Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell, 2014

And so we've reached the end of yet another year. And once again, I can't help but look back at the last 365 days and marvel at how much our lives have changed.

Last year at this time, we were celebrating the new year in Pinehurst, North Carolina, a very fun holiday stop on a Christmas road trip. Ellie was not yet two years old, had almost no hair, and her speech consisted of baby sign language and single-syllable utterances, many of which were intelligible only to her parents. Eric had just finished up his first semester as a teacher, and it was a hectic one that included teaching two subjects and coaching football. I was busy finding fun things to do with Ellie in Jacksonville while trying my best to keep first trimester nausea and fatigue at bay. It was one year ago at this time that we announced to the world that E.J. would be joining our family. We were still over a month from finding out he would be a boy!

This year has seen Ellie grow into a really incredible little girl with an impressive command of language and an endless imagination. She has grown taller and stronger and faster, and even grew enough hair to warrant a cut! She's obsessed with Doc McStuffins, owns four stethoscopes (two real and two pretend) and gives regular checkups to people and toys. She is also an incredibly doting big sister and demonstrates an unparalleled sense of fashion.

Eric is now halfway through his second year of teaching (the last of his Teach for America commitment) and is gradually gaining a better idea of what the future might hold for him professionally. Not coaching football this year has allowed him time to train for a marathon, which he will run next week.

As for me, I gave birth to an adorable baby boy on July Fourth. Now I am settling in nicely to being a stay-at-home mother to two kids, and we have a pretty fun weekly schedule of activities to keep us occupied.

And E.J., well, he is no longer an alien face on an ultrasound machine, but is the sweetest little boy you will ever meet, who is already almost halfway through his first year of life. He's happy and bouncy and working hard at sitting up on his own and scooting around on the floor to get his hands (and mouth) on anything in his line of sight.

2014 also brought a little travel for us (our very fun weekend at Disney World in February, our babymoon at Innisbrook in March and E.J.'s first trip to Cleveland just this past week), and a move to a new rental house (farewell, Apartment of Wasps!), and E.J.'s baptism. We did face some tougher times, including E.J.'s two-week hospital stay for "presumed meningitis," and the loss of my grandmother. My sister moved to Japan and will continue to live there at least for the better part of this coming year (that's great for her, but sad for me!). We've done a lot more exploring in Jacksonville and have found a neighborhood we really enjoy. We had a blast for E.J.'s first Halloween and all the winter holidays, and have spent some really great times with family back home. And most of all, we've enjoyed being with each other and living our new life as a family of four.

Things may have changed a lot in the last year, but even more so in the years since I started recording our lives here on the blog. My first New Year's Eve post went live just before we wrapped ourselves in every piece of warm clothing in our closets and ventured out to Times Square for the ball drop. We were relative newlyweds, brand new New Yorkers, freezing cold and excited for what the new year had in store for us. Each new year since that first has brought more adventure than the last, ultimately leading us to where we are today. What an absolutely fantastic journey.

It is looking back at the past progression of our lives that helps me feel secure in the knowledge that each change that comes our way puts us on the path to where we're meant to be. We're not through making changes yet, and could very likely face further upheaval this year. Sometimes it's hard to still feel unsettled, but all I need to do is look back at where we started and how we got here and I know that the right paths will open up to us and our adventure will continue just as it is meant to. And, I am accompanied by the most perfect travel companions!

So Eric and I will kick off this new year as we have for each of those we've shared since our wedding: together. And now, we are joined also by our two beautiful children. Our homes have changed and our family continues to grow but we remain happy, in love, and eager to see what awaits us in 2015.

VIDEO: A look back at our 2014

All the best to you in the new year, friends. May your 2015 be filled with happy memories and peace.

Signing off for 2014,


1 comment:

Becky said...

Fabulous! Adored the video. Happy New Year to a spectacular family that I love so much!