The older I get, the faster and faster the years seem to fly by — especially now, with kids in the picture. That's why I like to stop at year's end and think back on the past 12 months. If I don't take time to reflect, I can get hung up on the year's challenges instead of remembering all the good that happened. Plus, it's always worth reliving the good, the bad and the ugly so that I can (hopefully) make whatever course corrections are needed as I navigate the new year.
• Justin's birth.
• Eight glorious months watching Justin thrive and his personality emerge.
• Another year happily married to the most wonderful, handsome, patient and understanding man in the world (according to me!).
• Seeing Lucas become a caring, doting big brother and an obvious bond forming between him and Justin.
• The sweet, soft whispers of baby babble and deep baby belly-laughs.
• Reaching my initial goal of breastfeeding for six months (and I'm still at it!).
• Our one-year anniversary in our house — and not stressing about the boxes that still need to be unpacked, the rooms that never got painted and the seemingly endless small jobs that didn't get done.
• Time spent with, and helping out, family and close friends.
• Both Husband and I are still gainfully employed.
• A truly happy and relaxing holiday season with my family.
• Discussing the possibility of Baby #3 with Husband and not receiving divorce papers in the mail!
• Another year spent living with my mother: I survived!
The Bad — or as I like to characterize it — The Not-So-Good:
• The death of one of our beloved cats, Mary.
• The phenomenal amount of baby weight I gained and have not been able to lose.
• Accepting a job that is 52 miles away from my home.
• Two surgeries: one to remove a large cyst that was calling my vaginal/urethral wall home and the other to remove melanoma that was hunkering down on my calf.
• Hitting the Jersey Shore at 3 1/2 months postpartum (the biting green flies sure didn't add to the pleasure of the experience).
• The sagging, wrinkly, striated flesh that I used to call my stomach.
Hopefully, as you all reflect on your own 12 months, you'll also find that the good on your list far outnumbers the bad and the ugly combined.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, from my family to yours!