Last year I was a little tipsy by this point in the evening.
Ok, more than a little. But I hadn’t started stumbling around in my shoes yet, so at least I still looked good.
HOWEVER: my drunken ass failed to get a New Year’s post up for you all. This year I’m writing this as my one-month-old baby daughter sleeps angelically, growing bigger by the minute. I don’t think there’s any risk of my being too schwastey faced to share my musings with you all, so here it is! My top 10 favorite moments from 2018.
10. Recital 2018
Never before have I been as proud of my students (and myself) as I was this year. They dug deep, rose to challenges, and surpassed so many hurdles. AND they did it all while their darling teacher was pregnant and trying not to barf in front of them. If anyone ever challenges my right to call myself a badass, I’ll pull up the video of me pregnant, and dancing in heels.
9. I performed my final show with This is Water
It’s been a beautiful 5 years, growing and dreaming with this company, but our time is done. The friends I made, and the lessons I’ve learned will stay with me for the rest of my journey on this earth. I finished the way I began: pregnant with a very wanted, very unexpected blessing of a human growing inside my uterus.
8. The Hippie’s father survived a major heart attack.
“But Jess!”, I hear you saying. “Aren’t these sorts of lists supposed to be cheerful?”. Yes, dear reader. They are. And this is. We didn’t know that he would make it. There was a period of about a week where we were constantly at the ready to bolt to his bedside, but despite a less than stellar triple bypass procedure (infections are terrifying), we still have Grandpa here. And we have learned a new depth of gratitude.
7. You people keep giving me unicorns.
No, but really. You should all see my home. My office, my daughter’s room, EVERYWHERE there is a reminder that in a world of darkness, more than one person has decided that I’m their unicorn. And has chosen to remind me of it.
6. Eli learning to help in the kitchen.
I’m sure it’s a normal kid rite of passage, but in our home, the art of making food is sacred. It’s something that we take seriously, and my oldest mop-top took it upon himself to begin learning the way of the kitchen from his father this year. Watching them cook together is one of my greatest joys.
5. My parents moved closer to us.
Granted, they just moved from one side of College Station to the other, but still! If we need to make a pit stop to deal with a blowout diaper in the mornings, they’re there. If I just need to have another mamma with whom I can be vulnerable tell me that ‘this too shall pass’ and that my baby will be fine, they’re there. If I just need to let someone else be the adultiest adult in the room for 10 minutes, they’re there.
4. I got a new job.
I love teaching dance. A lot. I don’t know who I am when I’m not teaching! But… working for Students of Strength has opened doors for me professionally that allow me to do another thing I love: writing. I also get to stay at home with my kiddos while doing my part to help pay our bills. I will forever be glad that I decided to make a friend that day in the cafe when I met my boss.
3. I became an aunt.
My younger brother Tyler and his wife Asia welcomed their first child into the world this April, and she’s perfect. Ellie, Auntie Jess loves you so very much. If you ever want to craft with glitter, come over here so we don’t get yelled at. I will always have gum (or candy, or dollars) to give to you, my darling. You have us all wrapped around your chubby little fingers, and I can’t believe that something so precious and beautiful came from my smelly younger brother (love you, Ty!).
2. We moved next door to our best friends.
“Jess. The house next door is up for lease.” <— best text message of 2018. We live next to Jake, Maria, and Darwin, and life for all of us has gotten exponentially better. I don’t know if she can just smell it in the air or what, but Maria always manages to come knock on the door to steal Eli RIGHT when I need a break. Jake has caught Sheila upon her escape from the yard more than once, and the girl is always happier after spending time with Darwin dog. I love the hell out of these people, and being close to them has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.
1. Zelda Marjorie Hodgson.
At 12:06AM on November 20th, I became the mother of a little girl. Zelda, you have been the polar opposite of myself and your older brother, and everything that your daddy was desperately hoping that you would be. Our little warrior princess is a force to be reckoned with, and we are helplessly in love with her.