I am so excited for this November! I am thrilled that I get to celebrate a number of holidays and traditions with our newborn daughter. Thinking back about last November, I reminisce about discovering I was pregnant and all the creative ways I hid it. Hiding a pregnancy is hard during the holidays; there are parties with lots of fancy cheeses you aren’t supposed to eat and wine you aren’t supposed to drink, at least I could blame the larger than usual tummy on too many goodies. I wore my “Thanksgiving” stretchy pants on more than one occasion. For me, November is also filled with sports and the start of winter activities. Coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t playing soccer was not that easy because for all that know me, know that I am a diehard player that wouldn’t miss it for the world… but I settled on a “sprained ankle,” that lasted a suspiciously long time to the point that I’d run into teammates who would roll their eyes because they knew the real deal.  And don’t get me wrong, there are many strong adventurous ladies out there who keep up their usual activities during pregnancy, and that is impressive. Knowing my own activity intensity as one who doesn’t like to “take it easy” during competitive soccer games and other sports, I decided it was best to sit this one out and try my hand (and foot) at swimming and walking instead. I vividly remember going to the Public Market last year secretly knowing I was pregnant. I recall looking at all the lovely things I could pick out for my future baby, and then eating a summer roll with spouts (oops) and then freaking out about it later. This year we are excited to share little Ari with our friends and family at Thanksgiving and various other holiday get-togethers. She loves to be entertained and smiles at most everyone. We will bring her to our soccer games, as well as to the Public Market. We are so excited about the year(s) to come and the adventures ahead of us. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, hope you have as much fun as I do.

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.