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We survived Hurricane Sandy pretty much without a hitch.  On Thursday, when they were describing the Perfect Storm headed our way, Gregg was ready to race off to TN (his mom offered us a place to stay) with me, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree.  “Really?” I was thinking.  “Is it going to be that bad?”  Well, the answer: yes and no.  I have lived on the coast before, but in San Francisco, everyone is much more worried about earthquakes than hurricanes. We weren’t sure quite how to handle this type of weather.  Leave?  Stay?  Board up the windows?  Gregg and I started to text and call friends that also live on the Shore. There was a wide variety of panic and non-panic.  One guy that’s lived on the Shore for a lifetime responded to Gregg’s text of  “Leaving or staying?” with a nonchalant “Staying.”

The wind was blowing so fast that I got out of a couple days of work.  I didn’t want to take my chances being blown off the bridge and into the bay.

We couldn’t have had a better storm experience to be honest: knitting, reading, cuddling with animals, and watching lots of tv and weather reporting.  We didn’t lose power.  No trees fell into the yard or onto our house.  And, it being a rental property, the stress of something happening to my house just wasn’t there.  So often, I love the lack of responsibility that comes with renting.

To show our hurricane inexperience/non expertise just a bit more…Last night after the storm had blown over Gregg says, “Maybe I should put down/put up (however you say it) the storm windows.”  Nice

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I promise that all my posts from here on out won’t be devoted to pregnancy, but I’ve typed up a couple thoughts that I had during my first trimester and want to share them….

Pregnancy seems similar to engagement to me in so many ways.  One major difference between engagement and pregnancy is that, for me, the first trimester is one long drawn out proposal.  For 2 months, I have felt like Gregg has been slowly putting a ring on my finger, and I have been thinking things like, I want to be excited, but can I be yet?  Is this for real?  I imagined both periods of waiting (engagement and pregnancy) to be blissful and fun and exciting.  And, so far, pregnancy has been more fun than being engaged (sorry, Gregg, but I’m sure you agree with me).  But, of course, parts of it have been hard.  My complaints are not different than any other woman’s, so I won’t go into the specifics.  But, the hardest thing for me, I think, has been not feeling like myself.  Not having the energy to do the things that I normally like to do, like reading or knitting.  Sometimes I just sit (weird).

I’m writing this smack in the middle of my first trimester, but I’m going to wait to actually post it.  I read this wonderfully encouraging post about “First trimester woes.”  (I actually googled this phrase.)  I had been having this internal battle between listening to my body and resting when I needed to VERSUS putting aside how I feel and doing the things that I don’t feel like doing. What I am learning is that I can do more than I think I can.  Sometimes I just need to rest, but sometimes doing things that I don’t want to do takes precedent.

And, knowing that other women have had/are having much worse first trimesters than me, makes me want to pick myself up by the boot straps.

Pregg-O

Hee hee.  Did I fool you?  This is not my belly, not yet any ways.  Most of you readers probably already know this, but…I’m pregnant.  Hopefully my belly won’t ever be as lumpy as the make shift one that they let me use in the Motherhood Maternity dressing room to simulate a pregnant belly.  First trimester down, two to go!

Kitties

Along with my pregnancy, I’ve got to announce that we’ve got two new kitties.  Tootie and Chief are named after the TV show Treme (a song and a character).

Gregg got me hooked on the show last year mid-winter.  Its set in post-Katrina New Orleans and it focuses on music, food, and the culture of the town.  New Orleans itself is a character in the show.

After protesting and pouting to Gregg that I did not want more animals to care and pay for, he brought them home from the vet without getting the final stamp of approval from me.  I. Love. Them.

These kittens are most perfect companions for a pregnant girl.  I’m craving to love on and cuddle with a new baby, and these kittens provide the perfect substitute (for now).

We had our first Book Club meeting last night.  I laugh when I think about it, because it was my idea to start it, but I didn’t invite one single person to join it.  (Not true, I invited two, neither of which joined).  But, I think it is working out well because I’ve planted myself in the middle of a group of sisters and their friends who have all been so sweet, fun, and welcoming.

Book Club book #1

We read We Need to Talk about Kevin.  The mother narrates the story. and she is brutally honest about how she dislikes/distrusts/disdains her son.  Her dislike may be justified, since her son goes on to murder 11 people in a school shooting (this isn’t giving away the story).  There’s a lot of lovely and wordy inner monologue from the narrator about her fears leading up to becoming a mother and, later,  how she feels about her son’s dark behavior as he gets older.

INTENSE.  I NEVER would have chosen to read it on my own, but the challenge was good for me (and some of the other girls as well).  One of the sisters in the Book Club loves darker (more sinister?) books, so she suggested this one.  (She also suggested The Undertaker for book #2 which we all quickly vetoed, opting for a more light-hearted book our 2nd time around).  She caught on to symbolism that I didn’t see, but, after she pointed it out,  it was so obvious.  I need my own personal English teacher to point out what I’m missing in each book I read.

I loved seeing and hearing how everyone responded to the book differently.  We asked questions and shared our different thoughts and opinions about what happened in the book.  We even shared how we related to the fears that the mother wrestled with throughout the story, though we had different opinions about whether she was justified in her feelings.  Also, a looming question was whether or not it was her fault that her son turned out to be a murderer.

Just in case you’re curious, our Book Club includes two stay-at-home-moms, an English(!) teacher, two girls with top-secret government jobs, and our hostess (I don’t know how she spends her days).

Up Next…

Book Club book #2

I’ve been doing a Beth Moore bible study with some women in a Sunday school class at church.

That’s a phrase I would never have expected myself to say or type or write even a month ago.  I’m way too advanced or post-modern or San Francisco-esque for Sunday school and Bible study.  That thinking aside, its been very good for me.

But, Beth has been overwhelming with things I need to do.  In her Simulcast, she talked about praying scripture over yourself to replace fear with truth.  In her Living Beyond Yourself bible study, I’ve been studying scripture and connecting to God with my mind.  I have not been here in years.  And, then, on Sunday, in her video she added a new thing to do.  Pour out your concerns to God, so He can pour into you, so you can pour forth to others.  Yes!  All good, I want to do all of it, but I’m overwhelmed.  In the process, I’m creating a list of things to do so I can know I did I good job and feel good about how I’m spending my time.  Now, I’m remembering why I stepped away from this To Do list for awhile.  This is my old pattern of thinking.  Adding to the To Do list and missing the point.

Just showing up, on the other hand, is where  something happens.  A change in me happens when I show up, especially when I show up when I don’t want to.  Its in those times in particular that a shift or a change or a small voice happens.

I’d been racing through the Bible Study, getting it done, staying on top of it.  Then, on Sunday, one of the girls  said she hadn’t done any of it.  A part of me said: “What?!?  You didn’t finish your homework?  I did!  Aren’t we supposed to be accountable to each other.  Its the first week and you haven’t done it!”  Hmm…not where I want my thinking to go.  And, with my head set on just finishing the Bible study, I was missing out, getting bored, drudging along, thinking “I’ve heard this all before.”  But, when I stop and listen there’s something new and good to be learned.

My high school reunion is coming up.  Is it terrible that I don’t want to go?  Okay, I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels like this.  AND I’d like to think that if I was closer than 10 hours away from my hometown I would go.  Actually, come to think of it, I definitely would go if for no other reason than it is being held in the Sunsphere.  I love that place.

Sunsphere

Weirdly, I love the Sunsphere almost as much as a I loved high school.  I’m kind of surprised at myself.  If I loved high school so much, why wouldn’t I want to go to my reunion?  I can think of a few reasons: Disappointment, Awkwardness, Comparison, Pressure.  Not sure where all these come from, but there they are.  Looming over every high school reunion that’s ever taken place.

Not to be totally Negative Nancy, I ran into a bunch of my high school friends at Joe’s wedding several weekends ago in Knoxville.  To me, it was an ideal substitute for a reunion.  There were a large number of my high school friends in attendance at both the rehearsal dinner and the ceremony.  I had some great conversations with friends that I hadn’t talked to in years.  And it wasn’t awkward.