3 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.

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