2017 was one of those years that was mixed with highs and lows– a year that fostered a lot of personal growth. Isn’t that what life is about? Experiencing things that change you, stretch you, challenge you. That my friends, was 2017.
The year started with a tough lesson about what happens when people don’t love themselves/focus their energy on their own lives, followed by a massive and insanely exciting playoff run that landed our Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
That trip to Houston was honestly something from a dream, looking back it still doesn’t feel quite real. Regardless of the outcome of that game (and let’s be honest, we all know the outcome of that game & (football fan or not) we will probably remember it forever), we came home with something (in my opinion) better than a Super Bowl trophy, and that was the gift of Lennon Grace. But, we didn’t know it quite yet.
Landing back in ATL and wanting to close our blinds and hide out from the world due to the outcome of the Super Bowl, we decided to pack our things, book a flight to somewhere we always wanted to travel and to go– Rico, Luca and I (and Leni, we just didn’t know it yet), headed to Turks and Caicos. It was beautiful. We had amazing family time. Made memories that I will cherish forever.
We returned home from Turks just over a week later and i’ll never forget it– I was down at the gym working out, reflecting (what I do when I workout) and God literally told me that I was pregnant. I came home, took a test, and sure enough. Pregnant. I planned to surprise Rico in some exciting way… but, that lasted a whole two days before I just couldn’t keep the secret any longer. We were going to be a family of four later that year.
March arrives and we attended PAO– one of our favorite parts of off season, and followed by that we headed to San Clemente,CA where we rented a beach bungalow and lived for the following 5 weeks. It was pure magic (well, aside from my pregnancy sickness that was so severe I was convinced we were having twins.) We would wake up, walk to coffee and breakfast, hike the beach trail, talk about which of the houses we dreamed of living in someday, workout, grill dinner, sit by the fire pit, dream. it was the life, my favorite kind of life, the life we are working to have after football.
March 24th, Luca turns 1, we celebrate his birthday on a blanket, near the ocean, with a big 1 balloon and a small cake, just before sunset. Pure magic.
April arrives and it’s back to GA to start off the season– quick turn around. We celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Next up is May and the early part of June, OTA’s. I turn 27 on the 13th, R finishes OTA’s later that week.
July arrives, which brings with it the final stretch of time off before training camp. We do a bit of traveling, a bit of growing, a bit of stretching, some fixing of broken things– Charleston, back to Purdue, Chicago, and before we know it, back to GA– and this is where our year pretty much stops and the football year begins.
August brings with it training camp, the launch of Grace Allen.com, four pre-season games, and third trimester.
September arrives, and with it comes week 1 in Chicago vs. the Bears, and before I know it, weekly doctors appointments.
October, baby month– followed by the bye-week and my first night away from Luca and the reality that I have a full-term baby girl that could arrive any time.
October 26th, 8:54pm, Lennon Grace Allen is born.
I blinked, and here I am, writing a year in review.
It was a beautiful one. One that as I mentioned before grew me as a woman. Stretched me as a wife, mother, and friend. We all need years like 2017. I cannot complain, looking back and in the midst; it was pure beauty.
A rich life comes from experiencing things.. and 2017 was just that.
I look forward to 2018, I love the feeling that a new year brings– the chance to start fresh again, to do better than you did before. The opportunities and the possibilities are endless.
2018 will be what we make it; so, let’s make it beautiful, let’s make it worth our while. xo, Grace