This is my first entry for 2017 and I thought, what better way to start the year by reflecting on the past year and planning for the year ahead. As I am sitting here on my kitchen island, I look around me and I see so many blessings. First of all, my playful and happy baby boy, Alden, sitting down in his Bumbo seat, sucking and reaching out for his toys while watching Daniel the Tiger on the television.
Next, I think of Ryan, who is contently sleeping upstairs after the late night we had ringing in the new year in our new home – How much have our relationship grown and to many highs we’ve experienced as well as lows; I am happy that we get to do this together. Lastly, I look at our beautiful home. We love our house and I am forever grateful to Ryan for providing Alden & I with such a beautiful place to live in. He poured his heart & soul into buying this house and now together we make it ours with starting new traditions and keeping old ones. However, despite all of these great things, I am also thinking about the hard times we’ve endured in 2016, and when I say hard, that is probably an understatement. At the end of the day, we were able to find lessons through our trials & tribulations, and we get to apply them to the days we are about to have, and that is the beauty of living life in a full circle. I am grateful to Ryan for opening my eyes and showing me the way to living life different from the way I have always known, and that also is one thing I am forever thankful for.
So, in light of the new year, I wanted to recap the highlights of this year in passing by month:
January – What better way to ring in the new year by celebrating our recent engagement and announcing to our families that we are expecting a baby together. I remember being incredibly happy with this new life I was about to take on, not knowing also what kind of challenges I am about to face. I was so eager to meet my baby as soon as I knew there was a seed growing inside of me which now I come to know as the smiling baby we own.
February – Following through the baby announcements, Ryan surprised me with the best baby announcement ever at work. I’ve always been very private with my personal life at work (I think both of us are), and after making the engagement announcement to everyone, I dreaded telling people at work that we were expecting – Just because everyone had a shock knowing we even dated and now can you believe the reaction when we tell them this? So, Ryan took this in his own hands and bought these huge balloons and went to my desk to set it up after I left for the day. He answered all the questions from people wondering why there were pink & blue balloons and what they were for and I am so blown away by this but everyone was SO excited for us. Honestly, having a baby is by far such a humbling experience because people are genuinely so happy for you. Even when none of my family back home spoke to me to congratulate me and some even severed ties with me, I knew that others had my back – And that to me is the best gift of all. In February also, Ryan and I started spending all our time shopping for furniture for the new house and of course, getting started on our baby registry as well.
March – So, if you didn’t know, I like to change my hair. And not just change it once in 2 years, I change it pretty often – Maybe not so much now compared to my college days due to my corporate job but anyways, in March, I chalked up the courage and got myself some hair extensions and I loved it! I’ve always wanted super long hair, but never had enough patience to let it grow..so extensions it is. I remember “changing” a lot this month -With the hair, the new clothes & shoes R bought and a new purse by surprise..I remember calling him up one evening after work when he was home a little later than usual and then he came home with this amazing bag & box which left me completely speechless!! I have always wanted one and I am not one that has designer purses, and he made it happen for me. It is in this month also we had our maternity/gender reveal photoshoot at Piedmont Park when we found out we were having a BOY! To wrap up the month, we went to Savannah for a weekend trip to celebrate our friend’s wedding and for a little babymoon vacation before I got too pregnant.
April – My birthday month pretty much went by in a dash! We were SO busy this month – With finalizing furniture shopping and then finally closing on the house on my birthday (the 29th) and my business travel to the West Coast (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and my baby shower! I waited for the longest time for this month for three reasons: 1) Work Trip 2) Moving 3) Baby Shower. It is one of the best birthdays I’ve had in years and more new beginnings for us.We are so thankful for families and friends that helped us move and for coming from near & far to celebrate Alden’s pending arrival in June.
May – After moving into the house, we became homebodies, but not the laze around and do nothing homebodies but the lets settle in and make this house beautiful type of homebodies. A lot of people forget that moving is not the actual act of moving-in itself, but the post hoc activities that take place upon moving, such as, installing blinds, getting rooms setup..so on and so forth. It is also in this month when I started nesting and cooked up a storm. I made & cooked a lot of new things and Ryan didn’t even know I had this in me but it’s because the old place was not so inspiring to me. I have my dream kitchen you guys so it only made sense!! Since I was 8 months pregnant at this time and it was the summer, I managed to sneak in some pool time as well (at our place as well as mom’s).
June – The most anticipated month, ever! Our EDD was 6/23rd and the countdown officially begun. I started delegating work to the rest of my team, and I started getting my lazy butt up and got busy! I felt so incredibly pregnant in June and I really was hoping my baby would show up earlier than estimated but he didn’t! I ended up being induced and had a c-section all by the end of the month! Just as a FYI, the start of June was also the beginning of Ramadan. I didn’t fast this year because it was right smack in the heat of summer or else I would probably try a day or two. I managed to go to the mosque a few times on my own to pray for my Tarawih prayers though. Praying was getting a little tricky because my belly was so huge but each time I made my sujud and felt mushi inside of me, it was a feeling beyond compare. I am so happy to have given birth before the end of Ramadan as well.. Both Alden and I both have Ramadan birthdays! Oh, and I did not forget this but one of my closest friends from high school came and one of Ryan’s best friends came to visit us in this month also.
July – After a week of being in the hospital, we were finally discharged July 1, which was a Friday. The immediate feeling I got from getting discharged was elation! I have never felt so happy to sit in rush hour traffic. I remember how eager I was to leave the hospital and that the discharge process took FOREVER; I didn’t wait for the hospital techs to come wheel me from my room to the hospital exit, but I got up and started walking my baby & I to the elevators myself when I got stopped from doing that. LOL. Looks like I was running-away with the baby. When we got home, my MIL stayed for another week before she returned to So. Florida and I am so grateful for having her around because we needed help. We also celebrated our first 4th of July and Eid together. I think exactly a week after I came home, I actually went for a job interview with my scars unhealed, I wanted the best for my baby (but I didn’t get that job). We had a rush of visits from family & friends all month and we just kept receiving nothing but love. I also decided that my time with the hair extensions should go, so out they came and bring on the bleach – I went blonde! Right at my 4 week mark, I actually went out on my first night out with for my friend’s birthday and showed off my brand new look.
August – I returned back to work in August and although I was torn at having to go back to work already, I was ready. I came back well rested and happy to see all my coworkers and being back at work. I started establishing new schedules with managing work, life & baby and it was pretty difficult at first but it started becoming second nature after a few weeks. Before I started work again which was mid-August, I actually interviewed with another company and the entire month, I waited to hear back from them. This would be the ideal job because it is located 5 minutes from me and it was a great opportunity too. Other activities ensued with visiting with friends and family and also enjoying the last bit of my maternity leave in the earlier weeks of August. I even attended my friend’s bridal shower which was a lot of fun as well!
September – This was a month of celebrations for me! I was offered a position at the company I interviewed for and I accepted it! I had to tell my coworkers that I am leaving shortly after I returned and it was all sad because I loved working there but it was time for me to go but after the first week at the new place, I found how much I love my new job and the people there in such a short time! We celebrated my new job, and my mom’s birthday all in September.
October – Getting into the last quarter for the year, the weather started cooling off this month and we were able to go on our first family vacation today with friends to the Blue Ridge mountains. We also did a lot of outdoor things like going to the Atlanta Zoo and to birthday parties as well as a visit from Grandma & Grandpa. Obviously we closed the month with Halloween.
November – The highlight for this month was my friend’s gorgeous wedding and Thanksgiving. We hosted dinner this year and had close to 20 people over at our house. And the catch is, we cooked everything from scratch! I had so much fun hostessing with Ryan and we ate a lot & played games together. It was the most fun I’ve had in a while.
December – Which brings us here, just a few days ago.. in December. With work picking up for me, and getting into holiday mode and our trip to Fort Lauderdale, the year couldn’t have ended perfectly. We rang in the new year in our home, playing scrabble and had a little dance party at home!
Phew! That took forever to write but it brought back so much fond memories. I feel like we have accomplished a lot in 2016 and it will forever be a year that I won’t ever forget because it is the year that made me a mom. Now, my hopes for 2017 is to 1) Kick-ass at work, 2) Complain less, 3) Work out more, 4) Pray more, 5) Read more & 6) Spend less.
Here’s to a healthy and happy new year 2017!