“2015 in Nutshell” or “Adjust. Set.”

Yes.
It’s March. And I could have not written a year in review, but I didn’t want to break the eight-year streak I’m on.

This has been a year of changes. I know I say that every year. My second and last son was born. I’m adjusting to the idea that my years of “reproducing” are over which is surprising; I guess I just assumed that period in my life would be longer?

I feel like I’m personally closer than I ever have been to being the kind of person I want to be. Don’t get me wrong: there’s a LOT more I want to work towards. But I feel this year, I’ve covered more ground than I ever have. I’ve worked on letting go to perfectionism and shame. I’ve learned how to be my own advocate first and how to value my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions first. I’ve learned that my worth comes from who I am and not from what I do or from what others think of me. I’ve started the good work of raising boys in a culture that doesn’t respect women. I’ve learned how to start giving myself space.

So without further ado:

January

  • Spent New Years playing games with Josh & Allison.
  • I started going to the gym at four months pregnant. I found that yoga and walking on the treadmill helped get me back to being at least somewhat active after laying in bed with intense morning sickness for the last four months.
  • Started listening to more podcasts than just This American Life. Standouts include The Liturgists (episodes 6 & 7 have legitimately changed my life), Ask Science Mike, and Invisibilia.
  • My faith deconstruction kicked into high gear; I have never felt more free, balanced, unified, and happy. (see the Liturgists episodes above)
  • I started Elliott on picking up his toys before nap and bed in preparation for the new baby.
  • Started nesting my house–organizing all the crannies that had never been gone through.
  • Elliott started being interested in potty training.

February

  • Third trimester!
  • Helped Abigail with math a lot which was strangely fun and made me miss school.
  • Started a wave embroidery for the baby.
  • Took acrylic and watercolor painting classes to treat myself before the baby came.
  • I started being a huge pregnancy-induced foodie and read and watched anything Julia Child I could get my hands on. I also baked a LOT. I even became obsessed with Tropical Coconut from Red Mango which is a big deal because I don’t really even like Red Mango.

March

  • Allison threw me an baby shower at Downtown Coffee.
  • Seth and I took a refresher childbirth class at the hospital; it was completely unnecessary.
  • My friends Donnie & Abigail got engaged, and Seth and I went to their engagement party.
  • I started having contractions and went to the hospital for monitoring. Everything was fine. Also (manageable) rib pain started again.
  • I completed my 2015 Goodreads Challenge!
  • The doctor said the baby was measuring a little small. I got a tiny bit freaked out about it, but everything ended up being fine because, just like Ell did, Judah plumped out the last month pre-birth.
  • Started packing for the hospital.
  • Bought a used pop-up camper from Craigslist that ended up having a little more mold than I was comfortable with (which is none). Having nested my house, I immediately turned all my energies toward making curtains for the camper out of drop cloths.
  • Seth made me a pan rack for the kitchen. I loved it.

April

  • Started baking bread
  • We celebrated Easter with an Easter egg hunt at my parents’ house. Ell was super into it.
  • Went to the park a lot with Elliott and Seth.
  • Seth and I ordered a new canvas for our camper. I finished the curtains a day before my due date.

May

  • After the camper was completed, Seth started nesting downstairs in his “garage.” He wanted a shop where he could fix and make things, an idea I fully supported.
  • After being nearly two weeks late, we induced, and I HAD A BABY!
  • I eased into being a mom (again) much better than I did the first time.
  • A bunch of people made us food which is the second best reason to have a baby.
  • Elliott turned two, and we celebrated at Rocket Park with monster cupcakes and friends.
  • Discovered I had a vaginal prolapse and went to the doctor who confirmed it. Cue major freak out. Start doing Kegels like a crazy person.

June

  • I turned 31 & celebrated with one of my dear friends with whom I pretty much share a birthday, Abigail, at one of my favorite spots, Highline Lake.
  • Freaked out unnecessarily about the possibility of having a long-term vaginal prolapse only to go to the doctor and discover I actually don’t have a prolapse anymore. Hallelujah.
  • Helped throw Abigail a garden party bridal shower for which I baked a terribly dried out but beautiful white buttercream rosette cake.
  • Our new little family attended the third annual Riverpalooza–we stayed for about four hours, drank beer on the beach, and let Ell play in the sand while the baby slept in my arms.
  • We started picking up weekly produce from Field to Fork, a local CSA.

July

  • We celebrated the 4th of July with my parents watching the fireworks at Lincoln Park. This was the first year Elliott was into it.
  • Since my good insurance was going to run out at the end of the month, I got ALL the things done including but not limited to: a colonoscopy (which was, oddly enough, both peaceful and interesting), a parotidectomy (because I had a lump under my right ear that had been growing since 2010–it ended up being benign…AND I’m not face paralyzed!), and mole removal.
  • Seth and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. We celebrated by sitting on the couch while I healed from my recent surgery. Fun!

August

  • Gail & Donnie got married, and I got to give a speech in the ceremony–which was so meaningful to me.
  • Our first camping trip ever as a family of 4! We also got to break in the camper. It was a little cold, but we came out of it alright–and thanking God for our heater.
  • I started a book club! I decided I needed more intellectual discussion in my life, so I asked a friend of mine to organize it with me.

September

  • Hoptocopter moved into a new 3,000 sq. foot warehouse space. Seth spent a lot of time making desks, platforms for desks, and a wooden cube that would become his office. We also hired a new editor making our office staff total six (including Seth and I).
  • I started studying Spanish for at least an hour a day.
  • I started attending MOPS–mainly so Elliott could get used to being in the nursery. He went kicking and screaming. It took about three months. Now, I have to remind him to say goodbye to me.

October

  • Our whole family went to the Air Show at the airport. Elliott loved it. Judah slept through it.
  • Elliott carved his first pumpkin and went Trick-or-Treating with my parents, Marsha (MIL), Seth, and I. Elliott was Buzz Lightyear (over which he is obsessed), and Judah was a bear.
  • Our whole family got sick with the flu.

November 

  • We bought a car, a 2001 Mercedes S500. Seth loves it.
  • We took family pictures which we have yet to edit and print! #parentlife
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with both families.

December

  • Seth turned 32. We celebrated with a Hoptocopter work party and then dinner at Texas Roadhouse with some friends.
  • Seth and I got it in our heads that we wanted a slightly larger house because the baby kept waking him up (because we only had two bedrooms). We started looking.
  • We ended up finding a house in town owned by our friend’s parents. It was perfect.
  • My parents dropped the bomb on us that they are planning on putting their house on the market in June. They’ve been in their house for nearly 25 years. It’ll be such a good change for them, but I’m going to miss it.
  • We threw our second annual Hoptocopter Christmas Party at our house. Once again, I rearranged all my furniture to accommodate 13 people. As usual, it was a blast and oh-so-much work.
  • I finished out the year with reading 15 books for my goal of 6. I ended up setting my reading goal so low because I was going to have a baby, and I didn’t know what to expect. Hitting my goal always gives me such joy. Because of Goodreads and the Reading Challenge, I have read a third of all the books I have ever read in my whole life (84 books) just in the last four years. And I feel dang proud of that.
  • After much anticipation, we flew out to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit Seth’s brother and his family. It was the first time I had left Grand Junction in a year and a half. #crazy. Elliott loved flying on not one, not two, but three airplanes, and Jude did well. The airline then lost not one, not two, but all three pieces of luggage, and after hours of calling and trying to track them down, Seth finally got our bags back on Christmas day. We had such a wonderful time with the family; we spent nearly every night playing games, eating way too much buttery Cajun food, and singing for our supper for every house guest they could muster. We spent two weeks and flew out a few days after New Years.

Whenever I compile these posts, I spend a few hours combing through all the pictures, writings, and memories of the past year, and I have to say that, although I have a long ways to go, I am at least headed in the direction I want to go. I think 2016 will be a time of adjusting and finding a new rhythm in our family of four in our new house.

I can’t wait.

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