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A New Season

I've been waiting to write about this until things settled down a bit more and we'd come up with something of a plan. NO, I'm not pregnant. Way more exciting than that.

Greg was laid off two weeks ago. Don't worry, I was kidding about the exciting part.

We have now joined the thousands of families who have been affected the economic crisis. We found out in July that his job might be in jeopardy, but when he was let go almost three weeks ago it still came as a shock. A few years ago neither of us would have been that upset, but when Greg came home in the middle of the day, three Fridays ago, officially jobless, we both felt mildly panicked.

Everything is different when you have a kid.

Our main goal these days is to give Veronica a good life. Granted, there are ALL kinds of good lives, but the one we thought we were working on had just taken a detour. We spent the weekend trying to buoy our spirits and figure out how to stay afloat. We came up with plans and reminded ourselves over and over that this might actually be a really good thing.

And it's honestly starting to look that way.

I haven't written about this either, but Greg and I have been making plans to move back to California sometime next year. We started a CA savings account with our tax return back in the spring, and we've been slowly adding to it over the summer months. To prepare for the move we have even begun the painstaking process of ridding ourselves of unnecessary junk, selling books on Amazon and putting up other random stuff for sale on craig's list. Every cent made goes into the CA fund. 

Greg losing his job definitely changes things, but as we've discovered over the last few weeks, it's not necessarily for the worst. Greg is already working on some really exciting writing projects, some of which will help sustain us, and others of which may have a serious future. In the meantime I'm going to continue working part-time and will be able to keep all of us covered with insurance and all that boring adult stuff that needs to be taken care of. We had to let our nanny go, which was devastating to all involved, but I found her a new family to work with, and we plan to continue using her as a babysitter occasionally so that she and Veronica can stay connected.

Speaking of Veronica, the girl has been elated to have her father around full-time. A good thing, since he's going to be playing Mr. Mom for the forseeable future.

V & G 

(Greg feeding Veronica an apple from a tree in his parent's backyard in Ohio last weekend.)

Daddeeeeeeee, has been the resounding echo heard in our house for the last few weeks, and Veronica has even taken to making Greg and I kiss each other whenever we are in close proximity. She is clearly thrilled with all the family time. I couldn't be happier to have him around either.

Parenting has changed our relationship a lot. It's turned us into two people who split a whole bunch of tasks down the middle and try our best not to lose our minds while completing them. Getting to spend more time together, and to have more time in general, has eased up on the task-iness of life, and allowed me to appreciate Greg so much more again. I was just thinking last night how much I like him. A funny thing to think about your husband, right? Just another reason to be glad the economy is in the toilet, huh?

So, yeah. That's where we are right now. Heading into a new fall season, and a new season of our marriage and family. I feel certain that there are amazing things in store for all of us. I feel a funny little shiver these days, a quiet excitement thrumming inside of me. The three of us are building something together, and it's beginning to take shape.


  1. Inspirational ! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while (secret stalker style) but just had to de-lurk to say that you are such an inspiration. The way you write, I have no doubt that these recent events will one day become opening chapters in an autobiographical reflection on two phenomenal and highly successful writing careers (in California!).
    PS – It’s cliche, I know, but reading The Road Not Taken ( always gives me a little kick in times like this.

    Comment by Nikki on September 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

  2. Here’s to exciting new beginnings!

    Comment by Carroll on September 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

  3. Thanks, Carroll!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  4. Thanks for de-lurking in order to say such nice things! Feel free to speak up more often!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  5. Oh sorry to hear that, seems to be an all too familiar story with all my american friends and the state of the US economy at the moment. Here’s to new beginnings and new directions.

    Comment by jess on September 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

  6. I’m sure things will only get better from here on!
    Wish you and Greg bright, bright writing (and other) futures wherever you are :)

    Comment by Aeshna on September 10, 2010 at 12:06 am

  7. Thanks, Aeshna!!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

  8. Thanks! Its definitely an interesting time in America right now. Hopefully all this job loss will lend itself to some creativity!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 10, 2010 at 9:05 am

  9. Haven’t written about this on my blog or shared with anyone outside our family and a few close friends, but my job loss and subsequent decision to return to school and finish my degree took a huge toll on us financially. This past year we got ot the point where we had to make a choice between losing our house or eating and paying our other bills, we were finally able to short sale our house. It was devestating at first, however it has turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to us. One it made us appreciate what is important to us, that is our family being together and happy no matter what; two we were in the end able to realize our dream of relocating to Central Phoenix. It seems to me that so many times the way in which we handle the challenges we face defines and shapes our lives. Here’s to your own new beginning as a family may it bring unexpected new opportunities for all of you!

    Comment by Wendy on September 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  10. Wow, Wendy. That sounds like its been a really challenging time for you! But it also sounds like you guys are now happier than ever. You have such an amazing family. I bet you guys could live in a shoebox and still be full of love and happiness.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

  11. You know, I was just reading an article on Yoga Journal yesterday about control, and how hard it is to strike a balance between being in control and being able to go with the flow. Then something like this comes along to remind you that you really have no control, and forces you to let go… The YJ article was talking about how there’s something really freeing in that.
    I love your description, “a funny little shiver… a quiet excitement thrumming inside”. As much of a shock as the situation must have been, it’s so nice to hear that you’re looking at it as a chance to do something you might not have otherwise as a family. I’m sure it will work out just the way it should!
    And how lovely for Greg and Veronica to get to spend so much time together.

    Comment by Sophie on September 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

  12. Ive been thinking a lot about this idea too, Sophie. Just that life is one big lesson in letting go. Only problem is that I seem to have to learn this lesson over and over and over again!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

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