In 2011, we began the year by officially announcing to the world that we were expecting. We surprised my friends with the news on New Years Eve and documented everyone's reaction. We purchased a family vehicle and named him Adler. We got a little ice and snow and our favorite team won the BCS National Championship. I shared a little about my brother. I wrote our love story. We had little dates. I showed you some scenes from downtown.
Much to G's surprise, we found out baby was a girl. I started dominating. We celebrated our 8th Valentine's Day and seven years together. We flew to DC and watched my grandparents renew their vowels for their 50th wedding anniversary. We had our first baby shower there with family. The bump made its debut. At six months pregnant, I flew to Seattle to be in one of my best friend's beautiful wedding. I talked about my job. We went to a botanical garden at the totally wrong time. G turned twenty five. We went on a babymoon to Charleston; I shared some of my favorite memories, some of my favorite meals and desserts, and some of my favorite places. I volunteered.
Spring came, we sat outside and had picnics, and I got bigger and bigger. I was soon at 30 weeks and struggled to make it to the end of the semester, but had help. My friends threw us another baby shower and we were so grateful. As I got more and more uncomfortable in the heat, we chilled. I started thinking about the implications of being a mama in my series of motherhood musings /1/2/3/4, wrote about dandelions, and discussed the simple joys in life. We had our maternity shoot and fell in love with our photographers. I wrote love notes to my husband. We got baby girl's nursery together and unveiled the final(ish) product. We spent warm nights outside with great friends. We had simple Sunday afternoons and family lunches. My lovely workmates threw me a surprise shower. I spent hot days leading up to my due date by the water. I stressed about starting the dissertation process.
I turned twenty five and being nine months pregnant on my birthday, I decided to have a pool party. I prayed about what my little girl might be like. We tried to spend as much quality time together as possible before baby's arrival and felt a real sense of joie de vivre. My due date came and went. We tried our own methods to induce labor. Then just days later, something crazy/ beautiful happened. Dylan Grace brought so many learning experiences in her first week here. I was writing Dylan letters in a book and sharing some of them here /1/2/3. We left our dolce ragazza for a date night and I cried. We spent our summer afternoons introducing our little tiny to our world. My little blog turned one. We had family visit from all over to meet our sweet girl, dedicated her, and I learned alot as a mama in the first thirty days.
I shared our scary, but beautiful birth story. I talked about my feeding survival kit, and we had the sweetest moments (on decks and on walks!) as a new family. I reminisced about our engagement on our three year wedding anniversary. We had alot of firsts, and in the fall I started my second year of doctoral school. We went to Tennessee for Labor Day weekend, visited family, and my alma mater. I was pushing for the life I wanted. We found Dylan's ticklish spot and it made my week. I had my first girl's night post-baby and girl's night with baby. I found the easiest thing in the world to do. I graded baby items. Dylan attended her first birthday party and tailgate.
I talked about small town living and dreamed about life after graduate school. We all went to Nashville in the fall and Dylan dressed up like Amelia Earhart for Halloween. G and D had some bonding time and I wrote about why I blog. We went to wedding showers and gender reveal parties. We went to Atlanta where Dylan had to learn how to share and brunched for the first time. We celebrated Thanksgiving and I was in my happy place. Nona came to visit from way up North. We traveled to Florida to meet Dylan's first cousin (and my first nephew!) and she started eating like a big girl. During the holiday Dylan met Santa, stayed up late on Christmas Eve, and tried to eat wrapping paper. We then worked to avoid the post-holiday blues before bringing in the new year exactly how we needed.
I don't have the right words to describe what 2011 has done to me. It was powerful. I will never be the same. We will never be the same.
Okay... I think I've found it...
2011 will be cherished. Yes, that's the right word.