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“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.- Lady Bird Johnson
A little over a year ago, our world changed like we never imagined but now, just as the new spring is blooming, I finally have hope. The spring blooms this year have been symbolic to me of God’s promises. One year ago, every news station headline was about COVID-19 being a global pandemic and we had no idea what was coming. I believe it was March 13th when Alabama first shut down. I was 7 months pregnant and had no clue what was to come. Would I have to give birth alone in a hospital? Would I navigate my first moments and days of motherhood without my husband? This was a fear that I had, but thankfully that was not the case. I don’t have another childbirth experience to compare the process with Scarlett to, but I was thankful to have as “normal” of a delivery experience as I did (besides having no visitors other than Jake). Giving birth during a pandemic is something I never expected in a million years. When COVID first hit, Jake’s hospital had to change up the schedules in his department to 5 days on and 5 days off to ensure enough staffing in case someone caught COVID. While there were so many unknowns and many scares where I worried if Jake was going to contract COVID at work and bring it home to me, this was a time I truly will always be grateful for. I am so thankful that he is fully vaccinated now! We got to finish the nursery together, spent a lot of time together before having Scarlett and we learned to embrace walks/nature.
It’s funny looking back, how so many of us at first thought it would only be for maybe 3 weeks or a month that our world would be on pause. The last thing we did was go to an uncrowded restaurant (in retrospect this probably a dumb idea, but Alabama had maybe one confirmed case at that time) before it closed and we did a huge grocery haul. I remember worrying would we have enough supplies and how we would get more. We had to resort to buying meat/supplies from a local restaurant because the grocery stores aisles were picked clean. What a strange time of not being able to find little things like toilet paper and having a shortage of hand sanitizer. It was also nice seeing businesses get extremely creative and offering curbside or delivery. My heart truly aches about the loss of loved ones, businesses that were not able to survive and people who lost their jobs. It’s been such a heavy year!
The lockdown happened during the very beginning of my 3rd trimester of pregnancy. At times it was hard because I felt robbed of enjoying normal parts of the end of my pregnancy and then I didn’t get a normal first 10 months so far of motherhood like I imagined. I am truly thankful that I got to celebrate with friends and family one last time at my baby showers before the lockdown. I also quit my full-time job to be a stay at home mom right before things started getting bad in Alabama because I knew I would be staying home anyway. Sometimes I miss being forced to leave the house daily and interact with adults. The first part of the pandemic I spent my time organizing my house, nesting and getting ready for Scarlett. I am so thankful I had the time to truly slow down and be able to prepare for her. I am also thankful I’ve learned to enjoy time at home. Before all of this I was hardly at home. During the early part of the pandemic, I wrote a post about the good things I learned and they’re still true (post here).
I can hardly believe how extremely careful we’ve been for so long now. We haven’t flown in over a year, nor have we eaten inside at a restaurant since before lockdown or even taken Scarlett anywhere inside other than doctor’s appointments (not even the grocery store). With the vaccine, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. There have been times I’ve felt lonely, numb and didn’t think I would be able to survive, but with the spring and vaccine I have a feeling of hopefulness.
I know one day we will look in history books and read all about this past year.
Here are a few thing I’ve learned this year:
Family is everything: Some of our family, like our siblings or Jake’s grandpas, haven’t been able to meet Scarlett yet. I am so ready for the day that I’m closer to home. I am thankful our parents have been able to quarantine first and visit a few times.
- Find joy in little things: This year has given me a new perspective and any feeling of normalcy is something I’m grateful for.
- FaceTime: I was never one to FaceTime much and it has been a lifesaver. I FaceTime my mom every morning.
- Outdoors: I was not a huge outdoorsy person before, but now I love getting outside. I have a new appreciation for it.
- Science is amazing: I am truly grateful for all of the new advances this year.
- Routine: I didn’t have a routine until Scarlett was a little older, but it has helped me survive.
- Getting ready every day: Up until January I rarely got ready and I’ve been a lot happier since I started getting ready daily. Even if I don’t go anywhere, it feels good to get around as if I was going to. It’s been a form of self care. I don’t get dressed up, but I do my make up.
- Slowing down: Now having a baby, it has been nice being able to slow down. Before the pandemic I tried to constantly stay busy.
- Motherhood: This is the greatest journey and I am so thankful to be a mama.
- Don’t take normalcy for granted: I cannot wait until everything feels normal again. I am finally feeling so hopeful.
About Our Outfits:
I drove by this gorgeous magnolia tree last week and knew I had to get some pictures of Scarlett and I. I am so glad I did it when I did because the blooms are already gone. Scarlett’s little outfit is one of my favorites from Ann + Reeves kids. My dress runs true to size and coordinated well with her outfit.
Thank you so much for reading.