Well, I can safely say we never in a million years anticipated what 2018 had in store for us! I went back to reread our 2017 post (and some others 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and laughed at the fact that our word for 2018 was FOCUS. I said, “We have so many hopes/dreams we’ve been talking about and I’d like to take this year to actually focus on them – whether they are business or personal! I also was to focus on the people in my life… give more to my family, friends, and to James. Amid that I’d also like to focus more on my health – mental & physical and taking the time I need to thrive and be the best mama, wife, and business owner I can be.”
And the funniest line to me in retrospect, “Now that my pregnancy brain has hopefully gotten back to normal – I’m hoping for a year ahead spent focusing on what is important and letting the rest roll off my shoulders.”
Well, I certainly did focus on what was most important – especially on my mental and physical health since it turned out that the majority of 2018 was spent GROWING A BABY!! So crazy.
As if finding out I was pregnant wasn’t unexpected enough – I think on top of that we never expected my pregnancy to be such a difficult one (especially after having ZERO issues while I was pregnant with twins). At the tail end of June (around 14 weeks pregnant) baby girl gave us quite the scare when I started bleeding really badly while out on a trip to Target with the boys (you can read more about that here). After numerous trips to the doctor and ER she showed us she was hanging in there and growing strong. Then we finally got over that scare only to be surprised with more scary news at my 20 weeks ultrasound. Our little one had pretty severe hydrops (fluid in her belly and some around her lungs) and anemia. Something was making her sick, but all the tests in the world could not tell us what. So all we could do was monitor her closely and pray for improvement. That meant me seeing a high-risk OB specialist numerous times a week for the remainder of my pregnancy. (That’s the “Miles” part of the heading to this post – soooo many trips spent driving to and from Park Ridge, where our specialists were.)
I’m so thankful at the time that I didn’t think to Google any of these things because I later found out that babies with hydrops in utero have a 50% survival rate. I’m so glad I didn’t know that at the time, and instead could just focus on my faith and hope for her to keep fighting in there. It was truly nothing short of a miracle that she was conceived in the first place, and the miracles continued when we found out eventually (just shy of her due date) that all her tests came back NORMAL finally!!
Then on December 20, 2018 we welcomed our perfectly healthy baby girl, Aya Mae Rose, into our family!
Aside from that huge milestone, the rest of our year was spent focusing on our family and our business. We finally made a trip to South Carolina in the early spring to visit James’ family. The boys got to finally meet their extended family and saw the ocean for the first time! I shared some of our travel tips from that trip in a post HERE.
I also shared a pretty personal post about our marriage that seemed to really hit home with a lot of you. James and I put a lot of work in to manage our day to day life better so that we could be more intentional with our time together as well. We started being more productive in work and life and in turn had our nights free up to be together. The hilarious thing is that we got our marriage back on track and – surprise! We ended up pregnant like a month later! hahaha.
I shared more about how raising tiny humans helps you understand your spouse better. We shot 25 weddings, 81 sessions (proposals, family, newborn & minis), as well as 25 engagement sessions, and taught two workshops (Beginner & Lighting)! We were just doing our best to focus on enjoying all the every day moments with our boys and putting our hearts into our business and our wonderful clients as well. Normally I share photos snips throughout the year, but the busier we get and the more kids we add to our crew – the more impossible that feels. haha! So I thought I’d share our One Second a Day video instead… because that is a pretty good look into our little part of the world over here!! Enjoy!!
Ahhhh so surreal watching that over! And crazy to me how the boys look like such babies at the start of the year and are totally kids by the end! We are looking forward to another beautiful year ahead. James and I were joking that our word for the year is “survive”, but decided we’d rather like to THRIVE in our new normal instead. Thrive in the crazy. Thrive amid the love. Thrive in our marriage (10 years this year!). Thrive in this world we never could have dreamt of just a few short years ago. Let’s do this, 2019!