I was thinking a lot during my plane trip out here about last year's trip. I was 20-something weeks pregnant and puking my guts out on the plane, and this year I had a sleeping 9-month old on my lap. My youngest niece was a three-month-old blob, and now she's 15 months and walking and talking. I just can't believe a whole year has gone by and how much has changed. And, I knew I was in for an adventure with a baby coming during dental school, but I didn't know exactly how (or if) that was going to work out.
Since it's Thanksgiving and I'm feeling a little grouchy due to my (complete) lack of sleep last night, I thought it might be a good idea to pretend I'm at home, around my parents' Thanksgiving table, and list all the things I am thankful for. Because really, this year, the list is very long... and I shouldn't forget that, regardless of how many (or few) hours of sleep I've gotten in the past week.
- My loving husband and my beautiful, smart little baby girl. My mother-in-law was watching me play with her yesterday and she said "it's impossible to imagine how you're going to feel about your own children until you actually have them, isn't it?" And she was so right.
- The fact that I've gotten to spend almost Caroline's entire first year at home with her. Sure, it's going to be difficult to transition to daycare and to get back into things at school, but there really wouldn't have been any other time in my life when I could as easily have taken this much time off to be a mom. Related to this, I guess, is the fact that Tyler and I have always been so careful with our money that we didn't take a huge hit financially, even without my student loan income. I am so lucky that it was possible to do that without putting a strain on our family.
- My career that I love is waiting for me to pick up where I left off, even after taking a yearlong "vacation".
- Both of my wonderful families-- mine, and Tyler's. I love coming here for holidays, even though I miss my parents when I do. He has that big, happy, crazy family full of kids running around that I have always wanted. My family loves each other, of course, but there are only six of us, including my grandparents.... so it's always nice to come here and experience a little joyful chaos.
- My sweet Caroline. I have to list her again, because whenever I think about it, I can't believe that there was a time (even if only a few weeks, way back in the beginning) when I didn't want her. She is the light of my life.