February 18, 2020

On Giving Grace in 2020

Midway into a bottle of wine on New Year's Eve, Tim and I began thinking back on all the cornerstones we could remember over the last decade — I'd moved back down to Virginia, Brandon had graduated high school (wait, did Stephanie too? Yes, wow and now she's married!), we'd brought Basil home, traveled to Hungary, moved into our current home and so on and so forth well into the night. We'd agreed to go dry for January again this year, so nearing the end of that bottle and indulging just beyond our norm, we got sentimental. We've been together a decade, but longer really. So much has happened over the course of our years together, yet some things stay the same, continuing to strengthen and grow. Love and relationships are funny like that. 

With the baby monitor in hand, we put our jackets on and walked down onto the dock (we'd made a last-minute call to spend the new year at the river), looked out into the water and up at the stars. We're in a season of life that he knew would be trying and we both knew would be worth it — one and the same. And, being in the thick of it is where the living happens.

To every parent ever it won't be a surprise that having a baby has forced us to slow down, be more forgiving on what can and can't get done and think about priorities in a completely new way. Now nearing March and having since winterized the river house, our biggest resolution into this new year and new decade is giving ourselves grace and a lot of rope — allowing ourselves to feel stretched by the monotony of the day to day and indulgently soaking in the front row seat to watching the world unfold in front of Etta's eyes. It's a new normal, and we're finding our way.

When I think back on the past year, the moments that come to mind are much less about the projects we crossed off our list, but the memories we made and the milestones we celebrated. 

For instance, when I finally changed my last name after 6 years of marriage or when Stephanie and Troy moved back to Richmond, making all of our immediate family nearby. Or when they and Brandon spent the night at our house waiting for Etta to be born and were the very first to come to visit their littlest sister. That moment we brought her home to a finished nursery we'd dreamt of for years after struggling with infertility. And the first visit we made with her to the River house we'd found and purchased in what seemed like a whirlwind just a few months prior. The opportunity to spend an entire 6 months of parental leave intimately getting to know our daughter and re-learning myself in the new role as a mother. Navigating returning to work and finding my stride, and coming to the conclusion that things were going to be OK.

And when we think about the year ahead, amidst the many projects we'd like to take on, it's these moments — the living — that we're looking forward to the most. I guess that's what everyone means when they say becoming a parent will shift your perspective. So! Hello friends, well into the New Year; there's a whole list of projects we're looking forward to getting to — and, here's to the thick of it!

Every year we take time to reflect back and look forward — find and read any of our past yearly recaps by clicking on the corresponding year: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 

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