my obligatory “good-bye 2014” post

This has been a roller coaster of a year. I’m not saying it’s been bad. It hasn’t been great, either. But it’s been an adventure.

2014 began for me in completely different spaces — both physical (Seattle) and virtual (From IF to When). Leaving From IF to When was difficult for me. This was the space that I had called my blog home since 2008. It was a space that saw me through trying to conceive, my infertility diagnosis, infertility treatments, cancer scares, winning the Hope Award, our adoption wait, the birth of our daughter, her recovery in the NICU, and more than the first year of her life. It was a space where I met many friends in the community, some of whom I’m still in close contact with today. However, for a number of reasons, circumstances led me to feel no longer comfortable in that space. So, I came here — a place named after a line in one of my favorite books. A place where I could feel more at peace with both my writing and with myself.

I haven’t written as much this year, in my new, virtual home. That’s okay. I’m okay with this. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time reading other spaces and reflecting on my blogging life thus far, and I’ve written when I felt compelled to. Not when others wanted or needed me to. Not when trying to give in to any pressures or obligations. I’ve been focused on being me, and — that said — I leave 2014 feeling more comfortable in this new blogging home. I do hope to write more in 2015. It’s not a goal or a resolution. It’s simply a desire to have more time and energy to convey some of my thoughts in this space where I finally feel free again.

2014 also began for me in a different physical location. I love Seattle. I miss it, and I think I always will. I feel that I can speak for Joey and admit that he feels the same. I don’t regret moving out there one bit. I don’t regret moving back to try and adopt our daughter’s half sibling. And I don’t regret that the adoption of that little boy fell through. Regret is pointless, and I certainly don’t believe in dwelling on mistakes — or perceived mistakes. (Another line in my favorite book, tattooed on my back, reminds me of this: The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did.) I can’t turn back time, and even if I could, I’m not sure I would change anything. Living through the highs and lows of that experience sucked. Royally. It was a loss, no doubt about it. Yet, it also gave me perspective and strength.

This year also taught me patience. Dealing with a two-year-old requires a lot of that. I haven’t been a perfect parent. Odds are, I never will be, but I’ve tried my hardest . . . most of the time. I’ve learned that some things aren’t worth fussing over, and that potty training is as difficult and time consuming as I expected it to be (I’m still living this!). I’ve also learned that, while I miss the baby years and always will, seeing my daughter’s face light up across the playground after school and hearing her yell, “MOMMY!” gives me as many warm and fuzzy feelings (if not more) than cuddling her as a newborn. She is the biggest reason why I can’t sit here and write that 2014 was bad. It was challenging, yes, but no year will ever be bad with her in it. I watched her conquer so much in 2014: from saying hundreds of new words, to learning her colors, to transitioning to a “big girl bed.” She is the light on my darkest of days — even in those moments when she’s as challenging as ever.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to see what the new year brings for me and for my family. I hope for stability. I hope for easy and carefree. But, most of all, I hope to enjoy every peak on this next roller coaster ride and not dwell too much on the valleys. And I hope for these things for each and every one of you, as well.

Wishing you love, peace, and a very happy and healthy new year.

xo

Katie

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#microblogmonday: rock-a-bye toddler

She wails and she screams. Then, she pauses as I spend a moment rubbing her back and urging her to sleep. When I let up, she wails and she screams some more.

This cycle continues for close to an hour, until finally, I can’t handle it any longer — I go back to what worked at the very beginning:

I rock her.

It takes her a moment to give in, but when she does, she does it completely. Her eyes seal shut, and the weight of her barely 25-pound body feels heavy on my chest.

And I feel my own body relax — not because she’s finally napping, but because this rare, fleeting moment is everything that I live and breathe for.

hello, december

The end of the year is here, and it feels as surreal as the end of last year. And the year before that. And so on. Time is flying by. Here’s a little of what’s been happening in our world lately:

  • I am still training for my half marathon (which I completed fundraising for last month . . . hooray!). I run my last organized race this weekend, a 10k, before the half at the end of February. I’m not too focused on time right now. I figure that will come later, with more experience. I mostly just want to finish. And yes — I do plan to continue running after this half. It’s been motivating and therapeutic for me.
  • K was evaluated for sensory processing issues. We still haven’t received the full evaluation report back, but several conversations with the OT have given us plenty to think about and work on as we wait to see what kind of treatment K may (or may not) need. It sounds like the issues she’s facing aren’t going to be too difficult to manage, and I’m thankful for her new school/teachers who spotted some red flags early on.
  • We moved into our new house. We closed at the end of October, but we didn’t officially take residence until last week since the sellers rented back from us for a month. We started moving in some items on Thursday night, and as of this morning, we had zero boxes left to unpack. Hooray! But we still have plenty of organizing to do. We also have fun home projects ahead: redoing the fence, painting, floors, and — at some point — upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms.

And last, but not least:

  • My boobs are causing issues again. The day before Thanksgiving, I found a lump in my right breast during my routine self exam. Thankfully, my specialist was able to get me in the following week for an ultrasound. It looks like a complex cyst, and it’s formed a thick barrier that left my doctor unable to biopsy and/or aspirate with a needle. So, I head back in April for another scan. More watch and wait. I should be used to this by now, right?!

All of these things have left blogging to the back burner, but I hope as the new year arrives, I’ll have more time to sit down and write. Or at least post pictures of the new place. Come on, 2015. Be less crazy for me, will you?