Friday, December 31, 2010

It Was a Very Good Year

Few words do justice to how I feel about the year 2010. Truthfully, it's been the most prosperous and happy 365 days of my life. It was the year that 'we became three,' the year I felt life grow within me and the year my heart found its way outside the world in the form of the most precious, amazing little boy I've ever known.

Tonight - for the first time ever - I'm perfectly happy staying inside our safe, warm home with my two favorite boys, reveling in how much I have to appreciate about my life. And while I've always felt a bit wistful to leave another year behind (Did I do enough? Grow enough?), this year I am only focused on how much good is ahead and how amazing this past year has been. 

I couldn't ask for more, so I won't. Instead, I'm wishing for good, happy, wonderful days ahead for all of you, for all of your innermost wishes to come true.  Thank you - yes, you - for your support and love this past year and always. You are part of what makes life richer and meaningful to me and my blessed family.

Hugs and love from the Burtons - here's to a bright and beautiful 2011! xoxo Amy

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
To: Twenty Ten
From: Mark

Human nature is to group memories, and society groups them by year.  We are defined by years: the year we were born, the year we graduated high school, or the year we first did this or first did that.  And on all accounts for me (and I'm guessing my dearest Amy), you will forever be remembered as a most remarkable year.

From first learning we were pregnant in January, through the indescribable birth experience in September, the progressive growth, development, and birth of Tate Doty Burton will occupy the most significant memory. Everything else pales in comparison, which is not meant to diminish any others, just simply to highlight Tate.

We have continued growing as individuals, growing as a couple and now finally as a family.  And we are excitedly looking forward to continue down our path of love.

Professionally, as your final seconds expire, so will Amy's selfless career over the past eight years. Day after day she was engaged on the front lines of public service, as one of many behind the scenes who props up a public official.  Congratulations to her.

As for my career, you've brought me a series of high risk moves (calculated as they might have been), and in a bit of serendipity, I am ending Twenty Ten in the place I began (sort of).

For all the new memories being created every day, we continue to cherish the old ones as well.  Auld lang syne, right?

Thank you Twenty Ten - you were a year of great challenge and great opportunity, and you were extremely good to us.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry and Bright

Today is our first Christmas with Tate; both Mark & I agree that for maybe the first time ever, we sincerely want for nothing. Asking for anything just seems silly, when we have SO MUCH. And while we can think of little things we could use, they only pale in comparison to the amazing, simple joy Tate brings to us every day.

I mean, just look at this little guy!

I think he's a little confused, because we told him to never talk to strangers but then we just plopped him right into the lap of this dude...what gives?!

We are staying home for Christmas for the first time in our relationship, in order to start our own holiday traditions that will carry on through the years, lending comforting memories for Tate to share and talk about some day.  I can think of few things more important than just staying and being...right where we are, with all we have.

I pray your holidays are blessed and happy - if I could share the feeling of complete contentment I have in my heart today, I most certainly would.  Hugs and love to you all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Surely this doesn't constitute as abuse...right?

Well...maybe not *always* jolly.

"Tate, if you stop crying we'll give you PRESENTS!!"

...What's the "present" thing of which you speak?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Waking Up

Mornings have never been my favorite...until now.  Tate is at his cutest and sweetest at this time of day and I can't wait to get up and see him again.  This right here is why:

Tate's Morning Routine from Amy B on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 Months

My boy is three months old today.  It was 13 weeks ago tonight that he was placed in my arms, changing my perspective on everything and giving me joy like none I'd ever experienced before.

How did I move through my days before they started with a cuddle and a gluttonous sniff of his tiny little head? Before I could say "Hello, my sweetie!" and witness his face-brightening smile over recognizing my voice?

He is a smiley, wriggly, sweet darling and I love him so much it hurts. At least once a day, tears spring to my eyes as I stare at Tate, pride bursting from within.

This post by Jennie at 'She Likes Purple' made me cry today, because JUST LOOK AT HOW MUCH I HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO.  I loved this part, especially: "I refuse to look at my guy and weep over what he was for one moment because that steals something from what he is and what he is is so hair-pullingly frustratingly beautiful. What he is deserves my undivided attention." 

This speaks to me, because every single moment with my guy is precious and gives me reason for pause. I think to myself often, "Enjoy this...stop and just enjoy him." And, you guys? He makes it so, so easy to do.

And now I must go sing "Happy Birthday" to my son -- it's 10:45pm and around here, it's a weekly occasion we celebrate wholeheartedly.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful - In Sickness and In Health

Mark, Tate and I made the trip to Indiana to spend time with my dad and family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was such a wonderful visit filled with introducing Tate to some of his doting maternal relatives, relaxing, and feeling very thankful for all we have.  The usual 7-hour trip there was stretched to 9, due to holiday traffic and stops to feed Tate (I now intimately know some new parking lots!), yet Tate didn't cry...NOT ONCE.  He slept most of the way and when he was awake, he sat and looked around in wonder.

When I wasn't sitting there in shock at how amazing my baby is, I spent a lot of time on the trip thinking about how extremely blessed I am to live the life I'm living.  I thought about how many people don't have family to visit, or don't even like the family they are "forced" to be with on holidays. Here we were, a happy, new family in the car on the way to see relatives that we love and like very much, while leaving behind two other units of family (my mom's side and Mark's family) that we appreciate, love and would miss a lot that weekend.  I don't know much, but I do know there isn't much more we can ask for than this. 

Upon returning home, we instantly all got sick with colds.  Poor little Tate was smiling through the coughing, sneezing and raspy breathing, while I sat there cursing my sore throat.  I went to work on Monday anyway, only to get a frantic call from my mom - who graciously watches Tate several days a week for us - that afternoon saying my sweet boy was projectile vomiting and that I should call the doctor and come home as soon as possible.  I can tell you with no uncertainty that I've never run to my car so fast in all my life.  I knew he was fine overall, but I couldn't bear the thought of him suffering without his mama.  As I was pulling out of the parking ramp, there was a car stopped right where I needed to turn; I didn't think twice before accidentally squealing around the car...only to see it was inhabited by two elderly nuns who looked a bit confused as to where they were.  New revelation: a sick 10.5-week-old will cause a hurried, new mama to scare sweet little old women of the cloth.  AWESOME.

We were able to get into the doctor's office without an appointment, to learn that poor little Tate not only had a cold but also a bug that would later also result in green bile-laden diaper changes.  Tate showed a bit of improvement that night, so I felt relieved that he was on the mend.  The next morning while eating breakfast and getting ready for work, however, I got to witness the projectile action for myself.  Heart racing, I dropped my yogurt on the floor in my haste to get to him.  I don't think I need to tell you that I didn't go to work.  I instead spent the entire day holding and feeding my boy, knowing that while I had plenty I could have been doing at work, there was nowhere I needed to be more than with him.

Tate is doing much better today, and I'm feeling very grateful that he is usually a very healthy, happy baby - so many people deal with much scarier realities than the one I dealt with this week.  Still, I'm realizing more every day that having a child changes everything.  And you know what?  I'm thankful for that most of all.