This year promises to be full of just as many firsts as we do our best to foster and encourage our daughter to grow. I can honestly say I'm looking forward to it, but I know there will be some challenging days ahead.
To help close out the year, one of Jerry's good friends stayed with us last weekend. He was visiting from Illinois, and the guys got plenty of reminiscing time. So when Rob left, I couldn't help but ask Jerry if he missed his bachelor days.
"It's easy to remember the fun parts," he said. "But each stage in life has a lot of difficult parts, too. I wouldn't give up my family for a little more free time."
I understood. I guess that's why I think it's so important to use most of your twenties to be a little self-indulgent -- live on your own, find your own rhythm, answer to yourself.
This year I'll start a new decade as I enter my thirties.
Oddly enough, I find myself feeling ready for it. Someone asked me recently if it was going to bother me. After giving it some thought, I realized it won't. Mostly because I feel like I'm in a good place in life. I never had a grand plan of where I wanted to be at this age, but this just feels right.
That said, we rang in the new year exactly the way we plan to spend it -- as a family. It was a little tough not inviting a bunch of friends over or accepting one of the party invitations we received, but our mini celebration turned out to be perfect.
We welcomed 2008 with a rousing game of Scrabble on the new deluxe set Jerry got for Christmas, made fun of the fact that we're old and out of touch because we didn't know half of the performers on Dick Clark's rockin' New Year's Eve broadcast, and toasted at midnight with sparkling white grape juice because I'm breastfeeding. Oh yeah, and in between we folded laundry and watched CSI reruns.
In fact, the highlight of the night might have been crawling into warm pajama pants right out of the dryer and breaking into the box of assorted chocolates Jerry got at work that morning.
Sure, the 21-year-old me would've called my night incredibly lame, but the 29-year-old me found it perfectly suitable.
I'm not sure what's in store for us this year, but I'm looking forward to Alli's first steps, her first dip in the pool and maybe finally getting the ceramic tiles that are stacked in the basement onto the kitchen floor.
Happy New Year.