You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter around here lately. There are reasons for that. Reasons that are frankly a bit difficult for me to share, as I’m not really a personal-feeling-sharer typically. I like to keep things happy, and positive, and educational in my corner of the inter web for the most part. However I consider all of you my friends and I felt like I needed to tell you a bit of what’s been going on.
photo by Veronica Reeve
Let’s talk about stress, shall we? I’m used to a lot of stress. My job as a journalist was quite stressful. Every day I was thrown into a fire of deadlines and sometimes sadness and trauma and was forced to sink or swim by the 10 o’clock news. I pride myself on handling stress well and being able to perform under intense amounts of pressure. That being said, the last 9-ish months of my life have maybe been the most stressful I’ve ever experienced and I can’t say I’ve been performing well.
We (Jon and I) are both go-getters. We love projects. We like staying busy. We like doing things well. When we decided to sell our former home and search for a new renovation, we knew it would be stressful. Add in a toddler and work and we expected things to be hectic. Then we found out I was expecting Anna, and we knew it was going to be crazy town. We braced ourselves and were pretty excited for the adventures ahead. I mean, renovating our dream home and adding a new family member– these are awesome things, people. And we did and do feel extremely blessed. But that’s not to say it’s been all fun and games.
We launched into the #staggreno just as my pregnancy got interesting. I have high-risk pregnancies with all kinds of fun and whacky medications, coupled with extreme nausea of the hospital admittance kind. While we did hire out a few things on the house, the great, great majority we did ourselves. Because I was pregnant, that meant Jon did most of the labor himself with some help from my dad and a few select contractors. I designed, Jon did the heavy lifting (and there was a whole lot of it to do). I was doing what I could to survive while taking care of my toddler and our days consisted of mostly this: Jon waking up extra early, heading up to the house to get things moving for the day, working all day at his demanding full-time job, coming home for an hour for dinner, then heading up to work on the house until 2 or 3am while I was sick as a dog at home taking care of Ruby and would load her up in the car, drive up the house multiple times a day to check on things, travel all over town to supply stores and design centers, then back to the house again, and then home. This daily schedule went on for months and months and months. I wish I was exaggerating, but poor Jon worked himself ragged building us a home while I baked us a baby and cared for a toddler.
March came and Jon was able to carve out a little paternity leave for Anna’s birth. I delivered on a Friday, checked out of the hospital on Sunday, and Jon spent his leave beginning the next day working all day every day for the next week working at the house, pushing to meet our deadline. This period is a bit of a blur, honestly, but I mustered up my strength and pushed through, caring for both little humans and spending every spare second working on the house design, selecting fixtures and finishes, meeting with contractors, etc. Jon sacrificed so very much to not only survive at work, but thrive, all while working himself to the bone at the house every minute he wasn’t at the office. There was no time for a break for either of us, it was crunch time. Our motto was “the only way out is through” and we repeated it to each other daily.
I remember having some baby blues after Ruby was born. It takes a while, I think, for any woman’s hormones to go back into balance after the birth of a baby. This time around I think it was a bit more than just some postpartum sadness and I began to slip deeper and deeper into a dark hole. I felt alone and at times even breathing was painful. My saving grace was and still is my sweet girls. Ruby had very little adjustment from only child to big sister and has never had any jealousy, instead doting on her baby sister constantly. Anna is quite possibly the happiest and most easy going little person I’ve ever seen and for a girl who was born in the middle of a hurricane, she has smiled and giggled and has won us all over since she came into our lives. Jon pulled all nighters, knowing the only way we could get through this stressful time was to finish the house and move in and just as we felt things were coming to an end, a really crappy thing happened: we were robbed.
There is a lot to that part of the story maybe one day I’ll share, but in a nutshell, shortly before we moved in our new home was broken into and a whole lotta stuff was stolen. It was devastating and so disheartening. Our new neighbors, friends, and family were so wonderful and brought food, service, smiles, and hugs. Jon decided to move into the house while the girls and I continued to live at the rental just to give us some peace of mind, but being apart completely, coupled with the stress of replacing everything that was stolen, nearly did us in.
Then Jon’s car broke down.
Then Jon was offered an amazing new opportunity with one of his clients and we had a very short amount of time to make the decision whether to take the job.
So, we renovated a house, had a baby, had a major break-in, had a car break down, changed jobs, and moved. All in a span of a few months.
And I was still taking clients, blogging, shooting videos, recording my radio show, installing rooms, and trying to be a functioning member of society.
These are all first world problems. We are so very blessed, and I feel so lucky to even be in a position to have these problems. This post is in no way meant to complain, but more to explain why I’ve been a bit distant lately. And there are wonderful things happening.
We have now moved in, Jon is settling into his new job, Anna and Ruby are thriving, I’ve hired two wonderful ladies to help with design work (so clients and prospective clients, things are running smoother now), and we are slowly bringing some much needed balance into our lives. Like getting more than 3 hours of sleep a night and spending time together as a family.
I don’t quite feel like my old self yet, but I do feel like I’m getting there. Jon is as supportive a husband as they come.
I’m behind on home posts and client posts, but I’m digging out of the hole and have some really great posts planned, folks. All about the floors and kitchen and tile and ceilings and every little design detail you’ve been wondering about. My friends, we poured our blood, sweat, tears, hearts, and souls into our #staggreno and I’m dying to share it all with you. I hope you’ll forgive me for the delay, but the payoff will be worth it.
Thank you for all of your love, support, cheers, and virtual high-fives.