I’ve always loved the changing seasons. The excitement, the feeling of newness— it’s a fresh start that I feel four times each year. And this year is shaping up to be a year of many changes for me and my family.

First came winter. We began 2017 full of hope, resolutions and with a vision of a great year. We always knew we wanted two children, and with our son approaching three at the time we felt there was no better time to give it a try. So with the noisemakers and champagne in hand we toasted to a new year, and hopefully a growing family.

Then came spring, my favorite season, where you emerge from hibernation to new life and beauty.

This was the time we would find out that we in fact would be expanding our family. Our precious little boy would soon become a big brother. Something we knew he would eventually be excited about. I felt excited and hopeful. I, again, would start the process of growing a human. What a privilege and a true honor.

But as a protective mama, I felt the anxiety rush over me of how this news would affect him—how he would react and how he would handle it.

We decided we would wait until 20 weeks to tell our son the news, when we knew if he would be “getting” a brother or a sister. Somehow in my mind, I felt this would be easier for him to understand. A decision we 100% know was the right decision for us.

But it did not come without anxiety.

Every day I sucked in my belly, hoping he wouldn’t notice. Every day I felt saddened that we were keeping such a large secret from this sweet innocent boy. Every day I hoped that we were making the right decision and that all of this intense anxiety I was feeling would pay off in the end.

Summer arrived, and I decided it would be all about the big-brother-to-be.

We coined the weekends “Mommy, Daddy + Leo days” to ease my working mama guilt. We made the most of every moment we had together. I would steal away on a weekday morning to take him for bagels and to watch the trains. I gave him extra snuggles in the morning as we watched his favorite show. I prepared his favorite dinners. We spent late evenings at the park playing endless rounds of hide-and-seek.

I wanted him to know that he is loved, oh so much, and that that will never change.

Mid-summer we were ready to share the news. Instead of a gender reveal, we threw him a “big brother party.” He got to cut the cake and share the news with our family. Still, everything centered on him, because it was his party—it was all about him. He was SO excited.

He now has a baby in his belly. He showers my belly with kisses and loves to feel the baby kick. He is going to be the best big brother ever—which we never doubted.

But, simply because he’s taking the news so well, doesn’t mean I’m any less nervous about our family dynamic changing.

As fall approaches and school begins—I think of how quickly these past three years have gone.

My first baby is going to preschool. I can’t help but feel that I didn’t do enough this summer to make his last summer as an only child as special as it could have been. And as he returns to school, I know this signifies big changes for him. New teachers, new friends, new schedules.

And soon, before he knows it, life will change again.

I find myself looking into his big, beautiful eyes each day—longingly and lovingly—hoping that he will be up to the task of being a big brother. And hoping even more, that I will be up to the task of being a mom to two boys.

Winter is coming again (and not just for Jon Snow)

This winter, we will hibernate as a family of four. It will be me and my boys, snuggled up inside, watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on repeat with hot chocolate and footie pajamas. But as whimsical and dreamy as this sounds, I can’t help but let my mind wander and think about how our lives will change.

We have such a good routine right now. We are all sleeping through the night. We can eat dinner together. We have learned to manage the chaos. But with a new little life comes joy and challenges. I know this baby that will enter our lives in a few short months will complete our family—and we won’t remember life without him.

But for now—I’ll focus on making the most of our short time left as a family of three.

Because soon our new family of four journey will begin and I’m sure that chapter is going to be pretty amazing, too.