Thursday, December 22, 2011

February 2011

The next few posts I'm going to be linking up with Robin at Farewell Stranger who writes a beautifully personal PPD blog.  She's doing a series of blog posts which look back at the wonderful moments of the past year despite struggling through motherhood and PPD.  I'm doing this series along with her because I desperately want to remember the first year of Natalie's life as something positive and beautiful instead of full of pain, frustration, anger, anxiety and darkness.

I grew up in the same house, in the same neighborhood, in the same house from birth until I graduated high school and moved into the dorms at UNT.  Needless to say, this might have contributed to the fact that I am most definitely a creature of habit.  But in all honesty, I love that there are people in my contacts list that I remember chasing after and away from on the playgrounds of the neighborhood elementary school.  Two of my closest friends growing up were Heather and Amy - the three of us got into trouble together in middle school, cheered each other on during high school whether on the basketball court or the half-time show during the football game on Friday night and most recently through life's tragedies of losing a parent or a cross country move as well as the joyous events of marriages and children.  Amy just so happened to be living in town during the course of my pregnancy due to her husbands deployment overseas and she was very instrumental in much of the baby planning...well, not THAT part....but all the fun stuff afterwards!  One wonderful Saturday in February both Heather and Amy trekked out to my house and helped me to put the final decorative touches on Natalie's room.  We had so much fun cruising through Target, eating a yummy Mexican dinner and putting away teeny tiny baby girl shoes!
Here is the belly in all it's glory.  Looking at Natalie as an ACTIVE and curious nine month old - it's hard to believe that she was once able to fit in there!

The requisite "mommy and nursery" photo.

Her crib and the hand painted canvas that I created for her.

My baby shoes, her turtle.....and my favorite children's book - Olivia.

My favorite nook in her room - the glider, the footrest, her nightstand (repainted from black to bright lime green by me and Amy) and her lamp.

A corner full of special handmade items.  Amy made the pillow, the blanket, the lampshade, the hairbow holder and drew a family portrait in the picture frame.

Natalie's spiritual corner - the crucifix I bought for her at the Vatican in Rome and the Footsteps poem that my brother (her godfather) gave me for my Confirmation.

Oh!  Hello Ellie!  My favorite doll growing up had to help out - a nursery isn't complete without a baby, right?!  Okay.  Yeah.  I know it's a little weird, but she was my constant companion and security object growing up.  She sits on a shelf in my closet....maybe someday she'll come out and play with one of Natalie's favorite dollies.

I'll be honest - this is where I sat for the majority of the evening while Heather and Amy ran around the room (and my house) putting things away while I directed and put my feet up.  They are very....very....very good friends.

Me and Heather showing off Amy's sewing skills.

Oh Angelina.  My precious pup.  I love you dearly.

Angie.  That's not your chair.  That's for Momma and the baby.

Um.  You want to bet?

You'll always be my best four-legged fur-baby.

So that's February.  There were other wonderful baby showers that took place, but there was something special about this warm Saturday spent with my two good friends.  So many years have passed since we first met and our lives have taken some interesting twists and turns, but the personality traits and the bond that we had way back when that made us such great friends has stayed the same.  Heather is the jewelry-loving, cake-making boss, the pragmatist, the book smarts one who likes the have the right answer and loves learning.  Amy is the free-spirit, the seasoned Momma and a creative spirit who has a sarcastic sense of humor that will always put a smile on your face.  And me?  I am the competitive, perfectionist athlete who wears her heart on her sleeve while trying to change the world through teaching middle schoolers.  We are a funny little trio but for whatever works and I'm grateful for the time I had with all three of us living so close together.

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