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The Opposite of Lonely

I had the loveliest weekend. Really, it was one of the best in a long, long time.

One of Greg’s older brothers was in town from Cleveland with his wife and their 3 1/2 month old baby. They arrived on Thursday and stayed with us until yesterday morning. I made goat cheese enchiladas on Thursday night and they were so sweet in giving us a bottle of nice champagne and a stack of wedding magazines and organizers.

On Friday, while Greg was at work, I took them to see a space downtown where Greg and I will probably get married. We just fell in love with this beautiful and modern event space and Kristin and Eric loved it too. We’re probably going to put a deposit (fully refundable in the next 5 months) down this week and see if we can work out all the other logistics in the meantime. Friday night we went to one of our favorite neighborhood spots, Spacca Napoli, for pizza and then took a long summer evening stroll through the park.

Saturday morning found me accidentally trying on wedding dresses. I say accidentally because that wasn’t something I was planning on doing anytime soon but boy, was it fun! My friend Stacy (who has a brand new blog) is getting married next summer (I’m a bridesmaid!) and she was getting a second fitting of a dress she’s having custom made at this fantastic shop called Dame Couture.

Stacy finished up with her dress (which is amazing) and suddenly there I was slipping into this gorgeous satin ’40s number. It’s a surreal thing to see yourself in a wedding dress in a dressing room mirror. I always thought it might make me sad not to have my mom there. She would have ADORED doing just such a thing. But I wasn’t sad at all. I loved being there with Stacy and can’t wait to try on more dresses as the months go on.

Saturday continued on to be such a fantastic day. We relaxed on the deck, reading and chatting. Greg’s sister Sara who lives here in Chicago came over with her two year old and while Julia napped, Sara graded papers on the deck and Greg and I went for a run. When we came back Eric and Kristin had returned with the baby and it was suddenly a full house. Sara’s husband showed up not long after that and I busied myself in the kitchen getting ready for a deck party we’d planned that night for my birthday.

Eric and Greg set to work putting together a grill out on the deck and the girls went to the park up the street with the kids. There were Pack n Plays in both bedrooms, toys everywhere and little socks and spit up rags here and there. Music was playing and I was marinating chicken and shrimp and I suddenly had this feeling of fullness, of light and love and deep contentment.

I was filled with this feeling that is so opposite of how I’ve felt for much of the last ten years — the opposite of loneliness. The opposite of wanting. The opposite of sadness.

It brings tears to my eyes even now to write that. I feel so incredibly lucky and so grateful to be this in love with the most wonderful man who happens to have the most wonderful (and enormous!) family.

That night they presented me with a birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday and I blew out the candles and I couldn’t think of anything to wish for because I have everything I could ever want.

[Check out She Wrote, He Wrote for a hilarious new post about the Ravenswood Manor annual garage sale.]


  1. So glad for you, Claire. Happy birthday week, happy happiness!

    Comment by Pamela Ivey on May 19, 2008 at 10:20 am

  2. First of all…
    I hope that you know that you have lived one of the most extraordinary lives of anyone that I have ever met. You have done more in your short 30 years than what most people ever do in their entire lifetime. You are so talented Claire, and I hope that you are aware of your brilliance.
    Second of all…
    I am so glad that you are happy now. I am so pleased that your life feels fulfilled and not lonely anymore.
    Third of all…
    Happy Birthday. You must be a Taurus, which is probably why I like you. :)

    Comment by Katie McBride on May 19, 2008 at 10:26 pm

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