2016 is coming to a swift and welcome end today and with it comes my obligatory end-of-year blog post. Yes, my poor, neglected blog is getting a little attention today. But probably not much because I'm not feeling particularly wordy this morning. I just know that if I wait to post until later, I won't post anything until April. So let's get on this, shall we...
This last year started out pretty hopeful, to be honest. Around March our oldest nephew started coming around and met Presley for the first time. The repairing of that relationship was a biggie for our fam because it had been strained for far too long. It was around that same time that I started working on my health and trying to find my way to something that resembled self-confidence. I jumped head-first into tracking calories and nightly walks with my family. It certainly paid off, culminating in a total of 60 lbs lost. (Of course, I've gained 13 of those back...but more on that later.)
Mid year, my youngest niece was born. She came into the world 6 weeks early, born a fighter, and stole my heart. She's 7 months old now and thriving. She's got dark hair and skin, big dark eyes, and a perfect little pouty mouth. Most of what I see of her is online via facebook, but hopefully it won't always be this way. At some point my trips up to visit my Dad and Brother will be more frequent because I'm just not comfortable in the absentee auntie role. It doesn't work well for me.
It was shortly before my niece was born that I lost my job of 15 years. The company I worked for shut down after an alleged hack to our system. There were over 100 of us displaced, but it seems most of us have moved on to greener pastures, and those still looking for a job have the hindsight to know this was probably all for the best. Or our bitterness at the way we were let go fuels the fire in our guts and keeps us trudging ever-forward. Either way, it seems we're all better off. My first month of unemployment was a struggle. I've worked consistently since I was 16 years old, so it was a shock to my system when I was suddenly without a job. I took on odd cleaning jobs and my house was cleaner than it has been before or since, but my sabbatical from the working world was short-lived. I found a job in August and have been gainfully employed ever since.
As for my new job, I actually really like it. It's a boring job that is the same thing every day, but I thrive on that kind of routine. It's a comfort when the rest of my life is always changing. The first month of work was hard. I was actually wishing they'd fire me. I've never been fired from a job in my entire life, so it was odd to find myself praying it would happen. But like a switch being flipped, I went into work one day and was glad to be there and that hasn't changed. I like most of the people I work with. There are a couple who have personalities that aren't my cup of tea but nothing terrible. I definitely don't dislike anyone. I just mesh better with some than others, and those tend to be the ones who enjoy sharing a work space with me the most, too.
A mere 2 months into my new job, I got pregnant. It was a monumental shock, and the disbelief still comes and goes on occasion. But now that my little boy is a wiggling, moving human in my bulging belly, there is little I can do to deny that he's real. I worry a lot about his impending arrival, in particular how a financially struggling family of 4 is going to handle being a family of 5. We're in the worst shape we've ever been in and to say that doesn't weigh heavily on my mind would be a lie. Every single day I worry and wonder how we're going to make this work. There is no doubt we will find a way, but as of now, I'm at a loss for any clues. I feel like that stress is overpowering my joy, but I do get little glimmers of excitement thinking about my son and the completion of the Sams Fam. I always wanted 3 kids and now I will have them. Two beautiful daughters and a handsome son; the perfect end to an emotional and wild reproductive run. Once he's born, I plan to have my tubes tied. Though my fertility has always been a mysterious bitch, I don't want to give it any chance to suddenly work again. Sawyer Lane is the last Sams baby and we're all good with that decision.
In spite of my sometimes overwhelming anxiety, I am always optimistic for the future. It's part of my Virgo charm, maybe: being a contradiction. Ever-worried, but ever-hopeful. I don't have any particular resolutions other than getting more active now that the constant nausea has subsided. The inevitable weight gain has been difficult for me and I know that has a lot to do with not being able to be as active as I like due to being sick all the time. I no longer have that excuse so it's time to put a little hustle in my pregnant waddle. Other than my vain hope to keep my pregnancy weight gain under 40 lbs., I am hoping the new year brings with it a solution to our current lack of money. More than that, I need to find a way of getting our budget worked out so that it's not a twice-monthly fret-fest anymore. I know our income isn't going to change, so it's just a matter of working with what we have and getting creative. I've even considered couponing, although I've heard that is a pretty time-consuming hobby that I probably wouldn't be able to pull off with a teenager, a toddler, a baby, and a full-time job. But it's on the table, for sure. I am excited to meet our son and to see how our family dynamic evolves with him. I know I want to get away without the kids once before he comes. Just Justin and I for one glorious night would be enough for me. May 16th is our 10 year wedding anniversary, so it seems a good excuse for a mini-escape. Overall, there is a lot that scares me about 2017 and a lot that could be a vast improvement over 2016. However it turns out, you can bet I'll have something to say about it.