I am wake and up before 6am on a Monday. Why, I am not sure, but my body didn't want to fall back asleep after the last 4am bathroom break (insert eyeroll here). Kevin says I need to get more sleep before the baby comes, and I try but my body is fighting it. But at least I have time to get back into my blog writing and reflection, because time is flying by and it's been too long!
Last week was a challenging week, more emotionally than anything- with a good heavy bout of the post-holiday blues for me. When you return back home (norther Cali) after a great long trip home (Michigan) filled with so many of your closest family and friends, life is tough- at least for me it is. It happens pretty much everytime we take a trip back to the midwest for me, without fail. No matter how much I love our home here (and I especially love returning to our cuddly puppy and our own bed) coming back to California after a Michigan trip will probably always be an emotional roller-coaster for me. We're so lucky that travel is easy these days and that we can afford the trip and the time off work, but even knowing "I'll see you soon" still feels like "soon" isn't soon enough. Add in some pregnancy hormones to my parting from my nearest and dearest, and you have a sad and grumpy hot mess. I feel better now over a week later, but writing about it again still makes me cry! My poor husband had (has) to mop up my tears for a couple of days and remind me why our life is so good here for a good solid day or two before I can lift my heart back up. And he did, as he does wonderfully, and I'm mostly all put back together again now.
We returned on January 1st, 2017 and put away the Chrismas tree and holiday decorations on January 2nd. Usually it feels like a sad chore, but I think it helped me feel good about our momentum towards Spring- and our path towards our little baby bear joining the family. She's due on the first day of Spring, which seems so fitting- and I wonder if she'll be a little early, on time, or late. There is so much wonder and possibility ahead, and I'd like to stay in that mindset. The mindset of wonder and awe is a great distraction from the post-holiday blues, the constant rain we've been having and any other negative emotions I might otherwise experience. I can let the negative energy flow through me and out as I focus on so much more of the positive.
Now that I feel past the saddness that comes with saying goodbye to my friends and family, I want to soak in some of the beautiful and simple memories we made:
- cuddling with one of the sweetest dogs ever, my sister's golden retriever Draper
- the gingerbread cake and maple frosting cupcakes made by my mom
- homemade escargot, curtisy of the amazing (but humble) chef Sarah
- long walks around the neighborhood, and needing my mom to slow down because my pregnant butt can't keep up with her crazy pace
- the gorgeous, intricate and thoughtful baby quilt my mom sewed for little bear
- all of the love and gifts our baby was showered with on our boxing day family & friend celebration
- (more food) Derek's smoked chicken and my sister's buffalo cauliflower, enjoyed in their home, as they hosted us for a night
- spending time with my longest and best friends, two of whom are also pregnant right now <3
- witnessing our wonderful friends get married in downtown Chicago on NYE
- dancing the night away on NYE, at 7 months pregnant, with my husband and love of my life, to celebrate our friend's wedding, another beautiful year and all the love this life has to offer
Reflecting on all of these things and so many more great memories really helps remind me that no matter where we live, we are so blessed to have the most wonderful family and friends from all walks of life - who care about us and support us no matter where we roam, where we reside or where we land.
And now, onward and upward to 2017 ...