I can hardly believe that March is almost over. The cold winds and frost bitten mornings have subsided and the streets are now sprinkled with smatterings of white and purple petals. I’m just catching my breath after what has felt like a freight train picked us all up by our ears-lifted us right out of our shoes and carried us to today.

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We’ve had smoother rides. My children are all wonderful-they are kind, respectful, caring, happy, beautiful little creatures and for that I will constantly scratch my head and wonder how I got so incredibly blessed. Beau is a dream baby and an absolute joy. They all three sashay through their predictable days of peaks and valleys, always eager to see what’s next to come.

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It isn’t them.

Perhaps it was the addition of another being into our lives, or the exhausting and intense hours that dental school demands of my husband and the new babe demands of me, or the post-partum hormones, or the illnesses that raked us all over the coals several times. Maybe it was the stress that comes with all of the above weighing on me and threatening to take me straight off the edge of the Cliffs of Sanity that I have so precariously and presumptuously planted my feet into.

The truth is, I don’t know what it’s like to not be married to a student. Our marriage has always withstood the long hours of studying, the relentless final exams and eventually the vacations that always immediately follow. It’s a roller coaster of emotions interlaced with stress that we have all become accustomed to, yet we rarely remember to brace ourselves for the rough inclines and extreme decels.

This is my normal, and it’s something that I’ve prepared myself as much as possible to withstand. We’re just coming of a period of time that just wasn’t good. The times where I was so stretched to my extremes that I had to shut myself into my room alone just to cry.

To breathe.

Justin is a machine. He accepts each challenge (and there are many) with his chin up and his feet firmly in the starting blocks, and he always makes it through to the end shining brightly. And then he comes home and is completely involved and devoted to each one of us.

I have much to learn from him, the way he rocks steady.

With Spring this week came vacation for the 3 out of 5 of us that are in school, so we’ve been spending a lot of time together. Free, uninterrupted quality time as a family, going about what is my normal routine but doing it as a family. Life without stress-it’s the best medicine. It’s the only medicine, and we have been soaking up every last drop.

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Union Square farmers market, ballet, taekwondo, playdates and dinners out. Exploring the city again now that the weather is warm and I have an extra set of hands.

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Remembering to hone in to our home base while we can before school starts up again and we’re back to scheduling family dinners and racing around just trying to Be. I’ve loved so much about our life in this city, but this life has brought much stress and I’m ready to take it down a few notches. If that means trading in my Saturday afternoons walking around the Flatiron district between shopping, bookstores and the park with the kids for a minivan, a laundry room and a back yard, I’m at peace with that.

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For now, I’m just enjoying my husband and my children and preparing for a big trip with all three children (solo!) to California on Saturday. We’re heading to the Bay Area for a little quality time with our families-our home of a different variety. A little home-away-from-home sanctuary and we’re all SO ready.

I’m sure I’ll be updating from California with stories of our traveling-circus adventure. Until then, be well and enjoy this glorious weather.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie K. March 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Beautifully written. Safe travels!

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Pam at Triple Threat Mommy March 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The city is so great, yet, sometimes, it gets the better of all of us — hustling and bustling just to keep up with it — with our kids hanging on to our coat-tails…breathe is right. You’ve got many blessings, Jessica. Enjoy them. Have a great trip!

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Melissa Chapman March 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I always marvel at women like you who are married to men who are studying in school–while having babies and caring for families. I HONESTLY DONT KNOW HOW YOU DO IT– You and all those other women are singlehandedly keeping those home fires burning and creating a safe place for your husbands to fall and a family to love them. You are such a great mama and woman and you do it all– and sometimes it’s ok to slow down- and like you say- JUST BREATHE. enjoy your vacay and those beautiful babies of yours!

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IlinaP March 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Todd and I both took turns going to graduate school, and I cannot imagine having done it with children! You do make it look graceful and stylish so I must say, it is heartening to know that you too struggle. I often feel like I am half-assing everything I do and can’t figure out how others manage to hold it together. Thank you for bursting that bubble because all moms need to know we struggle together in different ways and at different times. Speaking of bubbles, can you husband teach me how to make that awesome bubble!?

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Brittany March 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

You needed that time and it sounds just wonderful! I love when our whole family is together so much, and it doesn’t happen often enough.

Have a wonderful trip to the Bay Area. Can’t wait for pics!

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Allison Zapata March 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Oh, I feel you, mama. I am married to a “rock-steady” kind of guy. Always so even keeled. I’m either oohing and awing over how happy I am and how much I kicked ass at parenting that day, or curled in a ball crying somewhere feeling completely overwhelmed and like the worst mom ever. That’s one of the reasons I married him. He brings me as close to stable as anyone ever has.

ENJOY Cali!!!! Sleep and get massages and eat and have drinks and love :)

xoxox

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nic @mybottlesup March 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

oh mama, i am wishing you much rest and snuggles with your babes. i am wishing you slivers of quiet time with your man, when you can find it. and i am wishing you safe and happy travels.

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Britney March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Loved reading your post today. You have a beautiful family. It was like I needed to read exactly what you wrote today. I am currently in school full time right now. I’m married and we have a 1 year old little girl. We own a construction business(I do all of the bookkeeping). Anyway life has been so crazy and I can relate to everything you just said. Thanks again and have a Blessed day!!!

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Vanessa Jubis March 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Jessica,

You have a beautiful family and everyone looks like they’re enjoying their bliss. You rock, mama! :)

xo,
Vanessa

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Marta March 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I loved all your photos. Its great to have that brief respite from all the stress to just breathe. I hope your trip to Cali continues to be a stressfree time to regroup and enjoy and your family!

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Rose March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Beautiful Jessica. Ya got me choked up. Welcome home <3.

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Denise March 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

My husband was in law school in San Francisco while I was here in NYC, pregnant. It was indeed a struggling period of our lives for 3 years that I don’t know how we manage. But you said it all..just breathe. It will all come together & in the end you have a beautiful family. Have a great time in Cali Jess! I can’t wait to hear of the adventures traveling with 3 SOLO!! Bless your soul girl!!

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Anastasia @ eco-babyz March 23, 2012 at 12:53 am

I feel much the same, something about this winter! We gave birth to out second, we’ve all been sick… But none of us are in school, so I can’t imagine what it was like for you! Instead of school my husband has been working 7 days a week for a couple of months and that really took its toll – no breaks, no good. But other than that, we’re relatively stress free, living in the suburbs, daily walks in our wooded green-ish neighborhood, no schedules. Working from home was tough at first with newborn and toddler, but I’m getting the hang of it. Love spring! We’ve been outside for what seems like the whole week!

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Sue Robinson March 23, 2012 at 5:59 am

I know it is cliche and annoying to say, but bear with me, “I don’t know how you do it?” Motherhood, marriage, life, etc. is so stressful and you alway seem to take it with such stride and beauty. You should be proud of yourself and always remember that when you are in the bathroom crying, so are a lot of other mothers because sometimes, those tears, letting them out, is truly the best thing we can do for ourselves. We can’t be strong all the time. Showing our children that things are sometimes too much for us, and how we pick ourselves up and carrying on, is such an important lesson. See you soon friend, I can’t wait.

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Lorette Lavine March 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Oh Jessica…I was waiting for you to write this post…it is life as it really is…ups and downs…hours of stress and moments of calm…loving and living in NYC and needing a break from this 24 hour City. And three children…a small apartment…and winter and so much more that I have not mentioned.
I love NYC…it is the City that I called home for the first half of my life and the Frank Sinatra lyrics “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere…NY…NY” is really true.
I hope you have a wonderful trip to California…the Bay Area is so beautiful and your family and friends will help you get your “groove” back… share some pictures with us when you get a chance.
In the meantime…breathe!

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Liz (ShorelineMommy) March 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m new to your blog but this post sounds like something I could have written! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying your time together as a family. Having hubby around to help out and provide an extra set of hands is SUCH a relief! But it sounds like you are doing an amazing job managing everything while he’s in school and you should be proud of yourself! And BTW, your photos are wonderful. You have a beautiful family! Safe travels to Cali and I look forward to reading more on your blog. :)

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Valentina March 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hello Jessica,
Reading your article made me remember my last year in NYC, with my Federico and new Marco….Thank God I kept my sanity…It was a real challange.
But We made it and now it is much better.
I loved being in NYC for 6 years but, I’m greatful to be back home.
…Now I can enjoy walking around Milan, with our families babysitting and being HOME!!!
Enjoy your break and Family.
Ciao
Valentina

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Nancy March 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Yes, beautifully written. Yes, I don’t know how you do it and still look/seem so serene and calm and unflustered and GORGEOUS.
But the main thing I got from this was — you might LEAVE US???? No no no. Or is that just wistful (wishful?) thinking for the moment?

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Elaine A. March 30, 2012 at 3:18 am

“These are the days we’ll remember…”

I can relate A LOT to the stress of a husband who works a lot or is going to school, etc. so I was just nodding through that part of your post. Thankfully my husband is also quiet present when he IS here, much like yours. That makes a HUGE difference

You have such a beautiful family. :)

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