Archive | December, 2019

Our First Apartment

14 Dec

Hello and welcome to our first apartment!

Is this angle different enough to justify another picture?

What about this one?

This one is different. And dark.


My complaints about this apartment are as follows:

  1. No natural light
  2. Terrible management
  3. Mold?
  4. No natural light
  5. Popcorn ceilings
  6. Weird off-white color for walls that ruins pictures especially because there is
  7. No natural light

But look at the basil we grew! Look at Cait’s birthday flowers to me!

My compliments about this apartment are as follows:

  1. Location
  2. You thought I was going to do location two more times, didn’t you? It’s the truth, but I’m not going to do it to you
  3. Ceiling fan? This is rough

I loved living here, I truly did. We had the most perfect location of all the locations. We were in SANTA MONICA. The most walkable, perfect spot of a walkable, perfect city.

But, goodness, if I can figure out a way to never live in a dark alley of an apartment with zero light even midday, well then, I will figure it out!

Kitchen. Edward Hopper calendar.

Dolly’s litter box and scratching post.

There’s not enough light to even make the disco ball go pitter patter and that’s the whole point of the disco ball at all.

But my grandpa’s paintings are home.

These bookshelves are probably the second greatest feat of our marriage to date.

The poorly lit hallway.

Oh dear. I didn’t even want to include these pictures.

I opened every blind in the home, I pleaded for natural light. And still. Here we are.

This hallway housed a few things.

My sunglasses collection, first and foremost.

Rob’s fat boy of JaMarcus Russell, the worst football player of all time.

The two of our personalities, combined in a tiny dark corridor.

I also kept my library books out there under my little Ikea plant table thing.

Let’s move on shall we?

Rob wrote this sign once when we had maintenance people come to our apartment. We kept it up on our bedroom door ever since, in memorium.

Say hi to Dolly!

My side of the bed. Peep

Mary Oliver

My bullet journal

My wireless headphones which changed my life forever and for good

Princess Diana

Himalayan salt lamp

Aura photograph


Actual clock so I can keep my phone out of my room


Vintage jewelry box

It’s like a game of I Spy but only I Care about it!

Rob’s side of the bed. Peep

Cape Cod map purchased at Cape Cod flea market

Framed picture of Rigby

Weird vintage book

Over here we see our California flag

(It is impossibly hard to get a good vintage one of these so we just settled for a cloth one.)

The blankets on the bed are:

  1. A comforter from a thrift shop in Mooreseville, Indiana. I had to shove it in my carry-on home.
  2. A blanket from a vintage shop in Seattle. Same thing with the carry-on.

The TV stand doubles as my craft supply station. Lots of stickers.

The air conditioning unit doubles as my sanity.

The bathroom.

I don’t have much to say about the bathroom, do you ever?

I did like the art we hung in here.

These two pieces I got in a gallery in Los Olivos, bought that one right off the wall.

And that little snail pot was from a thrift store in Carptineria.

Rob got this piece from work. His coworker added the drawings to it. One-of-a-kind right here.

Our Photo Booth strips that I really should preserve better.

Also my finger and phone. Hi! I was wearing a nightgown I didn’t want captured forever!

The top of the toilet candles featuring Mr. Darcy.

This feels like a good enough place to end this thing. Bye Darcy! Bye toilet!

Bye Santa Monica.

We will miss you the most.

PS: My studio apartment tour. I’m so grateful to past Jill did this work and even though it was the week before a move and I did not want to clean and document, I hope future Jill will be grateful for this work.

The Decision Part Three

11 Dec

 While we were deciding if we should move to Cape Cod, I wrote about everything I was feeling. This is the final chapter, Part Three. If you missed them: Part One and Part Two.


I’m in the plane on our visit back from Cape Cod.

 For some reason I want to name where I am at the beginning of each of these emotional dumps, to root them in time and space. This whole decision is a rollercoaster ride, one that’s gone on for miles and miles and weeks and weeks of my life.

At this point on the coaster, we’ve crossed the country several times over, from sea to shining Nebraska cornhusks, and we’re still looping, the excitement long gone, all that’s left is a headache and some sort of neck pain and also the ever-present nausea.

I’m exhausted.

I wanted clarity from this trip, though I don’t know why I thought this time would be the first time in my life I had clarity on an important decision.

I am not known for my clarity. For my easy decision-making.

Before this point, the decision that scared me the most was the decision to get married.

The people who get engaged and say easiest decision of my life? 

Yes, I don’t know if I even believe they are telling the truth. Or if they are, their truth is such a distance from my own that perhaps we live in different spheres altogether.

They are from Mars, I am from Venus.

Deciding to get married was agonizing.

Loving Rob is not agonizing. Loving Rob is easy and fresh, he fills my lungs with air.

But deciding to get married shook me to my bones.

I knew with every part of me what an enormous decision I was making. How it would alter the course of my life forever. I knew big decisions would not be my own anymore, big decisions like where to move. 

Like where to live as grown-ups. 

Ugh it’s hard to be a grown-up.

I’ve never done it gracefully, never enjoyed it.

I blame a happy childhood.

One where I lived with the people I loved the most and saw my best friends 10 hours a day.

It was a dream! The world was so small and it was a dream and now the world is big. 

Most of the time I don’t like it that much.

The decision of Cape Cod is really a bigger decision, which is why it’s so difficult.

It’s a question of where we can live long-term. What quality of life looks like.

What our future family looks like. If we are having a family.

It is the giving up of the Peter Pan phase of life in a tiny apartment surrounded by the whole entire sunny world for the practical phase of life, lawn mowers and really solid retirement plans.

And we like this phase.

And we are giving it up (largely) for children who don’t exist yet.

And what if I don’t even like them? 

(My children, that is.)


On Saturday we went candlepin bowling. First we went to the depleted farmer’s market where a neighbor told us that we would be bored in the small town, that there was no good food.

And then we went candlepin bowling.

It’s a New England only thing, which is why I wanted to try it. Gimme gimme gimme a bowling alley that hasn’t changed from the 1950s, a bowling alley where you keep score by hand and reset your own candlepins. 

The bowling alley was quiet, off season Cape Cod, but there was a young family next to us, using bumpers and sliders. Guiding their children back to the game when they wandered off.

The family had a little girl named Eleanor who had just reached that stage where she was stumbling back and forth, getting the hang of this walking thing. Eleanor looked like she could have belonged to me, all brown curls and bright patterns. 

At one point, Eleanor left her family and waddled right up to me. Without saying a word, she reached up and held my finger, her chubby hand barely wrapping around. She smiled at me.

I smiled back.

Eleanor’s mom came over and said to me, “She likes your dress.”`

What if I love having children?

The Decision Part Two

10 Dec

While we were deciding if we should move to Cape Cod, I wrote about everything I was feeling. This is Part Two. You can read Part One here.

I’m sitting in the attic bedroom in Rob’s parents’ home on Cape Cod. I’ve applied lavender to my wrists in an attempt to calm myself down. I Facetimed friends across the country and tried and failed to read a book and it all comes back to this.

I can’t calm down.

In the next week I need to make a decision that will alter the course of my life forever.

And I know, life is long and we can change courses all the times and decisions are not permanent! Even the big ones!

I know.

I can’t calm down.

This morning I read one of my favorite Cheryl Strayed columns to Rob, the one about the ghost ships, the life not taken. I think about it often. 

I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.

After reading it, I said a prayer. I started with Heavenly Father, we are freaking out.

We laughed at it later, but I stand by it.

Heavenly Father, we are freaking out.

I could make you a pro/con list here, the one we’ve been toying with for a few weeks.

It’s a robust list, let me tell you. Should I describe it more without actually listing it? That’s really fun to read, right?

But it comes down to this:

Cape Cod makes a lot of sense.

Cape Cod scares the pants off both of us.

Does that make it wrong?

Heavenly Father, we are freaking out.

The Decision Part One

9 Dec

While we were deciding if we should move to Cape Cod, I wrote about everything I was feeling. This is Part One.

I have been spinning and spinning and spinning, barely able to catch my breath. I haven’t written a word. Of my book, of my blog, of my journal.

When you’re spinning this fast, you might throw up.

I got a job offer on Cape Cod.

It’s just about the perfect job. If I had to design a job for myself on Cape Cod this one ticks all the boxes.

It’s so perfect that we’re considering taking it. Therein lies the vomit.

We went to my therapist together this week. I told her we had been struggling with the move. “Of course you have!’ she said, matter-of-factly. “Anyone would.”

I’m lending that to you now, whatever situation you’re in.

Of course you have! Anyone would.

We struggle because it’s about the future and because it’s a huge decision and even huger change and hugest seems like the next word I should say here.

Would we dare?

Rob told me he loved me because I’m brave.

Because we’re getting on a plane to Boston this week to go check it out. To try the Mexican food and the candlepin bowling and that one ramen restaurant a half hour away.

This weekend in LA we are going to udon noodles and to get our auras read and it’s a world away from what we would do in Cape Cod.

Can we do it?

Are we in that world?

I’ve been doing a few things to avoid it all.

One is eating. Just like the awful food-as-coping strategy on full blast. I recognize what I’m doing, and yet. My regular tricks are not making up the difference here.

The other is throwing myself into Kaylor tumblr. I started my own Google Doc of Kaylor evidence to show…I don’t know who?

I’m scared.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know who?