Roller Coasters

I frequently have dreams about being pregnant.  Not every week, or even every month, but it’s
a noteworthy recurrence.

Usually, my dreams on the subject are shrouded in fear.  Something isn’t progressing properly. The
baby isn’t big enough.  I am 6 months
along and have no baby belly.  They’re strange,
disjointed dreams.

What’s odd is that I wake up with no sense
of the fear. I come to in that semi-conscious fuzziness wishing I could just go back
to sleep and be pregnant again.

I had a pregnancy dream the other night and all the usual
feelings that go along with it. Only this time, it feels a bit more real. 

I have an appointment with an Ob/Gyn on May 9th.  Hopefully, she will give me the all clear and
fill out the paperwork that the clinic requires to take us on.  From there, the roller coaster ride will
begin—and it may not end.  Ever.

Trying to conceive will be its own roller coaster full of
sperm banks, wishful thinking, and anxiety–of this, I am certain.  That loveliness is followed by
(we hope) pregnancy.  Followed by (we
hope) baby. Toddler. Child. Preteen. Teenager. 

It goes on and on and it scares the living daylights out of
me and Catch.  

Even so—I can’t wait to hop on and buckle in. I just need to remember that on the occasions
when I am suddenly paralyzed by fear.

I've been dreaming of this. I've been dreaming of this for so long. It's time to leave the safety of my dreams.

Meeting Catch, Part 3

On our second date, we went to see Wedding Crashers at a
movie theater near her house. 

ALL I could think about during that movie was how badly I
wanted her to touch me. To put her hand on mine.  To sit closer.  To “accidentally” brush my bare knee with the
back of her hand.  ANYTHING.

Didn’t happen.

After the movie, we strolled around the outdoor mall that
the theater was in.  We got coffee from
Starbucks and sat outside on a bench for a while. It was dark, and it was
reasonably empty since it was so late.

I wanted her to kiss me so badly.  I tried to create little opportunities, but
she never took them. 

We drove back to her house and she invited me in.  It was LATE, but I agreed—hoping maybe NOW
she’d get it.

She didn’t.

I left and headed home. 

I was still happy—but also confused.  It sure SEEMED like she was interested in
me.  It SEEMED like we were having a
great time together.  Did she just want
to be friends?  Was she not attracted to
me?

I was stumped.

Catch7
Yes, I know I could have kissed HER, but I wanted her to
make the first move.  I am very much the
romantic who wants to be swept off her feet. 
At the time, I didn’t have it in me to do the sweeping.  I’d been through enough, and had plenty of
baggage. It was my turn to be courted, damnit.

She asked me on a third date.  We went out for dinner and then to a local
lesbian bar.  We had rum & cokes in
front of us and had been making quiet conversation.  She was staring at my legs.  Finally, she put her hand on my thigh and I
just about fell off my barstool.

Next thing I knew, she had leaned close and whispered, “Is
it okay if I kiss you now?”

I nodded.

She kissed me.

I melted into that barstool.

The rest is history.

We moved in together 9 months later in April and planted our
first meager vegetable garden in our backyard.

First_garden

We got Twix in May.

Twix_baby

She proposed to me in December of 2006 at a Starbucks.

Starbuckscup

We were married legally in July of 2008—just the two of us
in a Van Nuys strip mall.

We had the “big to-do” wedding in October of 2009.

Wed_sq

With any luck, we’ll add mommyhood to our history in 2014.
Fingers way, way, crossed.

Meeting Catch, Part 2

Despite my anxiety about this date, I made it down to West
Hollywood, parked, and dragged my nervous ass out of my blue VW Beetle.

I was wearing a jean skirt (I lived in jean skirts that
summer), a black tank top, and my trademark fiery red hair.  I tried to channel that fire as I walked down
the street toward the bar.

I waited out front for a few minutes until I spied her walking
toward me out of the corner of my eye. 
The absolute first thing I remember feeling (aside from
anxious/nauseous/panicked) was RELIEF.

Yes, relief.

She was cuter than
her photos online.  How often does that
happen?  Um—never?

We greeted each other awkwardly and headed in to the
bar.  She ordered a sex on the
beach.  I laughed and said I’d never had
one before.  I ended up ordering one as
well.  She bought our drinks.  We grabbed a small table.

I honestly don’t remember much of what we talked about that
night.  Mostly I just remember that I
NEVER. STOPPED. TALKING.  I also tore my
napkin to shreds, which is a trademark nervous habit of mine. Napkins and straw
wrappers—none are safe when in front of an anxious Molly. They will end up in
piles of tiny little paper shreds on the table.

We both lost track of time that night. It must have been
almost 2 am when I finally left West Hollywood. 
(Sometimes, I miss the days when I could stay out until the wee hours of
the morning and still get to work on time the next day—those days are long
gone.)

That night, I posted this:

Catch2

That's how Catch got her name.  She's quite fond of it.  She told me just the other day that she loves being my Catch.  And she is–in every sense of the word.

The next day, I posted the following:

Catch1

Meeting Catch, Part 1

Long ago and far away, I was 24 and single.  From this side of marriage and 30, 24 and
single really does seem long ago and far away.

I'd been single for two years following a breakup that truly
rocked my world. My highschool girlfriend. We'd been together for over 5 years,
and I didn't allow myself to see it coming. Hindsight really is 20/20.

So, I was "putting myself out there."

At least, I was if you counted sleeping with older women and
drinking and dancing with a bunch of gay men until all hours.

One day after work, I was at happy hour with a bunch of
friends from work.  One of them was
recently divorced and had decided that she wanted to start dating again—she wanted
to try match.com.

She looked around the table at all of us.  Two were in serious relationships.  One was pregnant.  She looked at me and said, “I don’t want to
do it alone—Molly, you should do it with me.”

I hesitated.  I didn’t
have the best online dating track record, but it had been a year since I’d
tried and I had never done match.com.  I
agreed.  I told her that I’d sign up for
the free trial, but that I wasn’t paying for the site.

That night, we went home, signed up, and created our
profiles.  On my blog, I posted the
following:

 
Catch4

My first match.com date stood me up.  Honestly, I deserved it because I had it in
my oversized egotistical head that she wasn’t good enough for me, anyway.  Plus, there was zero physical attraction
based on her photos. 

Then came my second date. Before the date, I wrote:

…Speaking of tomorrow,
I have a date tomorrow night.  One with
martinis and candlelight instead of coffee and baristas.

I think martini dates
are my favorite kind.  Or at least, AMONG
my favorite kind.

Tomorrow's chica is a
softball playing, Shakespeare reading, high school teacher.  And she's my age.  There's a first.  (Maybe not a first, but pretty damn close!)

So tomorrow.  Martinis. 
Casual outdoor bar… very dark… mostly candlelight.  What's a girl to wear?

Shortly before our date, I posted the following:

 
Catch3

I was nervous as hell.

Waiting in Line

Monday was a bad day.

A bad, lousy, sad, intense day.

Gus

Our dear friend/neighbor called me in the morning to tell me
that her dog, Gus—our god doggy—was very sick and that it was going to be his
last day with us.  We cried together on
the phone. I felt helpless—me at work, her at home—but she had her human best
friend there with her and I knew she wouldn’t be alone.

On my lunch break, I went shopping for a baby gift for a
coworker whose shower was yesterday.  While
perusing aisles of baby cuteness, I ran into two girls from my office.  One said, “Did you hear that someone bombed
the Boston Marathon?” My jaw dropped.

I went back to the office feeling defeated.  Gus was dying.  People were dying.  Lives were being turned upside down all
around me. 

I left work and prepared myself for the inevitable Los
Angeles Rush Hour.

While waiting for the signal to change so that I could turn
onto the freeway on-ramp, I had a revelation, and started composing a blog
entry in my head.  (This is a sign to
myself that I really am getting back into the blogging game.)

I thought about cars. 
How they are like protective shells that hide us from the world.  They provide us with anonymity.  They muffle our voices.  They keep the outside out and the inside in.

Maybe that’s the problem with rush hour.  Maybe we have too much anonymity.  Maybe we are too safe in our bubbles of glass
and steel.

Maybe we should all approach rush hour as if we are standing
in line for something wonderful.

When we stand in line, we don’t cut people off, flip people
off, or honk our horns.  We know that the
line is simply a means to an end.  We may
get tired of standing in line, but we don’t swerve out of line and cut in front
of someone ten people ahead of us just because we’re impatient.  We may WANT to, but we exercise common decency
and self control and we stand as patiently as possible right where we are.

It’s not that hard.  Except when it is.

As I was merging onto the freeway, a guy in a Porche decided
to cut in line. He swerved into the shoulder and cut me off right as I was
accelerating onto the freeway so that I had to slam on my breaks and everything
in my car went flying.

I reacted in the least graceful way I possibly could.  I laid on my horn and flipped him off.  He slammed on his brakes so that I would have
to slam on mine again.  He honked at
me.  I changed lanes to get away from
him.  He sped up to flip me off and
scream at me.  I returned the gesture and
screamed back.

By the time I got away from Mr. Porche, I was shaking with
anger—that’s when I realized that not thirty seconds earlier, I was creating
this totally Zen approach to the freeway and that in the blink of an eye, I had
blown it.  I had let myself down.

My chin quivered and my eyes filled with tears, and the next
thing I knew, I was sobbing in rush hour. 
Not just tears running down my face crying, but full on heaving sobs.

I cried and I cried for a good ten minutes before I pulled
myself together. I cried for Gus.  I cried for Boston.  I cried because some days, NOTHING seems easy–NOTHING seems fair.  By the time I reached my offramp, I was drained.  Drained of tears, drained of energy, and
feeling like I wanted to just collapse into Catch’s arms and never leave the
house again.

Of course, it’s not that simple.  We can’t just hide from humanity.  We can’t even hide from ourselves.  The evening went on.  We went out for dinner.  We comforted Gus’ mom for a few hours.  We carried on.

Sometimes, that’s the best we can do.

Today though, I am going to try to stand in line on the
freeway like I’m waiting for my favorite ride at Disneyland.  Home is my happiest place on earth.  The journey to get there deserves at least as
much enthusiasm as the line for Pirates of the Caribbean.

My Catch

5 am.

Catch is up feeding the dogs.

I am semi-conscious, taking and recording my temperature.

Rain is pitter pattering outside.  

The bedroom is blisfully grey and warm.

Catch comes back to bed and climbs in next to me.  

I roll over and we wrap our arms around each other.

I fall asleep again.

It's Monday.

We are both up and out the door a few hours later, but I relish those blissfully unsonscious moments taht started the day.

Foxen, Take II

Central_coast_wine_blog

Central California wine country is new territory for me
& Catch.  We love heading off on
little weekend escapes, but usually our wine escapes involve the Temecula
Valley
.  It’s easy to get to and
reasonable to stay there.

Then, at my birthday dinner last year, my mom brought along
a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir from Foxen Vineyards.  I LOVED that wine.  Enough that I didn’t want to let my brother
have any sips of mine.  It was too good
to be wasted on a barely nineteen year old. 
(His birthday is the day after mine. We are almost exactly 12 years
apart in age.  My stepmother says she “suffered
through an extra day of pregnancy just for me” so that we wouldn’t share the
same birthday, but I think it would have been awesome if we’d shared birthdays.)

Back to my point…

Foxen_blog

I finally got to take Catch to Foxen on our trip last weekend,
and she loved it as much as I do.  It’s a
fantastic winery. 

My favorite “new” taste from our trip was the 2010 La
Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir
.  Yum.  Throw it in storage for a few years and it’ll
be even better.  I would buy a case, but
even with our wine club discount, I can’t afford it!

Foxen2_blog

Yes, those are temporary tattoos on the counter, and yes, we both wore them proudly.

Carrying On

A few weeks ago, I read this post on Glennon Doyle's blog, Momastery.  The post hit home for me on many levels–most impornatly (to me), she referred to God and gay people all in one breath without doing a disservice to either.

That's not really my point, though.  My point is that this woman–whose writing I had never read before a couple of weeks ago–really has a way with words.  As evidenced here:

And I don’t mean, Chase, that we would be tolerant of you and your sexuality. If our goal is to be tolerantof people who are different than we are, Chase, then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated.

I love this quote.  

So when her book, "Carry On, Warrior" was released and I saw that it was available on Audible, I went ahead and used my monthly credit for her book. I really wasn't sure what to expect, so I will tell you what you can expect:

Expect to be blown away. Expect to laugh hard–and then to wonder if everyone else stuck in rush hour traffic is staring at you and wondering why you're laughing so hard alone in your car–but it will be so funny, and you will not care. Also expect to cry–because life isn't all funny, and neither is this book.  If you're listening on audible like I am, expect to be hitting the bookmark button more frequently than you have with any other book you've ever listened to.  If you're reading the paper version, expect to highlight, underline, dog ear, etc.

Expect to love this book.  I truly can't recommend it enough.  It is real life with no excuses, and I hope someday that I can be half as bold as Glennon Doyle Melton.

Cambria Winery

While we were in Santa Maria, we found ourselves driving through wine country contemplating stopping at another winery, but undecided.  We saw a sign for Cambria, made a sharp turn up a hill, ran over a snake (!), and decided to go for it.  

Here's a snippet of the scenery from the top of the hill…

Cambria_matte_blog

We were greeted in the tasting room by two friendly ladies who were so nice–the customer service was excellent.  I was already feeling tipsy from our previous stops, so we agreed to just share a tasting.  

We both enjoyed the 2011 Tempusquet Pinot Gris–it was very light and crisp. It would be perfect for sipping on the back patio in late spring/early summer.  I was certain it was going to make our "buy" list, but at the end of the tasting, it was actually a Chardonnay that won us over. And let me tell you–I am NOT a Chardonnay drinker.

The 2011 Clone 76 Chardonnay caught me off guard.  I was fully prepared to dislike it.  I just prefer my whites to be not-so-oaky.  But this wine–all I can say is that it tastes like butter.  Really.  That's the most memorable thing about it.  I vaguely recall pineapple, but butter is what stands out in my mind. We only bought one bottle, but I'm already trying to plan the perfect meal to go with it.

We both thought the 2010 Bench Break Pinot Noir was nice, but not very memorable.  I thought for sure that we'd take a bottle of the Clone 115 Pinot home, but in the end, it was the 2010 Clone 23 Pinot that won us over.  I can't wait to find the perfect meal for that one. The tasting notes indicate cherry-cola, smoke, and spice and I totally agree.

I am looking forward to a chance to bring my mom by for a tasting.  I'm curious what she'll think.