First 100 Days Came to an End

David and I completed the first 100 days of our marriage on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018. Of those first 100 days, my last daily blog post was December 2.

Potato,

I remember you worked, and then came home because the office was empty. I was with Rocky. When you returned home, we loaded up the car again and made the drive to my family’s home in Connecticut to spend the holiday. We missed seeing Tom. He was en route to Maine for the holiday. The girls were in Europe, your mom in Arkansas. We skipped your dad’s because of Rocky.

We arrived before my parents, who were coming home from a Christmas party. I remember the next day: full of family, food and companions! Zack and Curtis came with Duke. Rocky played happily. Chloe rocked her senility. It was cold, but nice for walking. There was a dusting of old snow still on the ground. We talked entirely too much about pest control. It was nice to be fireside in the living room. We exchanged presents!

In the week leading up to Christmas, I started work as a children’s librarian in Rye, New York. That first week was a treat, and it was nice to commute from Greenwich where we house-sat your Chapel Lane childhood home.

I love my work. I will write about it as my next blog theme. There’s a lot grad school didn’t teach me that I’m learning now, a lot still to be learned, and a lot learned that has yet to be relevant.

The days leading up to Christmas were a blur. My internship with EveryLibrary ended, and my final day of grad school for my Master’s of Library Science (MLIS) was December 18.  I last wrote about food (Cream of Broccoli Soup). I like communicating through food. In the weeks before and after the holiday we shared a lot of takeout, leftovers and grocery story filler trip food items.

It was so nice to start the new year with a clean kitchen. I’m remembering us in breathing masks, going full swing with caulking guns, the new mop, bleach, insecticide, and dish towels.

Today we returned home from our new year retreat in the Catskills (my Christmas present to you). The king size bed upgrade, the sugar cookies, the late night french fries, Jackson, the walk around town, to Pennsylvania, and the storm hike with hail that looked like vanilla Dip and Dots ice cream. I remember gorging on the extravagant breakfasts, the naps, the sniffling. Then there were the luxurious shower supplies, the fireside rummy game, the conversations. I remember one that began with me saying marriage didn’t seem to feel so different, and you taking the other position but elaborating little.

You lit up when we were driving back across the George Washington bridge. Back to your city where success, wealth and victory hides in every corner.

Back to the world of League, where things are less shiny and you play games on end. I watch your gameplay chat like a concerned mom-type. “Hey, that’s like the meanest thing you can say.” And celebrating your team’s little victories. Another game cues to the sound of Newt Gingrich and Christopher Hitchens debating the nature of the “war on terrorism”.

So what’s next? Past the first 100 days? I love you, and I’m excited to see.

Yours Truly,
Samantha

Bullet Points

Here’s what I remember of the day:

  • The John Brush stairway
  • Leftover linguine with homemade tomato sauce
  • Afternoon exhaustion
  • Great sex
  • Trying to do computer work
  • Call the Midwife
  • Dinner date at Harlem Public

We ate together outside and then inside when it started to drizzle. Fried avocado, $2 club soda, and meal covered by roommate gratitude (in the form of a gift card). I loved walking with you.

Creating

Taking a break from the husbometer has had a negative effect on my eagerness to blog. Data-tracking used to be a quick entry point for reflection on the day and on my marriage. Despite viable criticisms from people whose opinions I respect, I believe I will return to it at the 2/3 mark. One hundred days is not really so many.

Maybe there are better, healthier forms of relationship assessment? Really, I just started “The First 100 Days (of Marriage)” blogging project for fun. It never felt like anything but that… until people started having opinions.

over-exaggerated *sigh**

Here’s a relationship assessment form that I found from a quick internet search. A sampling of the questions:

Areas of our relationship that our working well for me? All the cuddles, the future planning, the small excitements and happinesses. Having a cheerleader and a frank critic all wrapped up in one smart human. Who gives me so much love, and sprinkles in surprising historical references.

Scrolling through the rest of the questions,  I feel like I have so much to be grateful for —

 

 

The First 56 Days of Marriage [Index]

Index of posts:

Week 1
The First 100 Days
Husbometer
The Shelburne Museum
Getting to Know You
Mt. Mansfield
Jenga
Post-nup

Week 2
Fitness
Photos and Risotto
Interesting Development
Werkk
Slow Reveal: Wedding Photos, Political Truth, Work Life
Tom Time
Long Day

Week 3
The Little Red Lighthouse
Congratulations, Brother!
Unwell
Summer Squash n’ Scalloped Potato Casserole
Quick Check-in
Late
Sauce

Week 4
Family
VoteLibraries
Higher Education
Past Bedtime
Ithaca
October 12th, October 12th
Alumni Lacrosse Game

Week 5
Breakfast
I Choose You
Cancer
California
Leave No Trace
Frisbae
Jocelyn

Week 6
Return
Oww-y!
Life
Dog Food & Finances
Quick
Turn Around
S is for…

Week 7
Moods
Cathartic
Zippity Do Da
Newlydead
A Poem
Bio
Contra

Week 8
Dataaaaa & Day Recap
Assorted Updates
Election Day
Please No Photos
Scuttle
Sleep-in
L.L. Bean


An annotated version of the daily husbometer check-in:

Category Date Score Week Notes
Sex (Quantity, Quality) 11/13/18 0.9 9 Amazing sex (~8pm)
Communication 11/13/18 0.7 9 Just felt really positive and productive today
Chores 11/13/18 0.7 9 Took out trash, washed dishes
Fitness & Health 11/13/18 0.6 9 Way less weed
Finances 11/13/18 0.5 9 Stable condition
Trust 11/13/18 0.7 9 Probably because of the amazing sex
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 11/13/18 0.5 9 Work report seemed positive; he’s coming up on 2-year anniversary and coping with position roll-back
Food 11/13/18 0.6 9 Yummy gnocchi dinner!
Little things 11/13/18 0.7 9 Offered to help me with big class project

 

Please No Photos

Waking up with Allison was a great way to start the day. I could hear her teaching Joshua English as a Second Language (ESL) from the room over.

We shared her homemade kombucha. She also made hard boiled eggs and supplied the materials for my breakfast staple: peanut butter toast.

After chatting with Allison for a while, I departed for Rochester Central Library where I interviewed the director of the Henrietta Library. I went to the conference immediately after and volunteered for the registration booth from 1-5pm.

Now I’m computing at the home of local friends… (Lane is a great human and I like his family). I’m looking forward to sleep.

EveryLibrary Executive Director posted our election recap.

I chatted on and off with David today and that was one of the things I shared with him. He commented on its being a “wall of text”.

I miss my ad guy. I mused with him about the benefits of conference attendance v. staying home and getting work done.

How far have my blog posts strayed from their intended theme?

Oww-y!

Today, I journeyed home to be with my mom. She is recovering from surgery.

The drive went quickly. I listened to video lectures for my online coursework. Near the end of the drive, I ran an errand in Ellington for mom. After getting medicine from the vet, I stopped off to explore the local library.

Hall Memorial Library

IMG_7812IMG_7813

IMG_7826
Impressive board game and cake pan circulating collections!

Mom and I caught up. To convey her pain, she told a story. She was passed out post-surgery. Mitch said she sleep-talked through her deep sleep, saying,

oww-y, oww-y, owww 

After lunch with mom, I settled into computerland. Zack visited with Duke, and I completed my first GoodReads book review! (Something I hope to continue doing to better develop my librarian powers of reading-recommendation).

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Edition borrowed from my husband’s family.

It felt good to catch up with the husbometer and dig into the blog today. In my reports of daily life, I’ve lost sight of my earlier intention to have a somewhat strategic first 100 days of marriage. A brainstorm:

  • Draft post-nuptial agreement
  • Finish the book given to us by the attorney friend of David’s Aunt Joss
  • Continue tracking husbometer data
  • Review husbometer data with David
  • Create strategies for the lower performing categories
  • Articulate career and finance goals

Emotionally? We’re doing okay. A lot of love, excitement, and little moments. We’re still learning to communicate effectively with each other, and that may be a lifelong project. The commitment part of things is the steel frame in my vision for the future. David uses the word “coalescing”, and I like that.

Related image

At the Circulation Desk

Ithaca

I left for my conference in Ithaca. My blogging habit suffered.

It rained heavily during my drive north. I avoided tolls and enjoyed the autumn colors.

I registered for the conference and awaited 3pm tours to begin. I decided to explore Cornell campus and took a tour of the libraries.

When we returned to Hotel Ithaca (the conference basecamp), I returned to my car and retrieved my bag. I checked into my nearby airbnb and dropped off the bag before returning to the conference for dinner and the keynote speaker. I really enjoyed the dinner and the speech. A lawyer for the NY division of the ACLU gave a speech that I would describe as thorough and compelling. He gave the speech in the style of the “naked speaker” I learned. He had few props besides his notes and he gave the speech like a story. He told the audience to be activists in their own lives.

I was so tired when I returned to the airbnb. My back ached during the walk home. I needed to prep for my own conference presentations the next day, but instead I slept. My mind worked on the problem of how best to present. I slept interrupted by thought. I woke with the 5:30am alarm in order to go on the conference hike to the falls.

David and I communicated little. I fell behind on the husbometer and blogging.

Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce and Barilla veggie noodles is a staple for us. The homemade tomato sauce has been a go-to recipe for David in my time knowing him. Every grocery list seems to include canned whole tomatoes. He especially loves the Muir Glen brand.

How is it made? It’s pretty simple. That’s probably one of the reasons we go back to it so often. (That and we always have the ingredients).

Ingredients: 1 package mushrooms, 5-6 onions, (4) 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes*, oil, salt and pepper.

*Feel free to use fresh tomatoes. If you do this, we have a friend who recommends roasting the sauce in the oven to bring out the flavor.

Tools: pot(s), stirring spoon, cutting board, knife

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Cut the onions. Put them in oil, on heat.
  3. Cut the mushrooms. Add them to the onions.
  4. Open tomato cans. Add contents to separate pot. Squish whole tomatoes with your hands.
  5. Add tomatoes to onion and mushroom pot. Add salt and pepper. Mix.
  6. Let everything cook. Get your noodles cooking in the tomato squishing pot if you want to eat this as a meal tonight. The sauce should cook until it’s no longer watery. Taste it to tell if it’s done.

I’m updating the website to give the blog a more permanent role beyond the first 100 days (of marriage), and also to revive its primary purpose as my professional/personal corner of the web.

In the transition, I pulled some of the About page text from the about page. I am copy+pasting it here to restore its place in public:

How we met

David and I met in the aisle of the University of Connecticut’s Jorgensen Theatre on October 9, 2014,  after a lecture featuring eminent philosopher, Peter Singer.

David got his selfie with Peter Singer and ran out of the Jorgensen in time to find me unlocking my bike.

The first date? Lakeside in Coventry after my rowing practice. David brought risotto with homegrown garden veggies, and his canine companion, Russell.

Fast-forward four years.

We mastered the middle-distance relationship, survived an election season, and built an enduring friendship. Join us in this new adventure, and all the side-adventures along the way.

I love you, master of sauce.

Exchanging vows.
Exchanging vows in Vergennes, VT. David and I pictured with our officiant, Zarina Suarez O’Hagin. (September 15, 2018). Photo Credit: Sourinho Photography.