blessed: [adj.] 1.supremely favored, fortunate; 2. blissfully happy, contented.

*Big sigh of relief*

We moved. To be more specific, we moved with the help of more than a dozen of our friends who showed up, packed their vehicles, carried our things up a tricky flight of stairs, and helped me clean our old apartment. They maintained good senses of humor and positive attitudes and were paid only in gourmet doughnuts and our endless thanks. I also can’t imagine how this move would have happened without Josh. Seriously, he was a packing, cleaning, organizing machine. At one point [with the help of an energy drink] he sawed the legs off our broken, too-big couch and hauled it out of our old apartment, single handed. He did the work of both of us and then some, without complaint. I don’t mean to gush, but that guy is the best.

And now we are in our new home which, despite the boxes piled up in every room still, feels very much like home. It is clean, and spacious and freshly painted. Our super sweet landlords put so much work and effort into making the space beautiful for us, and it shows. [Have I mentioned yet how blessed we are?] While we still have so much to do to really settle in, I am so glad we made this transition pre-baby arrival. Moving was a lot of work and both physically and emotionally. We left a house with a lot of collective history, full of people that we really love, and it wasn’t easy to let go of that. But our new space feels like the very best place for us to be right now, and I absolutely feel like we made the right choice in moving. I am looking forward to the months of nesting ahead and making a home with my sweetie, and our dear friend and housemate, and eventually welcoming our baby into our space. Already in the last few weeks I have felt a great sense of relief having the hard work of the move behind us, it feels like a giant box has been checked off the to do list, and now, even though there are still a hundred more little boxes to check off in the next couple of months, I feel like there is more room to breathe now and appreciate this journey a little bit more fully than before.

In the last few weeks I have found myself in a random moment in my day, caught up and stopped by the thought of just how very lucky we are, and how blessed I feel by all the love and support in our lives. As I mentioned in my last post, too much time during this pregnancy was spent caught up in negativity, worry and stress, both outwardly and inwardly, and going forward I made a commitment to myself to immerse myself in all the goodness that this pregnancy has been, continues to be, has brought us, and especially very soon what it will bring us- our baby. Because really, what else matters? What I have found is that the more I open my heart to see the blessings, large and small, the more they reveal themselves.

Months before we were even discussing actively trying to get pregnant I had become frustrated with the waiting for this process to start. So I took a coffee can out of the recycling bin and started putting money aside for our eventual “paternity leave fund,” we may not have been ready to make a baby yet, but at least I was doing something to support that goal. As time went on and the baby became something that was actually happening and not an abstract idea both Josh and I got serious about saving money, the coffee can grew into a savings account and we began discussing how much unpaid time we could afford to take off of work. The truth is, probably not enough [how much time to spend with your newborn is “enough” really?], because as soon as we had money put aside in savings we began thinking more realistically about the need to keep more money in savings now that we would have a child. Emergencies and unexpected expenses come up and both he and I know we will feel more comfortable knowing we have savings to fall back on when/if that need arises. A big part of our discussion in choosing to bring a child into this world was around the responsibility we would be taking on, and part of that responsibility is being able to financially support our family. Let me be clear- we can support our family, but we had been stuck feeling like we had to choose between using all our savings to stay at home with our baby as long as we could, or go back to work too soon after baby’s arrival and sacrifice important bonding time as a new family and recuperating time for me post-birth.

And then a few of our close friends approached us with an idea they had to fund raise money for Josh and I as a gift of time off with our new baby. Our first response was hesitation- we worried what people might think, we worried that it was asking too much of people, we worried that it was our responsibility to come up with this money ourselves…and then my wise friend Sage said, “Just say yes.” So humbly, we did. Our friends punched the numbers of how much we make, what our cost of living is, and came up with a goal of money to raise. In the end whether or not that goal is met is not important to Josh or I, we are enormously thankful for every single dollar that has been and continues to  be gifted to us which will help us both take off a much more significant amount of time post-baby than we would be otherwise able. When it was shared how much was raised in the first day both Josh and I were taken back by the generosity, kindness, and support of our circle of friends/family, our greater community and even complete strangers. I think of those first few months and the time we will be able to spend together with our baby, no matter how sleep deprived and exhausted we are, and I am overcome with gratitude for everyone who is making that possible.

Probably at least once a day now I go and stand in our baby’s room, which is set up with nothing but boxes, yellow walls, and a crib- and cry. Happy tears, overwhelmed tears, I still can’t believe this is happening tears. The nursery is something really tangible, more so than the clothes and gear we have collected that was piling up in our spare room pre-move. It is a space that we are putting intention and love into to create for our child and there is something special and sacred about the space. It is the same way I think about the local and greater community we are welcoming this baby into. We have been blessed with so much kindness, in the form of  emotional support, hand me down baby items, thoughtful homemade gifts, much needed baby supplies, offers for donated breast milk, and most recently- financial support for time off after birth. When I look at step back and look at the people in our lives who are our support network, who will be our baby’s support network, I am caught with a lump in my throat and a hand on my heart and I think- what a beautiful, special, sacred circle we are welcoming our baby into.

People keep saying this baby is going to be so lucky to have us for parents. But to be honest, we are the lucky ones here, we have so much goodness already, and this baby is going to bring more joy, love and wonder than I can imagine our hearts even know how to hold. Thank you all, for reading, for supporting us, for loving us, for donating…for everything you have given us and continue to give us on this journey, it is my honor to share it with you in whatever small way I can. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

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