October 18th

I’ve been in Chicago since Friday when I flew in to see my family for a few days before jumping back into work mode at an arts funders conference. What’s amazing is that no one in my family actually lives in Chicago – they all just decided to meet up here since I was going to be here, since my brother Kent is so close, and since it’s a cool town. How awesome does that make my family? It was a fantastic visit, though too short, and I got to meet my new niece Marlena Michelle for the first time. She’s gorgeous, and sweet and loving, and I’m doing my best to prepare for the fact that our own little boo might be a little more difficult.

And now I’m in the thick of the conference. And although I love me a good conference – and this one certainly counts – I’m fighting a cold and also an overwhelming sense of the change I want to make in my own organization to be more adaptive to the world we live in now. I don’t know what’s possible or even, at this point, what is right for my organization, but I know that there is some good work to be done and I wonder what I can do before I go on maternity leave.

Speaking of the boo – in the first hour of the conference I managed to meet two other pregnant woman, both farther along than I am but both seemingly coping better than I am – not as tired, more mobile, etc. Maybe that’s because they’ve hit that elusive (to me) stage of feeling great, and maybe it’s because it’s not their first, and maybe it’s because they are younger than I am, but I hope to be – or at least seem – as functional as they do.

For now, all I can do is honor the energy I do have, and take the time I need. Although I would have loved to take advantage of all of the social and networking opportunities tonight, instead, I’m staying in my room with the boo in my belly so I can hope to fully participate again tomorrow. I’ve gotten a lot of love from my colleagues here because of my protruding belly, and have been grateful to all of them who – to a person – have told me that what is in my belly is my greatest priority and my greatest work. And these are people who give my organization money. So for them to share that priority means the world.

Mostly, though, I miss my husband, and I miss my family, and I think I’m going to mitigate my yearning with a stuffed spinach pizza.