the making of a hunny bunny.

I’m writing over at my new friend Alise’s blog today…

It was just me and Mr. Darcy for a long time.  The two of us, girl and dog, figuring out life’s beautiful mess together.  He was alongside me in every significant moment, working or resting or vacationing.  He was my other, my companion.

And then, as often happens to dogs, a man entered the picture – and by sacred utterance of the words, “I do,” we became a family of three, all under one roof.

It was altogether lovely: but even with husband beside and Mr. Darcy at foot, newness surrounded me, seeming to define every area of my life.  Four months into wedded bliss, I broke down: I was lonely and yearned for community.  I craved Everyday Friends, people whom I didn’t have to book out three weeks in advance.  Walking the dog in and out of the neighborhood’s streets, I hated the very nature of our isolated suburban community: parking in the garage and entering a house without ever having to utter a hello to the person who lived next door.

Understandably, my friendship with Neighbor Mark was then as unexpected as it was real.

Read the rest of the story here

a grace-laced walk.

Yesterday afternoon was one of perfection, in that nothing was scheduled and the world was at my fingertips. And after reading and cat-napping and soaking up an episode (…or two…) of Grey’s Anatomy, I found myself finally heading out for a walk with the dog. Mind you, I would have loved nothing more than to watch a third episode at that point, but guilt reared its ugly head and I succumbed to being a good doggy mama.

Leash in hand, and dog at heel [it’s a miracle – old dogs can learn new tricks!], Mr. Darcy and I headed outside, clothed in parka and winter beanie. Halfway down the block the hooch was having a hard time staying at heel, only soon to realize because Simba the yellow lab was strutting down the street with his owner. Grace intersected us in the middle of the street 13 seconds later as Mona and I started walking around the neighborhood for the next 30 minutes together.

Grace – that unlikely (but so foreseen) appointment with another person.
Grace – finding commonality with some whom you’d never pair yourself with.
Grace – conversations of encouragement.
Grace – learning something new.
Grace – realizing that this walk with this person was exactly what you needed.
Grace – drinking in refreshment from that moment onward – oh, how awake I suddenly was!

Might we all see and hear and sense and feel those little grace-laced moments in our lives. Happy Monday!

Grace Laced Mondays

The Monday caramel update – #7

Week: 20 – BAM! The halfway mark is officially here – or I’m only 4 months away if you count my friend Mel who went into labor before she’d actually had her first birthing class. She figured it out, and we welcome to this world, little Milo!

Size: I’m excited to announce that we’ve got a banana on our hands! (And that they’re starting to measure him head to toe, instead of just head to rump).

Name: Caramel. Let the masses believe it.

Gender: bouncing baby boy!

Maternity Clothes: Am I allowed to wear capris in February, every other day? Because I am, thanks to the Christmas Goodwill find. And are capris even in style anymore? Don’t answer that question; I’m still living in 2001, which is probably when said capris came out.

Food Cravings: Beverages. Bubble tea, orange juice mixed with 7-up, milk, chocolate milk, mint and lime (not together) mineral water. Guess I should up my protein.

Currently reading: The Night Circus (audible – such a magical read!); The Science of Parenting; Moral Vision of the New Testament (class).

Most interesting fact: Old dogs CAN learn knew tricks. Stay with me here – we decided to do an at-home training with Mr. Darcy, to alleviate any remaining (fear-based) aggression, and also to prepare him for the baby. We love our dog, and want to be responsible dog owners and responsible parents. Because he hasn’t been around babies and little kids very much, what are two of our trainer “homework” assignments over the next couple of weeks with the hooch? 1. Ti-vo the sounds of babies crying, and begin to play it louder…and louder…and louder so that he can get used to the sound. 2. Go to (not dog) parks with him, and just sit there and watch the little humans play for half an hour, so that he can see kids running around and know that’s normal. [Side note: we’ve seen an incredible response in our dog in just 48 hours – I so highly recommend professional dog trainers!] If you had a dog before a baby came, how did you prepare your beloved canine of a friend?

Feeling: I have a cold and I’m cold in general because I’m wearing those dang capris in February, with my parka on top. Do what I can.

Missing: a full night’s rest. I suppose that’s preparation for parenthood at its best.

Anticipating: being done with the current Fuller class so that I can hole up and get back to reading all these parenting and pregnancy 101 books!

Ciao ciao!

Neighbor Mark is funny – part I

Besides the fact that neighbor Mark has incredible ball throwing skills that make Mr. Darcy howl, the man is funny. So much so that he makes it one of his goals to get a snort out of me – I mean, does it get much better than that? Here follows yesterday’s conversation, and of course, his baby name suggestions:

Act I: we’re outside throwing the balls with Ruckus (his dog), Mr. Darcy and Blueberry, who’s neighbor Jennifer’s little chihuahua. I’ve just come home from a friend’s baby shower in Santa Cruz, and Mark is curious, to say the least.

Mark: “So what do women do at a baby shower anyway?”

Cara: “Well, we sit around and talk…”

“About what?”

“Oh, about natural births and midwives and cloth diapers – I mean, we were in Santa Cruz.”

“Oh. Then what?”

“And we a game or two, eat food-”

“Like spareribs?”

“Yeah right, we were in Santa Cruz – it was all vegetarian.”


“And we play a game or tow, and then open all the presents.”

“What kind of games do you play?”

“Well, today we passed around unlabeled jars of baby food, and then had to guess what ingredients were in each one. We could look at it, smell it and taste it.”

“Gross! That’s disgusting!” (Makes fake puking noises).

“The worst one – which we didn’t play today – is when you pass around melted candy bars in diapers and have to guess what kind of candy bar is in each diaper. It’s the same thing: you can look at it, smell it and taste it.”

“Now that sounds fantastic! Nuts – you know it’s Snickers. A little melted coconut – Almond Joy. This sounds like like my kind of game!”

I then proceeded to tell Mark that he HAD to come to my own baby shower in the future, to which he almost keeled over and died. Apparently the man would rather be stuck watching football with my husband – and he HATES the barbaric sport!

Act 2: After we told Mark we were having a baby, he made it his duty to come up with baby names. What names do you think we should add to the list?

which one's your favorite?