now and then

19 October 2014

I used to have a problem and its name was Photobooth.

February 2013
(of course Simon's face went unscathed)

And during intern year I od'd big time with Julia. We were totally spoiled Simon's 4th year of med school with him being home so much that when he started residency I was hit with a shockingly fat vat of alone-ish time.

So, naturally.

(present day Julia just walked by and asked, "who is that little boy?")
 
I don't even think baby J loved it that much. But stage mom ... pressed on.


I have very few Photobooth snaps with the boys and zero with Phoebe because I love them less and I've found other ways to fill the hours (hello, Lorelai and Rory and a super messy house that is in perpetual need of cleaning maintenance).

But! Simon was working overnight this weekend and the three younger kids were asleep and Julia and I found ourselves back in the saddle again.


Like riding a bike.


And I looked at a few of the time stamps from the older booths with baby Julia and realized that it's been exactly-ish three years since I took the majority of the solo booths as it was right before Sebastian was born and he's about to turn three. Crazy.

It's hard for me to even type about these past few years in St. Louis without getting emotional because they've been really difficult. I know that's the boring and recurring theme of the blog and I know I love to beat a dead horse but it was kind of painful to look at those photos because I was so clueless about the coming loneliness. I thought it would get better or I would learn to cope but it didn't and I still haven't. However! This post does not have a sad + pathetic ending, I promise. It was also so comforting to look back because those nights with Julia feel like they truly were just yesterday. I know the remainder of residency is going to (relatively) zip right on by and these years will be long gone and in the rear view mirror. I know it's unhealthy to wish time away and Simon keeps saying what a cute age Phoebe is right now (I agree but ... parents) so on the days that time stands still, it's not all bad. Plus! Simon has Thanksgiving and Christmas day off this year (¿say que?) so things are most definitely going to end on a high note ...


... without a doubt.

45 comments:

  1. and that's why I love the internet - because when you're all alone by yourself (either with kids at home or at the freaking library all day), your internet friends will still be around to chat with when you can't take it anymore.

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  2. These pictures are crazy adorable. I'm totally agreeing with the saying about the days being loooooong and the years being short, wtf time, three years seems like three days ago right?!

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    1. haha YES. I hate that saying bc generally I hear it when I'm in the middle of a long day but I can't hate it too hard because you're so right -- it is SO TRUE!!!!! :)

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  3. Is it just me that is all like... is that a pregnancy foreshadowing? Announcement by year end? Do I get a prize if I am right? :)

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    1. ha! confused where you got that but no, definitely not :)

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    2. Darn! These Patton babies are seriously adorable and we all clearly can't get enough. :)

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  4. You are so pretty!

    We have zero framed pics of Soph because I love her less...and now we're on the next baby. Oops.

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    1. hahha. I'm still working on printing wedding photos.

      And you made my evening, lady!!!!
      :)

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  5. So this maybe sounds crazy, but thanks for sharing your loneliness with the internet. It is so nice to not feel alone in being alone (?) (weird, I know...), even though we are at waaaay different stages of life vocation-ness, it's a swift kick in my pants to remember that there is loneliness at all stages of life. I feel like I just rambled for a whole incomplete sentence, so I'll just click publish now and be done.

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  6. I have lived in St. Louis just about the same amount of time you have. It IS lonely here for those of us outsiders. I work outside the house so that helps, I think. And I only have one kid, which doesn't put you on lock down as much! Hear ya, sister.

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    1. oh, this makes me feel less crazy. If you didn't go to highschool here ..... NEXT.

      :)

      kidding, mostly!!!!

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  7. I would just like to say that - although I only have the one baby, if you ever need a play date for Phoebe (aka someone to drink wine with while making sure no predators attack you in the night while Claire & Phoebe make uninterested faces at our cameras) I share your *new* love for Rory & Loralei. And of course, as a fellow St. Louisan I mean that in the LEAST creepy blog stalking way possible : )

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    1. And on that note, sent you a FB message!

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  8. These are sweet. I've been super nostalgic lately, too. Maybe it's the October birthdays? But at the same time it's like why are you arching your back when I'm holding you like you want to be put down but then you scream when I put you down????

    Good honest post.

    And zero printed photos of Conor anywhere. Same with the wedding.

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  9. The absolutely most depressed I have ever been in my life was the year I was living in Jacksonville, Florida. It was so far from home (Atlanta) and I was so out of my element. I had lived all of my life within the same ten mile radius and everywhere I went was just foreign to me. My husband was working (and cheating) round the clock. We had maybe four meals together in the entire year there that weren't work/family obligatory stuff. I felt so isolated and lost. You're four years in to parenting and living in a town far from home and your partner is gone so much... it's a legitimate reason to be emotional! I promise, parenting gets to be a whole lot more social when your kids get involved in extra-curriculars. I think the hard part is in the rearview mirror for you. Nowhere to go but up! And for me... even though I am no longer mobile and don't do anything social, just living back in Georgia makes my world infinitely better. It's home. The trees change color at the right time. I know what kind of clothes I need in October. *Hugs* Heather

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    1. Heather, I'm a native Atlanta girl living in Jacksonville! My two kids have made me get out and find parks and beaches and museums, otherwise they'd destroy the apartment and my sanity.

      And I'm on the other end of this residency timeline... few more years to go.
      Grace, thank you for being open about the loneliness and difficulty of it. It is validating and refreshing. I'm not totally crazy!

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  10. I've had a lot of non moms ask me, what do you even do all day? Don't you get bored?

    I never get bored, I'm too busy. But I sure do get lonely.

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    1. Yes! I often wonder how it can be so lonely while never being alone...?

      Bored? What's that? High five you, mama ;)

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  11. Christmas AND Thanksgiving? Unheard of!! We just realized that this was my husband's last weekend off until our first baby comes in February... so, nice knowing ya, uninterrupted time together. THANKS RESIDENCY.

    Julie looks like the man from Up in the first picture. I mean, that as a compliment, obviously.

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  12. I get it. I'm so there. Hubs is deployed, family is a million miles away (okay, not a million, just 3,000) and I've only been in this town for 2 months. My social life is church. It feels really good to hear you say this. Not in a "I'm glad you're so lonely" way, but a "solidarity, sister" way. And I'm a major introvert, so that doesn't really help things.
    I second Amy's comment above- "I never get bored, I'm too busy. But I sure do get lonely." A-flippin-men, Amy.

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  13. Husband is in the beginnings of intern year and before he left for work tonight I already felt lonely...even though our 5mo old keeps me busy. I certainly relate with not wishing time away and am trying to enjoy each day, trials and joys.

    This newbie would love a "How to Survive Residency" post from an *almost* veteran resident's wife! Pretty please?

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  14. This medical school & residency biznass is straight up difficult but I'm hopin' and prayin' that the community we need is there when we need it.

    I have a lot of solo photo booth sesh snapshots from my husband's second year of school. It sounds like I may be doing some reruns come intern year next year!

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  15. I am so glad you all are almost at that Residency finish line. The time will fly. Soon you will be in the sun and sand and all will be well. Loving the photos of you and Miss J. A future Miss America for sure. Hugs from VA!!

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  16. I have so. many. photobooth pics with Jake and...none-ish with Lucy. I hate that STL has been hard for you! I start to cry whenever I try to really write about how hard my first year as a mother was...maybe someday... I hope Florida is here before you know it, but Simon's right: Phoebe IS especially cute right now.

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  17. My second year med school wife self is trembling in my boots, but yay!! So excited that you guys are almost done with residency. :)

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    1. Ha! No no. I've heard from a few wives that they much prefer residency to med school! I'm just a special breed of fun :)

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  18. This is so good to read. My husband is currently working full time and going back to school, and hopefully a year from now will be starting PA school- and yeah, it gets lonely just me and the baby. It's so good to hear that the time kind of really does fly by, and that you are *almost* out of the woods.

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  19. And my friends wonder why I'm on the internet more at night with my husband working but not so much during the day. I'll just send them your way...'nuff said.

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  20. So fun! Lorelei and Rory are taking up a lot of my time too :)

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  21. I constantly struggle to not wish away residency. It's soooooo hard though. He's in his last and final year though so just as soon as he finishes, I'll figure out how to be better about it :)

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  22. These pictures made my day! And let's get an amen for Simon having off for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day....so good! My husband works retail so don't even get me started on Holidays up in here....no bueno!

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  23. This is so true. I'm so excited for you guys and the volumes of hilarity these past few years have given you. xo

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  24. Woohoo for holidays this year!!!! It's probably good that you didn't know what was ahead.

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  25. This post spoke to my lonely heart. I totally underestimated how many hours I would spend with me, myself, and I. And then of course the many children we have added in the last few years. But all the memories are a good reminder that it isn't all bad (or as bad as I tend to make the drama out to be). But I am with you! And two holidays off this year! Lottery winning!!

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  26. Loved that line "I thought it would get better or I would learn to cope but it didn't and I still haven't" - it is Grace writing at its finest and also such a great true way to describe mothering small kids and the loneliness. Sorrows are halved when shared and quartered when Grace shares them too.

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  27. I agree with Katie. I love that line about how it's not any easier to cope with the loneliness, AND I think that we can look at that as a good thing! How sad would it be to one day wake up and be OK with being lonely?? It's good that you miss Simon when he's gone - and the time will crawl/fly.

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  28. Thanks for writing this, Grace. I've been feeling especially "in the thick of things" lately and it's nice to have some honest solidarity :)

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  29. Love the you and Julia shots. So much beauty.
    It would be really cute if you did that every year, and then made a slideshow type of thing out of it :)

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  30. Found you via Lily Jade, so glad! So much of your post resonated with me. The hubby just finished residency but now we are in the throws of fellowship in a new place with a new baby and I am definitely finding my way through the loneliness too, so I appreciate your honesty. Hang in there! (He gets both holidays off this year? Who'd you pay to make that happen?! :D) Also I'm totally with you on Lorelai and Rory and a house in need of perpetual cleaning!! What?? We could totally start a club.

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