Every Morning

My dad loved my husband. So much so that I like to think he would be pissed at me if I spent this upcoming Father’s Day mourning the loss of my own father instead of celebrating the fact that it will be his son-in-law’s first Father’s Day as the father of his granddaughter. That being said, I’ll share this today. It’s something I’ve been wanting to write for a while but couldn’t find the words… until this morning.

Sometimes the thought that people may have forgotten about him makes my heart ache.

In my life, I’ve been to a number of funeral homes for calling hours, churches for funerals, cemeteries for burials. The next day, or in the days that follow, life returned to normal. I’d gone about my business, gone back to work or school and generally just moved on with my life. Flowers were sent, sympathy cards written, tears shed, respects paid. As selfish or as cold as it may sound, I know you know what I’m talking about. No matter your relationship with the deceased or the family of the deceased, death is distant… until it’s not.

Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine that I would be 32 years old, sitting in my sunny living room in South Carolina, seven months pregnant and opening a package from my parents filled with baby gifts, and that I would get a phone call at that moment from Dad telling me that he had received a surprise diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. Or that a quick three months later, after surgery and rehab and radiation, a million pills and finger pricks and trips to and from the hospital, and just after meeting his new granddaughter, that he would be gone. Just like that.

Yet here I am. Over seven months have passed since the day he died. Soon it will be a year. And yet there are still days where it doesn’t seem real. In fact, I feel like vivid memories of him come more frequently now, at random times of day when I’m least expecting them, like an unexpected punch to the gut, just enough to make my heart burn and my eyes water.

When I give Lennon a bath, I remember how Dad used to run the edge of the washcloth between our toes when we were little and send us into fits of giggles. I smooth lotion on her soft little body and I’m reminded of how Dad relished a good foot rub and how one of the only ways I knew to comfort him in the hospital was by massaging his hands and feet. On an early morning jog, I’m stopped in my tracks by a great blue heron standing solemnly in my path, and I think of the times Dad would drive us down to the valley to see where the herons had built their nests high in the bare trees. When B.B. King passed away on May 14, I thought of the time Dad drove down to O.U. while I was a student there and we saw B.B. King live at one of the auditoriums on campus. Every now and then, I get a craving for Bombay Darbar, the best little Indian restaurant within walking distance of our tiny loft apartment in Coconut Grove, and I think of the time Dad visited us in Miami and we took him there, how he was a little reluctant to try it at first, but then raved about the food for weeks – months – afterwards. Whenever I get dressed up or put on a certain lipstick or pair of earrings, I can’t help but smile and think of how, when I lived at home, I used to come down the hall all dressed up for a date or an event or something, and Dad would be there on the couch and would look up from his newspaper and say, “You look so pretty!” Tim comes up behind me at the kitchen counter for a kiss and I smile and think of how Dad would do the same to Mom – my heart surges to think that we get to be an example of a sweet and loving relationship for Lennon, just the way my parents were for me. Every day when stare down at my handful of supplements, I think of the dozens of pills Dad had to take several times a day, and how he laughed so hard the first time I served them up in a Jack Daniels shot glass. When Lennon grabs at my lips or my nostrils or my nose ring, I think of how she would’ve grabbed at Dad’s moustache, and how, without a doubt, he would’ve made her laugh by pretending to chomp her little fingers. The exterminator we called to take care of an ant problem last week showed up (straight out of 1979) with a smile and, upon hearing Lennon’s name, proceeded to talk our ears off about the Beatles and Woodstock and what other legendary rock concerts he’d been to in his life. Neil Young or CSNY plays in every grocery, department, home improvement, and specialty store. I sing The Baby Tree (Jefferson Starship) to Lennon every single day (since she was born!) because it’s a song Dad used to play on his guitar and sing to my sister and I when we were kids, and it cracks me up that, every time, her whole face lights up when she hears me start with “There’s an island way out in the seeeea…” – Dad would LOVE that. I’ve woken up with Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven or Stevie Nicks’ Landslide, or Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl in my head… and I know it’s because Dad put it there while I slept. Memorial Day radio broadcasts wouldn’t have been complete without playing Taps… and though it’s a song I’ve heard a million times before, it now lives as a soundtrack to the memory of sitting in the back of a black limousine, nursing a three-week old Lennon while everyone else stood outside in the frigid Ohio winter and saluted my father’s life and death. When I nurse and cuddle Lennon in the middle of the night, sometimes my heart feels heavy because it’s in these silent moments in the dark that I remember saying goodbye, how quick it was and the ache I feel for not hugging him a little tighter or longer, the regret I will forever feel for not bringing my week-old baby into the hospital for him to hold because the pediatrician advised against it, and the ocean of tears Tim and I shed in the hallway outside his hospital room, knowing, but not really knowing, that… that was it.

Fuck. I just ran out of Kleenex.

I woke up this morning at 2am with the name Keb Mo in my head. It was just strange enough because, though I know he was a Blues artist my dad was fond of, or had at least mentioned a few times, I’m not familiar with his music at all, definitely not enough to wake up in the middle of the night with his name in my head. It prompted me to search and listen to a handful of his songs on Spotify and when I came across Every Morning, I knew – knew! – it was the one Dad wanted me to find and to listen to. The only thing that’s missing is the history lesson about Keb Mo that Dad undoubtedly knew and would’ve felt obligated to share… guess I’ll have to do my own research to fill the gap.

Mom, Rachel, if you’re reading this… this is for us, from Dad.

 

Dad… In my wildest imagination, I could never imagine you lovin’ me as much as I do you. Happy Father’s Day.

 

xx

e

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Let’s Get Real.

A few days ago I posted this picture on Instagram with the following caption:

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Life is so different these days. Things have changed, and continue to change. It’s often painful, heartbreaking, exhausting, just plain hard. But then it’s wonderful, soul-filling, beautiful, easy. I’m only just beginning to realize how quickly time is passing, and to think of how much time I have spent being sad or anxious or stressed… well, that’s a damn shame. All that is ever expected of us is to be happy, do what makes us happy, and love and lift each other up while we’re at it. I know this, now it’s time to start actively living the rest of my life in this body like I’m actually awake.

It felt good to be that open and real on social media for a change. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I feel like it’s time I started being a little more authentic, a little more vulnerable, in this space, and in my life off-screen. Why shouldn’t I be? At the end of the day, all I ever really want(ed) for the Heyday Diaries to be was a space I could share my life, with my family and friends near and far, and with the rest of the people of the world who on some level, might be able to relate. And for a long time now, it’s been anything but that.

I’ve held on to the Heyday Diaries for a long time; it’s a name I love and one with which I identify, that represents my life and adventures as a twenty- then thirty-something, in love (and rarely, but sometimes, in hate) with life and forever attempting to connect with her true nature, her true self. When I stood the name Heyday next to my business, I was reluctant to admit that it just didn’t work. Deep in my heart of hearts, I knew it just wasn’t right. So today, that changes.

You may have already noticed a few changes, namely, that my business headers and pages are gone. That’s no accident. And no, I’m not giving up on my yoga or nutritional therapy – those parts of me are taking on a life of their own in another space, separate from this one. When I’m ready to unveil that project, I will be sure to share it with you here, too.

My greatest, wisest teacher said something to me last weekend that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. In fact, it wasn’t the first time that he said it to me, in some way or another, but this time it stuck. It was something along the lines of, how we all have an exterior version of ourselves that we present to the world, the best version of ourselves (so we think)… you see it on social media, blogs, Facebook especially… we create a snapshot of our lives that is a far cry from the reality we actually live each day. Then maybe one day we muster the courage to let a little bit of our grit, our truth, our reality, creep into the foreground, and suddenly we begin to find that others resonate with our real story, they reach out to say, “yeah, me too”, and slowly it becomes easier and easier to remove the layers of nonsense – aka, our Facebook facade. It’s that grit, that truth, that makes us human, and which allows us to connect with other humans who share the same anxieties, heartbreak, happiness, and triumphs. And when we can break down the wall and stand in our truth, that, my friends, is when the magic happens.

So the Diaries are going to look a little different from here on out. You will see a bit less of my nutrition geekiness (though it will probably creep in here and there because, let’s face it, I can’t help it), and a bit more of my day to day… which now involves figuring out life with a five-month-old. Things will undoubtedly go deep from time to time, which I’m actually really looking forward to. If you’ve found me through nutrition or yoga, this blog may turn into something that you could do without, but then again… maybe not.

In truth,

erin 

TBT: Musical Memory Lane

Jumping on the Throw-Back-Thursday bandwagon and thinking about making it a regular thing. What do you think?

I took a little inspiration from Bridget of Tales of Me and the Husband on this one… she created a similar post last a couple weeks ago and I thought it was such a great idea. Because who out there doesn’t have a memory attached to 80% of the songs they hear/listen to? Exactly. So here we go:

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Where Are You Going by Dave Matthews Band… This was the first song on a cd my sister made for me when I moved to Florida (the first time)… to this day when I hear it, I get tears in my eyes! 

Born to Fly by Sara Evans… This was on Bridget’s list and I couldn’t not include it on mine, too. I listened to this album on repeat during basically EVERY single 3-hour road trip back and forth from college to home for 4 years. Four-thirty was probably my favorite song on that album. SO GOOD to sing at the top of your lungs! Heyy-eeeyyyeeeeeeeee…!!

Just for Now by Imogen Heap… I discovered Imogen shortly after the release of Garden State (um, favorite movie ever, I heart Zach Braff, etc.), and became instantly obsessed with her music and her voice. Upon googling the crap out of her (because that’s what I do), I discovered this INSANELY AWESOME VIDEO that changed the way I heard her music forever. I’ve made Tim watch this and we have both watched it probably 700 times since. Side note: this was also when I started blogging for reals and had a little blog on Typepad (can’t even remember what it was called), and spent evenings obsessing over another Typepad blog written by an Australian college student who was studying textiles and always making the cutest clothes for herself and dresses for her Blythe dolls… so weird, I know. Weird things fascinate me. I would pore over pretty pictures of dolls and listen to Imogen. Don’t judge me.

Wincing the Night Away by the Shins… For a brief portion of my career, I was a wedding planner, and spent a lot of my time in the car driving to appointments with vendors and clients all over South Florida from Jupiter to South Beach. This album – amazing from track 1 through track 11 – was in my cd player for months. Favorite song? Definitely Sea Legs… that beat, those lyrics – insanely good stuff.

Red Red Wine by UB40… I would like to share with the world that I was listening to UB40 long before my high school and college friends thought they were cool. Many a summer road trip to the Carolinas were spent listening to the UB40 cassette tapes (that’s right) of my (cool) parents after they were introduced to the band by my (also cool) uncle. Pretty sure if someone popped one of those babies in (to the nearest cassette player, of course), I’d still have every word down.

Just Breathe by Telepopmusik… This totally reminds me of living in our apartment in Jupiter. Winter nights, specifically, because I always remember playing the Telepopmusik Pandora station, burning fall-smelling candles, having the lights dimmed and all the windows open so the cool breeze could blow through while we sipped red wine and ate fancy cheese and olives. Um, whooaaa. Can we please go back to that now, because that sounds amazing. Sigh.

I can think of a million more but I’ll save those for a future TBT post when I can TBT to THIS post… whooaaaa, was your mind just blown? ;)

Have a great Thursday!

xx

e

Vive le Vendredi! [Let’s Make a List!]

Taking a little list-y inspiration from A Pretty Penny today… curious as to how I’ve been filling my days? Ponder no longer, my friends.

 

Making : headway on my baby registry.  HA, yeah right. Twenty-three items does not a registry make.  Crap. Note to self… do that.

Cooking : way too much food for the amount of traveling Tim has been doing and non-eating I have been doing.  I need to step down my food-prep game or step up my eating-for-two game, stat.

Drinking : BOOZE. Just kidding, Mom.  Orange juice like it’s going out of style.  And water with lime or lemon or whatever citrus is within an arm’s length. GIVE ME ALL THE CITRUS.

ReadingMotivational Interviewing in Health Care. Heh, I am allll business, folks.  Aaaand when I’m not feeling so business-y, The Honest Life, by Jessica Alba. You know, so I can have a daily panic attack about phthalates and parabens and toxic off-gassing of new carpet or paint or baby toys… you know, normal stuff.

Wanting: a fancy diaper bag that is super functional but just looks like a cute purse… you know, in 6 months.  Any suggestions other than this one from Lily Jade?

Looking: forward to some upcoming travel to Ohio to visit the fam, weekends at the beach this summer, visitors planning their summer vacations to our new abode… and weddings galore on the horizon.  Oh, and that whole giving birth thing. Whoa.

Playing: The Pharcyde station on Pandora and reminiscing about our quick trip to SanFran last year. Oh, farm:table, give me your daily toast and cappuccino with house-made almond milk, and a cozy seat at your community table by the window on the reg and I would be a happy, happy camper. Sighhhh.

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I fantasize about this place… not even kidding.

Wasting: time organizing versus actually accomplishing anything. Man, I am so good at that. Have you even seen my calendar? It’s a beauty.

Wishing: everything house-related was done and we could just sip mint juleps on the back deck enjoying the breeze without having to work on house stuff every. waking. second.  HA! The homeowner’s daydream, am I right?

Enjoying: owning and putting to good use a real live grill for the first time ever! 
Can’t wait to re-do our deck and have patio parties!

Grill master, Erin, at your service! That's marinated butternut squash and romane... YUM!

Grill master, Erin, at your service! That’s marinated butternut squash and romaine… YUM!

Waiting: for a legit bump to appear on this belly as opposed to the post-too-much-Chipotle look I’m sporting at the moment.
 Oh yes, it’s attractive.

Missing: Jupiter. There, I said it. I do love Charleston, but I’m going through that little phase I go through every time we move somewhere new… the whole, I miss my people, I miss familiarity, I miss my restaurants and my beach and my Whole Foods and my yoga studios and having a [home] that is completely furnished and pretty and “us” and we can just invite people over for wine and cheese every weekend phase. Ha, wine and cheese, I sound so fancy, don’t I? But seriously, I still think back fondly on our little one-bedroom apartment there and how much we loved it. I know it will be only a matter of time before we start making those same kinds of memories here. I’m trying not to get too hung up on it so that I can move forward and enjoy making this new house a home, too.

Loving: that it’s starting to get hotter here… I’m looking forward to rewarding myself after a few days of non-stop studying this week with a day next week parked at the beach for an afternoon!

Wearing: lots of long & lean tanks from Target and lightweight cardigans.  On the search for some stretchy-waisted pants and maxi skirts ASAP.

Needing: to work out. So far I’m up to walking and yoga [almost] every day and I signed us up for a gym membership this week because summer is basically here and I need to get something resembling my guns back before donning any tanks sans cardigan! Don’t even talk to me about swimsuits.

Smelling: everything… magnified x1000. #pregnancyproblems

Wondering: how our pups are going to handle the new addition coming in October. It seems right now, they are soaking up every second of attention they can get (not that that’s anything new).

I fear Vinny is in for a rude awakening when the babe arrives...

I fear Vinny might be in for a rude awakening when the babe arrives…

Knowing: 
that I am a smidge behind on studies and my final exam weekend (June 6) is fast approaching. Time to get my rear in gear.

Thinking: 
about all of the things I want to do to the house/yard. Might be time to make a project list a la Young House Love.

Bookmarking: a bunch of new blogs… some real life humor mixed in with some fashion and some killer Primal recipes… check out a few of my new faves: Camp Patton, Sometimes Sweet, A Pretty PennyNeon Fresh, Happsters, Steph Eusebi, Pardon My French, Tales of Me and the Husband, From Pasta to Paleo, and The Primitive Palate to name just a few.

Opening: the fridge every 2-3 hours. Just kidding, I’m not there yet. I actually had to set an alarm on my phone to remind myself to eat because I was going too long between meals/eating and getting crazy famished to the point of feeling sick and or weak/dizzy. Now, I try to eat a lil’ sumpin’ every few hours to keep that growing babe happy!

Giggling: over Friday night Modern Family marathons on USA. I. Cannot. Get. Enough. Tim and I joke that he is Phil and I am Claire. See, you laugh, but you don’t realize how accurate the comparison actually is… and how it will be magnified x1000 when we have kids. It’s frightening. And also hilarious.

Feeling: like I have a bit more energy these days. Time to put it to good use! Now who feels like painting the nursery?! ;)

 

What are you up to these days?
xx

e

 

Mid-Week GNO: Wine Pairing at The Backyard Bar

With my third trip to The Backyard Bar in three weeks, you might very well judge and wish to tell me I need to get a life and find a new venue.

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…or would you?

But with a special four-course wine pairing scheduled mid-week and Tim out of town, it seemed like the perfect idea for a Girls’ Night Out! Enter Jamie, Shannon, Kelsey, and Angela…

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Babes. Total babes.

If you need further proof of the awesomeness that was in store for us, take a look at the menu posted on The Backyard Bar’s Facebook page earlier this week:

Hello, lover.

If you know me at all, you’d know that I’m not a fan at all of Chardonnay nor Merlot, but I must admit, the selection and pairings we were offered were pretty spectacular.  The Chardonnay was un-oaked, so it was more tropical than anything and perfect paired with the shrimp and mango.  The Merlot was… well, let’s be honest, at that point I was already two glasses in so everything tasted delicious! [Edit: I must give credit where credit is due, the fabulous wines we tried were provided by BulletProof Wine & Spirits of Jupiter, Florida… can’t wait to start following their calendar!  Uh oh!]

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If you’re wondering why there are only photos of three plates… heh.  Well, after three glasses of wine, lots of laughter and silliness, when that third plate (steak with chimichurri and grilled potato) was placed in front of me, there was no time to snap a photo before I devoured it!  (As you can see from the photo of my seared tuna, I barely got a photo of that!)  Pretty soon, this documenting my life thing will come a bit more naturally, I promise.

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We had a fantastic time, made some new friends, and ended the evening with dessert and sips at a really cool little wine bar (obviously) called The Blind Monk, which is a place that deserves its own blog post all together… (not to mention, the photos I took of their super cool decor, wine cork-filled glass tables and hovering globe lights, ended up a little dark – I guess I’ll just have to go back!!).

I’m feeling so blessed these days… spending time with amazing people, laughing, eating well and enjoying life with people who have touched my life in ways I never expected. Thank you to all of you who have kept me laughing and distracted while Tim has been away… as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Another week down… he’ll be back tonight, just in time for date night!

xx

e

Weekend lesson: It all started with a little rain, and a fort.

It’s Monday again, which normally wouldn’t be the greatest thing ever but if it means we’re one day closer to being done with this crappy weather, then I’ll take it.  First off, let me start by saying that it has been raining for… EVER… thanks to Tropical Storm Debby, who has been moving north up the entire state at a snail’s pace, spreading her gloom and ruining outdoor plans left and right.  Tornado warnings? We’ve had ’em.  Flood threats?  You bet.  It just seems that if it keeps up, this sunshine state will have to come up with a new nickname.

With boating plans ruined Friday, and Saturday spent sleeping off a hangover, going to the gym, and then going out for dinner… Sunday had to bring a little change.  But with torrential downpour and tropical storm-force winds in the forecast, what could we possibly do?

Clean.  Laundry.  Watch TV.  Blahhhh.

Even with the blinds open, the apartment was dark and gray, and as Tim watched golf and simultaneously checked the weather forecast and open tee times every five minutes, praying to cure his cabin fever, I numbly pulled laundry from the dryer and began to fold, thinking sad thoughts about a few unpleasant things that had happened in the past week and dwelling on the fact that they were things I could not change, nor erase from my memory.  From the laundry basket I pulled out one large blanket… then another.  Suddenly my thoughts shifted.  My proverbial light bulb blinked on, and I went to work immediately, constructing a fort out of our dining room table, four chairs, and the freshly washed blankets.  I pulled a few pillows from the couch and promptly found my place under the fort, abandoning the rest of the unfolded laundry and basking in the glory of my inner child’s creation.

Tim laughed.

Moments later, he joined me (as did both dogs, who seemed to delight in the game), and we laid there on our backs, staring at a sticker that said “MADE IN MALAYSIA,” and discussing the forts we built as kids, the rooms we imagined within them, and how we could spend hours underneath a table with a few simple props and our imagination.  It made my heart weary to think of how much energy we expend thinking about money and bills and our jobs, what clothes we wear and what gadgets we need to be happy, and how little we really do need to be happy.  We had spent all morning moping about the weather and feeling sad and sorry for ourselves, and then thought, what would our childhood selves have done for entertainment had it rained relentlessly all weekend?  Tim’s answer: “We went outside anyway.”  I smiled as I imagined him as a muddy-kneed 6-year-old running around the neighborhood in the rain with his four siblings.  And I smiled as I remembered my sister and I, donning our swimsuits and collecting a few plastic cups before running barefoot out into the summer rain, filling our cups at the gushing downspout and enjoying a good old-fashioned water-fight.  Life was simple, but so grand.

So what were we doing under the fort when there was fun to be had outside on this glorious rainy day?

We quickly pulled on our swimsuits, gathered a few towels, hopped into the car and headed to the beach.  The sand was warm and wet and the air cooler than usual.  The rain had let up a little, but was still there, though barely noticeable amidst the sea spray and the sand that pelted our skin when picked up by gusts of wind.  The current was too menacing to venture out too far, and Lord only knows what the storm had stirred up in the water, so I promptly dropped to my knees in the sand and began to dig.  To my utter amazement, Tim, in all of his family vacations to the beach over the years, had never built a drip castle, so of course we needed to do it immediately!

We spent a good 45 minutes digging and dripping, finding buried treasures in our well and decorating our castle with them, forgetting about the unfolded laundry, the dishes in the sink, and what bills would arrive in the coming week.  Soon the wind picked up and sand blew into our eyes.  More rain was coming, and the tide encroached, threatening our castle walls.  We contemplated kicking it over, filling in the well, flattening what we had built up, but we knew too well that the sea would take care of that for us, and that tomorrow, or even in just a few hours, there would be no sign that we had been there, our treasures would again be buried, and the sand would again be flat and firm.

What all started with a silly, rainy day fort constructed out of boredom and a few questions about our childhood selves served to stir up some bigger questions and even bigger answers.  Why does “growing up” have to mean losing our sense of adventure, our sense of silliness, of playfulness and spontaneity in the more grown up qualities of stability, responsibility, and preparedness?  Why do we let this happen?  And perhaps an even more profound lesson came from the sand and the sea… when we dig our holes, why do we insist on digging, building, scraping, and continuing to think about and obsess over the hole long after the tide has come and washed it away, giving us a perfect clean slate, a smooth surface upon which to build something new, something better?

Today, I’m taking a deep breath.  I’m forgetting about the unpleasant things that happened last week over which I lost too much sleep, and thanking God for my strength to survive them and move past them.  I’m recognizing the solid ground beneath my feet, and thanking God that, though it was once broken and riddled with holes, it’s now fresh and ready for building again.  And I’m reminding myself to keep my adventurous spirit, my inner child, my happiness against all odds, and my sense of humor, for myself, and for my husband, for whom I thank God every single day… even especially when it rains.