I'm jumping on the bandwagon and doing one of those "2011 - the good, bad and the ugly" type of posts. A year in review, if you may. And what a year it has been. We've had our ups and downs, ending with mostly ups, of course. But it is still fun to look back on 2011 and think about what 2012 will bring...
In January, I took the big step of changing jobs, quitting the job I had as an attorney for the Department of Child Services for 2 1/2 years and starting as the Executive Director for a Legal Aid agency. It was a huge jump, considering I'd be going from being one of the drones for the state government to running an agency and doing not only attorney work, but director work, as well. But I did it, starting on January 24th, and I haven't regretted that decision since.
In January and February, T and I also began training to run (T) and walk (me) the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May. We got up early every Saturday to join a training group out in the cold, snow, ice, rain, you name it.
Towards the end of February and into March, T and I faced our first real crisis as a newly married couple. After going to a routine cardiologist visit to check up on my heart condition, we were told that we may not be able to have children, that carrying a child could be as risky as causing my aorta (where my repair was done) to rupture. We also faced the distinct possibility that I would need heart surgery in the near future. This experience, while frightening, brought us together even more as a couple, as I underwent an MRA and waited weeks until we got the amazing news that everything was just fine and that, barring me seeing a high risk OB-GYN and being closely monitored, we could be parents.
We celebrated our good news, as any good Irish couple would on St. Patrick's Day, of course!
Starting also in January and going until April 13th, we watched with anticipation as our new home was being constructed. We visited pretty much daily, taking pictures of the progress as the house went from a hole in the ground to a fully-structured home. Of course, before we could move, hit again, as one of the little bastards made his appearance known to me in an attack on the kitchen counter. So needless to say, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of there.
We officially closed on April 13th and were officially homeowners! Yay!
Also, in April....I turned 30. Boo :-)
In early May, T and I reached our goal of finishing 13.1 miles in the Mini Marathon. And in the rain, no less! Sure, my feet were killing me afterwards but it was so worth it. Will I be doing it this upcoming year? Nope. But it was still worth it!
In May and June, I spent too much time on the road (well, in the air technically) traveling for work, to Vegas in May and Colorado in June. It was hard being away from T for that long, and he soon had to leave me, too, traveling to the depths of Death Valley, CA, for work in August. It was the summer of us rarely seeing each other!
In June, we were blessed with incredible news (though I couldn't share it until August) that we were expecting our first child! We both felt so blessed and so excited, while nervous at the same time. I spent the majority of June and July sipping ginger ale and eating saltines as morning sickness took its toll on Nain. It also made for an interesting trip when I flew out to Colorado in late June, too. Thus we began the process of monthly doctor's visits and worrying about my health and the health of our little Half-pint.
In July my family faced a tough decision with respect to my Grandpa. He was moved into assisted living in March, but as his health began to rapdily deteriorate and his liver failure took a sharp turn, my mom and her siblings were left with no choice but to put him in full-time nursing home care. Our entire family decided to come together on July 30th for a family reunion and to be together one last time with Grandpa. It was a hard reunion, bittersweet, but brought memories that I will treasure forever.
In September, T and I celebrated our first anniversary. We decided to stay in town for a little staycation, but we had so much fun at the Irish Festival downtown and going out to dinner at P.F. Chang's. It was relaxing, just the two (well, three) of us, and just what we needed admist all of the baby stress.
On September 30th, we were blessed with even more good news...we found out that we were having a little girl, and best of all, a fetal echocardiogram done of her heart showed that she did not have the congenital heart defect that her mommy was born with.
In November, T ran another half-marathon (because he's such a go-getter like that). Next year's goal? Full marathon. And Half-pint and I will be there, cheering all the way!)
In November, we also lost my Grandpa, after a long and painful road for him. He passed away the morning of November 15th and joined the love of his life, my Grandma, in heaven. My family came together again to say good bye to him on November 19th. He's in our hearts forever, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him.
The holidays were bittersweet for us this year, thinking of my Grandpa and wishing he were still with us. So we celebrated quietly with my family for Thanksgiving and both families over the Christmas holidays. T and I have also been busy with multiple doctor's appointments, making sure I'm okay and that Half-pint is doing well, and setting up our nursery for her arrival. Her due date is officially February 22nd, my Grandpa's birthday. I'm sure she will arrive early, but she will always know the connection she shares with him.
So while this year has brought its share of sadness, it has also brought so many blessings and so much happiness to T and me. We look forward to 2012 and our family being made complete with the arrival of our special little girl. And who knows what other adventures the year will bring us?
Happy New Year, everyone! This will probably be my last post for 2011, so I will see you in 2012!