Last year at this time, my life couldn't have felt much worse. I was in an indescribable amount of pain, though I did try to put it into words.
In some ways, the past year has been the worst of my life. But in other ways, it's been phenomenal. We had a new baby, and have watched Ada grow into the most incredible, wonderful, surprising little girl. We've watched Ellie make some amazing developmental leaps, including potty training! We've refinanced our house down to a 15 year loan, and eliminated all but the necessary debt (fixed mortgage, extremely low-rate minivan loan, and consolidated student loans). We've forged new friendships and taken on new roles in our communities.
We've both adjusted our work lives: Paul to a more family-friendly job and me to staying home full-time and writing more. I've been talking with magazines about some pieces, and I even have published pieces in a couple of actual books. This part is difficult for me, because I am paralyzed by my fear of failure, which often prevents me from submitting and sometimes even keeps me from writing.
Not least, Paul and I have worked very very hard on our relationship, and while we're not perfect, we're in a much better place than I could possibly have imagined. In my wildest dreams and all that.
Here we are, then and now:
There are no pictures of me from last October, except for ones in which part of me is captured in a shot of Ellie, but she's adorable enough for all of us.
By day we're Mummy, Deady, and two Little Ghouls. By night we're Nemo the clown fish, Crush the baby sea turtle, and two crabs. "Yeah, I saw him, Bluey, but I'm not telling you where he went, and there's no way you're gonna make me."