Fomented

There are geographies that hold significance for me, for each of us, across the spans of time and space.  They act as bookmarks in the chronology of our lives, to which we can turn back and reread a page or revel in a memory.  A marker to remind us where we have come from, and how we have evolved from who we once were.

One such geography in my life is the Twin Cities.  I went to college there.  It was where I fell deeply in love with learning.  It was where I developed the habits and practiced the choreographies that have carried me through the stages of my life since I left.  It was where I first fell in love. And, also where I began to develop a sense of who I am and what I want to be in the world around me.

As you can imagine, I seize every opportunity to go to the Twin Cities for all the above reasons.  But, also just to walk out into the humid embrace of the air there, to see the blinding reflection of late afternoon sun on the lakes – to revel in the fecundity of the greenery, the warmth of summer, the alluringly rich smells.  To feel life brimming over in a cascade of loamy soil, mosquitoes, and green leaves.

Being back in the Twin Cites, particularly in summer, is like turning back a page to the me who had just graduated from college, who was training for her first marathon, and who was finally exploring what it was to be an adult.  It is an opportunity to reflect on a magical time, where the future was full of possibility: I was happy and in love, and the world held unimaginable promise.

I was in MSP for a meeting of a leadership development program I was nominated to within my company.  It is a huge honor and I’m incredibly excited.  It was the first meeting of a two-year program which is intended to help us build networks with other emerging leaders, and put our energies towards developing ourselves, as well as developing our skills to bring forth the best from those around us.  Being that it was the first meeting with a group who flew in from all over the country, I approached it with a sense of opportunity and promise.

But more interesting to me, as always, is the thematic intersections of my life, reflected in the spaces and places around me.  And so, here there was much fodder for analysis.  Unbeknownst to me, the meeting I was attending fell on heels of the 10-year college reunion of the class ahead of me at Macalester.  I would have been a member of that class had I not taken a year off, and more meaningfully, my boyfriend in college and all his friends were in that year.  Recognizing the temporal, and potentially geographic closeness of so many people who held significance in my life at the same time felt like a melding of energies in the universe.  Had I put two and two together, perhaps I’d have considered extending my trip.  But, alas, in my less than 24-hour stay in the cities I was able to see just three friends and their significant others, which felt pretty good to me.

I stayed with Alex, and her two beautiful babes and her wonderful husband. I visited Fay, whose life path and mine have followed interestingly parallel tracks and who always amazes me with her laser-like ability to pinpoint and verbalize abstract issues, and I saw Molly and Mike and met their gorgeous son.  Molly has always been an encouraging presence and someone who I feel I missed connecting fully with in college, and subsequently need to attempt to connect with at every opportunity to make up for lost time.  In my whirlwind, I saw various pictures of my future in the lives of my friends.  Such a short visit, of course offers only a vignette from which I am probably making overly broad assumptions.  But yet, in the snapshot into these various lives I saw such insight into how to forge a path forward in growing a family, building a career, and developing as a human across the space and time my life offers.  Meanwhile, amidst this group of emerging leaders at my meeting, we learned the program’s goal was more to develop ourselves and learn how we operated, what we uniquely offer, and how to leverage our strengths both in and out of the workplace.

Across the board, the universe seemed to be presenting me with a chance to evaluate my life’s progress and my future, both personally and professionally.  As a new mama, and someone trying to build a career, and someone who wants to grow as a person and pursue dreams and challenges that are independent of my family life or my work, I often feel pulled in many directions.  My visit reminded me that I’m not alone in this struggle and presented case studies of people across multiple parts of my life who are engaging with the same challenges, finding strategies to manage the hard things, finding ways to celebrate the sweet things, and reaching each day to be a better version of themselves.  My visit offered me a set of peers to whom I can turn for consolation and advice as the challenges mount, and who can share in celebration when things go well.  At the juncture of my entry to motherhood, the evolution of my role as a wife, and the occasionally uneasy relationship I have with my leadership opportunities – this visit was a much-needed boost to my psyche.  I had not realized that as a new mom, and someone trying to build a career I was feeling a bit alone in Denver.  My friends there, for all their wonderful qualities, are for the most part, not there yet.  To be in the Cities – in a place I will always associate with my personal evolution into who I am today – and to have been offered the gift of insight into the universality of my struggles?  Well, it was meaningful to me.

So, I suppose that was a long way of saying that I had a good trip.  I small piece of my heart will always reside on the riverside trails on Minneapolis, or looking out over the night-darkened Mississippi from an abandoned railroad bridge.  And in each visit I discover a new iteration of myself reflected back from this place.

Mama

Listen folks, I’m admitting right here and right now that I just didn’t get it.  Sure, I held a baby here and there and thought it was cute, then gave it back to its rightful owner.  I enjoyed volunteering at preschools throughout high school, again after college.  I taught and coached skiing.  I led wilderness trips for young adults.  Nobody could ever claim I didn’t like kids. I did.  I do!  But, honestly, I never knew how much more I’d like my OWN kid.

The last three days I’ve been putting in long hours – leaving the house at 7 and not getting back until 9 or so.  This is not my normal routine, and it’s days like this that I recognize this completely new and unfamiliar feeling.  After about 8 hours away, this little urge begins to creep up on me.  It is the tangible deficit of baby time in my life. It’s like an intense craving.  It pulls and twists my insides. I begin daydreaming about squeezing Cody and smothering him with kisses till he erupts in giggles.  I miss him and want to hold him as soon as I see him, until I fall asleep.  And, sometimes I want him to sleep in my bed with me.  I start lamenting that he won’t be a baby forever, and there will come an end to the days where he lets me hold him as long as I need to.  I start to plot out a schedule of family planning to ensure that I don’t have to go too long without a squeezable tiny being.

I never saw THAT coming.

I’m beginning to fear I will have an irrepressible urge to procreate until I can’t anymore. They are just so tiny, and special.  They are amazing little creatures.  And, at least in Cody’s case, they are a constant reminder of all the incredible things in the world that I sometimes take for granted.  He sees it all for the first time, and trying to look at the world through his eyes makes it new and exciting for me as well.

In Australia, this feeling is called being “clucky” and I occasionally joked that I was clucky back when I lived there, because so many people around me were having kids.  But, the thing is, I had no idea what clucky really was – what it really felt like, until now.  It took me having my own baby to have the deep-in-your-gut desire for them.

So, now the spring is here, the sun is out, and I’m head over heels in love with a small being that literally tore open my core when he entered the world.  So much changes when you become a mama, and each day is a new revelation in the depth and breadth of all that the role encompasses.

Encouragement

Last weekend I took part in a special day.  One of my best friends married the man she loves.  Her story is at once inspiring, and crazy.  She met him on a whim last summer, then visited him in Jackson, WY where he lives, then went on a whirlwind canoe trip with him on the Bloodvein River and came back engaged.  When she told me about it I was driving my car and I nearly went off the road.  I teared up with excitement, and then apprehension.  It all was moving so fast, and as a dear friend I felt I needed to both support her and encourage her to slow down at the same time!  I held back some of those feelings, knowing I was projecting my own concerns on to her.  And I’ve watched over the last several months as their relationship has taken shape, evolved, and solidified in the weekend’s swearing of vows.

The whirlwind meeting, courtship, and nuptials is scary to me – because I just can’t and don’t operate that way.  My risk aversion radar is way too strong.  But watching her tread this path, I’m startled at the way I’ve been inspired.  As I watched them dance their first dance, I was touched at their choice of song and the recognition of their myriad similarities. I had watched my dear friend date so many of the wrong men, to see her with someone who cared for her deeply and reflected so many of the things that she values and that make her unique was startling.  I have watched myself and my friends morph and reflect their various partners, and it can be hard to discern when that morphing is truly them, or an attempt to fit into a role that their relationship requires in a given moment.  When you see two people who do truly reflect and suit each other, however, there seems to me to be a clear radiating energy that comes from them.  When I see Britta with Lee, she is more of the Britta I have known since I was 11 than she has been in many of her past relationships.  It makes me smile.

To see all of this magic fall into place in the span of just a few short months has been confronting to my deep belief that hardy relationships take time to settle into meaningful rhythms and mutual understandings.  It has reminded me that hardiness and grit in a relationship can come from a place of commitment in the face of uncertainty – a faith – that together is better than being alone even during challenging times.  Seeing Britta and Lee jump in to a lifelong commitment, reminds me that faith and commitment to see something through can overcome many trials.  As I drove to the mountains where the ceremony was held, I spoke with my Grandpa and he reminded me that he and my Grandma were married for 64 years, but when they wed they’d known each other just six months.  He told me to pass along the message to Britta that “she had a lot to look forward to.”  I smiled, and tears pooled at the corners of my eyes, because he identified my reluctance and reminded me to have faith in them. With his encouragement, I couldn’t help but reframe my mentality. I had, weeks earlier, invited Britta to borrow some pieces of jewelry that I’d worn at my wedding.  She took me up on the offer and borrowed my hair piece, and a bracelet that belonged to my Grandma.  Watching her walk down the aisle, radiant, with the bangle on her wrist I set an intention and a hope for them that a piece of the magic that carried my grandparents through 64 years, the grit and spirit they shared, was conveyed with Britta and Lee through the wearing of that bracelet.

The whole weekend reminded me of how quickly life can change.  As I waited for a drink, I spoke to Britta’s bio mom.  After having heard about her for years, I was thrilled to finally introduce myself.  When I did, she immediately recognized my name, and asked if I was the one who had lived in Australia.  She went on to tell me that she had read my blog and thought I was a wonderful writer.  It touched me to hear that.  I think of my blog as a place to share thoughts that are meaningful to me, but not otherwise relevant to most people outside of my life.  To have someone who doesn’t know me read what I write, and enjoy it enough to say something years later is a real compliment.  It encouraged me to revisit this blog, which has (sadly) gone unattended to while I have wallowed in the fog of baby brain.  I am encouraged to continue to write, and reminded that life’s inertia is not inevitable.  With decisive actions and commitment, with faith, we can each take steps toward what makes us happy and fulfilled.

2014 Review

2014 has been a banner year in my life in many ways.  It wasn’t 100% good, but it sure resulted in mega growth and learning – which is really the best anyone can hope for I think!

This year I can tick off several wonderful things that I’m very proud of.

1) Rick and I spent January in Colombia traveling, going to Spanish language school, and finishing up my Anusara yoga teacher training.  It was fun to travel together (as always) and we learned a new style of traveling as we managed to balance our responsibilities at home while we were enjoying a new country.

2) We got a puppy!  Adelaide is the light of our lives.  Honestly, I have always been a dog lover but having our own puppy to love and raise together has been so much more rewarding than I anticipated.  She makes us smile, unites us in frustration at times, and is a joy to be around.  She sleeps in our bed, and I have to admit that I sometimes am not sure who I prefer to snuggle with more!  She brings such happiness to our lives.  We love her to pieces.

3) Rick and I settled in Denver. We really weren’t sure whether coming back to Denver was the right move for us for a long time.  We toyed with the idea of living a more rural life in Montana or elsewhere, but when it came down to it Denver called us back.  We settled into Rick’s home with the initial intention of selling it, but as we fixed it up we fell more and more in love.  It’s a gorgeous old 4 bedroom place in the heart of the City.  I can walk to work, we have a daycare for Addie within 3 blocks, we found an in home daycare less than a block away for Baby Frankie, the supermarket, park, and light rail are all within easy walking distance, and the house itself is pretty cool. Our bedroom has French doors, exposed brick, a yoga space, and a giant closet.  We have set up an adorable nursery for the baby, we have lots of room for guests, and we are beginning to make plans for a major kitchen renovation.  We are happy to have made the choice to stay.  In fact, just a few weeks ago the job I interviewed for in Helena in March called me to see if I’d be interested in a new role there before they posted it publicly.  In reflecting, as much as it sounds awesome to live there, we recognized how happy we are right here and were able to turn down the offer without too much second thought.

4) We got pregnant! Rick and I talked for a while about trying for kids and I was certain the process would take some time.  They say the average time to conceive is around 6 months and I was convinced it would go slower than that for me!  Well, we were ahead of the curve and got pregnant more or less on the first try.  It was a shock at first and it took me some time to get my head around the reality that we were having a baby – together!  But, thankfully gestation takes 9 months (or in my case, more like 10) and I have had time to welcome the idea of a baby into my life.  As I write now, we are ten days past our due date of December 22nd.  I just finished my second labor induction acupuncture session.  I have become well versed in the various holistic methods for inducing labor – believe me, we have tried it ALL!  We will have a baby within the week, one way or another as we are scheduled for induction if nothing happens in the next two days.  As much as I have mixed feelings about induction, I have to admit that I’m anxious to meet this baby and to no longer be pregnant.  So, I bounce on my birth ball and hope for the baby to decide to come the good old-fashioned way, but I know he’ll be here soon regardless.  I’m loving Rick and Addie extra hard because soon there will be one more in the house to love!

5) A new job! I took on a new role as the public involvement coordinator for the Denver office of HDR engineering.  I have felt quite challenged by the role and my desire to prove myself before going on maternity leave.  I look forward to new challenges when I return and I hope that I continue to grow and find new learning opportunities in this roles.

There were other parts of the year that challenged me greatly, I have felt a strong pressure to prove myself as a mom, employee, friend, and wife. I know that I often put quite a bit of pressure on myself to do it all, and I’d like 2015 to bring a renewed focus on doing things for myself because they make me happy.  That includes running a second marathon with my best friend, coming back to yoga more seriously, and embracing my newest role as a mom.

Imminent Motherhood

This is the blog I think I have to write.  I have to write it because if I don’t get these thoughts and feelings out of my head and body, I know they will fester and cause me to lose sleep and worry – something I hardly need at 39 weeks pregnant.

I am realizing as I grow older that I worry a lot.  I never used to do this.  I worry about how my future will look.  I worry about knowing the right path.  I worry about being successful as a mother, in my career, and in my relationships.  I let an internal drive to accomplish goals stress me out to the point that I sometimes break down and need to have a good sobbing cry and a reconciliation with the fact that I am just human, doing the best I can.  I set goals for myself that I sometimes don’t even care about, just because I am driven to compete.  This is something I need to work on as a strive for balance in my life.

I sit here (this week I am working from home to begin to relax and let myself prepare body and soul for my upcoming birth) and I know that despite the enthusiasm I’ve tried to convey throughout my pregnancy, I am absolutely terrified of everything that is about to happen in my life. Terrified. Nervous breakdown kind of scared. I am scared of not measuring up as a mother, failing in my career, neglecting my relationship with my husband, and feeling like I am not good enough on every front. I am scared of losing ground in my work as I focus on being there and raising my child.  I am scared of all the responsibilities that come with being a mom. I have irrational fears about money and not being able to support my child.  I have fears about inadvertently screwing my kids up.  I am scared that I will lack the patience necessary to be a good mom.  I am scared that I won’t be a good role model. I am scared of myself.  I wonder if someday I will want to walk away from the responsibility of children.  I question how my priorities will shift once I see my baby.  I worry that I will be a tiger mom who cows her child.  I worry I will be an imperious monster who bullies my husband.  I fear I will try to do everything, and fail.  I worry about my tendency to worry.  I worry about my negative attitude.  I worry that though I have had my nursery prepared for months, my hospital bag packed for weeks, and read every book under the sun on birth and expecting a child, that I somehow have not done enough.  I have missed something.  I worry that I have neglected something at work and they will soon recognize my incompetence and fire me.  I worry that I baked cookies over the weekend and they were too hard.  I worry I can’t be all things to all people.

I dream of running away to a ranch and living peacefully with Rick and my babies, playing in the woods, gardening, exploring the world around us – without my work email buzzing on my phone.  I dream of snuggling my face into the sun-warmed shoulders of a little boy who thinks I am the best thing ever — and not feeling guilty and conflicted because I am not focused on my career.  I dream of putting little babies to bed, tucking them in and giving them kisses without tearing myself away to finish a project.  I am terrified of attempting to balance my goals at work with my goals as a mother.  I think of my own childhood and wonder I can offer my child what my parents offered me.

As the immensity of these fears wells up in me, tears  roll down my cheeks and I bury my face in my hands – trying to offer myself the compassion I’d offer to someone else in my shoes.  I feel like I’ve been brave for 9 months, and all of a sudden the reality of the imminent life change upon me has hit.  I tell people I am scared of giving up my lifestyle – and I am.  But mostly, I am scared of having to make choices about where I direct my time and energy, and having to own those choices – and knowing that there is a good chance I can’t do it all.

As I write these fears, I’m reminded of an amusing meditation that I read about not long ago.  As anyone involved in self-study and self-improvement knows, the concept of cultivating gratitude is very popular these days.  The meditation I am thinking of seems to embrace an opposite philosophy of embracing disenchantment and anger – and putting it out there.  This is a bit of what I’ve done here.  Only the meditation I’m referring to is a bit more coarse – for each rising sentiment you say:

“Fuck the pressure to be a supermom.”

“Fuck the abhorrent maternity and family leave policies in this country.”

“Fuck workplaces that offer six weeks partially paid disability leave and act like they have no other choice. Those fuckers should be striving for better.”

“Fuck the idea that I should be thankful to have six weeks to figure out how to be a mom, regain balance in my life, figure out who will care for my infant, and return to work.”

“Fuck those women who have done all this without complaining and make me look bad.”

“Fuck that I feel guilty for overusing the word fuck.”

“Fuck that having to make these hard choices makes me resent my job.”

“Fuck that having to make hard choices makes me resent the child that I am about to welcome to the world.”

“Fuck that I don’t have an alternate plan for being independently wealthy, and that even if I did I would beat myself up for not making it in the corporate world if I checked out.”

And so on and so forth.  And with each sentence, you just leave that thought in space.  And it’s out there now.  Not inside.  And I think that is the most important piece in this whole puzzle.

I don’t know when this baby is coming, but it could be any day now.  Tomorrow my life could change.  Everyone tells me that the day you have your baby is the most special and magical time of your life.  I hear them, but my mind brings me back to the anxieties floating around my head.  I recognize the loss of mindfulness in this post – the overwhelming fear and discordant sentiments that exist in me.  I know this is something to be reconciled, and I hope that putting the fear and apprehensions I have out into space will help me lighten my load and face these challenges with an openness that currently seems difficult to tap into.

Thanks for being audience to this rambling, and if you have anything to offer me to help ease my mind, I’ll take it!

Hello birth month! (hopefully!!)

Here I am, verging on the birth month of my first child.  Tomorrow will mark 37 weeks, meaning my baby is full term and could be expected pretty much any day now!  For most first time moms the actual birth date is 41 weeks 2 days of gestation, however.  So, I may have a while to wait but I am trying to be prepared for the possibility that he could come tomorrow.  It’s a strange dance we mammas do, of anxiously preparing ourselves, while trying to patiently wait, slow down our lifestyles, and listen to the rhythms of our bodies.  Each time I feel a Braxton hicks contraction I wonder if it’s the beginning, each time I feel crampy or achy I wonder if that is a sign that the birthing time is near.  I’m constantly scanning for evidence of a lost mucus plug.  I feel the baby lower himself deeper in to my pelvis with each step I take while I’m out walking.  It’s hard to extricate myself from thoughts of baby, but I realize that I must. Though it is tempting to devote much of my mental energy to thinking about birth, going over our plan, and reciting hypnobabies scripts to myself in my head, the reality is that I want to savor these last days of being just me.  Just Kat.  Not a mom.  Not solely responsible for the life and well-being of a small child,

I know it’s not uncommon for new moms to enter a bit of a depressive phase before the birth of their first child.  I can see how that happens.  There is certainly a mourning, in small ways, of a life pregnant with alternate endings and different scenarios that might not include being tied down by a new baby.  I scheduled a dentist appointment in January, and suddenly the other day I started to wonder, ” How does one go to the dentist with a newborn?”  Do I need a babysitter? Can I bring him with?  What if he cries and is fussy?  It’s a learning experience, I hear.  I have no doubt it will be all that, and more.

This past weekend Rick and I escaped to Leadville and stayed at my sister’s place, going for small hikes and enjoying the quaint mountain town vibe.   As we hiked I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia for my healthy, pre-pregnancy body.  My back felt achy and my feet (bearing the weight of 40 pregnancy pounds) get more sore when I walk.  My abdomen moves constantly, and the actions do not always make me smile with joy – more recently I wince and gently try to massage an errant foot back into a position that doesn’t stab my ribs or jut out of my belly at a dangerous looking angle.  Though by many accounts, my own included, I have had an incredibly healthy and easy pregnancy, the last month definitely is harder.

In hypnobabies we discuss a concept called the “bubble of peace” with which we as pregnant couples can fend off negative birth messages.  In one of our earliest classes we each visualize our own “bubble” that protects us from scary birth stories and other messages that present pregnancy and childbirth in ways we don’t feel comfortable with.  My bubble of peace, for example, resembles a zorbing ball that I walk around in, and which zaps away people who I come into contact with who are not supportive of my vision for my pregnancy and childbirth.  (Rick’s bubble is much more peaceful – it consists of a comfortable recliner, a sunny sky above him, me, Addie our dog, and a beer.  I think we took slightly different approaches to the exercise!)  Up until recently, the bubble of peace concept has carried little weight or meaning for me.  I am an information sponge and I honestly eat up every story I hear about birth.  I want to familiarize myself with the possibilities so that I feel well-prepared when I get there.  But recently, the third trimester has been getting me a bit down.  Occasionally I call people for work and their first response is “You’re still working!?” and I feel a bit sad that I am, when I’d love to be devoting my mental energy to being present and enjoying the process of change and discovery that is happening within me each day.  Or I have one particular coworker who loves to share her observations on my pregnancy with me; including but not limited to “I can tell you’re ready to have the baby because the whole shape of your face has changed!” or, “Wow!  Your belly has grown two inches since I saw you last (like a week before)!”, or the time she told me her entire birth story which ended in an emergency c-section and complaints about the post-labor recovery rooms at the hospital where I’m delivering. On the flip side, there are many people I work with who seem unsympathetic to the fatigue and mental fog that can descend in the third trimester and I struggle to try to do my job well while also acknowledging and respecting the changing space I’m in. My bubble of peace is becoming both necessary and critical to maintaining my self-image and sanity during the last few weeks. I have lamented the metamorphosis of my body in small ways throughout my pregnancy, but this last month has been the hardest for me because the physical changes have been more noticeable.  During the first trimester I felt fatigue as if I’d pulled several all nighters in a row, and now I feel that too (and let’s be honest – I’m sort of doing that with how little sleep I get), but my body ALSO sometimes feels like I was run over by a truck.  Which is lovely.

I’m not here to complain.  I know it’s easy to complain about the discomforts of a changing body and the challenges of preparing for a new, helpless, member of the family.  What’s less easy is embracing those changes with grace, gratitude for the experience and process, and acknowledgment of the strength that will come from those struggles. I think learning to embrace the challenges will make me a better mother, wife, and person.  Which is not to say I don’t feel the discomforts and stressors – I just try to reframe them in my mind to something that offers a positive outcome.

These are my thoughts today.  Though I sometimes lose perspective, it is important to remember what a gift it s to have a healthy body capable of building a new human. I am eager to meet our new addition, but trying to savor this valuable time where I am simply me.

Susie Homemaker

I feel a bit like a Susie Homemaker right now.  I’m seated at our (new!) dining room table in my apron.  I’ve been in the kitchen all evening.  Though I worked a full day (and in a perfect world that would entitle me to an evening of lying on the couch and watching the Daily Show), instead, I’m taking a break while my pomegranate chocolate tart bakes.  I’m preparing Thanksgiving dinner elements this evening so I can take it relatively easy tomorrow and make some time to go for a long walk with Adelaide and enjoy a day off work.  A. DAY. OFF.WORK.

I’m saving vacation days.  I am saving them so that I can take it easy next year and enjoy some time with the Frankster (oh, and that minor vacation we have planned to Iceland and London!).   I began working last April and I have taken no time off since that then.  Now granted, I have a flexible schedule and I work from home reasonably often.  But, those are still working days.  Tomorrow I’ve pledged to myself to DO NOTHING related to work.  This would be a simpler task if lists and tasks would stop flitting through my mind reminding me that in a short time I need to be prepared to hand over all my projects to the people who’ll be covering for me during my maternity leave – the prospect of which makes me anxious.  But, enough about work.  I have 4 days off and I will be enjoying them thoroughly.

Today was a special day.  I got a new engagement ring!  I wish I could say that it was entirely my choice – it wasn’t.  Unfortunately, the beautiful family ring that Rick gave me for our engagement lost not one, but two baguette diamonds in the last several months.  Were it not so old, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  But (and here is where I got an education on diamonds) baguette stones are incredibly challenging to work with!  These days they come in standard sizes, but with an old ring you need to have them custom cut, which can only happen in a few places in New York.  We did all this.  But, it was to no avail.  We even considered sending the ring to the jeweler in Australia who made our wedding bands, but in the end we determined the ring would become an ongoing challenge and elected to buy a new setting instead.  Though it was hard for me to part with the incredibly unique art deco design of my original ring, I have to say I’m THRILLED at my new one.  I think I must have inherited my mom’s penchant for jewels and it just took awhile to hit me – rings are fun!

As you can see, the topics of my posts are becoming increasingly insular.  Here I am talking about baking tarts, wearing aprons, and buying rings.  Just wait until I share all that I’ve learned about breastfeeding, childcare, and our pre-admission to our birthing center.  My life has taken a serious turn for the settled.  As we come closer and closer to the baby’s guess date, and as my pelvis becomes increasingly sore with baby bearing down on it, I sometimes reflect on this massive life shift.  In January of this year, Rick and I were gallivanting around Colombia.  Today, we are homeowners, pet owners, and pregnant.  I mean, seriously, WTF?

Sometimes the thought of being a mom terrifies me.  I look at my backcountry ski gear and wonder if I’ll ever use it again.  I think of the last time I went rafting and wonder how long it will be until I go again. I glance into our nursery and shake my head wondering when my life started to involve large towel hoods with monster faces on them.  I look at my maternity wardrobe and wonder if I’m doomed to a life of frumpiness.  I look at my career and truly wonder if it will still carry the weight it does in my life now.  Will I make time for another masters?  Will I write that piece for publication? Will I become one of those moms doing 800 different things at once  – none of which are for my own benefit?  I wonder if I’m too selfish for motherhood.  I wonder if I can be happy in a settled life.

Now, in fairness, my idea of a settled life basically means I now own furniture and am responsible for the well-being of a dog.  My standard isn’t THAT high.  But, soon it will bump up a notch.  And when I think of having a little man in my life, I oscillate between warm fuzzy feelings and terror.

These are the thoughts of Susie Homemaker tonight.  I’m off to go read a book about how to soothe crying babies, that is, after I put the finishing touches on my tart.  My blog (and life) have become sedate.  Wish me luck at ever being cool again.  🙂