Starting a new chapter in life

In the 1994 film "Forrest Gump," Tom Hanks coined the phrase, "My momma always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.'"

While I see a lot of truth in that statement, I liken my own life to that of a novel. As each page turns, the saga continues.

This month, I'm entering a new chapter in my book: being a stay-at-home mother.

As many of you already know, my husband and I are expecting our second baby boy Sept. 3. After much consideration - and I'll admit, a few arguments - we've decided to give a single-income household a try.

The last week of my employment at the Gazette and the first week of my new role as homemaker were more than a little stressful and filled with unanswered questions.

Will I regret the decision to quit my job?

When I'm ready to re-enter the workforce, will I be able to find a job I like?

Will I get bored staying at home full time with two young children?

Will I love being a stay-at-home mother only to find that we can't survive on my husband's income?

Will I spend the first few months of my newborn's life staring into his beautiful, innocent eyes only to have to turn him over to the hands of a stranger at day care?

Whether this new adventure lasts a few pages or several chapters only time will tell. But I know that no matter what - whether I'm a stay-at-home mother for one month or five years - that I'll be thankful for the opportunity. Because in my mind, time spent with children is time well-spent.

My time at the Gazette is filled with good memories and lessons learned. I started in 2005 as an inexperienced college graduate and I'm leaving almost five years later as an experienced reporter.

I thank my colleagues for teaching me so much about writing and the community for forgiving me when I made mistakes.

I've written more stories than I can remember and have met some people I'll never forget.

Not wanting to completely isolate myself from the working world, I hope to do some freelance writing in the coming months. So for those of you reading this column, don't think of this as a goodbye, but rather as "until we meet again."

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