2010: That’s a Wrap

December 31st, 2010

2010… oh where oh where to begin.

(I promise, this isn’t going to be a poem.)

We started the year how we have begun the last five… with the Moreheads and Swarts in a themed New Year’s Eve party. This is the first one that I awoke from sober and not hungover. That whole being-in-my-third-trimester thing got in the way. By then we knew she was a girl and the bigger my tummy got the more anxious we grew.

February brought with it the death star, otherwise known as my kidney stone. This little event landed me in the hospital for two days and in a state of pain that I had never, and even after childbirth, have still never found anything to compare it to.

By March we had just eight short weeks left until the baby would arrive and our weekends were filled with showers. With two in Wichita and one in Oklahoma City, we were blessed to have so many friends and family travel for us and to celebrate with us. We started birth classes and were close to being the first people ever expelled from one. Clearly, we never know where the line is. But when you give us such good material as a hot pink crocheted uterus, teacher nuns are just asking for it.

Then, April 1 came and my bulging belly lodged itself in my throat. We were just four short weeks away from a day that, all cliches aside, literally changed my life. We celebrated Shelton’s 30th with a few friends over a surprise dinner at the first of the month because I knew we’d be a little tied up on his real birthday, April 27, with a due date of April 26. Suddenly, time stopped. I didn’t think we were ever going to get that baby out. She must have been pretty content where she was because she didn’t want to come out, and we had to induce… on April 27. I tweeted the entire delivery day, start to finish, on #PaisleyJoon @brandik.

I can write this whole year-in-review post, but really, the whole year can be summarized in this one sentence:

I became a mom.

Four words that most five-year-olds can write, and yet eight months later when I say them or write them they can bring me to tears. On April 27, 2010, we celebrated two birthdays, the 30th for my incredible husband, and the arrival of our beautiful and healthy daughter, Paisley Joon Koskie.

The months since then have been a ride like none other. They’ve literally blurred together and I swear to all things holy I cannot believe we’re about to enter 2011.

We survived the summer, and I mean that. By the time August rolled around I felt like I was holding myself together with loose strings and frayed patches. My idealistic dream to be super mom – holding down a full-time job in addition to caring for Paisley full time – began to fill in with heavy fog. We had a lot of help from friends, my grandma and my understanding bosses, but time was proving that we needed to crunch numbers and get some extra help. Finally, relief that I didn’t realize I even needed.

Fall was focused on my big goal: running a half marathon. At that New Year’s Eve party I committed to running a half marathon. I’d never done this before, nor was I a runner. I wish I could have blamed the decision on a drunken epiphany, but no, I was stone-cold sober. I wanted to do it for me. I wanted to do it to force myself to lose the baby weight and get back in shape. So when I woke on the morning of October 10, 2010, once again, I couldn’t believe I was finally at the date that had been haunting me for months. I just kept telling myself “nothing but finish line” because for months so many people had told me there wasn’t a chance in hell. Well, I crossed that finish line three hours and 12 minutes later and collapsed into a sobbing, jelly-legged mess. There are a few moments in my life that I will never, ever forget, and even fewer that make me damn proud of myself, and this is one of them. I did it. And it won’t be my last.

These last few months of the year have been filled with watching Paisley grow, and just trying to keep up with her and life. She changes every single day, and at least once a week crosses some new mile marker that forces us to reconcile that she will not always be this tiny and new.

When I stop to look back on this year, I’m so overwhelmed by how to describe it, summarize it and archive it that even what I’m writing doesn’t do it justice. The most significant thing that will ever happen to me happened. I mean, how do you come to terms with that? My mind is different, my heart is different, hell, my boobs and even my hair are different! I’ve tried my best to embrace our new normal, and yet, I don’t think either of us has still really defined what that is. I catch us trying to live “that life” and it feels so wonky and out of place we might as well be trying to force square pegs in round holes.

On January 1, 2011, Shelton and I will have been a couple for ten years. Which means, as 2010 closes, it’s not just another year, but it’s a decade for me. It’s the last year of my 20s; by this time next year I’ll be a 30-year-old. Who I was then and who I am now are people I often wonder if they’d recognize one another if they met.

So as the ball drops on another year, all I have to say is thank you. Thank you to my friends. There are those of you I hold so near and dear I’d be broken without you. Thank you to my family whose support seems to come from a well so deep because you never tell us “no.” Thank you to my husband for also never telling me no, but also helping to shape so much of my life! Thank you to my perfect daughter, for making me finally want to be and do all things I always say I’m going to do; for slowly but surely making me appreciate mornings; and for lighting up when you see me like no person has ever done before.

And thank you to the universe and the heavens and whoever is in charge up there. My life seems to intersect with good luck, good health, and blessings more times than I can count.

As my friend Karin inspired me to say…. this is the best life ever.

Happy new year. I hope when you look back on 2010, it’s as positive and inspired as mine was.