Tuesday, October 19, 2010

sometimes life is really hard...

... and you have to do things that you wish you didn't. Fortunately, as many can attest to, it's the most difficult things that deliver the most rewarding outcomes.

Warren and I have made the tough decision to leave our apartment. We received an extremely generous offer to temporarily stay with family until we are ready to buy a house and take on all of the responsibilities that come with that. While I am one hundred percent certain that we are making the right choice (OK, maybe ninety nine percent) it's still really hard to pack up and move AGAIN. I thought we had left our vagabond lifestyle behind, but here I go again boxing up my beloved books and finding suitable adoptive parents for my houseplants. I have never been this sad about moving. This apartment is my safe space. It's our little nest above the treeline where we simultaneously hear the city-sounds of emergency vehicles and our neighbour who has Turret's Syndrome, and see the bushy lushness of the escarpment and feel so far away. This is the home who's safety allowed me to learn how to be a better knitter, a better cook, a better house cleaner, a better partner and a better person. I can't explain how much I have changed in the past year and a half. This little home inspires me and reminds me how happy I am. By the way that I adore this place you might think that I live in some kind of luxury unit. It's so far from luxury, with it's tiny electric stove and beige walls that have seen way to many coats of paint without a proper sanding. But we love it. It's just so "us". And now we have to leave. I am really grateful that we have an opportunity to live with family at a time when their help will be priceless, and that we will be able to get the head start on home buying that most people don't have. But I still can't help but worry that somehow things will change and I wont be able to return to my charmed little life.
This weekend we began packing and transferring things to storage, and I just couldn't handle it. Warren found me sobbing in the bathroom, overwhelmed with everything that will now only exist in memories and pictures. He left for a moment and returned with a beer for himself and a small glass which he filled with beer for me. We sat together on the edge of the bathtub and "cheers-ed" to new steps forward. The four ounces of beer went straight to my head, but I was able to calm down and gain some perspective.  Huddled together on cold white porcelain we took a few minutes to absorb the reality that sometimes things are really hard to do, and that is life, but eventually things always get better.

I was going through some photos on my hard drive and came up with these. Here's to life, and amazing memories!

{this is so amateur but I did the best I could. The song is "Cranley's Gonna Make It" by Broken Social Scene}  

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

can I share...

this inspirational blog? 

Particularly, I love this, and this, and this...

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

we were meant for each other...

... this little bebe and us.

I am continuing to surprise myself as I seem to be taking this impending mommyhood thing so well. But the more I look back at the past six years or so, I see that this was all meant to happen this way, and I have been preparing to be a momma before I even realized.

People ALWAYS ask about our pregnancy: "was it planned?". What a funny question. I am not offended by the question; mostly confused. What do people mean by "planned" anyways? You can plan all kinds of things, but it doesn't mean that it's the right plan. And planning rarely results in an expected outcome anyways. Planning has never been my thing. I like to think that rather than 'planning' for this babe, we opted to 'prepare'; very slowly, and somehow subconsciously...

Four years ago when Warren and I were married, pregnancy was out of the question. Since the day of our wedding I have been fending off inquiries about my maternal status. Typically, I would gawk, as if I had some kind of aversion to gestation. I was often offended: why do I have to have babies just because I am married? Warren and I routinely celebrated my 'monthly gift' with a jump in the air and a hug! We knew that we wanted kids some day, we just really weren't yet emotionally ready for kiddies.

Warren and I spent the first couple of years of our marriage sorting ourselves (and each other) out. Remember, we were young when we got married. I could barely say the word 'husband'! During our growing years I finished grad school and Warren made a difficult decision about his career path and successfully finished two years of college. We spent a lot of time learning about what we wanted in life. We also spent our fair share of time in a tumultuous game of marital trial and error, whereby we learned how to be married, how to be individuals, how to communicate, and just how to make things work when life gets hard. Because of this we are very happy and secure in our relationship. When I think about it, had we had children when people thought we should have, when would we have had the chance to fine tune our relationship? At the time I didn't know it, but throughout all of the growing pains I think we were preparing for much more challenging adventures ahead...

Throughout the years I observed a more personal evolution. I slowly became more domestic, and our meals went from grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup to homemade soups, curries and fresh salads. At some point I swore off chemical household cleaners and began making all my own, or purchasing all natural products. By the start of this year, I lost interest in any kind of party nightlife and became very choosy about where I would go out. I didn't even want to 'go out' for New Year's Eve; opting to spend it quietly with friends. I stopped drinking to get drunk because I just had no enjoyment in it anymore. I wasn't depressed or anything. It was actually the opposite. Before I even realized it, I had begun to make room in my life for a child. And no, none of this was planned.

In November/December 2009 Warren and I went to New Zealand for almost a month. This was a long awaited trip for me. I love to travel, but since graduating university I hadn't been able to take off more than a week to go anywhere. I was aching to have an extended adventure, and the marriage of our friends was the push we needed. While in New Zealand we spent a lot of time in hostels and bars, surrounded by other travellers our age, yet I could never relate to them. Warren and I just kept to ourselves for the most part. Meeting people in hostels used to be my favorite thing about travel and I would have been in my element a few years earlier, but somehow at 26 I felt too old for it. This was a sign. As we traveled throughout the gorgeous country I couldn't help but secretly think that I could see us doing this with  a little beeb someday. This was another sign.

I have accomplished some of the things that I wanted to have done by the time we started having babies, and others I haven't. I didn't realize that being ready has more to do with being present in the moment than fulfilling a set of tasks (ie. get married, buy a house, pay off student loans, have a baby). By letting life unfold we were able to come to this decision so organically. While before when we would see babies in public we would look at each other expressing pity for the parents, now we can't walk buy a baby without waving or go-go-ga-ga-ing over the little person. Somehow it just snuck up on us!

I am not sure exactly what all of this is meant to illustrate; I guess I just wanted to pay respect to our process and honour how we got here. It wasn't as simple as a conversation over dinner: "We're not getting any younger, we really should try to get pregnant"... Not at all. I am proud of us for waiting until we arrived at that intangible 'feels right' place.

   {us on our wedding day in 2006}

So, here's to adventures to come and a whole new journey to trust in.

Love Always, 
Joan Blondina

* Stay tuned for a video unveiling of the most popular question in pregnancy: boy or girl?

Friday, October 1, 2010

something I can groove to...

... and friends to groove with.

What I love about all of the friends that I have in my life is how they refresh my spirit and inspire the best parts of me to come out again. I need my friends, even if it's only once or twice a month (year) that we connect. 

Good friends always have something to share, and in the case of last night, something musical! Simple-drives and wine bottles in hand (latte for me) they arrived last night willing to share their cherished, highly sought out music collection with one another. What a gift! No USB port on my laptop went empty while we cut and pasted, high on the possibilities of songs to hear and i-pods to be made-over.

Thank you girls, because as I sit here completely drained from a week of work and life, I can be a little closer to you as I listen to the songs that have  most likely seen you through your summer, your year and everything that has happened to you.

Love Always, 
Joan Blondina