old and new

Tonight the man and I, along with our trusty sidekick Lucy Lou, are heading over to watch the Ambler Symphony play at Hope Lodge.  We have tried to go every year (it hasn’t always worked out … honeymoon, Mini Cooper purchase, blah blah blah) but we are ‘traditions’ kind of people, and this is a good one.

Sadly, it will also probably be our last Ambler Symphony at Hope Lodge.  It will be a long drive from our new abode on a Wednesday night.  But it’s been fun re-visiting all the things we love to do in this area, and really appreciating them, before moving on to new traditions and routines.

I’m excited to see what our new home and community bring into our lives.  But we have thus far been informed and influenced by our current traditions, and this is one of my favorites.  I dutifully got an abundant charcuterie board from the restaurant, and even though we will be drinking fizzy water this year instead of a beautiful summer wine (I think we took Charles and Charles rose the last time we went and it was lovely!) I know we will have a great time.

This crazy journey of life is –in the words of The Beatles — a long and winding road.  And even though this section is reaching its conclusion, I have loved the steps we’ve walked together in our home, in our little town.  I will always remember this place with so much love and fondness.


I have moments every day, when life feels unbelievably frustrating, unfair, impossible to navigate — just plain bad.  And I carry the stress in my shoulders, my back, my jaw.  I make myself sick (legitimately sick) with fear and over thinking.

And then there are moments, when the man and I are driving with the windows down, Lucy’s head rested on the window sill, the Beatles or Bruce on the radio — nowhere to be, nothing to do, just a moment in time.  And as I watch the country side slide by, the green grasses waving in the breeze, the bright blue sky dotted with puffs of white clouds, I think how full of blessings my life is.

Maybe things don’t always go my way.  Maybe I have to do things I don’t want to do.  Maybe there are restrictions on things that I don’t like.  But — even if I can’t run today … it doesn’t mean I’ve never been able to run, and it doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t ever be able to run again (although that is a strong possibility).

But my point is – it’s so easy to get side-tracked by the ‘bad’ things.  The ‘no’s’ and the ‘nevers’ — but if you discipline yourself to find the good, it’s sort of incredible how they mightily outweigh the bad.  My husband and I will never have children, but we are blessed in each other, in our friendship and our enjoyment of each other’s company — the sound of each other’s voices.  We have families we love and who love us, and perhaps the most high maintenance dog in.the.world.  But Lucy’s high maintenance helps dissipate the heaviness of my high maintenance — and that’s sort of a beautiful gift.

Today, after cleaning our apartment more thoroughly than we’ve cleaned in quite some time (a person could pass out from the cleaning solution fumes) we packed Miss Lucy in the truck and we headed to a local restaurant (dog-friendly, of course) to enjoy some munchies while our landlords showed the apartment to potential new renters.  And the real-ness of leaving this home set in — the excitement for our new adventure, and the sadness at leaving our beautiful, lovely space behind.  And I thought how blessed we were to have lived in our apartment for six years, with landlords who have become our friends.  How blessed we are to have arrived at this moment, when we are able to afford our first home — in the exact area we’ve always talked about wanting to live.

And I thought how important it was, how important it should always be — to appreciate all the things in our lives.  Because life is precious, people are precious — and it all comes and goes so very fast.

my mother’s daughter


The older I get, the more I see my mother and my father in the things I do, the decisions I make, the way I smile.  Family is such a strange thing — these people who raise you, who influence every nuanced part of who you are without you even realizing it … Until time passes, and you catch your reflection in a mirror, out of the corner of your eye, and instead of seeing yourself, you see your mother.

My mother is incredible.  She is the most amazing human being I’ve ever had the privilege to know.  She is wise, and thoughtful and diplomatic.  She is beautiful and funny and creative and kind.  She is all the good that exists in the world.  I am a fraction of her (by default of DNA, really).  A shadow of who she is as a woman.  I am constantly impressed by her — in big ways, in small ways … really, in all ways.

I am inordinately proud to be her daughter.  Just to know her, to have been raised and influenced by her — I consider it the greatest gift I’ve ever received (followed closely by meeting my husband, who is also one of the world’s truly good people).

I don’t have the words, or the ability, to properly articulate how much I love my mother, my father, my ‘little’ brother, my aunt. I have been gifted with the most incredible family — people of impeccable character, integrity.  I don’t say it enough — don’t tell them often enough how much I love them, how endlessly grateful I am.  Life seems to get in the way — petty, insignificant things that shouldn’t but do consume the hours, the days.

I am so proud to be my mother’s daughter.  I think she is incomparable.  She is perfection.  And I love her more than any word, no matter how beautifully crafted, could ever explain.


So, as one may have surmised, this week has been heavy on the stress.

And now, despite a ton of water, taking out my contacts, washing my face, and popping some Excedrin, my head is still pounding like a champion behind my left eye.

Sometimes the intense nature of my job catches up with me.  Don’t get me wrong — I actually love what I do.  I feel like it’s the perfect combination of restaurant and business and I think I’m (usually) pretty good at it.  I certainly stumble (as we all do) and I am always learning.   The company is growing, and that means there are more things to consider, but it also means more options.

It also means there are more people interested in how and why we do what we do.  And that microscope is on me, since I run the daily business operations.  It can be slightly overwhelming and exhausting.  Especially since I already have the nifty handicap of having MS (which restricts how many hours a day I can work — because I need my rest, otherwise sh*t hits the fan).

All of that, plus a house in boxes, and the excited anticipation of buying our first home — well, it’s a lot for this little girl.  And now, this migraine is making me stop and take a break.

soy milk, please

This morning, when I took a sip of my chai latte and realized the barista had used the wrong milk — that in fact, my $5 dollar ‘coffee’ drink was incorrect and therefore, unenjoyable, I began to cry.

I sat at the red light two intersections away and despite my best efforts, sobbed. I don’t know why — at that moment, about that subject — that I seemed to break wide open.  But there it was.  All I could think about was the fact that I had anticipated the enjoyment of my morning drink, and it was wrong.  And therefore — according to my ‘in the moment’ logic — my entire day, my entire existence had been ruined.

It is a little silly in retrospect.

I ended up driving to my local Starbucks, and without any questions (perhaps it was my tear-stained face and the full venti cup I held forth to them) they made me a new drink.

But the entire scenario put something very clearly into perspective for me.  I am holding it together by a thread right now.  Everything is setting me off — crazy situations at work, troubling emails from my relatives — an incorrect drink at Starbucks.  These are all things I have encountered in the past and at no time did they instigate hyperventilating water works.

So when I look back at June 2015, I hope this post reminds me that all the change, all the uncertainty — all the unknowns — those things have been very challenging for me.  This girl of routine and habits.  That mixed in with all the excited anticipation is a healthy dose of fear.  Fear of failure, fear of things going wrong.  Fear of making mistakes.

the second

Today was rife with challenges, but setting all that aside (work politics will never not be work politics, no matter the industry, no matter the time) it wasn’t a terrible day.  I got home a little later than normal — possibly due to the steady rain – and the man and I set to packing more boxes.

It’s sort of crazy how packing tires you out.  I can feel the tension reaching a pitch perfect point in my shoulder blades, and it seems so odd that I feel it so acutely.  What is so stressful about putting things in boxes?

Today was a tough day.  Both personally and professionally.  Have you ever faced a decision, a situation, and you really don’t know what to do?  Not a moment when you know the ‘right’ thing and the ‘wrong’ thing and can’t decide — but a situation when you really have no idea how you want to handle it?

Yes.  I’m there.  And it’s excruciating.

So just for my own peace of mind — to be able to say something in my own defence even if I’m shouting into nothingness — I am not a bad person.  I have never been a bad person.  I may have made bad decisions, but inherently, I’m not a bad person.

However,  I can’t convince people who feel otherwise of my belief in who i am.  And honestly, the older I get, the less I care.  If you don’t like me, if you think terrible things about me, well, first – I’m not interested in having you in my life.  And second, I don’t care anymore if you’ve never really gotten to know me past your assumptions.

All that being said, it is different when it’s family.  And there’s the rub.

If I could continue to ignore the situation, I would.  But I’m getting on a plane in three weeks, and things will be addressed so I need to figure out how I want to handle it now — and just do it.  But there are SO many factors, so many sides, so many shades of each color ….  It’s driving me nuts.

Life.  She’s a real corker sometimes.


Today is my second wedding anniversary – but it’s also the seventh anniversary of John and I becoming an us.  We celebrated like champions over the weekend, so today it was work, and then GoT in our pjs while the rain drummed and the thunder and lightening sparred in the sky.

I’ve been all over the place these past few days — the bubble of anticipation for the beginning of June nearly overwhelming.  It’s a big month in the Hawn household.  The man will be journeying to Scotland with me for the first time and our house  — that wild and crazy decision we made in the depths of January — is near fruition.  We snuck in yesterday and saw the flooring down, and the plumbing in every bathroom nearly complete.  It seems that this long held dream will soon be a reality.   Exhilarating and terrifying simultaneously!

The apartment is partially packed — boxes and rolls of tape leaning in corners near stacked belongings.  Lucy has been pushing her food around and working herself up into a frenzy — we think it’s the transition of her home – the uncertainty.  The nervous energy of John and I that she can inherently feel.

It’s an exciting time and a scary time — work continues to challenge us both (in varying degrees and at varying times) and this step — this leap into home ownership feels enormous.  I want to remember these moments, the small breath in between the huge gulps of air — but I know that as time passes, things fade, images become blurry.  There will be a moment in the future when I struggle to remember some detail of this apartment that seems ridiculously simple right now.

Today marks something so important – something so responsible for who I am today, where I am, who I’ve become.  FInding John, choosing to forge a life together — it’s immense, significant.  Humbling.  I think it’s only fitting that a month as big as this month is setting out to be, begins with us.  And I sincerely hope it ends with Lucy finding her appetite in her new house.