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Winging it? Question Mark?

Anything I was ever good at (anything I ever succeeded at is more accurate… good at might be a stretch) was because I just sort of walked into it. Stumbled into it, through it, oh this is where I am now. Not that I didn’t work hard or make the best of wherever I was whenever I was, but so many experiences in my little world could have been absolutely non-existent if I had actually thought and planned and followed a play book.

In college I just did stuff. I just up and got an internship. Moved to North Carolina for the summer, stayed on Wake Forest’s campus. It was insane and expensive and lonely and oh god so so so hot. I took a red eye that flew through Ohio and it wasn’t until I was in a really long cab ride after my second flight that I thought, holy shit I am ALONE and I am really far away and I know nothing about what I’m about to do for the next few months. How did I get there?

I moved to San Francisco without ever being there before. Just drove on in with my best friend and set up shop in an apartment I HOPED would fit all of my stuff, an apartment I had signed a lease for sight unseen. It had mice and it was moldy and dark and terrible, but it was somewhere.

I met my husband off of twitter. Not even on purpose. I told him to pick me up on my cross streets for a photo shoot that was his idea because I thought that was internet-stranger-safety.

There are a million examples. Biggest maybe being Gabe. What did we know about having a baby? Nothing. What does anyone who has never had one know? Nothing, nothing at all. And I know nothing about having a 2 year old, and I know absolutely nothing about having a teenager, but so far we’re doing pretty well.

I do well when I jump into a situation and then assess. I work well when I can figure out the specifications of whatever is going on and act accordingly. I get anxious and make mistakes when I try to anticipate what’s about to happen. I didn’t read any parenting books when I was pregnant. I didn’t read any pregnancy books either. I just did it and as things came up I asked questions.

The only thing I know about marriage is what kind of person I want to be as an adult and what kind of person I want to be with me during that time. I work to try and make that a reality and that’s pretty much it.

A few weekends ago I felt completely unheard by Kamel. One of those days where all the little things piled up and toppled over and it was the kind of fight that starts out as a very calm, “hey would mind next time…” but then quickly turns into, “And then… AND THEN… AND THEN!!!!!!!!!” And Kamel left before I was satisfied  and took Gabe to the park and I stewed in my own pissed-off-ness and I’m-not-being-heard-ness and I’ll-show-him-ness. And I went around the house systematically picking up all of Kamel’s wonderful handheld game devices and his fancy headphones he cherishes so much, and I hid them, scattered them around the apartment in places he would never look in a million years. And then I felt way better. He thinks it isn’t such a big deal to inconvenience me? Well I’ll show him!! I then sent him an ominous text about “All the things he loves most” … very ransom note style … and waited.

When he got home he knew there was a mystery to solve and my petty vindication turned into a lovely game where he understood that at any point in time I could fuck up his world and I felt loved because he was adorably searching high and low and not at all getting annoyed with me for briefly, if only on the surface, fucking up his world.

What I’m saying is, we’re starting to potty train Gabe and I just can’t bring myself to adhere to a certain program. On one hand this makes me anxious, on another all of my parenting successes have been of the brand “Well this seems to make the most sense and isn’t going to kill him, so…” So I’m just winging it? And remembering in the back of my head how to potty train a dog? And also being patient and kind and encouraging? And we bought a potty? And I figure eventually he won’t need diapers and we’ll call that success. This is me giving myself permission to not totally know or understand what I’m doing, but to have faith that it’s all going to work out. So that’s what I’m doing. Pat on the back for Lauren, it will all be ok.


Empty Spaces

Yesterday I went in for my 16 week baby checkup. Listened to the heart beat. Bunnyfrog still lives and is still in there. Bonus: I only gained 3 lbs. Small victories. Not that I’m like RESTRICTING my weight gain, but it is always best not to gain 20 right off the bat (I always say). Body changes are an interesting part of pregnancy. In some ways they are the most straight forward. It’s not a shocker to grow an egg on the front of your person, it’s pretty standard pregnancy folklore that you do round out. The part that is always so startling for me are the changes of who I am. I’m not Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde-ing it over here. I don’t...


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The Plague Months

I’ve actually started getting used to being sick all of the time every winter. Last winter was the plague months, and this winter seems to be no different. No different at all. Except this time I’m pregnant and achy and quite possibly even more pathetic. But at least I’m not shocked by the fact that there has been at least 1 sick person in my house since early December and it’s probably not going to end until April. I’m sitting at work right now experiencing waves of sweat that wash over me. This is what happens when you don’t offer sick leave, America. LOOK AT ME, SWEAT COVERED, COUGHING, SNEEZING AND GROSS. Look at what...


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Here and There and Everywhere

I have some more things to share. Just snippets here and there. First! Weekend-ing will be returning. There may be weekends where all you see are piles and piles of used kleenex, I’m not going to lie. But also maybe some good family moments. Speaking of photographing stuff. I am now showing but it is different than last time. Last time it was like my bump popped out of me like a perfectly round ball was pushing against my tummy skin. This time it sort of oozed forth. Like, if I tried I could still hide it, but only sort of. Mostly I feel wide and like a duck. Not cute and pregnant. Maybe cute and pregnant is reserved for first...


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Things, January

Way back in December I colored my hair a bit. I got balayage, where they paint the coloring onto your hair, so no foil. And I got a subtle ombre look. Kind of like I spent the month on vacation somewhere beach side. I was at work and looking at photos of celebrities when I realized that if I could be anyone on the planet, dress like anyone, style myself like anyone, it would probably be Rita Ora.  And then I spent an afternoon kicking my younger self for not being more brazen with my look, not taking more risks with hair color or makeup, not being the inner artistic renegade that hides beneath my soccer mom exterior. Because now I have to...


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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: A Review

Oh hello book lovers! Fancy seeing you here… in my world where I have totally neglected you. How embarrassing. But I have not forgotten and I have finished the reading list. Only this and 1 other to go and I am finally complete with this little experiment. More book loving and reviewing and reading to come, I promise. But only once I can be relied upon to make a deadline. Anyways, on to the point. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion is one of her best known works and one I had only read excerpts from in grad school. It’s a collection of essays about the free love era and the hippy movement in San Francisco. I love Didion...


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Starting the Second Trimester for the Last Time

I keep thinking about having more children…. or not. In my ideal world I would love pregnancy and then I would live on some amazing plot of land in a giant house and have a writing studio from which I could watch my beautiful gaggle grow and play. It would also be in a city. And everyone would have amazing jobs and there would be amazing schools and walkable grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Perhaps I would also paint and enjoy gardening. Ideal worlds are fantasies of fantasies. Back in the REAL WORLD. Here are a few realities: – The idea of KNOWING that I get my body back forever and ever (until it betrays me in old...


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Who the hell is she?


I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.