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Coming Soon: Penelope Joan

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Well, here we are! We knew 2017 would be better than its predecessor but we had no idea how adventurous and exciting this year would be (nor did we know how soon the year would completely turn our worlds around). WE ARE HAVING A BABY GIRL!!! Penelope Joan Rodriguez – Penelope because we love it, it has tons of nickname potential (my requirement), and it works in English and Spanish. Joan is my wonderful grandma. We are already completely smitten! A huge huge thanks to everyone who has sent their love and congratulations – we’ve loved reading your messages!

^^ announcement outtakes…poor Chupi ate a lot of peanut butter in that 10 minutes.

The first trimester was not a breeze. For some bizarre reason I always thought that future pregnant me would not be subject to the typical pregnancy symptoms. I don’t know if I thought I had the willpower to banish cravings and aversions, or that morning sickness was just mild discomfort that passed after eating breakfast, or that I had the constitution to avoid hormonal mood swings. The point here is that I was delusional about how I would experience pregnancy. Whatever glowing feeling I had was gone by week 5, banished by the aggressive elbowing in of unpleasant symptoms. The constant, nagging nausea has only (mostly) left me since the start of this past week (cue the hallelujah chorus). Since January Javi and I have been through a series of misadventures in “morning” sickness; there was the brussel sprouts mishap at our Valentines Day dinner, the quick realization that our two-week stint as vegetarians (pre-pregnancy decisions!) wasn’t going to work since I couldn’t even smell cooked veggies, and the unfortunate occasion when I told my doc I didn’t feel sick only to ruin her morning 5 minutes later. Working out became a sad joke. And let me assure everyone that I am acutely aware of how lucky I am that I don’t have to go into a job every single day feeling like this, a luxury many (most?) pregnant women do not have.

^^ solid remedies: ice cream and nice weather

HOWEVER, my silver lining throughout the first three months was the somewhat scientific knowledge that my sickness signaled the likelihood of a healthy kiddo (so far so good!), and being pregnant is so exciting that it pretty much overwhelmed all feelings of discomfort anyway. My dogs must know something is going on with me; they fight over the privilege of laying across my stomach all the time and follow me everywhere. I’ve been knitting baby items like an obsessive grandma (more on this later), and the urge to go to goodwill and shop for vintage baby clothes is getting out of hand (again…more on this later). Penny already has an entire Rubbermaid tub of goodwill finds for the first year of her life…and we’re 5 days into the second trimester.

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Oh, and the hormonal mood swings? I’m not usually a crier, but everything sets me off these days. Sad documentary about the dwindling bee population? Sob city. The sun is out? It’s so beautiful that I might just…yep. Crying again. Bobby’s solo in an acoustic version of “Tower Park” at a recent show? I almost had to leave the room it was so beautiful…and I was such a waterworks mess. Of course, that may have also been because that was the last Humming House show with the five of us.

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^^on stage in Chicago in Feb – singing for two (photo: Sean Portwood)

That brings me to the whirlwind of change that’s been wreaking havoc on many carefully laid plans. This was the easiest and most difficult decision of my life (so far): leaving this band that I love love LOVE with all my heart. It was easy because I know it’s the right decision for my family and me, period. It’s the most difficult because I am so passionate about this band and the music we make, and this was an unexpected end for me. The guys have been overwhelmingly supportive of me over the last two months, and I am so grateful to have been in a band with four of the best guys and musicians in the world. I’m definitely going to write more about this in the future, but I’ll leave it here for now because it’s just going to have to be its own stand-alone post. I have two shows left with the guys, and I’m dreading the last one because I’m afraid I’ll be drowning in buckets the whole time. Fair warning!

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^^ I. Love. These. Guys. 

So what’s the plan now? I’m hoping you’ll all keep in touch with my upcoming adventures both on facebook and instagram. Music isn’t going away (I think I’d shrivel up and waste away without it), I’ll just be making it on my time for a while. I’m hoping to play some shows here and there locally, especially if I can get my dad to Louisville to work up some new material with me (hint hint John McClure). I’m going to continue writing with fellow songwriters and working up new songs, just at a more leisurely pace without the extensive touring that takes me away from home.

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(hint: the real plan is to raise a kid…like this cool one here^^) 

My more concrete plans that I’ve been working to put into place over the last two months are to restart my photography business with gusto; I’m getting back into the wedding business and hoping to expand my family photo network. I’ll have weekends open again and planning ahead is no longer wishful thinking, so if you hear of anyone who needs a photographer, send them my way! I’m also putting more time and effort into this fun vintage shop Buena Buena that I’ve been working on over the last year. It’s been a delight for me to run this shop and business has been great. It slowly turned from a hobby into a decent part-time endeavor that keeps me busy. Between the shop, my photography, and growing a baby, I have my hands full. So please, spread the word about the photography, and if anyone is a vintage lover (clothing or household goods), follow my shop on instagram and keep checking back for new listings.

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Back to wedding photography! Above: Ann & Patrick Early // Below: Ian and Andrea McClure

I haven’t been writing much on the blog lately, partly because my energy has been below zero and the gray skies have been keeping my mood a bit foggy. But the sun is out, I’m drinking (limited amounts of) coffee again, and now that the news is out about Penelope I have a million things to write about (for example, I haven’t even mentioned yet that we are selling our beloved little Nashville home!). Also, I’m going to work on bringing Spanish back to the blog. Since our house is about to go bilingual, I’m determined to keep my Spanish fresh. I intend to start translating our posts again, so that’ll be another fun project coming soon. Thanks for all the love and support!

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