Day 1: Favorite Quote #NaBloPoMo

(I’m going to quietly come back to this space as if I haven’t been gone for six months.  Babies, amiright?  Time sinks.  I’ll let you know all about everything in the world in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve missed this little space so much lately.)

Day 1: Tell us your favorite quotation and why.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Khalil Gibran

 If I could I’d have this whole poem tattoo’d on my person.  It was incredibly powerful as I started my relationship with my Hubs, a reminder that I didn’t have to give up myself to be in love.  Mike was the first person I ever dated that I felt like myself throughout the “falling in love” process.  I didn’t mold into the person I was dating; and he loved me for it.  I knew I was, he like who I was, I liked him as he was.  Pretty fantastic place to begin.

Then came baby.  (A new tagline for my blog perhaps )  Lately, with an almost one year old, I find myself coming out of a daze.  It’s not that I’m not happy, that’s far from the truth.  What I can say is that I’m not quite “myself”.  At the end of the day, after giving all of me to a job, a baby, and a marriage…. I don’t have much left for me.  My job, baby, and marriage have thrived under this model, but I’ve become a little less sparkly.  I miss being sparkly.  Sigh.  Tell me that’s totally normal for a first time mom.

My life is full of so much amazing things, but to be the strongest pillar I can be, I need to carve some more time out my day for my self.  I think that writing again could be the first step.  (Followed by some bubble baths and regular baby-free friend time.)family photo

 

What I Want on My Wedding Day.

My friends asked me last night what I wanted the most out of my wedding day.

I told them that I think a lot of people get carried away planning their wedding and forget to plan for their marriage.  Mr. A and I, on the other hand, are the opposite.  With all that we’ve been processing with the whole falling-in-love-opps-we-are-having-a-baby thing we have been intensely focused on preparing ourselves for our marriage.  We have determined where we think we’re going to have conflict, we’ve talked about how we’re going to deal with conflict, we’ve tackled finances, we’ve debated household tasks, and listed what we both need to feel loved and valued.  We are trying to set ourselves up to succeed in our marriage.  Maybe because we know that we cannot possibly know the extent of what we’re getting into marrying each other, I feel like we’ve intensely focused on figuring out whatever we can. We’ve been trying to build a foundation that can withstand the storms that are sure to come.

Tomorrow I want to forget all about that stuff.

I want tomorrow to be magical.  I want to be so excited tonight that I can hardly sleep.  I want to get butterflies tomorrow morning while Erin and I get ready.  I want to feel beautiful.  I want to fall even more in love with Mr. A when I see his face light up the first time he sees me in my wedding dress.  I want to hold back tears (or not) while I look into Mr. A’s eyes and say my vows.  I want to take pictures with him after our wedding being only semi-aware that anyone else is even there because I’ll be to busy staring at his face and pinching myself for being lucky enough to get him for keeps.  I want to sit with my new husband, my bestie, and her husband and toast to love; the kind of love that does not happen often but happened to us.  I want to snuggle up to him as we fall asleep tomorrow night and hear him whisper “I love you wifey”.

I cannot wait for tomorrow.

A little wedding sneak peak…

In two days, I am getting married.  (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

When we first started making wedding plans, it became very clear that I did NOT want a big ol’ wedding, at all. I didn’t want to plan it.  I didn’t want to spend a bagillion dollars feeding people chicken… I just wanted to be married.  I wanted it to be magical, beautiful, and memorable but I did NOT want the stress of planning.  As soon as I came across the idea of getting married elopement style in San Francisco it just felt right.  It felt just as right to Mr. A, so we ran with it.

Bonus, I think San Francisco city hall is insanely beautiful.

We’re still planning on having celebrations with ALL our friends and family, but we’ll wait until the summer and sunshine to get here.
Our families are super supportive and on board.  My Grams and I have spent every Monday night shopping for the wedding ensemble.  Here is the dress I’m wearing.  I love love love it.  (Mr. A has SEEN it, just not on.)  (And it looks super adorable with my burgeoning baby bump.)
My best friend and her husband are flying in to be our witnesses.  Erin and I are going to spend the morning getting beautiful, and they’re bringing their fancy camera so after the ceremony we can run around the city taking pictures.  Friday night the four of us will go to Spruce for dinner.  Spruce may be the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever been to, with their menu items sounding like something straight from a Top Chef episode.
I am excited to have Erin and her husband coming.  Erin is like my sister, we’ve been besties for 15 years.  The way I see it, the four of us are going to spend our entire lives being friends through everything.  I couldn’t pick better people to stand with us when Mr. A and I start our marriage.
Simple.  Full of love.  I get to marry Mr. A.  Perfect.
Cannot wait.

8 Weeks.

I’m 8 weeks pregnant.  Holler.

My pants stopped fitting suddenly this morning.  Apparently when you have a baby growing exponentially in your abdomen, one day your favorite pants fit and the next they do not.  Shoot.

Over the past two weeks, Mr. A and I have done an exceptionally spectacular job of getting on the pregnancy train (A side from the occasional panic attack).  I’ve figured out what foods make me gag (bananas) and what foods make me do happy dances (yogurt and caprese salad and birthday cake).  We’ve stopped making coffee-for-two in the morning, as I generally opt for a nice can of ginger ale while I blow dry my hair. We’ve made plans and lists and dreams.

We’re not resisting my exhaustion.  We spend evenings snuggled in bed watching whatever seems good (Three Men and a Baby, Archer, Arrested Development).  My typically full social calender will have to wait until the 2nd trimester for dinner dates and friend time to come back.  We go to bed super early.  Last week, most nights I fell asleep reading and Mr. A had to come remove the glasses from my face and make sure my feet were under a blanket. We’re rolling with it.

Sometimes, we have panicked moments but for the most part I feel incredibly calm.  I breath and snuggle the man I love and grow a baby; it seems so easy.  I want to remember this part.

When my belly gets too big to be comfortable.  When the baby comes, along with sleepless nights and hours spent preoccupied with every inch of this new face.  When baby grows to be a toddler of elbows and knees in my back as we all share a bed to fight off the monsters in the closet.  I want to remember the calm of right now.  The calm of feeling like my body and heart have been preparing for this all along.  The calm of loving someone and being loved back with such overwhelming certainty.  The calm of a life starting.  I want to remember this part.

Happy Love Day.

I’ve mentioned that Mr. A makes me CDs. (Which reminds me there is a new one sitting on his desk that I definitely forgot last night) (Which is probably ok because I made myself a “Silly Love Song” playlist on my iPod that I will be rocking hardcore until further notice.)  (Don’t judge me.)   (Eff it, go ahead and judge.  I totally don’t care) (Hi, parentheses.)  

Where was I?  Love.  Right.  So, as I am prepping for my huge lovely Valentines Dinner with the girls tonight while desk dancing to love songs… I am sending a little music your way. 

This CD is songs he thinks I’d like, and he’s totally right.  He has my tastes down to a science apparently. He’s trouble guys. 

1.  Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

2.   Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance

3.  Matt Costa – Sunshine

4.  The Magnetic Fields – Why I Cry

5.  Hot Chip – The Warning

6.  Miike Snow – Silvia

7.  Tokyo Police Club – Favourite Food

8.  Joel Plaskett – Absentminded Melody

9.  Diamond Rings – Something Else

10.  m. ward – I’ll be Yr Bird

11.  The Beatles – Golden Slumbers

12.  Elliott Smith – Everything Reminds Me of Her

13.   Vampire Weekend – Campus

14.  Elvis Perkins – While You Were Sleeping

15.  Her Space Holiday – Tech Romance

Grace in Small Things: Single Edition

I am single.  I don’t know if you’ve heard that yet.

Siiiiiiiingle.

And sometimes I gets me down. Fact.  That is NOT today though.  Today I am writing you to tell you that there are moments of SUCH AWESOME when you’re single.  Like Oprah “Ah-Hah” moments but usually involving wine and questionable morals.

1.  Target Wine Cubes.

This little beauty holds FOUR bottles of wine, and lasts for a month.  Say good-bye to the nights of not opening a bottle of wine because your concerned about having to finish a whole bottle alone, that’s a lot of wine my friend .  You don’t need to. You can dispense at your convenience AND it tastes great.  What more can you ask for?  This should be re-marketed as single girl wine.

2. Movie Night.  

Would you like to know what I’ve been watching on Netflix lately?  I will tell you… Friday Night Lights interspersed with romantic comedies interspersed with 19th Century Period Piece Featuring a Strong Female lead (Thanks for that label Netflix.)  I watch what I want.  I don’t have to compromise four viewings of Rocky or Blood Sport to watch “The November Issue”.  Chick flicks reign supreme in this house.  Single girl FTW.

3. Dinner. 


Want a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner?  DO IT.  Want a salad?  GO FOR IT.  You don’t have to consult anyone.  You don’t have to make anything to please anyone but you.  If you’re crazing mozzarella and tomatoes.. that’s dinner.  Fuck yeah being single.





Seriously girls, we’re not going to be single long.  Have you MET us?  We’re bad ass women.  That’s fact.  We might as well look forward to some special single girl things while we can.  Be present in the season you are in.  It will make the next phase sweeter, promise.


Happy Friday!

Don’t go changing. Seriously. Don’t.

Last week my friends had our monthly potluck, an event that I hate to miss so I trudged over with my vegetarian chili despite having a little bugger of a migraine.  I was not myself for sure.  Mellow and quiet is not my usual mode of operation, and migraines zap energy.  That’s science.  One of the guys commented on my energy level.  He said he “dug the mellow Bri” and I laughed and replied “I get that a lot.”

I told my Grams the story and she said something along the lines of “It might be something to think about.  Your energy may scare potential love interests away.” 

I AM SURE IT DOES.  I can GUARANTEE you that my energy level has intimidated people before, BUT I cannot spend my life wanting to be different than who I am in order to attract men. Wishing that I was calm or shy would be as productive as praying I’d be shorter…. a complete and total waste of time.  I mean, some guys like quiet girls…. those guys aren’t for me.  There is nothing wrong with that. C’est la vie.  I mean, some guys are super outdoors enthusiasts.  If your idea of a perfect date is to hike half-dome– we’re probably not an ideal pair.   And how silly of it would be of me to fake that I liked vigorous outdoor sports?  Ridiculous.  I would be MISERABLY hiking up and down mountains all the time.  MISERABLE.

There have been times in my life that I’ve TRIED TO BE CALMER.  It never works though.  Instead of reserved and quiet, I get hyper-critical and self-conscious.  I start to hate myself.  My future husband won’t cringe when I talk too much or laugh too loudly or have a giggle fit in a grocery store;  he’ll love it.  He’s join in or take pictures or just sit back and LOVE me. 

I think it is a slippery slope of insecurity to start thinking you need to change in order to attract men. 

So here’s a little reminder in case you need it (because I know I do sometimes):

You ARE amazing.  You’re unique and beautiful.  Do not get discouraged and try to change yourself for a guy, a friend, or ANYONE.  Be yourself.  Find yourself and learn to LOVE THE HELL out of you.  I’m serious.  Find things you love and you’re passionate about.  Passion is sexy.  The happy and secure version of you will attract the right people.  If you’re single it may take a while to find a fantastic partner.  Who cares.  You get more time to figure you out and more time to LOVE ON your friends and life.  You’re worth the wait.  Trust yourself and trust that good things are coming your way.  Don’t ever ever ever lower your expectations because you’re afraid of being alone.  Fall in love when it’s right and perfect.  Fall in love with someone who loves you for all of you and doesn’t require you to change a damn thing.  







A very special birthday.

That nice looking gentleman in the middle there with all us kids, that is Grandpa.
That’s my Grandpa.
It just happens to be his birthday today. 
We’re almost birthday twins, us two Gemini’s.
I tell people all the time he’s the greatest man on the planet; and he is.
He smart and feisty (feisty might be an understatement).
He fought in WWII and was a Colonel and J.A.G.
You’ve heard of the McCarthy-Army hearing?  He was there. 
Basically, he’s led QUITE the life.
But that’s not why he’s my favorite person in the world.
He’s my favorite person because in college he started sending my grammar books, because being able to write well was  important.
Now he gives me old copies of Money magazine and books on finance, even one on “The Art of Love”.
He always writes inscriptions because he knows I will keep them forever.
He buys mint chip ice cream just for when I come over for dinner.
He’s cranky and gruff sometime, but I can always get him to smile.
He calls me his miracle and has teared up talking about my to more than one boy I’ve introduced him to.
He has a huge jazz record collection: Miles Davis is his favorite and it is magical to sit with him and listen.
When I was ten I was in a play, and he came even though he had to take out his hearing aid.
He still surprises us with crazy: he’ll burst from inside with water guns blazing, or flip-off a camera… which got this response:
He loves his cat Buddy more than most anything in the world, expect for Grams. 
He calls Grams his soulmate.  
He has taken her around the world and rubs her feet every night. 
Basically, he has set the bar pretty high for my man standard.  He loves me fiercely and unconditionally.  He is patient and loving, generous and good.  He cares most about us; his family. 
In honor of his birthday I wanted to write down the inscriptions he’s thus far written in books for me.  I thought it would be fun, eh?
So, let’s start with the grammar, cause that’s where he started.
Elements of Style Value Package (includes Brief New Century Handbook)
15 Aug 2005
Further clarification or confusion.  Which?
Another means of translating your thoughts to paper.  And- with affection and love.  Grandpa

Common Errors in English Usage 2nd Edition

For the Wizard of English 
Grandpa

Dictionary Of Disagreeable English: A Curmudgeon's Compendium of Excruciatingly Correct Grammar

June 7, 2005 (my 20th birthday)
As a young woman who loves books too much, here with the answer to your need.
Love, Grandpa

Most recently, he ordered this one:
The Art of Loving

True love is a barrier to aloneness.  This is a great book.  Grandpa

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other” Rainer Maria Rilke

“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Birthday Grandpa.  Thank you for loving me and setting the bar high.

Rita Hayworth gave great face.

I had an AMAZING time in LA and while I would love to tell you all about it.  It is going to have to wait until tomorrow so I can catch up on le emails at the office.  (Abridged version includes: Glee Party, Adam Levine, and a guy with “I eat pussy” tattooed about his lips re-piercing my nose when I just wanted to change the stud).  One of my closest friends here in the bay area was on a trip to Southern California too, so instead of calling each other were sent pictures of ourselves doing fun things.  It’s actually a pretty accurate representation of the weekend.


San Diego Zoo Monkey face
Stuck in traffic face.

Josh is having hummus for dinner face.

Bri is eating goldfish for dinner face.
 Beach Volleyball faces.
Free coffee face.
So many dead bugs on my windshield face.
Finally here and having a drink face.
Too early to be awake face.
Long boarding in So Cal face.
I used to teach in this lecture hall face.
Bri says funny things face.
Huge margarita face.
Starbucks for the 4th time this trip face.
Mimosa face.
Riding dirt bike face.
12 people at brunch face.
Anthony thinks about adopting the jumper trend face.
Back seat face.
Going to fancy dinner face.
Driving home with Justin Bieber face.

Roadtrip!!

After work today I am driving down to hang with my loves Jimmie and Anthony.  To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Whenever I’m about to visit, Jimmie calls and asks me “what i’m doing this weekend?” and I always make up something boring that I’m doing, “Just staying in I think, catching up on some reading.”  It’s our thing.  And it makes me ridiculously excited.

My car is all packed up and ready to go right after work, and seeing as Kyla is taking a road trip soon too, I thought I’d tell you about my preparation for today’s driving:

Snacks:
A balance between sweet, salty, and chocolate are key here. I always have a cracker of some type, past faves include Wisecrackers, Wheat Thins, or Goldfish.  For this trip, I went with the goldfish, cause his sunnies?  Totally LA.

Next, we have your candy.  I like a fruity option and a chocolate option.  I always always always have chocolate covered raisins and this trip I also got some sour patch watermelon things.

Just remember that while you’re driving, similar to when you’re in a movie theater, you don’t want to have to look at what you’re eating.. like Jelly Bellies. I love Jelly Bellies, but I don’t want to accidentally eat a buttered popcorn one while cruising down the 5, cause I will gag, swirve into the median, and die instantly.

Now, after you have sugar coated you’re teeth, you’ll probably want something less bad for you to munch on.  Maybe some nuts, maybe a stalk of celery if you’re crazy or maybe you should just pack some apples.  Apples are always good, and BONUS, they kind of brush your teeth a little bit when you eat them.  (True story, eating one after coffee lessens the staining potential)

Beverages
I got my water.  A lot of it.  Hydration is KEY.

Sidenote: I bought this bottle with the full intention of finding a snarky sticker to cover up the running part, like “napping” or “puppies” or “muffins”… but now I actually like running.  C’est la vie.


Next, we have you’re energy drink du jour.  I know there are a lot of Red Bull fans out there, but I’m a Rockstar girl.  I have been since college, I will die with one of these suckers in my hand.

These are so important when you start getting sleepy!


Entertainment

  • I just got my little AUX jack thing, so I will be rocking out to my iPod WHILE CHARGING IT.
  • I have my free trial of my Sirius radio still, that’s going to be lovely.
  • My friend Paul lent me some lectures on CD from The Teaching Company. 30-minute lectures on the lives of famous people.  I’m kind of excited about this.  When I was driving to and from Irvine a lot, I would always head by the local library for a book on tape cd.  It’s free, and makes the hours in a car wizz by.

 Now it’s your turn.  What are your tried-and-true Road Trip tips?