Get ready…

…and here we go!

August 28th:
My birthday. I’m 24! The highest number, if you didn’t know. It was great. I felt really out of it this year, I kept forgetting that it was going to be my birthday until someone reminded me. It was weird, usually I get that twinge of excitement for about a week before my birthday, but now that I have mom-brain I just don’t think that way anymore. Perhaps that’s what helped me have one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a while. They are always good, but this one felt different. Maybe it’s my newfound respect for birth in general, the love I have for my mother for birthing me, and the miracle of a new soul coming into the world. It’s a beautiful thing. I understand why my birth is important now in a way I didn’t before. Anyway, each and every one of the gifts I received made me all soft because they were so thoughtful. It’d be easy to say that I feel a bit tossed under the waves of new motherhood, but it’s become very clear that the people around me really love and see and know me. I’m so glad I was born.
Taken on our phone, so forgive the terrible quality and darkness, is just a snippet of the sushi adventure we had that night. This restaurant had half off all sushi so we went and gorged ourselves. It was heavenly, and we all left just the tiniest bit high from all the deliciousness. My dad is a truly generous and fun soul, and he seemed pleased to order us all 25 rolls not including the sashimi we ordered. It was fabulous and everyone was very happy. I can’t wait for Vera to experience it. Tuula is a very picky eater these days, and even she likes sushi. So there.

August 29th:
I think I might seriously spend half of my waking hours giggling.

August 30th:
I realized that I never really show the other half of my garden. This is the view from the other side of the yard, the narrow part by the side of the house. It goes almost all the way back to the trash cans by the fence (that Jeff built!). Anyway, it’s a jungle of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant. Oh, and lots of lettuces and stuff going to seed… cuz I need to get on top of it.

August 31st:
We went to visit my mom’s parents. From right to left: my mom, my grandpa, my aunt Melanie, my cousin Emily, and my dad. They were all watching pictures on the tv- they have one of those things that can scroll through the pictures in someone’s camera as a slideshow. I like people from this view, you know, like they’re lost in something. My little sister likes to look back at people during really intense parts of a movie. I have always wanted to, but I inevitably forget because I’m always too into it.

September 1st:
This day we spent with Jeff’s only living grandparent, his dad’s mother. She’s made of awesomeness, and I love going to see her. We talk philosophy and art and politics and whatever. I’ve never had that kind of relationship with the elderly, although I’m sure it’s because I am only newly adult and able to even truly hear what they say. I’m just glad my ears are open now. Unfortunately she’s not doing that well, health wise, so we have to make a point to go see her often. I have really grown to like her a lot, and I’m pretty sure she likes me as well. On our way out she said "Jeff was always wonderful, but now he’s married a wonderful woman." I feel so honored to be enveloped in the warm arms of his entire family. I feel like I belong.

September 2nd:
It’s been an ongoing struggle to try to keep Maya’s hair situation under control. So, we decided that we’d brush her at least every other day, as it seems I cannot vacuum enough. I would never trade my dog for anything, but I have spent many hours on my hands and knees vacuuming the hair from under everything. Just a testament to my love for her. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I love having a dog. When I saw this crazy bunch of hair I wondered if it could be spun into yarn or something useful…. perhaps just bird’s nests for now.

September 3rd:
Yesterday was our anniversary. We’ve been married 3 years, and I can’t imagine myself any happier. Jeff pulled the biggest one on me too! He left for work at 6:30, like usual. Then he called me at 8 just to see what was up and whatever, and then he had me do some weird stuff on the computer for him. I didn’t know what I was doing, but he’s the expert, so I just did it. Then all of a sudden the printer starts going! Out pops the sweetest letter ever all about lots of gushy stuff you don’t want to hear about and I cried all over the place. I’ll just give you an exerpt: "I feel free of the dark days of my past filled with self-loathing and doubt. I look forward to a bright future with you and our children."  Melt.
So I called him and he laughed about tricking me into sharing the printer with his computer and yeah, he’s a tricky one. Then the dog started barking like crazy. I went to go see who was here and in pops Jeff! He took the day off work and was actually at the bar behind our house! He was holding the most beautiful orchid in his hands and smiling from ear to ear. Clever boy. I’ve always wanted an orchid but never had the money. While I’m swooning over the orchid he uncovers a tripod for my camera! He knows that I hate the way flash makes things look, so I’m always steadying the camera up against whatever object I can to try to get a clear picture. Now I can do so much more with my photos!! I’m excited. He also got me a mini tabletop tripod too! I got him tickets to go see David Sedaris this fall. We love him, it’ll be so much fun. Plus, our friends got tickets too, so we’ll make a night of it!
We dropped off Vera at his mom’s house and went to the Earle- a fancy shmancy restaurant downtown. We loved it and talked about how being poor has been a blessing because of all the things we can really appreciate now. I think it’s true though. We had way too much fun just eating and hanging out in the nice atmosphere. Certainly we are not poor compared to many in the world, but I do see how having to be really frugal and not buy frivilously has only positively impacted us. We did talk about how it would be nice to be more financially stable in the future, but I think we both agree that we never want to get too used to an unsustainable standard of living, and so not a lot of money is a good thing for us. The occasional fancy restaurant will do us just fine- it’s much more fun only being able to do it once a year.

Some bonus pictures:

I had some fun with this ridiculous program where you can upload a photo and… well you’ll see. Here are some of my favorites:


I almost peed my pants while I did these. I still can’t stop laughing at them.

Also, a few of my favorite wedding pictures:

And just a nice one that Jeff took of us yesterday.


Quote of the day:
"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. "

-Kahlil Gibran


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Comments (18)

  1. purerandomness

    What a happy entry! Happy birthday and anniversary 🙂

    Jake and I went to the Earle last year for his birthday– it was a wonderful time!

    Vera is HUGE! She’s so big and it seems like it’s been such a short time since she arrived 😀

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yum for the Earle… I think I like Pacific Rim better though. If you haven’t been then you should go!

      Yes, huge baby indeed. I can’t believe how fast it goes by!

  2. unicorntapestry

    love you

    Ah, Vera. Sweet baby girl. I don’t think she should have an afro–at least not long term.. I did kind of like the middle one in the top row of high school pictures.
    Also, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I am so glad you had such a wonderful day.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Re: love you

      Well, I’ll be sure to let her know that you don’t think afro is the way to go for her. However, should she choose to have one then we will be supportive. Or maybe we could compromise and just trim the top of it so that it somewhat resembles the photo you like the best… So many possibilities!

  3. prophetsong

    What a lovely positive entry. I really aspire to find a relationship like the one you describe with Jeff. One day maybe…

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Aw! I hope that you do find a relationship that gives you what you need. I see no reason why you wouldn’t- mostly I hope you can say what Jeff did to me. It sounds like you had a difficult time in the past, but your future will be bright. I don’t see how it could be anything else with your little boy by your side.

  4. pithy_epigrams

    I’m happy to read you had a great birthday, and Happy Anniversary!!! You guys are a match made in heaven. And I totally agree, having to struggle and work hard makes you so much more appreciative of everything. Almost every entry you write is happy and full of honest retrospect. That is such a good quality to have!

    Much love to all of you!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks! When do you and Shaun have one?

      Love to you as well!

      1. pithy_epigrams

        Four years December 22!

  5. poppleshatesyou

    I’m so glad you had such a good birthday and anniversary!! I love how positive your entries are, you just seem so happy with your life and your lover and your bebe, i can’t wait to be at that point in my life! I mean i can obviously because i am waiting, but i hope if i have kiddos someday i can be as happy as you are. if that makes any sense at all. You just seem to be taking everything in stride and that is such an admirable quality to me.

    I love that last photo of you and vera!!

    I hope to be seeing you soon!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yes! You are coming soon, no? You are so sweet- you seem really happy to me, too, where you are in your life. It makes perfect sense though, and I love reading about other people’s lives for that very reason. I’ll think of you when I’m back in school if I ever have another math class… haha.


      1. poppleshatesyou

        Yes! I will be there on Monday! well, briefly on Sunday…but Corry and i have to go up north to see my brother and his kids briefly and then turn around the next day and drive back to a2. Sooo yea! I will be getting in touch with you sooon! 😀

  6. pearlstreetdiva

    im gonna look at those photos of vera anytime i need a laugh from my gut….those are adorable/hilarious!

    you are such a beautiful inspiration

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Aw, I wanted to mention how nice it was to see you last time. It’d be nice to visit you again and spend a day or two again. That was so fun! Hey, just for fun I did Eli too- I’m emailing them to you! HEHEHE. so funny.

  7. Anonymous

    ok seriously vera just gets cuter and cuter!!! her sweet little personality is really evident in the pics. haha, love the ones from when she used to be in high school. 😉

    jeff is so sweet and thoughtful! i love that he took the day off work and surprised you!

    i love the bottom pic of you and vera.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      haha I have you to thank for those- man, I spent way too much time doing that! So fun! Anyway, I hope we can do lunch again soon!

  8. see_anotherside

    Great family photos – and that letter sounds so romantic, exactly the sort of thing I would start crying over, too! Glad you had such a good birthday and anniversary. 🙂

  9. stupidfool

    i am super late, but happy birthday!

    and that picture of maya’s hair… wow! i will never again complain about my cats shedding!


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