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2012 in Pictures

Do you know what I call a 2012 wrap up post before summer 2013? Victory.

Here are some highlights from the craziest year of my life, stolen from our unashamedly narcissistic Christmas card.

January: This little coffee bean was a’brewin’. We also moved back to Tampa from Newport News, Virginia. We shacked up with my parents for about two months.
sono 17 weeks1 (2)February: We escaped for a sweet Valentine’s date at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception. I chose to wear a shirt that would not fully button thanks to a blossoming Addie bump and also to stick it out with highlights that obviously passed their prime.

clay nat vday4

March: We bought a house! And were somehow so outrageously excited we ended up looking like crazed lunatics in every picture but this one. (See reject photo below.)
Normal happy:

Hide your loved ones happy:

April: Probably the slowest month for the Noa’s. Not a reference to Clayton’s finishing time in this race, I swear, as opposed to someone who only showed up to waddle pregnantly around the finishing line and snag free bagels. It was most certainly not a slow month for my brother and his gal, who got engaged! My notable contribution was a collection of blurry photos captured from the bowels of the nearby bush I was crouching under. Neither party is identifiable in the pictures I took, but it’s the thought and grass stains on maternity jeans that count. 

proposal 1

May: Miss Maya joined our family! We spent the next few weeks Dog Whispering it up. We love the little lady, but I still miss my Bryson.  
m picnic island

June: We shopped, assembled, washed, organized, prayed, napped and braced for what was just around the corner.

July:  Yeah. That happened. And then we didn’t sleep for two weeks.













August: Slightly more sleep. Falling so much more in love. Hard to believe her thighs were ever that proportional.
1 month cry

September: Back in the saddle. And by the saddle, I mean real clothes and makeup for one of the happiest days of the year and the answer to lots and lots of prayers—my brother got hitched and my pal became my sister.

noas alvarez's grandma

October:  A Halloween throwdown with an appearance by the Joker. I showed extreme restraint by only purchasing two costumes for my infant.
fam2November: A trip to the pumpkin patch and our first trip to see Clayton’s family. Our girl never looked at her car seat the same way after spending 16 hours in it. The unsuspecting traveler at pump 2 never looked at me the same way after I breastfed in the car at the gas station.
fam steps

December: Baby girl’s first Christmas! And the one and only Christmas where we spent less than $20 on presents for her.
Whew. This year we are going to keep the party rolling by going to bed at 9, banning any more babies and keeping Red Box in business. Happy [10 days into] 2013! 

Love: An Awakening

At 1:50 am on July 15, after 38 weeks, 5 days and 20 hours of anticipation, I met my daughter.

I am one of the lucky ones who knew from the second I saw her face that we belonged to each other. No book or conversation or class can prepare for you for the depth and breadth of that moment–when your life closes in from all angles to this one point of focus. Your breath is linked to her breath, your heartbeat to her heartbeat, your happiness to her happiness.

I saw Love when I saw her. When I held her. When my husband gazed at her. When she gasped deep and wailed from her tiny lungs for the first time.

She carried a fullness, a passionate overflow of peace into my heart with one simple look. And every corner that held worries or fears about her place in my world emptied into bliss.

On an early summer morning, before the sun had time to shine, with pouty lips, puffy cheeks and a head of wavy dark hair, my baby girl taught me where the truest beauty in this life rests.

In a father’s proud eyes that follow his child’s every move while holding his wife’s hand ever tighter.
In grandmothers’ beaming faces as they count just the right number of fingers and toes.
In a grandfather’s steady hand as he comforts an exhausted daughter.
In a family that wages bets on being deemed the favorite.
In friends who share tears at the weight of your joy.

In the soul of a girl who looks into a baby’s rounded face and knows
she is a mother.

addison nat2