Saturday, March 29

Shared Life

I think one of the many reasons I feel in love with Matt and wanted to share my life with him was how different his upbringing was and how that had given him many different hobbies, interests and experiences. I wanted someone who would balance me, but who had the same values and morals. One thing that has always been evidently the same is our commitment to family and the importance it holds in shaping our lives.
One of the differences has been our exposure to outdoor activity. I grew up playing outside until I was either cold, it was too dark, or I got hungry. Vacations were camping, or on a lake with swimming, canoeing or kayaking. Weekends were often spent hiking in good weather, xc skiing in winter and a combination of biking, running and swimming in summer, and although I never really took to organized sports, I modeled exercise after my parents and started running on my own early in high school.
As important as differences were to me, they are always challenging to balance as you build a life together. When I would take Matt home with me to NH I'd want to run in the mornings, xc ski if the conditions were right and take the opportunity to hike if that's what my parents had planned. This was a challenge for Matt. He didn't like XC skiing, he wasn't a huge fan of hiking and wasn't interested in running. Of course he tried it all with me, but it just wasn't for him.
I knew that the longer we were together, and exposed each other to the lifestyles we were used to, we would each adapt and figure out the balance that worked for us. I'm definitely a country girl, but I've taken to city living and know I'll always be near one, largely due to Matt's influence. I grew up having home cooked meals and didn't really know anything different until Matt came in to my life and I started to appreciate eating out more, maybe a bit too much lately...
For Matt, he's grown to enjoy getting out doors and taking in what nature has to offer. He hikes with us now, has bushwhacked through local woods, and is running a 5K with me in two weeks. I know that if I want to go for a walk on the country roads I grew up on, he’ll happily join and take in the beauty with me. He sees now why hiking, as grueling as it can be, is so rewarding- it is all about the view.
This morning as we came in from a run in the park, I laughed a faux evil laugh and said, "I knew with enough exposure I'd turn you in to an outdoorsman." I of course am not out to change who Matt is. Although, it is nice when something you enjoy and cherish in your life is taken on and shared with the person you've tied your life to. When it activity based, you can partake in it together. I'm learning as we enter this life building thing together, that although differences can create a layered, fun and new experience for you, there are some things that a partner needs to enjoy too, and I'm glad that Matt is starting to share my love of experiencing a lot of life outdoors.

Friday, March 28

What I'm looking forward to this weekend

Time in the Park
Bagels for Breakfast
Feeling like it is finally Spring
Exciting College BBall Games that I wouldn't otherwise watch, but will because they are on in the apartment
No plans

Sunday, March 23


After I realized how perfectly situated the sun was for not only an early evening stroll through the park, but some great light for pictures I took Matt and my Camera for a walk in the park. As we strolled along East Side Drive we talked about all the things we still had to discover around us. It felt good to be out together, exploring our City, spending time not in front of the TV, it felt refreshing. I'm starting to really fall in love with The Mall. I love how the city peeks over the ancient trees around you as walk it, I love that it is still a gravel path, I love how it feels like I'm in a special place and that millions of other before me have felt the exact same way. I hope my pictures were able to capture it.

Spring is in the Air

I love how quickly tulips open when you place them in water. As the sun streamed in through our windows, I couldn't help take my camera to them.


A year ago this weekend, I moved to NY. I could be sitting where I am right now, but would have been surrounded by boxes. I remember waking up Sunday morning and starting to slowly unpack the boxes in the Kitchen, I figured it was the easiest thing to get put away. I started to sort things, stack things and get organized while still unorganized.
As soon as my Mom and Brother headed back to NH, Matt and I started our long list and started buying.
Within 2 weeks everything was bought, put together and the boxes were gone. I work quickly. Now a year has passed. I found myself thinking the other day how fun it would be to unpack all over again. The process was joyful for me. Not only was I unpacking my life and joining it with Matt's, I was starting a new journey, I was putting the past year behind me. I didn't know where this step was going to take me, it was exciting, exhilarating, and a whole lot of fun. I got to go to Ikea and buy things I really needed, I was gifted things I'd had my eye on for months, it was all mine to do whatever I pleased with, as long as Matt agreed- and when does he not? I like being organized, I like putting things in their places, so unpacking this apartment was fun for me on many levels. I would do it all over again.
Now we've got our eyes on bigger things, we'll be here another year but after that I want a house to call our own and I want to unpack in to that place and not know when we'll leave. I want to use the knowledge HGTV has given me. There is a long way for us to go still, but when I think back on the last year it is thoughts like, "Damn where did the time go?" So, before too long we'll be putting are now joined life in to boxes, and as little fun as packing is at least I can hold on to the joy I know I'll feel unpacking again.

Friday, March 21

Downtown 6 Train

When she walked on the train, I knew the kind of person she was. I’m not saying, I knew but I knew. You know?

She looked unsure of herself, but sure of how she handled these situations. I saw her survey her surrounding and realize there wasn’t an open seat. She took her back pack off her back, but kept it on one shoulder, possessive of herself materially and physically, the back pack wasn’t going to come all the way off. She moved towards a bar, and planted her feet. She stood right in front of me.

She wore all black, it is the most flattering color.

As I looked up at her standing in front of me, I could see how dry her hands were. I chanced a glance at her face, which was moisturized and made up, but not overdone. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t taken care of her hands. They appeared dry from too much washing, too much time spent ensuring things were just so, too much time making up for something she felt was lacking.

She was short, and could just barely reach the top bar. Each time she could afford to, her hand came down and she held her book, but when she tried to balance as the train jerked and moved she had to continually stretch back up and hold on.

I wasn’t judging, more just observing. There are so many people to watch on the train.

The next day I saw a guy seated across from me, he was so flawlessly put together. Polished shoes, pressed trousers, shirt and tie and a trench coat with a popped collar. His hair was styled, but looked effortless with just the hint of product. He had a soft face, and I kind of wanted to think he was one of “those guys”, but he portrayed something sweet and gentle. I’m sure he was someone who enjoyed a social life, plenty of women and a job on a high powered track, but as much as I wanted to make a story with judgments thrown in, I couldn’t. Something about him just seemed too real and down to earth. As we moved out of 14th street, a woman stepped on and leaned against the door opposite him. I saw him glance at her, taking her in, from his look she must be worth checking out. He did it again several times, reading her face, processing what he saw. I could see a sense of confidence and wonder in his look, like he was thinking, “She’s hot, I could get her number if I wanted.” I almost hoped to watch him track her down as we all exited the train and ask for a number, but he didn’t. On to bigger and better, I guess.

This morning as I stepped in to place, I half stepped on someone’s foot. The woman who it belonged too jerked it away quickly, angrily. She was clearly not just annoyed, but pissed. I looked down at her, saying “Sorry” as I did. Her face was covered with a graffitied Ed Hardy hat, ear phones in and IPod touch held protectively in her hands. She clearly didn’t hear me, but as I lifted my head up I saw her look up at me, annoyance passing over her face. Now I was annoyed. The vibe from her was aggressive, and I almost wanted to say, “It’s not like I stepped on your foot on purpose.”

A few stops later I was able to sit down, across from her. I took her in. Her eyes were closed now as we moved further downtown. I saw an enormous diamond ring on her ring finger and immediately thought, “Maybe she’s got to portray some kind of tough attitude to protect that.” Whatever it was, it stuck with me, as did the other two people I came across this week. The people you run in to, sometimes literally, on a daily commute.

Sunday, March 16


Sometime the city feels small. A few minutes of walking and we were on the Upper West Side, just like that. Why don't I walk across the park here more often? Everything was just the same, families spending time together on play grounds, runners stretching on benches, Kevin Bacon walking his dog. I could still be back on 5th Avenue walking south, but I wasn't, and I felt a world away and yet not. I'm rambling.
When you talk about these neighborhoods, they seem so far away and apart. They have different personalities, a different feel to them. An expanse of green, and actually a body of water separates them. When I'm home, on the Upper East Side, I feel far away. But then as I walk across at the top of the reservoir, I hear myself exclaim as we reach the West Side, "And just like that, we're here!" But I don't say it out loud, I keep it to myself, it feels dorky. Sometimes my excitement at discovering things here, at falling in love with little pieces of the city feels that way, but hey I'm a dork. The most exciting discovery yesterday was crocuses, just about to bloom. Spring is on the way and I can't wait to discover it all over again here in New York.

Thursday, March 13

Couple City

As I was walking to spinning with a co-worker tonight she asked if I felt like I was getting the full city experience by going out with other couples. She commented that she kind of always felt that you really get the city experience when you're out for fun dinners/nights on the town, and alluded to it being easier when you're in a couple. Her face brightened as she commented about how much fun it must be to be living in the city as a couple and getting to experience it through that.
At first, I said- "Well Matt and I don't go out that much..." Then I paused, that doesn't mean we're not fun or don't have fun when we do. She was right. I am getting the full city experience by going out and experiencing the city with friends, I'm doing what I sometimes wish I were out doing when I sit at home alone.
I do it with my girlfriends, and I do it as a couple. Is it easier to commit to social engagements as a couple, definitely, and with this group of friends we don't worry about cost which always exposes us to more.
The whole couple lifestyle does open you up to more in the city. You can take off the airs of being with a group of girls "out on the town." You can relax a little when you're with the one person who loves you regardless of any flaws, you can let yourself give in to the atmosphere and not worry about who is around you and how they are reacting to you, and if its friends surrounding you, the relaxation comes even more easily.
Living together and getting married, we are moving in to that world of going out together, getting invited to things together, and its fun! Now that I've had this epiphany, I want to do it more often, if only we had the income to match my ideal.

Monday, March 10

To Be Young

I watched a baby and a puppy play on Sunday afternoon. I just laughed and laughed, and laughed. It was darling. To watch the almost 2 year old run with a smile spread across his face and sounds of glee coming from him as the puppy, a smile also across his face, jump and chase after him was heartwarming to say the least.
What joy it can be to watch those still young and get to feel young at heart. What fun to project your future plans upon them, fantasize about what it can be like, what hopefully it will be like. I want it all. A house, a dog, a baby. I feel fulfilled now, but partly it is the knowledge that I can have it all, I'm a quarter there.
Matt said in the car as we were driving to NH on Friday,
"Isn't it weird to think that in less than 6 months we'll be making this drive to get married?"
I guess weird isn't the right word, but it is a wonderful feeling that we're getting closer and I can't wait. Isn't it also weird, or fantastic, to think that in a year from now maybe we'll be in our first house and then a few years after that (give or take) we'll have a dog and a baby in that house?
Maybe it's the lost hour and gained light, but I feel light and young and happy and even closer than a quarter way there.


I jumped on the bandwagon, and I'm already having a blast.

Not that this will replace longer more thoughtful blogs here!

Sunday, March 2

I did it! Just like I planned and wanted to. I spent the better part of the afternoon writing. I've pushed through the section I was avoiding because of my spotty memory, and I think I did an actually nice job of summarizing a summer that is a complete fog to me. I'm gaining confidence with this new kick of writing inspiration. I went in to writing about my Dad's death wanting to chronicle one year and I think I will remain with that and maybe summarize a kind of where I am now at the end. The point is, I'm close and I feel myself being able to finish writing it all down soon, and then the editing begins.
When I was antsy, I read some things on, and posed for some self portraits that capture me in my writing zone, I found a great new place to write, that doesn't require me schlepping myself to Starbucks so I can focus, that is a bit more comfortable than the living room and I get to look out our bedroom windows, most of all our bedroom always calms me and is a great place for writing.
The second Sunday posting of pictures in a row, maybe a I'll start a weekly thing...