Goodbye 2017 - Hello 2018!

01 January 2018

I don't care if these things are corny or annoying, I love a good instagram recap. Especially when it all consists of my sweet girl. She dominated my likes in 2017! 

I love that the most liked is my welcome-to-the-world-Kate post! Such a sweet little girl. 

2017 was a great year for our family. I think the main reason is pretty obvious. Each year people are so down on the ending year and ready for what lies ahead in the coming year. I get that. But we're really had some great last few years. I feel very blessed and so much gratitude as I sit down, reflect and write this post. We have so much to be thankful for. 

A healthy baby girl, wonderful family, great friends and so many fun opportunities over the past year and more to come in the coming year. 

2017 started off with a bang- we found out in January- actually January 6th that I was expecting. I went to the doctor the following Monday and Wednesday to confirm and then jumped on a plane on Thursday headed for Las Vegas. With- get this- the whole women's clinic staff. Talk about in good hands. The next week we saw our sweet girl for the first time on ultrasound. How crazy is this?! I've never shared an ultrasound but I figure since it looks like a bean... why not. She was the size of ONE chocolate chip in this shot. She's measuring .411 cm in this photo! It wasn't until the next ultrasound that we could hear her sweet heartbeat. 

Then two days after this ultrasound, I hopped on a plane for New Orleans. Can we talk about how I went to two party towns within 2 weeks of finding out I was pregnant?! Ex. haus. ted. 


February brought baby showers and a few weeks with friends and family. We started telling family this month that we were expecting.. that was fun! We heard Kate's heartbeat on February 2nd and I cried. Such happy tears. We also did some updating to our house-- new custom bookshelf wall downstairs to create and office and we finally had the banquette built in our kitchen nook! 

In March we spent even more time celebrating our friends babies! Wendy had her reveal party at our house and we showed Erin and baby Lucy with lots of love. The whole Wynne crew came and stayed with us for the weekend and we had so much fun! This month's baby appointment showed our sweet girl growing. A whole 7.3 cm on March 7th. We got to see our first 3D and it was so crazy. I figured it was finally time to tell the world-- aka work and friends. I told some of my coworkers during our bi-weekly Division Directors meeting the week after the state maternity leave legislation passed. 4 weeks paid maternity leave. Boy did we plan this one well ;) 

April was a big travel month for us. Brian took a weekend to go turkey hunting while I visited my parents in Batesville. We took a trip to Wynne for Bridget's bridal shower, celebrated Sydney's baby girl with a shower in Sherwood and both me and Brian hopped on planes the same day for different locations. Brian spent a week in Reno at a Judicial Writing Conference and I spent 4 days in the blackbelt of Alabama for Delta Leadership. I wasn't a great pregnant person and was miserable the whole week. The most exciting (errr-terrifying) part of the whole trip was our bus turning over in a ditch. Insert wide eyed emoji here. 


And the best part about April? We found out we were having a GIRL!!! It took the doctor forever but we finally got an answer. The excitement was followed by a party at work from my sweet coworkers. 

In May I turned 31! I had a super fun and exciting birthday party at work. Brian and I celebrated my birthday with dinner at Cheers and it was a pretty perfect day. We took a weekend trip to NWA to see Dallas graduate!! We also visited my grandparents and spent some time with Scott and Holly. My 5th Rural Development Conference was the second last week of May, it was a huge success! We celebrated a job well done by a relaxing Memorial Day weekend at the lake. 

I finally announced to the world (AKA social media) I was pregnant in June. We started ramping up our  baby efforts this month. We finished Kate's room... although we didn't pick her name until.. um, her due date. I traveled to D.C. with Delta Leadership and took my first bump picture. I also almost killed myself and my feet during this week. Heels and Hill Visits do. not. mix. Oh and professional maternity clothes, in the summer-- that's a soapbox for another day!! 

We gained a sister-in-law in June. Dallas and Bridget got married in NWA and we had a blast celebrating them. Brian and I tacked a lot of home projects near the end of June and wrapped up the month celebrating our 6th Anniversary on July 1st! 

We celebrated the 4th at the lake with my parents. The following weekend we had our first baby shower with our friends from Wynne. We had a blast and got so many sweet things for our girl. We vacationed to the beach in mid-July with the Hale side of the family. We went to Fort Morgan for the first time. Brian and I broke up the trip on the way down because, well swelling is real my friends. We ate well and got lots of rest and relaxing in. 

I had two showers the last week of July and they were so much fun! It's amazing how much love I felt from so many friends, coworkers and family members. Our girl is so loved by so many people and we are forever grateful to everyone for their love and support!! 

That picture might have been the last time I wore heels. Again, swelling is so real. Those shoes were already a half size big! 

August brought a whole lot of doctors appointments. At this point I was going once a week. We had our last ultrasound at the beginning of the month. Again, we tried to see our little girls face on a 3D ultrasound. But AGAIN, she wasn't having it. The rest of the month I did a whole lot of nothing. Resting, ordering stuff I thought I would need online, trying to find the perfect robe, resting, not fitting into my shoes and really just being miserable!! 

And then-- just like that-- it was baby month!! September started off with bed rest. :( I had to stay home for about a week before Kate came. Her due date was September 13th which was also our 3rd wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a good dinner in our PJs. The funny thing about bed rest is you can't do anything! 

At 39 weeks we scheduled an induction for September 18th if Kate didn't come before then. When I went in on the 11th, Dr. Wood said we could move it to Friday, September 15th if we wanted. We said YES. I blogged about her birth, HERE. She arrived on September 16th and the next few months were a fun blur. 

We spent so much time with family and friends during September, October and November. I was fortunate enough to take off 13.5 weeks from work. Some of which was wasted on that stupid bed rest. 

In October we made our first trip with Kate, to Oxford, to visit Brian's brother and family and for the Ole Miss v. Arkansas game. She was so good! We have a great car traveler. During maternity leave we took lots of rides in the car when little miss was fussy. 

We took a trip to NWA to visit my grandparents in November. Lauren flew in from Nashville to meet us and we had a fun weekend! Brian took at new job mid-month at Simmons Bank. I feel like so many things happened in such a short period of time.  Kate went to her 1st Hale Family Reunion and met every single one of dads 50+ first cousins. Haha, kidding... kinda. 

My family joined us in Little Rock for Thanksgiving and Brian's family joined us in December for Christmas. Our first Christmas morning in our home as a family of 3 was so fun. Kate sat in my lap as we opened all of her presents, it was so special. I'll have to blog all of our Christmas celebrations soon. 

My parents came through town on Friday and stopped by to visit Kate at school. She started at the very beginning of December. 

This year has been so good to us. So many new, exciting things have happened to us this year. We've been blessed with awesome friends and family and I feel like the best is yet to come. We're so enjoying being parents to our sweet little girl. She is so fun and we learn a little more about each other each day. Brian is the best daddy and I fall a little more in love with him every day. Going back to work was hard, and still is, but I know she's learning so much at school and she's really such a good baby! 

Looking forward to what 2018 brings. I'll check back in with that.. next year ;) 

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