Sep 22 2016

A Love Letter to Michigan

A Love Letter to Michigan

My beloved Mitten,

When I left last year, I knew, absolutely, I would miss you. Somehow I always understood that you are special — even as a child, even when my then-boyfriend-now-husband-who-is-from-Virginia called you “kinda flat,” even when I was nineteen years old and it was winter in Ann Arbor and I had to lean into a blizzard on the blustery walk to class. Even then.

There’s just something about you.

After so much time away, I got to spend the whole month of August as a guest on your soil — and I remembered all those somethings. I also noticed brand new somethings, because we’d been apart for so long that I was able to look at you with fresh eyes.

Of course, people say we sometimes don’t recognize the beauty of a thing until it’s gone, and usually when I hear clichés like that, I’m all Continue reading

Jun 30 2016

We’ve Moved! (Again.)

We’ve Moved! (Again.)

We’re in! We’re in the new house! And all the fun things like TV and Wi-Fi are (mostly) set up, so I can finally communicate via blog without having to sneak away to a coffee shop somewhere, which clearly could not happen anyway because I’d have to drag along a 3-year-old and a baby and somehow try to accomplish something and just no.

If you’ve known me for two seconds — or even if you’re a complete stranger who just happened to read the intro on my home page — you are aware that I’m not a huge fan of change. I get so comfortable in my surroundings that it’s maybe a little bit self-destructive.

I am a total anti-hoarder when it comes to things, but with people and places my head is kind of a cluttered mess. I hold on much longer than I probably should. Fully letting go makes me uncomfortable. Every time I’ve had to move out of something — my parents’ house, my dorm room, my very first tiny third-floor apartment — I’d get all weepy and wistful. This happened whether I lived there for two days or two years. I could take a mini vacation, and as the hotel room door swung slowly closed, I’d be like, “BUT THE MEMORIES!” Continue reading

May 16 2016

My First Cali-versary

My First Cali-versary

I’ve been here a year.

One whole year. After a year of being in a place, it’s maybe supposed to start feeling like home, I suspect — but sometimes I still look around and think, Wait a second. I LIVE here? This usually happens while I’m driving, for some reason. I’m on the highway and at some point I inevitably notice I’m heading toward a mountain and there is this almost out-of-body experience. I have to actively remind myself, This is my HOME. There are mountains. There is not a whole lot of space or fresh water or lush green grass, but there are mountains, yes, and this is where I live now.

Am I weird? (I mean, yes, but am I weird because of this?) What’s the timeline for this kind of thing?

Maybe it’s because this alleged “year” actually feels like twenty minutes. Okay, three months. Four, tops. The other day I called someone to make an appointment for something and I said, “I’m not sure exactly where you’re located — we just moved here from Michigan a couple months ago.” Wait…what? That’s not right. “I mean, it’s been almost a year or something. Anyway. I have no idea where you are.” Continue reading

Apr 19 2016

New House Update: T-Minus 5-ish Weeks

New House Update: T-Minus 5-ish Weeks

We have a final walk-through date (May 26)!

We have a tentative closing date (May 31)!

Now that we have those things, and because people have been asking, I figured it might be the appropriate time for a new house update.

For the last few months, we’ve been driving to the construction site about every other weekend so we don’t miss any of the progress — and man, does it feel like crazy fast progress. These guys are TRUCKIN’. There are dozens of other homes going up in the area, too, and all of them at warp speed. Continue reading

Jan 11 2016

Places I Do Not Belong

Places I Do Not Belong

We’ve been back in California for a week now, and while I enjoyed our Michigan visit immensely, I returned with the vague feeling that I don’t quite belong anywhere anymore.

Don’t get me wrong: in a lot of ways, it was the most relaxed I’ve been in months. It was incredibly fulfilling to be with our family and friends again, and SUCH A RELIEF to know that help was nearby if we needed to call upon our village. I was able to just zip away to brunch with the girls. I was able to see P and B fall in love with their grandparents again. I was able to have an actual dinner with my husband. There were way more sets of hands to change diapers, give hugs, and mold Play-Doh. My daughter’s tantrums (a very recent and totally unwelcome occurrence in our household) vanished after just a few Michigan days. She was a better person when there were more people around to love her. We were all better people, I think. Continue reading