Posts in Reverb 2010

Reverb 10 Prompt 31: Core story

December 31st, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 31: Core story”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 31: Core story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

I cannot believe I made it through the entire month and answered every Reverb 10 prompt. I thought I would run out of steam. But, it turns out that writing begets writing – the more I wrote, the more I could write. Plus, the prompts were pretty awesome. Anyway, on to the last day of Reverb 10…

I lived through a series of eventful years. My friend, Marie, remarked that every summer since 2006, Dan and I underwent a major transition. We graduated from U.Va the summer of 2006, got engaged the summer of 2007, married the summer of 2008, bought a house the summer of 2009, and had a baby the summer of 2010. Lo and behold, she is right. And I am ready to put a stop to Major Life Transitions right about now.

But I also think that the idea of constant evolution is my core story. As my Reverb 10 posts showed, much of 2010 was an evolution – both physically, emotionally, and mentally. I had a job and quit a job. My body transformed before my eyes into a baby-carrying vessel. A family of two became a family of three. Plans were made and plans were discarded. We thought we would parent one way and ended up changing courses.

Ebb and flow. Change.

As much as I love life changes and seem to have been a master of major life transitions, until this year, I did not savor them as much as I could have. Always looking a couple steps ahead, I wish I had taken more time to appreciate whatever season of life I found myself in. But, I believe it is never too late to begin again or re-route. And Kate’s birth in 2010 forced me to take the time to witness the Here and Now.

A varied life is good. And sometime change for change’s sake is good. But capturing the time is equally important. So while I know I will be who I have always been – a future-focused life transition maker – I can also work on being the rememberer of This Moment.

Reverb 10 Prompt 30: Gift

December 30th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 30: Gift”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 30: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

When I was a little girl, I used to put out beer and cookies for Santa. Because my parents said Santa could probably use a cold one after traveling such distances dragging around a giant bagged filled with Polly Pockets. Obviously, I wanted to please Santa, so I obliged. Only now looking back do I see the humor of this ritual.

Anyway, my parents always put together an awesome Christmas. SO MANY GIFTS. I recall Barbies galore, a bike with a built in radio, American Girl dolls, my first film camera and later my first digital camera. Each Christmas featured a sweet surprise gift neither my sister nor I expected.

Christmastime between the ages of 5 and 12 is totally awesome. The stuff you want is reatively inexpensive, easy to get, and provides maximum excitement. Plus, shopping for this set is totally fun. The gifts make music, feature bright lights and colors, and provide endless hours of entertainment.

But once you get older, well, your gifts get lamer. In the teenage years, desired gifts are often expensive and hard to come by. So those are the years I rememeber getting underwear and socks. It was a tough go, those teenager years, after coming off of the high and excitment of Christmases as an elementary school kid.

So from then on Christmas became more of a get-what-you-need day, which I did not understand the beauty of until recently. As a young married couple, Dan and I started out with little in the way of Living Supplies like baking sheets and more than two bath towels. But due to the generosity of both sets of parents, we are set up with everything we need.

And Christmas became more about the traditions and the cookie making and the time spent together. Much richer a holiday experience. And being a parent at Christmas might even rival being a child at Christmas. Christmas with Kate this year made everything more sparkly. Because even though she will not remember posing under the Christmas Tree in her snowman PJs, Dan and I will.

Enjoying my family and finally getting the chance to make our own traditions and celebrate the holidays in our own way was my gift to myself. We don’t do crazy gifts, we don’t require several course meals, we don’t hinge huge expectations on one another. We are each other’s gift.

Reverb 10 Prompt 29: Defining moment

December 30th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 29: Defining moment”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 29: Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

I was scheduled to be induced on a Monday. As a life-longer planner, I was totally psyched about this idea. Everything was set. The hospital was expecting me. Our parents had been informed. I knew which OB was going to deliver me. And, most importantly, Dan and I had one last weekend as a childless couple. We were going to have one last date. I was promised Cheesecake Factory.

Then late Wednesday night, the contractions started. And kept going right into Thursday morning. And by Thursday afternoon, I was on a train to Parent Land and there was no getting off. I remember thinking, “but I was supposed to have one more weekend. I was promised Cheesecake Factory. This is going to have to wait a couple of more days.”

Turns out, once you get into that Labor and Delivery room, well, those hospital folks expect you to Labor and Deliver. And no one cares that this was all supposed to happen on Monday, not in the wee hours of Friday morning, right before my last weekend as a childless person.

It was then I realized life no longer marched to the beat of Sarah Time. I can plan and arrange and try my darnest to keep to Sarah Schedule, but, it seems things have a funny way of working out on a different time frame. And while that time frame probably will not be Sarah Time, the chips fall as they will and it is really not so bad.

Kate decided to arrive on her own time, in her own manner, and on her on schedule. And she will crawl when she is ready and talk when she is ready and walk when she is ready and not a moment sooner.

And so it goes. Since that moment at Fairfax Hospital when the sweet Labor and Delivery nurse told me that come hell or high water, this baby was coming TONIGHT, I realized that, try as I might, some things are just out of my control. But maybe, just maybe, in 2011 I can still get to Cheesecake Factory.

Reverb 10 Prompt 28: Achieve

December 28th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 28: Achieve”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 28: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

I talk non stop about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project. Almost every night at dinner, I am “Gretchen this” and “Happiness Project that.” I think Dan is just about ready to ban any more talk of The Happiness Project and my love affair with Gretchen Rubin.

I have a serious thing for Gretchen. I just know if we met, we would be best friends. Like her, I love reading and writing, take notes for no reason, get cranky if I am too cold or hungry, and love to exercise in the morning. Oh how I wish I could meet Gretchen for coffee. I so admire her.

Of course I decided in 2011, I, too would have my own Happiness Project. Like Gretchen, I have a chart for each of the 12 months with a “resolution” per month and eight mini-resolutions aimed at achieving the main resolution. If you like, you can email her and ask for a copy of her chart, so you can make your own. I kept some of her resolutions, tweaked some, and others I changed completely. And I am so jazzed to get started.

I plan on sharing my chart in a post on January 1, so stay tuned to see what it is I hope to achieve. Are you going to do a Happiness Project? What do you want to achieve? Have you ever met Gretchen? I would be totally jealous.

Reverb 10 Prompt 27: Ordinary joy

December 27th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 27: Ordinary joy”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 27: Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Morning people get a bad rap. It is as if they are a misfit group that no one really understands. When I tell people how early I like to get up, they recoil in shock. Like something must be wrong with me. The idea of sleeping in makes my skin crawl. The morning is such a precious time, I would just hate to waste it away.

I have always been an early riser. Even as a teenager, it would be rare for me to sleep in past 7 a.m. I love getting up early. To me, the earlier the better. In the early morning, the phone is not ringing, no one is bothering me. Quiet. The day holds so much potential. I rise early to attend my 6 a.m. gym class, get back to sip my coffee, read my emails, watch the Today Show, have breakfast, write my blog posts. Calm.

After Kate was born, I quickly devised a way to incorporate her into my morning ritual so that I could still keep it my time while also entertain Kate. Turns out, she is a good morning person, too. She sits at the table with me while I eat my breakfast, we watch the Today Show, look over the morning paper. She plays in her exersaucer while I get ready for the day.

I go to sleep at night looking forward to the next morning. I am truly at my best in the A.M. There is nothing special about what I do. It is just an ordinary morning which will start an ordinary day. But to me, it is the best part of the day. When I do my best thinking, when everything that plagued me the night before seems much clearer.

My morning rituals are sacred. It is my alone time, when I plan out my day. In the morning I take my time to sort myself out. Mornings make me so energized that I feel like I can accomplish anything. Mornings are my ordinary joy.

Reverb 10 Prompt 26: Soul food

December 26th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 26: Soul food”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 26: Soul Food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

When I was little, I was a super picky eater. Super picky. And I required ketchup on just about any meat before I would eat it. I would not touch a salad and the idea of eating onions turned my stomach. I would not try anything, so I often ended up with my own meal of several mixed together cereals.

I suppose my extreme pickiness is what prevented me from really caring about the idea of a meal. If my mom or dad was working late or there just wasn’t any time to get anything together, we often had Make Your Own dinner night – my favorite night. Then I could just eat a bowl of cereal or come crackers and cheese or an apple with peanut butter. And that was my meal. I never really felt like I needed or wanted more than just that. I was a nibbler anyway.

Not my sister. Oh, no. Girlfriend wanted a MEAL. She is a chicken and potatoes and rice and bread kind of girl. She wanted a real dinner, a hot meal. So I suppose that is why she can cook and I can’t. She would actually make herself something – mac and cheese or nachos or quesadilla – while I munched on a bowl of Grapenuts and raisins.

Since I showed no interest in needing a real meal, I never had any interest in cooking. I would prefer to nibble on this and that, assembling my food rather than cooking something that required more than three ingredients and a cooking apparatus.

So this prompt is hard for me because, really, I am not so much into cooking or meals. But I am into baking. Baking to me is so much more rewarding than cooking. Everyone wants leftover baked goods. And I made so many yummy ones this year, that it is hard to pick just one. I suppose my two favorites are both Barefoot Contessa recipes – the Outrageous Brownies and the Aunt Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. Both of those recipes are requested often, and they both turn out perfectly every time.

I often thought I should try to cook. Maybe I could learn to like cooking. Or maybe I will just stick with cereal.

Reverb 10 Prompt 25: Photo

December 26th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 25: Photo”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 25: Photo – a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

I know I already shared this photo, but really, nothing better encapsulates me in 2010 than this shot. I had been up for almost two days, I still have all my IVs in my arm, I could only shower as best as one could in a tiny hospital shower, and I had no idea what it would take to be a mother. But perhaps what this photo best represents is everything I ever hoped to be.

Reverb 10 Prompt 24: Everything’s okay

December 26th, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 24: Everything’s okay”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 24: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

There was a moment after Kate’s arrival that I am pretty sure both Dan and I thought Kate would be an only child. We were up all day and night, totally strung out. The postpartum hormones pulsed through my bloodstream like some sort of crazy drug. Dealing with a newborn seemed like an insurmountable task.

I thought I would never get a handle on being a mom. I was just a girl, what did I know? How could I be expected to take care of this living, breathing thing? I was pretty sure it would never get easier. I was tired and anxious and mentally checked out. Nursing was a struggle and a constant duty. I told Dan I was going to quit every day. I had to quit nursing. I was too tired to do this. Let’s hire someone.

But then I would say, “just one more day.” Just one more day. One more day. One more.

And one more day turned into a couple of days which turned into several weeks and before I knew it, Kate was three months old. And I had done it. Dan and I had done it, all by ourselves.

After one particulary bad night when Kate just refused to go down and I ended up staying up a good portion of the night with her on the couch, I realized I had finally made some head way. There I was, on virtually no sleep, stroking her head and nursing on and off all night long, yet, I felt like I finally found some inner strength. Somewhere deep inside I managed to get myself together, rise up from the newborn pit of despair and sleep exhaustation and tell myself, just one more day.

And that is when I realized that everything was going to be okay. That I could do it. Because I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. That I was capable of more than I ever thought possible.

Turns out I had the right idea with my Just One More Day mantra. To me, it meant, one foot in front of the other, only as far ahead as tomorrow, first thing’s first. Just taking it one day at a time instead of thinking my whole entire like was going to be misery and I would never ever sleep again proved to be just what I needed. And I still think that way, only thinking as far ahead as necessary, keeping things manageable. In 2011, I hope to continue just putting one foot in front of the other, just working on today.

Reverb 10 Prompt 23: New name

December 23rd, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 23: New name”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 23: New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

When my now almost 18-year-old sister was about four, she loved to pretend she was “another lady.” Whenever we went to the grocery, she would instruct my parents and I to refer to her as “another lady.” And she would proceed to “shop” at the store under her new persona. She was very intent on being this other lady – she took her role very seriously. I have no idea where she got this “another lady” thing from, but she played it to the hilt.

While I played my fair share of dress up and pretending at home, unlike my sister, I never pretended to be “another lady” in public. That seemed embarrassing to me. However, in the privacy of my bedroom I pretended to be Reba McEntire and put on quite a concert featuring a red bathrobe and a hair brush microphone. Because while my sister was busy being another lady, I was studying my country music idol and attempting to imitate her music videos.

I desperately wanted to be Reba. Desperately. I had everything Reba. I watched every music video and interview. I read her biography. I knew (and still know) her songs by heart. I even recall some Reba specials on TV, which I watched over and over again. My first concert was a Reba McEntire concert. My mom even got me into the fan club where I actually spoke to Reba. I was by far the youngest person at the special fan club event, and I shook in my shoes when Reba called on me. At the time, I was very in to horse back riding (as was Reba, imagine that), so I chatted with her about her horses. She was stunning, a glamorous, shiny red-headed, beaded-gown wearing goddess.

I do not have an answer to this New Name question as Adult Sarah. But eight-year-old Sarah would most definitely want to be Reba McEntire. Eight-year-old Sarah could put on quite a show. Wonder if Adult Sarah can remember those moves…

Reverb 10 Prompt 22: Travel

December 22nd, 2010 Posted by Lexicon, Reverb 2010, Reverb and Reflect, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Reverb 10 Prompt 22: Travel”

I am participating in the Reverb 10 project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt for December 22: Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

I did not stray too far away from home in 2010. My pregnant condition prevented too much travel that would bring me too far from my beloved OB. The only component of my “birth plan” was to deliver in a hospital with my OB. So no way I was going to mess that up.

But, really, pregnancy was not my only deterent. I just do not like to travel. Traveling has never been a big interest of mine. And I feel like it should – other people love to travel. (Well, maybe not the actual planes, trains, and automobiles that are required to travel, but rather the destination.)

I do not like to travel at all. I much prefer to stay in Northern Virginia where I know the streets. And can experience the comfort of my own home and my own routine.

I am all about the Staycation. There is so much around the area to keep me occupied. And the best part is, at the end of the day, I can come back to the comfort of my own bed. I have the worst time sleeping anywhere outside of my own bed. I just cannot sleep. So the vacation makes me quite weary given that I cannot sleep in a bed other than my own. And do not even get me started on my pillow. I must have my own pillow. MUST. If we are driving to a destination, I can bring it, so that helps some. But I cannot carry around a pillow and all my other junk on a plane. So that means NO PERSONAL PILLOW. I am getting hives just thinking about it.

I am not a traveler. I am just not. And maybe to some that makes me boring or dull or unadventurous. Whatever. That’s fine. I am a homebody.

So in 2011, I have no great travel plans. Even more so since the idea of traveling with Kate seems unappealing to say the least. I might be convinced to do some day trips here and there. But I hope to come back home to my own pillow.

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