I started to consider brave for my 2013 one little word last September. It popped into my head and I figured I would keep it in mind unless something better came along. And while a lot ended up coming along, a better word did not.
At the time, all I really knew was that Paul was going to be deploying again in 2013. I was overwhelmed with the idea of doing it all over again and for the most part being in the exact same place I was a year ago. Knowing what to expect was making it harder and more daunting.
So brave was born as an admittedly early form of self-encouragement. ;)
And then in October we found out we'd be having a baby in June. Suddenly brave was more perfect for 2013. When I called my parents to share the news, I blurted out..."Well, I'm pregnant!" And then immediately burst into tears.
My dad said, in complete seriousness, said, "This is the best news we have ever heard in our entire lives." And my mom said, "Oh Elise! Are you crying?"
"YES! I am crying! Because I am scared! Because Paul is probably going to be gooooone. And I might have to have this baby alooooone." It was a little hysterical and quite dramatic. My parents, always amazing and always cheerleaders, were reassuring, "It's okay! You and the baby can move home with us! It will be great!"
Months have passed from that outburst and while every once in awhile, I panic over the idea that Paul will be gone for so much of this pregnancy and will miss at least a few weeks of the little one's beginning, I have myself pulled together.
This is our story.
This is our baby.
This is exactly the way things are supposed to work out for the three of us.
But I still choose brave.
I need to be brave in January as we look for a house that will be our home for the next four years.
I need to be brave in early February as I drop Paul off at an airfield to leave for six months.
I need to be brave as I embark on all those months we'll spend apart all over again.
I need to be brave as I meet a new doctor in San Diego.
I need to be brave as I decide what I want from my job this first part of 2013...
...and then as I figure out what my job will look like post-baby.
I need to be brave as I embrace the high highs and low lows that will naturally come with motherhood.
I need to be brave as a piece of my heart breaks off and lives forever in the body of someone else.
I need to be brave as Paul comes home from deployment and we once again go through the work and put in the effort that it takes to fit our lives back together.
2012 was a huge year. It was a very good year for our little family. But 2013 has potential to be so much more amazing. And it will for sure be a growth year. A lot of stretching needs to take place. In my body. In our house. In my mind. In my relationships. In my heart. All of this will take little and giagantic acts of courage.
I have really loved that since I have embraced this challenge, my one little words have taken hold and continue to live with me past their expiration dates. I imagine that magic from 2011 and choose from 2012 will feel just as relevant and real in my life a few years from now as they did in their current years and do now. "One little word" is a legit experiment in changing your outlook on life.
So, welcome to the party, brave. Can't wait to see what you have in store for me.
ps. if you are unfamiliar with the concept of one little word, this is a great post from Ali Edwards to read. I am taking part in Ali's One Little Word class this year and the photos throughout show the start of my album that I'll be working on as part of the workshop. This album, HUGELY inspired by Ali, is going to be more of a journal than a "traditional" documentation spot and I'll be doing it in addition to Project Life, but most likely updating it monthly, not weekly.
Supplies used : We R Memory Keepers 8.5x11 album, We R Memory Keepers 9 pocket page, American Crafts letter stickers, photo of this BE BRAVE poster that I got for Christmas and will hang in my office all year, cork paper from Joanns, Freckled Fawn wood chip arrow, my own instagram photo printed by printsagram early in 2012, Office Depot number stamp, transparency by Mer Tilton, 2013 badge from Ormolu, Seafoam Kit diagonal stripe patterned card.