I've been a bad, bad blogger as of late. I've been taking a break from most social media and using the time to read more, something that is important to me that I felt like I was losing time to do. I also struggle with blogging lately because my life feels so much about Willa, but I want to be mindful of how much I share. Finding a balance is hard. But sometimes, I stumble across old gems that make me remember why I do this. This blog is one big love letter (to Brendan, our families, and our friends). I write it to capture the joy and the tough stuff and everything in between. As Robert Frost said, "Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better."
Faithful blog readers, November was a month. It's the season to reflect, and we certainly have an abundant amount to be grateful for. There's "real life" unfolding around us: the demands of the end of the semester, the fact that we're both been on antibiotics (and working doctor appointments and sick days into already jammed packed weeks), even poor Zoe had to go to the vet (she is fine now), but I feel like we do a better job of taking things in stride lately. We laugh a lot. And the month was filled with so much good. Here's a look at the highlights.
Brendan has been such a good sport, you guys. In the last year, he's happily posed in maternity photos, newborn photos, and family photos. I owe him big time!
A visit from Brendan's parents, Gigi and Buddy
The grandparents came, and we had a great visit. We played board games, took walks, cooked dinner, celebrated Gigi's birthday, and Gigi made us her chicken soup and froze some leftovers. Brendan and I got to have a date night, and Willa played hooky from school while Gigi and Buddy kept her.
Willa had a "project" at school: she had to "hide" this turkey, so it would survive Thanksgiving. She hid him behind the tree from Chica Chica Boom Boom. She did the entire project herself. We aren't the kind of of parents that do the homework.
For the actual holiday, we traveled to my parents' house in Austin and attended a lovely feast with the most delicious everything hosted by my Amanda and Matt, the hosts with the most. Brendan and I made sweet potatoes, apple pie, and Brussel sprouts.
Willa got to see Corley and David and meet Cole (we didn't get a picture though!)
Willa is now 8 months old, and we can't believe it! Now that we transitioned her to the crib, we're all getting more sleep. We typically put her down around 6PM. She wakes up to nurse once before I go to bed (usually around 10/10:30). She wakes up one more time between then and 6AM when our alarm goes off. If it's the weekend, we will then move her to our bed, and she's happy to snooze with us until 9AM. She isn't much of a napper (some days, we're lucky to get in two hours total), but we still consider ourselves lucky. When we traveled, her sleep was really thrown off, and we were exhausted. Fingers crossed the Christmas holidays go better on that front. In other Willa news, she is eating twice a day (purees and baby oatmeal), army crawling, and interested in all sorts of toys. She is sitting up, and Brendan thinks she said "mama" this morning (but probably it was a coincidence).
On Netflix, we recently enjoyed watching Alias Grace. Recent reads include NutureShock, a research based book that will change the way you think about a few parenting issues (one of my favorite chapters addresses the need to discuss race with your kids) and The Opposite of Loneliness (a posthumous collection of stories/essays by Marina Keegan).
Brendan successfully pulled off another Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Awards ceremony, which was my favorite ceremony yet. Every one of the readers did a wonderful job.
I found out this weekend that I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. This news made my weekend! You can read the story, "What You Wanted All Along," here.
We found time to decorate for Christmas, but our shopping is not at all done. It wouldn't be Christmas without wrapping on Christmas Eve anyway! With finals on the horizon, there is little time to think of anything else. At this point, we just want to finish out the semester in good health (and since we all have colds right now, maybe that's asking a lot).
Hope you and yours find some time to appreciate the season. Send tissues! :)