Welcome to the middle of the story.
Life is messy. Life is hard. Life is glorious and grandiose and full of shit that happens and times that may bore us to tears. Whatever your life is, mine went completely insane.
As I was contemplating a rebirth, a renewal, a re-energizing of my personal life in Northern California, I found out I was pregnant. (This was early Spring 2014.) Dang it! I thought I was DONE with the whole birth world and babies and diapers and that whole "no sleep" thing! AND I was away from my support system! This is probably what scared me the most. My parents and In-laws were 3,000 miles away.
Please do not get me wrong: this pregnancy was certainly NOT according to OUR plan; but was this child unwanted? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! This was certainly God's Child. From that point on, I had to put "my plans" on hold and let God have a turn at the wheel. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, I knew I had to find a support system: birth team, church, friends. For an introvert, this was going to be tough!
In December 2013, we moved into a small 120+ year old house in the second floor unit near downtown Petaluma, CA. It was within walking distance of anything we needed! A small Whole Foods was half a block away. A Target, Sprouts, and surrounding shopping center was four or five blocks east of us, while beautiful, downtown historic Petaluma was about a mile west of us. Should you ever wonder, "Petaluma. Should we stop and check it out?" You need to answer, "YES!" It is full of cute little shops for everyone! Loads of restaurants and snack stops, a yarn shop, several well-stocked thrift stores, a natural toy store in the theater district, a well-stocked candy store, and tons of historical architecture! A majority of these buildings were from before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Walnut Park is a great little park with a playground that the girls liked located on the south end of downtown. And look up the long list of movies that were shot in and around Petaluma over several decades! ( here, here, and here )
Our location was fantastic. We found a church relatively close in town called 360 Church of Petaluma. It was a non-denominational Christian church that felt relaxed, and the girls felt comfortable in their children's programs. This one was full of real people. Thank God!
I started interviewing local midwives. Found two that were about to start their own birth center in a town about 30 minutes north of us. It was a beautiful option! Luckily, they agreed to come do prenatal checkups at our place in Petaluma as we only had one car that my husband took to work an hour south of us. They attended the homebirth of our son and third child, Wolfgang, in October of 2014. With Hypnobabies home study and their hands-off assistance, this birth was by far the best experience I ever had! My little family was there and Daciana got to hold his hand as he was laying on my belly short after birth. It was beautiful....and another post....
Friends. Having to put on my big girl panties and get out there to meet people - all while managing two growing kids, a tiny home with less than desirable neighbors, a pregnancy that was sucking any energy out of me, later deciding to put the girls into a Waldorf Charter school three blocks away - was more than a daunting task, it was MONSTROUS. Quite leviathan in nature. Jonah's Whale had eaten me alive and spat me on foreign shores.
Ultimately, I did find wonderful friends. Some in the Women's Group at the church. Some I found at a newly formed crafting group that met in various places around town, The Rebel Craft Collective (Meetup). I even made friends with a couple of Moms at the school (Live Oak) that the girls started attending...we referred to ourselves as Misfit Moms (the three of us were not NorCal natives and never seemed to fit in with the "kool-aid drinkers". Several other people were miraculously scattered around town or my husband's workplace. Also found an excellent chiropractic practice within walking distance of our little place; Praise the Lord!
Insanity runs in my family. Shortly after we moved to NorCal, my parents bought an RV and followed us out, if not forever, but seasonally. They were able to make it for the girls' birthdays, some holidays, and shortly after the birth of our son (little stinker came a couple weeks early). It was an absolute blessing that they were able to make it out!
So...What happened?!? We stayed in NorCal (this is the short version of the story) for almost three years. We made very good friends. Whether it is Wanderlust, Humor of the Universe, or ultimately God's Plan, our souls still haven't settled down. We made it back to Florida and are currently in the Orlando area nearer to our family and original support group. The strong desire for Wolfgang to grow up with TWO sets of awesome grandparents and our adult need to be able to financially support our family (it is CRAZY expensive in California!!) brought us back.
We love our friends on both coasts! We miss everyone. We are thankful for social media to keep in touch. God is good all the time; and all the time, God is good.
The adventure continues.....!