One of the things I’m trying to do is be more grateful for the things I have and to be more mindful of appreciating the good stuff. It’s easy when you’re struggling with infertility (and generally when other stuff in your life isn’t going how you want) to focus on what you don’t have and the hole that’s created. But I’m trying a different mindset – trusting that it’ll happen for us when It’s supposed to, like everything, and trying to cherish the things we do have in the meantime. Looking back on this summer, I could feel saddened that I wasn’t pregnant as I had planned to be or that we didn’t go on some of the trips I had planned or let some major life blows we’ve been faced with recently get me down and make me look back on the summer as being a bad one. But instead of thinking of the things that didn’t happen or the bad stuff that really dealt us a blow, I’m trying to focus on all the amazing things that did happen. I also hope that this will help me savor what’s left of summer and cherish our second summer with James. I know how fleeting time is and I really want to celebrate our time with him before he’s at camp all summer and no longer my precocious little baby.To that end, here are some of the highlights or my favorite moments from summer 2018.
Even though the weather wasn’t always the best, we got in some quality beach time with James (and even Dakota!). The beach is one of my favorite places to be in summer, and Andrew and I used to spend our whole weekends on the beach before James, so I was so happy that he really loves the beach as much as we do. This year, he wasn’t just sitting eating the sand. He liked playing in the sand, building sand castles (or really, knocking them over), and walking in the ocean (and even floating a bit). He was so brave and adorable and it makes me so excited for our summers to come and spending them at the beach.
The Fourth of July
We spent the Fourth of July in the Hamptons, in the spot where Andrew and I’s love story first began. It was our first time taking James there, and we made so many great memories. My favorite day was the actual Fourth of July. Even though we missed the fireworks because James was sleeping, we had such a perfect day. We went to Southampton to watch the parade with James and Dakota, went to the beach and swam in a pool, had a BBQ with good friends, and sat outside talking for hours. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Our Trip to California
Other than both flights, which were a disaster, there were so many highlights from our trip to California. We went for a friend’s wedding in Bodega Bay, but also got to explore with James and visit my favorite city in the world, San Francisco. My favorite part was probably hiking along the coastline. But I also just loved being out there — I love the mountains, the air, the city, everything — and I loved being able to have James with us. Plus, we had so much fun catching up with friends and the wedding was one of the most beautiful settings.
Swimming With James
This year was the first time we could really swim and enjoy the water with James. Last year, we dipped in the water with him a bit, but this year he was really interested in swimming and playing in the water. We had so much fun going to the pool with him and letting him float, splash, swim back and forth to mom and dad, jump in the pool, and walk around the baby pool with his buckets and toys. I was surprised though to see that he was totally into the lake and ocean as well. He has always loved the sand, but he wasn’t afraid of the waves and was totally fearless. I know he’s going to have so much fun in the years to come swimming and playing water sports in the lake and ocean.
James’ First Boat Ride
During our week in the Hamptons, we got to take James on his first official boat ride. Being on the ocean is something Andrew and I loved and cocktail cruises were a staple of our pre-James summers, so it was amazing to be able to do just that, but this time with our little guy in tow. He really enjoyed running around the boat and being out in the fresh air (even if I made him wear his floaties). Last summer, we took him out in the canoe at the lake and he wasn’t a huge fan (he didn’t like wearing the life vest and being contained). Sadly, this year, he didn’t fare much better, so motor boats (is that even what they’re called?) may be more his speed.
Jogging with James
I didn’t realize what a difference getting a jogging stroller would make. I actually agonized over it, but I”m so glad I bit the bullet and got one. Yes, it’s annoying that we have so many strollers and we really don’t have the room in our apartment, but I didn’t realize how much I missed really getting in some good exercise and cardio. It’s allowed me to get my sweat on and get those runner’s endorphins without feeling guilty about wasting my precious morning time with James or having to work out at some ungodly hour, and it’s been great to take with us when we go different places on the weekend. I really encourages me to be more active, which I love.
Chilling in the Burbs
Last year, we spent quite a few weekends going to open houses. This year, I really haven’t had the energy. There’s been too much going on to really think about a move to the burbs. But we had a few excuses to spend some time at my in-laws out in the burbs where my husband grew up, and that turned out to be even more valuable. We really enjoyed the quiet, the ability to run around in the backyard with Dakota and James, going for family walks and having it be really quiet and clean, getting coffee and bagels in town, and most of all, having more space for James to play and Dakota to chase her ball without feeling like we were going to go crazy. I’m not sure what our timeline will be, but it made me realize we’re most definitely ready for the burbs, and I’m totally ok with that. I don’t need to stress out over whether we’re leaving the city too early or will miss city life. We were so much more relaxed and happy and got along so much better as a family. It’s amazing how much space can make a difference — and it’s become really clear we need it. Now, I’m not sure what that means the tradeoff of the commute will be worth it, but it’s good to know that we’re ready and we’d be happy when we make the jump.
Celebrating Our Friends’ Weddings
There was a period when we had a wedding every weekend, but these days, we only have a few a season, so it was really fun to have two good friends get married this summer. One was in NYC and one in California, and while they couldn’t have been more different, they both had all the ingredients of an amazing wedding — good friends, good music, and memorable settings. It also helped that, in both cases, we just really loved the couples and were so happy to be sharing their love. Don’t you love it when two people who are perfect for each other get married? They also allowed us to spend time catching up with good friends we don’t get to see that much and both had a couple of days of events, so we really got to bond, which was amazing for us. It also gave us some much-needed adults time sans James, which I didn’t realize how badly we needed.
My company has Summer Fridays, and it’s been the best part about my summer. It’s allowed me to have some extra time with James when the weather is nice out and we can actually do fun things like go to the beach or park or get ice cream cones in the middle of the day. I was craving more time with him this summer, especially as we struggled to grow our family and he’s been developing into a little boy so fast. I will always be grateful to have these extra days at home with him, and I really cherished them, something I don’t always do on weekend because they’re so exhausting. I tried to make those extra days I got to spend with him extra special, whether we treated ourselves to cones or went to the beach or bought a water table to play with outside on our deck, or explored a new park or fun outdoor destination.