Sunday, November 29, 2009


Michael and I are all over the place right now.

Here are the transitions that we're in the midst of:
  • Moving from the home where we've started off our loving marriage, into the home where we will begin to raise our family;

  • Supporting Michael's parents as they courageously leave McLean for Austin, Texas, and yet grieving a bit as we lose our home base in Northern Virginia;

  • Relinquishing our independent, 20-something selves to become 30-something parents to our beautiful baby girl;

  • Saying goodbye to my grandmother; and

  • Saying goodbye (temporarily) to the petite - and generally speaking comfortable - body I've maintained in order to become very happy parents.
There's obviously much more joy in here than sorrow. But we are in the difficult phase - thinking about many of these transitions before they actually occur. Stressing about movers and paint colors and sleep deprivation before enjoying new routines and loving smiles and three bedrooms. Michael and I are eager to see the comfort we've established in January, and even more thrilled for our little girl to join our lives.

There's lots floating around in my mind about all of these things, but I seem too overwhelmed to really put those down on paper (or computer screen). We'd appreciate prayers for peace and patience!

Monday, November 16, 2009


My grandmother passed away tonight. She was 91 years old and had lived a full, rich life. Together with my grandfather, my grandmother raised 5 children and 10 grandchildren. She traveled the world when it wasn't exactly fashionable for people - let alone women - to do so. She was born in India and inspired her grandkids with stories of road trips from London to India, cruises on sail boats from California to Peru, and car rides through Afghanistan.

That said, I think the element of my grandmother's life that left me most in awe was the profound love she shared with my grandfather. Anyone lucky enough to be in a room with the two of them quickly discovered that they were with kindred spirits. True, their relationship began in a different era, when divorce and separation were unheard of. But my grandparents' love for one another went beyond the comforts of sharing stories and raising children. They genuinely enjoyed one another's company. They kept each other laughing, served one another, honored one another, amused one another, even after death. My grandfather passed away in 2002, but I don't think I heard my grandmother say more than three sentences without bringing him up. Being with my grandmother meant spending time with my grandfather, and vice versa. The two of them were uniquely paired, clearly divinely created for one another.

When my grandmother died tonight, I was cooking dinner for my husband. I was imagining how happy my grandfather would be to have my grandmother with him again. I was thinking about their treasured memories that none of us will ever know - the times they shared, like Michael and I share now, that aren't recorded by children or friends or neighbors. Times that passed between the two of them that nobody else could alter.

I cherish those moments that I share with my husband now, and feel like my marriage is the greatest way of honoring my grandparents' memories. I think if they could see the ways my husband and I are with one another now, when it is just the two of us, before we become ever-expanding units with children, then grandchildren, then greats, they would be pleased. They would recognize these times are tributes to them, and be proud of the legacy they have left behind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Upside Down

What a week!

First, we found out that our little boy is actually a little GIRL! For weeks, we've been imaging our new family with a baby boy at its center, as our family unit dominated by males. We've been rubbing my belly, asking him what names he likes, talking about raising a little man. And now we're back to square one! We're rethinking this future, now with a baby girl at its heart. It's amazing and exciting and daunting all the same. For some reason, a boy seems... easier to me. A girl is scary! Wish us luck! Here's a picture of her beautiful profile:

Second, Michael and I found a new home! Our new apartment is a gorgeous, large 3-bedroom just north of Columbia. It's about three times the size of our current place and will be a lovely place to build our family. We even have room to host family and friends!

Michael's & My Bedroom

The Study/Guest Bedroom

Our Little GIRL's Room

Our Living Room

The Kitchen

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

Today is Veterans Day. It's the second year I've marked the occasion since beginning my blog (last year's post is here), and I must admit that my feelings on the matter haven't changed much.

It comes as no surprise that I wholeheartedly adore President Obama. I think he is the best there is, and that I am not likely to know any better during my lifetime. That said, I still long for calls to sacrifice on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of families effected by the two wars we're currently fighting. I find myself fairly insulated from the realities of war. My husband and I live together. I don't worry for his safety on a daily basis. We don't have to raise children using Skype. I don't worry about post traumatic stress or the psychological impacts of combat.

I'm grateful to live free of these burdens. But is it fair that I can continue to do so, sheltered from these realities? I don't know how to solve this problem, but I do know that I am so beyond grateful to those men and women who agree to leave friends and family behind to go serve our country, regardless of their feelings about the wars that separate them.

What will I tell my son about war, and service to our country?

Donations on behalf of families who lost loved ones in service can be made here:
Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


At 8 PM last night, Michael and I returned to reality. We spent the most glorious three days in Miami, living in some dream world. It was utterly delicious.

The trip was meant to be our last vacation requiring plane travel before the baby arrives. So we did it up! We stayed at the Trump International Beach Resort, and never left its warm embrace. We dined in our rooms, down by the pool, at the resort restaurants. We played in the pool for hours, read for pleasure, and even splurged for massages.

This was the first vacation Michael and I have had without beloved family or friends since Asia, and it felt wonderful to be alone (with our little boy, of course). This was a particularly sinful type of getaway - one where you didn't let yourself feel guilty about laying around and doing nothing, about not visiting downtown Miami or about spending too much money. We just spent time together, and enjoyed the peace and quiet. We even managed to keep our cell phones locked away for much of the trip - truly a special occasion.

Throughout we discussed our little developing family - our excitement for this little boy to join us, for the children that will follow. We talked about the challenges of being parents, and the names we might give our kids. The resort was bizarrely international. We were two of only a handful of Americans there - most were European families. It was reassuring to see them playing in the pool together, traveling with extended networks of families and friends, to see parents having fun playing with their children and seeing kids just LOVING the pool.

Boarding the plane last night, we both remarked on how this might be the last of the easy passes through security. Next time, we'll be the ones with babies and strollers and diaper bags and all the goodness that goes along with it. Pretty exciting!!

My Delicious Virgin Pina Colada

Michael's Delicious and Very Non-Virgin Pina Colada

Monday, November 2, 2009

In the Meantime

Tomorrow, a more detailed post about our amazing getaway. But for now...