It goes without saying that the best thing that happened in 2017 was Elise's arrival. Hands down, no question, duh. But curses. Now I've said it. So I'll just leave you with a Day 1 picture and a Today picture so that you can imagine how much goodness was in between the two.
And now that we've gotten that out of the way, I hereby give you my best-of list for 2017. You know...now that it's 2018. I should have written this a week ago.
I/We traveled several places this year, both pre- and post-baby. These places ranged from Vermont to New York to Washington to Vienna to Prague to Budapest, and Budapest took the cake. I was 19 weeks pregnant and it was cold/snowy/icy in January, but it was beautiful, and I loved walking around the city in all its wintry loveliness with my wiggly (internal) baby as company. The food is delicious, the cost of living is inexpensive, the people are friendly, and the history is fascinating.
I read a lot of things until May 28th. After that my reading rate went WAY down, but I'm hoping to pick it up again in the coming months. That should technically be easy since Elise currently prefers to nap with me rather than in her crib...but I'm getting off track. Unsurprisingly, my favorite books were on the topic of home and/or motherhood.
I've loved The Lifegiving Home for a couple of years now, and I've definitely recommended it here before. It's a book that really gave me a vision for how I want our home to be, and it has lots of practical ideas presented in a warm way that is both encouraging and inspirational. Since the second half of the book has a chapter for each month of the year, I reread through those sections from September onward. I'm hoping to continue that as we move into 2018.
My other favorite book, The Magic of Motherhood, was a recent discovery that I purchased on a whim during a ridiculous Amazon sale (where else could you get a hardcover book for $7.50?). It's written by a group of authors who collectively contribute to the Coffee + Crumbs blog, and it's organized into several short essays. I found that it was best enjoyed during nursing sessions, since I could read a couple of the essays in the amount of time it took Elise to eat. It's beautiful and uplifting while at the same time not shirking away from harder topics. Two thumbs up from me.
Best TV Show
We waited all year for this one! The Crown (season 2) is a show that we anticipated for 11 months, and then watched in about a week. It went by too fast!
As an unabashed British royalty fan, it was right up my alley. We enjoyed season 1 last year, and enjoyed season 2 just as much this round. And both Chaz and I liked it, which is saying something about a British period drama! This also relates to my next category...
I heard about this one on an episode of the Federalist podcast that focused on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement. I don't really know how to describe www.gofugyourself.com, so I will just tell you that it has lots of articles on the royals (well beyond William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan), TV shows (The Crown!), and a HOST of things including unusual celebrity fashion choices, award shows, and other bizarre things. I'm very much looking forward to their coverage of the royal wedding in May. I realize that listing this website as my favorite of the year may reveal my shameful interest in celebrities rather than just the royal family, but...there it is.
These are all pretty much baby-related. I'm not sorry. As a result, they're not actually the best *quality* photos, just my favorites.
I think that's it for my highlight reel. Onward to 2018!