Checkin’ In, or, Gettin’ Emotional.

I’ve got some pretty bad pregnant blogger guilt right now, y’all.  This is a time when I should be documenting everything, but instead my brain is full of things like stroller choices and pregnancy-friendly burlesque costumes.  In my downtime, I’ll start a blog post and then inevitably end up on Buzzfeed* or reading A Feast for Crows.

Basically, I’ve seem to have some sort of gestational ADD.   

So, let’s see.  I’m currently at 29 weeks (!) but haven’t taken a belly photo in a while, so here’s my 24-week one.  Imagine that plus five more weeks’ worth of gestating (and eating).

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Shit ain’t getting any smaller.

Despite my fuzzy mental state, though, I have to admit I am one of those obnoxious women who loves being pregnant.  Sure, I’ve been feeling the less-than-wonderful effects, too.  My back and hips ache, my balance is off, I get out of breath if I talk too much, and some days there’s nothing I’d like more than to just drink an entire bottle of red wine.  There are times that I’m ready to be done, ready to have an identity outside of “pregnant chick,” ready to meet this kid!  But still, there’s just something so strange and exciting about walking around growing a future human in my belly.  Maybe it’s the extrovert in me, but I can’t say I mind the attention it brings.  People love to touch my belly.  And I (usually) love it when they do.  Because what’s better than having people lavish love on me and my daughter?  People who’ve never met me think she’s wonderful and special.  And I may be biased here, but she kind of is, right?  She is new and fresh and nobody has ever been or will ever be quite like the person she will become.

A couple of months ago, late into a pre-holiday evening at the bar, our friend Jaime asked if she could talk to the baby.  She bent low and spoke close, almost touching, next to my belly.  It was loud at the bar and I couldn’t hear a word she said, but she must have said a lot because she was down there a while, and I found myself getting teary.

It’s humbling to see the love that’s already waiting out here for my kid.  I wonder sometimes if she can sense it.  Does she hear the many voices of the people who can’t wait to meet her, murmuring through my skin to her new ears?  Can she feel the hands and arms and hugs lavished upon me?  Does she hear it when her sweet papa speaks to her through my belly button, or plays her grandpa’s guitar for her?  There are so many people who love her so much already.  And me!  I have no idea who she is or will be, but I already love her so ridiculously much.  What a weird feeling it is to love someone you’ve never met.

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Papa speaks into the baby-phone.

Maybe this is why I haven’t written much about pregnancy – it gets me all emotional and teary if I think about it too long.  I’ve always been a tad on the mushy side; being knocked up just seems to have pushed me over the edge.  Now it’s all puppies and rainbows and tiny little baby booties.  Sheesh.  I’m hopeless.  You’ve ruined me, little baby.  Soon I’ll start collecting Precious Moments figurines and it’ll all be over.

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* I pretty much died while reading this one.

Emily Thinks About Weddings and Other Big Life Things.

NOTE: I promise, dear blog, that I will not let the fact that Instagram is now (FINALLY) available for Android come between us.

Speaking of which, let’s talk photos (and some other things).

In case you didn’t know, my parents are professional photographers,* and have been photographing weddings for pretty much my entire life.  What this meant was that my sister and I were never lacking for wedding photos to ogle.  I certainly went through various wedding-fantasizing stages, but when it came time for me to do it for real, we ended up with something low-key, low-stress, and very much our own.  (Our centerpieces were board games; we began the ceremony with high-fives, and I dyed a streak of my hair to be my “something blue.” )

Us, right after making it official.

Also, our friends and family were a huge part of the wedding.  Our cupcakes were made by a baking-savvy friend; my mom sewed our chuppah (which ended up being more of a backdrop due to the wind!); my dad wrote and recorded the song he and I danced to.  We had a close friend perform our ceremony, thanks to Massachusetts’ one-day marriage designation.  Not to brag, but basically, we have awesome friends who helped make it an awesome day.  And this is kind of how I see marriage in general.  It doesn’t make sense for us (and, I’d argue, a lot of people) to retreat into seclusion and close ourselves off to the rest of the world now that we’re married.  It’s not that we’re not a team–we are–but I see it more as a smaller unit,** encircled by bigger ones.  Maybe it’s the crunchy, vaguely Commie hippie in me speaking, but I just don’t think we’re meant to live cut off from each other.  It takes a village, et cetera.  Our family and friends aren’t any less important to us now that we’re married.

See? Encircled.

So now, my younger sister is planning her wedding.***  In less than three weeks, almost exactly three years after I got married, she’ll be creating a new little circle all her own, with her and Brandon (or, as I’ve come to call him, FUTUREBROTHER) as its nucleus.  Around that little circle will be bigger ones, with her family, both biological and the one they’ve created from friends.  I got to meet some of them this weekend at my sister’s bachelorette party, and I can now say with conviction that these circles are made up of some genuinely wonderful friends.

Caution – wild girls.

Or maybe it’s not quite a circle.  Maybe it’s a web, or one big crazy connect-the-dots, with lines drawn here and there, from me to my sister to my husband to my mom to you and back.  The more tangled, the better – because that’s what makes it strong.  We all need each other.

So what am I getting at here?  Let’s see.  Marriage is big.  And it’s frustrating, and wonderful, and maddening, and joyful, and three years into it I can hardly claim to know a darn thing about it.  But I do know this: having a network of people is important.  It’s like a big nest, made up scraps of this and that, where a fledgling family of two can be safe and warm and supported.

Bride and maid of honor, overwhelmed.

And I love knowing that my sister and I are now pieces in each other’s brand-new nests.

*And damn good ones, at that.

**May I never grow out of giggling at the word “unit.”

***And she’s blogging about her nearlywed status, too!

Photo-A-Day 14/Happy Valentimes!

day fourteen: heart

That’s right, that ❤ counts as a heart.  This is from the note that came with the flowers sent to me at work today by my sweet husband.  We don’t usually do anything particularly extravagant for V-Day, but I guess I had mentioned more than once that I’d never had flowers sent to me, so he must’ve gotten the hints I were (somewhat) subconsciously dropping.  And I’ll admit it: it’s kind of freaking awesome to have a stranger deliver you flowers at your place of employment.  They came early enough in the day that I got plenty of smug*, sitting-next-to-flowers time.

So now I just have to wrap up my workday so I can go meet that sweet man of mine for some Valentine’s Day sushi.  We’re going to check out Thelonious Monkfish, which I am super excited** about.  Also, I look really cute*** today, if I do say so myself, which always feels like an accomplishment the day after a burlesque show when I’m running on fumes.****

So here’s to lurve.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

* That’s right, I’ll admit to feeling smug.

** Dude, they have something called Gaga’s Monster Roll!

*** I’d have an artistic pictorial of my outfit for you if I was a proper blogger, but since I’m still getting my bloglegs, you’ll just have to make do with this awesome bathroom mirror shot (feel free to Photoshop a Pop Tart in there if you’d like):

A successful Work-Appropriate Outfit I Wasn't Embarrassed To Be Seen In.

Top: Urban Outfitters circa 2007; cardigan: Target via my friend Lucy at our clothing swap; skirt: J.Crew courtesy of gift card from my mama-in-law.  Flat hair: shut up, I ran out of hairspray.  

**** Fumes = six hours of sleep and all the glitter I couldn’t wash off this morning.