Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating the Royal Wedding

I’ve been watching highlights from the Royal Wedding all morning.  I had to be satisfied with highlights, the 2am start didn’t quite jive with my sleeping schedule.

Here’s what I did to celebrate:

I drank coffee out of my Liberty of London mug.  Here’s to the happy couple!

Also, everyone on Facebook has been posting how to make their royal wedding guest name. 

"In honor of the big wedding on Friday, use your royal wedding guest name! Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your Grandparents' names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on."

Mine doesn’t really work…

Lady Faye Gideon South Fifth (Bwahahaha!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Visit

Complete exhaustion.  Days upon weeks of terrible sleep and too much on my mind have compounded to make it impossible to get to that dreamland even though that’s the only thing I need.  Cant. Turn. Off.  My.  Brain.

Lying in the bed in the guest room at mom and dad’s, I roll over onto my side.  Face the wall.  Put my “leg pillow” between my knees to try to get more comfortable.  I can feel what it used to be like to be spooned in that position, with Sawan using the “leg pillow” at the same time.  My eyes well up.  And then, for the first time ever, I can tell that he’s there.  He’s with me.  I’m not asleep, he hasn’t come to visit me in a dream, I’m very much awake and he’s come to comfort me.  His voice in my head, “I’ll put you to bed.”  This was what he told me every night.  We had such different schedules, but I waited for him every night to come home from work, then he would come in and put me to bed, then get up and unwind from his day and come to bed much later.

He said very little.  I think it’s maybe because I was so unsure of the whole thing, so unbelieving.  He told me that he loved me.  That I was beautiful.  He told me to go ahead and use the whole bed now.  (I have been unable to sleep even toward the middle of the bed since he died.  I stay completely on my side, I rarely even turn to face his side, it’s just too painful.)  He said not to worry about him; he was having a great time.

I got to tell him all the things that I’ve wanted to say to him.  I got to say that I was sorry for not being there when he died.  That I loved him so much.  I got to tell him that I was so upset that our last kiss was so miserable, that we didn’t get to say goodbye.  I told him all about Arthur and how proud he would be.

Arthur layed on the bed exactly as he did when the three of us would share the bed.  At Sawan’s feet.  He never lays in that position anymore, but he did that night.

I wonder.  Why now?  Why not before?  What was it about that night that made it right for a visit?  Will it ever happen again?  I’ve struggled so much with this, because it’s not the kind of thing that I ever would have believed could happen before it happened to me.  So I don’t blame you if you don’t believe it.  But it was a comfort, and I’m thankful that I got to be with him one last time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Photos: New House

This is the stairway, which I love.  I just had to post a photo.  There’s glass brick there, and also in the living room, which seems to follow me wherever I go.  It was in my little condo, and in my first shop.  I really like glass brick, and with how close the houses are together right here, it’s great for privacy.

This is the living room.  I’ve already re-arranged the furniture once (completely swapped the “living room” and “dining room”) and I’m still not sure that I love it, but for now it works ok.
Arthur wanted to be in the photo.  He's such a ham.

This is the kitchen.  It’s the only room that’s really very done.  That’s because Ellie and I worked on this first so that I could have coffee on my first morning (priorities!), and then my mom came over and finished it while I was at work (my dad did the locks and put together the table and the dryer vent while she was unpacking.  They’re pretty awesome.).  I love this little exposed shelf, so that you can see all of my colorful Fiestaware dishes.
The drawers all close by themselves.  It's awesome.
Sawan was NOT crazy about my colorful taste.
This is the den.  Also known currently as the “scary room.” 
WAY too much stuff!
This is my very clean upstairs bathroom.  I love the “damask” stuff that’s so hip right now and am really trying to make sure that it doesn’t look like someone puked damask print all over my house.
I know, I know, you're never supposed to have a toilet in a photo.  Sue me.
This is my bedroom.  I’m about 80% done unpacking in here, but the bed is done and the closet is mostly done and the TV is set up, so I don’t really care that much anymore.  When I went to put away the stuff in the closet, I have all of these organizers that go on the shelves that every closet I’ve ever used has had, and there wasn’t one (because of the gabled ceilings that I love).  I panicked a little.  My sister was helping me and she said “Well, you live in a 3 bedroom by yourself.  Use one of the shelves in the other closets.”  Ah, the voice of reason.

This photo does no justice to the natural light I get in here.  

The backyard needs a little love.  It’s more like “the backdirt.”  The grass is all dead.  At some point I think I’m going to xeriscape.  This is a popular thing to do in Colorado; it uses very little water and is low maintenance.  So I’m thinking about taking a class.  My favorite thing about the backyard is these lilacs.  There are six mature lilac bushes; they are budding but not yet bloomed.  I think they’re going to be spectacular!
Dirt and weeds.  Boo.
The lilacs.  I'll repost when they bloom!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Settling in

We are getting settled in!

I think Arthur’s not as stoked about the new house as I am.  He’s been the king of bodily functions here.  We’ve stayed here two nights and I’ve already cleaned up potty in the floor when I came home from work yesterday and this morning when I came upstairs from making coffee he had thrown up all over my bed.  Fun times.  It has, however, made me stoked that I chose a new place that was all hardwood floors and has a big-girl washer and dryer.  So cleanup has been a piece of cake.

I’m having the usual moving in headaches. 

*Four long phone calls to a certain cable company where they still haven’t gotten it right, but at least we now have a plan and I’m now getting free movie channels. 

*The movers put my bed together wrong.  I may or may not have cried about it, it made me so mad (because I had paid them to do it and I couldn’t fix it myself).  But my dad fixed it, and we didn’t even have to have an embarrassing conversation about it this time (Last time, when he was putting it together, he shakes it from the foot of the bed and says, “It still rattles a little bit, did it before?”  I was like “Oh, yeah, we were always worried we were gonna break it.”  At which point we both blush and I realize I’ve said WAY too much to my DAD!)

*It already feels like I’ve spent one million dollars at Target/Home Depot/Bed Bath and Beyond and I still have yet to unpack half of the house and uncover whatever else needs to be put away/organized. 

The good news is, I have slept here two nights in a row, and I’m so exhausted from all the moving stuff that getting to sleep has not been an issue, and staying asleep was an issue the first night but last night I slept for like 5 hours in a row, and I can’t tell you the last time that happened!  Yay!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I’ve been obsessively cleaning my new house, trying to get it in some kind of shape for my boxes to arrive on Monday morning.

I went in on Friday after my closing and took a look around and thought “Oh, no.”  It was filthy.

My mom and I spent 2 ½ hours that afternoon cleaning in the kitchen.  My mom got the fridge done (but not the freezer) and I got the outside of 4 cabinets done.  And the dishwasher.  It’s covered with that greasy grimy dirt that you have to scrub and scrub.  My friends Sara and Linda stopped by to help and they had better luck in the living room, they got it finished.

Rockin' the living room
Working on the fridge...

Then on Saturday I went over and cleaned for about 4 hours, and all I got done was the master bedroom and the bathroom.  Every square inch has to be wiped down.  Walls.  Baseboards.  Windows.  Ceilings have to be dusted.  It’s crazy.  While cleaning the bathroom, I lost track of how many times I scrubbed the bathtub after 5.  I kept thinking “How many times is it gonna take before I’m willing to stand in here without flip-flops on?”  So I’d scrub it again.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I used almost the entire thing of comet.  But, now it’s white.

Ok, this is sort of the before shot.  I took this after I had scrubbed once and let it soak overnight with bleach.

After.  It's white!

And my favorite cleaning story so far?

Sunday, a bunch of friends came over to help do the kitchen and laundry room.  Nick, Faith, Kelly, Amy and Cassidy.  We found something in every cabinet.  There were Milky Way bites that who knows how old they were.  There was a bag of chips.  There were numerous keys to cars and other things that I have no idea what they’re for.  There were photographs and poems taped to the inside of cabinets.  But most of all, there was this:


Sunday, April 17, 2011

My new little house

my new digs

Is there a word for feeling two completely opposite emotions at the same time?  That’s how I feel.

I closed on my little house on Friday.  I feel unbelievably excited and happy, and at the same time, devastatingly sad.  I think the word is maybe hysteria.

Sawan and I worked and worked and obsessed and dreamed about owning a real house.  We talked about it all the time.  We spent our Sundays driving through neighborhoods and pulling flyers out of the boxes of ones that were for sale.  We had a game where we would look at the “stats,” you know, square footage and beds/baths and guess at what the price was.  I always won.

And now I’ve bought our dream house.  It’s a beautiful old Victorian.  It has the original hardwood floors and the gabled ceilings that we loved.  It has a cute little back yard.  It even has a picket fence.  The only thing we talked about that it’s missing is the window over the kitchen sink that he wanted so that he could look into the yard while doing the dishes.  I’ve bought the dream house.  My dreams are coming true.  And he’s not here.  This isn’t the way I dreamed it. 

I’m in love with my little house.  It’s such a gift.  I’m happy and excited and thrilled and a little scared of home ownership and stoked that the buying process is finally over and also just sad.  It makes me miss him.  He would have loved it (but probably not the color…did I mention that it’s pink?).

Opening the door for the first time as homeowner.  This is right before I burst into tears.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


When you are a recovering alcoholic, you have two “birthdays.”  That’s what they call the day you quit drinking.  The other one is your “belly button birthday.”  Today is Sawan’s 7th

We celebrated the 14th every year.  It was a big deal. 

I didn’t know him before.  He was already recovering when I met him.  I often wonder what he was like back then.  I’ve heard lots of stories.  Stories that make him sound really fun, and also stories that scared me to death.  I’m glad that I met him as the man that he was.  Committed to changing his life.  That commitment to his sobriety was part of what made me love him so much.

He never judged me.  I don’t have a problem with alcohol (in fact I'm so lame that lately I'd rather have a coke than a cocktail), but he never had a problem with me having a drink occasionally, either.  I was thoughtful about not keeping it around, but it was sometimes a struggle for him to watch me have a drink. 

People say things to me occasionally about what he’s doing up in heaven.  I think that most of us think that heaven is the best things of earth (I wonder how this could be true, because for him, I would argue that it couldn’t be heaven without me there…).  So people tell me that he’s up there catching 10 lb trout.  I think that he’s also driving a corvette really fast and drinking a really cold 6 pack.

Baby, I miss you today and all days.  But I’m so glad that the struggle for you is finally over. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Arthur Earp

Until my new little house closes (hopefully on Friday), Arthur and I are staying at my mom and dad’s.  Arthur has decided he’s the sheriff of grammie’s back yard.

As soon as I let him out, he runs out to the middle of the yard and fires a warning shot in the air “Arrooooo.”  Squirrels, dogs next door, beware.  He has his crusty, cranky deputy, Tana  (my mom’s Springer spaniel) riding shotgun.  She’s not so sure about this new little Rough Rider, but she’ll play along.

He runs as fast as he can from one corner of the yard to the other, checking on the squirrels in the tree in the far corner, then the dogs that live on the other side of the fence.  Then he runs back to the middle and does a quick maneuver of his six shooters, spinning them back and forth before re-holstering them.  Look out!  There’s a new sheriff in town. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


I am doing great.
I am still grieving.

These statements are both fully true.  That’s the dichotomy of being a widow.  There’s this awesome “bigness” in my soul that leaves room for all kinds of grey scale, for contradictions, not just black and white.

I am enjoying the springtime.  I’m feeling motivated to get out more.  I’m loving the sunshine.  I bought new tennis shoes for working out.  I’m thinking about my new place and dreaming about maybe doing a little yard work and maybe even *gasp* cooking in my kitchen.

I’m also still heartbroken.  I’m still sad.  I think about the “maybe somedays” a lot.  They range from the silly to the gut-wrenching:  “Maybe someday I’ll be able to buy my favorite ‘Mac Prolash’ mascara again instead of the ‘Splashproof’ waterproof crap that clumps, because even though I no longer cry every day, I never know when the waterworks can start,” to “Maybe it’s not too late, maybe someday I’ll actually get to hold my own baby in my arms.”

I feel the weight of expectation on me, to hurry up and get over it.  I’m pretty sure that this is my own problem, it shouldn't matter to me what other people think. I've committed since the beginning to not hurry.  I mean, I think it's great that it's obvious that I'm doing well.  I had a sweet client say to me the other day “But you’re better now.”  And it’s true.  I am better than I was.  But that doesn't mean that I'm all better.  It’s like a bone that gets broken.  Once it’s broken it’s always different in that spot.  But it’s stronger there.  That’s the cool part. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Opening Day

I’m a huge baseball fan.  I grew up in a baseball family.  I’ve been a fan my whole life, but a major fan since we moved to Denver and had access to the Rockies.

Friday was Opening Day, or as we sometimes call it “amateur day.”  On Opening Day you will hear things such as “Come on, Ref!” * and “How many points do we have?”**  I once was hit on by a guy in the beer line, and he was telling me that someone had just hit a homerun.  I asked who hit it and he said, “I don’t know, I think it was our DH.”  I looked at him, with my head cocked to the side and said, “This is the National League.”***  He didn’t get why I was so uninterested in him.  So I understand more about baseball than the average girl, but I will admit that there are things that I just don’t get.  Like a balk.  Or the infield fly rule

Sawan and I on Opening Day 2009
Sawan and I always called Opening Day “Christmas.”  It was a holiday in our house.  We even got to get a gift every year: one item of Rockies attire.  So even though I look forward to Opening Day, it’s also a day that I dread.  It’s part of the dichotomy of being a widow.  I miss him so much that day.

I struggle, too, with the psychosis of wondering if this is really my life.  I have this running clock in my head of where we would be were he still alive.  Kind of like the Gwyneth Paltrow movie “Sliding Doors.”  Like the other Noel is still living her life, and Sawan’s still alive, and we have a baby now, and this was his first Opening Day, and we had him all decked out in Rockies duds and his dad was carrying him.  I try not give in to these thoughts, but it’s so hard not to, and I grieve every time I see a dad with a baby.

So that’s it.  I’m so excited that baseball season is here, and also so scared.  Last year I had an amazing March, it was the first time that I started to feel slightly like myself again.  People began to tell me, “I can see the light returning to your eyes.”  And then baseball started and I just got really sad again.  So I’m scared, too.  I’m trying to be brave, to just enjoy it, because I loved baseball before I loved Sawan, but it just makes me miss him so badly.
Opening Day 2011 with Ellie

*In baseball, it’s an Umpire.
**The score is kept in runs, not points.
***The American League has a designated hitter (DH) that hits in place of the pitcher, but no such position exists in the National League.  A pinch hitter can be put in for the pitcher once he is going to be taken out of the game, and that’s who I believe hit the home run that day….