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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Goodbye March, Hello April.

I usually don't think too much about a month ending, but this month has been one that I'm going to remember forever. It was so full, and while I usually find myself wondering how the month went by so fast, it feels like it's been years since March first.

So goodbye, March. 

Goodbye, Match Day.

Goodbye, having so many questions about the future.

Goodbye, rainy weather (hopefully!).

Goodbye, baby's first Easter!

Goodbye to the stress, pressure, and anxiety that comes with having no idea where your next chapter will be taking place.

Goodbye to the month that taught me that I can do anything, that home is who I'm with, and that as long as I have Chris and Jack and Gatsby, I have everything.

Hello, April.

Hello, house hunting!

Hello, dreaming about life in Gainesville.

Hello, birthday month!

Hello, purple hair.

Hello, to being able to look forward to the future and actually knowing where it will take place.

March was full and long and difficult and wonderful, and I have a feeling April is going to be even better.

Goodbye, March 2016. I will remember you forever.

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this month?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What March Taught Me.

one of my new favorite pictures little brother bringing Jack to me right after we found out where we matched. 

March has probably been the craziest month of my life so far-so many unknowns! I learned and grew so, so much this month. Here's just a tiny snapshot of what March taught me:

No amount of stressing and worrying can change any outcome. That being said, sometimes you are going to feel stressed about things that are out of your control, and that's okay. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Being physically active is just as important for your mind as it is for your body. Sweating it out may not give me a six-pack right away, but it certainly helps clear my mind pretty instantly.

It is possible to be excited for the future AND be living fully in the present. I've kind of always felt like if I'm looking forward to things in the future, then that takes away from the present moment. I'm learning that's not true at all. I'm so excited to move to Gainesville, to get a house, for Chris to be a doctor. I'm excited for residency to one day be over, to have money to travel and buy nice things. But I also love life right now, and wouldn't wish it to go by even a little bit faster, because it's perfect the way it is, right now. Looking forward to things down the road and living fully in the moment aren't mutually exclusive.

Switching afternoon coffee for afternoon tea is a good choice. Less caffeine shakes, more energy, same cozy-curl-up-with-a-mug moment.

There won't always be a plan, and that's okay. I spent the majority of March making peace with the fact that I can't make a plan for everything. Sometimes the best days will be spontaneous, sometimes life will change in the five seconds it takes to open up an envelope, and there will always be unexpected things. That's okay, because the important things-family and friends-are along for the ride, and will be there no matter what plan (or lack of) takes place.

What have you learned this month?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chase it Anyway.

I was reminiscing this week about the first year Christopher and I were married. We lived in a two bedroom apartment, which, in comparison to the studio we've been living in, seems huge. We used the second bedroom as an office and both had desks in there. His was clean and organized and professional, mine was messy and creative and usually covered in some type of glitter.

Nights and weekends were time off for me, but since there's not really a lot of time off in med-school, we spent a lot of those times in that room. Him studying, me writing. We would stay up late-he would study infectious diseases, learning symptoms and medicine and the like, and I would plan stories and plotlines and characters' names. We were both burning the midnight oil, chasing our own dreams in our own ways.

I don't have a desk anymore.

It was one of the things that had to go when we moved to our downtown studio.

When I got pregnant with Jack, late nights spent throwing caution to the wind and just dreaming and creating without any other responsibilities...well, those had to go, too.

Two years later, almost nothing in my life looks the same-including what chasing dreams looks like. Two years ago, it looked like late nights and free time spent at a glitter-covered desk. Now, it looks a little more like typing ideas into the notes app on my phone while I feed Jack. I am, ironically, typing this with one hand while I hold him with the other. 

I'm learning that just because what chasing the dream looks like may change doesn't mean the dream changes. It doesn't mean it's time to let go of the dream. The dream is very much alive, which means it is still so very important to chase it.

So here's to chasing dreams, no matter what that looks like. Here's to chasing them even when it looks nothing like you thought it would.

You are so important. Your dreams are so important.

Sometimes, what chasing the dream looks like may change. Chase it anyway. 

What dream are you chasing right now?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Things I Believe in This Week.

Coffee. Extra, extra coffee. Sometimes, curling up and holding a warm cup that smells delicious (and tastes even better) is all you need to bring you back to life.

Saying no and staying home. Sometimes it's the best thing you can do to take care of yourself. Sometimes it's saying yes and going out, and but don't forget the times it's important to say no and stay home. 

Soaking up every bit of the day. No matter what it looks like, every day deserves a chance to be savored. No matter how early it starts or what time it ends, there's plenty of magic in-between that should be soaked up.

Not apologizing for who you are. Or what you want, or what you like, or what you believe in. Those things make you who you are, and you should never be sorry for or feel like you have to explain away who you are.

Continuing to go after what you want, no matter what that looks like. Sometimes, following your dreams looks like having an office all to yourself and having days and days and days to just lock yourself away and chase ofter what you want. Other times, it looks like hustling on your lunch break, or while the baby takes a nap. Either way-it's still so important to go after your dreams.

What do you believe in this week?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Eight Weeks With Jack: Weeks 7 & 8.

Week Seven:
We took you to the hated the sand. And the water. And pretty much the beach in general. 
You're the cutest sleeping baby. So peaceful.
You're smiles are more and more frequent, and I just can't get enough of them.
You continue to be the silliest little dude. It's so much fun. 
I was finally able to track down a little bathing suit small enough to fit you!
You noticed your mobile for the first time, and watched it spin for at least 30 minutes, content as could be!

Week Eight:
You love to be outside. We started taking you either to the pool or on a walk almost every day, because you love it!
You love anywhere we take you. To the park, to the lake, to the food truck just want to hang out!
You're getting bigger, but you're still the sleepiest, snuggliest little babe. 
You become more and more aware every day. You just want to be a part of whatever is going on!
And, of course, you're still the silliest. 

Love you always, my little man. Thanks for the best 8 weeks ever. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I'm Just So Proud of Us.

I woke up today still on cloud nine from our exciting news this weekend. Also, apparently happy news turns me into the kind of person who says things like "over the moon excited" and "on cloud nine." So there's that. But really-I'm just so happy.

I got up to get my coffee and cried actual tears of joy while it was brewing. Usually, any tears that happen before coffee are most definitely not fueled by joy, so that's saying something. I was just so overjoyed by the thought of how far we've come.

What kicked my tears off at the Match Day ceremony was the dean talking about the white coat ceremony-the first medical school event (almost 4 years ago) where all the students received their first white coats. She talked about the emotion of that day, and I cried, because I was there with Chris, and I remember that day so well. And on Match Day, at the emotional, full-circle event, I was there with him again. We've been together through it all, and I'm so proud of us.

I woke up feeling so celebratory. We should celebrate! There should be champagne! And shopping! And movies! And cake! Then I felt silly, because Match Day was Friday, and we've already celebrated.

And then I felt stupid for feeling silly over that.

Because dreams coming true is worth celebrating. Sticking it out through the hard times is worth celebrating. Reaching your goals and not losing your mind in the process is worth celebrating. A good relationship is worth celebrating.

Guys, I think you should take time to be proud of yourself. Of your accomplishments. Of your relationships. You are amazing, and you are worth celebrating.

So bring on the champagne and the cake. Today, tomorrow, next month. I'm so proud of us, and that is worth celebrating.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Envelope Has Spoken: Where We Matched!

After what felt like an eternity, Friday, March 18th, 2016 arrived. With it came a tiny black box with Christopher's name on it, and a gold envelope inside. On the inside of that envelope was the name of our new city.

After a long morning of nerves and laughs and both happy and anxious tears and hugs and jitters, we counted down from 10 and finally opened that ominous, fancy envelope to reveal where our next adventure would be taking place. . .

I could not be more thrilled with this news. Seriously, I am overjoyed. I was hoping and hoping and hoping for Gainesville, but-and I realize this sounds incredibly cynical-I felt like since I wanted it so badly, there was no way it was going to happen. 

But it did. 

And I am over the freaking moon excited about it. 

I am so happy that Chris is going to get to follow his dream of becoming a surgeon, and that he's going to get to do that in a state that I love. I am so happy we'll be near family. I am so happy that Jack will get to grow up a little Florida baby.

What a journey. What a reward. 

I finally feel like I can relax a little bit-no more holding my breath waiting on answers. I feel like I can just be for a little while. 

But not for too long, of course...because there are houses to look for and restaurants and parks and churches and stores to look up. Because a new adventure is starting, and it's going to be a good one. 

Gainesville, I'm coming for you!

Friday, March 18, 2016

We Made It.

Today is going to be wonderful. Or awful. Or maybe both, I'm not sure.

At 12:00 today, Christopher is going to open an envelope, and inside that envelope will be the name of the hospital that has hired him for his first job as a doctor. The name of our new city.

So what city is on the inside of the envelope?

We. Have. No. Idea.

As much as we've spent this week talking and thinking and guessing, we just don't know.

But here's what I do know.

I know that today is a huge accomplishment. It is an honor. One that has been four years (more, really!) in the making.

I know that Chris is the most hardworking person I know, and today is the day he gets to see that pay off.

I know that when I met him 8 years ago, he talked about wanting to be a surgeon, and he hasn't stopped talking about it since. Today is truly a dream come true for him.

I know that for me, the worst case scenario today is that the envelope holds the name of a city where I don't want to live. And even in that scenario, I get to move there with the love of my life, our precious little babe, and our fox. We'll all start an adventure somewhere new where Chris will be working a job he absolutely loves. If that's the worst that could happen, then man, my life is good.

As we head off to this intense NFL draft of medicine, I'm so anxious, so excited, so nervous, so ready, and a million other emotions. But my heart is bursting with pride.

I'm so proud of Chris. I'm so proud that he's getting to see his dream come true today.

I'm so proud of us. I'm proud that we've pressed through the hard times (because med school is hard) and lived every moment of the good times. I'm so proud that we've stuck together through it all.

I can't believe that today is here. That we finally made it today.

We made it. 

So, yeah. Today is going to be wonderful. 


Congratulations on making it this far. I can't wait to spend all my years laughing with you, no matter where that may be. 

Home is wherever I'm with you. xo

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

8 Things Making Me Happy This Week.

1. Finding out Christopher matched! While we don't find out where he matched until Friday, an email went out on Monday at 11:00 letting everyone know if they matched to any position or not. We were at the pool when he opened his email, and I don't think I've ever cheered so loud on a Monday morning before.

2. This weather. Florida has decided it's summer. After a weirdly cold and rainy February, I am extremely happy about this.

3. The fact that Jack likes to be outside. I know I keep saying Jack is an easy baby, but seriously, the kid loves going places, and he loves hanging out by the pool. It's the best. I'm so thankful that we don't have to stay inside for him to be happy. Also very thankful for his pool outfit:

4. Hot tea. I've been on a hot tea kick (again) lately, and I forgot (again) how much I love it! And I really do feel so much healthier when I drink hot tea all day. Plus, you can pretty much find any flavor you can imagine in a tea.

5. Gatsby met a girl Shiba. We were walking around a lake and they spotted each other from pretty far away and were SO excited. It was adorable. Her owner was an old man who had never seen another Shiba in real life before and thought it was the best thing ever.

6. We find out where Chris matches in 48 hours. 

7. Post-match celebrations! We've got reservations at our favorite place in Orlando, and we are going to party. Because when you wait four years to land your dream job, it's worth celebrating.

8. Knowing that no matter what city is on the inside of that envelope on Friday, it will be the adventure of a lifetime. Plus, I get to take my two best friends with me, so I'll take it.

What's making you happy this week?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Practice Makes (Kind of, Sort of) Perfect.

At my 6-week checkup, my doctor cleared me to start working out again. So I put on my cutest workout clothes (motivation, duh) and headed to the gym for the first time since morning sickness hit.

It. Was. Brutal.

Simply using the elliptical had me winded in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Weights I could easily lift a year ago had my arms shaking almost immediately. And my body hurt in places I didn't even know I had muscles.

There was no one else in the gym, so when I stepped off the treadmill, on the verge of tears after realizing just how far I had to go, I said out loud: It will get better. You just need to practice. 

That's the cool thing (and also the sucky thing) about working out: You know that the more you do it, the better you get. I know that if I keep going to the gym, I will eventually be as strong as I was before, or maybe even stronger. I just have to practice.

And that made me think about everything else in my life that I want to be good at. How I want to be a happy person, a generous person, a thankful person. And how there's no shortcut to those things, either. You just have to practice them.

If I want to be a happy person, I have to actually work on it. I have to choose to be happy. If I want to be a thankful person, I have to work on being thankful every day. It doesn't just happen. It takes practice.

I went to the gym yesterday, and it was way easier than it was three weeks ago. It'll be easier next week, too. It's still not the easiest thing, but if I keep practicing, maybe one day it will feel easy again.

Being happy after some jerk cuts me off in traffic and causes me to spill my coffee everywhere isn't the easiest thing, but if I practice it, maybe one day it will be.

What are you practicing lately?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Letters to Jack: Two Months.

My sweet little love,

I'm holding you as I write this. You're staring up at me with wide eyes and your hands under your chin, like you're thinking. I know in a few minutes, you'll start making a case for more breakfast, but for now the house is quiet and it's just me and you, hanging out and having coffee like buddies.

That's really how the last two months have been-enjoying life with my best friend and you, our new little best friend. This month, especially, has been so much fun. I feel like you've had your own personality from day one, but I've gotten to see so much of that this month. Your smiles are way more frequent and less accidental-you smile whenever we rub your head. You've started sticking your tongue out and you make this little chirping noises that I think will one day turn into a laugh.

You had a lot of big adventures this month-you went to the beach, to brunch with our friends, to the mall, to a fancy banquet, to many, many pool days. You're such an easy baby, we've just taken you everywhere and had the best time doing it.

This weekend was rough. You had your first vaccines and you got hurt for the first time-a scratch on your perfect little face. Both times you screamed, and both times it felt like my heart was going to shatter right inside of me.

After your shots, we snuggled you so much. I promised you that as soon as you were old enough, I was going to take you for ice cream to make up for this crappy day. I also told you that on the bright side, you wouldn't be getting polio. I know you couldn't understand that, but I hope you felt loved anyway.

I know it would be normal to end this by saying "I can't believe you're two months old already!" but that wouldn't be true. I can believe that, because I have spent every single day enjoying you and soaking up all that this stage of life has to offer. Time isn't racing by, because me and you, we're getting all we can get out of life. The good days and the long days and the hard days, we're living them all. Two months down, and it's been the best.

Happy two months, Jack Jacobs. I continue to be convinced that you are the best thing that has ever happened in the history of this world. I look forward to so many more months of just living life with you.

Love you forever. xo

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hello to The Most Stressful Seven Days Ever.

One week from today, Christopher will open a box that will determine where the next chapter of our lives will be taking place.

If you're wondering how I'm handling that stress and uncertainty and such a big change hovering, I'll just go ahead and tell you: NOT WELL.

Since we turned the list in, I've tried handling this a few different ways.

First: Pretend it's not happening. If I don't think about it, I won't stress about it. Wrong. 

Next: Think about it too much. Question everything. Rethink the entire last year of my life. Not a good strategy. 

Third: Back to ignoring it. Still not working. 

Up next: Look at houses in every single town that's even a remote possibility on the list. Become instantly overwhelmed at all the options. Pass. 

Fifth: Talk to Gatsby and Jack about this for entirely too long before realizing that neither one of them is ever going to talk back and I am, in fact, going crazy.

Back to ignoring it. 

If you need me at any point over the next seven days, I'll be somewhere in between pretending I'm fine and carefree and stress eating my way through Orlando.

Happy Friday, everybody.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

8 Weeks With Jack: All of the Pictures (Weeks 5 & 6).

Week Five: 
 You kept flashing us sleepy little smiles.
Long live your wild thing snuggle suit!
 You weren't sleeping well, so we got a bassinet that fit in bed with us, hoping it would help. It didn't, but it made for some sweet moments like this. 
Eventually you decided you liked sleeping in your rock-n-play.
You had your first trip to Universal!
You continued to make the funniest faces.
On Valentine's Day, you and Chris went on your first solo adventure and came back with roses for me! Your little hat said "first love." 

Week Six:
The silly faces didn't stop.
You went to the beach for the first time!
The wild thing snuggle suit was still a must, no matter what your mood.
This was the week where I felt like you actually starting seeing things. Your little eyes just bounced all around, taking everything in. 
You still love to keep your hands right by your face at all times. 

I think around week 5 is when we realized how much fun Jack could be. He started giving giggles, really looking at things, and just became so much more aware to the world around him. I guess when I thought about having a baby, I never really thought it would be fun. But it really has been! Life with my little dude is pretty great. I smile every day, I laugh every day, and I feel my heart explode with love every single day. It doesn't get much better than that. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Feelings Leading Up to Match Day.

We are eleven days out from Match Day.  E l e v e n .

Since we are super close (and also way too far away) to finding out, I don't know, EVERYTHING about the next few years of my life, I thought I'd clue you in to what's going on in my brain at the moment.

I am so calm. I am at peace. Whatever is supposed to happen is will happen. I've got this.

....I most certainly do not have this. 

What if we move somewhere that is basically a frozen tundra and it snows all the time? I will die. Florida has made me weak. 

That's silly. That won't happen. Calm down. Okay, better. I've got this. Maybe. 

Yep, definitely see a snowy death in my future. RIP me. 

Okay, this is out of control. Let's just stop thinking and go back to my tried and true method of dealing with stressful things: pretending they are not happening. 

Match? What Match? Oh, that silly thing. Funny you should mention it, I had forgotten all about it! 

The anxiety raging in my soul cannot be healthy. Maybe I need to do more yoga. 

Once again, I am back to being so calm and at peace with the universe and OH MY GOSH WHAT IF WE MOVE SOMEWHERE SNOWY. 

...and repeat approximately 27,000 more times in the next eleven days.