The Wedding Post

Here it is, friends.

It’s a long story with few words.

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Thursday, September 5th

school, soccer practice, drum lessons, back to school for a 7 p.m. parent meeting and photocopying, home by 9:30

 

Friday, September 6th

coffee, flowers, flowers, flowers, snacks with our wonderful neighbors, flowers, flowers, rehearsal, pizza, cotton candy, beer; bridesmaids hem my dress with safety pins because it’s too small for me to wear my petticoat under.

 

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Courtesy of my neighbors’ skill and kindness. I learned how to make flower arrangements!

Saturday, September 7th

Snuggles with a very-pregnant bridesmaid and her baby belly, coffee and breakfast, Xanax, hair

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Church parking lot. Hyperventilating.

12:45 p.m.

I really, really, really didn’t want to be there early.

Do you know how terrifying it is to have that many people looking at you!?

 

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“Thank God this is over”

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This was their SECOND wedding in the span of a week. They are the best!

 

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The Whole Fan-Damily

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My nephew and ring-bearer, Jeremy, with his awesome shoes. He has his dad’s love of sneakers. 🙂

 

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Of all the kid attractions, this was the most popular. Only one bloody nose!

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photobooth / double-seater outhouse

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Colby and his second family.

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Come one, come all – to the wedding where we give kids croquet mallets and hammocks for toys!

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We try to dance, but we do not succeed.

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my boy can dance

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Seriously. How did this happen. I mean, I know how it happens, but you know what I mean.

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“cake in YO FACE!”

 

Sunday evening, September 8th, Millinocket, ME

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Cheers!

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We stole an entire pie from the pile of leftovers. We proceeded to eat the entire thing. With gusto.

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Mt Katahdin

Home. The honeymoon’s over, but we are still far from recovered. It was lovely and fun, but so very much work for us, our friends and our families.

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One word of advice friends: Elope.

 

Retail Therapy

I needed a break from this .

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the cleanest part of my desk

We’ve all been sick, one after the other, and there is no end in sight. I won’t be surprised if our dogs start sneezing and leaving dirty tissues in the couch cushions.

A trip to Southern Maine for a travel soccer game was the perfect excuse to get away without exerting too much physical or mental energy.

Colby and I decided to make a day of it. We woke early Sunday morning, packed picnic lunches and hit the road. We listened to the first 1/3 of Atul Gawande’s Better (I had read it and thought Colby would like it – I was right for once!) and watching the sunshine peek through the fog as we drove.

We hit Freeport by 10 a.m. and made our first stop at a real donut shop.

Colby at the make-your-own-donut bar.
Colby at the make-your-own-donut bar.
plain, maple-glazed, buncha cruncha and fall sprinkles
plain, maple-glazed, buncha cruncha and fall sprinkles

I thought Colby was finally old enough to appreciate the Maine mecca of shopping, and I was correct. We had a day of sunshine, street music, good conversation and great deals.

We wrapped up our shopping just in time to head further south. It only took twenty minutes to get to the field. We were starstruck with the beautiful facility until I realized the portable toilets were not quite so sparkling (I saw cleaner ones at a Phish show, and that’s saying something).

This mama's not used to sitting in the bleachers.
This mama’s not used to sitting in the bleachers.
I'm too far from the action!
I’m too far from the action!

 

We met up with my parents in Augusta for burgers and milkshakes (and a quick trip to Dick’s for a new pair of soccer socks).

The boy is eating a BURGER with an EGG on it. Ugh.
The boy is eating a BURGER with an EGG on it. Ugh.

While we were there we received a text from my husband: “guess what I bought at a yard sale for $5”. With him, you never know, so I asked for a clue. He sent this picture.

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yup.

It’s a friggin chicken plucker. A chicken plucker. Apparently “she needs some work”.

It was a beautiful late-September day, even if I did return home to find a chicken plucker in the driveway. Colby and I both had a relapse (fevers, general yuck, etc.) today, and are wishing for a nice, germ-free stretch in the near future.

Stay tuned for . . . the wedding report.

 

Two Pics That Say Everything.

What happens when you are planning a wedding, renovating a barn for said wedding, wrangling produce and an unruly flower garden, driving to soccer practice and planning for seven classes?

This:

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See how fluffy and pretty Bella is here? She escaped and found (last night) something dead and (today) a large pile of cow shit (Sorry Mrs. Thompson!!!). Summer lovin’.

The Week of No Pants

I haven’t worn pants all week. Also, I told my friend’s daughter that the best thing about running shorts was that the underwear are built in, and much more comfy than regular undies. She looked at me like maybe it is not socially acceptable to tell people that. Whoops.

If I were a cartoon character my name would be Ms. Webb No Pants.

It’s no pants week because I said so. In a few days I will be forced to don teacher clothes. They are itchy and pinchy and no fun. My abdomen and thighs are enjoying their last week of freedom.

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Surviving Soccer Season

While the end of soccer season always brings a visceral, and bittersweet, relief, the beginning sneaks up on us. A practice here, a game there, until BAM. It’s October and everyone is out of clean underwear (either wearing dirty ones inside out or none at all) and you haven’t had a hot meal before 9 pm in two months.

This is what the beginning of this soccer season looks like for me:

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I change into my running clothes before every practice. I pack one work-related activity. I spend the first 30 minutes working or reading, and the rest walking or running. I was feeling pretty smug about this until I realized it’s only August. Actually, I’ve written this post before, haven’t I?

I guess the good news is that we always survive to see another season. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve this season though.

PBJ suppers- no whining allowed.

Cereal always trumps Pizza Hut. No restaurants after games.(Playoffs excluded). This will easily save us an hour and a half each game night.

Freezer meals. I’ve already planned out meals to put away for busy game/week nights.

This is my least favorite: morning work outs. I’ve been practicing since July, and think the habit is setting.

Thursdays and Saturdays are for grading (and soccer games). I will find the nearest Tim Horton’s or McDs and use their Internet while waiting for C’s game.

Piece o’ cake, right?

Xoxo

Heather

A Week in Pictures

I’m sitting in my car, parked outside the music studio where Colby takes drum lessons.

Mother Nature decided I was tired, so she’s watering my garden for me.

It seemed like a good day to spend a paycheck. At Target, on school supplies. The irony.

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I had allergy testing done earlier this week.

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Now I will know what is like to live in Maine and not eat any seafood.

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Matt and I got our marriage license. I kept thinking they were gonna say no, but it turns out as long as we’re not first cousins we’re all set!

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I have painted my kitchen twice in the past two weeks. *facepalm*

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The sea foam green was good in theory. I like the present khaki MUCH better.

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I got a college ID much different from those I’ve had in the past. I think I look better in this one too.

We’ve been canning and freezing in the middle of all of this wedding planning kid carting new (extra) job ruckus. I think I can I think I can . . .

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The First Two Miles

One needs to know me for about five minutes before they know without a doubt that I am not a morning person.

the elusive morning run
the rare and coveted morning run

Just a couple of days ago, Matt tried to wake me up in, let’s say, a very unsatisfactory and much too creative way. It didn’t go well. I did end up fully awake by the end of the encounter, which extended beyond thirty minutes, but I also maybe told him any of the following: “I JUST DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW!!! ARGH! I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS YOU. I WANT TO BE ON A DIFFERENT PLANET! YOU FUCKING SUCK SO SO SO MUCH!” I picked up my head to sneer and then flopped it dramatically on my pillow. I tried to punch him in the penis, which was not where it, ahem, should have been in the first place. I pulled the covers over my head and rolled around until I was wrapped up like the tightest little burrito in the freezer bag. I was, we could venture to say, not ready to wake up yet.

I’ve learned plenty about myself over the last few years. I like to think that I was pretty self-aware before I met Matt, but the truth is that you don’t know a lot about yourself until you are living with another person. Matt, most days, wakes up and begins his day immediately. I, on the other hand, need Time. The alarm clock blares thirty minutes before I need to get out of bed. I don’t talk (or think or eat or do anything) until I’ve finished my first cup of coffee, and sometimes even the second. If it’s a weekend, I read in bed for a bit. On a work day I tend to review my schedule and skim a few news sites for interesting info to incorporate into lessons.

I’m slow to warm up.

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this is what you see at 6:30 a.m. in July
this is what you see at 6:30 a.m. in July

For me, this goes beyond mornings. It means knowing what is coming far in advance. It means accepting homesickness a full year after a move. It means the first two miles of any run will always be the hardest.

We’ve adapted at home to try to negotiate this. I keep a color-coded Google calendar and I’ve only totally messed it up once in three years. Matt does an admirable job keeping me updated (why, God, won’t he just use the Google calendar?!) on any changes in his plans. We meet during Sunday night dinner and The Simpsons to talk about the upcoming week and review our meal plan. Colby accepts gracefully when he asks a question that I answer with “I’ll get back to you on that, okay?”.

It also means that I need to learn some new skills, as in, How to Deal When Something Comes Up and You Want to Totally Lose Your Shit.

Because life happens whether I’ve put it in the schedule or not. Games get canceled, plans change, kids come home sick and boy, there is nothing like a last-minute assembly and/or fire drill and/or lock down at work.

When I begin my runs, I start slow. I walk for a bit, jog for a bit, and hit my pace when I’m ready. If I’m training I reign those times in, but the setup stays the same. By the time my first two miles are over I feel like going another two. This is why the 13.1 is my favorite distance.

Two things have come from this realization:

1. I’ve been consistently running two milers. I figured if those were the hardest miles, those were the miles I needed to work on.

2. I’ve translated some warm-up activities into my life that help me deal with the unexpected.

  • I plan out my whole school year before it begins. I mark all scheduled holidays, teacher in-service days and the estimated weeks/months where testing shows up. I still won’t know a lot (field trips, sports games, flu season, pep rallies), but I’ve accounted for everything I can. I know what units come when with ?# assignments per unit. Two miles.
  • If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I begin and complete one short task: clear dishwasher, sweep, fold laundry, etc. Voila! I’ve accomplished something. Two miles.
it was hot - but LOOK at THAT sky - I would trade in 5 full January's for a morning like that
it was hot – but LOOK at THAT sky – I would trade in 5 full Januarys for a morning like that

I’m working on those two miles, friends. I enjoy the warm-up, whether it is the first two miles of a run or the first two hours of a Tuesday, but it would be so nice to enter fully into everything just a little bit sooner.

xoxo

 

Summerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtime.

I’m not looking to jinx myself, but the living really is pretty easy.

I’m sitting under my $34.99 Christmas Tree Shoppe umbrella and sweating through every stitch of clothing I have on.

This is not a complaint. It’s just fact.

But also, it is so hot and sunny that I have to sit under the umbrella or hide inside with the air conditioner on and the blinds drawn. That, my friends, is a miracle.

Matt and his father are framing out the space for the new barn floor, and it seems like every time they set aside a day to dusk-till-dawn work, it is a bazillion degrees out. I feel badly about this. We should be at camp  (and by this I mean I want to be at camp and I want all of us to pick up and go and I feel the teeniest bit guilty that my tiny work ethic only kicks in only when it is raining or snowing, but really those are good times to lay around and read, too).

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Someone, thankfully, gave the Panther a new home.
Someone, thankfully, gave the Panther a new home.

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My flowers are blooming. Between the frequent appearance of a green John Deere and some helping hands and flowers appearing on my doorstep, it is easy to make the call that we have the best neighbors ever. We get annuals from one side, perennials from the other. As the annuals are blooming now, I’m operating under the assumption that the flowers will not still be in bloom for our September wedding. Oh, well. That’s what supermarket flowers are for. But look at our gardens now:

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I spy . . . four rows of greens. Note to self: next year, diversify.

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I just dropped my baby off at music camp (keep your band camp jokes to yourself, thanks. I can’t handle it!) for his first overnight camp. I realized, with every step I took, that it would be five measly years before I did this, moved him into a college dorm, for real. Holy Holy Holy Shit.

Colby and I did get a good dose of time together today; we waited in an hour’s worth of lines for registration, drove back and forth across campus, moved him into his dorm, met his roommate, had lunch, and sat through the full-group (kids – behave, parents – don’t worry) meeting. We simultaneously realized that we were about halfway through July. And then we didn’t mention it again. Please summer, just stay. Please kid-version of Colby, just stay.

This is what we’ve done so far this summer:

I schedule stuff, drink coffee, and check email. This is how I look 50% of the day.
I schedule stuff, drink coffee, and check email. This is how I look 50% of the day.

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Watching fast cars and funny people.
Watching fast cars and funny people.
We swim with friends. Colby likes babies (understatement of the year).
We swim with friends. Colby likes babies (understatement of the year).

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And we swim elsewhere.
More on this local 'beach' later.
More on this local ‘beach’ later.
United Methodist Strawberry Festival. . I ❤ cheek pinchers. Really, I’m serious!
Chard pie with savory herb crust
Chard pie with savory herb crust
Oriechiette with chard, chickpeas, and smoked gouda
Oriechiette with chard, chickpeas, and smoked gouda
Turkey Lurkey!
Turkey Lurkey!
Swiss Chard Pizza - I'm sensing a theme here.
Swiss Chard Pizza – I’m sensing a theme here.

This week, more of the same. I have recipes for all of the above (up soon). Do any of you have chard/sturdy green recipes for me? I’m running out of ideas.

xoxo

What’s New?

I feel like summer is a boulder rolling, rolling, rolling downhill and picking up speed. I want it to stop. STOP. Now. Thanks.

My wedding registry tells me there are 57 days left until the wedding. This means only 50 something days before school begins again. *sigh* I’m not physically ready for the wedding or spiritually ready for school.

I have Colby a grand total of six days in July. Six. That is not enough. I’m so happy that he has a chance to spend some time with his father, but. . . more on that later.

I am reading like a fiend. Check out my book list page. This is one of my favorite things about summer. Also – all of my reading and writing time counts, for me, as “professional development”. That’s what I tell my family anyway.

I am awaiting a lumber delivery as we speak. Matt and his father have been jacking and digging and mixing concrete and pulling up boards. I cannot wait for the barn to be finished and have Matt back. I’m sure he would rather be at camp instead of pulling boards in 90 degree weather too.

I have a list of recipes that are nearly ready to go up. We have been eating swiss chard, more swiss chard, and occasionally cereal.

I’m running again. We’ll get back to that.

I am officially enrolled on my local yoga studio‘s teacher training program. I’ve been waiting for this FOREVER. Like since I was 10 years old and pulled a yoga sequence article out of my mother’s Redbook. I’m dropping out of university to go to yoga school.

And now, I’m going outside because I cannot stand to see the sunshine without being directly in its path.

xoxo

Dining Solo

I have been anything but solo these days.

In fact, the past couple of weeks have been busier than usual. I’m feeling that itching from the inside of my soul, the one that says: it’s quiet time.

While I am a terribly social being, I need time to be home alone. It’s like my Miracle Grow.Without time alone I end up looking like sad, sad tomato plants. Yellow and withered at the edges, drooping, and begging for someone to just feed me already.

Colby and I (finally) arrived home today after an overnight trip to Portland to 1. pick up my wedding dress, 2. visit my aunt, uncle and cousin, and 3. welcome my parents home from Okinawa. It was a great trip, but by the time we hit 295 north I was done. Too much interaction, too much talking, not enough sleeping. I made a deal with Colby as we pulled into Bangor. “Ok”, I said, “We have chores to do, but how about we take an hour when we get home?”. He thought it was a great deal. And so we took an hour. He began watching Supernatural (his show du jour), and I settled in on the porch to read. Then I fell asleep, so we took another hour. I was enjoying the silence so much that I decided to let him continue while I cleaned up the house and unpacked. Another hour. I called him down for supper. I sent him back upstairs. Another hour.

I just let my kid watch four hours of television. And you know what? He’s still up there.

Mom’s gotta do what mom’s gotta do.

On the solo note though, what I MOST enjoy about being home alone is preparing a meal for myself. This post reminded me of just how important that time, and that meal, is.

This started as a way for me to deal with a transition night (when Colby would go with his father). I would pour a glass of wine and get cooking. It was meditative and purposeful and when I was done: delightful.

Back then it was always the same meal. Good angel hair (yes, there is a difference), scallops or shrimp in a garlic, butter, and white wine sauce. Fresh parsley. Ice water, wine, something sweet for dessert.

I’ve moved on now, but nothing brings me as much comfort as that old, faithful meal.

Winter Panzanella
Winter Panzanella

Some new meals:

Winter – small batch soups, grilled sandwiches, pastas

Summer – goat cheese and fresh tomatoes on hearty bread, new salads

Anytime – fruit, crackers and cheese; veggies, hummus and cheese

 

Do you cook for yourself? What do you make? It’s time to expand my meals for one file.

 

Goodnight, Friends. I need to peel my kiddo off the television now. xoxo.