the reality of it. I had forgotten about this part of it all. And even though we were still in the middle of her wedding day, there were times where I was sad it already felt like it was over. It was a weird and unexpected feeling. I was completed unprepared for it. But I had a wonderful time, I showered my friend with love and I took the opportunity to dance and celebrate with my husband on a night without kids. And so it was really magical in a lot of ways.

As the night came to an end, I watched my best friend dance with her husband. Her husband, you guys. Rachel was married!! And I was filled with this sense of fullness, this sense of accomplishment, this sense of pride. Pride is not usually an emotion I associate with friends or weddings. I thought you felt pride when you saw your family members earn degrees, run races, perform bravely. I did not expect to feel so proud of my friend, to be able to look at these two awesome people come together and be proud for them and of them for all the things that they had accomplished. Because putting a life together, making a commitment, and then sharing it with all your loved ones is certainly an accomplishment. And I am not sure how I missed that before that night.

It is rare that I look back on my wedding and consider getting married an accomplishment. I always thought a wedding was just a party and that the staying married part was the accomplishment.  I still feel that way very much. But I forgot all the time, all the effort, all the life that goes into the process of getting married part. And there it was right before me.

Friday Five 8.23

We celebrated my 29th birthday as a family on Monday with cake and presents. In addition to the pregnancy massage I was presented with on Sunday, I also got some goodies from my wishlist.  It was a banner day all around. I even treated myself to panera pastry and coffee for breakfast. And I received so many amazing messages, wishes and texts. I am so grateful. Also, this week:

My favorite tv show.

My pal made the news!

I have been burning through Netflix series like whoa lately. If you have some time to waste, I suggest Orange is the New Black, The Fall and The Killing.

We are headed to a BBQ this weekend at a friends’ in Sam Jose and I’m hoping Bryan is going to finish up the last few things for our bedroom and Grey’s space at Tech Shop.  Otherwise, I am going to be planning activities for next week (Henry is out of school for In Service days) and working on our Fall Bucket List.

 

Friday Five 8.16 edition

Things have been hectic and crazy around here. We have had our friend, Alex, visiting from Sweden for the week. We say goodbye to him tomorrow.  He has been our buddy all week – going to the park and playgrounds, putting up with the kids early wake ups like a champ. But, anyways, I didn’t have a lot of time to blog or pull this post together in the organized and thought out way I usually like to. Regardless, some things:

 

This kills me. Slays me. But it also makes me really hopeful that decent mother-daughter relationships exist and that I could be part of one.

I read this post and it totally gave me pause this week. I am six years into this thing with Bryan. We are both busy and creative individuals trying to make this thing work with two kids and a third on the way. And because we have already done this expecting a new baby thing twice, I think I have been holding onto these expectations of what this time should look like. I am going to spend some more time considering this stuff, maybe even on this blog. Maybe even soon.

Yes. Yes. Yes.  And yes.

This made me laugh. Though, I think it has already made its way around the web a couple times.

In life news, I am have decided to step up and take on more responsibility in the San Bruno Mother’s Club. After this year’s Halloween bash and baby Grey gets here, I will be the new Party Planner for the club. We do four parties a year for all members and their kids. It should be fun and an interesting task to take on. I am also co-in charge of Friday playgroups! That means I pick where play group will be help every other week or any week the other mom in charge can’t do it.  I (obviously) love being a member of this club, so I am really excited for these changes.

 

Bryan and I are celebrating my birthday this weekend with a dinner out.  I am excited for a little break and a little indulgence. Mostly in chocolate and cake!!

Friday Five 8.9 edition

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This was pretty interesting to me. And inspirational.

On kindness.

We are entertaining a guest starting tomorrow (our friend, Alex, from Sweden) and I am trying to think of cool, yet family friendly things we can do with him. The Cal Academy has a new exhibit Built for Speed I am going to propose.

I meeting up with some moms from my original mom’s club at an Afghani restaurant tonight (should be interesting!). I have been really into “pregnancy fashion” on pinterest lately, so my mind is trying to figure out what to wear! I am debating between a comfy dress (like this) or something a little bit more casual but with big jewelry (like this).

Happy weekending!

On Doing Things (for Others) for Myself

I have been giving a lot of thought to the things I do in life and the reasons behind them lately. I am reading the Happiness Project and still recovering from an illness.  It is often the plight of mothers, and to some extent women in general, that there are times when I feel like I am putting a lot of effort into things for which I receive little acknowledgment or appreciation. I love baking, cooking and having a tidy home. I also love taking the kids to various activities, making crafts and giving gifts and sending notes to others. Oftentimes these things I do go unnoticed, or simply unrecognized. And it can be easy for me to feel overwhelmed by how much I do and how little the people for which I do these things seem to care.

Sometimes it feels like once I can acutely put my finger on what I am feeling, the answers seem to come right to me. In The Happiness Project, the author discusses how she spent one year changing certain aspects of her life, how she dealt with things and how she could change her perspective in order to reach the height of her happiness spectrum. She decides to throw her Mother in law a birthday party for various reasons she describes in the book and to fulfill her “Act the way I want to Feel” amendment, attempts to do so without getting too involved in how the other family members don’t appear appreciative enough. So she writes “I must admit, however, that at times before the party, I felt that Jamie and the others weren’t appreciative enough. I was happy to do the planning and I would’ve been annoyed if anyone else had tried to take over, but still I wanted my gold star.  I wanted [the family] to say, “Wow, Gretchen, you’re really putting together a terrific evening! Thanks so much for your brilliant, creative, and thoughtful planning!” That wasn’t going to happen – so let it go. Do it for myself.”

Maybe this just points out how immature and naive I am, but I feel like it was always very engrained in me that I was supposed to do things for others. That being a good wife meant doing good things for my husband. Being a good mom meant doing things for the children. That being a good family member means saying yes as often as you can and doing everything for everyone else. And while I will completely acknowledge that I do take joy in a lot of the things I do for others, it means that doing things expressly for the acknowledgement isn’t going to work. I don’t mean to make it sound like I will never again throw a birthday party for my kid if they don’t thank me for the effort  (I realize that children, as a general rule, are not usually able to appreciate all the things their parents do until they are parents themselves). But  I have to look for the part of the things I am doing that I love, that bring me joy and kind of let the rest fall away.  And so I am editing my life. I am stepping back from the things that suck away my time and energy and finding new ways to get involved int he things that bring me joy and replenishment. Over the next few months I will probably be more specific as I start to make concrete decisions, but for now, this is where I stand.

On Finding Joy

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On Friday, I posted a blog post I’d read recently about where we find our joy. This past week and weekend I noticed how wonderful I felt whenever I looked at these flowers. It is rare that we have fresh flowers in the house, but my best friend, Rachel, sent me these to thank me for being her Maid of Honor. Or Matron of Honor?  I guess that last one. It was a really sweet thought and gesture and so I put them on the counter that is in front of me whenever I do dishes. I do dishes a lot. So every time I stepped up to the sink, I got to smell and stare at this beautiful thing that served as a reminder that someone loves and appreciates me (which is kind of rare these days). And it brought me an immense amount of unexpected joy! And for that I am so very grateful.