the von blog.

if dreams were lightning & thunder was desire, this old house would have burnt down a long time ago.

Dear friends,

Brace yourselves:
A huge update is about to ensue, complete with photos.
I would put them in seperate updates, but then you might only click on one and never see the 3 or 4 before it. because who updates 3 or 4 times in one day?
not me. i save that kind of obsession for facebook.

click the button and read on!

anyway, let us start with Charles Bronson, or Charlie.
steve and charlie are doing well together, with the exception of a few minor altercations that are mostly due to charlie being an overwhelming ball of crazy annoying energy, and steve suddenly turning into a crotchety old fart. (he's not even 2.)
nonetheless, we love him.

here are pictures of charlie.


next up:
husbear turned 26! i made him dinner.
the menu: roasted pumpkin soup.
flautas with homemade cilantro pepita pesto.
apple cranberry crumble.
it took a long time, but was well worth it.

and i also threw him a birthday party.
it was at black bear lodge in manhattan, chosen mostly on behalf of the name.
funny anecdote: in order to find this bar, i googled "bear bar manhattan".
what i was presented with was certainly not what i was looking for.
i pass no judgement, i merely state that bars centered around large cuddly gay men with or without leather chaps were not exactly what i had in mind. so i backed up and searched for "bear THEMED bars manhattan." much better.

here are pictures of my darling's party.
(husbear is shown here shoving cake in jessie's mouth. this is why we call her big jessie.)
(psst- it's a chocolate guinness cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting. ...seriously.)
(in case you're curious- the vE is for von Erck.)

item number three.
my job is still amazing.
here are some pictures of miles being a supermodel baby.
i adore him. i want to eat him, but his mom won't give me the recipe. guess it's some sort of family secret.

and lastly, IT'S OCTOBER!
so we decorated accordingly.
here is a picture of our apartment.

next blog topic: our halloween costumes. going fabric shopping this weekend! ooooo! we'll let you know how things are coming along, and i'll put up some more pictures of our halloween decorating. because it's pretty fantastic.

as always, thanks for checking in!
hey blogiverse!
sorry i haven't been around lately.

but tonight i find myself with a mug of tea, watching a marathon of law & order: svu while husbear does homework in his office.

soon he'll emerge and cook us a delicious dinner of salmon and pasta, and we'll curl up with the dogs and watch mad men, and i am greatly anticipating this.

but for now i'm enjoying the solitude and letting my mind wander to the approaching season and how much i'm looking forward to it. to october, with the sound of dry leaves skittering across the pavement and the smell of Cold and all of my autumn decorations that i'll pull out us soon as the weather dips below 60 degrees. to halloween, and my sewing machine and the hours i'm going to spend slaving over our costumes this year (Max and Moishe from Where the Wild Things Are, in case you were curious). to november and scarves and cider and walking down our street aflame with the beauty of photosynthesis. to thanksgiving, and seeing family, and baking without sweating, and the comfort of curling up on chilly nights with the dogs and husbear and a mug of tea.
just like tonight.

i don't have much to say, specifically, but i just wanted you all to know that i'm still here. that i'm alive and well and happy. that the dogs are getting along famously, and husbear and i are loving fiercely, and new york and i are getting along pretty well these days.

thanks for checking in, loves.
I have two announcements to make.

1. Upon our return home from vacation, Steve McQueen has been exhibiting some symptoms of what seems like depression. I'm sure it has something to do with dirty sidewalks replacing the expanses of woods and beach to which he became accustomed.
But i also think it is the lack of playmates, as he got to run wild with our bother/sister-in-law's two carolina dogs all week.
So yesterday, we got him a playmate.
I'd like to introduce you to Charlie Bronson.

(i'm sorry about the picture quality, all i have so far are cell phone pictures!)

He is a 7 month old pitbull/lab mix.
And he is just. fantastic.

He's housebroken, he's learning commands so fast, he sleeps through the night, and he worships Steve McQueen, who quite likes being worshipped.

Are we crazy for living in Brooklyn with two dogs, a cat, and a ferret? Definitely. But I've never presumed to be anything else.

2. I WON MY VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! Thanks to the oh-so-crafty wife/mother/jewelry-maker extraordinaire, Secondsister Suaviloquy herself, I am now the proud owner of the VERY appropriate SPOT BROOCH!

I think it suits me. Don't you?
Snippets from our week-long vacation to Pengilly, MN:

Steve McQueen loves to run, play with other dogs, and sleep in sand. He does NOT love water. How do we know?
...I pushed him in.
He sank to the bottom, swam up quickly, and doggy paddled like hell for the shore. And then puked.
I felt so horrible, but could not stop laughing. He's so cute when he swims!

This was a few hours after he fell off the dock trying to come play with me as I was sunbathing.
He seriously trotted halfway down and just went kersploosh! into the water. It was only chest-deep, but as he is a city dog, he had never been in any sort of standing water before, and didn't know what to do.
It took him a full half hour to realize that you can in fact move your paws when submerged in H2O. and when he figured that out, he high-stepped his little butt right outta there, making sure to lift each paw allll the way out of the water with every step. the hind ones were tricky, but he got those sky high, too. Again I collapsed in laughter.

Another night, we played spoons.
Basically, this is played by passing around cards until you have collected 4 of a kind. when you do, you grab a spoon. when you see someone grab a spoon, YOU DO IT TO. the object of the game is essentially to NOT be the one left without a spoon, similar to musical chairs.
I was up at this lakeside cottage with my in-laws. That means Husbear, his brother, his brother's wife, his father, his father's wife, his mother, and his mother's husband (they get long like that. it's very interesting).
I did not win the game, but I sure as hades did not lose.
It may have had something to do with the fact that I wrestled my stepmom-in-law OUT OF HER CHAIR and ONTO THE FLOOR in order to grab her spoon. Because that's allowed. encouraged? who knows. but it is allowed, and i got that freaking spoon.
my sister-in-law took off a few layers of skin from husbear's paw. Husbear about sent his dad into cardiac arrest. Oh, it was lively.

We spent a day at a logging reenactment camp. That was pretty fantastic, even if it was geared towards kids on field trips or retirees, like my in-laws. We had a grand old time on the trails, and in the gift shop, where my fully grown and oh-so-mature Husbear bought a slingshot...that is shaped like a bear. And he has used it. Oh, how he has used it.

But my favorite moments were the subtle ones.
Like how we'd wake up early each morning and make breakfast together. And we'd walk down to the lake where the boys had bonfires going as the sun rose, and we'd sit in chairs on the sand and drink steaming coffee and sigh about how beautiful the colors in the sky are.
Or how we'd all sit and make s'mores at the campsire every night, and argue over who was better at toasting the marshmallows and the merits of hershey bars vs. kisses. The dogs all slept soundly in the sand by the fire, completely exhausted from chasing each other and other small animals all day.
Or how still the lake is at 2pm with the sun shining and the breeze blowing just the right amount to get the best suntan of your life without sweating a drop.
I loved all of those things.

And then we came home, and people stopped waving to us in the road. and they stopped waiting their turns in line. And the stopped offering cheerful smiles and speaking in charming accents.
Hey brooklyn. Did you miss us? I haven't decided yet if we've missed you.
some days life seems so magical and beautiful, and i have to stop and think, "i could do this. new york, i could love you. i DO love you."

yesterday was not one of those days.

oh, yesterday.

husbear is in michigan, on a little leg of the white pines tour.
husbear worked hard for the last two semesters and through both of his breaks.
and now husbear has the month of august off.
so he can go do those things.
it's not fair for me to be jealous of him because he earned this break.
but i can't help but feel those little nasty twinges of envy, and i can't help but hear the little voice in my head that says "how come you don't get august off? you worked hard, too. you're still working hard. you're paying bills, you're cleaning the house, you're what's holding everything together. he couldn't do this without you. you should get time off, too."
but i can't.
because while i love miles and i love my job, it is not the sort of thing you can just take some days off from.

so, here i am.
in hot, sticky, sweaty new york.
i spent $265 dollars on groceries on tuesday and tried not to puke when i handed them my card.
then i had to pay for a can to get allllllll of those bags from the store to my home.
then i had to carry allllllll of those bags up 3 flights of stairs. it took 3 trips.
then i had to take the dog down to pee and poop.
then i had to feed him and the cat.
then i had to put all the groceries away.
which meant i had to clean out the fridge. and the freezer. and the cabinets. so i did.
then i did all the of the dishes that husbear didn't have time to do before he left (and i am not going to listen to that little voice that said "but he had august come there are dishes in the sink at ALL?") which was 2 sinkfuls. then i walked around the house and gathered another sinkful of dishes.

so anyway, yesterday.
turns out that steve mcqueen the dog doesn't want to sleep all night after having been locked up in his cage for 11 hours. (i know. this is so mean. usually husbear is home to take care of him, but he's not. and he can't stay out of his cage or my cat will get eaten and so will my entire apartment.)
so he was up and at'em at 5am. which wouldn't affect me, except he sleeps in my bed. and he kept pawing pawin pawing at me to get up, and whining at the door, and chasing the cat, and trying to chew everything, and burrowing in the covers to lick my feet. UGH.
so i gave up and got up for the day, an hour early.
so i finished the rest of the dishes in the sick and scrubbed down all of the countertops and took the dog down three flights of stairs and then back up them and fed him and the cat, who didn't seem to want to be ANYWHEREELSEINTHEAPARTMENT other than RIGHTUNDERNEATHMYFEET so i kept tripping over her and stepping on her tail and she'd squeal and i'd just scream "WELLLL????" because what did she expect, standing directly under my feet???

also, we dont have air conditioning except for a little unit in the bedroom.
so i was sweaty and smelly, all before 7am.

so whatever, i got dressed and went to work.
and miles doesn't like the heat anymore than i do, and he made that very clear allllldayyyylongggg. i cannot handle whining. i can't. but how do you tell an 8month old to stop whining? all he hears is "fjs;lerhgadkjghadl/fkgha;ga" and who knows that means. so he kept whining, all day, in the same freaking pitch. i wished he would have just gone up a note or down two. just for some variety. and he's a WRIGGLER. he doesn't like to be wherever it is you want him to be.
now, i love him.
but yesterday was just not his day.
then i had to buy a huge thing of cat litter.
and carry it home, on the subway.

and when youre hot and sweaty and tired and cranky, everyone on the subway is at least ten thousand times more rude and snarky and loud and obnoxious and ugly. it's true.
so i stood there on the train, feeling sweat running down into my bra from my neck, wanting to swing this massive cannister of cat litter in a huge arc and knock out anyone it hit. it would have felt so good to just do that. but i would have gotten arrested, and that'd be hard to explain to my boss. so i just stood there glaring at everyone who weighs 3459720496 pounds and should have ot buy two damn subway tickets because they take up so much room and stare at you meanly when you have to duck and cover as they walk by.

so i got home, to my top floor not-air conditioned apartment.
i took the dog out.
and i started cleaning.

at the end i was exhausted, but my house is sparkling. SPARKLING.
with the exception of the bedroom, which i'll do tonight.
it's the messiest, but it's got the little ac unit in the window, so i wont mind spending my evening in there.

and tomorrow my husbear will come home and sweep me up into his arms and tell me how pretty the apartment looks and how pretty i look and how much he missed me.
and then we'll rent a car and go to harrisburg to visit my soulmate/best friend allison.
and i won't have to clean a thing.

and i'm ignoring the little voice that says "if you were out of town, do you think husbear would have cleaned the apartment?"

today i'm hoping for a better day. but i just don't have a lot of hope, because it's gray and rainy and STILL hot and i've already cried while reading other people's blogs because their life is just so put together and exciting and adorable and they're GOING places and DOING things and they can keep their damn houses clean, and i can't. i just feel like laying on the floor and crying, but i can't do that either. and miles will be awake soon.

please keep your fingers crossed for me.
if today doesn't go well, i'm moving to alaska.
this weekend my soulmate came back from harrisburg to help me reinvent my living room.
this is what happened:

(paint colors- "harvest brown", "adriatic mist", and "off-white", all by behr.)








currently in search of the perfect sofa cover. until then, this is the one that came on the couch when we got it off craigslist. not sure what colors we should be looking at. ideas??





we'll be painting the ceiling "adriatic mist" like the top part of the wall, and the center piece off white, like the trim, to give the whole room a domed-ceiling feel. i think it'll be beautiful.

and as soon as our bank accounts have time to recover, we'll be tackling the "dining" room. right now it is glorified storage (at least it's organized!) but it needs to be painted and spruced up a bit.
Maybe it's the rain that has me in such a funk today.

Maybe it's the lack of knowing what's next.

Maybe it's the fact that our bedroom is the messiest it has ever been and i know it'll be my job to clean it.

But whatever the reason, I feel tired and discouraged.

I know, I know.
I'm young. I live in New York City. I married the love of my life. I have a cool apartment. I have a hilarious dog. I have a wonderful job.
...does that mean that no matter where we are in life, we'll always find something else to yearn for? I hope not. I hope one day I have a revelation. A moment where I'm sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee and I've just waved goodbye to the kids as the bus takes them to school, and I put my feet up on the wicker ottoman and sigh and say "Here it is. Here's that moment I was waiting for."

I have a phenomenal life.
That's why i think it's just the rain.

But I can't help but get excited to the point of impatience with our future.
I want to meet my children.
I want to kiss them and hug them and scold them.
I want to bake in my perfect kitchen.
I want to sit on my porch.
I want to walk through my garden.
I want to feel the fall wind and hear the dry leaves skitter in the street and see all the brilliant colors, because in my daydream it is Autumn.
Also in my daydream we have a cape cod style home with impressive landscaping and a giant porch and a roaring fire place and trees in the yard.

I miss Michigan. Today, anyway.

I think feeling stuck somewhere in between youth and adulthood and feeling desperate to capture the now is what being 24 (almost 25!) is all about.

I just need to find a project to keep my mind busy.
One that doesn't cost any money. Sigh.