Saturday, December 31, 2011


Every year, as I try hard to savor my birthday without suffocating it, I reflect on the past 365 days and all that they've wrought. 2011 has been especially transformative--the year I transitioned into a true freelance writer, took a hiatus from the classroom, got that much closer to surrendering control.

And this holiday season was the first I've spent in California! Though I cherish all those past Louisiana and East Coast Christmases, the lemony days and windy coastal nights have been lovely and serene. M and I kicked off Christmas Eve with fresh-baked blueberry muffins and a surprise package from Mom containing 12 presents for her future grandchild. (I never thought I could get so excited about white-knit booties :)

Then we headed down to LA to celebrate with M's family, which has become my family. These game-playing folks trotted out Apples to Apples, Guesstures, ping pong, and plenty of back gammon. Good times with my nieces, nephew, and sister-in-law! After a pit stop in the supremely clean, corporate, and stucco-roofed Santa Barbara, we came to San Luis Obispo for my birthday weekend.

So far, a charming day, beginning with a quick stop at Gum Alley, then breakfast at the ultra-hip Kreuzberg Cafe and Book Bar, whose menu items are named after famous authors. We feasted on the J.D. Salinger (bagel with lox and capers) and the Victor Hugo (hot beignets), then headed out to the coast for a gorgeous, windy beach hike.

Here I am, completing my 33rd trip around the sun...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Love Being Pregnant

I love feeling the baby squirm around inside of me

I love being asked "when are you due?" by strangers and grocery store clerks who take one look at my round belly and grin

I love collecting soft swaddle blankets

I love the ferocious urge to purge, cleaning out shelves and closets, organizing the mud room and attic, making even fluffier and cozier our sweet little nest

I love meeting other pregnant women at prenatal yoga, our instant comraderie and connection

I love watching my taut belly jiggle when M makes me laugh

I love the love that we feel right now, from everyone. I love that we were thrown a Nonesuch baby shower and got to celebrate with lots of former students who seem as excited as we are, who even gave us gifts of baby Doc Martens and hand-made knit hats and little cardboard books...

I love talking about birth, babies, and breast-feeding with any and every mom who crosses my path

I love reading about things I never would've thought about, like baby's first bowel movement

I love the anticipation of meeting our baby, girl or boy, looking into those giant eyes and saying, welcome to our world