Cheers and So Long to 2017
Last year I posted a year-in-review for 2016 and, while it felt a little cheesy at the time, I'm thankful I did it. I get so caught up with the NEW and forget to look back at all that's happened, what's been achieved, where I could do better, etc. It gives clarity to setting goals and sights in the new year...and it gives me a reason to collect all my favorite memories and share my favorite photos. The best.
I took a step back from ATD in 2017. It wasn't easy and I had to fight feelings of guilt and failure but I was able to let 90% of that go once I realized that stress was from my own expectations. My priorities HAD to be me and my family, which meant that no, I don't need to fight through morning sickness or try to stay up past 8 p.m. or not cuddle my baby or not do the work that pays the bills so that I could update ATD. I've missed writing here and so part of 2018, for me, is reassessing how to make it work in this new life.
But before I get ahead of myself—here's a look back at 2017 with the Chatburns!
In last year's letter, I said that Thanksgiving Day was my favorite day of the year...because we found out we were pregnant that morning! It was an incredible answer to prayer and just insane to find out on a day centered around thankfulness. We announced that our family was growing in January, on my birthday.
On the 21st, Zuri Jane Malu was born to my sister, Lauren, and her husband, Faustin. The entire fam traveled down to Austin to meet our beautiful little niece!
My sister, Rachel, and her husband, Jake, came back to LA with us to hang out in February. We hiked and we ate, on repeat.
Matty and I went to a movie premiere just down the street in Hollywood in March. We stood around a lot, were instructed to yell and clap quite a bit, and were way excited to see Nick Offerman and Twitch on the red carpet—to celebs who weren't even in the movie. The screen broke during the last 15 minutes of the movie and I was too hungry and pregnant to wait it out, so we ended up at In-N-Out at midnight. It was just as packed as a Saturday afternoon at lunch.
We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on March 14th and found out we were going to have a BOY! We decided on a name as soon as we saw his little junk on the sonogram.
More family came to visit us in the spring! Matty's brother, Caleb, came to the States to follow LeBron James—and hang out with us, of course. His dad came to visit, too!
I spent April and May growing our baby. By that, I mean: I ate a lot of cheese.
I went to Denver to meet our nephew in May...which went on into June. Moshe Levi was born 17 days after his "due date" (what are those, even?!) but there was no way I was leaving without squishing that little boy.
Matty and our friends orchestrated the sweetest surprise baby shower for us in June! I'm forever grateful for this day and the family we've come to know in LA.
And then came July. Our boy was due late July, which we assumed meant early August, but that didn't make the hottest month of the year so far go by any faster. Matty took some portraits of me, uncomfortable and sweaty. Still, every time that boy kicked I couldn't help but smile.
Our world changed on August 8, around 6 p.m. when our son, Avery Colin Douglas Chatburn, was born. My water broke on August 6, around 2 a.m., so it was a long road to meet him. I'm about 10 pages into writing the full story and it isn't finished yet, so get ready for that novel, coming soon.
Matty's parents flew over from Australia to visit in September. I finally crawled out of the house!
By October, it was already hard to imagine a life without Avery. Everyone lights up around him, including his proud parents!
We were so thrilled to take Avery to Australia to see where his dad grew up, meet family, and celebrate his great-grandpa's 90th birthday! The travel was pretty easy with a sleepy 2-month-old, and he adapted quickly to the time change.
We got our first taste of day-to-day living back in LA this November. What I've learned so far: nothing is as important as eliminating distractions and spending time with Matty and Avery. And that in this season, it's okay for me to lay down other titles and just learn how to embrace being a mom. I also cut my own bangs and I freakin' love 'em.
I spent a full year looking forward to December. My sisters, mom, and I—we talked about it every day. We all came home to our parent's house and slept in our childhood bedrooms, now decked out with queen beds and pack-n-plays. Our kids got to play with their cousins and meet family. My parents were in pure heaven! It must have been my favorite Christmas so far, and I know it will only get more exciting from here as we have the opportunity to teach Avery why we're so filled with joy, so expectant, and so excited to give.
Here's to celebrating all the good and looking forward with great expectation for the year to come. Happy New Year!