2010 has been one of the most interesting years of my life (and I’ve had some interesting years! – think Kenya 2000).
I rang in 2010 with a flute of sparkling grape juice because of the wee one growing in my belly.
In February we celebrated Valentine’s day with a fun fondue dinner which is becoming somewhat of a tradition (and I’m all about traditions!).
In March we went on a fabulous “babymoon” to the Caribbean and I waddled around the ship trying to get in as much pool/sun time as I could before heading back to cold, gray Michigan. I’m really glad we took that trip. It was a great time to be together and soak up the tail end of our “2 family” before little Miss Grace came on the scene.
April was a blur. I know I worked a lot and had really bad heartburn!
May brought 2 lovely baby showers with family and friends and lots of awesome baby gear. We were so touched by how generous everyone was.
June was spent trying to “get everything done” before the big day. We painted the nursery, painted the furniture, had our wood floors refinished and rearranged the living room to accommodate a big flat screen tv and a desk for me to start working from home. I had to say goodbye to my “no-tv-just-pretty-things” living room and allow function to trump form. Although I must say we’ve done more living in that room in the past 6 months than we had during the whole 3 years before.
July was when everything changed forever. Little Miss Grace made her grand entrance into the world more than 2 weeks earlier than her due date. I was totally surprised by how everything played out, but in the end it was just perfect. Despite having to be induced, I was able to have the drug-free birth I had been hoping for. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s funny to me how that day has become my “happy place” even though it was the greatest physical pain of my life. It was a true miracle and although Gracie Bear was early, she was perfect. 10 fingers and 10 toes and a full head of dark hair. She laid on my chest for a full hour and we just stared at each other and took in the wonder of the moment. I’ll never forget those big eyes looking up at me and the feeling of her slimy, wet bottom in the palm of my hand. Magic.
August flew by so quickly. Andy worked and studied a lot and Grace and I cuddled on the couch, took walks around the neighborhood, went to the farmers market and just tried to figure out how everything was going to work. Getting her on a schedule was stressful for both of us!
September I was back to work and crying every day. The prior 8 weeks had gone so quickly and I felt like such a different person. Everything I had valued and been good at before seemed foreign to me. I was confronting more than 20 years of dreams about how things would be with the harsh reality of what they really were. I was putting my dream on the back burner to help Andy fight for his. It was messy. Very messy. I felt like a rubber band that God was stretching SO far. I was certain that I’d just snap at any moment, but I just kept stretching and stretching. It was painful, but so good. God has a way of transforming us that is beyond what we understand. I’m so thankful that He is a loving father, but also that He is molding me into the woman He sees in me.
October was tough too. So many things to juggle. So many emotions. SO MANY HORMONES coursing through my body. I think I was battling with postpartum anxiety. I was anxious about every little thing. I just wanted to hole up in my house and never leave. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who make mountains out of mole hills and I was doing just that with everything.
November brought some relief. I was getting used to my new life and starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Some things that were overwhelming started to shift a little and I started feeling more confident that it was all going to work out. I went to a women’s retreat that changed me. God really touched me that day and I’ve been clinging to the vision and truth that He poured over me.
December has been busy. Very, very busy. Lots of work, lots of shopping and wrapping and cooking and family gatherings. Not as much time to just sit by the tree listening to Christmas carols as I would have liked, but I’ve certainly stolen those moments when I could.
I’m looking forward to 2011. I’m very excited about feeling like myself again and having renewed motivation to suck the marrow out of the bones of life. I want to enjoy the simple moments no matter how mundane they may be. I want to find happiness in the things I do each day. I want to live life with joy and expectancy and not just survive each week. I want to know God more and I want to experience His power in my life. I want my heart to beat with His heart. I want to bless people and become more giving. I want to whine and complain less. I want to be more conscious of the power of my words. I want to be a better wife. I want to cheer Andy on toward his BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) with vigor. I want to be the kind of woman and mother that Grace can be proud of. I want to be a better sister, daughter and friend.
It’s going to be a good year :)