Monthly Archives: February 2010

Today, I understood

There are days when I look at my kids and I’m awestruck. By their hearts, their beauty, their being. The hugeness of it all.

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And I wonder how it’s possible that they are their own beings, and yet so much like me. Like Lucas. Like each other.

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It boggles my mind that I had a hand in creating them. I can’t put into words what I feel… I’m amazed that they can think for themselves, that they have intuitions, that they function. Does that make any sense? They were just babies not that long ago, but now… now they have opinions and likes and dislikes. They’re growing into themselves.

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And we get to watch all of it. The stumbles and falls. The hopes and dreams. We get to see, and sometimes fear, that we live in them.

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Today I stood back and watched my children explore a new place. I watched them learn new tricks. They jumped, and sometimes fell.

Today, I understood.

“Having children is like letting your heart walk around outside of your body.” ~Author unknown

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Flashback Friday ~ Love

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Remembering the Reasons was originally posted on November 24th, 2009

The last time we moved {almost two years ago} we didn’t unpack our numerous boxes of books. Our reasoning? We cannot have bookshelves with toddlers without anchoring them to the walls. And we didn’t want to do that… because we didn’t think we’d be here that long. Oh and space, we have no space for bookshelves.

Fast forward to knowing we’ll be here for three years total.

I miss my books.

So over the weekend I went searching through hundreds of books for one or two in particular. I went through every single box, because {of course} the specific few I went looking for were in the last box, in the way back of the second thoroughly disected closet, under about six other boxes. In the process, I found about a dozen others that just had to be brought out. Some were mine, but most were my husbands. You see, between my Political Science degree with an English minor, and his English major, we have quite the collection.

Through a closet and two rooms  I called out “Hey, how was Gandhi’s autobiography?”, “did you know you had so many of Kerouac’s books?” and I might have muttered something along the lines of “how many works of Shakespeare can two people possibly own?” They all took me back.

All of those books played an instrumental role in the story of Corinne & Lucas. The first time I saw his apartment I was in love. It was perfect. It was located on a gorgeous street in a historical old New England town. He resided on the top floor of a renovated house, centuries old, with angled ceilings and tiny windows. A view of the street, without the noise, where you could see the snow on the town common accompanied by dog walkers and couples taking a brisk February stroll. But while it had all the staples of a bachelor pad {you know… dvd’s, video games, bare fridge, the just cleaned for a date smell…} it also had books. Rows and rows of books.

And I love books.

We sat and talked about different titles. I stole several minutes staring at the antique works and finely bound collections. The man had books. And he actually read them. He showed me albums of places that he’d been, told me stories of traveling through Europe alone, he came to life as he exposed his love of road trips, nature, and art. It wasn’t one of those first date shows, there was something so sincere and passionate about all that he had done, and all that he wanted to do.

I loved him.

And over the weekend as I got my answers to the questions I called out, “It’s good if you want to know what Gandhi ate” and “yes, I know” and even “did you say something?” I felt this warm fuzzy feeling that you get when you remember a forgotten reason. I smiled to myself several times looking through our collection. At points you could tell which one came from where, a definite his and hers; but the more years we’re together the more the divide dwindles.

I miss our books.

And I still love him.

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Today I’m taking part in Jo’s Flashback Friday. Today’s prompt is LOVE…  Head over to check out more blasts from the past!

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Untitled on a Thursday

I’m just going to say it.

I love having my mother in town.

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I don’t mind that we’re practically on top of each other when she’s here, staying in our little apartment. Fynn doesn’t mind that she snuggles with him at night, sharing his full size bed. Paige doesn’t mind having another person to carry her around upside down.

And even though I’m married, with two kids, in my late twenties, I still don’t mind if she wants to clean my stove top.

She wears the kids out, reads endless stories to them {even makes up some of her own, about little boys named Fynn going on rocket ships…} and gives so much love.

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One of the huge bonuses about having her here, 24 hours a day, is that I can take the kids out one at a time. Even if it’s just on errands, that time is precious, for all of us. We both get to see how the kids are one on one, which regular days don’t always allow.

Today I stole Paige away and we went and picked up my new glasses. They’re similar to the ones I wore in college, the ones I wore up until last fall. The most recent ones were nice {and not terribly different…} but they weren’t really me. Paige saw the new glasses on me for the first time and smiled and pointed. I’ll take that as a compliment.

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After we picked up my glasses we went on a spur of the moment trip to Barns & Noble. I had a few things in mind… but wasn’t sure I’d be able to find them. Books on faith, alcoholism, recovery. A magazine that features a new friend. Normally when I go in to a huge bookstore I get overwhelmed, and find everything but what I came in for.

Today? Each one of the four items I was looking for practically leapt out at me.

So I had to get them.

I’ve been so good at using the library. I believe so deeply in the library. But I wanted to hold these books. To be able to dive in with a highlighter and to underline the passages that speak to me. I want to dive in to escape. But to escape to a place similar, except with different names. I want to live what I’m going through, but to do so I have to see it from different eyes, different words, at times.

Through this trip, I got to spend some alone time with Paige. It doesn’t happen often… Fynn normally jumps at the opportunity to get out without his sister. But today he said he wanted to stay home. Thanks to my mom he could {and apparently they had a wonderful time together… they drew pictures of Saturn, went swimming through a sea of couch cushions, and then greeted me at the door in his Wall-E underwear}.

At the book store we saw the nurse who discharged me from the hospital with both kids. She was kind, and sweet. Part of me wanted to run up to her and give her a hug, show her Paige. But I kept my distance. Kept the thoughts of how it was funny to run into her today, since Paige will be 18 months old tomorrow.

In those 18 months, she’s blossomed. Grown so much, and is such a sweet little girl.

Paige carried a copy of Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies through the bookstore. At the checkout counter she was reluctant to hand over the book, but she did. She waited anxiously for the cashier to give her the book back. No bag necessary for Paige. She clung to that book like it was gold. On the ride home she thumbed through the soft pages, ooo’ing and ahh’ing.

She’s my girl.

So yeah, I don’t mind having my mom in town. She brings with her moments and memories that are never planned, but always leave imprints on my heart.

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Details! Update on our gathering

I think we have a plan!

Our little New England gathering of Hearts & Voices will take place in Portsmouth, NH, at 1pm on Saturday March 13th. We’re planning lunch, and then if we’re up for it we can stroll downtown for some lattes and cupcakes.

If you’re interested please email me {at crnnoel at gmail dot com}, or leave a  comment and I will get in touch with you about further details {like the name of the restaurant…} and how to find us. Although it should be fairly easy… we’ll be the group sitting with our cameras taking photos of each other and our food ;)

Please spread the word! The more the merrier. I’m so looking forward to sitting down with a few women who understand why I take pictures like this:

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and why I share them. Women who I know get me before we meet in the flesh.

So…  if you’ll be somewhere remotely close to Portsmouth on the 13th of March, I so hope you can join us!

That’s right, you.

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Gentle nudges

Today marks two weeks of sobriety for me.

Two weeks worth of being present.

14 days of gentle nudges each morning from Him, telling me that I can do this, that I’m worth it.

I might not always talk about it, or write about it, but my sobriety is always on my mind. It is a constant choice to be made. Me, and my family, over the bottle.  And with those gentle nudges, the choice is getting easier to make. I’m not second guessing myself, I’ve admitted the problem, and there is no turning back.

I still feel like I’m flailing at times, trying to keep my head above water. Yesterday Fynn broke my glasses… and I could barely handle dealing with changing my day around to head out to order new glasses… and then I found out that I had to have an eye exam because my last prescription was only good for one year and not two… and between adding up the $$ in my head, and subtracting that from a bank account that is vertically challenged… my mind just kept spinning.

And it still spins. But I feel like I always have one foot planted on the ground now, instead of dealing with the drunk spins even when I wasn’t drinking. Because I was starting to feel those spins constantly. My life was teetering on the edge of that slippery slope… where you stand in the liquor store for one little thing, and wonder how you could sneak a few extra bottles in without being caught. For an emergency.

That was one of my moments.

And the gift was the gentle nudge pushing me out the door, without the secrecy.

Those nudges… those are my gift that I’m unwrapping today. They sing me to sleep now, quiet lullaby’s of hope and grace. They stay with me through the day. Helping me chose sobriety.

I will forever be thankful, and humbled, that God’s grace is present in nudges.

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Please visit Emily at Chatting at the Sky for more Tuesday’s Unwrapped. You’ll find simple moments and simple mysteries unwrapped in everyday life. Enjoy!

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Cupcakes, New England Style

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I’ve had cupcakes on the brain. The kind that go with big cups of hot tea or lattes, eaten with friends who don’t mind if you talk with icing stuck on the corners of your mouth. The kind that’s as sweet as the women around you, as yummy as the conversation at hand.

The kind of cupcakes you share with fellow bloggers.

That’s right. Like at Cupcake ’10.

I’m thinking New England bloggers need some of that love.

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So what do you say? I know there are several New England bloggers, looking to connect with each other outside of this whole online thing. How do I know? I keep getting emails asking if I know other bloggers in the area, and when I say yes, it’s almost always followed up with we should get together!

Lets!!!

It doesn’t have to be anything formal, at all. Depending on how many people are interested, we could either do a lunch, a coffee date, or find someplace where we can spread out in comfy chairs – or even the floor – and sit with yummy treats and warm drinks and talk. Get to know each other, and dive into why we do this crazy thing that we spend hours on. Why we blog.

And I’m thinking the sooner the better. Yes, I’m attending BlogHer in August {I’ll be the one double fisting Diet Coke’s as to not be tempted by all the booze NYC has to offer…} but I think we all deserve a little treat to get us through until Spring. Plus, something smaller and not so overwhelming! So before our calendars get crazy with the chaos that comes with spring and summer, let’s have our cupcakes. How about March 2oth or 27th? ** Editing to add that March 13th is also on the table…**

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Let’s move forward with this! If you’re interested, either leave a comment or send me an email (crnnoel at gmail dot com) and let me know where you’d be coming from, and what date you’d prefer, March 20th or 27th.

Once I have numbers, I can look into finding a venu that’s fairly central. I’d love to find something similar to what the ladies did at Cupcake ’10 {take a look at their site if you’re interested, looks like they had a fabulous time!} I’m hopeful that if there’s enough of us we could do something very similar fairly inexpensively, though I’m thinking more of a full day than an overnight. But I’m completely open to suggestions.

Even if it ends up being just a few of us, I think it’ll be worth our time. The connections we’ve all made through blogging are so real, so much a part of {at least my} life. Let’s take some time to honor our hard work and dive into a cupcake or two!

Spread the love, and spread the word :) A gathering of hearts and voices is on the horizon… {what do you all think of Hearts&Voices as a get together name? I’ve been struggling trying to come up with a title of our own… I kind of like it…}

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Love Letter

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Dear Streets of Salem,

I love you. With all of my heart. The reasons are more than the years I’ve known you. I think you are misunderstood, and hold so much more than the wax museums and witch trials.

Your streets hold my love story. My history with a certain man. Your streets cradle countless beginnings in my life.

Your streets coddled us on a first date, six years ago today. Hands were nervously held for the first time. Silent smiles spread across two faces while passing your town common. Doors were held, smalls of a back touched gently, and feet stepped in unison.

Love was found on lazy Sunday morning strolls down Winter Street.

Our first apartment, together, was on one of your lesser known streets. A painted wooden porch overlooked your crumbling road, where the questionable folks in town lived, but to us it was perfect. Cheap, full of character, and perfect.

Our relationship was founded on your streets. Risks were taken. And on one November evening, my loves hand reached into his coat pocket and held out a small black, velvet covered jewelry box. On your streets he asked “should we make this official?”

On your streets I said yes.

And the rest is history.

Streets of Salem, you will forever hold a special place in my heart. Thank you.

Love,

Corinne

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I’m linking this post up to Mamalom’s Love Letters, a special Valentine’s treat. Head over to take a look at other love letters, and perhaps write your own…

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