Beth Nate Oliver Parenthood

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Because of Christmas this week and then the fact that we’ll be traveling to see some relatives, this is going to be my last post of the year. I was thinking about it and that means it’s also my last post of the decade. Everywhere you look there are posts recapping the the last ten years but I’m going to be unoriginal and do that too, because if I thought the years 2000 to 2010 were eventful in my life well they’ve got nothing on 2010 to 2020. Come take a little walk down memory lane with me.


We continued making music with Praise Project, the music group that we formed with friends and family when we left our former church in 2009. My grandmother passed away at the age of 96. Nate and I took a week long vacation for just the two of us to Itasca State Park where we infamously hit a deer. Nate built the bar for his beer kegs with the help of my dad and a friend. We attended our 10 year high school class reunion.


I started a “fashion blog” which would eventually evolve into the blog you’re currently reading. I had my ears double pierced and ended up with an infection so bad in one of them I had to have it removed at the doctor’s office. We went on a somewhat disastrous trip to St. Louis to visit the relatives, but we look back at it and laugh now. Nate dealt with some extreme stress at work but we worked through it. Nate also helped me overcome a years long fear of loud noises when we took a gun class together. And finally, we turned 30.


Nate’s grandfather passed away and so did my family’s sweet old cat. We visited Itasca again, this time with some extended family. Our group Praise Project recorded a CD. We went on a lot of mini-adventures as a couple as we had decided to “not try but not prevent” as far as getting pregnant goes and tried to cram in as much time for just us before we became parents. Nate started getting more adventurous with his beer brewing as well after taking a class on all grain brewing. We also joined a beer tasting club.


We discovered we were pregnant with Ollie in the spring and spent the majority of the year preparing for his arrival. We had a garage sale to clear out some stuff from the house. We did another mini trip up to Itasca with Nate’s family. We took lots of classes on birth and babies. I did end up having to deal with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes but it was otherwise a smooth and easy pregnancy. And in December we were blessed with Oliver’s birth.


We were getting to know this sweet little person and adjusting to our new normal as parents. We learned Ollie had a non-life threatening condition called laryngomalacia (immature larynx) and switched his care over to my uncle. We took Ollie to meet all his relatives in St. Louis on his first vacation. I attended my 10 year college reunion. I started feeling a pull to make a change in employment and then proceeded to absolutely bomb a job interview. We were hit at Christmas time with a nasty bout of norovirus. Oliver turned one year old and we had a party at our house with family and friends. We also learned he had a milk protein allergy.


Our Praise Project group wrapped up six years of ministry and music and officially retired. We took Ollie to Itasca for the first time. He learned to walk and finally sleep through the night. We found a love for disc golf and bike riding and spent a huge amount of time that summer doing both activities. We put a new roof on our house. We started planning a trip for our tenth wedding anniversary. Oliver turned two and we had a birthday party at Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store in St. Paul. I found a new job at the City I grew up in and started there in September.


We took a quick trip to St. Louis for Nate’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. It was a good warm up flight for Oliver as a couple of months later we went to Jamaica to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary and took him with us. We stayed at an amazing all inclusive resort and had the best time. Obviously we celebrated ten years of marriage. Nate’s grandmother in MN passed away in June. In the summer I completed a mini-triathlon. I went on a girls trip to Wisconsin in the Fall and celebrated finishing that triathlon with my very first tattoo. My mom and I joined the Women’s Chorus at the church we attend now. We watched in horror as a certain person was elected President of the United States. Oliver started preschool at a Montessori school and we worked on potty training and he turned three on his golden birthday.


I fought back against the results of the Presidential election by participating in the Women’s March. I joined a book club. We took a short trip to Missouri for Nate’s cousin’s wedding. We took another trip to Itasca for a week in the summer. Oliver transitioned to a regular bed at home. I discovered how much I love painting. Ollie gave up naps but we found we were able to have more adventures in our afternoons. We went to Duluth with my parents and took Ollie to a Day out with Thomas the Train.  He started a second year at Montessori and turned four at the end of the year with a donut birthday party celebration.


Nate took a woodworking class and made us some amazing outdoor chairs. We brewed a bunch of beer in preparation for our tenth anniversary of having Oktoberfest celebrations. We made a tough decision to split up the cats and had Pippin move in with my in-laws. Both cats are much happier for it and we still get to see her. We went to St. Louis for a week to visit the family and had a lot of fun exploring the various attractions in the area. Oliver started tumbling classes and loved them. My office moved from our old location to the new building that was built. We bought Nate’s car after it’s lease was out and decided it would be my car. I started selling KEEP Collective for a little bit. Oliver started his final year at Montessori school. He turned five and we celebrated with a bowling party.


I’ve already kind of reflected on this year a bit when I did my birthday post so you already know it hasn’t 100% been my favorite, but it hasn’t been all bad either. Nate and I took a class on learning how to be beekeepers and hopefully will start keeping bees at home next year. Ollie graduated from Montessori preschool. He attended his second year of Vacation Bible School and loved it. We did another week in, you guessed it, Itasca State Park. Both Ollie and I ended up getting sick at the end of that trip unfortunately, but it was still a good one. My good friend got married and I was the matron of honor in her wedding. Ollie started kindergarten and absolutely loves it. I stopped selling KEEP, but really beefed up my Poshmark Online Shop and took a secondhand only challenge for the year. Ollie turned six and we celebrated at his favorite Italian restaurant.

Finally, I’m ending the year – and the decade – with more clarity than I think I’ve had in awhile. These last ten years have broken me, turned me inside out and upside down but have also built me back up, taught me important lessons and have totally set my soul on fire. I think I can honestly say that I know who I am and what my purpose is and what truly makes me happy. Moving into 2020 and beyond I’m going to be fiercely protecting these feelings and letting myself just be myself. It’s going to be a good ride and I hope you’ll come along.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and sharing my world. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you back here January 2nd and let’s get ready to party.

3 thoughts on “Looking Back and Moving Forward

  1. Wow, that’s quite a decade! Your life had so much experience in it. Good to look back at all those things. One highlight of my life during the last decade was travelling to Minnesota — a place I never thought I’d visit — and meeting you. Merry Christmas!

  2. Lots of went on in this past decade – both good and bad – but I’m glad you’re ending it with a better understanding of who you are and what you want in life. It’s crazy to think another decade has past!


  3. This was fun to read! What a great idea to look back through the decade this way–what memorable years!! I hope you had a great Christmas and have a happy new year!

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