But where do I start?

I’ve been dreaming of writing again – often. I haven’t had much creative outlet lately and though I crave it, the day is filled with too many other “shoulds” that by the time my usual bedtime rolls around, I’m too tired to try and make any sense with my thoughts. I often jot down blog topics throughout the day and make promises to myself to just stay up late and do it, purely for myself and my own fulfillment, but then I think about my bed and my pillow and the amazing escape that is sleep, and I put it off yet another night/week/month. And then here we are.

It’s hard to start writing again, especially after so many potential blog topics have come and gone. The words that once swirled in my head, sometimes keeping me up at night (why didn’t I just get up and write if I wasn’t sleeping anyway?), are buried in the back of my brain somewhere; less relevant to today’s concerns but maybe just waiting quietly to wander out and tag along someday when the thoughts are flowing. But it’s hard to go back and retrieve them at will. Sometimes I look at my potential writing topics and the passion just isn’t there as it was when I couldn’t stop thinking about each thing on the list.

So then I think maybe I will just start with a life update – I mean that’s basically how this whole blog started, over 11 years ago when I decided to document my pregnancy journey publicly. I used to write at least weekly about the adventures of pregnancy and then motherhood, work, and life. But then life got nuts, and then Layla got here and life got more nuts, and I don’t think my sleep has every recovered. Don’t get me wrong – I sleep pretty darn well. It’s just taken awhile to recover from a couple crazy years so my body craves sleep like nothing else. And that’s when I used to blog so regularly – once everyone else had gone to sleep. I would stay up for a couple hours and write the evening away. Oh to be young and able to survive on 6 hours of sleep again!

So here I am; everyone has gone to sleep and it’s 9:34 pm. Life is really good these days. Far from easy or perfect, but our problems are first world problems: water seepage in the basement, ruining the carpet and drywall with mold and mildew (once we got into it, looked like it had been going on far before we moved in). My car is a bit of a lemon but we just have to deal with it as there’s no room in the budget to add a car payment till Layla is out of daycare. The dogs have a chewing problem and might just eat our whole house, and also eat holes through the fence in the backyard, running the neighborhood about once a week. We tried an invisible electric fence once for about a week but they each got shocked once and then refused to leave the back patio, thus deciding the dining room floor was the safest place to do their business.

But our girls! Our girls are the most amazing two humans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I gaze at them often, especially if they are playing well together, and think how could there be two more perfect, beautiful souls? At 11, Skyler is on the verge of being a teenager, caught in this weird place in time where one day she’s seeing “Let it Go” while watching Frozen with her sister, and another day I am helping her try on training bras at Target. She loves school and has started running around with the neighborhood kids afterward. And she’s taught herself gymnastics via YouTube and practicing on her trampoline and I can’t even believe all the stuff she can do. I must get her into a real gymnastics class after the holidays! She’s bright and creative and thoughtful (but moody these days, as preteen girls are!), and while her independence is easy, I find myself missing her. She’s either with friends or up in her room chatting with friends on her phone or watching YouTube gymnastics videos or rearranging her room or painting something. Now and then I make her hangout with us in the living room, but I also like to just let her be. I know I enjoyed my solitude at her age. I just can’t hardly believe we’re here with middle school on the horizon.

And then there is Layla – the hot mess little firecracker of a three-year-old. She’s currently obsessed with Frozen, and sings and performs “Let it Go” with every gesture and twirl that Elsa does in the movie, exactly like her sister used to do. Moana is a close second favorite and we still have Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVR that fills in the gaps. Those shows are my babysitter on mornings when I’m still finishing up getting ready and after work when I need to get dinner going. But in addition to her shows, she has every commercial jingle from whatever TV we are watching memorized. She’s soaking up everything she hears, with vocabulary (both good and bad words) expanding rapidly. Lately she tells me “it’s none of your bidness!” when she doesn’t like what I am asking of her, and she likes to have fake yelling arguments with her dad about nothing – they both yell nonsense at each other and fake punch and kick the air back and forth. I’m sure that’s probably going to get her in trouble at school one of these days but it’s currently hilarious in our house. She’s really a spunky, funny kid who is pretty much happy all the time and just loves to be around people and having fun. Life is her playground and unless she’s hurt or doesn’t feel good, she’s the life of the party.

Ronnie’s still waking up at 5 o’clock every morning to go run the gym, but when he’s not coaching, he’s hunting or learning about hunting or thinking about hunting. He just got his third buck with his bow last week, and this time is processing the whole thing himself. I was not a fan of that idea since we have a tiny kitchen and I just kind of imagine I’ll be finding random blood drops in nooks and crannies from here on out, but otherwise I like the concept of harvesting a natural meat source and handling it all the way to the dinner plate. I think so many people are so out of touch with the food they put in their body, it brings a whole new perspective to nutrition and food source and appreciating the gifts of the earth when you are an active part of that process. But that’s a whole other topic I actually might write about someday, so I’ll just shut up about that now. Anyway, while I do get resentful of the time he spends hunting (and learning about hunting and thinking about hunting), I am also impressed with his intensity to start something new and become an expert at it. He doesn’t half ass anything he does, which is a good thing because if he didn’t consistently put meat in the freezer, I’d have to question the time investment. I’m always happy when I don’t have to buy pricey grass-fed beef for a few months! There could be much less productive and unhealthy hobbies, so I try not to complain too much.

And then there’s me – just over here trying to figure out the meaning of life all while it flies by frantically around me. Work is good – it continues to challenge me, but I feel like I’m contributing and I like the core of what we do, connecting people. I do often wonder what I’ll end up doing for the next 20+ years of my career, and if I’ll ever find my way to something a little more creative. There’s a group of artists at work that meet regularly for a noon sketch group, which I think is open to anyone. I’ve thought many times about crashing it, but not seriously enough to remember to bring my sketchbook and pencils, and I’m already so busy I barely take a lunch anymore, so it hasn’t happened yet. But it’s a nagging thought, just like writing more frequently here. Maybe, maybe I will take a chance and commit to more writing here or popping into the noon sketch group once to see what it’s like. I cannot imagine that I would regret either one or both!


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