From multiple friends who have recently given birth, I have learned:

1) Initial contractions can be easily mistaken for constipation.

2) Later contractions can not. They are “much worse than running a marathon.” Ouch.

3) The contractions are actually worse than the delivery (I assume this isn’t true for everyone, but those I surveyed all agreed on this).


cake love wedding cake

Many people freeze the top layer of their wedding cake and eat it one year later for their anniversary. Because we bought our cake from a baker rather than a caterer, we thought it would be easier, tastier and more economical to serve all of our wedding cake at the festivities and buy a small new cake the next year. (As it turned out, I don’t think we could have saved any cake even if we tried. The kids were going crazy for the cakey delicious-ness — one of my fond memories from the reception is the image of my little sister, standing on top of a chair, holding a plate of cake and looking thoroughly satisfied.)

What we did freeze from the wedding reception: a portion o’ shrimp and grits. Last night we got it out of the freezer and ate it … and, shoo-eee, was it ever tasty. Shrimp and grits is my favorite food (aside from cake), and the fine heirloom corn and milling methods from Anson Mills in Columbia, SC, just cannot be beat. Their “slow food” grits have a much more complex flavor and texture than anything you find in the store — it’s like they are homemade oatmeal bread and the stuff in stores is Sunbeam.

Tonight is the night for cake. Yes, my friends, I am getting me some cake love, and I cannot wait. Their strawberries and cream cake is perfection.

(And yes, our anniversary was technically two weeks ago, but I am extending it into a small season of its own — a bit like the 12 days of Christmas.)

I am approaching my one-year anniversary this weekend and closing out a pretty busy 2007 Friends’ Weddings Nationwide Tour, so I have been thinking a lot about weddings and marriage. Tonight in the Chicago airport, I remembered one of the many things I love about being married.

Through various complications involving work trips that weren’t, it so happened that my husband and I were on different flights from Chicago. So, we each developed our own elaborate plan of plane, train and bus rides intended so we could meet eachother and his visiting aunt in downtown DC later tonight. This, of course, would rely heavily on everything going according to schedule, which it rarely seems to do with airlines and public transportation. As I was about to board my flight, there was an announcement about Ned’s flight, saying that it was overbooked. We also realized he would be one of the last people to board, making it less likely that he would be able to bring his carry-on bag aboard, which would then make it impossible for him to catch the bus that was scheduled to depart 15 minutes after he was scheduled to land.

None of this was particularly troubling — in fact, all quite normal in the course of airline travel. But what was abnormal was that it was one of a very few times in the past two years that we have traveled separately. Life adventures, including those in airports, have been so much easier with a partner.

Would he get booted from the flight? Would he make the bus? Would we meet his visiting aunt?

I sat on my plane, sans husband, wondering these things. My brain likes to jump to the worst case scenario, so my natural conclusion, of course, was to assume that Ned would be stuck in Midway. And I thought: this surely must be love. I would rather be stuck in an airport with you, then on the way home by myself.

(end note: we both made it to DC and to a very tasty dessert with a very lovely aunt. ned got on the flight with his suitcase and missed the “overly optimistic” bus but got on the “if all goes according to plan” bus.)