January Update

A summary of January’s triumphs, tribulations, pastimes, and upcoming plans for the months ahead.

TRIUMPHS

(Ries)

1. Started swimming

2. Wrote the first chapter (and a snippet from Chapter 2) for Part II of Veil.

3. Had two separate huge (and successful) reviews at work.

4. Went to the dentist for my first serious cleaning in almost 1.5 years, had no cavities!

5. Felt my son give a tiny little kick for the first time.

(Amanda)

1. I applied to a job I really wanted and am currently undergoing the hiring process. Yippee!

2. I submitted six poems to the New Yorker for the consideration of publication. (For non-writer friends, submitting your writing to literary magazines and other publications is the step that comes after writing and editing. It usually involves a lot of rejection, but it’s a necessary step to the whole “being a writer” thing.) One of my big life goals is to be published in The New Yorker, so while I have my doubts that anything I submitted will be published, I’m still really proud of myself for getting out there and going through the motions.

3. We found out we are having a baby BOY in June. We also had our 20 week ultrasound–our little guy appears to be doing great on size and all his little parts seem to be functioning the way they should be, but the stinker was facing my spine, so we have another ultrasound to check on his nose and heart at the end of February.

4. On a similar note, I created and completed a baby registry. Given we are down here in Alabama all by ourselves and I have very little knowledge or experience with baby gear, this was an extremely daunting task. I had to research safety ratings, user ratings, toxicity levels, figure out the difference between an infant car seat and a convertible car seat, the cost and environmental impact of cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers, the list seemed unending. It is such a relief to be done with this task!

5. Writing wise–I completed three character outlines for my play, Alchemy; thought up two poems for a new poetry collection; wrote blog posts pretty consistently in the month of January; and came up with a completely new plan (writing in a new genre!) that both surprised me and made absolute sense. 

TRIBULATIONS

(Ries)

1. Had two separate huge (and exhausting) reviews at work.

2. Had a hard time reading as much as I’d like. Found a good book (The Dead Lands) but exhaustion levels have been prohibitive of my brain doing as well with books as it normally does.

3. Grappled with anxiety a bit more than usual - probably due in part to an overabundance of caffeine.

4. Battled with the apartment to keep it clean. Some days we won, some days we lost.

5. Learned a couple of hard lessons about leadership.

(Amanda)

1. Your energy levels are supposed to improve in second trimester…I’m still waiting for that energy to come. (I have things to do!)

2. The national political issues are putting a lot of strain on a lot of relationships this year, and one of my relationships did not escape untouched. Family drama. *Le sigh.* Whatever happened to not discussing money, politics, and religion?

3. Money has just been disappearing. Okay, okay, not disappearing, but it seems like we had a lot of necessary expenses this month–getting Alabama drivers’ licenses, transferring our car to Alabama, buying basic things for the apartment like hand towel rings (our master bathroom has one towel hanger unstrategically placed as far away from the sinks as possible) and being the budget queen that annoys me because I’d rather be hiding that money away for baby, traveling, or at least something that isn’t…a hand towel hanger.

PASTIMES

(Ries)

Playing: The Witcher 3 - I went back with Geralt to the war-torn countries of CDPR’s masterpiece. This time, I’m also exploring the two expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

Reading: The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy. Very well written. A little stuffy, but man oh man can this guy paint a hopeless picture. (Sorry, Ben. I love your book.)

Watching: Call The Midwife, The Sopranos and Orphan Black. All of these are phenomenal shows. Orphan Black has some of the best acting you’ll ever see.

(Amanda)

Playing: Mass Effect 3. My emotions regarding Mass Effect Andromeda alternate between being totally amped and reluctant/nervous.

Reading: Guys, I’m guilty. I have not read a single page of anything this year. I have been listening to the audiobook of “Bringing Up Bebe,” which is a nonfiction study on the difference between French and American parenting. The differences are amazing. If we can’t move to France, (don’t worry, guys, that’s not likely,) I definitely want to implement aspects of French parenting once our little guy arrives.

Watching: Everything Ries said, plus Friends. Few things in life make me as happy as Friends.

AWAITING

(Ries)

Mass Effect: Andromeda, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer. (That one’s still a way’s off.)

(Amanda)

Okay mine aren’t going to be games, simply because Ries and I are excited for the same things. What I am excited for in the upcoming months are some of the trips we planned out in the month of January.

Later this month we are going to visit Ries’ mom in Greenville, South Carolina–a city we love.

In March, we are going to celebrate the third trimester mile-marker by going on a “Babymoon” for a weekend to Nashville, Tennessee. (Which is only two hours from us, but we haven’t been yet!) It’s supposed to be an awesome town, and I have a mile long list of places to eat, shop, and see.

And then in April, we are going up to Indiana to see “Angels in America,” directed by one of my favorite professors, Steve Timm, have a baby shower, a fiftieth birthday party for my Dad, and then do a maternity photo shoot with one of my elementary school friends who happens to be an AMAZING photographer. I’m excited about all of those things, but especially a surprise I have for Steve. 

If you’re one of my Midwest friends, please text, call, or message me on Instagram and invite yourself to the baby shower. I want you there.

Okay lovies, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and catching up with our lives from afar.

Xx

-A & R

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