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Oh, Snap!

Jessica doesn’t have a scrapbook yet. I have a substantially larger amount of printed pictures for Samantha than I do for Erica (or Jessica, for that matter). I have large piles of photos in folders and in boxes awaiting their final destinations…and I’m three years behind.

It’s because of this that I truly believe that camera phones are the best invention of the past decade…and I only started using one last year. thanks to a camera in my phone, I can take pictures in places when I’d normally not carry my camera, especially when I have three little girls in tow.

My scrapbooks might be behind–but at least I’m still snapping away.

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Depressed? Nah.

I’ve had some questions about how I’ve been feeling since Jessica arrived, and I thought it warranted a blog post.  The long story short is that I’ve suffered from bouts of major depression and anxiety since I was in high school, was diagnosed in college, and had a major episode during our stint overseas.  However, when we moved home from England last April and I found out I was pregnant, I quit my medication cold turkey (which, for the record, I don’t recommend…ever).

So here we are now, almost a year later.

I won’t lie and say it was always pretty.  Once I made it through the withdrawal, I suffered from a condition known as “first trimester.”  It wasn’t pretty.  But I don’t know if it was uglier for me than it was for any other women with two active children and a husband still overseas for seven more weeks.

Then, I suffered from a terrible bout of “it’s getting dark earlier.”  It did have me craving a Celexa, but I survived thanks to my fabulous husband and family.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I ran into “the end of pregnancy blues” that are often accompanied by a lack of sleep and severe exhaustion because you’re the size of a house.  But I actually think I managed to handle them pretty well.

Of course, after Jessica was born I was visited by “the baby blues.”  Been there, done that, wrote the book.

So that brings us to where we are today.  And I won’t lie and say that being a mother to three children (five and under) is easy.  There are days I starting counting down to bedtime (usually on my fingers, because my kids have sucked all the intelligence right out of me) shortly after we get up in the morning.  But overall, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

I’m loving every second of Jessica, and I know that’s helping.  The thought that she *might* be our last (my husband is feeling pretty “done” after three girls…I’m not convinced) gives me plenty of cause to cherish every second.  And I’m not sure if it’s because this is my third and Marcus and I have this parenting thing down, or if it’s because Jessica is such a good baby…but I feel pretty on top of things.

For the first time in a long time (ever?) I feel like I’ve got things under control.  I’m a good mom.  Not perfect, but good.  Some days I’m great.

So depressed?   Nah.

It hibernates.  Will it rear its ugly head again?  Perhaps.  Probably.  Maybe. One day.

And I’ll be ready.

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Priorities

I was super excited by this year’s Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics challenge.  The Plain and Simple Pullover has been in my queue for a long time, but I was daunted by the idea of a fingering weight sweater, even one that has a fairly straightforward construction and short sleeves.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself.

But life, as it seems, had other plans.  Close friends were stunned by news that cancer has returned, and suddenly their lives revolve around schedules and experimental treatments.

These aren’t the friends we’ve known the longest, and aren’t the family we were born with.  But their story has really struck a chord with me.  Perhaps it’s the wife’s upbeat nature, refusing to become consumed with her husband’s scary prognosis.  Maybe it’s the fact that their children are the same age as our children.  Maybe it’s watching the couple together–how much they love each other and appreciate one another, recognizing the blessings they’ve had together in spite of this terrible news.

Whatever the reason, I’m putting my knitting projects on hold for a greater purpose–hats they’ve requested to take with them to New York.  How can I refuse?

It isn’t my Knitting Olympics project, but I’m not sad to put that to the side for this.  There’s more to life than that simple, self-imposed challenge. There are real challenges out there, those I can’t even begin to comprehend.  Those that no one should have on their plate.  Ones that, though I pray, I can’t get a grip on.

I wish there was more I could do.  But in the meantime, I’ll knit.

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The Forgotten Blog

Have you ever started writing something, and then had to put it away for some reason or another, only to find it weeks or months later?  Had you forgotten about it completely?

That was the case when I found this started blog post from April 22, 2009.  It was probably left incomplete when one of the girls needed my attention, and I simply didn’t know how to finish it.  Like my time in England, I just didn’t know how to finish it.

A glimpse at a forgotten blog post from almost ten months ago…before I found out I was pregnant, before we moved home to America and left our life in the UK behind, before it all…As I sit here tonight watching the snow fall and missing my best friend on her birthday, this post brings so much back to me.  I’m feeling a little homesick, sitting at home.

I have refrained from posting much lately, for once at a loss for words for all that I want to say.  For every bit of excitement and anticipation I feel about our move back to America, another part of me feels devastated and conflicted.  I am filled with emotional turmoil right now, and haven’t been able to put it into words–for you, or for myself.

I have avoided much reflection on what our time here as meant–not because I don’t see it all, but because it would make it too hard to leave.

One of the things that struck me the other day, though, was that it’s amazing to me the way things are connected, and the ways in which the smallest change, gesture, or decision can impact so much of what’s to come.

It started with a simple mention by Marcus that he could apply for jobs around the world.  My shrug and spontaneous reaction to apply for the job here in England.

If he’d never done it, there would be no Erica just yet, as we decided to have Erica because I wanted to have a second child before we moved abroad.

If there’d been no Erica when we’d arrived here, we might not have been sponsored by Curtis, April, and Gabby.  Without this incredible family, my first 6 months in England would have been unmanageable.

If we’d never met the Bly family, we might not have been so inspired to try to reach out to other families in the same way that we were touched and helped.

If we hadn’t been inspired to help, we might not have met Jake, Jess, Sophia, and Ian, and tried to help them in the way that we were helped and supported.

If we’d never met them, I’d never have heard about Ravelry.

If I’d never heard of Ravelry, I never would have met and helped found the Harrogate Knitting Group.

If I’d never met the Harrogate Knitting Group, I’d never have known some of my closest friends here in Harrogate….

How quickly time moves on…

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A New Beginning

2010 is certainly set to be a year of new beginnings for our family.  Along with Jessica’s impending arrival, we’ll also welcome our first nephew, Wyatt, this year.

39 weeks pregnant!

Along with new beginnings, we’ll have new adventures–kindergarten, preschool, and balancing three kids between two adults.  We’ll continue to work on the old adventures too–keeping the house, our finances, and work straight, while still finding time for fun and games, too.

Life in our home is never dull, and 2010 won’t be the exception to that rule.

How could it be, with these little things running the show?

Ready for the Next Adventure!

Here’s to the new beginnings, continued adventures, and a wonderful year ahead!

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Passing the Time…

Time continues to pass…some minutes slowly, others more quickly.  My impatience is starting to fade (as are most of those pesky contractions…drats!), and we’re getting on with the business of the holiday season.  The girls have Christmas concerts at school tonight and tomorrow night, we are decorating my mom’s Christmas tree this weekend, and next week the girls don’t have school, so we have a full schedule of playdates, cookie baking, and other fun activities to keep us busy.

As for me, I’ve been knitting to pass the time, too.  This year, I opted not to involve in the madness of years past that I lovingly called, “Christmas knitting.”  This year, I have a chestful of handknits, and if I feel so inclined, friends and family to dole them out to.  But not something for everyone, and I have no guilt about it.  Some people appreciate and cherish handknits…others don’t.  More so, some handknits are more time consuming than others, and most non-knitters don’t really get that, either.

But here’s a peek at some of the knitting I have done lately, holiday or otherwise.  Ignore the mediocre lighting…most has been finished in the evenings, when daylight isn’t possible!

So, the time is passing.

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Marching On

Time continues to march on, and suddenly, it’s December.  Where did the year go?

Marcus and I cannot believe that Christmas is right around the corner, that Jessica is due in a month (give or take), and that a new year is preparing to begin.

We started the year like this

The Herdrichs, March 2009, Cork, Ireland

And prepare to end it like this

I can’t wait to see what happens next!