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On Friendship: Saying Good-Bye and Starting Over

As a kid, I moved around a lot. And when I wasn't moving, everyone else around me was. Such was the life of a quasi-military brat. I didn't like it — losing friends all the time, always saying good-bye, starting over. Over and over. This was all before social media and Skype and FaceTime. This [...]

in Essays, It's Personal

A Blessing For My Joanie May

This weekend is Joanie's baby naming ceremony, a Jewish tradition in which a baby girl (usually newborn, but obviously not always) is given her Hebrew name along with blessings by a rabbi and her loved ones. We chose a Hebrew name, Hephzibah, that honors her Grandpa Herb, Drew's dad, who died six months ago, and [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

On Getting Knocked Down

Yesterday's impromptu discussion about women's sizing and body image in general hit especially close to home for me. Nine months ago today I had my second baby and my body has not been the same since. I don't remember this — losing weight, toning up, accepting myself — being so difficult after I had Jackson. [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

When’s Your Favorite Time for a Date?

I didn't really make New Year's resolutions this year, but I did casually set some personal and lifestyle goals for 2016... including spending more quality one-in-one time with Drew. Last year was such a busy, roller-coaster year, with my pregnancy (and some health issues related to it), Joanie's birth, getting Jackson adjusted to big-kid school [...]

in It's Personal, Questions of the Day

The Balancing Act

Show of hands — how many of you noticed that the I posted the weekly forum highlights yesterday instead of today? Drew noticed and my mom noticed, but did anyone who isn't related or married to me notice? Part of me thought I could get away with that little switcheroo and no one would be [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

Happy Half Birthday to My Sweet Joanie May

Joanie woke up early today — 6 AM — after sleeping a full 12 hours straight. Drew got her out of her crib and gave her a bottle and then brought her to me in bed so he could take a shower. Jackson was still asleep, the sun was slowly rising, and in the quiet [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

New Motherhood The Second Time Around

Little Joanie May is 11 weeks old today and rapidly aging out of the sweet newborn stage. I remember this age with Jackson really well; it was probably when I felt the worst, actually. Two and half months of sleep deprivation had caught up with me while the novelty of a brand new baby was [...]

in Essays, It's Personal, Parenthood

Adjusting to the New Normal

Joanie is five weeks old now and I was going to write a post about the sibling relationship between her and Jackson. I started it a couple times, about how the first week or two were pretty rough and how Jackson was doing a lot of acting out, but, in the weeks since then it's [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

Three Weeks Down

Little Miss Joanie May is three weeks old today. I am so, so, so, so tired that a photo and a short post is all I can muster this afternoon. Jackson started camp today (he'll go twice a week for the next three weeks, and then six weeks from tomorrow he starts PUBLIC SCHOOL, OH [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

Flying Solo

Joanie May turned two weeks old yesterday and Drew headed back to work this morning, which means I'm flying solo with both kids for the first time (since bringing the baby home, I've had the help of both Drew and our part-time sitter, Mavis, who is off today). It's 8:45 AM as I write this [...]

in It's Personal, Parenthood

She’s Here!!

We're thrilled to introduce our daughter, Joanie May Condell, born at 8:26 PM on 7-7-15, 5 lbs. 13 oz. She's sweet as can be and can't wait to meet her big brother later today and more family and friends soon. Everyone is healthy, happy, and tired. More photos and details to come.

in It's Personal, Parenthood

33 Weeks!

I hope you don't mind these pregnancy updates, but, if you do, the good news is there won't be too many more. Today I'm 33 weeks pregnant and looking forward to being full-term in just four weeks and maybe having this baby not too long after that (Jackson was born at 37 weeks and I [...]

in It's Personal, Pregnancy

24 Down

This week marks my 25th week of pregnancy — I'm just about six months along, and I'm starting to see the finish line faintly in the distance. The last couple of weeks I've really started to feel pregnant: I'm short of breath and get crampy sometimes when I walk a lot or walk too fast; [...]

in Essays, Family, It's Personal, Parenthood, Pregnancy

17-Week Check-in

I'm 17 weeks pregnant today and, if you'd have asked me a few days ago how I was feeling, I would have said "not very pregnant." I guess I'm still not feeling very pregnant, save for the relentless fatigue that hasn't let up in the second trimester like I'd hoped it would, BUT I felt [...]

in It's Personal, Pregnancy

Happy News

In early November, about a week before we moved into our new apartment — the bigger, three-bedroom apartment our family could grow into regardless of whether we remained just the three of us or were lucky enough to add a fourth Condellberry to the mix — we grabbed some dinner at Shake Shack one evening. [...]

in Essays, It's Personal, Pregnancy