no one can cry while holding a balloon.

Life has been...emotional to say the least. So I bought myself a cheer-up balloon, not knowing it would be so large I might chance popping it as I squeeeeeezed it into my backseat.

Goodbye-days aside, I've never cried about Gabe and my long-distance conundrum. On my loneliest days, I simply theorize that there are many other people in the world who deserve to shed tears over love, and I, being blessed in simply having it, am certainly not one of them. It's always worked, my brave and selfless recitation, until last Thursday, when I sobbed into the phone so fiercely that no sound came out. Iraq then saw fit to cut off that phone call no less than nine times, and during the precious few moments of functioning phone service there was such a delay that conversation became impossible.

Long-distance...it's exhausting. I bury deep most negative thoughts about distance, as it's presently a fact of life for us and no amount of complaints or loathing will change the situation. More than its being entirely idle, complaining only makes Gabriel feel guilty for his absence and me, even more alone. But, I can't hold it in much longer: It's wearing on me. International distance is no cakewalk. (Mmm. Cake. Have I mentioned I'm on a diet, too? More about that next week.) It's rather like climbing aboard the merry-go round and, naively believing it will be all giggles and good times, asking for a spin. The first few go-arounds are exhilarating manageable, but after a while all you can do is hang on, try not to vomit and wait for someone to mercifully bring it to a stop. When there's no visible finish line in sight...it's just 'round and 'round, forcing you to lose track of days both past and to come.

And on another front, I'm looking for a new home. My current tiny nest has been loved through and through for three years...absolutely to bits. But, I expect life to be changing in the next year and I'm in need of a place that's slightly larger than what I have now. In a perfect world, I'd wave a magic wand over my place, the living room would suddenly have hardwood floors + ten extra feet and that one tiny, pesky wall would come crashing down like the walls of Jericho. Everything else would stay exactly as-is, and when life changed there would be room for two of us here...forever and ever. Places steal little bits of my heart...and when I leave this little apartment, I'll leave a bit of my heart behind as well.

A series of those days has filled my last few weeks, and my closest girlfriends are far-flung...too far to allow me a teary dinner with someone who doesn't think my emotions over phone calls and apartments are frilly ridiculousness. (Although, in the grand scheme of things, they are, I know.) All I want in the world is to come home to Gabriel, an apartment so perfect I could cry, a relationship free of phones + computers, and a night spent ordering from our fav Thai place and watching nerdy documentaries. Just the ol' life of your typical couple...predictable Friday night dates and the occasional tiff over a dirty sock.

Tomorrow will come, and I will find myself one day closer to getting off this ride, but for now I will buy myself balloons and nail polish.


  1. I don't know how you do it - long distance relationships are HARD.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Keep holding that pretty balloon, they don't last forever - everything passes, we hold on whilst we have to and whilst we can. Times change and they get easier, because you do.

    Take care

  3. I love this picture of you! Hang in there. Love and life is full of ups and downs. Even living with the love of my life we are going threw a low right now. We are dealing with his incurable severe illness and he needs another blood transfusion. So for the time being I will imagine that I am standing right there besides you holding a giant yellow balloon.

    Sending love,
    Beverly ~ Remember me Knots

  4. Aw I should try a big pretty balloon. My boyfriend is in Afghanistan and I started reading your blog because we had the long distance love in common. I hear you on the pain and frustration of separation but the longing for the future holds you together. Optimism has to be a constant companion.

    Cheers to us being the girls back home but still with them in thier hearts :)

    P.s. Your adorable!

  5. oh beth, my heart is breaking for you. keep on keeping on...he'll be home soon!? meanwhile, your balloon is the most perfect thing. i love everything about this photo (although i'm sure you'd agree it would be even better with mr. g at your side.)

    how was the showing today!?! it would be so super delightful to hear about your new chapter beginning in the very same walls that one of mine ended. super super happy.

    the next time i'm in eau claire, we so need to grab coffee.

  6. Oh Bethany. You are perfectly entitled to be sad and feel down about the distance between you and your love. How much longer till you get to see him? Long distance sucks. Plain and simple.
    I can only imagine that life feels a bit like it is on hold until you see him again.
    Hang in there and do what you need to do to make this time pass....but don't forget to live in the present too.

  7. So, I just had a thought and had to share it with you, in hopes to try and cheer you up. When I make your pillows, I am going to make one that has a love note pocket. Then while you two are apart, you can go to the pillow "love note pocket" and open little cards and forget me knots addressed to each other. Maybe a small travel size one for Gabe to take with him also <3

  8. I hope your missing calms and your new place is found soon and just ready for you!
    I adore that balloon! I want one terribly!

  9. You are an amazing woman. I'm writing a letter back to you this weekend - your package was precious. How can you have such a big heart when it's torn in so many directions?

    Don't ever feel bad about being lonely or sad because of long distance! It is incredibly hard and you're away from the man you love the most.

    Your balloon is beautiful, nearly as much as you are, and you deserve some lovely color and fun in your life! Paint those nails, Skype those girlfriends, and keep on writing and talking with Gabe. I can't begin to imagine having your phone calls cutting out, poor girl! I hope when the morning comes one day soon it will be brighter.

    One day you'll be together in the new home decorating and cuddling together watching movies and you won't ever stop appreciating it after being apart.

  10. Before we were married, tim and I were in a long distance relationship for a year. He in the Napa Valley, I lived in Spain. It was excruciating. I know that pain of separation, the longing for a normal existence together. My heart goes out to you and Gabriel, wishing you both swift passage of time until you see each other again. This too shall pass... Take care, Bethany.

  11. I will come eat dinner with you, love. : ) Or a visit to Ivan. (Yvonne?) You have been my sunshine, especially lately. Thank you, dear!

  12. You'll get through it Bethany, you really will. Alan lived in England and I lived in Canada and we did that for two long years before we finally lived together in the same place. I remember vividly the tears and the counting down the days and longing for a normal life. And now he's been here in Victoria for 9 years (two weeks from now is the anniversary of the day he arrived to stay!) and it's all a distant memory. I never thought the day would come, but it did. And it was worth the wait.

    Keep doing what you're doing. Buy a balloon, go to the gym, blog about how you feel, send pretty packages... everything that passes the time and makes you happy. And every once in a while, cry your eyes out! It's therapeutic.

    Hugs, sweet girl! Keep on thinking about your travel plans. It's March now and they're that much closer!

  13. Basically I support everything these other ladies have said. It's gotta be so, so tough knowing that you are supposed to be with him and yet you can't literally be with him. I am praying that you have an eased heart through all this. Lots of love, sweet!

  14. Long distance is so tough, and I can't even imagine international long distance.

    I'm glad I found your little corner of the blog world!

  15. I want to say everything that everyone else has already said and I want to add this: look at the love you both have for each other! It's just lovely. I've been busy becoming a mum and haven't read your blog for a couple of months, but it's good to see that you still write beautifully and, oh my gosh - the photos! Chin up xx

  16. I think you are doing well. And who can cry with that lovely big balloon.

    I hope that one day it won't be a long distance relationship but you will see each other every day. x

  17. A balloon sounds like a wonderful idea! Or flowers!
    I'm marking time, waiting for our house to sell here, while Tim has started the new job there. Daily phone calls are great - but have their limitations. It's worked out for him to be here about every other weekend, some of which have been cut short with impending weather situations...

    A balloon is officially on my to-do list for tomorrow!


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