Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: 2013

Once again, a year comes to a close. Before I take a few moments to ponder all that has happened this year let me first wish you a Happy New Year!

Much of 2013 was focused on preparing our home and our hearts for our child. We had hoped and prayed we would become parents this year and were thrilled to discover we were expecting in early February. We kept it pretty quiet until the end of April and we had a chance to tell our family first.  I spent months figuring out ways to create more space in our one bedroom apartment; we made a few big purchases and got rid of quite a bit of stuff. All in all, I think we are happy with the way things turned out, but are also realizing that more changes will be required soon! We're learning to be flexible with our possessions.

I read quite a few books about parenting and childbirth and attended a group appointment each month with ten other couples. I have to admit that most of my waking moments - and sleepless nights - were spent learning, planning, dreaming, and hoping for our baby. And on the evening of October 1, William Bradley was born! Now all my waking moments and sleepless nights are spent trying to make sure he's eating enough and sleeping enough. So far so good - he's growing like a weed!

The other major theme of 2013 was FAMILY. Living so far away from our families, it always seems like a rare occasion that brings us together, but this year, we were able to see our families (at least one person) almost every month this year! There was a wedding, babies, and vacations that brought us together! We are blessed!

January was a pretty quite month. I started going to a Pilates class and continued acupuncture and my gluten free diet. Chris had started working as an office manager for the hedge fund he worked for back in 2010 when we first moved out here. We enjoyed more time together as he no longer had a commute across the Golden Gate Bridge as well as a few more dollars in our pockets since he could ride is bike to work rather than drive.

In February, my brother came to visit us in SF for the first time. The very next weekend, Chris and I took a long weekend and drove to Las Vegas to see my parents and my sister and her husband. They had a gender reveal party to reveal they were having a baby girl in July. I thought it was going to be a boy for sure, but I wrong. We also took a road trip all together to the Grand Canyon. It was chilly, but an enjoyable trip.

In March, Chris's mom and grandma drove out to see us and a few other relatives. We took this opportunity to share our baby news with them. I don't need to tell you how excited they were! Unfortunately, they were the only ones we told in person.

Chris turned 30 in April and we had a big birthday brunch with our friends. We also used that gathering to officially announce our pregnancy. His parents also visited us again in April and took us to wine country for the weekend.

In May, Chris's brother Brad got married to Emilee. (Yes, there are now two of us!) We flew to San Antonio to celebrate with them. It was really a gorgeous ceremony and a great weekend. We also made the decision to start investing in our retirement accounts; it wasn't always much, but it was something!

In June, the big news was my new glasses. I also started feeling better so instead of napping during my breaks, I started reading. I read a ton of free ebooks on my little smart phone. I had been wanting to get into newborn photography for a while and had my first real opportunity in June. It was great practice for my session with my niece in July!

I traveled a lot in July. I went home to visit my best friend Katie (while she was home from Australia) and see a few other people I hadn't seen in years. It was a packed week, but super fun. On the way home, I ended up in Vegas unexpectedly. It was a little tramatic as a plane had crashed in SF, but I did end up getting to see my sister! Two weeks later, I went back to Vegas to see my sister and her new baby girl. She is a cutie!

Chris took me to Morro Bay for my birthday in August. We toured Hearst Castle and spent a day on the beach. It was our last little get-a-way before Baby B was born.

In September we had three baby showers; we were showered with so much love! And we felt so much more prepared by everyone's generosity! I attended a Beth Moore simulcast with a few friends which was inspiring and a day I felt was much needed for "me and God." September 30th was my last day of work before beginning maternity leave.

And then my world was turned upside down when my baby arrived a week early! William Bradley was born on October 1st. I feel like I could stop writing right now as each and every day is all about him - literally, night and day. I don't even know how to describe how I feel about him and being a mom - it's awesome - and exhausting. He's adorable and exhausting! Both of our moms came out to help me for a week each. I was so thankful for their willingness to help and their eagerness to meet William.

For Thanksgiving we stayed in town visiting with friends. We were the only couple there with kids which was a new experience for us. It won't be the last I'm sure. We had so much to be thankful for this year!

And for Christmas we traveled to Minnesota to make my mom's dream of having both of her grandbabies home for their first Christmas come true. It was another great week with family.

There it is, 2013. A year I will never forget. As I write about the blessings and memories of my year, I am remembering friends who have had a rough year - friends have lost loved ones and homes and experienced illness and trauma and I want you to know that I think of you, pray for you and hope your faith remains strong and hope is restored in this next year.

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