23 January 5

My last blog post was on January 4. Please forgive my absence; I've been a little bit busy.

Because on January 5, I gave birth to the sweetest baby girl, our little Rose.

She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. And thankfully, what everyone said was true. After being sick and miserable while pregnant, I was rewarded with the most wonderful labor and delivery. I know that sounds crazy to say, but it really was a wonderful experience. I'll save you the minute-by-minute details and just say that I labored at home with Tod most of the day, and after three trips to my doctor's office to see how things were progressing, he sent us to the hospital at around 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.; I had my epidural by 6:00 or so; and little Rose arrived at 9:40 p.m. My epidural was amazing, and so was my doctor. 

But not quite as amazing as this little lady.

She is three months old today, which is so hard to believe, and we are completely over the moon with her. I honestly never knew. I just never knew. These are sweet, sweet days. 


4 One Year/Three Years

One Year:

As I walked (waddled?) with the girls around the lake this morning, I caught a glimpse of our old place with a big old U-Haul truck parked out front. How funny, I thought, because I dreamed about that place last night--about the uneven front steps and the small, wallpapered powder room--and even funnier because exactly one year ago today Tod and I were loading up a big old U-Haul truck at that place and moving into our current home. Like idiots, we'd turned down help with the move thinking it would be no trouble to move everything ourselves. We moved things for 16 hours straight, picking them up, putting them down wherever space afforded, and breaking only to grab burgers from Hardee's. We didn't plan on the odd things like breaking a stair tread and having to saw our box springs in half to get them out of the house. (If they went up the stairs, why in the world wouldn't they come down the stairs?) Time was of the essence so we left our sliced up box springs on the curb (along with some other unnecessary treasures) and slept on the mattress on the floor in our new house, not unlike college kids. We were both so sore from our physical efforts that it took several days for our normal gaits to return; I actually remember wearing Crocs with my suit to work for a few days because they were the only shoes my blistered feet could tolerate. In the end, though, we'd bought our first house, completely renovated it, and moved everything in, and that was more than enough to sustain our spirits.

Loading up the old place:
Thankfully we had a hacksaw on hand.

As I said, we picked things up and put them down in the new place wherever space afforded. At the same time we vowed to never accumulate that much stuff again. Because space is more limited where we are now, we've been pretty good about keeping that vow so far, I might add. In any event, our moving day ended like this, which is almost enough to give my nine-months-pregnant nesting instincts a panic attack.

Thankfully, those same nesting instincts have ensured--perhaps mandated is a better word--that our place does not look anything like that now, one year later. I'd even go so far as to say that today our place is settled; it's home, and we can't wait to welcome another resident.

Three Years: 

Tod proposed on December 1, 2011. We were in Terminal A at the Charleston airport getting ready to board a flight to New York. In the last picture taken of me before his proposal, I'm eating a giant honeycrisp apple. For whatever reason, Tod captured the moment for your enjoyment. (You may remember this post and this post.) 

Three years later, on our Thanksgiving holiday, Tod couldn't help but capture the same moment--only this time we were rocking on the front porch at Pawleys, and I'm actually the most apple-shaped thing in the photo. Sadly, I'm still not a very graceful apple eater.

My, what a difference one year/three years can make.


1 Between Before and After

How strange it is to be perched between before and after--before, as in before that first "I think it's positive" whisper, and after, as in after that first newborn wail. In a way, she's here already of course; I feel her constantly, and I think about her even more than that, if such a measure of time even exists. (My guess is that any parent would say that "more than constantly" is an all too familiar measure of time.) But really, I'm still between before and after--before parenthood and after. Everything changes, they say. But it's a circle, too--life. How can both of those things be true at the same time? 

And maybe this space between before and after is a little like New Year's Eve with its rounding up of the prior year's best this and that and its laying out of the new year's hope-to this and that. Except this rounding up spans 34 years--a chunk of time and experience that cannot possibly be rounded up precisely--and the laying out of hope-to's pretty much comes down to one thing for us: we hope to do a good job with this opportunity we're given. And as opposed to New Year's Eve's single night of rounding up of before and laying out of after, this space between before and after lasts a bit longer . . . 39 weeks and 2 days . . . so far.

In these 39 weeks and 2 days, I haven't taken very many photos, which is unusual for me, and I haven't written very many words, which also is unusual. I knew I wouldn't be a week-by-week bump documenter, especially when I spent so many of those weeks feeling so ill, but I sort of wish I had been a little bit better about taking pictures, because it's difficult to remember exactly how I went from this to this.

Maybe the Christmas M&M jar (one of my favorite family traditions) had something to do with it? But that's just a guess.

The M&M jar is a reminder, too, that even though pregnancy--the space between before and after--has not been what I would call a cakewalk, there certainly have been some sweet parts. 

**M&M jar how-to: Buy one bag of every kind of red and green M&M's you can find and mix them all in a large glass jar. (Easy!) This year's jar included milk chocolate, dark chocolate, almond, peanut, peanut butter, and pretzel. It was a merry (and delicious) Christmas indeed. Hope yours was too.


1 One More Post

I told Tod I thought I had one more blog post in me for 2014, which will round out the year's final number of posts at a whole, whopping 13. Not very impressive, I know, but I like the number 13, so I'm cool with it. After all, this year has been filled with so many exciting and fun and hard and happy things that blogging simply has not been very high on my priority list, even though it is something I enjoy doing when I actually sit down and do it. To be honest, for the past few weeks (months?), I've found myself questioning whether I should give up on the blog entirely (as in, take it down from the web) or whether I should give it another shot (maybe with some remodeling and a new slant). It seems like bloggers are dropping like flies these days (Young House Love, anyone?), and although this blog is a tiny little thing, I just don't know right now what's in store for this place. But I'm okay with that, too, because I'm not really sure what's in store for me either as I sit here 35 weeks pregnant.

For now though, I'm here, at least sporadically. As I mentioned above, this year has been so very full. If I had to sum it up in 40 words, I'd say that we started the year by moving into our new place and taking an amazing trip to the Middle East, and now we're ending the year anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby girl, who will be here so very soon. We can't wait.   

Speaking of which, there's been some nesting going on around here. (And I'm a nester without a baby in my belly so I'll just let y'all think about how absurd my nesting must be with a baby in my belly.) Although the walls haven't been painted pink, I can't say the same thing for two green dressers. (Remember when I painted them green here, or remember when my sister painted them gray here?) 

Thanks to help from my sweet mom and six cans of Valspar spray paint (in Satin Thistle Field), baby girl has a perfect spot for her all her precious baby girl things. 

I'll try to update this post with some pictures of the dressers in her room, but my sweet husband (who jokes that he's auditioning for stay-at-home dad) just presented me with a beautiful plate of steaming hot food, so this is where I leave you for now.

Happy holidays to you and yours. 


4 I blame the rom-coms.

Preface: The three or four of you who read this blog already know that "yay! I'm pregnant!" so I'm skipping the whole "yay! I'm pregnant!" post. Not to worry, I'll also be skipping the seemingly obligatory belly shots. I'm in my 18th week now, and I just look like a college girl halfway through her freshman year, so you're not missing much. Also, I'm pretty sure I've been gone from this blog for so long (with good reason, you see) that the three or four of you who read it have found better things to do with your time. I don't blame you one bit. 

Here's the deal: I blame the rom-coms.

I blame them for teaching me everything I thought I needed to know about pregnancy, but for teaching it to me all wrong. 

Because despite what those cute and fun films would have you believe, pregnancy is neither cute nor fun. Take morning sickness, for example. It's not like in the movies where the girl goes to brunch with her friends, gets sick, and tells them she thinks she's pregnant only to feel great! for the next 36 weeks. And take the name: morning sickness. You'd think it would have something to do with the morning, right? Well, not for me. For me, mornings, although not great, have pretty much been my best time of day. But thanks to the rom-coms, I'd never heard of afternoon sickness, or evening sickness, or night sickness, all of which I have experienced every day. For months. I just had no idea. And I didn't know the fear that would come with it all: that I'd be afraid to leave the house in case I got sick; that I'd be afraid of never feeling well again; or, if I did actually feel okay for a minute, that I'd be afraid something had happened to the baby. I had no idea that just the idea of food would make me sick, or the smell of it, or the sight of it, let alone all three of those in combination. I had no idea that just brushing my teeth would make me sick, or riding in the car, or going from lying down to sitting up too quickly. And I had no idea I'd cry so much, for pretty much no reason at all aside from not feeling well. I honestly just had no idea. And for all of that, I blame the rom-coms. 

(For all of that, Tod and I also are firmly convinced that this baby is a girl. We'll find out later this month if we're right.) 

So although I sound totally bitter about all of this, I want you to know that I'm not bitter at all. To the contrary, I feel so unbelievably blessed even though real world pregnancy is not cute and fun like rom-com pregnancy. Real world pregnancy, at least for me, has been the most humbling experience; that's the best way I can describe it. I am so very humbled--by the fact that I'm not as tough as I thought I was; by the fact that I cannot control most of what is happening; and by the fact that I've been given this opportunity. But mostly, I'm humbled by the fact that it's not about me any more. I'm starting to think that's the point of it all.  

In other news, Zelda got a haircut last weekend. She's still our baby for a while.

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