As I sit here, I am in awe that another year has come to a close. 2016 was the year of finding my balance. The year of working on myself. The year that I truly loved motherhood day after day, for the first time ever. A year full of lessons, some tougher than I anticipated. A year of learning to say no more times than I was used to, but a year of many unexpected yes's. A year I will forever be grateful for.
January kicked off with organizing Brody's toys. Tackling the clutter. We baby proofed our home office so I could start getting work done with a mobile toddler in tow. One of the sweetest gifts arrived for Brody--a treasure now tucked away in his keepsake box. I celebrated the 1 Year anniversary of Momma Society & what a year it was!
February rolled around and so did our first Valentine's Day together. We packaged up little socks for Brody's friends and had a Valentine's Day exchange. I had the opportunity to interview the founders of one of my favorite companies--they were even more lovely than I could have imagined. Jada Pinkett-Smith's interview with ABC News shook me to my core. I vowed to start taking care of myself. I struggled with my identity through my first year of motherhood and finally decided to take a leap and peruse a dream of mine to become a childbirth educator. I spent my first weekend away from Brody.
March was knocking at our door and so was a sense of renewal. We started making plans for Brody's 1st birthday celebration. I collaborated with a mattress company and the project evolved into a big partnership with pictures I took of Brody in nearly every baby magazine in the UK. For a non-professional photographer, this was a neat accomplishment. I shared 5 ways I wish I would have taken better care of myself as a new mom. I joined the team of experts at Project Nursery and started monthly contributions to one of my favorite sites. The weather started to warm up and we started our monthly picnics. I let Brody eat handfuls of peanut butter--that was fun to clean up. I fell in love with dressing boys and spilled the beans on how and where I shop for baby boy clothes--this post has been one of the most popular of 2016.
April came and so did my excitement for warm weather. I finally caught up on laundry (literally for the first time in over a year). I rounded up our favorite toddler toys. I shared all of the details on Brody's 1st Birthday celebration--still one of my favorite days of my life. My dream of getting together a bunch of Momma Society moms came true! I was so nervous to do this and scared it would be a bust, but I decided to go for it anyways. The event sold out and it was pure magic. One momma came all the way from Tucson for the event. We were spoiled with blowouts from Dry Bar and some awesome swag bags. Definitely one of the highlights of 2016.
In May, we weaned. I shared 6 things you need to know about weaning and felt strangely content being finished with that phase of motherhood. We went on our annual peach picking adventure at Schnepf Farms. I threw a Mother's Day Brunch. The temperatures in Arizona were getting close to triple digits and I shared my tips for keeping babies and toddlers cool in the Summer. We ended the month by bringing Brody to his first ball game. It was the perfect afternoon.
We blinked and it was June. With Father's Day on the horizon, I shared 5 qualities that make amazing dads (and awesome husbands), along with some of my favorite pictures of Brody and my husband--ever. We had another picnic and totally fed our kid an overload of ice cream--this seemed to be a trend in 2016. We started tossing around the idea of expanding our family and I shared 6 Things You Should Do Before Getting Pregnant.
July kicked off with the lovely Megan Garcia sharing her tips for Prepping For a Hospital Birth. I took a little blogging break as we travelled to our annual North Carolina Beach trip and prepped for an upcoming adventure. I launched the private Momma Society Facebook Group hoping to create a little haven where modern moms could connect, vent, share advice, and support each other. It has been beautiful to see experienced mommas cheer on new mommas, strangers become friends, and share this thing called motherhood together. Definitely a highlight from 2016. PS: have you joined?
August rolled around and we jetted off to Italy with more luggage than I've ever seen in my life. Trains, planes, overnight ferry rides, and 5 humans + nearly a dozen pieces of luggage shoved into a station wagon. We filled our bellies with enough gelato to last us a lifetime. We hiked so much we basically took the rest of 2016 off from exercise. We disturbed all of the Vatican visitors with toddler tantrums. And we headed home with memories to last a lifetime.
September arrived and I got back to blogging. I shared 9-must haves when traveling with a toddler. I wrote about things you should know about traveling abroad with a toddler (including how we scored an empty seat for Brody on almost every flight). I continued the theme of taking care of myself and started a life changing morning routine. A lively conversation erupted on our Momma Society Facebook Group about social media etiquette during pregnancy and I followed it up with a post you might want to share with your family if you're expecting. We wrapped up the month by finally finishing Brody's under-the-stairs play closet---this post had the most popular Momma Society picture of 2016.
October came and I finally finished a post on 45 pieces of baby gear I wouldn't have survived without. It had been in my drafts for 6 months (yes, 6 months!). I survived my first (and only) week of solo parenting and shared 5 lessons I learned while my husband was away. We headed to the annual ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas to scope out the baby trends for 2017--I rounded up the 17 coolest baby products you need to check out in 2017.
November arrived and so did my excitement for the holidays. JD and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. We started thinking about taking Christmas pictures and shopping for Christmas pajamas. We tossed around the idea of trading-in vehicles and the moms in the Momma Society Facebook Group ranked the top 7 Features You'd Want In A Vehicle When You're A Parent. I started my annual holiday gift guides--the guide for the modern mom was the first up. There were plans for nearly half a dozen, but only one was finished enough to publish #exhaustion. Regardless, it was my favorite gift guide ever.
With December, I went MIA. Blog posts were few and far between. Instagram posts were equally sparse. My inbox, which I pride myself in keeping cleaned out, was a solid 3+ weeks behind. I was a couch potato, but we celebrated the holidays and gave thanks for the beautiful year we had.
So, What's ahead for 2017?
We're expecting! We have prayed for, hoped for and dreamed of this sweet little babe. Although I've been living on crackers and ginger ale, taking more naps than Brody, and fallen off the bandwagon with blogging over the past couple of months, we cannot wait until this Summer when our family grows. My, how pregnancy can be so very different each time around!
If you want to know all of the details on when baby #2 is arriving, whether we are going to find out the sex or wait, how we shared the news with family, food cravings/aversions and every other pregnancy related questions you can think of---here's a little video with all of the scoop.
On the Momma Society Agenda for 2017
- A redesign! Momma Society is getting a facelift and I can't wait to share the new look and feel with all of you.
- Deeper support for new moms & mommas-to-be--still figuring out exactly how to accomplish this.
- More virtual hugs and encouragement to the thousands of lovely mommas signed up on the Momma Society email list.
- A Youtube channel. PS: If you want to subscribe, I'd be forever grateful! Trying to set-up a custom url and makes you hit 100 subscribers first.
I hope your 2017 is filled with wonderful memories, plenty of "me time" and sleep-filled nights! Thanks for being a part of this beautiful community.