It seems like we hit a new milestone almost daily. I’m not talking about just our kids, but in our lives as adults too. I try to spend some time each week reflecting on how far we’ve come in the past few years. This blog was suppose to be my place to do some of that reflecting, but as we know…it hasn’t worked out that way and for the last several posts I’ve spent some time apologizing for not posting on a regular basis. Again, sorry. But, I have been reflecting on our milestones a bit and was nudged to do so by a friend who posted on Facebook thanking the proverbial village helping to raise her son. We also have a village and I hope all the village people (…YMCA…YMCA…just kidding) know who they are because this would be just like those never ending Oscar speeches if I started listing everyone. The music would have to usher us kindly off the stage. So, here are some of our milestones that would not have been attainable without our village:

Our kids run! All the time. And fall, and laugh, and jump, and cry, and TALK. They talk all the time. About all the things. It’s so awesome! They’ve actually started stringing two words together at a time. Their favorite phrase is, “Hey you!” But they also like to talk about “Wa-wa all gone,” after bath time, and “our car,” whenever we go anywhere. They love to make sure daddy has his backpack when he gets in his car and goes to work and they make sure to say all those things. Neala has spent most of the summer completely obsessed with her brother and every other thing she says is, “Ry Ry?” She makes sure he has his water, hat, socks and shoes, or whatever it is that she also has. It’s so sweet. And little Ry Ry is the sweetest, dolling out hugs (real hugs), and kisses (open mouthed, drooly, amazing) at the drop of a hat. They know animal sounds and are learning colors, though most things are still yellow…no matter what. After writing all that, I think I may have misunderstood the meaning of the word “milestone.” We’ve had so many…it’s been awesome!

The other really major thing that’s happened (you can consider this “milestone” #2), is that Patrick finished his first year of residency. Although, I think it’s better said that the Gilligan family finished Patrick’s first year of residency…right babe? There were long hours, frustrating schedules, solo meals, bedtimes delayed so the kids could see daddy even if just for a moment, trips out of town to get away from the madness, only to be faced with other madness, hospital stays, busted sewer lines (that was a fun one), unpaid bills (oops), long days, and even longer nights. Looking back, all of that is actually dwarfed by the good things, and I’m totally serious about this, I’m not trying to sugar coat things. I’ve always been fairly independent, but this past year has forced me to grow and learn and stretch way out of my comfort zone.

We’ve made some amazing friends, the kind of friends who don’t care if your house is a mess, if your dogs are terribly misbehaved, if your kids practically tear the wall down at┬átheir house every time you come over, if you serve leftovers when you ask them over for dinner, and who really don’t mind watching your kids super last minute because something’s come up. I’ve always been one of those people who has a few very close friends and lots of acquaintances, and I met the majority of my closest friends before I hit puberty. It’s amazing to think that I have actually gained a few new best friends just in the last year, so, thanks, residency!

Another totally unexpected facet of my life that helped me through the first year of residency and the first year and a half as a mother of twins: online communities. Yup. I’m a member of a whole bunch of really awesome Facebook groups.┬áTurns out, other people’s experiences can be really useful in navigating the waters of residency, motherhood, picky eaters, home improvement, spider killing, neighbor problems…you name it!

The last thing that made our first year of residency awesome was our yard makeover. I did a whole post about this, but it’s continued to improve and it’s so great to be able to be outside in our own space and to have people over and be proud of our home (except our front yard…thanks again sewer line. Wait, who am I kidding, our front yard has been terrible for years). Also, the kids freaking love it, mostly the gravel part. Good thing we’re spending so much time and water keeping the grass nice.

This post is obviously right on time, already 10 weeks in to our second year of residency. Time flies.

I think this video about sums it up: