2022 year in review

Recap of 2022 – It Really Sucked (and it was really great)

This has been the most up and down year I’ve ever experienced emotionally! As I thought back over 2022, my initial reaction was, “it sucked.” (Infertility really colors your perception of life.)

Back in January of last year, I thought I was ready to give up on trying to get pregnant with a second child. I felt like I had gone through a lot of the grieving process already, and I wanted to move on. At that point, we had been trying for a year and a half. We had thought IVF was our only hope to get pregnant again, but then in February we got some updated test results that showed that we actually might have a good shot if we kept trying on our own (supposedly).

I remember feeling shocked, and honestly angry. It felt like a trick. And I was scared. I didn’t want to open myself up to hope again, only to be disappointed. I had plans for 2022. I was going to live life to the fullest and not be so obsessed with ovulation and pregnancy achievement. It was going to be “my year.” The day before we heard about the new test results, I had literally taken every baby item I had saved over the years and put it all in a big pile in the garage to donate (or trash). I had literally just emailed a friend about why I was feeling content with only having one child and being a family of three.

What a dangerous thing, to declare it to be “your year!”

I figured if we didn’t keep trying, I might regret it one day. What if I really could get pregnant?

But the months all passed, and here we are at the end of 2022, and there’s no baby in sight.

Obviously, that’s been the most sucky part of this year. But there were some other doozies too:

  • January 3rd I tested positive for COVID, less than a week before we were supposed to go on a big family trip.
  • In February I applied and interviewed for a job I really wanted, one for which I thought I was a shoo-in, and ended up not even getting called back for a second interview – a HUGE hit to my self-esteem.
  • In April I randomly had to go to the ER for pain from an ear infection because it was so bad I couldn’t sleep or wait until the morning to go to the regular (and much cheaper) doctor.
  • Month after month after month I didn’t get pregnant – my own hellish version of Groundhog’s Day

So yeah, 2022 really did kind of suck.

But it was also really great too.

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Image of foot with bones

2 Years After Foot Surgery – Slow But Steady Progress!

Two years ago was Feb 4, 2020. The “before-COVID” times. It was also the day I had foot surgery, specifically an osteotomy, to address my inflamed posterior tibial tendon (aka. my flat arches were causing issues). I had to have three large incisions on my left foot, and one on my calf to “lengthen my calf muscle.”

Afterwards I had to be non-weight bearing on my left foot for four weeks, and I was riding around on a knee scooter like a pro! Then I used crutches for four weeks, and after that did three months of physical therapy. You can read more about the details here, and even see gross post-surgery foot pictures if you want to!

The healing process felt never-ending. Even after I was discharged from physical therapy, I wasn’t back to normal. I still had a bit of a limp sometimes. When I first got up in the morning, my left foot was stiff and I would hobble around for a while until it loosened up. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to go running again, and honestly I was kind of afraid to, since that was the catalyst for my injury.

Even one year later, I was still keenly aware of some of my limitations that I hadn’t had before my foot injury – like experiencing some residual foot pain and always needing to wear supportive/orthotic shoes.

I think it’s valuable to take a moment today to look back and remember where I was two years ago, so that I can fully appreciate just how far I’ve come in terms of recovery. In my post from May of 2020 (four months after the surgery) I had written:

My foot is not perfect, I’m still waiting for that glorious day when I can do a heel raise while standing only on my left foot, but I’m not there yet. I’m longing for when I can go on a walk around the block without limping or feeling sore, and I’m dreaming about a day when I might be able to go for a jog again.

May 2020

Later that year in October, five months after writing those words, I went for my first post-surgery jog. It had been 17 months since I had been able to run. I couldn’t run as far or as fast, and my foot was really sore after, but I did it.

How often do we get to receive the things our hearts are so desperately longing for? Honestly, it may be more often than we think. If you do any sort of journaling – whether it’s personal writing, blogging, or even photo journaling – it makes it easy to see where you were and how far you’ve come.

Many times we get the exact things we’re hoping for, and we’re happy for a little while, but then we move on to hoping for the next thing, and then the thing after that. It’s easy to feel like we haven’t “made it” yet because there’s always something we are looking to accomplish next.

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birthday cake with candles

5 Years of Surprises: Looking Back On My Thirties So Far

Well it’s here. My 35th birthday. *throws handful of confetti in the air*

I’m midway through my 30s and with each surpassing day, I’ll tip the balances to being slightly closer to 40 years old than 30.

Someone recently told me that I don’t seem like I am old enough to be 35. I made a joke that it was because I was so young at heart, but they were like, “yes, that’s exactly it!”

Anna and Elsa cardboard cutout

5 years ago, when I turned 30, I had a crazy-big Frozen-themed surprise birthday party. (It was awesome.) My parents even flew into town without telling me and showed up at the party.

My son Calvin was 6 months old at the time. I had quit my job of being a 6th grade reading teacher to stay home with him for one year. I knew I wouldn’t stay home forever, and had pretty much always intended to go back to work after taking a year off.

I figured I would get another teaching job, and life would continue on mostly the same as before (though now with the added challenge and privilege of being a mother.)

How wrong I was. So many unexpected and wonderful things have happened over the last 5 years that I could never have predicted. That surprise party was a foreshadowing of things to come.

For starters, I never got back into teaching. In fact, this very month, my teaching license actually expires (and I’m not renewing it!)

On a whim in 2017, I applied for a few library jobs because I thought that they sounded fun. I had always loved libraries and books and reading growing up, and I sometimes wondered if libraries would be a better fit for me than teaching. I also hated taking home so much work (aka. grading papers!) when I taught elementary and junior high kids. Teaching is not an easy profession!

I didn’t expect to get hired as a Research Librarian that year. I wasn’t qualified for the job and had zero experience working in libraries. I almost accepted another 6th grade teaching position instead, but that door got slammed in my face (and I’m so glad it did)!

I didn’t expect that I would go back to graduate school and get a Masters in Library Science.

graduation cap and gown (2019)

The surprises continued, not only in my professional life, but also my personal life:

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