The sugary smell of springtime

Cherry blossom

Hello. It’s me.

I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet?

Just kidding! But also . . . hi. I really didn’t plan to vanish like that — and though I’m not generally one to blog about blogging, I didn’t want to swoop in here and pretend like it hasn’t been almost a month since you heard from me.

Hi!

So it’s spring now — a glorious, marvelous, fresh-from-the-dryer season with its new buds and warm breezes. My parents and I made a trip into Washington on Saturday to see the cherry blossoms, which were mostly dormant . . . but still beautiful. Mom and I try to get to the Tidal Basin every spring, and that was the only time we could go — so we soldiered through a rainy forecast and enjoyed our walk in the city with my dad — an actual D.C. tour guide — as tour guide.

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Oliver is just three weeks from being an honest-to-goodness 1-year-old. I’m sure I’ll try to pull my thoughts together about that before April 12, but am not sure I’ll be able to! This has been the hardest, craziest, most exciting, most terrifying and truly insane year of my life. When I think back on my entrance into motherhood, I’m filled with head-shaking disbelief at everything we’ve seen and done since last spring.

It wasn’t always snuggles and rainbows — but is it for anyone? More often than not, it was coughing fits and late-night talk-shows over bottles and laundry, omg so much laundry, and about 10,876 viewings of “The Muppets” — the only show that will hold Ollie’s interest for more than 45 seconds.

But, as they say, would I trade any of it?

Well, yes — I’d trade some of it. Absolutely. That week with hand, foot and mouth virus and 1 a.m. ER visits, to start.

But most? The rest? Never.

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We’re excited for Easter and his first birthday party, for longer days and warmer nights and walks around the neighborhood. I still have my “I’m someone’s mother” moments — and still wonder if I’m somehow screwing this all up already. But they’re stretching out longer, pulled like taffy. They don’t plague me like they did.

I’ve been reading in fits and starts, unable to gain traction with any book in particular. I haven’t finished a print/Kindle book in ages, but am loving — LOVING — Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, read by the author on audio. It is funny, uplifting, ripe with girl power . . . and though I didn’t know much about Rhimes beyond an early obsession with “Grey’s Anatomy,” she is quickly becoming a personal heroine.

On the weight loss front, I’ve stalled a bit. After dropping 10 pounds and thinking I was back into the swing of Weight Watchers, I abruptly derailed and went on a cookie binge. (Wish I were kidding.)

It started with the eager smiles of Girl Scouts and their deliciously evil samoas . . . and once I got a taste of that sugar again, I just started feeling tired. Tired of tracking, of worrying, of planning, of obsessing. Tired. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, eat what I wanted to eat.

So I did.

I carried on like that for a week or two — but the impact was obvious. I was back to feeling lethargic, guilty, sluggish. It takes more time to plan and prepare healthy snacks, but it’s worth it. Instead of holding my feet to the fire, however, I’m easing my way back in. Going back to an all-in Weight Watchers mentality wasn’t working for me this go ’round, but I’m taking all my WW-acquired knowledge and making simple changes every day.

I’ll get there. And honestly? After all my body has gone through lately, I just can’t be really tough on her. I give her the benefit of the doubt. Cut her some slack. That doesn’t mean it’s OK to binge-eat Oreos at 10 p.m., but I’m less inclined to sacrifice small pleasures all the time.

The key is, of course, to keep them small. Not, like, half-a-package worth.

But that’s another post.

So! There you have it. I’ve missed y’all and hope my radio silence doesn’t become a regular thing. I’d like to get back into reading and writing and blogging often in the months to come, but my creative energy is dedicated to my full-time writing gig — and speaking of which . . .

My columns are now available through a digital subscription to our newspapers! I haven’t discussed it much here because work/life boundaries and all, but “Right, Meg?” publishes twice a week on life, motherhood, growing up, etc. Kind of like my blog posts — but on steroids. And in AP style.

I’m also writing features for our regional magazine, Chesapeake 360. They’re fun pieces pretty specific to Southern Marylanders, but the stories are free online with profiles on many cool places. This vintage store blew me away.

So if you need me, I’ll be blowing all my cash on a distressed bedroom bench.

I really feel it’s what Chip and Joanna would want.


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21 thoughts on “The sugary smell of springtime

  1. Ohhh, I’ve been experiencing all of these things since becoming a mother too. Much less blogging, much less reading, and struggling with the food still. At least neither of us are alone!

    As for the blogging, I have set my goals so much lower in the last couple of months. I’ve now decided to aim for two posts a month. I used to aim for 1-2 a week but had a hard time keeping up. I’d like to get it back up there eventually, though. For now, this works for me!

    Reading has slowed way down for me too. I’m usually so exhausted at night that I can only manage a few pages. I’ve been super into nonfiction lately though, particularly motherhood memoirs. I’ve basically been reading those almost exclusively since Caleb was born. I love that feeling of being able to relate!

    Though I’m not on WW, I’ve been on MyFitnessPal for years and I’ve been so off and on with that too since Caleb was born. I don’t have the energy to be as dedicated to it as I once was, but I try to take it one day at a time. Some weeks are good and some weeks are bad. I think as mothers, as a whole, we need to be more forgiving of ourselves. πŸ™‚

    So glad to see you back to blogging today! I get to feel more like myself when I blog or read but I just feel such a lack of time lately. Oh, the struggle. And I cannot believe it’s almost Oliver’s birthday! I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • Totally understand what you mean, Steph — I don’t feel like “myself” unless I’m writing and reading, and I haven’t had much energy to do either. That makes me feel strange, off-kilter — like I’m in a parallel world of some sort. I’m hoping to get better about that! And I will also be cutting myself some slack on the posting front. I once posted four or five times a week (!), but that is . . . nowhere close to possible now. But because this space is important to me, I need to prioritize it more. We’ll figure it out as we go! πŸ™‚

      And omg, yes, Oliver’s birthday. Two weeks to go. Craziness! Total craziness.

  2. No one expects the mom of a sweet young baby to have time to read and blog so cut yourself some slack. We’ll be here when you have the time/inclination to blog.

    • Thanks so much, Kathy! I know it’s a silly thing to worry about, but I felt guilty every time I thought about how long it had been since I posted. I love this space so much, and this “free” writing means a lot to me, so I want to continue . . . but I need to get better about going easy on myself.

  3. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary of motherhood and happy early birthday to your little guy! As a local subscriber, your column has been my favorite for years. We’re the same age, and I had a crush on Zac Hanson in middle school. πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that you’re doing great. My son’s a few months older than yours, and I’m still learning to give myself grace and to ease up on my overachiever tendencies. Everything takes time, right?
    Happy Spring!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Brie — I really appreciate it! And thank you for reading my column, too. Motherhood has been the wildest ride of my life, and it is important to give ourselves grace. I’m a former teacher’s pet who wants to do “everything right,” and it’s hard for me to feel like I’m not “excelling.” But I’ve started realizing that excelling looks different for everyone . . . and our sons are getting all our love, for sure! πŸ™‚

      (Also, yay for Zac Hanson! My sis “claimed” him . . . I was — am — a Taylor girl.)

  4. Love, love, love Chip and JoJo! We’re big fans of the couple, our entire family. We’re also huge fans of Adele.

    More importantly, so excited for you to be coming up on Ollie’s first birthday!

    • I’ve gotten into “Fixer Upper” like nobody’s business! (Along with the rest of America, for sure.) They’re just such a cute family, and the homes are gorgeous. I’ve gotten so much inspiration from them . . . that I will, you know, implement eventually. πŸ™‚

      • Joanna’s style is a little more rustic than my own personal taste, but we thoroughly enjoy watching them transform the homes. More than anything, it’s a joy (and, really, a relief) to see such loving parents and a couple that support one another in work and life. Would love to visit their new B&B just to meet them!

  5. Pingback: The sugary smell ofΒ springtime | kissgainedwap

  6. I agree with Kathy…give yourself a break. I love reading your blog whenever you pop in. Your writing is lovely! Let go of your weight issues…eat clean and healthy…take your walks…do yard work…you will be healthy and fine!

    • Thank you, Patty! You’re right: not obsessing is the way to go. Now that the weather is getting so nice, I plan to be out strolling the neighborhood often. Fresh air for all of us!

  7. Sounds like you’re doing just fine.

    And that hand foot mouth thing OMGGGGGG why can’t we find a cure for this. The nastiest virus I’ve ever seen.
    Hate it!

    • It was so, so awful. Poor Oliver was just screaming and we had no clue what to do! Not to mention how uncomfortable it was to look at — for him and us. 😦 I’d never even heard of it until that ER visit. Ick!

      • Yes, my exact sentiments. The good news is, I don’t think they can get it more then once.

        When my boys had it, they had it back to back so it was 2 weeks of this nonsense. I swore it was like some Zombie disease – just looks plain horrible.

        Behind us now. On to better things. Hugs for Ollie and his mama…

  8. Hi! πŸ™‚

    I feel you on the getting stuck with the losing weight. Despite continuing to exercise I have plateaued. Yeah- those Girl Scouts are evil with their cookies at every corner. I had a couple boxes make it into my house, too.

  9. So… I was thinking about babies and being in the womb for 9 months or less. And that got me thinking does that affect a child. Do they seem older or younger depending on their length before they were born… Or does it really not matter at all…. And then there is the whole, I am not a parent and just thinking about things state… I think too much. Hi! lol

  10. So much of this resonates with me, and my son is now 16 months and I still feel like he’s my baby! I haven’t gotten into the new life rhythm yet — body and emotions still in flux and I’m not reading nearly as much as I’d like — but I wouldn’t trade that baby of mine for anything.

  11. He’s adorable.. My husband and I were watching a news report about the visitors flocking to see the cherry blossoms. My husband could not understand it. I am glad you went, someone should enjoy the beauty. Congratulations on your first year as a mother. They only get better in time.

  12. Just found your blog! Great post! I actually adore the muppets lol – Animal is the best! πŸ˜‰ I might not have kids of my own, but as far as I’m concerned, the Muppets are an allages kinda thang! lol I look forward to reading more. I am a brand new blogger. ( I’m writing about my 120 lb weight loss story, fitness and health) Happy to subscribe to your great community! πŸ™‚

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