2015.

Dear lord, where do I start.

2015. The year of letting go. I have a 1700 word essay on this already, and it will stay in hibernation for a while, until I figure out what to do with it. Let’s just say that for me, as a person, 2015 was a big year.

But it was an even bigger year for our family as a whole. In an effort to actually get this entry done (alas, I have less time to sit and contemplate the calendar as I have in years past) I will be mostly using pictures from my social media accounts. I figure, if I thought they were extra-special enough to share, they are probably the better of the 1000+ photos that I’ve taken this year.  (You’ll get some of those too, I’m sure, but I certainly won’t be sifting through the entirety of them.)

 

January

Started with REI Garage Sale madness where I bought a new and better diaper bag. Because we are the diaper-bag-from-REI kind of family.

We successfully hosted a small gathering of friends for a late Christmas get-together, and exchanged gifts and hugs.

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The next weekend we took Paige down to Santa Monica to see some family that was in town, (and to see grandma and her cousin) and almost got her to a first beach trip, but it rained all day. Next time!

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Paige and I also started mommy and me classes in January, which turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. I met some wonderful women and babies, and started to finally find my feet as a mom.

Out-of-the-house: Neil went on a canyon and a couple of mountain bike rides. I got a haircut, which felt like a pretty awesome achievement.

Paige’s first: trip to the microbrewery, hiking via baby-wearing.

 

February

We had a super bowl party! The little things really feel like big things this year. It was a wonderful afternoon full of babies and friends and drinks and laughter.

Went to visit the Getty. With my return to work date looming and heavy on my thoughts, this was a very important trip for me. It was on this trip that I realized that I didn’t want to go back – at least not to that job.

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At the end of the month we celebrated our 5 year anniversary with a day trip to Santa Barbara, hiking San Ysidro trail. What was supposed to be a spectacular waterfall at the end was a pretty sad statement on the drought of California, but it was a nice day nonetheless. We followed it up with a couples massage.

Out-of-the-house: We had a playdate on a rainy afternoon in Burbank, dinner at Onyx at the Four Seasons, and a lot of long afternoons at the park.

Paige’s First: Getty visit!

 

March

A long afternoon picnicking at the park for Neil’s company’s spring picnic led us to fighting serious baby-eczema. All turned out okay, but that was a theme for the rest of the year.

I got back on the bike!

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Neil and I went to Alton Brown’s stage show at the Pantages, which was both as nerdy and wonderful as it sounds. Think burping, tooting, yeast hand puppets.

Out-of-the-house: Neil did a couple of night canyon and bike rides, and I had my first bike ride post-baby!

Paige’s First: rolling over (tummy to back) Totally adorable until she startles herself out of a nap upside-down and screams bloody murder.

 

April

Easter with Aunt Victoria!

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Paige ate food! She Gave Peas A Chance. She Didn’t Like Them.

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Out-of-the-house: I had a couple of (laughable) interviews, got my first rejection letter for writing, and Neil went on a handful of bike rides.

Paige’s First: solid food! six months old! we survived! She pet the cat. He’s (even more) afraid of her.

 

May

May brought my first mothers day. Neil sent me to the spa and bought me a necklace that I cherish.

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We got Paige’s band, and got it wrapped almost immediately. Our little squishy became a temporary aviator.

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We planned on having a Memorial Day BBQ, and the day before, Neil broke his collar bone. We rallied, and still pulled off a great afternoon full of friends, family, and food. He had a rough few months (and to be honest, so did I without the extra arm) but we got through it all.

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Out-of-the-house: Neil’s last mountain bike ride for a good long while.

Paige’s First: helmet accessory. It goes with everything. Meeting her aunt and uncle Ontiveros!

 

June

I started “dieting.” I put that in quotes because all it really means is that I’m eating less ice cream and moving more. (I’ve lost 10 lbs.)

Our first trip to the cabin! We went to big bear with some friends and Paige got to try frozen yogurt. She did great with the car ride and the cabin, she seems to be a bit of a rock-star with traveling, which works for us.

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We bought a new-to-us dining table that really makes our house sing. It feels like home.

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For Neil’s first Father’s day I got him a really fancy, engraved cutting board. It reads “Dad’s Kitchen” and he loves it.

Out-of-the-house: I had another interview, they dropped me like a rock when they found out I was a mom. Welcome to real life.

Paige’s First: Sitting up unassisted. Cabin trip! Frozen Yogurt! Also- we found out eggs are bad. very bad.

 

July

In July Paige got her helmet off!  She was a trooper through the entire thing, it was definitely harder on us than it was for her. I still am happy about it and think we did the right thing, even if it was for our own anxiety.

Her Aunt and Uncle and cousins came to visit from Michigan!

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Neil went on a work trip to Washington DC, which meant Paige and I were alone for 4 days! I’m happy to say that we survived without eating each other.

Neil and I went to Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages – it was wonderful! We also spent a great afternoon doing an escape room in LA, it was insanely fun. Like, too much fun.

This was a big month for me – the month that things finally started to feel like normal, real life.

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Out-of-the-house: Game night, Phantom, lots of hikes and outdoor life. I got a small piece published on a big blog.

Paige’s First: word! “kitty”

 

August

For my birthday we did a paint and wine night with a few friends – it was so much fun! I had no idea that painting was so calming, so zen. Or that could have been the wine. Either way, it was super!

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For Neil’s bday we had a quiet brunch at the Old Place – an old-west style restaurant in the mountains.

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Out-of-the-house: Birthdays, family, general summer chaos.

Paige’s First: standing up (assisted)

 

September

Her cousin Madison turned one! We all had fun at her birthday party.

Paige and I had a quick visit to the Getty to say hello to the team.

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Out-of-the-house: Neil had some night bike rides, we watched the super eclipse.

Paige’s First: clapping!

 

October

October started out with a trip to big bear with a bunch of friends and a big rental cabin. Paige decided that it was a great time to get her first tooth, and screamed bloody murder from 10pm-4am. We felt terrible, trapped with a houseful of (not) sleeping people, but alas, that is being a parent sometimes. We took her to town in the middle of the night and watched all the drunk people stumble by and comment on how there’s a baby on my chest and did I know?

We also took a trip to the Big Bear Zoo and she loved it!

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awesome forced perspective.

Later in October we celebrated a couple more birthdays for babies born around her time, and went to the Pumpkin Festival in Calabasas where she got the movie star treatment.

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We ended the month with highs and lows. My papa passed away and Paige attended her first memorial. He would have loved that she was there. Soon after, we celebrated her first birthday, and I think it was extra joyful.

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Out-of-the-house: Big Bear! Neil went on an overnight mountain biking trip and didn’t break anything.

Paige’s First: tooth. BIRTHDAY!!! SHE IS ONE!! YEAY! =)

 

November

We got Santa photos out of the way nearly as soon as he sat down in his mall chair on November 1. I think this is really the way to go, there was no line, Santa was in a good mood, and it generally was a great experience.

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Mid-November Neil and I went down to Long Beach to see Neil Gaiman give a talk, and we left Paige overnight! She did great with grandma and grandpa, and we had a wonderful time at the Queen Mary and the aquarium. Also, beer. Lots of beer.

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November ended with the Perkin family Thanksgiving, which was as chaotic as usual. It always seems like this time of year goes in super-speed.

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Out-of-the-house: biking for Neil, lots of good walks for me and Paige.

Paige’s First: steps! Two steps!

 

December

Neil headed back down to the Long Beach aquarium for his comany’s christmas party while Paige and I partied with Love Actually. Win Win.

We attended the Whizin Center Art and Holiday Fair, which was fantastic! This will need to be a yearly tradition for sure.

Perkin family Christmas was wonderful, and both Paige and her cousin were sufficiently spoiled rotten by their grandparents.

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On Christmas Eve we drove down to Hollywood to bake cookies with some friends, and it was a lovely day.

And finally on New Year’s eve, we visited friends and had a very mellow afternoon and evening that saw us home just in time for midnight. It has been a hell of a year, and a very different type of year for us. But I think we truly have made the most of it, and learned so much along the way.

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Out-of-the-house: Neil and I got on another great bike ride, thanks to grandma and grandpa.

Paige’s First: She gave me a huge hug and kissed me. She melts me. She is on the verge of lots of words. Especially likes trying to say “shoe.”

***

Here’s the thing. Thinking about 2015 is like trying to see through a dirty window to what’s left on the inside. It’s blurry. I’ve cobbled together as much as I can here, but I’m positive that I’m missing so very much. Time is flying by as we are watching our daughter turn into a curious, funny toddler with serious opinions of her own. It’s been a hard year in many ways. It’s also been a wonderful, defining, learning year. I think I can safely say that we are looking forward to so many more to come.

Happy New Year. Here’s to 2016, and a lifetime to come.

 

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