I can’t believe we’re already nearly entirely through January. That once again it’s been months since my last post. That this month, tomorrow, actually, my baby (yep, had that baby!) will be a three-month-old and not a brand new baby. That 2014 is over. It went so fast, and yet, last January seems like eons ago when I stop to think that we were still living in Miami and so anxious to get out of there. Gosh, so much can change in a year.
Where do I even begin?
This year was the best and worst year of my life thus far. Tim and I have agreed that 2014 will be one of those years (the only year, in my opinion) that we will talk about for years to come. Remember 2014?
To keep it somewhat light, and to just touch gently on a few of the things that happened this year, I figured I’d borrow a prompt I read (and loved!) on becoming jolie – one she writes each year and which I hope to write from here on out each January as well. Enjoy…
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
- Bought a house.
- Did some real life homeowner landscaping – as in, used my brute strength (at 6 months pregnant) to uproot shrubs and transplant them, and spent countless summer mornings standing outside with the hose watering said landscaping to maintain it during some brutal summer South Carolina heat after working so hard to make it pretty in the first place.
- Had a baby! This event will probably dominate this post, so I won’t go into too much detail on the first question, lest you start yawning.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- I wrote a post last January with some goals I would have liked to accomplish… when I looked back at that post this afternoon I was immediately, uh, depressed? I hadn’t accomplished a single one! Like, not. A. One. What that says to me is 1) that I didn’t post them in a place where I would see them and be reminded of them so that I could actively work toward them or 2) that they weren’t really that important to me anyway. Also, I’m going easy on myself here because I did get pregnant which means that my goal of learning to climb and taking trips to the mountains probably wasn’t feasible anyway. And buying a house and moving across several states meant maybe that all-inclusive vacation would have to wait another year (or more).
- This year, I’d like to let go a little. In just under three months of having a newborn baby, I’ve learned what a valuable lesson it is to be flexible and to not cling so tightly to perfection because, well, let’s face it, that is just not real life. Without getting too deep and philosophical, I think it’s my constant striving for perfection that has held me back from a lot… not trusting myself that I can do something because it won’t be perfect, etc. This year, I want to be more flexible. I want to give myself the chance to have experiences in which I’m allowed to be imperfect. I want to be okay with going with the flow and not being so OCD. I have some other goals that are a little more concrete, namely getting back into a more regular yoga and meditation practice, teaching yoga again, trying some new things like stand-up paddle racing, and finally getting my photos organized (um, maybe get a wedding album made four years later?).
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
- Well… EYE gave birth! And a lot of my friends and family did also. I feel like everyone I know got pregnant or gave birth this year, so, yes.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
- My dad died this year. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in August and died on November 7, just shy of three months later. I am devastated, heartbroken, and still mostly in shock. At some point, when I’m ready, I will write more about this because I believe it deserves so much more of my time and thought than to be documented in a bulleted list.
5. What countries did you visit?
- I didn’t visit any, sadly. I’d like to change that soon… maybe next year though.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
- Patience. Ha!
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- February 11 – That morning, I found out I was pregnant.
- March 10 – the day before my mom’s birthday, when we told her she would be a grandma!
- August 14 – I was opening a package from my parents, filled with treats for the baby, clothes, bath supplies, blankets, little baby socks… I got a phone call from my dad at that very moment. He was calling from the hospital to tell me that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It was like being hit by a car. Tim was out of town on business but changed his travel plans to fly into Charlotte and then drive three hours just to lie in bed with me that night and hold me while I cried.
- October 22 – I gave birth to my perfect little baby girl, Lennon Mayla. For a day, a night, my world was calm and still and nothing else mattered except that I existed to love and protect her. A long-awaited light in the midst of the darkness.
- November 7 – Dad passed away in hospice. It was Tim’s birthday.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- Giving birth to my perfect little baby girl, au naturale. I would be lying if there wasn’t a point where Tim had to get in my face to tell me I didn’t need the drugs, and I’m so glad he did because I believe that alone was why it was smooth sailing. Maybe one day I will write her birth story. Birth is so damn amazing, seriously. I had no idea what I was in for.
9. What was your biggest failure?
- I hate to spend too much time thinking about this, but I do have regrets about feeling sad or sorry for myself, feeling lonely, wanting things I didn’t have, being impatient and selfish, and not making any concerted effort to change.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
- I experienced a bout of first trimester nausea (for a solid 12 weeks) but never actually barfed, so I consider that a win. I went to the emergency room once when I thought I had deep vein thrombosis (NOPE, JUST PREGNANT), but I wasn’t really sick at all. I did get mastitis in the first week after Lennon was born, which suuuuucked. When I started to get it again a few weeks later (after only taking an antibiotic for two days because big pharma drugs = the devil, right?), I just drank a ton of water and bone broth and cured myself within 24 hours. NUTRITION FOR THE WIN, FELLAS!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
- I just asked Tim this question… his answer? “The Boppy.” HA! I love that his answer is a baby item. When I reminded him that it was a shower gift, his second answer was, “The K’tan.” Also a baby item. Then suddenly, he said, “no, the motorcycle” as if to reclaim some sort of pre-dad coolness. Ha. I love him.
- My answer, which he agreed with when I reminded him, is our giant sectional couch. We had been using a very chic down-filled couch a la West Elm that was perfect in our Miami loft, but in our 4 bedroom home, it was just way too small and uncomfortable for any kind of lounging. The giant, cushy, albeit slightly ugly, sectional couch is… pretty bomb. It wins.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
- Tim’s. Every day. He pulled me out of the depths countless times over the course of the year (this and every year).
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
- I can instantly think of an answer for this, but honestly, it’s not worth dwelling on or even just mentioning or rewarding with any credit in this post, or ever, anywhere.
14. Where did most of your money go?
- Furnishing a 4-bedroom house after living in a no-bedroom loft. Couch, dining room set, bedroom set, office furniture, nursery furniture… dang, being a grown-up is ‘spensive!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- Having a babe!
16. What songs will always remind you of 2014?
- Mayla, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Not that it was particularly popular this year, but it was one we listened to time and time again, particularly during our visit to Ohio in the fall, and what we chose as Lennon’s middle name.
17. Did you make any new friendships?
- Surely I must have made a new friend. Nope.
18. Did you go on vacation?
19. What do you wish you had done (more and less) of?
- Less pining, wanting, complaining.
- More doing.
20. How did you spend the holidays?
- Thanksgiving was new for us this year – instead of the usual trek to Ohio to take part in the annual Thankstravaganza with my side of the fam, we decided to stay put in South Carolina with our one month old baby (she’d had enough travel in her first month, we expected). Mom came to us and cooked up a Paleo feast (which was absolutely delicious and has me convinced I never need to stray from Paleo no matter what the occasion). It was quiet and peaceful and small and sweet. But so very different from Thanksgivings past.
- We spent Christmas and New Years both snuggled up together, the three of us, in our cozy home in SC. We had she-crab soup on Christmas Eve, I made almond scones for breakfast on Christmas morning and we spent the last week of the year talking about the past, present, and future.
21. What new food did you discover?
- I can’t really say I discovered a new food, per se, but living in/close to Charleston, we were able to really experience what Southern food is all about. Collard greens, pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes… And every restaurant claiming to have award-winning mac ‘n’ cheese. Not the best options for Paleo foodies like us! A few of our fave restaurants? The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island and The Mackintosh downtown Charleston. Oh, and Acme Lowcountry on Isle of Palms for brunch – they have the best eggs Benedict in town atop fried green tomatoes… The best! (.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
- I’m not a big TV person, and neither is Tim, but one shared guilty pleasure of ours is Netflix. Last year we watched the entire series of Weeds which was awesome, and in 2014 we started really getting into Bones. I love Bones. It’s the perfect show… A little drama, a little gore, a little sex, a little suspense, a little humor… It’s got everything AND it makes you use your brain! I don’t see how anyone could not like it.
23. What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?
- Giving birth. Are you sensing a theme, here? I’m not sure what could top it. Spending the night in the hospital, sitting awake with Lennon in the middle of the night thinking, man, I am a-freakin’-MAZING. I just spent nine months growing a human and I just pushed her out of my body and now she’s sleeping in my arms. WHAT. That is so cool!
- Also, as lonesome as I was, not knowing anyone in SC, I loved spending the summer getting up early, donning my bikini (giant baby belly and all) and heading to Sullivan’s Island with a beach chair and a book. I’d get an iced coffee at the little local coffee shop and park myself in the sand for a few hours every morning… It was so peaceful and quiet and so needed.
24. What was the best book you read?
- I feel like such a loser that I don’t have a good answer for this. I read half a dozen baby books probably and now that I’m three months in to motherhood, I feel like I should throw them all out the window while driving on the highway. What a waste. I did start re-reading A Path With Heart, which really fills my cup. Hm, I should finish that…
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
- I listened to a lot of Lana Del Ray over the summer… While lying on the beach on those warm summer mornings.
26. What did you want and get?
- A ticket out of Miami.
- A girl!
27. What did you want and not get?
- I definitely have no answer for this one.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
- I don’t know if it came out in 2014 but I saw it toward the end of the year and LOVED IT – Chef. Do yourself a favor and redbox/Netflix it asap.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- Is it bad that I don’t even remember? I had just been in Ohio for our baby showers… Man, I seriously do not remember. I think Tim was out of town. Sheesh, this year was such a blur.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- Honestly? If we had moved back to Jupiter instead of going to South Carolina. I feel like I would be a year ahead of where I am now. It’s like I’ve been in limbo ever since leaving Florida, just waiting to return so I could get my life back. So weird.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
- Hm, considering I was pregnant for most of it (!), COMFORT was my top priority. Leggings, maxi skirts, loose tops or tanks and cardigans.
32. What kept you sane?
- Tim. Duh.
- My mornings at the beach. Duh.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- Is this seriously a question? Gag. Pass.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
- See answer to #33.
35. Who did you miss?
- My family when I found out about dad. My friends from Jupiter when we left Florida. My friends from Miami when they moved to North Carolina. My husband when he had to travel. My family at the holidays. My dad when he passed… And today, and forever.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
- I met a gentleman on an airplane who had so much to say to me that was relevant and which I needed to hear – it was like he was sent from God. We hugged when the flight was over and I remember sitting at a wine bar in the Charlotte airport making notes on everything I could remember from our conversation. It was crazy.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
- Take good care of your precious earthly body, because you only have one and it is so, so fragile.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
- Mayla long time
May the sunshine
Mayla, know I’m
Tryin to see it through
Our future to the new horizon
Mayla long time
May the sunshine
Hold on we’re trying
Our hands our bleeding through
We’re building us a new horizon
Mayla long time
May the sunshine
Mayla we’re trying
Our hands are black and blue
Our death says that we’re due, and falling
And all I have to do to rise
Is look into your eyes
Until tomorrow, friends.