Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year of Being Brave (2014 in Review)

Light Up the Dark! 2014 Christmas Eve Candles
I don't think anybody is as shocked as I am that 2014 is over.  Seriously 2014 is one of my more blurry years (because I'm older?!) There were some pretty monumental events packed into these 12 short months though let me tell you what.  Before I get to the regularly scheduled 2014 recap I want to touch on the year of Being Brave.

Focusing on one thing in 2014, Being Brave, was surprisingly challenging.  Its easy to make lists of resolutions and even easier to let them fall by the wayside - but focusing on one goal and trying to apply that attribute to all aspects of my life, I personally found extremely challenging. And very changing - in a good way! If nothing else, it made me more present to my world and very importantly, my reactions and connections to people and situations. Holding back out of fear can be a survival tactic - but it can also be a crutch, one I know I was relying on too much. Learning to dive in and take some risks at my (relatively) young age has been one of the more important life lessons I've learned so far. Focusing on Being Brave has opened up room for development in other areas as well - because I understand how utterly terrifying it can be to Be Brave I think I've become more empathetic, more patient, more understanding. 

Focusing on Being Brave really grounded me back in myself. I used to be known as as the "nice one" (I even won an award for being most smiley once) I was always ready to jump in and help and (I would like to think) I was a good listener and a generally kind person. I got burned a few times which caused this introvert to put up some really huge walls and it also turned me into a more selfish, cynical, and hardened version of myself. A version I really wasn't digging. Being brave pulled me out of a lot of that (still a work in progress) It reminded me to be courageous enough to be more vulnerable. This blog has provided me a platform to really test my bravery and vulnerability - putting it allllll out there in the interwebs for everybody to see and judge. For that, and the soul bolstering it has provided, I will be forever grateful.

So this coming year I've decided, in honor of Being Brave, to pick one thing to focus on. (Obviously I plan to still work on Being Brave because I'm pretty sure that's the work of a lifetime...) All of the empathy that blurbled up to the surface from this braveness led me to really consider what impact I'm having on those around me. And I asked myself a few hard questions - Am I actively contributing to making others' lives better? Am I becoming trapped in the scarcity complex (there isn't enough for everybody mindset)? Would I want to be friends with me? Am I leaving things better than when I arrived? You get the idea.

And after some soul searching I realized that 2015 is the year I need to focus on Being Generous. Generosity is such an all encompassing idea and can really be applied everywhere. I think I need to focus on Generosity towards myself as much as I need to focus on Generosity of spirit, time, talents etc. Before I was afraid I had nothing of worth to give. But Being Brave has shown me that's 100% not true. I have a lot to offer myself and those around me and my little corner of the world. And holding it back out of fear or laziness is no way to live.

I think Generous people are kind, they are strong. They understand when to give and when to hold back - because they are gentle with themselves as well. This is a sometimes crushing world we live in, and a little bit more giving of ourselves can only make things better. And disciplining myself to think generously will only make me better - me first is not the person I want to be and its definitely not the type of parent I want to be or the type of child I want to raise. (Raising a child...eek...I'm going to need all of that learned Bravery!)

So there's that my friends. Let's be Generous in 2015! 

And now in technicolor - THE 2014 RECAP!

I wrote about the blog craft exchange and my fantastic friend Amanda from Little Monsters and Mommies who gave me the perfect Christmas ornaments full of baby JuJu (THEY WORKED! And they are on the tree this year Amanda don't you worry!  And they will be every year!) I also wrote about how being Gay and Catholic don't mix and how I desperately miss the spiritual home I once had (more to come on this topic in 2015)

I wrote about how surrendering is one of the Bravest things you can do! I visited my soul sister in Denver. And I wrote you all a LOVE letter!  (The vulnerability was in full tilt this month!)

 We bought a house! And nobody was pregnant :( It was a bit of a rough time.

The lost month. Moving and prepping for baby making...again.

I talk about getting out of the rat race and enjoying your best life. I said a few more words about our home, our castle! I also wrote a post for all the childless mothers out there (little did I know that our dippitydot would be conceived THE NEXT DAY!) This is still one of my favorite posts of all time.

I talked about marrying a(n) (ex)Mormon and started a summer bucket list! My first summer of freedom and we lived it up!

In July I wrote some dribble drabble posts about my summer bucket list while trying to keep my mouth shut until we could announce THE BEST NEWS! And then you all made me cry! And my heart just nearly exploded! And I got to catch you all up a bit :)

We went camping! And I told you some more about dippitydot! SP spent most of this month really really nauseated. Yay Sea bands!

My SBL goes kaput while SP tries to bake our bun. Wonderful Wednesday starts (Thanks Amanda!) Imake jam and talk about some really great friends!

Big time scare, big time gratitude! We survive a scary dippitydot growing moment. SP reaches 25 weeks (more than halfway!) and we get to have some good fun!

I recap our really really fun Babymoon in Seattle.  Will we ever be alone again?! And I count my blessingsbecause really...could I be anymore lucky?!

We start the month with a BABYSHOWER! Eek! It is filled with love and light and strong, beautiful women. (maybe we can do this?!) I tell you how crazy I am and then we have 2 more babyshower (geeze this little one is SO loved!) Some thoughts on Advent and the countdown to Dippitydot begins!

Aaaannnndddd we're full circle! It's been a life changing year my friends. SP predicted 2014 would be our year and I'd say she was right. The thing is...I'm pretty sure 2015 will be our year too!

Here's to making 2015 the most beautiful and Generous year yet!

Be Brave! Be Generous!

Last Christmas Eve snuggles just the 2 of us!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

For Unto Us a Child is 5 Weeks

This was the busiest pre, during and after Christmas I can remember in a long long time. If you know me you know I'm planny-plannerton but this year there was zippo time for planning. Luckily SP convinced me in November to get a super big jump on our Christmas shopping so the majority was done early (glory hallelujah)  

My family came and stayed with us for a week which was lovely, but once again, no time for planning. Luckily they are the lowest of the low key and therefore are open to take out dinners and afternoon marathons of netflix. It was a family, cookie filled week and I'm so incredibly glad we had the chance to "do-over" Christmas with everybody having working limbs.

Some scenes from the insanity of Christmas celebrations with both mine and SP's family:
 Decorating Duchess Sybil! 
 Christmas morning with the Squinty Family

 Beard Baubles and Pregnant Lady Stocking Stuffers!

GIANT Peanutbutter cup!  YUM!

 Annual Christmas Cookie Decorating!
Christmas Dinner Goobs!
 Christmas Part II:

 The Present Mountain! And the Make-It gifts

 Newest Baby Newphew!

 A new high chair for all the new babies!

This Christmas season has been a little extra special as we eagerly (and terrifyingly) await our first baby.  Advent, traditionally, is a waiting period in the Christian church.  A time of preparation and meditation on the coming of the Christ child to the world. And with SP in a very pregnant nesty mode we have had a physical manifestation of that waiting period. And it has definitely opened something deep inside of me. I think for the longest time I thought my dream of being a mother was going to remain just that...a dream. It just seemed that there were so many obstacles (biological, financial, familial etc etc) to this dream. I think even when SP got pregnant I couldn't 100% wrap my mind around the fact that this meant I was going to be a mother. It has slowly becoming more real as little dippitydot grows and SP changes. If you're the pregnant one there is no denying that things are changing, but as the other mother there is a way in your warped brain that you can sort of forget that it's going to be real. But the last month has brought everything into stark clarity - a baby is coming. My baby.  Mine and SP's baby. The soul that has been waiting up there is making his or her way to me...finally.

Amongst all the business and flash and crazy its been a beautiful season. A season of anticipating. A season of small moments and stolen joys. A season of waiting and preparation for a child. A child who will change my world.

Merry Christmas my loves! And all the love and light from my soul to yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A State Of My (Mental) State Address

You guys. 

Did you know that in just 2 weeks it will be 2015?

The time is flying by at extra uber warp speed and I think I'm in the middle of my annual holiday melt down.  Things feel too fast, too busy, too tiring. But at least I can get these crappy feelings out of the way before the actual holidays ;)

One of the many things sucking away all my time - I made 8 thousand caramel chocolate dipped pretzels.     They were amazing I'm not going to lie...
Last week we had 2, count em' 2, more baby showers. It was incredible and definitely grew my Grinch heart by at least 2 sizes. This new stinker is so well loved and he/she hasn't even made his/her debut yet. I have to say, the support and generosity of our friends and coworkers has been truly overwhelming. Thank you peeps near and far who are helping us to understand and prepare for this crazy change in our lives. Some days I can't believe how quickly this kid is coming and some days I'm giddy with excitement and some days I'm just terrified out of my mind! (par for the course right?!...RIGHT?!)

I can't even describe how much cake I've eaten in the last 3 weeks...
Mah Peeps!
This...accompanied by a "squeeee" all the time!

We have a jam-packed next week with the holidays and my parentals and brother coming to visit and stay at our house.  Typically, every other year we go down south for Christmas.  But this year SP is pretttyyy pregnant and we're sort of doing a do-over since my poor brother was a hot mess last we're staying up here. And honestly I'm pretty excited about it - not traveling around the holidays? Uh Yes Please! Plussss...It's our first Christmas in our first home!  Which we're still trying to figure out...decorations, tree locations etc - but it's exciting none the less.

Christmas in the new house!  I name the tree Duchess Sybil just in case you were wondering...
Smore's in the fireplace with this beauty, how lucky am I?!
Ok kiddos, I think that's all I've got in me today.  Happy happies near and far!

P.S. 33 weeks yesterday! 
P.P.S Is anybody having major issues commenting on other blogger blogs? I'm reading all your blogs I swear but every time I hit the "publish" button on my comment it just disappears!  I don't know what to do!  Ayudame!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Shower of Love (31 Weeks!)

Yesterday our amazing friends threw us a beautiful baby shower.  It was a fantastic afternoon filled with friends, love, and terrifying realizations that a will be in our house in approximately 8 weeks (yikes!)

One of my closest friends from childhood hosted the shower (in the home of some of our other closest friends!)  She took care of every detail and it was so personalized to us. She made the shower book themed (to reflect my love of reading). So not only did we get completely spoiled with baby gifts everybody brought children's books to build Dippity Dot's future library! Fantastic.

Our beautiful host with my newest nephew

We started the afternoon with a sweet ceremony. We went around the room (tossing a ball of string) and honored the strong fabulous women who came before us and each woman gave us advice, or a blessing, or a wish for the future. At the end we cut the string and were asked to tie the string around our wrist and keep it on until the baby is born. The idea being that every time you look at it you send good wishes and love to the mommies and baby to come soon. I absent-mindedly touch it often now and remember the strong, beautiful women who help to hold us up.

 Celebrating our strong community

We spent the rest of the afternoon eating cake, playing games, opening a ridiculous amount of gifts (crazy generous friends), and decorating onesies! It couldn't have been more "us" and now we're even more excited to welcome this little nugget into our family and into this world.

Custom onesie collection!

Babyshower palooza continues in the next couple of weeks as well (with 2 work babyshowers coming up!) and a "meet the baby" party being planned in the spring so my parents can celebrate too! (they just got home from living in London for 3 months...lucky ducks!)

So it's pretty certain to say that this baby is already so incredibly loved. And while it's pretty hard not to freak over every detail and try to go with the flow (hard for 2 control freaks...) I'm feeling more supported than ever. We can do this - and we have so many lovely people to hold us up when its a little too much!

Future Mama Face
Besos my loves!