Chefs Widow Part II

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The Chef has been gone since last Thursday and I can truly say I am exhausted. Between the restaurants, school, activities, and the general chaotic ness of a busy family my eyes are slowly closing as I type. 

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This weekend was a doozy. We had swimming lessons, soccer games, PSR, cheerleading, choir, and now I find myself sitting in my car watching the girl climb the monkey bars as the boy practices soccer at the local elementary school. All by myself.

These days, five days alone is an eternity. I remember when I welcomed the Chefs' travel schedule. Being the solitary person that I am, I used to embrace those nights alone. You see I was never one of those types who needed to be around their partner day in and day out. I needed space and the Chef was the same. The traveling worked for us and I think it helped us form a strong marriage early on.

Now that the minis are growing up and involved in so many things, the time I used to spend alone after my kids went to bed is now spent driving them here and there and back and forth. And I hate fucking driving.  

I don't know how to get a handle on it. It's only been 5 days but it seems like a month. I'm at a standstill with myself. I want the Chef to travel and I want to support his career but how can I do this all by myself?  

8 Things I've Learned in 8 Years of Marriage

Eight years ago the Chef and I said I do...This is what I've learned so far:

 

  1. Marriage, while glamorized by wedding dresses and exorbitant wedding receptions, is not all rainbows and unicorns. To make marriage work you have to work at it. There will be times that make you question it all, there will be times that will be bad. It's during those times that you find out that putting the effort in to marriage is really what makes it work. 
  2. Communicating is key. Talking about daily life, your dreams, your hopes, your needs, and your wants. These are all very important to keep a marriage happy and exciting. Having goals in your marriage is equally important.
  3. Making a concentrated effort to date or spend time together is necessary to a successful relationship. Not making an effort to spend quality alone time together leads to built up resentment about other shit going on in life. 
  4. Getting out of debt made our relationship better. It sounds transparent, but not having to worry about $12,000 of debt looming over our heads dramatically stopped many arguments we once had. Granted it took us almost 8 years to do this but I can tell you this, we will never have that debt looming again. 
  5. Having sex on a regular basis is like wellbutrin for marriage. And when I say regular I mean daily or at least every other day. SEX is IMPORTANT. F
  6. Kissing everyday is important! I'm not talking about kiss on the cheek. I'm talking about a makeout sesh. It's easy to skip this one between the hustle and bustle of daily life, but I am telling it makes a difference. Making out with your husband immediately makes one feel just a little bit sexiert. 
  7.  Saying "I love you" is a simple thing but so huge. It reminds us both that all of the hard work we put into marriage pays off every day.
  8. Smiling and laughing AT and WITH each other is how I fall in love with The Chef a little bit more each day. Be open to happiness!!

Ben Affleck was RIGHT

I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.
— Ben Affleck, thanking his wife at The Oscars

After 7 years of marriage to the Chef I hold the above statement to be one of our own personal truths. The Chef and I realized early on how much work a marriage requires and we are forever working on our own marriage. 

Since we got married 7 years ago today, the Chef and I have been faced with much adversity. We were thrown into parenthood early on during a time when we both had a penchant for partying and irresponsibility. Together we quickly learned that the lifestyle we held in our early twenties would not work for us as parents. We evolved together. We grew as one and WORKED on our relationship daily and man, oh, man those days were not easy. There were many times that I wanted to throw in the towel and be done with it all and I have no doubt he had those moments as well.

But we persevered.

We fought for each other and knew that no matter how dark and dim it may get, our relationship was something that we couldn't afford to let fail. Not only for our family, but for us. We had to work at love, make time for each other, and understand that everything is not going to be unicorns and rainbows. Working at what we have has becoming an underlying theme in our life and we rely on our efforts when we are faced with the bad shit.

The past week has been a hard one for us. Things are changing internally that are making the Chef and I reconsider our goals and plans. But even as we find that people who we thought had our back ultimately don't, and things we trusted are false, I know the work we have put into our 7 year marriage will make us stronger now no matter what we must face.

Happy 7 Chef. I'm proud to work on our marriage with you everyday.

Happy Birthday Chef Sawyer!

I've known him since I was 16 years old. We met after a party I had at my house went aray. Shockingly the police were called and the next morning my dad found something not particularly legal (although it should be) in our bathroom cabinet. The morning our doorbell rang, his best friend stood on our porch with the hope of finding his lost treasure. My dad being the bad-ass that he was, sent said best friend running. Later that night, my phone rang. It was him. Our relationship began that day. We were instantly friends and soon inseparable. He told me he loved me after three months. I was 17 and my parents were going through an awful nasty horrible no fun divorce. At that time, love was a curse. Love was cruel. Love cheated and love left. Although I said it back to him, I knew deep down I wanted no part of it. A month later I broke his heart.

We found ourselves back together a year later. Unbeknownst to him, his mother had invited me to his high school graduation party and I decided to go. The moment I saw him, I knew what had happened in the past was exactly that. We would become friends again. Years passed and we remained in each others lives. He became my best friend and I his.

Roomies

We found ourselves as roommates in Manhattan after college. Our apartment tiny, dirty, and old. Our friendship, strong as ever. I moved to the city on a whim of brokenheartedness and he was there to pick up the broken pieces. He showed me the city through it's food and I quickly found myself in love with it and in love with him. Our life together started shortly after his 23rd birthday and hasn't slowed down since.

9 years ago...

 

Happy Birthday Jonathon. 

Our journey together over the past 17 years has been outstanding.

It's funny, but even back then, I always knew it was you. 

Here's to 32 more years!!

 

 

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

The Chef and I are a team.

We make decisions together as husband and wife, and we make business decisions together as partners. We learned over time that together we are an unbeatable team. I am his yin, he is my yang. We gets shit done. Every career decision he makes, we make together. He asks me about food, I edit his recipes. He helps me with PR decisions, I help him with HR. We are a well oiled machine that has been making moves in the kitchen for the past 8 years.

Recently we came to an impasse about a career decision. Deep down in my soul I knew he was making the wrong choice about a project. At first I didn't express my opinion, I hoped life would intervene and the decision wouldn't have to be made. I stood back and watched as the collective cards fell into place and before I knew it the Chef was about to sign on the dotted line. It was then I knew it was now or never, speak now or forever hold your peace Amelia. I opened my mouth and began my plea.

Unfortunately we just couldn't see eye to eye, a compromise was not possible and the Chef is moving forward with the project. I think it's a shotty move and I told him my fears. I told him that although I would support him with whatever he decided I would withdraw my influence. I would not be able to help with the project seeing as I did not agree with it. It would not be fair to him or me if I was not 100% behind the project, so I would wash my hands of it.

He understood and we moved away from the decision amicably. Today the Chef is moving forward with the project and I have accepted that, only problem is that I'm devastated. I'm not upset because he didn't agree with me or even that he is moving forward with the project. I am sad because it is the first time EVER in our relationship that we couldn't come the final result was not something we agreed upon together. And that scares the shit out of me. Every time I look at him all I see is us moving apart. I know that sounds so silly because most married people don't make EVERY decision together. Most people in relationships probably don't even make half of their decisions together. But we are not MOST PEOPLE. This is our thing. This is how we work. Making decisions together is our thing. It's what we do.

Except now it isn't.

Our relationship is evolving and for that I am always grateful. A stagnant relationship makes for a dead relationship and none of us want that for sure. I hope in the end, my insight was off and his decision to move forward with the project was the right decision.

Fingers crossed.

 

A Widow Weekend

Saturdays make it very easy for me to feel sorry for myself.  When the majority of families are spending time together, I'm on my own.

By the end of the day I was cursing the restaurant, the chef, and this life.

I went to sleep alone.

When I woke up I was smothered by a smelly chef, a stinky pit bull, a naked five year old, a fat pug, and a princess.  Saturday was immediately forgotten.

As we started our day I looked around at the faces the followed me and realized that even though I am alone the majority of the time, the love I receive when we are all together makes up for it.

Saturday's suck.  They always will.  But Sundays, Sundays will always be our day.  The day when we truly  realize how fortunate we are.  The day that brings us together and reminds us that even though our time together is limited, our family is strong.

Hot Piping Steaming Mad Chef

Getting into a fight with the Chef is a bit like getting into a fight with a puppy.  He just looks up at you with big green eyes and has absolutely NO IDEA what the hell you are saying or mad about. The Chef & I have our moments. We have also had our battles, but they are ours and I tend to keep them to myself. Sorry world.

This past weekend the Chef & I may have had a wee too much to drink on Friday and some words may or may not have been exchanged. It happens. Liquor never brings out the best in people at 3 am. So yeah. We had words and I woke up mad.

He woke up clueless & smiling and went about his merry way to the restie. I fumed all day and by Sunday morning I was ready to let him have it. I emailed him and then promptly ignored him for the rest of the day. He watched sports. He went to work.  When he called I pressed silence.  Once again I was left fuming mad.

He came home clueless.  And happy.  Again.

Damn you man!

I finally got up the nerve to ask him about me email and guess what world, he hadn't even read it. Of course now that his interest was piqued he had absolutely no problem reading my one sided argument right in front of me!  I swear if it's not a butchered pig, then that man cannot pay attention to ANYTHING or ANYONE.

At this point, my anger completely disappeared. How could I be mad at a man who has absolutely no clue about being in a fight with a woman?  I think next time instead of steaming for 3 days while he's all smiles, I'll just hide his new toy.

Dear Chef,

2009-05-03_7677 The Sleeping Chef makes me crazy but...when he is awake he is really freaking awesome!

Thank you for throwing my an amazing surprise birthday party with such fantastic people.

Thank you for taking me to Cedar Point and making me ride this scary ass death ride.

Thank you for the amazing handbag.

Thank you for loving me the way you do.

Thank you for quitting smoking.

Thank you for cutting back on the hooch.

Thank you for starting to run again.

Thank you for thinking I am pretty even though I am hella overweight.

Thank you for knowing me.

Thank you for letting me sleep in on my birthday.

Thank you for being a KICK ASS father to our KICK ASS childrens.

You are by far the coolest dude I know,  besides Potato of course.

Buddy Kisses.

If you love me as much as I love the Chef, make sure to vote for Chef's Widow in the Nickelodeon's Best Local Blog contest.  You can vote everyday!

The Bestest in the Restus

Dear Chef,

I must say that this year has been a whirlwind of awesome.  Your career as a Chef is flourishing and you deserve every accolade you get.  You are by far the hard working man I have ever met.  And the fact that your family is makes up your drive is even more impressive.  Congratulations an all of your accolades in the press including the most recent one of Best Chef in the Cleveland Scene Best of Cleveland issue.  You deserve it.

Above all though, conratulations on becoming a man who I and many others have so much respect for.  You inspire the people who surround you to be better people, better employees, better chef, better friends, better wives, better mother, better friends, and better people all around.  Hell take me for example.  I am actually nice now.  Well...for the most part.

You are a best Chef.  You are the Best Chef.  But more importantly you are the best man.  The best father.  The best husband.  The best boss (remember I've seen you in action).   The best friend.  You are however, NOT, the best motorcycle rider driver.  Which is why you don't have a motorcycle.  Obviously.

Love you more,

Wifey

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

   

Biggie Smalls, no longer small, pulls on my leg like she wants a pony

 

In honor of my favorite rockstar mom bloggers' impending birth of her baby girl, I am participating in her online co-baby shower that she is sharing with another very cool ma's blogger.  The task at hand for the Mo' Baby Mo' Baby Mo' Baby shower is to write about the early days of mommyhood and babyhood.  A bit of a hard task for this moms as her baby girl will be turning the big ONE YEAR OLD on October 30th however any chance to write about Louisiana's first days is always a welcome one.

The early days of Biggie Smalls life were so different than the early days of Catcher's.  Because she was our second we kind of felt like we had a grasp on the whole parenting thing.  We were obviously drunk....(with excitement of course!)

Biggie came into this world and immediately went for the boob.  Seriously she popped out, the nurse wiped her off, the Chef held her, and the she was given to me.  She looked into my eyes with her big blues and nuzzled into my chest for the boob.  She immediately latched on and began to eat.  I was in shock.  And I think everyone else in the room was as well.  Catcher took almost two days to start nursing and this crazy girl latched on within the first five minutes of her life.  And that was it.  She had declared herself an eater. And eat she did.

My baby girl had fiery red hair (a full head) and a superwoman personality from day one.   She amazed me with every day.  It was easier in those first few months than Catcher had been.  Louisiana was picture perfect. She looked like a doll, she slept all night by month one, and she ate like my boobs could dry up at any second.  She even managed to amuse Catcher, something I had feared would not happen throughout my pregnancy.  She lit up (and still does) the Chef's eyes every time he saw her, and most important, she made us the family we were always meant to be. {insert cheese here}  

My Biggie Smalls is about to be 1 on Devil's Night.  Which is pretty bad ass in itself.  Bad ass birthday for a bad ass chicka.  I can't believe how time flies with the second baby.  Catcher's first year of his life was looooooooong.  Her first year was gone in 5.5 seconds.  Crazy.  C'est La Vie.

Happy Baby Shower Ladies!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINGZ: The Experience

The Chef, The Boy, Biggie Smalls, The Godfather, & The Booey

 

Dear WingZ,

I am not quite sure how we ended up spending an afternoon together but we did.  Your menu and bar were both large and overwhelming and void of any sustenance.  After moments of deliberation of which processed/ or genetically modified food would suffice I decided on the Macho Nachoz.  I look back now and wonder WHY God WHY?

My friend foe WingZ...I must inform you.  Nacho's, spelled with a Z or an S should not come out of a can. Never. Ever.  Nachos are also made with vegetables like lettuce and tomato's.  S or Z aside, they are made up of more than just canned beef and shredded cheese.  Leave it to Uncle M to lead us to the only place in the world that buys their beef canned.  Three days later and oh my!  I'll leave it at that.

Love

CW

Chef Crush x's 3

 

Let the fighting begin!  Thanks Radiohead.

The Chef & I have had a rough month of August.  It all began with a ridiculously awful fight (that was completely the Chef's fault) at Radiohead and seemed to spiral out of control from there.  Let's just say that the Chef was a Creep.  Insert groan here.  

We have had tough times before especially pre-Catcher and a little after Catcher's birth.  It was a bit hard to go from NYC Chef & NYC Nightclubbing Chick to Mommy & Daddy.  But we did it and it worked immensely well for us.  The Chef opened my eyes to what a great parent was even before our babies were born.  And from there we morphed into the family that we as cherish everyday.  Plus we  I stopped staying out till 7am and that really helped too.

From that point we have gone through some shit.  We got taken for a grand on our honeymoon (Thanks Newark-I fucking hate you).  Our apartment in Brooklyn caught on fire while the boy and I were at home.  Our renter's trashed our house in the CLE.  We have moved three times in the past years.  We have gone from ZERO debt to $12,000 debt in one year.  And so on and so on...

But that shit doesn't matter.  We will always have hard times.  There will always be fights.  I will drink too much vodka and say something stoopid.  He will drink too much Bourbon and I will hate dislike him for 24 hours.  He'll giveaway appliances and I'll buy new ones.  We will most definitely have parenting issues.  We will battle the role that toy guns have in our household.  I will always yell at him while driving and he will never pay attention to the road for more than two seconds at a time.  He will ALWAYS have a fucked up schedule.  I will always get pissed about said schedule.  But....duh duh duh...he will always be the man I love and the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with.  He is the man that my kids call dad and I melt a little each time I hear it.  No matter how strssed out he is I will still love him (even though I may want to seriously cut off his hand).

Marriage is hard.  And this month of marriage was a test for us.  It's only going to get harder from here on out.  He is only going to get busier.  I too am getting busier with the kiddies, school, and my writing.  But no matter how busy we must talk to each other or some shit will go down like last month.  And that's was no good.  

This what relaxation looks like.  Take a long look cause that's our ration for 2008.

 

As you may be able to tell I am kind of crushing on the Chef today.  We had our two year anniversary (church wedding that is)last Tuesday  and I super surprised the Chef.  I arrange his days to get get switched around and then I secretely planned an overnighter at a local spa (that I wasn't that impressed with).  I went to the restaurant on Saturday eve and his crew shoved him out the door and told him that the night was covered.  I was kind of worried that he would lose his shit seeing as he NEVER takes Saturday off but I think he was stoked.  He had no idea where we were going and kept guessing Cedar Point.  When we got to the spa I think he was happily surprised especially when he heard about the massages and the manicure and the super private grotto.  We did our treatments, ate some foods, drank some wines, and decided to go see The Dark Knight.  Both of us had wanted to see the film, especially because of Heath, however we just never had the time.

The Dark Knight was ok.  Kind of long.  But that Heath Ledger.  Oh man Oh man.  He could act.  His poor baby girl.  I see a posthumous Oscar in his the future.  He was insanely phenomenal.  

My iPhone addiction is quite out of control.  The Chef wanted to kill my ass as I was trying to get the perfect shot of The Joker.  Which I think I did.

After the movie we went back to the hotel ready to drink some really fantastic Champagne and take a giant bubble bath.  We did the bath.  And then we crashed.  Next thing I knew it was 7am.  Because that's what happens when Chef's go on an overnighter.  They fall asleep by 11.  And that's ok because they need the rest.  Especially mine.  

We had a great and very much needed night.  We were able to put all our bullshit on the table and work it out.   It was amazing and fun and healing and I absolutely love that about us.  No matter how thick the sludge gets we still manage to put aside our issues and talk.  Sounds corny but it works and it makes me feel like I am in a brand spankin' new relationship.

In some very cool Chef Crushin' news, my Chef won a contest (that I entered him in).  The girls over at Chef Crush had a contest to find the two most adorable Chefs in the USA.  And that handsomely adorable chef of mine WON!  All you Chef's out there who read this blog and know him MUST tease him incessantly about how ADORABLE he is!  Seriously though, the girls at Chef Crush are pretty cool and if you know of any handsome fellas or chicka's who get their cooking on you should nominate them.  Good exposure for the Chef's and totally fun for the rest of us!

Happy Monday Bitches.

Haircuts for Everyone!

The Chef, Biggie Smalls, & I lounge in Sandusky

This week has been a tsunami.  Sunday started the week with a bang.  The Chef & I worked a wedding party at Cento and about halfway through the Chef came down with a super virus.  When we got home (@ 4am) he was a wreck.  Monday morning rolled around and I let him sleep and picked up the kids to get ready to head up to the lakes (aka Sandusky).  When I got the kids, they were also sickies.  We decided to still head up to the lakes to hang with my family.  The Chef ended up sleeping for the day and the boy learned how to fish in between bouts of sickness and crankiness.  Biggie Smalls was generally angry the entire day although she did perk up when dinner was served.  Sickness or not my girl loves to eat.

Catcher fishes.                                                              Louisiana eats.

 

We drove home and everyone went to sleep before 10pm.  Something that rarely happens in the widow household.  I woke up at 5am for my 5.45am Boot Camp Class.  That's right friends I am a nutcase.  The girl who never works out signed up for a class at 5.45am, two days a week.  Much to my surprise the class was fantastic and I was strangely energized.  After boot camp I raced home to get ready for the Young 3's orientation at Catcher's new school.  When I got home I found my family in shambles.  All three were miserable, coughing, sweating, and being grumpy asses.  I immediately called our Doc and made an appointment for the three of them to go while I was at orientation.  The Chef was none too happy about having to cart the kids and his sick ass to the doc's but what can you do?  It happens and action needed to be taken.  Welcome to my world Chef.

I got back from orientation and the Chef let me know that all three of them had ear infections and a virus.  Yippee!!!  Happy Anniversary to me (Tuesday was our 2 yr church anno)!! The kids and I headed to Border's, bought the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (a personal fave) and went home to snuggle and watch Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael kick some foot solider ass.

 

Happiness Is...

Wednesday, the kids still under the weather, was the first day of school for my boy.  The family packed into the Prius and headed south towards the valley.  The drop off was a bit emotional but my pride overcame any tears that I thought I would shed.  Catcher was so grown up about it and seemed genuinely happy to be there.  

His program is only three hours so the Chef, Biggie, and I went to Mustard Seed for some groceries and then drove around the valley looking at bad ass houses that we can't afford.  We picked up the boy who was super HAPPY to see all of us and headed home for some much needed family time.  We played and ate and sang and climbed until I had to go downtown for my LEED class.  The kids seemed to be feeling better and the Chef actually had a little color back in his face.  Whew!

Celebrity Stylist D & J get down and dirty on Ev & Aren

After my class I headed home to get ready for our Wednesday night Haircutting party.  Some friends and stylist friends stopped by to drink wine, play with the kids, and cut hair.  Not in that order of course.  At 10pm we watched the Chef & the Iron Chef rock out Seder Supper on the new episode of Dinner Impossible.  If you missed it you should definitely check it out.  Totally great and entertaining.  The show is a HIT!  The Chef in a Yamika really does it for me:)

Yes I am totally THAT GIRL  You know the one who pauses TIVO to take a picture of her Chef on TV

This morning my ass was back in Boot Camp @ 5.45am.  I even had the privelege of finding out my fat:muscle ratio.  And it was awesome.  HA! I wanted to kil myself.  

5am gave me my fat ratio but it also gave me this beautiful sunrise

The Chef took the boy to school and Biggie & I snuggled with Potato & Vito.  After some much needed girl time we headed down to get the boy.  He was a little off and still kind of sickly.  I think today may have been a tougher day for him at school.

So basicaly my week was filled with the sickness, a wedding anniversary, a first day of school, 5 am boot camp, lno sleep, good friends, and some awesome Cantillon.  Can't wait to see wha's in store for next week!