Lazy weekends

Coffee


Newlywed appreciation I’ve only recently acquired . . .

• Getting up early just to sip pumpkin coffee over “The Pioneer Woman”

• A sink finally empty of last night’s dinner dishes

• Clean laundry on the bed, just in need of folding

• My dresses finally hung on their little hangers

• Spence and I getting all the junk mail put away

• An hour cuddled up with my Kindle

• Creatively using up all the soon-to-spoil food in one epic dinner

• Just enough weekend plans to keep us busy, but plenty of time for hanging in pajamas . . .

• And hanging in pajamas until noon.


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The promise of peach wine

Peaches


I like lazy days.

They don’t happen very often. Especially in light of wedding prep (four months to go! Holy cow), so many weekends brim with schedules and plans and checklist items that must be marked off. I’m not spontaneous, preferring my days to maintain a sort of predictable order that might be off-putting to some, but . . . I don’t know. I like knowing what I’m going to do before I do it.

Sometimes.

On Saturday, Spencer and I left relatively early to go check out a local Amish farmers’ market (photos coming tomorrow). I say “relatively” because, you know, early to my fiance means 5 a.m. and early to me means . . . oh, maybe 8:30-ish? I get the sense that our marriage will be one long negotiation on when and how much to sleep, but I’ll work with it. Relationships are all about compromise, no?

So, we left “early” to check out the local produce and came home with all sorts of goodies. I couldn’t resist the allure of green tomatoes — and can’t remember ever actually seeing them in person before. I sliced one, gave it a healthy dash of pepper and salt and promptly fell in love with its firm texture and fresh taste. Way better than those common ol’ red ones, especially given how mushy they become. Love at first bite.

I took my camera with me because, once upon a time, Spencer and I often spent lazy Saturdays wandering around Southern Maryland just looking for places to stop and snapping pictures. I’ve missed that aspect of our relationship — mostly because, as the years have gone on, we’ve gotten busy and life is chaotic and weekends once spent getting to know each other and wandering around holding hands have morphed into photography club meetings, wedding vendor meetings, scheduled events, family functions.

I love that — and I love our lives, and our life together — but it’s nice to have a down day, too. So this rare Saturday was not one to be missed.

So we looked at pies (but didn’t buy — victory!), bought zucchini, admired bunches of sunflowers with the light hitting them just so. The sky was unusually clear for a late June day around here and the humidity, miraculously, was low. Now that I’m 25 pounds down and fully committed to healthy eating, I was entranced by all the vegetables and fruits just ready to come home in our eco-friendly green bag (what grown-ups we are). I felt . . . at peace. Adult. Happy.

And the cartons of peaches Spencer bought from one of the Amish families will, in a few months, morph into some of his sweet, delicious homemade wine.


Peaches 2


Peach wine. My 28th birthday. A double bridal shower. Finishing three major work projects. A visit from my soon-to-be mother-in-law. My first dress fitting, stamping our invitations, getting ready for my sister’s wedding in three short months . . .

So much to look forward to — and how sweet it will be.


How ‘let’s play it by ear’ stopped striking fear in my little heart

Weeks after returning from the beach, it’s hard to conjure up those warm, the-sun-is-on-my-face and I-have-a-book-in-my-lap feelings. Work is busy. Birthdays are coming. Each weekend in the summer seems scheduled, arranged and preordained, each moment maximized for our enjoyment.

Supposedly.

I’m a busy person, and I do that deliberately. When I’m in a “slow” period without many plans, social or otherwise, I tend to start thinking too much, worrying and becoming obsessive — especially about things beyond my control. As we grow up, we learn so much about ourselves — and what we need to be happy, fulfilled people. For me? It’s scheduling. Organization. Basically, I need to get on my feet and stay on my feet, running to the beat of a well-executed plan.

Lately, though, this tiny voice has been piping up from somewhere deep in my chest cavity — the same chest usually swelling and pounding with anxiety as I try to accomplish all this stuff on my ridiculous to-do lists. It’s weak, but it sounds like me — and I know it’s me. It’s whispering, “Let’s play it by ear.”

The idea of looking at wide-open Saturday, all fresh and shiny, and telling Spencer or my family that we can “wing it,” “see what happens” or “see how we feel” regarding the day’s plans is basically crazy. This is me we’re talking about: the Queen of OCD Organization. I make lists for everything. I make lists of my lists. I consult my Google Calendar as one would a religious text, searching for answers to any question. I like color-coding things so my eye can scan them quickly, taking in an entire month’s worth of business at a glance. I’ve got scheduled book reviews, dentist appointments, barbeque, bridal showers, day trips and concerts all mashed together in one colorful grid, blinking up at me like a promise of good things to come.

But lately, something’s begun to happen. On the days Spencer and I meet up early to have breakfast, go to yard sales (yard sales!), attend photography club meetings with Mom or other random activities, a strange sense of excitement comes over me. And looking back through the months, those days hold some of my favorite memories. Spencer and I eat when we want to eat; we go where we want to go. Holding hands in a hot car, we turn to each other and say, “What do you want to do now?” Sometimes we go for drives. Sometimes we stay home and watch TV, eating ice cream on the couch. Sometimes we run to Target or go take pictures. And sometimes? We do nothing at all.

Regardless, it’s delicious. And feels . . . almost rebellious.

I’m not saying I’m completely changing my ways. I still firmly believe that planning is necessary to avoid boredom — my boredom, at least. I know I thrive when busy and making plans. I’m not one to wander or loaf around, and I hate the absent looks that come from a group of people turning to each other and muttering, “OK, but what do you want to do?” I take charge. I plan stuff. But this whole getting out of the house without a major plan? Well, it’s exciting.

And I just might get used to it.