Category Archives: Dreams

A Dream Within A Dream

Laughter and quiet conversation surrounds us. I straighten your blue-and-white gingham dress and pass you to my closest neighbor, all smiles, with my heart in my throat. Your tiny hands curl into fists, your yellow floral headband slightly askew, as kisses are planted on your adorably bald head.

Sunlight pours into the room from behind us, filling the room with more joy than we can handle. A box of tissues makes its way around the room, but these are happy tears we cry, little one. Tears we shed because you are finally here, and we waited so long, and we are so blessed.

My mother walks into the room, her eyes red, her cheeks pink, but with a big, beautiful smile on her face. My father’s bold chuckle rebounds from the kitchen, where I know he’s taken charge of refreshments for the rest of our guests. A small child, all blonde hair and blue eyes, puppy dog tails and muddy puddles, sits near my feet, running a matchbox car up and down my leg. The sounds of a camera shutter click from across the room, with only you in the frame, my little love. My heart.

My arms already itch to hold you again, though you’ve only been with someone else for less than a minute. I watch you like a hawk, studying your body language, your face, the shape of your delicious little thighs and pointed toes. A familiar thought, one I’ve had before: “She’ll be a dancer someday.”

I see your face turning red, your eyes squinting in preparation for one of your spine-tingling wails, before anyone else even realizes it’s coming. With that first cry, I start to reach for you. But your Daddy is there before I can even stand up. He cuddles you close, giving you his thumb to cling to, and he coos at you in a soft voice, calming your sobbing to only a slight whimper. The love on his face, in his eyes, for you leaves me feeling a little weak. I love him more fiercely in that moment than ever before.

When you begin to nuzzle at his chest, he looks up at me with a knowing smile. “I don’t think I have what she wants, Mama,” he says and proudly hands you over to me. I kiss your cheeks and breathe you in, and we wave bye bye to our loved ones as we make our way back to the privacy of the bedroom.

It’s darker in here, the shades pulled tight, but a lone sunbeam sneaks through, leaving a small pool of light on the patchwork quilt. I close the door behind me–but not so tight that a certain orange cat can’t push his way in. He settles at the foot of the bed, eyes on us, as I settle back against the pillows and lift my shirt. This is still brand new for us, little one, and Mama’s still learning.

You nuzzle and search, then latch on, and the pulling sensation still startles me. You close your eyes, shuttering the bright green from me, your long eyelashes brushing your rounded cheeks. The hand I’d been holding curls up in a fist, and you lay it against my skin, your body relaxing as you feed. I run my hand over your back in lazy circles, and we both drift for a moment. The muffled sounds of laughter come from the other room, and I am washed over with a love so deep, I could drown.

The brash sound of my alarm clock steals me away from you. My arms still ache from the weight of you as I turn it off and climb from my bed. You aren’t here, yet. But you will be. I believe that to the very center of my soul. My cheeks are dry today, little one, though I yearn for you so.

I only wish I’d dreamt your name.

 

pooh

The Downside of Dreaming

It’s fun to dream. Planning a future you can’t quite see yet, that’s still fuzzy around the edges; filling in the shadowy bits that aren’t quite in focus–everybody does it. Maybe you’re imagining what your next job might look like, or what a move to the city might feel like, or even where your next vacation might take you. Either way, we all spend time dreaming about, planning for, and being excited by that upcoming phase in life.

For us, the dreams have been pretty specific for several years. Baby, house, new careers. That’s been my mantra since probably somewhere around 2005.

Dreams 1

My husband and I have shared these dreams for years, though my version is colored in a little differently than his. (He sees wood cabinets and tile floors; I see white cabinets and hard wood floors.) But we still pull out that imaginary blue print from time to time, talk about our likes and dislikes, our wishlists and our deal breakers, and we continue to color in the dreams for our future together.

As time passes, and those dreams have yet to become a reality, dreaming takes on a different hue. There’s more blue there than before, and not because we’re selecting paint colors for Brian’s man cave. I find that, after an afternoon of house-shopping or adoption talk, my mood swings from delighted to deflated. It feels like we’ve been waiting on these things to happen forever–and in many ways, we have.

Being patient, especially when it comes to things you ache for, is really hard.

Sometimes, the “we don’t have a baby” or “we can’t afford a house just yet” blues can stick around for awhile for me. Despite knowing that I already have a pretty amazing life–husband, family, friends, cats, fun–it can still be hard to sit in ‘today’ when what I really want is to be sitting in a shiny, new ‘tomorrow.’

But sometimes, all it takes to jar me back to my awesome reality is a bit of wisdom from my husband.

Brian

(Ok, so he might not have been so poetic about it, but that was the gist.)

I may not have a big house in the woods, with a little nook set aside for me to write the next great American novel. I might not have an agent, or a publisher, or a novel on the shelf at the bookstore bearing my name. I might not have an adorable, precocious toddler demanding every bit of my free time and attention and adoration.

But the word that’s missing?

Yet.

Those things will come, in time. And for now, I will revel in the things I do have, and try to keep the blue out of my blueprint of dreams.

Enthusiastically Eating My Veggies Today

I had a dream about a salad last night.

My subconscious led me to a place where Brian and I were dining out. This particular restaurant had a salad bar, and I sat down at my booth with a plate filled with fresh mesclun greens, shards of carrot, wedges of ripe red tomato, circles of cucumber, gorgeous broccoli spears, all topped with a tangy but sweet vinaigrette.

Sounds super sexy, doesn’t it?

Eager to dive into my healthy dinner, I didn’t wait for Brian to return from his trip to the salad bar. I speared a bit of broccoli with my fork, closed my eyes, and savored.

When I opened them back up, a certain famous singer/song writer/actor/comedian was sitting in the booth across from me, eyeballing my salad. And this is what he said to me:

Sexy back 2

At that moment, the familiar bass line from “Sexy Back” started playing through the restaurant’s loud speakers, and a bevy of backup dancers arrived tableside. JT jumped up and starting dancing, too, leaving me dumbfounded with a broccoli spear hanging out of my mouth.

Before I could swallow, half of the patrons joined in, and the restaurant filled with the refrain of the famous pop song, with the lyrics slightly changed.

She’s bringin’ sexy back.
She’s eatin’ broccoli and that’s a fact.
Cuz Abby’s special with that healthy snack.
With smart food choices, man, she doesn’t slack.”

As the chorus of “Come here, girl” started up, a group of male dancers dressed like broccoli came dancing out of the kitchen.

Sexy back

At this point it suddenly became apparent to me that it’s all a dream. Not because Justin Timberlake climbed onto the table next to mine and belted out a particularly racy lyric about my hips. Not because the line cooks started throwing up jazz hands. Not even because the back up dancers started doing splits.

But because my husband finally arrived, a giant salad of his own in hand, and started line-dancing with the giant broccolis.

Anyone else thinking of having a salad for lunch now?

Subconscious Awesomeness

I’m about to tell you two totally unrelated stories. You’ll probably be confused, but if you just stick with me to the end, it’ll all be worth it. I promise.

Story 1: Years ago, Jenna (college roommate, BFF, and most wonderful person, ever) taught me how to crochet. We would sit in her room, reruns of “Angel” playing in the background, and she would patiently explain the mechanics of single-stitch crochet.

The first thing I ever made, under her watchful eye, was a long, thin scarf that mimicked the colors of the Caribbean. And guess who still has said scarf?

scarf

It rarely gets cold enough for me to wear winter gear around here, but when it dips into the 40s, I always scramble to find my Jenna Scarf so I can don it before it’s seventy-five degrees again. And while I never mastered anything more difficult in the crochet world than plain ol’ single stitch, I still use that skill to this day. I’ve made countless afghans and scarves for friends and family over the years, and I can still hear Jenna’s voice in my ear, guiding me and my hook along.

Story 2: A few years ago, Brian’s Aunt Tina (fellow Broadway fan, Whovian, and all around coolest chick on the planet) came to visit, and she was wearing the loveliest pair of earrings I’d ever seen. I made that very comment to her, and she promptly removed them from her ears and handed them to me. I was speechless. They are still, to this day, my favorite pair of earrings. Pink, sparkly, dichroic glass–they make me happy every time I slide them into my ears.

scarf 2

Brian and I were moving some furniture around in the bedroom about a month ago, and I clumsily knocked over my earring tree. As I carefully placed each pair back where they belonged, I realized with dismay that one of my pink Tina Earrings was missing.

I. Was. Devastated.

We searched the entirety of the bedroom, crawling around on our hands and knees, shining the flashlight into all the dark corners, and after a couple of hours, finally gave up. Still, every day I would peek behind the bookcase, or run my toes under the dresser, hoping beyond hope that I would find my lost earring.

Here’s where it all comes together. Last night, I had a vivid dream that I was searching for something–I don’t remember what, only that there was a sense of urgency involved. It was cold, and I wore my Jenna scarf tucked snugly around my neck. And in the dream, I opened a drawer to find a tarnished gold jewelry box. When I opened it, there were my Tina Earrings. I picked them up, put them on, and continued the search for the now-forgotten holy grail.

This morning, as I was getting dressed for work, I noticed that my Jenna Scarf had fallen from her hanger and was laying in a pool on my closet floor. Unwilling to leave it to yarn-gnawing cats, I picked it up. As I examined it for chewed edges or loose knots, I noticed a glimmer of something sparkly peeking out from the fringe. There, just as in the dream, was my missing earring.

I stood there holding it for a moment, memories of the dream flooding back to me. Then I whooped with excitement and dashed to the living room to tell Brian all about it. He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Wow. You’re psychic.”

fortuneteller

I hope so. The outfits are bitchin’.

The Most Amazing Dream, Ever

I don’t often have vivid dreams. I usually dream in black and white, and the moments are generally fuzzy and disconnected. However, once in awhile I have dreams that are memorable. But rarely, if ever, do I have dreams as momentous as the one I had last night.

It was like a dream sequence in a sitcom. There was music and a laugh track and everything.

While there’s no way to actually mind-meld with you and send you the bits and pieces of this dream that I remember (because I’m still only an honorary Vulcan), I can describe it for you in great detail. With pictures, courtesy of Photoshop. (Of course.)

Act One: (yes, it occurred in acts. Just like a movie.)
My always-ready-for-an-adventure best pal, Becca, and I are grabbing our luggage from the overhead bins of a bustling airplane. We’re both clearly excited. We depart, grab the rest of our bags, and head for the exit. The street outside is lined with taxi cabs, and immediately I know we’re in New York City.

Becca and I have been talking about and planning a girl’s weekend to Manhattan since college. We’ve talked about staying at some fabulous hotel, going to see a show on Broadway, taking the ferry to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty, shopping at Macy’s/Barney’s/Bloomingdale’s/Saks Fifth Avenue.

And in this dream, we do it ALL. And the souvenirs are AWESOME.

Becca’s way too cool for a silly hat….maybe.

After we’ve taken in the sights, we head back to our hotel. As we’re heading for the elevators, we notice a bellman coming our way.

Bellman: “Can I help you with your bags, ladies?
Becca: “Well, of course! Thank you.”
Abby: “Hey, aren’t you Perry Como?”

I never would’ve known, if it weren’t for the name tag.



Bellman: “Why, yes ma’am, I am.”
Abby: “Thank you very much for helping with our bags, Mr. Como.”
Becca: *whispers* “How did you know that was Perry Como??”
Abby: “Didn’t you see his name tag?”

Act Two:
On day two of our adventure, Becca decides we can’t officially say we’ve been to NYC until we’ve had room service, and read the New York Times with our morning coffee. So, we order room service and coffee, and sit in our fabulous hotel room in soft, white robes. Becca takes the sports section, and I take the entertainment section.

A few sips of coffee later, I reach for the front page. And that’s when I see it:

This would TOTALLY be on the front page of the NYTimes. Totally.

I spit coffee all over my soft, white robe, and launch myself at Becca, waving the paper madly about in her face.

Abby: “OMGOMGOMGOMG *incoherent babbling* OMGOMGOMGOMG!”
Becca: “DUUUUUDE! I wonder what floor he’s on???”

We race to our closets (there are two, because it’s a fabulous NYC hotel) and start getting dressed. Naturally, because we are excellent trip planners, we have the sleuth costumes we need in order to search for Donnie Wahlberg in our hotel.

There’s nothing quite as fashionable as tweed.

Becca and I, magnifying glasses in hand, search the hotel high and low for signs of the mysteriously sexy Donnie Wahlberg. Alas, we have no luck. We retire to our room for a nap, scones, and a little television before our night out on the town.

Act Three:
It’s almost time for us to venture out into the big, bad city for our last night in NYC. Becca, her hair in curlers (this never happens in real life, but it happened in the dream. I swear.) tells me she’s thirsty. So I offer to head out and find some refreshing beverages.

I’m walking back to the room, full ice-bucket in hand, and as leave the elevator and round the corner, I run smack-dab into Donnie Wahlberg and his entourage.

In real life, this would have been humiliating and exhilarating.

In the dream, the music swells, he smiles at me, and I launch myself into his arms.

Abby: “Donnie! Donnie, it’s you! We were looking everywhere! Donnie Wahlberg, in our hotel! It’s YOU!!!!”

There’s a guy who looks a lot like Alan Rickman hovering around us, snapping photographs. He tells me to tilt my chin up, turn a little to the left, and to smile. Donnie poses with me and the Alan Rickman look-alike snaps the last photo.

This entire time, Donnie hasn’t said a word. Now, he turns to me and says, “I’ll email you a copy, baby.” (Pause for swooning) Then he kisses me on the cheek (more swooning) and his entourage whisks him off to the elevator, leaving me standing in a pool of melting ice, heart pounding like crazy.

Act Four:
A flash of me at home, placing a picture frame on top of my dresser. And it looks like this:

That’s right, girls. He’s a nuzzler.

*Note to Becca:*
Dear Becca,
It’s official. We HAVE to go to NYC. And it has to happen like this, ok? If you need me to pay to have your tweed jacket dry-cleaned, I’ll be happy to do it.
Love,
Abby

People I Envy the Most

I’m not too proud to admit that there are a few people on this planet who I envy.

Yes, my life is pretty darn fantastic. There’s not much to complain about. I’m a blessed woman and I know it.

But there are a few factions of folks whose shoes I’d like to wear, if only for a day.

Here’s my top 5:

#5 Disney World Employees

I love Disney World. I’ve only been once, but the one thing that stuck out to me (more than the happiness abounding from around each and every corner) was how cheerful, helpful, wonderful, and clean the entire staff was. Whether they were cleaning bathrooms, handing you food, giving out directions, or helping you onto a ride, every single person I encountered while within the hallowed walls of Mickey’s little world was absolutely perfect.

Would I ever want to be one of the princesses or a Mickey dressed in Safari gear?

Absolutely not.

But I think it would be such fun to work in one of the shops or restaurants on the Disney property. I mean….is anyone in a bad mood while they’re at Disney World? Anyone?

#4 Beautiful Women Who Jog (especially on the beach)



If you are one of these women—I don’t hate you! I swear! In fact, you’re part of a sorority I’m dying to pledge.

But it doesn’t matter than I want to be you desperately. Because inevitably, when you jog prettily by me, wearing your adorable matching sports bra and tennis shoes, I’m going to have something snarky to say under my breath.

You won’t hear me. Just keep jogging. And being beautiful. And healthy. And thin….

#3 Oprah Winfrey



Not because she’s rich. Or because she lives in a big, fancy house. Or because she knows everyone in show business.

Only because she knows (and apparently gets to kiss) Hugh Jackman. For that, I envy her.

#2 The People Who Live Here



You should envy them, too. Santorini…..sigh….

and finally, #1 The Backup Dancers for the New Kids on the Block



(Video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC4nPcxZH8I  Also, start at 2:11 to see the backup dancers at work. But why would you skip all the New Kids goodness before that?!?)

It’s true, you might not understand this obsession of mine. In fact, those of you who are of the age who, like me, grew up obsessed with the New Kids have most likely moved on to other obsessions. It’s fine. I don’t blame you (much.)

The truth of the matter: when I was 10 years old, I was CONVINCED that I was going to grow up and become a dancer for the New Kids.

It never dawned on me that they might break up, or no longer be touring by the time I was old enough to join their posse. (That’s the cool kid lingo.)

Nor did it ever occur to me that as I aged, so would they.

For 2 or 3 summers of my childhood, I spent every single day with My First Sony tape player, a New Kids on the Block cassette tape, and my backyard. I danced and performed and sang my little heart out.

Most of the time it was just for me. Other times, it was for my entire family (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for suffering through those concerts….)

It wasn’t just a dream for me, it was my reality.

Now, to know that they’re on tour again, with backup dancers much younger than me, and to know that I missed my opportunity…

Well, I want to stab those skinny little girls in the kneecap.

But then, Donnie might not like me, and that would make me sad. So I’ll just be envious from afar.

Photo sources:
Disney: www.mailonline.com
Jogger: http://www.saidaonline.com
Oprah: www.zimbio.com
Santorini: http://www.book-santorini-hotels.com

My St. Patrick’s Day Wish

Ah, Saint Patrick’s Day. A historical, monumental day for the Irish and their kin. St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland, and on March 17 every year, we of Irish decent don our green, raise our beer mugs, and celebrate Patrick and all he stood for.

But seriously, if you want to read all about the history of Saint Patrick, you’ll have to go elsewhere. Because today’s blog is all about the FUN part of St. Patrick’s Day!

Slainte.

You see, I’m as Irish as they come. Seriously. Slap an O’ in front of my maiden name, and you’d think you’d just met the founder of a popular Irish pub in Dublin. We are proud of our Irish heritage, and so, we celebrate St. Patty’s Day with gusto.

My St.Patrick’s Day wish this year is to FINALLY find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

(Ok, yes, I know…that’s a bit far fetched. But let’s pretend it’s the equivalent of winning the American lottery.)

You see, if my math is correct, and this website is telling the truth about how much 1 ounce of gold is worth…and a decent sized pot holds about 500 pounds of gold….

We’re talking $20 Million American Dollars.

(Seriously, just go with me here.)

And if my St. Patrick’s Day Wish were to come true, here is a list of things I would do with my newfound wealth.

First of all, I would dance a jig with the leprechaun who led me to the gold, because that’s how sure I am that this will EVER happen.

You would dance a jig, too. Believe me.

Then, I would do the practical thing, and sit down to make a list of all the things I’d want to buy.

First, I’d take care of the responsible things: pay off our student loans and our medical bills.

Blah blah blah, adult-type stuff is over. Now it’s time to have FUN.

First point of business: quit my job. And try not to dance a jig in front of my boss.

Then: I’d buy a house. Preferably this one. (Sorry, current owners, you’ll just have to pack up and move. Don’t worry. I’ll introduce you to my Leprechaun.)

Don’t worry, Mom and Dad. We’ll build one for you on the next island over.

Once I’d secured a new, fabulous, tropical place to live, I’d start buying vehicles for everyone. Dad wants a Chevy HHR, Mom wants a Subaru Outback, Brian wants a Chevy Camaro…I’m not sure Adam wants, but I’d get him whatever he asked for. Then it would be my turn, and I’d buy a Chevy Volt. It’s green. Not just environmentally green, but I’d have to buy a green one in honor of my Irish gold winnings that purchased said car.

Give credit where credit is due, I always say.

Of course, I guess if we lived on that island, we’d have to leave our cars on the mainland. That just means we need a boat, too.

Yep. Yacht=more jig dancing.

Once our homes are purchased and our means of transportation secured, we can FINALLY take that whirlwind trip to all the places I’ve dreamed of visiting….

World traveled, yacht docked, cars stored, we’d venture back to our gorgeous seaside manor and relax. And I’d invest the rest of my gold in rugby, potatoes, and Guinness. And we’d all live happily ever after…

…if my St. Patrick’s Day Wish were to come true.