by - Sunday, January 01, 2012

I can say to you all that, without a doubt, 2011 has been the craziest and most action-packed year I've had yet.  I mean really- who gets engaged, then married, and also has a baby not only in the same year, but crams these three MAJOR LIFE EVENTS all in the same WEEK!? Sometimes I still can't even believe Erick and I DID that.  We made it through all of what I like to remember as, the time of 'the joyful chaos.'

I reflect back and realize we may not have done things the socially acceptable "right" way, and still, I think there are things I would have done differently had I been given the chance to do it all over... (IE actually invite people to our wedding and have a stupid wedding cake to eat!)  Totally didn't realize how much I actually wanted all of those traditionally 'normal wedding things' until my melt-down last night as my brother and sister in law ate their wedding cake with family.  I was so mad at myself for even feeling the slightest bit of jealousy during such a happy occasion. *cringe*  Gah!  I'm a terrible person, I know.  It was hard for me to reminisce on our own wedding and feel like we didn't get cheated out of that whole newlywed experience, but in the end, it was our decision to rush to get hitched.  Erick and I wanted to make sure Sofia would enter the world with a legitimate- and by legitimate I mean "legal"- mother and father.  I don't for a minute regret our decision, though.  It was a beautiful day, we leaned on each other, but we didn't get to celebrate.  In 2012, we will have a party for our loved ones to come and celebrate our marriage.  There will be cake.

The main thing I've experienced through these whirlwind of emotions has been the transition from being a twenty-something individual to my first year as a wife, a mother, a parent.  I remember starting this blog in the hopes that I wouldn't forget my roots or who I was.  That I would wear my skinny jeans proudly.  Even though Erick and I were surprised with a pregnancy, I was not about to trade in my hippie-festival, fun-loving carefree demeanor for a life filled with food-stained sweatshirts and mom jeans.  It was all about staying true to myself.  And you know what?  I feel like I've done a pretty good job.  I've learned that being a parent has nothing to do with being a 'changed woman'.  I'm the same person, I've just gained the capacity to love greater, to appreciate struggle and celebrate those smaller successes.  Becoming a parent doesn't change who you are, it just means you'll have to work harder than other people at some things.  I'm okay with that.

Life is funny.  Sometimes I have no idea why things end up the way that they do, why we end up with the people we're with or why we get thrown into certain situations.  You grow up learning about life in a million different ways- everyone from your mother, to your grandmother, to your best friend tell you "how it's supposed to be".  Life isn't a linear path that we all get aimlessly dragged down and so hopelessly long to understand, instead we shouldn't try to understand where we're going at all.  It doesn't have to make sense right now, because life is kinda like a connect-the-dot puzzle.  All of the random experiences we have, they just look like a jumbled mess on the piece of paper.  But once we've reached the end of our journeys and reflect upon what we've culminated, we connect all of those tiny experiences to make the most beautiful picture we have ever laid our eyes on.  Every now and then, I look back on my barefoot festival days, the days where I didn't care about time.  The ones where Erick and I slept til noon and didn't worry about what happened yesterday or what was going to happen tomorrow... We just... existed.  We blobbed around in our amoeba of awesome and spent each day and night simply living, loving, and consciously being.  Both Erick and I are so concerned over these minuscule things sometimes, wondering when we'll ever have time to finish these stupid projects just so we can start the next one.  I look to my beautiful seven month old daughter; she spends her days casually exploring the world around her, talking and telling sing-song stories to her chubby hands.  She'll gnaw on her favorite toys and laugh at the sound of her own voice.  She doesn't worry about her future, who she'll be some day, whether or not she's successful right now.  She just is.  She just loves.  For her, there is no concept of time.  No concept of right or wrong, she knows that each new day is another opportunity to try something new, and life is a beautiful discovery.

Sofia, my beautiful sweet girl, this year you've truly taught me something.

I wish I could truly tell Erick how amazing it is to be married to him. How he makes me feel.  Since we've met, we've always just "worked".  There really wasn't a whole lot of trying involved.  I't somehow seemed like God was just waiting for the right time to throw us in the same room together, this small-town girl from the middle of *$%^ing nowhere Illinois, and the city boy that was well-traveled and street smart.  It's a fluke we even met each other.  But when we did, we knew.  The effortless connection that we've had from day one was what appeared to me in big, flashing bright letters on top of his head proclaiming,


And I did.

I always wondered what would happen to our relationship after we had kids, especially since all of society for whatever reason thinks that you should value your children more than your spouse and what-not.  But.  The truth is, I can't even begin to imagine raising our little girl without the help, love, and support of my husband.  It just wouldn't work!  Neither me nor my daughter would be anything without Erick here with us.  We love him with the bottom of our hearts.  He's such a great father.  I'm beginning to wonder if EVERYTHING in life just comes natural to him.  He picked up on everything from the second I was in labor, to the moment we came home from the hospital.  You can just tell that Sofia melts into a puddle of goo when she sees her Papa come home from work.  Her little legs wiggle and she screams in delight.  She's such a daddy's girl.  She holds the biggest piece of her heart for him, and I think she always will.

I know that there is still so much Erick and I want to accomplish in this life of ours together.  I know for both of us it was scary feeling like that at age 23 and 24 respectively, our creative lives would come to a pathetic and screeching halt.  I want to thank Erick for diving head-first into this life with me.  Baby, you sacrificed everything without ever acting discouraged, scared, or disappointed.  In your mind, we probably would be living in a loft in San Francisco or New York by now, successful in our freelancing design and photo work, surrounded by 5d Mk II's, 50mm 1.0 Limited Edition lenses, fixed gear bikes, maybe even backpacking through Europe.  Who knows.  But you chose to not be afraid of the life we're making.  You never lost your imagination.  You never gave up hope.  Let's make 2012 our year to explore the things we've always wanted to, take the time for each other and our creative passions.  We can't sleep till noon, we can't spontaneously leave in the middle of the night for a show, we don't have all the free time in the world, but that's okay.

We created a life.

Happy New Year, friends.  I hope it is magical, prosperous, peaceful, and most of all... FUN!

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  1. poignant in a good way. (what's the good word for poignant??)

    really beautiful post. cannot WAIT to see what the DLR's have coming up soon. you're poised to take over the world. no joke



    miss you, hope you're enjoying a bit of a breather. i have a feeling this will be a good year for us all. and i plan on hanging out more times than i can count on my hands in 2012, okay? OKAY?!!

    side note: can i call you miss blujay? that sounds cool.

  3. SHUTUP.

    I got engaged, married and had a baby this last year too. Granted it wasn't all in the same week, but still, I didn't think anyone other than us was crazy enough to do that!!!

    It's kinda a bummer you live in IL, 'cause I feel like we should seriously be friends now.

    Anyway, really enjoyed/appreciated this post. A very happy new year to you and your sweet family!

  4. Thank you! Haha, man I know! If it weren't for the crazy chicago blizzards I'd invite you to come hang out sometime! But trust me. I WILL NOT put you through that. Brrrr.

    Thanks for stopping in! Hope your year is wonderful!

  5. I just found your blog and I'm crushing hard. Beautiful photos, gorgeous family. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

  6. This was lovely, and I hear the 50 1.0 isn't all that amazing anyway ;)

  7. I'm a little bit behind on my blog reading, but I loved this little gem of a post. I feel like as Sophia grows, you definitely grow too! I'm not quite at the motherhood stage of life just yet, but I'm saving all your little nuggets of motherly wisdom - seriously. You wear those skinny jeans. Here's to 2012!