Category Archives: Sisters

Wknd.

This is me, trying to write a normal blog post.

As you can see, Uncle Billy was home this weekend!  Critter was still on the mend, but he was happy to sit next to him and play, pet his beard and even gave him a cuddle at one point.  It was pretty cute to see.

What else happened?  Martha was in town so we went to Bacio for dinner on Friday night with a group of our sorority sisters.  I wore adult clothes and my hair down and it felt very glamorous.  After a LONG week, it was a great thing to look forward to.  One of the mamas in my mama group declared an impromptu wine night on Saturday, so after dinner was finished and put away I headed over to that.  It was nice to catch up with those ladies WITHOUT having to keep an eye on the little ones.  We laughed so hard we cried and it was a beautiful thing.  Since Critter was sick for Zayde’s 60th birthday, we missed his brunch (Marcus went, we stayed behind).  On Sunday morning we got to go to breakfast with him at Fat Nat’s.

It was busy.

And the rest of the time when we were not eating, Billy and Marcus were hauling things to the storage unit and re-arranging some things in my parents’ house so that we can move there.  In one week.  I wrangled Critter and it was just a whole thing.  By the time that Sunday night arrived, we were on the couch and done with all of it.

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The Sacred Work of Motherhood

Just the other day, as I was opening up a stack of Christmas cards (which I will confess, we are the worst friends because we never send any), I tore open a card that felt like a postcard and a little deck of cards stacked on top of it.  I sort of laughed as I was pulling out the cards because the shape reminded me of the senior photos that we all used to exchange, back in high school.  They were like baseball trading cards.  But of ourselves.  Right?

This was not a trading card.  Instead I pulled out this message from my sweet friend Katie, who I have known since our summers at day camp in the Girl Scouts.  We pole vaulted together in high school (poorly!) and were sorority sisters from the same pledge class in college.  We have shared life together.


I texted her immediately.  I told her that I was so excited for her and Nathan and that I was praying for that little baby of theirs, who we do not even know yet.

I’m blogging about her and Nathan today because as much as this is a place where I write about saving money or cooking dinner or what leggings I’m wearing or The Cabin, every once in a while I get the chance to help maybe possibly do some Good.

Just as Katie wrote in her note above, most adoptions are made through word of mouth and this is one big bulletin board.  When I told her I would absolutely spread the word, I asked her if she would be able to share some things about her and her husband and their lives together from their adoption profile.  I told her I knew it was such a personal question to ask, but also, I don’t know who will see this or where this post might possibly end up.

As I read Katie’s words for the first time, I thought These Are Sacred.  They are Sacred because they are the words of a mother and a father who are waiting, hopefully and patiently for their little one.  They are the words of a mother and a father who are reaching into the unknown for the people who will change their lives forever.  They are words of a mother and father to someone whose life has changed forever.  This Is Sacred Work.  Katie says:

We both grew up in Minnesota and actually went to the University of MN though at slightly different times. We met while watching a MN Vikings game and have been together ever since. We got married in September of 2015 surrounded by many family and friends. We actually had a friend perform our ceremony and designed the whole thing ourselves. We bought a house and moved in just a month before our wedding. Our house is in NE Minneapolis, which is a GREAT part of the city. We absolutely LOVE living in Minnesota and feel that it is the best place to raise a family. The cultural activities and community involvement opportunities are unmatched to anywhere else in the country.

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Nathan works at AT&T as a customer service/IT representative. He has been with the company for 10 years. Katie works as a director of therapy at a long-term care and transitional care facility. She got her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.

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Things that we love to do include watching sporting events both on TV and live, traveling, spending time with friends and our pets. Our typical week days include work (of course) then home to walk our two dogs. If we don’t have any plans that night we will make dinner and perhaps watch a movie or one of our favorite shows. If there is a sporting event, we may watch that with friends. During certain times of the year we are in a weekly bowling or broomball league. We may also have dinner with Katie’s parents and brother who live in town. Nathan’s parents and sister live about an hour away. Weekends usually consist of seeing our friends and family, spending time with our pets, getting some housework done and relaxing.

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And finally, Katie felt it important to share their letter to the birthmother:

Dear Birthmother:

Thank you for considering us for your adoption choice. We are Nathan and Katie and we are very excited to start a journey with someone that will last a lifetime. Though we do not know you yet and cannot know your specific circumstances, we know that you are already a very caring and brave person by making this choice. We understand that the choice you are making has not been made without a lot of thought. From what we have learned so far, adoption has changed so much over the years. We both feel it is important to have a great relationship with birth mom, if she wants one. We have struggled with infertility and want very much be able to raise a child. We believe that we will be excellent parents who will be able to give a child a very loving, active, and educational life. We would love to speak to you about what you are looking for in adoptive parents and if we can create a lifetime relationship. 

Thank you again!

Nathan and Katie

If you can share this or know who to share this with, or if maybe you are someone who wants to know more about Nathan and Katie, please contact them at kateandnateadopt@gmail.com.  I know they would love to hear from you.  If you don’t know who to share this with, there are of course some people we can lift up in prayer (or positive thinking) during this season of their lives: Nathan, Katie, the birthmother, and this precious son or daughter they hope to meet someday soon.  All of it is Sacred Work.

 

It’s a Restart-Sort of Sunday

Holy cow, people.  Happy Sunday.  I just wrapped up a girls weekend with the OKMH Crew (Mads, Allison, Jeanne, Kirsten, and Beka Megan was on a photography retreat!) and it was just splendid.  There were some tiring times trying to wrangle Critter and be present for guests all at once but truly I am so lucky to have the friendship of these women.  While we picnicked at the beach, Critter got to dig his little toes in the sand for the first time. He loved it.  We took down about 12 pounds of pork products and ate…a lot of carbs. It was really wonderful.

And after I had made my airport run, I did some yoga, drank some green juice, and signed up for BYOB yoga and a class for me because I need to get my head back in that game.  It’s time to be an adult again.  😉  We’ll go up to the cabin next weekend so there is only so much time for rest, but I’ll take what I can get.

  • Someone in a Facebook mom group I am a part of shared this PDF of a condensed MetaFilter about emotional labor and OMG it is so interesting.  I am lucky in that my husband and the men in my immediate family are engaged in emotional labor but this still gave me a lot to think about and a much better vocabulary for some of the things that all women experience.
  • Marcus is going on a number of trips between August – October and for the last month I have been arranging for some support and oh my GOD it takes such a village to raise babies.
  • I got another mole chopped out of my back on Tuesday.  It was my three month follow-up appointment and she was like, Yeah that one has gotta go.  Consider this your personal reminder from me to WEAR SUNSCREEN, STOP USING TANNING BEDS (GOD SERIOUSLY), AND GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED IF YOU NEVER HAVE.  Thankfully this one was benign so that was a relief.
  • On a more upbeat note, I registered to be a bone marrow donor.  I’ve been meaning to sign up for a few months now and after Kate posted an instagram about being matched for a second time, I knew I really needed to get on this.  Am I super keen on the idea of having my marrow harvested?  It gives me the creeps TBH.  But I know that if someone in my family needed marrow, I would give anything for them to have a match, so I’m happy to take a shot at being someone else’s.

A Very Merry Galentine’s Day Weekend

I swear to God I’m not basing an entire blog post around the fact that I took a photo with a wooden loon.

Annandale

But I think it is a really excellent photo and second in my photo series, Kat Takes Snaps With Wooden Birds.

See also: The 4th of July.

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It’s a thing now.

Most of my Valentine’s Day weekend was actually a Galentine’s Day weekend.  Some of my favorite sorority sisters arranged for a girls-only getaway at a cabin we rented in Annandale and that was that.  Did we subsist on carbs-only?  Yes.  Did we drink champagne?  Of course.

It has been nearly six years since we last lived together.  It has been nearly ten years since some of us first met.  On Saturday, as we sat in a circle, played games, and rehashed old memories, we talked about friendship and how we have made it so far.  True friendship, like all great relationships, is based on unconditional love.  Turning the other cheek.  Being unbearably patient with one another.  Mostly giving more than you take.  And you know, there is something extremely humbling about realizing that for every time one of your favorite humans has done something annoying and you have chosen to ignore it instead of calling them out, they have done the exact same for you and then some.  Because love does not keep score.

So I think  it’s safe to say that this definitely wasn’t the most romantic Valentine’s Day, but it was definitely one of the most joyful.

Dan and Eli’s Wedding Weekend

This weekend Dan and Eli got married.  I was a bridesmaid in their wedding and that would be 100% of the reason why I was essentially off the grid from 3:00 PM on Friday until 12:00 PM on Sunday.

Eli and I met sophomore year of college in our sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.  Between living together (sometimes as roommates, sometimes as not), going to class together (we were in the same degree program) going to work together (we both worked in HR at The Minnesota Daily) and going out together to the fraternities we were sweethearts for, there was not a lot time in my week that Eli was not a part of.  I was honored that I got to share in their celebration.

I know that at some point, there will be proper wedding photos for admiring.  Where you can see how beautiful Eli looked as she walked down the aisle on her father’s arm or how perfectly our coral bouquets contrasted with our jade dresses.

For now, I thought this one would be good to share.

Eli's Wedding

20 years from now, this tiny strip of film likely will not be lovingly tucked away in the same way that the formal portraits are.  But 20 years from now, we also won’t look back and remember that a night full of dancing left us feeling physically paralyzed the next morning, that I ate two pieces of wedding cake because it is always just The Best or that we had to hike down a 100 foot tall hill in our heels because we got stranded at the top without a ride down.

In 20 years those little, hilarious, unposed moments will fade into the edges of the one big moment that mattered, where Dan and Eli said I Will Cherish You surrounded by everyone important to them.

Winding Down

Like I said, ain’t no one breathing ’round these parts until Wednesday.

But tonight’s dinner with Eli was the perfect way to wind down after a whirlwind few days.  We’ve had to re-schedule this friend date of ours far too many times and for far too many reasons.  So when I saw her on my calendar for this week and knew that we were actually going to make it happen, I was as pleased as punch.

I love getting together with girlfriends on the weekends, but there’s something about catching-up after work over a glass of wine that just can’t be beat.  Probably because it forces you to slow down when everything else in your life is telling you to keep moving forward.

Because ladies’ nights, are by definition, meant to be peaceful,  we pilgrimaged to Toast in the Warehouse District.  Largely because it’s lovely, but also because it has been on our dinner date To Do list since October.

It just needed to happen.

Plus, how could you not be soothed by the sight of this?

I know.  I KNOW.

Be still my heart.  Y’all know that if there’s a charcuterie plate on the menu that’s priced even somewhat reasonably, I will always pick that first.

Even though I’m usually hesitant to label a specific food as my favorite (let’s be serious, I eat anything and everything), I’m completely comfortable saying that a lovely spread such as the one pictured above is My Favorite Food.

It’s the one meal where you can eat an entire dinner without having to commit to a full plate of one thing.  I’m not kidding when I say that I can’t remember the last time I ate a coherent meal outside of the house.  It’s always bits and pieces, here and there.  Dinners composed of the things I really want instead of the things that the kitchen happens to put on my plate.

And, most gloriously, it’s exactly the kind of meal that forces you to savor every bite.

Which fits perfectly with the theme of slowing down.

What’s your favorite dish to order when you’re out of the house?

Do you prefer to eat one-dish meals or do you pick at lots of different things?

Wine Glasses and Cider Mugs

The most obvious sign that your dinner party was a success.

Besides the realization that you used the better part of a bottle of Windex to get ready for said dinner party.  And the fact that all of the linens you just washed to use for the party are now sitting on top of the washing machine, waiting to go through another spin cycle.

Tonight was the 2nd Annual Friend Thanksgiving.  Observed by my sorority sisters and I, it’s The Way to enjoy the best parts of Thanksgiving without any of the judgement and any of the stress.

There are no touchy subjects.  No problems to sweep under the rug.  No awkward moments.  No pressure.

If the Pilgrims got the chance to use a “do-over” on Thanksgiving, I’m 100% sure this is the way that they do it.

How it works: Everyone has to bring a dessert or a side.

Period.

Once you’ve set your heart on The Perfect Recipe, even if someone else says they’re bringing something from the same food group (example: potatoes, cream cheese, stuffing), you have to hold your ground and bring your dish anyway.

There is no turkey, there is no real structure to the meal.

Case in Point:  Tonight we had mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and a mushroom-potato gratin.

Viva la vida.

If you had to pick one “best” part of Thanksgiving, what would it be?