Friday, December 30, 2011

A year in review: 2011

I was tempted to jump ahead and just give you my resolutions for 2012. But as I've read other people's yearly reviews and as I've reflected on 2011, I realized this year is due a little respect. Every year brings a lot of change, I think, but for some reason this year is feeling especially important. While it wasn't the year I became a mother, I think it's the year I came into my own.

I started 2011 thrilled to be a mom, but tired, lonely and sad. I have so many bittersweet memories from January and February. I was so, so happy to be watching my baby girl learn- sitting, crawling, giggling and playing her in her jumperoo but so many of those memories are tinged with sadness. I felt isolated and I felt trapped inside, literally, because of the mounds of snow and sheets of ice. I remember many tear-filled calls to my mom, feeling like I was trying so hard to make new mom friends and feeling like I was failing. Many of my friends with babies were headed back to work and others felt equally trapped at home because of the weather.

As the snow melted, my heart warmed and felt more happy. We got out. We went on day trips. We took an overnight trip. We celebrated the milestones of our baby's growth.

In May we celebrated my first Mother's Day and I remember feeling like a weight had been lifted from me. I had survived nearly a year as a mama. It had been hard and exhausting, but I had done it and I was (and am) so much better for it. I think as a mom it's easy to feel like the little things you do go unnoticed and that day I felt appreciated. It was perfect timing.

June was an amazing month. Chris celebrated his first Father's Day. Meredith turned one! We went on an amazing vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine.

July treated us to another great vacation on Martha's Vineyard. And also? Meredith weaned herself and started sleeping though the night (finally!).

August took us to Cape Cod and New York City. Right at the end of August, life's tectonic plates started shifting ever so slightly in preparation of a huge life change.

In September we took a whirlwind trip to the San Francisco bay area which would lead us to make a big decision to move across the country.

October was full of packing and goodbyes as we set off on a new adventure in California on the 30th.

November was full of unpacking, settling in and many hellos as we attempted to make new friends. We celebrated our first California Thanksgiving with my family and relished in the wonderful weather.


December was festive and exciting. By the end I felt spent. Drained from so many conversations with new friends and putting myself out there much more than normal. Grateful for all the people I've met, but tired, we set off for Texas where I've napped every day and savored time with my family in a quiet little town.

We will ring in the new year here, feeling rested and rejuvenated and ready for the new friends, challenges and exciting things 2012 will bring.

Hooray for 2012. I feel much more emotionally healthy. I am so in love with my husband and daughter. I have the prospect of many new friends. I am blessed more than any girl could ever deserve.


Jodi Ann said...

What an amazing year! I love this's so good to reflect and see how far we've come. I need to do more of that in the next few days.

Em {orange + barrel} said...

What an exciting year! Happy 2012!!!!

Malisa said...

Congratulations on persevering and making it through a challenging year! I didn't know you'd only been in CA for 2 months. Welcome to the best state in the union (in my unbiased opinion :-))! I hope that you are having a relaxing & wonderful time with your family in Texas. Looking forward to your posts in 2012!

Anna {dear friend} said...

I had goosebumps through this entire post and now I am tearing up.

What a perfect post after a truly terrific year for you. This makes me glad to have you for a friend and so excited to be a mom myself someday.

Happy New Year, Claire!! And love and hugs to you in 2012. :)

Kristin W said...

What a great recap! I am confident that 2012 will bring new and exciting things for you and your family :)

Adrienne said...

ok, maybe I do come here just for the Meredith fix!! hmmm....great recap! Took some courage and strength to get you where you are...and I hope you live 2012 with blessings raining down!

Maggie May said...

We are moving right now and those pictures really resonate!

colleen said...

i loved this post! and i'm so happy that with all the changes throughout the year you've kept a good perspective and been honest with yourself. it's inspiring. and how much has meredith grown this year - wow! i hope 2012 is wonderful for you guys.

Jessica said...

You had a big year! Happy New Year and I hope 2012 brings you and your family many more blessings!

Chris said...

What a whirlwind of a year - the photos brought back a flood of memories from these last 12 months.

Thanks for taking the adventure with me and our little fuzzhead.

I love you beak.

~ C

Mary Nevin said...

Looks like you had such a wonderful year! Can't wait to see what awaits your beautiful family in 2012!!

basebell6 said...

your year was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! congrats for surviving and thriving with the challenges and changes.

basebell6 said...

p.s. do you think the self weaning and the sleeping through the night was related? NEED ADVICE IN THIS FIELD. [maybe i missed the post you made on this topic last summer? did you do one?]

Alanna said...

Friend your post made me miss you even more. I almost lost it! I was just driving home today and thinking how I wish you could be here for my next months of pregnancy and then to see our baby. I feel so blessed to have watched you through your pregnancy and then to talk with you about the amazing times and challenges of your first year with Meredith. I am so proud to have you as a friend and I love how honest you are about the first year of motherhood. What a year 2011 has been for your family! You are such a great example of a super friend, wife and mother. Happy 2012 Claire, Chris & Meredith! xoxo Love, Alanna

Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies said...

You seriously have one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. She is so expressive. It looks like you had a fantastic year. Happy new year to you!


patience said...

i kind of wanted to just jump ahead and state goals for 2012. i'm more about looking forward then looking back. but i bit the bullet and did both!

p.s. ack, it looks like that lil guy is gonna fall in the box!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

I love Meredith's expression in the first picture, so cute!

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