Thursday, January 23, 2014

I said yes.

And I thought the big news for January is that we got a puppy.  We did, we got a puppy! Two weekends ago.  But hold on.

The very next weekend, this happened:

Tim asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

Our engagement story goes like this:  We were at home after a very normal Saturday that included a lazy morning, Reed's basketball game, Tim and Skyler going to the park with the pup while Reed and I went grocery shopping, pork chops and broccoli for dinner, and then a movie for the kids.  Tim and I were on the couch.  We were whispering to each other while the kids ate ice cream and watched their movie, oblivious to us.  Tim started saying sweet, sweet things to me, just like he does every other single day.

Sweet things turned to more sweet things, and at some moment it occurred to me that he was saying new things, about getting married, and getting married this year, and it is all a blur now, but somewhere in there he said "I can't live without you" and I stared at him, and then he got up and walked across the room and came back to the couch with a small wooden box.  I think I said:  "are you serious?  are you serious?  are you serious?" while I opened the box, and I don't even know.  I saw the ring, put it on, pressed my forehead to Tim's, said "are you serious?" a few more times, and I think I nodded yes.  Tim said:  "Will you marry me?  Is this a yes?"  And I said yes.  Yes.

A little while later, we called the kids over and told them.  They piled on top of us and there was a lot of screaming and a group hug.  Skyler wanted to know if she could be the flower girl, and we said yes.  Reed said "I DO NOT WANT TO BE THE RING MASTER" and we said the term is ring bearer, but okay, buddy.  He said he just wanted to watch at the wedding.  There was more hugging, and the kids went back to their movie.  I think that I then proceeded to go back and forth between staring at Tim and looking at my hand for the next hour asking if this is real life.  He said yes, this is real.

The fact that he wanted the little kids to be there with us when we got engaged, so they would feel a part of it, says more about Tim and the way he loves us than I could write.  So, there you go.

We held onto our news for the night, which felt like I had the sweetest secret in the world,  and in the morning headed over to each of our mom's houses to tell them the news.  Tim's mom squealed and hugged us and then felt faint from happiness and needed to sit down.  My mom threw her hands up in the air and hugged and fist pumped with happiness.  Hillary, Ellis, my sister, our brothers, our nephews, all thrilled.

That evening, we made our news public and then sat back while literally hundreds of people texted or commented or called.  We are awash in the love of the people who know how good and right this is.

The general tone of the text messages that came in was this:  OMG!!!!!!!  WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!   XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!!

It was like that, all night long.

And because I'm trying to make this the most adorable blog post ever recorded, now let me tell you about our new puppy.  We adopted a dog two weeks ago from Beau Buddy Rescue, a wonderful little operation that rescues dogs from kill shelters and brings them to Maine.  I fell in love with this little guy on Petfinder.  He was described as mellow, polite, and affectionate.  Tim and I drove to the coast where he was in foster care to bring him home. 

Meet Ryder Throckmorton.  He's 9 months old and a black lab mix.  He's perfect.

When the kids came back to us that afternoon, we had something waiting for them outside. 

If you have known me since way back when, and you are thinking this dog looks like Charlie:  I KNOW!  :)

I wasn't sure my heart had any more room to swell, but it did.  This little dude is a part of the fam.
 Skyler is especially smitten.

Meanwhile, we are carrying on with pretty winter things.

And ski lessons!  Otherwise known as screaming at Reed to SLOW DOWN!

Even skiing at night when it's super cold, still joyful with these two.

Other happenings of our wonderful January include Skyler making a solar system for her 3rd grade science project:

Tim and Reed going to the MONSTER TRUCK SHOW:
And, as a contrast, both kids (the next morning) appearing in the Epiphany Pageant.  Skyler is the angel, and Reed the seated Shepherd. 

Two weeks ago I would have told you that life was as good as it could get.  And then this sweet, loving and trusting puppy came to live with us, and fills the house in the way only a puppy can.    

And even though I knew that Tim and I were headed in this direction, having this promise, this new commitment to the life we have built, has caused my whole universe to shift just slightly, in a beautiful and subtle and indescribable way.  Like when you are sitting in a room feeling totally comfortable and then the sun suddenly shifts and comes through the window and shines on you, warms you, and lightens up the room in a way you didn't know you needed. 

This man, I can't even tell you.  I keep asking him if this is real, and he keeps saying yes, real. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spreading the word: cool things my friends do

Happy January!  We are surviving a serious cold snap and wild weather mood swings up here.  We had a week of below-zero temps, two days of rain and 50 degrees, and then now more sub-zero temps. It is all everyone is talking about.  It cracks me up, still, that even though we live all the way up here in the north, Mainers still find the cold and wintry conditions worthy of non-stop conversation.  Myself included, if a storm is brewing or the temps are dipping extra low, we are discussing it.   We had a snow day on Monday, which would have been the kids' first day back after a two-week vacation.  I was relieved to get everyone back onto a schedule starting yesterday.  If it's so cold, we might as well be productive around here.

Wow.  I just wrote a paragraph about the weather.  Moving on.

I have been stockpiling some projects that I wanted to share with you, good and interesting work that is being done by friends of mine, all of which I think you should know about.  I have 4 cool things to share.


My great friend Kelly Dahl (of my Sparrow Magazine partnership) is offering another e-course this month called Fulfill Your Year, designed to help you focus and kick-start the start of your 2014.

This is a group class offered on-line via emails and videos that Kelly will send you, as well as a facebook group where you can chat with others who have signed up.  The course began this week but she is still accepting members.  It runs for the month of January.
Kelly works as a life coach, and she's good.  In this course, she will guide you through exercises to help you reflect on ways in which you'd like to change or shift yourself (your life, your career, your perspective, your attitude, your exercise plan).  She will make the course work for whatever your focus may be, so check it out if you are in need of some gentle guidance.

I am contributing to the course this year.  Kelly will be sharing an interview with me about exercise in my life and how over the years, my motivation has shifted from extrinsic to intrinsic.

 This page will answer any questions you have about the course. 


2.  This is long overdue, no pun intended.  My friend Kristina wrote a book last year, and if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or know someone who is, you should have this book. 

Fit & Healthy Pregnancy, by Kristina Pinto and Dr. Rachel Kramer

This is not your mama's pregnancy book.  Kristina writes from the perspective of an informed mom, runner, and running coach who encourages pregnant moms to move and stay strong during pregnancy, and debunks a lot of old wives' tales that discourage pregnant women from doing anything strenuous at all.

Kristina's book is honest, informative, direct, and funny.  It includes inspiration for staying in shape along with how-to guides and specific stage-by-stage information on your pregnancy.

I wish I had this book when I was pregnant, because the only exercise I did was lifting bagels to my mouth.  I think reading this would have made me feel more in-control during my labors (wow did that hurt) AND it wouldn't have been such an uphill battle to lose my bagel baby weight.

Buy it today!


3.  If you have children in the picture-book stage, my friend Marie Harris, a remarkably talented and interesting artist and writer, has three lovely ones for you to check out.  She lives in New Hampshire, and if you do too, or if you have a New Hampshire connection, you might want to check out :

G is for Granite:  A New Hampshire Alphabet Book


Primary Numbers:  A New Hampshire Number Book

Her most recent children's book is called The Girl Who Heard Colors, about a girl with synesthesia—a condition in which one sense triggers another, and my kids loved it.  They thought the idea that for some people, sounds and tastes have colors, is just really cool. 



Last but certainly not least, my friend Emily Nathan, with whom I shared a house in Ann Arbor during college, is a wildly successful and talented photographer.  I mean, really.  Take a look at her work.

Emily's work has appeared in Gourmet Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart. Yep, she's amazing.

Emily now calls northern California home where she balances her time as a mom, artist, photographer and surfer.

She has a new project that you need to check out. It is a gorgeous and hip travel magazine called Tiny Atlas Quarterly.

I could go on and on about how beautiful the pictures are, but would you just go look at it already?  I especially loved her work about Montana. 

MOST EXCITING is that Emily is planning on doing a Maine shoot this summer and has asked me for ideas on an angle.  I was thinking of something about Maine as one giant playground for both kids and adults, but we would love your ideas, too.  I am hoping to tag along on some of her photo shoots and watch the magic.  


That's all for now.  I hope you find something that excites or inspires.  I am lucky to know such talented people.