Monday, February 4, 2013

Reflections on 2012

I realize that this new year is going to be a turning point as the landscape of our family changes. And the best I can hope to do is take as many lessons from the last year into this one. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not being able to blog the last quarter of 2012 but I've decided to let myself off the hook, not to hold myself to unreasonable expectations when I know that I'm doing my best. The very little I had to give each day was reserved for Zoe who has grown into a vibrant and curious toddler and for Mike (though some days I didn't have enough even for him). Thank you wonderful husband!

I was extremely sick when I was pregnant with Zoe and it lasted until the 26th week. At that time, my dad was battling cancer and I found it within myself to know that I, unlike him, was sick due to a baby and not illness. Perception is everything and though the sickness was worse last time, I was stronger. This time, I can't say the same. As the second anniversary of my dad's passing rolled around and I was too sick to visit him, I wallowed to my heart's content. I wallowed, not just in the loss of my dad but everything I could think of, why my morning sickness was so severe, the stress of missing work, my mom too far to come help. It was a sad sight, a bona fide pity party, an absolute accumulation of pessimism and false perception but then...the necessary purging of it.

Lesson #1: Take time to mourn bad things that happen to me; big things and small things. The past two years have been a whirlwind. Without making the time to really stop and process, the build-up of tension and unprocessed emotions was beginning to leak on everything in the form of dissatisfaction. Being sick and bed-ridden has been an amazing gift, the gift of "space" away from busyness to process and be led back to gratitude.

Lesson #2: Listen to my husband more, like really listen. Mike and I had one of the greatest conversations we'll ever have this past year. It started with typical complaints of day-to-day life and though I wouldn't have blamed him if he ignored me, his ears and his heart were wide open. He heard my cries for space and need for rest all between mundane complaints of a terrible work project, traffic, and parking fees. It doesn't sound like much but the thing that separates this conversation from the rest is that he heard me beyond what I was actually saying. It's an amazing gift to be known and loved this way.

Lesson #3: Lead by example. Oh my are the "twos" terrible terrific. Besides being loving and warm, bubbly and curious, Zoe has full-blown ah-tee-tude. Yes, it's cute (most of the time) and yes, she probably gets it from me. But I guess that's the thing, it's really not easy to be faced with a mini-version of the not-so-nice you sometimes. What do you do when you fully understand someone else's personality, good and bad, but recognize it's not always appropriate behavior. CHANGE FIRST. Mike is such a gracious and loving husband, I've never felt like he's required that I change. He accepts my faults and in Zoe, he considers it funny and cute replicated in the mini-version of me. He's crazy really patient.

I'm back at work now and there is a good sense of newness. It's refreshing. I hope it's from within and that the time off, despite having spent it in bed, is the cause of it. There were humbling and miserable moments but so much more thanks to the so much less I was doing. I can take this new found appreciation for the big things into 2013 and expect great things.

Happy New Year friends!

p.s. We L.O.V.E the photographer we used for this year's pics. Joanne H Pio Photography and highly recommend her. She was great with Zoe and I love her knack for catching candid moments.


  1. Such beautiful pictures of you guys. May your growing family be blessed always. We just saw the first anniversary of my dad's passing and I know what you mean. Its so strange how it seems like you're doing all better and then suddenly something happens that takes you back to that time and the tragedy of it all. Sending prayers and love your way. He is in a better place. Knowing that makes it a bit easier. Lots of love.

    PS: My daughter has the same sweater from Old Navy. It looks super cute!

    1. Thanks Nataliya for your kind words.

  2. Thanks for the shout our Mary! It was such a blast to shoot your lovely family! :)


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