The Big Move

goodbye-apartmen

I moved! I’m completely moved. It’s amazing. I can’t believe I did it.

I cleaned out my old apartment the other day and stood in the now bare living room and said goodbye to my beloved turquoise wall. So much happened in that room. So much good. I wish the apartment complex would leave it turquoise and it could bring all kinds of good luck and love to whoever new moves in but I know they won’t do that. They have a formula and it’s called white, probably white number 327 with beige number 402 or something like that. They do everything rigidly by the books there and I can’t really fault them since it was the clean white walls that made me fall in love with my apartment in the first place.

Remember how I used to struggle with taking pictures in my old mobile home that belonged to my Grandpa? I was always cloning out the smudges and glue remnants leftover from some wallpaper job that had half-hazardly removed. I longed for clean white walls and then I got them. It was a beautiful chapter of my life. I’m so glad I was able to be on my own for three whole years.

It’s funny how life twists and turns. I would never have expected to be moving in with someone the way I am. But here I am. I’m excited for this new big change. So far it’s been amazing.

worse-before-it-gets-better

I’m not completely unpacked but all of my belongings are out of my old apartment and stuffed into Payam’s house, literally. It’s a real challenge to combine all the trappings of two 43-year-old’s who were both pretty used to being by themselves and attached to their things. I used to go visit Payam and look around his beautiful house and wonder how in tarnation I could ever fit there. There really wasn’t room for me and my style. I’ve come to really love decorating my own place. It’s part of who I am these days. I love creating little vignettes all over my home.  How could I fit my *beautiful* clutter into his house?

It seemed impossible. He has a very different style than mine. Not bad at all. It’s beautiful but it’s masculine and Persian and he has a lot of stuff! You know, car models and car magazines, buddha posters and expedit bookcases filled with philosophy books…I didn’t want to change him at all but how could I fit into his life without taking over? I’m a very visual person and I just couldn’t see myself putting all my things in storage and living as a guest.

I’m in this for the long haul so we combined.  I’m so glad to say we came out on the other side and we still love each other. If you’ve done a combination of households like this yourself, you know how hard it really is. Thankfully, we’re both pleasers and we try really hard to make sacrifices to make the other person happy but it was a comedy at some points. (And between you and me, I worry that he’s sacrificed too much.)

I have to be careful what I ask for with Payam because he will give away the shirt off his back for me. Well, actually that’s a bad example because I borrow his undershirts all the time for pajamas but you know what I mean. I can’t just mention that I’m craving a latte from the next town over because he will get in his car and go get it for me no matter how inconvenient it might be. He’s like that.

The cats on the other hand have had no trouble at all not getting along with each other. It’s been growl city in the hallway for days but that’s to be expected. We followed all the rules, letting them play with each under the door, introducing them gradually, I even bought that cat-calming hormone stuff you plug into the wall like a fragrance dispenser.  Aqui and Lucy (Payam’s cat) are making eye contact and ignoring each other but Fiesta has taken up residence in my closet and growls at anything resembling Lucy in the slightest, including her mother, Aqui. But Fiesta has always been the grumpy cat.

joon-the-photographerI can’t really report on how the kids are doing in this big combination because Bug has been in Hungary with her dad on vacation the whole time. I know, right?!! Lucky kid! They are visiting Toby’s girlfriend’s family and having a great time. We’ve skyped a few times but she’s more interested in talking about Minecraft and showing me the Rubiks Cube she bought in Budapest than worrying about how I unpack her room (a blessing!).

Joon however has been my constant companion. It’s been hard for her to be stuck in the house with grown-ups who are more interested in unpacking boxes and purging unneeded clutter than going outside and having bike rides. She misses Bug terribly.

Bug and Joon are a funny pair. Bug is an introvert, like her dad, and Joon is an extrovert who thrives on activity. Joon will go and go and go until she drops dead from exhaustion whereas Bug is the complete opposite and is content to sit alone in her room for hours on end. I have to force her off her computer to play. It’s really no surprise that the kids are like this since they are a lot like their parents but I know we will have many many challenges in the future. And they do love each other, you know, like siblings.

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We haven’t been all work and no play though. Joon has convinced me to go out at least once a day for some fun and I have yet to regret it. She’s going to keep me active and I need that.

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We’ve taken a few epic bike rides and come home bruised and sore. We live in such a great town that has twisting bike trails for miles and miles. You really have to be careful how far you go exploring because coming back can take forever. Especially when your biking companion has no interest in coming back.

helpersWe’ve also had a few visits from Lubna. She’s been an amazing, incredible help to me in this move and I am forever thankful to her. She never tires and she is incredibly focused. We’ve tackled packing up my house, lifting boxes up and down stairs for days in heat and humidity that reminds you of a monsoon, (Of all times to move, did I have to pick August?? It’s been so awful and humid lately. If you exert one calorie of energy you are drenched in sweat. Dusty, dirty, sweaty box-moving…you get the picture.) reorganizing and cleaning Payam’s kitchen (and that required taking EVERYTHING out and putting it ALL BACK IN –gasp–) AND cleaning and reorganizing Payam’s entire garage. She is a force.

Lubna and her family threw me a going away party (so sweet, right?!!)  but she still only lives a quick 10 minute walk away. We just don’t live in the same apartment complex anymore and it’s hard because now she has to ask permission to visit me. Her Dad doesn’t always grant his permission because well, you know how protective dads can be of their beautiful sixteen year-old daughters and that’s not even counting that she’s Muslim and needs a chaperone at all times. Before she could stop by whenever she wanted and she practically lived at our house. But thankfully her family values her being helpful so they’ve sent her over a few times and I am so thankful. I know our families will always be close.

joon-bop

And that’s pretty much it! I probably could blog a thousand more things but life calls. Busy is good. I miss you guys. I’m glad so many of you keep track of me in instagram. :) I try to put up mini blogs there.

 

 

 

Blogging for No One

no-readers

I logged into my wordpress account today and was shocked to see I only had one reader.  Stats don’t really matter anymore since I don’t have ads on this page and I never blog anymore anyway but I have to admit it took me and my ego a minute to digest. Really? Only one reader has clicked on this site today? What about all those google searches for ninja costumes and painted butterfly wings or chore charting printables? Where did those people go? Surely Pinterest sent over one or two people.

I thought about this sudden lack of traffic a little bit. It’s not a big deal but it’s on the heels of work being slow and generally feeling like a failure, even though I know I’m not one. It’s usually during my hungriest times that I invent the my best work so this is not a bad thing even though my anxiety in the middle of the night would like you to think otherwise. And then I realized, I love blogging when nobody is reading! This is when I can ramble on and say whatever I like and I don’t have to think about this Aunt thinking this or that Uncle thinking that or that one lady who called me a cat murderer or my ex… etc etc.. you know, all the people you think about when you write publicly about your personal life on the internet. They’re not reading! I can write whatever I want to! I have a few things I really want to put out there in nether space.

youmighthaveadrinkingproblem

Like maybe I have a drinking problem? Just kidding. I’m pretty sure I don’t but I have to admit the worry has crossed my mind, especially since I come from a tee-totaling up-bringing.  But I think my drinking problem is related more to unnecessary calories than getting drunk. Which brings me to my next block of instagrams.

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I have gained quite a bit of weight in the last year or so of happy-dating-life (Too many dinners out, too many tasty drinks, too many lattes, not so much working out…) so I’ve been trying to up my game by dressing fancier (earrings! make-up! new clothes!). I’ve been doing Stitch Fix for half a year now and I love it. It’s not the best if you are on a budget but it is GREAT for someone like me who hates to shop. I feel like I have my own personal stylist and she is AWESOME. She gets me better than I get me. None of my stitch fix outfits are pictured but I’m going to try and take more pictures of them in the future.

mothersday

Next random subject: Mother’s Day. If I’ve learned anything in my life of forty-some years I’ve finally learned that if I want something to happen I have to take the initiative.

It’s funny how family dynamics change as you get older. When you’re a kid you’re always getting carted off to some relatives house for big dinners and festivities and you take it for granted thinking it’s always going to be that way. And it is for a little while. You have your own family and you cart them off to your parents or your grandparents but then at some point the grandparents die and the parents are too tired to throw dinners and family gatherings. If you want your family to get together YOU have to make the plans. If you don’t nothing happens.

This is kind of a big deal. I sat in my favorite gold rocking chair and it dawned on me: I am the matriarch of my family now. I have to make the plans.

I day-dreamed up a lovely brunch with Smitten Kitchen’s boozy baked French Toast and then I made it happen. And guess what? It was awesome. I just need to step into this new job and plan like a mother.

After brunch we all went to the beach and I sat next to my mom on the sand without any wifi-connected devices and we talked for two hours. It was the best.

buggalicious

Which brings me to my kid. Oh, Bug. Where should I start? She’s a gamer. She can play minecraft for four hours straight if I don’t watch her and force her to log off. She also loves these little shopkin characters that I call “squigs.” They’re pencil toppers in the shapes of grocery store products and apparently they are all the rage. Or maybe they were all the rage. Who knows.

She wanted them for ages and begged for them but I didn’t know where to buy them and it just wasn’t top of my list of things to do. Then one day I discovered they sold them at Michael’s, a destination I seem to end up at every week (much to my chagrin) so I picked her up a couple mystery packs as payment for modeling for my alphamom projects. She was overjoyed. She devoured their packaging, reading every line of mouse type and discussing it with me while I listened half-heartedly. She couldn’t wait to take her little characters to school the next day. I think she even slept with them under her pillow.

The next day we were in a mad rush to get to school, as we often are, and somehow she accidentally dropped one between her bedroom and the car. When we got to school she was in a panic. Where was Waffle Sue!!? Her distress was palpable.

I wanted to be the tough mom and make her deal with the consequences of being late but as we stood in the crowd of parents and students during the weekly pep-rally, I just couldn’t do it. They were handing out awards that day and it was going on FOREVER. I know this is bad parenting but as they read off name after name after name, my eyes glazed over. I looked over at Bug mischievously and said, “Do you think going home to get Waffle Sue is worth a late notice?”

She nearly jumped for joy. Waffle Sue was SO worth a late notice in her eyes. She hasn’t had a late notice all year so we snuck off to the car like two delinquents. I know some people would probably shake their heads at this but hey, nobody’s reading!

We drove like the wind back home. She stayed in the car and I busted my butt up the stairs. I figured I’d retrace her steps and probably find it faster than she would. Sure enough, there was Waffle Sue, face down on the top step. I didn’t even have to unlock the door. I raced back to the car and drove as fast as I could safely back to school.

The whole trip probably took us less than 10 minutes and when we got back to school, kids were still milling around and not even in their classrooms yet. Bug probably could have snuck into class and nobody would have even known she was gone but she opted to take a late pass anyway. I thought it was kind of cool and she felt special.

After school I couldn’t wait to hear a full report on how much fun she had with her squigs. Did her friends have Waffle Sue too? Did they invent new games at recess? How did it all go over?

Poor Bug. She just looked down at the ground and said that her friends decided that Shopkins weren’t cool anymore. What?!!

Pfft! Kids, man.

But I’ll always treasure that memory anyway. Waffle Sue will always have a special spot in my heart.
whatsinmycsabox

And that has NOTHING to do with the picture above but I’m just going to let all my blogging rules go out the window because nobody is reading and I don’t care! Wooo hoo!

I’m signed up for my local CSA box that comes to the farm across the street. It’s the best thing ever. Except I can’t always keep up with all the greens. I’m struggling with what to do with cabbage. I’m not really a big slaw fan (though I do like it) and I seem to have it coming out my ears. But I love the box as a whole because it only costs $22 a week and my fridge is always bursting with the best of the best fresh vegetables. The other night I made myself a dinner of just pan-friend green beans in butter and nothing else and it was delicious!

I wish I could be on one of those shows where a chef comes to your house and cooks with whatever you have on hand. Somebody could cook a badass meal in my kitchen. Why can’t it be me?! But I’m trying. I’m getting better at cooking (besides burning things constantly with my electric stove). I’ve been cooking a lot with Payam and that always works out well.

Speaking of cooking and Payam and showing the people you love that you love them with food…I have some really big news that I’m a little scared to share but I’m really excited about too.

I’m moving in with Payam in August. I know. This is big. Living in sin and all that… But I’ve been married before and I don’t want to do it again. I feel one hundred percent committed to him and in my struggling-with-faith eyes, staying in this relationship every day feels like a bigger honor than a piece of paper. It’s been a long journey to this decision with some twists and turns that I can’t write about on the internet (even if nobody reads) but it feels right and I’m super excited about it. Both of our (conservative) families know and surprisingly, they are letting us go right on ahead and make this decision with less struggle than I expected.

Payam has a nice house with an extra bedroom for Bug so we are all very excited about blending families. We are also super excited about blending the pet famlilies. Three cats, one dog, YAY!  And cooking together and just generally being a family. Tag-team parenting is so much better than single-parenting. I’m just scared for the teenage years but maybe it will be better with a partner.

I’m thinking so.

*I know some people are reading. (And I love you very much.) I think the latest wordpress update I did messed something up but I don’t care because it’s a good thing to write for yourself and not worry about who’s reading. Maybe I can keep it up.