A place called home…

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I would say for the past 11 years I have been  interested  ok obsessed with Real Estate. I like to say that it’s because I work for a Real Estate Management company. But the truth is that my obsession began when I was almost evicted from (what was at that time) my dream apartment in Sunnyside, Queens NY.

I was a fan of HGTV’s House Hunters, and most of the renovations shows on the channel. Like Design on a Dime, Curb Appeal, Hidden Potential, Divine Design.

I even thought about becoming a Real Estate Broker.

My obsession started when I lived in Jersey City, NJ, in a tiny studio. The price was perfect, under $1000. Unheard of in 2009 but it was still a studio. When I finally started making some money I thought “Let’s begin the apartment hunt’

That was around 2015 (the recession hit me HARD). Daily I would look at apartment listings, mostly to see what the prices were. I knew I could maybe afford $1000 to $1200 a month.  It was upsetting to see that apartments in my price range were either in areas I did not want to live in (due to the distance to work or because of crime) or in horrible condition or smaller than where I was at. I didn’t think that was possible but I was proved wrong.

I saw Brooklyn become gentrified and a hip place to be while living in NJ. I applied to every housing lottery that I fit the criteria for but was never called for an interview.

I saw Manhattan price skyrocket, along with Brooklyn and Queens.

When I met my husband and we started looking for a place together I told him ‘Unless you want to pay $2000 or more a month we need to look in the Bronx.’

He didn’t believe me that prices in Manhattan were crazy. He was living in the same apartment for 8 years. He wasn’t actively looking at real estate listings like I was.

When I say actively I really mean every day at work when I had downtime I was looking for my apartment out of NJ. Even with two incomes Brooklyn and Queens were expensive. Plus hubby didn’t want to live far from where he worked (East Side of Manhattan). That left the Bronx and the Bronx had slowly been raising rent prices. They had to compete with the other boroughs.

We found and applied for a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment in the Savoy Park Apartment complex in Harlem. We were accepted. We were close to being able to stay in Manhattan. A little further uptown compared to his East Harlem apartment. But it WAS Manhattan. Yet we didn’t take it.

Yes, it was 2 bedrooms and 2 baths when we had 1 of each in East Harlem.

Yes it was newly renovated with a gorgeous kitchen (and I don’t even like cooking, but I would have become a chef in that kitchen)

Yes, it was in an elevator building when we had none in East Harlem.

But at $2600 a month!!! We took into account the neighborhood that wasn’t really seeing that much gentrification. I took into account that with all my research I KNEW we could find better. I wasn’t willing to sign on the dotted line.

So we continued to look, saw more places…some in Manhattan more in the Bronx.

I feel in love with one in Kingsbridge. An area that would have been a hike for both of us to get to work. I didn’t care, I loved the neighborhood and the apartment was ok. On the small side BUT it came with a dishwasher AND an in-unit washer/dryer. The broker said that Landlords were starting to add amenities to units that were practically non-existent in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Laundry in the building…ok, but in your apartment? That was new!

Hubby felt the Kingsbridge apartment for the location and size was too much at $2050. Needless to say, I was disappointed and to this day I mention how much I wanted/want to live there.

We found a place lower in the Bronx, with one additional bedroom, no dishwasher but there was a washer/dryer. The neighborhood wasn’t a place I wanted to be in once I saw the front door of the building had no lock, fellas on every corner, and a window in our apartment had what looked to be a bullet hole

I realized this AFTER we signed the lease and gave in out deposit. I was willing to walk away, lose the money and start over. Then I heard a voice…“When you want something you find a way to get it.”

That was my Mom talking to me about how when I want something…nothing stops me till I get it.

My main objective was finding a place with a washer/dryer that was in a decent neighborhood. I mean once you see the possibilities it is hard to give the dream up. The landlord let us out of that first lease, and we took another apartment (under the same Landlord). The neighborhood was a step up from the first, the building and apartment…not so much. But we took it anyway. I think it was maybe $100 less than the first, had an awkward layout…BUT it had a washer/dryer.

When I think back to that apartment, the three months we lived there, I’m surprised we didn’t break up. I was miserable. We didn’t like the neighborhood at all (despite it looking like it was ok) It was way too busy and crowded. The building was small and narrow. Our apartment was located right near the stairs and we heard everything. Hubby hated that the most.

And the neighbors. I will never know what the deal was. One day someone broke a Snapple bottle and pushed it over in front of our door. Then I found a mouse, stuck to a mousetrap, stuck to the floor of our doorframe. After that, I demanded that the Landlord let us out of our lease because to me it felt like harassment.

This is where the story gets interesting…the Landlord offered us two other apartments (oddly one was in Kingsbridge) and the other was further lower in the Bronx.

When we tried to see the one in Kingsbridge it was already gone…but it didn’t matter when we saw the one in the lower part of the Bronx we both loved it. It wasn’t even renovated completely. Work still had to be done.

Two things had me feeling comfortable about this one.

It had my beloved washer/dryer in the unit and growing up I lived around the corner. I was familiar with the area. I had happy memories of the area. Memories of my Mom.

Hubby loved it because it was it was $300 less than the harassment one AND bigger.

When people say God does things for a reason believe them. Throughout the whole journey, I kept my faith that we would find a place that we both liked. Now we don’t love it but we do not hate coming home. I like my neighbors (most) and I’m not disgusted or afraid of the neighborhood. I just don’t walk around it because shops are kind of spread out. When we went to view the apartment Hubby says my mouth dropped open. I don’t remember that. It probably did, lol.

I was impressed. The apartment was what I wanted. The area was familiar. I lived around the corner when I was a kid. It felt weird, but I felt like I was coming home. This isn’t our forever home. It will be the place we bring our son home to…and I’m ok with that.

I still look at real estate listing because Hubby and I want to BUY something now…A full year in the apartment and we are okay staying but not for long. I want to buy something by the time our son is at least 5 years old if not sooner. I want a house. I NEVER wanted a house with all the responsibility before…but children change you 😉

Until next time,

xo

 

What’s in my purse…

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I really should have done this when I took the pictures. While I love the bag featured in the post I’m no longer using it. In fact I sold it.

I get like that. For my daily, work bags I will either love you 24/7 or love you certain days of the week. If you follow me on Instagram (and if you aren’t you should @novelty718 )

You will see a recent pic of a “favorite” bag of mine that I carried for two days and fell out of love (and ending up returning).

Longchamp Le Pilage tote bags are one of my favorites. Even though I sold the bag shown in the post I believe at some point in the future I will revisit the line. (i.e. buy the same bag again probably in a different color. #realtalk)

Since I commute to work a nice small, trendy bag isn’t functional.

Like this one

Fossil Sydney Satchel

I have stuff I need to bring each day. No matter how I try to downsize at the end of the day if I carry small I regret it. Which is why I sold the bag pictured above.

Below is what I was carrying when I used the Longchamp.

Bag 1

It will change in the future when I finally get my planner. The maroon pouch works as a makeup bag and insulin carrier. Since then I split the contents into two separate pouches.

I live in NYC…not only do I carry pepper spray I also carry a personal alarm with a flashlight. All it does is emit a loud shrill. But it is better than fumbling with a whistle. I think no matter where you live as a woman you should carry something other than your keys in case you are approached. #realtalk

I carry WetOnes and tissues for sticky, messy accidents. I have a purse holder that I don’t even use but I feel like a responsible bag owner having one. I have my small cat wallet  . My earbuds wrap organizer 

My keys featuring my favorite Black Daria keychain, my work ID, MetroCard, small notebook, and my automatic umbrella .

Longchamp bags are made to last and even though I stuff it I was never in fear of the bag ripping.

Bag 3

As I look back on the photos I laugh because this is really a fraction of what I carry on a daily basis now. Of course what I carry changes with what type of bag I use.

I wanted to do the post cause I took the pictures and felt once I get my (hopefully) dream bag (in transit to New York) I will take new photos and post an update.

What type of bag do you carry? Do you change bags multiple times a week, a month? Do you currently have a favorite bag?

Until next time,

xo

 

1st, 2nd, 3rd Trimester

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1st trimester

If someone told me 6 months ago that I would be pregnant with my first child…wait that is what happened. Once husband and I got engaged all my co-workers kept saying when are you going to get pregnant. I swore children weren’t in the future. After my miscarriage last year I wasn’t thinking about trying again…Besides I had a wedding to plan.

Husband and I got engaged in February by May I was

PregnancyTest

It was funny to me because I had planned a trip to Vegas for hubby’s birthday in June. My first thought wasn’t “Woohoo I’m pregnant.”, it was “I can’t drink I’m pregnant.”

I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t thrilled. I was cautious. I swore hubby to keep it a secret. I didn’t want to get excited, I didn’t want the family getting excited in case we lost the baby.

In June we went to Vegas as planned. My fifth time in Vegas was my first time sober.

I felt like I was starting to show. Hubby) says certain outfits I DID look pregnant. Yet I didn’t feel that pregnant. I was nauseous but no morning sickness. I wasn’t having weird cravings. I don’t even remember having a huge appetite. I was, however, TIRED. I wanted to sleep all the time during my first few months. With each day I felt a bit more drained. I was trying to keep my blood sugar in check. In check for a pregnant diabetic is a range of 140-90. Twice I had my blood sugar go below 70 and I passed out at work.

Still with my body going through its changes I mentally wasn’t committed to the fact that I was pregnant…until

12 week scan

Perk of having high risk doctors…a 12 wk scan is magnified

When I saw this image on the screen and heard the heartbeat tears rolled down my face.

The 12 wk mark brought on horrible leg cramps at any time of the day. My calf (left or right) would cramp up and I wouldn’t be able to walk. It would last a few seconds that felt like several minutes. That and my weight gain were the two most memorable. I was gaining weight fast but I attributed it to taking more insulin and not working out. I’m not a gym person and that wasn’t going to change just because I am pregnant. Should but won’t #realtalk.  The weight gain truly sucked because of none of my clothes fit and I still hadn’t told anyone. 

But at 12 wks we had passed a crucial point. My miscarriages happened at 7 wks. I wanted to pass that point. And we did but still, I didn’t want to tell anyone. Part we had more test to take and part I liked having the baby all to myself.

 

2nd trimester

At the 15 wk scan we took the blood test to find out the sex.

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I had an emotional few days when I found out he was a boy. I really felt he was a girl for reasons I will go into on another post. But once we knew the sex the fun part of choosing a name began.

Asher Isaiah

The Hebrew meaning of Asher is “happy” (fortunate; blessed). Biblical: In the Old Testament, in the Book of Genesis, Asher was the 8th son of Jacob and the second son of Zilpa, the maid of Jacob’s wife Leah and was promised a life blessed with abundance.

The name Isaiah is a Biblical baby name. In Biblical the meaning of the name Isaiah is: The salvation of the Lord.

Once his name was settled and I began talking to him I warmed up to the fact that he was a boy.

I told my job about my pregnancy during my 2nd trimester. After passing out the second time because my blood sugar was too low I knew I had to inform them for safety reasons.

A few of the women knew something was going on. Many said they could see it in my face, plus my “glow”. During the 1st trimester, I felt I looked horrible but during the 2nd I will admit that I saw a glow.

Physically the leg cramps lessened, the fatigue was still around. My expanding uterus was interesting in terms of pain. During the beginning, I had itchy skin like I have never felt. And I have dry skin. Nothing I used alleviated the itchiness. I got used to slathering on lotion/creme/oil when I got home and got undressed. As the months passed the itchiness has gotten less.

Now even though I told my job I hadn’t mentioned anything to family and close friends.

We wanted to wait till Asher had passed his 20 wk scan. We wanted to know that he was growing and thus far healthy. Once all his test came back normal we told family and friends.

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Me @ 20 wks

Compared to

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Me @ 27 wks

 

3rd trimester

 

I’m now entering what I like to call “The Final Countdown”, the 3rd trimester. A few things I have noticed and have been told won’t get better:

Having to pee every time I stand up.

I thought I was tired before I was wrong. Between the heartburn and, the baby moving (which I love feeling) sleep is hard to come by.

It has been wonderful to watch this little boy grow inside me. Every time I see him on the computer screen I am amazed and honored that I will be his Mommy.

Yet every pregnancy is different. Every woman is different. Some women love being pregnant some hate it. I am in the middle. People talk about the sacrifice you make when you become a parent and how hard it is. From the moment a woman finds out she is pregnant she is making a sacrifice.

From day one your body is being shared. What you do to you-you do to your baby. You are a parent from DAY one. #realtalk For me that was and is a hard pill to swallow. I’m constantly checking my blood sugar if I need or want to eat. My increased insulin intake adds more pounds on me…and more pounds on him that can be harmful to him.  But I have to take it.

I used to be a person that could function with 2, 3, even 4 hours of sleep. Not anymore, the minimum is 8 and even then I know I should be sleeping more. Some days I want to be more productive yet I don’t have the energy too.

I miss coming home from a hard day at work and having a glass of wine. I’m a caffeine addict that has had to severely count down my caffeine.

I get migraines often. I can’t take my preventative medication so now I get them weekly. There isn’t any medication that is safe for me to take.

These sound like superficial sacrifices. And maybe for you, they wouldn’t be an issue but everyone is different. These situations have taught me that if I think these sacrifices are hard and I’m doing them; making the other sacrifices won’t be too difficult. Don’t quote me, though, :lol

Besides, every time I see this face I can’t help believe all of the sacrifices will be worth it.

 

 

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Asher @ 20 wks

Asher-26 weeks

Asher @26 wks

 

Until next time, xo

About to live that #MommyLife

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In May, the week of Mother’s Day, I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t completely shocked more nervous. After experiencing a miscarriage (Little Bean ) I was very afraid that I would have another. I waited about two weeks before I told my husband (who was then my fiance). I told him he was not allowed to tell anyone. I didn’t want to have to tell people I miscarried if I could avoid it.

So we waited. I began to gain weight and felt that everyone was able to tell I was pregnant. The women knew something was up, lol.

I did reveal my pregnancy to my work colleagues when I was roughly two months along. I did that more because I had passed out at work twice due to low blood sugar than wanting to share the news.

Hubby (then fiance) and I waited till the day of my 20th week scan to share the news with family.  We wanted to make sure that the majority of test came back normal. I then slowly told my friends. The big social media announcement didn’t happen till my 26th week.

The idea of ME being a MOM is extremely overwhelming. I was set on the idea that I wouldn’t be a Mom. Settled in my Introvert Life with 9 months to change it to Mommy Life :-O . Truth be told the 2am feedings don’t scare me as much as playdates, LOL

As future post will describe being pregnant at 40 years old, a Type 2 insulin dependent diabetic isn’t easy. Each tiny (for now) kick makes the earlier struggle worth it, though.

Until Next Time,

xo

 

Asher-26 weeks

Here is the latest scan of our baby boy. He looks so much like his Daddy 🙂

Mark your love with Preloved Items

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When I started looking for a gently used Louis Vuitton MM Agenda I never knew I would fall down the rabbit hole that is preloved items.

Preloved items are items that have been previously owned, basically secondhand stuff. I’ve never given much thought to preloved item other than when wanting luxury high-end products that I couldn’t afford unless I saved for months. Even most of the preloved items were a bit above the price point I wanted to spend. Yet while looking through the site Poshmark I stumbled across two get finds.

MZ Wallace makeup bag

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I found this great makeup bag for $25 (original price $55). Some will say that is insane for a small makeup bag. But the pouch is discontinued AND it has D-rings on the side. I am able to use any number of straps that I have and wear it as a crossbody.

My next find was another MZ Wallace beauty.

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I LOVE this color. I love the size ( it is HUGE), it has double zippers, two front pockets and one large pocket in the back. Plus there is a strap for when you want to wear as a crossbody. The color is discontinued the style of bag is not. The retail price is $395 and I bought for $195.

Both items came in great to near perfect conditions.

Now Poshmark isn’t just for those looking to buy items. Of course, the people you are buying from are just like yourself. Selling my used items was how I first heard about Poshmark. So far I have made $244 by selling bags that I no longer wanted or used enough to warrant keeping. If I continue to sell items and not buy I will one day make a profit. 🙂

As I continue on my journey to find planner peace I am looking at a few preloved planners (not LV) that have peaked my interest. Perhaps I will do a post once I decide on one.

Besides Poshmark, other sites to check out are TheRealReal , I have a pair of boots and a handbag I’m selling on the site; Fashionphile  is another site where you can buy, sell or trade high-end luxury items.

Has anyone purchased items preloved? What has your experience been like?

 

Nailed It

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I have always enjoyed getting my nails done.

I’ve gone through all phases of nails: simple mani, silk wrap, acrylic, fiberglass, gel mani, acrylic with gel top coat, dip powder. I went through my airbrush phase, hand design phase. I remember when all I did was French Tips. Whatever trend was going on at the time I tried it.

I would move into a new neighborhood and one of the first things I would look for would be the nail salon.

But for anyone who gets their nails done you know that the most annoying thing is either the wait time to actually get in the chair or the wait time for your nails to dry. My favorite time of year to get my nails done would be summer because once you leave the salon to be so hot outside your nails with dry a lot faster. Winter was obviously a harder time. You had a hat, scarf gloves heavy coat it would be a mission when she got in the chair and then a mission when you were ready to leave. So rather than go through my period when I didn’t do my nails one winter I decided to find a new solution for a hot minute I thought about learning to do my nails myself and if I get stuck with it I probably would’ve been very good if I do say so myself but let’s be honest here I’m lazy and at times I can be a bit OCD about things. If the nails they look great I wasn’t going out of the house with them I would just rip them right off.

So I started searching for press on nails they were popular back in the 80s and 90s when I was first getting into (nails) so I thought let’s see if they’ve me to come back and they have in the most miraculous fantastical way. No, I’m not just talking about the ones you can find at your local drugstore, although those are good too and in a pinch I have and will use those. I remember when I went to Vegas I didn’t like the ones that I had on the sticker design was chipping. I want to the Walgreens and picked up two sets. Then I was good to go for the rest of my trip. But I knew exactly what I wanted in terms of fake nails I wanted them to be thicker than just the average (nails) you can find in drugstores I wanted a variety of shapes. I wanted a multitude of choices in design.

This is where Etsy comes in.

I have been wearing press on, faux nails from Etsy for the past year. They are easy to apply and remove (soaking in a warm water for 10 minutes then gently lifting them from your nails). In my opinion brush on glue works best and gives you more control vs the squeeze glue that usually comes with the set. Some sets you can opt out of receiving the squeeze tube glue.

I am hard on my hands. I’m moving boxes, breaking them apart, moving supplies and typing all the while I have nails. The best part is if you are careful you can re-use the set. Now the nails on Etsy aren’t cheap and the wait time for delivery can take a few weeks depending on where the nail artist is located. I would compare the prices to what it cost to go to an actual nail salon and tip the tech.

Below are some pictures of the nails that I have been enjoying.

Set is from Polished Thirteen

Set is from Nevermore Nails

Do you enjoy getting your nails done? What’s your favorite shape and length? Have you or would you try press on nails?

Let me know 🙂

Until next time,

Xo

Come Plan With Me!!!

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A new month, the unofficial beginning of a new season begs for new plans.

I’ve been thinking about how I used to love to organizer my life with a appointment book or day planner. For whatever reason I stopped writing down everything that I needed to do. Probably because smart phones were invented therefore it became easier to have everything in my phone. My phone is ALWAYS with me.

But I’m a list girl at heart (raise your hand if you create shopping list for EVERYTHING then never refer back to them ). I really feel that forcing myself to sit and write things out will *hopefully* cause me to be more organized.

Years ago when I first had a agendas from At A Glance. I went through the Daily Planner, A Week on Two Page Planner, and a A Month on Two Planner. All of the At A Glance planners were the ones with a spiral spine that could be slipped into a cover.

I would use a pocket size…similar to the pic below.

Day-Timer 2-Page-Per-Day Original Western Coach Leather Planner Set Pocket Size (1248)

Once I got tired of the spiral notebook agenda style I moved on to Filofax. My love affair with Filofax was short lived due to the invention of smartphones. I liked the ability to customize because of the ring binder style. I could swap out one section for another. So if I wanted more notepad paper versus a detailed To Do List I was free to.

Below is a link of the style of Filofax I had.

Filofax-Saffiano Fluoro Personal Organizer

Filofax Saffiano Fluoro Personal Organizer in Pink // Originally $59

I don’t remember having any complaints of the Filofax other than the cost…but that can’t be complaint because the planner that I have been coveting is…

PrincessDisneyy♡

There is no reason why I need an LV Agenda other than I recently got an Monogram Neverfull MM (post on how I got that baby later on 😉 ) and I want to keep a consistent Diva theme going. 😉

The LV Agendas come in 4 sizes, PM (is a good palm size), MM (is similar to Filofax personal size ), GM(larger than personal smaller than desk size), and Desk (is largest of all and is mostly used as a duh desk organizer)

Since I will be slowly getting back in planning I don’t know how smart it would be to get a LV Agenda. Who knows if I will actually use it?

But after the countless YouTube videos that I have watched and all the Etsy planner accessory shops I have bookmarked it is hard to say no. Plus it will look so cute in my bag.

I can buy the agenda pre-loved OR I can go for it all and buy brand new ( Fiancé Continue reading

Little Bean

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*This post has taken me 3 months to write. Emotionally I wasn’t ready. I’m still not ready but I know writing about it will be therapeutic. I’m sitting at work, on a slow day, biting my lip, wiping at my eyes. I don’t think anything is too TMI or too descriptive…Just honest, xo*

Please send me Purchase Order for a baby arrangement…

It was day 8 of my unplanned absence from work. I was only supposed to be out 1 day. The day I was reading the email from my new apartment. But as fate would have it the weekend before I started to experience something many women fear; causing my absence.

Spotting.

I had just entered my 7th week of my pregnancy and the during the weekend I noticed the faint brown discharge. Not uncommon during pregnancies I allowed the positive thoughts of my 1st child at the age of 39 to fill my mind.

When I look back on things now I should have known something was wrong. A few days after I went to see my GYNO slowly my pregnancy symptoms disappeared, but one. My calves and ankles continued to get swollen. There was a small baby bump. Or at least I told myself that. I was roughly 145lb when I first became pregnant. By the end I was at 170 something. So I really can’t be sure I took the whole eating for two to a whole other level. I had to quit ALL of my meds with the exception of my insulin (Type 2 diabetic here) I didn’t find it hard to eat healthy …when I wanted to eat. That first month, when I thought PMS was fucking with me and I had the worst case of nausea. I didn’t want to eat anything. That’s when I took the test and found out about Little Bean.

From Saturday, July 8th to Monday, July 10th the spotting was only visible when I was wiping and it was still that dark brown color. All my internet research was telling me that was just the egg, the baby attaching itself to my uterine wall. I shouldn’t worry unless…

Around 10a I went to the bathroom and saw dark red blood on my panties. Now I was scared. A change in color, that color wasn’t normal and I knew it. There was enough of it to leak through to my pants. I didn’t wait I told my boss I needed to leave and I went straight home. My Dr’s office told me to come in the next day they would fit me in.

I remember be nervous but wanting to be hopeful. The doctor came in and the ultrasound started. I closed my eyes and I heard the words…

I’m sorry.
It’s not a viable pregnancy.
It happens.
At least we know you can get pregnant.

I forced myself to look at the ultrasound screen and I saw Little Bean’s shell. By the 7th week Little Bean was supposed to be forming hands and feet. An empty sac stared back at me. The size of a bean.

My doctor said, and this I heard clearly ‘You are going to miscarry, probably within the next few days or the week. It will feel like a bad period.’

He said because of how early the pregnancy was he didn’t advise going through a D&C. I was fine with that. I didn’t want to be in the hospital. I’ve had bad periods. How bad could it be I thought as I made my way home?

The best way I can describe it is it felt like Little Bean was being ripped from my body and Little Bean 🙁 didn’t want to go. With each ping of a cramp pain it felt like that baby was trying to hang on. The pain was the worst in the morning. Many times I would be doubled over crying because of the physical pain begging God to just get it over with.

Once the doctor said “miscarriage” I already knew I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t imagine being at my desk or on the bus. That’s just the physical side. I was crying on and off. Most times when I was alone. I was thinking was this swift karma because I started this pregnancy not wanting to go through with it. But when I decided that I would…it’s hard to explain how you can love something you can’t touch or see. How you already know that you will give you life for this being. I was thinking of where BF and I were going to live. I had plans of getting a 2nd job while I was pregnant so I could maybe stay home with the baby. BUT if I couldn’t BF and I already had a plan in mind on who would watch Little Bean when I had to go back to work.

In a matter of days all of that was going to be gone.

So I waited, I waited for the worst of the pain to punch me out of what little sleep I could get each morning and I made my way to bathroom.

Every time half praying to turn around and see something, half praying to wake up and have this be one horrible nightmare.

No…by the end of the week, when I couldn’t take it and called my doctor asking him if he could ‘give me something for the pain’ on Friday, July 14th I turned and saw something.

Funny how life works…

My boyfriend and I had an appointment the Friday before (the 7th) our first appointment to make sure everything was ok. But the doctor had to cancel because a patient went into labor. So we rescheduled for 14th.

I was very secretive about my pregnancy. As most doctors recommend because anything can happen. Each day when I emailed my job that I wasn’t coming in I probably could have eliminated that by saying from the start “I’m miscarrying and my dr says it will happen naturally. I don’t want it to happen while I am out and about…so I will email when I am ready to come back.”

Then perhaps I wouldn’t have been asked to create a purchase order for a baby arrangement my first day back.

Lost in traditions…

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I’m not religious. Never grew up with any religious backing. No midnight mass on Christmas Eve. No ashes on Ash Wednesday. No Easter Sunday service. I didn’t get a bat mitzvah when I turned 12.

As a kid growing up I didn’t question the lack of religious backing when it came to celebrating major holidays. All I knew was that I had a day or few days off from school. We gathered, we laughed, we shared, we ate. But as I grew and I questioned my own faith I began to stand with the camp of all holidays are excuses for materialistic excess. Yet that didn’t mean I wanted to stop experiencing my gathering, and laughing, and sharing…and of course eating 😊

Sounds simple right? Until you find yourself dating someone who is religious BUT his religion has zero room and tolerance for the expression of your non-religious holiday traditions.

My boyfriend doesn’t believe in the religious origins of Christmas therefore he has no place for the commercial factor. No Santa, no garlands, no wreath on the door…no tree. I like the spirit of Christmas. I like the spirit behind the holiday that I was raised with. The spirit of people (family and friends) coming together. I’ve never thought of the religious aspect. My parents never fostered the idea of a jolly White Man coming into our home and dropping off gifts. My sister and I knew who were responsible for the gifts. Yet at times we had what are called and rightly thought of as Christmas decorations…And this is where my dilemma lies.

After my Mom died I said to myself that if I have kids there are certain things I want to do with them because I did them with my family or even start doing them because I didn’t get to do them for long with my family. Like decorating a Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner, or hosting a big family holiday party at my house. Something I know my Mom would have love to have done but she was usually working on Christmas.

If I want to celebrate the spirit of the season with a Christmas tree my boyfriend is totally against it. I have always seen Christmas trees as decorations nothing more. But I have friends that may think otherwise. Never really asked. When bringing up the subject with my boyfriend it usually leads to a lecture on the “true meaning of Christmas”.  My point is lost that to me its a tree and decorations. And decorations are part of enjoying the spirit of certain holidays. Like pumpkins or costumes during Halloween, or pastel colored eggs during Easter.

What really got me thinking about my childhood holiday traditions was when my boyfriend’s mother mentioned since we are of different faiths if we have kids they won’t be raised observing those pagan holidays…because he doesn’t believe in that.

Thousands, maybe even millions of parents come together being of different faiths. Don’t forget I don’t have a faith. I’ve never made my dislike for organized religion a secret. My boyfriend knows how I feel. We have discussed it. I’ve been respectful of him and his religion. I’m respectful of the fact that he wants to raise any children we have under his faith and that I won’t be silent on the fact that I don’t have one. But what does that have to do with me having a tree in our home for maybe two weeks, one month a year? Or hanging a wreath? Why can’t my child/children be knowledgeable of their father’s faith and their mother’s decision to not observe a faith, respect her spirituality and appreciate the spirit of holidays being alive with some tinsel and garland?

Of course the idea of being denied this upsets me because my Mom is gone. Because she was the one to make the holidays special. My Dad and sister do what they can. But nothing can recreate that magic of Christmas morning being seen through the eyes of a child. Or just enjoying the holiday the way you know how and want to.

I know it sounds silly to be hooked on this. I can simply just adopt his holiday tradition and incorporate it into my own. Right?

Can’t the same be asked of him?

Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so strongly if my boyfriend didn’t grow up with his own Christmas memories, his own Christmas trees. So he knows the kind of joy I want to create for our children.

Until next time

Xo