It began with the end of maternity leave and the beginning of life as a working mother in January. It was a sick, sick baby with RSV and realizing that we made some serious errors in naming our baby. It was also our first trip to the pediatric dermatologist about Elle’s hemangioma and that journey.
Elle started rolling over in February and we re-did our master bedroom. Spent a lot of time with friends and acclimating to life on the road for work and enjoyed a relatively mild winter. I started my own little business to take pictures and share them with people I know and took lots of pictures of my friends’ babies.
Through March, I continued to struggle to balance and cover all my bases with a child in daycare and working out of town and keeping a house and a home. After surviving the sudden death of her Dad, Andrea lost her little brother, too. It was a tough, tough start to the year. We got together with my Mom’s friends and their grandbabies, which was super cool to make new friends!
With spring’s beginning, we moved into April when we began swimming classes at the local YMCA, Elle continued to battle the icky sickness and I continued to blame daycare. I continued to struggle to find a work/life/mom balance (that’s a recurring theme through the first four months of 2012, isn’t it?) and struggled with my weight, exceeding my heaviest pregnancy weight and taking a good hard look at myself as I moved ever closer to Lane Bryant sizing. We began the project that probably brought me the most joy in 2012, which was re-doing our patio and backyard area. While it still has a long, long ways to go – April was when the projects truly began in earnest, including the pond.
May blew in with our semi-annual high school girls weekend in Chicago, which was fun and not this year – for whatever reason I was out of sorts. May was also when I learned of a new job opening that sounded absolutely ideal for me, just five miles from home. The job wasn’t even posted yet, but it was at least something as my work continued to leave me unsatisfied, unfulfilled and far away from my baby and Jon. Elle got her first ponytail at school, and I got food poisoning for Mother’s Day. Elle continued to battle sickness and I continued to struggle with the local daycare as the culprit. May was also the month that Jon and I officially became members of the country club (well, technically I did, since we’re not married).
And then, we’d made it halfway through the year with June and Elle seemed to finally beat the sickness and we spent time at Lake Fenton with Great Grandma and in the water anywhere we could find. The pond continued to be the bane of my existence and a great source of pride. Elle turned eight months old and it was a great jump start to the summer. Jon’s brother Rick asked his longtime girlfriend, Jen, to marry him at a party I threw at our house. It was very cool. And then she asked Elle and I to be in her wedding! And Jon will be the best man. Extremely cool.
In July, Elle took her first steps! I got completely frustrated with the election process and the crap that was being taken on women by the men in charge of things. I continued to play in the golf league at the club with my Mom and saw my golf game come back into a semblance of the shape I remembered it being in. Through June and July I had applied for, interviewed (five times!) for and finally been offered the position that I’d learned about in May. July was a great month and I ended up taking time, re-doing our downstairs and enjoying a full week off before beginning my new job. Elle and I spent Fourth of July at Clear Lake with friends and family and we continued to spend time at the pool at Jon’s parents, on the golf course and on the lake at Lake Fenton or at Clear Lake. Frank and Andrea welcomed Joslinn into their lives and we were so excited for a girl!
Then it was August and the beginning of the new job, just 4.2 miles from home! It was a complete lifestyle change and finally, finally as a result of not driving, not being lethargic and not eating CRAP constantly, the weight began to come off. And that helped with my outlook on things. And the challenge of work – and then there photos to take of Josi, of my cousin Logan for his senior pictures. Somehow, I got another case of food poisoning this month too. Two restaurants in town that I dare to frequent still, but with a much keener eye for what I order from the menu.
So then – September. My birthday month when I turned 32 and Jon asked me to marry him – complete with a pretty amazing ring! Crazy. The new job was a huge time drain and less blogging time was available. Back to school kind of made things crazy, too, and between Jon’s time working (wherever it was he was working) and my new job, it was just an adjustment.
In October, Elle turned ONE! And I went all out, an 80-person birthday party, a full Minnie/black and white polka dot theme. It was AWESOME and overwhelming how much stuff Elle got and how many people love her and us enough to show up for a crazy first birthday party. Next year will be much more low key. Elle ate dishwashing detergent resulting in a call to poison control, my Mom and I went wedding dress and shopping and made a purchase and I started making wedding plans! We transitioned from formula to milk, took engagement pictures of Rick and Jen, moved my Grandma Ruth to Michigan from Missouri, saw Postsecret the Play in Saginaw with Mom and her friends. It was a full, full month.
November was the crazy month at work – with many weekends (almost all) worked, working on Thanksgiving for the first time ever and hosting a successful Deer Widows Weekend event. That DWW weekend was also the first time Elle puked – all over me – and I was extremely sick and so was she when the timing absolutely could not have been worse. That silly election came and went and I was a vocal critic of many aspects to the whole thing, especially when it entered into the realm of daycare. It also marked when I finally began decorating for the holidays and got my Snow Village out on display.
And then, December. Filled to the brim with parties and things to do and a challenge in my relationship with Jon that culminated in things back on track and better than ever. Elle has been thrown off her schedule for nearly two weeks now, the holidays brought her more gifts than she could know what to possibly do with and we enjoyed great time with our family and friends.
Tonight, the year that has honestly been the best yet in my existence comes to a close. And I’m okay with that. It’s been a year where I’ve watched my girlie grow into this whole live, real person with opinions and thoughts and a love for a rush of adrenaline. Jon and I have chosen to be married in 2013 and Elle will turn two. I’ll put one full year under my belt in the new job and I just feel that all in all, I will have hit my stride. Being on the Board at the golf course will be a great challenge, even though it means I’m giving up Rotary (thankfully, kind of).
So, I just know that 2013 is going to be absolutely phenomenal. And I can’t wait for it to begin…just as soon as we have some drinks tonight.
Oh yeah, and my New Year’s Resolution? To do a photo-journalistic photo a day type thing. We’ll see how long it lasts…
Cheers to the New Year!