2017 was beautiful. It was exhausting. It tested my patience and it freaking made my heart explode. It gave me clarity on what I want to focus on—my family, our adventures, and the sweet moms who stop by Momma Society on the daily. It was a year of getting our house ready to sell. Of putting in offers on 2 houses we thought were perfect. A year of hearing no, but realizing it was because something better was in store. It was a year of giving thanks and not taking our health for granted. It was a year I will look back on one day and surely miss---even those days that felt like pure chaos.
In January, we rang in 2017 spilling the beans that we were EXPECTING 2017 to be a pretty great year—and it was. I shared my pregnancy diary from the first trimester with all of the ups and downs of emotions (and nausea). I shared a love letter to my first trimester. We recorded our top baby names and had Brody take them for a test run.
February arrived and we took a spur of the moment trip down to Tucson and the bump slowly started growing. We finished Brody’s playhouse—nearly 5 months in the making. I rounded up my favorite pregnancy journals, and I shared an update on baby #2. I started planning Brody’s 2nd birthday party---lots of sprinkles were to be involved. We spent an evening showing Brody around our Alma Mater. I tried a bunch of Old Wive's Tales for guessing the baby's gender (spoiler alert: they were right) and we potty trained in a weekend—marking that as one of our greatest accomplishments of 2017.
We blinked and it was March. We started planning our babymoon to Bermuda. Megan Garcia gave us the low down on prenatal vitamins. Brody turned 2! We celebrated with the sweetest birthday bash—I wrote a love letter to Brody (those pregnancy emotions were running high). We headed off to Bermuda—our first big trip sans Brody and it was incredible. We came back feeling incredibly refreshed. We spilled the beans with our beach gender reveal---a little girl, we were so excited!
April was on the horizon and the weather in Arizona began to warm. I started nesting---my baby gear shopping list for baby #2 was made. Little pops of pink started popping up around our home and made me so excited. I felt a sense of calm as I began to savor all of the little moments with just our family of three. Two of my favorite mom friends and I got dressed up for an epic Mother’s Day photo shoot. I still daydream about the magical set-up and the moments captured of sweet Brody and I. Momma Society got a make-over! New branding, a new logo, a place that reminded me of the beauty of motherhood even when most days were messy and unglamourous. JD and I took a weekend trip to Tucson for the wedding of our friends and came back vowing for more date nights.
May arrived and I started getting sappy about adding another baby to our family. How would I love another kid like I loved Brody? The roller coaster of emotions! I passed my time with DIY projects—these 2 minute headbands were a big hit on YouTube. The third trimester began and that evil pregnancy heartburn started along with it. We went peach picking. And my sweet grandpa passed away at the age of 90.
The first of June rolled around and we were in Florida celebrating my Grandpa’s life. It made me realize how lucky we are to have a big family. How you know someone had a good life when their funeral is full of joy and reminiscing. Baby girl’s nursery started coming together—mostly just her closet for the time being. We headed out on our last vacation as a family of 3 to our annual Outer Banks trip. At 33/34 weeks pregnant, I think everyone on the plane was praying that baby didn’t pop out mid flight. A week of bonfires, lazy mornings on the beach, afternoon naps and evenings on the balcony watching the sunset—pure bliss in every sense of the word. We prepped our bedroom for baby’s arrival and finally upgraded from a full-sized mattress to a king! Best decision ever. We made Brody a scooter racetrack in our driveway and shared some of my biggest worries with welcoming a new baby.
The first day of July arrived and we celebrated baby girl’s birth month with the most beautiful baby shower brunch. The morning with my momma tribe and family is one I will always cherish. I ran into my neighbor’s car with my car --- cue the pregnancy brain. My talented friend Dana came over and we took milk bath pregnancy pictures. I never took maternity pictures with Brody, so these became such a treasure. At 37 weeks I started doubting we were ready for another baby. Her closet remained the only thing prepped for her arrival. Mom naps were happening often. Since finishing the nursery was freaking me out too much, I jumped into finishing Brody’s big boy room. He said good-bye to the crib and hello to the cutest room around. A week before my due date, the hospital bag was finally packed! We anxiously started waiting to see if every day was our last as a family of 3. Our due date came and went.
August arrived and we knew this month would officially be baby month. I posted a bump update at 41.5 weeks and kept my fingers crossed for a baby soon. On August 8th, just a few hours before her daddy’s 29th birthday, we welcomed Isla Harlow into the world. 8lbs and 10 oz of pure perfection. The birth was beautiful. Empowering as hell. I couldn’t sleep from how much love my heart felt. The greatest day of 2017 indeed. I went home and was welcomed with some killer post labor pains for a few days. A picture in my mesh undies became my most liked photo of the year —go figure. Brody and Isla became inseparable. Their bond still amazes me. I clicked publish on a letter I wrote to Isla sharing her birth story. I shared the video of Brody meeting Isla for the first time—one of my favorite moments of life for sure. At a little over a week old, we received a scary phone call from Isla's pediatrician saying one of her newborn tests came back abnormal. My heart sank and I cried for days. We spent over 2 weeks on a strict lockdown awaiting more tests and not being allowed to be in public places. Good news came and we breathed a sigh of relief. Life was messy, but incredibly beautiful.
Oh September—one of my favorite months of the year. September was a bit of a struggle with a colic-y babe and finding our new norm. There were so many sweet moments and then there were moments I was pretty sure I was done having kids. I turned 29 and started my first regular Instagram Stories series---Momma Society Mail Day! I rounded up everything that I used during my first 6 weeks postpartum and I started to feel slightly human again. I shared a raw blog post on my first 6 weeks postpartum—the highs and the lows.
October arrived and I was so disturbed by the shooting in Las Vegas. Our beautiful word and the unnecessary heartache in it. I wrote a little letter to Brody and Isla that I hope they take to heart one day. We headed off to Atlanta for our first trip as a family of 4. We found Fall! The most quaint pumpkin patch. A picnic in a field of sunflowers. Apple picking at the apple orchard. Things we miss out on in Arizona come Fall. We finished our trip with an Auburn Football game. The energy of the stadium. The venture away from home. We came back feeling incredibly refreshed. A few days later we hoped on another plane, this time to Vegas. It was time for our 3rd year at the ABC Kids Expo. We scoped out the best of new baby gear for 2018. Saw some of our friends in the baby industry and headed back home to celebrate Halloween. Our first Halloween as family of 4---dressing up as party animals seemed pretty fitting.
November came and the temperatures finally started to dip below 90 degrees. JD and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary at home with our kiddos. I think we both forget to even buy each other a card this year, but we were reminded by how many blessings 4 years has brought. Brody started preschool! Isla turned 3 months old and I finally finished her nursery—just in time to start transitioning her to sleep in her crib. We ate lots of turkey and we started getting ready for the holidays.
The calendar rolled over to December and we headed up North to take the kids on the Polar Express. It was pure magic. We spent the weekend in Flagstaff with our friends and spent hours exploring Williams, Arizona for the perfect Christmas tree. We took our annual family Christmas pictures and decorated our tree. Chef Brody made his premier. We brought Brody ice skating for the first time. Isla wore the same bloomers I wore on my first Christmas. And Santa came and spoiled us all.
Looking ahead to 2018 I am so excited. Some *big* changes for our family are brewing. Huge adventures are planned. There are new sights to see. New foods to try. New memories to be made. My bucket list is written. 2018, I’m ready for ya.
Related: Hello 2017! A Look Back.