Monday, December 29, 2008

Anticipatory Grief

I've struggled with anxiety and depression off and on for years. I remember when a counselor once told me I suffer from "anticipatory grief," that is, I get irrationally upset about things that haven't even happened yet. In high school, it was anxiety over handling my finances as an adult and other random adult things that I didn't yet know how to do and was afraid I'd never learn.

I don't think I've succumbed to such irrational fears lately, but last night I had a little episode that I'll have to blame on pregnancy hormones. We were watching The Sound of Music on TV, and I kept noticing how Gretl looks a lot like my friend's little sister did back when I first met her. The little sister was in first grade when I met her, but now is a sophomore in college. As I lamented to Matt how I couldn't believe time had passed so quickly and how old we'd all grown, he commented, "yep, before you know it, Kate will be a sophomore in college too."

At that, I looked down at my pregnant belly... and actually started to cry. "She's going to leave us!" I wailed. She's not even born yet! I'm still sitting on the egg and crying about my empty nest! Matt consoled me and we both laughed (me through the tears) at my silliness, as I vowed to enjoy every minute of this child's life.

The years will go by all too quickly, I know.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Before there was Babies R Us...

(from and cartoonist Kevin Frank)


I remember a day months ago when my weekly e-mail from or informed me that baby was about the size of a pencil eraser. I got so excited and gave Matt a little pink eraser as a "gift" to share the excitement about our growing little one.

It's hard to believe, now she's the size of a honeydew melon--possibly over 5 pounds and almost ready to make her grand entrance into the world!
Our due date is one month from today. Pregnancy has been so exciting and all-consuming, it's quite the reality check to realize that sometime in the next 2 to 5 weeks, she'll actually be OUT, in our arms, and we'll start our life as a family of three!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Kelley Family goes North and gets Funky

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Are you rich?

Looking up an example for a book I'm editing, I found the following interactive web site:

Give it a try. As the Wall Street Journal said, this site is "almost guaranteed to cheer you up" in the face of the current economic crisis. As we bombard one another with "stuff" this Christmas, let us keep in mind and seek to serve the 88%, 94%, 97%, 99%, etc. who live day to day with much less than we.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

34 Weeks

I'm 34 weeks now (almost 35) and the bun in the oven is rising splendidly! We can't believe how close we're getting to her arrival. Since one is technically full term as of 37 weeks (Jan. 2 for us) the time is definitely coming soon. I'm hoping she'll be just a little early for her Jan. 23 due date, but we'll see. The important thing is a healthy baby, of course, but pushing out a little porker obviously sounds more painful than a more svelte baby. (For the record, I was born two weeks early and weighed just over 5 pounds. Matt was two weeks late and weighed over 8.)

The nursery is pretty much ready, we've got enough diapers on hand for at least the first few weeks, and we're just excited to meet our little Kate!
Here's a little sneak peak into her world (our second round of 3D ultrasound pics). That's the placenta up against her forehead, and the cord under her chin. She looks pretty cozy in there, don't you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


... in the kids books section of Borders today...

MOM: Honey, stop that. Stop that, please. Honey, whose birthday are we celebrating at Christmas?

KID: Baby Jesus.

MOM: Do you think Baby Jesus would be happy with you pulling books off the shelf like that?

[kid is quiet for a few seconds, then pulls another book off the shelf]

KID: Can we get this for Baby Jesus?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Is "Holiday" a Dirty Word?

Can anyone else relate to this? Since all the talk these last few years about "the war on Christmas," and people scoffing at store clerks who say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas," I find myself feeling very self-conscious every time I use the word "holiday." Will my words be interpreted as a grenade in this theoretical "war"? (BTW, Matt wrote a great post about how crazy this whole concept is, and how tangential to what Christ's people should be focusing on as we celebrate his birth.)

I often use the phrase "this holiday season," as in "blessings to you this holiday season," or whatnot. I think I used that on our Christmas cards last year, and we're using some variant of that on our Christmas card this year. (The aforementioned self-consciousness didnt have time to kick in because I was designing the card quickly on KodakGallery as Matt was urging me to hurry up because he had the Trivial Pursuit board all set up and ready to go.) To me, it extends the well-wish through New Year's and all. I'm not intentionally including or shunning Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, or trying to downplay Christmas. It's just a December pleasantry that used to be non-political and a completely acceptable expression of good will.

The other day, I was writing a whole batch of work e-mails, and while my first instinct was always to close by wishing the recipient (a Christian minister in every case) a good holiday season, I instead wrote "Christmas season," for fear they would think me a convictionless pagan if I used the H-word. The one exception was when the recipient was from a more liturgical tradition and I suddenly rethought the phrasing for a different reason. It's technically not the Christmas season until Dec. 25, so should I wish him a blessed Advent? Would he really care, one way or the other? I celebrate Advent, but I'd call it the Christmas season too. (But what do I know? I'm just a happy-holiday-wishing heathen.) In that case, I think I settled on "Have a nice day."

When did it get so complicated? Am I completely neurotic to even be worried about this? Given that many people who receive e-mails from me don't even read the last couple lines thoroughly enough to catch that my first name is Jessica, not Kelley or Kelly (see that rant here), I probably shouldn't worry about it. I'm not trying to make a political statement. I really just want to wish you joy and peace in this special time of year--whatever you want to call it.


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