A Not-So-Smooth Transition

Last month, I turned off the television, took out my curlers, and put the chocolate candy back in the pantry (along with all the other outdated stay-at-home-mom stereotypes) and jumped feet first back into the employment pond. An opportunity presented itself that was just too good to pass up. So now I find myself working from home in a field that I studied in graduate school and  actually get paid for my expertise. And it feels great to be working again.

Not that my transition hasn’t been met with some growing pains – I’m slowly finding my groove, which explains my radio silence on here for the past month. And probably why we can’t eat off our floors (side note – I am seriously considering a Roomba…any thoughts?). Because my work is project-based, I am still figuring out the best way to work from home and not feel guilty when I am not working. And now that we are mere days away from summer vacation, I am trying to schedule my days so I can meet deadlines, not ignore my children, and still do all the summer activities that makes the break from school oh so special. Not that I am putting pressure on myself or anything. Of course not. It’s fine. IT’S FINE!

 

But enough about my shortcomings of juggling it all. So what have we been up to for the past month?

We learned our children have become lightweights. One morning when it was in the mid-50s, the kids insisted on wearing winter gear when playing in the backyard. Safe to say, they’ve adjusted to Texas just fine. Meanwhile, Clay and I are dreaming of colder climates.

We’ve spent time exploring the Guadelupe River.

River hiking is quickly becoming one of my new favorite activities.

Our neighborhood pool has been open since March

I suppose that is one perk of living in central Texas.

We attended a Military Ball along the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio.

We frequented the new In & Out Burger that opened near our house more times than I care to admit. And while I do love me some In & Out, I like Shake Shack better. #eastcoastforever

Baby girl finished her inaugural t-ball season.

And the little guy finished his fourth soccer season.

We’re taking advantage of the longer days. After we put the kids to bed, Clay and I find ourselves enjoying cocktails on the back deck. We watch the sun set and discuss important affairs such as Russia, healthcare, and where is Scott Bakula?!?

This almost-12-year-old girl gave us quite the scare a couple of weeks ago and we prepared ourselves for the worst. But we are ecstatic to report that Lucy is doing well and recovered from a severe case of heat stroke.

Okay, so I think now we’re all caught up. I hope to be writing more frequently again…I sure do have a lot to say! Until then….

Okay. One more…

No Longer the Diet Coke of Karen

It’s not secret that I haven’t felt like I’m operating at my best since moving to Texas last summer – still functioning but certainly not at 100%. Maybe it’s the cedar fever. Maybe it’s because we left an amazing atmosphere at our previous duty station. Or maybe I’m not just meant to live below the 30th parallel north. Whatever the reason – I had felt like the Diet Coke of Karen soon after arriving to the Lone Star state. Perhaps was isn’t even the fault of Texas and I’d been unfairly placing blame on the second-most populated state in the union. After all, many people love it here. Maybe it was me the entire time. But you know what? I think I am finally starting to emerge from the fog. It’s lifting. Could I actually be beginning to bloom here?

To call what I went through depression is a disservice to those who have been diagnosed with the often-debilitating disease. Failure to bloom isn’t in the DSM-5 and to be honest, it feels a bit icky to be writing about it when so many people are truly suffering around the world. To complain about not feeling totally like myself at a place the government paid to move my family seems unnecessary. And I’m sure I’ve rolled my eyes many times over the years in regards to someone lamenting about their struggle to adapt to a new location. I probably sighed too because I tend to be a big sigh-er. Needless to say, I’m not exactly known for my empathy. But I’m working on it, though. I promise!

No make-up, hair not brushed, and one of my happiest moments so far this year.

Something has shifted over the past few weeks. I’m walking taller. I’m 10 pounds lighter (literally and figuratively). And I’m smiling more. I’m not going to lie – it feels freakin’ amazing. Admittedly, there are a handful of external forces that have contributed to my blooming that I’ll discuss at later time but I finally feel like Karen again. Hi guys! <waves enthusiastically> It’s been awhile.

Clay’s sister and her family are in town visiting us from the east coast for their Spring Break. We’ve been having a great time showing them around the San Antonio. It really is a cool city rich in history, culture, and food. Now that I am no longer the Diet Coke of Karen, I am appreciating San Antonio quite a bit more. And you know what? That’s pretty damn cool.

What I am Listening To (At This Moment)

I’m happy to be known for my eclectic taste in music. I consider myself well-versed in a variety of genres and absolutely love to find myself lost in music and transported to an alternative reality. The following five songs are the ones that I seem to be listening to more than most over the past few days. It will likely change next week because that is how I roll. I love discovering new (or new to me) music and I really enjoy reading these type of posts and writing them as well so that seems as good of a reason as any to share what I am currently listening to at this moment.

LANCO – Greatest Love Story

Every so often, I come across a song that manages to suspend time when I hear it for the first time. Greatest Love Story is the latest song to hold this honor. It’s a simple song with simple lyrics conveying a simple message, which is what makes it an amazing song. Greatest Love Story likely resinates with me because I’m such a sucker for lyrics that promote an us vs. the world mentality when it comes to love. Life can be messy, unkind, and completely intoxicating. We can only hope we’re lucky enough to have someone by our side, their hand clasped with ours, and ready to jump into the unknown.

Stevie Wonder – Uptight (Everything’s Alright)

This song never fails to put me in a good mood and it’s one of my favorite Motown songs to showcase my sweet Elaine Benes-inspired moves – whether alone in my kitchen or on the dance floor. Everybody smiles when Stevie Wonder pipes through the grocery store sound system, which is why I really think Stevie Wonder might be the key to bipartisanship in our country. If I ever run for office, I’ll be sure to get permission to use his songs at my campaign rallies. Things may get a little weird when I Just Called to Say I Love You begins to play but I have no doubt that I’ll recapture the crowd with Superstition.

The Cars – Moving in Stereo

I had the hook of this song as an ear worm last week and I couldn’t place it for the life of me. Then one night, I hummed a few bars to Clay and he instantly guessed Moving in Stereo. Likely because there was a phase during college when he was obsessed with The Cars Greatest Hits album. Seriously guys, it was always in his car CD player (remember those?) and seemed to provide the soundtrack for at least six months worth of dates. And that folks, is why we’re a perfect match. He gets me and I get him. It’s kismet. And since Moving in Stereo is forever tied to the iconic scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it’s fitting that this song reminds me of our college days. :0

Jackson Browne – Doctor My Eyes

Truth be told, I love most of the songs on Jackson Browne’s debut album – Saturate Before Using – but I seem to be listening to Doctor My Eyes the most as of late. I grew up with my parents listening to Jackson Browne (and a multitude of other magnificat singer/songwriters) and The Load Out/Stay falls easily within my Top 20 Favorite Songs Ever. Like most teenagers with little interest in alcohol-based extra-curricular activities, I discovered an appreciation for 70’s folk music during my primitive years and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful. And don’t worry, I became very interested in alcohol-based extra-curricular activities in college at a more age-appropraite time.

Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson – I Know Him So Well

Man – the 80s were a peculiar time, weren’t they? There was actually a musical produced about chess and the cold war. Not that I’m complaining because if Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA hadn’t collaborated with Tim Rice on a concept album that eventually became said musical, we wouldn’t have gems like the one above. It’s schmaltzy.  It’s not really that great. And it is so incredibly deliciously 80s.

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What are you currently listening to? I love recommendations…please share! And if I’m not a fan,  I promise that I won’t publicly shame your taste in music. At least, not too much.