Well, look who made his entrance this week:
Please meet Travis Michael. I got the text about 11am on Monday that Ronna was in the hospital - that was the exact due date, so already this little gentleman has impeccable timing. Before the afternoon was over, I was sent the picture above, and I looked at it in wonder. Such a tiny, perfect little person... He looks so much like I remember Rex looking when he was born, and he weighed in almost exactly the same - 8 lbs, 6 oz, where Rex was 8 lbs, 6 1/2 oz. I don't mind telling you that it brought back some pretty sweet memories of my own little boy. I thought he was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen, but I guess all mothers think that. (But Rex really was. I wouldn't lie to you.)
I was even more in awe that Ronna managed to look so gorgeous after her hours laboring away. Never once did I look that amazing post-delivery. Not for days. Months, even. *sigh* But Mom and Little Pirate are doing well, and L and I will be visiting the first part of August, and will properly introduce ourselves at that time. Just try to get him away from me. Oh, but there are 3 other lovelies that will compel me to give him up for short lengths of time. Long enough to play games, have ice cream, go swimming, and any other fun we can dream up. Skylee is almost 2 now, Matthew is five, and Lexi is seven. I see a lot of activity and not much sitting still during our short stay there. It's the first time away in a couple of years where I haven't felt compelled to also work part of the time. I can completely enjoy where I am, and what I'm doing.
And that brings me to my next Big Change. I have 60 days of mandatory time off stretching in front of me. All mine. To do with as I please. I hardly know how to act. Beach days? Don't mind if I do! Lunch with friends? Yes, please. One of my dear friends is having her annual family reunion at a beach house nearby next week, and I'm so looking forward to spending an afternoon down there visiting with her (and her family!) And then there are all of the little projects that need doing for my aunt. I've been procrastinating, telling myself that things will wait until I can properly concentrate on matters at hand. Procrastination time will be over, and I'll need to buckle down and git 'er done. It's funny how the time seems to stretch endlessly in front of me, and I'm a little nervous that I won't be able to fill the time. But in reality, I have a sneaking suspicion that the time will go in the blink of an eye, and that there will be many projects that will have to wait for a weekend. Or Christmas break. Or my next 60 days in two years from now.
And then somewhere in the last weeks of August, L and I will travel up north to the San Luis Obispo area to meet my forever friend Marion, who will be down from Washington visiting her mother. Her birthday is August 28th and mine is September 7th, so we plan to celebrate our birthdays together. I'm really looking forward to that. While we're there, we'll also have to drop in on L's brother Rick, and his gang. We usually go out to dinner with Rick and Diana - they have so many favorite little places in Pismo Beach that we like to eat at, and it's always a good time. Last time Marion came with us, and we all ate ourselves sick at a great little Thai hole in the wall. I love the Central Coast, and wish we could move up there one day. Or to Hawaii. Don't get me started.
In the meantime, summer is calling my name. Loudly. My diet is paying off nicely (21 pounds and counting!) and for the first time in years I'm not embarrassed to get in a bathing suit. I want days in the sun listening to waves and sea birds. Gabbing with girlfriends. I'm gathering ideas to share with the Denver cuties in a few weeks. I have so many things going through my head every day that it's hard to concentrate on these last few days of work before Lights Out. When I come back in September, I hope to be recharged, energized, and refreshed from 2 months of doing little bits of duty and service, but also lots of Exactly What I Please. I have days when it's hard to remember what that entails, but I think I'll get the hang of it all too well. And I hope it will feel something like this: