Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Spring Green Moment

It's so cliche, but I do love spring. I think I love it even more at my new house (well, we've been here a year, but it still feels new) due to the flowers that surround us here.

I especially love our hedge of lavendar that I can admire from my office window...

The geranium outside my patio door...

And the jasmine that Edie believes is named after the Disney princess...

The grass is so lush and green, there are cherry blossoms surrounding my balcony, the birds sing  their songs as though I'm the Disney princess - it's definitely spring. And such a display calls for a green, green tea. Of course, I'm in luck because I've been waiting to bring out such a tea for such an occasion. The House Green from TeaSource. For anyone wanting an easy introduction to green tea, this is an excellent starting point. Light, smooth, refreshing - because this is a Chinese green tea (from the Hunan province), you won't experiece the grassy flavor that many people associate with green teas (Japanese greens have that signature grassiness). The Chinese greens are more earthy, maybe even woodsy, but not grassy.

On this spring morning, as I admire the floral paradise outside my window and hold a sleeping baby in one arm, I am looking forward to this first sip of pure green in nearly a year. Ah, just as I remembered it. Subtle, and almost sweet, hot and cozy, this is springtime in a tea cup.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

A Moment of New Beginnings

She's here! At long last! Anne Marie Kathleen arrived on March 13th. And so life begins again after 10 months of nausea and inactivity. As with Edie, the moment after delivery, all nausea was gone. Believe me - it is double the joy and double the excitement.

One of the things I missed, as I've shared, is the enjoyment of a cup of tea. For whatever reason, tea did not taste as it should, and more often than not, I just couldn't drink it. I came to the hospital prepared, however. I brought a tea infuser and a few choice selections. My first morning after delivery, I ordered hot water and settled in for my first cup of tea.

For this moment, I chose Maharajah, a single estate Assam from American Tea Room. This had been an old standby for me because of its smooth, full-bodied character. And it did not disappoint. I was nervous about this first sip, wondering if my taste buds had been damaged forever. However, in that moment, it was like reconnecting with an old friend. Rich, malty, and strong, the royal Maharajah made a triumphant return to my palate! The months of deprivation and stress melted away, and I felt a little indulgent knowing that I was probably making far too big a deal about being able to enjoy tea once again.

The thing is, it wasn't just about tea. The past three years have been about trying to produce a sibling for our daughter. Despite the reality shows of how easy it is to be "16 and Pregnant," having a baby is not as easy to do for some women. I happen to be one of those women. So, 3 years of focusing on this project. 3 years of, at some points, feeling like a science experiment. And finally... Success. Pregnancy! Only the joy was immediately sucked out because of day after day after day of nausea, no appetite, and becoming almost completely sedentary. For nearly a year, Gene functioned like a single parent, taking Edie to the park, to birthday parties, on errands. Edie got creative in how to spend time with me. She'd ask me to come and "play" in her room, which meant she would usher me to her own bed and bring me a book to read so I could at least be with her while she played alone. She's 3, by the way. Her acceptance of the situation was nearly heartbreaking to me. Being able to enjoy tea was just confirmation that I could once again enjoy life. Drinking, eating, walking. Playing. Hugging. Being with my family and creating fun and happy memories.

I had a realization the other day of completeness. I don't know that I've felt it quite that way before. And if the feeling is fleeting, so be it. But I had this flash that my life was now in full swing, that I have all I need and want. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a supportive and wonderful family network, an incredible community of neighbors and friends, a comfortable home, a job I enjoy. In this moment, I have it all. My cup overflows. I can't wait to see what happens next.