Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2012

Dear 2012,

You’re leaving? So soon? I feel like you just got here and now you are swiftly making your departure. It was this time last year when I was so eager for your arrival. You see, 2011 wasn’t the best year in my house. There were many disappointments, so I knew that you had to be a better visitor than your predecessor. Boy, was I right.

I welcomed you with a bang … literally. A group of us went out to the shooting range and blew our frustrations into a million little pieces. This photo is of my dear friend Brandi and I in the early morning hours on New Year's Eve. What I find most ironic about this photo is that I have another chin pimple again this year. WTH, chin pimple. Really? I am too old for this crap.

Our evening was spent at Cosmopolitan hotel, toasting the night away and waking up with a massive hangover. Hey, I did say I am old a few lines above.

As I celebrated with friends, we all talked about our wishes and hopes for 2012. During this time, I said that it was going to be a good year. A BIG year. I had no idea that six weeks later I would find out just how big the year was going to be.

In all honesty, I thought that 2012 would include a cross-country move and a new job for the hubs. I remember saying to my friends that there was a chance we wouldn't even be here to celebrate 2013 with them. Well, we aren't on the strip celebrating tonight, that is for sure. I probably won't even make it until midnight, or even 9 p.m. 

In January, the hubs and I visited a psychic who mentioned that it was going to be a big year for me. That this year was going to be all about me and not the hubs. In the back of my mind, we still hoped for that move, but I was open to what the universe had in store for me. She was right, this was indeed a big year for me. It was an amazing year, quite possibly the best one ever. There were no disappointments or let downs. My year was filled with love, friends, family, opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

And here it goes, 2012 in review:

January: Right after the New Year, I turned our third bedroom into an office. I had big dreams of doing more freelance writing and editing work, so I needed a space. It wasn't in our minds that this room would be used for anything else anytime soon ...

I turned 22 for the 12th time and celebrated by zip lining in Boulder City and ending it with that trip to the psychic. She also mentioned that if I didn't want to get pregnant right away to take precautions, because it will happen. And it did, just a few weeks later. 
Not my 22nd birthday, but the bday party of a fabulous friend
Boulder City Flight Linez
February: One Wednesday afternoon, I could not keep my eyes open after 3 p.m. I had an idea that something may be a brewin' in my uterus, but couldn't fathom becoming a mom, so I started to ignore it. Tiredness didn't go away and more of these strange symptoms came around. I told my dear friend that I thought I was pregnant and that I really meant it. She was kind enough to purchase the pregnancy test for me at Target and one Saturday in the morning, I pee'd on a stick, took a peek and said, "Oh S#*t." The psychic was right. I was pregnant. 

In not-so-uterus news, the hubs surprised me with a visit from my mom. Totally planned before the pregnancy, she was coming out to see me emcee an event for JDRF. She stayed for two weeks and we got to tell her in person that good things come in threes and she was going to have her third grandchild.
Emceeing the Hope & Health Symposium

March: While my mom was still here, we gave my dad an unforgettable birthday present: We watched him open up his birthday card via Skype. It was signed from Jennifer, Tedd and the one without arms or legs. Yes, we told him I was pregnant and his reaction was more than I could have expected: he cried.
Notice the pink & blue cake? He didn't catch on.
April: The spring brought another visit from my little lovies: Mari, Sebbie and my sister. She wanted to come visit me while I was pregnant and brought along kid germs. 

At 13 weeks pregnant, I was sidelined with a cold that knocked me on my butt and I even had to take a few days off of work. Being sick and pregnant sucks. Here I am on the couch while Mari puts makeup on me. A girl after my own heart. 

I also hit the employment jackpot in April. After finding out I was pregnant, the scurry was on to find a job a bit less stressful and one with benefits. Even though I was prepared to not have a paid maternity leave, I did need paid time off and the ability to go to all of my (endless!) doctor appointments. I truly got lucky here with this one, the psychic was right.

May: Well, my 2005 Nissan Sentra wasn't going to cut it for transporting a baby around! So we started car shopping. The goal was to test drive the cars we liked so I wouldn't have to do it 7+ months pregnant in the middle of a Vegas summer. We ended up with a Toyota Highlander.
June: Hmmm ... not much happened in June. The hubs went to Seattle, I didn't. I had a ticket, but another "psychic" said I wasn't "out of the woods" with pregnancy by the fifth month, so I was scared. This same person also said she felt I was having a boy ... So yea, nothing happened in June. Oh wait, I bought maternity Spanx and my life was infinitely better.
July: The summer brought hot, sweaty thighs to my world; another visit from my mom, sister and my lovies; and my baby shower. July was a good month. 

We took a trip to Phoenix, because Las Vegas isn't hot enough. :) We visited with our nephew and picked up lots of hand-me-overs for Baby Flobee.

August: This month didn't bring us much more than hot, sweaty thighs, some shopping and doctor appointments. We did get a peak at our little peanut though.

September: We finally kicked ourselves into gear and started on Flobee's nursery. And my belly continued to grow. And grow. We also went on our last dinner date for the next three months. On Sept., 28, we celebrated our last night out as a married couple, without a child. The next morning, my mom arrived for her 63-day stay. We went to Fleming's, by the way. And I was too pregnant to even eat anything more than a salad! My mom arrived on Sept. 29th and "Operation Flobee Watch" began.

 October: Well, we know how this month turned out. I became a mom with a baby outside of my belly. I gave birth on October 17. To a 9.5 lb. baby girl. I went from looking like this:
To having this in just 16 hours:

October was the most amazing and challenging month of my life. I became a mom to someone so pure and so innocent. I never knew what it felt like to hold such innocence in my arms. I also became more responsible than I ever had to be: you get a license to drive, a license to openly carry a weapon, but any fool can have a baby. That is where licensing really needs to happen. But we survived. Team Flo made it through what we thought were going to be the worst days of our lives. But then we heard, repeatedly, that these were the easy days. I somehow believe that.

November: My dad joined us for a month-long visit. He drove all the way from Pennsylvania to Las Vegas with the dog. And the next best month of my life began. The day after Thanksgiving, my sister and the lovies came out to meet Baby Flobee. The best gift anyone can ask for: the people I love the most in one place at one time. And my baby girl turned one month old.

December: The world didn't end. My little girl turned two months old, started sleeping 7+ hours a night and celebrated (slept through!) her first Christmas. Harlow spent Christmas with some very dear friends and family members. I will be forever grateful that you opened your homes to us, saving this new mom from stressing over the holidays.We also had our first date in three months. It was glorious. And no, we didn't talk about the baby the whole time.

My parents left on Dec. 1 and left the hubs & I to our own devices. We had to parent our daughter all by ourselves. Team Flo survived. Again. I think that we may just be getting the hang of this parenting thing ... and I know that when we do, she will go and change everything up on us.

To 2012, you were the best, most challenging and most rewarding year of my life. I am sad to see you leave so soon, even though I know you were here for a whole year. They say time flies when you are having fun, so we really must've had a good one together. I am grateful for the memories you are leaving behind and you will always hold special place in my heart. I know that we will never meet again, not in heaven or anywhere in between. You were a once-in-a-lifetime year and I will miss you dearly.

As I brace to welcome the unknowns of 2013, I can only hope it continues with what 2012 started and brings endless joy and memories.

I don't resolve to do anything but enjoy the year, to be the best mom I can be to my little peanut, to always be doing the best that I can, even if that best isn't someone else's best. To enjoy every moment. I am starting out the year with a 2 1/2 month old baby who can't hold a bottle or pacifier by herself. By this time next year, she will be walking, maybe saying a word or two, holding her own bottle, spoon and plate.

As they say, "The days are long, but the years are short." Before I know it, it will be time to write 2013 a sweet send-off. Be good to us, New Year. Be good.

This is the perfect time to start my 2013 photo campaign: "What a Difference a Year Makes." Two-thousand and twelve was well documented since I spent 39 out of 52 weeks of it pregnant. For each day that I have a photo documented, I will take one in 2013 on the same day. It will be fun to compare what a difference a year makes. I encourage you to do the same, to take a look at where you were and where you are.

To everyone reading, have the happiest of New Years. Be safe and remember to love.

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