Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sisterhood: Part II

Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer Louise Gl├╝ck

I met my best friend Maggie when we were both freshmen at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, trying out for the high school soccer team. She wore Adidas. I wore knock-offs. I also wore rec-specs. Only for one day. But still. She will never let me for get that. I also had a big mouth and a horrid temper. She will never let me forget that either. She still teases me to this day about my 14-year-old-quirks and antics. But all this time, she's loved me in spite them and any new ones I've developed!

Since we met, we've been teammates, classmates, running-mates, running partners, partners in crime. We've been housemates, punching bags, and walking buddies. We've been the best person in each other's wedding and even when we didn't have much in common or even get along very well, we've always been best friends. Mostly because even though Maggie sees my flaws and judges them, she does it in the most loving way and exactly how I need her to so I can be a better person. I can only hope that I'm a mirror for her the way she is for me.

In high school and the years that have followed, Maggie has always been an artist. Not just in her career as a graphic designer or the art she creates, but in life. In the way she carries herself. The way she talks. The way she treats and loves people. She is one of the most passionate, compassionate, loyal, and honest people I know. Everything she does, she does it with thought and grace. The way she reacted when I told her that I was pregnant and due on her wedding weekend is just one example - she suggested she'd change her wedding date. Of course, that ended up not being necessary! Mission accomplished, remember?

If you know me and you know Maggie, you know which of us is which. Without question, without a shadow of a doubt, without hesitation... you know...

Maggie is the dancer. And I am the watcher. But, when I'm not doing my part as the watcher and I'm off doing something ridiculous, she is the watcher. She's as good at watching as she is at dancing.

And that is why she is a sister I never had.

Anything you want...
Anything you need...
Anything at all...
Baby, you've got it!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thank you, and you, and you...

Thanksgiving, like many special days and events in my life, is bittersweet. The sweet is obvious. The bitter, though, that's more complicated. Thanksgiving was always the holiday that our family celebrated at our house, with my mom spearheading the event. Thanksgiving was also usually a dual celebration, as my mom's birthday always fell during the same week.

My mom would have been 57 today.

But she's not. And as I remember her today and wish that she were still here to celebrate holidays and every day with us, it can feel ridiculous to give thanks. Impossible to appreciate anything when there is so much to be sad about.

But, it is possible. It was possible for my mom. And, that's how she tried to raise me. That's how she did raise me - to give thanks always. Even in the days following her death, when my sadness was the deepest, I spouted thanks. Thanks to those who rushed to be by my side. Thanks to those who sent flowers and cards. Thanks to the emergency responders. Thanks to the courts. Thanks to those who still, five years later, asked about how I'm doing without my mom. And in giving thanks, I found, and still find, hope.

This year, I have more to be thankful for than ever. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby girl who is the light of my life, a funny puppy who loves me no matter what, a generous and kind extended family, a job that challenges and rewards me, friends new and old, a roof over my head, good health... the list goes on and on.

This holiday season, in honor of my mom, it is my goal to give thanks daily. Thanks to those people in my life who deserve it and to God who makes all things possible. So, thank you for reading.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


That's about how many minutes old Audrey is today. (For those of you who can't do math without a calculator, that's 6 months.)

She's pretty excited about how big she's getting...

           Two months ago... 

A few days ago...

And oh, so much fun!

  • Weighs 15lbs (43rd percentile) and is 27.75 inches long (off the chart).
  • Outgrown all of her 3 months clothes and is stretching the 6 month stuff too. Today, she wore a 12 month onesie and "toddler" sized socks to daycare.
  • Rolling over front to back and back to front and sleeping on her tummy some nights.
  • Can sit up on her own for a few minutes if she wants to (though she seems to prefer falling onto her side and laughing about it).
  • Eating (and loving) rice cereal, applesauce, smashed bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. Next on the menu is avocado, peas and peaches. All (except the rice cereal) homemade, thank-you-very-much.
  • We're still into breastfeeding, which I'm super duper proud of, and the freezer is bursting at the seems with frozen milk. I promised myself (and Audrey) that I'd give it six months. Now that six months is here, I'm not really ready to stop just yet. So, we'll keep at it a little longer.
  • Tonight, we're going to turn up the sound machine, turn down the monitor, don the earplugs and try to let her cry-it-out so we can end the 3am feeding. I think I'm going to miss that time with her. But I'm going to appreciate the extra sleep. I think that she ultimately will too.
Oh, one other important number? 125. That's me, in lbs, this morning, back at my pre-pregnancy weight.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sisterhood: Part I

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much
not ourselves - a special kind of double. 
Toni Morrison 

{In no particular order, I will be writing posts in honor of my best friends, the sisters I never had.}

Well, we did it! Lauren and I completed the Monumental Half Marathon in Indianapolis in 2 hours and 21 minutes last Saturday. Not my best time, but not my worst. It was, however, Lauren's best time. It was actually her first time completing 13.1. Every few minutes after we passed the 10 mile marker, she reminded me "now THIS is as far as I've ever run." It was cool to share "a first" and each step of the race with her.

Still smiling after our joint marathon!
We've shared a lot of firsts and a lot of steps over the years. We've been friends since high school. We were teammates on the JV and varsity soccer teams. We hung out together on the weekends. We were classmates in things like chemistry (which I would have failed without her) and AP bio (which I think I aced on my own). We sat in the front row of Mr. Dauner's history class and without even trying, wrapped him around our little fingers. We had each other's backs and vowed to never let a boy interfere with that. We were student council co-presidents our senior year. We told one another when we were wrong. (Well, she told me when I was wrong. She's rarely, if ever, wrong.) We were roommates for two years while I was in law school and she in med school at UC. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and most recently, agreed to run a half marathon with me and become Audrey's godmother. We have plans, big plans, for the firsts we will share and the steps we will take together in the future.

Lauren is many things I'm not. I'm many things that she's not. The things I'm not, she is. The things she's not, I am. That's why our friendship works. That's why she is a sister I never had.