Jan, Feb, Mar - Building for a New Beginning
Updated: Apr 27
Some big news - we've been building a new home since last December! It is so exciting and symbolic that we will be starting the next chapter of our lives on a clean slate. We have been busy behind the scenes since we began the second half of our final year of residency. So much change is coming, so much to prepare for.
I don't remember if I shared this but my new job as an attending will be in sunny Northern California. We will be living just north of the Bay Area, only about an hour from San Francisco. Last December, we took a really quick trip to have some meetings with my new employer and also seized the opportunity to hunt for a home.
I remember feeling so pregnant and nauseous when I took that building site selfie last December. That trip was crazy. We only spent one day looking at potential sites. The one by the lake was the obvious winner.
We then spent one more day picking out design elements with the builder and headed home on the third day because we both had to work! Everything else we've had to do via email or video chat.
I'm pretty excited to see the finished product when we move this summer. We are going with the 'modern farmhouse on the lake' feel with this house and hoping whites, grays, and blues (in the furniture) will achieve this look.
We also spent a significant part of the past few months getting our downtown Grand Rapids loft ready to list and sell. We initially considered keeping it as a rental property but then decided to take the easy route. Managing a rental property from across the country could get dicey, I think.
But I will surely miss our cozy little loft. It is special place. I purchased it when I was single. It was my bachelorette pad. Then my husband moved in, we had Tobe, and it became our family home because I stubbornly didn't want to move. We have made so many memories in this 980 SF place. Living in a small space can be challenging but with good organizational skills and not hoarding, it is very do-able. I plan on writing a blog post about loft/apartment living, soon, before we move, to share some tips on how to live successfully this way.
Thankful for a Healthy Pregnancy.
Now that the nausea is 95% gone, life has been so much easier. I am back to doing the things I enjoy - baking and blogging. And I recently got into sewing (Shh---). Baby and mama are healthy, thank God for that. My problem now is that I feel so fat, lol.
Tobe has been so excited about welcoming his new sibling. He is such a well adjusted child! He even agreed to sharing all his toys except for his favorites - Kitty Kat and Foxy. I've been trying to be more deliberate about spending special time with Tobe and stocking up on those special hugs and kisses before my attention gets divided by another child.
I have been doing a lot of studying. This season of my life reminds me of my medical school days. I actually do enjoy studying. Preparing for my boards in ENT enables me to organize my thoughts and take an inventory of all that I have learned these past 5 years - pretty neat.
I am so thankful to everyone that has helped me along the way. No one is an island.One way or the other, we've all needed help to be whoever we are today.
Studying isn't so bad when I have my trusted study buddy, Tobe, with me. Just kidding. Whenever I try to study with him around, he says 'please don't work mama' but sometimes, he gets his own book and crayon and 'helps' me study.
My Best Friend's Wedding and another Trip to Oklahoma
The highlight of February was visiting Oklahoma again and getting to be a part of my best friend, Tien's wedding.
I have known her for about 12 years. I had the honor of being her maid of honor. Weddings are always so fun and I can't wait to see the professional pictures!
There is something so special about being a part of the bridal party and bonding with other women over a special occasion. I got really emotional seeing my friend get married. We've come a long way from meeting in Organic Chemistry class!
I still can't believe I got the chance to visit Oklahoma again. After being away for almost 8 years, I got to visit twice in less than 6 months! It was so nice to see my Godparents again. I also got to visit with their grandkids whom I used to babysit when they were toddlers! Look how much they've grown! Makes me feel old.
Home and Love
Soaking up, being in the moment, and enjoying precious moments with family is something I am really working on. It's actually easier said than done. I struggle with having almost unrealistic expectations of what my day with Tobe should be like.
I wake up on my days off thinking that I will spend every second doting on him. This usually doesn't turn out like I imagined - between the tantrums, me desiring some time to myself, and the guilt, I end up ruining the day somehow.
Everyday, I am learning to just enjoy whatever the day brings and tempering my expectations. Reminding myself that there are no expectations help.
I get the weirdest pictures of Tobe whenever I ask him to smile. Like this one of him and his cousin. So ridiculous.
The highlight of these past few months for Tobe was getting to spend time with his cousins. I seriously have never seen him more happier than when he gets to run around with his cousins. I feel so sad that he doesn't get to see them often and now that we are moving, he will see them even less frequently.
Being an only child can be difficult, I think. But soon, Tobe will have a playmate.
The Beginnings of Isolation
As if feeling guilty that Tobe doesn't get to see his cousins wasn't enough, the end of March brought school closures which meant that he couldn't see his friends either! To add to the sadness of this situation is the fact that Tobe lives in a loft apartment with no private outdoor space. So my little super active Tobe is stuck in our little place, looking out the window except for our walks and play time in the grass and mud.
I have to add that he has been such a champ considering the situation. He has absolutely no one to play with and the playgrounds are closed too.
It is important to point out that on the grand scheme of things, we are among the lucky ones. We are healthy and together and for that, I am immensely thankful. I am looking forward to updating you on what the next few months bring. Until then, stay safe and thank you for reading.