Yesterday, I did something foolish- as I do nearly every day.
I desperately tried to enjoy a meal out. At a restaurant. With my toddler.
Throughout my fertility journey I enjoyed a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions, many of which were new to me entirely. And as a result, it momentarily changed me- the very essence of who I was at times; inevitably shifting the relationships I had with those around me. Particularly when it came to my more fertile counterparts.
If you follow along here, you know that infertility is something I struggled with before finally conceiving our daughter through IVF in 2014. It's a topic that is such a large part of my story, and continues to be something we grapple with as we strive to complete our family. After much soul-searching, we took the leap to try for another baby last fall.
The holidays are officially over and we have returned from our vacation in dreamy California. It was a lovely holiday season that, as always, went way too quickly. But we are back at home, and happy to settle back in our routine and into the new year.
Typically I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. But I do try to take the start of a new year to refocus on what makes me feel good- inside and out. Sometimes its just a simple tweak that can make all the difference. And because I'm a big believer in writing down what we need and want, here are a few things I'm committing to in 2017:
And just like that: it's 2017. A new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.
And while I see many abundantly happy to say goodbye to 2016, that really has never been my style. Not even when it comes to the really trying years. Because while some are happier than others, each year- it's triumphs and challenges- give us great opportunity to grow; to become better versions of ourselves. To identify our strengths and improve on our weaknesses.
Motherhood. You're a tricky one, for sure. Madeline turns eighteen-months next week; and in those months I've learned a lot. So, so much. And most days, I feel like I've gotten pretty good at this job. But I've also learned that there will be days when I feel like I've learned nothing at all. And I'll feel like I've failed. And objectively, on those days, I might have; at certain things. But I'm OK with these tiny "failures." Because they come with the territory. And if you look at the scheme of things, they're not really failures at all, but are just part of the ride; and the beauty outweighs the ugly. By a mile.
If you're going to be cooped up in the house due to days on days of rain, it may as well be the first week of December- giving us loads of time to delve into some of our most beloved holiday traditions. And because we picked up our tree over Thanksgiving Weekend- as is tree-dition- we were all set to unwrap ornaments, trim the tree, and enjoy lazy morning and afternoons amongst our decorations. Yes, the holidays are in full swing- and not even a few days of rain can bring us down.
People said a lot of strange things to me during that year struggling to conceive; most of which I chalked up to the the fact that most people just didn't know what to say. I've been that person, too, at times- one really wanting to comfort or encourage, but at a loss as to how to do so.
In that year most people cheered us on; many asked questions; others said nothing at all. But all of them cried happy tears when they heard our good news. So I believe all of it came from a good place.
If you're new around here, let me take a moment to introduce my first born. While not my biological child, this fur baby we call Henry was perhaps my first real love. For many years I happily referred to him as my soul mate. In terms of dogs, you just can't get much better.
He's a love. He's protective- but only when he needs to be. He's easy. He naps and chills. He's active when you want him to be. He's cuddled me through Sunday Scaries. He was my baby when I struggled to be a mom.
They say that as a mom, there are some days that you'll feel like you can barely get out of your pjs and brush your teeth; while other days you feel like you can rule the world.
For me, most days are somewhere in between- Maddie will always be fed, she has a daily bath, and most of the time (thanks to Nana) she'll be dressed to the nines; whereas you can usually find me in sweats, rarely getting half way through a cup of coffee before it turns ice cold.
But somehow yesterday was one of my more productive days...