"...to make an end is to make a beginning." ~T.S. Eliot
Here we are on the eve of the new year. God gave me a gift this morning. I awoke to snow falling down. The neighborhood was covered in white. Everything looked so pure and at peace. AND my boss gave me permission to work from home today! I am able to spend my last day of the decade at home with my two Loves. And while I will be working periodically throughout the day, I hope to spend the majority of the time in reflection, saying goodbye to 2009 in the best way I know how. I'm so grateful for this unexpected blessing!
I'm also very grateful for many happenings in 2009, which turned out to be a year of transition for me.
~ In the New Year, I had only just discovered I was pregnant. Carrying Bianca was such a wonderful experience. I felt joyful, hopeful, and radiant. Even though I got heavier, I loved the way my body looked carrying a child. I felt beautiful for the first time in a long time. My love for my husband grew, even though I never thought I could love him more. I felt the miracle of life move within me. It was an undescribable, amazing experience.
~ Of course, there were all the fun events that go along with a pregnancy, as well. Keeping a blog, getting sonograms, picking out names, registering, celebrating with family and friends at showers. Overwhelming at times...but definitely moments to remember.
~ Harry and I bought our home. It was so much fun touring different communities and imagining ourselves there. We ultimately decided on a neighborhood and visited the sales office three different times before choosing our model. We signed the papers on a Sunday after church with Damian in tow. We spent hours at the design center deciding what our new home would look like. We bought new furniture. We chose paint colors. We created our sacred spaces. There was so much excitement and anticipation throughout the entire process.
~ I turned 30. Harry revealed to me that we were having a girl. We took a trip to Vegas with Tony and Amanda. Manda and I received facials and massages. Harry took me to see a Cirque du Soleil show. It was a wonderful escape.
~ I found out that Danny and Kylene were having a baby. They announced the news on Mother's Day. They told Harry and I in private first, because they wanted to make sure we would be ok. Of course we were thrilled, as our babies would be three months apart. Danny and I are four months apart, so it was simply perfect.
~ Stephanie and I started our Sacred Fridays. Our friendship grew in deep and wonderful ways, despite the physical distance between us. Our Girls Day with Manda became even more special, focusing more on quality since our quantity had diminished. These friendships fed my soul in a way no others could.
~ I finally gave birth to my beautiful Bianca. The day that little angel came into my life, I experienced a new, powerful, incredible love. My heart literally felt like it was going to burst out of my chect and swallow her whole. I looked at her and saw Heaven. I looked into new eyes and saw an old friend. Watching her grow over the past three months has filled me with a joy and laughter I didn't realize were missing before. Being a mother is the most amazing experience. I think this new role suits me well!
~ Of course, there was the wonderful maternity leave that followed her birth. Eight incredible weeks of bonding with my Little Miracle. Leaving my job behind and focusing on my life's work. It was anything but relaxing since I was trying to unpack the house at the same time as taking care of a newborn and my husband, but it was oh so good. I also discovered the wonderful shows on Nick Jr, my personal favorite being Yo Gabba Gabba. It just makes me happy!
~ Going back to work was tough, but an amazing thing happened. My attitude completely shifted. I finally felt like I belonged there. I accepted the fact that God needs me in my current position, and instead of focusing on everything that was wrong about the job, I started to focus on all the positives. My work mantra for 2010 is "Be Effective." Now that I've been there a year and am comfortable in my role, I can finally start focusing on making an impact.
~ I am so grateful that Bianca is able to stay with my Aunt Dot while I'm at work. I admit that I would much rather be a stay-at-home-mom, but since that isn't an option for us, I am so happy that she is with family. Yes, it helps out Harry and I financially, but there is such a peace that comes along with it. I don't have to worry during the day if she is getting the care or attention she needs; I KNOW she's getting it. That comfort is priceless.
~ I finally got the courage to walk away from my church. I was saved in 1999, but for several reasons, I was never able to break away from the Catholic church. One of the factors was me singing at Mass for 18 years. They depended on me, especially my organist. I felt so guilty about leaving. Finally, a few weeks ago, I told my organist I didn't want to sing anymore. I also told my mom that I wouldn't be attending St. Luke's anymore. Surprisingly, both took the news very well. I know God's hands were all over the decision.
I could go on, but that gives you a general idea. Life is a series of peaks and valleys. It's pretty obvious that I am in a peak. And I just have a gut feeling that I'll just keep on climbing in 2010!
It's time to bid you farewell, 2009. You were a great year, and I know you will live on in my heart until the end of my days.