26 thoughts on my 26th birthday

Well, well, well... June 19th we meet again!  How in the world has another year gone by?  This is my 4th birthday post here on Sugar Spice and Sparkle, click here to read the last three!

If this is your first year here - welcome!  Each year on (or right around) my birthday, I write a post with essentially random thoughts so that I can look back and see where my head was at at each age.  It's really fun to do and something I would highly recommend even if you don't blog - get out a journal and write yearly.  My husband and I also write to each other each year on our anniversary.  I'm a very sentimental person and if you follow me on Instagram you know how much I reminisce!

Okay well let's get into it!

1. Some things change and some stay the same.  Just looked back on my 25th birthday post and it all still holds true.  I guess I kept it general enough that those things will probably never change, maybe this year I should get more specific or something. We'll see where this ends up going...

2. My 26th year of life was definitely the most life altering.  I guess I could have said that every year though, but really, nothing changes your life like having your first child!  I started the year newly pregnant and am ending it with a 5 month old!  Absolutely insane.

3. My daughter completes me.  I wanted kids for a very long time before getting to the point in life where it was time to have them so I always knew there was a little piece of me missing, but now that I know Avery and have held her in my arms for 5 months, I know that a much bigger part of me was missing than I thought.  I have never felt so complete before and when I'm away from her I feel like a vital organ is missing.  She is my everything.

4. Motherhood is the hardest thing I've ever done.  Being a mom is so much different than you think.  It's the most bitter-sweet thing I've ever experienced.  It changes you in an irreversible way.  You get to know a joy that nothing else can bring you but also a sorrow with the same weight.  I've never understood the phrase "having the weight of the world on your shoulders" like I do now that I'm a mom.

5.  My husband is still a rockstar.  I hear stories from other moms about how their husbands don't help in the middle of the night or won't change the poopy diapers - I literally can not imagine that.  I don't think I changed a diaper for the first two weeks because I was breastfeeding her and Brian wanted to do everything he could to help out.  I couldn't survive without him, especially now that we have Avery.  He is my angel!

6. Amnesia is a real thing.  I know there were really hard times when I was pregnant and that labor was excruciating and postpartum recovery was no joke, but I don't remember it that way.  In my mind it all went swimmingly and I'm kind of excited to do it again some day.  Our (women's') brains literally work this way so that the human race will continue.  We have to forget those parts that seem humanly impossible so that we'll get knocked up again - ha!

7. You can survive with basically no sleep.  In the first few weeks we were up round the clock with max 1 hour of sleep at a time.  Literally do not remember how we made it through but we did.

8. Being a working mom is the hardest thing I've ever done.  I know I know - stay at home moms have it rough too.  But I got to do that on maternity leave, and trust me, it's waaaay easier than leaving the love of your life every day.  When you have a hard day as a SAHM you can choose to have a babysitter or your spouse keep the kids for an hour or two while you grocery shop.  When you work outside the home there is no choice.  You have to go because you have to pay the bills.

9.  I have a new role at work.  When I got back from maternity leave I was assigned to a new role at work.  It's a really great opportunity for me.  I can add a lot of value in this new role and it will also challenge me to do work I haven't had experience with in the past.

10. I stress differently now.  There is so much to stress about as a new mom, but with that you also learn that what you used to stress about is so trivial.  So I probably have about the same amount of stress as I did before, but it's just different.

11. Hindsight is 20/20.  I can look back now and see things so clearly.  Sadly it brings a lot of regret, but you just have to try not to live in the past and to know that in those moments you were doing your best.  But a serious LOL at me when I thought I was stressed, tired, busy, etc before!

12. Enjoy the moment.  When I was pregnant I always told myself I would enjoy every moment with my baby because I knew how fast time would go by.  Well, I'm glad I had that goal and tried to enjoy every 3AM feeding as much as I could because time has flown, and I already miss my itty bitty newborn.

13. Carrying this one over from last year - the days are long but the years are short.  So true.

14. My baby shower (read about it here) was so beautiful and wonderful!  It was like a mini wedding where only the women were invited.  I am so blessed to have all those ladies surround me and my baby-to-be at the time with so much love!

15. Adult friendships are different.  My closest friends are those that I have known since elementary and middle school.  We've all somehow managed to stay close over the years and for that I am forever grateful.  I feel like the definition of 'friend' is so different as an adult, you can have really great relationships but there's just nothing like old friends.

16. This momma is tired ya'll, not sure I have the brain power for 10 more thoughts today!  (It's 10PM right now which is late for a mom!).

17. Watching a human grow and learn is the craziest thing.  How blessed am I to witness it?  Avery can now look at a toy and pick it up, she's getting close to sitting on her own, she "talks" to us, and she can grab her toes!  It is an amazing transformation to watch and I can't wait to see more!

18. I still love blogging and social media.  In 2017 I said if I don't "make it" this year I'm giving up.  But I'm so glad I didn't follow through with that.  Sure, I'm not *yet* making a ton of money from the blog but look at all of the memories I have saved forever now because of it.  I wouldn't trade that for anything.  Plus I've continued to know and meet so many women and especially other moms through Instagram.  Connecting with others is still my favorite part of this whole thing!

19. I wish Avery could have held out 4 more days to have been born on the 19th!

20. Labor and deliver, and postpartum too, are so surreal.  You read about it so much and think about it and plan for it and in the end it's just a whirlwind and you're in survival mode through it all.  I know a lot of women who are scared to get pregnant because of L&D and PP but I tell them - you'll get through it, it's nature, you just do it and after a few weeks it's all a blur!

21. Everybody loves a baby.  People come out of the woodwork when you have a baby.  Everyone wants to see them and touch them and you just want to be in a bubble.  I pretty much went into hiding for a solid 3 months before letting people meet Avery.  Don't be afraid to let your mama bear come out!

22. Having mom friends is so special.  Getting together with other moms is invaluable.  If you're a new mom I would encourage you to do whatever it takes - potentially awkward situations and all - to find fellow new moms.  They can relate to you on a level no one, not even your husband, can and it's ah-mazing.  Major love to my mommy friends!!

23. Probably a topic better suited for another post but go ahead and throw your plans out the window now if you're pregnant.  They say expectations ruin relationships and I say expectations ruin new parenthood.  If you're a first time parent then you have no idea what you're in for no matter how much you've read (and I read A LOT).  The transition will be a lot easier for you if you can roll with the punches and not have any preconceived notions of how things "should" go.

24. I love my home!  We've been in our house for over two years and it really feels like home now.  When we come home after a long day I can unwind and it just feels so comfy cozy.  There's no place like home!

25.  I feel like these thoughts are even more random than previous years'.  Welcome to mom brain!  Where rhyme and reason have no place!

26. I'm just thankful.  Even for the things that are hard or I don't like, I'm thankful for my life and I'm proud of where I am today.  I set a vision for my life 5-6 years ago and I've achieved it.  Now it's time to set the goals for the next 5 years (really 4, for things I want to do by 30) and get to work on them!

Thanks for reading!  This year I also want to include some pics from the year to look back on!

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