Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Childless in Chicago

I know I haven't updated in a looong time, and since Matt's in meetings and Emma's not with us, this should be the perfect time to update. Except I left my laptop plug at my parents' house and have no battery, so therefore this will be a quickie since I'm in the hotel lobby. I just figured some mommies would probably think this was pretty funny...

We left Emma for the first time with Matt's mom for a few days to go to Chicago. The trip was Matt's Christmas present to me, but I assumed that Emma would be coming with us. Then Matt told me that we were going to see Wicked, which of course, I was thrilled about since I've wanted to see it forever, but kind of queazy about since Emma is a little too young to appreciate musical theater. I guess that meant she wasn't joining us, much to Matt's excitement (a romantic getaway woohoo!) and my chagrin (3 DAYS away from my baby??). Matt finally convinced me that it would be fine to leave her behind, and we've been having a GREAT, much needed time together. I thought I was handling being away from her pretty well until last night at about 1:00 I woke up and started running around the room yelling, "Where's Emma!?! Where's Emma!?!" and frantically searching for her. Poor Matt was baffled (if you've ever experienced Matt waking in the middle of the night you know the look) and frantically looking at me saying, "Ah ahh, I don't know, I don't know." Finally, I remebered that she was home with Matt's mom, explained this to Matt who just looked at me and immediately fell back down asleep. Phew, crisis averted.

I mean, I'm not the only mommy that's ever done this...right!?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wisdom Crashes the Party

So, looking for a house these past few weeks has really opened up my eyes to this whole mortage crisis. We went house hunting with an agent a couple weeks ago and 13 of the 14 houses we looked at were vacant. Pretty crazy. However, sitting in a mortage broker's office I can see why. We were approved for $20,000 over our budget. Kind of a lot of money.

We were pretty excited about finding a house. We found a couple that were really nice and that we could afford; I mean, they were within our $20,000 less than what the bank said we could afford. So, we made an offer. We had discussed with our realtor what would probably happen. We low-balled them, expecting a counter-offer. I was super excited; Matt was super queazy. The scenario played out as we expected, except the part where we counter-offered their counter-offer didn't go as planned. There was no counter-(counter?) offer from us.

Matt crunched the numbers again in our budget. Pretty much a chunk of our down payment was going to have to go to the ridiculously high (in a newbie's eyes anyway) closing costs and interest rates had just gone up. Basically, if we were to purchase this house for our original budget price, we'd be house poor.


I was not a happy girl (for various reasons which I need not get into :) ) and when all was said and done, our $20,000 under approved budget had dropped down to $45,000 less than what we were approved for. Thankfully, my husband is wiser than me (ok, I said it, let's not rub it in) when it comes to finances and chose to exam things further to keep us out of an ugly situation, but I can see how easy it can happen. There's so many other factors besides income and debt. When people lose sight of that and just see what they want, they find themselves in a pretty precarious situation.

So. we press on and keep searching. Though we just may have something in the works, partly due to a little help from Uncle Sam (funny how Republicans don't mind a little help from the government when it's in their best interest...ahem, ahem Matthew...) I'm not ready to get too excited yet though. I've already learned that lesson.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

I haven't posted any pics of Em in a while so here they are!
She loved swinging at the park today with her new friends!

Ok- so I just think Daddy looks hot here.

Why do men feel the need to do this with their babies?

"Seriously Dad? You're posing me with all these pumpkins? So lame."

Emme and Mommy- I love pumpkin patches in sleeveless dresses. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Beautiful Burden continued...

I wasn't planning on writing more on this, but this video was just brought to my attention...

This is why I just can't justify abortion as a woman's choice.  Be warned, the video is quite disturbing, in the same way visiting the Holocaust museum is.  As I watched it that word, holocaust, kept going through my mind.

I was obviously intentional in my word choice for my previous post title.  Pregnancy is not always a wonderful surprise.  For some it is a burden, but the creation of life is never less than beautiful.  

I hate that this is a political, polarizing issue.  I wish it wasn't an issue that is mostly decided by party lines.  I think it's just an issue of being human.  Unfortunately, I know it's not that simple because I have plenty of intelligent, caring friends that disagree.  It still doesn't make sense to me though, especially in my generation.  My generation is passionate about fighting injustice, working to right wrongs, giving the unheard a voice.  We think outside the box; abortion just seems like such an in-the-box answer.     

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Beautiful Burden of Womanhood

I feel like the abortion conversation has surfaced again, so I've just been thinking...

I think mothers are the strongest creatures on earth (Of course, I say this six months after becoming one myself). While making a baby takes two people, the responsibility of protecting and nourishing that baby falls on the woman. We do a job that no man, literally, could ever do. While women have so many options that those that came before us did not have, nothing comes easy for a woman. It is still a man’s world and breaking through the glass ceiling is still an unlikely task. The fact that our bodies are able to reproduce is one of the obstacles of making it in a man’s world.

This is the beautiful burden of womanhood.

Some face this fact by choice, others by surprise, while others by force. There is a certain power and freedom that men have from never having to face this. As women we have worked so hard for equality and rightly so; equal wages, opportunity, etc. However, the greatest thing that separates us from men is our ability to reproduce. This is also the most beautiful, amazing thing about being a woman.

We give life.

I have trouble understanding the pro-choice perspective because it just seems so ugly. The artistic beauty of a child being knit together inside a woman’s body is so incredible and destroying this seems like the ultimate lack of creativity. I can understand choosing not to raise a child, but I don’t understand choosing not to protect and provide a place for it to grow for nine months. I heard Emma’s heart beat for the first time at SIX weeks. At six months old, she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Yes, we have rights. We've worked very, very hard for our rights. But, as women, isn't it the ultimate show of strength to set these rights aside? Doesn't humanity always shine the brightest when we choose to sacrifice? I think most people would agree that it’s best to choose love over hate, optimism over cynicism, giving over taking, creativity over status quo. At times we are asked to set our rights aside for the sake of another, to sacrifice our bodies (and I have the stretch marks to prove it!) which a man would never have to do, but it is the ultimate display of strength and dignity. As women, why would we ever choose less?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Adventure Begins

Yesterday morning Matt and I said goodbye to Ohio and made our way down to Florida. We finally arrived late this evening. I keep asking Matt if we really just moved to Florida and he keeps assuring me that it's just an extended vacation. I think I believe him because it sure doesn't feel like home yet. Of course, I suppose it probably wouldn't after only 2 hours.

(Our last pics at our ghetto first home. We'll really miss the domestic disputes, blaring bass, and the endless car alarms going off.)

We traveled through the Smoky Mts., which lived up to their name. The drive almost reminded me of the PCH or driving through the redwood groves, minus the huge trees or breathtaking ocean views of course.

While we were driving I was trying to think of ways for us to become professional travelers. While I'm really excited to buy a house, if I had the choice, I'd take a big van to live in and just travel around. Matt doesn't think that would work with his current employment. So, I brainstomed as he read his magazine and gave me an occasional "uh-huh" to humor me. Here's my top 5.

5) We become a reality t.v. show where we travel around the country in our car, with Emma of course. We'd call it "Road-Rearing." You know, raising our child on the road. Very Jack Kerouac.

4) I write for some mommy magazine that gives me money to try out different places and rate whether they are child-friendly or not.

3) Matt becomes an auditor of national parks. Emma and I explore while he's checking out the books.

2) Green Photo. It's a pretty in-depth business plan that includes the best nature photographers from around the world and the marketing geniuses of Matthew and Kelly Green.

1) Truck driver- it may not be a sexy job, but I'm pretty sure I could be a sexy truck driver.

We stopped in Athens to stay with Jay and Rachel. Emma was really excited to hang out with her buddy Sam too.

The rest of the trip was just a very long blur. When the end seemed finally in site, an accident closed 75. I tried to make friends with all my potential neighbors, as we all hung out on the highway.

We planned to catch up with my dad on the highway, but unfortunately didn't catch up with him until the driveway.
The next picture should be of our new home, but wait, we don't have one yet. Shoot. I told Matt if we don't find one soon, I'll have to follow through with my professional traveler plan, and he'll have to start calling me Large Marge.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Turning Another Page

This week has been filled with nightly meals with friends saying our goodbyes. It just started to hit me for the first time in the last few days that we're actually leaving, won't be back, and that I might actually be sad about this. Sometime during the days (years) that I spent telling myself how much I hate living OH, it's grown on me. I have 9 years worth of memories from this place. I had great times in college, and then living with a bunch of great girls, and finally starting my life with Matt and giving birth to our first child.

I know the whole area so well. We were driving the backroads into Cedarville this weekend, and I realized just how familiar it was. I'll miss the 40 minute drive through those country roads to go watch Tim play soccer or sit through a freaking endless day of grad class. I love (and hate) that everytime I go out shopping or to a restaurant I see an old student. I'll miss walking around Cox with Matt and going out for ice cream all the time (ok, we'll still do that in Florida). I'll miss our friends here and the fact that most of our best friends are within a day car ride if ever we need to see them.

I'm just growing sentimental in our last days here. It's strange to close this chapter of our lives because I don't really have any idea what this next one will be like. Regardless, tomorrow we pick up the moving truck and pack up the last 3 years of our lives together and drive them 17 hours down the the opposite direction of NY...unless I hijack the truck...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fast Times at Cross Village Dr.

This week has been insane tying up all the loose ends and getting everything ready to go. My parents came into town last weekend to help us pack up. I had left some stuff unpacked (especially in the kitchen) on the off-beat chance that I might need them in the next week. I needed my mom there to tell me that really, I could pack up all my spices that I haven't used in 3 years. In fact, I could just pack up everything and go out to eat instead of doing dishes and cooking. I like the way she thinks.

Since all our cooking utensils were packed up we had to go to the Garlic Festival at Cox.

We also finally made it to the Air Force Museum, which I've never been to in all my years in Dayton. I figured it was time. Emma was thrilled.

We also had Emma give rice cereal another try. She still isn't really a fan.

Matt's last day of work was Tuesday, so it's been really nice having him home these last few days. I've really appreciated how much he's helped out with Emma. She hasn't been the best sleeper this week, and he's gotten up with her in the wee hours of the morning to give me a break. It's fun to watch them together. Emma loves her daddy; she lights up whenever he comes into the room and will just stare at him with this smile on her face until he picks her up. He can always make her laugh too. It's pretty sweet.

It was Homecoming weekend at Cedarville this weekend too, which always means a lot of friends and family in town. This year was my 5 year reunion. What the heck?? When did I get so old? Have I really been out of college for that long?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Running Silly

Just last week I rediscovered the joy of running with an ipod.  I don't know why I've been running without it.  Listening to good music far outweighs the sound of my heavy breathing (that's what she said).  Anyways, we all have those certain running songs that get us motivated to keep pressing on.  One of mine has always been "Vindicated" by Dashboard.  I don't know what it is- I just love running to it.  So, yesterday Emma and I were on a jog and "Vindicated" came on the ipod.  

I am selfish
I am wrong
I am right
I swear I'm right
Swear I knew it all aloooong
And I am FLAAAWED, but I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself..."

I looked down at Emma who was looking up at me smiling (mocking me, I'm sure).  Turns out I wasn't just singing in my head...  

This brings me back to my wonderful days of teaching acting.  In every class I seemed to have at least one kid for whom I had to show off my own acting talents by keeping a straight face every time he/she performed.  Oh my goodness- the stories- but I digress.  One day I was up in the front of the room and I heard this weird hum.  I stopped teaching and looked around (along with the rest of the class) and my eyes stopped on C.  Not only is this strange sound coming from him but he is also bopping his head like a chicken eating its feed.  How I loved this psycho.  He did not notice any of the rest of us staring at him.  So, I waited...and listened.  Finally, (and I'm not talking 30 seconds, it took a while) he realized he'd been caught, and we all got a good chuckle.

Back to running...

Of course I'm embarrassed and looked around to make sure no one else was privy to my little show. The coast was clear.  

Emma, however, is thoroughly entertained and even joining in herself.  She'd make a great screamer for any band.  So, I decided if it was going to make Emma happy, the show must go on...yup, I was that girl.  Running through the streets, singing loudly (and off key, I'm sure).  The things I'll do to make Emma smile.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've discovered one thing that all true blogger mommies have in common- they all carry a camera at all times (I mean ALL times- sheesh). I'm up for the challenge. I can do that. Ready, aim, click.

Ok- one problem.

Emma and I rarely leave the house. Seriously. We only have one car right now, and Matt has a job outside of the house, sooo...yeah. We hang out here most days. Thankfully, this has actually worked to our advantage because it has forced me to buckle down and pack. However, it also mean that I don't have super cute pics of Emma out on the town. I could post pictures of all our travels this summer, but I think that would be poor blog etiquette. One must live in the present in the blogosphere. So, here's a few pictures of Emma just hangin' at home...

She's wondering why I brought a camera in to get her up from her nap.

I'll choose to ignore the eye booger in the corner of her eye if you can.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Since we're moving in a couple weeks, it seems like an appropriate time to start a blog.  Two weeks from now we pack up all our things (all of which I haven't sold on craigslist at least) and head down to Florida.  

It's a bittersweet move.  

It will be nice being near Matt's family and being in the sunshine, but it's not home.  Maybe one day it will be, but right now it's Matt's home and I am known as Matt's wife.  Lakeland is someplace I visit, not someplace I know.  Ohio has always been neutral ground, which is precisely why we've been here for the last three years (I kept telling Matt that California's the best neutral ground, but I was never able to convince him, dangit).  But, even with great friends, jobs, and church, I never saw it as home.  

Syracuse wasn't the perfect place to grow up.  It's freezing cold in the winter and finding something exciting to do on a Friday night is as difficult as here in Dayton.  However, my family and friends make up for the many shortcomings of the area.  Home is a place where I am completely loved, accepted, and enjoyed.  It's not that I fear that I won't be these things in Florida, but it's the COMPLETELY part that I think can only be found at home.  There is nothing to prove or anyone to impress, and no feeling stupid for saying something dumb (and I say a LOT of dumb things!).  I am completely me at home.  Silly, serious, quiet, loud, caring, careless, consistent, roller-coaster, strong, vulnerable, cheerful, moody me. No matter which me I am on any given day, I never have to question if I'm loved.  It's a pretty great thing; I know that is not what home is for everyone.  I only hope that when my daughter looks back at where she was raised, she'll see home in the same way I do.