Friday, January 23, 2015


This song reduced me to tears tonight.

Something is wrong.

I spent the whole day just wanting to crawl back in bed, I felt like crying every time I tried to talk, and... something is just wrong. I was sitting in the living room listening to music on my headphones with the little dog on my lap and this song, about half way through, hit a nerve. I think it's because of the hard times Austin and I are going through, the deep and abiding sense of struggle that is required to even hold on to our relationship in the midst of so much hurt and confusion and stress. We are both so raw and angry and vulnerable... It only takes one true believer to believe we can still beat the odds. I have to believe that. Otherwise what else do I have?

Heart of the World 
Lady Antebellum

Tin cans on rattlin' pavement
Confetti scattered everywhere
She falls asleep in the seat beside me
Rice caught up in her hair
I don't mind it, I keep drivin',
Flying on these wheels of steel
A bit anxious, a bit nervous
The moment's all that we can feel

If oil is the soul of the engine
And wine is the drink of the Gods
Forgiveness the road to redemption
Faith can still beat the odds
We're meant to be baby hold on to me
You'll never not be my girl
'Cause love is the heart of the world

I leave him sleepin' as I rise early
Always up before the dawn
The house is dark, but I see clearly
Kettle sings a morning song
The bacon's frying, babies crying
I soak up the sights and sounds
Minutes turn to days and I wish that I could slow it down

If grease is the soul of the kitchen
And coffee the drink of the Gods
Routine too perfect to mention
Time is a thief I would rob
We're meant to be baby hold onto me
I'll never not be your girl
'Cause love is the heart of the world

Oh, and hope is the soul of the dreamer
And heaven is the home of my God
It only takes one true believer
To believe you can still beat the odds

We're meant to be baby hold onto me
You'll never not be my girl (I'll never not be your girl)
'Cause love is the heart, love is the heart,
Love is the heart of the world

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I struggle daily with my competing desires. I desperately want to relinquish control of details and decisions to Austin while at the same time treating him with gentle kindness and respect. I also desperately want to control every aspect of my life with an iron grip.

The two, in case you hadn't guessed, don't mix well at all. I have very clearly defined ways "things should go" and when they don't go that way I get frustrated, annoyed, bossy, and rude. At the same time I really don't want to have to control everything, know everything, and decide everything. It's a sticky place to be, especially since I have trouble trusting that Austin (or if I'm being really honest, just about anyone on earth) knows enough about what is going on and about me to make a decision that is different from my own but still perfectly valid.

A very dear friend, whom I see only rarely, laid it out very starkly the last time we talked. He said that my assets - my strength, commitment, control-freakish nature, and stubbornness - are all perfectly suited to meeting my goals of surrendering, being respectful, and creating a more harmonious life with Austin. All I have to do is make up my mind once and for all that I actually want to do it. I cried a little when he said that, not wanting to admit that I do have the power and nothing is stopping me except me.

I'm in my third year of a highly competitive PhD program, for heaven's sake! If I have the strength and conviction to make it to this point in my life I can surely adjust my thinking enough to follow Austin's lead and just make it happen. The onus is on me. It is my responsibility to change my thinking and follow through on what I claim to want.

This thought plays through my head every day. Every damn day! Multiple times a day. But something (hint, hint: fear) is holding me back and I haven't screwed up the courage to turn my back on that fear and take a leap of faith. Small steps are sometimes possible and with each one I must remind myself to recognize that nobody died because I chose to loosen my grip, follow Austin's lead, and bow my head to making our lives a little less complicated.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I changed the title of the blog on a whim, inspired by a sleepless night. I was thinking about all of the funny, cute, challenging, learning-moment, confusing, or overwhelming things that happen every day and my unending need to write in some form or fashion and decided to come here.

The "heartburn" part of the title comes from the sleepless night, one of many that have been occurring recently. The "hedgehog" part comes from the most recent addition to our family and my nickname for Austin.

An inventory is in order...

One adult male: Austin. My hedgehog and the inspiration for both the pet and the blog.
One adult female: Gray. Me. A mother, fiancee, student, and so much more.
Three adolescents: Tabby, Jackson, and Chloe, in descending order of age. The two girls are my daughters, the boy is Austin's son.
Two dogs: One designer dog and one mutt. The mutt was acquired a few months ago from the shelter. We've had the designer dog for a little over a year.
One cat: The perfect cat. She loves me and loves to talk to me even though she is Austin's cat.
One hedgehog: A living embodiment of my nickname for Austin. Just joined the household this past weekend.

Austin and I are ever so slightly kinky, when time and family obligations permit. We dabble with a form of Head of Household dynamic that more often than not falls flat on its face. We continue to move forward but are never quite sure where we are or where we're going.


This morning on the way to school Chloe started talking about the namesake for this blog: our new hedgehog. She said she still doesn't believe we really have a hedgehog and is sure that someday Austin is going to do something crazy.

"One day he's going to come home with a hippo and things are going to go really wrong," she said, very seriously.

"Hippos are illegal," I pointed out.

"Exactly!" She exclaimed. "Then wouldn't things be bad?!"

She then went off on the possibility of Austin showing up one  day with a giant dog and how I would react (complete with a funny, high-pitched voice I'm guessing was her early-morning interpretation of me). I listened to her musings, all the while wondering where in the world she gets her endless enthusiasm and silliness.