Category Archives: Personal

Demeter Smiles

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It’s been five months since my last post. How can I explain my absence? The truth is, life just got too hard. (Warning–I’m about to get personal up in here. Trigger warning for those of you who have experienced pregnancy loss.)

About a week after the exterior update, we got some great news: I was pregnant! Though it was a joyous occasion, I didn’t want to share it here because it was so early. But what could I write about when the one thing taking all of my attention was a secret? Then the holidays came and went, and we lost the baby. Just a few days after we heard its heartbeat, the little heart stopped. I didn’t know for a few more weeks. The pain of this loss is something I don’t know how to put in to words; winter consumed me.

Though the start of 2014 was tough for me (probably shouldn’t have made my new year’s resolution “to give birth to a healthy baby”) things are looking decidedly better now. Spring has come. I’ve been making a conscious effort to live a positive life, taking time for myself and doing the things I care about. My mental and physical health have been my focus and through that I have found everything else falls in to place.

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This season is all about rebirth and renewal. As I am feeling the sun shine on me after what feels like ages, I’m going to resume blogging. It will probably be slow to start, but I’m ready to begin sharing again.

Fall reflections, and a reader poll

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Fall is my favorite of the seasons, yet I feel like it’s the most fleeting. Halloween comes before you know it, and then the holiday season begins, a whirlwind of engagements and expenditures and suddenly it’s January and you really should start going back to the gym. Two and a half weeks have passed since my last post, and what has been happening? When it’s dark before the workday ends, it’s hard to keep up with your passions.

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Or, at least, it’s hard to remember to document them.

In my opinion, good content requires good documentation. Sure, I took a nice picture of my jack-o’-lantern the day after Halloween, but wouldn’t it be more useful to know how I carved it? Getting in the habit of photographing everything can be difficult to remember, and what with the dwindling daylight hours, I think this blogging is going to require a little more planning. A bit of a schedule.

So here’s where I need help from you, dear reader. If I’m going to plan out my content, I need to be sure it’s interesting to you! I would greatly appreciate your input in the polls below.

Feel free to comment further below, and thank you so much for your input!

First Floor Tour: the Kitchen (with a tale of woe)

DSC_0046Dun dunna-nunnnn!! The first room I would like to present to you is THE KITCHEN.

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As you can see, there isn’t much counter space, but that has forced us to do away with certain things like the microwave, which, in the long run, is actually a very good thing!

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As I mentioned in the empty house tour, the kitchen is basically what sold me on the house. There wasn’t a whole lot we wanted to do to it, besides get our stuff in there.

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Since we weren’t planning any kitchen renos, you might be wondering why there is a GIANT HOLE IN THE KITCHEN CEILING.

Well, lemme tell ya, this giant hole is not desired. Nope, we did not plan to cut a hole in our ceiling. We did not want this hole, but we had no choice.

About a month after moving in to the house, we noticed something strange. One of the light fixtures over the bar had what appeared to be a brown stain from some sort of liquid trickling all the way down its stem (cord? hang-y thing?) and settling around the bottom of the light bulb. It was dry when we noticed it. Not knowing what the heck it could be from, we promptly forgot about it.

A little while later, Jon said he heard dripping somewhere in the kitchen while I was taking a shower (the bathroom is right above the kitchen.) I looked everywhere but couldn’t find any water suggesting a leak. I didn’t hear any dripping when Jon took a shower, so again, we forgot about it.

Cut to a Sunday morning late in July, when I filled our tub hoping to take my first, much-needed relaxing bath in our new home. Just as I was starting to settle in while the tub filled, I heard Jon yelling from downstairs that I had to get out, NOWI sprang out of the tub and ran downstairs to see water all over the counter and floor, a wet line along the seam in the ceiling’s drywall, and water gushing down that same light fixture.

Turns out our tub had a leak.

We have a home warranty, and they sent out a plumber to assess the situation. Apparently the tub had been leaking for a LONG time, and the space between the new ceiling and the old (they lowered it) was absolutely covered in mold. The plumber guessed that the old ceiling had been holding in the water and finally burst, which is why we got a sudden gush of water and hadn’t noticed much else before.

We are still in the process of getting it all figured out (not an easy task when you’ve got lives to live) but in the meantime, we have temporarily patched the crack in the tub (with packaging tape—nothing but the best for House DeMonte), cut out the rest of the ceiling to clean out the mold, and are keeping it open so we can monitor the situation (and because, well, we haven’t fixed the tub yet.) Eventually we’ll get the tub patched properly and install the new ceiling ourselves, but in the meantime, we are living with a giant hole in our kitchen ceiling.

DSC_0047Despite all that, I still think it’s a gorgeous kitchen.

What’s in a name? How we became the DeMontes

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I hinted in our wedding post that there was a story behind our name. When we got married, Jon and I both changed our last name.

When we first got engaged and had the conversation about names, we both expressed that we could go either way. I can’t remember whether or not it mattered to him, but I wanted us to share a last name. In the past I thought I might be a hyphen gal. I don’t want to get in to the politics of it, because that’s not the point, but as a modern woman the symbolism of taking your husband’s name has always slightly bothered me. But I really liked Jonathan’s name, and it was a little too long to hyphenate, so we decided at that point that my last name would become both of our middle names, and we would share his last name.

The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t mind the ol’ patriarchy issue. Mostly because his last name was really cool sounding (it was Piedimonte, say it like an Italian to get the full effect) but also because I really liked the idea of taking a new name for this next stage in life. In the United States, there isn’t really a “coming of age” ceremony that is practiced by our culture as a whole. There are symbolic steps, but we could debate all day whether you’re really an adult at sweet 16, 18, 21, college graduation, etc. While I certainly think it’s different for every person, for me, a wedding is like a coming of age ceremony. It’s a symbolic ritual saying not only that you are grown up enough to make this life-altering choice, but you are mature enough to enter a lifelong partnership with another person. You are no longer reliant on your parents. You are an adult, making your own choices, with another adult. Marriage isn’t for kids. So taking the step in to the next stage of life, it makes sense that your name would change, too. I like that.

Of course, in our culture, it’s (usually) the woman whose name changes. If the guy is going through the same thing, shouldn’t he get a symbolic name change, too?

Jon told me that he had been thinking about changing his name for a while. In the time that I’ve known him (we first met in 2009), he has grown so much as a person. He has completely changed his life around, dropped bad habits, set goals, and is well on the way to achieving them. When we first met, he told me he didn’t think he was ready for a relationship with me (in fact, I wasn’t either). Obviously, by the time he asked me to marry him, we both were.

He wasn’t Jonathan Piedimonte anymore. He wanted to leave that name behind.

Now, before anybody comes in here saying “Well he could have taken your name!” remember that I wanted to change my name, too, so that wasn’t going to work. And Boehr-Piedimonte is just way too long. No, we needed a new name. A name that was ours.

I didn’t want to drop my old name entirely; I’m rather partial to it. I decided to stick with the original idea and keep it as my middle name. For our new name, we wanted to keep Jon’s heritage alive in it. We didn’t want to deviate too far. So we decided to shorten it, tweaked the spelling and capitalization, and came up with DeMonte. Now, what’s really cool about this, is Piedimonte means “at the foot of the mountain.” DeMonte means “on the mountain.” In case you’re not getting it, I’ll spell it out for you: we climbed the mountain.

And that’s how we became Jon and Lydia DeMonte.