Year One

baby-love

365

For the record, I didn’t really believe everything would change.
I imagined less time, of course, less sleep, less general air of sans souci
but not the entirety of life all upside down, and least of all me.

It seems after 52 weeks of daily miracles
I have become someone completely new.
I am milk maid and diaper genie and an utter fool for you.

Little Light of September Moon, all my selves were made to love you.

-Lo, whose entire world changed for good one year ago today.

365 LeeLoo-less Days

loo_smile

One year ago today, LeeLoo passed away.

For months after, I cried every day. The sense of loss was incredible.

I still miss her and think of her daily, but it does get better with time, as the cliche goes. Perhaps because time dulls the edges of your memory. That, and having a wiggly newborn around just weeks after the Loo died proved to be very distracting.

But I still miss her wiggly butt and crispy tongue and nubbly underbite.

And I don’t think she’d mind, at all, if we added a new wiggly butt to the family. Not to replace her, because that would be impossible. But just because a fur friend is very good to have.

-Lo, marking the days.

Double Digits

mood: celebrating | drinking: water, for now

bruce_lo_engagement

Exactly ten years ago today, there was a giant blizzard in Chicago that dumped several feet of snow on the city and outlying suburbs. The white stuff fell all day, delaying flights, wreaking havoc on the roads, and turning the whole landscape into a soft white dream.

And at 7pm that night, as the snow continued to drift and fall, Boy and I stood in a candlelit chapel and solemnly said our vows.

Ten years. Sometimes I feel like it’s impossible that so much time could have passed already. But then I think about how many lifetimes we’ve lived in the past decade, and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been ten years.

We’re celebrating tonight with a fancy dinner at a schmancy restaurant overlooking the ocean. And then, in a couple of months, we’ll celebrate more properly with a trip to Prague.

But for today, I’m going to remember the girl I used to be, the girl who stood there in white and pledged her heart forever to a boy. Seriously… look at our engagement picture up there. We were such babies! (Still a gorgeous picture, thanks Patti!)

We’ve done a lot of changing over the past decade, and a lot of growing up. I feel lucky every single day that we’ve changed in the same direction, that we continue to want the same things, to strive for the same goals, to dream complimentary dreams. It’s no small feat, I know.

And we’re going to need all our shared history, all our commitment, all our love, for the next ten years, and the next ten after that. Life never stops changing, stops moving, stops upending your best-laid plans. I couldn’t imagine, on my wedding day, what 2010 would look like, anymore than I can imagine 2020 today.

But we’ve taken it one day at a time, and discovered that’s a good way to live.

I always used to hear couples talk about how they loved each other more and more as the years went by. Standing there in front of all our friends and family who braved the snow (and thanks, again, all of you, for doing that, even if it meant crashing your car in the parking lot to do so *cough*Graeme*cough*), standing up there on that snowy Friday night, I thought I was full of love. But I’ve learned that there’s always room for more, and it’s true… I love Boy so much more now than I did when I put a ring on his finger. He’s become more than my husband. He’s my family.

And it’s not just feelings and hope anymore. We’ve worked on this thing. And that’s why, I think, it’s working.

Apparently anniversaries make you babble… I’m not sure any of this will make any sense to anyone but me. But I wanted to put something down in words, on this day. I wanted to say, “I love this man, and I don’t regret a thing.”

I think the girl who was me all those years ago would be overjoyed to see how well it’s all turning out.

-Lo, ready for ten more.

Change without Choice

Mood: Cloudy | Drinking: Yes

empty

We all knew change was coming.

It was the big slogan, after all.

And I’m not necessarily afraid of or opposed to change. Change is necessary. Inevitable. Good, even.

It’s just that I’d rather be prepared for it. I’d rather ask for it. I’d rather be the one who decides when and where and if and how.

Lately, that’s just not happening.

There have been so many changes already in 2009, changes that I did not want, did not ask for, did not sign my name on a dotted line to say, yes, I am on board with all of this upheaval.

But it’s happening anyway.

For me personally, it began with my grandmother’s death followed immediately by the job layoff last November. But with the perfect vision of hindsight, I now see the rumblings that began long before.

Last summer, even while I was cheerfully ignoring any news of impending doom, my friend Michael was reading the New York Times cover to cover and slouching in our living room shaking his head, saying, “We’re all doomed, sweetheart!”

I chose not to believe him.

But change is the kind of force that requires neither your belief nor your permission. It happens, with or without a by-your-leave, and you find yourself getting swept up and carried along whether you like it or not.

Your only choice becomes to surrender to the current or drown.

So I’m surrendering. I am. It’s too exhausting to fight my way upstream, and there’s nothing left back there for me anyway. But I don’t have to be cheerful about it. Not yet.

I continue to wake up crabby that the job I had for four years, the job I picked out all by myself, is gone — washed away. And the job I now have, though I’m grateful for it, is not a job I would have chosen, if given the choice.

I also would not have chosen to wash my favorite wee silver cell phone in the pocket of my grubby jeans after a long day of yard work on Monday. But since I didn’t stop to think about it (or check the pockets), it got sudsed and rinsed and spun and ruined. And now I have a shiny new blue phone and it’s fine and all, but it’s one more change that I did not choose. And therefore I’m slightly disgruntled.

(The phone, in fact, is what made me think about this whole topic.)

But when I bottom line it for myself, I hit the hard and simple truth that this is just life. This is how it goes.

You don’t get to choose everything that changes you. That’s not how it works. So at some point you begin to learn to make the best of it, to accept the new things graciously, to find the good in the midst of it all and to move on.

I’m working on it.

-Lo, making like a chameleon.


A postscript that has nothing to do with change: February 18th is my wedding anniversary. It’s been nine years today since Boy and I stood in a chapel in the middle of a Midwest snowstorm and exchanged vows. Amazing.

Lucky Number Seven

anniversaryMood: Relaxation Overdrive
Drinking: The most delicious tea

Seven years ago, there was a blizzard in Chicago. I remember it very clearly, because that was the day I put on a white dress and walked down an aisle. Gave my solemn vow and sealed it with a kiss.

Sometimes it seems impossible that seven years could have slipped past me so quickly. Then other days it feels like I’ve lived a few lifetimes since that day.

It was a great day. A lot of fun. The blizzard, not so much fun — some people stayed home instead of braving the storm. And some of those who did head out into the snow paid for it. One carload of people from my hometown ran over a curb that was hidden by a snowdrift and ripped a hole in their undercarriage.

And my friend G actually made it to the church (on time), but his car had a little accident on his way into the parking lot and got kind of screwed up. Our limo driver was one of those people who decided to stay inside, so after the reception, we got a ride to the hotel from our best man. And we were all so hungry, we stopped at the McDonald’s oasis over the freeway for some honeymoon french fries. Romantic!

When I was a kid, my dad always used to complain about how fast time passes. I never understood, because I often thought the days crept by too slowly. But now, now I know what he meant. Seven years. And the days keep flying by.

Let’s hope that most of them are as good as today has been.

-Lo, who wouldn’t mind, sometimes, if time slowed the hands of the clock just a little bit.