Monday, January 7, 2013

2012: Something Else

Photo c/o
This year is harder to sum up than I thought it would be. There are a few obvious changes that have taken place but I don't think the shift will be completely realized until I am further away from now.

Nick and I started 2012 in such a major way that the year had to be one worth remembering. We were on the roof of our condo in Sydney with some of our greatest friends watching the most amazing fireworks explode over the harbour.

In the weeks that followed Nick and I traveled around Australia visiting old haunts and discovering new treasures. I navigated around Sydney as though I'd been gone for seven days, not seven years. I sat in front of the Opera House and was mistaken for an Australian (woohoo).

Standing in front of my old apartment.
We traveled to Maggie, a tiny island close to the Great Barrier Reef. We hiked to see koalas in the wild and swam on a secluded beach. Nick and I fell in love with the country all over again and made promises to return as often as possible throughout our lives.

Our park on our last night in Sydney.
 A few weeks after Nick and I returned home, I was able to make the final payment on my car loan and my credit card, making 2012 the year that I got to declare myself debt free! It was a goal I worked on for two years and it was incredible to finally check it off.

 In April, we traveled to Mexico for a friend's wedding.  It was beautiful and crazy. Much of our time was spent swimming and drinking but we also took time to visit caves, read in our hammock, snorkel, eat great food, and dance to techno. It was fun to be at a resort with friends and I hope for more trips like that (less tequila) in the future.

I bought a bike this summer and accomplished a 40 and 50 mile ride. Those were a little rough but the shorter trips on the local bike paths were really fun.

 In July, I ran my first 5K. I do not think I could have picked a better first race. We ran/walked the color run! It was a blast. Post-baby, I hope to make races a bigger part of my life.

Elise, Sam, and I. We biked to the run and went swimming after so it was our own version of a triathlon.

Also in July, I took a huge leap and quit my job in order to write full time!! It was awesome! I miss a lot of the people but not my job at all. I have written about it a number of times so I will keep it simple and say- we made the right choice.

With my new schedule, I took ten days at the end of July and beginning of August to go down the Cape with my Dad and help him take care of my Nana. I wrote about that here.

At the end of August and beginning of September, Nick and I went to London and Paris. You can read more about that here. It was our first time in either place and we loved every minute of it.

At the end of September, I found out I was pregnant. It rocked our world. Seeing her ultrasound for the first time, pushed the fear aside to make room for excitement. Disbelief still tries to sneak in, but a steady heartbeat and a growing bump, tell us it is real. We welcome Baby Girl in May!

Mixed with our wonderful news, the fall also brought loss. In October, Duke passed away after being sick for only a few days. It was heartbreaking and we miss him still. At the end of the month, Nick and I flew to Ohio to spend time with Kris and Steve.

The day I returned home from Ohio, Nick's grandmother had a stroke. We spent the next few weeks visiting her in the hospital. She lost the ability to communicate but could hear us and was able to squeeze our hands. A few days before Thanksgiving, she succumbed to her injuries and the world truly lost an angel.

In December, we were able to find out the gender of Baby Valley. Grandma Valley, in the weeks before her stroke, told us emphatically that we were to have a girl. When we went to visit her in the hospital, Nick whispered our girl name. When we went in for the ultrasound, the lady asked me if we had a name. I told her we did if it was a girl and explained. She responded, "Grandma was right!"

Of course she was, how could it be anything else. It was a moment of Grace and knowing that we are to have a little girl is so amazing. It makes me smile, it makes me cry. A few days later, we went to visit our families and shared the news.

Home for Christmas with my parents.
 I wish I had an eloquent way to wrap up this year, to make the loss and the change all mean something. Someday I will look back and see it more clearly. But I have never been so excited to welcome a new year!

1 comment:

  1. As always, your blog is awesome!
    Here's to another amazing year!!!
    Can't wait :)