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Did you choose a 2023 Word of the Year? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a word of the year (WOTY) is an alternative to choosing a New Year’s Resolution. By choosing one word to focus on throughout the year, you set the intention to bring focus and clarity to what you want to create in your life.

It’s never too late, so if you need help, head over to this post where I share the 5-step process I use every year to help me choose mine.

2023 Word of the Year (WOTY)

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to share my 2023 word of the year now or later. Or if I should share it and leave out the main “why” behind it. However, sharing the word without the real why doesn’t make much sense to me, and through careful reflection, I’ve decided to be vulnerable and share away.

So I guess I’ll begin with an announcement because it’s what ultimately guided my WOTY.

I’M PREGNANT!

It feels both amazing and scary to type that out. Mainly because I’m not quite 10 weeks yet and because it doesn’t always feel real (even though the last 3 weeks of all-day nausea would beg to differ).

The truth is, I felt it may be “taboo” to share such an announcement so early when the “norm” is to share it once you’re “safe” in the 2nd trimester. Trigger warning: Not to mention our pregnancy track record: I’ve had 3 miscarriages. However, while I understand the chance of miscarriage is less once you’re out of the first trimester, I don’t know if I’ll feel “safe” until I’m holding our healthy baby in my arms. I also know that sharing the news before the 2nd trimester won’t affect the outcome.

Besides, I had planned to share our experience at some point, and sharing what I’m going through now feels more liberating than holding it in. Not to mention I feel called to share in the hope that my words will inspire someone else walking a similar path. Ultimately, my desire to share is greater than my fear, so here I am.

7 week baby ultrasound

We found out we were pregnant just before Thanksgiving and heard the heartbeat at our first ultrasound when I was 7W3D. I cried the moment I heard it – happy tears, of course. I stared at the ceiling during that appointment instead of the screen ahead until I heard the good news from the ultrasound tech. It felt incredible to finally have a beautiful ultrasound appointment (I switched doctors since our last experience and am so grateful for the compassionate people at this new practice).

Despite that amazing experience, I’ll admit I struggled to get too excited or believe it was real. I sort of felt numb afterward. Mostly because I kept thinking, “just because I heard it now doesn’t mean I’ll hear it later.”

Yuck. I don’t even like typing that out.

I consider myself quite the optimist, and even I get trapped in fear. Thankfully, I’ve given myself permission to be excited (and scared), and instead of playing devil’s advocate, I’m trying my best to give this pregnancy all the love, joy, and hope I have. I’ve asked myself, “how would I treat this pregnancy if I knew our baby will be born happy and healthy?” Just asking myself that question makes me feel relief. It feels good to imagine the best possible scenario, and I will try my best to lean into that feeling.

We all know nothing in life is guaranteed, but why should I dwell on that? Thinking about what could go wrong feels uncomfortable and sad, and thinking about everything that can go right feels good. So I’m choosing to lean that way. It’s almost as though I’ve felt this need to let everyone know that I know what can go wrong, so they don’t think I’m a fool for feeling happy or optimistic.

How messed up is that?

I want this baby to know how loved they are vs. feeling my anxiety, worry, or fear. That doesn’t mean it won’t show up, but it means I can choose how I want to feel throughout this pregnancy. It’s a practice that often tests me moment to moment or day by day, but choosing love over fear, knowing I’m not alone and also understanding this pregnancy is now in God’s hands helps bring me so much peace. I believe babies come into this world exactly when they are meant to, and pray this little one is ready to join our family.

Our next appointment is on Monday, the 9th, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or scared. I’ve even thought about waiting to post this until after that appointment, yet here I am.

Update: We heard the heartbeat at our 10 week checkup!

It’s okay to be scared and excited at the same time. It’s how we move forward that counts. Despite my fear, I’m allowing myself to get excited to hear our baby’s heartbeat again.

Let’s just say I’m doing a lot of praying these days!

This is what led to my 2023 Word of the Year:

EMBRACE

While I was still mulling over a few words, with embrace at the forefront, I came across this text while reading about the Gene Keys, which immediately resonated with me. I had seen the word “embrace” show up multiple times, and this sealed the deal:

Instead of wasting so much energy in trying to be certain, you will discover that there is great power in accepting uncertainty. Life is uncertain and you are a master of uncertainty. All you have to do is embrace it.” – Richard Rudd

I choose to embrace this pregnancy. Embrace love over fear, embrace faith, embrace the present moment, and embrace uncertainty.

Since choosing this word, I’ve realized it goes even deeper than that. I want to embrace my journey and all that I am, including my age.

I’ve never mentioned my age because I’ve felt some shame around it. I’m 39, and by the time we have this baby, I’ll be 40. I never thought I’d wait this long before we had kids, but I also never saw myself as a young mother. I can’t say I feel 39 or any other age. I just feel like me. And I feel good. It’s not until I worry about what someone else thinks of my age that I feel anxious.

My shame isn’t around becoming a first-time mom at 39, but my achievements, or lack thereof, at this age. It’s more of a societal issue that makes it easy to fall into the comparison game (if you let it).

Naturally, I always imagined I’d be more successful at this age, own our home, have less debt, and have a family. Our hefty amount of student loans (while we take accountability for them) has been one of the main reasons we put off having kids right away. And it’s funny that I mentioned owning a home when we chose to RV full-time instead of buying a house back in 2016. Yet I wouldn’t change that decision because I truly believe we were meant to go down that path, even though it was difficult at times. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for those incredible experiences, memories, and challenges.

We chose an alternative lifestyle, yet here I am, worrying about what other people think of our choices. So this year, I’m embracing our path and my age. I wouldn’t want to be 20 or 30 again, and I’m grateful for the life and spiritual lessons that have brought me here today. I hope you can say the same.

New Hampshire

A few months ago, Eric and I spent some time in Vermont and New Hampshire and immediately knew we wanted to move there. We began planning a summer move, but a month after we got back, we discovered we were pregnant. So here we are, facing uncertainty about when or where to move. We both still plan to move but have no idea when. I feel comfortable with my current doctor, so we’ve decided to stay here throughout the pregnancy. We are open to whatever unfolds and choose to embrace uncertainty, knowing we will know what to do when the time comes. As someone who likes to plan, I’ll admit this isn’t always easy.

If you struggle with letting go of other people’s expectations, I hope you make 2023 the year you unapologetically embrace who you are and where you are in life. And if you’re more like Eric (who has never cared much about what others think), I hope you can have compassion for those in your life who struggle with the comparison game, and hold space for them to work their way out of it.

Did you choose a 2023 WOTY? Let me know in the comments!

My 2023 WOTY (and an Announcement!)My 2023 WOTY (and an Announcement!)My 2023 WOTY (and an Announcement!)My 2023 WOTY (and an Announcement!)

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56 Comments

  1. Congratulations! I chose “embrace” in 2021 and it was a great word for me all year. I wanted to embrace hope, embrace opportunities and embrace adventure- and they all worked out! I hope all of yours do as well!

    My word for this year is “restore”.

    1. That’s awesome! There’s so much to embrace and I’m looking forward to bringing some intention behind it. Thank you!

  2. I’m so happy for you!! And I love how beautifully bare you were in this post 🙂

    Congratulations to you and Eric! You’re both wonderful people and I know that whatever life throws at you, you’ll get through it together!

    Miss you 🙂

    1. That word is amazing! And I’m so excited for you – you’re unstoppable without the word so with it, anything can happen 🙂

  3. Congratulations! It’s always so exciting to hear about a new little life. I’m praying along with you & look forward to seeing sweet baby pictures!

  4. You are exactly the right age — young enough to stand strong at this threshold and old enough to truly appreciate it. And no matter what you are building a network of fellow souls who will help you with the leaning. This new baby has chosen well.

  5. I hung on to every word of this article because I lived it. You hang in there. You are feeling everything I felt except you are much more positive. I stayed a nervous wreck the entire time which put me on bedrest for eight months. Looking back that didn’t help anything. Stay as positive as you can. I truly think the baby can feel it. Daniel was my fourth baby and Dailee my fifth. I was 34 and 36. Daniel is 26 and Dailee 23. I, too, was very concerned about my age. My doctor told me that being 36 was like being 26. It’s because of our advancement in knowing how to stay healthy and our medical technology. My advice is to get a high risk doctor or someone that will set you up for monthly ultrasounds. That will ease your anxiousness and buy you a lot of calmness. The most important thing to remember? GOD’S GOT THIS! Lean on those three words constantly.

    I so enjoyed your article about WOTY. I’ve never chosen one, but will this year. I’m still mulling a few words over in my mind. I think your word is perfect for you.

    EMBRACE that sweet journey!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you lived through a similar situation, but your story certainly gives me hope. Thankfully I’m much more aware of what causes my anxiety this time around, and don’t google every little thing, haha. Also, knowing God’s got this definitely helps bring me peace when I need it most. My doctor works with high-risk patients, but most importantly makes me feel like she cares and I’m so grateful my sister recommended her. Our 10 week appt went well and the next one is in 4 weeks, so I’ll be practicing patience and surrendering over here until then 🙂

  6. I am SO very happy to read your news!! As someone who dealt with infertility for half my life, I know the struggles and the emotions you write of so well. Now 71, those days of wishing are far behind me, and I’ve embraced a life of no biological children but became a teacher at the age of 45, so I’ve had hundreds of children in my care. My word for 2023 is ‘organize’…this is the year my husband joins me in retirement (December) so I am determined to rid our house (and especially basement) of the clutter we’ve accumulated over 35 years of marriage so we’re prepared to downsize and move on to the next stage of our lives. So, I guess you could say I’m embracing uncertainty as well, as we have no idea where we’ll go next. We’ve lived our entire lives in CT, and love New England, but we just feel there is something else waiting out there for us. We’ll see…

    1. I’m sorry to hear of your struggles, but love that you were able to embrace a life with children in a different way. Looks like you have some incredible adventures on the horizon, and I’m excited for wherever they lead you!

  7. Omgosh I’m sooooo happy for you.embrace is a great word for you. I 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 all goes well.
    My woty for the last two yrs has been WTF . Not very positive but what I felt this year it’s HEALTHY.
    My granddaughter had a healthy baby boy last year it was a struggle for them since she didn’t have some hormone , but they worked it out yea! Soooo enjoy your path and EMBRACE all the moments ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thanks, Colleen! I laughed out loud about your last WOTY, but the word you choose is what you make of it, so I think that’s awesome. And I love healthy for your word this year – that’s amazing news about your granddaughter and their baby boy – congrats!

  8. My word Explore. I have recently retired and I’m ready to try new things and see new places and learn new ideas.
    I love Embrace!! It has a deep meaning.
    Best wishes.

  9. Congratulations! You have been on my prayer list and will continue to pray for you. I have
    followed you for awhile I love your readings. Stay positive and know that this is in Gods hands.

  10. I chose Embraced as my WOTY. It reminds me that I am loved and supported, even though I’m a widow who is retiring and her last chick leaves the nest this year.

    1. I love the reason you chose Embrace! It’s easy to feel like we don’t have support, even though it’s there if we ask for it. I’m going to think of love and support when I think of embrace too – so thank you 🙂 And congrats on retiring!

  11. I hit post comment before I finished. I was going to say I hope the best for this pregnancy. Reading your story reminded me of mine. Multiple lost pregnancies in our first 17 years of marriage, then 2 sons at 34 and 36, then another miscarriage at 42. Doctors were not very compassionate in our journey either. All this to say, being an older mom was great! People assumed i was younger than I was though my husband was called grandpa by strangers a few times.

    1. Thank you for that – and I’m so sorry to hear about your losses and the care that you received during that time. Finding a great doctor can be a challenge. After going to 4 different places I’m so happy to have found one I feel comfortable at. Also, I always joke with Eric that people will think we’re the grandparents 😂

  12. Loved this post. It is so hard to always be in the eyes of others in your head, while intellectualizing what should it matter? The more mature we get, the more wisdom we acquire along the way, I too was 39 and 2 months shy of 40 when I delivered a healthy baby boy, after having a miscarriage the previous year.

    I can empathize with the fear and joy of embracing the unknown. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you, Eric and your little one. Surround yourself with things and people you love. Take time to do the things that make you happy.

    Embrace. It’s a powerful word. I too may adopt this word for the year.

    God is a powerful friend.
    In my life, when I am my lowest of lows , sitting in the stillness instead of my go go lifestyle reveals the tiny miracles that come our way everyday. It is a nice revelation to keep the positive vibes going during this journey of life. .
    God Bless you and your family.

    Warm regards,
    Lorene

    I just wanted also to let you and your readers know that Bitty, my western little trailer you so graciously let me post on your blog is now for sale and if there is a way you can assist me in posting this information, it might be helpful for some potential buyer.

    1. Thank you, Lorene – I so appreciate your words 💛

      And that’s awesome about your trailer! I’ll update the post and share it on social media, but will send you an email with some other ideas 🙂

      Katie

  13. Congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey with us ❤️

    Embrace is a great WOTY. I am still deciding on mine!

  14. Just said a prayer for you and your unborn baby.
    I was 35, and my husband 42, when we had our youngest. Just like a fine wine, as a parent, you only get better with age!
    You are exactly where you need to be at this point (and age) in your life, even if you don’t understand why.
    As far as what others think, and according to Dr. Seuss…
    Those who mind, don’t matter.
    And those who matter, don’t mind.
    Embrace!

    1. Thanks, Tiffani! We appreciate you praying for us and your kind words – esp. that Dr. Seuss quote. It’s such a great reminder 🙂

  15. Congratulations! Sending positive thoughts and vibes to surround you, your husband, and your growing baby. I can’t imagine how scary this time is, but I’m so glad that you are embracing the experience. I hope you have nothing but good memories to look back on in the future.

    1. Thank you, Julie! I think writing this post was especially helpful. Just getting the thoughts out of my head cleared some more space for positive energy 💛

  16. Congratulations. Everything happens for a reason. This is your time to become a great Mom!! I wish you the best luck, and good health. Can’t wait to see baby pictures. Stay positive!!! Embrace!! ❤️

  17. A major congratulations Katie. I hope this pregnancy goes really well for you. Some of our best friends didn’t have their first (of two) kiddos until after 40 and it’s been wonderful to see them grow. I wish the same for you.

    1. Thanks, Heath! Our appt. on Monday went great and now we’re just taking it day by day until the next one in 4 weeks. It’s funny how I went to high school in Texas and most of my friends that stayed there had kids pretty young (some are already in college!!!) but I spent most of my adult life in California, and the friends we have from out there just started having kids in the last few years. On a random side note, someday I’ll have to tell you and Alyssa about a couple super random/funny dreams I had back when we were RVing.

  18. Congrats!!! No shame in waiting until you know yourself and are ready to have a baby! I think that is admirable and a lot of other people should wait for maturity before bringing life into this world. I agree with you Vermont and NH are beautiful states!!!

    1. Thanks, Linda! Of course, after we had our first miscarriage I was like – why did we wait so long! I do believe that everything happens when it’s meant to, and try to remind myself that God has a better plan that I do. 💛

      What’s funny is I was so focused on moving to the West Coast during our time in the RV, that I honestly don’t know if I would have appreciated NH/Vermont as much back then. So again, timing has so much to do with it.

  19. Katie and Eric – I’m so happy for you guys – truly wonderful news
    have been following you from the start and look forward to your newest journey
    All the best
    Kathy

  20. I have chosen Creation!
    I actually have 2, but this was my first choice.
    I have wanted to start making quilts and have procrastinated way to long!! wanted a word to get me energized and started!!

    congratulations on your pregnancy, and your word embrace!! love it!

    1. What a great word! I hope it inspires and motivates you to follow your passion for making quilts this year! 💛

  21. Congratulations! Enjoy your pregnancy and everything that comes with it.. I’m still working on choosing my word.

  22. Just recently, I stumbled across your page. I recently bought a motor home and have dreams of fixing it up a little. I lost my husband several years back, we were big campers and cant seem to get that out of my head. I believe it was GOD who led me to your site. I absolutely love your style, you guys did a beautiful job. As I came across picking a word for the new year, I thought what a great idea, rather than setting a resolution. I have been brokenhearted for several years and the word OVERCOME came to my mind…so that’s it!!
    Congratulations on your precious baby. This child will bring you much joy. I hope this is a year of growth for you as you practice letting go of your struggle about things that really don’t matter. I wish you all the best. Karla

  23. Oh, honey, I feel ya. We married when I was 38, adopted our first when I was 40, got pregnant 18 months later (ectopic, lost half my plumbing), adopted two more times (4 kids). I pray that this one takes, but be aware that there are alternative–and amazing–ways to build a family (and trust me, you WILL love an adopted child just as much as a bio one; motherlove is almost scary in its intensity). And being older parents, I think we were calmer and wiser. So all the best!

  24. Firstly: CONGRATULATIONS! I would have been 37 for my first son but he decided to come 15weeks early. He is 20 this year and doing great. I feel your pain about being anxious, I was dreadful all the way through my second son’s pregnancy and despite that stress I was feeling he decided to gift me with a textbook VBAC exactly on his due date. Wishing for you and your baby a wonderful pregnancy and beautiful birthing experience. <3
    Second: Embrace is an awesome word. My ownWORD for this year is Kindness.