Monday, November 15, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Twelve

Sarah’s Pregnancy Diary – Part Twelve

As I sat reading the newspaper (on line) I realized for the first time in a long while that I’m sort of bored. We’re staying put, a definite change for us, and there is only so much cleaning and surfing the net you can do. You can throw in lounging around the pool and having my way with my husband too, but still, there’s a LOT of free time.

The question was, what do I do with it? What do I want to do with it? I haven’t really considered getting a job, not only for the obvious reason of being Adam’s wife and not needing the income but really, for more of a selfish reason.

When Derek and Lissa were small I didn’t have the option to stay home with them; we needed my income and so I worked. Those evenings and weekends with them were so precious, more than precious really and I embraced them with a jealous fervor. There was never enough of those hours and when Monday morning rolled around I never surrendered gracefully.

Things were different now – we didn’t need the income and then there is also the travel question; Adam has to travel from time to time and I want to be able to go with him. If I have a regular job, you can’t always get time off, nor can you be gone for months at a time. .

But I need something to do, something productive so that I can contribute to our life. Don’t get me wrong, being Adam’s wife is a dream come true, but I need this for me. Adam says he understands and will back me no matter what I decide.

So, here are the facts:

1. I want to stay home with the baby

2. I need something to help me feel that I’m contributing

3. I need something that will allow me to set my own kind of hours because I do remember that taking care of that child is a 24/7 job. We are NOT going to have a nanny, by the way.

In my past job I was a talent search manager for a company that found high-profile executives for business – in other words a head hunter. It was all about developing sources, doing your research and getting your man, or woman.

So as I searched the web, an idea occurred to me. And let me preface that to say that Adam is feeling the need to stick around home more now; he really doesn’t want to be out in Timbuktu making movies any longer. I understand that because, as I’ve said, I want to stay home and enjoy this child too. I feel as if I’ve been given this wonderful gift, Adam and this child and so it’s important that I not waste it.

Here’s what I want to do; I would like for Adam and I to start a production company. I think it is a doable idea. He has knowledge of the movie part of the business, I know how to beat the bushes, so to speak and we could work from home and when we wanted. Right now I’m trying to get my ducks in a row so that I can take the idea to Adam. I don’t really know how he will respond so keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Eleven

Sarah’s Pregnancy Diary – Part Eleven

Hi Everyone! Sorry for the long absence, but life has been incredibly busy. Let’s see, what first? I’ll get the sad over first – Derek is now in Afghanistan, his unit shipped out almost a month ago. Adam and I flew to El Paso and Lissa, Mom and Dad came too. We took the boys with us as well after much debate.

They seem too young to understand the implications of this war, but they certainly understand that Derek is going away for a year. They both idolize him and it didn’t seem fair to not let them come to say goodbye to him. Geoff and Tristan both hugged him tightly at Ft. Bliss as he got ready to board the jet and both cried as we watched the plane lift. Actually, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house and it took everything that I had in me not to fall totally apart. But Pam needed our strength right then and so we all did the best we could. She went back to Wichita with Mom and Dad and will stay until they all come to Laguna Beach for Thanksgiving; after that she will stay with us until after the New Year. We don’t want her to be alone during the holidays and it will be so great to be a part of Danny’s first Christmas. We will take lots of video and hopefully get some time with Derek on the computer, so that he can see what is going on.

As I watched my son climb aboard that jet to fly half-way around the world to serve his country I was over-whelmed with pride, even though the pain of him leaving. He stood tall and strong, ready to do his job and that makes him a hero in my eyes and heart. Whether this war is the right thing or not, well I don’t know, but these fine young women and men who go off to fight it deserve to be heralded as the amazing individuals that they are. Think about them and pray for them as they are away from their loved ones and friends, for me.

Here in Laguna Beach work is progressing on our house; amazingly fast in fact. It should only be about a month before we can move in and I grow more excited each time we drive out to see it. From the outside on the top side it doesn’t look all that different, just larger. It still blends into the landscape incredibly well; the shape of it sort of embracing the cliffs. Into the house itself it is so different. Still three levels, but with so much more room. Adam was right about one thing, blasting away part of the cliff to make more room really allowed the new house to blend into the land really well. I’m sure somewhere the environmentalists think it is terrible and I guess I should feel terrible about the 30 feet of rock face that was removed but I don’t. We now have 5 regular bedrooms and two ‘convertible’ rooms if with need them; the den and the office.

Finally Adam feels like we have enough room and it is a joy to see him as he worries about how he wants his kitchen done and things. The pool will now be enclosed in an iron fence that the kids will not be able to get into without our help and I love that. The hot tub had to go from being outside to our bedroom on the balcony, which is okay. It’s a bit smaller now, but that’s okay because I still have the swimming pool bathtub! We have poured through decorating magazines and have toured several design centers with Tamara and finally decided on the furniture and stuff. It is a relief to be done with that!

And speaking of Tamara, she is doing well. She and Mark are having a daughter and they are both thrilled. They boys are even excited about having a sister, which is a good thing. Tam is feeling really well and has about 7 weeks to go before delivery. She is so lithe and athletic, a runner actually so hopefully she will have an easy delivery. She has gotten me involved with Yoga to help me stretch and strengthen my definitely underused muscles before delivery. LOL, can you imagine me doing Yoga? Well, it’s happening – Downward Dog, here I am!

As I sat here writing this I heard Adam come in to room before I felt a soft kiss on my neck. And I smelled something wonderful…

“Hi bella. About done?” he asked.

“Yep. What do you have?”

“A new experiment! Peanut butter brownies with fudge frosting, just for you!”

I groaned, this man so knew my weaknesses. I’d put on twenty one pounds so far and that number would grow a lot more I knew. Still, um, they smelled wonderful! I felt the baby nestled inside my ever-growing belly agreeing with me by doing summersaults and flips. I laughed and picked up Adams hand and laid it on my stomach so he could feel his excited child assaulting me.

“Um, I think we have another peanut butter fan here, don’t you?” I asked, taking a bit of the treat. It was heavenly and I washed it down with some icy cold milk and a sigh – it just doesn’t get much better than this!

His eyes twinkled as he smiled in agreement. “Guess so love. Two girls who love peanut butter. Whatever shall I do?”

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hope is down with the flu

Hope is down with a case of the flu so she won't be able to post today. I am thinking she should up and around in the next day or so but don't quote me on that. When I talked to her this morning, she did NOT sound good at all. I'll keep ya'll apprised of what is what!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Ten

Joyful moments…

Adam here everyone. Sarah is taking a bubble bath after an exciting morning! Great news! We had the amnio last week and the results are in! Everything is wonderful; the baby is just fine and growing well Dr. Bridges said. We can expect a normal pregnancy and birth, since it all looks so good. Sarah had fairly easy births with Derek and Lissa and while Dr. Bridges said that is no guarantee, it is a good precedent marker for this birth. Sarah needs to stay active and she reminded us to do plenty of walking to strengthen those muscles! Since going to a gym wouldn’t be a great option for us I have bought a really nice treadmill with lots of options to create individual workouts on it. I’m not really fond of treadmills, I’d much rather take a walk but it will be good for us I know. It’s sort of hard taking a pleasant and relaxing walk when the press are everywhere.

Bigger news! We know what we are having! We did debate briefly about whether or not we wanted to know; in some ways the mystery is nice. But Sarah and I are both practical souls and since we are going to be building a house we want to be able to create a room just for our baby. We are thrilled about this although truly we would be thrilled whether it was a boy or a girl. I’ll bet you want to know, huh? Well, I’m going to be mean and keep that to myself for a bit! Not too long I’ll bet though as Sarah will want to broadcast it to all.

Krista and Ryan came for dinner last night and I am so pleased with how my relationship with my daughter is growing. She is independent, too much so if you ask me because she won’t let me help them much and I would really like to. Sarah tells me that she understands Krista’s need for independence but it does still bother me. I lost so many years with her and I feel I need to make it up to her. Sarah reminds me that building our relationship is the most important part, that it isn’t about money or support and I do get that, I just don’t have to like it do I?

Sarah talked to Cassie in Greece a few days ago and she seems to think that there is something going on over there but Cassie apparently won’t talk about it. Sarah feels that Cassie is not saying anything because she doesn’t want Sarah to worry, but of course it is doing quite the opposite. She vows to catch the next flight out to see Cassie and Georgio if they don’t tell us what is going on. I’ve a feeling we may be having a brief visit to Greece before long and that might not be such a bad thing; a couple of weeks relaxing in the sunshine might be just the ticket for us. It would of course depend on whether or not Dr. Bridges says its okay for Sarah to take such a trip so we’ll just have to see.

I think I hear Sarah moving around upstairs. I made her a surprise while she was soaking in the tub; we’ll see what she says about it! I made her some fresh chocolate peanut butter cups! They weren’t particularly difficult and they even smelled good to me, believe it or not! Sarah has craved peanut butter in some form or other practically every single day of her pregnancy; well, after the morning sickness passed that is. She is really growing more beautiful each day; her eyes sparkle and her cheeks have the loveliest rosy glow to them! I adore the baby bump as well. At night we will often lay in bed and stroke her burgeoning tummy and talk to our child; I want that child to know how much it is loved and adored by us, even before it gets here. I am so blessed to have found Sarah and to now be able to share this experience with her. Life is good and for that I am undeniably joyful!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Nine

Oh Mama…

I decided things were getting really desperate as I tried futilely to find something that would fit over my growing belly! A few sweatpants and stuff was all that would now span the growing bulge that was baby Richland. I had to do something soon, I acknowledged.

Adam came in to the room as I was pushing things about willy-nilly in the closet looking for a miracle. None was to be found; well, there was a sun dress in there that would work. It had an empire style bodice and that would at least fit over the baby bump so I pulled it out and found a matching light cardigan to go over it as it was a bit chilly today.

Adam was sitting on the side of the bed as I came out of the closet, looking amused at it all. “You know bella, why don’t we plan a shopping trip for some new clothes for you, hm? Soon I would think!”

I threw him a look that suggested that silence might be the better approach here, but he only shrugged and gave me the adorable dimple grin. I hated that grin when he had a point, and this was one of those times! I stared at him, lifting one eyebrow in irritation.

And then we both started laughing; I couldn’t help it, it was all just so funny. I am 46 years old and pregnant! I had to laugh or I’d cry. It was easier to laugh. Of course, part of the deal was getting to be married to this funny, loving and gorgeous man. A girl could certainly have it worse.

I didn’t really want to drag Adam around shopping with me for maternity clothes so the next logical thought was Tamara. After breakfast, I gave her and call and she was really excited about going as she needed some things too. We made plans to get together in an hour.

“So you’re going with Tamara then?” Adam asked me while reviewing some correspondence from the contractor.

It was funny to see him voluntarily sitting at the computer now, but he was getting pretty good at navigating the web. He was even working on a project to get our pictures online into albums. He really was a remarkable ‘nester’, so happy to be building not only a home, but a future for us.

“Yes! Disappointed?” I asked, already knowing the answer. Love me he did, but shopping was NOT his favorite activity.

“I’ll live,” he murmured dryly, grinning at me again. He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me closer to him, and kissed my belly. “You had better behave for your mum, young one!” He ran his hand over the baby bump lightly and then planted another kiss on it.

The look of love on his face took my breath away. Somewhere in this life of mine I must have done something awfully good because I have been given the best reward anyone could ever get. Life is precious, especially when it is shared with someone you love so much.

Thank you God…

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Eight

Sarah’s Pregnancy Diary – Part Eight

We’re back in California now, in our temporary condo and already I can’t wait to get into our new home! It’s coming along nicely and will be ready in a few months. In the meantime, this place isn’t so bad really, it’s just not ours!

It was really hard when they tore down the house and started blasting the rock away for the new house. Harder on me than Adam, which seems strange but he is much more relaxed about it all than I am, practical really. To him it was just a house that wasn’t big enough – to me it was the place I found myself. Yes, I was already in love with Adam when I got here, head-over-heels in love in fact. But that first trip here brought a whole new dimension to our relationship and helped me to define what I wanted in my life. I fell in love with the house, with the boys and with how life could be in that house.

Adam tells me that we will build a new life together in the house that is being built now, that this is a home we are creating together. I do appreciate that, but it doesn’t lessen my loss for the other home. This one will be similar in many ways, but it won’t be the same! Maybe the pregnancy hormones are just rampaging through me, I don’t know.

I am feeling much better actually, which is a blessing. The morning sickness is mostly gone which is a blessing. I even ate some spicy Mexican food for dinner the other night and it didn’t bother me at all! It was awesome; you know how it is when you’re pregnant, you just never know what will bother you. With Lissa I craved hot sauce. I would buy huge jars of the extra hot kind and eat it with a spoon! Randy used to freak out when I did that, afraid I would get sick but it never bothered me a bit!

These days I’m afraid I’m craving anything with peanut butter. Adam is tolerating it well; in fact he is being incredibly sweet about it all. He makes sure there are always big jars of peanut butter in the pantry and I often find there are peanut butter treats hidden away for me to find unexpectedly! And just the other day, you’ll never guess what I found!

I had taken a nice long bubble bath in what I have to say is definitely a sub-par bath tub when I smelled the most incredible thing! I got dressed and headed to the kitchen, letting my nose lead the way and there was Adam, baking me peanut butter cookies! They boys were helping and all three of them wore huge, ridiculous grins on their faces.

Geoff brought me a still warm cookie, offering it to me with a kiss, the very best part. I sat down at the table and Tristan got out glasses and the milk and the three of us sat at the table and took bites of the delicious cookies. I caught Adam snapping pictures of us, no doubt for the album he is working on for our family. He was grinning like the village idiot I must say, something hard for him to accomplish because he is just too damn handsome.

“How are the cookies love?” he asked, snapping another picture as I was licking sugar off of my lips.

“Yeah Sarah,” Geoff chimed in. “Do you like them? Me and Tristan helped daddy make ‘em for you!”

“They are perfect!” I declared. “The very best oatmeal cookies ever!”

“Oatmeal?” both boys asked, a shocked look on their adorable faces. “Sarah, they are peanut butter!”

“OH! Well, in that case they are the very, absolute BEST cookies ever! Mm, really, really good!” For emphasis I took another bite and smiled. “You guys make really good cookies. Thank you so much!”

I was attacked then by two little cookie monsters, gladly receiving hugs from then. I heard the whir of the camera in the background as Adam snapped another picture. I looked up at him and smiled, not at all ashamed of the crumbs that decorated my chin and the front of my blouse. They picture he snapped then of my smile said it all!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Posts Resume on Tuesday

Ok, here is the updated posting schedule per Hope, who is slowly emerging from her work coma.

Beth's Diary and Sarah's Pregnancy Diary will resume on Tuesday, September 8 then go back to weekly posts on Mondays
Sometimes will resume on Wednesday, September 9
Wishing on Stars will resume on Friday, September 10.

Then we will be back on the normal posting routing. :-)

Thanks for your patience! Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Hey Everyone - Eng Here. A lot of you have been checking for the next chapter of Sarah's pregnancy diary. I am sorry it isn't here. We lost the next 4 chapters when Hope's home pc was fried during that stupid electrical storm. In order to give Hope time to reconstruct what she had already written, we anticipate, barring any unforeseen complications, that the next post will be up on September 8.

Thank you so much for your patience and support. We really appreciate it. Also, from now on, I'll be keeping a copy of what I proof for Hope so that we have copies in two different places, for occasions such as this. :-)

Talk to you soon.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Seven

Heartbreak Time – Adam’s POV

I’m writing this time for Sarah, she is devastated at the moment. We both are but its worse for her. We received news yesterday that has rocked her world.

We managed to find a condo to stay in for the next few months and got settled into it before making the trip to Wichita. The condo is in Huntington Beach so we’ll be close to the boys which is always a joy. The demolition was completed on the house after we got to Wichita; Sarah couldn’t stand to see it be torn down.

We are staying with her parents while we get things ready for the movers here. That has been good for Sarah, especially now. Might as well say it, get it over with – Derek has gotten orders to go to Afghanistan.

We’ve known that it was a distinct possibility, actually likely, but when you actually hear it, you are just not prepared. Derek is a fine young man and feels privileged to serve his country but like any man with a family, it is hard on him and Pam as well, of course. He will deploy in 30 days so there are many things to do before he leaves.

I asked Pam if she would like to come and stay with Sarah and me for the duration of his tour. Derek is for the idea and so is Sarah of course but Pam feels like she should stay at Ft. Bliss with the other wives. She did say that she would consider it, so that is hopeful!

We went through Sarah’s house as we tried to make decision over what to do with most of the things. Most of the furniture Bobby or Lissa will take; she’ll need something for an apartment, where ever that may be. A few pieces were shipped to Texas for Derek and Pam as well as assorted boxes of household items, mostly sentimental things from Derek’s childhood that Sarah had saved.

One day I stood in Sarah’s bedroom looking at the Georgia O’Keeffe painting that I had found so erotic the first night I stayed in Sarah’s house. She was in the hospital that night and for some reason that painting made me feel closer to her. She came up behind me and wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged me close.

“It still gets to you, doesn’t it?” she teased.

“Yes, my love, it does! I found it quite stimulating that first night if I recall correctly.”

“Stimulating huh? That’s a new word for it!” She giggled then and shook her head. “I have to take it with us but I don’t have a clue where we will put it,” she sighed.

“What do you mean?”

“Well Adam, it hardly goes with the current bedroom furnishings now does it?”

“Perhaps we should change that then, do you think?”

We’ll see,” she promised.

Two days later the movers had finished and were on their way to California. The house was mostly empty except for the things that Bobby was keeping. The papers were all signed and Bobby was the official owner now and it was good to see his excitement about it.

Lissa had come down for the weekend and we got a storage unit for her things since there was no reason to take them up the Lawrence, only to have to move them again in a few months.

Lissa has taken the news about Derek as hard as Sarah has, which is so understandable. The three of them were such a tight-knit family, always there for one another and it was heart-warming to watch their dynamics. Sarah’s parents were very much afraid for Derek but were trying to be stoic about it for everyone’s sake. We planned a family get together in Texas in three weeks and we will all be there to love and support both he and Pam.

Considering everything that is going on Sarah is doing very well. Actually blooming I might say. Smells still bother her a bit but really she is feeling great she says. Two nights before we were leaving to go back home though she woke me at 3 am.

“Adam? Adam?” she said, gently kissing my neck. “Adam, wake up!” This last was said a bit more insistently.

“Hm,” I asked, trying to open my eyes. “Is something wrong bella? What’s wrong?” I was convinced she must be ill or something.

“Adam, I really, really want some peanut butter cups. Please honey!”

“Sarah, where on earth do you expect me to find some at…” I looked at the clock, squinting to see it in the darkness. “Where do you expect me to find them at 2 am?”

“Quik Trip is open all night. You can get some there!”

Well, here we go…

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Baby Shower!!!

I had this great idea when I was editing the Pregnancy Diaries that we should all have a baby shower for Sarah and Adam . I know it sounds a little strange but hey, everything is a little strange these days, aren't they? We would pick a day and than everyone would stop by and say what they "got" Sarah and Adam for their new bundle of joy! Taking it one step further, if anyone was so inclined, they could then donate that item to a charity in their city.

It is just my idea - let me know what you think and if you are interested in participating in the first ever Online Baby Shower!


Monday, July 05, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Six

Building Blues…or Pinks!

We’ve been busy looking at properties so that we can build a house. I love the area where we live – most beach areas in California have houses or condos packed along the beach. This area is different;, we have a bit of distance between the properties which makes it more private and I definitely want my privacy and so does Adam.

This spot is perfect, except that as the house sits now there is NO way to expand it besides to build upward and the architectural style of the house won’t really support that. It is built to sit down in the cliff face which is awesome, but doesn’t really allow much to change on it. The arms of the cliff sort of form a ‘C’ around the house and that is very limiting.

We consulted an architect and an engineer about the house. IF we tore it down and IF we removed part of the cliff to the south we could build right here again. The house could be expanded (we could keep it to three floors still) but it would be spread out and rearranged to fit into the cliff and still have the views and the patio area that we love. We could get 5 bedrooms in that way with the den still being a convertible room and maybe the patio room as well if we needed it.
We’ve also decided to use green technology to build the house. It will cost a bit more to start with but we will be happier in the long run. Adam has decided that maybe the internet isn’t so bad now that he is immersed in research for all the many types of building green. It seems as if every hour or so he comes to me with a new idea such as in-ground water storage tanks and water heater’s that only heat water as you need it. And let’s not even go into the whole ‘green’ building materials debate!

So, we made our decision and this is what we are going to do. But time is fairly short; I’m 10 weeks along now so Adam is already working on the situation. First we need to find a condo for the next few months because Adam wants them working on the new house non-stop so that it will be ready when we bring the baby home. The architect is already working on the plans; the engineers are surveying and planning too. Mover’s will come in and move everything out and hopefully the house will be ready for demolition next week. IF we can find a place to go for the duration of the re-build .

Tamara is helping with that which we really appreciate. We’re going to go back to Wichita too. This is a good time for me to arrange for the sale of the house to Bobby and get the things from it I want to bring with me. I talked to Lissa about how she felt about that since she is going to be at KU Med in Wichita in the fall. If she wanted the house I would have given it to her but she really is okay with Bobby taking it. Actually I think she may be considering transferring out her to USC to finish her last year and to work ondo her internship. I know I don’t have to tell you all how much that idea excites me but there would be a lot to do for that to happen. She got the full-ride to KU Med this next year and we don’t know if she could do the same here but she is checking it all out.

Things are working out so well – I’m the luckiest woman alive!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Five

But I Don’t Wanna…

The past couple of weeks have flown by, let me tell you. Every day I stop and stare at the picture of our baby. We did the cliché thing and hung it on the refrigerator, but we do see it often there I’ll admit! I often stop and trace the outline of our baby with the tip of my finger, anxious to hold it in my arms!

All the family finally left to go back to their respective homes; the house seems empty and I must admit a little bit barren. I love them all so much and the only sad thing about my life here is that they aren’t here. I have such a wonderful support system around me, I’m lucky in that and I know that many of them will be back for the birth but it was still hard to see them go.

We spent time getting to know Daniel and he is just the best baby! Much like Derek he eats well, sleeps well and is growing like the perpetual weed. I watched Adam with him and loved how comfortable he is with him whether he’s feeding him, holding him or singing him a lullaby. It bodes well for our child I think, to have such a loving and caring man to be his or her father.

The hardest thing to do was to see Cassie go; I felt like we were finally having an opportunity to reconnect after the accident. She and Georgio were heading back to Greece, it seems like there was some sort of family thing going on there and he was needed so we said goodbye at LAX, both of us blinking back tears.

My morning sickness is finally getting better and I am thrilled about that! Unfortunately though, smells are still making me queasy, but it does pass quickly. I can think something like bacon smells horrible one moment; I’m convinced that it is bad but the next I can eat it like a champion! Adam just laughs and shakes his head in amazement at it all.

He tries so hard to be thoughtful and helpful and I appreciate that, I really do. But, and there really is a but here, when I’m sick he really needs to back off. I am not comforted by his standing there next to me when I’m barfing in the toilet. It’s not a pretty picture and I think very few women would appreciate his hovering. Oh well, we are both learning I guess.

This morning at breakfast he seemed a bit nervous. He was sipping his coffee, which he had offered to give up since I couldn’t have any, but I’d told him that both of us didn’t need to suffer! Anyway, he finally cleared his throat and said hesitantly, “Sarah, we need to talk about the house.”
My heart skipped a beat; I knew this discussion would be coming sooner or later and I had been dreading it. Obviously by the way he was so reticent, so was he. I finally nodded and said, “Yeah, I know Adam.”

“I – I know you don’t want to give this house up, I do, but it just isn’t practical. We need to find a new one, or build one.” He sat his coffee mug down and looked at me as I was eating my melon. “Do you have any preferences? I mean, what type of house or where you want to live or anything? I’m thinking at least five bedrooms, six would be better don’t you think, for when family is visiting?”
I looked around this house that was so dear to me and sighed – I loved this house but he was right, we had to have more room. I finally answered, “I don’t know, I’m not even sure where to start answering those questions.”

“Well, what do you love about this house? Let’s start there,” he asked.

“I love everything about it; it’s where I found myself, where my new life began, Adam. It is tearing my heart out to think of leaving it.”

He smiled at me then and I knew he understood. “Okay then, I understand that. Why don’t we keep it; we can use it for weekend getaways or such?”

“I love that idea!” Suddenly it didn’t feel so bad any more. “Now, what do I love about it in particular? I love watching the sun set over the ocean and the warm, salty breeze that blows in through the windows.”

“Okay, by the ocean then! See, we have a start, bella!”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words…

After our family dinner I settled down for a day or two, trying to get my feelings and body under control. The morning sickness seemed to come and go and it didn’t really matter what time of the day or night it hit. There was also a new development – smells were making me queasy too.

All of the family was excited about the news and don’t get me wrong, I was too but it was hard right now when any movement, any smell made me retch. I never had morning sickness with either of my other two and this worried me. Suppose something was wrong with this baby or this pregnancy?

Tamara gave me the name of her OB/GYN and I made an appointment yesterday. Given my age they decided to get me in immediately and so tomorrow Adam and I would go for my first prenatal examination.

I was actually feeling pretty good this morning. At times like these I feel so excited – Adam and I were going to have a baby! Would it be a boy or a girl? Did we want to know? We asked each other a million questions and had made a list to take to the doctor with us.

Her name was Dr. Bridges and we both liked her immediately. This was not the same doctor that Tamara had had with the boys so she was meeting us both for the first time. She was about our age we decided and was very matter-of-fact, open to all our questions too; she never once looked at her watch as if to say, ”okay, let’s hurry up”.

She confirmed it (not that I had any doubts), I’m pregnant, the ultrasound would tell us how far along I was. Yes, she would probably do an amniocentesis around 20 weeks, just to be sure everything was well. But she felt confident that it would be okay for me, I was in great health otherwise and both of my other two pregnancies had gone fine.

Adam and I waited in the exam room for her to come in to perform the ultrasound. I was on the table in the little mini-gown with a sheet draped over my lower body since she was going to perform a pelvic as well. Adam paced nervously around the small room, stopping occasionally to look at something that caught his eye, which was funny because most of what was in there was all pregnancy related.

Finally, there was a tap on the door and Dr. Bridges popped her head in and asked if we were ready for her. As she heard us both exclaim ‘Yes!’ she smiled and stepped into the room and closed the door behind her.

She turned the ultrasound machine on and lifted the sheet from my belly. I took a deep breath as I felt the icy-feeling gel hit my abdomen and she grinned and said, “Just making sure you are paying attention!”

I felt the head of the probe touch my stomach and I jumped; it was all becoming so real now. She moved it around a bit to spread the gel around and finally she focused in on one area and smiled.

“There you are! That is your baby,” she told us. “See this thing right here?” She indicated a tiny spot on the monitor that seemed to be pulsing. “That is the heartbeat, good and strong!” She pressed a button on the machine and it took a picture of the screen. After several more angles and several more pictures she finally turned the machine off and handed me some tissue to wipe the goop off of my stomach with.

Well Sarah, the ultrasound indicates that you are 7 weeks along” she told us, smiling at our surprise. “So that gives you a due date of January 2nd! How about that?”

I looked at Adam; we both had tears in our eyes. We nodded in excitement and anticipation. Adam leaned down and kissed me and I grabbed for his hand.

“That sounds good,” I managed. No, that was wrong I decided, that sounded great!

***OOPS! Bad Hope! I forgot to schedule this to post on Monday. Thanks so much Rosenina for the reminder!

Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge

All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Three

The Family Dinner

Adam’s POV –

Sarah and I called the family and invited them to dinner tomorrow night. It would be a gathering of most all of our blended family and while I wanted to get it done with as quickly as possible for Sarah’s benefit, I was also looking forward to it. Any excuse to see everyone was wonderful in my opinion.

I called a local Mexican restaurant to inquire if we could get a meal catered in on such short notice. Yes, we could have all gone there, but I wanted Sarah to be comfortable so home seemed like the best place for everyone to gather. She is very peaked and wan, both from the wedding and now the pregnancy.

When Lissa and Cassie both came to me the day of the wedding and told me what they suspected I was quite flummoxed. Pregnant? Could she really be? Well apparently she could be. It was frightening as I watched her when we confronted her about it all.

Yes, I suppose I’m a typical male in that my first thought was ‘Touchdown Richland’! I know, that is such a chauvinistic attitude, we’re not the ones carrying the little ones, all that. But Sarah, the woman I have waited for all my life was carrying my child, a tiny part of each of us. It was growing within her body, something I couldn’t ever do; I wanted to protect her and coddle her and take her fears away and yet I knew that I couldn’t alleviate them all, only time could.

Tamara and Mark were thrilled to be invited to the dinner when I asked them but a bit confused about why we weren’t going on our honeymoon. Lissa and Cassie had both agreed to keep this information to themselves until we could tell everyone so when I wouldn’t tell Tamara what was up she was immediately suspicious. I told her she would just have to be patient and laughed at her muttering on the other end of the phone.

No one else really questioned it too much; they all just seemed to be glad to come over for the dinner. It was set for 6:00 the next evening and so it was a busy time for me to get prepared. Because the restaurant didn’t normally cater I had to find somewhere to rent a couple of extra tables and some folding chairs and luckily found someplace straight away. Sarah was told to just sit and relax over it all, which partly irritated her, I could tell. But no matter, she needs to rest because she had another serious bout of morning sickness that morning and she was in no condition to be working around here.

I do understand that her body is trying to get accustomed to being pregnant, but I must say that she is really a little over-emotional! As she was sick this morning I tried to help her in the bathroom, I mean hold her hair back out of the way and just be with her. She was actually testy over the whole thing, told me to get out of the bathroom and leave her alone. She actually wasn’t quite that pleasant about it either. I’m not quite sure what to do about it; I mean, I want to help her but what does she expect me to do?

The family all arrived and we enjoyed a wonderful meal. The reactions were all very positive, especially both sets of parents. My dad just smiled and winked at Sarah and it was delightful to see the blush sweep across her face. Derek and Pam laughed about Daniel being older than his new aunt/uncle and Tamara was ecstatic; she and Sarah would be pregnant together.

I noticed that Sarah only picked at her dinner but Lissa told me to just let her be; that she would eat what she could. I told Lissa and Cassie about Sarah’s reaction to my help this morning and Cassie laughed and said to me, “Oh, you DIDN’T?” and laughed some more.

Lissa looked uncomfortable about it all; I’m sure she appreciated how hard I was trying to be helpful. Cassie just stood there, shaking her head and holding her sides as she laughed. Finally she just said to me, “You’ll learn, Adam….you’ll learn!”

What? What am I to learn?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part Two

The Naked Truth

The second pregnancy test showed the same results as the first. The knowledge slowly penetrated my befuddled brain. I, Sarah Richland (I love saying that!) am a 46 year old pregnant woman. Life, as I know it was going to drastically change.

After we got the second set of results Cassie and Lissa both hugged me and departed, both whispering words of love and support. Lissa told me to call her and let her know when I was ready to talk about specifics.

I felt stunned, literally blown-away. I knew I would have this baby, but suddenly all the fear that comes with such a late-in-life pregnancy washed over me.

Adam watched me closely, trying to figure out what my mood was; was I happy or sad? Did I want to talk or just digest? His guess was as good as my own. Finally he took me by the hand and led me upstairs to our bedroom where we both lay on the bed. I cuddled next to him and listened to his steady heartbeat, pattering against his chest.

He gently stroked my hair, running his fingers through it in a soothing manner. I was trying to formulate words, something to say to him, but I felt bereft of them right now. I knew he was happy about this; I was too sort of, but there was so much that could go wrong and with every breath I took I thought of some new horror.

And then suddenly, calm descended upon me and all I could think of was the joys. Adam and I, this amazing, incredible man and I had created a life together and it was nestled inside my body; tiny little body growing, a boy or a girl. Life is a miracle and we were going to share it.

I leaned up and smiled at Adam, still watchful of my every move. I kissed his warm lips once, then again and rested my cheek against his. I sighed with contentment.

“Adam, we’re going to have a baby,” I whispered, looking into his eyes. There were tears in my eyes and I saw that his eyes were teary as well.

“Yes, bella, we are.” He smiled at me and kissed my forehead softly. “Are you okay with that?”

It occurred to me that he might have thought that I would want to terminate the pregnancy. I was tracing little hearts across his chest with my fingertip and tried to decide how to answer that question. Yes, I was okay, but I was so scared too.

“I’m happy about it Adam, but I’m also so aware of everything that can go wrong in a pregnancy at my age. Those eggs are getting old, sweetheart!”

“We’ll have the best care for you, love, and whatever testing we need, okay?”

I nodded and sniffed as the tears started again. I reached over and grabbed a tissue and sat up to blow my nose.

“Where are you going?” he asked, confused.

“I’m sitting up to blow my nose. I’m not going to do it against your chest,” I laughed.

“For heaven’s sake, come back here!” He gently tugged on my arm and I lay back down, still dabbing at my nose.

We were both quiet for a few moments, each of us lost in our own thoughts. Finally Adam asked what I wanted to do about the honeymoon. I had all but forgotten about that in the midst of all this.

“Do you mind if we just sort of postpone it? I want to get to a doctor as soon as possible and then there is everyone to tell and…” My mind was flooded with so many details.

“Family dinner, tomorrow night while most of the family is still here?” he asked.

“Okay, let’s do it.” I laughed as I thought about telling our parents. This was going to be priceless!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sarah's Pregnancy Diary - Part One

Baby, Baby, Baby…

I looked at the pregnancy test, blinking once, twice as I tried to comprehend the results. As one of my favorite author’s – Rita Mae Brown says in Bingo, I didn’t know whether to shit, run or go blind. All I knew was that my heart was racing wildly one minute and threatening to stop the next.

Pregnant? Really? I was PREGNANT???

I looked up at Lissa, confused and said, “How could this happen?”

I heard a loud snort of laughter from Cassie and cast a sideways look at her, irritation spiking across my face. I frowned at her, a look that said, “Shut up now!” She ignored it of course and was practically jumping up and down with glee.

Adam was still sitting next to me, perched on the arm of the chair. I felt him rubbing my back, the pace increasing as he tried valiantly to calm me down. I looked up at him and met his gaze, concern written across his face. But there was also a spark of pride and humor I noticed. He was doing his best to be ‘there’ for me, supportive and caring.

Give it up Adam, before I scream!

“Uh, Mom,” Lissa began, trying to pick her words carefully. I was a woman on the edge and all three of them knew it. “Mom, I think you know how this happens!” She gave me an impish grin, adding, “I mean, I don’t really have to explain it to you do I?”

“That’s NOT what I mean Lissa, you know that. I mean, my God, I’m in the middle of the change, how can I be pregnant? I think we need another test!” I declared.

Lissa just shook her head and pulled another test out of her purse. I heard Cassie murmur, “I TOLD you so!”

“Evil, you are evil, do you know that Cassandra Elaine Banks?”

“Evil? No, but I am going to be an auntie again!” She came over to me and knelt down and hugged me, hard and that’s when I broke down in to tears; hot, streaming tears that painted my face in as I hiccupped softly.

“Sarah, go and take the other test, just so you can be sure and then, well, we’ll see what happens next,” she told me.

I nodded, scared and miserable. So many thoughts were going through my head; being pregnant at my age is a daunting undertaking at best. So much can be wrong, can go wrong. I took the test from Lissa and headed into the bathroom again; my walk felt mechanical, as if I was guided by remote control. When I was finished I stood looking at myself in the mirror, still feeling bewildered by it all.

I turned my head this was and that. I didn’t look my age, I was in good health, but could I handle this I wondered?

What do I do?

Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge

All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Watch For a New Feature!

Starting this Monday, and continuing every other Monday there will be a new WMHD feature called 'Sarah's Pregnancy Diary'.  It will be a short entry as she shares what is going on in their lives as she goes through her pregnancy.  I hope you'll come along for the adventure!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Wedding - Part Two

I Will

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart


I heard the voice calling to me from somewhere beyond the fog that was taking the place of my brain. I struggled for a moment to put a face to that lilting voice before finally realizing it was Adam’s voice, full of fear and concern.

“Sarah, please bella, wake up! Krista, call an ambulance!”

Those words finally got through to me; I didn’t need or want an ambulance. I opened my eyes and protested, “No, I’m okay. I only fainted – no need for an ambulance Adam. Please.”

“Sarah love, something must be wrong. We need to have you checked out.”

“No, I’m okay, really.” I told him, struggling to sit up. My head started spinning from the exertion but I managed to conceal it from Adam by turning around so I could lean against the wall.

I finally raised my head, my eyes taking in his shaken face. His hands were trembling as they reached out to cup my face in his hands, a testament to over-whelming emotions. He searched my face for a moment and finding my eyes focused and clear he nodded to Krista and told her to hold off on the ambulance.

H stood up and pulled me gently to my feet. “C’mon Sarah, let’s get you somewhere a bit more comfortable.”

I nodded and didn’t protest when he led me into the patio room and sat me down on a chaise. Krista brought me a bottle of water and I opened it, taking a long swallow. I pressed the cold bottle against my still flushed face and enjoyed the cooling feeling it brought.

“Krista, please go and get a wash cloth and wet it for me, hmm?” Adam asked.

Krista rushed to get the cloth and handed it to Adam a minute later. She looked from him to me, taking in the serious expression on his face and murmured “I think I’ll go and get a head start on my studying.”

Adam nodded solemnly at her and then turned to face me. I couldn’t read the expression in his eyes and a splinter of fear struck my heart as he said, “Sarah, we have to talk.”


I reached for another tissue from the box on the table by the bed and wiped my sodden eyes and then blew my nose, yet again. We had gone to the bedroom to talk where it was a bit more private and were sitting on the bed. Adam’s arm was wrapped around my shoulder and I laid my head against him, comforted by his warmth and the clean scent that is Adam’s alone.

“Adam, I know you are confused by all of this. I really do want to marry you. It’s not about that really – its, well it’s just that so much is happening so fast. I feel as if I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath for a month now.” I knew that sounded lame; it sounded lame to me so it had to sound the same to Adam.

“Sarah, there is no need to rush this. A month, a year, it doesn’t matter. We’re together and that is all we need.”

“No Adam, you don’t understand. I DO want to get married. Call me old fashioned or whatever you want, but it’s important to me. I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.”

“Yes, but love, it can wait a bit.”

“Yes, I know that it can, but why should it? We’re both ready for that commitment; we’ve already made it in our hearts. As you said, it’s only a formality now so let’s just do it.”

“Sarah, I can’t ignore that something is getting to you about all of this. You’re edgy and tense and for God’s sake, you just passed out. You have to explain to me what is going on!”

I opened my mouth and started to speak and then just as quickly closed it again. How did I explain something that I wasn’t entirely sure of myself? I was embarking on a whole new life, a life that was uniquely different from my life before now. I had given up so much to be with this man, literally the man of my dreams. But I had gained so much more in the deal. Never had I known or could have imagined what knowing him, loving him would bring into my life.

I thought of an old Beatles song that I loved. The lyrics were particularly poignant for me, especially right now:

Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
It never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can find you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh you know I will

I will…

“Adam, I am ready. I want to do this.” I spoke sincerely as I looked directly into his eyes; my own never flinched as I let my love for him shine in them.

“Whatever you want my love. I can never deny you anything, you know?” he whispered and the words went straight to my heart, melted my soul and suddenly I couldn’t wait!


One of the things we decided was that I needed a bit of help getting things organized. I talked to Mom and Lissa and then called in the heavy artillery – Cassie. She and Georgio could be here in 10 days when his last class was done in Greece and I couldn’t wait. She would stay here with me until the wedding and I felt like a teenager as I eagerly awaited her arrival. Mom would come out to help with the catering matters and Lissa was in charge of putting together a list of family and friends that we would like to come. Really, the list was a small one, but she wanted to help and this seemed like the easiest thing I could have her do and still keep up with school. Her classes would be out in two weeks and she was coming out then; I knew her help would be invaluable.

Tamara and I poured through ideas for invitations and colors for the decorations. I still didn’t have any idea about what kind of dress I wanted. Now day’s even brides who had been married before wore white but I wasn’t sure that was for me. I did want something formal so Tamara and I looked on line at dress after dress, but nothing seemed to appeal to me. I decided to put it on the back burner for a bit until Lissa and Cassie were here to help.

Adam had told me that he was in charge of the flowers, which of course didn’t surprise me a bit. He only wanted to know what colors I wanted and I told him the coral colored roses would be a good start. I knew that he would be scavenging every florist in California to find what he wanted.

He had spoken with William, his manager about his schedule; nothing had been set up for him for the next six months. Partly because he was still considered to be recuperating after the accident in Italy and partly because he wanted time for a honeymoon for us. The last part was strictly privileged information; William was told that under no circumstances was this to become public knowledge. Adam was so serious when he told William that I’m sure he believed him and had no intention of letting any information about it escaping!

I spent a bit of each day just relaxing; I coated myself well with sunscreen and lay by the pool sometimes and for my effort I was rewarded with a golden glow that looked great. I know, sun is bad for us but right now it was a god-send for me. While I lay there I relaxed and somehow how felt refreshed and ready to tackle the next task. I still had a nervous stomach at times but it seemed to be getting better and I hadn’t thrown up again; I was exceedingly thankful for that!

Mom had spent a good deal of time on the phone with various local caterers and had narrowed it done to 2 different places. While the wedding was going to be small, only around 40 people Adam, and I wanted the food to be outstanding. Adam would never settle for anything less. We had decided to go with an Italian country theme, which surprised no one I’m sure. At first Adam was inclined to fly in a chef from Italy but then we decided to give the two catering companies Mom had found a try; both claimed to be authentic and knowledgeable about Italian foods. We had appointments to meet with both of them, on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

We decided to stay away from the traditional Italian Wedding Soup; while tasty it was a rather common dish and Adam wanted something more unique. That is until he tasted the soup that the second caterer offered. It had rich and flavorful meatballs in a savory broth, redolent with the scents of garlic and herbs. It was fabulous and we both immediately decided it would be our first course. The second course would be chicken roasted in a wood oven, one of both of our favorites accompanied by fresh sautéed vegetables in a light wine sauce and herbed polenta. Salad Caprese (fresh mozzarella and tomato in fresh basil and olive oil dressing) would come next, in the true Italian way followed by a raspberry sorbet to finish. It was truly a county Italian style feast. The caterers could make the cake as well and we decided on chocolate of course. I can’t imagine either one of us picking any other kind. It would not be a towering creation that looked too pretty to eat; we just wanted a simple two-tiered cake. It would still be exquisitely beautiful and delicious, even without all the decorations.

After Lissa had e-mailed me the list of family and the few friends we were inviting Adam gathered his up as well and we set about sending the invitations out. Krista and Tamara helped us with it and so did the boys. They were in charge of sealing the envelopes and putting the stamps on them and they took their job very seriously. I gave them little water bottles that had a foam piece on the end to moisten the envelope flaps and at first they thought that was cheating but they soon had fun with it. An hour of work and two soggy boys later that task was done as well!

I still had the dress to worry about and once Lissa and Cassie got here we needed to think about what they would wear as well. I had contemplated having Cassie, Lissa and Tamara stand up with me but in the end I decided only on Cassie. It was such a small wedding and the wedding party itself should be the same. Aidan would be Adam’s best man and they had already made arrangements for his tux. Even though Lissa wouldn’t be in the wedding itself I wanted her and Krista both to have whatever dresses they wanted. Krista had already picked out her dress and when she had shown it to me I couldn’t help but smile. Rose-colored tulle over a deeper rose linen it had an empire style waist and short cap sleeves. It was old-fashioned looking and just perfect for her.

As the day of Cassie’s arrival approached I grew ever more anxious. She had never been to California and I wanted everything to be perfect for her arrival. They would stay in our guest room and I worried about Cassie and all the stairs but Georgio assured me that she would be able to handle them fine. He was only staying a few days since he had to get back to Wichita to his practice for a bit but would be back in plenty of time for the wedding.

Mom had gone back to Kansas and Lissa would be arriving 5 days after Cassie. She would stay in the family room that converted to a guest room. I began to see why Adam insisted that we needed a bigger house. Adam had already blocked off a two dozen rooms at the nearby Hilton for guests and I wondered if it would be enough. His parents were coming and his sister and Dumonde, her husband. Aidan and Sylvia would be here and so would Bobby and Wendy and his mother. Even my great-aunt Birdie was making the trip with Bobby and his group. Cassie’s parents would be here as would Little Elk and Ryan’s mom. A few other assorted family members were coming in too and suddenly I realized just how big of a family I had! Most would only be here for a day or so but it still felt a bit as if half of Wichita would be here.

Finally the day of Cassie and Georgio’s arrival was here and I urged Adam to move more quickly, speed up the journey to the airport only to find that we were an hour early when we did get there. We sat in the lounge and ordered drinks while we waited but I only played with my glass of wine, I was too excited to drink it. Adam was wearing his ‘disguise’, baseball cap on backwards and sunglasses and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw him dressed that way. It brought back so many good memories and it always surprised me how well it worked too. No one approached us, although we did see several paparazzi at the airport.

The intercom finally announced the arrival of their flight and we made our way to the concourse where we could wait for them. There were hundreds of people there, some rushing to catch their flight and some just arriving but I was only interested in two people and when I finally caught sight of them I started laughing and flew into Cassie’s arms.

“Gee Sarah, did ya miss me?” she grinned and impudently stuck her tongue out at me.

I didn’t care; I just held her tight and replied, “You have no idea how much!”

Adam and Georgio were shaking hands and then clapped each other on the back. I overheard Georgio say “Congratulations Adam!”

“Thanks Georgio. Let’s let the ladies chat a bit while we go and wrestle with the luggage, shall we?” and off they went.

Cass and I sat in the lounge and held hands as we both tried to excitedly talk at once. We both laughed; old habits die hard we realized and finally she said, “okay, you first!”

‘Oh Cassie, I’m so glad you are here! There’s so much to tell you and do; we have to get dresses and..”

“WHAT?” she exclaimed. “You haven’t gotten a dress yet?” She rolled her eyes and groaned.

“Wha – well no. I wanted your help. This is only like the most important dress of my life Cassandra Elaine!”

“Well then Sarah Denise, I guess we had better get started on it soon then, huh?” she grinned. “I thought for sure you would have some fancy dress designer working on it!”

I laughed and shook my head and then saw Adam and Georgio making their way back to us. We went to join them and I gasped at how much luggage there was!

“Well,” Cassie explained, “We came straight here from Greece. What were we going to do with it?”

“I don’t know, didn’t think about it I guess. Good thing we borrowed Tamara’s minivan for this trip, right Adam?”

He grinned and nodded to me. I looked up just as a light flashed in my eyes. One of the paparazzi had heard me call him Adam and realized who he was. Soon many cameras were flashing as they started asking question after question. I heard Adam tell them that we were just picking up friends from the airport and before we just pushed our way through the crowd and headed out to the parking area.

Cassie and Georgio were quiet as we made our way to the car. Cassie looked amused by it all I noticed, her grass green eyes were sparkling with delight. I giggled and said to her, “You won’t be so amused when your picture is on the front page of all the gossip magazines next week!”

“Really? Ooh, did I look okay? I mean, if I’m going to be famous…” she trailed off, no longer able to just keep her merriment to giggles. It evolved into a full-blown belly laugh and it was infectious. We both laughed until tears streamed down our faces and even Georgio and Adam joined in.

We were all out of breath when we got to the van and started loading their luggage. As we settled in for the ride to Adam’s house Georgio remarked, “I don’t know if I could stand that very often Adam. But I guess I wouldn’t have missed it this time for anything. Seriously though, does that happen a lot?”

“All too often,” Adam replied as we navigated the on ramp to the freeway. Until we hit the PCH the traffic would be practically bumper to bumper and Adam drove cautiously, trying to avoid any unnecessary tie-ups. 15 minutes later we made our turn off and the traffic started to thin out a bit. Cassie was mesmerized by the view of the Pacific, much like I was on my first trip here.

“My God it’s beautiful,” she murmured as her eyes took it all in. “So blue!”

“I know. That’s what I thought when I first saw it too. Wait until you see it from the house; you can hear the waves rushing to shore, it’s positively hypnotic!”

We were all quiet for the remainder of the trip. Tamara was going to meet us back at Adam’s house to pick up the van and we saw her pulling in as we arrived. She waved to us and waited for us to all climb out of the van so we could go into the house. I opened the door and let Cassie and Tamara in while Adam and Georgio gathered the luggage.

From the outside the house looks nice, really nice but you have no idea of it’s true character and charm. It’s only inside that you begin to see how amazing it is and Cassie was immediately enthralled. As she saw the formal living room she exclaimed, “Oh, this is where Adam did that interview after Rachel’s funeral isn’t it?”

I nodded and we continued down the stairs to the bedroom level. I showed her into their bedroom and she looked around her at how large and airy it was. Before we left I had pulled the blinds open to expose the wall of windows that viewed the Pacific and she headed straight for them. I showed her how to open the doors and work the blinds and she stepped out into the afternoon sunshine and inhaled the salty tang of the ocean.

“Oh Sarah, we’re NOT in Kansas anymore!”


Later Adam, Cassie, Georgio and I sat around the patio table and had a drink and chatted. Cassie had been given the complete house tour and was enchanted, but as usual, had a lot to say.

“Adam, you are this huge movie star and this place, while fabulous hardly seems like a mansion! What’s the deal?”

“I never really needed more Cassie. Those mansions are for show and I don’t care about all that. Now however, we are really going to have to consider getting a bigger house.” He smiled at me as he said that.

I nodded and added, “Yes, I am finally ready to agree with you.” I sighed and looked around, scanning the patio and the ocean out beyond the steps before saying, “Oh, but how I will miss this place though. But he’s right, it’s sort of like juggling with all the family.”

Adam looked at Cassie and said, “But it won’t be a mansion, I can guarantee it Cassie!” and then we all laughed at that.

“It’s really peaceful here too which surprises me,” she said. “I thought since it was on a beach that there would be people everywhere.”

“It’s a private beach, along this strip. One of the reason’s I bought this house.”

Cassie looked at Adam for a moment, contemplating what she wanted to say next. I watched her face as the different thoughts flittered through her mind. Finally she said, “You are just so different from what I would have expected Adam. You’re, I don’t know, you’re just kind of a normal guy. You’re also perfect for her!” She pointed at me and grinned.

“Why thank you Cassie. I happen to believe I’m perfect for her as well. What’s even better is that she is perfect for me!”


The next morning Cassie and Georgio slept late which I expected; their internal clocks were on Greek time and I knew it would take a couple of days for them to get used to this time zone.

Tamara called and asked me if we had decided on a band yet. I groaned, I’d never even thought about having a band. I was sure that it was too late now and told her as much.

“Well, you’re wrong! I have one for you; they’re great AND they are available. They played at one of my friends weddings; I’d snap them up if I were you! They had a cancellation…”

I laughed and asked her what type of music they played.

“A little bit of everything actually. They have a lead singer who is outstanding, man that girl can sing!”

I hesitated for only a millionth of a second before I said, “What’s their number?”

I heard Tamara giggle on the other end and I suddenly knew why! “You already booked them didn’t you?” I giggled.

“Well, just in case…”

“Thank you Tamara, I appreciate all your help so much!”

“So, now that Cassie is here how soon do we start the search for a dress? I’ve got the names of a couple of places for us to go to.”

“If she’s up to it maybe this afternoon? I’d just as soon get started as quickly as possible!”

“Sounds great if Adam can pick the boys up from school.”

“Somehow I’m sure he’ll be glad to do that,” I laughed.

We made plans for Adam to drop us off at her house at 1:00 and then I hung up, ready to move on to the next challenge.

I couldn’t help but wonder what else I’d forgotten though!


Not only was Adam able to pick the boys up he was happy about it. They both had practice after school and he loved going to watch them. Since I knew that was taken care of I got ready to make an afternoon of it. When Cassie emerged at 10:00 she was excited as well.

“I’m going shopping in Hollywood California!” she crowed.

“Well, technically probably NOT Hollywood Cassie,” I told her.

“Don’t burst the bubble Sarah!” she growled.

“Drink you coffee Cass,” I chided.

Our banter continued while she and Georgio ate breakfast. It was perfect, like old times and I knew that everything was going to be just fine.

When we pulled up at Tamara’s house she eyed it speculatively. “What is it with all these famous people? Don’t any of them live in mansions?”

“Well, not the ones I know. Sorry,” I teased with an apologetic shrug. “Maybe we could do one of those ‘Tour the homes of the stars’ things for you!”

“It’s NOT the same Sarah, not at all!”

We were both laughing when Tamara came out carrying a notebook and pen. She had made lots of notes and written addresses as well on it and started telling us about the different places.

“Any of those in Hollywood?” I asked, lightly nudging Cassie in the side as I put the car into gear.

“Hollywood? Nooo,” she stated, clearly puzzled. “Did you want to shop in Hollywood?”

I laughed and told her about Cassie’s question earlier.

“Gee Sarah, you make it sound so dumb!” Cassie laughed.

“Well gee Cass, it sort of was!” and we were off again.

The places that Tamara had chosen were smaller, exclusive boutique types, which really appealed to me. I still didn’t know what I was looking for, but most of these dresses were individual creations which suited me just fine!

At the second shop Tamara found her dress. It was stunning and made her look pencil-thin and a mile tall. Well okay, she IS pencil thin and a mile tall, but she looked gorgeous in it.

The dress was pale lilac chiffon, a halter style dress with a high waist. A lot of dresses that we saw were in purple shades and high waisted; I decided that must be the ‘in’ thing. The color was perfect for her with her beautiful olive toned skin. I sighed, if only I could find something that made me look half as beautiful.

At the third shop I found the dress! MY dress! It was perfect, absolutely dazzling and even I didn’t look half bad in it I thought.

The dress was of a Grecian style, a beautiful cream color shot through with gold. It had a shimmery gold drape around the neckline that plunged in the back with layers of paper-thin tulle. It was gorgeous and I felt like a princess in it. Both Cassie and Tamara loved it and I knew it was the one for me!

I’d decided not to wear a veil with it; rather I would pull my hair up in curls and wear flowers in it. Tamara told me that it would look perfect and suddenly I felt as if a huge weight had lifted off of me; maybe now I could start to relax a bit!

We looked at several dresses for Cassie before finally finding the ‘one’. She was very concerned about what I wanted; it wasn’t easy convincing her that we weren’t 20 anymore and this time it was more important to me to find a dress that she loved and felt good in. Color? Didn’t really matter to me as I hadn’t really chosen any ‘color’ for the wedding. Other than maybe the roses, I was open to anything.

Cassie is a natural redhead. It’s a lush red, not brassy or intense; darker than a strawberry blonde but along those same lines. She wasn’t freckled either and she had a very creamy complexion. It was her vivid grass green eyes that pulled it all together for her and made her beautiful. And when we found the dress it was the eyes that made it perfect for her.

The dress was a very straight A line which she told us made her look taller. At 5’0 nothing really did that, but it did help a bit. Made of moiré silk it almost shone as much as her eyes. It was sleeveless with a draped cowl neckline that did make her neck seem amazingly long. I almost cried to see her in it she was so beautiful.

Another couple of stops for shoes and then lingerie and we were set. It was a bit after 6:00 when we got home to a houseful of men, including Mark and were all playing on the Wii, a new purchase. The house smelled wonderful and I realized that Adam was cooking something – something that turned out to be spaghetti and meatballs! We hadn’t stopped for lunch since Cassie had eaten breakfast so late and I discovered as I breathed in the heavenly aroma of garlic and rich sauce that I was starving. Well okay, not really but it occurred to me that it had been days since I had really felt hungry. I was prepared to do some damage to that spaghetti, let me tell you!

The boys were taking turn bowling on the game and we girls used that opportunity to change clothes and get comfy around the patio table. The evening breeze was cool and that combined with the salty tang made sitting outside the perfect ending to the day. We talked a bit more about our dresses and how excited we were about them. Mine and Cassie’s wouldn’t be ready for a few days due to some minor alterations but it was still fresh in my memory and just remembering it made me excited.

“Any idea what Adam has planned for the honeymoon?” Cassie asked as she took a sip of a bottle of chilled water.

“No, he won’t tell me,” I laughed. “Really, I’d just as soon stay home since we’ve been gone for so long, but I doubt if that will be the case. Seriously though, I hope it’s not too strenuous, I’d really like to just relax for a while.”

“Well, since you’ve known him you’ve only covered 3 continents so I’d be prepared for anything if I were you!” Cassie teased.

That joke, although cute left me seriously hoping that she was wrong.


Things were falling into place and we found ourselves with a bit more time to just relax and I was going to enjoy every moment of it. Lissa would be here tomorrow and we still had her dress to get, but most things were done with the exception of who would be conducting the ceremony.

Adam and I were meeting with a judge that we were considering to perform the ceremony later today. He was young (for a judge) and a friend of William’s, who had recommended him. I had a pastor back in Wichita, but we hadn’t really attended any church here. Adam was away for so much of the time that he didn’t even have a church to attend. Neither one of us was terribly religious, but we do hold marriage sacred so we were interested to see what the judge could offer.

So, tick off the list: dress, food, cake, invitations, flowers, music… surely I must be forgetting something? A week to go and we would be married. I sat tapping my pen on the table as I stared at the list, positive I had missed something crucial.

Pam called with the news of Daniel’s first smile and that left me smiling too. I couldn’t wait to see him again! Yeah, okay, I’d get to see Pam and Derek too, but like any respectable grandmother it was the baby I couldn’t wait to get my hands on!

Adam came in after his shower, hair damp and curly and smelling SO nice. I breathed him in, practically salivating at his scent. We were alone in the house as Cassie and Georgio had gone to do a bit of site seeing on their own today. Visions of carnal pursuits fluttered through my mind while my insides did the appropriate summersaults at the possibility of a little alone time with the man of my dreams.

Just as we were about to pursue that the phone rang; it was Jimmy Pauls, the manager of the band that was going to play at the reception. We had promised him that we would meet to discuss our music choices for the wedding and we hadn’t done that yet. Jimmy told us he had some free time and wondered if we did too?

Adam’s eyes twinkled with merriment as he told Jimmy we did and agreed to meet him in an hour here at the house. I wondered if there were enough time to squeeze in a nice shag, but decided there really wasn’t. I didn’t want to be rushed so I sighed with only a tiny bit of frustration and went to change clothes and get ready.

Jimmy was actually a few minutes early and so we got started early and spent a happy hour discussing what we wanted to hear at the wedding, what our first dance together as a married couple would be, etc. That question was easy, we were going to dance to the first song that we ever danced to together. The rest we had to think about a bit. Would we do the traditional father/daughter dance? Yes we would, but what would that be? Decisions and then more decisions, but we finally had it all figured out.

Adam and I had spent a little time discussing our vows and what we wanted but until we talked with the judge and heard what he suggested for us that was somewhat on hold. I mean, we had the vows written; we just needed to see how they would be incorporated into the ceremony.

We discussed that some more as we ate our lunch. Much to Adam’s dismay I was eating peanut butter on an apple. Adam, bless his heart, had actually bought me the peanut butter. He did it with a bit of resignation, but also with a smile. I tried to eat it mostly when he wasn’t around, but it was comfort food for me and since things had been so harried lately I had found myself eating it a bit more frequently. He still wrinkled his nose in the most delightful way when he smelled it and I teased him that I would have to eat it every day just to see that look!

It was finally time to meet with Judge Davidson and we were ready. I had so many questions to ask that I almost didn’t know where to start, but he was really patient and answered every single question we had. Adam and I looked at one another and nodded, both satisfied that he would do a great job and meet our needs and wishes so we made the arrangements for him and then we were set. As Judge Davidson left, I looked at Adam and smiled; I think our list was complete!

Cassie and Georgio came home a little while later and she and I got busy working on vegetables and salad for dinner while the guys got the grill ready for the steaks that Adam had put in a marinade earlier. While we chopped and rinsed Cass told me all about their day and we laughed at the touristy kinds of things they did minus one – no tour of the stars homes.

Georgio came to grab the steaks and the corn that we had ready to go and I saw him run his hand lightly up Cassie’s arm. I saw her blush slightly and noticed goose bumps cover her arms. It said more than words ever could for how things were between them and inside my heart was doing flip-flops for my friend.


We picked up Lissa the next day and I hugged her tightly. She looked tired and pale and immediately my ‘mom’ alarm went off.

“Okay kiddo, what’s up?” I asked her after we were settled into the car.

“Nothing. What do you mean?”

“Melissa Marie, you have dark circles under your eyes and you’re pale as a sheet. Now, what is going on?”

“Mother,” she stated using the more formal name since I had used hers, “I just finished classes. Do the words ‘all-nighters’ for studying not mean anything to you?”

I sighed resignedly, I had forgotten about that. But I couldn’t help but wonder if anything else was wrong. “Well okay. So how did you do?” I asked, changing my tactics.

“Aced ‘em, ALL of them!”

“Isn’t it a bit early to know that for sure?”

“Mom, most of it is done online now – you get your scores instantaneously.” I could almost hear a mental ‘sheesh’ in those words.

Okay, I was right, so something else was bothering her. How do I know? I’m her mother! Still, I dropped that subject and switched to the wedding. She was excited to hear about everything and couldn’t wait to go looking for a dress. I told her about everyone else’s, except mine since Adam was with us. Some traditions you just can’t mess with!


She went to bed really early that night. I still wasn’t convinced that it was entirely because she was tired from finals, but I was willing to give her a bit of time to talk about it. I did notice that she was texting someone A LOT though. I wondered who that might be. She hadn’t said anything about Grant for awhile; I wondered if they had had an argument or something?

Adam laughed at me when I was telling him about my suspicions. “Bella, don’t you think you might be looking for trouble where none exists?”

“No I don’t. Something isn’t right, I know it!” I declared.

It was late that first night and we were lying in bed; the balcony doors were open and the cool ocean breezes were wafting through the room. I licked my lips imagining I could taste the salt on them.

Adam rolled over to face me and kissed me softly. I wrapped my arms around his neck and snuggled against him, feeling his steady heartbeat against mine. We had hardly had a chance to make love for days now, there was always something going on and too many people around it seemed. While I did need to be with him, it was okay because we were still sharing our love and feelings. Truthfully, I think we were both worn out getting prepared for the wedding. I couldn’t even imagine how it would have been had this been a huge one. I mentally shook my head at the thoughts that brought to me.

I was just leaning in to nuzzle his neck when there was a soft knock on the door. I heard Lissa murmur “Mom?”

I gave Adam a quick kiss and said, “Come in Lissa.” We sat up in bed and Adam switched on the lamp next to the bed.

She opened the door and stood shyly at the end of the bed. I patted the bed beside me and she sank down and I wrapped my arm around her. “Okay Lissa, spill it!”

Before she could speak Adam interrupted, “Lissa, shall I give you both some privacy?”

She looked at him and shook her head and asked, “No, why would you think that?”

He just smiled and shrugged and settled back down. We waited for her to speak.

She started and then stopped a couple of times as if trying to find the right words. Finally she just burst out with “Grant wants to come here for the wedding!”

I let out a deep breath and almost laughed out loud which would have been a very bad thing! What I said was, “And that would be a bad thing because?”

“Well, I don’t know if I want him to meet everyone like this. Let’s face it Mom, our family can be a little over-whelming.”

“I can’t argue with that Lissa. But it’s a wedding, everyone will be too busy or rushed to pay him much attention, you know that!”

“In some ways that’s part of the problem. I mean, I, um, well I want him to meet you all, but Aunt Birdie? My gosh, you never know what she might say! And he won’t really have the time to get to know you and Adam, the people I want him to meet. I’d rather he not make this first meeting at the wedding. But, he says he’s coming, we’ve argued about it,” she told me before bursting out into tears.

“Honey, so that’s what’s wrong?”

She nodded miserably and snuffled. I pointed to the box of tissues on the night stand and she grabbed a handful and blew her nose.

“Lissa, let him come. Unless there’s another reason you don’t want him here?” I probed. Privately I was thinking that maybe he was just more serious than her and maybe that was part of what was wrong.

“No, not really. I mean, I do want him to meet you guys; this just wasn’t the way I wanted it to happen. Do you really think it will be okay?”

“Sure Lissa, it will be fine honey, I promise!” I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and she finally smiled.

“Okay. Well, then I guess I’d better tell you he’ll be here in 3 days.” And with that, she bounced out of the room, still smiling.

I laughed and remarked, “That’s my Tigger!”


All the guests started arriving two days later. Mom and Dad were the first quickly followed by Gerald, Vivian, Angelica and Dumonde. Aiden and Sylvia would be in the next day as would the bulk of my family including Derek, Pam and Daniel. They were driving not yet ready to take Daniel on a plane which was fine. Grant got here in the midst of it all and it really did go well. He was a very nice looking young man, specializing in internal medicine. Georgio made the first effort to help him relax by talking doctor lingo and it seemed to work. I can’t say that I got to chat with him nearly as much as I would have liked but as I watched he and Lissa together I knew that I was going to have other opportunities. They were crazy about one another, it was apparent.

We managed to sneak away long enough to find a dress for Lissa. We took Pam with us as well and got her one too. Both girls looked beautiful, I had to admit. Lissa’s dress was cobalt blue that fastened on one shoulder. It fit snugly to her waist and then flared out around her hips and when she walked it swirled about her. Pam’s dress was peach colored, another high waisted one but this one was strapless. The high waist hid the fact that she hadn’t quite lost all the baby weight really well. She looked gorgeous in it and I think she felt really good in it, which is what is important.

We didn’t do bachelor and bachelorette parties; instead we had a large family dinner after the rehearsal which was exactly what we wanted. Everyone was relaxed and happy which was just what we wanted. I was a bit nervous again and it was showing in my appetite. Food seemed to taste good one day and terrible the next. I put it all down to my anxiety level and blamed my mood swings on that as well. A couple of times I had almost yelled at someone which isn’t like me at all. The second time was when a delivery boy brought the bouquets to the house and dropped the box that the bridal bouquet was in. I rushed to it and immediately grabbed it up, intending to have a word with the young man who was standing there. He was blushing and clumsily trying to pick the box up to make sure it was okay.

Cassie and Lissa witnessed the incident and swooped in, saving the young man and my temper. I caught a look between them, a look of surprise and confusion. And that pissed me off too.

It will all be okay, I told myself, it will all by okay. But much as I love Adam, I really just wanted it all over and done with.

Adam stayed the last night at the hotel, as did Georgio. It was just us girls that last evening after the family dinner; girl time. We painted our toe nails and made sure the dresses were ready and just generally enjoyed the night, which I was grateful for. True, I missed Adam and I knew I wouldn’t sleep well without him being here. But then again, I might not have slept anyway I told myself. Tomorrow was the day!


Our wedding day dawned bright and beautiful. A cool breeze was floating in through the open balcony doors and I inhaled deeply as I lay in bed and stretched. Our wedding wasn’t until 6 this evening but the day was still going to be a busy one. Cassie, Tamara, Lissa, Pam, Sylvia, Vivian, Angelica, Krista and I had appointments at the spa for a day of pure pampering. I had tried to talk my mom into coming with us, but she decided not to. I’m sure she had never been to a spa before and frankly, I think the idea of someone massaging her terrified her. I felt terrible about that, I wanted to share this day with her and so I decided to call her and try one last time to persuade her to come with us.

I heard the phone ringing on the other end and my dad picked it up. “Morning Dad,” I said, my voice perky and happy.

"Hi sweetheart. Are you ready for your big day?”

“Yes! More than ready,” I laughed. “In some ways Dad, I really just want to get it over with!”

He laughed and agreed with me. “Yes, there sure is a lot of hub- bub over a wedding isn’t there? Makes a person want to just run off to do it.”

I wistfully thought about Tamara and Mark and silently agreed with him but said, “Well, thank heavens it’s only one day! Is Mom around?”

“Sure, sure. Let me get her.”

I heard him put the phone down and call out to Mom. She came to the phone a minute later.

“Good morning Sweet Pea! Happy wedding day,” she told me.

“Thanks Mom! Look, I was calling one last time to see if you would go to the spa with us? I mean, you don’t have to do anything there you don’t want to and I’d, uh, I’d really like it if you would. I’d really love it actually.”

I held my breath waiting for her reply. I understood she felt uncomfortable with some of the stuff but it was important to me to share this day with her. I ticked off a few more heartbeats while I waited for her response.

“Oh Sarah, I just don’t know what I’d do there at some fancy spa place,” she told me, but I could hear in her voice that I’d won. “But alright, I’ll go with you. What time do I need to be there?”

“You just need to be here at 10:00; we’re taking several vans to the spa so we can all go together. Thanks, Mom,” I said. I tried to keep the sound of tears out of my voice. Mom isn’t a particularly sentimental person and she would probably have thought the tears were silly.

“Okay Sweet Pea, I’ll see you then.”

Satisfied, I hung up the phone and jumped into the shower for a quick wash, humming to myself. The next thing I knew my stomach was doing flip-flops and I was hopping out of the shower and throwing up. Wedding jitters; I would be so happy when all this was done I thought to myself as I sat on the bathroom floor for a moment and sucked in deep breaths to calm myself. When I felt better I finished my shower and got dressed before heading downstairs to make some coffee.

Lissa was already down there as was Cassie. Lissa cast a long glance at me and then outright stared. “Mom, what’s up?”

“Nothing, why?” I asked.

“You’re deathly pale except for two really bright spots on your cheeks. Are you okay?”

I saw her look at Cassie and they both frowned. Lord, did they think I was having second thoughts I wondered?

“I’m fine, Lissa. I’m just a little nervous is all.” I laughed self-consciously and added, “Pretty typical for a bride don’t you think?”

“Uh, sure I guess,” she answered but I could tell she wasn’t at all convinced.

I shrugged it off and poured a cup of coffee that someone had already made and added a generous amount of creamer to it. As I took my first sip of it I wondered if I would be better off to let it alone. My stomach wasn’t really sure it was ready for anything apparently. I sat the cup down on the counter and then sat down on a stool. I finally pushed the cup away from me totally; even the aroma of the coffee was making me queasy.

Damn I thought, this was the last thing I needed today, to be sick!

Cassie observed, “You must really be nervous to not want your morning coffee, Sarah. Are you sure you’re okay?” She was staring hard at me and then looked at Lissa and nodded her head. I saw Lissa’s eyebrow raise a bit.

That little gesture wasn’t lost on me. They think I’m just freaking out over this whole thing; hell, they probably think that I’m gonna pull a runaway bride or something I thought with a laugh! I told them both, “Look, it’s perfectly common for brides to have a nervous stomach! I’ll be fine!”

“Yeah, I think it’s common alright,” Lissa offered and then grinned. “Yeah, I think it’s pretty common indeed!” Then she started laughing and soon Cassie joined her.

I looked at them both as if they had lost their minds. It wasn’t funny in the slightest and they were only saved from some more of my irrational irritation by the door chime. I cast them both a ‘stop it’ look and went to answer the intercom.

Smart-ass girls! Pains if you ask me…


The day at the spa was perfect; we all thought so, even my skeptical mother! It was wonderful being pampered – I was massaged, shampooed and conditioned, made up and just generally made to feel like a princess, which made me happy since I felt like my dress was fit for a ball. Or a wedding, MY wedding!

By 5:30 I was ready. Cassie and Lissa had me into my dress and ready for the limo ride to the park. Everyone else was already there, including Adam. A sense of calm had come over me as I dressed – I was ready, in every way imaginable. More than ready actually, eager. I couldn’t wait to see Adam and to embark on this journey.

The trip to the park took only a few minutes, as I had said it was literally only across the road. I was to meet Adam before the ceremony in a private room and I eagerly alighted from the limo and dashed into the center and into his arms.

“Oh Adam, I love you, I love you! I hated being apart from you last night!”

“Oh me too, bella, me too. God, you look beautiful love.” He was looking at me in my dress and his eyes darkened with passion a bit I noticed.

“You’re not so bad yourself Adam.” That was an understatement – he was every single metaphor for handsome I could come up, jaw-dropping, eye-popping, you name it. I was practically drooling as I looked at him in his black tux. I had to smile when I realized that his cumber bund was coral color, to match the roses as was the rose bud that he wore in his lapel.

I was trembling, whether with excitement or anticipation I was unsure but I took a minute to draw a couple of breaths to steady myself. “Are you ready, bella?” he asked and I nodded. We stepped out into the foyer where Cassie and Aidan were waiting for us.

“WOW!” Aidan said, looking at me and grinning. “You are stunning Sarah, truly exquisite my dear.”

I felt myself blushing under that Richland scrutiny but then I laughed at myself. I was going to have to get used to these men in my new family that was for sure.

Cassie kissed me on the cheek and said, “Are you ready Sarah? Not too late to run!” This last remark was made with a cocky grin aimed at Adam and followed by a giggle.

“No, I’m here – might as well go through with it,” I answered, smiling like a fool – a very head-over-heels lovesick fool.

“Okay then, let’s get this shindig going!” she said.

Somehow someone cued a sound system and the music started playing.
Cassie and Aidan started to walk down the hall together and up the aisle. We waited as they stopped at the altar and then we both took a deep breath and started our walk down the aisle, together.

Yes, that is how we decided to do it. It was our lives, we spend them together and we wanted to take this step together. I intertwined my arm with Adam’s and we took our first step forward together, heading to our future. A tear ran down my cheek and Adam smiled and gently wiped it away with his free hand and then smiled at me; a smile that melted my heart and built me up at the same time.

Right here, right now. This was happening…

I listened to the words of this song, the song that I had chosen for this walk. It meant so much to me and I loved it, as I loved this man. When we got to the altar, the song finished and the judge looked at us and smiled before asking if we were ready. We both nodded and it began.

“Blessed family and friends, we are here today to witness the joining of Sarah and Adam as they begin their married life together. Marriage is not just a word or a piece of paper. It is the actions and spirit of the bond that truly unites two people. It is the love and determination that they possess for one another that makes the bonds of matrimony work for we all know that marriage is never easy but the blessings it may bring to those who are willing to share their lives is incomparable. Let us listen as Sarah and Adam together recite the vows they have chosen to pledge their love and determination:

“I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realize that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears
and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.

Completely and forever.”

I took a deep breath as we finished. Adam had tears in his eyes, but so did I. We smiled at one another as Judge Davidson continued.

“Adam and Sarah will exchange rings that are a symbol of their love and devotion for one another. Adam, will you repeat after me?”

Adam took my hand in his and placed the ring on my finger and repeated:

“I, Adam Michael Richland give this ring to you, Sarah Denise Marcus as my bond to love you and share my life and my dreams with you always and forever.”

I placed the ring on Adam’s finger and repeated the same words, my heart practically bursting with joy.

“I, Sarah Denise Marcus give this ring to you, Adam Michael Richland as my bond to love you and share my life and my dreams with you always and forever.”

We looked at the judge and waited as he continued.

“Adam and Sarah, at this time I offer this blessing for your marriage:

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.

May you always need one another - not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.

May you want one another, but not out of lack.

May you entice one another, but not compel one another.

May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.

May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.

May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!" and take no notice of small faults.

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another's presence - no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.

May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.

May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”

I heard several people crying behind me but as I looked at Adam I realized my tears were done; only the beauty of this day was with me now, only joy.

“Adam and Sarah, in as much as you have pledged to share your lives, your joys, your sorrows, your pain and your happiness forever, I do, by the State of California pronounce you husband and wife! “

He turned to our family and friends and stated, “May I introduce for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Richland!”

Everyone erupted in cheers, and the clapping sounded thunderous for such a small crowd. I distinctly heard a whistle and looked at Cass, who was grinning widely. She only shrugged at me and I laughed.

It was done, I was now Sarah Richland!


The sunset provided a fantastic backdrop to the reception. After having more pictures taken than I have ever had in my life we settled down for the meal and all the festivities the evening had to offer. After we had cut the cake the band was setting up and while I was enjoying myself, I couldn’t wait to get him home and spend the night with him. We weren’t leaving for our honeymoon destination until the day after tomorrow (and I still didn’t know where we were going) so tonight and tomorrow we could just relax a bit and say goodbye to family.

We had our first dance together as husband and wife; At Last. Since that was the first song we had ever danced to in Firenza, it was a natural choice. As we swayed to the music I laid my head against his shoulder and moved slowly to the song. The singer was really good I realized as the song went on. It evoked so many memories for me of Italy and the beginnings of our relationship; of how at first I thought he would be nothing more than a holiday fling.

“What are you thinking about, my love?” Adam asked. I felt his lips graze my hair and I smiled, anticipation for the coming night charging through my mind.

“Um, Italy and when we first met. Of getting out of here and spending some time with you alone…”

I heard him chuckle and murmur, “I know exactly what you mean! How soon can we get out of here?”

“As soon as we want, we’re the bride and groom! Who’s going to tell us “no”?” I looked up at him and smiled. “How about now?”

“Let’s go,” he agreed. After the song we made our excuses, bidding everyone to stay and enjoy the band and the refreshments. We were tired, fatigued and needed to go and rest.

“Yeah, like anyone believes THAT!” I laughed a short while later as we were climbing into the car.

That short ride to the house was the longest ride of my life. My body was alive with the awareness of what was ahead of us this night and I couldn’t wait. At the door he scooped me up and carried me over the threshold and for some reason I found that totally hysterical; after all, I’d been through that door a thousand times it seemed.

“What, you are laughing at tradition?” he asked. “You hush those giggles up; you could bring us seven years of bad luck!”

“You’re mixing your sayings up, Adam.” I said giggling even more. “That’s breaking a mirror!”

“Well, what happens if a groom doesn’t carry his bride over the threshold?”

“I dunno, but we won’t have to find out!”

“Race you to the bedroom, bella?”

“You’re on!”


I’d like to say that we lit candles and poured champagne and all that but it didn’t happen. By the time we got to the bedroom most of our clothes were gone, well, Adam’s anyway. Getting me out of my wedding gown was a bit more complicated.

“Did I mention how positively luscious you look in that gown, my love,” he stated while undoing the zipper. “I’ve felt a bit pervy all night, wanting to rip it off of you!”

“Really? That would have made them all talk! Glad you waited though, I would hate to ruin this dress,” I murmured as he slid it slowly down my body.

He placed hot kisses over my skin as he peeled the gown down over my body. I heard the ‘swish’ of the fabric as it fell in a diaphanous pool at my feet. I stepped over it and he grabbed me up and melded his lips against mine for a kiss that seared. Before I knew it we were on the bed and he had removed my lingerie and it was just us, skin to skin.

I was reaching and touching everything, every part of him body I could. I felt him nibbling my neck and the rush of wetness that painted my thighs. I arched my body so that more of it was touching his.

“Adam, oh I love you so. I can’t wait, I need to feel you inside me,” I begged. “Please Adam, NOW!”

I was only rewarded with a chuckle as his heated mouth trailed down my neck, leaving a moist path and goose bumps in its wake. When his mouth captured my already aroused nipples I almost came off the bed, my desire for him was so intense. He sucked and tugged gently on them and I knew I couldn’t wait much longer, my orgasm was already building, sending waves of powerful contractions through my body. I was practically whimpering with my need and I felt him chuckle against my belly as his tongue journeyed farther downward.

At the first contact with the wet valley between my legs I exploded; my orgasm keening through my body sending shivers of intense pleasure that radiated outward. I cried out my passion, my pleasure and finally he moved upwards to join our bodies.

His mouth met mine in a heated kiss, our tongues dueling in an erratic dance as our bodies joined in a perfect rhythm long perfected. Thrust for thrust I met him while my hands and tongue sought out every delightful part of his body that they could reach. I nipped at his neck when I felt my second peak start and his body increased the pace, knowing that I was there and then we were both falling over the edge, together, just as we meant it to be.


The next morning I woke up to the sounds and smells of Adam in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. I wish I could say it smelled good but my first reaction was to get queasy. I hoped that a quick shower would get me feeling better so I turned the water on and stood under the spray and let it wash over me and tried to get the queasy under control.

By the time I was dressed I felt a bit better so I headed downstairs to see what Adam had made for breakfast. As I walked into the kitchen he handed me a cup of coffee, liberally laced with my favorite coffee creamer. I took a sip and again my stomach churned. Adam was watching me closely; his face wasn’t alarmed at all, just watchful.

“Ready for some breakfast love?” he asked, sipping his own coffee.

“I don’t think so; I’m not feeling so well this morning. Actually I didn’t feel well yesterday either, but I just took it to be wedding jitters. I think I must have a bug.”

“Um hm,” said as he went to the phone and dialed a number. “Yep, same as yesterday,” he said into the receiver. He was quiet for a minute and then added, “Okay, then. See you soon.”

“What was that?” I asked, shocked. I didn’t want anyone else here today. I wanted the time with him and if I did have a bug I surely didn’t want to pass it along.

He came to me and leaned down to give me a soft kiss. “Nothing for you to worry about, love. It was just Lissa, she’s concerned, that’s all.”

“Oh great! It’s just a bug Adam, it will pass. I don’t need her over here probing me!” I exclaimed.

“Um hm,” he said again and went back to breakfast. He opened the oven and was checking something that was cooking in it. Curiosity got the better of me and I went and peeked over his shoulder.

He had a frittata cooking. Under ordinary circumstances I would have been thrilled; right now not so much. I went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water and cracked the lid and took a slow sip. It felt cold in my mouth, too cold and the next thing I knew I was in the bathroom, retching over the toilet.

Adam stood in the doorway, concern written all over his face. “Come on, love, come and sit down and relax a bit.”

I followed him into the patio room and sank down gratefully into a chair. I heard the door chime ring and Adam went to answer it. Before I knew it Lissa and Cassie were standing in front of me, regarding me curiously. Cassie was smirking.

“What?” I asked them, my voice full of irritation.

Lissa pulled a foot stool up and sat down in front of me. I watched her with narrowed eyes. Cassie had all she could do to keep from laughing out loud I noticed and even Adam was trying to disguise a smile that was trying to turn the corners of his mouth upwards.

“Okay Mom, I don’t know how to go about this so I’m just going to ask. When was the last time you had a period?”

Oh God, I thought, she thinks something is wrong with me! Do I have some disease or something?

“I don’t know, last fall sometime. Wait, Adam was in Texas. But Lissa, I go months without having a period. I’m going through the change, you know that.”

“Um hm,” she said, nodding. “Well, uh, here Mom. Go and use this.” She pulled a pregnancy test out of her purse and handed it to me.

I burst into laughter. This was good! “You think I’m pregnant?” I looked at Cassie who was grinning and nodding her head to Adam, who was still trying to keep the smile off of his face. But he wasn’t doing a very good job of it I noticed. Some actor…

“It’s possible Mom; you’re only 46.”

It occurred to me that she was serious. Fine. I’d take the damn test just to show them all. I grabbed the test and stomped into the bathroom. As I passed Adam I gave him a look that said, “TRAITOR!”

It’s not quite as easy as it would seem to pee on a stick, but I finally managed and went to the patio room to wait while it did its thing. All three of them were quiet and Adam came and sat on the arm of the chair and rubbed my back. I suddenly had a horrible headache as well as a queasy stomach. Lissa kept watch of the time and finally went to get the test stick, a look of surprise on her face. She wordlessly handed it to me.

I grabbed it and looked at it.

Oh My God…

Marriage blessing by James Dillet Freeman
Marriage promise by Dorothy Colgan

Lyrics and music to I Will by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. No copyright infringement intended.

Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge

All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author.