The Return

This morning as I fed JG, I took a moment and looked at her. The past six weeks are a blur, and I am scheduled to return to work soon.

I wanted to cry. While I’m eager to return, I love our slow mornings. Our mid-day naps. Lunches with friends. And let me tell you, there is truly nothing better than baby cuddles. Her squeaks and eeks as she shifts in my arms or on my chest are precious.

JG cuddles 1-15

I feel like I’m just getting a hand on things. I was cleared for moderate exercise two weeks ago and have been making use of our new elliptical as often as I can. This past week, we started being able to discern an ‘I’m hungry’ cry from an ‘I’m uncomfortable’ cry. We’re trying to get her on a sleep schedule. There’s still so much I want to do before I’m gone most of the day. Granted, Mommy Janks will be here for a few weeks once I return before JG goes to daycare. I know I’m leaving her in good hands, but I’m still leaving.

Words of encouragement, strength, and wisdom are appreciated and encouraged.

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One Week Ago

One week ago, on Thanksgiving Day, Baby A+ made her debut at 38 weeks, 2 days.

JGA newborn

Jacqueline Grace weighed 5 lbs., 13 oz. and measured 19 inches long.

We made it home for the hospital in one piece on Saturday and were greeted by a very eager and already overprotective big brother in Watson.

We’re doing our best to adjust to our new normal and, to be completely honest, it’s been rougher that I ever imagined. But this face makes it worthwhile and walks outside do WONDERS for both body and soul.

Hope you all have been doing well! I have so much to tell you and, depending on schedules and such, am hoping to spout off a few words here and there again soon.

New Beginnings

[taps the mic] Hello? Hello? is this thing on?

A little over a month ago, I started a new job. It was scary, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and exciting all at once. You see, my employer didn’t know I was pregnant before extended the offer. (Which will be another post on another day, but certainly something that added to my stress level and anxiety about the change.)

It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. I’m working with three different entities in a university setting. My co-workers have been extremely welcoming and incredibly kind. My supervisors have all been open and receptive to both my news and ideas. In addition to all that, the work is exactly what I liked most about my previous position and seems like it could provide more flexibility to me in the future.

Yet, new beginnings are hard. I miss my old co-workers. I miss my 10-minute commute. I miss having my husband on the same campus. However, I also know that this was the right decision. Not just for me and my sanity, but for our family as a whole.

we dont look back.disney

I’m not the only one starting anew this fall. My absolute favorite barre teacher, Rachel, has returned to the classroom. I attended her last class and to say it was bittersweet would be an understatement. Once we bought our house, I began traveling 20 minutes to the gym twice a week so I could continue to take her class. She gave me the push and confidence I needed to substitute teach for her on occasion. She reawakened my love for barre and ballet in general. She also became a friend.

We gathered together a few weeks ago to toast to our new beginnings. While we both know it’s not a goodbye – more of an ‘I’ll see you later’ – it doesn’t make the transition any easier. We spoke of how we know each of our decisions is right for us at this time, the anxiety that comes with starting something new, the change this has and will bring to our families. We also spoke of our excitement, our passion, and how our new journeys will fill a void that we didn’t realize we had until now.

It was wonderful.

Since then, things have only gotten better. I’ve enjoyed the lingering days of summer and, as usual am anxiously awaiting the start of fall. The JA and I feel like we’re in a really good place (and I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that), Baby A+ is doing well, and Watson’s still up to his normal shenanigans.

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter...they were begging to be eaten!

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter…they were begging to be eaten!

I’ve missed this space, but working on websites/social media all day does isn’t exactly inspiring me to come home and get back on my computer right now. I thank you for being patient, and promise to be back soon.

xoxo,

J.

Blue or Pink – What Do You Think?

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We found out baby’s sex before it is due.

Although Baby A+ will be loved either way,
Whether boy or girl is no longer gray.

We discovered this marvelous surprise last week,
and it’s been difficult for us to not utter a peep.

The JA and I are very happy to say,
we’ll have a baby girl come this Christmas Day!

girl cupcakes

Thanks for all your excitement and love,
we can’t wait to welcome our blessing from above!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

For more information and updates on my pregnancy, check out my Pregnancy page.

Exciting News

I hinted in yesterday’s post that the JA and I shared some exciting news with his extended family over the weekend. Since I know I’m extremely impatient and hate cliffhangers, I’ll get right to the chase.

Aplus 2

final project2

That’s right, I’m pregnant! We’ve got a baby on the way, and our little one is due in early December!

Thank you for your patience with me during this time – I know I’ve been a bit MIA. However, if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’m not very good at keeping secrets (and that this is a pretty big one). I have no plans to turn this into a pregnancy blog. However, since it is a healthy living/personal blog, it will follow our new adventure fairly closely. I hope that you’ll continue to follow along and help me as I begin to navigate the waters of parenthood.

Cheers!

Kickoff to Summer

Remember how I was hoping to get my blogging mojo back? Well, I was all set to wake up yesterday and pump out a post for y’all but I woke up at 4a with a stomach bug. Writing a post while laying in bed with a mild fever was not a task I was able to complete.

But have no fear… today I’m back in action. I had a good day at work, rocked barre class this evening, and got to sneak a peek back at my pictures from the weekend. Oh, how glorious it was.

Friday evening, we hung out with our neighbors for our bi-monthly game night. Nothing impressive.

Saturday we ran some errands and held an impromptu cookout. About 15 people showed up throughout the course of the evening and we all had a blast sitting on the deck, eating way too much food, and telling embarrassing stories. (Not about each other, of course.)

Sunday was family day. We packed a picnic lunch (made mainly of leftovers from the night prior) and headed to our favorite park. We allowed Watson to frolic in his favorite stream and we got to walk through the woods and enjoy the sunshine. Double win!

family pic 5-14

Another double win? Ice cream. There’s a small ice cream shop within walking distance of our house so the only logical thing to do on a nice evening is to take the dog there and get him a puppy kid’s cone. Good thing he knew better than to mess with my food after he finished his cone. It would not have ended well.

We spent the remainder of Sunday evening relaxing outside with another group of friends. All in all, a perfect kickoff to summer!

What signifies the beginning of summer to you? For me, it’s the onset of Baltimore humidity…and when I feel comfortable wearing shorts outside.

Falling In and Out of Love…with Blogging

It seems like every month I hit a point when it’s difficult for me to find the words or the time to write. I, obviously not having posted since last week, am currently in one of those phases.

Blogging is ebb and flow for me. There are days when the words and ideas just seamlessly stem from my fingers and I feel like I could write for hours. And there are days that I’m tired and nothing’s coming to me and I have no images and I just feel like an epic fail.

creative_color_pencil

There are also days where I fall into the comparison trap – belittling myself and this space to the point where I think, “What would happen if I just stopped blogging? Would I have more time? Feel more fulfilled?”

Some days the answer is yes. Sometimes it’s a resounding no. The topic was posed to a blogger community and at that point I wanted to scream, “Yes! I’ve wanted to stop blogging – but could I do without it?”

And right now the answer is no. Another day, it could be yes. And then I’ll re-evaluate.

But like any love worth having, blogging and I will have our ups and downs, our good times and bad, our fantastic days and the days I want to just up and quit. Those hard times are when I remember why I started blogging in the first place:

I blog to put a voice to this time and place in my life.
I blog not simply to be heard, but to help.
I blog to be an inspiration and friend to those who need it. To reach out and maybe make someone feel that they are not alone.
I blog because it’s the only way I can get away with posting an excessive amount of pictures of my dog without being labeled crazy. Right, Watson?

It's okay, Mom. Let's take a walk and talk about your feelings.

It’s okay, Mom. Let’s take a walk and talk about your feelings.

I blog to form a relationship with my readers – who cheer me up with their comments, likes, shares, words of encouragement, texts emails, and overall support. Thank you for reading both the good posts and the not-so-great ones.

I blog for you, but selfishly, I also blog for me. Writing keeps me sane. It helps me channel my energy into thoughts and words. It clears my mind and clarifies things that I wouldn’t have thought if I weren’t writing them. It keeps me accountable for my actions, goals, and dreams.

So blogging is not only a relationship for you, my readers, but also a relationship with myself. One that sometimes gets put on the back burner, one that is sometimes shaky and insecure, one that sometimes empowers me and makes sure I’m keeping myself happy.

Blogging and I have been on the outs recently. But writing this post is helping to clean the slate, get the creative juices flowing, and hopefully puts me back on track.

Thanks for sticking around & I hope all’s been well with you!