06 September 2013

My Thoughts on PostPartum Depression

Hi. I'm not good with small talk, so i'm just going to dive in here.

I think we as women have this idea that most moms are fine and well adjusted after making a human, and then there are a few of us, the wackos, who get post-partum depression. GASP And if we, ourselves, start recognizing some "emotional struggles" in ourselves, first we deny.

"I'm fine. It's just baby blues. Or, "It's because I didn't sleep much last night, or the night before that, or that past 3 months." Or, "My hormones are just adjusting."

But then it starts to sink in, and as we're crying on the bathroom floor eating a bag of chocolate covered acai berries that we know is going to give us the runs later, we start to wonder, "Oh my gosh... am I one of THEM???" and BOOM, now we think we're the wacko.

So here's the thing. I think we're wrong, us women. I think most of us are "the wacko". Let's review. You had sex. You do it a lot. It's fun. This time it made a baby. But first that baby was a zygote, and that little rice-sized zygote made you want to puke your guts out (or maybe actually puke your guts out) as it grew from zygote to embryo to fetus (and for some reason I want to spell fetus foetus... I don't know. I'm wacko). Then the rock hard abs you've slaved over (or maybe not-so-much... but still, whatever they are, they're yours) start bulging. Then this little fetus, who steals all your food and wreaks havoc on your hormones, starts kicking you. It hurts. You're hungry because Foetus takes your food but you can't eat because Foetus is all up in your space. Your ankles become cankles. You waddle around like a stray penguin in search of the arctic chill... it gets a little rough there at the end. But you're happy because you're making a human! (or maybe you're not happy... whatever.) Fast forward... after hours and hours (days... for me it's days. plural) of laboring like no marathon runner, triathalon winner, or doped up Lance Armstrong has ever labored, you get a human! And then, because you're not tired or anything after making said human, you get to spend the next few months not sleeping while your body gets to figure out what the hell just happened. Oh, but there's more. Your body becomes a milk factory, whether you want it to or not. Milk for days, people. And it's still gushing hormones like kool-aid at a summer-time pool party. And do we really think that 9 months of baby-making hormones just POOF and go away? No. They linger. Like the awkward neighbor who keeps eating your pretzels and talking football three hours after the party has ended. Those hormones are milking it for all it's worth (pun intended). And then there are the unmentionables of postpartum care... two words: squirt bottle. I could continue on, but you get what I'm saying.

So here's my question: what exactly do we think post-partum "normal" is? Like a month later I'm cheerily delivering out-grown clothes to orphan children, sweeping and mopping my floors regularly, doing hair and make-up daily, cooking dinner for my sweet sweet family, and keeping up on the crisis in Syria, all while providing my milkalicious self to my infant 24-7? Or three months later? Or nine months later? Because I think "normal" might be, "Hey, I showered today! First time this week!" (and it's Thursday.) I think "normal" might be, "Today I did nothing but take care of the baby, cry, and eat some cheerios my 4 year old didn't finish."

I think normal is emotional. I think normal is some depression. I think normal is exhaustion. I think normal is wanting your husband to come home and save you so so so so bad that you text him every hour on the hour like an annoying teenage crush. I think normal is completely and totally breaking down at 3 o'clock because you seriously can't believe there are more hours left in the day. I think normal is looking into the eyes of your little human and sobbing because that new love for a new life is amazing and beautiful and new... and it feels so good. (And then you kiss their neck.) I think normal is finding this new version of life... realizing everything in your world just changed, whether its baby number 1 or baby number 5.

And I think if we could accept that this is normal, that crying and feeling hopeless and helpless and lonely one minute, then complete and utter joy and elation the other, if we could realize that is what a lot of us mommas are experiencing... that we are not alone... I think we could support each other. And if that's called postpartum depression, because it lasted longer than two weeks, so be it. I think we could be honest when someone asks, "How's it going?" We wouldn't have to feel obligated to say, "Oh, it's really good! She's just the best baby ever! Yah, we love it!" Wouldn't it be great to be able to answer honestly? And to feel like it's OKAY to feel that way??!

My normal is that I'm trying to learn to take some "me" time, but Elise has never spent a moment of her waking life away from me. So it's hard to leave her with a sitter and know she might be crying and I'm not there to comfort her. My normal is trying to adjust to a crazy busy schedule with teaching piano and accepting that it's ok to take 9 hours a week to share my passion. My normal is missing her so bad that I have to make a conscious effort not to break down and sob in the middle of working out or lessons. That's my normal right now. I'm an anxious mess of worry about my baby. Sometimes I can't hold a conversation because I can't stop thinking about if I'm parenting her correctly. Or I don't want to leave my house because I don't want to take the time and effort to shower. Or because I just want to sit and hold her and stare at her all day.

And in my experience, it comes in cycles. Some weeks/days I'm awesome! The sky is blue, the grass is green on my side of the fence, clouds are raining chocolate milk and everything is peaches. Other times not so much. And when I'm in a funk I think, "Am I one of them?? Do I have *GASP* the D-word?" And yah, maybe, probably. And that's ok. Because I just made a human. And I'm done expecting my body and brain and hormones and chemicals and all that stuff to be "normal" after I've just made a human and my boobs are leaking milk. I've decided that part of loving myself is being patient with myself, and accepting of my rollercoaster of emotions and reactions and what not. Because, again... let's say it all together, "I just made a human."

21 January 2013

i'm glad i was a nerd

I had a moment of nostalgia today. I was taken back to my middle school/junior high days, which I fondly refer to as my "nerd among nerds" years. Think of the nerdy kid in your 7th grade science class... got them in mind? Now magnify it by an orange mullet, multicolored stone-washed jeans, over-sized glasses, brown-nosing band nerd and you get me. And to top it all off with a dollop of "even more annoying", I was confident, outspoken, and opinionated. I liked myself. I wasn't the shy, quiet nerd in the corner, I was the answer all the questions, no shame, talk to the popular kids like they might actually not hate you, tae kwon do loving, teacher's pet nerd. Even the band nerds didn't like me (they voted me "Most Annoying", and I have the certificate to prove it). And I mean it when I say I liked myself. I was confident in who I was. I thought of myself as beautiful and intelligent and funny and someone everyone would want to hang out with if they just knew me better... etc. etc. etc. But I was also incredibly lonely, and heart broken that no one wanted to be my friend. I remember crying, literally, to my mom that no one wanted to be my friend. On multiple occasions. But I saw no need to change anything about myself to be more likable.

Excluded. In a word, I felt excluded.

And that's the feeling that took me back today. Exclusion. And I realized that it's a deep-seated fear of mine. Exclusion. Not being accepted. Not being liked for who I am. Which sucks, just like in middle school, because I like me. Just how I am. And that was an epiphany I had today, that those fundamental characteristics... confident, outspoken, opinionated... those haven't changed. So as much as I have changed, I haven't changed at all.

Seven years. We've lived in Hawaii seven years and I feel like we (I) am just now starting to make some friends in the past few months. I mean, there were a few here and there along the way (you know who you are....) But usually they would either move or I'd shut them out before they had a chance to reject me. Before I could be/feel excluded. Because if someone rejects/excludes you and you don't know them well, no biggie. You can write it off as, "They don't know me well." But if you've hung out a few times, had real chats, gotten to know each other, yada yada... well, that's choosing against having you around. read: exclusion (refer to previous introspection regarding "deep-seated fears")

Now let's not be on a pity train here, because that's really not where I'm headed. Remember the whole "I like myself" spiel. Yah, I meant it. What I'm getting around to is, I'm grateful for my years in nerd-dom. I'm grateful to know what exclusion feels like. I'm grateful to know that there is life after craptasticness, and mostly, I'm grateful for my sympathy towards others which leads to a desire to include everyone on everything. To find common ground. To be genuinely interested in what other people care about. And I'm glad I can pass this on to my kids... I'm glad they don't see people that way (yes they're young, and I'll get back to you in 10 years, but so far, so good). Of course there's the downside of being afraid of getting to know people. But all in all, I'm glad I was a nerd.

29 December 2012

ITIWAB

NOTE: This post will talk about female stuff. And I'm not really one to use fluffy comfortable words, so if all that makes you squeamish, turn back now.

We started trying to get pregnant in the late summer of 2010. Casey was working off-island a lot, which didn't help, but I figured my other two pregnancies had happened quickly and easily and this one would follow suit. Casey wasn't completely sure he wanted another kiddo, but then one day he texted me ITIWAB. I said "What?" he said ITIWAB. I made a guess... yada yada yada ITIWAB = I Think I Want A Baby. We were gung-ho on adding a little Jorgensen!

Weeks ticked on to months... I started living the 2-week cycle many hopeful mothers are familiar with: 2 weeks of hope-filled anticipation, "I think I'm nauseous!" or "My boobs are definitely sore." or "I'm WAY more tired than usual...." and 2 weeks of impatience and waiting for ovulation. After 6-8 months I knew something was up, and I was definitely having some weirdness in my cycle.

My periods were intense... heavy, painful, emotional, did I mention heavy? They were really heavy. Even between periods I was in pain: crampy, stabby, "I don't really want to get off the couch today" type pain. I asked friends and talked to family... I was overly worried because I don't have the best family history in the female organ department. (Lots of cancers. No one's female nether regions have lasted past 35.) So I just let the time keep ticking, and pretty much gave up on the whole "have another baby" thing. I was approaching 30 and that was the family marker... my woman parts had ticked their last tock and that was that. I'm the type of gal who has to mentally process stuff before I'm ready to swallow it whole, so I basically spent a year or so just digesting the fact that we were not going to have any more children, and I would probably have something severely wrong with me when I finally had the guts to see a doctor.

July 4th of this year we attended a breakfast party at a friend's house. I was menstruating and debating going at all, but decided instead to just double up my preparations (read: super tampon + one of those pads that feels like a diaper, and of course plenty of "reserves"). I reassured myself that it was only a 30ish minute drive to their house and I'd be fine. So wrong... oh so so wrong. The thing is, I would lose like clots of blood... chunks sometimes the size of walnuts. (Hey, I warned you in the beginning.) And gosh the pain.... So after spending an hour in a friend's bathroom cleaning up what look like a murder scene, I decided it was time to make the appointment. And I was ready to hear whatever the doc had to say.

Skip to late July... appointment day. They were all up in my business... ultrasounding and examining and all sorts of stuff. The diagnosis: crazy polycystic ovaries (there were all sorts of cysts up in there) and what appeared to be very progressed endometriosis (but you can't really know without exploratory surgery). Basically I was told that I would not get pregnant without assistance... lots of assistance. Period. Case and I had already had this talk and decided that we were completely and utterly happy with our family as it was and were not going to take any extraordinary measures to make more babies, so the goal was HEALTH. I wanted to feel healthy again. Doc said to come back in when my period started and he'd get me going on birth control to help out with the PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome) and then once that was under control we'd do surgery for the endometriosis.

but then my period didn't start.
Enter Elise.



01 July 2012

LONDON LETTERS: mumford&sons. huddersfield.

the day has arrived. today i will see marcus mumford & sons in the flesh. hear their voices. feel the thumping of the bass, the strum of the banjo. today is the day my ridiculous birthday present happens.

and today i can't sleep past 4:30am.

it's cold. i keep checking my phone watching the minutes crawl by. the sun's already out... is it really only 4:30? i think maybe my phone didn't adjust to the time change... where's my watch? 4:30... is it really that light out? pull back the curtains... yes, the sun is up at 4:30 in the morning. and it's cold. freezing. our window is covered in a layer of dewy moisture because our heater doesn't work. i need to sleep a little longer...

5:30 still need to sleep longer...
... zzzzz
6:00 seriously, it's only been a 1/2 hr. dear stefani, sleep looooonger.
... zzzzzz
6:45 check facebook, instagram, read a little bit of pride and prejudice on my iphone...
... zzzz
7:20 what time does the breakfast buffet open?? what time does it close? i don't want slim pickings... maybe we should go at the beginning. how can casey still be sleeping? itʻs full-on daylight out there... this is crazy. in 12 hrs. i'll be watching Mumford & Sons live in england. i'm crazy. this is crazy. i need more sleep.
... z
7:30 i'm taking a shower. and then i'm waking up casey. maybe i'll lay out our outfits first. and do my hair and make-up and all that.


8:00 i'm waking up casey.


we just had our first english breakfast... eggs, beans, bacon (but not like american bacon), sausage (but not like american sausage), and there was the continental all-you-can eat bar where we grabbed a couple croissants and fruit&yogurt bowls, maybe some frosted flakes too. oh and complimentary hot cocoa... mmmmm. tummies full, it's time to find markers and posterboard to make "the sign". 

"the sign" has been part of the plan all along. i mean, how i am going to get on stage with Mumford & Sons if they don't know i exist? and how can i let them know i exist when they're on stage and i'm down with the huge sea of audience peoples? and what would get their attention?

a poster.

a poster exhibiting the fact that we have flown, literally, to the other side of the world to see them perform live in their home country. HI2UK12, that was my catchphrase/hashtag for the trip... Hawaii to United Kingdom in 2012 - HI2UK12. big deal, right? like seriously, big deal. so hereʻs the plan... find a spot near the front, close to the stage. hoist the sign at the perfect time when Marcus will see it, read it, and say something like, "oh really, you flew all the way from Hawaii to hear us?! that's brilliant! come on up here!" (make sure you read that in a british accent...) then we'll chit-chat on stage, he'll ask what i do back in hawaii, "oh i teach piano."

"oh so you're a musician? you ever play any of our songs?"

"yah! i did 'the cave' at the spring recital last year, and i've done 'awake my soul'. y'all are amazing!!"

"well, how about we do one together, whadya say?"

and that's how it's all gonna pan out. so i need to find a store that sells markers and posterboard so i can make a sign. the sign. and would you believe that Staples is in the UK?! (no wonder Dunder Mifflin never stood a chance... michael scott? the office? anyone... bueller... ) we made the sign right there at checkout... took up an entire register area to do it. 



next stop: Huddersfield. Greenhead Park.

drive. park. pay for parking. find bathroom. find venue. arrival time: 2ish. Mumford & Sons goes on just before 9. in the interim: stroll around Huddersfield.


eat fish and chips.

man these are good fish and chips. and i had a coke too. but coke is coke no matter where you are... do you see these fish and chips?? amazing... greasy. and amazing. i don't know how they got a chunk of fish that big!


oh look, a cute little random man smiling at me from his front step. *click click

and back to the festival...


buy tshirts. check.
look at the booths... they all sell different brews of beer. no hot cocoa. check.
find a good spot. check.

hmmm... the stage is well guarded. there's no way to access it from the audience area. like, there's the audience, then a fence, then security guards, then the stage. all stairs and stage access are backstage. my plan can't work... they can't call me up on stage. it's literally impossible. and i never came up with a plan B.

plan B: have casey hold our spot and i'll go be all chatty with the security guard that's at the backstage access area. tell her our story... get in. 

i approach the security guard... female. in her 40s. looks nice.
smile. smile big. 
i tell our story... flew allthewayfromhawaii because we adore Mumford & Sons, young parents first time away from kids, fellow musicians, we love England, Yorkshire sure is beautiful... 

"no, love. but good on you for trying!" (everybody calls everybody 'love', it's great.)

then Ben walks by.
Ben, the pianist/keyboardist for Mumford & Sons.
walks right by me. like less than 2 ft. from me.

and i walk back to Casey, tell him the bad news, but that i saw Ben. i point to Ben. "see, he's right over there?"

"well, why don't we go say hi to him?" says Casey.

duh. of course.

so we did.


me: "we flew all the way from Hawaii to see you guys!"
ben: "why?!"
me: "because you're amazing! inspiring! some of the best music i've ever heard!"
ben: "wow, well are you enjoying the festival?"
me and case: words of affirmation.
we said something else... i'm not sure what it was. it was surreal. then we walked away, and someone attacked him for a picture, and i realized we didn't get a picture. so we did.

my one regret: i should've said, "can we come backstage and meet everybody?"
i'm sure he would have said yes. oh well... HI2UK13! jk jk

after several hours in some drizzly rain, which was awesome by the way, the time came. and this guy came to the stage to announce the band...


and then it began...

(FYI: no that is NOT me you hear singing/screaming at the beginning and such...)


and here are a couple more for those who love Mumford & Sons' music as much as i do...

Thistles and Weeds

Awake My Soul



and a few pics of the concert...







in one word: epic.

28 June 2012

LONDON LETTERS: skipton castle

first off, it's worth noting that i had severely underestimated the whole driving thing. i figured, "yah yah, other side of the road, no big deal." and then our car was a stick shift, and i thought, "well that's a little tricky... shifting with the left hand, but still, we can handle." and by "we" of course i meant Casey, because there was no way i was gonna drive on day one. and then it was rainy, and foggy, and the roads weren't exactly wide enough for two cars, and then.... the round-a-bouts. they have their own set of rules, those round-a-bouts.


that roundabout right there... the one above... that's a pretty straight forward roundabout. it's the ones where the Garmin is saying, "Enter Roundabout and take 5th exit" that were freaking us out a little. okay okay, on day one, all of the roundabouts freaked us out. so like i was saying in the last post, once we got out of Manchester, we headed to Skipton.

literally, dozen upon dozens of little roundabouts in there. 


pardon my incessant laughing... it was intense.


a little over an hour-and-a-half later we arrived...

facade

(des or mais is medieval french, meaning "henceforth")

there is a large section of the castle that is not open to visitors... because someone lives there. isn't that amazing! they live in a castle... a castle! this whole section pictured below... private residence.




all over the castle were these crosses (see below-right...) they were for the archers defending the castle during times of war or attack. those slits are only about 2 inches wide. youʻd think they would be completely protected behind that tiny cross, but we learned that longbows were incredibly accurate in the right hands, and attackers standing over 80 ft. below had over a 30% accuracy rate, so 1 in 3 arrows would make it through. 

            

the castle was built in the 1090 and has received very little renovation since the 1600s... it was originally made of wood, and after faring poorly through its first attack, it was fortified in stone. the original drawbridge and moat and dungeon and kitchen... everything... were very well preserved (the original stone version, that is). this hook here was part of the drawbridge/castle gate unit. i loved the way it had worn into the stone wall over the centuries.


now letʻs take a gander inside...

pictured below is the "oven" and bathroom. yes, i'm standing in the oven. back then, kitchen duty was a mans job, several men actually. there were two of these huge fire places in the kitchen, as well as several smaller loaf cooking ovens. apparently the men who worked close to the fires, like the carvers, usually worked half-naked due to the heat. (the middle pic is looking up the oven shaft.)

the pic on the right is the toilet. its a concrete platform with a bum-sized hole that opens up several stories over a stream. in theory, you did your business and it fell right on down to the stream. (you can kinda sorta see the stream below, through the trees.)

this is the banquet hall... so imagine a couple of super long tables and dozens and dozens of people. this picture doesnʻt really do it justice but this room was enormous! there is a human sized fireplace along the left wall, and there were a couple of cannons in the rooms too. just for decoration iʻm pretty sure... unless they used them for some epic food fights.


these are the north-facing windows of the drawing room. it was the "ladies room" where the women and children would retire after dinner to do needlework and stuff... i donʻt really know what they did. if it were me, i would have made a pot of hot cocoa and watched Pride and Prejudice.


this is a view from one of the watchtower windows, overlooking the castle entrance as well as the town of Skipton.

and next... the dungeon.

what i thought was most interesting about the dungeon was its absolute seclusion. no windows. no nearby chambers or anything... it was by nothing. and completely shut-off. i wondered how people lived for very long in those conditions, and wondered what type of people had been incarcerated there, and for what crimes. there were etchings on the dungeon walls, a coat of arms/shield, some shapes... in a nutshell, it was dark and it smelled funny. so we went outside...

the courtyard: in the middle of the castle there is a courtyard, surrounded by the domestic buildings of the castle. 

these rain gutters were part of the 1650s renovation, which was under the direction of Lady Anne Clifford... they are made of lead, as was the winery equipment and water storage containers. the castle had only one well or spring within its perimeter, which was piped in, but if they were under siege and the pipeline was cut off, the gutters were used as part of a rain-water catchment system that funneled the water into a cistern under the conduit court.

and hereʻs the court...

 this ewe tree was planted by Lady Anne in 1659 to celebrate the completion of the restoration work.


this coat of arms is located above one of the many doors accessible via the courtyard... itʻs actually the arms of Margaret Bromflete, who was the mother of Henry Clifford, he being Anne Cliffordʻs grandfather. got that??
the archway pictured bottom right (above) is the entrance to the courtyard if you are coming by way of Lady Annaʻs main entrance to the castle.

the chapel.
built in the 12th century, last record of use 1637 for a baptism, and then fell into derepair during the civil war... became a barn for the animals. it was carefully cleaned and uncovered in the late 1950s and renovation work is slowly underway...




the view from the castle looking over Skipton...

and that concludes our castle tour...

just outside of Skipton Castle is the Holy Trinity Church of Skipton

with a kind old gardener who chatted to us for nearly a 1/2 hr. while our teeth chattered in the cold.


what i loved most about Skipton Castle was its history. i loved being around something so old, that had been a part of so many peoples lives... it had such an amazing feeling, to walk the stairs and imagine the centuries of footfalls that had worn away the stone. and the fact that itʻs still being used, being lived in, is so remarkable! history... so much history.

with the drive time, we spent our entire friday with skipton, and saturday was the concert... Mumford and Sons here we come!!

24 June 2012

LONDON LETTERS: prep and leave

camping. we had already planned on camping from fri - wed. and the kids were super stoked about it, so i wasn't gonna bail on the idea. that just meant a little less prep time. we went to the passport office on friday and handed in our paperwork, spent the weekend camping, then hit up the memorial day sales for some cold-weather clothes. (NOTE: hawaii does not sell jackets. probably never, but definitely not in June. also, no long-sleeved white shirts. seems simple, right? yah, not so much. i ended up going to sports authority and just buying some under armor shirts...) we decided to pack-up camp monday night, so i had 36ish hours to unpack camping gear/clothes/food, do laundry, clean the house, pack kids suitcases and grown-ups suitcases... oh yah, and pick up our passports.


wednesday night. our plane didn't leave until 10:30. we dropped of the kiddos at 6:30, threw our bags in the car, and headed out. (i'm really proud of the fact that we packed super light... i might mention it a few times. we packed super light.) our route took us to LAX then Washington/Dulles, then Manchester, England. FLIGHT 1: 5ish hours. FLIGHT 2: 5ish hours. FLIGHT 3: 7ish hours. Total fly time from point A to point B: 17 hrs. ish. Total travel time from point A to point B: 24 hrs. ish... oh, and we almost missed our flight to Manchester... no joke. we were chilling in Washington/Dulles... i had already begun my hot cocoa addiction, which lasted for the duration of the trip. i was rubbing essential oils on my feet because i was determined to A) defy all past experience and not get sick with all the flying (ps. jackie k. if you read this, i want you to know we were constantly putting neosporin in our noses. totally works!)  B) chill-out my asthma before arriving in a new climate/environment, etc. we were sitting 20 feet from our gate... and we thought it was weird that there was a flight to Paris leaving 30 minutes before our flight to Manchester, U.K. was supposed to leave. We kept saying how that was some magic to get one plane taxied out and another in, unloaded, cleaned, loaded and on its way in only 30 minutes. It got closer and closer to leave time and the flight to Paris was obviously running late.... we were uber confused. NOTE: ALWAYS CHECK THE SCREENS!! I mean, everyone knows this. We know this. But for same brainless reason we were just going by our tickets... As I'm sure you've figured out, our gate had been changed. To be more correct, our terminal had been changed. IT WAS INTENSE!! We grabbed our small carry-ons (we packed super light... so cool) and booked it! When we arrived at the correct gate it was on last boarding call! We walked in, buckled up, and left. Like I said, intense!






We arrived in Manchester, England, Friday morning at 9:30, picked up our rental car, and started driving. On the left side of the road. Through the most insane driving situations ever... let's all say "rounadbout" together... And an hour or so later we were in Skipton, home of Skipton Castle.

11 June 2012

LONDON LETTERS: badminton

on tuesday, may 22nd i got an email from Mumford and Sons... because we're bff and we txt and email and comment on each others FB statuses and stuff, right... and mostly because i'm signed up on their fan club lists. i skimmed over it with a tear in my eye... something about their very own series of festivals called "stopovers" and the first one was in two weeks in a place called Huddersfield... tickets still available. WHAT?!?! ticket still... what?!? a little bubble bounced around inside of me thinking, "maybe we could go!! there are still tickets??!! what is this? who am i kidding... IT'S IN 10 DAYS!!!???!" then i google-mapped Huddersfield and lo.and.behold it's about 3 hours north of London.

i think this is when i exploded. in a good way...

i called casey. explained the situation. he thought i was insane, because that would be a normal response. i looked up plane ticket prices, train ticket prices, hotel stay prices, car rental prices... then i called casey again. with the figures in hand he thought i was insaner. then i texted my friends echo and becca, and talked to my other friends ezinne and brian... it was pretty equally divided between, "girl, you cray." and "DO IT!!!" all of this happened on tuesday.

i had a moment tuesday afternoon when i realized this was utterly ridiculous and of course we weren't going to spontaneously leave for england next week and whatthecrazywasithinking, and me and my iphone went in the shower (with it's waterproof case, mind you) and i cried my little eyes out while i listened to Mumford and Sons in the shower. (seriously can't believe i just admitted that... so SO corny.) i wrote it off and dismissed this whole business of spontaneous world travelling. really now, i'm an adult.

WEDNESDAY the 23rd:
wednesday i woke up with the whole mess behind me. did i still want to go? well hello, of course. but i'm just not the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of gal. i plan things out. i'm careful with the monies. i make responsible decision. i'm almost 30 for crying out loud!!! i don't follow bands around paying too much money to watch them sweat and strum on stage... c'mon now! wednesday i was normal again. i put on my running shoes, dropped the girls off at their respective places of education, and headed to the bike path for a jog. but then i decided to call mom and dad. mom didn't answer, so i called dad. and we chatted. and he said i was crazy if i didn't go. he said, i quote, "GO! and call me when you get there!" then just after that mom called me back... she was on the "girl, you cray!" side of things. so i badmintoned the idea back and forth, back and forth.

right shoulder voice: live the dream!  left shoulder voice: be practical.
right shoulder voice: once in a lifetime crazy spontaneous opportunity? left shoulder voice: be practical!
right shoulder voice: you only turn 30 once...  left shoulder voice: be practical!

and then there were the real, honest-to-goodness roadblocks...

OBSTACLES:
#1 expired passports: can we even get them renewed in time?? it's memorial day weekend... that's one less business day before we would be leaving... we would be leaving in 7 days, only 3 business days!! this is impossible...
#2 the plane ticket prices were bouncing all over the place... if i couldn't get them for the cheap end of things, i WAS NOT going to pay the higher price.
#3 if we could get the passports renewed AND get the plane tickets at the cheap prices, were the concert tickets still available??? what if i paid for the crazy plane tickets and BOOM no concert tickets?!?!
#4 am i really going to spend an exorbitant amount of money to go to a concert?? (justification: not just a concert, a country. i'm unreasonably fascinated with england...)
#5 last, but not least, child care. could i find people to watch my lovely little humans for that long of a time?? i mean, i think they're adorable and pleasurable and easy to handle... when well fed. but would other people??

i called casey again and we talked it over... he gave me the go-ahead. well, basically he said if i could really pull it off, then go for it. but i shouldn't start counting any chickens, if you know what i mean... and he still thought i was insane. (side note: he loves mumford & sons just as much as me... and he likes castles. so, you know, just saying this wasn't a one-sided wonderland. it's like a 80/20 wonderland...)


RESOLUTIONS:
#1 i called the passport office in honolulu and had the shock of my life when they said they could expedite a passport renewal and it could be done in 3 BUSINESS DAYS!!! (they did it in 2 for us because we smiled a lot.)  CHECK
#2 after confirming that we were in the clear for the passports i jumped back on every travel sight you've ever heard of, and Wednesday early-afternoon the tickets dropped to the lowest they had been the entire time... and i went for it. CHECK
#3 almost simultaneously, on another open window, i clicked the "purchase" button for the Mumford & Sons Huddersfield, U.K. Stopover tickets. we were officially ticketed, intended-attendees to a Mumford & Sons concert IN THE U.K. CHECK
#4 yes. i am. CHECK
#5 we called grandma (who, by the way, does not actually live in HI) to see if she'd like to fly over... unavailable. checked with several family friends who we've known since moving here... it seems like people like to leave the rock in the summer, and everyone was in fact leaving the rock... i had had a few friends who had already offered to child-watch if we decided to go, but one was coming sick, another was literally having a baby... literally. another was traveling right after we got back... just bad timing all around. but somehow, miraculously, three amazing families sprang up to the rescue to watch my women. CHECK

right shoulder voice: we're going to england! left shoulder voice: mumford & sons!!


and so the countdown started... T-minus 6 days to departure. and holycrapwe'regoingtoengland...nextweek started to set-in.

10 June 2012

LONDON LETTERS: the let-down

so remember that one time i said i wanted to go to london and see Mumford and Sons perform live? i mean, i wanted to go to london anyways... to england in general. let's be honest, i want to move there. (yes, really.) and so i scoured their website, Mumford and Sons, and eagerly awaited concert dates in london. really anywhere in england that was closeish to london would do.

i looked daily. literally. shows in denmark, scotland, sweden, germany, america, the netherlands... lots and lots of shows. none in england. i think sometime in late march - early april i slackened on my daily vigil and it became more of a weekly vigil. i even facebooked them and explained my situation... 30th birthday coming. want to see them. london, england. etc. etc. (i didn't expect a response, and didn't get one.) i just needed a show date so that i could start working out plane tickets and hotels and all those little details.

i was kind of getting disheartened. maybe they weren't planning on touring the lovely great britain this year. maybe they wouldn't post show dates with enough time for me to plan the trip, buy tickets for everything, etc. maybe it wasn't meant to be... (let's all have a collective sigh together.) then i got the fortune cookie... now generally i'm not a big believer in fortune cookies. but this was a sign, people! seriously... it was MY fortune in MY fortune cookie. it came to me.


hope.

so i kept checking show dates, tour schedules, i looked everywhere! sometime in late april - early may i checked their website after a week or two of slacking and low and behold SHOWS IN ENGLAND!! none right in london, but hey, close enough! so i searched through each show individually looking at concert dates and available tickets... annnnnddddd

every.single.one.
sold out.
what? how? whyyyyy?!?!

i searched the interwebs and learned that they had all sold-out within 20 minutes!! and were being sold on ebay for way too much money. i was desperate so i went to ebay... they were sold-out there too. and let me tell you, they were going for WAY too much money.

so i clung to my little fortune of hope and decided i'd check again in a few weeks to see if they would post any shows for the fall. maybe, just maybe, more shows in the u.k. or maybe answer my desperate facebook message... or, you know, somehow learn of my desperate plight and just fly over here and do a show right in my backyard! (maybe this is what casey had up his sleeve the whole time??!!)

but somewhere down deep in the back of my head i knew i had missed my chance.
and this year was not the year.


31 January 2012

when i grow up...

iʻm gonna be cool like this guy...

26 January 2012

why iʻm juicing

hi. iʻm on a juice fast. yes, itʻs a trend. yah, iʻm sure it will die down. no, itʻs not my first juice fast. yes, iʻll probably do it again. no, not all of the juices are tasty. yes, iʻm doing it to lose weight.

so hereʻs the thing... i like me. iʻm beautiful. (in every single way...) i donʻt have body image issues. if iʻm wearing shorts at the beach itʻs because i didnʻt shave, not because iʻm trying to hide my white and thighs. iʻm of the opinion that a body, no matter its appearance, is amazing. i like my body. always have.

that said, my body is almost twice the size it was before kids. yah, seriously. like quarter-pounder to half-pounder, like 6 oz juice box to 12 oz can, like toddler feet to teenage feet. like size 4 to size... wait a second. why donʻt clothing sizes double with body size??

why i want the smaller body back: CLOTHES i like a certain style of clothes, and that style doesnʻt fit a larger physique.YOGA. i like yoga. yoga is not made for people with heft. some of the positions are literally impossible... HUSBAND. he doesnʻt care much. but i want to give him back the wife he married, with the cut abs and such. CHILDREN. reason numero uno. i want them to learn a healthy lifestyle. an active lifestyle. a whole foods lifestyle. i want them to develop healthy habits. and i am their mommy... it starts with me.

oh, and i turn 30 this year, so when i meet Marcus Mumford at a concert in London, and then heʻll be like, "wow, youʻre great at piano, and you know all our songs. wanna join the band?" and iʻll be like, "wow, yah! thatʻd be awesome!! what about Ben?" (the current piano/accordian player...) and heʻll be like, "oh, Ben is gonna play the mandolin and fiddle now." and so Iʻll say, "YES!" and then theyʻll change their names to Mumford and Sons and Daughter. yah, when that happens i wanna be healthy enough to sing and dance around on stage without losing my breath.