It’s been a great fall, and also a really weird one. I’ve stepped away from a few organizations I was really involved with because I just need a break. I’ve made some big decisions about work. And we hosted a great Thanksgiving.
2013 did not go as planned. At the beginning of the year I fully expected to still be a teacher at the end of it. That’s not how the year worked out, and I’ve spent the last six months trying to figure out this new identity. Stay at home mom? Work at home mom? Temporarily at home mom?
The truth is that I have no idea what 2014 will look like, at least not professionally. I’m pretty sure my home life will still be as warm and fulfilling, and my friends and family will still be amazing. I hope it will be full of creativity and new knowledge. I hope I try lots of things and don’t completely fail at them all.
I’ve been thinking about getting a laptop for months now, and I finally bought one a couple of weeks ago. Best Buy was having a pretty good sale, and between writing, chasing Hannah around, and some new courses I’m taking we kind of figured I needed to be a little more mobile. So, this was an investment in me. And my new endeavors.
I took a blogging break for the second half of August to go on vacation (more on that later), host in-laws, get Hannah ready for toddler school, deal with lots of paperwork, apply for stuff, try (and fail!) to organize the house. We got home Thursday night, and I still don’t have the wherewithal to go through trip photos, or recipe photos, or any kind of photos. But, it’s September 1st (well, for 5 more minutes, anyway). So I figured at the very least I should post a paragraph to burst that block that I often get when I’ve been away from blogging for a bit. After a while it’s hard to decide where to jump back in, so I like to go with short explanations.
I’ve been busy since getting the news that my contract would not be renewed next year.
Obviously the left photo is before, even though I had long since retired wearing my hair down in favor of my classic, time-for-a-haircut, Det. Odafin Tutuola braid. I decided to chop my hair off, and it is shorter than it’s been in almost 20 years.
I’m trying out glasses.com for my new frames, so I picked 5 frames to try on at home. I have to send them back ASAP and make my choices, and I’m stuck. I’m definitely getting pair #2, but I can’t decide on the second pair. I was leaning towards #3 (bottom left), but seeing them in photos I’m not sure. I was going for kind of a dorky chic thing, but they may be neither. Adam says #1 makes me look like Will.I.Am, and they are BabyPhat frames so I see where he’s going with that. I have no idea, any thoughts?
So far it’s seen a vicious stomach bug make its rounds through the Reeve house, hitting me, the baby, my mom (who came over to watch the baby), and Adam. Hannah also has a second tooth! Which came in without fanfare but now seems to be making her fussy. And awake at 5am. A visit to Santa has been reshuffled, rescheduled, and will (hopefully) happen this weekend. I just mailed Christmas cards yesterday. I don’t even think I’m halfway through my gift list. Work has been exhausting. Our holiday party is this Sunday, so I’m currently in that haze of “Oh, God, where do I start?!” In-laws arrive in 6 days.
So it’s now officially the last night of my maternity leave. The baby’s been put to bed (although at the moment she isn’t sleeping, just rolling around in her crib), I’ve done all the cuddling and smooching I can do now. It feels a little like skydiving or cliff jumping or something, this whole back to work thing. You know it’s probably not going to be the end of you (but hey, it might be), and you’ll feel really good and strong for having done it, but it doesn’t make taking that first step any easier. It doesn’t make it easier to see an “after,” all you see is the first step. So the best thing to do is not think about it, just dive in. I’ve been trying to get my desk organized, my back to school existence in working order, things are arranged, outfits are coordinated. But I still have a knot in my stomach.
I feel strong. Yes, every inch of my body aches, my feet are unrecognizable, and I basically need a pregnant lady crane to get upright these days, but I can’t stop looking at my bump. I feel like that bump is one of my best accomplishments in life. I’ve managed to grow a really big, perfect, incredibly wiggly kicker of a bump. I’ve avoided all the stretch mark remedies because I want to see the full progress my skin has made growing that bump–they are my own growth chart. I’m already starting to miss being pregnant even though I can’t wait for this Hannah sprout to get here. It’s going to be strange not to have my constant companion this close. Kicking my iPad off of my belly when I’m watching TV, wiggling like crazy when I’m (she’s) hungry or reading a really great story to the kids at school. In complete honesty I can say that I’ve loved every single minute of being pregnant, even the far from glamorous ones.