Sooooooo...Long time, no see, eh?
I basically just fell off the face of the planet for about four months, I know. I'm surprised somebody didn't send out search parties or declare me dead. Let me assure you, my absence was completely unplanned and unintentional. The events of the late third and fourth quarter of 2012 were incredibly unexpected and they really knocked me off my feet.
I think I may have mentioned, back in September, that Mr. Cupcakes went to work one day and discovered that in two months time, he would not have a job(along with hundreds of other workers) at the wind turbine plant he was employed by.
What I failed to mention, was that on the following day, we discovered that I was(still am) pregnant. TALK ABOUT IRONIC TIMING. The panic and anxiety began to set in immediately. Why was this happening now, unexpectedly, when we tried purposefully a year ago? What were we going to do about insurance? How could we afford a baby when we would suddenly be living on a lot less income? Why didn't I keep The Cupcake Kid's car seats and bassinet and swing instead of yardsaling them? The anxiety was made worse when about two weeks later, the so called "morning sickness"(which is about a bull crap name as is possible) set in. And stayed. For almost three months. And it wasn't just, "Oh I feel so nauseous in the mornings that I can barely eat my breakfast" morning sickness, it was violently puking up to eight times a day nearly everyday for weeks on end, losing fifteen pounds by the time I started to get towards the end of it, "morning" sickness.
Needless to say, it pretty much turned my life upside down for awhile. I could barely get off the couch most days. I couldn't work, I couldn't cook(good Lord, the smell of cooking foods made me instantly retch), I couldn't do much of anything besides feel frustrated, hate on those women who never puke once throughout their entire skinny pregnancies, and bawl like a baby because NOTHING could relieve my symptoms. Though, Sea Bands did indeed help(definitely not extinguish, but helped a little) with the nausea itself, at times. I wore out four pairs of them, as I wore them 24/7(minus shower time). Even after I stopped puking on a daily basis, I was puking every other day, then every third day or so, then once a week. And it was so weird, because I RARELY ever puke outside of pregnancy. I am healthy and sturdy. Like a horse. Or a mule.
Once I started to have more good days then bad, I was overwhelmed with all the house work which had escaped me over the past three months, the task of trying to find affordable insurance for my pregnant self and family(COBRA is a joke), trying to round up Christmas presents for our families(I usually spend several months making/shopping but only had a few weeks this year), and helping Mr. Cupcakes with his job search. We still are working on obtaining insurance and a job for Mr. C. Each day without feels like a month. Each week feels like a year.
Unfortunately, due to the illness, I missed out on attending most of the biggest craft markets of the year(holiday season is the busiest for most crafters(unless you specialize in bridal or something like that), so my fourth quarter business profits were practically nonexistent. And just as my little business was starting to pick up some speed too.
I also missed out on several personal and family events which I was simply too sick to attend or travel to. I mean, when I say I could barely get off the couch, I mean it. I was practically on couch rest(my bed is farther from the bathroom than the couch is, thus I slept on it for the duration of my illness) for three months. Seriously.
It's been a frustrating, frightening and worrisome chapter in our lives, to say the least, and it's not over yet. But even if I had not been too ill to focus on the ole blog, I'm not sure that I would have written much anyway. I needed to focus on taking care of myself physically and mentally. Unexpected and overwhelming times like this can really wreak havoc on a family, especially when the member who most acts as the "cement", so to speak, becomes a worthless lump of vomit on the couch. It's so important to stick together and maintain as positive outlook as possible. Worrying and negativity will never improve the situation, so might as well not give them the time of day.
Thankfully, I'm finally feeling better, and we can begin to move forward as a family in a year which is undoubtedly going to be full of many changes. Some of these changes we will have control over, and some we won't. We just have to be wise enough to know when to ride the waves and when to fight them. I'm optimistic that we're going to turn this year into a great one, despite all the unexpected setbacks. Ultimately, the most important thing is that we have each other, and no matter where the year takes us, as long as we are all together, we will consider ourselves blessed.
In other news, I am pleased to say that I'll be adopting a more streamlined approach to my business, placing a more heavy focus on embroideries and original artwork. I'll be abandoning my textile jewelry and accessories lines for the time being, but I've some new ideas in the works that I am just beside myself with excitement about, and I can hardly wait to share with all of you(including a new line of wood and embroidery pendants!). However, having a new baby(who I will be nursing) this year will mean that I will have to be more selective about which markets I apply to and attend, since I won't be up to working the full schedule I had planned on. I also will most likely not be blogging as regularly as I had been, but I will earnestly try to post at least twice a week. I have so many new embroideries, illustrations and Salvation Army finds to show you all!
In closing, I'd just like to say that there are several of you who have been so supportive these last few months(when others were questioning the reality of the severity of my pregnancy sickness) who I would just like to extend a big HUG and THANK YOU to. It's comforting to know that there are others out there who have been in my shoes and made it through, but it's just as comforting to know that there are people who cannot begin to understand what I am going through, but offer their emotional support and physical help anyway.
Despite the uncertainty of the future, I am excited. I am excited for new opportunities, new challenges and the new creativity that comes from being unexpectedly thrust from a place of comfort and complacency to one of wonder and humility.
And of course I am most excited about the edition of a new member of our family!
I hope it goes without saying that I am also definitely excited to share the journey with YOU, too.
Now prepare for lots of photos because it's been WAAAAYYYYY too long!