Today is my 31st birthday!
My 31st trip around the sun was the biggest year of my life. Hands down. I found out I was pregnant with Piper on Saturday, 2/21, the day before I turned 30. I launched GTWB on March 31 and hustled (and hustled) until 6am on January 27 when I sold out of the 2016 edition (and honestly, continue to hustle now). I would never, ever have "planned" to launch a business and grow a human in the same year. But now that I did it? There's no other way it could have been done. This year needed to unfold as it did. This year was a turning point in all the right ways. It was everything I worked towards for 10 years professionally for sure. And since we think this is it kid-wise for us, it was a pretty big deal to meet our fourth and final family member at the same time.
For the last few years, I have written posts around this time that share my favorite things and favorite moments from the past year. I've got the "things post" drafted but I'm starting with the moments. The moments killed it this year.
And here they are. The 30 best that I can recall...
Meeting Paul for breakfast on my birthday after he came off a night shift and confirming that yep, the second pregnancy test was positive.
Calling my parents on my birthday evening and telling them we were expecting number two.
Laying down $100 on black in Las Vegas and WINNING! It's my favorite party trick and 50% of the time it KILLS. (Though Paul and I are 3/3 on black.)
Meeting my friends from high school for dinner and THREE of us sharing we were pregnant. Finding out the other two were expecting was almost better than finding out I was.
That first ultrasound when the doctor confirmed, yes! heartbeat! and yes! just the one heartbeat. ;)
Every single time I walk out of the library with a stack of new books and think "I CANNOT BELIEVE THESE ARE FREE."
Traveling to Chicago to spend time with my college girlfriends and getting locked out of our AirBnB and then somehow, miraculously getting back in. And looking around the room and thinking "Damn. I wish we were still in college" one moment and then thinking "Damn. Look how far we've come" the next.
Lazy breakfasts in Maui with Paul and the NY Times Crossword.
Cutting into the gender reveal cake and seeing PINK. Honestly, I would have been equally as happy with blue. But pink felt then and feels now, exactly right.
Getting a text from Paul that I was gestational diabetes free this time around!
The 100 moments when I was listening to a killer podcast and I learned something new. I listen to the Big Mainstream Podcasts (This American Life, RadioLab, Freakanomics, Modern Love, Invisibilia, Mystery Show, StartUp) and those folks are so talented and well-edited and ON IT with their storytelling. I can't get over how much I learned this year thanks to podcasts. Paul can't get over how many times I started a conversation with "So, I was listening to this podcast and..."
Coming home from our short "babymoon" and Ellerie running toward us open arms and wondering why the hell I thought I needed a break from THIS.
Those moments where I thought for SURE I was in labor and even used an app to time contractions. That unknown (while it never amounted to anything) was so fun and exciting.
That moment when I realized the spinal block (at the scheduled c-section I decided to go with) had worked.
That moment when they pulled back the blue curtain in the OR and held up my baby girl and I knew. I knew RIGHT THEN AND THERE that this was going to be okay. I was not going to implode or explode or dissolve as a wife, human, woman or mother this time around. I was me. On the operating table. Again. Unable to move. Again. But I was rooted to the spot in the best way. Piper was here. We were all going to be just fine this time.
The whole hospital stay where I was completely high and kept asking Paul what sort of drugs they were giving me (nothing out of the ordinary). I was so present and THERE and HAPPY. OMG. I have never been so happy. It was 48 hours of complete bliss.
About two weeks later when I realized the second shoe wasn't going to drop. The bliss had leveled out. The high had mellowed. But the happy? The calm? That was going to stick around. What a relief.
When I was able to pick up Ellerie again post-surgery. Jeez. That was the best. Top five moment, easily.
Watching Ellerie be so sweet and kind to Piper. I can't believe I have a front row seat to watch their relationship saga unfold. It's like every season of the Bachelor and all the Shonda Rimes shows x 1000 as far as hype and excitement goes.
When we decided to start making tiny changes to our house so it can work better for us. "Finishing" our house last spring was the dumbest idea I've had yet. Restarting has been a breath of fresh air.
When I started the puzzles. Late December and early January was a touch insane between the newborn schedule and the GTWB shipping and I started to lose my mind a bit. Puzzles brought it back. I think I said "Puzzles are the BEST!" like 40 times the first week of January.
Waking up after 9 hours of straight sleep. Baby Piper isn't quite as great of a sleeper as Ellerie but she's still a pro.
Chatting on a podcast in January and being asked what I'm looking forward to and realizing...everything. My family is going to grow up together. That's all we have planned long-term. My girls are just going to learn more things. Paul is going to wrap up his residency and have a normal(ish) schedule for the first time ever (like since the day we started dating). My work is just going to keep trucking, but I love where it's headed. It was one of those moments that deserve a deep breath and a prayer of thanks.
Piper giggles. All of them. Every single one.
Ellerie giggles. All of them. Every single one.
Any time where I got to make Paul laugh.
Signing the lease on a new office space. I don't move in for a few more weeks but wow, it felt like a big step. I am entering my sophomore year of this new business and it feels good. .
Picking up Ellerie from daycare last week and the steady stream of chatter from the backseat. Example: "The car is stuck! How'd it get up there? See the rainbow? Up in the sky? Sun is bright! Sunglasses. Pink sunglasses, please! I go on the airplane? To see Coco? And Bella? Ice cream? No. Baby Piper is at home? She cries when we stop! Red light! Stop. Green light. Go. Red! Orange! Yellow! Green! Blue! I. Love. Purple! Mama love purple? Papa love purple? Piper love purple? Mama love orange! Right? Mama? Mama? Elise? ELISE!!!!"
Nursing Piper and staring at her lashes and her grin and her cheeks and her hair(!) and listening to her breath and coos and feeling her weight and thinking "THIS IS IT, BLAHA. THIS IS SERIOUSLY IT."
Writing this post. I've let the blog take a backseat these past few months and it's been the right decision in many ways. But this space? This text box? It's an old friend. And it's one I'm so glad to have on this roadtrip with me. Here's to that 32nd trip around the sun.