I had big plans to recapture the essence of 2012 here on this blog if not for my own pleasure, a summary of the year's highest and lowest moments. I thought about this, planned for this, bookmarked posts that I wanted to remember to focus on but instead I shut my computer down and spent the cool, breezy afternoon outside with Ethan. He woke up from his nap in mismatched pajamas, bringing me his new shoes and pointing towards the back door. My parents had gotten Ethan a swingset for our backyard for Christmas and it's been love at first sight for Ethan and strangely for me, too, as a place to enjoy the mild Florida winter under a crisp blue sky and the unfamiliar but welcomed breeze. We've been losing ourselves for hours outside each afternoon but something about his mismatched pajamas, his high-top sneakers, his unruly golden waves held together by stale applesauce just screamed hold onto these moments forever as they are fleeting and so we did.
But still, the fact remains that last year we rang in 2012 with this cherubic little baby...
...and now I spend my days chasing around a toddler -- a little boy -- with opinions and the uncanny ability to climb up a dangerously tall slide. How so much has changed right under our noses, even when it feels like things have been the way they are for so long. They haven't. Each new day brings something new, a new milestone, something different and so much more than the day before. For that, I want to point out my most memorable milestones from 2012, like Ethan's first taste of solid foods or how my husband and I celebrated ten years together in January. 2012 held first swimming lessons and first Stroller Strides classes. It held first haircuts and trying to come to terms with Ethan's respiratory issues. We discovered the beauty of salt therapy, celebrated my first mother's day as a mother, discovered my son's uncontrollable love for music and Ethan's first dentist visit. We celebrated our third wedding anniversary and that amazing day Ethan's Celiac test came back negative. 2012 was the year where Ethan turned 1 and celebrated both with a cold and by snuggling a monkey. Shortly after came one of my favorite moments of the year...
...Ethan's barnyard 1st birthday bash, of course!
A little over a month after Ethan turned one, 2012 saw his first steps and in turn, his first shoes. I did many things I was proud of, including participating in a 24-hour blog-a-thon for charity and saying goodbye to any fear or insecurity in my life, truly finding myself as a mother and woman. We truly soaked in every moment of 2012's scorching hot summer, including finding our niche with an amazing group of friends. My little sister turned sweet sixteen -- which makes me really old. Ethan and I began doing tot school and I began documenting his healthy toddler meals. We encountered some purely mean members of humanity, survived Ethan's first ER trip and spent a huge chunk of the year trying to fight -- more like all-out brawl -- Ethan's lingering respiratory issues.
But the good always outweighed the bad. There were life's sweet moments, like Ethan's 2nd pumpkin carving and Ethan's 2nd Halloween. We celebrated all we have to be thankful for and spent a peaceful Thanksgiving on the lake. We trudged through sick days and pulled ourselves together for our family portraits. We brought home our Christmas tree, celebrated Ethan's 2nd Hanukkah, had our first date night in over a year and threw Ethan a mega-holiday party and spent December flat-out enjoying a magical holiday season with Ethan.
Ethan's 2nd Christmas went off beautifully and in the days since, I've found myself still wrestling the massive piles of wrapping paper and general post-holiday chaos. It's hard to believe enough days have already passed for us to be hours shy of ringing in the new year.
I've struggled this year with trying to adjust to my husband's demanding work schedule, oftentimes feeling overwhelmed, lonely and defeated at the end of the day and it's my greatest wish for the new year that a resolution to this problem somehow arises because I love my little family and I miss time together with my little family. As 2013 dances on the horizon, I want to make myself a promise to at least attempt to knock it off with the self-doubt and the mom-guilt. Once in a while, I want to acknowledge that I deserve a pat on the back, a high five and a hot bath. Despite the chaos around me -- the piles of laundry and the plates in the sink -- I can only hope 2013 brings me as much love, laughter and magic as 2012 has.
Bring it on, 2013. I'm ready for you.