Living in Limbo

Shit’s changin’ y’all. There’s really no denying it and no one is immune from it. If you live within the confines of the United States you probably feel a bit like I do, like we’re in limbo. A major change has been announced but we don’t necessarily know that that means  yet. It’s hard to say what a Trump administration will look like or accomplish. You might think you know but so does your neighbor and I’d bet both of you have very different ideas. Who is right?

If you’re in North Carolina, the sense of being stuck in limbo is even worse. It’s Thanksgiving and we still don’t officially have a governor. Someone call that election already!

If you’re pregnant and due in say, three weeks or so, you might also feel like you’re in limbo. In fact all of pregnancy feels a bit like this. It’s all hurry up and wait. Much of the first trimester is waiting not to feel so tired and waiting to be able to share your good news. The second trimester flies by because you feel (mostly) like a human being which is a refreshing and short-lived change. Your home, your mind, your excited parents and in-laws are transitioning towards the future, trying to prepare for a new little being who is coming to reside. At the same time you’re stuck. Technically every day we get a little closer to baby makes three but it feels the same as yesterday- a little uncomfortable, a little sleepless and a whole lot o’ waddle.

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36 1/2 weeks

In fact I write this at 4 am because I can’t sleep, can’t get comfortable and I’m hungry.  I finally took off my ring tonight as the swelling in my fingers and feet started yesterday. We are in the home stretch now with only three weeks to go, although as many people have pointed it could be less. Just as many people point out it could be more. Regardless it’s hard to anticipate the finish line. As first time parents, I feel confident that we don’t have any real sense of our lives are getting ready to change. I can guess at how our daily routines will be forever altered but I can’t guess at the impact on our hearts or futures. As someone who never really factored children in when I imagined life, the other side of these three weeks seems even more foggy.

Perhaps the sense of in-between is greater because there we don’t know anything about this little person. There’s no gender currently associated with the baby so we can’t project any ideas onto it. We can’t practice using the boy name we’ve picked out or the girl’s. We joke about using either and enjoy hearing everyone’s guesses. Those who choose boy seem very sure. Those who choose girl almost always mention they’re just guessing. I am positive that I have no idea. I am a doubter in mother’s intuition right now.

Several friends have mentioned how fast my pregnancy feels to them. That time has just flown by. I’m pretty sure in twenty years it will feel that way to me too. For me, the action of waiting for movement, watching what I eat and drink, considering activities before I take them on has become so ingrained into my every day that pregnancy feels more like a permanent state than 10 months. (If 40 works is full term who the hell started this myth that pregnancy is 9 months? Can’t anyone count around here?) And still out in the unknown is how will I feel when my body empties out. I’m not sure I remember what it’s like to be only one heartbeat, one brain, one body, one person.

For now I will binge on Luke Cage and Gilmore Girls and try to stop eating everything in sight. Multiple people have told me I will reach a point where I feel full after only a few bites. Thursday I felt full for the first time since entering the second trimester. Apparently only Thanksgiving (3 slices of pie included) can do the trick.

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A few friends, a great potluck and a selfie stick is definitely the way to go. 

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone. 2016 is coming to a close!

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The Best Time of the Year

I love most holidays. In general, I love any day that is out of the ordinary. This means I embrace holidays that seem created by Hallmark (Valentine’s), and fraternities (no offense, St. Patrick’s Day). I equally love my birthday and yours. Any reason for fun food and beverage is worth while to me. If we get the day off the work? Then it’s the absolute best!

Regardless Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Its focus- being thankful- is hard to argue with. It’s safe to say that each of us has something or someone in our lives that we take for granted, even despite our best intentions. Maybe it’s our health, our spouse, our parent, our home, our job, a friend, our hobbies. It doesn’t matter. Being grateful and thankful on every day often escapes us. A reminder really couldn’t hurt. Plus we celebrate the day with the two best things in life: family and food.

Often the people we spend Thanksgiving with aren’t related by blood. Although my family will most likely be annoyed by me saying so….I like Thanksgiving this way. I celebrate with my family every Christmas. Thanksgiving is my opportunity to be thankful and spend quality time with the other family in my life- those I choose to make a part of my life.

After 4 years of Friendsgivings in Texas, I didn’t know what we’d do when we moved back to North Carolina. Would we start going home? But last year we hosted our first Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving potluck (with my mother which was an added bonus!) with many new friends. This year, we’ll do it again.

I’ll have to control myself and my urge to make a thousand different dishes. I’m doing my best to limit it to 2. With only 3 weeks until baby’s arrival, I’m not having to work too hard to convince myself to take it easy. My back and legs do that pretty well.

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I’ll just do this instead.

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Clara’s getting her cuddles in pre-baby arrival.

Tyler and I already got the week of Thanksgiving off to the right start with our annual tradition of watching The Last Waltz. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing then check out:

November

It’s shocking to me to think that November is over. This month…year…has been an absolute whirlwind for me. The boss I’d been working under left for a new company at the beginning of November, the hubby began looking for work and almost immediately received a job offer, Thanksgiving happened and now I’ve a got a pile of boxes from Home Depot to fill up and only four days left at work. And that’s really just the highlights.

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Saw Rosie and the Ramblers play their first Continental Club show

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Got to meet the cutest, littlest member of Supper Club!

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This is how people felt at our Thanksgiving potluck. I'm sure you can relate.

This is how people felt at our Thanksgiving potluck. I’m sure you can relate.

November blogging challenge complete!

Christmas Tree Farm

I have always loved Thanksgiving. It’s my far my favorite holiday. I remember Thanksgiving as a child as a beautiful crisp sunny day. My sister was in charge of the Stove Top. I was in charge of heating up the fried apples. As soon as the turkey came out of the oven there was a battle between my sister and father trying to grab the first little pieces of turkey before dinner. There were only ever four of us at dinner but we all dressed up and used tablecloths and goblets for water. I thought it was the finest dinner you could ever have.

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But the best part was the day after. I did not grow up shopping on Black Friday for anything except two things: a Frazier Fir Christmas tree and a fried apple pie. We would get up early with a thermos of coffee for my parents and hot chocolate for my sister and I and drive to Roaring Gap to Motsinger Tree Farm. We would carefully check the trees for fullness, for softness of needles and for smell. You would lean as far into the tree as you could and take a big whiff. Christmas.

After the tree was selected and roped to the top of the car, we started back to Winston-Salem. Not far from the farm was a little gas station where we stopped every year for a fried apple pie. The moment I bit into that pie my Thanksgiving was over and the season of Christmas had begun. Perfect.

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Friendsgiving

A few years ago when I getting ready to have my first holiday away from home, my dad introduced me to the idea of the family you choose. He said at some point we all create new families, different from the ones you are born to. It doesn’t just mean when you marry and start a family of your own. He used the example of the best friends he’d made in school and how they became a sort  of family. They’re the kind of friends I’ve called uncle. 

I wasn’t sure what this meant at first for me. Who was my new family?To what group would I belong?  It has since become very clear. I was very lucky when I came to Austin to fall pretty quickly into a group of friends that over time has established itself as a sort of family. There are no mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters, but there are arguments and laughter, eye-rolling and teasing. There are family dinners around the table. 

It is impossible in such a large family for everyone to be present at the holidays, but I was lucky enough to be with many of them yesterday. And for friends and feasts and love, I am thankful. 

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Thankful

Just kidding. This post isn’t about being thankful. I am thankful though. Aren’t you? I’m thankful for family, friends, my job, my man and all the wonderful things we all love about life. I’m thankful my roommate is out of town and I can spend all weekend in my undies on the couch. I’m thankful my boyfriend bought Pringles original to snack on while I bake Thanksgiving treats. I’m thankful for my five days of vacation off of work!

But I am not thankful that I am missing my most favorite part of Thanksgiving in the world. Unfortunately my most favorite part is not family or friends (although let’s be honest it’s pretty high up there). It’s turkey. Not just any turkey- a Greenburg turkey. This turkey is like heaven in your mouth. It’s smoked and injected with pepper. The moment you bring that turkey into your house, every room fills with this delicious smoked turkey smell. Once my sister and I threatened to boycott Thanksgiving cause my dad wanted to do something different. What’s the point then? Geez.

Someone somewhere is slicing into one of these bad boys and I am jealous of them. I hope they savor every last bite.

I Am Martha Stewart

Okay, not really. I have no felony convictions at this time and most of my arts and crafts come out a little messed up but I do try!

This year’s Thanksgiving potluck was an absolute success. The tables looked pretty and everyone left feeling uncomfortably full. I’ve never seen so much food outside a K&W cafeteria! And this was much much better. We’re talking turkey, two different kinds of stuffing, goat cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, a picnic basket full of rolls, two loaves of homemade bread, spinach madeline, pumpkin pie, two apple pies and 5 different kinds of cookies. And I know I’m leaving some things out here. Overwhelming!!

Yes, my table settings are gorgeous. Thank you for noticing.

Why yes, this does taste better than it looks. That’s Mama Connie’s Sweet Potato Casserole Crunch and Aunt Merle’s spinach madeline. Delish.

Friends love it when you take pictures of them when they’re eating.