Diaries Magazine

2011, a Recap.

By Agadd @ashleegadd

It was around this time last year that I was hit with a feeling so strong and certain, it almost knocked me over.

2011 is going to be AMAZING.

I told Brett and he probably said something like “sure, babe” and went back to watching football.

But REALLY, I told him. 2011 is going to kick ass.

I was full of optimism, more so than my usual dose. And I’m usually pretty dang optimistic. I felt like I was high on hope, as if the mere prospect of what 2011 held was enough of a happy thought to make me fly like Peter Pan. It was unexplainable. I had nothing to go on….we hadn’t even bought our tickets to Greece yet and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure if that trip was going to happen.

And then, lo and behold, 2011 went by in a flash. And it WAS amazing, and it DID kick ass.

The year started with a conscious decision to choose joy. It became my mantra of 2011, and even on the hard days, I forced myself to say it out loud: today I’m choosing joy. Sometimes the words left my mouth through gritted teeth. I bought a pair of sparkly shoes for my future daughter, and was thinking about having babies even before I was ready to have a baby. Speaking of babies, FIVE of my friends had babies this year. Yep, five. That’s five baby showers, five birth stories, and five sweet healthy newborns. Talk about pressure. While all my friends were off having babies, I tried to focus on appreciating the season of marriage.

Between January and March Brett and I spent three weekends with three of our living sets of grandparents, listening to stories and learning how to make chocolate fudge and apple strudel. In March I turned 25 and celebrated my quarter-life birthday in Disneyland. I made a list of 24 things I learned when I was 24, and embraced becoming another year older. In May, Brett and I crossed the number one item off our pre-baby bucket list and spent twelve glorious days in Greece. It was, no doubt, the best trip of my whole life and I will never forget strolling the streets of Santorini, hand in hand with my best friend. After Greece, I had an aha moment and set a plan into motion to flee the cubicle. Little did I know, God was already working on a master plan that would make that decision all the more perfect.

Over the summer I read a book that (dare I say) changed my life, and I became slightly obsessed with decluttering, starting with my underwear drawer. In July, Brett and I celebrated four years of marriage in Big Sur, and decided we were ready to have a baby. On September 16th, I found out I was pregnant and a few months later we found out that we were having a baby boy. It was a whirlwind, prayer-led, emotionally-charged couple of months. In November, Brett turned 30 and we celebrated in style. Bad style, that is. This year, perhaps more than past years, I realized how blessed we are to have such good friends in our lives.

2011 wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This year we moved Brett’s dad into a full time care facility to help him cope with his dementia. This year a close friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer. There were hard days and tears shed on the couch and times when I was brought to my knees in prayer. There were a few arguments and fights and hurt feelings along the way.

But really? It was a good year. A great year. An amazing, worthwhile year. I have no regrets about anything I did in 2011, and I don’t think I’ve always been able to say that on New Years. 2011 was a year of doing, not saying. It was a year of soaking up sunsets and traveling without hesitation and following our hearts. We’re ending this year on a high note—in New York City crossing two more items off the pre-baby bucket list.

And the craziest part?! 2012 is already guaranteed to be better.

Because 2012 is going to be the year we meet our son. And not even Greece can top that.

Happy new year, friends.

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