This Too Shall Pass

Life tends to come in waves here. I sometimes find myself bored with the monotony that can occur when your job description is “Mommy,” an all encompassing word that means you do everything and seemingly nothing all at the same time.

But since the fall, the calm of monotony was abruptly disrupted and has been replaced with wave after wave of life. BIG LIFE. Life changing waves that will not stop crashing, leaving me wondering when I will once again be able to take a breathe.

After my miscarriage on my 30th birthday, which, in itself seems a story fit to be written in the pages of a heart wrenching novel, life charged forward with another maybe-kind-of miscarriage in November. We didn’t tell anyone about it. It was a positive pregnancy test one day and bleeding the next. The doctors called it a chemical pregnancy. It may not have even been real.

December came with it’s wave of Christmas cheer and blur of busy as I once again held a lead role in the Broadway style Christmas production at church and we celebrated all of the things that go on with having a 4 year old in Pre-K around the holidays. We traveled to GA to see family and survived more months of nights as my husband continued to trudge through his Anesthesiology Residency.

 

My last GCN performance.

My last GCN performance.

In January, we were met with snow and sickness. Snow that just wouldn’t stop, and my son only attended school for 4 days the entire month. I wanted to be positive about it, but it was completely valid to be going stir crazy with a little one and snow that was too cold and ice-y to even enjoy playing outside in.

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Well, we played a little. :)

 

This too shall pass.

Then I got sick. Very sick. Couldn’t-move-off-the-couch-throwing-up-at-all-hours-of-the-day sick.

A few pregnancy tests later would confirm what I already knew…I was pregnant.

But I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if it was real and I definitely wasn’t excited since this time it seemed being pregnant meant being dysfunctional.

I gave my husband a positive pregnancy test in a gift bag for Valentine’s Day (and some other stuff too, don’t worry I didn’t just give him a pee stick) and we both were tentatively excited.

At my doctor appointment in late February they confirmed that there was a little baby in there; measuring about 8 weeks. I was given Zofran to try to stop the severe nausea. It helped, but put me in a zombie like state of sleep and no energy. So my choices were throw up all day or lay on the couch like a zombie all day. My son was raised by the TV for about three months and our house was in such a state of disarray that I truly wondered if burning it down and starting over would’ve been an easier solution than somehow figuring out how to clean it up.

This too shall pass.

We told my family and called my husband’s family. “Don’t tell Noah!” My son knew Mommy was sick, but he didn’t know why, and I wanted to make VERY certain that this baby was a sure thing before we told our sweet four year old that he would be a big brother.

My mother-in-law wanted to come up for a visit.

You can, we told her, but the house does not look like it normally does (I never allow company over if my house is not spotless) and you can not wear any perfume or wear anything smelly.

The smell of EVERYTHING made me sick. I couldn’t even stand the smell of our own laundry detergent; we had to re-wash every single article of clothing we owned just so I could get dressed. (All Free and Clear to the rescue!)

“I’m sure the house isn’t that bad,” my mother in law said, until she actually arrived at our house and discovered it was WORSE. “Well,” she said, “it certainly does look different.”

It looked like an episode from Hoarders.

This too shall pass.

My mother-in-law stayed for a week and entertained my TV brainwashed son and did a million loads of laundry and helped with dishes.  She dug us out of a hole I’m not sure I ever would have been able to climb out of.

And then, I started feeling better.

It was the week after my mother in law left that one day, the sun decided to shine.

And my body decided to cooperate.

And for the first time in months, I felt human again.

We even told our sweet little boy that he was going to be a big brother…and he was THRILLED!

Look Whoo's Going to Be A Big Brother!

Look Whoo’s Going to Be A Big Brother!

This too shall pass.

Residency is over in June. So, no matter what, we are starting a new chapter in our lives this summer. My husband began his job search in December, and much to our dismay by March we still had no job. In the midst of my severe sickness my husband finally started getting interviews and was out of town in between weeks of nights. Despite my strong desire to stay in Richmond, there were no available jobs. My husband has always wanted to go back to GA (where we grew up) so most of his interviews were focused there.

We knew we couldn’t stay in Richmond without a job, so we worked diligently to get our house ready to put on the market. Somehow in between severe morning sickness, a traveling and working nights husband, and juggling the care of a 4 year old, our house became not just clean, but also market ready. Surely we would have a job by April, we assumed, and we went about hiring a handy man and a yard crew, renting a POD, and packing and loading and cleaning and meeting with our real estate agent.

April came and we did not have a job. But we had a schedule, and a deadline to get the house on the market if we wanted to really attract the buyers coming in for spring, and a hope that a job offer would come in before our house went under contract. Putting your house on the market doesn’t mean selling it, right?

Our beautiful home.

Our beautiful home.

This too shall pass.

Except it did sell. In three days. We put our house on the market on Friday, April 11th. We had 5 showings, two offers and were under contract by Monday, April 14th at noon. Whose house sells in three days??

But it was not without some drama. Our first offer came in Saturday night, after only one day on the market, for just under full listing price. “You won’t get a better deal than this,” our real estate agent told us. She really wanted us to take it. The bottom line was that it was all just moving too quickly. I didn’t want to sell our house, or leave Richmond, and we did not have a plan of where we were going next. It’s hard to jump when you don’t know where you are landing.

We told our agent we wouldn’t sign anything until Monday and then a second offer came in Sunday night. For more money and a later closing date. It was obviously a better offer for us, but the agents felt we should have gone with the first offer and there was some talk about us being under a “verbal agreement” and making an “ethical decision.” I was guilt ridden and felt pressured and didn’t want to sell our cute little house in the first place. And my husband certainly got the brunt of that emotional meltdown from me.

We did wind up taking the second offer and were under contract by Monday. And that was it. Our home was under contract. We had no job. We were on track to be jobless and homeless at the end of June with two kids. I don’t know the dates, but I do know that there was a day when my husband and I got into a HUGE fight in front of our son. The tension level at our house was so indescribably high and the great unknowns of our future were so looming that it was almost unbearable.

This too shall pass.

A job offer would FINALLY come in on April 22nd. We were elated. It was an AMAZING offer in Atlanta, GA. We finally could feel at peace with what was coming next, even though I was still holding so tightly onto where we are now.

Then, the week where our life status changed every day happened.

On Monday, April 28th, the Atlanta job rescinded the offer. We were back to being on track for jobless and homeless at the end of June. I was a complete disaster. And, as we have come to find out, rescinded job offers? NEVER happen in the field of medicine. We were at a complete loss. On Tuesday, a job in Athens, GA offered a possible part time opportunity. We didn’t know if we could make it work financially, but we were considering it. On Wednesday, April 30th, the Athens job said they may be able to make a full time offer. On Thursday, May 1st, the Athens job officially extended a full time offer in writing and we took it. Because at this point, we simply needed a plan. Shortly after, the Atlanta job called and said there was still a possibility my husband could get that job if he would just wait….I am so proud of him for interrupting and saying that he was no longer interested.

By Friday, May 2nd, we had started paperwork for the Athens, GA job and finally, FINALLY felt that all of the pieces were coming together.

This too shall pass.

As it turns out, juggling a pregnancy, a four year old, church obligations, a new job, selling a house, trying to find a new house, finding a new school for my son, researching a new care provider to switch to in the middle of a pregnancy, doing an opera (yes, I added an opera in there), keeping up with freelance writing, my job for Richmondmom.com and real life (damn you laundry!) is simply insane. I do not think it is wise to change EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT YOUR LIFE ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

This too shall pass. There will soon be a time of calm. There has to be.

But now, right at this moment, we are still stuck in the midst of the waves, just trying not to drown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONAN in Atlanta

I mentioned it briefly and posted some pictures on Instagram, but on Wednesday April 3rd, something amazing happened.

I went to see Conan O’Brien.

I love Conan like Kimberly at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something loves Chuck Norris or like my best friend loved Jonathan Taylor Thomas when we were kids, or like you love Justin Timberlake. (I won’t tell anyone.)

I always joke with my husband that I married him because he has red hair and then we had a son with red hair too, who is the cutest toddler ever, so I must think red heads are adorable. It’s a subconscious thing.

I have loved Conan for YEARS and before I turned 30 it was one of my goals to see him in person. Then Team Coco announced that they would be filming a week of shows in Atlanta, 30 minutes from my hometown, so a plan was hatched. My brother and I both signed up for the ticket lottery. I didn’t win, but my brother did, and he said he would take me. (Best brother ever.)

After acquiring supermom status by driving down to GA with my son on Tuesday, I was up and ready to go on Wednesday morning at 4:30. In the morning. My brother and I met in downtown Atlanta at 6:00 in the morning and were the 31st and 32nd people in line at about 6:30 AM.

They would not start handing out tickets until 9:00, so we had a good three hours of talking and catching up (and freezing because I never am up that early and forgot that it’s cold before the sun comes up.)

We met some pretty cool people and my brother even managed to squeeze in some networking.

Around 8:00 they split the line to paper holders and standbys. After the standbys left, we were the 5th and 6th people in line. At about 8:30 they split the line again into blue and yellow. We happened to have blue papers, and we were the very first in the blue line! When they finally opened the ticket tent at 9:06, my brother and I got the very first tickets….and we were on the FRONT ROW!!! Totally worth it.

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Conan

After we got our bracelets, we got Conan buttons at the photo booth and set out for a day in Atlanta. I am saving this bracelet and button forever.

Conan bracelet

 Conan photo button

We went to the World of Coke.

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And toured the CNN studios.

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And ate lunch at a really great local restaurant.

We also did a lot of Conan stalking, but he never came out of his trailer.

We did get some pretty awesome pictures of us standing in front of the Tabernacle (the venue where Conan was filming) and with an awesome basketball with Conan hair, designed to promote both Conan’s tapings and the Final Four taking place in Atlanta that weekend.

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The doors opened at 4:00ish and filming started at 5:00. How amazing is this venue and these front row seats??

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The show was awesome, and I was close enough to touch Conan. They were very strict with their photography rules, though, so I don’t have any pictures of him!! So sad. I very sneakily snapped this one, but it’s blurry. :(

Conan and Andy commercial break

We did get some good ones of ourselves though…

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And I even made it onto TeamCoco.com with my poster!

The show was great, and I loved getting to watch Conan in between commercial breaks and pre-taped segments. He cracks himself up at his own comedy, which I think is adorable. His opening act, Jimmy Pardo, asked who the first people were and my brother and I excitedly raised our hands. Which I almost immediately regretted because a large part of his opening act was a “roast” of us, which was kinda funny and kinda not-so-much-please-stop-now.

After the show my brother and I waited for AN HOUR in the rain to see Conan. That’s dedication, people. He never came out, but we did see Andy from afar.

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To be honest, I left in a bad mood 1) because I was EXHAUSTED, 2) the pre-taping “roast” dampened my mood and 3) because I really, really wanted to meet and get a picture with Conan. That is still on my bucket list.

But after getting a little bit of sleep, and getting to watch the show on TV, (you can totally see my brother and I on the front row in that episode!)  I have a much better perspective on how amazing the day really was. A fun day in Atlanta with my brother and getting FRONT ROW seats to see the love of my life, Conan? Not too shabby and totally before 30 bucket list approved. :)