Archive for ‘Marriage’

July 29, 2011

What I’ll Miss About This Apartment

On Monday, we will move to our third apartment in just under two years of marriage.  Needless to say, moving this often was not in our plan.  But who said our plan was the one that counts, right?

 

Last year’s move was a stressful one:  I was (very) pregnant, we were moving to a new borough, and we were searching for somewhere to make home for a lifestyle we hadn’t yet experienced.  Thankfully, we ended up in a great apartment, in a wonderful neighborhood, and made some very special friends to boot.

 

Our new apartment is only a short walk from where we are now, so there isn’t a whole new neighborhood to learn this time around.  It will be more of a recalibration of points we already know and love.  The layout of the new place is different than what we have now, but it’s a very open plan, and one I think will cater well to the way we live our lives day to day.

 

That said, there are some things I’m going to miss about this apartment.  The first of these is the mirrors.

 

See how it looks like our dining area goes on forever? Thanks, mirrors!

There are floor-to-ceiling mirrors in every room of our current apartment.  In each of the bedrooms, two four-foot-wide mirrors function as the sliding doors to the (ginormous) closets—which, come to think of it, I will also miss!  Even in the living/dining room, one wall is entirely composed of mirrors.  Before we moved in, John joked that with all the mirrors and the hardwood floors, it looked like a dance studio.  I joked about the wonders it would do for my downward-facing dog.  And while there was some yoga done here—and there was certainly dancing done, too—I think Jacob loved the mirrors the most.

 

Everywhere you turn in this place, you see your own image looking back at you.  This was helpful in Jacob’s newborn days, when we would check to see if his eyes were closed without shifting him on our shoulders.  It was also a good distraction in the evenings of those first months, when I would count the minutes until John came home, all the time bouncing Jacob in front of a mirror and watching him smile with delight when “the little boy in the mirror,” as I creepily refer to Jacob’s reflection, did just the same things he did.  “That little boy comes everywhere with us!” I’ve told Jacob countless times.

 

One of the selling points for me when we first looked at this apartment was the built-in bookshelves.  I loved that all the books I was hoarding under my desk at work could finally come home and have somewhere to breathe.  I love having books on display—I think it says something important about our family, our values, and who we are.  What I love about these bookshelves is that they were low enough to use as storage for some of Jacob’s toys—and books!  Once he could crawl around, I really enjoyed giving him a few shelves of his own, where he could grab the books he wanted (to chew on) when he liked.  We still haven’t gotten to the point of putting books back on shelves, but all in good time.

And finally, what I’ll miss most about this apartment is that it’s where we brought Jacob home.

As we’ve been packing up our things, especially when the artwork (and more mirrors, if you can believe it) came off the walls, I realized that the items that identify our home are coming with us, and we can just as well settle into the new place and make it home.  But still, there will be a time when John and I think back to our first year with Jacob—our first year with a child—and I know we’ll remember the floor plan differently.  I’ll think one room was bigger than it really was, or that we had the couch in some physically impossible orientation.  I know some parts of the memory will fade, but I also know that those aren’t the important parts.

 

The important part is that my home is with John and Jacob.  It is in Brooklyn now, and will still be in Brooklyn next week.  But in a few years, it will probably be in New Jersey somewhere.  The things we hang on the walls will come and go, pictures in frames will be updated over time, and we ourselves will change as well.  But those are all good things.  They mean we are growing, that we are getting closer to where God needs us to be.

Then again, perhaps we’re already there.

July 26, 2011

Junior Prom, Revisited

This weekend, at the wedding of one of my best childhood friends, I was reminded of why I love John so very much.

 

The wedding was held at the same church where I received First Communion and Reconciliation, and where John and I together received Confirmation and Holy Matrimony.  It’s the church where we met and the church where Jacob was baptized.  But as beautiful and reminiscent as the wedding Mass was, that wasn’t what brought me back.

 

It wasn’t until we got onto the dance floor at the reception that I was struck by what made me fall for my guy.  The DJ was playing a series of Motown-y-type oldies (my very favorite kind), and although there weren’t many people out there, I wanted to dance.  Other couples weren’t dancing yet; other guys really weren’t dancing yet.  Just my mom and a bunch of her (awesome) friends.  But because John knows what kind of music I like, we were on the floor as soon as our little feet could get us there.

 

All of a sudden, I was back at my junior prom—the prom I asked John to because we were kind of getting to be friends and I wanted to go with a date.  Sometime after dinner, a song I liked came on, and I wanted to dance.  I didn’t think anyone would want to come with me, and I wasn’t going to dance alone in front of my entire class.

 

I was surprised when John said he’d dance with me (yes, he was my date, but this wasn’t his school, and how many guys really volunteer to dance to a fast song?).  I was more surprised that I agreed, and then even more surprised at what a good time we had.  I guess we were both surprised and didn’t yet understand what kind of seed had been planted between the two of us.  It wasn’t until the start of the next school year that we started to hang out in a group of mutual friends more often, and it wasn’t until the following February that we became an official couple.

 

 

But something started at that dance, for sure.  For some reason, we were just plain comfortable with one another.  We could dance for hours, we could talk for days, and more and more we found that we wanted to be with one another.  The carefree, fun-loving, and love-filled nature in John that made that dance so much fun is the same spirit that made me fall in love with him, that keeps me falling in love with him over and over again.

 

No matter how many proms/semi-formals/weddings we go to, I know I’ll always have someone to dance with.  Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

June 7, 2011

The Truth About Bedtime

To all the kids out there who are convinced the fun really starts after they go to bed (and who, I’m sure, faithfully follow this blog), I have a top secret, confidential, your-eyes-only message for you:  you’re right.

 

 

Your parents have a great time after you head off to la-la land.  As much as they love being around you during the day, taking care of you, playing with you, and learning from you, there’s something special about the time your parents have with each other at the end of the day.

 

 

In our home, it’s the time after negotiating the delicate balance between preparing dinner for John and me and getting Jacob into bed.  I thought the little man had a way with printers in utero, and now he seems to have an unnatural ability to get hungry right as the buzzer on the oven goes off.  Oh, the many talents of our little boy!

 

John and I haven’t had much of our evenings to relax together lately because he’s been studying for a big exam.  But now that the exam is over, we have more time to appreciate each other again, to get past the daily chronicles of Jacob, the news in John’s workplace, and the list of things we should do . . . sometime, and have conversations about books, movies, and life in general.

 

It’s these conversations that remind me why I married John.  In the six years we dated, we spent hours upon hours just talking, talking, talking, about anything and everything, agreeing on a lot, and learning from each other otherwise.  Now that we have a window of time to have these conversations again, I am reminded that there is always truth behind a clichéd phrase:  John really is the guy I want to talk to first thing in the morning, and the last person I want to talk to at night—after the baby has gone to bed.

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