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4th Anniversary: Fruit and Flowers

We spent our 4th anniversary like this:


And a little bit like this:


This year of marriage has probably been our hardest. I don’t know if Kamel feels that way, but I definitely do. I wasn’t interested in the compromise of marriage. Marriage is work on a personal level. Loving your partner is not the hard part, it’s being constantly capable of considering another person, being willing and able to put them first. There were lots of times in the last year where I didn’t feel willing to do that, where I was spread too thin, where I really wanted to just stomp away and slam the doors and say I Don’t Want To. And there were plenty of times where I didn’t necessarily feel taken care of the way I needed to be. There were times where our buddy system failed both of us.

There was a lot of life work happening this year. Saving for a house, dealing with employment stress, sacrificing personal and family time to support Kamel’s career, managing a very strict budget to support my time at home at the end of this pregnancy, and the general realities of parenting a toddler. It was a lot of work.

And most of the year was spent creating a new family member – no easy feat.

This year was not a bad year even though it was hard. It was a growing year, a double down and push through it year, a real talk year. And it ended with the birth of our daughter, the completion of our family, and the ability for Kamel to take a week off where he wasn’t even a little bit “working from home.”

Kamel is my favorite person and my best partner. He is the greatest dad and the person I want and need most to take care of me when I am at my lowest.

Year 4 is fruit and flowers, beautiful ripening growth. The promise of new life and rebirth. It sounds so much more frivolous than it actually is.

For Kamel,

Here is a peach: for all of the peaches, served on a tiny toddler spoon, we fed Gabriel this year.

Here is a lily: for the flowers you got me for mother’s day.

Here are 700 watermelons: for all of the chili lime melons you made me while pregnant (even chopping off the super seedy bits and taking extra care to give me all the best pieces).

Here is a daisy: for all of the flowers Gabriel has picked for us this spring and summer, something you taught him to see and appreciate.

Here is our daughter: for the best flower and the best fruit of the year, something we grew together.

Here is to many many more years of work and growth and triumph and loving you with all of me every single day (even when I hate you).


The Catch Up

Fae Lira was born!! I am no longer pregnant, and that was exactly the first words out of my mouth after she sprang forth from my womb. (Imagery right there, folks. Like maybe she had a top hat and a cane and she did a little jig? TA DAAAAA!) How that all came to be will be a story for next week because, guess what? Having 2 kids is way harder than having just 1. Like … holy shit what did we do what were we thinking, I GUESS THIS IS OUR LIFE NOW. Fae is the best and Gabe is the cutest big brother but I seem to never have any free hands and my laundry just tripled. Also! It was Kamel and my anniversary yesterday! And I didn’t...


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Date Nights and Chore Wheels

Two questions have been asked of me at least a few times and I’ve sort of put off answering them because I thought the answers were boring. Except I love peering into all of the nooks and crannies of other people’s lives, so maybe I should just get over myself, hm? The first question that’s been racketing around is about couple time and date nights.  (Last summer, afternoon canoeing sans baby.) How do we find time to do this? Do we have a schedule? Budget? Timeline? We kind of don’t. I think it would be easier in life if we did. But! Having too many things set in stone stresses me out. Even if it was a standing date...


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Real Life Conversation: Misogyny

In the car on the way home from work last Friday a real life conversation happened and half way through I was already crafting the blog post in my mind. Kamel: You know, something interesting happened to me today. I saw my first ever Tesla with a woman driver! Lauren: Oh fun! Kamel: And… I have to admit something. My first impression of it was totally not good. Lauren: …. why? Kamel: Well… my first thought was that she was driving her husbands car. It’s AWFUL! I know! Why is that my first thought? Isn’t that bullshit? It’s just so pervasive and part of this weird gender thing that happens in society! But,...


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Love is…

A few weeks ago you coughed directly in my face and it woke me out of a dead sleep. A blast of warm-ish air and little flecks of moisture. I reflexively shoved the offending air blower away from me with outstretched arms. You slept through it mostly and just grumbled a bit as you rolled away from me. I hate it when you touch my feet with your feet, especially in bed. “Feet on feet!” I say. Feet on feet is a big no. You have this way of gently stabbing me with your toe nails on the soft underbelly of my arch. It is horrible. You think it is delightful. Sometimes when I’m peeking at something in the oven and you’re...


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Winging it? Question Mark?

Anything I was ever good at (anything I ever succeeded at is more accurate… good at might be a stretch) was because I just sort of walked into it. Stumbled into it, through it, oh this is where I am now. Not that I didn’t work hard or make the best of wherever I was whenever I was, but so many experiences in my little world could have been absolutely non-existent if I had actually thought and planned and followed a play book. In college I just did stuff. I just up and got an internship. Moved to North Carolina for the summer, stayed on Wake Forest’s campus. It was insane and expensive and lonely and oh god so so so hot. I took a...


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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.