There she is -- all seven pounds, 13 ounces of her. On her first day of life. Let's be completely transparent for a minute: this post will pretty much be ENTIRELY about the life of our sweet daughter, Brooklyn, who was born last May. In my opinion, pregnancy, birth & raising a child is the most rewarding and most difficult/time-consuming thing there is. All mamas probably would agree. So the hubs and I didn't "do" as much as we normally would in any other given year, but we "did" something pretty important. ; ) Life with Brooklyn has been a beautifully chaotic, imperfect journey. Before she was born, I received so much thoughtful advice from all the moms in my life (and I'm so thankful for it and them), but no one can ever really prepare you for motherhood. It is messy at times and leaves you in awe most of the time. There is no instruction manual and you're really just forced to embrace it all at once. And it's a lot easier if you do so with humility and grace (hindsight is a beautiful thing, am I right?). I read a quote this morning by Kristin Armstrong about transitions. Modifying it a little bit, I think it portrays the transition into motherhood pretty perfectly: "Times of transitions are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity … to rethink priorities and be intentional ... We can make our new normal any way we want." I'm so happy and thankful that our darling girl makes our new normal. Now, before I launch into the multitude of photos of our firecracker that I've yet to share, I do want to point out some of our other pre-Brooklyn highlights of 2014...
Three amazing groups of people threw baby showers for us in North Carolina and Maryland and their generosity and love will NEVER be forgotten:
(My friend Anne-Laure snapped this of me at my baby shower in my hometown and I think my face is hysterical. Thanks AL!)
WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOME!!! (excuse the quality - iPhone pic!)
I got to see some of my most favorite people all in one place in early January (let's keep those reunions going, ladies!):
We saw our favorite band, The Avett Brothers, in concert, I learned how to knit and did a couple DIY projects for baby girl and we got snowed in a few times (all iPhone - I got lazy during my last months of pregnancy!):
Ryan got sworn in to the D.C. Bar (again with the iPhone, haha); SO PROUD OF HIM!
And leading up to Brooklyn's due date, the hubs and I took LOTS of walks and he snapped a few photos of me at 37 weeks...
...and 39 weeks:
And then two weeks later, our lives changed forever!
My parents surprised me IN THE HOSPITAL by driving up for B's birth. I was so touched!
I took some newborn photos of B at seven days old:
This one is my absolute favorite:
She spent a lot of the first couple months sleeping like this:
Grandpa and Nanny (Ryan's parents) live nearby and we're so glad for that!
We celebrated our third wedding anniversary by going out to lunch. This photo was taken right before we left her for the first time!
We're fortunate to have really good friends nearby. This is Eleanor!
And more good friends -- this is John!
Happy 30th Birthday, DaDa!
We went on a mini-vacation with my parents, uncles and brother's family to Virginia Beach in mid-July when B got to meet her cousins for the first time!
More play dates with Eleanor! : )
And more! :)))
Aunt Karson visiting before heading back to Florida. *tear*
Starting to get good at rolling over...
First baseball game (Braves vs. Nationals)!
Meeting Noah for the first time when Anne-Laure and Dallas were in the US for a visit. Brooklyn LOVED Noah.
These photos at the Old Well make my heart melt.
Meeting Uncle Alden for the first time...!
Meeting Mary for the first time!
Catching up with her good pal Harrison. : )
Hanging with her bestie, Ava.
We went to Sunset Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina in mid-October. Such a special first vacation.
Halloween! Shepherd and little lamb. : )
We started the high chair and she loves being a big girl.
Mimi and Pappy's house!
Our little lady turned eight months old yesterday. These photos bring her up to about 6.5 months. "The days are long but the months are short" -- TRUTH. My heart is so full.