It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of another year. It seems that each year to pass brings more surprises and challenges… Maybe that’s just growing up.
This year was certainly no exception.
At the beginning of the year, we had an almost two-year-old and a four-month-old. It’s crazy to me that Colm was still basically a newborn potato – he’s grown so much this year!
Our first five months of Colm were some of the hardest of my life. He didn’t sleep at all, which made working and momming challenging on the best of days.
We would get maybe six hours of sleep from him in a day (naps plus overnight), and I finally got to a point where I took him to the doctor and begged him to find something wrong that we could fix so we could get some sleep. Our doctor looked him over, laughed and said “there are some kids who just don’t sleep… Colm’s just one of them”. Lucky us.
(Thankfully, we were able to implement a solid sleep training routine around five to six months and now happily have two kids who sleep 12 hours through the night. Score!)
Paisley turned two in January, and we were in Florida a few weeks before so we took her to Disney Springs for a special birthday lunch and pictures with Pooh (AKA, the frugal parents’ way of doing Disney).
Here are some highlights from our winter:
Colm’s sleep aversions and Josh’s work schedule made it exceptionally difficult for me to continue on at my part time job. Even though I was only working four hours a day, I’d easily spend twice that amount of time getting us ready to go. Josh left at six every morning, and I wasn’t sleeping, so dragging two tiny people out of the house each morning was utter torture.
In March, Josh and I made the decision for me to quit my job to focus on my writing. We put the balls in motion, and I started working from home with the kiddos, which is what I’ve been wanting to do since Paisley was born.
After the kids and I established a comfortable little working routine and I rounded out my writing portfolio, I ended up in a better place financially, as well. I feel so blessed to be able to focus on the career of my dreams while hanging out with my little ones!
Here are some highlights of our spring, including Colm’s first Easter!
The year really took off in June of this year. Josh and I celebrated our fourth (!!) wedding anniversary at the end of the month.
Before that, we took a look at our finances and my success with working from home and decided that Josh would be better suited to work from home on his web development, rather than in the corporate accounting job he was working at the time. Thus, our small business – Rystedt Creative – was born.
Of course, between deciding to quit his job and actually coming home, Josh managed to wreck his car on the beltway. Thankfully no one was hurt and all of the damage was covered by our insurance.
We also discovered that we had a baby on board… Baby Rystedt v3 will be joining us in February 2018!
We certainly weren’t planning two huge changes in a single month – Josh actually sat down with his boss to quit at the exact same hour that I went to my first midwife appointment of the pregnancy – but we’re very excited to meet our new addition (and learn whether it’s a boy or girl)!
July and August were spent focusing on the business and working our fingers off. Actually, we’re still in the trenches to some degree, but working on our own venture is so much more fulfilling than any office job ever was.
Here are some highlights of our summer:
In September, Colm turned one. He’s such a happy and cuddly little guy! He started walking right around his birthday and has been teething like a little shark for the entire second half of the year.
We also welcomed our little niece, and second godchild, in September. We got to travel to North Carolina to meet her and celebrate her baptism over a long weekend in October.
In October, we also made a somewhat drastic decision to switch prenatal care from a local practice at our hospital to a freestanding birth center in Annapolis (there is unfortunately very little support for moms who desire natural birth in this area). So now I know what it’s like to switch care at 28 weeks… It’s pretty crazy, but it can be done! But I’m looking forward to a water birth and being allowed to pretty much have the baby and go back home to my older babies 🙂
November was a month of insanity. It started when Paisley broke her nose and Colm had a super high fever scare that sent us to the ER. Then we were dealing with some tight deadlines for work and a cold that just wouldn’t stop sweeping through the family.
The day after Thanksgiving, my grandfather passed away. This came as a bit of a shock and certainly was a horrible way to close out such a rough month for our family.
December began with a surprise trip to Florida for the funeral, which was both a happy and sad time for us. Sad, of course, for the reason we were traveling. Happy because we got to see all of our family together in one place – certainly not something that happens very often.
Here are some highlights from our crazy fall of traveling:
After our trip, December was a whirlwind of activity with preparing for Christmas and attending to work stuff. Josh finished up another semester of school and we’re getting ready to make some post-school decisions after his graduation in 2019.
Our Christmas was fairly low-key, with four church services and our annual trip to the National Cathedral on the 26th. This year was the first that Paisley was really aware of the Christmas celebrations, decorations and gifts, which made it by far the most fun Christmas that Josh and I have ever had.
Here are some highlights from Christmas 2017!