2008 was the best year and worst year of my life all rolled up into one. A month by month review of the year:
January: I thought I was pregnant but wasn't. I started school as usual and was excited about my classes.
February: after being very careful and after only 6 months of marriage, we still managed to get pregnant. We were excited but scared. I remember the night I told Dustin- I was so nervous, I had taken 5 pregnancy tests just to make sure!
March: we started our prenatal screens and got to see "baby peanut" for the first time. Seeing his heart beat was amazing because I knew a few girls who had had miscarriages. We had a due date of November 4th-election day. We made our last pre-baby trip to Jackson Hole.
April: nothing exciting
May: I ended spring semester of my junior year, making me a senior. I decided to take fall semester off and do some work over the summer to help me finish school a little easier.
June: We found out we were having a boy and we were both thrilled. Started buying blue and brown and getting more excited to welcome a little boy.
July-September: My step-dad Steve started getting sick. I helped drive to doctor's appointments and running errands. I got to know him, my mom and myself a lot better. In August Dustin and I celebrated our first anniversary.
October: here's where it gets hard. We along with all our families were excited to welcome our little boy who would make my mom a grandma and all my grandparents greats. Steve was still really sick. He was put on hospice on Friday the 17th and died at home with my mom by his side early Monday the 20th. My goal was to not have the baby during that busy time and he cooperated. After the funeral I was very anxious to get him here!
November: My due date was getting close and I was going crazy. Finally, on my due date I started having irregular contractions. That same day my grandpa Clynn- my dad's dad- who had been on hospice, took a turn for the worse. I went to see him while I was contracting and told him the baby would be here soon. He died that night at 9 pm. The next day, November 5th, at 6 am I went into the hospital and we had Ryker at noon. It was an amazing experience and has changed my life in every way. We finished out November just enjoying our little boy, celebrating Thanksgiving and missing those who had passed.
December: my cousins, Curtis and Tammy Andersen passed away in a car accident. We celebrated Christmas at many parties but it was different this year. We just wanted to enjoy those we love and we made some good memories. New Years was nothing special, Dustin and I fell asleep on the couch at 10pm- that's what being married with a baby does to you!
So there it is, 2008 in a nutshell. I miss everyone tremendously and wish we could keep those we love around forever. With death comes new life, as evidenced by this year.
We have grown as a couple and as individuals. We are now closer to family and having our own family has changed what we care about. Although Ryker was born this year and brightened our lives, I couldn't be more happy to say "GOOD RIDDANCE 2008!"
Lots of Love,
Ashley, Dustin and Ryker
4 weeks ago