making plans to change the world, while the world is changing us

when I was in high school, this girl I knew told me I was going to be a really good mother some day. I think she was saying it because I am naturally a worrier and do-gooder, but I have also been reading “mom blogs” for several years, so yes, I will be a really good mother some day. this has stuck with me over the years because I cannot wait to have children (not just because I want to name them, but that’s a fun perk) and I know when it happens, I’ll be completely unprepared like everyone else, but I am just going to hope that my maternal instincts kick in like they did for Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project. I figure if I’m going to be a mess, I might as well be a hot mess.

I also know Ben is going to be a really good father some day, for very different reasons. he’ll balance out my neurotic self, like telling me no when I try to microchip our children so we always know their whereabouts.

our 11-year-old basset, Lucy, had surgery and a few teeth removed last week, so we have waited on her hand and foot, which is honestly no different from a typical day with Lu, but now we have to lift her on to every piece of furniture, administer medications 3x a day, and walk her outside so she her cone doesn’t get stuck on a branch and poke her eyeball out.

so, for the past week, Ben and I have both gotten a glimpse of how we will be as parents, and I think it is safe to assume we are probably already a little annoyed and terrified about what our future children will be put through.

for example: Ben is very aggressive around Lucy in her vulnerable state. he moves very quickly and pets her like she does not have an incision on her tummy. I remind him to be gentle around her, to which he replies that him and Lucy have a very loving relationship. well, Ben, love isn’t supposed to hurt! just jokes. he would never hurt her.

likewise, has not been impressed by my “helicopter” parenting and has told me many times that I will not be this way with our children. so what if I think Lucy deserves her own heater blanket and think her bed should be moved from room to room in the house, depending on where we are? so what if I want to wrap a bandanna around her neck to make the cone more comfortable?

checks and balances, people.

all jokes aside, there is always something to be grateful for year-round, but Thanksgiving is really one of my favorite holidays because it presents the perfect opportunity to let us feel life to its beautiful core. it is hard to avoid the news and all the negativity that is in the world. and it can be completely debilitating. sometimes it is so scary for me to think about bringing babies into the world (someday), but I have to keep believing that the heart of life is good (thanks, John Mayer).

my book club read We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride this month and it was phenomenal. I read it in one day and finished it after Ben had fallen asleep beside me. I was silently sobbing because I didn’t want to wake him up, but it moved me more than anything I have read in years. it is so easy to think that the good vibes we put into the universe don’t matter, but they absolutely do. everyone is always going through something, and smiling at a stranger in Target could turn someone’s day around. our tiny acts of caring can lead to something grandeur, and maybe we’ll never witness the buildup or reap the benefits of all of our good intentions, but someone, somewhere, will.

despite all the crazy in the world, there is always so much to be thankful for. a healthy puppy. a calm, loving fiancé. two wonderful families we always look forward to spending time with. friends that are willing to hear about both the good and bad days. jobs that allow us to live comfortably. heater blankets. wine. making pancakes and listening to records on slow Sunday mornings.

“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.”
Laura McBride, We Are Called to Rise



on being engaged to Ben Gill

we have been engaged for over two months and here is how life has changed (read: stayed the same for Ben).

Ben still claims to get zero room in bed and no covers, so last night I made a conscious effort to make sure he had adequate room to sleep and enough covers to keep him from shivering. to repay me, he “accidentally” smacked me in the face while attempting to slide his arm under my pillow. minutes later, he had an “itch” on his face and the same arm attempted to put me in a choke-hold why he scratched the itch. so, sleeping is still blissful! 

now I get to save Ben’s name in my phone as “Feyonce” with a bunch of heart-eyed emojis. 

I’m more responsible with what I do while wearing my engagement ring (which is all the time) because I do not want to scratch it, make it dirty, ruin it, or lose it. no more dishes or cleaning toilets for me! just jokes. I never realized how careless I was with my hands before I wore an engagement ring. the first full day I had my ring, I scraped the bottom of it along the wall while I was reaching for a box of cereal. I don’t know how it happened, and you can barely see the scratch, but I know it is there. and this is why we can’t have nice things. 

when we first got engaged, I told Ben if we picked a date and a venue that we could wait a while before making more decisions. joke’s on him and my type-A personality. I almost can’t handle not making decisions anymore, so it’s time to get down to business!
we have a date. we have a venue. we almost have a menu. we took (adorable) engagement pictures. I can say they are adorable because I have seen them now, but if you had asked me before our photographer sent the prints, I would have told you that Ben and I are the most incompatible picture takers that have ever ended up together. if you think I’m being dramatic, I’m not. it was almost as if Ben and I were back on our first date and he was uncomfortable by the amount of eye contact I was making and I couldn’t stop nervously laughing. we are so fun.
now, we just need to solidify a DJ, apparel (nbd), flowers, music, decorations, and bathroom options for our outdoor ceremony and reception. and probably a thousand other things that I’m forgetting. sometimes I suggest to Ben that we should try to do some wedding planning this weekend and he’ll say, “like what?” then I respond that I don’t really know. and that usually ends the convo.
I have started writing my vows, but let’s be honest, I had started writing those before Ben proposed. I’m impatient that way. I haven’t been able to read through what I’ve written so far without sobbing…every. time., so there’s something to look forward to at the wedding!
after the first couple months of celebrations and excitement, I will speak for both of us and say we are still so excited to be on this journey together. except for maybe Ben, who tried to break up with me the other night after I told him our future children had to wear both Packers and Vikings apparel. he told me that would be like letting our children wear both Wild and Blackhawks apparel, so I conceded. still, I’m a bit concerned that was a deal-breaker at this point in our relationship…

sometimes I almost can’t sit still thinking about how excited I am for our future together, but then Ben brings me back to the present by reminding me every day that this is water and that enjoying the process is just as important as the wedding we are planning.

is it too much to say #blessed? because that’s how I feel.