Friday, January 28, 2011

The End of the Beginning

Well, this is it. Part 2. Two years, five months, and thirteen days after I introduced myself and told you the story of the time that I first saw Daniel, and 120 entries later, I am posting my last blog entry here.

First of all, thank you. Thank you to my dear friends and family who have been a part of my life and thus a part of all of the stories that I have told. Thank you to the wonderful people at for starting the blog and giving me with the opportunity to share my life with all of you. Thank you to my readers, some of whom I know have stuck with me from the very beginning, checking every week to see when a new entry would be posted. Thank you for all of your prayers for Daniel and me as we prepared for our marriage, as we started our married life together, and as we welcomed our son into the world. Thank you for your encouraging and affirming comments; even though I very rarely replied to them, they meant so much to me and were often very helpful.

I can hardly begin to say how much this blog has meant to me over the last two and a half years. So much has changed in my life since that first entry on August 15, 2008 (which is the reason I was writing in the first place, I guess!), and because of this blog I now have a weekly “diary” of sorts to look back on. In looking back, I will always be able to remember not only these special events in my life, but also what I was thinking and feeling surrounding all of these events. I will be able to share these entries with my children and grandchildren as the years go by, and even now I am able to read my past entries and remember how very blessed I am and have been in my life. I will always be grateful for my experience writing this blog.

And now we have come to the end. I’ve never been very good at endings, or goodbyes, so it has been helpful for me to remember that this blog in its entirety has been just a beginning. I have written about the beginning of Daniel’s and my life together, of our home, and of our family with the birth of our first child. This last entry is in a way the “end of the beginning”—this whole blog has chronicled the “once upon a time” for our “happily ever after.”

Like I said, though, I’ve never been very good at endings. And since I have become so attached to my weekly entries, I have decided to continue writing and posting them for a new blog that I will be doing on my own. If you would like to join me there, it is:

Regardless, this blog’s time has come. I write this last entry at the end of a snowy day as Daniel washes our dinner dishes and seven-month-old Charlie sleeps (and hopefully will stay asleep for awhile) in our room. From the Hammond family to you (yes, I figure I might as well tell you our name at this point!), goodbye! May God bless you all!

- Sarah

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Beginning of the End

Sigh. The time has finally come, just as I knew it soon would have to. This is the second to last blog entry that I will be writing for, so this is part 1 of 2 of a very wordy “The End.” A wordy “The End” that I am a little sad to be writing, despite the fact that I was once upon a time sure that it would have been written long before now.

In trying to decide just how to wrap up this blog, I have been sentimentally reading through some of my entries of the last two and a half years (wow, can you believe this blog has been going so long?!). I know that some of you have stuck with me from the beginning, all the way back in August 2008 when I was fresh out of college and anxiously awaiting my May 2009 wedding. What follows now is what I am fondly entitling in my own mind “(Preparing For) My Catholic Marriage: Greatest Hits.” This is almost entirely for my own benefit, but until next week I thought that my readers (both long-time and more recent additions alike) might enjoy looking back with me at some of my personal favorite pieces.

A Strange Compliment- August 2008

On Love: Disney and the Eucharist- October 2008

Will You Marry Me?- December 2008

To Know by Heart- March 2009

Being Married- July 2009

Giving “Happily Ever After” a Chance- July 2009

Happily Ever After- Part 2- July 2009

My Husband the Gentleman- October 2009

Multiplication- January 2010

Happy- February 2010

Comfortable- April 2010

Reflecting- May 2010

What I Want for My Son- August 2010

Until next week, then!

P.S. I’m thinking of continuing to blog on my own when I am finished here, but I don’t have anything particular figured out. I’ll let you know next week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Being an old married couple

I made a realization this week: Daniel and I can no longer tell people that we got married “last year.” It may seem like a silly little thing, but we now have to use the words “in 2009” instead, just like we will have to for the remainder of our married life. Does this mean that we’re officially no longer newlyweds? When exactly does being a “newlywed” end? I don’t think there are any technical rules that go along with that word, but now that we have a seven-month-old child and can no longer use the words “last year,” I don’t feel like we qualify anymore.

And here’s what it’s like being an “old married couple.” Daniel slept on the couch last night—no, not because he was “in the dog house” or because we were fighting at all. It was because after about an hour of deliberation over what we should do about Charlie’s sleeping situation, we decided that at least for one night all three of us would be most comfortable with Charlie in the bed with me and Daniel on the couch. Our queen size bed is just not big enough for three; Charlie hasn’t been sleeping well for the past couple of weeks, and he seems to do much better in our bed. (Now some of you may be concerned for various reasons about our decision to co-sleep, even if only temporarily, but since I am not here to discuss the detriments and benefits of sharing our bed with our baby, or even my own concerns about the situation, I won’t. The way I see it, we all need to sleep and sometimes need to do what we need to do to get sleep.) I am relatively comfortable sleeping between Charlie and Daniel, with a pillow between Charlie and the edge of the bed, but Daniel is not.

To get to my point here, even though I am a sleep-deprived mother of a teething seven-month-old boy, I still had a hard time falling asleep without Daniel in bed with me. For the past year and eight months I have fallen asleep next to him, and without him there something just isn’t right. That’s what it’s like being an old married couple. Although I suppose it would have been weird after just a couple of months, too…

Speaking of teething, while I’ve thought Charlie has been teething for the past few months, his first tooth has finally popped through! I noticed it last night while he and I were cheering for his Aunt Jane during her high school JV basketball game. Well, the rest of my family was cheering—I spent most of the time holding my hands over Charlie’s little ears because every time the buzzer sounded he would start to cry. He was really sleepy so I think that was the problem, but I’m not sure if he’s quite cut out for high school basketball games yet. As soon as we hurried home to his daddy after the game, life was much better for our little man. And I was so excited to get home and show Daniel Charlie’s tooth!

I wonder how much longer it will be before his second one makes its way through. I hope it hurries, then maybe we can enjoy at least a few weeks of better sleep for the whole family. Until then, though, Daniel and I plan to buy a more comfortable, real mattress for the portable crib we have set up in our room for Charlie and hopefully that will help him to sleep in it. Maybe we can go shopping tonight… this old married woman missed her husband last night!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Here I go. I’m about to do what as a writing center tutor in college I always told people to never, ever do. I’m going to start this blog entry off with a quote from good old Webster. I’m beginning with a definition. Although I suppose technically I’m not, since I’m introducing this definition with a disclaimer, and besides this is not an introductory paragraph of an essay so the rules are different. There’s a nice run-on sentence that I would have hated, too.

Anyways, to my definition. lists about a gazillion meanings for the word “resolution,” which is a word that is on a lot of people’s minds at this time of year. The two that apply to the kind of resolution we are thinking about in January are as follows: 1) “the act of determining,” and 2) “firmness of resolve.” While we’re at it, “resolve” means: “fixity of purpose; resoluteness.” And I didn’t even know “fixity” was a word!

As far as I can remember, I have always made a list of New Year’s resolutions—either in the last weeks of December or sometime in January of the new year. Over the years, some resolutions I have met and others have fallen by the wayside. This year, I am not making any new resolutions.

This is in part because I haven’t taken the time to think of some, in part because I am noticing more than ever this year that New Year’s resolutions are way over-marketed (organization products, diet helpers, gym specials, etc.), and in part because I am still working on last year’s resolutions. We’ll call these roll-over resolutions. I don’t really need any new. Besides, I can barely handle my day-to-day resolutions. I feel as though I’m constantly resolving myself to one thing or another…

Actually, now that I think about it, Daniel and I do sort-of have a New Year’s resolution together. We are doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University through our church, which is taking us step-by-step through his “total money makeover.” It is a 13-week program that started in November; we weren’t sure how much we would get out of it since we were already talking about money, budgeting together, and working on paying down debt. We had been paying our credit card bill completely by the due date each month, so we didn’t have any “credit card debt”—at least the way we understood it. We paid both of our cars off in 2009.

It turns out, though, that we actually are getting quite a bit out of the program. We are starting the new year credit-card free and with big plans for our debt snowball from 2011 on out. And the level of detail involved in Dave Ramsey’s budgeting plans is really empowering. I highly recommend it! Alright, I’ll pull the plug on that one.

Happy 2011, everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Charlie's First Christmas

I absolutely love being a mom on Christmas! Charlie’s first Christmas was wonderful, and our worries that we may get snowed in came to nothing.

On Christmas Eve evening, the three of us drove about an hour down to Daniel’s uncle’s house for his traditional family party. Charlie hadn’t met any of the extended family on Daniel’s side yet, so that combined with being in a place he had never seen meant that he had a lot to take in. He seemed to enjoy himself, except when he wasn’t allowed to eat the paper from the gifts he unwrapped (a trend which would continue the next day).

We didn’t get home and put Charlie to bed until 10:30, but he had slept an hour in the car so it wasn’t too terrible. He was exhausted, though, and pretty cranky. Once he was in bed, Daniel and I finished cleaning up from the cookies we had been baking earlier that day and I prepared a stuffed French toast casserole for brunch at my parents’ the next day. Christmas morning we came out to the living room around 7:30 to make breakfast (cinnamon rolls!) and open our gifts. After a couple of packages that we let Charlie open, we opened the rest of his for him. He was just getting much too upset about not being allowed to eat the wrapping paper when he did it himself.

After a leisurely morning with my little family, it was time to get ready for church. We left around 10:00 to drop the casserole off at my parents’ house before 11:00 mass. It had been years since the last time I went to mass on Christmas morning rather than the night before, so I was expecting getting there a half hour early to be necessary—I was wrong. But it was nice to get a good seat and pray for a while before the liturgy began, something I almost never have time to do anymore since Charlie was born. And I really enjoyed the feel of Christmas day mass, and how it focused our day on the holy day and not just the holiday. I think we’ll do it next year, too.

Brunch and gifts at my parents’ house came next, and we spent the rest of the day over there and joined them for dinner as well before coming home to put Charlie to bed. Daniel and I watched a movie—Eclipse of the Twilight saga if you must know (my sister Rose got it for Christmas and let us borrow it). Not exactly Christmas-y, but enjoyable nonetheless!

The day after Christmas was Sunday mass, then back to my parents’ again for a get-together with my mom’s side of the family and more delicious food. Then home again. And there you have a play-by-play of our family’s Christmas festivities.

I also got some wonderful news on Christmas—Laura, my best friend from high school whom I have certainly mentioned here before, is engaged! Her now-fiancĂ© proposed to her on Christmas morning, and Laura asked me to be her maid of honor. I just realized today that I should have told her “no,” though, but that I would be her matron of honor… because that’s just the kind of silly joke that I would make. I can’t believe I missed the opportunity. Anyway, I am so extremely excited for Laura and can’t wait to help with her wedding plans!

And so, another new year is about to begin, the third that I will have come to during my blogging experience here, my second of married life, and Charlie’s first ever (not counting when he was in the womb, of course). I am so excited for all that God has in store for my family’s 2011. Seriously, I’m really starting to look forward to Charlie’s first birthday, which isn’t for another five and a half months.