Two Thousand and Eleven has been both ugly and beautiful. Without getting specific, the ugly part ended around 5:00 pm on April 20 whereupon my frown turned upside down and I was able to liberate myself from a really bad situation. Ridiculous circumstances; ridiculous people. Ahhh. Relief. Freedom.
But let's focus on the beautiful part of this year. Please. The beauty started late in 2010 when little Clementine secretly joined our family. I didn't know. Nate didn't know. But Dec 31 we both discovered her clandestine plan and celebrated in secret among friends. There was something fun about locking eyes with Nate in a room full of new-year celebrators, and sharing THAT secret with him.
I became more real in 2011. Removing the crap gave me the opportunity to really figure out who I am. So, let me introduce myself. I'm Tonia. I turned 40 this year; I'm told I look 30 which I find kind of fabulous. I love lip gloss but recently decided to try red lipstick. I take long baths but it's less realistic with a baby. I like trying new recipes and I'm almost always surprised when they taste good. I curse less these days but when I do I REALLY mean it. If you see me picking my cuticles you'll know I'm either nervous or bored. I hate socks.
I'm a mom now. Three short days after turning 40 (and six weeks ahead of schedule) a little 4.5 lb Clementine burst into our lives with such vim and vigor. I've never met someone and immediately known what kind of animal they would be...until Clemmy. I spent ten days in the hospital, staring at this little person who was more brave, patient, ferocious, determined and gracious than anyone I've ever met. She was my LION. Which I guess makes me one, too.
I'm much quieter. I don't mean I've stopped talking or being super obnoxious; I just mean that my thoughts are more quiet. It's a little more peaceful in my noggin now. Clementine had a lot to do with that but so has weekly therapy and LOTS of hard work. When I'm tired and the week before my period, all bets are off though.
I had someone at the doctor's office call me a homemaker and my heart jumped into my throat in the same way it would if someone told me my baby was ugly. I'm still working through that one. Changing my VP acronym to SAHM (google it) has been super tough but one of the very best things I've ever done. However, could someone PLEASE figure out a good way to help mom's feel more appreciated. Maybe mother's day will work; I'll let you know.
And let's be clear. If my body wasn't so freaking comfortable in yoga pants I'd be wearing those super cool colored jeans this season. I love them. Probably bright day-glow yellow and saturated blue.
In March, Nate and I sat in our hotel room on the 8th floor of the Marriott in Oahu and watched the destruction of the tsunami hit Japan. And then we settled in for a long night as we heard emergency alarms sound all over the island. In April we went to Arizona to hear The Black Keys (rad show) and then flew to San Diego to see The Kills the very next night. I was pregnant and believe you me...we got good seats because of it. Clementine enjoyed the shows.
Thank you for the good and the bad, 2011. Thank you for teaching me so much, taking so much away, and then giving it back tenfold. Thank you for being beautiful. For Clementine. For jobs and a home. For Nate. Thank you for family, for my hair, for yoga pants and the internet. Thank you for friends and love and baby formula. Thank you for mammograms and c-sections and baby magic lotion. Thank you for being over now so I can start new and fresh.
Also, and completely unrelated, LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL MY LION IS. Did you just melt into a big human puddle on the floor? I don't blame you. It's been my constant state since July 22, 5:47pm.