The number 23 has always been my lucky number and the year 2023 did not disappoint! I started off this year finally addressing my depression and started counseling in January. I wasn't sure it would help much, but I was willing to give it a try.
In our fourth or fifth session, the therapist asked me to spend some time journaling about what my life would look like if we remained a family of three. "Write down all the positive things about that scenario. You need to get to a place of acceptance."
I remember thinking I might write something along the lines of having one child is perfect for traveling because airplane rows have three seats, but when I finally sat down to actually write, I stared blankly at my journal for several minutes and eventually put it down without any words on the page. The next morning I got a positive pregnancy test.
The year ahead was looking up.
January was highlighted by lots of ice skating for Cam! He finished Learn to Skate levels 1 & 2 and the did Lil' Canes hockey level 1 in the spring. My friends and I held our very first annual Articles Club retreat weekend at the beach, which was loads of fun! In February, my boss announced he was leaving Duke. During this transition at work, I started helping on the physician contracting team. We went to a Carolina Hurricanes game as a family. I read Demon Copperhead, which instantly became an all-time favorite book and sent me into withdrawal when it ended. Brittany and I took our kids to Lazy 5 Ranch one weekday when our kids were out of school and we had the best time! Brian and I had a date night at Vinnie's Steakhouse for Valentine's Day. On the first day of March, I found out we were expecting a baby! One of the happiest moments of my life!
In April, we had an epic trip out west to Colorado, Utah, and Arizona for Cam's spring break. Our dog Otis turned 11 years old. In May, we found out the baby's gender on Mother's Day and were so excited to learn we were having a girl! Our dog Pippa turned nine years old. June was highlighted by the end of Cam's first grade year, the start of summer camp, and a trip to the beach with Brittany and her kids. Brian went to Asheville and Tennessee for a few days with our bff Brandon.
In July, Brian and I flew back to Colorado to see the Avett Brothers play at Red Rocks and enjoyed a nice weekend in downtown Denver. Cam and I took another trip down to Topsail Beach. I took a Canine Good Citizen training class with Sasha each Saturday that month and we also spent a lot of weekends at the pool! In August, we had a fun outing in Mebane at the splash park, bowling, and ice cream with friends. Cam had his last week of summer camp. We spent the final week of the month at the Outer Banks with family and loved every minute of it! We came home with two pet hermit crabs. In September, Cam started the 2nd grade. We went down to Myrtle Beach with Kat and her family for a fun-filled weekend! My friends hosted an amazing baby shower for me at Board and Barrel where we painted wood crafts. Our dog Sasha turned 4 years old. We threw an early 8th birthday party for Cam.
In October, we made it to the State Fair, one of our favorite traditions! We also went to the Efland Rodeo. On the last day of the month, I went to the hospital to have a baby and Brooke was born the first minute of November. The next few weeks were spent adapting to newborn life and being thankful that she's been an easy baby! The transition from 1 to 2 kids has been so much easier than our transition from 0 to 1 kid (which was...in a word....traumatic, lol!). We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house. In December, we've watched Home Alone multiple times, celebrated our annual EKA Christmas with friends, and have been doing a daily Christmas activity for the advent. My church life group had a hilarious ornament exchange. My Articles Club friends hosted a "Favorite Things" gift exchange. We went to Morganton to celebrate Christmas with Brian's dad at his new house. Cam had a holiday show at school. It's been busy month with so many fun things, and I am ready for the final two weeks of the year.
I feel so blessed for a happy and healthy family and I am incredibly thankful for all the friendships and relationships that we've nurtured in 2023. I couldn't ask for anything more.