Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the new birth of me...

I have something to share with you.
A little leap I've been trying to grow the balls to take in pursuit of a more fulfilling life and someday, career.
Something I have an huge interest in, and a desire to learn more and more about.
Having spent the past few months pouring over websites, gorging on book after book, and soaking in all the information I can, I have made a decision.

I am going to become, a Doula.

That may seem like small change, but to me, it's big massive bills.
I've spent the last eight years of my life at the same job. I never, ever would have thought that I would have the courage and ambition to anything other than what I have been for almost a decade! I just didn't. I love my job (and won't be leaving it any time soon...) and change and transitions, well, they make me nervous.

I just feel so, so driven to do this. 
For me. Just for me.

But, it's a big step.

When I was nearing the end of my high school years, the ever present question among the adults in my life was, "So, what college are you going to go to?"

After hearing that over and over and over again, I stubbornly made the decision to never further my education and prove to them all that I could have a great career and life without stepping foot onto a college campus.

Well, I proved them. My family bought a cafe and my sister and I ran it when we were 15 and 17 years old. We owned and worked that little shop for six solid years. And now, we sold it and are still working there, with a paycheck on Friday, and without the headache on Monday.

But now, with two nephews and a third un-gendered-as-of-yet on the way, birth, to me, is absolutely captivating. And I can't get enough of it! Seriously, mention meconium, mucous plugs, membranes, cervical positioning, posterior, anterior, placentas, or bowel stimulation...and I'm a happy, happy lady. Possibly a happy lady who will go on a crazy-girl tangent, but, nonetheless...

So, I herby announce, that I, Veronika, am furthering my education. Albeit, still without setting foot on a college campus, but, I'm doing it.

Someday, I'm going to wrap my arms around a laboring mama and whisper encouragement into her ear.

I'm going to watch a couple become parents for the first time.

I'm going to watch a big sister or big brother add a new little nugget of life to their world to terrorize and love endlessly.

And maybe there will be bloody shows and amniotic fluid splashed in my direction, but darn-it, there will be babies!

So, that's where I'm at. In the beginning stages of becoming a real life doula.
And I'm so, so pumped.

I hate to say it, but, you will probably hear even less of me in the next few months as all of my online and free time will be in study. And I know I've already been a shoddy blogger at best. But, can you imagine the stories I'll have once those swollen pregnant mammas start rolling (figuratively) in??

I can't wait, and I do hope you'll understand. I will still post here and there, but I might have to put this little blog here on the furthest back burner for awhile.

Love to you all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i hear the secrets that you keep...

Apparently I talk in my sleep.
I wasn't made aware of this spectacular talent of mine until after I was married and shared a sleeping space with another human.
A light sleeping human.

Thank God for sacred wedding vows until death do us part, because without them, I might have frightened my bedfellow away and back into a bachelor's domain.

There was one night, when in a fitful slumber, I snatched my husbands pillow from under his sleepy head and yelled,
"That's MY pillow!"
Contentedly happy and dreaming my cares away on two overstuffed pillows, I slept peacefully, while my poor husband rested his head on a solid, cold mattress.

Another night, after a day of heavy cleaning, I crept out of bed in the middle of the night, walked across the room and started tossing clothes left and right. My tired husband woke to the ruckus and asked what I was doing. In a pissy, 'mind your own business' voice, I replied,
sigh, humph, mutter.
"Well, actually, I'm not cleaning, I'm organizing."
toss. throw. slump.
"You know what, just don't even ask."
And then I sulked back to bed, turning my back on him because 'he just didn't get it'.

During our bathroom remodel, after pulling out flooring, sinks, toilets, tubs, drywall, plaster, wallpaper, etc, etc, I had another sleeping 'moment'. We had the help of my little brother that day to tear down the plaster and lathe. He did a mighty good job, that boy. I must have thought so, because his great work made me dream and walk a fury that night...

At an ungodly hour during slumber-time, I sat up in bed, tore the covers off and stared at the wall. My husband, growing accustomed to this charade, sighed and asked what I was up to.

I turned to the wall, swept my hand across it's embossed wallpaper and said,
"I know. We'll have the kids do it."

Wiping sleep from his eyes, my husband replied,

"We'll have the kids do it. They know how to do it right. You see? The last owners didn't know how to do it right and that's why we had to do it. We have to do it right this time."

"Honey, you're asleep. Go to bed."

"NO. I promise you, I am not asleep right now. Here, let me show you how to do it right. I'll just go grab the crowbar..."

"Um. No. You need to go to sleep, you're asleep right now, just lay back down..."


"Go to sleep."

With a huge and overly dramatic sigh, I slumped back into bed and said with all the sass I could sleepily muster,

"Fine. But you're going to feel very silly tomorrow morning when you realize I am not asleep right now."

As you probably guessed, the next morning when I went downstairs to greet my husband and his steaming cup of coffee, he had a smirk like the Cheshire Cat himself.

With a light kiss I asked,
"How did you sleep, babe?"

Jaw dropping and walking away he replied,
"Well, I slept like crap, but I sure don't feel silly this morning."

And, in a rush, it all came back to me.

In conclusion, I think that my subconscious dream state is trying to tell me something.

I need two interchangeable pillows to keep my sleeping self satisfied.

I need to spend more awake time cleaning and organizing.

And the next time we plan a room remodel, I'll just leave it entirely up to the creepy ghost children, because, after all, they know what's best.

Oh, and also, in order to keep things spicy and surprising in the bedroom, I need to continue talking in my sleep because my husband says it's freaky.

Freaky in the bedroom is good, right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

dear veronika, please think before you speak...

During our bathroom remodel, I was in charge of picking up the new toilet from Lowes.
We had already picked it out, so all I had to do was convince my mom to drive me out there, show someone what I wanted, pay, and then load it into her car.

I walked into the store, cool, collected, and savvy.

Every few aisles, a friendly store clerk would politely ask if I was in need of assistance.
"Why, no thank you, I know exactly what I need!" 
I would reply with confidence.

Once I crossed the store and reached the plumbing section, I quickly realized I was in need of assistance as there was no way I could carry the box of disassembled toilet all the way to the register and out to the car.

No matter. From around the corner, another friendly clerk sprang out in front of me to ask if I needed help.

"Why, yes thank you. I'll be needing someone to load this into the car!"

Quick as a whip, we were at the register and ready to pay.

As I was swiping my credit card, the nice boy manning the register asked,
"Now, where are we putting this?"

Feeling very proud of myself at this point, I matter-of-factly replied,
"Oh! We're going to be putting this in the bathroom!"

Wait...did I hear crickets?
Why is he looking at me like that?
Is he confused?
What did I say?


"Ohhh...you mean which car are we putting this in?"

He nods. 
Then smirks.

"Right. Okay. It's the white Vibe parked out front. But, just for the record, we were thinking of putting this sucker in the living room. You know, make things easier...less distance to travel when we gotta go? Erhm, please just forget I said that, okay?!?"

Red as a beet and dragging my pride behind me, I darted out of the store without meeting the eyes of anyone in my path.

Real savvy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

the coolest bathroom in the world...

Is summer break really over already? 

Where did it go?
How did it happen so fast?
Did I accomplish anything in the past three months?
What was I doing all summer long?

Oh yeah.
Now I remember...
Teamed up with my trusty, handy, super-hot, husband,
We turned this...

Into this...

Okay, seriously...scroll back up and look at that disgusting-ness again.
And it's not like we just didn't clean it. We did! A lot! It wouldn't get clean!

The floors were damaged from water and the super-cute-blue-checkered-linoleum was curling at the edges. We could only go two days after a good, deep clean before mildewy grossness started creeping up in all the corners because there was no air flow whatsoever. Unless you count the exhaust fan that, when you flipped the switch, would do nothing, not even turn on, for at least a good ten minutes. When you went to turn it off however, it kept running for maybe an hour. 

And our toilet seat...uffda! 
What an embarrassingly noisy cushioned disaster that was...
*Sit*...Poof! fsssssssssshhh!

But this...ahhhhhh...

Can't you just smell the lavender from the bath salts you know I'm gonna toss in there tonight??

So, anyway, before I make you too jealous...
That was our summer. 
We literally tore out our bathroom. Top to bottom.
Floors, walls, ceilings, plumbing, electrical, all completely redone, and all by ourselves with help from family. It was so much work, and I was so not expecting it to be that hard. In retrospect, I have no idea why I didn't think it would be that hard. But when the insulation and plaster were falling down into our eyes, and I was dodging hundred year old nails because I haven't had a tetanus in twenty years, I wanted to cry and wish it all away. I wanted to just close off the unfinished room, forget that we even started it and live with the fact that we would have to continue using this as our restroom...

(This is a toilet that is located in our freaky, creepy basement. We had to use this for almost three weeks.)

It really was miserable.

But, now it's over, and I'm happy.
Stay tuned for pictures of our temporary "shower" and a few embarrassing moments starring yours truly.

How the heck was your summer?

Friday, June 4, 2010

my favorite day...

Two years ago I had the best day of my life. 
My wedding.

My sister helped me dress, held my hand, and whispered sweet blessings.

A bed of petals were scattered to soften our steps...

My dreamy husband-to-be waited patiently...

Someone told me to stop crying, the music had started, and I needed to pull myself together and take my long awaited walk down the grassy aisle...

I felt like a princess in the veil my mom hand made for me.
Both my parents supported me as I took each slow step towards my future...

But then I saw him, his bottom lip quivering as much as my shaking legs. 
I fell in love with this man, my man, over and over and over again.

The women I love stood next to me, crying with me, and loving me.

Friends sung for us, and celebrated us.

And then, after vowing to each other the rest of our lives and the depth of our hearts, we walked away to "Bittersweet Symphonies"...

My new mom in law (who promised she wouldn't) cried with me out of joy.

We cuddled each other...

And I was so, so happy...

I surprised my new husband by recording myself singing "our song" and playing it as our first dance...

I laughed.

And then he held me.

And then my sister, my heart, spoke a stream of love and made me cry, again.

Then came my baby brother, my hero, and I had to stop my new husband from choking on his laughter...

Then, my brave husband tried to speak, but got choked up. 
It made it better.

Then we cut our cake! A funky Lithuanian cake, 'cause, we're like that...

We laughed...

And grooved...

And then my dad held me.
And I'll never forget it.

For a moment, I let it all soak in...

I'm a wife. I have a husband. We have a life together.

And then it was over...

But we still danced.

And loved.

Now, two years later. 
Nothing has changed. 

His lip still quivers and I still get wobbly knees.

I don't feel like I have a husband.

I just feel like I have the coolest roommate ever.

All photos taken by the amazing David E. Jackson.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

and then something dumb happens...

...and I get attacked by a bird.

Literally. No exaggerating.
Dive-bomb, direct target, brutal attack.

Riding my bike by the river today, I felt something hit my head.
I thought it was just someone throwing something at me again...
Yes, that happens to me...and more often than I care to admit.

But then I reached up and felt a feathery mass of body.

And I freaked out.

I tried to pedal faster, but my poor bike doesn't do faster.
I think there's only like, one gear. If that.
So my feet did that funny thing, you know, like when you're walking up the stairs in the dark, and you think there's just one more step than there actually is, so you step down too hard and you get that weird sinking feeling in your tummy...yeah, that.

Stupid bird kept diving down, pecking and scratching at my head!

Finally, after about a block, it stopped.
Maybe I hit it. I don't know.

It wasn't until later, when I went to go tell my sister what happened, that I noticed my hair was wet.
I got freaking owned by a bird!

In hopes that this never happens to me again, I am hear-by offering a public apology to the birds of America...

I'm sorry.
I wasn't making fun of you when I wore this two Halloween's ago...

Please don't attack me again.

As always. The joke is on me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

pen and ink...

click to enlarge.

Ps. sorry for the crappy penmanship and spelling/grammatical errors.
Pps. I love you all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

how "being green" can sometimes lead to "bloody massacre"...

I have a strange relationship with lint. I just can't justify tossing it out when it could be saved and used for cool things like this. Seriously, how awesome is that?!

So, every time I empty the lint trap out, I just set it on top of the dryer until I can think of something to do with it. But, like almost everything else I set out to do, I never get around to using it and the pile gets bigger and bigger. Eventually, my husband will inform me that our basement lint population is out of control and threatens to throw it all away if I don't create a fiber masterpiece of my own. Then he gives me 'the look'...you know, the same one that debuted here...the "you're in big trouble" look.

With a defeated sigh, I will mumble something about not being free to be myself and how my efforts of creativity are stifled by his need for cleanliness, and then trek out to the backyard with two armfuls of dusty lint. I hang it in tufts on the branches of our crabapple tree and wait for the birds to come find it to use for their nests.

Turns out, a mama rabbit found our offering and dug a little nook in the tall grasses (read: weeds) next to the fence. Tucked inside were six tiny baby bunnies all snuggled together on a bed of soft, multicolored fuzz. The would-have-been discarded fibers of our socks, shirts, and unmentionables (why do I write about underwear so much??) had provided a soft, safe haven for those little babies.

But really, only a soft haven, because it was far from safe. Even though the nest was on the other side of the fence, even though we worked so hard building and designing it to keep rabbits out and that nasty, vile dog we call ours in, it wasn't safe enough.

While we were inside cooking up a fine spaghetti dinner, Lena was outside pacing the boundary line, salivating, and formulating a plan in that pea sized brain of hers. Escape was necessary and by any means possible. She violently tore the chicken wire off the trellis and gnawed her way through the crosshatch. Squeezing her whole body through an impossibly small hole, she landed directly on top of the sleeping babies.

I can't write the rest. I am honestly still shaken, and I think it would just be cruel to put into words the horror of what came next. You know what happens. You can imagine the rest.

And that's why this post will have no picture. If that disappoints you, you are sick. Sick!

Somewhere out there is a mother rabbit who has lost her family.
I hope she didn't see it all go down.
That would suck.

Lena and I are not on speaking terms.
She has totally spoiled the joy I used to get from saving lint.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

once upon a time...

I was sixteen and had a disposable camera...

(Left to Right: K, Me, Kimberly, El.)

...and I was a bridesmaid in El's wedding.

These are my friends from years ago.
We met through a community theatre when I was only thirteen, and have stayed friends since.
Through my teenage years, I looked up to these women. 
We shared crushes, makeup, tears, secrets, clothes, bobby pins, shoes, hairspray, jokes, and break ups. 
And we shared gallons of glitter.

Then, I grew up some more, got a nice new film camera, and took this picture at Kimberly's wedding...

That's Kim on the left! She, in fact, has a blog herself. It's a crafty blog full of crafty things, recipes, and seriously adorable stories of her babies.

Once, I thought I killed her. 

I can't remember the details now, but it was my idea to get a late dinner at our favorite Perkins. 
We laughed a lot, as usual, and I remember being giddy with excitement to get to spend the next day with her at one of our theatre performances. 

On her way home, driving 70 miles an hour on the highway, she rear ended an SUV. 
Now, if my memory serves me right, there was construction, she was talking on the phone, and the SUV was parked as traffic was at a stand-still. 
If all of the above is indeed true, I'm not sure why I still blame myself for the accident. Even though it was my idea to get a late supper, the afore mentioned scenarios were much larger contributors to her collision, wouldn't you say?

The next day, I waited for her to show up to the performance. 
She was late. Really late.
Finally, someone came up to me and told me she had been in an accident the night before.
I was stunned. I cried and cried, I blamed it on myself.
If it weren't for me wanting to grab a late snack, if it weren't for me keeping her out late, she wouldn't have run into a parked vehicle on the highway!
They said her car was completely totaled, the brand new car she had just bought a few days before.
But, then they said, she only broke her nose, and she was safe.


I went to the store to develop that picture, but I only had the negative...

Well, apparently, they don't know how to do that anymore. 
I handed them the negative and in return, I received the emptiest of blank stares I have ever laid eyes on.
And though they were all wearing name tags that stated, 
"19 years photo lab experience"
they clearly did not know how to handle this situation.

An hour or so later, after summoning several more photo technicians, I was given back an envelope filled with all of the pictures I did not want printed, and only one that I did.

Oh well.

More years passed by, and, even though I feel like the same. exact. person. in the first photo, I guess I must have grown up enough to get married myself...

That's ME! In the middle! At MY mostly-grown-up-adult-ish wedding!

This time, I erhm, actually, our parents had enough money to hire a photographer to take the picture!
 Luckily, I didn't have to sort through negatives to get a second print of this. I had it neatly stored on our trusty Mac. All I hubby had to do was zip it over to a USB and take it to the store to print.

That, they do know how to do.

I don't have much else to say about the USB.
Except that,
later that night, when I was dressing for bed, I found it nestled in my underwear.
No. I don't know how it got there.
I've retraced my steps, questioned my husband, and scratched my head.
No idea how it ended up there.

That brings us to the present, at "K's" wedding, where I completely forgot a camera of any sort.

So, I stole it from Kim's blog. Yup, I right-clicked that sucker. (but, ps. only I'm allowed to do so, so don't you dare try it yourself.)
You can read her side of K's wedding over on her blog, with a detailed, hilarious, and very, very accurate account of "the lake fly incident" .

Day to day, it never seems as if anything is changing. 
We feel the same, act the same, 
and looking back at our reflections, 
we think we look the same as yesterday.

But, for the four of us, most things have changed.

From disposable, to film, to digital cameras.

When once upon a time we giggled about boys and crushes while trying to adhere our false eyelashes.

Now we laugh and sigh contentedly about husbands, homes, and babies.

And it is good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's here.

The time of year for tulips, bike riding, and laundry drying in the breeze.
Muddy, sloppy paws that lull the mop out of it's corner for an almost daily debut.
Freckles peek out from pale hibernation to greet the sun.
Rings adorn my toes.
I cut through the soft grass in my sandals instead of staying on the sidewalk.
Lena snacks on butterflies and bumble bees.
Open windows sweep out the stale, wintered air.
Husband spends most evenings in the garage, creating, organizing, inventing.
I stretch out on the lawn chair with a good book.
Sip iced tea and lemonade.

We top off the bird feeder and I ask my husband, 
"How do the birds know where to find the food?"

He shrugs.
"I don't know, word of mouth?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

what is this feeling?

I didn't think it could happen to me...
The obsession.
The fixation.
The excitement.

I read, "Twilight".

"What's the big deal?"
I thought.
"Really, what is this all about? Is it really something great? or is it just a prepubescent fetish?"

I fluttered through the first few chapters, enjoying the plot, the characters, the settings, all the while trying to place Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in the mirror of my mind, acting the story out on the tiny big screen in my head. Mostly that just made my mind drift, wondering what Kristen and Robert were doing right now in real life...didn't I hear they got married? I wonder if they shop at Walmart? Do they wear socks when they're home, or go barefoot?

Less than mid way through, I really sunk my teeth in.
I was always thirsty for more...
The passion, the lust, the drama!
Instead of picturing Kristen, I pictured myself as Bella.
Instead of picturing Robert, I pictured my husband as Edward.
(Okay, not really...I still pictured Robert. You can judge me, I don't care.)

During the day, in the time away from my new favorite book, I pretended someone would be there to swoop down and stop me from tripping, or block a runaway car about to hit me, or blast a bad guy to smithereens!

I wondered,
What would I look like as a vampire? Could I really get any paler??
Wouldn't I look so pretty being all sparkly when I stepped into the sun?

I finished the first book last night.
Sliding into bed, sipping the last few slurps of my tea, I read the final pages.
I closed the book, and sighed, long and heavy.
Tucking myself deep down into the comforter, I glanced over at my sleeping husband, my icy toes curled under his.

Pulling the sheets up to my chin, and batting my pouty blue eyes, I said,
"I wish I could be a vampire too"

Not so asleep, my charming husband replied,
"Shut. The. (I can't say that word.) Up."

Okay. Maybe I have gone overboard.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

the day Lena turned one...

Some time ago, somewhere in Kentucky, a boy dog and a girl dog (who, we are told were probably related...) decided they loved each other and made puppies. Or they were just bored...who knows.

A year ago today, those puppies were born. 
And one of them ended up with us.

(Lena, May of '09)

We celebrated in style. Doggy style.
We took Lena to the dog park, but her friends thought it was too muddy to come out and play.
She didn't think so! She ran through every pool of water and puddle of mud she could find.
Ohhhh, was she ever dirty...
So, we loaded her up and took her to the 'dog spa' (aka. tub and hose)

When we got home, we prettied her up with a crown...

("I'm 1! Or 7, depending how you look at it...")

And ate some cake!

(Spelling out "Happy Birthday" in cheese whiz is really, really hard.)

I'm pretty sure Lena had some sweet dreams of chasing tennis balls and eating peanut butter cake.

And she thinks we're the coolest human parents ever. 
She told me so.