This morning I ran some errands on my own (a rare event since Stitch was born), and as I drove I was trying to remember what we did for New Year’s Eve last year. When it finally came to me, I was kind of shocked that I had to work so hard to remember. Lloyd worked a half-day, then we met for lunch. After lunch, we walked over to the Boston Converse shop and bought Stitch’s first Chucks, a hopeful gesture. Then it was off to our 28-week ultrasound and OB appointment.

My OB asked if we had big plans for the night. Lloyd quickly responded, “In bed by nine.”

She laughed and said, “Oh, yeah. That’s pregnancy.”

Lloyd answered, “No, that’s us pretty much every year,” which is true. We were pathetically excited for Netflix’s New Year’s fake countdowns that they released last year, because I could watch them and feel like I was a part of all the celebration. We watched all of them before I crashed a little before 9pm.

We moved into 2016 a little anxious and a lot hopeful. After almost four years of various contract employment, Lloyd was hired as a full-time employee by the consulting firm where he’d been a contractor for three months. He started as a full employee on January 4, 2016. His benefits included four weeks of paid paternity leave, which they pointed out to him when offering the position. We were thrilled and so grateful to have the stability before Stitch was born. Blessed, one might say.

And then, our perfect, beautiful baby girl was born in the early hours of February 23, 2016. She came early, by c-section after I developed pre-eclampsia. She was a strong little 4 pounds, 11 ounces and didn’t have to spend any time in the NICU. A blessing, for sure.

We got that NICU stay a few weeks later after she aspirated on her spit-up. Her temp was low, and they worried she had an infection. We were terrified. She was diagnosed with severe reflux, but her cultures all came back negative after 48-hours. While in the NICU, though, the nurses worked with us on a plan to help her gain weight. She wasn’t losing, but she hadn’t gained the way her pediatrician and NICU doctors would have liked. After her NICU stay, she consistently gained weight and was in the 30th percentile at her nine month well-baby visit. Even the NICU stay turned out to be a blessing.

In mid-May we moved to a new apartment, right across the street from a train station, which has made Lloyd’s commute significantly easier. While we’re still unpacking, we really love our new home (email if you need our new address!). The apartment fell into our laps. It’s owned by the brother-in-law of one of our dear friends. We hadn’t planned a move, especially with a two-month old two weeks before we’d be hosting Stitch’s Christening. But, it’s certainly been a blessing.

We’ve celebrated so many firsts and milestones. We took our first vacation since our honeymoon! Lloyd was paid for holidays and time off. All such blessings.

2016 sucked for many people, and our world doesn’t feel stable. I don’t want to diminish those facts at all. But, good did happen this year. In the midst of all the instability, babies were born, people showed love and kindness, advances were made in science, and so much more. One may have to look a little more closely to find that good, but it’s there.

Lloyd and I aren’t in a rush to kick 2016 to the curb or label it a “dumpster fire.” 2016 truly was filled with blessings. We can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring!