Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 recap survey

I got this survey from Dani and I thought it would be a cute way to recap my year so here goes...

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
The biggest thing I did (as far as I can remember) is appear on TV!! I made an appearance on the doctor Oz show and it was fun!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I purposefully didn't make any new year's resolutions. It always fizzles out by Feb/Mar. I do think I am going to revisit this though and make a few goals for 2013.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! One of my best friends gave birth to a beautiful baby boy after some pretty scary times.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes :( We had a couple of deaths in the family (a by-product of having a huge family) but this one was close and saddened me the most.
5. Did you visit anywhere exciting?
For the past couple of years we have been lucky enough to be able to take about 2-3 out of state trips per year. 2012's most exciting trip was to Arizona which also happen to be my baby's first plane ride!! We also went to Philadelphia for my family's annual family reunion. Sadly, I didn't recap that at all here- there are probably more pictures of that trip on Instagram.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. Maybe a viable pregnancy?? Although, I'm not quite sure if we are ready for number 2 yet.
7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
These questions are getting harder!! there is so much that happened this year that I don't think I could choose just one as there are a lot of significant dates that will remain etched in my memory.

So as I continued to answer the survey questions- I realized that my answer to this would be the day I walked out of my job and officially became a stay at home mom- my first task was picking up my son from his baby sitter's house and taking him to the doctor.

ok, maybe it might have been my very first Mother's Day with my baby on the outside. I just had a lot of significant things going on.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I feel like this is a little redundant but I think my television appearance was. I was so nervous and out of my comfort zone that I talked my self out of it and back into it quiet a few times.
9. What was your biggest mistake?
This question is difficult for me to answer because I usually don't see things as 'mistakes' per se. For me there is  a blessing in every lesson weather good or bad. You can always grow in your journey- I have no regrets or mistakes (so to speak).
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than the common cold... I think...
11. What was the best thing you bought?
As of right now, I think my husband's Christmas present. Because I haven't recapped Christmas yet I will keep mum about it for now.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm thinking my son. He's growing by leaps and bounds! I am completely impressed with what he's learned and what he can do. You really wouldn't understand this unless you have children of your own or work with children. Sometimes his breadth of understanding surprises me. I want to keep pushing him to embrace that.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Quite a few, mostly family. The one drawback of having a large extended family is that personalities tend to clash a lot. I feel that some of my cousins have handled situations completely inappropriately to the point of shocking. I wouldn't say this behavior has made me depressed but more so disappointed- especially because there is no reason for 'all of that'. One of my cousins didn't even bother to show up for Thanksgiving OR Christmas. I feel like tomorrow is not promised and no matter what is said or done- it can be addressed in a respectful manner.
The thing is, if tragedy were to strike our family- even on the level of the Newton, Ct. shootings- tomorrow, I will be right with myself because I feel like I've made the most of my time spent on Earth as much as I can. I had the best time with my family over the holidays and I won't be boohooing over some one's grave 'wishing this' and 'wishing that'.
14. Where did most of your money go in 2011?
My son. I'm obsessed with baby products and probably spent way more than I needed to on them. However, I was extremely blessed to not need diapers for him until he was 11 months old. It's unbelievable. We were gifted so many diapers (and other items) at our shower that I still get teary eyed remembering all the love and support we had surrounding us. When my son was 10 months old Babies 'R Us had a sale on limited edition diapers that ended up being $5 per pack of 40 (or thereabouts) I stocked up then and find that our blessings continue.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving. Well, I was scared AND excited. One day you guys will get the remaining details about our move. My parents have lived in the same house for 25 years so apart from going to college- I didn't do much moving. This was HUGE.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
WHAT?! Don't you know that scent is the strongest scent tied to memory?? There are a lot of pretty good songs from 2012 however, I still need to consult my iPod for this one: Some Nights by Fun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
More prayerful. I feel like tragedy always strikes around the holidays. I think the uneasiness comes from the recent tragedies but I'm not taking any chances and keeping me and my family covered in prayer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Maybe save more money? More couponing? No.... blog!! I feel like there are so many 'left out' stories from 2012. My main excuse is that I have the pictures from those events so it's not like they will be lost forever. There are also some things that made my son's baby book but maybe not on here... probably not. The point is I'd definitely like to blog more frequently in 2013.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complaining. My eyes have recently been opened up to just how blessed I truly am. I am so grateful right now (in case you haven't noticed) it's insane!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I'm really hoping that within the next week or two I get a chance to recap. My Christmas was AMAZING to say the very least. I got my Christmas wish and I am so grateful! I don't know how but I have to find the time to share with you all.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
If it's possible- I fell more in love with my husband. The lengths that he's gone through to take care of his family and make us happy is unbelievable. I think I made a good choice =)
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I continue to like Tia & Tamera. I'm relating to them more and more as they journey to and through motherhood, maintain relationships, and keep working!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I try my best and let those things go. People aggravate me often but I refuse to hate. If I need to hate a person then they aren't worth expending any emotion on them at all so I write them off and keep it moving. In 2013 instead of writing them off I will be praying for these sorts of people.
24. What was the best book you read?
I don't get to read much. But somehow I made time for 2 of the 3 part series of 50 shades of grey. It wasn't all that I had hoped for but I don't have any books to compare it to.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Fun. They have released 2 singles so far and I love them both! Apparently they were a group before these 2 hits but sometimes the second time is a charm. I hope to hear more from them.
26. What did you want and get?
Away from my old job. I feel like they didn't value me or know (or appreciate) my worth. I wanted a way out and I got it.
27. What did you want and not get?
I need to come back to this.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Oh jeez, I turned 29 on 9/14 and I had a quite dinner at my parents home. The week before we had celebrate my son's first birthday and we were gearing up to move so I was happy that we were all together in the same room. I'm pretty sure I got some presents by these  guys just don't know how much it means to me when we are all together, drama free, and having fun.
29. What’s one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding a way to have significant cash flow while still being a stay at home mom.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Horrible! I've always been fashion challenged but when you add a baby into that (and being postpartum for any length of time) it gets worse.
31. What kept you sane?
Husband, parents, brother, son. Not necessarily in that order.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Beyonce will probably always be at the top of this list. But I'm adding Tia & Tamera to it. I felt like all 3 ladies always remain classy and beautiful. They carry themselves very well.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election. Too much bad mouthing. Too much over sharing. I believe in every one's right to vote- so let it be, no need to put someone else down for who they support.
34. Who do you miss the most?
My grandparents. I wish they could have been around to meet my son (and any future children I may have).
35. Who was the best new person you met?
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012?
I don't know. I'm sure there are plenty but I just can't think of anything specifically concrete.
37. What are your new years resolutions for 2013?
I don't like making resolutions- I don't like disappointing myself. However I do want to get healthier and loose some weight. Maybe I'll elaborate more at a later date. Back in September I made a list of things that I would like to do before my next birthday- I guess you can consider these resolutions?

Feel free to take the survey... let me know if you do!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tear stained cheeks

Do not go gentle into that good night... I love you and will miss you dearly.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WW: good times

Monday, December 24, 2012

S+T Monday: Christmas

1. Tell us what your favorite thing about Christmas is.
Food, fun, and family. Christmas is probably my favorite holiday!

2. Tell us what your plans are for Christmas this year.

Since we recently moved 200 miles away from our families we have a lot of rounds to make. However, our most concrete plans right now is spending Christmas Eve with my husband's family and Christmas Day with my family. I hope to make it a tradition of doing Christmas Eve-y things with hubby's fam and Christmas Day things with my fam. And then one day I hope to have everyone celebrate with us in our home!

Here's how it goes in my head. The day before Christmas Eve we will head to my sister-in-law's. We will probably get there late afternoon then have dinner, hang out and watch the Polar Express about 15 times. Then Christmas Eve morning I want to make these:

Doesn't that just scream Christmas?! Then I would like to head out to something holiday-ish like have pictures taken of my son, his cousin, and Santa. Or, go sledding or something... whatever is festive. Then head home and do some really cute Christmas crafts with the kids and just hang out.

3. Show us a picture of Christmas in the past. Or present.

Christmas 2009: I love my parents Christmas tree, (top right) I like to wear really festive Christmas attire. That year my shirt was a Christmas gift and I gave myself to my husband- clearly he was unimpressed, (bottom right) The tag on this read "to my sister, from fail" I think he ordered me some Uggs offline and clearly did not check the size before clicking 'buy now' we still laugh about that to this very day.

4. Do you wrap your presents all in one box, or do you like wrap each present separately?
Each present is wrapped separately! It's funner that way :)

5. Tell us about any special traditions that you or you and your family like to do.

My family has a big Christmas dinner every year. Because there is so many of us (anywhere from 11-13) we started a grab bag about 5 or so years ago. At Thanksgiving dinner we out every ones name in the bread basket (okay not really but that would be funny) and draw then on Christmas after dinner we exchange gifts. We always try to come up with new ways to reveal who we had. I remember one year laughing so hard until it hurt.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm finally hitting publish

I've been debating on writing this post since the day it happened. So many emotions, feelings, and none of the words to convey it. But lately it's been on my mind more and more and a few times I've even let it slip. This post has been in my drafts for quite some time and now it's time for me to come clean.

written wednesday decemeber 14, 2011:

WW: This blog just got interesting

written sunday january 1, 2012
I can't believe this is happening. Just a year ago today I found out I was expecting baby #1, now I am losing baby #2. Damn me for thinking that I couldn't do this. Damn me for caring what other people would think about us having "Irish twins". Damn me for wondering how we were going to 'get a double stroller'. Damn it all! I just want my baby back...
written friday august 17, 2012

This day last year was supposed to be a huge day for me...

Today was supposed to be another momentous occasion

Today was supposed to be the day I was expected to welcome

Although he'll never be in my arms, he'll always be in my heart...

written monday novemeber 26, 2012

Although he was only with us for 2 months it still kind of hurts. At times I feel I was in someway responsible for losing our baby. So many thoughts ran through my head before I even told my husband. I honestly thought he would be mad (foolish me). I also thought that I wasn't even off maternity leave yet and already I had to put in a request for another (that one actually made me giggle). I was scared because with another baby comes more baby expenses. I don't believe in any way shape or form that it would be someone else's responsibility to support my baby but I could use another baby shower as we could use a double stroller now. I was hopeful because this time around I could possibly have an unmediated birth and breastfeed a little longer.

I first suspected I was pregnant way before I could even take a test. Then I was just afraid to. At first, I even took an OPK instead to see if it would turn positive (there have been extensive world class studies done that shows OPK's can turn positive if you are pregnant. source: =)). I mean my son was barely 3 months old and I thought I was pregnant again?! I had no signs or symptoms (much like when I was pregnant the first time) just a mother's intuition. We had only been intimate once (okay maybe twice) after I got the go ahead from my doctor. I know I was the only post partum mom in the WORLD  who actually felt in the mood. Clearly it's true what they say (you are more ready around ovulation time). Quite a few people has since mentioned (unbeknown to them about my miscarriage) that you are most fertile after you give birth! Nobody told me! I also worried about people judging us. I worried about what my boss would think, I worried about what my church family would think, and I worried about what my extended family would think. Later I found out that there are some (in their 50's) Irish twins in our congregation!

My doctor was amazing (as usual)! When I called and told them I needed to schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment but was 17 weeks postpartum she had me come in right away. I am so grateful to have her as my doctor. She assured me that all would be okay and I was fully capable of carrying another baby so soon. It would just take me a little longer to get back into shape. Her nurse took my cell number and checked in on me periodically. I think they could see the panic in my face, lol!

My husband was amazing as well. I know I thought he would be mad because honestly it would have caused a bit of a financial strain on us. However, he thought he was awesome and very proud of his target practice (men!). He promised that nothing would change and he would go to every single appointment just like he did with our son. He assured me we would be fine- we could never go out to dinner again not because we couldn't afford it but because we could never convince anyone to watch our two rugrats!

No one in my family believed me when I shared the news. I told my brother first. We all know I'm not good at keeping secrets. Sadly, I only got to share bad news with anyone who wasn't my brother (my parents didn't believe me until I showed them my hospital bracelet.

I ended up in the hospital because I thought I was having an ectopic. Well- I was probably in such a panic that I just needed to know what the heck was going on. The pain... it was bad.

I remember being in my parents dining room surrounded by family. We were eating dinner, laughing, joking, and just having the perfect Christmas. I started cramping and thought to myself 'ok sweetie- snuggle in tight!'. Then the cramping kept getting more intense. After a few minutes it became pretty bad, awful even. I stopped eating and took some deep breaths. Then I started to feel even worse. The pain was getting awful by the minute. I went in the bathroom doubled over in pain. It was so bad I need to check to make sure I wasn't bleeding. My first thought was this is unreal. I found myself going back through my notes from my first pregnancy trying to remember if the cramping was this bad the first time around. No bleeding but dag did this hurt! After I felt like I been in the bathroom too long and someone would come knocking on the door I went into my parents bedroom to lay down. I must have been gone a good while because my brother found me first. I must have looked like hell because he left (after some encouraging words) and my husband found me next. I don't know if he went to go get him or hot but I was glad to see him. He stayed with me until the pain subsided. Thank God for him.

written saturday decemeber 8, 2012

I was fine for the next couple of days. Still worrying about how the world was going to react to my Irish twins. Thinking of creative ways to let the rest of our family know. My husband wanted to wait until after the first ultrasound which was scheduled for Tuesday January 3, 2012.- my first day back to work. Somehow I was supposed to swing being up in intervals throughout the night with an almost 3 month old who wasn't sleeping through the night, get him to his babysitter, shoot over to the doctor, then make it to work on time... WHAAAT?!  oh, and request another maternity leave too.

I had started my pregnancy photo project for this baby as well. Because I was so caught off guard it was going to be the exact same as I did for my first pregnancy although I will admit I had a hard time keeping up with it.
approximately 6 weeks pregnant, 17 weeks postpartum

On New Year's Eve we decided to keep it really low key. We normally spend it with friends at a big NYE bash until the wee hours of the morning. Well not so much this year. I had a little baby that I wanted to ring in the New Year with and I just wasn't up for the silliness and antics that usually come with NYE bash's. It was just my little family + my parents. I can't even remember if my brother was there or not.

I do remember the pain. That same stupid pain from Christmas day- this time even more intense. As I lay back in my parents bedroom, hubby holding my hand I quietly whispered to him that it was over. He told me not to think like that. But I just knew it was- I knew I would start bleeding at any moment. Just like I felt the life growing inside of me that made me scared to take an HPT, I could no longer feel my baby growing inside and I knew it was just a matter of time. Once the pain subsided I returned to the festivities and held my baby that I already had here with me. Sometime between that night and the next day I started to miscarry. It hurt. Physically and emotionally. I was scared to death that it was an ectopic pregnancy that would rupture and ruin my fallopian tubes ( I know- I'm very dramatic) so I convinced my husband that we should drop off our son with my parents and head to the hospital for an ultrasound.

I'm kind of bitter that I spent the first day of 2012 in the ER with an empty uterus. And how ironic is it that Channing was named People magazine's sexiest man alive?! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the "what-if's". Hubby and I even discussed asking one of our favorite nurses from the hospital if we could hire her off the books for a day to be at my son's first birthday party. We wanted her to be there for our 1 month old and keeping on track with nursing which I was determined to be more successful at. She was to be his body guard, keep him inside,  and away from germy fingers.

I pray that January 1, 2013 is nothing like January 1, 2012 but I'm not quite ready for a repeat of January 1, 2011.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Apple picking

I've only been apple picking once in my life. Yep, you read that right. And when I went I vowed to never do it again- it was muddy and there were bugs. Boy have things changed!

Now that I have a child of my own I wanted to start some fall traditions. Things we could look forward to and moments to look back on. My parents came to stay with us for the weekend in our new home and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start this fall tradition.

I'm glad I changed my mind because I had a blast! My goal for the day was to entertain my parents and basically show them a  good time in our new area, start a new fall tradition, and it had to be very budget friendly. There was an apple festival in a nearby orchard that was all the rave for weeks but the was an entry price in addition to paying for games, food, and apples (and parking too depending upon how close you wanted to be to the festival entrance)- no way... maybe next year. So hubby gathered enough information from the locals and found what I think may be the best apple orchard yet (based on my experiences of course)!

Clearly impressed with what's about to go down!

I was giddy with excitement the entire time! It had rained the night before so I was a little disappointed that I was going to have the 'muddy experinece' all over again but honestly I didn't care. I don't remember apple picking being this fun the first time I went. I must say the owners of this orchard sure knows how to suck you in. There were apple fitter stands, hot apple cider, and live entertainment. I took my first tractor ride (a first for me and the baby!) got tons of apples and a lifetime of memories. I must say I can't wait to do this again next year!

Sorry for the scary face- I must start wearing make-up! We're on our very first tractor ride :)

I don't know what is up with our faces- good thing the baby is sleep and my dad bought his camera!

I promise you my husband and dad are somewhere in those tress!

Look who woke up and picked his own apple!

The weather ended up being beautiful despite it raining all night and most of the morning. I truly had fun going up and down the orchard rows picking apples and tasting a few really fresh right off the tree apples.

I did learn a few lessons being that this was our (semi) first trip and all. First, it is definitely colder in the orchards than it is on the streets. We were a little under dressed- thank god I packed his blankets. Lesson learned. Second, I didn't bring my moby wrap. We when go next year this surely won't be an option anymore but if we are blessed with more children the wrap comes. Third, pack a bigger lunch. We were there way longer than I estimated. The baby had plenty of food- the adults ate lunch at the Orchard. While the menu options were okay and the food was tasty this surely wasn't in the budget.

Although lunch at the Orchard may have not been a part of my plan it sure as heck was tasty. We picked up an extra dozen of these to keep the party going way after we left the Orchard :)

After lunch we listened to the band, perused the country store (where Hubby picked up a really nice find), and watched the children go on pony rides. The owners of the Orchard also has a vodka and a wine distillery (what a pleasant surprise!). So, what do you do when you see a vodka distillery? Why, you pull over and have some (and a photo sesh of course)! And, across the street from the distillery? Why, the wine store! And what do you know they do wine tastings... HOLLA!!!

We're def doing this again next year :)
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