Today, I'm 27 years old and 27 weeks pregnant! Birthdays always make me pause and reflect on the year that's passed and my goals for the one ahead. And when I look back on 26, I have so many amazing memories...it was a great year! Here are my top 10:
(Unrelated photo of peonies from my Instagram)
1. Finding out I was pregnant! We misread the pregnancy test at first and thought it was negative...then we realized it was actually positive and I started crying. But I was also skeptical--so I made Ben take me to the store to buy another test, just in case I messed up on the first one. Sure enough, it was positive too!
2. Seeing our baby on the ultrasound. Our 19 weeks anatomy ultrasound was like the best movie ever! Laying there, watching our baby kick and wave (and finding out the gender) was really, really special. We have another ultrasound appointment on Monday, and I can't wait to see him again!
3. Feeling our baby kick. This has been my favorite part of pregnancy so far...feeling our baby's little (and lately, not so little) kicks. They reassure me everyday that he's still alive and kicking, literally.
4. Watching the Northern Lights. Obviously, the baby-related stuff is high on my list. But our trip to Europe was also an amazing, unforgettable part of this year. It's hard to pick favorites, but I'd have to say standing on the deck of our hotel wrapped in a blanket, watching the Northern Lights dance across the sky on our last night in Iceland, was pretty special.
5. Relaxing in the private Blue Lagoon. This was also on our last night in Iceland. We stayed at the Blue Lagoon Hotel, which has a private lagoon that is smaller than the big touristy one...but way nicer, since we basically had it to ourselves. It was the perfect way to cap off that part of the trip and reflect on all the amazing things we'd seen so far, while looking forward to the next destination. It didn't hurt that were basically in a giant, beautifully blue hot tub in the middle of some lava fields, with a perfectly clear night sky full of stars above.
6. Eating gelato by the water in Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre was the part of Italy that I had anticipated the most, and it did not disappoint. My favorite memory was after the cruise boats left for the day, when the town got quiet again. We'd get gelato (the best I've ever had!) and sit on the rocks down by the water, listening the waves lap against the shore and watching the fishermen pull in their boats.
7. Taking a boat ride down the Seine while eating macarons. This is probably my favorite memory from France. The first thing we did in Paris (after checking into our Airbnb) was get a box of Laduree macarons and head to the Seine for a tour down the river. It was in the evening, as the sun set and the sky turned pink...which was perfect timing because we got to see all the landmarks in the daylight on the towards the Eiffel Tower and lit up on the way back. Glimpsing so many famous places and eating Laduree macarons for the first time (while on a boat in Paris!) was truly memorable.
8. Seeing the Eiffel Tower twinkling at night. My other favorite memory from France was the night we had a picnic at the Eiffel Tower and saw it all lit up and twinkling for the first time. Can you tell there's something about nighttime that I find magical? Haha. It was the same day we went to Versailles and we got back pretty late in the afternoon, so we had to walk really fast in order to make it to the Eiffel Tower in time. We had done so much walking that day, my feet seriously hurt on the way back...but it was worth it.
9. Getting a new job that lets me work from home. Besides baby stuff and vacation stuff (which could fill up a much longer list all on their own), my favorite part of this year was getting a new job that is way more flexible. It's been such a blessing with all my doctor's appointments, to have a job that lets me work from home and arrange my schedule to fit my life.
10. Starting to look for a house. Lastly, although the process has been frustrating and discouraging at times, I'm still excited that we are at the stage of life where we are actually looking to buy a house! It's something I've dreamed about for so long, and I'm proud of us for getting everything ready on our end, even if we haven't actually found "the one" yet.
And now, I'm ready for the next chapter! My goals are still basically the same as they were in January: prioritize people, buy a house, start a family, travel, and take care of my health. With a baby on the way, at least one of those will definitely happen--and with it, lots of big life changes! I'm ready, 27. Let's do it.