The Things He Was

One year ago today, my father died.  I could lament all the things he will miss. (Weddings, Grandchildren, and General Awesomeness)


However, I feel this day deserves a celebration, because my father was truly amazing.

For starters, he had some good stories.  The first time I was going to bring Bülent  home, we had to take down the twin bed in my room and set up the old double he and my mom used to share.  Apparently he bought it in the sixties and I was treated to the entire history of the bedframe.  Which I suppose was only fair as I only set it up to share it with my BF.

Also he started the Wellesley Fuck Truck, oh, I mean the Cuddle Shuttle.  When my father went to Brown in the 60’s he took some time off.  In that time he chartered (and drove) a bus between Wellesley (all women’s school I went to) and Harvard, MIT and Dartmouth (all men’s at the time).  When he stopped driving the bus and returned to Brown, the student body at my school demanded a  replacement bus from the administration.  I was also slightly wary introducing myself to alumnae from the 60’s and 70’s should they remember my last name, via my dad. 


He was awesome with kids.  Seriously.  He rocked the 2-10 age group like a rock star.  Reading stories, finding age appropriate activities on-line. 

Dude rocked the babies 

Dad soph

He was a feminist.  My body was my decision from way back.

He was a family man.  I never doubted his devotion to us as a family.  He would love nothing more than spending time with us.

He was a reader and lover of books.  Both my parents instilled this in me.  There is still nothing more exciting than opening the first pages of a new book.

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He had strong hands for a computer guy.  Often his knuckles were bleeding from some home improvement project, but he never noticed it unless one of us told him. 

He talked to everyone and anyone, often creating friendships and bonds with strangers who entered his life. 

He swore like a sailor when appropriate.

He was a fighter.  Life couldn’t have been easy.  There have been tragedies and triumphs.  He was diagnosed with cancer back in 1998.  He fought with a vengeance.  Our family, and those who know us were able to appreciate that time we had.  Of course we wish for more, who doesn’t?  No one wishes they had less time with their beloved family members.  I am glad I had the time I did and the memories I had.  I have learned many things from my father, raunchy jokes and tragedy included, and am glad for everything I had.  Every movement of it. 


Hoşgeldiniz to 2013

Welcome to the New Year!  I hope everyone had safe and happy New Years celebrations.  Bülent and I have been so busy lately that we welcomed the New Year from bed, where we had been snuggling and watching movies.  It worked for me!  Start the New Year as you mean to continue right?  I am sure many people are thinking about New Year Resolutions and how to make changes.  I think I am just going to continue the journey I started several months ago, trying to appreciate the good, and live a more balanced life.

It has been a difficult year.  This day last year I was packing my bags to go back to the U.S.  I  had taken a leave of absence due to my father’s health and was supposed to head back at the end of the semester in late January.  I had spoken to my family a couple of days before and I had decided to change my plane ticket on December 30.  It was expensive to change a ticket two days before the flight, but it was the best decision I ever made.  My father’s funeral was on the original date in January on which I was supposed to arrive. 

I had taken the semester off and my school had hired someone to take my place, so I stayed in N.H., grieving and healing with my family.  It was difficult to be separated from my husband for six months, but has changed our relationship for the better.  We are stronger and more united, we know there is nothing we wouldn’t do to help the other…been there, done that.  We have now had bad and trying times and just love each other more for our individual responses to them. 

My time in the U.S. last year was very precious to me.  It allowed me to spend time with my mother while she needed me, and while I needed her.  I was able to get to know my brother as the man he is now, as opposed to the boy he was when I left.  I was also able to get to know his long time girlfriend, who is as lovely inside as she is out.  I went to my college roommate’s wedding and celebrated her happiness with her, and our college friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in five years.   I drove from Texas to New Hampshire, meeting Bülent’s dearest old friends, and visiting mine along the way.   I also went to BlogHer ‘12!

My oldest and dearest friend made me an Auntie—albeit in a terrifying way.  Due to her daughter’s insistence to make a (extremely early) entrance I was able to meet her in the NICU before I came back to Turkey.  

Health wise: Bülent and I went vegetarian (almost six months now) and I joined a gym a few months ago.  The breast lumps have been vanquished—well not vanquished but at least identified as benign.  To top it all off, our dog, Butterfinger, is not letting cataracts get her down.   

The year has been challenging and rewarding.  I am hoping that this next year will be easier, because we kind of need a break.  But we are starting the year off right.  Last year my dad wanted to take our family on a last vacation, a cruise, due to his limited mobility, but he died before we were able.  

Well, we are taking that fucking cruise.  Come January break, my mom, brother and I are going to go.  We are going to celebrate what was, what is and what is to come, because that is what life is all about.  So 2013—bring it on!

Two Countries=Two Weddings

Equals two anniversaries!  Last week on 9/19 we had our second wedding anniversary, of our first year of marriage.  One of the benefits of being a bicultural couple, is that you get two weddings and two anniversaries.  Last year I blogged more about the adventures my family went on, than  our Turkish wedding reception.  Which was awesome.   At our Turkish reception we had a live jazz band in an outdoor garden.  Same players, same dress, different flowers, different tie.  And I sang.

At the U.S. wedding Bülent sang me an amazing love song called “Hatırla Sevgilim” or “Remember Darling.”  Not only was it a lovely song, but he has a beautiful voice.

Also, brand new gorgeous husband singing to you–

The stuff dreams are made of…sing

Wanting to be equally romantic, at the Turkish wedding, I sang Bülent a song.

(See look, same dress, veil and suit—different color tie)


Unfortunately, singing is not my gift. So really, it was very sentimental and romantic—because there was no other redeeming value. When I got up on stage with the band, one of them asked me what key I was singing in. I think the look of panic tipped her off—Key, What key? She said they would just follow me…The song, Üsküdar’a Gider İken, is a classic Turkish folk song. I would recommend listening to it, it is lovely and the rendition linked is great.

It is about the rain in Istanbul, a woman and a man.  Clearly all the essentials for romance.  Also it explains the pink umbrella I am brandishing in the photo.  Yes, at one point I was swinging it around and about.  Very sassily.  It earned me a cheer from the guests.


So, happy 2nd 1st anniversary baby!  We are on our way to a long life together.  Let’s look at those numbers:

1 year of marriage
3 years in Turkey
7 years of living together
8 years together in total

This morning we made omelets and toast, then snuggled on the couch and drank our coffee, just like almost every Sunday for the last eight years.  And you know what–I really don’t want to do anything else…Perfect.  Just perfect.

2nd Year!

366 days ago I got married.  Today is the 1st day of my second year of marriage!  (Which means yesterday was my 1st anniversary-but I couldn’t post since I had to finish a paper for my Masters)

My husband is actually in Turkey, and I am in NH—So we did not celebrate this anniversary in person together.   We had a romantic dinner before he left for Turkey, and a Skype yesterday.  When I get back we will do something on the date of our Turkish reception as well.

It seems crazy that I have been married a year. But crazy in a good way.  Like Crazy Awesome!  Living with your BFF who also happens to be your lover is a great way to spend your life.


He makes life exciting.  He whisks me away for romantic weekends and is always on the look out for things I will enjoy.  He knows when I am having a bad day and pre-orders take out for us.  He holds me when I cry and and when I laugh.


I want nothing more than many more decades with this man, on our own adventures.

Happy Anniversary  Şekerkalbim!

Two Years?!?!

Seriously.  This week we had a couple of anniversaries.  Monday, the 14th was our second anniversary of our engagement.


We had left San Diego and were in NH on a stopover on the way to Turkey.   Bulent  took me shoe shopping and told me he would buy me this gorgeous pair of pumps for Valentine’s Day.  He asked me to try them on one more time before we left and when I opened the shoe box there was a (conflict free) diamond ring in the heel of the shoes.

This weekend was another huge landmark–It was the 2nd anniversary of our move to Turkey.  When we moved here two years ago I spoke almost no Turkish.  I could say please, thank you, and how are you (formal).  Now I can argue, barter, flatter and swear (just a little) in Turkish.  I wouldn’t say I am fluent, but I can get my point across.

I have traveled  quite a bit and seen most of the western side of the country.


I have eaten and eaten.

Marmaris JulyAug 2009 067Marmaris JulyAug 2009 095Marmaris JulyAug 2009 107Marmaris JulyAug 2009 136

In Marmaris and Bodrum, lokum and köfte

And eaten and eaten.

Sept 013NovDec 209 005


Kokoreç and midye tava, Thanksgiving, Sosli soğanli durum döner and cheap organic pazar goodies.

NovDec 209 028

Two Christmases!


Set two kitchens on fire!


Celebrated two birthdays!

January 2010 029sof

Visited home three times.

Made lots of new friends!


Learned how to make (and not make) cakes from scratch.

Spring 2010 Ankara 106

Cuddled and fed stray puppies and street dogs.

Made several Mediterranean and Aegean Road trips.

Had the pleasure of hosting family on their visits to Turkey.

weddankara wed

Had two weddings, in two countries to one man.


A whole lotta of Turkey seen and done, but many adventures to come!