La la How the Life Goes On

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, just Google the lyrics to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and then you’ll know!

life

Actually, you might not know. Sometimes I don’t even know. The Finish the Sentence Friday prompt this week is, “Hey, June” to the tune of “Hey, Jude” and there are all sorts of similarities between Beatles lyrics and what happens in June.

life

June is the month he was born in, and June is when he will turn five. FIVE. God, that feels so close and so far.

In May, I wrote about how Scarlet got her name and someone asked me to write the same for Des. Of course, I have written it down more than once, but there’s no time like the present. I love to tell people his name – Desmond. Des. Desi. Baby Bear. Noodles. Peter. He answers to all of that. He actually has a friend at school named Peter and I joke about having the real Peter over for a playdate and calling them both Peter. “Peter. No, not you. Peter. Other Peter. Peter, over here!” I’ll be darned if I could tell you why I call him Peter. In fact, Scarlet and the cat both answer to Peter, but the dog does not.

If you’re looking for a story about The Constant and the Archbishop, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re wondering about hunky men on LOST islands, anxiety, “Hey Lucy, I’m home” and finding your grounding, binding, connecting Constant..

..consider me your girl. If you believe in that whole possession thing. I do. And so begins this story:

Desmond is a name we had thought about for Scarlet before we found out she was a girl at 20 weeks. We had thought of Scarlet before there was even an engagement ring, so trust me on this, we pretty much knew she wasn’t to be a Desmond before the ultrasound technician told us so. Desmond is a strong name. It’s not weird but can you say you’ve ever met one?? I know they’re out there but I hadn’t had the pleasure myself until I met my own Desmond. He is such a Desmond to us.

Desmond has a few meanings. Some sources say it means, “man of the world.” Some say it means, “man from south Munstor.” The gaelic meaning is “gracious defender.” The one baby book I bought says it means, “of universe and heavens.”

Cassidy and I are big fans of the show Lost. Cassidy got into it years before me and eventually we settled down to watch every previous episode ever during one particularly long and hard winter. It’s no secret that I fell in love with the character, Desmond Hume. Cassidy also loves Desmond. Nearly every tear I shed during that show was because of the love story between Desmond and Penny. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a love story I related more to. Our wedding was even slightly Lost themed, as well as moose and wolf and music themed. For our wedding program, Cassidy made a fake Playbill and we called it “Love” using the Lost logo. We had Dharma-themed props on the wedding tables. The character of Desmond was used in our program. Years ago, Cassidy gave me a t-shirt that said, “Desmond Is My Constant.” Little did I know how true that would one day be. On our wedding ketubah, Cassidy’s brother Sam wrote to us: “Be each other’s constant.”

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“The Constant” is probably my favorite episode of Lost. In it, Desmond jumps between two time frames and is able to make contact with his “constant” – Penny, a lost love who has been searching for him for three years. It’s kinda..spectacular. In the show and in other time travel themed literature, there is the concept of the constant. The constant is something or someone that is present in both timelines. It has to be something you sincerely care about and something you can recognize. Without your constant, and without something solid to attach your mind to, your brain can short-circuit during time travel.

It’s no secret that when I was pregnant with Desmond, I started experiencing some pretty bad anxiety. I was never close to exploring the medication option, partly because I was pregnant and wouldn’t do that, but mainly because there are so many avenues to explore before drugs – yoga, exercise, counseling, etc. I started speaking with a very powerful counselor who offered a lot of support but I’m proud to say I did a lot of the healing work myself. She and I spoke about “constants” – people or places or things to focus on to pull you back from an anxiety episode and to ground you and calm you. I found this to be no coincidence that as we were searching for a baby name, we were talking about real life constants. It doesn’t just exist in time travel. It’s very real. It’s about something solid to attach yourself to, before you lose yourself. There is a way.

My Desmond truly was my constant during my pregnancy because I wanted to stay calm and healthy for him.

Sometime during or after this intense healing, I started writing the love story of how I met Cassidy. I felt so many similarities to the story of Desmond and Penny. Although we didn’t actually time travel, we really did in figurative ways. We had time gaps and places and feelings to revisit, and places and feelings to start anew. At that time, we both agreed simultaneously that we hadn’t found a baby boy name we liked more than Desmond. There weren’t really huge discussions on this. We were pretty magically on the same page with baby names. Always. Maybe a day or two after we had settled on the name, with the agreement that if something more powerful came along, we would use it – another cool Desmond theme came up.

An amazing quote from Desmond Tutu started circulating on Facebook: “I can’t for the life of me imagine that God will say, ‘I will punish you because you are black, you should have been white; I will punish you because you are a woman, you should have been a man; I will punish you because you are homosexual, you ought to have been heterosexual.’ I can’t for the life of me believe that is how God sees things.” –The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of Cape Town.

And the song “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” about Desmond and Molly Jones, was playing at odd times.

And that’s how it came together. Flawlessly. Spiritually. Fully. We knew then and we know now we created a true Desmond. He’s “The Constant.” He’s “The Bishop.” As for his middle name, Blaze, Cassidy suggested it for a first or middle name before Desmond was settled on. We were married by a dear friend, Blase, and I do think of Desmond’s middle name as somewhat of a tribute to him and how awesome he is. He’s a true gift. I think Cassidy and I also love how it sounds.

And Desmond did come blazing into this world.

I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “Hey, June..” You can link up HERE.

How does June make you better, or you make June better? Do you love the Beatles?

40 Places to Take Your Kids (But Also Yourself)!

I don’t want to write about.. all the places I HAVEN’T been..

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

..for too many years anyway. I’m as much of a bucket list maker as someone can be! I believe in photography bucket lists, and spring bucket lists, and fall bucket lists, and definitely summer bucket lists. I believe in food bucket lists and more specifically – ice cream bucket lists. I believe in literary bucket lists, and somewhat related – career-as-a-whole bucket lists.

I believe in believing in bucket lists.

places

I read this awesome post based on this awesome article and it all fit together. I want to write about all the places I’ve been and will go, and I don’t want to write about all the places I haven’t been and will never go – unless to say it here, loud and clear, that I WILL go there. Put it on my list. Your kiss is on my list too, but that’s not listed in the article. (why??)

Thanks, Dara! So here are the 40 places from Today.com:

1 – Grand Canyon. I’ve never been, but I will go! I have zero fear of heights, although when I’m nervous, I get unbalanced. You know that song, “Unsteady”? That’s me! Not in front of grand and great things, though. This is on my list with your kiss.

2 – Yellowstone National Park. I’ve been twice, and once with Cassidy. I dream about taking the kids all the time.

3 – Freedom Trail in Boston. How have we not?? We live in Massachusetts! This seems remedy-able.

4 – The French Quarter. I have been! Do I want to take my kids? Umm.. maybe when they’re older. It was such a wild and untamed place – the stuff of all kinds of dreams and nightmares. Uncle Sam lives there so I think/hope it will happen.

5 – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of this place, but count me in!

6 – Dinosaur Valley State Park. See above!

7 – Stingray City. That’s a “yes” for me – in terms of wanting to go.

8 – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Another miss and we have been to Cleveland! (once) My mom and sister went and got Scarlet an excellent Yellow Submarine shirt that Des now wears. Maybe that takes us a little closer..

9 – Bioluminescent Bay. This is on my photography bucket list!

10 – An Alaska Cruise. hmm.. none of us are cruise people. It’s sort of our worst nightmares. I’d rather be in an elevator for 7 days. Alaskan cruises, though? That’s different. Sign me up for smooth seas, with lots of whales, and moose at ports.

11 – National Civil Rights Museum. I would love all of us to go one day.

12 – Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Never been, but I’d love to take the family to escape our winter.

13 – Monterey Bay Aquarium. I LOVE this place. Cassidy and I went. I remember reading that they briefly had a Great White Shark in captivity? Anyway, I saw otters there. Not even IN there. Just hanging around it. Free otters wanting to hang!

14 – Niagara Falls. I’ve been there.. three times or so. Cassidy and I went and it was VERY eventful. Maybe one day we’ll take Scarlet and tell her she was conceived there and she’ll be all, “ewwwwwwww!”

15 – Petrified Forest I once plotted out a cross country road trip and this was a stop on it. The road trip didn’t happen because my boyfriend cheated on me and that’s not even why I didn’t go on this trip. There was another man. Ah, youth.

16 – Statue of Liberty. This was our big 5th grade field trip, and also the only field trip I can remember in which my mom was chaperone. I almost chickened out but she talked me into going to the crown with her. It was worth it.

17 – Disney World. Four years and counting as a family of four!

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

18 – Climb Mt. Rainier. Ohh.. climb it? I mean, visit it is one thing, but CLIMB it? Des complains when he gets a rain drop on his foot. I can just imagine his old man venting? But hey, I would never dream of ruling it out.

19 – Galapagos Islands. Doesn’t it make your heart skip a beat? I’d love for us all to see it one day.

20 – Sesame Place. It’s not far from my parent’s house! It’s nearly too late for us, though.

21 – Pacific Coast Highway Drive. Two of us have done this and I can’t wait to do this with the kids. I dream about it often. I remember making a mix CD for my first drive on it, when mix CDs were still cool.

22 – Ground Zero. Cassidy and I have both been there, but not at the same time. I haven’t told my kids that story yet. It’s a bit much. One day, I will, and one day they’ll read what I wrote about it here.

23 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yes, times four!

24 – Wisconsin Dells. I mean, sure, if we all happen to ever be in Wisconsin?

25 – Redwood National & State Parks. PLEASE. One day.

26 – Swim with Manatees. Please, please can we do this?

27 – San Diego Zoo. I think I’m the only one who’s been there but since San Diego has my dream weather, maybe we’ll all move there one day and live in the zoo. Although I wouldn’t be able to NOT free this guy:

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

28 – Plimouth Plantation. With our annual treks to Cape Cod and back, one should think we will go one day.

29 – Buckingham Palace. Please sign all four of us up for a trip to London.

30 – The Colorado Rockies. Cassidy alone has been to Colorado. It’s always been on my bucket list. I got SO close when we were visiting parks in Utah. Why didn’t I go??? There are so many gems to visit in Colorado, and I’m mountain-obsessed.

31 – Cedar Point. Wait, what? 17 roller coasters? And to think, I just went on the FIRST TWO OF MY LIFE!

32 – Kennedy Space Center. You know, I hope it happens. Scarlet thinks space is cool. I have a slight outer space phobia, but all the more reason. I tend to beat (or at least meet) phobias in Florida. (see above)

33 – Fort De Soto Park. I’ve never even heard of this, but sounds AMAZING! By the way, the article gives age levels, which is cool.

34 – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sign us all up! Only Cassidy has been to Hawaii.

35 – Mesa Verde. 0 for 4. Sign me up, though.

36 – Ride Cable Cars in San Francisco. I lived there for two years and didn’t do this until about a month before we moved back. My mom was visiting us for one last time there, and she treated me to a ride. We have to go back!

37 – Waikiki Beach. Maybe Cassidy has gone? We all four would go in a heartbeat (or a long flight)!

38 – National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Another 0 for 4, but we’ve been to the Basketball Hall of Fame!

39 – Yosemite. Ok, so I’ve been there once with Cassidy and we were there for a few days. We had a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a hot tub under shooting stars. We stayed in and made bacon and watched a ton of movies, so one day I want to go back and see more of it. I remember the smoky smell and the crisp air, and oh god, take me back.

Wait just a minute. I have photos from our cabin’s porch.

Well, if THAT doesn’t sum it up. What does? Oh yeah! I forgot one:

40 – Millenium Park. It’s never been all four of us there, but it will happen. On the sooner side.

I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “I don’t want to write about..” You can link up HERE.

What do you NOT want to write about? How many of these places have you visited?