Tag Archives: Family

Here’s hoping my babies come out with a Scottish accent

9 May

This is a relationship blog and there is a relationship I have yet to discuss on here that I’d like to talk about. I would like to discuss my feelings about children, specifically my own. Please do not freak out, no one is pregnant. Well no one is pregnant who is writing this blog. But someone (me) is planning a wedding and starting to nest, and feeling excited about the notion of having little ones in her future. When I look lovingly into the Scottish’s eyes and tell him I want to have his babies, the fear in the room is almost palpable. He gazes back at me and in an unsteady voice, says, “Not for a long time hunny.” OH NO. IT’S LIKE THE PROPOSAL ALL OVER AGAIN. This wonderful man I’m going to marry moves slower than any human being I know. He doesn’t do anything quick or rash, all moves must be calculated and planned years and years in advance. Meanwhile my biological clock ticking and the noise is really starting to bug me. My clock sort of revved up after getting engaged and while it starts off trying to be nice, it usually ends up yelling at me. My clock: “Umm excuse me, umm, your body was made to procreate, and umm, well, all of us here in this pale vessel would like to say, GIVE US SOMETHING TO NURTURE *GOD DAMNIT!” Of course it’s fitting that my biological clock is overly dramatic like myself.

 

 

I’ve decided the best way to explain my feelings on having children would be to fill out the Who, What, Where, Why, When and How Many of it all. Sort of like an English paper outline. Enjoy!

So, WHO? Well, if possible I’d like to have a Scottish-American kid, with an ideal mix being 60% Scottish and 40% American, because those Scots just eat whatever they want and don’t worry about a thing, plus they are the most laid-back culture I’ve ever been around! As long as the kiddos get some of my passion, drive, and at least one artistic quality, we’ll be all set. If for some reason I need to adopt (ps I think adoption is awesome) then I think an African-American boy and an Asian girl would be adorable.

WHAT? Human children please.

WHERE? This is a great question. I would like to have my kids live in Chicago because it’s kind of my favorite city of all time, but I would also like to be near my family when I raise my kids. So either Chicago or Minnesota… at this point I’m not sure the Scottish could fathom moving to an even colder climate, but the lure of free babysitting has to hold some weight, right? Ultimately, I will have my kids in the Midwest. Ain’t no better place for kid-raising the way I see it.

WHY? This is an even better question. Besides just the biological clock, I most simply want a family of my very own to dream, love, and grow with. I love my family, immediate, extended, and honorary, and I want to create my own little unit with new special traditions and memories. I want to put more awesome people in the world. People who will respect the earth and their fellow human beings, people who will not discriminate based on sexuality or race or physical condition, and people who add to the quality of life for those around them. So, you know, just to have a little mini-me walking around… just kidding, I’d kill her.

WHEN? Let’s just say if I found out I was preggers by our first anniversary in March 2014, I would not be upset! Although, I have to say, it’d be nice to have more than a year to worry about Number One (me), and as a nanny I get an insight into the raising of kids and since it really is life-changing there is no need to rush. On the other hand, I’m super excited and not sure how long I’ll be able to wait! I’m hoping the Scottish isn’t having a heart attack on the train right now as he reads this on his way home. His ideal is like years from now after we have a house and enough money saved up to send them all to Harvard. AS IF!

HOW MANY? I say 2-3 and the Scottish says 1-2. But I want to have two girls (sisterly love is the best and the worst all at the same time) and I also want to have a little boy, so three kids would be nice. But a family of four sits together so well on theme park rides and airplanes, plus one more kid = one more flight to Scotland, and we know those trips are gonna add up!! But on the other hand, I come from a family of three, and so does my mom

Two things I know for sure, I don’t want to have an only child, and I don’t want to have three boys. If we have two boys and start trying for a third, I’ll probably spend our life savings flying around the globe looking for the best method to ensure our next kid is a female. Cause at that point I’ll be the desperate mother of two boys and I’ll most likely already have a reputation of being crazy.

Overall, I will consider us blessed no matter what the gender, number, or Scottish-American mix our children have, but frankly that doesn’t make for a very fun blog post.  For the ladies out there, when did your clock start ticking?!?!?!  Or maybe it hasn’t, that’s OK too!!

* I do not take the Lord’s name in vain when speaking but I take a lot of liberties when writing and it just sounded better to say GOD DAMNIT than GOSH DAMNIT. Luckily for me, God has a sense of humor.

Quote: “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” Walt Streightiff

It’s official, my Groom has something to wear!

11 Apr

BIG, VERY EXCITING NEWS… our tartan has been designed AND ordered.
(insert applause and sigh of relief here)

One of the main wedding-oriented tasks we wanted to accomplish on our trip to Scotland was the making of this tartan. After much encouragement from American family and friends, I was surprised when the Scottish’s friends were the ones who thought it was a little unnecessary and over-the-top. I guess it makes sense, their culture doesn’t buy into the crazy, big weddings that we do on this side of the pond and while they are all so excited to come to the wedding, they are just being practical and I totally understand that.

But since making a family tartan was deemed “top of the list important” to the Scottish and I, on the day after my arrival the Scottish and I sat down at a website that not only let us pick our colors but also arrange each color at different widths. We decided to follow a pattern we liked so that our tartan had a good chance of looking somewhat normal. Our colors were taken from the wedding theme and I’m thrilled with the result.

Once the kilt was designed, the Scottish went online to register it. We recently found out that we can’t use just the Scottish’s surname because your clan/family name would have to be registered by the the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh and that is usually reserved for historic family clans that already have tartans. And I totally get that, plus we can’t just make a kilt for every person with that last name, but we CAN make it specific to our branch of the Scottish’s last name. The woman at the Scottish Register of Tartans suggested we use both of our last names with a hyphen in between. So not only will my new last name be associated with the kilt but also my maiden name, pretty cool right?

We have to wait about a month and a half before it arrives but I can promise you there will be a follow-up post with more details.

For now, I am really excited and here’s why:
1) It’s the Scottish’s first kilt!! He’s never worn one before and I’m happy to announce that he’ll be wearing his personalized kilt for the first time on our wedding day.

2) We now have a family tartan!! For those of you who’ve read about my kilt woes then you understand how much I wanted this special element of his culture to be incorporated into the wedding. I picture us passing down the tartan from generation to generation, and it’s my way of embracing his country and it’s traditions (which isn’t always easy with us living in the US).

3) This is one more thing we can check off the wedding to-do list! Usually it’s the bride who orders her dress first because of the time it takes to get in and altered, but in our case, the Scottish got to join in the joys of formal-wear-ordering-fun.

Before I unveil the design, here are a few tartans we looked at for inspiration.

Rangers Tartan

Colhoun Tartan

Those are both lovely but it’s time for the big reveal and without further ado, HERE IS OUR NEW FAMILY TARTAN:

(insert last name here) Tartan

Unfortunately it’s a small photo and it’s nearly impossible to see all the different lines of color, but the majority of the tartan alternates between plum and a forest green. I’m sooo curious to see how the colors look in person!

Finally, I know it’s not good etiquette to talk about money and budget when pertaining to the wedding but I pride myself on the honesty of this blog and I like to express gratitude when it’s due. The Scottish and I are grateful to his parents for helping with the monetary expenses of buying a custom-designed kilt, and want them and everyone to know how special they are to us.

Quote: “KILT, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.” Ambrose Bierce

THE HUNGER GAMES in SCOTLAND

7 Apr

I’m on holiday, escaping away across the pond to see the Scottish and his family. I’ve been enjoying the company of my future-in-laws in this beautiful country (despite crappy weather). I have been taking the train into Glasgow with the Scottish to meet friends for dinner and drinks, I’ve gone shopping, and I have read all three Hunger Games books in succession. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!!

I will share updates on the kilt and other things when I’m back in Chicago but for now, all I can think about is Katniss and the others. I have been extra emotional and frightened this week due to reading the books AND seeing the first film of the series. I need the light on when I walk to the bathroom and I’m constantly hearing weird noises in the house, clearly they must be pods ready to detonate on me. Most people can separate books from reality but not me. Yet another side effect of my crazy brain.

(Note to self: go back to reading Amish love stories, they will not break you.)

Looking forward to my return but not rushing my week of relaxing! Until then friends!!! 🙂

Quote: “May the odds be ever in your favor.” The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

My parents are in town!! I have no time to blog!!

19 Feb

Does this look familiar? We took my parents to the Willis Tower on Saturday and waited in line for a little over 3 hours. Wow.

Oh, and dreams really do come true. Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post…

Quote: “Celebrate we will for life is short but sweet for certain.” Dave Matthews Band

“We talk about your heart, bout your brains, and your smarts, and your medical charts, and when you start”

25 Jan

My favorite relationship of all is probably the one I have with myself. Probably. I love spending time with myself but I do find it to be frustrating at times. My brain is powerful and I’ve yet to find the off switch so it can be very exhausting to be me. I’m crazy, loud, unashamed, and intense. But overall I have to say I am a big fan of myself. Plus, I’m attractive. One of my favorite stories about my nanny kid Derek takes place while I was driving them home from school one day last year. I must have told Derek he was going to have to do something that he didn’t want to do because he playfully said that he did NOT have to listen to me because I wasn’t his mom or his dad. And I said something to the effect of, “Oh yes you do, I’m in charge right now.” To which Derek replied, “Well, but you are kind of pretty.” I have no clue how that made sense in his mind, but I’ll take it. And now it’s time to take stock of this pretty girl’s life. It’s time for an update to access how things are going. I normally do this in my head when I’m stressed out and trying to count my blessings, but in this case, it works as a blog post too.

House(s)– Apt: Feels like home after months of moving in items slowly, so much so that I have now reached the point of having to pack a bag to go BACK to my condo. It’s clean, the laundry is done, there’s food in the fridge, but I still feel like there’s a million things left to get done.
Condo: Feels empty but clean. I go back once or twice a week to check the mail, fetch things I need, or to relax and watch cable. Looking forward to the day when it will be an income property.

Job– Really good right now. I love my new schedule of working 4 ten-hour days. My mid-week day off allows me time to make appointments, clean the house, blog, work-out, and so much more. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to be a good nanny. Relationship with boss and kids are good, everyone’s doing well.

Boyfriend– Awwww, I love seeing him all the time. Just being in his presence calms me. We may fight (I know you’ve all read the last blog) sometimes, but I’m disgustingly happy with my Scottish.

Family– I.have.the.best.family.in.the.whole.world. I don’t even know how I got so lucky. Immediate and extended, it’s all goooooood. I have no reason to complain…ever. It’s good to remind myself of this.

Friends– I have a lot of friends. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m spread very thin, but in the end, I just try to give as much as I can in that moment. I have an awesome best friend who I rarely see in MN, she knows the most about me of anyone, but I miss all the fun we used to have when we lived closer. I have a wonderful friend who’s planning a wedding and I’m very excited and focused on my Maid of Honor responsibilities right now. I can’t wait to celebrate her big day! I have two really lovely and special friends in New York that I can’t wait to go visit and submerge myself into their lives once again even if for a short time. I have my Sister Wives who are my local girls that make city living so amazing and fun. I don’t know where I’d be without them. And then I have artistic friends, childhood friends, old and new friends, each a unique relationship and each a blessing.

Car– HAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s an old Hyundai Elantra from 2004. I call her my silver baby, and I’m gonna drive her as long as I can. She has seen me through college and has been witness to many of my Chicago driving mistakes, but I wouldn’t want anything flashy. She’s perfect just the way she is, and she’s paid off.

Money– Oops, should have saved the laughter for this one!! 🙂 Money is and will be a struggle for a while, but I’d spend my last dime on someone who I care about, and one day I hope to not have to worry about it as much as I do now.

Blog– Going well for the most part. Some weeks are better than others, and I’m very excited to see how it grows.

Acting– Auditioning and that’s all I can do.

Weight Watchers– Lost 6 pounds in total so far. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life and also pretty easy at the same time if that makes any sense. It’s well worth the slimming rewards but I’ll never give up my love of food. I rewarded myself with a candy bar last week and to quote Rapunzel in the movie, Tangled, “BEST DAY EVER!”

God– How could I forget this one until last? Maybe that says a lot about where my head has been… My mom would say your favorite relationship should be the one you have with God.

Quote: Do you know the Toby Keith song called, “I Wanna Talk About Me?” Sometimes I picture the Scottish singing this to me even though he doesn’t like country music and he would never sing this song. It’s just the words that crack me up.

“I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, What I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeeee”

In all seriousness

4 Jan

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. Mostly because I started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a week ago and it’s been freaking me out, totally FREAKING me out but I’m addicted and can’t wait to get to the second one. And I guess I’m also thinking about death because we recently entered a new year and with each new beginning, we look back, we look forward, and we are suddenly so aware of the time or the lack of it rather.

I really had a wonderful time at home visiting my family. The Scottish and I flew into Minneapolis and the next morning my bf and my whole family of five were driving to Bismarck, North Dakota to celebrate Christmas. It’s what we did last year, the year before that, the decade before that, and so on. But I can’t say for sure it’s what we will do next year. I suddenly feel so old and aware of everyone else’s age too. When did my grandparents get old(er)? For clarification, I’m referring to my mother’s parents, because my dad’s parents have since passed away. My dad’s mom and dad loved to travel and in the eighties they sold their house, bought a big RV, and spent the rest of their years traveling from campground to campground. Well, occasionally they would park it our backyard and that was the coolest thing ever because it was like having a little guest house out back that you could visit. But their deaths were very tough on my dad and we all thought Grandma went too soon, and we all remember how awful, and gut-wrenching it was to watch my dad’s dad deteriorate with Alzheimer’s and completely change his entire personality… and now we have to watch it again.

My mom’s father is suffering from Alzheimer’s as well. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, both of my parent’s mothers had breast cancer and survived beautifully, but it is uncanny how two different bloodlines can mimic each other so distinctly. It’s just hard because it’s been a few years now of watching his brain go while he remains one of the healthiest men over age 30 that I know (and he just turned 80!!). He still works in his yard and his doctors are impressed with his fitness, but his brain on the other hand, keeps getting worse. If you’ve never experienced what it’s like to watch someone you love go through this, let me explain that it’s not the fact that they forget which day of the week it is or which grandkid went to which college, (who can remember that anyway)? The difficult part is the anxiety that comes along with losing your memory, they don’t know what to believe and it makes them nervous. The truth is that sometimes they might shower at midnight to get ready for the church service at 9 AM and they might think that their wife of over 50 years is actually their mother.

And yet this Christmas, Grandpa was great, he was funny, he played games, and enjoyed himself. It’s not always bad, but we’re not always there either. My heart breaks for my grandmother because I know many of us have wondered, is it harder on the loved one who is losing their partner or harder on the one losing his memory? I feel terrible for my mom and her siblings because it is their father who is going through all of these changes, and I feel empathy for my fellow cousins.

As if worrying about grandparents wasn’t enough now I find myself worried about my parents when I never used to before. I worry about their safety and their health. I try to de-clutter their house and I actually listen to their problems. Do you remember when you used to only talk about yourself with your parents? I’ll bet your they do. Parents by nature are unselfish beings (of course there are exceptions) but they are dealing with their own struggles and I don’t want them to have struggles! I want their lives to be perfect as they want mine to be.

My nurturing urges don’t stop there! I find myself thinking about my own FUTURE babies. Well, hello, I am 28! My mom had two kids by my age. Please don’t judge me, but I think about what they’ll look like, act like, if I’ll be too over-protective, if I’ll be as good a mother as I am a nanny, and how my parents are going to be so entirely smitten and how I can’t wait to see that.

I think about the Scottish and how I’d be lost without him. I know he didn’t propose over the holidays like I had hoped, but I’m OK with that and I’m OK with waiting a bit longer. I think we’re on the same page now, and as if it was a covered bulletin board, I took down every post-it note that contained a crazy proposal expectation, thus leaving with him a blank slate. And I let him know plain and simple that it’s him I want more than a big dramatic over-the-top romantic proposal, but of course he told me he wants all my dreams to come true, so where does that leave us? Back at square one?

And with all of these nurturing feelings I wonder if I should leave Chicago at some point. I’m torn between my desire to be closer to my family and my desire to pursue my own dreams and notions. I love this city and I know I belong here but my family is so important to me, so why am I not closer? My mom moved 8 hours from her parents and still makes the drive 5 or so times a year. Will I be able to keep that up? When I think about my future, all I see is airplanes! Flights to Minnesota, flights to Scotland, flights to who-knows-where! I guess our kids will be expert travelers by the time they’re one year old!

When I shared my fears with my mom, she told me to take it one year at a time. There’s no reason to worry about where you will live in the future, or what will happen, or where Christmas will take place next year… it just matters where you are now. And this year, I spent Christmas in ND with my amazing family, I came home to an apartment that I sort-of kind-of share with an amazing man, and I went back to my wonderful job and saw my two best kiddos, and for now, that is enough.

Quote: “As we grow old, our sense of the value of time becomes vivid. Nothing else, indeed, seems of any consequence.” William Hazlitt

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