Let’s do this, 2015

01.10.2014 :: a slippery, icy mess

So! It’s been a while. I admit I didn’t really write about my creative slump intending to stop blogging for a while, but letting myself off the hook in that regard seems to have helped quite a lot. But the year is drawing to a close, and that always makes me reflective (and itching to start new projects. There’s nothing like 01/01 when it comes to beginnings!).

01.22.2014 :: bright spot

Last year, I wrote that 2013 was the biggest year of my life, and I mean… I got married, became a homeowner, adopted a cat, and got pregnant, all in one year. But 2014, man, it was huge, too. I grew a baby. I dealt with the diabeetus. I left my job. I lived through labor and major surgery. I became a mother. I learned how to be Benjamin’s mom. I began to learn how to stay at home. I had a few identity crises. Everything totally changed.

02.11.2014 :: traffic forever

I knew at the start of 2014 that I would need to be brave and flexible. I knew enough to know that I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. And here at the end, all of that was so true. Pregnancy can be so hard. Making huge life decisions like the one to stay at home is so intimidating. Figuring out how to keep a teeny tiny little baby happy and healthy and thriving is not simple. I was tired. I felt lonely. I cried. I whined about how I don’t even know who I am anymore.

05.14.2014 :: nine and a half months

But of course, I wouldn’t trade any of it. Even the parts where my hair looks shitty and even grocery shopping feels like a success some weeks and I am constantly covered in spit up and drool and I may or may not still be wearing my maternity jeans.

08.01.2014 :: his favorite spot

When I see people I haven’t seen in a while, they say I look happy. That motherhood suits me. And you guys, it feels so good to hear that, because that’s how I feel, truly. Sure, some of this is hard, and I feel like I should have more figured out. But I’m GOOD at being Ben’s mom. He’s such a happy little guy, and that makes my heart so full. When things start to get to me, like how I should fit into smaller jeans by now, or have a cleaning schedule, or have more time to do things for myself, half the time I just want to go sit in his room because he makes me feel better. Sometimes it feels like he’s the only thing I’m good at anymore. (A friend told me the other day that I’m too hard on myself, and that he is still so little, and that I have more figured out than I give myself credit for. It felt like I got hit in the head, in a really good way.)

08.19.2014 :: at sunset

There’s always a lot of talk at this time of year in the scrapbooking world about One Little Word, in which you choose a word to keep in the back of your mind, to inspire you throughout the year. I have chosen words for the past two years (in 2013 it was moment and in 2014 it was brave), although I haven’t really done too much more than spend an inordinate amount of time in the last weeks of December stressing about having to find a word before January 1. (Have I mentioned how the 1st of the new year makes me panic and flail to find all the new projects to start neatly and perfectly on January 1?) I have been trying to find a word for myself for 2015, and finding a word that fits what I have in mind has been tough.

10.19.2014 :: fall photography

For me, 2014 was about being brave as I faced down some big, huge changes, ones that I couldn’t control or know much about ahead of time. But in 2015, I want to start to redefine and reclaim my life. I have a bit of an idea of what motherhood means to me, now, and I feel like the time for basic survival mode, figuring-it-out mode, head-above-water mode is ending. In 2015 I want to take charge, force myself out of some comfort zones, and create some space for myself. I want to embrace who this new Elizabeth is.

10.31.2014 :: benjamin bear-ito

So in 2015? I want to just start. (Inspired by Elise’s limited edition stamps because that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to get at.) Stop thinking and planning and intending and just TRY. Stop waiting for the perfect moment or the elusive, magical unicorn long nap. I want to stop saying I’m going to send that email to the local Moms’ Club. It’s time to exercise, to raise that daily FitBit step goal. I want to find some clothes that feel good (something other than my Rutgers hoodie). I want to chop off my scraggly ponytail and feel pretty again. I want to savor every snuggle with my little dude and help him learn as much as possible. I want to keep going to library story time. I want to sit at a bar and drink a beer. And maybe most of all, I want to carve out some time for myself, to write or read a book or take pictures or learn weaving or brush script. I don’t know if these are lofty goals or not. If Ben starts crawling as soon as I fear he will, or never grows out of his 30 minute naps, maybe they are SUPER lofty. I really don’t know. But I’d really like to try. I have to start somewhere, right?

5 thoughts on “Let’s do this, 2015

  1. Love the openness and honesty here. I can’t speak on all the other changes you went through (and there are by no means little), but as for parenthood I felt much the same way. Who am I now that this person is in my life? How much of old ‘me’ do I want to keep around? I still question who I am and where I’m headed in all this. Sometimes it makes me feel lost, other times it makes me glad to know I’m taking it so seriously. I hope you find what you’re looking for in 2015. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride too 🙂

    • thank you so much, Chris! it’s good to know I’m not alone in trying to figure out how the old me fits in with the parent-me. sometimes I wonder (okay, I KNOW) that overthinking just makes it all more complicated, haha. it definitely seems like it’ll be a process, and that i’ll be redefining it all as I go for a while. 🙂

  2. I love this post SO MUCH. First because wow, what a huge year this was! And second, that you truly do sound really happy when you talk (or write/take pictures) of your little guy, and there is no doubt that you are a wonderful mama to him! And third, OMGYES the panic flail of the new year deadline project pressure, ugh! And fourth, um, your baby is not even a year old, you should not have ‘figured everything out’ yet, or developed a cleaning routine or fit into pre-pregnancy jeans or any of that crap! Fifth, I think your new year/word sounds perfect. It seems like the important thing is the effort and desire for something new and interesting for yourself–it is SO IMPORTANT to take care of yourself. Getting some time away, doing something that feels frivolous but makes you feel better, learning a new skill – that stuff *is* really important! Just because you have a baby that you love doesn’t mean that you are no longer a person–you’re still allowed to be you and develop yourself as a fully actualized human being separate from your child. I think many people would argue that when a mama is happy in her own personal, non-mama life, things are better for the mama and the baby! (And Chris, I’m sure that goes for daddies too! :D)
    Selfishly I hope you keep posting and talking about your journey this year–I love reading your thoughts!

    • awww, thank you!! and thank you, too, for saying that the happiness comes through when i’m writing/posting. it really does feel awesome to be enjoying this new phase in life, but also that i’m able to talk about the hard stuff while also not making it seem like everything is just miserable ALL the time, you know?

      lol do you think daily photos ruined all of us for January 1 forever? add in project life and resolutions and my general personality and MAN. i just love the neat and tidy starting with #1!

      i have heard others talk about taking time for themselves, and i suppose when you don’t have kids you take it for granted that it’ll just find its way in without a lot of effort. and i sort of expected it’d all fall into place (or, ahem, i’d have a baby who took NAPS, and just do all that stuff while he was sleeping ;)). and i totally think you’re right, that finding things that i enjoy separately from dan and ben will really help me feel like ME again, and like there’s more to me now than the grocery store and the laundry and cleaning bottles and making sure the baby giggles. 🙂

  3. you are awesome! and yes, a bit too hard on yourself. but, you got this. just be gentle with yourself. Ben still is really, really little.

    also? love the wilford brimley “diabeetus”. 🙂

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