Recently in My Future Life Category

On My Mind

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Well, I'm frequently awake at about 2 or 3 a.m. these days, and script wonderful blog entries in my head instead of falling back asleep. Last night, I waxed poetic about my memories to 'Littlewoods', my mother's parents' property in Maryland. I do have wonderful memories of my 'PopPop', his home, and all the wonderful stuff we did while we were visiting down there as kids. One of my favorite memories is of my youngest brother, at the age of about 4, trying to get a lunch order out of our grandfather - who couldn't hear the higher pitch voice tones. "SALAMI, HAM OR CRAB" Mendon tried again. PopPop's response was to pat Mendon on the head and reply, "oh, yes." Mendon was soooo frustrated.

But anyway, I thought I'd share a few photos of Liam with you.

Oh, and if you don't know by now. I'm three months pregnant. And we're house hunting - in contract, in fact. It's all around Columbus, so not a big move. And Liam is having stents put in his tear ducts to open them up so that they drain properly. Not a big surgical procedure, but no fun all the same.

On to the photos. Or photo. Apparently, on this new version, I can only upload one photo at a time without it getting messy. So, here's Liam playing the piano with his cousin. And wearing his beloved wristbands.



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My mother has passed away peacefully, here with us, with a smile on her face.

UPDATE: The funeral will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, 7 January at Brunner's Funeral Home on Mentor Avenue in Mentor.

And then there was the time...

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That's definitely how stories of this day will start one day.

Do you remember the time when, you'd just finished your first term back at OSU - it'd gone horribly in and of itself - we got a call telling us our son's hemoglobin counts were down. We spent the next few frenzied days in lab work, doctor's appointments. But, wow, that one day ... we had an 8:15 appointment to see the doctor. We woke up to at least 4 inches of snow - oh, ooh, I had a migraine, too -, left at 8, arrived at 9am. Mark was supposed to be at work at 9. Then we had to pick up iron for Liam, but somehow it fell out of the car, we had to ask the doctor to call the script back in, Mark didn't get to work until after noon. He got his grade for chem that day, too - man, was he bummed over that first silly chem class. Wow - you don't get much crazier than those days...

That's what we'll sit around a fire and laugh about.

Some day.

Three Generations

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Three Generations of Mothers


Mother's Day 2007

Liam Uluru

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That is his name. Eating, pooping and sleeping are his game (with a little luck).

We're all relatively well. I'm sore from shoulders to hips - including everything inbetween. Liam was a wee bit jaundiced, and the lab tech was completely incompetent, so we had a brief visit to the pediatric ER yesterday that made us a bit wild with rage, but we're over it.

Liam just woke up. Enough one-handed typing. Thank you all.



That hurt.

Mark and I just went through the stuff we've stored at his parents' place while we were in Israel. Mainly, we wanted to get out clothes that we could be wearing now. And we found the clothes we were looking for. I still remembered packing away a bunch of my clothes and shoes into one big box, so I had an idea of what I was looking for.

And, of course, it was in the last possible place to look. We excitedly went through our clothes - commenting on some rash decisions made over 3 years ago to leave behind or even bother to keep some of the items.

Then I got to the bottom of my box. That's where my shoes were. My beautiful shoes (have I somehow hidden from you that I am a lover of shoes?!).


The sandals I wore at our wedding, my gorgeous black knee-high leather Etienne Aigner boots (can you tell they are like my one beloved purchase?)...

Am I supposed to be learning some lesson here or something? (Ahem! Rhetorical question!!)



Photo 161.jpg

As I lay a sobbing mess on my bed, I made a decision. I'm not going to lie and I'm not going to pretend. You can congratulate us and I will fully understand, but I am in an extreme amount of pain. I haven't been to work in 6 weeks - and you can still see the exhaustion in my eyes. The most comparable feeling I can come up with was how much my heart hurt when I learned of my mother's cancer diagnosis.

I spent yesterday at the hospital because we thought that, with 3 doses of anti-nausea meds and still 3 rounds of vomitting in a day, I might be dehydrated. Come to find out I wasn't dehydrated, but that pain in my abdomen? That's not normal. That's not from all the wrenching of my body as I puke my guts out. No, that's an infection.

And I woke up today with pain in my chest. It hurts to breath and shoots pain up into my right shoulder. Suspicion? Viral infection. (Daddy? Daddy? Is this respiratory ... it hurts so badddd! I'm in tears just writing this.)

And the soonest I can see a friggin' doctor is Wednesday because it's party time in Israel (not that I begrudge them the party). I suppose it's probably like trying to see a doctor in the States sometime in the week between Christmas and New Year's.

When a child puts you this close to the brink, yes, I understand why parents think their children owe them the world and then some.

I know it'll get better. I know I'm just inches away from that happiness that comes with the second trimester. At 12 weeks/3 months, I am just on the cusp of that. But this first trimester sure is going out with a bang.

So there. There's the big, exciting announcement. I apologize if it doesn't quite live up to your expectations. Oh, and that's just the baby's head. If my father is calling the baby 'the prune pit', he's probably got the size about right (about 2 inches/5 centimeters in length).

Tea Treasures

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I know, I know, it's happened to all of you at some time or another. You just have to buy me a gift and you have no clue as to what to get me!

Well, I am here to help you. Soothe your sorrows and calm your woes.

O. My. Gosh. I think I've found heaven on earth.

The other night, we went out to dinner and I ordered some rosemary tea. Turned out they didn't have it, but would I like one of their other decaffeinated teas that they didn't advertise on their menu? I decided to try 'rooibos cocoa ginger'. As I said before, "O. My. Gosh." I must have more! It was amazingly delicious.

And I found it - at the delightful online Tea Treasures Shop. They also have mint chocolate rooibus and a yummy sounding Mexican rooibus with cayenne in it.

They also have beautiful teapots and mugs and other yummy teas (which is the stuff I can mainly afford, though they also have some lovely affordable teapots).

If you need any further hints, I'd be happy to oblige. Just let me know ;-)

On Turning Thirty


Hahahaha! What a joke! As if I could possibly care that I am turning 30! When Mark turned 30 we had a pig roast. It was huge - especially as we were also celebrating Mendon's 18th, my grandmother's 80th, Patrick's 39th and Fred's housewarming. Yeah, it was huge and fun (except for the one drinking man who stood as a poster child for why no one should drink, heheheh - and at least he has made for some great stories). So it was huge and it felt right for it to be huge. My dad also told about a big surprise party.

Tonight, 5 of us are going out to our favorite Japanese restaurant. And I have to admit, anything more would overwhelm me to no end. Last night we went to a talk; I think it was the first time I sat down for more than 30 minutes and wasn't busy doing something - charting, planning and organizing everything I had to do. And I realized that I have not pushed myself to the edge, exerting myself so completely - every atom of my being - for a long time. I fell asleep during the talk - now, I don't usually do that. In fact, I went to a performance the night we arrived back in Israel (hello, jet lag) and I didn't fall asleep. I missed the middle, but I must say the end of the talk was quite excellent - and was just what I needed to hear. The speaker was talking about how we are all varying manifestations of the attributes of God. So to know ourselves is an excellent way of knowing God. And to 'polish our mirror' and let the attributes of God that we have the largest measures of reflect out is our contribution to humanity. Well, sorry if that's incoherent, but it fits right into stuff that I'm working on right now and really enhances it. I love it and it gives me impulsion to further my growth, so I ended the evening feeling empowered.

So we went home and watched some Firefly.

Four Days


I think it's fair to start a countdown.

Four days.

Four days until I say good-bye to my twenties forever.

Not sure how I feel about that yet. I've certainly seen, done and accomplished much in this decade.

'Til Saturday, I guess!




This is what this picture signifies to me. It feels like I have put too much Nivea hand lotion on my hands and because I have nowhere to put the extra lotion, this concept has become slippery in my hands. I no longer know how to hold it, how to make it keep its shape, I am afraid of dropping it.

It even looks like I have utter blithe confidence about my life and my future and my mother has a slightly sorrowful, knowing look that no matter how much she may want to protect me, she knows better. She knows the future will bring hardships that I will simply have to face. But for now, she will love me and guide me and protect me - and with that she has given me the tools to face those future challenges.

But this picture, this is what I know comfort as. It reminds me of how it has been for me. How I always thought it was supposed to be. God, Nance - these pictures are freaking priceless. Thank you so much for this gift.

And now I know that this is not the only way that comfort can look. Now I know some of what my mother knows. And of course, I am the better for it. That's what my mother does for me. Everything she does for me and has done for me has made me better. She has made me worth being. Maybe that's the look in my eyes, too. I know what I've got is good. I know it's worth envying.

What I've got is good.

It's Official, Official, Official!


Yup, yup, yup. My replacement has been located, determined and confirmed. Yippee! This means I can leave in the spring with a clear conscience, knowing the world will not implode upon my departure :-)

Really, this is great news. This is the kind of place that runs on a shoestring budget with about 2/3 of the people they need and my position is just important enough to hurt if I don't get replaced. I'd have felt pretty bad leaving if they hadn't found my replacement.

Now they just have to find Mark's replacement, which will be no easy task. If you know any network administrators busting to try something new ... direct them our way, PUH-LEASE! (err, vital pre-requisite: being a Baha'i or wanting to be one).

P.S. to John and Natascha: you are skulking on my blog? Geesh ... really, people, I like comments. And, I'd totally forgotten that you had this address; thank goodness I wasn't any more specific last Friday than I was!

Secret Shopper

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"Is service offered in the spirit of secrecy, secret service?"*

One of my friends, who comes here on occasion to translate French when he's not busying being a doctor, came up with that one.

Well, anyway, I've gotten a bit of a reputation here it seems.

We have a grocery store here on the 'campus' of the Baha'i World Centre. It's not huge, but it is largely adequate. While my parents were here, my father served as a consultant for them for a few days since he has a number of years of experience in the food industry (working for the largest food corp. in the States actually). Anyway, so the manager knows my dad and he knows me.

Well, the entire Baha'i World Centre is run on donations from the Baha'i World, so we tend to be fairly money-conscious. These are individuals' sacrifices we're talking about. So, when I notice they've charged me incorrectly on my receipt, I notify them - whether it's 'in my favor' or not. I also notify them when I notice moldy cheese, an incorrectly translated label (from Hebrew), etc.

The other day the manager caught me closely inspecting a bottle of water. As I'd picked it up to purchase it, I noticed it was wet. So I was checking to see whether it came from the inside or something external. As he watched me, he said "I swear Mara, you must have picked this up from your Dad. You should be a secret shopper!"

Hmmm... future employment opportunity? I do love grocery shopping!


*A play on "Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship" ('Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 83).



I get this way every once and a while. Or maybe, rather, I realize every once and a while that this is how I am living my life.

I am a planner. Those who really know me are laughing right now at how much of an understatement that is.

I seem to live each phase of my life, preparing for the next. I'm not much of a spontaneous, in the moment person - even when I am spontaneous. I guess I can appear spontaneous on a more detailed level, but when you zoom out and look at my bigger picture, well, I'm just a hotbed of planning.

For example, towards the end of my undergraduate schooling I started getting panic attacks. These general things - I didn't even know why I was panicking, which made me all the more panicky (what have I forgotten that I'm panicking about?!?!). Yeah, well, I had no plans whatsoever as to what I was going to do after college. And once I figured out, it was, generally speaking, all good.

Then I got married, moved to France, and although I worked very hard to enjoy that time apart from Mark, when I was interacting with Mark it was all about planning our future life together.

We sort of settled in, then moved to Israel. Now we're in Israel, and pretty much definitely leaving in a year. I am planned out. If you can relate to that.

In fact, I bet you're planned out.

The thing is, I'm not sure how to turn this O-F-F. We've got another year, which I am sure we'll enjoy. But I still have this nagging desire to plan. Plan exactly when we'll have a child, where we'll live, how we'll support ourselves, etc. (gah! such a control freak!) When will it stop? Where will it end?

I remember that when my younger brother was little he was always saying things like, "If a three-legged monster jumps through my window and attacks our family, I'll kill it with the secret broom handle I keep hidden under my blankey." It drove me nuts - sometimes because it was a little too close to home for my own fears (burglars, etc.), but by and large, I was just like "as if, Mendon!" My mother told me I wasn't to discourage him, as it helped him order his world and feel safe. Apparently, I still suffer from the same syndrome: must - order - world. My apologies to Mendon.

I used to tease my parents that they were unable to be spontaneous, and even if they were, it was "planned spontaneity". Wow - where did I get off saying anything like that, eh? I hereby apologize to my parents (and my future children).

Any suggestions? Is there a Planners Anonymous?

Happy Mother's Day


To all the mothers - both new and experienced - happy mother's day [for where I come from anyway]!

Congratulations on agreeing to sacrifice so much of your former selves to create and nurture new life, both your own and your children's.

Congratulations to my mother, to my grandmother, to my mother-in-law, to my aunts, my friends, my sisters.

Congratulations to the future mothers, who are simply biding their time until their day comes [not that this is personal or anything].

Yay, mothers!

Anyone have cool, fun, sappy, heartwarming stories about a mother they know that they'd like to share?

I'm Going to Spain - Part Deux


Yup, we're heading out to Spain again. This time we're going to the South - Malaga, Marbella, Granada, etc.

Mark's parents have a time share there, so we're going to spend the week with them and his sister, Melissa and her son, Griffin.

We leave tomorrow and I suspect it will probably be radio silence from me until we get back.

The second category for this entry is "My Future Life" because this time spent with Mark's family will definitely contribute to our decision as to whether to stay in Israel longer or not.

Take care all, and Happy Ridvan!



This past Friday we broke the fast with another couple, Vaishali & Vijay, by having a BBQ on the beach. Now, before you go and get all jealous about how warm it is here, well, it isn't - maybe in the low 60s - maybe. In any case, we were all wearing coats, hats, etc. and at one point my fingers went numb. And we were on the beach - the wind was raging. However, we had a blast (literally and figuratively, hehheheheh)! We introduced them to s'mores and had tandoori chicken kebabs (OMG! Awesome!). And we laughed endlessly about how ridiculous the whole situation was. It will definitely be one of the wonderful memories we take with us when we leave Israel.

Saturday we spent the day at Bahji. We went specifically to pray about what our 'next step' should be. We then had a very productive discussion about what our most preliminary step should be...but of course, we had prayed our hearts out to Baha'u'llah to guide us. Those prayers have an effect, and well, we're still rather undecided, but now we're thinking of a whole new direction. One I don't think we had ever seriously considered before. Not that I'm going to say what it is. Obviously our lives have been changing quite a bit lately - no point in telling you every notion that enters our mind. [so, basically, I'd be willing to discuss it offline, if you wish]

In any case, I think Mark and I are more convinced than ever that prayers work, are powerful, and God is occasionally willing to be hit-you-over-the-head obvious. Because at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning we think He was. [it was a phone call, don't go looking for major events on the Web or anything]

My Ovaries Are Getting Old


That's right, folks. My ovaries are getting old.

That's from my gynecologist, who added, "In every other way, you're young." OK, so English isn't her first language - and she's Israeli (they're known for being blunt), but having a kid at 31 or 32 doesn't exactly make headlines. But today I got the whole shpeal (sp?) about my biological clock ticking. Yeah - we've discussed that haven't we? I think I may have mentioned that I might as well refer to it as my time bomb? Yeah, I really don't need any reminders.

On top of it, I found out just now that my replacement isn't coming. At least not the one in the works. Another applicant may be on its way, you never know, but then, you never know.

Hear Me Roar

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I'm seriously beginning to think about editing. I love it, I know I'm capable - now I just have to work on the network connection ... we'll see. I think I have some good leads.

Get this, women of the world: you know those high-end jobs we're not getting? Check out NewScientist - they have an article (October 2004) that says some of that is because we simply don't apply for jobs if we don't meet all the qualifications, whereas men will apply for a job if they have 50% of the qualifications. Hmm - that seriously would have never occurred to me. In my mind, if something is missing it's because I'm not qualified! Well, who'd have known. I'll have to work on that one - no wonder women think they're being managed by incompetent buffoons (drr!). Okay, okay, that was mean - but think about how many women are most likely more qualified than certain men who are in higher-ranking positions? Hmm....

Something else the article said was that some companies (research firms & universities) are beginning to get much more 'family friendly' because it's good economics. Money may just save us in the end. People are finally figuring out that having women on board (basically, diversity in general) means higher profits. Yeah, 'cause we rule! :-) Oh man is Nathan going to have something to say about this! I know I'm being simplistic about the details, and slightly anti-andro in my lilt, but this is a blog - and mine at that.

In any case, that is really exciting for me as I've been talking about needing a paradigm shift in the concept of work, work hours, work advancement, etc. This article tackled these issues, and discussed how some companies are doing just that - and finding that it's good for business (and job retention) too. How exciting!

Another exciting note is that I have been able to implement my thesis in my work! That is so exciting for me! I knew there was a reason I put myself (and a few choice others, Mark primarily) through that hell. Woohoo!! [Thanks to Joany & Ian for their super-supportive and generous guidance!!]

Oh, so if Mark get's an MBA, he'll need to take the GMAT, not the GRE - so anyone have GMAT study materials?


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College: the joys of choosing a major are many, and many of us either have, or know friends who have had difficulties in choosing one. I always found it particularly ridiculous when the aforementioned people would actually go through the hassle of changing their major on paper. Oof - too much hassle for me. I just told people when I changed my mind about a major: international business, teaching English as a second language, sociology ... finally, almost by default - French.

Well, in essence this is what this post is about. Mark and I change our minds so frequently about what we want to do next that each of you probably has a different perception about just what we'll be doing...

So, here goes:

I Have A Book In My Head

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Is that a disturbing thought for you? It is for me.

Mainly, because I don't like to write. I certainly don't have a flair (Violetta has flair, so does my sister, Rachael). And yet, as much as I encourage others to write, and swear up and down that I can't write well - okay, I can but it it sheer torture to all involved - I get the sneaking suspicion I have a book in my head. And every day is a step closer. Granted, at that rate I figure I still have about 10 miles to go. Let's see... 1 step a day x 10 miles = a really long time. We'll see where it leads. I wouldn't stay tuned or anything, as I said, it's not developing quickly, but on occasion I feel like I'm on the verge of something big and I just happen to be in one of those moods. Mental and spiritual growth spurt, I guess.


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Forgive what may seem as meanderings.

I was home sick for a week - hence the lack of all the profound stuff you usually see from me...

So, let's see... it's 14:08 now ... which means ... in 19 hours my parents will be here!!! Yay!! Totally exciting. I'm going to go take the train to Tel Aviv and pick them up at the airport. Again - yay! And they're going to volunteer here, and we're going to go to the Shrines together, and visit with lots of friends ... mmm, can't wait.

My aunt and uncle sent me an email to convey special greetings to my parents on their trip to the Holy Land. In the email my aunt told me they're taking tango lessons. The only reason that is like so totally freaky is that the night before I dreamt that my aunt visited me and taught me this cool Argentinian improvisational ballet-type dance to tango music ... huh. It was such a beautiful dream. First of all, my aunt is just this totally elegant woman (all 6 ft!), and I happen to feel very spiritually connected to her. It was one of those dreams where I really felt like she was there, visiting me, and it had all the special warmth that accompanies a visit from her. Plus, there was this beautiful dance that she taught me, which made it all the more special. Anyway, one of my friends suggested I write about my dreams (I have lots and I remember many), so there you have it. One of my dreams.

Anyone Want to Study Me?


I swear I'd be a great study for a psychologist: what are the emotional repercussions to a woman when she is unable to have children? As that is the truth, as I have promised, in as much as is possible, to not have children for the next 2 years.

Interestingly enough, I wasn't particularly eager to have children prior to having made this commitment. It has turned my 'biological clock' into a time bomb.

Now, I think I'm beginning to think about children like those couples who experience infertility (and Mark is, too). Now, before I get lambasted for thinking I could relate to such an experience, my caveat: I recognize that this is different because we know there is an end. Of course, wouldn't that be ironic if 2 years from now we do have trouble conceiving. I won't go there...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the My Future Life category.

Funness is the previous category.

Pregnancy is the next category.

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