Monday, June 18, 2012

Ticking Clock: Surprise Destination

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A few months prior to my wedding, I met with three of my girlfriends for dinner. "The hens" (as we were nicknamed by one of the husbands) get together on a regular basis to catch-up. We could sit and chat forever. We always have fun and laugh a lot! There is really nothing off limits for us to talk about.

Two of the girls have been on similar tracks in their relationships as Nick and I: from moving in together to puppies to engagement rings. It has been nice to have friends who understand what is happening in that moment: the good, the bad, and the ridiculous.

I nearly chocked on my pizza when they both announced that they were ready for babies. I was shocked. Maybe I should not have been. They are married. They own houses. But still, I was. After the initial shock, I realized that for the first time, I did not want to follow in their footsteps, not yet.

I went home that evening and told Nick their news and my reaction to it. As honestly as I could, I told him the first thought that went through my head when they told me. What flashed through my head was that I had not yet been to Paris. He was not surprised by their news, he was surprised by me.


The trip was not something I had been dreaming of. It is not something we had previously discussed. But when I was faced with the possibility of moving into the next phase of life, Paris birthed itself into something that had to be done.

Nick was silent for a moment before responding, Well, I suppose we need to go to Paris.

Since that time, both girls got pregnant, one baby was born in May, the other is due in September. In addition to them, it seems like everybody else I know has jumped aboard the baby express. Just in May and June:

Welcome Amelia, Colin, Caroline, Hudson, Lucy, Henry, Theron, and Isabelle!
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On Monday, Nick came home from work and as part of the conversation we were having, asked me what he is good at as a husband. He reminded me that I occasionally ask if I am a good wife, so now he is turning the tables. I listed off a number of truths: Smart, handsome, playful, supportive.

Do you know what else I am good at? He asked with a smirk. Buying plane tickets.

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We are going to London and Paris!! We are going for a week at the end of August!! I'm so excited! Of all the amazing things that we will do, I just keep imagining a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower. It's pretty wonderful when a dream that you did not even know you had, comes to life.

Any London or Paris recommendations are welcome.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Specialized: My New Toy

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Three weeks ago I completed a 35 mile charity bike ride.

It was rough and not the thing I typically spend my Saturdays doing. Nick's dad suggested it as a family event and how do I say no to that? When he first emailed about the ride I saw that there were three distance options: 14, 35, or 52. I was really hoping for the 14. Nick and his sister commented enthusiastically that they wanted the 35 and Nick's dad quickly concurred and signed us up.

We started at 9:00am. It was a hot, windy day. The first 22ish miles were not so bad. The last five were awful. I got off and walked steep inclines twice. My bike was a top of the line road bike from 1975. It is Nick's uncle's old bike and much too big for me. It was free and had always done the job. Up until then, the job was never 35 miles in 90 degree heat.

I finished and that is the most important thing. It was not a race. There was no real finish line, which made for a severely anti-climactic finish. We just sort of slowed down and got off our bikes. I stumbled to the closest tree and stretched out onto my back. I would have stayed there all day if Nick had not suggested going home to have a beer on the deck.

We were not even done with the race before Nick started suggesting that I get a new bike. My initial thought was that I did not want to spend the money. Miles 25-35 slowly changed my mind. My gears were so slow to shift and as Nick's dad pointed out, I had to work twice as hard as everyone to go half the speed.

Last weekend, I bought a new bike. I rode four different bikes before deciding on the same one Nick's sister bought earlier this year. It is a Vita Specialized base model from 2011. I love it. When I first sat on it, I felt like I was a kid again. It brought me back to sitting on my bike when I was ten. I forgot that feeling. I forgot how much I like riding. How fun and easy it used to feel. Before you can drive, a bike is your freedom.

I got nervous about my bike because right as I was about to make my purchase, I read this article. What if I was buying this for Nick? He is the real cyclist, well he dresses like a real one. He wears the clip-on shoes, the bright colored riding shirt, and the bike shorts. Hottie!

I do not pull off the look nearly as well.

Well it's the beginning of summer and I have an awesome bike so here's to new adventures....
My bike. Black with pink detailing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writing is Simple: Simplicity is Not.

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I started this blog for two reasons:

1. I love to write. I need to write. I wanted to create a platform that would encourage me to share thoughts, ideas, and stories.
2. I have a desire to seek out simplicity. Little things, like feeling more organized or donating clothes make me feel like I am moving in the correct direction, but it is much larger than cleaning closets. To me simplicity means clearing out the clutter, prioritizing my time, and remembering what's important.

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My biggest creative predator is feeling overwhelmed, weighed down, and un-inspired. Simplicity is my solution. The word gets thrown around and sometimes can even sound negative. Simple can sound boring or uneventful, but that is far from what I am striving for. I want to be exciting and remembered and important. I want to dream big and live big.

Nick asked me last night what I want out of life. I had a hard time answering him. Not because I do not know but more that I do not know how the pieces fit.

I wish to:
• have a house
• have a family
• provide stability for my kids
• always be in love with Nick
• travel
• not live in Minnesota forever
• always have a dog or two
• have a writing career
• see my family and close friends often
• see my kids grow up with extended family and friends around them
• be comfortable with money
• live a long, healthy life
• be a good friend, sister, mom, wife, and daughter
• really enjoy my work
• look back at this list and feel satisfied.

Am I asking too much? It's a lot. But it's not insane. I'm not asking for private planes or super-stardom. Nick said he thought I wanted to be J.K. Rowling and I actually do not. I enjoy my anonymity.

I think that my biggest obstacle is that some of my wishes clash. My family is in Boston. Nick's family is in Minneapolis. My best friend lives in Ohio. My other closest friends are splattered around Minnesota and New England and even Australia. The distance will always create challenge. Stability and Travel? A girl can dream.
Will do