Dear Asparagus [and running] [mostly running]

Dear Asparagus,

I wish you were a regular player on our dinner table, but when your average is around $5/pound, you have become a delicacy. I was thrilled to find you for $3.49/pound today. I bought a bundle and surprised Cora with you for dinner. She might love you even more than I do. Let's work on finding some common ground in the price department because you are always welcome here.


In other news, back in October, I registered to run my first half-marathon. And then approximately five minutes after I did that, I registered for my first full marathon. The half is the Lost Dutchman Marathon on February 16th in my hometown in Arizona. The full is the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon here on the streets of my very own city on April 27th. 

There's a catch.

About two weeks after I started my training plan, when I was finishing up four miles at the midtown YMCA, I met runner's knee for the first time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it is no joke. Not even an awkward laugh kind of funny. It's painful, and terrible, and I hate it.  I took a week off, and read everything I could about it. I iced, I got a little knee band, and I went back at it. 

Everything was going super amazing with my little knee band UNTIL I forgot it when we went to Jake's hometown for Christmas. I set off for a five-mile run. I was feeling good. When I got to two miles, I became aware of my knee. At 3.5 miles, I wanted to cry. I walk/ran the rest of the distance. The wise thing would have been to call for a ride. But no. I knew I could push through.

A few days later, back at home, I went out for six miles with my beloved knee band, but the same thing happened. About two miles in, my knee became miserable, but I knew I could push through. And by the time I called it quits, I'd gone about four miles. I got home, I iced, I read even more. I knew I needed to take more time off. You see, this isn't an instance where you should just run through the pain. Never. Not at all. Maybe if it started happening at the end of my half marathon, I could see it through, but no. 

My fire has been lit. I've been ridiculously determined. I've had some of my all-time favorite runs in this stint of training mixed with recovery. My mind has been in the game, which is a major flip-flop from where it's been in the past. I've always known my body is capable, but when it gets hard, my mind never fails to ask (even when I ran in high school), "Why are we doing this again?" And I never had a good answer, so I didn't put as much as I could have into it. But I have a good answer this time. BECAUSE I WANT TO! (Plus a few more things.)  Now, instead of my mind, my body really is hurt. 

And being motivated and sticking to something is a really good thing, but it can also lead to denial. Me running through the pain was me being in denial. Big time denial. Now my half marathon in my hometown, at the base of my favorite mountain is 3.5 weeks away, and I can't not go. I HAVE TO GO. And I know I won't be the kind of ready I need [want] to be, but I want to be there. 

So, even if I do more walking than running, my plan is to show up and leave my footprints on the course. I've been looking into switching my registration for the Memorial Marathon to the half-marathon. I don't know if it's possible yet. If not, I might very well be run/walking my first marathon on  April 27th. 

I'm focusing on strength training right now, and after a conversation with a friend (I'm talking about you, April) who has been knee-pain-free after switching to Newton running shoes, I found myself at Red Coyote (our super rad local running store) testing some out. Right now, the main contender is the Lady Isaac, but I'm also going to try on the Energy. I tried the Distance U, which is what my friend got, but it didn't fit the foot I had a stress fracture in as well as the Lady Isaac. 

While at Red Coyote, I did another gait analysis. The evidence was so very clear. I am a MAJOR heel striker. Heel striking causes all kinds of issues on joints. The heel of my left foot (my injured leg) hits especially hard. Newtons were designed to help runners simulate natural running by getting them to land on their forefoot. (Not toes! Walkers land on their heels. Runners should land on their forefoot. Sprinters should bound on their toes.) I could really feel the difference when I was running in the Newtons on the treadmill and running back and forth on RC's little "track." I'm on a journey to fix my form. 

Another thing to note: my current running shoes, which I have loved, are the Saucony Triumph 9's. Until recently, the standard drop from heel to toe was about 12mm. My triumphs have an 8mm drop, and I loved that transition. The Lady Isaacs have a 4.5mm drop (the Energy is 6mm). After I master landing on my forefoot, I might move to a 2mm drop. I definitely get the minimalist running movement. I wish you could see the stack of natural running books I have next to my bed. It all makes sense. My super cushy shoes of yesteryear have allowed my to get by with such an ugly heel strike because they've been absorbing my bad form. For some reason, my knee/IT band just had enough this time. (I'm not going to say that I didn't start out a little too strong in my training. Running felt really great until the moment it didn't. I was going with it.)

So, I'm still signed up for two first races. And I still want to do them. My expectations for my performance have definitely changed, but my desire to show up hasn't, and I'm really glad for that.

I've got my eye on the prize.


For the last week, I've been dreaming instead of sleeping.

Somewhere around what I imagine is two or three in the morning, my mind becomes alive, and the rest of the night is full of vivid dreams, with intermittent wakings/pondering/falling back into my dreams.

In my life, I've only had one or two dreams of falling, but I've had hundreds of flying dreams. They used to be a constant, as was my constant vivid dreaming. I guess it was somewhere around the time I had children where I began waking from mostly "dreamless" sleep. Major sleep deprivation, no doubt. One dream this week was flying. Not a typical flying dream for me.

I wasn't soaring through the sky. I was inside a home. A home that belonged to friends, but bore no resemblance to their actual home. I was able to engage all of my muscles, and in doing so, float up to the ceiling. In one of my wakings, I noted how sore my abs and arms felt. And when I drifted back to the dream, I hoped that I wouldn't grow too tired to continue lifting myself from the ground and remain suspended in air. After a while, another friend came, and I was trying to teach her how to do what I was doing. Floating more than flying, but the sensation was the same.

I've been tired this week, but I don't mind because vivid dreams are familiar friends I don't see enough of. It's comforting to wake up having learned something from my subconscious. I love dreams and what they make me feel.

I must admit that ever since my floating dream, I've found myself working to align the energy in and around me in hopes that my feet will lift off the floor.

Beets and Babes

I was never hesitant about sharing how much I didn't like beets. My standard answer, "I think they taste like dirt."

I could have never guessed that the day would come when I would actually crave beets. All the time. What changed? I roasted them. Roasted beets are amazing! The first time I made them, I followed this recipe by Bobby Flay. I pretty much ate three large beets right there in my kitchen.

Tonight, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner in a speedy way after I realized I'd used the tofu I needed for a dinner recipe in the pasta I made for lunch. Oops. I looked in the veggie drawer in our fridge and saw three lovely beets looking at me. I also saw about seven avocados. I love beets. I love avocados. But beets + avocados?

I did a quick google search, and sure enough, people had combined them. Does your kitchen feel naked without avocados, too? I hate to run out. I opted for this Roasted Beet and Avocado salad. I sent a quick text to Jake because we didn't have any lemons (another thing my kitchen feels underprepared without). He came home with a bag of Meyer Lemons. I made the dressing with them before I knew that they were a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The dressing was delightful with this little hybrid.

This salad was AMAZING! The sweetness of the beets with the slight tartness of the dressing, and then the creamy chunks of avocados. Heavenly. And just a side note: I followed the directions for roasting beets by Bobby Flay rather than the salad recipe because it takes a lot less time.

And another story about Magnolia:

Today we were driving home from school when she saw an airplane and its exhaust trail in the sky. She asked what it was, I explained (she'd asked earlier that morning why there was smoke coming out of our car), and she was satisfied. Here's the rest of our conversation.

B: Where do you think the airplane is going?
M: Probably heaven.
B: Why's it going to heaven?
M: So it can give Jesus a ride to earth.
B: Why is Jesus going to come to earth?
M: So he can see his parents.
B: Mary and Joseph?
M: Yes. Mary and Joseph.
M: And there will be a lion that will try to eat Mary, and Jesus will stop him so he can't eat Mary.

On that note, she has been concerned about things trying to eat her. I used to play like I was going to eat her arms, or cheeks, or feet. She would laugh because I was tickling her as well. Then one day she said: 

M: Mom! You can't eat me.
B: Why not?
M: Because Jesus made me special.

She has since been concerned, at various times, that alligators, lions, and most recently, dinosaurs will eat her. But she always comes to the conclusion that they can't because Jesus made her special. 

A little Break

Jake starts back to work tomorrow. I think this break has been just right. It didn't fly by, nor did it drag on. During the first few days, I was afraid four weeks would feel like four years. I'd gone three months without seeing much of Jake, and then BAM! We're around one another 24-7. I couldn't wait for the break to get here, but going from doing everything solo someone around all the time takes some acclimating.

On Friday, Jake started buzzing about with the new semester. He's always taught a course called Music and the Human Experience, but this semester he'll be tacking a section of Keyboard Literature, and that required some extra preparation. I'm really looking forward to his schedule (most of it) this semester as he's not doing any shows.

M: 8-5
T: 8-6
W: 8-5; 5:45-8
Th: 8-6
F: 8-5
Su: 8:45-12

Did you see that? No 8-11:30! No Saturdays (yet!)! No Sunday rehearsals. It's almost like a normal person work schedule. I'm certain his nights and weekends will fill in with recitals and rehearsals, but right now it looks like that. I might really enjoy making meals for a family that will all be together to eat them again.

This break has also been productive. We got a new sewer line (though we still have a trench in our backyard), and I submitted an application with the Historical Preservation folks for a certificate of appropriateness for some things around Dot. I actually started and finished a book. That really just occupied parts of two days, but I did it. When I hadn't been married for quite a year, I was "spotlighted" at a Relief Society Meeting, and asked to bring a few things that describe me. I think I brought two things. One, I can't remember, and the other was a basket full of books, all of which I was sporadically reading at the same time - most of which I didn't finish.

I went to two readings and heard several great things. I wrote a little. On that note - One day, I went to the Downtown library to write. I went into one of the private study rooms, after reserving it, and set up camp on the floor, 1. I like writing on the floor better than sitting in a chair; 2. I could people watch.

I'd been in there for about an hour and was in the middle of researching what Oklahoma City was like during the Dustbowl when a librarian came in and asked if I was okay, and when I said that I was, she said she really couldn't have me sitting on the floor there or anywhere else in the library.


I promptly collected my things and left (yes, I kicked myself out of the public library), but not before asking at the main circulation desk if that was a real rule. It is in a round-about way. That library branch serves a large homeless population, and the circulation desk librarians (there were 4 or 5 gathered when I asked) said that the library is often treated like a hotel, so they discourage laying on the floor. And in my case, being on the floor at all. I made sure that there were exceptions, like children being on the floor in the Children's area and parents being on the floor with their children in the children's area. Hmm, perhaps I should research and write on the floor of the children's area.

I didn't mean to be, but I was frustrated. I've never been told that I can't sit anywhere before (besides on the arm of a couch or something random like that). And I want to know where that peace-keeping librarian was during the times I've had to walk passed people looking at porn on the library computers. I completely get that they have to find a middle ground that helps make serving all patrons possible. I don't even want to make a big deal out of it because I LOVE the library and the librarians. My little family and I frequent the library, it's one of our favorite places in OKC. I think part of my frustration is that I feel like it's third or fourth home for us, so being caught up in such an absurd "rule" threw me for a loop.

I think that tangent is over now. What I meant to say: It was nice having some days where I didn't have to be "on" 100% of the time as a caregiver and could do some things to fill my reservoirs (yes, MB, I'm thinking of you as I write this), as well as the chance to spend some one-on-one time with Jake.

It was productive for Jake, too. He found out that one of his papers is being published, and he's also reworking another paper that he'll likely submit for publication in the next few months. I think it's fun when he has time to work on researching and writing because his schedule during the semester doesn't allow time for it. He's very much a performer, and he's also very much an academic, so it's nice when his time is more balanced and he can do both. On the same token, it's nice when our life is more balanced, and I can take care of all that I need to, while still sneaking in some of the things I don't get to when I'm mostly flying solo as a parent.

And lastly, some Magnolia-isms:

While sitting at the dinner table
[I'd just picked up some rice milk, and she wanted to try some]
M: Is this the good milk or the bad milk?
B: It's the rice milk.
M: It tastes terrible.
[before anyone could respond because we're laughing a little]
M: I tooted.
[at this point, everyone at the table has completely lost it]

Jake took Magnolia to the park with Alice one morning. He asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her response, "A mom."

This made my heart so happy when Jake told me. It's no secret that being a mother to young children is pretty much the most thankless job on the planet. But, you see, I'm the mom in her life that she's looking up to. She wants to grow up to be like me! It reminds me of a quote I love, and makes me want to do more to revel in this sweet [difficult, wonderful, frustrating, crazy, humbling, etc.] time I have my young children.
"They all add up to beauty -- your little touches, moments of eye contact, stories read, cookies baked, laundry folded, legos picked up (again). Your presence means security. You are the sun -- the center of their world. A lot of responsibility, I know -- but a warm place to be."

Historic Preservation and Friends

I've spent most of my day on an application for a certificate of appropriateness to get some things around Dot's exterior (one of the perks of living in an historic preservation district). On the list: a new fence, a make-over of our deck that was cut in half, and a new front door. There's been a lot of picture taking, labeling, note writing, and texts and calls to my friend Mary Bliss, who is the go-to HP person in our neighborhood. I took the application to the Historic Preservation office around 3:30. I left at 4:50. I had to wait a little while to see someone, then we had to check and double check that the point where we wanted to move our fence toward the front of the house would be okay. It was.

I left with two items of homework. I needed to know the exact height of the trim piece that would go on the top of our deck railing, and I needed to re-draw our site plan to scale. Everything on our property to exact scale. We decided 1/20 would be good because it would still fit on the page. I have one more thing to do tomorrow morning, and that's measure the distance from our fence to the sidewalk along the east side of our house. It's also a little tricky because our fence is at the top of a little hill. I'll eye it.

On my way home, a block away to be exact, a red coat caught my eye. I saw a woman sitting just off the sidewalk in a pile of leaves. I quickly realized she was trying to get up so I pulled over. She gladly accepted my offer to help her up, and I walked her the rest of the way to her door. She'd been pulling some dead vines off her fence and when she leaned forward, her knee gave out and she went down. While I wish we could have met under different circumstances, I was thrilled to meet this neighbor, and I can't believe I haven't seen her before.

My thought when I pass her home has always been wondering whether or not the twisted wire fence was original. I'm pretty sure it is. Twisted wire you ask? It's chain link's beautiful older sister.

I think I've officially met the person who has lived in my neighborhood the longest. Her grandparents built the home, her parents lived there after them, and when my neighbor's parents passed away, she inherited the home. We made an unofficial plan to meet again. I can't wait! 

Two random compliments today: When I pointed to Dot from my neighbor's home to let her know where I live, she smiled and said that she thinks Dot is one of the cutest houses in the neighborhood. And when I was at the Historic Preservation office discussing our fence and how we came to the final decision, the woman helping me said, "You have an eye for historic preservation - nobody ever notices those details. Maybe someday we'll snag you for the the [HP] commission." Put my love of old homes and buildings to use? She can snag me tomorrow. 

I also wanted to remember the lunch I shared with friends today. I met Mickey and Becky when I taught at Northwest (really when I student taught there). They both retired a year and a half ago, and we try to get together every once in a while. They've been a huge help to me at different points in life. I was pregnant with Cora when I taught with them. When I was hospitalized for two weeks, they helped keep track of my classes.  They also visited me in the hospital and called regularly to check in. They were both so proud of my sweet little daughter. I was happy for their advice. They've watched my girls, come to visit when my anxiety was raging. I love them dearly. They've just been great friends, and I count myself lucky that they're part of my world.

Anniversary Celebration, Reading, Listening, Resolution

This post was going to be about my anniversary weekend and my wedding dress, and it will be, but in-between celebrations, I went on solo dates to listen to authors read their work, and I was inspired by several things they had to say. It stirred something inside me that I thought I'd put aside for good, so this will be about that too.

On Friday evening, Jake and I went to Vast for dinner. It was beautiful. We waited to call for reservations of the day of because we honestly hadn't planned on doing anything the day of our anniversary, but our friends, Ashleigh and Andrew, kindly volunteered to watch the girls, so we made a plan. Vast is a restaurant on the 49th floor of the Devon Tower - the tallest building in Oklahoma City. When we called for a reservation, there were only two times, 5 and 9:15, we chose the earlier time. I thought 5 was a funny time to start an evening out, but it ended up being perfect. We got to watch the sun set, and see the city go from day to night.

It reminded me of the many, many evenings I spent at my Think Spot at the base of the Superstition Mountains. It was on the far east end of the Phoenix Metro, and I loved watching the face of the mountain out do the sunset in color changes, and then the magic of seeing the entire valley below light up for miles and miles. I felt like Douglas Spaulding in the first chapter of Dandelion Wine, though I didn't know it because I hadn't yet read Dandelion Wine. The book was given to me by a dear friend, and honestly, my biggest crush in high school.

I was always teetering on a line of him being a friend I could [and did] tell everything to, and being completely head over heels for him. It was his red hair. And the stories he would tell about his first years as an undergrad at NYU, like when he was eating a cupcake and a woman, a complete stranger, licked some stray frosting from his face. Or how he made me dream of attending trapeze school. Or how he walked home after the second WTC tower fell, crying and laughing in disbelief at what was going on. He gave me Dandelion Wine, and told me to read it in the summer, and I have read it every summer since he handed it over. The book is a treasure, and while I'm not old, it reminds me what it feels like to be young.

After the amazing food and experience at Vast, we looked to see if there was anything nearby that we could go do. We'd look in advance, but there wasn't much of anything happening. Jake happened to remember The Paramount, a local cafe with a screening room. We looked it up, and they were showing Grapes of Wrath - one of our favorites! We drove the few blocks, went into a sweet little theatre, and enjoyed that surprise gift. We left, went out for some dessert, and came home in a sugar coma. It was one of the best nights of my married life. It had the perfect amount of structure and spontaneity.

When we got home, we looked to see what upcoming films/events would be happening at The Paramount. I saw that one of my favorite Oklahoma authors was going to be reading the next night. Joy Harjo was who I went for, but Laura Moriarty was wonderful as well. I enjoyed the readings from both books, and I actually picked both books up from the library this evening. Harjo's is her memoir called Crazy Brave, and Moriarty's The Chaperone is a novel about the woman who accompanied Louise Brooks to New York when she was fifteen.

After the readings, there was a Q&A between members of the audience and the authors. One of the members asked, "What advice would you give to a budding author." [This seems to be a good time to say that the reading was put on by Oklahoma City University's Red Earth MFA program, so there were many writing students present.] Their advice was good. Moriarty said to give it time, like actually dedicate time. She shared that she started out as a pre-med major, but she really wanted to be a doctor (think white coat "prestige") more than she wanted to practice medicine. She said she's also met many students who really want to be writers, but don't sit down and write. You can't just say you want to do it, you have to actually do it - and not be miserable in the process.

Harjo's advice, at first, came off much simpler: "Listen." She expanded on that by saying to spend time without the computer, without the phone, with less distractions. Pay attention to what's happening around you - to the story behind the story. This hit something deep inside. I've always had this sort of freakishly good memory. Not photogenic or anything like that, but I used to be able to remember everything any one ever told me, or any situation I had been in. And not just that it happened, but how it all took place. Nearly verbatim conversations. I've even sometimes pretended like I've forgotten things just because I think it would seem weird to anyone but me that I remember things in the detail that I do.

When Harjo was giving her advice, I realized how much I'd turned off my listening self. I don't think it's that I have a freakishly good memory, I'm just uber-observant - and maybe that makes things stick a little bit. I feel like this part of me has been shutting down over the last several years. A kind of coping mechanism, I guess. I don't ever write anymore. Ever. I keep this blog, and I enjoy it, but I don't sit down and just get lost in writing. It became upsetting to try. Let's face it, if I can go more than ten minutes without being interrupted, it's kind of a miracle. I used to get really frustrated when I would be in the middle of a consuming thought and Jake would just start talking to me about all of the details of his day. I spent a long time being frustrated, and then I didn't want to be frustrated by my family, so I started avoiding that which was frustrating - trying to be alone with my thoughts long enough to see ideas through. I stopped trying. This is totally insane because, as weird as it sounds, thinking is my favorite thing to do. "What's your hobby?"


And writing is how I express what comes of all of that thinking. I created a very bad habit when I stopped trying to find the time to think and write, I started mindlessly checking-out via endless searches, huge wastes of time like scrolling through Facebook, checking the weather like fifty million times a day, etc. It has become a way to zone out. To be alone, which I crave - it's just part of who I am. I idle away my time doing unimportant things so I do have to go through the frustration of being interrupted. Me and a screen. And at the end of the day, I might be able to remember a portion of one thing I came across. My memory is gone. I'm not "listening." I'm not observing. Nothing is important enough to stick.

I have one resolution this year. I'm going to listen. And I'm going to try my best to record what I hear in ways that don't feel frustrating. Mothers can't avoid interruptions, and I don't want to be bitter when those interruptions happen. I'm expecting something sort of fantastic to happen: the more real, fully present time I give to my children - the more I listen to them - the more fanciful thoughts I'll entertain. I am a mother and I am an artist, and I want those two parts of me to embrace and grow stronger because they have each other.

(I hope this will not throw my anxiety into a tailspin, but I also think that part of my anxiety has been letting go of how I let myself think and process my thoughts, even though that creation process constantly being interrupted was also a source of anxiety. I don't think there's a quick fix, but giving up entirely hasn't helped either.)

Since this is still/also about our anniversary celebration - On Sunday night, the girls went with Jake's parents to a Thunder game, and Jake and I went to see Saving Mr. Banks. It was worth the wait. Then we went and stuffed our faces with food. We braved the bitterly cold temperatures running all over Bricktown. I committed a major fashion disaster when we were leaving the restaurant to go back to our car. I was wearing flats, but I slipped on some super neon socks that were still in my purse from when we went family anniversary bowling on Friday afternoon. Super stylish.

This weekend was a dream. I loved every little bit of it, and discovered some great new places in my city. Tonight I went to another reading at Urban Roots. I've been really excited about what goes on there since it opened, but haven't ever been. It's a great space. I can't wait for Jake and I to have many more movie nights at The Paramount. When we were walking from the elevators to the atrium of the Devon Tower after leaving Vast, my heart was pounding with happy and excited, and I looked at Jake and told him I was madly in-love with him. Those moments, rich with emotion, are so good for the soul.

PS: I pulled my wedding dress out of a box today to try it on. I need help getting into it, which I will have tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure it will not fit. When I saw the waist on the skirt (my wedding dress was really a skirt and top), I couldn't believe that I ever fit in it. More on that later...

Ten Years

Jake and I were married ten years ago today. I remember when I turned ten and my heart swelled with pride that my life had occupied a decade's worth of time. Now I feel the same thing - this life we've built together now has a decade under its belt.

I think our second anniversary started a weird obsession in me that likes to calculate the percentage of my life I've been married. That might be because we got married when I was eighteen and Jake was nineteen. I used to get really annoyed when teen pregnancy statistics would come up in college courses without details on the relationship status of the mother. After being married for nearly two years, if I had become pregnant, I would have still been part of those statistics, which are never used to illuminate the good things happening in society. Anyway, because of the age factor, the percentage of my life being married adds up quickly. My ten year report: I have been married for approximately thirty-six percent of my life. If we're breaking it down into fractions, which I also like to do, this is the year I passed the one-third of my life mark as a Mrs.

Ten years is a long time for anything, but it seems to be the number where I feel a certain amount of credibility as a married person. We've been there, done that on a number of things. We've had lots of highs and a good share of lows.

This is the year I've felt the power of what a marriage can be. That it's alive, but Jake and I are each two chambers of the heart. I can look back and see definite ebbs and flows. The hardest year: somewhere between six and seven. The year we realized we can't just skate by: somewhere between seven and eight. Trying to remember we can't just skate by: between eight and nine. Building a life with someone is no easy task, but sharing a life with someone adds richness beyond measure. Marriage is hard work. [I like working hard.]

I feel really sentimental and just about overflowing with emotion, so in an attempt to keep some sort of order to this post, I'm going to share ten random facts about our marriage and us, in no particular order:

- "Potty time is private time." Before we were married we knew that we were going to institute this rule. It was kind of silly (and kind of serious, too), but we've abided by it for the last ten years, and I can't imagine it changing any time soon unless absolutely necessary. We have a closed door policy when it comes to taking care of business of any kind. Or at least a closed shower curtain if someone is in the shower because in our ten years, we've never had more than one bathroom.

- There are still a few things that Jake does that drive me crazy! I've casually mentioned them a few times over the years, but just like the above rule, after this long, I can't imagine them ever changing. I try really hard not to think about them... Because here's the deal: If there are a few things about him that drive me crazy, there are certainly a few things about me that do the same to him.

- Being trapped in a car on a road trip with Jake is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.

- Lovemaking at ten years blows newlywed sex out of the water. [And we had lots and lots of really great we-just-got-married sex. (And lots more in-between.)] I can't wait to see where we're at when we get to forty years [and beyond!]. Meow.

- Before we got married we referred to the dynamics of our personalities as "oreos." That was our way of saying we were complete opposites, but we wouldn't be as good without each other. We are still oreos.

- Even though our personalities are different, as well as our approaches to almost everything, we're really similar in what we hope the world and humanity can be. We both have a clear and very similar idea about how people should be treated. That's pretty important.

- We made the co-decision to follow a vegan diet just before Christmas in 2010. It had been a long process that took us through both vegetarianism and pescetarianism. In a way, it's been a unifying force for us as well as our little family. We love making and eating good food. Good for our bodies, respectful of living things, and helping us feel like responsible citizens of the earth. (We don't think you have to be vegan to be everything in the last sentence, but veganism has been part of our journey to being at peace with those things.)

- If we could figure out how to "give it all up," we would go be farmers. (Preferably next-door to Wendell Berry.) And we would read stories and poems on our front porch every night.

- Someday, when we actually get to see one another, we're going to write a musical/opera. Perhaps a series of art songs that are beautiful and meaningful when looked at independently, but become magical when put together.

- We sleep on a full-sized mattress. When lying in bed, I sleep on the left side. We pre-arranged sides because I'm a side sleeper and used to sleep on my right ride. In my hopelessly romantic eighteen-year-old mind, I wanted to fall asleep facing him every night. Well somewhere in there, I started preferring my left side. So every night, I fall asleep the same way: I start out on my right side all wrapped around Jake, and then just before I doze off, I switch to my left side and usually wake up in just about the same spot every morning. And in my hazy, just waking up state, I turn over and wrap my arms and legs around him again. I did sleep on his side for several months when Magnolia was a baby and her crib was on his side of the bed in our room. It was easier to get up to feed her.

And lastly, ten random photos of us:

 November 2003

 Right before graduating from Oklahoma City University, 2007

 Hawaii, 2006

In front of the church where we were married, 2012

 Spring, 2007

 Undergrad Graduation, May 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park, 2009

Wedding Shower, November 2003

January 3, 2004

 October, 2013


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