January: I turned twenty-two as I was six months pregnant with what would be the joy of my life. I anxiously awaited Elijah's arrival and what was in store for me as a mother. I also started my last semester as a college student. It was very bittersweet.
February: The hardest month of the year for me as I was as huge as a hippo and had lost the ability to do simple things such as tie my shoes, and shaving went out the window (Sorry TMI alert). Also Nick was gone the whole month and we spent our first Valentines day as a married couple, apart.
March: My whole world changed as we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Elijah Ryan Joseph into our hearts, three weeks early. Everything in that moment changed as he became the center of our world, the joy of hearts and the love of our lives. And every moment since has truly been a blessing.
April: Is kind of a blur because we didn't get much sleep and our life was devoted to the care of little Eli. The month consisted of many precious moments shared as parents and as a family.
May: Another bittersweet moment as I ended my college career and graduated. I had feared that I wouldn't be able to graduate and have a baby all in the same year, let alone months apart from each other, but I managed to do it with the help of my professors, family and friends.
June: I was basking in my accomplishments and enjoying being a new mom. I sadly stopped breastfeeding Eli after three months, not by choice but because his hunger overcame my lack of production. I'm thankful that I got to breastfeed at all and was happy that I was able to extend that special bond between him and I, even after giving birth.
July: Eli began eating cereal. He wasn't a big fan at first but eventually got it down to a fine science. Eli also had his first beach trip! I think he shares my love for the beach, because he loved the water!
July also marked the end to apart of my own childhood: the last Harry Potter film. This was a huge deal to me being the HP freak that I am. It was another bittersweet moment, (I had a lot of those this year) because the series was a staple in my childhood but thinking back on it, it's ending was timed appropriately as I became an adult in numerous ways this year.
August: A big month for us. Eli turned 5 months and had began to crawl. In the beginning it was more of a spider crawl but he was determined to master crawling, and with the help of Dad crawling around the house out of example, he did (and very well!). He has turned out to be very advanced for his age (like his momma ;)) but I think it's more due to the boy inside that wants to go, go and not slow down. As a result I've been a very busy mom, but a very happy one.
We also began the search for our new house. As our family grew, so did all of our belongings and it was time to expand in space. Within a week of searching, we had found what is now our new home and operation "Building Our Dream Home" began.
September: Eli's appetite grew and he began to try more solids. There wasn't anything he tried and didn't like (just like Mom & Dad.) Except for peas but they've grown on him. His favorite was sweet potatoes and still is.
October: We celebrated Eli's first Halloween! He was the most adorable lion you've ever seen.
We also watched the process of our house being built from the ground, up. It was such an experience and one I'm glad to add to this year's list. And one I'm proud to scratch off my bucket list.
November: We hosted our first Thanksgiving while in the process of preparing for our big move. It was hectic but very humbling. I'm glad we were able to provide a place for our families to come together and give thanks.
Nick and I also celebrated one year of marriage. This was a feat for us given everything this year has brought us. But we shone through it all and we are stronger for it. One year down, forever to go!
December: We moved into our new home just in time to celebrate our first Christmas together as a family. And it was a memorable Christmas too! All three of us got sick with the cold, but we were determined not to let that get in the way of our Christmas spirit! It was our first Christmas in our new home, first Christmas as a family and Eli's first Christmas. A lot of firsts and all of them will never be forgotten.
And that's this year in a nutshell. I became a mother, a college graduate and a homeowner in one year. Like I said, 2011 has been my year -hands down. I'm actually sad to see it end but I'm more excited for what this new year holds for me and my family. So, bring it on 2012. You have your work cut out for you!!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years! See you all next year!!