Tuesday, December 30, 2014

To Resolve or Not

My favorite time of year is almost here. New Year's Day. In two days a blank slate is handed over. I realize that the new year is just like any other day and I could pick any day of any week of any month to start "fresh" but for me, it's always New Year's Day. I always make resolutions. Although the past few years I've wised up and listed out my Intentions for the year instead. I've found that if you break a resolution you tend to throw your hands up in the air and move on, having failed at your resolve.  But if you set an intention for your year, you can't ever fail at that. It is something you just keep striving for. If you get off course, it's OK.  You simply get back on.  But it's a road map or blueprint for your year. And I like knowing where I'm trying to go.

I usually write out my intentions on New Year's Day.  I keep them in the notes on my phone.  I still have my lists from 2012, 2013 and last year.  They're all more or less the same.  Eat clean/stop eating out/plan meals. Exercise/walk 10,000 steps per day/do something active at least 10 minutes each day.  Have lots of sex. Save more money. Be patient in parenting. Work on communication skills. Put down the phone/be present in this moment. Don't judge others/don't gossip. Stop caring what what others think/don't compare.

I suppose these are my self-help desires that I'm constantly working on.  Some years I follow these intentions and keep them at the forefront of my mind.  But for the most part, I have so many intentions that I can't focus on any of them.  Sure I'll eat better in January and February. I'll get a good workout routine going.  I can set an automatic savings plan up with my bank.  But eventually most of my intentions end up just like failed resolutions. Forgotten.

2014 brought many changes to my life and my family. It's been a good year, but it's also been a hard year. Change is like that. It's good but hard. And sometimes I've lost sight of what is important and other times I've worried about how it's all going to work out. I've actually spent a lot of time worrying.  How are we going to make this new budget work for us? How am I going to make friends in this town where I don't know many people? What is going to happen with my job? When will we ever save enough money to renovate our kitchen? When will I finally lose all the baby weight?  When will Julian learn to sleep all night, every night?  What if I am fucking up as a parent and screwing up my kids even though I have their best intentions at heart?  How do I maintain my friendships now that I no longer live in the same town?

Come to think of it, there's been a lot of worrying over the what ifs.  And it's time to stop worrying.  As my aunt has always said, Worry if it helps.  Well, worrying about all these things doesn't help. It just causes anxiety and fear.  There are many things I can't control and only time will tell how things will unfold.

So I've decided that instead of making a list of intentions or resolutions for 2015, I'm only focusing on one thing.  This is my year of Letting Go.  I know this will be difficult for me at times, as I'm a planner and type A person in many ways, but I need to just live in the moment. I need to let go of the fears.  I need to let go of the worries.  And I need to believe that things will work out.

I'm also Letting Go of my obsession/addiction with my smartphone and social media.  I love Facebook and Instagram because I feel connected to people. I feel like I'm in the know.  But the truth is, I'm not actually maintaining any relationships via social media. I'm giving myself a false sense of friendship and connection.  Seeing what is going on in someone's life via their FB post is not the same as them calling you about it and sharing in the joy together.  I will likely keep my accounts going and continuing posting, but it will be much less frequent.

I'm Letting Go of my need to know how this is all going to work out. My friendships in Atlanta that are meant to sustain, simply will.  I will build a network of friends here in time and I'm going to stop worrying about that happening - it will.  It has already started.  My career will find the right path. My boys will be OK despite my flaws as a parent.  My marriage will withstand these hard years of small children and little sleep and this big move we've just made.  In fact, it will not only withstand, it will thrive. It too, already is.

I'm excited for 2015 and what it will bring.  If you'd have told me on January 1st, 2014 I'd end the year living in Macon and working in a new place, I'd have thought you were crazy and I certainly wouldn't have been thrilled at the idea.  But as this year closes, I am thrilled with where I'm sitting.  So bring it on 2015, I'm ready for you and my year of Letting Go.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What the Card Didn't Say

Our annual holiday letter and accompanying family photo was sent out yesterday to roughly 90 of our friends and family. As we were stuffing envelopes last night I asked the husband how many less we would send if we only sent them to people we actually still talk to. I said 85% but he thought I was being a bit dramatic. His guess was 60%. But he made the point that part of the tradition of sending Christmas cards is to stay in touch with friends who you don't otherwise stay in touch with. He has a point. And I myself love getting cards and pictures of old friends and their families this time of year. So in the mail the cards went.

 

Mr. Cob wrote this year's card, as he's done the past few years. I always get editorial rights and can cut or add as I see fit. I rarely have major edits, other than reigning in the obscure jokes that my husband gets but that very few other people will (myself included…).  The point, obviously, of our letter is to keep friends and family in the loop on our life – the major events of the year are hit upon (new babies, vacations, job changes, moves, etc.) – but the husband's bigger goal is making his readers laugh, so a lot of our letter is nonsense, which I appreciate (his humor is the main reason I fell in love with the man). One year, the husband penned the card in Lukas' name. And this year there's a theme from our childhood that runs throughout. We've been told on numerous occasions that people love getting our card every year, so we keep doing it.

 

But we've both always been cognizant of the braggery aspect of many holiday letters and we try to avoid that at all costs. But let's be honest, sending a picture of our family and letting everyone know what we're up to, is sort of bragging in and of itself.  And even if it's not outright bragging, it occurred to me this morning that the letter doesn't give the whole picture.  Yes, it includes the highlights of the year – we sold our house in Atlanta, Mr. Cob got a new job, we bought a new house and moved to Macon, the boys are growing much too fast, my job is in a state of flux, etc. etc. But there is something distinctly missing from our letter: the lowlights of the year. There's an argument to be made that your loved ones and old friends don't care to read a depressing holiday letter, but by leaving out the lows, are we artificially inflating the highs? And I'm not saying my family is alone in this, it's rare that anyone's holiday card includes the nitty gritty, or a photo that isn't picture-perfect. But in my quest for authenticity, I think a letter including the lows might be nice.

 

So here's what we should've included in the Christmas letter this year:

 

-       Julian wore a helmet to correct his plagiocephaly until early Spring. The helmet smelled bad, no matter how much washing was done.

-        I quit breastfeeding Julian at 9 months and I felt like a complete failure for not making it a year.

-        We took a two week vacation this summer and we didn't sleep one full night of the trip. We were all tired and cranky most of the time and Mr. Cob slept in the car on multiple occasions.

-        Our baby didn't start sleeping through the night on a regular basis until he was 14 months old. We've all been very tired.

-        I've been having random anxiety attacks since we closed on our house in Macon and decided it was time to start seeing a therapist again. (Although she was actually awful and wanted to talk about what I wanted to be when I was a child to figure out what career path I should've chosen and then wanted to dig into my childhood to try to figure out why I was anxious now (which really, the reason is obvious: I'm a full-time lawyer, with two small boys who has just made a bunch of huge life changes and has no friends). She also may have made the comment that I should just get over the mom-guilt because my kids are going to be in school soon enough and then what would be the point in being a stay-at-home mom then. She clearly didn't have children. So yea, I lived through that ridiculous hour and didn't come out of it with any new was to deal with the anxiety.)

-         I still have not lost all the baby weight. 17 months later. Damn 5 pounds won't go away. Nor will the 10 I wanted to lose before getting pregnant with J.

-        My parenting patience is a work in progress. Just ask my 4 year old.

-        I'm addicted to my smartphone. And Facebook.

 I could probably keep going, but you get the point.  None of that made the letter this year. But it's all my reality.  So when you open my card, or anyone's card this holiday season, don't compare my/their life to yours. Remember that you're only seeing what they've chosen to show you.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Footnotes & Elves

It's that time of year....Christmas time! And I am feeling festive!  We decorated the inside AND outside of house this weekend (thanks to my mom for the help inside and the hubby for tackling the outside lights - and candycanes!!). We even bought a few new decorations to fill out our new home (I just couldn't resist the reindeer pillow....I know).  And to top it off, our Christmas cards are printed, addressed and soon to be stamped!  

We also welcomed our elf, Book Marshmallow, this year.  I wasn't sure how I felt about having a small elf watching my every move for a month, but Lukas loves him, so I guess he's here to stay.  And Lukas named him...  On the positive side, he at least picked a name his little brother can say!

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving.  It was small and intimate with just the four of us and my parents.  Not traveling was wonderful. I made an apple pie from scratch and all our food was delicious!  I'm so thankful for my family, friends and this festive time of year!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the footnote tradition has continued....


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brothers in the Morning

When I went in to get Lukas this morning he was still snug in bed. His eyes were open but he wasn't fully awake to the world yet. He took a minute and his eyes widen to the day. I told him it was time to get up and we hugged. Wrigley jumped on the bed, not wanting to miss the action and Lukas hugged his dog tight. He then looked at me and said, with seriousness, "I want to go see my brother in his room." (Julian was up but you couldn't hear him). Lukas opened J's door and went straight to the crib. J popped up and was all smiles at his brother. L was all smiles too. Their love for each other was so evident and extremely heartwarming. My littlest loves.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life on the Move: Working Mom to Stay-at-Home-Mom and Back Again

Life on the Move: Working Mom to Stay-at-Home-Mom and Back Again

Here's the last post in my 3 part series on moving for 360 Parenting.  Check it out and leave a comment to let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Feels Like Home


 Two months. We've been here for two months and it is now feeling like home. And I don't just mean the four walls of this house. I mean this town. It is growing on me. I think I am meant to live in a small(er) town. I think this place is a good fit for our family. I think we are home.

It started slowly. I missed my friends (I still do). I missed knowing where everything was in the grocery store. I missed my favorite restaurants. I missed the familiarity of Atlanta.


But Macon has welcomed us with open arms and when someone hugs you, you can't help but hug back. The kindness of the people here has blown me away. People are genuinely nice and glad you are here. My neighbors have opened their homes and dinner tables to us. A coworker I'd never met called her daycare to see if they could work me in after she heard I'd fired our nanny without a backup plan (another story for another day). My sorority sister who I hadn't seen in almost ten years invited us to trick-or-treat with her family and friends. We have truly experienced Southern hospitality at its finest.



I'm still figuring out my new job, which comes with its own set of difficulties. But I'm home by 4:45 almost every afternoon and I spend only 6 minutes commuting to and from work. That's not even two songs on the radio! By moving here I have regained time with my family. I no longer have a commute that leaves my knuckles white from stress and my mind frazzled from trying to cram family and dinner time into an hour before the boys' bedtime. My husband is home at 5:30 most days and we eat dinner as a family. We may not make as much money as we used to, but there's no amount of money that can buy you more time with your loved ones. The drop in income has been worth every lost penny. 




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life on the Move: Finding Child Care in a New City

Life on the Move: Finding Child Care in a New City

Click on the link above to read my thoughts on finding childcare in a new city!

I'm happy to report that we're three days in with the boys' new nanny and so far things are going well!  I feel better about working full time now that all the question marks about our new childcare have been taken care of.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our Two Lawyer Marriage

Only three days into the reboot of our two career household and the bickering and side-eye rolls have begun. I hate that this is the reality, but it is. Don't read anything into this, or take it the wrong way. To be clear, our marriage is solid. We're deeply in love and neither of us is going anywhere. But that doesn't change the fact that marriage is hard and requires work. As into this man as I am, we're not Mr. and Mrs. Sunshine every day. So let's not pretend we are.

I think this is at the front of my attention because we've just had a shift in dynamics.  For almost two months, he has worked full time and I have stayed at home with the kids. My sole responsibility has been caring for our children (a full time job, for sure) and tending to our house. There were no legal clients for me to worry about, or a long to-do list of work and home that pulled me in different directions.

Just the kids and home. This included the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning and the organizing. We never had a conversation delegating these tasks to me, it just happened. I could go to Kroger at 11am on Tuesday, while a full time 9-5er could not. I could start dinner at 4:30 and have whatever culinary creation I was up to making plated by 5:30. We even had time to play outside or go for a family walk before the baby's 6:30 bedtime rolled around. The bathrooms got wiped down during nap time and the washing machine was constantly running. And while I am about as far from a domestic goddess as one can get, I had no resentment towards my husband for having to do all these things. It honestly didn't cross my mind that he should be doing them. I took it on as my job.  Simple as that.

But then I went back to work full time. And the rushing and the feeling of never enough time is back. I hate that feeling. And suddenly I find myself jumping down my husband's throat for no reason at all.  And the poor man doesn't really have a chance. He asks what he can do to help with dinner, but I snap that I've got it, when I could really use a hand setting the table or chopping some vegetables. I am cold to him when our baby wants his dada and refuses to come to momma, as if this daddy stage is something he has caused. Yet I see the sadness on his face as he's rocking our boy before bed because his wife has tears in her eyes over something he has no control over. I feel like his questions about the nanny are accusations of things I'm clearly screwing up. I blame him for not letting the dog out in the morning which resulted in an accident and then nitpicked his use of the steam cleaner to clean the carpets.  I think you get the point.

There must be a connection between the uptick in disagreements and the reemergence of my job. When both spouses are working outside the home (and you have children), no one is really off the clock until the kids are in bed. You leave your office job and you come home and have to do all the home things. You have to cook dinner, clean the house AND spend quality time with the kids, when you're all tired and cranky after having had a full day already. It's clearly a recipe for disaster (at least for us).  And left unchecked for too long, I can see how the wheels can fall off a marriage over time.

So what to do? For me, the first thing is to apologize and admit that I'm a massive part of the problem. (Ok, so maybe I am the problem. Maybe.) And then I need to prioritize. What's important? For me, my discontentment is coming from feeling like I have no time with my boys now that I'm working again. Going from all day with them to just a few hours, is a stark difference. But if I'm going to continue with all this honesty, I'll admit that all day with two small children (especially in a town where you don't know anyone), is hard and lonely. Sure I had large quantities of time with my boys, but the quality was less than I'd like to admit. I took for granted the time with them. I didn't plan our days, I turned on the TV and I wasn't a "yes" mom who did tons (or any) of creative, educational, Pinterest-inspired activities. But now that I'm having to cram my time with them into a few short hours, I feel saddened and defeated. It's as though I've accepted that it's not enough time, so why even try? (Ugh, I hate realizing these things about myself!)  And why I take this out on the husband, I have no idea. My working is not something he pushed for - he is supportive of my career, but he is 100% on board with a full shift if that's what I decide at any given time I want.

So how do I spend the quality time with the boys in just a few short hours, while needing to also cook dinner, bathe them and tend to the home? For one, I can stop making dinner such a production. I think I worry too much about what I'm serving rather than focusing on who I'm breaking bread with! Family dinner should be more about the family than the dinner.  And then I need to give my boys my undivided attention - that means turning off the cell phone.  But that also means turning off the mental to-do list and setting aside anything that doesn't involve the boys. The dishes can be done after 7:45, but my boys can't stay up until then, so they dishes can wait.  Also, I can accept help when it is offered and set aside my criticism over the way the help is delivered. My way is not the only way.

I know it is going to take us some time to get used to my working again. I know I'll get used to my job and we'll find a new routine and a rhythm that works for all four of us. I also know when I'm in the wrong and when an apology is owed.  So love, this one's for you. I'm sorry I've been such a miserable wife the past day or two. I've obviously got some things to work on....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SAHM No More

My ten weeks of being a full time stay-at-home mommy came to an abrupt end today. Well, not exactly abrupt. I knew it was coming. But it felt abrupt. Yesterday I was mommy. That was my only hat. Today I stepped back into my lawyer heels and kissed my babies goodbye and it was hard and strange and felt kind of wrong, but also kind of right. I can't decide how I really feel about it.  I think it's still too new.

I don't like to write about work too often. It's in bad form, or something like that. But the reader's digest version of my work story is this. I took a leave of absence from my job at the end of July so I could move and get settled here in Macon. Then the plan was to start back part time from home, but continue with my same job and same clients, just 100% telecommuting and only part time. And then a weird thing happened - my firm was approached about an opportunity in Macon. A company (a firm client, just not a client I had worked for before) needed a loaner lawyer (there is actually a word for this arrangement: "secondment", who knew!) while they had a hiring freeze. One thing lead to another and as of today, I'm working full time in this company's office - I'm still employed by my firm, but my only client is this company. So I am sort of an in-house counsel, just being paid by my firm who in turn bills the client for my time.  It's all very strange.

So I'm learning a new job. I have a new "boss" who is also technically my client and I don't exactly know how this is going to work and how I'm supposed to act. I miss my co-works from my firm - I had two really good friends at work and I loved seeing them every day. But my 5 minute commute (yes, really!) is pretty incredible and the company is great as well.

My in-laws are here watching Julian this week and then our new nanny will start next week (we finally found someone, I don't think I mentioned that yet). I really like her and have high hopes for a great relationship, but I'm still nervous. She'll watch J all day and she'll watch both boys when Lukas gets out of school mid-afternoon. Thankfully Lukas seems to be loving his new preschool and is making friends. He's yet to say he doesn't want to go in the morning. He also seemed totally fine with mommy going back to work today. And Julian was happy to see me when I got home (although his happy screams of "DADA, dada" upon seeing me were kind of offputting...we think dada might just be his choice word when excited, or maybe I'm totally deluding myself).

I missed the boys while I was at work today, but not in the way you miss a 14 week old infant when you go back to work after maternity leave.  I missed them in the way that you miss anyone you love when you're away from them. Does that make sense?  I'm hoping that the very short commute and my work schedule (the plan is 8-4:30) will give me the best of both worlds - I continue lawyering and providing for my family (the 66% family income decrease was not easy, especially when you take into account the major student loans we both still have) and I get home earlier than I did in Atlanta and can use the extra time to focus on Quality time with the boys (yes, I capitalized the q). I plan on instituting a phone free zone from the moment I get home from work until both boys are in bed to help ramp up the quality.

I know today was just day 1.  And I know that my job is yet another change in a laundry list of changes going on in our house (with the new nanny being yet another change), so I need to be patient. I just sort of had hoped I'd come home today feeling either elated to be back at work and loving the "new" job or feeling totally miserable and heartbroken about being away from the boys. But I ended up somewhere in between.  And so continues my rollercoaster ride of being a working mom.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Saying Yes

So it is one thing to say you want to get out there.  It's another thing entirely to actually get out there. And I realized this morning that I am very scared to get out there.  Even though I don't have hardly any friends here and I sit in my house alone most days with the boys, I am still nervous to put myself out there.

This morning my across the street neighbor (the one who brought the cinnamon rolls and who has kids practically the same age as mine) texted me to see if I wanted to meet her and some friends for an early lunch at Chik-fil-A so the kids could play.  My initial reaction: How kind of her to think of me. My second reaction: Terror.  I'm not sure why exactly, she's super nice and friendly and was extending an invitation that I desperately need and want.  And yet rather than replying, Awesome, I'll see you there! I came up with an excuse not to go.  I'd love to, but I just got back from walking and I'm in workout clothes and unshowered, I doubt anyone would want to socialize with me like this!  (Mind you, I only had 20 minutes before the playdate so there was no time to shower).  Luckily for me, she didn't let me off that easy.  She said she'd be wearing the same thing, was unshowered, but would splurge for deodorant if it'd make me feel better, and that this was the life of a mom!

So I went. Unshowered and in yoga pants.

And it turns out she wasn't just meeting one friend, she was meeting 3 friends and their kiddos!  And I had a great time. It was nice to talk to other moms! I forget that you immediately have a connection with other moms and always have something to talk about: parenting and the kids! There are no awkward pauses wondering what to talk about. If all else fails, you just talk about the kids, but it never fails because you're always talking about the kids or being a mom in one way or another.  And that is the great thing about being a mom and meeting other moms.  Also, I have no problem talking to people I don't know - the conversation always flows, so I'm not sure why I have the paralysis when it comes to just getting out the door.

I'm glad I said yes, even if my initial response was more no than yes.  I'm glad I have a neighbor who more likely than not (hopefully anyway!) will become a friend and not just a neighbor. She and one of her friends acknowledged that they've heard it was really hard to move to Macon and not know anyone (apparently making friends in a small town can be difficult....), so they wanted to help out in any way they could.  And to top it off, I have the name of another daycare in town that I'm going to call and a potential nanny contact.  Plus all these girls go to the same church, so I'm thinking we have found the next church to check out here in town.

So things are good. I just need to say yes more often.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Successful 1st Day!

Lukas' first day of preschool at his new school went GREAT yesterday! He wasn't too chatty about his day, but he was eager to go back this morning and he was smiling when I picked him up yesterday afternoon, so that is enough to tell me he had a good day.

Carpool was a breeze - the assistant teacher (who he'd never met before) got him out of the car and he barely gave me a "bye mom" before running off with her to his class!  I was a little teary, but luckily I had the J man to keep me occupied all day.  (And while we're on the subject - it was so quiet with only one child at the house!  I didn't realize how used to the noise I had gotten.  I think Julian missed his big brother, but I also think he loved the one on one time with momma.)

When I picked Lukas up he was clearly tired - his voice was a little hoarse - he must've talked all day long!  He told me he had fun and that they had diggers on the playground.  He ate all his lunch and may or may not have napped (he kept changing his story on that one).  His teacher told me he's a great addition to the class, so all in all, I'm calling this a success!  We'll see how day 2 goes when I pick him up in a few hours...

Julian and I checked out a local daycare yesterday as it is looking like I'll begin working again next week.  The daycare did not live up to my standards and they didn't have any space for his age anyway, so that's off the list.  Which leads us to a nanny.  I just have very mixed emotions about a nanny.  On the one hand, I like that J will be in our house and will have one on one attention.  But on the other hand, I have to put my trust in a virtual stranger with my precious little guy.  How do you know who is genuinely good and will love your child and take care of him the way you intend?  How do you know they are not leaving him to cry for hours on end in his crib?  How do you know he is OK every day all day alone with one person?  I am just having serious issues wrapping my head around leaving him with a nanny.  At least with daycare there are multiple people checking in on your child and there is accountability at every corner.  With a nanny, you just have to trust.  I'm having a really hard time with that.

And speaking of J, he's calling my name....

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Life on the Move: Coping with Change

Life on the Move: Coping with Change

Check out my article (link above) on 360 Parenting for some more thoughts on the move.

And for another quickie update: it's the night before Lukas starts his first day of preschool at his new school here in Macon.  I'm much more nervous than he is!!! He seems excited about making friends and seeing his new teacher again.  I'm a ball of nerves.  I found his Primrose backpack which has a bear on it and got all nervous asking the husband if it was ok. I think my exact words were "will the other kids make fun of him for having a bear on his bag."  Husband looked at me liked I'd lost it (note: I have) and said, "NO, there will probably be a handful who think the bear is super cool"!  I mean, he is 3 years old. It's a bear.  I'm an idiot.

I just worry how he'll do tomorrow.  It's all so new.  New school. New teacher. New friends. This school even has carpool, which is new for us - so I'll drive up and a teacher will take him out of the car.  They say the kids do best if you start carpool from day 1, but I'm freaking out about it. I KNOW he will be fine. I know he'll be great. My momma bear protective instincts are just raging. I just hope he loves it!

And lets not even talk about little man J.  I'm in the midst of trying to find care for him (he can't start at Lukas' school until he is 18 months old, which isn't until January).  So we're interviewing nannies and I'm going to check out a local daycare tomorrow.  While I'm nervous about Lukas starting somewhere new tomorrow, I'm not worried. I am, however, a wreck thinking about leaving Julian with a nanny or at a daycare that I'm not 125% comfortable with.  Unfortunately, Primrose set such a high standard that I know I'll have a hard time being comfortable with anyone or anywhere else until Julian can talk to me and tell me how his day was, which is a long way off given the fact that he is only 15 months old. I'm thinking a nanny cam may be in order if we end up going the nanny route.

But for now, here's hoping Lukas loves his new school!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Getting Out There

My pity party is over. For the moment. I'm going to try to avoid them going forward.

We had a good weekend. And we were here, in Macon, the entire time. (Shock).

Husband found out about free yoga in the park on Saturday mornings and he decided I should go. I was reluctant. I made excuse after excuse: It's going to be too cold. The boys won't play in the park with you while I'm doing yoga within their line of vision. I won't be in the mood.  Keep in mind two things: 1. I LOVE yoga. 2. The reason I don't go often is that it is costly and the boys need to be watched while I'm away. Soooooo, yea, this should've been a no-brainer.  But I was nervous. I'd be walking into a group of people I'd never met and the what-ifs started.  Thankfully husband was a little insistent and Saturday morning I found myself dressed and being driven to the park, yoga mat in hand.

And you know what?  I LOVED it. I didn't actually talk to anyone, so there were no new friends made.  But I went and I had fun and I stretched my body and I breathed.  And my soul was better for it.

I then had a sort of ah ha moment: I need to stop being so afraid of getting out there.  If I'm going to make this place my home, I need to jump in. With both feet. It is hard, yes. But if I just sit inside this house all day, every day, I will never find my place here.  This is not mind-blowing stuff, but it did sort of smack me upside the head when I finally admitted to myself that I was just afraid of trying to make friends and do new things.

After yoga, the boys and I walked up to Mercer Village and had brunch in a cute little cafe/juice bar. And it was great.

Then on Sunday morning we went to church. I wasn't too jazzed about the idea. I have very mixed feelings about organized religion, especially down here in the Bible belt.  I find most Christians to not practice what they preach, and then I simple disagree with what the others believe.  So yea, church isn't something I love going to.  But here it seems that most people's social lives are connected to their church, so we thought we'd try to find a church to make some friends and meet more people.

In Atlanta we went to a Lutheran church, but the one here seemed to be small and we're not really looking for the small church thing seeing as how our motivation for going is to meet people.  BUT, we both refuse to go to a church that holds certain beliefs because, well, they're in deep contrast to what we fundamentally believe, so that knocks out a lot of deep South churches.  So we landed on an Episcopal church downtown. And they even had a family service at 9am, which meant I didn't have to worry about two loud children bothering others as they tried to pray.

The church was beautiful and we were welcomed by the clergy as we walked in.  The service had some similarities to a Lutheran service, so it wasn't completely foreign. But there was a lot of Bible references (I know, I know) and the word "dead" or "death" was mentioned many times which made me uncomfortable with Lukas sitting next to me - I'm not prepared for those questions from him yet! And the hymns were totally new to me. But it was on the short side (45 minutes), the sermon was directed at the children (be thankful for what you have/don't complain) and the message was one we've been able to continue talking about with Lukas.  The only off-putting thing was that there were maybe 30 people in the congregation.  Small is not what were going for, remember?  Womp womp.

But after the service, as we're about to leave, this guy, Brian, ran up to us and said he just wanted to come introduce himself because he'd never seen us before.  Well, long story-short, we ended up speaking to him and his wife for over thirty minutes - turns out he brews beer (like the husband) and they have two boys as well (albeit, they're in elementary school so it's not like they'd be friends).  And I was introduced to another women who happens to live about ten houses down from us on the same side of the road!  They also confirmed that the church is actually much bigger - most people just go to the later, traditional service.  They invited us to Sunday school, but that would've been a bit much for me, so we declined.  But all in all, they were so kind and welcoming and the guy even gave the hubs his number and said to call him so they could grab a beer sometime, even if we never come back to the church.  It was so nice to actually talk to people.

And so the lesson was loud and clear again; You have to get out there!  And it is not enough to just get out there, you have to make the EFFORT when you are there.  You have to talk to people.  Say hello. You may not meet your new best friend, but you might be surprised and start to feel a little more confident in your ability to make friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mommy Failure

We're still in a major adjustment period.  That's what I've decided I'm calling this time where I feel like I'm drowning and have to work at putting forth a positive attitude. I'm failing at the positive thing most days. Somehow it helps me to know that I'm trying.  Like as long as I continue to be aware that I should be happy and blessed and positive, then eventually I'll feel those things and this negative 'tude I have floating around in my head will disappear.

I'm not constantly negative. I'm not about to jump off a bridge or anything. But I'm not feeling like I fit in here yet. I'm lacking friends and I'm struggling with the version of myself that I have become while on this sabbatical from work.  I think that is the biggest issue. I'm not the mom I thought I would be if I were a SAHM.

For almost 4 years I've felt guilt for working full-time and longed for more time with my children. I have that time now, and I end every day feeling like I totally, completely fucked up. I raise my voice more than I'd like to admit.  I don't have things planned for the kids to do. I turn the TV on every.single.day. I don't get them out and to the park on a regular basis.  I haven't met anyone for them to play with.  I'm not practicing Lukas' letters or doing hardly any educational activities with him. And it is all these things that I am not doing (or doing, when it comes to the yelling part), that make me feel like a shitty mom. I have this amazing opportunity to spend time with my boys and I feel like I am not making the most of it.

I know I am being harder on myself that I deserve. And I'm not giving myself recognition for all the things I am doing.  I'm cooking them good, healthy homecooked meals THREE times a day.  Something I've never done. And I'm cleaning up after those three meals (I've decided I spend half my day cooking or cleaning). I'm reading lots of books with them.  I'm giving lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles.  I'm saying lots of "I love yous".  I'm drawing with Lukas.  I'm rocking Julian before each nap.  I'm here.  My boys are with their momma.

I also know that it takes time to get settled in a new place and it takes time to form a routine and make friends. I just feel like we're moving at a snail's pace.  Lukas does start school in a week or so and I know that will help.  He does well with a routine. And he's excited to start school and meet new friends.  And Julian just rolls with the flow. I love seeing his silly smile and hearing his laugh all day long.  And my heart just melts when I feel his arms wrap around my legs when I'm standing in the kitchen cooking.

I do adore getting to spend more time with them.  I just wish I could get it together to make it more quality time.

So for all my working-mom friends, know that the grass is always greener.  Or as my old therapist used to say, the grass is always browner.

Ok, enough of my Debbie Downer for today.  It's the husband's birthday so my almost-4 year old and I are going to bake a cake.  From scratch.  Lord help us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No Sugarcoating Here

So I've slept under this roof for ten nights now.  And as our things finally find a place within this house, it is slooooowly becoming our home. But it's been hard.  I've been a bit of an emotional wreck at times.  This started a few weeks back, even before the actual move.

The morning we closed on the house I was happy.  I was excited.  A new start.  All the good was bubbling to the surface.  And then I drove home (i.e. to Atlanta) a few hours later to spend the weekend with my best girlfriends from law school to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new baby boy.  He's my friend's first baby.  And I won't be in the same city anymore to just drop by on a whim and hold him.

A few hours into the evening I was hit with a panic attack. A slow wave of anxiety rolled in and it simply wouldn't leave. I was with friends I've known for 10 years.  People I love and trust. But I couldn't shake this awful feeling and pounding in my heart. As the minutes ticked away I kept trying to tell myself that I was fine.  I knew this was just anxiety, but I couldn't stop the feeling. Eventually, after midnight, I got in my car and drove to my parents so I could sleep in the same bed with my husband and wake up to my boys' smiling faces.  It is hard to admit that I couldn't shake it on my own.  That I needed my husband to make it all okay. But that night, that's what I needed.

Looking back, I think that night it hit me (maybe subconsciously if not consciously) that the signing of the papers to purchase the house meant we were really moving. And that the time was coming quickly.  It is one thing to anticipate a big change. It is quite another thing when it actually happens.

Thankfully that's been the only major anxiety I've had in the past month, but there have been bouts of sadness and tears.  I'm frustrated not knowing where anything is - a good park, the best coffee shop, a dry cleaners.  And it's hard going from working full time to staying-at-home with two small children.  I know that part is temporary and there have been many moments of joy in my current SAHM role and I love most days of it, but it's isolating. Many days the only adult I talk to is my husband when he gets home from work.  It is a massive change.  So much change at once.

I know. I know I will make friends.  I know the boys will make friends.  I know we will make a life here and I know I will be happy.  But this starting over part is rough.  It's scary to reach out to friends-of-friends and hope you make a connection. You second guess if the neighbor who came over with cinnamon rolls and offered you her phone number and said to call if you need anything really meant it. At this point, I know it won't hurt to try.  But it's still hard to put yourself out there.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The House: BEFORE Pictures

From the street.  We loved the Tudor style

Family room/den: The dark wood was screaming "paint me please!"
Sunroom which is now a playroom
Eat-in kitchen.  Please note the wallpaper.
Eat in kitchen looking into the kitchen.  First order of business was removing the cabinet obstructing the view into the kitchen.  It has made a HUGE difference.
Kitchen.  At least the countertops are granite.  Sort of makes up for the 11 inch deep cabinets.
Kitchen again.
Guest room.  They had changed the lovely blue carpet for white, but the brown walls still remained...
Downstairs bathroom wallpaper and fixture. She loved wallpaper. 
Formal Living room.  I wish this were a better picture so you could really grasp the impact of the red walls.
Formal dining.  Red walls again.
Bar.  The wallpaper still remains.  I'm thinking of keeping it.  #kidding
The bar light.  It will remain.  I actually love it. It's sort of kitsch.
Fireplace in the master.
Backyard - which is actually great.
Backyard
Boys' bathroom tile.  Master bath tile. Parquet floors downstairs. Guest bath tile.

So she needs some love.  A facelift if you will.  We've already painted most of the house and taken down the wallpaper, which has made a HUGE difference.  We're thinking a full kitchen renovation is in order, but are not ready to tackle that just yet.  However, more more burnt dinner in my 1970s oven and we may get there.

It's a work in progress, but it's our home.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hello from South GA

I'm alive.  It's just been a whirlwind 6 weeks.  So let's backtrack and recap:

July 31st was my last day in the office and the boys' last day at Primrose.  August 1st we got on an airplane and flew to California for a week.  We visited with my brother and his girlfriend, Lara, my two amazing nephews, my 92 year old grandmother, my aunt and uncles and my cousins and their kiddos. It was a fantastic trip and we have lots of great memories!  The downside to the trip was Julian's inability to sleep away from home.  We were all tired but happy.

Mr. Cob flew back to Atlanta the following Thursday and then picked up the dog and they got in a car and headed North.  He met me and the boys in Chicago Friday afternoon (we flew - a 4 hour airplane ride alone with two small kids is about as far as I'd recommend)!  We then dropped Mr. Cob at his little brother's bachelor party (where we picked up Nana) and then drove to Michigan for a week at my in-laws.  Well, kind of "at" my in-laws.  They're currently renovating their house so it's not exactly livable/kid-friendly, so we rented a house a few doors down.  We had a lovely week on the lake - I even rented a Stand-up Paddle Board!  Auntie Al even joined us for a few days and we ended the trip with brunch with Mr. Cob's college friends and their kiddos.  And then we drove through the night and arrived back home at 3am.  

So that puts us in mid-August.  We had a week to just kind of chill at my parents house (they were still in Cali) and then we closed on our house in Macon on August 22nd around 10am and then at 11am we started some demo in the kitchen to remove the intrusive hanging cabinet.  I'm not sure why it was there in the first place.  Then we headed back to the ATL so I could spend the weekend with my law school girlfriends as we celebrated the upcoming birth of a new baby boy!

Mr. Cob moved to Macon on the 24th and started work on the 25th.  We had painters come in, take down a lot of wallpaper and paint almost all of the rooms in the house (it seriously needed a face-lift).  Half of our furniture arrived August 31st (our 6 year wedding anniversary!  Iron - Mr. Cob gave me an awesome Le Creuset wok!!!! My present to him was moving to Macon. I kid. #notreally). And then the rest of our furniture came 6 days ago, September 6th, which is when I finally moved in.  The kids came the next day. And here we are.

So we are officially Macon residents.  Hooray.


Monday, July 28, 2014

A Sad Goodbye

Lukas 1st day - February 14, 2011
So after almost two months of knowing this was coming, this week is here.  The boys last week at Primrose and my last week working in my office.  It hit me hard this morning after I dropped the boys off.  Primrose has been a constant in our life since February 2011, when Lukas was only 14 weeks old.  Every weekday morning we drive in the parking deck, ride the elevator up, say good morning to Sharon, Stephanie or Keri, and then we walk down the hall to the boys' classrooms.  And every evening we repeat, but say goodbye to Hope and then we head home.  This place has been our second home for almost three and a half years.  I just start crying when I think about leaving the boys with anyone else.  My heart hurts over this loss.

Rome & Lukas - Spring Bonnet Parade 2011


I think back over the past 3.5+ years and it hits me how much this school has helped shape me into the mommy I am today.  The teachers and the administrators have been a huge part of our life.  First it was Tiana and Bianca in infant 4 with the boys club.  I still remember handing Lukas over to Tiana that very first day and just bawling my eyes out, and then how quickly she become a trusted part of our family.  And they were joined by Ms. Mays who was always on the ground singing with the babies and bringing so much joy into their little lives.  Next, we welcomed Ms. Hope and Ms. Tyra and they watched as all the boys started to walk. I vividly remember walking in one morning and all the boys (Bennett, Sawyer and Rome) were sitting around a table in their little chairs and Ms. Hope was helping them with breakfast - that day it hit me that they were no longer babies!


The picture from Keri assuring me Lukas was OK
Lukas then moved down the hall to his young toddler class with Ms. Vaugh and Ms. Peavy where he had some terrible separation anxiety, but they handled it with ease.  There are two highlights from that class that stick with me.  The first is receiving an email from Keri, the owner, on one of the particularly bad separation anxiety mornings with her reassuring me he was having a good day.  She helped more than she'll ever know.  And the second was Lukas' unfortunate meeting with a table that resulted in an ER visit and a few stitches.  His little scar on his forehead always makes me smile for some strange reason.  A reminder of happy times perhaps?  (Not the incident, of course, but the time in his life).


Mother's Day photo from EPS
The next year Lukas moved down the hall even further to his Early Preschool class and had a few different teachers as babies were born and new jobs were pursued. But our favorite that year was Ms. Pitts.  Oh Lukas absolutely adored Ms. Pitts and so did we.  We were so sad to see her go at the end of that year.  She just had a way with Lukas, when his separation anxiety lasted for months on end and every morning resulted in tears.  The mornings she was at school made all the difference.

And now this year Lukas has been in Preschool with Ms. Russo and Ms. Asijie, who we also adore.  Lukas has grown so much this year and most mornings runs into his class to see his friends - hardly any separation anxiety to be seen.  His teachers have encouraged him to be independent, but they are also always there to give a hug when a hug is needed.  They've also laughed with me and shared in the joys and hilarity that comes along with daily life with a 3 year old boy!  Ms. Asijie is about to move home to Arizona and her last day will be Lukas' last day as well.  I must say I couldn't imagine being at school without her, so while it's bittersweet, I'm glad our departures line up.

Julian's first day - 11/14/13 with Ms. Mays
And that leads us to JuJu, my baby.  Almost a year ago he started school at Primrose like his big brother.  He's gone from being the youngest baby in infant 1 to being the oldest!  He spends his days with Ms. Mays, who is the sole reason I wasn't a complete disaster going back to work when Julian was 12 weeks old - our whole family loves her. I wouldn't have wanted him with anyone else this
year! I just love that she cared for both of my babies when they were little. We've also grown to love Ms. Angela and Ms. Alexis and they love him (and all their babies).  We are going to miss these ladies so, so very much.

And there are so many other fabulous teachers at Primrose that we love!!!  This place has been so much more than just a daycare or school to us.  It has truly been a second home for our boys.  They love going to school every day and playing with their friends.  I really am so sad to be leaving this amazing place.

And inside those walls I've met some amazing women who I'm lucky to call friends. I loved going to pick up Lukas when he was a baby because I'd get to see my friends as well.  Our wine dates kept me grounded and having these like-minded momma friends to share a cry or a laugh with was all the therapy I needed most days. And over the years I've met more of the mothers of my boys' friends and I'm sad for those friendships that likely won't continue to grow now that we're moving.

I have loved being a Primrose mom.  If you ever have the opportunity to send your babies to a Primrose, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.  We've truly been blessed to have this place in our lives and I fear it is irreplaceable.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Problem with Women

There are lots of articles out there about why women aren't in the higher ranks of the legal community.  Why there aren't as many female partners, never mind female equity partners.  Well, the answer is simple.  Women.  We are the problem.  And the backstabbing of one another, to be exact.  Rather than take an opportunity to lift another female attorney up and help her along the way, too often women don't celebrate each other's accomplishments.  Or women will refrain from offering support when support is needed in what is still largely an old boys' club.  The most deplorable offense is taking a stand AGAINST a fellow female attorney because she is asking for something that you didn't get (or perhaps weren't even strong enough to request yourself).
 
Case in point: A good friend of mine is pregnant with her first child.  Her firm's maternity policy (if we can even call it that) is 6 weeks of paid leave.  That's it.  So on day 43 she is expected to return to the office and pick right back up.  On day 43, when she will likely still be bleeding from her recovering postpartum vagina.  On day 43 when she likely won't even have gone in for her first postpartum obstetrician appointment.  On day 43 when her body has healed just enough to possibly have sex again for the first time postpartum. On day 43, when she is finally getting the hang of this nursing thing.  On day 43 which the La Leche League says is too soon to introduce a bottle if you want to have a successful nursing relationship.  On day 43, when her baby is unlikely to be sleeping more than 4-5 hours at a time (and that's if he's a good sleeper).  On day 43, when her hormones will still be a hot mess (and she'll possibly be suffering from postpartum depression, or the baby blues).  On day 43, when that baby who she loves dearly, finally looks at her and smiles for the first time after 6 weeks of giving all she has to meet his every need.  That's the day she's expected to go back to work. 
 
It is simply ridiculous.
 
I've told this dear friend as much and how I don't believe I could've left either of my children at 6 weeks.  It was hard enough to pull out of the driveway at 12 weeks.  She had already thought it would be tough to do, so she approached the partner she reports to and requested an additional 6 weeks of UNPAID leave. He then took her request up to the rest of the partners and she was just told that her request was denied.  Even though she's put in 7 years of service, they wouldn't allow her the standard (which is already too little) 12 weeks of maternity leave that most other firms in town offer.  This alone would've been bad enough.
 
Here's the kicker:  He told her that the reason the partners wouldn't grant her request was because one of the female partner swayed them against it.  SHE had only taken 6 weeks, so why should my friend need any more?  So that was that.
 
I don't have adequate words to describe how awful I think this is.  And my friend, she is just beaten down.  And I don't know what can be said to help her.  So her options at this point are to either quit or leave her newborn baby when he is 6 weeks old.  To go be a lawyer, with old men and women who won't stand together.
 
And this is why women aren't succeeding at the same rates as men. Period.
 
So what can we do?  Simple.  We can support each other.  We can understand that my decisions may be different from yours.  We can recognize the value in helping one another along.  We can lift up, rather than beat down.  We can set aside any "wrongs" we feel we've endured and help others to avoid those same pitfalls.  We can do whatever we can to help bring back the village. 
 
So the next time you have an opportunity to help another woman, think of how you would want to react if this woman was your sister, or your mother, or your aunt, or better yet, your daughter. Because one day, it will be your daughter, and don't you want her to have every opportunity out there.  Don't you want her to be supported and encouraged along the way?  I don't even have a daughter, but I know that I want to live in a world where women love one another and stop tearing each other down.  Perhaps I picked the wrong profession for compassionate women, but I know enough amazing female lawyers to know that is not the case.  I know plenty of women who go out of their way to do whatever they can for the advancement and success of others.  It is just unfortunate that all it takes is one bitter woman to ruin it for the rest of us.
 
So I beg you, women of the law, let us start standing together and stop this nonsense.  Our own happiness shouldn't be dependent on another's failure.  And there are men out there who want to support us, but why should they if we can't even support each other?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Second First Year

Some more thoughts on Julian turning ONE!?!?! 

The Second First Year

And some pictures from the party that Mr. Cob threw for him!  (It was just the four of us, and I did nothing.  Nada.  He bought everything, DECORATED THE HOUSE and surprised us all - it was one of the most loving things my husband has ever done for me.  I'm a lucky girl.  The boys loved the house full of balloons and the noise makers.  It was a hit!)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy First Birthday Julian!!!

My dearest baby boy Julian,

Today you are ONE!  It's hard to believe that a year ago you had just been born and we were meeting for the very first time.  How my heart has grown so in the past 365 days!  My life before you came along is fuzzy in my mind - it simply feels like you've always been part of our family. That we've always been four!

Only a few days old - you were so cute!!!

You, my little one, are such a joy.  You are a HAPPY, happy baby (or should I say toddler!) and always full of smiles.  You love to flirt with the ladies, but are skeptical of most men (except those you know well). You've been known to run to the other side of the room when other kids' daddies pick them up from school!  But you're always quick to flash your pearly whites to the mommies and all the teachers at school.  Just the other day we were grocery shopping and three different ladies stopped me to say how adorable you were - you kept giggling and batting your eyes at all the ladies as we walked the aisles.

ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!!!
You have been a chill little dude since the day you were born.  You rarely cry except when you're tired.   But you're not the best sleeper, so there are many tears at night.  Well, there are tears until mommy or daddy goes and gets you out of your crib.  (We're still suckers and come hug on your if you cry out at night.)  You love being cuddled at night, but I think it's because you're too busy to stop for hugs during the day.  You want to just GO GO GO when you're awake.  You're trying to keep up with your big brother, I think.  One day soon I know you'll get the hang of sleeping through the night!
With your big brother  Lukas
You started walking a few months ago and you're just now starting to run.  I see you watch your big brother and you just love him and want to do whatever Lukas is doing.  You light up when he enters a room and he can make you laugh like no one else.  My heart sings when I see you two together.  I know there will be many fights over the years (toys and maybe girls down the line), but my hope is that you will be the best of friends.  

You, my little buddy, LOVE to eat!  Which is funny, because you're really a tiny little thing.  Mommy nursed you for about 9 months and thought we'd make it to a year and way beyond, but you had different plans.  You love your bottle (your "ba ba") and would rather drink a bottle and watch what is going on around you, rather than sit alone with mommy and have your milk - my social butterfly!  I'm trying to switch you over to a sippy cup, but I have a feeling that might be a difficult transition!  But back to the food - you have been feeding yourself for over a month and really don't care for anyone feeding you from a spoon or fork.  Right now some of your favorite foods are blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, grilled cheese, eggs, pancakes, peas, corn and cheerios.  Honestly, there's very little that you won't eat!



You have a head full of blonde hair.  Mommy and Sip Sip gave you your first haircut about two weeks ago before Auntie Al's wedding - we just snipped a little off the top so your bangs weren't in your eyes...I couldn't risk cutting out the curls at the nape of your neck.  You have five teeth up top (one of them, we think, is an "extra"! tooth) and four teeth on the bottom.  I think you're weighing in around 20 pounds, but we'll find out for sure at your 1 year appointment later this week!

You're starting to talk more and more.  You say "momma" and "dadda".  We think you're starting to say brother and have said "Ukas" a few times for Lukas.  You say "ba ba" for your bottle and dog for, well, dog.  At night you say "nigh nigh" when it's time for bed.  I think any day now you'll start jabbering on and on!



I am so honored to be your mommy.  My heart is so full of love for you.  I have loved watching you grow this past year and am excited to continue on this journey of life with you as my silly, sweet son!  I super excited about scaling back from full time work and getting to be even more present in your day to day life.  I love being your mommy buddy.  And the words I sing to you every night are true to my heart: I will be your home.  I will be your guide.  I will be your friend.  ALWAYS on your side.

Happy 1st birthday my boy!

Love always and forever,
mommy

Thursday, June 19, 2014

WAHM, of sorts

So we're still moving to Macon.  We don't know exactly when or where (house/neighborhood wise) we're going.  We have an appointment with our realtor next week to look at some more potential houses, which is exciting!  I plan on documenting the house hunt on the blog.  But more on that as it actually gets underway.

I have an update on my job situation and it's actually really exciting.  I will be more or less quitting (for lack of a better word) in about a month.  At that time I'll be unemployed and not working, like, at all.  So it's like a maternity leave without a newborn.  But with a big move.  But without legal work.  Hooray!  So I'll take about 6 weeks to move to Macon, get settled in (you know, find the grocery store, hook up the TV/internet/phone, find and enroll the boys in school, unpack), and get a home office up and running.  (All of which I realize can't happen until we actually buy a house. Details, details.)  And then sometime after Labor Day I'll start working with my firm again, but on a contract basis.  The details are still fuzzy and I'm not sure how much work I will be doing, but it is so exciting for a multitude of reasons. 

1.  A paycheck!  While we can make it on Mr. Cob's new government salary (thanks only to the much lower cost of living in Macon), it would be tight.  So my still bringing in some sort of paycheck is very exciting to us.  If I didn't bring anything in, our income would be going down by 66%.  Yes, SIXTY PERCENT LESS money coming in the door.  That's no chump change.  That's a whole LIFESTYLE change.  Thankfully, Macon is opening the door to that lifestyle change and we're grabbing hold, but it's still nice to have some of my money coming in the door.  Especially considering most of our family lives a plane ride away and the last time I checked flights were only getting more and more expensive.

2.  I continue getting to use my law degree and feel like those student loans weren't for naught.  I was not ready to walk away from my career.  Sure, there are days I hate it and moments I wish I'd never gone to law school in the first place, but for the most part I like having a career and making my own money.  I actually enjoy drafting legal documents and love marking up other people's documents (perhaps I should've been a school teacher given my love of the red pen?!).  So this arrangement allows me to continue being a lawyer without having to go find a new firm, which was a very scary prospect for me.  I've been with my firm for 11 years - for a year before law school, as a summer associate, and then the past 6.5 years!  I like my firm and my co-workers, so I'm happy to continue working with them.

3.  I get more flexibility, which is something I've craved since Julian was born.  There's no denying that the past 8 months have been hard for me with the juggling of work and motherhood. The long commute from the suburbs has only made that worse and most days I get home from work and have to put Julian to bed as soon as we walk in the door.  I'm getting very little time with him (and Lukas for that matter).  Working from my house on a part-time basis will give me back some of this wasted time.  No showering in the morning.  No commuting.  My productivity will increase and I can use that time to actually play with my boys.

4. I get time to move without having to worry about hurrying back to work.  I think that's pretty self explanatory.

There are some downsides to the arrangement, sure, but the positives outweigh the negatives.  I'm so excited my firm is working with me and allowing me to continue to be a part of the team.  Granted, I won't be an associate any longer and am therefore off the partnership track, but for me and for my family, the track isn't the number 1 priority.  I think so many lawyers focus on one way of doing it and my impression is that there's a certain stigma associated with being a "contract attorney".  But that's fine.  Being able to continue practicing law while also honoring what is best for my family is what is important to me.  And for the time being, I've found a way to do that!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Swans are Swimming

And by swimming, I mean moving.  We've finally figure out where we're going after this little jaunt at my parent's house.  And it's not where I would've thought a month or so ago.  We're heading about 100 miles south of Atlanta... to Macon!  Bizarre turn of events, I know.

So it all started a few months ago.  Maybe February.  After the end of the sequester all of the United States Attorney offices in the country posted job announcements - all the offices needed lawyers and they wanted to fill the positions while they had money in their budgets.  Being an assistant US attorney (a federal prosecutor for the United States for you non-law folks) has been one of Mr. Cob's goals for a few years now.  So we talked and decided he should apply. He picked a few offices all over the country, sent in his resume, cover letter and writing samples, and then we sat back and waited.  And waited some more. 

Would fate bring us back to his home of Chicago or close to his parents in Grand Rapids?  Maybe closer to my brother in San Diego?  The US Virgin Islands would be a nice change of pace.  Or perhaps our current home, Atlanta, would call and we could continue on with our regularly scheduled life while Mr. Cob put away the bad guys.  We were open to any possibility, figuring we'd make a final decision once it was in front of us - no use cutting off potential jobs because of location before you're even offered something, right?  Detroit was the only city I was really hesitant about even considering, but he assured me there are some upsides to the city?  Admittedly, I secretly hoped someone else called before Detroit. 

So for months we just waited and Mr. Cob continued applying as more jobs opened up.

Then he got a call from Savannah and we got all excited and hoped we'd be moving to the beach.  Unfortunately that didn't work out.  A month or so later, San Antonio called and I fell in love with the idea of canals and everything being bigger in Texas (margaritas included, right?).  A great interview followed by a few weeks of waiting ended in another rejection.  At this point, Mr. Cob was getting a bit down.  It seemed his dream job wasn't going to happen.  It'd been months since he sent out his initial batch of resumes.  A few other "you were one of hundreds of well qualified applicants but unfortunately we cannot offer you an interview at this time" letters came in the mail.  Hope was running out.

But the flip side of not getting a call was staying in Atlanta and continuing with our life here.  We love our life here.  We love our friends and I have a great job.  We love the boys school and my parents are here.  At the end of the day, we always knew we'd be happy to live the rest of our lives here in the A.

And then the Middle District of Georgia called.  And an interview was scheduled.  For my 33 birthday no less.  So he went to Macon and thought the interview went well.  A few weeks later they called back and asked him to come down for a second interview.  He felt confident after the second interview, but wasn't ready to get excited.  We'd done the excitement thing before and feared another round of rejection.  I didn't even look at houses online this time (oh the restraint!).  And then we found out they called his references, and we started to get excited.  Then last Wednesday he got the call that has changed the course of our life: he got his dream job and I couldn't be prouder to be his wife!

He called me before formally accepting the offer and without even considering the alternative, I said yes.  Of course, yes.  This is a HUGE opportunity for him and there was no way we weren't going to take it.  There were (and still are) a lot of unanswered questions, but I knew that we had to jump.  It's what you do when you're married and your spouse needs your support.  I'm not sure what this means yet for my job/career - I realize it means it will now be taking a back seat to his career, but that's OK.  This decision is the best for our entire family.  We'll figure out my job as we go.  I know there are a lot of feminists who will think I am wrong for more or less walking away from a lucrative career, especially when you consider I'm leaving a few months before potentially being put up for partner.  But like I said, it's not just about me.  I'm in talks with my firm to try to work something out - part time or contract work, and hopefully that will work out.  But maybe it won't and maybe that means another door will open.  I no longer know the path my career will take, but I've decided that a fork in the road doesn't necessarily mean I'll hit a dead end.

I'm nervous about moving to a city where I know next to no one.  I'm leaving a huge support network here of great friends, and even harder to leave are my parents.  I know this won't be an easy transition.  I know it will take time and effort for me to make friends.  I know it could be isolating moving and staying home with two small children should that be my fate.  I know I am going to be have to put myself out there, which is scary.

But I also know that everything is going to work out.  I'm so excited for this adventure with my husband and our boys.  I'm excited to find our next house and make it a home.  I'm excited to explore a new town and hopefully fall in love with all it has to offer.  But yes, I'm also scared as hell.  Change is frightening, but change can also be amazing.  So here's hoping this change is for the best!