Totally getting to see Cory Asbury next Sunday… with Matt Maher! Heck yes!
It’s that time again — when I finally get the itch to write because maybe (just maybe) there’s enough of a pause to breathe and think and that thinking for once doesn’t just make me want to cry.
It’s been a while, so it’s time for a good old fashioned round-robin update… with especially excellent news to kick it off:
- We’re pregnant (again)! Two maternity leaves in two years… no, I don’t know what we’re thinking. A baby boy will be joining us in October. We’re also preparing for a VBAC I’m unprepared for. So far it’s been a very similar pregnancy, minus more aggravated depression and mental health issues because I delayed going on progesterone shots for so long. I won’t do that again. Aside from struggling through those feelings, it’s too easy to forget I’m pregnant because everything still revolves around Bdubbs and getting work done. We didn’t have the easiest transition into parenthood, so I’m not totally sure how all this is going to pan out. But kids are almost guaranteed to be completely different, right? So let’s just assume he’ll be mostly comatose and easy going. Because…
- Bdubbs is totally a high needs baby. This is a gentle label, not a medical or mental diagnosis. Just a friendly phrase from Dr. Sears for babies who need a little extra…. everything. Extra holding, touching, feeding, attention, patience, planning… just everything. Reading Dr. Sears’s The Fussy Baby Book overwhelmed me with relief (when I wasn’t crying about how much the parent testimonials reflected my experience). Bdubbs hasn’t been the easy baby my friends seem to have, who fall asleep in public places and don’t seem to care where or when they’re napping, and it always feels like its my fault and I’m being overly sensitive or not being firm enough. Turns out, he just needs a little extra! And now that I know that (and give it to him), life at home has been a little less intense. UPDATE: This is times 1000 for the toddler stage. I am loving it! I finally feel like I know what to do or how to make him happy. Could it be we were just “older kid” parents the whole time?
- Blessed to learn that money stress isn’t the only kind of stress. For a long, long time, I’ve genuinely wondered what kind of problems people could have when they have “enough” money. Well, by the grace of God a lot of business has come my way the first two quarters of the year and I’ve had an excellent level of focus and output, so I’m not as afraid of the second maternity leave as I was of the first — I think we’ll likely be “OK”! And yet we still have other troubles that take up my time and energy. So. Chock this up to the life lesson, “Money isn’t everything!” And how important it is to stay grateful — all that energy I otherwise would put into the financial side of my maternity leave needs to go to gratefulness!
- On that note… I officially have a retirement fund! This has been on my “Adulting To Do” list for at least four years. In a series of incredibly unsmart decisions, I have always cashed out my (small) 401Ks when I leave jobs. So I literally went into freelancing with no plan for my future besides, “Work til I die.” Now, I may still do that. But I also had a deep revelation that I’d like to be a parent that blesses my children instead of burdening them. I want to be generous like my parents and be able to help with school loans and treat for dinner sometimes. And that put a fire under my butt. I took J Money’s advice and started with Vanguard Index fund and I hope to switch to the VTSAX once I have enough money in there to do so. (JHubbs has always had a retirement fund, as his work has a mandatory contribution). It’s a small start, but as J Money says, “We all start at 0…”
- And… I’m more caught up on taxes than ever! Another un-smart decision has been to not be as up to date on my taxes as I should be. I always file and I always pay my installment agreement, but I just never understood how important it was to really pay those estimated quarterlies before they add up. This year, it’s been painful, but I’ve paid a significant amount each month and I plan to keep going. It feels really good. And it means we won’t be in a bad place come January 1 when I’m returning to work with a new baby and a big ball of tax stress.
- I’ve been more active with Life After Teaching. Last year and this year, I made the decision not to sell my teacher job site, Life After Teaching, so I wanted to make more of an effort to bring it life. I’ve been more active in the LinkedIn group (ex-teachers welcome!). We’ve also recorded some expert webinars! One is on resumes and we recorded the second one on discerning a new career in June. So far it’s been awesome to connect with 40+ teachers at a time on a specific topic and really dig into individual struggles and provide advice and reassurance… if you have any experience in this area (or are a teacher with a topic on your mind), I’d love to hear from you! We have two listed on the site here: Life After Teaching Webinars.
- I got a big-time clip. I started my writing career reading and referencing Content Marketing Institute… and I got an original article published there earlier this year. It felt really natural, but looking back it strikes me as a big deal. Then the paper magazine came home and it had my picture in it with a link to the online article and I just about giggled. Check it out: “Slow Down Your Content Marketing”