No hyperbole, 2014 was the most incredible year of our lives. After 10 years together, we’ve been through some big changes, but for the most part have lead a consistent life. Since we’ve been together we both graduated from college, got engaged and married, a few jobs have come and gone but we stayed in the same apartment for about 8 years and have had good steady relationships with friends, family and with each other. Beyond getting married, we hadn’t had many huge life altering moments until 2014. This will be a long post, but I want to recap the year so I don’t forget how busy, stressful, fun and wonderful it was!
Q1 January – March: We started 2014 over halfway through the pregnancy, anticipating the arrival of our baby. We had just returned from a trip to Europe at the end of December and were looking forward to buying a house and getting settled before baby. January was fairly uneventful and warm in Denver. Going back through our photos, we were out walking in tank tops in the middle of
January Juneuary. In February Pete was laid off from his job which, while upsetting at the time, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It freed him from a job that he didn’t like and within 5 weeks he was offered a far better job as the general manager for an air cargo company in town. While it set us back in our house hunting, it was a minor bump in the road and led him to a big opportunity! We both went on weekends away with friends, him to ski, me to be one of three pregnant DDs at a bachelorette party. He had a few high school friends out for a guys ski weekend. It was good for us each to take some time to have fun and not constantly be thinking about the baby! In March we went home to Seattle for my baby shower, which was the first time I had been home in years! It was fun to spend time with my family and friends we felt so loved. I can’t wait to take Colette up to Washington! In hindsight, while we felt busy, these months were very relaxing. We were reading up on parenting and anticipating the big changes to come.
Q2 April – June: April started with another baby shower, here in Denver. We were again so blessed with everything we needed for the arrival of our baby girl. As we marched towards our due date, time was flying and we were both so excited and nervous for everything to come. We were still house hunting but not finding anything we really liked. While we were eager to get out of the apartment, we weren’t in a hurry to get into a house that wasn’t what we wanted. Colette unexpectedly arrived 2 weeks early at the end of April. After a brief 19 hours of labor she was thrust into the world via forceps. Finally she was here! Her birth was a very scary experience and I’m so thankful for modern medicine. Had the doctors not worked quickly things might not have turned out as wonderfully as they did. About a week after she was born I lost an enormous amount of blood and had to have surgery and blood transfusion. Again, I’m so thankful for a team of doctors who were able to help and save my life as well! We had so much help with my mom and his parents in town during this incredibly scary time. I’m so glad we have supportive and involved family who were here to help take care of newborn Colette while I was in the hospital. Pete was dealing with a lot in those first few days, new job, new baby, wife’s serious medical issues. He was a trooper and a strong support for us.
May, our first month with Colette was a blur of incredible amounts of learning and love. My mom stayed with us in our tiny apartment and we had a revolving door of friends and family members visiting and providing meals. We are so lucky to have had our network of friends and family to help us transition into our new life as parents. Colette had all of her aunts and uncle visit. We loved introducing her to her family members, she is so loved. The week my sister came to visit there was a tornado or tornado warning every day. It was a crappy weather week to visit and I was definitely in a post-baby funk but I’m so glad that she made the trip out. She still got some Coco snuggles, even if some of them were in the apartment laundry room. My brother came over a weekend and Colette just loved him! She slept on him for hours and it was adorable. Lucy came to visit on the way to her bachelorette party. She got in some good baby cuddles before a weekend of debauchery!
June was a busy month of weddings and wedding related events. At the beginning of the month we put in an offer on a house that we had previously been outbid on. This time our offer was (unexpectedly) excepted! We started the process of a quick 30 day closing. We started packing, organizing, paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. In the midst of this we went to Virginia for Aunt Lucy’s wedding. Colette was 6 weeks old and did so well on her first flights and on the long drive from D.C. to Charlottesville. Both Pete and I were in the wedding and Coco was an honorary bridesmaid. I’m so glad we were able to be there to celebrate with Lucy and James on their special day. During all of the craziness of June I turned the big 3-0. It was one of Coco’s roughest weeks, with constant crying and refusing to be put down. I was frazzled, exhausted and I didn’t do any celebrating but I did bounce my newborn on my brand new exercise ball for hours on end! At the end of the June we closed on our little house and moved in (again with the help of family and friends). We were so lucky to find a home that had everything on our checklist! Our little house is just perfect for the three of us and we couldn’t be happier.
Q3 July – September: July was when I had to go back to work. I was seriously dreading the transition but Pete’s mom was able to come and stay with us for the month to be Colette’s nanny which made it easier. Coco hadn’t yet been accepted into any daycare centers so this was a huge blessing and a great time for the two of them to bond. Most of the month was spent unpacking/painting/getting used to being in a new place. Colette was making big leaps from newborn to interactive baby. My Grandma, Grandma Roses, Aunt Yvonne and cousin Katrina stopped by for a quick visit on their drive home from Seattle to Chicago. They only stayed for about and hour, but it was so nice for them to get to meet Colette and so special for Colette to meet her Great Grandma, Aunt and cousin!
In August the grandmas swapped, Nana went home to Miami and my mom came out to be the nanny-gram for the month. We were still unsure of when Colette would get accepted into a daycare program but were hoping for September. Again this blessing of a family nanny allowed me to continue to work and for Coco and her grandma to bond. Not having family in town is a challenge, but we are so grateful that her grandparents visit so often. August was when we started to feel more comfortable with taking longer drives and traveling with Coco. We went up to the mountains for the first time and she had a blast. Vail has lots of activities in the summer and Colette loved all of the outdoor time with Dad, Mom and Grammy. We even took her to the summit of her first fourteener! Mt. Evans has a road that you can drive almost all the way to the top. We hiked the rest of the way (it’s not far) and took pictures at the summit. My dad came out to visit and we did our first real hiking day with baby.
September was our busiest month of the year for weekend activities. My mom left and Colette started daycare. This was another transition that I was really stressed about. My fears, as usual, turned out to be unwarranted as Coco just loved school. She really thrives in a busy and interactive environment and it has been a great place for her. We traveled to a few in-state weddings. A weekend in Steamboat and a weekend in Aspen. Both were long drives and Coco did very well on all of them. We did more hiking and exploring and late September leaf peeping. We took her on another road trip down to Taos to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. We’re hoping she’ll get used to weekend trips with long drives. We love to explore the area and hope to instill that love in her as well!
Q4 October – December: October calmed down quite a bit though with wedding season drawing to a close. We took her to the pumpkin patch for the first time with a bunch of her little baby friends. She dressed up as a cow for Halloween and we took her out on Gaylord street. She didn’t trick-or-treat this year, but the parents all had fun! We had a beautiful fall here, long and warm. It was in the 70s and 80s for much of it with the colored leaves staying on the trees. We have a big oak tree in our back yard and we had a yard full of leaves. We raked piles far higher than her for several weekends in a row. Luckily, my parents visited us in November and gifted us a leaf blower/mulcher. It made dealing with the enormous piles of leaves so much easier. I don’t know how we would have been able to dispose of 2,000 garbage bags full of leaves! When my parents were here we tackled some house projects and they were very generous with their time and gave us some very practical Christmas gifts. We never needed a ladder or storage shelves in the apartment! It’s always tough to get things done with just the two of us, so when our parents are in town there tends to be lots of little (and big) projects to work on.
December was another busy month for us. Pete completed his MBA program after 2 years of hard work. He has worked so hard and had an incredible amount on his plate this year; new job, new baby, new house, grad school. I’m so proud of him for setting a goal and completing it! Pete’s parents came out to celebrate his graduation and were also here for his 31st birthday. We had a brunch party to celebrate his accomplishments and had quite a few people crammed into our tiny house! Our first Christmas was very relaxing. We always travel around the holidays and this was the first year that we didn’t go anywhere. I really enjoyed being home with my little family and not being in an airport. It was so relaxing, we didn’t even change out of our pajamas for our fancy Christmas dinner. We did miss being with family over Christmas, but I’m glad both sets of grandparents were able to visit around the holidays. Hopefully in the years to come we can all be together. Colorado is a great place to be in the winter….hint hint! 2014 was unlike any other year of our lives and there is so much to reflect on (or write an enormous blog post about). We were truly overwhelmed with love and support from our families as well as our friends this year. We would not have been able to manage without their help and I’m so thankful for the “village” that has surrounded us.