Category Archives: these are the days of my lives

pending person

So, I’m pregnant. Here is a small person who lives inside of me and steals all of my ice cream:

It’s almost two years exactly now since I miscarried a previous pregnancy. Being pregnant again has not made the strangeness or sadness of that go away. I still think about it regularly and it still has this influencing voice of “sometimes things go wrong.”

In the meantime, things seem to have been going rather uneventfully with his one, despite all of my high riskiness. I’m 38, overweight, and there’s still that MS thing lurking around, but I’ve been really lucky so far. I never had much morning sickness and I certainly never threw up. I don’t have gestational diabetes. I occasionally get heart burn, but it’s not persistent. My biggest challenge or complaint really is just a lack of sleeping.

Only six weeks left to go (until the due date, anyway) and it definitely now feels like something that is coming soon, not like something in the <shrug> “later” category. We went to a birthing class, four Tuesday evening’s worth. It was rather horrifying, but I suppose they were horrors worth being aware of. And it did solidify for me that I just don’t know what I don’t know. I don’t know how much pain I can tolerate. I don’t know what kind of encouragement will help me. So I don’t have a birth plan, or even want to have one. I’ll try to have an open mind and just do the best I can.

I worry about getting things done before she’s here. About how we’ll get through the first few weeks and months. About how we’ll pay for child care once we have to go back to work. How the dogs will cope. And how we’ll pay for a dog walker, too…

I don’t have the feelings of smug pride or earth mother-y amazement that other people seem to. I haven’t indignantly asked anyone to give me a seat on the train. I would not describe it as “exciting.” I feel daunted and unsure of how to prepare… will the baby be a terrible sleeper or refuse to breast feed? Will she be ok? There’s no telling what she’ll do, so we can only consider and hope for the best. And try to tune out all of the advice and The Tales of the Baby Who….

Amidst all of the baby tales and the no one every told me stories, I actually feel like I’ve heard it all. Maybe because the entirety of my generation (and some of the follow-up generations, too) has already done their procreating? It seems like people talk about it all the time. Sometimes even brag about it. Every possible terrible thing that supposedly no one ever talks about, someone, or the internet, has talked to me about it. Fingers crossed, I don’t experience some brand new terror, heretofore unmentioned in the so-brave confessions of new mommydom.

And somewhere underneath all of the worry and doubt and dismay that I will never go see another movie ever again, I am incredibly curious about this person. What she’ll look like and be like and what loving her will feel like.

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Filed under Momentousness

august thirty-first


I’m married!

The David and I got married on August 31 on a very sunny Saturday in Oakland.

It was a gorgeous day and it somehow, miraculously, turned out just like I had pictured it might.

We’ll get access to use the photographer’s photos after the new year, but in the mean time, I’ll try to convey what it was like with the various snapshots I have.

Overall, we wanted to feel like ourselves and I shied away from anything that I wouldn’t normally do. I wear dresses, but I don’t wear gowns. I like to decorate with flowers, but I don’t carry them around with me.

Normalcy be damned, though. I started weeping in the morning while I was getting ready and continued to do so off and on. So a lot of what I remember is crying and trying not to.

We both wrote our own vows, which ended up being even cuter than I thought we were. One of my favorite bits was The David’s promise to love me even when I have the snots, which he said precisely as I was blowing my nose.

Lisa Congdon officiated for us and did a wonderful job of it. She got married a few months before us. Leading up to her own wedding, she wrote so genuinely about her joy and delight in love. The sound and sentiment of her beliefs were exactly what I wanted I wanted to be surrounded by while we did the marrying. And fantastically, she agreed to give some of her Lisaness to us.

75 of our friends and family came to spend the day with us, including The David’s parents, his sister+brother-in-law+their-3-kids, and one of his buddies from England. I had a goodly representation from the east coast. But the majority of the guests are a part of the family we’ve built for ourselves here in the Bay Area. I was struck by how special and fleeting it was to have all of our people gathered together in one place; there will never be another opportunity like that.


I was surrounded by my best ladyfriends, who all picked out their own yellow dresses: one from my first real job, my sister-in-law, one from high school, and one from college.  (A fifth intended lady friend had had some unexpected travel conundrums and couldn’t make it.)

David wore some yah-HELLOW pants and all his dudes wore bow ties and blue gingham shirts. It was great. A fantastic blend of British and San Francisco hipster.



I had wanted the dinner to look and feel like something that I might have invited you to in my own home, without formal floral arrangements or place settings and I think it turned out beautifully. A dear friend and her mom sewed the yellow gingham table runners for me. The dishes and utensils were all compostable. The flowers were arranged in jars and cans that I’d saved for the past few months.

The food was fantastic. Seriously the best wedding food I think I’ve ever had. We had ribs and bbq chicken, a kale salad, a roasted corn and zucchini salad, and whole wheat mac n cheese. There were incredible deviled eggs, watermelon skewers, and sausage rolls passed before dinner. And there was an amazing cheese table. Later we had two kinds of pie, strawberry rhubarb and blackberry nectarine, with sweet cream ice cream.



We demonstrated our swing dancing skills (rudimentary) for our first dance to Mumford and Sons I Will Wait.

1173878_436104783175252_2144697979_nThere were far off fireworks at the end of the night over the Oakland A’s coliseum. We packed up a ton of leftover food and a million flowers and went home to our new house.

I don’t feel different, but I do feel amazed and happy that we did it. And I am, as ever, surprised at just how much I lucked out with this fellow of mine.



Filed under Momentousness, Special happy things, The David

getting not-robbed


Last week, I experienced something pretty awful.

On Monday morning, I was in a line of people waiting for a ride into San Francisco, when three young black kids in hoodies turned up with guns and robbed as many people as they could before running away and getting into a car.

I was not robbed myself, but I was there in the line for casual carpool.


That sign is the sign for casual carpool. That guy is about to get into that car. In about 45 seconds, I am also about to get into that car.

I happened to be at the front of the line and talking to the women next to me, so I was turned towards the rest of the line facing her. I saw these guys moving through the line in a strange way – why would you pass through a group of people like that when you could just go around?

The line started breaking up and I heard someone say “is this for real?”

As soon as I saw the gun, I backed up a few steps and said to the woman I had been talking to “look out, look out.” She still had her back to them and hadn’t seen anything yet.

She turned around and we backed up some more. I saw the kid closest to me facing a guy from the line, who then slowly took a backpack off his shoulder and give it to the kid.  And then I turned around and ran around the corner.

Having my back to them was terrifying. Would they chase after me? Would they try to shoot me? How far should I go? Could I call the police and run at the same time?

After an eternity or a few minutes, I ran down a driveway and ducked between the back of an SUV and some garbage cans, where I called 911. After a busy signal, I tried again. I listened to some messages in different languages and waited until I finally spoke to a person. I told her that there was a robbery happening and she transferred me to the Oakland emergency line. Then I told someone else that a robbery was happening, where it was, that I had not personally been robbed, and I gave her my name and number.

And then I creeped back down the driveway and saw other people heading towards the carpool spot. Since they didn’t seem to come running back around or anything, I decided to go back to see what was happening, because surely it would be over by now. Plus, I really couldn’t figure out where else I might go.

The kids were definitely gone, and the scene was a bit chaotic. There were people in small groups, one woman was crying hysterically. There was no line. There were cars pulled up, waiting for passengers, but no one was getting in them.  So I got into the first car and told the driver what had happened. There was another passenger who had also been there; she had just run straight across the street when she realized what was going on. The third passenger had just arrived on the scene.

Police were not there by the time we left.

People keep saying that I was so smart to get away. But it wasn’t planned. I just stepped back. And no one stopped me from moving away or told me to do otherwise. I mean, you can only rob one person at a time, right? And I happened to not be one of the first ones. So I managed to just move away.

The kids didn’t yell or make any noise. I’m not sure I heard them say anything. They didn’t point the guns, they just sort of held them, the way you would hold a water bottle in your hand. So it was really, really scary to see a gun and understand that it was a threat, but they weren’t acting particularly threatening. I don’t think they even touched anyone, and no one was hurt. But eight people were robbed of their purses and back packs and laptop bags.

A few days later, the police came to my house after work and showed me pictures to ask me if I could identify any of the robbers. I couldn’t.

They currently have two people in custody, one a 17-year old, who is probably the one who was closest to me.

I’ve been going back to casual carpool since then, but I make sure to keep my phone in my pocket and I’m trying to be more aware. I’m mostly fine; not freaking out all the time. This morning, though, I heard a man’s voice behind me on the sidewalk and my heart started racing. He was just saying hello to someone else he saw.

Once I realized what was happening that morning, I had the thought that at least it wasn’t my birthday today (it was the next day). Because man, it would suck to get robbed on your birthday.

But I didn’t get robbed at all.




Filed under Today, Uncategorized

belated birthday

There is a lot of belated going on around here, but the one I choose to report on now is my belated birthday, from last week when I went and turned thirty-six.

Prior to this birthday, there were many things transpiring. In the month of August, The David and I bought a house and we also got married. Which means that we had also recently spent a lot of time looking at houses, making offers, getting approved by banks, followed by packing up and moving and then living out of boxes, and clearing out an apartment that I’d lived in for 9 years. Plus the getting married!  I’m not going to list all of the things that went into planning a wedding in our four month long engagement, because I choose not to go back into that scary head place. Later. I will talk more about it later.

Suffice it to say, we planned to take a week off of work after the wedding, but knew that it was going to full of out-of-town visitors and unpacking boxes and putting up towel racks. It was nice, of course, to have the time off, but it was not a honeymoon of romance and relaxation and recovery.

But through it all, I had this far off knowing:  my company gives us a PTO day for our birthdays, so on Tuesday, September 24, I would have this random day off, all to myself.

That day happened and it was perfect.

The David knew of my wishes to spend the day lollygagging in bed with books and cats, so he (in a move that has totally sold me on this whole husband concept) prepped for my day by stocking up on snacks and my favorite Trader Joe’s lunch, chilling a bottle of vodka in the freezer, laundering all of the bedding, getting fresh flowers, and buying a stopper and a bath bomb for the bathtub.


So I woke up and The David brought me my green smoothie in bed for breakfast. This happens every day and is non-birthday specific. I know, I got a good one.

But then, I proceeded to not get out of bed. I cozied up with a novel and one of my fur babies.


I ate a bag of cheddar popcorn, still in bed, and finished my book.

I managed to get up out of bed and went for a massage, which was glorious. Followed by a pedicure, which was grossly overdue.

Then I came home, got back into bed and started a new novel, loving on a new cat.


Then I got up, and watched an episode of America’s Next Top Model, which now has boy models in it, but is otherwise still fantastically awful.

And then I made myself a cocktail! In a copper mug! (Vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.)
I sat outside supping on my drink and reading my book and listing to my sweet sweet booger cats yowling at me from the door.


The David came home with takeout from Homeroom, the macaroni and cheese restaurant down the street. We sat outside and started a fire in our new fire pit, drank Moscow Mules, and ate our macaroni and cheese.


I took a bath (not pictured) and went to bed.

And it was the best.


Filed under Special happy things, Today

On June 26th


Five years ago today, I met The David. At a wine bar that no longer exists. I couldn’t stop giggling about the Britishness happening. I don’t remember too much about that night, but I do know that he asked if we could meet again on Sunday and that I said “yes.”

Since then, there’ve been a lot of other yeses. Not least of which is the promise to stand up with our friends and family in 66 days and say yes forever a thousand times.

I take it for granted that we are allowed to get married. It was such a momentousness for us to come to the decision ourselves, I can’t fathom anyone or anything else making a contribution to that decision. So today, on this big anniversary, I am grateful for the strides made in granting the right to marry to everyone. It’s been a wonderful day to appreciate what I have and how much it means to me.


Filed under Special happy things, The David, Today

i think i wanna marry you


This is pretty old news now, but it’s time to note it for posterity: The David and I are getting married!

And when I say that we’re getting married, I don’t just mean that we got engaged, but literally that we’re getting married. In like 2 seconds. On August 31.

There wasn’t a proposal, per se, but on the couch in our living room, after work on Friday, April 12, there was a conversation that resulted in the decision that we should get married.
The words “we might as well get married” were issued. I almost swooned at the onslaught of romance.

And on the tails of this decision, we learned that the green card The David thought he would be getting through his employer was actually not going to materialize and that since he was almost all out of visa juice, he’d have to leave the country in November of this year.

Hence, the 4 month engagement.

And then we went out and drank beers and ate tater tots with cheese and bacon.



Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Momentousness, The David, Uncategorized

i love you

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 1.48.00 PM

“I love you with all my butt. I would say heart, but my butt’s bigger. <3”


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Filed under Holidays

I will always have gum


You were born on Saturday. It was cold and sunny. I wondered about when you would turn up all day long.
Your mom did a good job cooking you (she even gave you 8 extra days) and I’m very proud of her.
You have squishy plump cheeks and ears that like to fold over under your hat.
Very nice to make your acquaintance, kiddo. We’re gonna have great times (when you stop pooping in your pants.)

So glad you’re here, baby.

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Filed under Family, Friends and other Humans, Special happy things

this year’s love


The Christmas card I sent this year was evidence of my descent to full on cat lady crazy.

In the beginning, when faced with the task of completing The Christmas Cards, I forget how much I like them. The stack seems  overwhelming and the list of names daunting.  And on top of the shopping and the eating and the near-constant state of some degree of drunk, they do stress me out.

And yet, I refuse to just sign my name to anonymous card and stick a stamp on something impersonal.

As much work as it is, I love the ritual of sending these messages. And I get such a nice feeling of accomplishment from sealing up the pristine envelopes and dropping off the finished stacks in a mailbox.

I love you.
I miss you.
I’m sorry I haven’t seen you in so long.
I’m so glad we got to see you this year.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
This year will be better.
I’m excited for all that’s in store for you this year.
I’m glad there’s a you here.
I want you to be happy.
You matter to me.



Artfully arranged cards on the mantel


Filed under Holidays

birthday thirty-five

I was moping about turning 35, that it was half way to 40.

“No, Maggie,” said Brice. “It’s half way to 70.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whatever. It’s a milestone on the way to something.

Maybe I would feel just as glum about it if I had done all those life things you’re supposed to have done by now. 35 could still be all boo-hoo even if I did have a for reals career, a kid or two, a mortgage and a partner legally obligated to contend with my oldness.

But I suspect those developmental delays have a bit to do with the feeling of having messed up a bit some how along the way. I turned 35 and I didn’t get it right!

So, I’ve been thinking about my “life list” and trying to identify those things that I really, really want to do before I’m done. The things that could make it feel right.

Weirdly, the things I really, really want are not that exciting at all.

I want to save enough money for retirement.

I want to be a faster runner.

I want to remember to send birthday cards.

I want to be a good aunt.

I want to grow my own basil.

I don’t have a collection of dreams that I’m afraid to shoot for. My life is far from perfect, but I’m not pining for something. There’s a vague pining for the mundane, but big things I feel like I should have done by now. Which is possibly not even pining but actually fear that my friends and cohorts are all leaving me behind.

All those things, the babies-marriage-house-career, they could still happen. I can still figure out if those are all things that I really, really want. I’m not giving up, just because of this 35 business. It’s not a deadline.

It’s a milestone. Halfway to 70.

Which is a very, very, very long time from now.

A lot of things are going to happen before then.





Filed under Today