That’s my general feeling right now. Any spare moment that I have when my brain is not preoccupied with a thousand different things, I find myself collapsing onto a nearby soft surface (usually my couch), taking a deep breath, and sighing, “WHEW.”
This particular season of life has been an unbelievable whirlwind. Besides the fact that my son is growing faster than time can measure, we have been on the road more weekends than we haven’t. All the destinations and the reasons for our travel have been wonderful and joyous, but it has meant a lot of time in the car and balancing naps, feedings, and the tons of equipment that come with traveling anywhere with a baby. I’m convinced my breast milk supply is going to just dry up in protest (it pretty much already has, but, you know, the three drops I have left a day will also evaporate. More on that here. Sorry for the TMI if you’re a man that doesn’t know that women’s bodies produce food for children.).
In the last few weeks, we’ve been to:
- Birmingham (twice)
hosted several sets of out-of-town guests. My brother and precious almost-sister’s wedding is fast approaching and getting to participate in the events leading up to that event has been so incredible and gleeful and makes my heart explode. There is nothing like seeing your sibling happy with the person they chose, and independently loving that person so much you could just blow your dang top. There’s also nothing like a wedding to inspire you to lose the last ten pounds of baby weight.
Jordan’s sister, Kaitlyn, is in her third trimester and Baby Beck Amanor will be making his debut anytime now. One of my very best friends had her sweet angel baby girl within the last couple of days, and it explodes my heart to know there’s a new person in the world that was brought here by someone I love so much.
Two weeks ago, Mac had 2 teeth. Now, he has eight teeth (four top, four bottom). He went from crawling to pulling up and standing on his own, and from tepidly enjoying solids to shoveling any and everything he can find into his baby mouth (including pizza, grilled cheese, and - suspend your judgment here - ice cream. We’re basically treating our first child with a “second child” mentality. It’ll probably be fine, right??). Jordan says that Mac is an alligator - he starts out moving slowly, but by the time he sees something he wants, he’s shot up to full speed and is suddenly across a room, standing near a glass table with a thousand sharp edges and waving a knife over his head. Hypothetically. You get it.
Jordan is celebrating one full year of working at the practice he moved to in October 2017, and his name is officially on the side of the building. We feel very blessed to be surrounded by professionals who are as kind, good-humored, and talented as those who’ve counted us in their company.
And in the midst of ALL of this, we went crazy and decided to buy a house. The process went lightning-fast - we knew what we wanted and had looked a bit, but once we started truly looking, we ended up choosing the first house we saw. We are so excited to start working on this home that will be ALL OURS after renting for four years. Neither Jordan nor I have ever owned a home, so we are coming unglued with excitement (and anxiety) about this new chapter.
We’re also plagued with sadness and feelings of mourning as we leave the world’s greatest neighborhood on Thurland Avenue, which has been lovingly dubbed “Thurlandia” by its residents. I have never before (and I expect never will again) experience the kind of instant friendship that exists on this street. Of the 13 houses on this street, Jordan, Mac, Tom Hanks, and I are friends with every single soul (human and animal) that inhabit them. As a neighborhood, we have cookouts, monthly book clubs and poker nights, hot tub parties, dinners and drinks on each other’s porches - but the best of all is when one person casually strolls down the street, causing all the other Thurlandians to pour out of their homes and visit, laugh, and drink a beer while kids play together. Thurlandia is a magical place and I’ll never know what we did to deserve such neighbors. I know that nothing will change in the friendships, but the inability to just pop down to someone’s house is going to be a real blow to my soul. It’ll all be fine, of course, but that is certainly a big change.
I’m going to dump some pictures here so you can see what we’ve been up to! Bachelorette parties, weddings, Mac pictures, oh my. Please pay special attention to the wedding photos. This was my paternal cousin, John B. Stroud, who married a beautiful Scottish girl named Eilidh Geddes. Her parents and extended family were born and raised in Scotland, and invited all the men attending the wedding to wear kilts, and the women to wear hats (think Royal Wedding). So we said, “Don’t mind if we do!” And some of us...not naming any names...REALLY enjoyed ourselves and may or may not have brandished the rental kilt knife on the dance floor while also peddling bottles of liquor to anyone who had inhibitions low enough to receive it. SOMEONE may or may not have been the life of the party. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Oh, oh. Also, I’m reading “Operating Instructions” by Anne Lamott. It is brilliant.