Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What You Give Away

Nothing is more genuinely, peacefully satisfying that putting my nose into the top of Beckett’s freshly washed and dried hair and watching his million-miles-long lashes flutter to sleep as I recite a convoluted version of Goldilocks & the Three Bears.

I hope he someday knows that I felt this way even though I didn’t get to say “good morning” to him before running out the door to work at 7:30 today. Even though I didn’t take him to the park to play in the afternoon sun. Even though I didn’t get home in time to make him dinner, which means he had turkey sandwiches for both lunch AND dinner today (although Target plus Jersey Mike’s Subs has become something of a fun boys’ night out tradition for him and Matt).

At least I made it home in time to read books and to pretend that I was swimming in the “ocean” of our living room and to rock my big sweet boy to sleep. “My best friend,” he said, hugging my neck as I put on his PJs. I hope that is what he remembers about today. It’s definitely what I will remember.

(Ok, ok – that and hearing (live!) Vince Gill do “What You Give Away” and Martina McBride belt out “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at lunch and watching Titans Coach Jeff Fisher strip down to a #18 Peyton Manning jersey.)

(photo credit: cmt.com)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Quiet House

Beckett is spending this week with my family in Ohio. His Grandma Lisa, Grandpa Bill, his aunties and Uncle Grant. This has been a plan long in the making, and Matt and I are grateful to my family for wanting so badly to spend this one-on-one, quality time with Beckett. To make up for lost time, in a sense. To ensure that he not only knows the faces and names there, but that he builds meaningful relationships and lasting memories with them. And that he has a sense of the quality of life there – a quality forever engrained in me.  One that’s centered around hard work, farming and the land, God, and community, family and friends.

In the meantime, Matt and I are having a little (pardon the term) “staycation” here in Nashville. We just couldn’t swing the little getaway to Chicago or New York like we’d hoped, and we still have to get up and go to work. But we do intend to enjoy some quiet quality time together. Our nine-year anniversary is tomorrow, and so we’ve declared the entire week a celebration of this quite impressive milestone (if I do say so myself).

Last night—the first of our nights without him—included a casual dinner at one of our old favorites, PM, a spot we used to walk to when we lived in the great little second story apartment on lovely Linden Avenue and I was a grad student at Belmont. Then we hit our favorite dessert spot, Fido, for cookies and coffee. I had a vegan Spicy Hot Chocolate cookie (cayenne pepper was the second ingredient!). Pure deliciousness as we sat at a sidewalk table in the slightly chilled October night air.

Then it was home for best-out-of-five rounds of Wii Tetris. I totally won. (A little fact about me: I’ve been highly skilled at and loved Tetris since junior high, when Matthew and I challenged each other to endless tournaments on our original Nintendo. Tournaments that usually ended with one of us trying to punch the other’s lights out while our little sisters looked on, dismayed…)

Tonight, just home from work on Day 2, we’re thinking about what to do. Looks like another night of restaurant dining. Probably a neighborhood joint – The Local Taco, perhaps? And no crayons! No wet wipes! No mysteriously sticky booster seats! Then it’s on to Rock & Roll Trivia at Mercy Lounge. I get to hang with Matt and Toddie and the boys, and hope that there’s at least one question about early 90s teen pop stars or 80s Chicago hits or movie soundtrack power ballads (see below). I really hope to contribute at least one right answer.

And somewhere in there, we’ll be sure to phone home to bid our little man sweet, sweet dreams. That is, if he’ll break away from banana splits and new puzzles and wrestling with Uncle Grant long enough to take our call.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scarecrows on a Saturday

Last weekend, we enjoyed a lovely family outing to Cheekwood's annual scarecrow exhibit. It was a perfect, sun-shiny Tennessee fall day. Beckett enjoyed running through the fields and exploring the wooded paths as much (or more) than the scarecrows. Matt and I simply enjoyed watching him, being together and taking pictures (here are several!).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Au revoir

Sad news from Conde Nast today.  Two of my favorite magazines, Gourmet and Cookie, are folding.  Interestingly, since I started this blog, I've been eyeing the September '08 issue of Gourmet that still sits on my shelf and thinking I should snap a photo of it to share with you because it is just so incredibly delicious. 


This issue will serve as one of my trusted food guides when we travel to Paris next fall.  And within its pages lives a challenge nearly as daunting as my novel: a Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Tart recipe.  In Gourmet's singular words: "A triple layer of crumbly crust, a truffle-like interior, and an almost patent-leather-shiny glaze make this tart the chicest take on chocolate we've come across in a long time."