Oh Boy is right! If you’re here on my blog it’s because you’ve been redirected from my Instagram page to check out my “big announcement”. Well, there are a few other things I need to get through first and some BIG thank you’s I need to check off my list. I know, I’m late from Thanksgiving but I couldn’t reveal anything until now.
2016 has been full of challenges that started the end of 2015 (it’s crazy to think how long ago this was but it still feels like yesterday). We lost our dog to Lymphoma end of 2015 which was SO painfully hard to go through. My husband and I have both lost dogs in the past before, but our Benjamin was just different. He had been with us from the beginning of our relationship and had a character like no other dog we had ever owned. Not a day goes by I don’t think of him still and sometimes he wags his tail in my heart and tears stream from my eyes. We made sure his final moments were extra, extra special! I miss this face…but I am thankful I have his companionship to miss.
A month or so after we lost Ben, my grandma who had been battling lung cancer for over a year took a turn for the worse. We normally have Christmas at my grandma’s house beginning of the New Year as my grandparents would make their rounds to all their grandkids houses on Christmas Day – something they have done for years. Instead, we brought Christmas to my grandma on Christmas Day as we really didn’t know how much time she had left. She knew this was not our “properly scheduled” Christmas celebration so we all got together again the following week. Amazingly, she held on and even handed out Christmas cards to each of her 7 grandkids with the help of my Papa. She couldn’t move or say much, but she managed to wish us all a Merry Christmas and say I love you. Her only grandson was not able to be there however and so she held on into January 2016 until he could come visit her on the 4th because he missed our “proper” Christmas. I have never seen such strength in someone to hang on and make sure she got to see all of her grandkids one last time. Later that afternoon she passed away peacefully in her home with my Papa by her side. Let me tell you, losing a family member is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through and I have been so fortunate to have only lost a loved one so close to me at this point in my life. For this, I am so thankful.
The months into the beginning of 2016 were hard after these losses. In addition, my husband and I had been trying for a baby and it just was not happening, but we knew it was not the right time and everything would fall into place when it was meant to. I think we were meant to take time to eliminate the stress from our lives as best as we could, unwind, and allow ourselves to grieve. My sister and I took a fantastic de-stressing vacation in April 2016 to the Bahamas! It was SO needed let me tell you! Some of the best beaches and water I have seen in my life so far – even better than my honeymoon to St. Lucia! I am thankful for being able to travel with my sister.
About a month after coming back rested – we conceived! As I am sure as you have guessed by now we are expecting a baby BOY in February 2017! So far, my pregnancy has been great. Lots of nausea in the first trimester and food aversions (literally all I could eat for 2-3 weeks was plain Cheerios and Apple Sauce) but this eventually settled out. However, pregnancy gave me a different…gift?? Gallstones! Apparently, this is common in pregnancy due to changing hormones and most women make it through their term and need surgery after. Well, I was the 1-2% exception who had 3 gallstone attacks within 3 weeks (2 within 48 hours of each other) and was required to have surgery and have my gallbladder taken out.
Now, before everyone panics – I would not have done this without completing my own research, visiting my family doctor, being informed of all pro’s and con’s by my surgeon and knowing it was safe for the baby. Basically what it came down to is it needs to come out and now is the time while they can do it lapriscopically and while my belly is small. So last Monday, October 3rd I had my gallbladder removed. It was terrifying yes, I cried yes…but I am fine and so is the baby. So here comes my huge list of thank you’s.
I am thankful for my health, my doctor and surgeon for reassuring me it was the right thing to do. I am thankful for all my family, friends, and industry peers support before and after surgery. I am thankful to all of you who offered to come help and visit. I am thankful for the cards and messages, offers to come clean my house and do my laundry. I am thankful you are still offering to do these things! I am thankful for all of those who have called me “strong” or “powerful” for going through surgery while pregnant. And while I brush it off as nothing because all I can think about are the moms out there who have endured much worse while being pregnant, this is part of what helps me keep my thoughts positive. And most importantly, I am so thankful for this little boy who is healthy (kicking me currently) and the fact that I get to be his mom! That sounds so crazy as none of this still feels real. We are over the moon and hope that the rest of my pregnancy is smooth sailing from here!
On the bright side, I have experienced some of the WORST pain in my life from the gallstone attacks and have heard from many women that giving birth is less painful – so I’ve got that going for me. 🙂 Here is picture from this past Thanksgiving weekend that my mother-in-law took of me and my “bump” after we could share with the family that we are having a boy. 22 weeks today!
It seems that not just for us but for many of our own friends and family, 2016 has been a year of many challenges – health related and other. I hope that despite the things that bring us down at the end of the day there are many things you can find to be grateful for. I’ve learned that with sadness come memories and with challenges comes support; and that these are the things in hard times we can find and be grateful for.
Aside from all of this, I’ve got some great projects on the go right now and things I am excited to share with you over social media and the blog. Make sue you’re following along!
Upcoming: Chair Affair for the Furniture Bank end of October 2016. A photoshoot from a project completed at the beginning of the year. My own office makeover. A nursery makeover. Hoping to do the One Room Challenge in the Spring of 2017. And new projects introduced this year. Stay tuned!