It seems like no matter what changes I make, I never seem to find any more free time in my schedule to write. But I'd say there's more than enough going on for a quick update.
Just be sure you're sitting.
* I'm pregnant! I'm due in February, and all three of us are very excited. Allison came with me to my first ultrasound appointment out of necessity, and she was very upset that we didn't bring the baby home with us that afternoon.
* I quit my job at the paper. I am now a full-time photographer. It was a gut-wrenching decision to give up a career I've loved for over a decade, but knowing I'll have weekends to see my children participating in whatever activity they decide to pursue, be home to tuck them in at night, eat dinner together as a family and celebrate holidays without me rushing to get to work, well, I'm sure you can understand why the decision was clear.
* Business is booming. I have been so fortunate to have incredible clients who are thrilled with my work that word-of-mouth has spread to the point that I'm booking two months or more in advance now. I can't stress enough that if you believe in yourself, and you're willing to work hard, you can make a change in your life.
* Because of our pending new addition, we've started looking at bigger houses. "The one" doesn't seem to be out there right now, but I did semi fall in love with an old Victorian on a hill with five bedrooms, original woodwork, two fireplaces, stained glass windows, a master suite, a two-car GARAGE, and a huge walk-up third floor that would double my studio space. I know. Sounds perfect, right? the downside is that the former homeowners put on a weird addition with a modern iron spiral staircase that I'm terrified one of the kids will break something on -- or worse. Plus the yard is a little less than ideal for, well, pretty much anything. Like I said, it's on a hill. So we're still looking.
* Jerry got a promotion at work. He's now program director of his station, which means he's in charge of which songs plays when, scheduling, hiring (and it's not-so-pretty counterpart), promoting concerts and events, devising contests and the guy everyone goes to when shit hits the fan. I didn't think it was possible, but he's even more tethered to his phone these days. I may have to organize an intervention, but I'm so proud of him.
* We had to put Toby on a diet because Allison can't seem to protect her snacks or meals. We now count the cheese sticks and sandwiches he steals as part of his daily food intake, and it works! His new name is Skinny Toby, and he can jump on the bed again, which really saves us from the incessant whining when he couldn't do it in his Fat Toby days. The only downside is that he's even more voracious to get scraps falling from our dinner plates when I'm loading the dishwasher. Then I call him Jaws.
* Allison is an amazing lovable girl. Having a toddler certainly comes with its own sets of challenges every day, and I've definitely had moments where I want to just lose it because she isn't listening. But when she's dancing on the bed, looks and me and says, "I love you, Mommy" for no reason, well, those moments far outweigh the other ones.
* This pregnancy has been completely different in every way imaginable. I've been throwing up constantly, and even puked right in front of a candidate for lieutenant governor on my last night at the paper. (What a way to make an exit, right?) Even weirder? I want red meat ALL. THE. TIME. I think Jerry would move my due date to NEXT February if it meant I would keep requesting steak for dinner on a regular basis.
* Jer and I celebrated our five-year anniversary last month. We took a mini overnight getaway to a beautiful historic resort that has hosted six presidents over the centuries. I've wanted to stay there ever since it reopened after three years of extensive renovations. We walked the grounds, checked out old guest books with Washington's signature, played checkers on a table that is probably older than dirt, took a hike to see some natural springs and celebrated with some sparkling grape juice on our balcony. I bypassed the spa so we could splurge on $40 steaks. Meat can melt in your mouth like butter. Oh yes it can.