Monday, June 7, 2010

24 years ....

It's my birthday today, and I can't help but look back at the past year and be amazed at how much happened. And almost all of it was good stuff! Well, let's see:

*I got married to the most wonderful man in the whole world (don't argue with me, it's totally true)

*I climbed a 6,000 ft mountain with that man

*I moved to Philadelphia, and lived for a month in a one-room apartment (not recommended for newly married couples, but we managed not to kill each other)

*John went back to working at the paper, and we were thankful to be employed again (a month or so before the wedding, neither of us had a job)

*I moved again a month later, to a very nice but very small apartment with noisy neighbors but a great front yard

*I got pregnant, finding out about it on the anniversary of John's father's death ... we resolved to name the baby Mark, after him, if he was a boy (I was quite sure it would be -- too poetically appropriate not to be)

*I was miserably sick for some time -- though I didn't throw up much, I was queasy 24 hours a day and absolutely exhausted

*John absolutely loathed working for the paper, which was treating the workers quite unfairly

*I started a new job -- quite a challenge when you can barely keep your eyes open, but I enjoyed it all the same

*I drove some 44 miles every workday ... which adds up to a lot of miles overall but I don't feel like doing the math -- something like 5,000

*John quit working for the paper and got a job at the bank, which was a great improvement even though the schedule really, really stunk -- no weekends off the whole time he worked there!

*I endured some very shaky social situations in our new home ... when you're the newcomer you find yourself unintentionally stepping on some toes -- there was a month where almost no one would speak to us, yikes!

*I realized that, once I stopped working, we would have no way to make ends meet, yet I planned to stay home with the baby anyway and prayed for the best

*I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner, and probably overdid it, but the guests seemed to have a great time, and I don't mind eating leftovers for a month anyway

*I spent my first Christmas with my husband ... we stayed home and celebrated it with just the two of us. I was afraid we'd be lonely for our families, but really I am glad it turned out that way -- it was wonderfully peaceful (and we both had the day off, for the first time since Thanksgiving!)

*I helped John discover a new goal for a better career -- librarianship

*I took my first-ever road trip, going down to Georgia with John and three friends

*I discovered the Waffle House, which I believe is responsible for at least ten pounds of my "pregnancy" weight

*I saw two very dear friends get married

*I battled for one of my students to get the extra help he needed (with partial, though not complete success) and discovered that even first and second graders need tough discipline sometimes

*I suffered from pregnancy-related sciatica

*I had Braxton-Hicks contractions a couple of times an hour for three months

*I discovered that it's harder to have a healthy body image when you're the size of a house and have so many stretch marks you look like you've been mawled by a tiger

*John got offered a new, better job down in DC, and gave notice at the bank that same day

*I thought I was going into labor many, many times before it really happened -- though each time I pretended I didn't think it was the real thing, so I didn't get my hopes up, but found I was disappointed anyway when it wasn't the real thing

*I sang at Holy Thursday Mass the same day I found out I was 4 cm dilated -- the choir was afraid I would have the baby in the loft, but I didn't

*I sang in a choir for the Easter Vigil, which was beautiful, but I was disappointed that I hadn't had the baby yet

*I celebrated Easter with John, not the first time, and we made plans to eat at a friend's house, but had to cancel because we went to the hospital instead

*I spent several hours in the hospital, dilated to 5 cm and having contractions 3 minutes apart, but they sent me home anyway ... and I did not have the baby in the living room

*I kept John home from work a couple more days, thinking I was having the baby that day, but didn't

*I had strong contractions while waiting in line at Rita's for an ice cream cone, and was pretty sure this was it, but didn't want to jinx it, so we kept up with our original plans to go to our ob/gyn appointment, though by the time we got there it was pretty obvious that it was the real thing

*I pushed that baby out with no drugs, and though I didn't feel proud of myself at the time, I do now

*I met my little Marko for the first time, and loved him right away (though not as much as I do now)

*I watched my husband find his groove as a father

*I learned to nurse my baby, which was not nearly as easy as I expected

*I endured the sleepless nights, the pain of recovery, the stress of hosting 5 in-laws, all at the same time

*I was lonely for 3 weeks while John lived in DC during the week, but I got through it

*I did not die when I had a 102 fever and the baby was screaming and wouldn't go to sleep and I had no one to help me -- even though I felt like I would

*I realized that I would never again look the way I did before I got pregnant, but I also realized that it didn't matter, since no one was looking at me anyway -- they only had eyes for my baby, whom I'd rather hear complimented than myself anyway

*John was accepted into grad school to become a librarian

*I discovered I somehow felt like a real mother, and wasn't sure when that happened

*I dealt with the realization that my old life, as I knew it, was quite gone, as I found I couldn't go places or do things like I used to -- and I didn't care because I liked my new life so much better

*I fell more in love with my husband every day

*I watched my son grow, almost before my eyes, from a little newborn peanut who could barely do a thing to a wiggling, kicking, laughing, smiling baby

*I finally, just yesterday, had some of that Bailey's we were given for our wedding ;)

So -- it's been a big year! I've endured unemployment, money troubles, 3 moves, pregnancy, childbirth, exhaustion ... and I have seen the creation of my new family. This ranks up there as one of the harder years of my life, and certainly the year that has seen the most change. But it is also, to date, the absolute best year of my life.

1 comment:

Enbrethiliel said...


Happy Birthday, Sheila! =D

What a great year of graces you've had! I hope you have many more, with both a husband and a child (the first of many?) by your side.

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