Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Fraulein Maria Moment

The past couple weeks have been pretty dark. Weeks that seemed never ending. Weeks I couldn't wait to be done with only as they had just begun. The days all combined, one after another, and whether it was exhaustion, the heat, or just the changing of the seasons, I do not know. All the while, my days continued, sunrise to sunset, and still no joy. And then one day, it happened. I don't know how "it" came to be, but there I was. And boy did I have it! 

I felt just like Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music in that famous opening scene that pans to the hilltop, zooming in and displaying beauty, and contentment.  And then the voice. The voice that utters belief with those few words describing fully the way my heart is feeling now.  I had my Fraulein Maria moment.

And though I wish I were as elegantly classy as Julie Andrews, pulling off that super short bob, with the ability to belt those notes so effortlessly, after that long trek up that  hill as she clearly did, I have my own song to sing. My song lies in my heart and is sung everyday because I have Pieter and Lola. I have a wonderful support system, loving me unconditionally, always encouraging and reassuring that I will persevere. And I have.

The past couple days have been wonderful- truly wonderful. Lola brings me so much joy! She has so much personality and is one clever little cookie.

We have made a habit of going out to breakfast Saturday mornings, since Pieter has been working lately. We pack up all our "going-out-to-eat" essentials, Lola's new Little Suzie's Zoo Autumn themed books, and enjoy a shared breakfast outside at Pronto. I think Lola really enjoys outdoor seating and seems to be a little calmer than when we sit inside. We get our normal corner table, surrounded by big red umbrellas. They play a variety of jazz and Edith Piaf, which never gets old. Lola seems to enjoy their selection of tunes and does not hesitate to express herself with movement, shimmying and shaking in her high chair. And after the most delightful breakfast, we make the walk home and settle down for some snuggle time!


I need to keep in mind that whatever it is I am feeling, whatever the emotion, it is what I do with it that matters. I need to remember to keep trekking up that hill. There is a quote in the movie that reminded me of my difficult times this past week and the new perspective I should seek, should it happen again. And though it is somewhat out of context, it still speaks to me.

"You cry a little and then you wait for the sun to come out. It always does."-Fraulein Maria

And for all of you Sound Of Music lovers, some movie trivia, courtesy of IMBD.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Celebrating Annalisa

Today marks seventeen wonderful years that I have known my sister. It's amazing how fast the time has gone by, from when she was only a little baby, to "my princess", transforming into a beautiful, young woman, and my best friend. I remember loving her so much when she was a baby, dressing her up like she was a little doll and having that good ol' fashion love/hate relationship with her when we shared a room. I remember the way she always wanted to tag along and pow-wow in the room when I had friends over, and that time I was so upset with her because she used my flat iron to "straighten" her Barbie's hair (Ha! More like melt it right off!) I remember the yellow piece of paper I got in the mail when I was away at college. The funny picture of two sisters sitting, arms around each other and her barely-legible print that read, "I saw this picture of two sisters. It reminded me of us." I remember the way my eyes flooded with tears. It being the pick-me-up I needed to get through finals week. She has always been my constant reminder of the good in life, and how easy it should be to love unconditionally. 

I rarely miss living in Southern California, except when I am missing family and friends. Then I miss it. Terribly. It has been hard to be away from her these last couple years. Today was a rough one. I wished that I could have been there today, to welcome her from school, showering her with gifts. With Love. I really wished today that she would just know how special she is to me. I wish that I could be there to celebrate all her achievements. I know, though, that these are only the markers at the beginning in her race, in her success. She will go far!

Annalisa has always been very supportive of who I am. And even though we have our falling outs from time to time, nothing takes away from the love that is deep down at the center of it all. She is a true friend, my best friend, and I know she will always be there for me. Happy Birthday Annalisa! I love you more than you'll ever know!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Year Five

We are rolling around the time where Pieter and I will be celebrating yet another anniversary. I can't believe it's that time again. While sorting through pictures of Lola, I stumbled upon some early photos of Pieter and me, when our relationship was just a wee little thing. It is always nice to look back on pictures and remember. Remember the good times, the great times, and what we thought were, the rocky points of no return. But here we are, practically five years later, through the long-distance relationships, the break-ups, the make-ups, our pregnancy with sweet Lola, and her long awaited arrival. Here we are, another year, easier than its prior competitor, and sure to be outdone in 365 days!

 So here's to the good ol' days, and the wonderful days to come! Happy (soon to be) anniversary, babe! I love you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Emotions Have Taken Over

I'm sitting here, attempting to be diligent in properly planning appropriate Christmas presents for our family, and as I "attempt" to do so, all I can do is fight so hard to hold the tears back. I can't blame Pandora, although the music is perfect in every way. I feel as though I must document what my soul is feeling because it is raw and genuine. 
Forgive me...

As I sit here in front of this screen, sorting file after file for the perfect picture to tell our little Lola's story, I am overcome with emotion. What a wonderful year it has been! I feel as though I have become consumed with motherhood, with familyhood, with making it the most perfect embodiment of what I think a family should be. I feel like I have, somewhat, underestimated the wonderfulness that is our family. Not just our little pod of love, but our families. The two families that have come together to create this beautiful co-existence of love. As I flip through, somewhere between folder 24 and 4 all I see is love. I am overwhelmed with emotion. This is what family looks like!

I came to the realization that family cannot be measured by number of people, lack of roles, or quantity of dads, moms, or grandparents. Families can only be measured by the amounts of love you feel. I think it is easy to forget about the love that we have for one another when life's messy turns come into play. I know, first hand, that my family is not, at all, the classic, tradition prototype of what a family should look like. And I'm okay with that. I can honestly say I feel more love now, in this moment, than I ever have before. Our family is setting up a foundation of confidence, acceptance, and support for Lola. And that's all I can ask for!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Leaps & Bounds

Lola and I strolled on over to Freemont Park for our weekly ritual of Farmer's Market shopping.The sun was out, but Autumn was in the air. The air was crisp as can be, blowing gently through the trees as the sun illuminated the chalk-kissed sidewalk. Soon the leaves will be every shade of orange, yellow, red, and brown.

I am simply amazed at how big my pumpkin is. Fifteen months ago, she was only a swaddled little babe in my arms. She is now a little girl, loving little girl things, flowers of all sorts, butterfly kisses, bubbles, cute little dogs...and big ones too! She has the most wonderful fascination with eyelashes. I must say, I was pretty nervous when she first discovered them. She walked about for a couple days constantly stabbing her eye with that little pointer finger of hers. Weird. Now she resorts to butterfly kissing her big toes every time I change her diapers. Imagine that!
Her new discoveries make it apparent that she is growing up. She moves around the apartment like she knows exactly what she is doing and where she is going. I no longer underestimate her. When we go on walks, I occasionally let her "run free", usually when we are a couple streets from the apartment. The other day, we turned the corner to the street we live on. She walked up to our apartment entry way and strolled on in and proceeded to go up the step that leads to our front door. She has definetly got her walking skills down! She is now, also a pro at scaling up the playground and wobbling her way across the bridge to the other side. It is pretty amazing to see her thinking her way through her next strategically placed step. 
"Alas, I have made it!"

We attended Chalk It Up this past weekend and got a sneak peak at the pieces of art that would surround "our park" for the weeks to come. Some of them were fun, or merely advertisements, but I was impressed by those with so much detail. It was great to finally see the finished product! Freemont Park is now framed beautifully by vibrantly colored pieces of art. I love Sacramento!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend brought my parents and sister up from Southern California to visit! What a treat! I only get to see them about every four months, so when that time rolls around I'm always thrilled. It must be difficult to be a grandparent and be hundreds of miles away from a grandchild. Nevertheless, we made it count, full of smiles, laughs, and Lola snuggles!

We took a stroll by Freemont Park where Chalk It Up was happening. It was the perfect place to take my parents to see, first hand, what Sacramento is all about. The park was filled, corner to corner, with locals- artists, volunteers, businesses, and musicians- all there for the same reason. You could really feel the sense of community.

I love when I get to see my sister! She is such a wonderful being and one of the greatest blessings in my life. I always wish I could see more of her. I love her! And it's obvious, Lola loves her too!


It is so wonderful to see my family. I really wish it could happen more often. But the chances we do get with one another are always extra special.