Saturday, June 27, 2009

Last night I attended (and photographed) my former boss' wedding. They had, by far, the shortest ceremony I've ever seen, and I thinkf the best food I've ever had at a wedding. Several of those in attendance had been at my wedding as well, and here and there I had a conversation about similarities/differences between our weddings. The best similarities were these: The bride and groom both radiated happiness and contentment with each other, and all the guests had a lovely time.

Naturally I get emotional - I did tear up a bit during one of the toasts. Since Karl died, I've been to 4 weddings, and I've cried at all of them. Just this morning I agreed to help shoot another wedding in September, and my brother's will be in October.

I think about how every marriage is different, as is every relationship, but I think they almost all start with joy, hope, and high expectation. That may be why they are so much fun to photograph - there's so much positive energy. Sure, here and there you get a bridzilla, or a mother on the edge, but usually they are lovely, each in their own way.

Lately there's been a lot of talk about me dating again. It seems one of those "third drink" topics for my friends and family. You know, like saying "I Love You" takes a little liquid courage sometimes? Well, if you're wondering, I have no intention of being alone forever, but I also don't plan to rush into anything. I accept that, somewhere, there's a guy who would fit in my life and I in his, but I have faith that we'll figure it out in due time.

Till then, I'm so glad people find each other, and love each other, and make promises, and trade rings. And I hope for Him and Anna, and all the other newlyweds out there, that the hope, joy, and positive energy stay with you and grow in the years to come.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I spent the last 45 minutes on the floor. In a good way. Between baby attacks and puppy attacks, I'm completely blissed out. There's a lot of love down on their eye level! I hereby vow to sit on the floor more often.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

There's been a pooing. Right now, in my mind, it will always be "the great pooing of 2009" although realistically I know there will be worse. I got home at midnight (before you judge, know I had my parents booked to come spend time with him mid-day!) to find green gelatinous gooey poo flung (I know, he's not a monkey, but he managed to fling) everywhere. The inside of his cage was totally splattered, as well as the floor in front *and* the wall behind the cage. I'm more disgusted than impressed. I'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out it the pooing happened before or after the parent visit...

Yeah, I know. Ewww.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Took Fin to the vet today. It's an adventure traveling with a toddler and a puppy, even less than a mile. He had to get the stitches out from his neuter, which went fine. There were a few other pups from Stray Rescue in with their foster family - none as amazing as Fin, tho. After a brief consultation with the Doc about his tendency to jump up unexpectedly and yelp (he checked for fleas and found none) we were on our way to petsmart. We made a tag for the pup, causing a meltdown in the toddler, who wanted to make another one. A little too expensive a thing to do for kicks... so we took our meltdown back home, fed it, and put it to bed, where it's now re-solidifying into my little boy.

Meanwhile, I have to call about dog number 2.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

I've been occasionally reading Matt Logelin's blog, and tonight it's had me thinking about the changes in my life since I lost Karl. I went through some pictures, and found two that gave a pretty good idea of before and after...

A lot of my pictures with Elliot looked like this - me shooting in a mirror, because Karl was either working or cooking or keeping up with the house or entertaining guests or generally living. I was in charge of documenting it. I like to pretend the current disaster at home is because of my new single-mom status, but really if you look behind us you can see it there - clutter and chaos already ruled the roost. There's maybe four photos on the 'Family Wall', a project we both kept meaning to get around to. We're a little blurred, maybe from the pace of life last summer, which was happy-go-lucky and full of fun. Then...

After two weeks of arrangements, sympathies, plans, confusion, shock, grief, and more outpouring of emotion than an introvert like myself knows how to process, we looked like this. Karl was gone. I took to wearing both of our rings for a while. I still wear his, which fits my middle finger. I started to worry that I'd lose the stone from mine - irrational, maybe, because we had designed it to be strong. For a few weeks there, I didn't document anything. One day to the next, I just did what needed doing, and felt like this wasn't a time I wanted to look back at too much. I'm grateful now that somebody did pick up the camera and catch Elliot and I napping. I know I passed him around a lot those first few weeks, but the only time I felt whole enough to sleep with any peace was when I held him.

It's strange - I remember thinking certain things would be burned in my mind, and some of them are. I stared at the carpet at the hotel for a long time, and I thought for sure I'd see it in my sleep, but all I remember now is a vague burgundy with some geometric pattern. I do remember the chicken taco salad, and the waiter who never brought me my change. I remember sitting in the bathtub in my room while Jen was downstairs with another friend of Karl's. I kept my shirt on - I don't know if I was feeling cold or modest, or if it was a need to feel prepared to flee, not to feel too vulnerable. I remember trying to comfort Jen, who had just lost her best friend of many years, and feeling like her pain was more than mine, because he'd only been my best friend for three. I still feel like that a lot with Karl's friends and family - that I'm not so worthy of their generosity and concern, because their loss was great too.

Then I think about the real difference: They lost a past, I lost a future.

Not the whole future, just the one we had planned. I'm making new plans now, but still with him in my mind. Part of me still tries to do things that make him happy, if only because they make me remember how happy we were.

I've made it nearly a year now. One of the many sites I've visited since becoming a widow suggested not making any major decisions for the first year. Part of me thinks that's wise, but another part of me went out and adopted a puppy. Not a major life decision? You go adopt a puppy, and see if your opinion changes. I'm so grateful to Jim G for saying "I think it's a PERFECT time for you to get a puppy!" I wonder if he knew that everybody else looked at me like maybe I was a little out of my mind...

Speaking of Finley, he's miserable in his crate at the moment. It's bizarre that one time I'll put him in for bed and he'll doze off happily, and the next he'll cry for an hour. It doesn't seem to correlate to how much he played or slept in the day - he just does what he does.

So he'll fit in here just fine.


Long days and short nights lately. Puppy got me up at 5:30 - we woke the baby round 6:30. So far today we have had no accidents in the house (yay!) but on the other hand, we've gone outside every time the pup has squirmed. I am certain he isn't just trying to get me to take him out, because he's gone pee every time and rushed back to the house right away. It's HOT.

We went to Circus Flora last night - it was fantastic. This morning we had music class, and Elliot slept through 5 yelling, dancing, giggling toddlers for a full half hour. He woke up for the last two songs, one of which was the "settle down" lullaby.

We have accepted an invitation to our first baby party - a 1 year birthday for the twins in our music class. Should be fun!

Ajax and Finley have started wrestling a little. The cat is doing that laying in the middle of the floor like he's helpless thing while the dog mauls him. I worry that the puppy teeth are a little sharp, but I'd rather see them interact then freak out and make them scared of each other. So, well, game on, I guess. Wrestle Mania photos soon.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yeah. Puppies are hard work. No kidding.

Pictures Here.


I've been having lots of dreams about Karl lately. It's strange, because I didn't at first. Maybe it's part of the "It gets worse before it gets better" thing. The dreams are different, but the motivation behind them is the same - my mind looking for a way to get him back. Last night, we had a strange condition where we slept for years on end, and we would never be able to see each other. Fortunately, we came up with a plan to be sure we awoke exactly 2 years later. We wouldn't be able to stay awake long, but at least we'd spend a little time together.

Earlier this week, there was another baby dream in which I was meeting with some kind of fertility expert, and he told me it was 'highly unlikely' Karl and I would have another child. In my mind I was doing he math; he'd been gone 10 months, a pregnancy takes about 9 months... and well, no. The numbers weren't working. But I was determined to make it work.

Needless to say, it didn't.

So sleeping has been a little rough again. But it's only 3.5 hours till Puppy! That's gonna make me too tired to dream, right?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've noticed a thing I do lately. I recalculate all things temporal around Karl's death. When I think back about things that happened recently, I think "He'd been gone for 3 months," or "That was only 6 weeks before he died." I imagine this is common, but haven't really looked for others doing the same thing. It's like my own personal BC/AD system, with August 22 in the middle... I knew I did this when thinking about Karl, but tonight I was looking at knitting projects in my online knitting group, and I was re-structuring the dates (in my head) that I started and finished pieces based on this new scale of time.

I've also been thinking about dating. Mostly I just brush off the thoughts, because it gets so complicated. Sometimes I think I'm "ready" to date - but it isn't like there's a timer in my gut that went DING. Several people have brought it up recently, and I say I'm open to the idea, but not particularly hopeful or willing to put a lot of effort into it. When I think about the next relationship, I inevitably end up fighting with this as yet nonexistent significant other about his jealousy issues, or his inability to really understand how important Elliot is to me, or his frustration about how little time I have for "us". And I'm having these arguments with somebody I haven't even met. So maybe I'm not so ready after all, and I should wait a little longer for the ticking to stop and the timer to chime in.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life was getting too easy, so I went out today and adopted a couple of dogs. Why not? They will be getting new names, as I'm not really the type to have dogs named Prada and Versace.

They are from Stray Rescue, and we really don't know their history. We do know that Prada was found with her pups in April, and they hadn't opened their eyes yet. She's been shot sometime in the past, and has a problem with her hip. Despite that, she's been a great mother, and her other puppies are all adopted.

Versace is the biggest of the lot of puppies. He's already 16 lbs, and next to the runt of the litter, who's only about 9, he looks like he could be the parent. He's likely to be a very big dog, and I may spend Elliot's college fund feeding him. But nobody will be coming into the yard when he's out.

So I'll get the pup on Sunday, but Mama needs to go in for a spay and possibly a hip surgery Monday. Could be a week to 6 weeks before she's ready to come home.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You should really check out Mulanix Street Orchestra. They have a lovely indy acoustic sound, and they are staying in my guest suite. I particularly like Sonoma Wildfires.


Monday, June 08, 2009

Waiting for Aunty Jen. I had word she left the ville a little after 10, so it shouldn't be long now. Hope I'm still awake!

Ooh - as I began to write, i got a text.... perhaps a little longer than i thought, as they are "past Columbia now".

Maybe a little nap, then.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Went on for studio shots with the baby today. The kid who shot us was evidently a trainee, so it was a little more grueling that in the past, but the shots are adorable. I'm still very happy with the quality, price, and service at this studio. It's a chain, and fairly in the box, pre-packaged stuff, but honestly we're not in a position to hire a pro, and I shouldn't be the one trying to shoot these. Taking a hands-off approach.

Also went in to UMSL and finished up the lantern for the back yard. I still need to find or make a stand, but the lantern itself is lovely - if it makes it through the fire.

Photos at Brachiating Baby.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

must. sleep.

must find a way to stop bastard outside on street from blaring his horn. again. and again. and again.

shut off the damn car and go knock on the door. or use your phone. or throw rocks at the window. But really, it's 11:30. there's kids in this neighborhood. don't lay on the horn.



Tuesday feels like Saturday when you get to sleep till 10:30. Went out for bowling last night. Team 'No Consensus' kicked ass - well, maybe not kicked it so much as made a lot of noise (mostly swearing) in the direction of it, and then kind of meekly walked away. But we had fun. I averaged... no, actually, I'm not telling. It's too embarrassing. Mom kept L overnight, thus the sleeping in. Then I went to pick him up, and he was napping, but I'd missed him so much, I just snuggled up with him and took another 2 hour nap. Mmmmm. Yes. Just like a Saturday.


Monday, June 01, 2009

So, here it is another day. Talked on the phone a lot today for some reason. I keep having these conversations with people, and it's almost like the world is normal, you know, "Hi, how's it going, good, good, oh, whatdidyoudothisweekend? oh, the usual... blah blah blah." And I'm not saying I'm false or insincere when I'm talking to you, it's just that in my head, I keep thinking the same thing over and over and over. I miss Karl. I say it in my head constantly, between every sentence of every other conversation, between each thought and the next...

"Yeah, didn't find much at the estate sales this weekend" (i miss karl) "Man, I'm a shitty bowler!" (i miss karl) "Seriously, Elliot, you need to put on some pants." (i miss karl) "Yeah, I'll be here till 2ish, then headed to the studio" (i miss karl) "Where's my phone? What did I do with my phone?? I just had it! What the ... oh... it's in my hand." (i miss karl)

i miss karl.