Life continues to move, the days feeling long but the weeks speeding by. 2015 was a roller coaster of a year for me and Paul; there were many days in the first part of the year that required a near-daily reminder that we could do hard things and tomorrow was a new day. The specifics of 2015 are included in the yearly write-up he and I put together (offline for all the good, juicy, private stuff) but the passing of the year bears some sort of acknowledgement and recap.
The picture below is a collage of my nine most 'liked' photos on Instagram. They share themes which doesn't explain the variety of excitement and turmoil achieved in 2015, but it's a start.
From top left to right, down a row, from left to right: rinse and repeat:
- We're expecting a baby! A few fun facts: I really felt like I was pregnant and took a test one hour before leaving for Hood to Coast. Of course it came back positive and Paul and I had about 45 minutes to celebrate together before I was off for two days in a 200-mile nonstop running relay where I couldn't tell anyone; especially my two sisters who were in my van. Paul and I kept texting each other, marveling in excitement, and the thought of the upcoming baby gave my brain something to work through on my few runs. We waited until 16 weeks to tell the general public, and as I'm still hardly showing at six months it could have been kept even bigger of a secret! Also, probably TMI but no one reads blogs anymore, so here goes! Baby Judd was conceived on the first cycle of trying, in Switzerland of all places. (Not a bad start to life.)
- Paul passed the Federal Patent Bar test. Ohhhhhhhhhhh was this a big one. He didn't pass on his first go-round, so the pressure was on, and with a 46% pass rate, the test is no walk in the park. In addition to studying for the test he was also finishing law school and being our home operations manager. We both cried when he passed; sadly, I was stuck at work (on a Friday night) until 8pm working on agency rebrand stuff (see difficult turmoil description above) but I can't describe the relief we both felt his passing. Nearly a year later his test score is still taped to the cabinet in our kitchen.
- This photo of my four nephews was our public announcement that we're having a GIRL baby. After a four-boy streak in the Wms sisters (Alaina and Kendall's little guys) we're shocking the world by introducing a baby girl into it. Our ward (which we've grown exceptionally close to this year as well) hasn't had a girl in nearly 2+ years as well, so needless to say everyone is very excited. Also, I can't stop buying clothes.
- Paul graduated from Law School! Both our sets of parents came into town on Memorial Day Weekend for the Saturday celebration. We hosted a BBQ at our home with friends and family and took visiting parental sets to hike Wachlela Falls. Neither of Paul's parents are college graduates and he's the first of his siblings to get a graduate degree, so basically he's an all-star. (And now all of the Wms daughters are married to men with graduate degrees. Crazy.)
- WE WENT TO NEW YORK CITY AT CHRISTMASTIME, it was divine, and I was pregnant. I needed to travel to Boston for some emergency work meetings and it seemed like a good time to take Paul with me and for us to do a quick weekend in NYC (my favorite city on earth). While there we walked 15 and 9 miles each day and the maternity pants I was wearing were saggy enough that they required me to pull them up basically always. Frustrating, but everything else was DIVINE. One of my long-term bucket list items is to be in the City at Christmastime in love, and boy oh boy this trip satisfied that requirement. Maybe this trip will get a post of its own (unlikely but hope springs eternal!) but it was glorious and one of my favorite things Paul and I have done together. (Also, Paul beat ridiculous odds to win lottery tickets to see Hamilton, one of the main reasons for the trip, and my every wish came true, we sat dead center front row, and I basically died.
- Athens in front of the Parthenon, in 105+ degree heat. To celebrate our survival of the first half of the year (my work, the Patent Bar, Paul taking the Oregon State Bar), we went on a European Extravaganza Adventure. The first week was an Eastern Mediterranean cruise (Venice, Split and Dubrovnik Croatia, Athens, Ephesus Turkey) with my parents and the second week was Paul and I driving through Bavaria--Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland. The fact that more of our incredible trip isn't represented on this grid shows you the kind of BIG news we had this year, huh?
- In November we celebrated two years of marriage. I love this side by side photo of Paul and I. We were happy then, but we're even happier now! 2015 was also the year I finally got my wedding book printed, so that's clearly an accomplishment of its own.
- I continue to decorate our house like a crazy person for Christmas. I love it so much and I'm grateful Paul will help me put it up AND take it down. This year some visiting children counted 18 baby Jesus(es?) so my nativity game continues to be strong. We bought new ones in Germany and Austria this year.
- Venice! The first stop on our Euro Adventure (from where our cruise ship embarked) and we hadn't really told that many people we were traveling so I think it was a surprise to most. I've been to several Italian cities, but Venice has been my favorite. We rented an AirBnb apartment 100 feet off the Grand Canal and spoke Spanish with our Cuban renter (in Italy of all places). The world is a funny place.
- 10 Highlights
- 5 Disappointments
- Game Changers
- Things You Focused On
- Places You Visited
Phew! Did you make it through our year? We did. (Just barely.)