Oh hello! I’m still here but it’s been a while. I miss writing on this blog but have been in a totally different newborn world and unable to motivate myself to sit down and pound the keyboard. Until today. Two weeks late for my annual birthday post. But better late than never right?

This year has been full of my highest highs and some very low lows. Since my last birthday, I got pregnant and had a baby which was obviously the biggest and most exciting change in my life. My pregnancy was brutal with a capital B but I’d do it 100x over again for my sweet Luca.

The way I love him, you guys… It’s so intense and beautiful and all-consuming. He has completed our family and made me the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. And watching Amalia become a big sister (more on that in her birthday post later this week) has been one of the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced. These are big statements but they’re true! It’s hard to put into words how incredible the last few months have been.

Challenging, for sure. But incredible. Magical. And time that I’ll never take for granted. I even told Anel I would have a third kid (never in a million years did I think I’d ever say this) if it weren’t for the pregnancy. We have decided to stop at two because of that and for financial reasons, but if I win the lottery and could be guaranteed an easier pregnancy, I’m in for baby number 3!

I realize this is a complete 180 from everything I’ve ever said about my experience having babies but it’s so different this time around. Although ask me again when he’s walking 🙂

In addition to, you know, creating life, another great achievement this year has been connecting with my friends on a deeper level and surrounding myself with positive wonderful people. For the first time since college, I feel like I’m part of a real solid crew as opposed to one-off friendships (which are also great). This summer has been really fun because of that and I feel so loved and supported by each and every one of them. It feels like Anel and I are part of a giant family in our community. And I’m proud of us for building and nourishing that community.

For my birthday this year, I threw a big dinner party with 20 friends and had such a blast. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to celebrate anything in person that I wanted to go big. It was such a fun night and made me feel so lucky to have created a group that feels like family (pictured below).

Gosh, I just re-read what I’ve written so far and this post sounds so cheesy but I’m just so happy right now! It hasn’t always been that way for me. My anxiety is always on my shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I’m trying to push her away and convince myself that this kind of life can be the new normal.

Is my life perfect? Most definitely not. A lot of emotions come with a new baby. It’s been hard on my body (I’m still 20 lbs over my normal weight), on my marriage (we are solid but things always get a bit dicey for a minute with a big change), and Amalia has had a few issues with the change in our family dynamic (per her birthday post last year, I won’t be sharing more about that). But the good 100% outweighs the tough stuff. And I know that I can handle whatever comes next.

So what’s next?

I feel content and at ease in a way that I’ve never felt before so I’m kind of just rolling with it. That said, I do want to make moves work-wise. To figure out my next steps. I made a promise to myself and to my family that I would take Luca’s first year of life to keep doing what I’m doing without any major changes to keep my anxiety in check and ensure that I can be the best mom to both of my kids. But with this time, I’m trying to figure out what’s next for Lemon Stripes. Last year I started focusing on my marketing business until COVID hit, but I’m hoping to pick that up again once Luca has full-time care.

Beyond that, I’m not really sure! And I’m ok with that.

Want to give me a birthday gift? Make a donation today to one or more of these organizations:
EJI (Equal Justice Initiative)
Planned Parenthood
And if you haven’t already, get vaccinated!

Here are my birthday posts from 35, 343332, and 31.

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  1. Eva said:

    I love you and I’m so happy to see you thriving and exactly where you’re supposed to be!!! Westport Gang 4 Lyfe!

    7.21.21 ·
  2. Erika said:

    I’m so happy for you Julia! You deserve this joy!

    7.22.21 ·
  3. Jennifer Record said:

    So very happy and relieved to “hear” from you..so glad you are healthy in all senses of that word and enjoying summer with those who mattered most…Cheers

    7.23.21 ·
  4. Helen said:

    I would love to read more on how you actively created such a solid community. I feel like I have been really trying since my son was born and not succeeding.

    7.24.21 ·