Another Winter, Another Year


It’s a rainy Monday morning—7:48 AM—and Sophie is hanging out with her head on my chest.  We’ve been posted up on the couch in the living room since 3:30 this morning, doing some combination of nursing and dozing off and watching old episodes of Girls; wondering if anyone can actually stand Hannah.

Rob goes back to work in a couple of weeks and I know it’d be helpful to have some kind of schedule, but Sophie is so small and hungry still that I basically just feed her on demand and try to make up for my lost sleep with an early bedtime. Around 4AM Ender came in from the bedroom and curled up next to us on the couch and has been sleeping there ever since. Usually he comes out once or twice to check on us and heads back into the bedroom, but this morning the three of us have been snuggled up together listening to the rain splashing down outside.

2018 arrived quickly but quietly, and the first week of the year blew by in a haze of pancakes and 9AM naps and a marathon of Brooklyn 99. I took the pup with me on my first run in probably over a year the other afternoon, and the warm winter sun beat down on us as I slowly made my way down the sidewalk, trying to catch my breath but so happy to be moving my body again.

Last night I did my hair and makeup and put on a dress and went to my Pure Barre studio’s holiday party at L’Occitane in Palo Alto. It was my first time leaving everyone at home for more than an hour. We drank sparkling wine punch and got hand massages and on my way home I stopped at In N Out and as I waited for our to-go burgers I couldn’t believe how much life has changed, not only in a few months but especially these past few years. 

Almost 10 years ago there was a randomly big snowstorm in our college town of Farmville, Virginia and Rob and I may not have even really been dating yet, but we got in his silver Chrysler Sebring and ventured out to the Kroger for frozen pizza and M&Ms. When we got back to my apartment we learned that apparently the roads were so dangerous everyone had been told to stay in, and we laughed nervously as we heated up the pizza and popped chocolate candies into our mouths. There was absolutely no part of me that ever imagined that 4 or 5 years later we’d be living in Minneapolis, navigating everyday winter storms to get to work or the grocery store or even the coffee shop; where I once had to pull out my window scraper after 20 minutes because in the time it took to drink a latte, the windshield was completely covered in a heavy dumping of fresh snow.

And while we were putting hand warmers in our pockets and nervously stepping onto the surface of a frozen Lake Harriet, I don’t think the thought of a life of 60-degree January days in California ever crossed our minds. We moved to Charlotte when Rob’s project ended and we put down roots and I was stunned and disoriented to halfheartedly pull them out two years later and sign the lease for a townhouse in Silicon Valley.

But now we’re here, and this year we’ll have lived in California as long as we lived in North Carolina.  We don’t have as many friends and we can’t walk to our favorite coffee shop, but we are creating a life here—we literally created a life here. And wherever we are in 5 more years, I’m sure I’ll look back on those rainy winter mornings in the house with the fruit trees, when Sophie was a month and a half old and Rob was on paternity leave and Ender was extra cuddly. 

I don’t yet know what 2018 (or life with a baby) will look like, but so far it’s pure magic.