Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2015: Year in Review

Warning: this review begins rather negative but ends happy, so read to the end. :)

I’m just going to put this out there… If I had to give 2015 a grade, that grade would be a D. The grade of F is reserved for years you lose a loved one (those are the hardest years) so a D will have to do. The year Gracie was born was an A+ year. The year I graduated from high school and traveled a ton before heading off to college was another A+ year; and so were the years that Georgia and I met and got married. Now I know that A+ years are exceptional and that for the majority of us, the years happily pass ranking in around B’s and C’s. Having said that, never did I think that a single year in my life would go down the way 2015 did. I mean, to find out that you have a genetic mutation followed by spending a second year not getting pregnant… to then suddenly develop an anxiety problem while gaining 25 lbs due to medications that make you feel crazy, only then to experience zero success with an outrageously expensive procedure like IVF (two times over), followed by losing your job just weeks subsequent to the end of your ttc journey and then to have to take your home back off the market because of all of this, all within the same 12 month period… Well, all I have to say about it is this – 2015, you were such a bitch.

So now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I must also say, there were some pretty wonderful things that happened over this past year as it most certainly wasn’t all bad. I’m not trying to confuse anyone or be contradictory, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize that there was some good sprinkled in with all the bullshit, thankfully.

And that my friends, is what I’m choosing to focus on! 

So behold, 2015: My Year in Review

{January}


We kicked the New Year off with the start of IVF and getting the great news that a big chunk of our IVF costs would be covered by insurance! We all know how that story ended but still, even though it didn’t work out, I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to take our TTC efforts to that extreme. Had we not tried every option, I would have been left guessing for years whether it could have happened for me.


At the start of last year, the Bean was well into her first year of school at a preschool cooperative that we absolutely love! She was making friends with classmates, going on fieldtrips and soaking up new things everyday. School was great and so was her annual check up with Dr. C, the Bean’s plastic surgeon. All looked well and left us on track to have Gracie’s 3rd cleft surgery in 2017. This one will involve bone graphing to repair her gum line with bone from her hip, so I’m in no rush to see my baby in that kind of pain. Two more year of waiting for this to take place sounds good to us!


~ February ~


February, don’t you just LOVE it?! Love is in the air, it’s still cold but getting warmer, which makes for fun family nights in the backyard!


Our February days were spent baking, crafting and putting together gifts for Gracie’s little school buds. She had so much fun decorating their cards with hearts and pink, pink, everything pink.


Uncle Dean even flew in to celebrate his 40th birthday with all of us! I still can’t believe that my brother-in-law is 40… He was 31 when I met him and the years have flown by! Before I know it, I’ll be turning 40 too. Ok, so maybe that’s still 6 years away but still. ;)


< March >


March was a BIG deal for us! Our baby girl turned THREE years old! We celebrated with a Little Mermaid swimming themed birthday party and she had an absolute blast!


And her Nani (my mom) got married, so the whole family flew out to beautiful San Diego! It took my mom almost 20 years to find Mr. Perfect and we’re just so glad that she did and so delighted that he fits right in with all of us.


Our gal LOVED the San Diego Zoo!


3rd birthday pictures on the beach. I adored all of them!


// April //


April was a month full of even more travel! This month marked Gracie’s first ever visit to Disneyland and it was amazing! I wish I could post every picture of our time in Anaheim because there were some great ones, but these three are my favorites!


Following the days we spent in Disneyland, we headed to visit Gracie’s Guncles in LA! We visited a few beaches, the museum, hunted for Easter eggs and did lots of shopping.


The wifey also celebrated her 37th birthday. :)


::May & June::

May and June were all about making our Summer Bucket List and getting the yard and garden ready for summer! We even create a Fairy Garden for the Bean.


Gracie started summer school, Dance Class and t-ball and we also checked our first SBL activity off our list. Go to the lake, check!


This month marked the first ever Mothers Day gifts to us from our gal! It melted our hearts and we still have them displayed on the kitchen windowsill!


X July X


In July we did something huge! I finally took our marriage license down to the social security office and changed my last name! This is something that I had procrastinated on for 6 years, so it was so great when it finally happened. It makes my heart happy to know that we all legally share the same name. :)


Being home for the summer meant that the Bean and I got to go on lots of play dates and work in the yard almost everyday. I swear our backyard never looked so amazing! Gracie was the best little gardener and helped tend to the veggies almost every evening. She loved it!


And because we were on a much needed break from ttc, I no longer felt anxious, the hormone imbalance was gone and I actually got to spend some time with our amazing friends. I didn’t realize how much I missed feeling like my old self and not just an infertile, emotional mess.


{August}


August marked the start of year TWO of preschool for our gal and brought more outdoor adventure! I felt so guilty for completely forgetting to document the start of school for the Bean but I’m happy to report that this yearly recap has given me that opportunity! Let’s start by looking at the cutest first day of school picture there ever was! Who is this big girl and what did she do with my baby?


The Bean’s co-op did a great job of welcoming the kiddos back to school with a big open house for all the families followed by home visits from the teachers and a play day to help ease the kids into being in the “Big Kid Classroom”, which is about 4 times as big as the 2-3 year old classroom. The kiddos all had their very own cubbies (that were about as big as they are) and a whole new routine for starting the day, including identifying and writing out their names for attendance.


To celebrate Gracie’s first week back at school we celebrated with a little fro-yo!


First day of school year one vs. year two. Heart melts!


Gracie also went to her first ranch camp in August and had zero hesitation getting her hands dirty (she even climbed up a giant pile of cow poo). We used our summer swim pass as often as possible, inviting friends to swim and picnic with us any chance we could and we went to bi-weekly play dates with Gracie’s school buds. I adore the moms at the co-op and looked forward to our play dates just as much as our kiddo did!


The Bean had all her annual checking-ups including her appointment with the Pediatrician, her first eye exam, another dentist appointment and looked to be just as healthy as ever! She learned how to count in Spanish over the summer too! I’ve had a 3 ½ year Gracie post sitting in my drafts for months that includes a video of her counting as well as a bit on all the other things our smarty-pants has been up to. I MUST post it before she turns 4 (which is just 7 weeks away). Holy crap! We’ll have a 4 year old in less than 2 months! Ekkk!


We did our best to squeeze every last bit of summer in that we could and made it out to El Vado Lake one last time before docking the boat for the season. It was a quick 2-day trip and just the little get away we needed! Grace had so much fun with her cousin C. :)


~ September ~


In September the wife and I did something that I didn’t think would happen again until after Grace went off to collage... We took a trip together, just the two of us! The last time Georgia and I traveled alone, without family, friends or our little gal was in 2008 when we went to San Francisco and got engaged. Yup, it had been 7 years! For this trip we went to Sin City because I had been itching to visit Las Vegas and G found an awesome package deal, so we basically had no choice but to go, lol!


Our room was amazing, the food was amazing, the alone time was amazing and the shows, oh the shows! I’m a sucker for Cirque Du Soleil and Mystere killed it! We did lots of shopping but I think the Cirque show and our night watching Lesbian heartthrob, Ruby Rose mix at Club Tryst was by far the best!


We had so much fun but in all honesty, all we did was talk about Gracie. Every little kid we passed looking to be her age got us talking about how much we missed our baby girl. We called and checked in A LOT and spent entirely too much money on things we felt she just had to have.


It’s funny, every time I’ve visited Vegas over the years, I’ve left with new handbags, make-up and over-priced clothes. This visit we literally purchased one souvenir for ourselves and spent the rest on little things for our gal and I have no regrets in doing that. I loved the young party years that I had visiting LV as a college sorority girl, but they don’t even compare to the happiness I felt coming back with my best friend and wife and then coming home to our little girl. Crazy how much life changes. :)


“Look at these dogs, babe! Gracie would love these dogs. Will you take my picture with them so I can show her when we get home?”

Ha! My wife is just the cutest!

// End of 2015 //


I feel like I was just posting about November and December because I was literally just posting about November and December… So rather than recap those recent months, I’ll share some end of the year family fun that I didn’t have the time to blog about at the end of 2015. The International Balloon Fiesta!


This is an event I’ve written about every year since I started this blog back in 2010 because I just love it so very much! Fun fact, the International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico is the most photographed event in the WORLD. Yes, the world and we’re so lucky to get to experience it every year.


Most years, my mom, Georgia and I take our campers down and spend several days at the Mass Ascension and Balloon Glow, barbequing in the afternoons and participating in the events in the evening. This year we didn’t camp but my new step-dad got us all VIP passes to fancy catered tent events with the best views around. It was pretty sweet! Georgia’s company was also a corporate sponsor so we watched the Balloon Glow from the company’s tent complete with dinner and drinks! 


My favorites, the penguins (and the other two cuties too)!



And that’s about it. See, I told you it ends happy! My biggest goals for 2016 are to continue to look for the beauty and blessings in my life. To be unbroken and find my strength and self-love again and to make a baby! I know that making a baby was my goal in 2014 and 2015 but who knows, 2016 may just be our year. :)


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