1. The day I took a pregnancy test at my husband’s request, sure that he was wrong this time, we found out we were expecting after all! My emotions were a bundle of terror and joy, but I really had no idea what we signed up for.
2. When Michiganders say, “there’s a lot of snow,” you know there’s at least 6 inches. We felt adventurous and drove about 15 miles north in 6 inches of rapidly falling snow to see a good friend’s new baby. The snow reached the bottom of the car and I drove 25 on 465. One look at Lucia’s little features and Betzy’s grateful face made it worth the drive, although I’m not doing it again!
3. In March, we celebrated my 23rd birthday with lots of people, a cake shaped like the Bible Andrew gave me, and lasagna. I’d graduated from college, worked, been married for 3 years, and generally felt much older than 23. My 30-something friends were envious though J.
4. Once a year Andrew takes a week-long intensive seminary class. This year, Andrew spent a week in Louisville studying the New Testament while I visited family in Michigan. I enjoyed the time with my family, especially my mom, before the baby came. We missed each other and talked on the phone until late at night, but absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
5. Andrew’s Grandma Wencl died in April and we drove 10 hours to her funeral in Minnesota. I added beautiful Minnesota and utterly boring Iowa to the list of states I’ve been in. I learned more about my husband’s relatives and Czech heritage as I met aunts and uncles, cousins, and random relatives. It was the first funeral I can remember attending, but not the last.
6. Ironically, in the year our daughter began life we saw more funerals than ever before. God took one of our high school friends, Ashley Cottle, and led her into His presence. A few weeks after our Minnesota trip, we drove to Michigan to be there for her husband, another friend. I don’t have more words, only this; we will never forget her life.
7. Pregnancy can make a woman feel as attractive as a giant mushroom, but Andrew surprised me with a date to the apple orchard. We ate lunch, picked 5 pounds of apples, and dreamed of next year when Abigail could run around with us.
8. After an induction and easy labor, Abigail entered the world just a week late! Both of our parents traveled the 5 hours to see her and help us out, which is the only reason we survived the first few weeks! Our church family encouraged us with visits and yummy meals. Food seemed boring when I had to cook again.
9. New parents have notoriously low sleep meters – and time with each other. For Andrew’s birthday, I sent 1 1/2 month old Abby to a friend’s house for a few hours. We celebrated Andrew’s 24th birthday with a homemade hamburger and fries dinner (his favorite) free of interruptions from a fussy baby.
10. For me, Christmas tops the list of all other events in the year. We spent Christmas with family. I realized that Christmas revolves around Abigail now for us; she received more gifts than both of us, as it should be. Eggnog, cookies, way too much food, card games, Mancala, gag gifts, and old friends completed the Christmas experience.