Wedding from Scratch, Marriage from Love

Aug 21 2014


Potent minimalist art sends a strong message about police and vigilante brutality in America

Journalist and artist Shirin Barghi has created a gripping, thought-provoking series of graphics that not only examines racial prejudice in today’s America, but also captures the sense of humanity that often gets lost in news coverage. Titled “Last Words,” the graphics illustrate the last recorded words by Brown and other young black people — Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and others — who have been killed by police in recent years.

Let us not forget their voices

(via jessehimself)

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Dec 22 2013

Priorities change…

My universe used to revolve around myself. All that mattered was how things would affect me.

And then Jonathan Chace was born.

I haven’t updated since February because, well, our son takes up most of my energy. Up until he was a year old, that child would not sleep for more than 1.5 hours at night. I was exhausted.

I went back to school in the Fall. It got tougher. He was an angel during the day, barely cried, always happy, but at night — no sleep. Then one day, things changed.

J was out of town for work and I had midterms. I was stressed beyond sanity. I whispered in our son’s ear, “Baby, please sleep well tonight. Mommy needs to study for her midterm. Please!”

On the verge of tears, I put him in his crib and waited while he drifted off to sleep.


From that night on, our little man has been sleeping through the night. I’ve slowly been going back to who I used to be—except now, I am not as selfish.

My son is my number one priority. My goal is to raise a young man who will be respectful, respectable, chivalrous, intelligent, loyal, and displays integrity. I envision him having a positive effect on society. For this to happen, I, along with his dad, need to be there to guide him.

So, I’m no longer the being which my universe revolves around. A little one-year-old has stolen all of my attention, which I give him willingly.

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Feb 10 2013
17 years together. First time this little guy was with us to celebrate.

17 years together. First time this little guy was with us to celebrate.

Jan 15 2013

My life has changed forever

My water broke at 6:45AM and here I was at 12:30PM getting ready to push this baby out. I was a little nervous because I thought I would have more time to let this experience sink in. I’ve heard all the stories about labor lasting forever for first-time moms. I thought I would be the same.

I guess not.

From movies and TV, it seemed like I would just push for a few minutes straight and that was that. Boom. Baby.


Apparently, you only push during contractions. I didn’t know that’s how it went.

So during a contraction, I pushed. then exhaled. then pushed. then exhaled. then pushed. then exhaled.

Then I, along with Jon, the nurses, and doctors, looked up at the TV and watched the Browns-Cowboys game. They went into overtime.

The whole process repeated itself.image

Yes, I watched football as I was in the process of giving birth to my little man.

But during the whole “pushing time”, I didn’t feel it. I just felt pressure. It was difficult to push because, honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve never been here before.

Soon, I felt the pressure increase. The doctors were telling me to push, but not too hard. I didn’t really know what was happening, but next thing you know, I had this little boy on my chest.

imageI looked up at Jon. I didn’t know how to feel. I thought I would know when our little boy came out, but I didn’t. I looked up at my husband, saw the awe and joy in his eyes at the sight of our son, and I felt the love. I hugged that little human being, knowing he was the product of this love Jon and I have had for each other since we were naive 17-year-olds.

No, I didn’t cry. I was just so shocked. This was real. This little baby that has been residing within me was finally here.

This. Was. Real.

I always felt like Jon and I were an example of love-at-first-sight, but no. What I felt for our little man was the definition of that phenomenon. How can I love someone I’ve never even met? I don’t know, but I was so in love with our little baby.

imageAfter they cleaned him up they returned my little man to my chest. He was there to receive my body heat and get warmed up, but in that moment it was him that brought me warmth. As someone who is generally unemotional, his presence allowed me to accept every emotion, pleasant or unpleasant, that I would usually dismiss.

This little baby changed me without even being on this earth for more than 5 minutes.

imageThis little human being, in all his perfection, was here. He was finally here. This human symbol of myself and Jon was here.

Jon is my soulmate. All that I am, since a young high-schooler and continuing up to now, has been shared and celebrated with him. I have grown, triumphed, sacrificed, and loved with that man.


Jon is my soulmate and Jonathan Chace is my soul.


Jon&Claire est. February 10, 1996 at 1:20am.
Jon&Claire&JC est. November 18, 2012 at 1:50pm.


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Hours leading to the moment my life changed…

It’s taken me a while to find the time and energy to write this, but here I am, 8 weeks after I met one of the loves of my life. The following tells the story of how me, a selfish wife, became an unselfish wife and mother.

The night of November 17, 2012. Jon had a feeling. Before we got into bed, he asked, “Umm, do you want to sleep on some blankets or something?” He recalled stories of women’s water breaking and imagined it happening as we lay in bed.

"Why?!" I replied. He came back with beach towels.

"This is a $3000 bed! Don’t ruin it with that shit!" He said as he positioned the towels on my side of the bed.

We had a good laugh, but I decided to play along. I mean, you never know, right?

6:00AM came along. I was awakened by cramping in my lower abdomen. I felt this before and called Labor & Delivery and they told me it was nothing, so I thought it was nothing this time around. I went to the bathroom and got back into bed.

Jon asked if I was okay and I let him know I was fine. The cramping was the same, but at the same time I felt different. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so Jon and I just sat in bed talking. Then it happened.

At about 6:45AM, as I sat in bed, I felt a gush of water escape me. It wasn’t an amount equivalent to an ocean, but it was definitely noticeable.

My water broke. I was sitting on those damn towels. I hate when he’s right.

Jon called Labor & Delivery and they said to come in. Knowing I was a first-time mom the nurses said to take our time since first-time moms are known to endure long labor.

I jumped in the shower — I mean, I was about to be all exposed and stuff, so I did not want to be gross — and as I stood there, the contractions began to intensify. Regardless of the pain I was determined to be squeaky clean, smelling lovely, and looking cute.

My original plan was to put makeup on and blow dry my hair, but the pain was becoming a bit too much. I knew that I was progressing fast despite what the nurses assumed.

As I am getting myself all prepped, Jon was scampering around, loading our things into the car. We had everything ready to go, so this process wasn’t too bad. I could feel his energy, he knew this was it, too.

We double check we have everything and head to the car. Jon is following me, making sure I’m doing alright. I get into the front seat of our Yukon Denali.

"Whoa! Don’t you want to sit on that mattress pad we bought?" he quickly suggested. We bought these waterproof mattress pads in case my water breaks while we were out so that I had something to sit on. I just showered, took steps to prevent leakage, so I felt like I was fine.

Nope. Not for that guy and not in the car he has been wanting since he was a youngster. He got me out of the front seat and put the mattress pads on the seat.

Yes, he did.

I didn’t care at this point. The contractions were coming on quick and painful.

As we were on our way to the hospital, Jon says we need to get gas. I wanted to punch him in the face. How could we not have enough gas?!?

He probably sensed my disbelief and said that he thinks we could probably make it.

We did.

We got to the hospital at 8:00AM. The nurse checks me. 7.5 cm dilated. At this point the pain was enough that I was constantly asking for an epidural. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart.

They wheeled me into the delivery room and I laid in the hospital bed as everything was getting prepared around me. They checked me again. 8 cm. Things were moving quickly.

This pain was crazy. Jon makes fun of me now because I was sweating as if I was going through an intense workout. Literally dripping sweat—enough that the nurse was wiping my forehead.

Finally, the anesthesiologist comes in to give me an epidural. People ask me about the needle. I didn’t see it, but even if I did I wouldn’t care. The contractions we so exhaustingly painful that I was pleading for this moment.

Staying still for the process was easy. Just like that it was done and I was feeling good. The perspiration ceased and I began to relax. They checked me again 9.5 cm.

The epidural was bliss. It was another world. I was able to joke with Jon, my sis Gi, and my mom. I sat there and put on makeup. Yes, girl. I did.

Before noon, the nurses came in for me to start pushing. I wanted to wait because I still had some antibiotics I needed to get through my IV. They let me wait. At 12:30PM we started. 

Soon, “Jon & Claire” became “Jon, Claire, & JC”.

Story of The Moment coming up next…

2 notes

Dec 14 2012


It’s funny how this started as a way to document our wedding. Now, it has evolved into a place where I document my transition to a mother. I used to fear the transition, the change, the implications of who I would be. Now that my little boy is here, I can’t fathom why I waited so long to be blessed with this little life.

Soon I will post the story of the day of his birth. That is, when I find the time. This mommy thing is time-consuming!

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Sep 04 2012

Third Trimester (dun-dun-duuuuuun)

Now that I am seven months pregnant, I thought that this experience would be a lot harder. The first trimester going into a bit of the second, now that was physically hard. I’ve never been so nauseated and exhausted in my life (and for so long!). Based on the first 15-16 weeks, I thought I would be suffering at this point, but (thankfully) I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m tired all the time. I can’t sleep consistently. I get out of breath for no freakin’ reason. But the thing is, I’m okay with it.

A big reason why I’m not freakin’ out is because I can feel our son move. Early in the pregnancy, I felt pregnant because I felt like shit. On the days when the symptoms were not bad, it sent me into a slight panic because it almost felt wrong. Now, I feel this boy kick, punch, and move like PaRappa the Rapper (ok, bad video game reference).

Seriously though, his movements are a daily reminder of how amazing this journey is. Knowing that after a few more months I will meet my boy helps me change my perspective. I do get worried about my abilities as a mother, but because my son’s father has always been destined to be a wonderful dad, I know our son will be fine.

Two trimesters down, one to go.

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Aug 12 2012

Another life change, another identity adjustment

I accept change, but find it difficult. I understand we’re always evolving (well, let’s hope) and yet there are times when I still try to postpone it.

Now that I’m pregnant (!), 6 months pregnant to give it even more reality (!!!), I am still constantly trying to adapt to what’s happening. Let’s put aside the weird/annoying shit like morning sickness (which made my life H.E.L.L. for 16 weeks), my eyes being super sensitive to heat/light, and loss of appetite.

As a woman in the US, I lived my life obsessed with my appearance. I was never quite happy with how I looked, I felt super fat all my life. Before I got pregnant, I was inching closer to being happy with where I was because I was healthy and began to feel that the curves were dope (let’s thank the changing views of society for that).

A baby has taken residence in my uterus and one of the biggest things I had to learn to get used to is my expanding belly. It’s crazy to live your life trying to keep your belly flat then one day you should automatically love seeing the opposite happen.

It hasn’t been that easy.

A second thing I am adjusting to is not being so selfish—especially with baby daddy. For 16+ years it has been me and him, just us. Everything we did revolved around just us. With that reality becoming altered, I get scared. I am so used to things being one way and when things change, I sometimes don’t know how to handle it.

Last week, as we slow danced underneath the stars illuminating the Hawaii sky, the thought popped into my head, “these moments are not going to be so easy to come by in a few months.”

I entered a slight panic the next day when I relived that fantasy-like moment. I told you. I’m selfish. Again, he could read me so well. He knew what to say and helped me escape the world of irrational thoughts that trapped me.

As always, he was right.

"Things will change, but we shouldn’t forget what got us to this point in our lives. We’re going to have a son, but we’ll always take care of us."

And I have the reputation of being the “brains” of the relationship.

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Jul 21 2012

…then comes a baby in a baby carriage.

Okay, well technically there is no baby that is physically in a baby carriage—yet! This baby has taken residence in my stomach and, though he is a blessing, woooooo, pregnancy has not been easy (but I’ll save that for another time).

So in November, there will be another addition to our family—a baby boy. I think all the years of delaying expanding our family prompts people to ask me if I’m ready. My reply is always the same — I have until November 26 to find out (give or take a week or so).

Truth is, I am 33 years old. I am selfish, but I am realistic. While I live my life with (mostly) myself in mind, I do think of my husband when I make decisions. We compromised and I worked him down from having a bunch of kids to having one, so it was time. I wasn’t getting any younger and who knows how long it would take to create a baby. For years I’ve heard stories of couples we know struggling to have children and I didn’t want to assume this process would be easy.

I decided to slowly take things a step at a time (*sidenote— I say “I,” not because my husband was not involved, but because he always said, “I’m waiting for you” and “it’s up to you.” He was always ready, but left it up to me. See, I married a winner.). First step was to get my hormones back to normal and my system functioning however it functioned without any type of influence. I thought it would take a while, but I immediately got pregnant.


So after 16+ years of being together and 2 years of being married, we will welcome a baby boy.

I can’t wait.

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