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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back...

You can't write a blog without writing an annual summary post. Well, I guess you could, but really what fun would that be? Looking back at an entire year is always fun, especially when it's been an exceptionally great year like this one has.

First and foremost the word for 2011 is "baby". On January 4th I discovered I was expected little miss Emily. So, for all except three days, this entire year has been all about her, even before I knew much of anything about her, let alone met her.

Winter this past year was steeped in snow, job changes, nausea, and an ever expanding waist line. I studied my butt off in school, took up ambulance work full time again, and continued to take photos... when I wasn't sleeping for twenty hours a day.

There's a tiny Emily in there!

One of my favorite photos I took this past winter in Thetford, Vermont
Spring led to the culmination of nursing school and the stress of searching for a nursing job. The realization that you can't come out of school and necessarily get your dream job hit me hard, but I found a job I'd never thought I'd truly enjoy. Despite little preparation I aced the NCLEX and became an RN. My belly grew ever bigger and I started buying things pink and purple, knowing a girl was in our future.

Starting to get a little belly by the time spring came around.

The crib and awesome decals Shawn put up in Emily's room

Summer was unbearably hot, especially for a woman in her third trimester. I worked longer hours and harder shifts, all for the purpose of saving for maternity leave and keeping my mind off the anticipation of Emily's arrival. On the day that's dubbed the end of the summer, Labor Day, I birthed my baby girl. From then on my life invariably changed, for the better of course.

Hot days, but beautiful sunsets

Emily, just arrived!  Happy 'Labor Day'

As the leaves turned and fell to the ground I learned the many lessons of being a new mom. Returning to work was incredibly hard, not just to leave my baby with my husband or daycare depending on the day, but just simply to have to devote so much energy away from my home. It's a hard balance to learn. I also returned to taking photos, for business and for fun. Being behind the camera still brings me joy.

A whopping two months old and an ever wonderful model for my camera!

Lots of yellows in this year's foliage!

Being on the back roads and taking in the countryside never gets old.

As fall ended and another winter approached I found the holidays filled with more meaning and fun than before. Despite struggles with Emily's health, with constant colds and fevers and bad reactions, she's growing into a happy, smiling baby. Balancing work and home life is becoming easier. Keeping hobbies and finding "me" time is becoming possible. Best of all, I am starting to regularly exercise again and plan to soon be back doing shifts in the ambulance. Life is returning to normal, just with an amazing extra person in it now!

My New Year Baby!

This past year has been nothing short of amazing. Here's wishing all of you who take time to read, comment, and enjoy what I write and post an amazing new year that will hopefully be leaps better than 2011, if that's even possible.


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