i feel like i didn't even get to say good-bye (probably because i fell asleep before midnight...heaven knows i'm not a night person)...you came and went faster than i could say jiminie cricket. we survived a lot together...and shared so many good times together. remember?
we survived the first year teaching together...having snack time, story time, potty breaks, laughing, making copies, lesson plans, behavior plans, and making more 5 and 6 year old friends than we could have ever imagined. you helped me see that 5 year olds can easily learn to learn anything, and can love to love anyone. you helped me see that in many ways, i should be more like a 5-year old.
we finally said good bye (after three years) to playing the piano in the primary. it was a good, bittersweet change for us. you taught me that the Lord has a time and a place for everything.
we continued our love-affair with television...as we discovered many new shows we love, including (but not limited to) Rob & Big (so sad it's off the air), So You Think You Can Dance, Lost, The Office, American Idol, House.......really, should i continue? you helped me realize how pathetic i am that i get so engrossed in fictional characters...and in people's lives who don't even know i exist. sigh.
we saw my waist get bigger than any waist ever should get with my first pregnancy. we survived cravings, mood-swings, swollen feet, barfy snarfiness, stretch marks, and...the crazy loco-ness anxiety that comes with post-term deliveries. you helped me learn patience and endurance.
then, we survived LABOR, something i was convinced was the scariest, crazily painful, most horrible experience EVER...and was actually quite the opposite (though pain was most certainly present). you helped me feel empowered, strong, and brave.
then we shared holding a sweet piece of heaven in my arms for the first time...and you showed me in those first few moments how miraculous it felt to be a mom.
we made new friends together, cherished old friendships, and reconnected with lost friends. you helped me remember how important friends are not only every once in a while, but every day.
we discovered the world of reading all over again. we read several books...books on pregnancy and nursing, the twilight series, the sharon hale books...and many, many more. you gave me an escape to a world that i had somehow forgotten how much i loved.
we watched me and M's 3rd wedding anniversary come and go...and we finally felt graduated from the newlywed phase...though the love grows on! you gave me peace of mind knowing that the first three years of our forever have been the best of my life. can't wait to see what the next 3 (x's 1,000) bring.
we moved away from my comfort bubble together for the summer...and enjoyed the adventure of M's first real job. we enjoyed the company of M's family for longer than just a few days (for once) and were blessed by their love and support of our new little Ellie. you made me realize how essential family is among life's crazy changes.
we started work as a mom together. while i felt scared and inadequete to the task, you helped me feel peace with myself as a working mom. you helped me realize that i'll appreciate being home when the time is right....and feel less anxiety since M was able to stay with E while i was away. you also helped me realize that things always work out...even if it's not exactly how we imagine it.
we transitioned to a new school together...and realized that while change is often scary, it is also often wonderful. we made many new friends, learned many new things from so many experienced teachers, and grew to love yet another bunch of hilarious 5-year olds. you allowed me to feel loved and important, and thankful for my new associations and friendships.
we survived our first highway car-breakdown...and can honestly look back on it with laughter. you helped me fully understand and accept the phrase: "come what may and love it," even though it can be difficult.
we shared birthdays, holidays, labors, out of town visits, carrides, illnesses, reunions, concerts, and so much more with our wonderul families. you let me feel loved and blessed by the ones i truly love...and helped me remember, life is meaningless without family.
we watched Ellie grow...from the chunky monkey she was born as, to the cry cry cry, bounce-a-holic, to the sweet smiley Pebbles she was on Halloween, to the wiggly, squirmy, stubborn, strong-willed, adorable, incredibly lovable baby E she is today. you helped me see that LOVE is an exponential thing...that grows and grows and grows....faster...and bigger than you could ever expect.
and so, 2008, you were quite a year...and quite a friend. i miss you already- as you'll always be the year i became a mom for the first time...and thus really found my heart for the first time. love you forever,