Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

To say that 2013 was a crazy year is a complete understatement.  So many wonderful and exciting things happened that I want to take a look back at everything.

January was a big month for us.  Brandon and I made the command decision to do IVF and it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.  It was a long emotional journey, but so incredibly worth it!

February 4th was my IVF cycle evaluation date.  Everything looked good so we were able to start medications for the crazy process.  Finally, on February 17th my follicles looked perfect and we triggered for egg retrieval on February 19th.  I had my procedure done at 9:15 the morning of the 19th and I will never forget all of the love and support I got that morning from the nursing team and the OR staff. I am so lucky to work with such incredible people.  Sunday, February 24th one perfect little day 5 embryo was transferred back.

Sunday, March 3rd was one of the best days of my entire life. I found a lost pregnancy test while cleaning the bathroom and found out that almost one year after miscarrying, Brandon and I were pregnant and two days later on March 5th we did blood work, three days early, and our cautious optimism turned into cheer happiness because the number was incredible and we were really really pregnant. Tuesday, March 19th we got to see little baby Wilkinson for the first time during an ultrasound and it was one of the greatest moments of my entire life.

April was another wonderful month.  I got to see one of my best friends from high school marry the man of her dreams.  I am still so happy for Beth and Aaron.  They are absolutely adorable together.

Beth & Aaron's First Dance :)

In May, Brandon and I set up the nursery.  It was quite early to do it, but the rest of the year was so crazy that we had to do it early or it wasn't going to happen!

In June, I hit 20 weeks and was halfway done with my pregnancy.  And more importantly, we found out that little baby Wilkinson was a GIRL!  I was a little upset at first, but this morning was I was holding Natalie I couldn't imagine her being anyone else.  Also in June, I threw Brandon a Huggies & Chuggies man baby shower :)

In July, Michelle and I went to Florida to visit our parents.  It was nice to get down there and enjoy the sun and spending time with my family.  We got to see a lot of people we hadn't seen in awhile which is always so nice.  I am so excited to take Natalie to Florida so that she can meet my parents' friends who, without even really knowing me, spoiled her rotten :)  July we also celebrated Natalie's viability week which is the pregnancy milestone where if, God forbid, Natalie had been born early the odds were in her favor for survival.

Michelle & I at the Golden Lion on A1A

We entered the third trimester!  We also celebrated the nuptials of Derek and Nicole and found out that their little bundle of joy is a BOY!

September was a huge month.  In September, we had my baby shower :) Natalie was spoiled rotten and I was surrounded by the most incredible support system a girl can have.  I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life.  Also in September, on the 21st, Brandon and I got to see two of our favorite people in the entire world tie the knot - Greg and Terra. That was one of the best weddings I have ever been to! We also had our maternity pictures taken the following weekend.
Greg & Terra's First Dance :)

Another big wedding month for us!  October 4th we attended the wedding of the century - the Nowlin wedding.  This was a day I never thought was going to happen and I think the now Mrs. Nowlin will agree :) I am so happy for Mayne and Laura, and of course, Jada as well :)  The following Friday, October 11th another wedding happened that we did not get to go to because of work obligations and I am so upset I missed this one: Shane and Brittany tied the knot.  I still stalk their wedding pictures because they are so adorable.

Mayne & Laura's First Dance (with Jada too)
Officially the Garners :) LOVE this picture

Easily the best month of the entire year :)  On November 2nd, Barbie and Ken got married in real life when Ronny and Meg said "I do".  Unfortunately, we missed the wedding because we didn't want to chance delivering Natalie early and in Philly :) That wasn't a problem because we welcomed our little miracle into the world on Wednesday, November 13th at 6:18pm. Four days later we took her to the fabulous, very talented Stacey Gillin to have her newborn pictures done.  I am so incredibly obsessed with Stacey's work.  Then to close out the fabulous month, I hosted Thanksgiving for my family and totally nailed it, again. 

real life Barbie & Ken say "I do" :)

Natalie Grace - 4 days new :)

Thanksgiving with my parents, Natalie's Bibsy & Duckie :)

DecemberWe celebrated Natalie's First Christmas :)  And we found out that in 2014, the world will be welcoming another fabulous baby into the world - congrats again to Ant and Chelsea!  Natalie cannot wait to meet her best friend, little baby Watson!
Natalie's First Christmas!
It really was a wonderful and at times overwhelming year.  Overall, 2013 was so full of blessings for our family.  We are so excited to see what 2014 will bring us!  We are looking forward to the addition of so many little babes: Derek and Nicole's son, Kris and Daianna's son, Matt and Jessica's son, Andrew and Rachel's daughter, Ant and Chelsea's little babe and then John and Jordan's little babe.  Natalie is really starting to have quite the little friend group :)  Not to mention the 2014 nuptials we have to look forward to: Jeremy and Becky, Kenny and Emily, and Dee and Brian.  And most importantly, Brandon will be finishing up his masters degree this spring.  Holy moly - 2014 is shaping up to be just as crazy as 2013 and I can't wait! 

From my family to yours, Happy New Year! May 2014 be filled with nothing but health, wealth and happiness for us all :)