This post has been hard to write.

I tried many times to put to words a true reflection of how this year has really been. But every time I thought about it and dug deep, it just hurt too much. So I’d ruminate and have to stop and forcibly squeeze the memories shut.

The problem is how do I neatly summarize the year? The only thing that rang true was that it was a tough year. But making a blanket statement like that didn’t seem necessarily accurate. So instead, I concede that it wasn’t all bad. I know that some (perhaps a lot) of you don’t and can’t understand this. Why? This should’ve been a great year! You’re a mom now! Look at Ollie, he’s doing so well, you should be so proud! And yes, this is true. But it is so sadly lacking in total perspective of the entire journey.

I am not who I was a year ago. Every year, as the year ended, I’d reflect and think, My! How I’ve grown! But never have I made leaps in emotional maturity like this year. I feel like I went from a girl having a good time to a grown woman shouldering the immensity of grief and reality. It took months before I started to heal after my dad passed away. And I still struggle. A lot. Someone mentioned that I’m stronger for it. But from my view, I barely managed to survive. There’s an emptiness to me, a void that I can’t imagine ever filling again. But you know what? There is a silver lining here. I have been absolutely unfazed by every single obstacle and challenge since losing him. I can now pause and process and respond to these things that would’ve, at one point, violently shaken my world. Nothing, I tell myself, can possibly be as bad as that.

So let’s not be a Negative Nancy here. There were some incredible life changing events this year too. I spent 29 hours giving birth to the most amazing son I could’ve ever asked for. My husband catered to my every need throughout the labor and delivery in ways I never knew him capable, in ways I would’ve never known any man to be capable. My dad, in his last months, got to meet and spend time with his last grandson. We struggled to figure out how to be parents. We went from feeling like a fish out of water, totally out of our depths, to [gasp] actually finding our footing and becoming [almost] pros at it.

So yes, I am more than eager to usher in a new year and close the door on this one. When I look back on 2013, if a year could have a color, it will always be the darkest of the dark, that absolute pitch black year. But yes, it wasn’t all bad. And I truly do believe that 2014 will be incredible, not just in comparison, but incredible because we’ll use these new tools we honed this year as parents and worker bees to reach amazing new heights. 2014 will be a pivotal year.

Thank you, everyone, for your support this year, and for being a part of my life. You are appreciated, in more ways than you may realize. Thank you for being there for me, in what has undoubtedly been the single hardest year of my life.

xmas card 2013

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