I love love love to read other peoples posts reflecting on 2017 & seeing their goals for 2018. For some reason, even though it is just a small look into their lives, it is very revealing to see the year in one big “picture” (or post). As a blogger, I only share a small sliver of my life. I think people follow bloggers on Snapchat / IG story and think they are seeing their entire day! But really, if you look at the timing, you only really see a couple of minutes of someone’s day total. I love using my platforms to share my beauty tips, tricks, & finds, as well as my fashion & even our travels & life as a new mom. But it is crazy because there is always so much more going on behind the scenes. That was actually something I just learned in the last quarter of 2017 which is kind of what inspired this post.
*I’m only doing the first 6 months of the year in todays post! This has taken SO long to do since I’m talking about so much so I will cover the last 6 months in a few days!*
Quickly, I thought I’d give some background on 2017. First of all, John & I were married in 2012 – he was about to start his 3rd year of medical school. I remember we always looked forward to the year of 2017 because that was the year he would be finishing residency and we just knew “life would be so much better” in 2017! (I’m laughing out loud as I write this because I set my expectations so high!) If you’ve gone through medical school/residency, you probably know what I am referring to! During residency, you work so so much and you get paid very little so you can’t wait to finish residency & start working. For John & me, we are very career oriented – as in we both are super driven & career focused. Due to that, we knew having children during residency may not be wise as we both worked crazy long hours. On the flip side of that, we both started to want to have kids years ago. It was tough because we wanted to start a family but we knew that with the hours we were working it just wouldn’t be wise. We more or less set a ‘timeline’ and our long term goals and we just worked towards those goals & powered through as best we could. Looking back, I am glad we did this – not to say that it ‘easy however’. I remember seeing friends have precious babies & become parents & we just longed for that. But I’ll fast forward to present day – I feel so fortunate to have been able to follow our ‘timeline’ & meet those goals. Luke was born in April of 2017 and it simply the best day of my entire life! I get asked questions from readers regularly about our route through medicine so I figured I’d touch on this. Since we wanted to start a family years ago, we decided the best time to have children (for us) would be at the end of residency. Luke’s arrival in April was perfect because my parents were able to help us as John finished his last couple of rotations. As for me, I am self employed so I don’t get time off our any kind of ‘leave’ – it was a huge blessing to have my mom around to help us the first months Luke was here. There were SO many ups & downs over this past year and if I’m going to be 100% honest, 2017 wasn’t the year I had expected it to be (based on finishing residency & all of that!). Again, I don’t want to complain but it was definitely one of the more challenging years. But I recognize that challenges are where you really grow & learn – and also help create character so for that I am grateful. Okay, without further adieu I’ll quickly go through each month of 2017 w/the high(s) & low(s) & popular posts/month in review.
In the month of January we traveled to Park City, Utah & Laguna Beach, CA. (You can click on the location in pink & it will show you all of the posts from these trips!) Looking back, January was kind of fun because my stomach wasn’t super huge (yet) and I was able to travel a little more comfortably. I think the high was probably visiting my cousins in Laguna Beach and being able to wear summery outfits & enjoy the warm weather. I can’t remember a ton from this first quarter but I do remember one day mid January when I got REALLY sick – flu like symptoms plus GERD (which was bad when I was pregnant!). Since I work for myself, I am pretty good about trying to work & stay on task despite being sick. I remember being so so sick I couldn’t leave my bed or even pick up my phone. John got the flu-like symptoms a few days later and thought he was going to die… haha!
The most popular posts/items:
- The most popular sweater was from THIS blog post.
- THIS blog post on what I’d been reading (always a popular most as many of you like murder/mystery, too!)
- January Instagram Recap
In the month of February we slowed down on travel. I remember my OBGYN jokingly saying “the ‘jetsetter’ needs to need put it on pause”. We went to Maui as our ‘baby moon’ and didn’t travel really after this trip. It was a WONDERFUL trip. Neither John nor myself had been to Hawaii before. My best friend Audrey & her husband were also going to Maui on the same date coincidentally so we were able to spend time with them as well. We stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui and I still think of the breakfast we had there each day – it was SO amazing. Our Maui trip was totally our high. Additionally, we decided to fully remodel our bathroom that month. That was a mix of lows & highs! It was a lot of work to get it all planned out and we thought it would be done when we got back from Maui but it was not even close!! We ended up having to sleep upstairs in our game room on a mattress on the floor for like 1-2 weeks! Looking back, it actually wasn’t that bad.. our game room is dark w/ a large TV (we don’t have cable in our bedroom) so it was kind of cozy up there! The reason I didn’t like it was because I like to be organized & things be in place but our house was a complete and total mess. Yet it was totally worth it in the end. [Bathroom remodel post HERE.] I also started getting dependent on baths during the month of February. If you’ve been pregnant, you may be able to relate. Luke was a very large baby and they told me at the 20w appt that he was very big and a tech even said she didn’t think his due date was correct. He was in the 90th percentile for everything! Head size, weight, everything. On top of that, I had these tumor-like things growing with him in my uterus. I forgot the name of them [John just walked in and said they are fibroids – they are not malignant] but I know it is something we couldn’t do anything about and they are not dangerous. My doctor said I’d have them again the next pregnancy. They were “built in” to my uterus and as the baby grew, the tumors grew. So here I am, with this very large baby growing inside of me plus a couple of tumors that you could actually see and feel from the outside- so not fun. But I say all of this to explain why I loved my bath time, lol! Each day around 3pm I would be a in a lot of pain and I would power through the day of working so I could get my bath time in.. it was my reward and I took a bath at like 7 each night! It was such a relief for me.
- All of our Maui posts & outfits are HERE.
- One of the most popular tops I wore that month is from THIS POST. My very thin & fit aunt actually took it yesterday – so it is not just for pregnant girls. 🙂
- This swimsuit (it is not maternity) was one of the most popular items on my blog all spring!
- And how I attempted to stay somewhat fit during pregnancy is HERE.
March was a low key month for us. John was working long hours and I was getting the nursery ready. It was a calm month which was great for prepping for a baby. We took a couple of trips to Dallas which were SO fun because I enjoy traveling and getting out. We don’t have much shopping here in Tulsa so I loved going to Dallas and shopping & they also have more restaurants! March was the month where my stomach was getting very big and nothing was fitting. It was tough on me because I didn’t wear maternity clothing – I just sized up in everything! But even my large clothes were not fitting well. When you love dressing up & fashion & even do it for a living – you don’t realize how much you love it until you aren’t able to do it as well, lol!
The most popular posts/items:
- This was a popular SPRING outfit from March.
- This SANDAL TREND post was one that people visited on my blog all of spring!
- My self tanner post has continued to be a popular post.
- MARCH INSTAGRAM ROUND UP [Instagram round ups are the more popular posts for people who follow on Instagram and want outfits details more easily!]
- MARCH FAVORITES POST
^On our way to the hospital I snapped this!
April is easy – the high was April 27 when Luke Bear made his debut! Best day of my entire LIFE. Oh I remember it like it was yesterday! I think about that day all of the time and I just cry and smile over it. Because Luke was so large – they told me at 24w that I would need a C-section. By the time April came, I was used to the idea and I wasn’t quite as intimidated. They finally scheduled it for the 27th but I thought he’d come way earlier.. wishful thinking. My parents came into town the morning of the C-section and for some reason I wasn’t too nervous. I guess I’d just had a lot of time to prepare mentally and also just in general. Everything was in our in our home, lives, etc. We got to the hospital, checked in, and I was as cool as a cucumber. Mom and dad and John were next to me and then I suddenly got REALLY nervous. The nurses started prepping me for surgery and I just got scared. But it all went by so quickly after that. They rolled me into the operating room, got my epidural going and suddenly I was not so nervous. John was able to come in as soon as the epidural was done and so did one of my close friends who was a nurse at the hospital. They each sat night to my head. Our OBGYN was so good and also really cool so he let John watch everything and take photos and so did my friend. It is really fun to see the photos. When he was taking Luke out he said “wow, you got a black headed, husky baby!!” and I just started bawling. It happened so fast and I could not believe he was out and with us finally! Sidenote – John did take photos of everything – I have yet to look at most of them. I do not do well with blood or anything like that so I can’t really look at them and may never. However, he did show me one of the tumors on my uterus and it was shocking to see it – how large it was.. and scary! As for the lows, I don’t actually have a lot of lows – I just remember the last 4 weeks being very tough on my body. I could barely ride in the car for more than 10 minutes because Luke had gotten so big that my ribs had started flipping outwards. At this point, I was taking a bath at 10am and a bath at 5pm.
The most popular posts/items:
- This post was the most popular and I think everyone I know ended up buying the dress in it!
- Our special baby shower post is HERE.
- My last bump date is HERE.
- The jeans and top from this post were SO popular for a few months.
- APRIL INSTAGRAM RECAP
Oh boy! May, what a month. I loved the month of May. My first month with Luke was so fun. People asked how it was recovering from a c-section w/ a newborn (+ I didn’t take time off from work) and I think my answer surprises them! It was wonderful. Recovering from a c-section and learning to care for Luke was not nearly as painful as the last month of carrying Luke. :/ I’m being 110% honest when I say this! Many of my friends inquired about how bad the c-section was because everyone talks about how bad they are and how the recovery is so much worse than a normal delivery and I can believe that. However, because of the pain I was in carrying Luke in March & April, the recovery was not bad at all (for me). My parents laugh about how a few hours after the c-section the nurse took Luke to do something and I got my computer out and took care of a couple of important e-mails while he was gone. Becoming a mother was a dream of mine & something I’d yearned for for so many years so being able to finally being a mom was a high for the month of May. Really, the only low I had was nursing – I didn’t realize how hard that was and didn’t expect it. It took a good week for me to really figure it all. I also started pumping and that was challenging as well. There’s such a learning curve to that alone in all honesty. I am sure it is different for everyone but for me I felt so much guilt when I didn’t automatically know what to do!
The most popular posts/items:
- This was one of the most popular outfit posts during May.
- Luke’s first day & being a new mom POST.
- The gifts I’m talking about in THIS POST have continued to be crazy popular – especially the detergent!!
- MAY INSTAGRAM RECAP
- MAY FAVORITES POST [BEST OF BEAUTY, BABY, HOME, & MORE]
- HOLY GRAIL MAKEUP PRODUCTS
Oh this is easy! The high of June was John finishing his last rotation of residency and his residency graduation! [Insert 100 praise hand emojis here.] I’m not going to say life got easier after residency because it definitely didn’t – but it was just wonderful to close that chapter. I will say that having Luke in our lives made it 100x better! Something about having children really shows you what is most important in this life. Since I am very career oriented, I tend to put work in a higher place than it should be but having Luke really showed me what was really important & to me, that is family. I’m fortunate to have parents who are supportive of my career (and also work in education and have summers off!) so it was a huge blessing to have my mom around to help so I could continue blogging. In June John had to hit the books hard and study for his board exam so he really never got much time off after his residency. But we loved being able to do things as a family and spend quiet time together – the 4 of us.. bc you know Fitzy – he has the be in the spotlight! As for the lows I’ll be very raw and just share this – a low for me was not being able to lose baby weight. I’m one of those rare people who couldn’t lose weight, even while nursing. I had no appetite so I was making myself eat but I was eating little and my weight [& stomach size] would not budge! Err! It was really frustrating.. I had probably only lost 12lbs from the time I walked in the hospital to have Luke until June (5 weeks!) and he was 9.5lbs! You always expect to lose the weight of the baby, placenta, etc. when you get home from the hospital but it didn’t happen for me like that. I only share this because if you this happens to you – don’t worry! I found out I was eating too much protein so I totally switched up my diet until I found what worked for me and once I did that and started going to Zumba it started coming off more quickly.
The most popular posts/items:
- TOTALLY MADE OVER MY OFFICE SPACE POST
- Luke’s newborn photos & nursery reveal post
- 8 Steps to Healthier, Shinier Hair
- This blog post was one of the most popular outfits!
- JUNE INSTAGRAM RECAP
Phew! This took me a couple of days to do!! John’s asking me to round it up so we can go get groceries and get work done so I will do July – December in a few days!
Really quickly, I just want to say a huge thank you to those of you who have followed us & have been so supportive. I know I say this a lot but it does mean the world. As I look back on these months, I can remember situations that have happened where you all have been a huge help to me and my family. You’ve shown us so much love & given us amazing advice as we became new parents. There were rough days here and there and just hearing you all say you’d been through it too was what helped me power through those rough patches. Thank you so much for always being so kind and wonderful. We love you all!