lasagna and salad

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

When I was a senior in college, I wrote an honors thesis to complete my major in English.  My thesis was one hundred pages long and filled with enthusiastic interpretations of several schools of literary theory.  My argument, as it were, was that the literary theory of feminism must make room for Romantic notions of subjectivity and self, even as it attempted not to due to its frequent alliance with postmodernism.

Phew.  

It's not as embarrassing to read snippets of that thesis now as it probably should be.  I did a good job for an idealistic poet who was trying not to freeze to death in Lewiston, Maine.  And my premise is kind of cute.  I was arguing for The Self.  Take all your theories and be damned if you don't value The Self.  Theory doesn't necessarily work that way, but I tossed in some Baudrillard and some simulacra and argued it with my bad self.

*     *     *     *     *

A few months ago, I took a hard look at my life.  I was in the car, in bumper to bumper rush hour morning traffic, as I was every morning.  I had dropped my amazing boys off at daycare and would be, yet again, late to work.  Austin's population growth had made my commute downtown take about two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening.

My back ached.  I should do yoga.  But when?  I should meditate.  Sigh.  Yeah, right.

My case load at work was more than full.  I was literally juggling cases.  Part of me loved the adrenaline.  (Lawyers love adrenaline, even if they say they don't.)

I hadn't packed my lunch.  I had already driven through the Coffee Bean for More Coffee.  I would buy lunch later.  It probably wouldn't be that healthy.  

I had no idea what we were having for dinner.

My lovely parents moved from Maryland to a retirement community in Austin about 6 years ago.  About three years ago, Durel and I moved to the same part of town so that we could be right down the street.  Mom and Dad's house is 3.1 miles from ours -- a 5K.  

I hadn't seen my parents in a week.  

*     *    *     *     *

I'm taking a break from the practice of law.  I am CEO of our household.  I am in charge of knowing what color Jack's class wears every Wednesday.  I am in charge of costumes for Nursery Rhyme Parade day.   I am in charge of home repairs, vet appointments, dog grooming, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, flu shots, runny noses, meal planning, meal preparation, appliance repair, exterminator appointments, and about one zillion other things.

I am also present in the lives of my children.

I am also present in the lives of my parents.

I am also present in my own life.  Which is pretty rad now, in the wake of my scary ass health experience, which makes me value my time here, and with these people, more than ever.

Apparently, I'm still making arguments for The Self.  

*     *     *     *     *

Hope you know what you're having for dinner.  We are having lasagna and salad.

Talk soon,

Heather


my village

Sunday, October 18, 2015

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have been recovering from an emergency surgery for the past 2 weeks.  Everything about this experience has been challenging.

Physically, getting over a surgery stinks big time.  Regrowing blood from lots of blood loss is more exhausting than I can describe.

For me, though, the biggest challenge is always asking for help.  I am really, really bad at asking for help.  (I didn't even join a study group in law school.  I was all, Nah.  I'll just LEARN ALL THE THINGS by myself.)

And so, the experience of this emergency and the surgery and the recovery is being defined, at least to me, by the help we've asked for, the help that has been provided, and the easy love that we've received from our village.

My dear dad drove me to the emergency room so that we didn't send our children into years of therapy by making them watch an ambulance cart Mommy away.

Andy just happened to be in town from Pennsylvania for work.  So, of course, he came to our house and watched the kids so that Durel could jet to the hospital to see me before surgery.  Oh, and he didn't just hang out with Jack.  He taught him to play chess. 

 

Cristy dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Albuquerque a few hours after I got home from the hospital.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, and kept us going for those first days home.



Jenny dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Delaware the day after Cristy departed.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, made sure I napped enough, and kept us going for the next days home.

Liz brought me a delicious lunch and freezer-friendly dinner, even though she's 9 months pregnant and I should be making her dinners, not the other way around.



Jen and Trevor knew, before Durel and I even realized it, that the best gift for us may be quiet time. And so, they whisked Jack off to the pumpkin patch with their family on a balmy Texas afternoon.  (Durel, Sawyer, and I promptly slept the entire time our little dynamo was gone.  I mean, has anyone had a five year old boy wear a Fitbit?  I would love to know how many steps that kid gets in.  My guess is like 40,000 a day.)

Megan brought me coffee and donuts and changed poopy diapers when I couldn't lift Sawyer and the rest of my boys were on the soccer fields.

I am so lucky.  To be alive.   (This was a life-threatening event.)  To have these friends (and everyone else that I didn't specifically mention, thank you).  To have this family.  To have safe and accessible health care. (I didn't say affordable.  Ambulance rides cost a grand a pop, by the way.  HEYOO, deductible.)  

I'm about to turn 40.  A friend asked me how I felt about it.  I told her that I think it's fantastic.  I get to be 40.  And I'm lucky for that, too.

Hope someone lifts you up today.

Talk soon,
Heather

steps

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sawyer is walking.  Huzzah!

When he feels like it, that is.



Jack is in an after-school running club called the Stallion Stampede.  The kids' miles are tallied annually and also linked with their membership to Marathon Kids, an AMAZING local charity that just received funding from Nike and is going BIG TIME!

He's pretty fast.

video


As for me, I am on the mend.  Roughly two weeks ago, I underwent emergency surgery to repair a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, which happened despite the fact that my tubes were tied.  That's both rare and dangerous.  The good news is that I'm on the road to recovery. 

Hope you step toward a goal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

lasagna and salad

When I was a senior in college, I wrote an honors thesis to complete my major in English.  My thesis was one hundred pages long and filled with enthusiastic interpretations of several schools of literary theory.  My argument, as it were, was that the literary theory of feminism must make room for Romantic notions of subjectivity and self, even as it attempted not to due to its frequent alliance with postmodernism.

Phew.  

It's not as embarrassing to read snippets of that thesis now as it probably should be.  I did a good job for an idealistic poet who was trying not to freeze to death in Lewiston, Maine.  And my premise is kind of cute.  I was arguing for The Self.  Take all your theories and be damned if you don't value The Self.  Theory doesn't necessarily work that way, but I tossed in some Baudrillard and some simulacra and argued it with my bad self.

*     *     *     *     *

A few months ago, I took a hard look at my life.  I was in the car, in bumper to bumper rush hour morning traffic, as I was every morning.  I had dropped my amazing boys off at daycare and would be, yet again, late to work.  Austin's population growth had made my commute downtown take about two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening.

My back ached.  I should do yoga.  But when?  I should meditate.  Sigh.  Yeah, right.

My case load at work was more than full.  I was literally juggling cases.  Part of me loved the adrenaline.  (Lawyers love adrenaline, even if they say they don't.)

I hadn't packed my lunch.  I had already driven through the Coffee Bean for More Coffee.  I would buy lunch later.  It probably wouldn't be that healthy.  

I had no idea what we were having for dinner.

My lovely parents moved from Maryland to a retirement community in Austin about 6 years ago.  About three years ago, Durel and I moved to the same part of town so that we could be right down the street.  Mom and Dad's house is 3.1 miles from ours -- a 5K.  

I hadn't seen my parents in a week.  

*     *    *     *     *

I'm taking a break from the practice of law.  I am CEO of our household.  I am in charge of knowing what color Jack's class wears every Wednesday.  I am in charge of costumes for Nursery Rhyme Parade day.   I am in charge of home repairs, vet appointments, dog grooming, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, flu shots, runny noses, meal planning, meal preparation, appliance repair, exterminator appointments, and about one zillion other things.

I am also present in the lives of my children.

I am also present in the lives of my parents.

I am also present in my own life.  Which is pretty rad now, in the wake of my scary ass health experience, which makes me value my time here, and with these people, more than ever.

Apparently, I'm still making arguments for The Self.  

*     *     *     *     *

Hope you know what you're having for dinner.  We are having lasagna and salad.

Talk soon,

Heather


Sunday, October 18, 2015

my village

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have been recovering from an emergency surgery for the past 2 weeks.  Everything about this experience has been challenging.

Physically, getting over a surgery stinks big time.  Regrowing blood from lots of blood loss is more exhausting than I can describe.

For me, though, the biggest challenge is always asking for help.  I am really, really bad at asking for help.  (I didn't even join a study group in law school.  I was all, Nah.  I'll just LEARN ALL THE THINGS by myself.)

And so, the experience of this emergency and the surgery and the recovery is being defined, at least to me, by the help we've asked for, the help that has been provided, and the easy love that we've received from our village.

My dear dad drove me to the emergency room so that we didn't send our children into years of therapy by making them watch an ambulance cart Mommy away.

Andy just happened to be in town from Pennsylvania for work.  So, of course, he came to our house and watched the kids so that Durel could jet to the hospital to see me before surgery.  Oh, and he didn't just hang out with Jack.  He taught him to play chess. 

 

Cristy dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Albuquerque a few hours after I got home from the hospital.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, and kept us going for those first days home.



Jenny dropped everything and flew to Austin.  She arrived from Delaware the day after Cristy departed.  She walked Jack to school, made me breakfast burritos, made sure I napped enough, and kept us going for the next days home.

Liz brought me a delicious lunch and freezer-friendly dinner, even though she's 9 months pregnant and I should be making her dinners, not the other way around.



Jen and Trevor knew, before Durel and I even realized it, that the best gift for us may be quiet time. And so, they whisked Jack off to the pumpkin patch with their family on a balmy Texas afternoon.  (Durel, Sawyer, and I promptly slept the entire time our little dynamo was gone.  I mean, has anyone had a five year old boy wear a Fitbit?  I would love to know how many steps that kid gets in.  My guess is like 40,000 a day.)

Megan brought me coffee and donuts and changed poopy diapers when I couldn't lift Sawyer and the rest of my boys were on the soccer fields.

I am so lucky.  To be alive.   (This was a life-threatening event.)  To have these friends (and everyone else that I didn't specifically mention, thank you).  To have this family.  To have safe and accessible health care. (I didn't say affordable.  Ambulance rides cost a grand a pop, by the way.  HEYOO, deductible.)  

I'm about to turn 40.  A friend asked me how I felt about it.  I told her that I think it's fantastic.  I get to be 40.  And I'm lucky for that, too.

Hope someone lifts you up today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

steps

Sawyer is walking.  Huzzah!

When he feels like it, that is.



Jack is in an after-school running club called the Stallion Stampede.  The kids' miles are tallied annually and also linked with their membership to Marathon Kids, an AMAZING local charity that just received funding from Nike and is going BIG TIME!

He's pretty fast.

video


As for me, I am on the mend.  Roughly two weeks ago, I underwent emergency surgery to repair a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, which happened despite the fact that my tubes were tied.  That's both rare and dangerous.  The good news is that I'm on the road to recovery. 

Hope you step toward a goal today.

Talk soon,
Heather

 
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