On April 21, I turned 35. It feels odd because the years keep ticking by so quickly but I don’t feel like I’ve changed all that much. Sometimes I almost forget how old I am! I guess that’s what happens when you become an adult. Although the year seemed to go by in a blur, I like to reflect on the past 365 days each year around my birthday to remind myself of all the good in my life. It’s easy to get caught up in all the things you didn’t accomplish in a year, or think about how you’re not where you wanted to be in life by a certain age, so I find that taking a moment to acknowledge all the blessings is really useful. I’m making a concerted effort to focus more on gratitude, and while it’s definitely a work in progress, things like this help. With that in mind, here’s a rundown of what I’m most grateful for over the past year:
Surviving the first year of motherhood: Becoming a mom has been the most rewarding experience of my life, but it has also been the most challenging. I knew next to nothing about caring for kids before I had one of my own, and the first year was quite the learning curve for me. Much of the first year was spent worrying about this or that since I was new to the mom thing and didn’t know what was normal vs. not. I was also dealing with all of the physical changes that come along with having a baby and it took me almost a full year to feel back to myself. But I survived! It took a while to get out of survival mode and into the groove of motherhood, but I eventually did and I truly couldn’t be happier.
Getting pregnant with baby # 2: For some reason I always worried about having trouble conceiving and I imagined it taking a while. I am so unbelievably blessed and grateful that I got pregnant (and stayed pregnant) so easily not only with Jackson, but with our second baby as well. In both cases, we conceived on the first try, which I know is very lucky and something I shouldn’t take for granted. I know many people who have struggled with either infertility or pregnancy loss or both, and I count my lucky stars that we have been so fortunate in this area.
Moving closer to family: Right out of college I moved to New York City, where I lived for almost ten years, and then David and I did a brief six month stint in Michigan, where we had Jackson. My family is all in Connecticut and although NYC is quite close, I didn’t often make it home to visit outside of holidays throughout the time I lived there. It was just far enough that unless I had a three day weekend, it didn’t make a lot of sense to come in because I’d spend a lot of time getting to and from. It required a lot of logistics, like taking a subway to a train and then driving for 45 minutes. And my parents didn’t visit much either because there was never space for them to stay. I think my parents actually visited more during our brief time in Michigan than my whole time in NYC, even though it was an eleven hour drive! Of course they had more of a reason to visit since we had our first baby. Now that we’re back in the same state (CT) and only about a 90-minute car ride away, it’s so easy to plan last minute visits to grandma and grandpa’s house or vice versa. My sister and some long-time friends are in the state too, so getting together with them is a lot easier than before as well. With a toddler and a baby on the way, I can’t even tell you how thankful I am to be close to family. I do wish we were closer to David’s side of the family so that we could see them more often, but I’m grateful that we’re a short distance from at least one side. It’s invaluable!
Buying our first house: Speaking of moving, this past year was a huge milestone for David and me because we bought our very first house! We had been talking about wanting to buy a place since we got married in 2013 but the timing never seemed right and we couldn’t make up our minds about where to settle down. It was easier to just keep renting and not think about it. Having a baby really pushed us to finally get serious about home ownership though and, last fall, we closed on our first home! It was a scary prospect to fork over so much hard-earned money, but I’m so glad we made the investment. Being a homebody, I spend a lot of time in our house, naturally, and it’s a great feeling being somewhere that’s our very own and that we can put our own personal stamp on. It truly feels like home vs. a temporary place I know we’ll be leaving in a couple years’ time.
34 was a pretty memorable year and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 35!