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Showing posts from 2017

In the thick of it.

Postpartum.  What a tricky, tricky time.

I am in the thick of it.

My daughter is four weeks old.   In just a few days I'll be taking her "1 month" photo, and the thought of it is mind-blowing, heartbreaking and victorious, all at once.   I've kept this tiny human alive for an entire month- if that's not worth a victory lap, I don't know what is.

Being an "older" mom, most of my friends have already done this crazy kid thing.  I have had some amazing advice from so many of my mom friends that has truly helped me, but even with all of the advice I don't think I was really prepared for this whole postpartum thing.  I don't think anyone truly can be, and I don't think this is a reality that hits until, like me, you are in the thick of it.

Nothing could have prepared me for the moment she and I locked eyes.  From the moment they laid my daughter on my chest, my world changed.  I knew I loved her more than anything, but that "heart bursti…

A Labor Soundtrack...

So I'm not putting together a "Birth Plan" for Baby C's arrival... the plan is to get this baby here safely, plain and simple, by whatever means necessary.  I do have a few specific requests for after he/she arrives, but I'll save those for another post.   The one prep "to-do" on my list that I currently obsessed with is my playlist for the big day.
Kinda silly, right?  I know.  But if you know me, you know music is extremely important to me- and if you don't know me, Hello.  My name is Jessica and music is extremely important to me.
When I sat down to start building the playlist, I envisioned lots of fast-paced hip-hop music, much like my running playlists of days past.  But as I started thinking about it all, I realized I'd like calming, relaxing music.  I don't think I REALLY need Salt N Pepa telling me to "Push It," do I?  So, I decided to opt for more soothing tunes...
I started making a list of artists with whom I associate …

What a Weekend!

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What a busy weekend!  It was also a fantastic one, so I have no complaints!

Friday evening, our little town had a big celebration to kick off the traveling Smithsonian exhibit that will be here until early September (random thought:  by the time it's over and moves on, I'll have a BABY!)... 
Over 300 people spent the evening together at our historic Rock Island Depot, entertained by music and a fun little melodrama that I was lucky enough to be a part of.


Saturday was another full day of events in town, but due to the heat I stayed home until it was time to perform again (an afternoon show... it was BRUTALLY hot!).  Then, Michael and I hurried home to shower and change and head to a baby shower that some dear friends threw for us!  It was such a treat to have so many friends gathered together for an evening.  
I was also grateful to friends who had their cameras with them.  I set my phone down once we got there and didn't touch it again for the rest of the night, so I had…

Museums, Plays and Showers... A busy weekend ahead!

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FINALLY FRIDAY!  This week has been a long, busy and hectic one... and this weekend is going to be just as crazy!

Our tiny little town was chosen as a site for the Smithsonian Institute's "Museum On Main Street" program, so starting this weekend and continuing until early September, we get to host a traveling Smithsonian exhibit!  So fun!  This exhibit is titled "The Way We Worked" and focuses on the history of labor in the United States.


We have a big kickoff weekend planned, including a one-act melodrama that I am lucky enough to be a part of.   (8 months pregnant, in a play that will be performed twice, on an outside stage.  Am I crazy?!)  There has been so much work put into making this weekend a BIG event, and although I'm looking forward to seeing Waurika full of life and activity, I'm also looking forward to the kickoff being over and taking a BIG, guilt-free nap on Sunday.  All of the late-night play practices have me completely worn out.

Also …

I swear, I'm not complaining...

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Can we just be real for a minute or two?  As in, "REAL" real?

Pregnancy is awful.

Don't get me wrong- it's beautiful and magical and amazing and all of those other adjectives I'd usually reserve to describe some sort of fairy land.  It truly is surreal that the human body can do so much on its own, and the mere act of growing another human being is mind-blowing.  As someone who never thought she'd be experiencing this, I'm honored and blessed to have this opportunity.  I get that.  I can remember hearing others complain about it and thinking to myself "Well, at least YOU get to have this life moment...".  So please believe me when I say that I am not complaining.  Well, I am- but I'm not.  Also- I am acutely aware that I am not the first OR the last woman to be pregnant.  I'm not special. This pregnancy isn't something for the record books.  I'm not looking for sympathy or praise.  I'm just wanting to be brutally honest about…

Bad Days, Good Music

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How do you handle your bad days?
Generally, I go home, to my mom's or to a friend's and drink wine.  After a couple of glasses and good company (even if that just means me and my iTunes library), things always seem better.
Since Baby C entered the picture, wine hasn't been an option, obviously.   One nice thing about pregnancy is that my hormones are SO all over the place, that a bad day doesn't seem to last long anymore.   When I just can't shake one of "those" days, I tend to curl up at home, eat sweets, and sleep.   What can I say- I'm a simple creature.
One thing that has ALWAYS helped me with those funky days has been music.   Before wine, during wine, and while wine hasn't been an option, music has always been there to turn things around, or at the least to see me through.  So when I heard this song by a "new-to-me" musician named Ashley McBryde, I instantly connected.  Then, when I heard her tell the story behind the song, I fell…

My "Want List" for Baby C...

All my life, I've been a planner.  A list-maker.  Someone who feels it absolutely necessary to prepare for every little detail and/or potential mishap.  Despite how badly I want to have a free-spirited soul, I'm Type A, through and through.

Because of this personality trait, I could have never imagined that I wouldn't want to be as prepared as absolutely possible for the BIGGEST event in my life:  having a baby.  However, after the "OMG we're going to be parents" shock wore off and Michael and I spoke about the pregnancy, we agreed on one thing right away:  we didn't want to have the sex of the baby revealed to us ahead of time. (But I reserved the right to change my mind at any poing, just in case...)

Here we are, almost into Week 30, and not knowing has been so easy.   One of the most fun things about NOT learning the sex of our baby is that it drives everyone absolutely crazy!  It's also been fun to hear everyone's opinions on Boy vs. Girl (and…

A post I NEVER thought I'd be writing...

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I am officially 23 weeks and a few days into this pregnancy, and I finally decided to commit to sitting down and talking about it all.   From the day I learned I was expecting, I imagined myself blogging about it on a regular basis... then life continued and I never allowed myself the time.  Plus, there were the usual thoughts of "Who would care to read it?  I don't have anything groundbreaking to share!  It's not like being in this situation makes me unique....".  Well voices, be damned.  This is pretty groundbreaking for me.  So, here's to sharing.

I must start by declaring that this is something I could have NEVER imagined. Due to a few cards that life had dealt me (and I few I had drawn myself) I never really expected to be pregnant.  In fact, I was "this.close" to discussing options for a hysterectomy with my doc.  That consultation appointment was scheduled... and it became the first ultrasound appointment, instead.

In true "Michael and Jess…

My "ex" Equation

This morning, I was catching up on one of my very favorite blogs, Cup of Jo, and the topic at-hand hit close to home for me... it was about running into an ex.

For those who know me well, it is no secret that the absolute love of my life and the man that makes me happier than anything in the world is also "an ex."   We dated casually for a brief period in high school, and reunited in our early 20s.  After a relationship that was riddled with the all-too-common "young love" mistakes, our breakup left us both a little wounded, in different ways.  However, we shared some very dear mutual friends, and lived in the same area- so the universe constantly had us at the same place at the same time.  He was "that ex" that always rattled me a bit, every time.

We always managed to be friendly, or at the very least civil.  We would run into each other often, and even though I was usually dating someone else, (and even mistakenly married at one point), I left every cas…