It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a post — and frankly, I don’t even know where to begin. Life has a way of shaking you up sometimes, and well, the last few months have certainly done that.
Last fall, when Morgan was around 8 months old, I made the decision to start taking on more freelance projects while remaining a SAHM. I worked when he napped, on the weekends, and in the evenings, and never bit off more than I could chew. But in April of this year, a project landed in my lap that was simply too good to pass up. So I took a leap of faith, working remotely for 20 hours a week. Though only part-time, I quickly realized the huge undertaking it was to attempt to balance motherhood, life and work. We hired a nanny and created a pretty manageable schedule. I was meeting new people, using my talents and strengths, and was part of a large-scale project, easily the biggest opportunity of my career. I felt so empowered and fulfilled to be working again, yet found the new normal to be very limiting. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day.
I rarely saw my friends, didn’t have much (if any) free time, and found myself scrambling to meet deadlines every single week. I was stressed, overwhelmed and at times, lonely. I felt sad to miss out on my daily routine with Morgan. We missed play dates with friends and didn’t have as many spontaneous activities. Naturally, all of this made for a lot of guilt and a lot of anxiety. It was a tough time.
The first phase of the project was set to end around Labor Day. Our nanny had her last day, we went to Canada for my brother’s wedding, Morgan started school, and then: Hurricane Harvey.
I’m not sure there are words to accurately describe what the hurricane was like for me, my family and Houston. I felt more sadness in that week than I have in a very, very long time. I was scared for the safety of myself, my family and my friends. I couldn’t peel myself away from the news or the window. I couldn’t sleep. I cried in the bathroom while we hid during tornado warnings. I felt helpless.
In the end, our home didn’t flood, though we felt the harsh reality of Harvey in so many other ways. Our garage took on over a foot of water. We found some leaks in our roof. Morgan’s school flooded completely. Every classroom, every office, every space. Dr. P’s office building was out of commission, under water, for weeks.
Now over a month later, the news has come and gone yet the devastation and rebuilding are far from over. There are thousands and thousands of Houstonians who weren’t so lucky, whose lives have been turned upside down with turmoil and loss. And my heart hurts for my hometown. It’s painful and heart-wrenching and beyond anything I could have imagined. Entire neighborhoods, homes, schools, businesses big and small, parks, playgrounds, cars… the list goes on and on. And I’ve never loved my city and neighbors more. The incredible community spirit that has shown its face in the wake of such tragedy has been absolutely awe-inspiring.
Fast forward to last Sunday in Las Vegas. My brother and sister in law were at the festival. Getting a call that they were safe was truly a wake-up call in every single sense. I was shaken to my core that morning when I heard their voices on the other end of the phone and have searched for the right words ever since — though I’m not sure I’ll ever find them. I feel eternally grateful to God for watching over them and our families as they stayed safe in the midst of such a horrific tragedy. And I will forever count my blessings every day, hug my family tighter and love deeper.
There’s a song by Brett Eldredge that has been speaking to me so much throughout all of this chaos. Whether I’m thinking of Houston in the wake of Harvey, my brother and my family, myself as I work through my own life and the anxieties and pressures I feel as a woman and mother, or Morgan as he wonders at the world around him with pure joy and happiness, this song applies so perfectly. Everyone and everything means so much more to me now than ever before. Have a listen, friends. Back soon. xo