Wednesday, December 02, 2020  

First things first! This has been my favorite year ever! It began with a fun trip to Washington, D.C. (our engagement locale) where we celebrated the millennium at a black tie hotel party (for young republicans???). It was loads of fun to hang out with all of our swinging single friends and watch them in action.

In December of 1999, I had finished all my coursework for my Master's in Education degree at University of Massachusetts. However, I did not do the ceremony stuff until June. This was very fun because I got to graduate/celebrate with many of the friends with whom I started the program. Also, it was the first time I actually attended a graduation :).

While I was finished with my Master's coursework, I could never not be a student--so I continued taking painting studio classes at Mass. College of Art. I'm still working in oils but I'm painting on much larger canvasses now. I'm really improving and still love it--I often fantasize about dropping everything and becoming a painter by profession. I can just picture it now--my child and I spending our days painting on our respective canvas and easel in the studio that we share. Maybe someday....

All this time I had been seriously training for the Boston Marathon--one of my many dreams. Throughout the freezing cold winter I had remained faithful to my training schedule. "Marathon Monday" (always Patriot Day) is one of the most exciting times in Boston. When I first moved out here in 1997, I was a spectator and cheerleader during the marathon and knew then that I had to run it! I had a stress fracture when the big April day came. However, I finished with a great time--under the circumstances--of 4:02 :).

It was a blast, and full of laughs--funny people dressed in all sorts of garb. The funniest part about the whole "marathon" experience is that instead of my body becoming worn and damaged, I became stronger and healthier than ever!

So I probably shouldn't jump ahead, but I just can't help myself. Not even three months later did I get pregnant and we found out in late August after I started feeling weird. My doctor of four years ran the blood test three times because she said there was no way this could happen--with my whacked medical history and all.

It's my miracle baby. It has given my life so much meaning and wholeness. I'm never lonely or sad, because our bebe always let's me know it's there. Most of the time through jabs and kicks, but also through my never-ending hunger :). Hmmmmm, so after this all happened, I decided to stop training for the New York City Marathon in November. The irony about all this is the projected due date of our baby is April 16th, Marathon Monday. Let's hope I have a "faster" time than last year :).

Now I'm working at UMass Boston and teaching (which I explain in the News section), and I'm spending my weekends painting. Without really planning it, the theme of my artwork is definitely "baby." While painting, I ask myself, "Would the baby like to look at this and feel stimulated by the color, texture, values, etc.?" I try to use bold, vibrant hues and big brushstrokes. I've added cradles in pictures that needed a "fill" and I've made the women models' bodies more voluptious and curved.

I just finished my favorite project--a large painting of the baby as we saw it during the ultrasound at 17 weeks. I loved trying to capture the baby's endless movements, organ development, and the bone formation on a 2-dimensional surface. I used bright colors and lots of thick, luscious oil paint. I found myself smiling the entire process. I know the baby will love looking at it!

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