Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Matty introduces me to Madeleine for the first time

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

You know what I love about this time of year, aside from playing with all my new Christmas presents?: the lists. I love me some lists, and as the year ends everyone has them - the top news stories, the biggest celebrity breakups, the best this and that. I just can't get enough of them. And so, in the spirit of year-end lists, I present to you my own lists of the top Stefanie-centric things and events of 2011 - enjoy!

Three generations in front of our well decorated Christmas Tree

My Top Ten Life Events of 2011
  1. Giving birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl
  2. Moving to our new home and new neighborhood (Dot Rats for life!)
  3. Watching my husband finish the Boston Marathon (his 1st marathon ever)
  4. Celebrating the first year of marriage to my amazing, loving husband
  5. Getting to tell our family and friends about our bun in the oven
  6. My sister-in-law moving back to the East Coast from Seattle
  7. Buying our first new car together, completely hassle free
  8. Hitting the one year mark at my job and still loving it
  9. Spending two whole weeks with my Mommy and Madeleine
  10. A girl's only sleepover with my best friends (love those women)

Matty and I at the Finish Line after he completed the Boston Marathon

My Top Five Places I visited in 2011
  1. Captiva and Sanibel Island, Florida
  2. Orlando (again) for Epcot and Sea World (for the first time)
  3. Martha's Vineyard (for the 2nd summer in a row!)
  4. San Diego (for the first time in too many years)
  5. Ontario, Canada to see Niagara Falls and silly tourists
Sunsets on Captiva are awesome, just like this guy

My Bump and I at Niagara Falls this Summer

My Top Ten Favorite Things of 2011
  1. The adorable little baby I can't stop cuddling (and don't have to - (she's mine!)
  2. Our safe, swanky, brand new car
  3. The gorgeous watch Matty gave me for our wedding anniversary
  4. My slow cooker, oh how I love to cook comfort food in that thing
  5. A Lululemon running jacket, new running shoes and the Nike+ to help me start training
  6. Delicious Fall and Winter beers that I can finally drink again
  7. (Carryover from 2010) my iPhone, that I love in an unhealthy sort of way
  8. Facials, massages and highlights to pamper my prego self
  9. Maternity jeans from the Gap
  10. Our new King Size bed and ridiculously luxurious sheets

My Five Goals for 2012
  1. To find my passion for running, stick with it and grow in it
  2. To find a yoga studio/classes I can regularly attend
  3. To continue to grow as a wife, daughter and friend and be the best I can be in those roles
  4. To be the best Mommy to Madeleine I can possibly be
  5. To find more time for meditation and prayer outside throughout the day
2011 has been absolutely amazing for me. I got pregnant, had a wonderful pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful little human (despite a pretty rough labor). Throughout the year friends and family provided endless love, support and excitement for our little one and my best friend threw me an awesome baby shower attended by friends who awed me with their excitement for our little baby. We have been showered with gifts, moral support and endless promises of babysitters (that I know we can actually redeem!) and, best of all, the knowledge that Madeleine gets to be surrounded by amazing people who will teach her awesome things about life, love and friendship.

Personally, my pregnancy allowed me to be the most selfless I have ever been; everything that I did, ate, thought and felt was about growing a healthy little person and I actually had to let myself slow down and be taken care of to ensure that she would be born perfect (which she was!). I was still able to do the things that I love: spend time with my amazing friends, travel, volunteer and be head over heels in love with my husband and now that she is here, I am confident that in 2012 I will get to continue these things and will learn how all of the puzzle pieces will fit around my new role as a Mommy.

Watching Matty be a father is just as rewarding to me as being a Mommy and it takes my breath away to watch him with her; his love, patience and natural talent at fathering makes me love him even more and look forward to the year to come.

In the 52 weeks of 2011 I only missed one Sunday Mass, and that was the day I gave birth to Madeleine (but I did have a Priest visit in the hospital for Communion and a blessing over the baby). Why do I mention this? Because I know I am truly, truly blessed with a wonderful life and surrounded by wonderful, positive people and I owe it all to the faith I have in God, in myself, in humanity and in the future. The secret to happiness? I think I found it.

A wonderful and exciting New Year awaits!

Stefanie of 2011


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