1) Blog Love: Bec over at Girls Gone Child wrote a beautiful piece about marriage and the necessity of fighting for each other. Before this year I would’ve never understood what she wrote the way I do now. It is breathtakingly beautiful and true. Ck it out here.
2) Dance: Now that So You Think You Can Dance is done for the year I’m suddenly remembering all the routines I loved. Here’s a lyrical hip-hop with Comfort and Adechike. I love how you can feel how angry she is with herself for loving him, it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. In this case uncomfortable=good.
3) Design: See everybody? It’s nice to paint wood white? All the better for snuggling up on your French sofa whilst shipping chocolate of the dense, thick variety.
Virginia McDonald via SF by the Bay
4) Stuff: Samurai Umbrellas. I know two younger brothers who will probably be receiving these for Christmas this year. V. cool.
Z Gallerie via Happy Mundane
5) Blog Love Pt. 2: I just started getting into PostSecret. People mail in secrets on postcards to a website and then they get posted. It’s voyeuristic, funny and cathartic all at once. Love it.
1) Dance: DWTS fans. Nicole Scherzinger RIPPED it up tangoing with Derek Hough on this week’s show. I cannot even find the words to describe how difficult it is to do what she did in this dancing. I love how he lifts her with one foot, slooooowly at the end. Absolutely beautiful.
2) Manjoyment: It’s the weekend ladies. Thanks Vogue and GQ for giving us the following Gleeks:
You know those Spanish teachers are sexy under their sweater vests....
3) Blog Love: I’m late to this party but I just learned about the Pioneer Woman’s blog. It is funny stories, recipes and photo advice all in one. This really doesn’t describe the awesomeness that is the blog but it’ll have to suffice. Check it out here.
4) Food: I had a rough time this week and several of my friends helped me out in lots of different ways. One of them brought cookies. Peanut-butter chocolate cookies! Clearly she reads the blog. They were deliciousness and they are all gone two days later. Oops.
via CPB Gallery
5) Inspiration Board: This was one of my favorite Domino mag spreads. Le sigh. I still miss Domino the way one misses an old boyfriend. You know it’s over but it’s hard to get it out of your system.
This is Rashida Jones NY studio. When i am a retiree I shall have a white french style sofa in my NY studio. I have decreed it, it must be so!
And bonus: I loved Michelle’s post about marriage yesterday. She nailed it. Check out here.
On May 13th, 2002 Arnold and I got up bright and early in the morning and took the light rail to Portland’s downtown courthouse. We were the epitome of poor but happy as sat with morning commuters that bright Wednesday. That morning we promised to stay together until death do us part. I was 22 years old and didn’t have the good sense to be scared.
This is both my greatest strength and my fatal flaw: my total inability to not follow my heart.
Eight years later we’ve had some incredible ups and downs many of which I’ve shared on this blog. However this past year has been the most up/down of them all. It’s brought us the incredible frustration of filing the adoption paperwork and the unforgettable joy of celebrating the day we received Elian’s first picture. The unimaginable love and amazement we felt the day we met our baby boy and the heartbreak of watching him suffer through the separation from his foster family. These first months home as a family have been both better than our wildest dreams and more difficult than I could’ve ever imagined. Eight years ago sitting on that swaying train I never in a million years would’ve imagined where life would take us but I’m glad that I at least had the common sense to choose my husband well. Without Arnold I would surely not have made it through this last year. He has carried far more than his fair share of our trials and stitched up the pieces when I’ve frayed at the seams. He has forgiven a multiple of sins and encouraged me when I’ve been bereft of hope. He has proved his mettle time and again to love me in good times and bad and I’m so blessed to be his wife.
Becoming a parent is stressful. I know that’s a duh, but it’s a transition that has broken up many a marriage and I think in the back of my mind I worried about how the stress would affect us. I know how lucky we are to have each other and at night I’d ask myself the question I was afraid to ask aloud in the daylight? Would growing our family break us apart?
Okay who I am kidding? Before we adopted Elian I used to grab Arnold and random intervals and demand “What are we doing? Is this a good idea? Are we going to hate each other after we do this?” There was pretty much nothing hidden about my fears. I had a similar type of panic attack right before we bought our house.
Despite my natural tenancy towards anxiety one thing I’ve never worried about is whether Arnold would be a good father. Anyone whose seen him fuss over Nutella can immediately see that he is “Bestfatherintheworld” material. I’ve always known he would be a wonderful father and now that I’ve seen him in action I can’t help but think not only are we the luckiest parents to have Elian but that Elian is the luckiest little boy to have Arnold.
One morning the first week Arnold single-handedly fed Elian breakfast (incidentally the third breakfast he made, since Elian rejected the first two) while keeping him away from the Christmas tree ornaments and distracting him so that he wouldn’t have a fit about not being allowed to touch the Christmas tree ornaments. It is no joke feeding a toddler without a high chair in someone else’s home. Trust.
The first day we broke out the stroller I asked Arnold if he needed help and he waved me off indignantly “I used to wheel my Tia all over Bogota” I’m a professional. And you know what? He totally is.
At night Arnold puts Elian to bed cooing in his ear and tucking him in snug as a bug as a rug. In the middle of the night he wakes me up saying “I think his blanket is on his head, do you think he is okay?” He plays with Elian spoiling him with kisses and has infinite patience with the hard parts of each day. When I spent 20 minutes flossing my teeth the first week because I couldn’t handle one more minute of tantrums Arnold sat on the floor with Elian as he kicked and screamed. He picked him up and held him tight as he cried hysterically for his beloved foster mother while I sat in the bathroom with my head in my hands and the cleanest teeth of my life.
Arnold is now and always has been a wonderful husband but he is an incredible father. We’ve been married for almost eight years and together for almost 10. After so much time together I didn’t think it was possible to love him more but now I know that I was wrong. Like most people I hate not being right but every time I see Elian in Arnold’s arms, I think that being wrong never felt better.
Today is our 7th wedding anniversary and today we got a special present in the mail. Our finalized notarized homestudy! That means that we are officially entering Phase 2 of Adoption Paperwork which is getting approval from Immigration. That’s right, once again important family decisions are being made by the US Immigration office. This is the story of our life! I’d be dreading this except that I haven’t had too many problems with them. Knock on wood.
The next steps are to get FBI fingerprints/clearance and to get approval from the CIS (Immigration) office. Then we will be able to send our paperwork to Colombia and get on the wait list. Craaaaaazy! Once we get on the wait list, the wait could be as short as two months or as long as a year, it just depends on so many factors. Once we get our referral we’ll travel within a month to pick up our child. Exciting! Scary! I oscillate between wanting to push all the paperwork forward so we can meet our child and wanting it all to slow down because I am terrified I will turn out to be a bad parent. I like to imagine that all parents have stages like this? Or maybe just us?