Looking Back on 2016

2016 was a magical year. Yes, it was a hard year for so many reasons, but personally? It was magic.
Photo by the incredible Jill Tracey at Maggie Jill Photography in Stoughton, MA
Last year, the word that I focused on throughout the year was creative. Instead of using it as an adjective though, I used it as a verb - create. This year, I created. I created life, I created a healthy space, I created adventure. I created, and I loved every moment of it.

A year ago, Josh and I just finished 10 months of trying (but not succeeding) to get pregnant and had gone through testing to find out that there was no medical reason for us to not be pregnant. We were experiencing "unexplained infertility." And so, we went into 2016 with the hope that this would change and with the help of a little modern medicine, a month later Josh and I found out that we were pregnant! We had created life.

And honestly, I loved being pregnant. There were about 8 rocky weeks in the 2nd and 3rd months where the wrongly named morning sickness took over my life (seriously - who named it that? the nausea lasts allll day!) and one really terrible overnight train ride, but after that, I felt great. And I stayed feeling that way except for about 2 weeks in mid-October when my feet swelled and I had to buy shoes 2 sizes bigger just to make it through the day. 

I also didn't let pregnancy stop me from doing fun things - and in spite of the insane summer heat - I actually really liked my summer pregnancy uniform of maternity shorts and stretchy Target tank tops. And the summer was wonderful! Josh and I took a second anniversary / babymoon trip to California and drove down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles - a trip that we'd been planning since our first road trip 6 years before. Even though it was a little tough watching Josh enjoy tartare and oysters (my favorites!), the trip was amazing. We toured fun new places and got to enjoy each other's company before officially becoming parents.
Driving down the California coast!
The end of the summer brought me back to work to set up my very own classroom! For the first time since beginning teaching, I do have a space all my own and I spent a lot of time at school before the year started getting it ready. Once I get back to school from maternity leave, I will do an official classroom tour, but suffice it to say, having my own classroom has been a game-changer. I only get to enjoy it for a couple of months before going on leave, but those 2 months were heavenly - and I cannot wait to enjoy it for years to come.
Updated photos and the official classroom tour coming soon!
Once the school year started, time flew by. I got back to into work and before I knew it, I was leaving on my maternity leave! My last day was Friday, October 28th and my due date was October 30th. I was convinced that she was going to be late and I would have most of the week - if not the whole week - to get things done, and I'd probably be a little bit bored on top of it all. But, wow, was I wrong! Monday morning I woke up, got ready to run errands, went to the bathroom and discovered that the labor process had begun. I called my doctor, who told me to monitor it for a bit, went to Target, and when I came back my water had officially broken and she told me to head to the hospital. The next morning at 10:23 am, Claire was born!
Our first family photo!!
Instantly, our lives felt full. And the last 8 weeks and 3 days have been an incredible adventure that I could never have imagined. Time seems to simultaneously have flown by and be moving at a snail's pace. Every day I wonder how she is only 8 weeks (really? it seems like we've lived through 8 years already!) and how she is already 8 weeks! Her presence is an unbelievable blessing and miracle and I love spending every single moment with her. 

Unfortunately, a week after she was born, Josh and I watched in shock as the results of the election came in. We should have been, but we were not really prepared for what happened and having a newborn daughter made it that much harder to take in. But, I have taken in Hillary's message of hope and I know that there is work to be done and I have hope that not only will Josh and I continue to do it, but that our daughter will join in the fight for equality and freedom as well. 

Today, Claire is just over 8 weeks and will be 2 months on Sunday the 1st. She is already holding her head up and giggling and laughing. We've had some struggles with reflux, but are working to get it under control and getting her to feel better. She is a bundle of joy and I want to snuggle her every single moment of the day! 

2016 definitely threw some curveballs our way, and we are ready to see what 2017 has in store for us, but 2016 will always be one of my favorite years. 




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