Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking Back at 2017

This has been a weird year.  On one hand, thanks to the addition of baby Ben, it is the year that my family became complete.  I can't really think of anything more important and special than that. 

On the other hand, this year has not been easy. Joe had two major surgeries with long recoveries. I was pregnant and feeling low-energy the first part of the year. Syd entered her terrible twos. We quickly learned the challenges of caring for two young kids at once.

More than anything, this year has been one where I have learned to appreciate what it means to have a village. I know for certain Joe and I would not have made it through this year without the kindness and love from our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family.  I am beyond grateful and thankful.  

And now for some memories and pictures!

January: I spent the month hiding my pregnancy from work, which was especially interesting as we had a kick-off weekend in Scottsdale and I had to be a proxy for my boss.  

February: The Patriots won the superbowl.  (I remember this clearly because Joe watched the replay at least 100 times.) Joe had surgery on his neck/back. I took off a week from work and hung with Syd. Little did I know how "easy" this recovery was relative to later in the year. 

Date night at the hospital.
Playdates with Syd!

March-May: Joe continued his recovery with PT, but slowly and sadly realized the surgery hadn't fixed everything.  Meanwhile we worked on home projects, including building a new deck and getting the house ready for baby #2. We took our first overnight trip (together) since Syd was born to celebrate Lauren & Mark's wedding. 

 Midway through the new deck rebuild. 

June: I was supposed to join the entire W family in Cape Cod for Joe & Sally's 50th wedding anniversary. I had been planning on going until the Thursday before we were scheduled to go, but then my doctor told me I shouldn't. I was really upset to miss out and had multiple teary episodes.  But given some complications during Ben's delivery, it was best I didn't risk anything. Instead I stayed home, cleaned the house, caught up with friends, and nested.  At least Syd had fun on the beach!

I continued to get larger and larger.

July: Baby Ben arrives! And my family is complete. 
August: Joe has shoulder surgery. (We thought timing was good since I had 4 months off for maternity leave and the recovery was 12 weeks. I suppose we didn't really have other options, but I would highly advise against doing this when you have a newborn at home.) Syd turns a bit crazy. She crawls out of her crib, stops sleeping, starts rebelling against baby brother... things we probably could have been more prepared for - both physically and mentally.  She starts 3-day-a-week preschool at the end of August. Yes, there were many tears. 
Joe takes a post-surgery selfie which may have captured his last real smile for about 6 weeks. 
Syd on her first day of preschool. 

September: Without Joe's mom, I'm not sure we would have survived. 

October: Syd turns two! We have a fun family party for her birthday, and then take her to Zilker Park for her first trip on the Zilker Zephyr.  She also gets into a better grove at school and develops an obsession with pumpkins and the Ghostbusters theme song. Joe finally gets to move without the shoulder sling.

Syd's (and Ben's) first trip on the Zilker Zephyr
 Preschool = a new found love of painting. 

November: Our third time to host Thanksgiving at the new house, and this time Aunt Laura joins us for the week.  I also head back to work this month, but luckily my boss is incredible and the transition is manageable. (Given Joe's slow recovery, I have extra lee-way to work from home and help out when possible.) Joe also heads back to work this month and learns how to manage two minions on his own. We also started on some of our big yard projects - mainly Operation Children's Dream Yard - which included spreading 18 yards of dirt on one side of the house.

December: Syd has transitioned from all things pumpkins to all things Christmas. It's all Frosty, all the time.  I enjoy a Christmas tree for the second time ever, and Christmas lights for the first time.  December also seems to be the beginning of the Syd+Ben team. She is starting to return his interest and I am catching her being sweet to him more and more.

So... 2017. I can't say I ever want to do it again. (I know Joe doesn't!) Yet I already miss parts of it and want to be sure I remember all the sweetness the year had to offer. I am looking forward to 2018 and all it has to offer too!

Happy new year to all!

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