It’s been quite a year for us. Recapping some highlights I want to remember.

In October 2017 we closed on our house, and we spent the next 6 weeks painting every possible surface: every door, wall, cabinet and trim got a shade of white. In December we moved in, and more projects started. It seemed like almost every weekend from December - June was spent on updates. Some memorable ones: tiling the kitchen backsplash, subway tiling the shower, floors in both bathrooms, designing Trey’s room (which over the course of the year turned from gender neutral nursery into full-on toddler boy) and perhaps my favorite update of all: the playhouse. My favorite make-from scratch-furniture item was/is our 10 ft. dining table.

We got to play a lot too. Some memorable trips: celebrating Grammy’s 90th in Palm Springs in February with my whole extended family, just Daniel and I to Andaz in Scottsdale in April, Leavenworth with Daniel’s side of the family for my father-in-law’s birthday, two trips to Almanor in July and September, and a fun trip to Napa for another family birthday in October. So many good memories from those trips.

The highlight of the year was finding out our second baby is on the way. Best news! The fall was a thick fog for me of morning sickness and trying to get through the days, but I continued to be active, and I think that’s what saved me this time. My sickness lingered longer, but wasn’t nearly as severe as with my first. I got out for a one mile walk, every single day, even on my toughest days. Sometimes, all the relief I got that day was that 20 minutes of moving. I am well into my second trimester and finally past the sickness, and mostly am just so grateful to get to carry life again.

Trey was an early talker (and I am a pediatric speech therapist), so we got to watch his language explode between 18-24 months firsthand. I work with so many children who are delayed, so it’s always shocking for me to see him so far above developmentally average for his age. He started a new preschool/daycare part-time in January 2018, and has absolutely thrived. We are so thankful for all of it: for him, for his teachers, for work I enjoy, for such good care.

After maybe a two year hiatus, I started running again. In April, a group of friends were doing a squat challenge together, and I decided I am not really a squats kind of girl, but I really enjoy walking and running. I joined our thread, and my challenge was running a two mile loop in our neighborhood, a couple times a week. It turned out to be the single most game-changing factor in my motherhood, work, self-care, and overall outlook on life. In May I upped it: I could do either walk one mile, or run two miles, but I had to log at least one mile, every single day. I am so proud to say, from May 1 to December 1, I did it. There were months in the summer where I was stringing together two mile runs consistently, and I was possibly in the best shape of my life (even moreso than when I was running half marathons, because I was doing it so consistently), and then months in the fall where I barely got in a one mile walk when I was so sick. But the fact that I was doing it every single day really helped. It just became part of my daily routine. In total, I logged somewhere between 210 - 420 miles. This is so crazy to me. Possibly my most active year, ever. And I started almost halfway through it.

It’s December now, and the dark, cold, and rain has set in, and many mornings the frost and ice on the ground has made me nervous for a fall while pregnant, so I am not sure how this is going to look in the winter months for me. I do have a gym membership, I just prefer to be outside. The winter is an entirely different conversation for me altogether and I am still working out my plan for this one.

Things we are looking forward to in 2019: welcoming this baby. It’s going to be a big year and I am so excited. I love the baby stage and I loved those early months with Trey and I am so excited and overwhelmingly grateful to get to do it again.

A couple trips are in the works for us and I am really looking forward to those as well. Some pre-baby and some post. I will be taking a longer-than-average maternity leave (for this country) and am grateful for that. Trey will start preschool in the fall. Our house projects will slow. I will spend a lot of time nursing. I am looking forward to all of it.

Thanks for being here. Wishing you a joyous holiday season and great start to your new year.