Welcome

The one time in my life when I’ve been most ‘at a loss for words’ is certainly a questionable time to be writing a blog. I pictured myself sitting outside at the local coffee shop in the new town we just moved to with a cute maternity sundress on, showing off my bump, spoiling myself with an iced coffee and cranking out my first blog post. But instead I’m at home 8 months pregnant, in quarantine, on my couch in the damn-near crater I’ve created out of this cushion, eating pull-apart twizzlers, my brows and hair a damn-near mess and sitting in my husband’s concert t-shirt. Hello world.

2020 and I have some beef. And it’s only May. In 2020 my husband and I were hoping to move, think about starting a family, spend the summer on the boat, devote time to ramping up my candle business, launching a website, finding the sweet spot in my career and just enjoying everyday life. But instead it’s been over two months since I’ve been in a public place. The last time I was at work was March 13th (it’s May 23rd). I haven’t hugged my parents in months. The only time my mom has felt her grandson kick we were both wearing surgical masks and afterwards she hurriedly sprayed both of our hands with sanitizer. My husband isn’t allowed at any of my OB appointments. We have to clean our groceries. And the list goes on.

After finding out I was pregnant in October of 2019, my husband and I soon realized our 1-bedroom house wasn’t going to be the best fit for our family. So we decided to move into the country and a little closer to my parents. Enter coronavirus. I remember the anxiety I had when we were at the title office on our closing date, I thought I was going to puke. It was when things were just starting to get ‘bad’ and people were realizing the true danger that came with this virus. I remember clutching my stomach the whole time, worried about the health of my unborn baby as life seemed to crumble around us. We lived about an hour outside Chicago, which had quickly turned into a ‘hot-spot.’  My hands burned for hours after we closed on our house due to all the hand sanitizer I used as we passed papers and pens back and forth. Our carpet installation got postponed time and time again, work from outside companies got cancelled and the world was becoming an eerie place. But we moved, thanks to help from our amazing family and friends.

Life since then has been anything but normal. My baby shower got cancelled, maternity and newborn photos cancelled, no ‘brunch before baby comes’ dates with my friends, no shopping in stores for nursery decorations, most of my family and friends haven’t even seen my belly, and arguably the worst part of it all – no garage sales to stock up on baby clothes. (Am I right ladies?).

And my candles. My poor candles. They’ve been treated like a red-headed step-child (apologies if you are or know a red-headed step-child). There were days after we moved that I really felt like I was unraveling. I kept going back and forth between crippling anxiety and isolation, to days where I felt positive, optimistic and hopeful. Being a social worker, we’re the people that tell you to hold boundaries, set limits and nurture yourself, when in actuality; we’re the worst people at doing just that in our personal lives. [Insert photo of me pointing to myself].

I kept feeling like I was posting on my social media ‘just to post’ or ‘keep up with everyone else,’ my creative juices hit an all-time low and to be honest, my heart just wasn’t in it. And I certainly wasn’t going to pretend to be ‘active’ in place of being authentic. I had high hopes for releasing my summer collection before baby came, launching my website, setting up my candle studio at the new house, doing come collabs/customs, announcing a re-branding of my candle labels and getting my feet wet in wholesale.  But I had a ‘come to Jesus meeting’ with myself. And I pulled back. Big time. And I literally threw away my to-do list because it wasn’t serving me. I rarely posted on instagram, I silently filled orders as they came in and I spent the rest of the time focusing on myself, my mental health, my pregnancy and keeping my family safe. And sweet baby Jesus was that just what I needed. (Us mental health peeps aren’t playing around when we say nurture yourself).

Being pregnant in the middle of this virus has honestly been one of the most eye-opening and teachable experiences I’ve had. I was worried that when my husband and I moved, we’d be consumed with house projects up until the day the baby came. We’d have no time to time to relax before becoming parents and would go from late nights painting to late nights (and up all night nights) with our newborn. But one of the best things about quartining is that literally no one comes over. That means no one has seen the painting left unfinished, the trim that we’ve torn off but haven’t replaced or the bathrooms that need some lovin’ (or a match and some gasoline? for real. it had green carpet. Yes, the bathroom). And we don’t care because there are no timelines in quarantine. It’s just been me, the dog, and my husband. All day. Every single day. With nowhere to be and no one to ‘host’ or ‘show around’ the new house. And it’s truly felt like a vacation. We eat every meal together, wake up and go to sleep at the same time, drink our coffee on the deck and listen to the birds, tackle house projects side by side and dream about our baby together.

And I’ve never felt more grateful. To be in the midst of such a shit show, but be so content with life on the inside. We’re blessed with jobs that allow us to work from home and keep ourselves and baby safe, a beautiful new house to grow into and a sweet baby boy due in just a few weeks.

But in the middle of pulling back from F&L, I reeeallllyyyyyyy started to miss it. The whole “boundary/limit setting to gain clarity” thing we preach really is true, huh. So I picked up where I left off, and my heart grew 5 sizes. The summer collection is planned, the candle studio is almost complete – and arguably one of my favorite places in the new house, label re-design is COMPLETE (cause in the middle of a pandemic when printing companies shut down is the perfect time to re-design your product labels?), I’ve got some wholesale and customs in the shoot ready for me when I come back from my leave and I’m rounding out with one last custom order before shutting up shop and waiting for this little guy to make his debut.

And oh. We’re here. On MY website. NOOOO BIGGIE. Shout out to Melissa at Jelly Design Studio who is the MOST patient human ever. Who wouldn’t chose having a baby and moving in the middle of a pandemic as the perfect time to create and launch website?

I can sit here and talk about how the virus ruined my first pregnancy – which it did. Oooooh mercy it did. But I’ve spent time grieving and processing and moving forward from that. Now, I’m choosing to stand in the light. And lord what a difference it makes.

So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in the damn-near crater I’ve created on our couch, still in my husband’s concert t-shirt but at this point I’ll probably have switched my snack to edible cookie dough (THANK YOU NESTLE TOLL HOUSE), enjoying sweet baby kicks (and trying to convince this little breech dude to flip), waiting for Corona to hit the road and soaking up these last few weeks as just “Erik and I.” With a grateful, optimistic and open heart.

Once I come back from my leave – it’s going to be full speed ahead, and I can’t wait to release the summer collection, partner with other small businesses, show off our brand new labels and get back to doing what I love – creating and getting lost in history. Plus I’ll be a mom?!

Until then, bring on the quarantine. I’ve got all I need under one roof.

With the exception of diapers. Probably going to need more of those. And pull-apart twizzlers. Those are gone, too.

XO, Carolyn

PS: Okay also I lied? I guess I wasn’t at a loss for words. I have a feeling this whole blog thing is going to be fun. Until next time, friends.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published