The Birth Story

IMG_0676

He was born on a Tuesday, nine days late. Everyone had predicted I’d go early, and I was convinced he would be born on his due date – but his due date (July 12th) came and went, and he was still in my belly. Our doctor casually mentioned induction, just to bring it up not to plan it. When she checked me the day before my due date I was zero centimeters dilated, and she said my body wasn’t ready. She preferred to induce at 41 weeks (a week away), but would let us go to 42 as the board of whatever-medical-thingy-she-mentioned allowed. We told her she could put us on the schedule for the night before I was 42 weeks, which was the norm for people who didn’t want to actually schedule to be induced. Then a few days passed and I had to get checked again (once you go past your due date, you get checked every few days). Again, I went in on Monday, July 20th. That morning I had had contractions, and I was SO hoping that even if I wasn’t starting labor, my body was at least getting ready to have the baby. I was desperate to not have to induce for two reasons: letting your body go into labor naturally is healthier for mom and baby (the mother’s body releases hormones that gets her body ready to do the hard work ahead), and people who induce are far more likely to have interventions (such as epidurals and cesarean sections). I had low platelets throughout my pregnancy and at my last blood check, they were too low to be considered for an epidural or a spinal. I had prepared for no epidural since early in my pregnancy when I found out how low my platelets were. I wasn’t excited to have the option taken away from me, but I was devastated to learn that it could mean that in the event of needing a C-Section, I would have to go under General Anesthesia and miss out on seeing my son born. Going under General would also mean that Joe wouldn’t be allowed in the room, which would mean Smith would be born without either parent welcoming him into the world. I cried every time I thought of it (I still tear up when writing this).

Back to our Monday appointment, I was 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant, had contractions that morning, and went in to our first of two appointments for that day. My doctor checked me and said I was zero (zero!) centimeters dilated. After a morning of contractions, this was very disappointing. Again, she said my body wasn’t ready and she wasn’t keen on sending me in to have an induction considering I possibly couldn’t have an epidural and she knew my anxiety about the C-Section. She assured me that an induction would take a long time, especially at the point where I was, and that was not going to be conducive to my hopes. This was fine with me, considering I didn’t want to be induced at all. We asked if we HAD to be induced at 42 weeks or if she’d let us go beyond. She said we could go past 42, but she’d have to sign off saying that she was not recommending it, it was too much of a liability for her if something went wrong (in her opinion, it was unhealthy for the baby to stay in utero that long). We decided to re-evaluate a few days later when I came in for my next appointment. We headed over to the perinatal office, where we went to check the amniotic fluid and have a stress test (routine things that happen every few days after one’s due date has passed). I had plenty of fluid and the baby was doing great, but the doctor there (who works closely with all of the OBs in the area) said he would have induced me the week before if it was up to him since he doesn’t like women to be pregnant over 40 weeks (we learned that this is very common for doctors, and that midwives are more apt to feel comfortable letting a woman’s body take the lead; luckily our doctor was flexible).

We left the doctor’s and grabbed some lunch in downtown Santa Barbara before heading home. We talked about what we had heard and what we thought we wanted (we were barreling towards 42 weeks). On the way home, around 2:30, I started getting contractions again, and was frustrated with my body for continually tricking me with these contractions, while not being ready; it was discouraging to say the least. By the time dinner rolled around, I was still having contractions, so I started timing them (just in case). They hadn’t stopped by bedtime and I wasn’t tired enough for bed, so Joe went to the guest room to get some rest in case this was the real deal. That night I slept in between contractions that were getting more and more intense… intense enough that I started groaning during them. Just when I thought they were getting more uncomfortable than I liked, it was morning and I decided to get up and not push myself to try to sleep anymore (it wasn’t really working at that point anyway). Walking around the house felt so much better than lying down, so for the next several hours that’s what I did. As contractions got more intense I needed to look out the window while they were happening and not talk as much. Our doula, Alexis, came by and confirmed that I was definitely in early labor. We spoke about going to a hotel in Santa Barbara (we live in the mountains above the city), to be closer to the hospital, but when Alexis suggested we try going for a walk I was so opposed to running into anyone that she warned us I might be uncomfortable going to a hotel where we would run into (and be in a room next to) other people. We ended up staying home and I continued to walk around the house, drink fluids, and eat what I could – gearing up for the harder work ahead. My contractions continued to get closer (and stronger), so I got dressed and Joe double-checked that we had everything we needed before putting our bags in the car. By the time I was starting to use my breathing techniques, and focusing on Joe’s t-shirt as my focal point as he stood in front of me (something I would do for the rest of labor), I threw up much of what I had eaten (again, normal for women in labor). At that point, Joe made the decision for us to get in the car and head to the hospital. That’s when I realized how far I was into labor – the position of the seat and the bumps of the road, made contractions terrible. We hit traffic around Refugio Beach (where the oil spill had been) because they were doing road work down there. It was then that I stopped caring if people in the cars around us could tell I was in labor (don’t ask me why I cared about this in the first place) and I started sobbing. Amazingly, Joe got people in front of us to pull over by flashing his lights as we made our way south on the 101. As we passed them in the fast lane they could at least see my face and why we had gotten them to pull over.

By the time we got to the hospital the staff could clearly see that I was in labor, and I didn’t have to go to a triage room to be checked. I was admitted immediately into a delivery room, and we found out that I was 4 centimeters dilated, almost half way. Our doula arrived moments later and after we answered all of the admitting questions (note to hospitals: ask those questions, particularly the ones about what to do if you become a vegetable, during pre-registration instead of when a woman is starting her active labor), I got my Hep-Lock put in and had my blood taken. I had started a steroid the day before to help my blood count (and had only taken one pill), so whether it was the steroid, or the fact that blood counts can jump and change, my platelet level had jumped up and I was allowed to have an epidural. At this point in my labor, I didn’t hesitate to say no. We had prepared to not have one and I was assured that I was already in a hard part of my labor – that basically contractions would just get closer together but not more intense. I could handle this, I thought.

Well, contractions did get closer together, but they also got way more intense. I spent the rest of my labor (another 10 plus hours) walking around, sitting, standing, in the tub, on my knees, banging my head against Joe’s stomach (banging my head against the wall, at one point when I was too close to it… Joe stopped that – I didn’t even realize I was doing it), you name it. I screamed, I swore, I told everyone that I couldn’t do it – that I was going to go insane (I literally thought both were true). I tried to go deep down into the eye of my contraction like I had been told to do (I kept picturing the eye of a hurricane) and sometimes I could do it and I’d make it through a contraction quietly moaning, while on the very next contraction I was screaming again. I didn’t know pain like that existed.

Towards the end, I had my blood taken again (a very scary thing to have done when you know a contraction is coming and it will be VERY HARD to hold still) and was still good to go on the platelet count. At that point I wanted to know about medication. I wanted to hear, in detail, what Fentanyl and an epidural (separately) would feel like. Somehow I felt like just hearing how good those pain relievers would feel would bring me some relief. I decided to go without either: Fentanyl because it sounded like it doesn’t do much and can make you loopy, the epidural because I’d have to hold still (yeah right!) while they put something in my spine… I’d have to wait for the anesthesiologist, then wait longer for it to take effect… then hope it actually worked. It was night by then, and my doula and nurse both promised the baby would be born that day (I didn’t believe them, labor felt like it would never end). As I went through a contraction or two debating, in my mind, what I wanted to do, I decided to hold off. Partly because of fear of the actual drugs (and also a needle in my spine in the case of an epidural), and also the fear of slowing down labor, which epidurals very often do. But honestly, mostly because of pride. To have to say I went through over 24 hours of natural labor and then got then epidural was not something this A-minus-type-personality could handle. I’ve been told over and over that no one gets a medal for the way that they give birth, and that’s absolutely true (unless I have just yet to receive mine). Every birth is birth and every birth is miraculous and (I imagine) hard work. We can never know what someone else goes through or what their pain or their bodies feel like, and since I have only had one child, I don’t know what labor with drugs feels like. However, I doubt there is anyone in the world who thinks that a woman who gives birth without drugs doesn’t accomplish a major feat. The scenario that went through my mind, when I was making the decision, was of a marathoner running 25 miles and then getting in a car for the last mile. Since I had been told I was almost done, I didn’t want to have my story be that I got in the car for just the last mile. Also my natural VERY curious nature knew that I wouldn’t know what the very end felt like if I didn’t go through with it. And really, a huge part of this, for me, was wanting to know what labor felt like. I wanted to experience what it felt like giving birth (as crazy as that might sound to some people).

So, a couple (few?) hours later it was time to push – and I did. I started without the doctor, they said they’d call her when the baby was about to come. So every time they told me to push and said I was almost there I would say, “No I’m NOT almost there, you haven’t called the doctor,” (if you know me, this does not surprise you). My goal with every contraction and every (very painful) push was to get them to call the damn doctor. I kept thinking that nobody knew what they were talking about, that a baby wasn’t actually coming… I mean, I didn’t know HOW to make a baby come out, so how would it happen?

Luckily, my body knew what to do (even if my mind didn’t) and they did finally call the doctor. She got there and told me that this was it, he was coming (again, seriously doubted her but I didn’t fight). I did exactly what she told me and then I felt the burning and I knew. He started crying the minute his face hit the air. (Once thing nobody told me: the shoulders hurt worse than the head). I felt my doctor reach in to help him out and HELLO, but then it was over and he was born and I was still not believing I had just had a baby. They had to whisk him away to the baby table to check his mouth (he had pooped in the womb, which is very common for babies who are past their due date) to make sure he didn’t have meconium in it. He didn’t so they brought him over and put him on my chest. I’d love to say I was the weepy woman saying a gushy hello to her newborn, but I wasn’t… I was still in labor (delivering the placenta, which is not nothing as far as contractions go), and I was EXHAUSTED from 33 hours of labor and no sleep. I clung to him on my chest and tried to get a look at him, but they put the baby so high on your chest that it’s actually quite hard to see them, especially when you’re still flat on your back working. He quieted and fell asleep as soon as he was on me, and I clung to him like a little comfort blanket. When I finally settled my eyes on him it was surreal – who IS this person? I don’t know him! But I do! I can’t explain that feeling no matter how hard I try. After finally finishing labor and getting taken care of by the doctor, I stayed in the delivery room to recover as Joe went with the nurse to take the baby to the nursery to be weighted and measured.

My brother, who had been in the waiting room, with my friends Norah and Alex, for HOURS (like 10?) came in to say hello quickly. They allowed it even though it was after hours, which I was grateful for. He said he was actually a little nervous because I didn’t look like myself. I guess that’s what over a day of labor will do to you. I also had almost no voice from how vocal I had been. (Apparently I scared the woman next door who had had an epidural and was afraid that she had overestimated its help).

Here’s the thing: Labor hurt, it really did. Mostly the second half. However, I had a great birth partner (even if I did tear some skin off of him while gripping him… he didn’t complain), a wonderful doula (HIGHLY recommend a doula if you are birthing naturally for your first time), and lucked out with two pro-natural birth nurses (found out later that the one who was with us the longest requested us because she tries to be with natural birthing mothers so she can help). Also, I ended up with a baby. My baby.

Something that you aren’t supposed to say (because birth is birth is birth) is that I’m really fucking proud of myself. I’m someone who lives in my head and have to remind myself that I have a body, so doing this GIANT feat, where I had to leave my head as much as possible and experience raw animalistic body taking over… I’ll never not feel proud of that. This does not mean that I think I did a better job than anyone else (if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that no two stories are alike), it just means that I’m proud of me. And I still can’t believe I did it. I still can’t believe I didn’t beg for that pain relief, and I still can’t believe that a baby actually came out. Sometimes I still feel like an imposter when I say, “my son,” to someone… but I have a son, I HAVE A SON. So crazy. I am someone’s mother. And probably, knowing myself, if I hadn’t experienced birth the way I did, it would feel even less real to my brain.

My son is Smith Danilo Reese, and I love him madly. He’s named after two men that have been very important in our lives; Smith is for Joe’s grandfather and Danilo (pronounced Dah-Nilo) is for my uncle, my father’s brother. We’re hoping that being named for two incredibly loving and good men will encourage him to be loving and loyal as well. I am infatuated, and once the fatigue wore off (my adrenaline kicked in about half an hour after I was done) I became obsessed with my baby. I still poke him while he’s sleeping (two months later) to make sure he’s alive, I am SO excited to see him in the morning (even though he sleeps in a bassinet next to me and I feed him at least once in the night), and when he smiles at me it’s better than any feeling I’ve ever had.

This stoic woman has turned into a bit of a mush pot, actually, who has fallen madly, madly in love.

Advertisements

Out of the blue, into the black.

The temperature dropped significantly on the day I drove up to the graveyard. It was cold, and the wind so sharp, that it was actually hard to stand outside. But I was determined to say my annual hello to him; it’s tradition, the only one we have together.

I was seven when it was dug, but I’ve always known exactly where his gravesite is in the graveyard. You could drop me at the gates and I could get to him blindfolded.

I hate the initial view of the stone. Every single time. I never forget what it says, but it never fails to make me want to throw up a little:

Beloved Husband
Gene Yovetich
July 5, 1946 – Aug. 1, 1987

Beloved husband. The woman who married my father six months before he died, who didn’t change her name until after he was gone, who changed it (most likely) to help her in court when she needed it, is the person who chose the stone. Anyone who walks past his grave doesn’t know anything else about him. Doesn’t know that he left behind a distraught mother, a devastated brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, a young ex-wife who had to figure out how to raise two kids without their father, and two unformed people who had just gotten bitch slapped by the universe.

I’ve been meaning to change that stone for years, but it’s complicated and it feels like a very big deal to choose something else that will be there forever. How do I make it right? How do I put the perfect remembrance of him on it? How do I convey to everyone who passes who my father was? That he was handsome and young and virile. That he was successful and ambitious and strong. That he had somehow convinced the most beautiful girl, my mother, to marry him, and had a dark sense of humor that his children inherited. That he made mistakes, messy, terrible mistakes, and was robbed of the chance to make amends for them, or to be the man who I wish he was going to become. That he was just on a trip – hunting, camping, rafting with his friends. That he was supposed to come home. How do you say all of that in one place? I can’t, so that original stone still sits there… taunting me. And I hate it.

On this visit, I bent down to replace the flowers that were left before, and a pile of worms went into a frenzy. I wanted to smash those worms, but I didn’t want to look crazy. I didn’t want to be crazy. The worms were just being worms. My dad is gone whether they are there or not. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was reading a book about death, that I even thought about what was happening to his body. Surely not! I thought. But my dad has been gone for twenty-six years. I looked it up on the Internet, those few years ago, just to make sure what the book said was true, and broke down crying upon finding it was. It was like he died all over again; he was being taken away for a second time and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. In an unconscious rush of emotion I wanted to see him again, I wanted to touch him before he was completely gone; I became obsessed with finding out how long I had before all that remained was a coffin. Not that I’d ever actually pull him back up, but it’s amazing what thoughts your brain will entertain when it’s in a panic.

That cold day, I stood in front of his stone, right on top of where he lays – it’s the closest I’ll ever be able to get to him. I looked down at the grass between my boots, my feet were very cold but all I could think was how warm they were compared to his. And then I started to wonder, like I often do, what would he think about me now? Would he think I was funny? Pretty? Interesting? When he left I had an androgynous body, I still looked just like him, I danced to Madonna records, and owned snap bracelets. I look a lot more like my mom now, I already have regrets that can never be changed, I get older every year, and I get farther and farther away from knowing him. He will never age, and I will pass him someday. Someday in the not-too-distant future I’ll be older than him; I’ll have experienced more than he did. And as hard as I try, I will never know enough about him to satisfy my heart.

Every so often I read The Articles on the Internet, and there are plenty of them about the accident. I probably shouldn’t read them, they give too many details, and those details always make me want more details, and those sometimes make me want to contact the survivors from that trip to hear what it was like, but I know it probably wouldn’t even be comforting; the story that they know is one where they fought for survival and made it. I imagine when you’re in a situation like that, you don’t know what else is going on around you besides the fact that you are trying to survive, so that is what you recall. And then you try to not make your entire life about it because you’re allowed to not make your entire life about it.

I envy their families for what they didn’t lose. I envy their children most. I envy everyone who has never gotten a call that tells them that their life will never, ever be the same. I envy people who didn’t grow up wondering if their mother would come back from the grocery store; if their brother would come home from camp. I used to make my mom promise, at night, not to die before I woke up, and the only thing I feel more than envy for people who have never thought to do that is curiosity. What is it like to know both of your parents? What is it like to live a life where you expect the people you love to come home at night, to not be afraid to follow them in a car because the only thing worse than having someone ripped from your life is to have it happen in front of your face?

My brother and I are our dad’s obituary. The burden and the honor is that nobody has to remind us to think of him; the mirror does that for us. We are the proof that he was here. Though sometimes I can get too focused on re-writing his actual obituary (and not just the part where they called my brother his daughter and me his son – ironically only getting our step-brother’s position correct); as if I had more information I could change the ending. I’ve been told that this is unhealthy, that you have to move on and you have to get over things. I agree, sometimes the strength of my grief is surprising; but all I can say to that is losing a father when you are seven years old is unhealthy – so how can the grieving process be expected to be any better? I’ve gone through stages of forgetting and pretending, and there were years where I was too young to notice how it was affecting me, but never when I didn’t know that I was different. I was the kid with the dead dad; the one who’s always had a Before and After… it’s how I measure time.

Maybe there are things that are wrong with my grief. Maybe every year I mention changing the gravestone, and every year I don’t because I need to hate it. I’ll admit it’s a possibility that I have to find a way to let my heart stop being angry – that I’m the only one I’m actually punishing. Time will tell whether or not I’ll ever be able to let it go, but I’ve learned that it is not a crime to miss someone forever. It is not even wrong. And there is nothing you can do about it anyway. You can miss people forever. Missing someone forever is not the worst thing someone can do, certainly no worse than loving them forever. I miss my father but I keep moving forward – even if I know that means I’m leaving him farther in the past. And that’s where the pain comes from, and that’s why it never ends for those of us who lose someone when we are so young, and why it changes as time goes on. He’s a phantom limb, whose weight I can feel because of its absence. And he’s my reminder to try not to take life for granted because I’ve never been allowed to think that it will last forever and I’ve never assumed it will be long. Although I hope it’s long enough.

Goat Cheese and Cucumber Grilled Cheese Sandwich

IMG_4749Before I started cooking more,  it used to feel so much easier to run out and grab food to go, but now I can’t help think… ugh, then I eat it once and there’s nothing left! The thought that then I have to go out again to get more food for the next meal feels incredibly annoying as opposed to have having left overs or prepped ingredients that can then go into something new for the next meal.

Take goat cheese, my new love, for instance. There are so many yummy ways to include goat cheese in meals. In the morning, combine it with avocados and your eggs will become much more interesting. In the afternoon, throw some tomatoes in with your salad and sprinkle it with goat cheese and it will feel much more fancy. And for dinner… well, for dinner let me share one of my new favorite SUPER easy recipes with you. This is now one of my go-tos when I don’t really feel like cooking, but want something homemade.

Slice the cucumbers in thinnish pieces (too big of chunks and it gets hard to eat). If I had the patience I would cut them super thin so I could layer a bunch of them on the bread.

IMG_4748

I use sourdough and an entire package of herb goat cheese, but you can use whichever kind of bread you like (and if you prefer plain goat cheese or another flavor – that would be fine too, of course). Then I spread (well… kind of spread) the cheese across the bread. Basically I try to get some of it across the bread because if it’s all in one clump, it doesn’t melt as well. Then I oil the pan (after warming it) and put the bread (with cheese) in to cook.

IMG_4750

I let the bread warm for about a minute and then I check the cheese. As soon as the cheese starts warming it gets easier to spread, and this tells me that the bread is browning. I usually spread the cheese while on the stove so that I can make sure that it has all been warmed, and then I check the back of the bread to make sure it’s browned (but not burned). Like with regular grilled cheeses it’s always important to keep your eyes on the bread after the first sandwich when the pan is super hot — it cooks much faster and is easier to burn your bread (like I did when I took these pictures the other night when making this for the first time).

IMG_4751

Easy peasy super cheesy (so sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Seriously people… YUM. Easiest dinner ever (or almost ever), and so, so tasty.

Check out the original recipe on the Sweetsonian, where I found it (and where the pictures are much, MUCH better).

Enjoy!

The Post-It Note Breakup

a14l4egcyaan4fgDid I tell you I had a break-up this summer?

You know the type of love that kicks your butt, but in a good way? The love that when it’s over is the kind of can’t stand up straight, want to throw up, can’t breath, your heart is bleeding all over the floor, your soul hurts type of break-up?

This wasn’t one of those.

This last relationship almost ended the week before my boyfriend left for the summer. I brought a bag of his stuff back to his house and basically explained that I was unhappy. At first he tried to talk me out of it, but then he agreed that it was best to break up. Of course I immediately started to panic – No, I wasn’t ready! I didn’t want the decision to be taken from me without my permission! (Yes, this sister holds a tight grip on the control stick thankyouverymuch.) So I fought, for two days I fought for us – and I got what I wanted. And I was happy.

For about three weeks.

And then I was very, very unhappy. And I started wanting out, but had convinced myself that I needed to stick with it- that I deserved to be unhappy because I had pushed to make it happen. Basically: I made the bed now I had to lie in it. So I was ridiculously nice and sent stupidly sweet texts and tried and tried and tried in a way that if he had known me better, he would have questioned.

I was so miserable I had gotten to the point where I lost my appetite. I was desperate to break up with him, but had gotten the advice that I should wait. We had been apart for awhile and it was best to see what happened once we were back in the same place, people said. So I pushed for us to see each other sooner than later (hello, if I had to wait until I was going to see him then I was going to see him as soon as possible, damn it). I was heading to New York in early August and he would be nearby. I was sure this would be the solution. I would see him and I would know… or, I would see him and he would know because I’d have the conversation with him. In fact, I was pretty sure he did know. I was pretty sure we were over anyway. But I wanted to give our five months together a decent ending.

And then I got the e-mail. A five sentence e-mail telling me he had met someone else, with the subject line: Adieu.

(Yes you read that right, Adieu.)

BUT, but once I got the e-mail, I was so relieved that my appetite came whoosing back and I started eating like a pig at a trough… that’s when I realized I had been so wrong to let it get so bad! Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to punch him in the face to knock some sense into him (an e-mail? adieu?), but I didn’t have the energy to make the effort and I figured the next girl could deal with it now.

Not too long after I started telling the story to friends (ok, immediately when I started telling the story to friends) I realized how humorous it actually was because, let’s face it, it’s pretty funny once you get over the initial sting. (Hell, it’s pretty funny even when you’re in the initial sting.) There really can be humor in almost everything depending on how you look at it – I suppose I found the humor in this because I could finally laugh again after a summer of not feeling like laughing at all. It felt really good.

And then the stories started coming out. First of all, every woman over the age of thirty kept calling him my Berger and the e-mail my post-it note… I felt very satisfied with that. Then, they started telling me THEIR post-it note tale. WHO KNEW?! So many women have post-it note stories! (Really, this is a fascinating study on my generation in general, but that’s for another time.) And they aren’t bitter about them, they laugh at them. I’m sure not all of them laughed right away… not everyone is ready for the end when the post-it comes, but usually these situations are not so much sad as they are ridiculous – and everyone seems to know this.

While in New York this summer, the story came up a few times when I was catching up with friends (and then their post-it note stories came out), and on two of these occasions a book was mentioned… as in: you should write a book. These two conversations were with people who actually gave me solid ideas on how to do it (one being a published author, the other a lawyer). Who knows? It’s a funny idea, and there are A LOT of stories out there to be compiled; it could help bring humor to situations that don’t feel so funny. Maybe someday. But for now, the lesson learned is that breakups might not always fun, but sometimes they can actually be funny.

And with that I bid you… adieu.

TW’s Awesome Couscous Salad

IMG_4574

This recipe has a permanent station on my fridge. It’s incredibly easy to make and is so yummy! After a friend made this as a side for dinner at her house, all who had come for dinner asked for the recipe.

IMG_4576

And to my surprise (which, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all) my friend had made it up! She does that ALL THE TIME… she’s one of those people who walks around her kitchen thinking, “what can I put together that would taste ok,” and it always comes out fantastic. If I didn’t reap the benefits of what she makes it would almost be annoying how good she is at throwing things together. (If I throw things together the dish ends up tasting like playdough.)

IMG_4575

She uses this as a side dish, but I actually use it as a main dish most of the time. If you are feeding extra people you can always add a baguette on the side. This does make a fantastic side dish, but I find that it’s perfectly filling and has more ingredients than a regular pasta dish that I would eat for dinner. (Is it just me? Am I the only one who doesn’t do courses and add extra sides to my meals? Maybe I’m lazy. No, I take that back. I am lazy.)

IMG_4577

Sorry about the picture quality, these were taken on an iPhone, but I wanted you to see what the process and what the finished meal looks like. This serves at least two with left overs (as a main dish), but if you’re feeding more I just recommend doubling the recipe!

TW’s Awesome Couscous Salad
1 box of couscous (around 6 oz., I prefer the Garlic and NearEast Olive Oil kind);
1 large tomato or 2 medium/ 3 small;
1 bunch of green onions (6 or so) chopped;
1 cucumber, diced;
6 Tbsp olive oil;
1/3 (or so) cup lemon juice;
4 Tbsp fresh parsley (optional);
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook the couscous per the directions on the box. Mix everything in a bowl. Chill for at least 15-30 minutes (the longer the better).

Well, Hello There…

ba47e5294eb07bfd2ab2c533fd4b5298Another blog?! What?

I know, who needs multiple blogs? Apparently I do. Because, people, I have thoughts… and thoughts and thoughts and thoughts and thoughts. Frankly, I don’t want to ostracize the people who read Unputdownables for book related things only, and also this helps me keep things better organized.

Through having Unputdownables (and Coconut Library, my original blog), I’ve gotten used to sharing on the Internet. I remember being afraid to use my name, pictures of myself, other personal information – and now here I am starting a blog to do just that! In my defense, this has become even more common and less scary in general over the past four years that I’ve been blogging, but it’s also because I’ve had some practice at sharing my life and not having a psycho killer come find me (note to all psycho killers: I like the way this has been our “thing,” can we keep it that way?).

And so, here I am. A new blog, a new space to share my thoughts. What will be here? Who knows. Everyday happenings, musings, traveling, stories, recipes, pictures… you know, life.

For those of you still getting the hang of this blogging world, this is an entirely separate blog from Unputdownables. If you follow me there, you won’t automatically be following me here (which may be a good thing?). If you would like to follow this blog, there is a link in the right-hand column that will let you sign up for posts to go straight to your e-mail inbox. If you don’t want to follow this blog, that’s fine too! You can come visit and chat with me in the comments section anyway. And I hope you will!!