We celebrated Rori's fourth birthday today. A little princess tea party for girls only.
The aftermath was quite the show.
They decorated crowns and painted nails and then went in and had tea together and opened presents.
The mess feels a lot like the ending of 2015. We got back from Christmas in Michigan, and something about the new year made me want to clean up from the chaos that was last year and make a fresh start of living. We've knowingly been living fairly haphazardly for the last six months, and it's time to start caring and fine tuning life again.
I have a distinct memory from one day last July - we had planned on moving into our house that week. Brian's mom had come to help pack and had just left that morning, and my family was due to arrive later that evening to help move. The house was no where near livable yet, so really our families were helping move the renovations along. I took the kids out for ice cream that afternoon - more like rushed them out the door. Brian had a job interview that literally appeared out of thin air the week before, and he needed the house quiet so he could Skype. We had decided to let the opportunity play out even though a job change hadn't really been a thought.
I remember sitting with the kids as they ate their ice cream, and I just knew that we were about to get in over our heads. The house was slowly revealing more and more unanticipated projects - big ones - and we really weren't sure when we were going to be able to move in. Brian hadn't stopped smiling since he was first contacted about the job. I knew he wanted it. Without a doubt, I knew. And then for the very first time, as I sat there, I had an inkling that baby number three just might be on the way.
It all began playing out in my mind, and I knew we were in for a very chaotic next few months.
And I was right.
Two weeks after that day, I told Brian about our new little family member - just days before he took the new job. He was thrilled on both accounts. We decided to move into the house a few weeks after that since Brian would be working from home, and we needed to not be living in between houses. I remember a neighbor came over to introduce themselves shortly after we moved. They walked into the house asking if we were settled in and quickly said, "Oh, no! No, you are not." We had unpacked boxes in our living room and unpainted cabinets with no doors in the kitchen for a good few months. Our main bathroom still isn't finished, nor have we put up a mantel on the fireplace.
We moved into the house, and Brian focused on getting into the rhythm of a new job and working from home. And this pregnancy pretty much wiped me out from the get go. My parents were here for about 2 months this fall, and my mom watched the kids every day and took care of the house while I laid on the couch and and tried to figure out how to feel better. We owe so much of the house being where it is to them. They hung doors, painted and put up trim and baseboards. finished painting the kitchen, painted our brick fireplace, and dry walled one of the bathrooms. And then they watched the kids while Brian and I headed off for a much needed vacation.
I went into it all knowing it was going to be a fairly fractal way of living for a while. And it was. Really, that's how all of 2015 was. Brian's last job had a busy spring and there was a stretch where he traveled for about 8 weeks straight right before we bought the house. He also lost 4 extended family members throughout the year, and one of my closest friends lost her dad to cancer. Throw all of that together and it feels like we just got spit out of the tornado that was two thousand fifteen.
And now that the whirlwind is gone, I'm ready to start caring about picking up all the pieces. Start caring that the bathroom isn't done. Start caring that the house needs a good cleaning. Start caring that the kids need a bit more organization in their lives. Start caring that a little one is soon to arrive and we need a decent place for them to lay their head... I guess I'm ready to start this life we began last summer and just never really got a grip on.
But as far as all the changes go, I feel a lot like the birthday girl who gets to eat the last cupcake at the end of the day.
You'll be seeing me around here a bit more. I've missed blogging. It just wasn't in the cards these last few months. And I wish I had been able to keep up with it because I'll miss not having the memories from it all. There's something about mulling over transitions while they're happening that is intriguing and a bit raw. I wish I written it all down.
We'll have another transition arriving the end of March, and I'm planning on fully capturing those moments and thoughts. Baby number three - we're getting ready for you. <3