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New Obama Family Portrait

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I received a copy of the new White House portrait of the Obama family today from their social media office.

They took the new photograph because it has been two years since the last formal portrait and the girls have changed so much in the interim.  Frankly, we’ve all changed so much in the interim.  I looked back today on the post I wrote about the day we went to vote, and I’ve been thinking ahead about getting involved in campaigning for Obama, this time bringing the twins with me so they can be involved in every step of the democratic process.

The picture reminded me of why I like having my blog be one continual space, much as Gwinne said in her comment, “I’ve thought about writing a post-IF/baby blog and shutting down my current one, but I like the way one continuous blog reflects a LONG journey, with many twists and turns.”  Five and a half years ago when I first started writing this space, the twins were giving up their bottles.  Two years ago, I was crying over the fact that they were five.  And now they are programming computers and squeezing Cozy and reading poetry.  And two years from now, we will be in the middle of our elementary school years, and this blog will be driving a sports car as it struggles with the 7-year itch.

I love the picture above because they are our First Family, and we’ve seen their children grow over the years.  And because that picture reminds me that none of us are where we were two years ago, and none of us know where we’ll be two years from now — and that is both a scary and wonderful thought.  Anything could happen, and that is the thought that brings me through difficult times: that I will not always be in this emotional place forever.  And that is what makes me appreciate the good times: because I will not always be in this emotional place forever.

How have you changed in the last two years?  If you’ve been blogging for at least two years, post a link to your nearest blog post to two years ago today.  It’s quite fitting that the post I have is about the friendships I’ve gained from being online.


1 Susan Jett { 12.15.11 at 12:14 pm }

Two years ago today, our egg donor had just started stimming for the cycle which would result in my wonderful son, who’s currently napping upstairs. Could my life be more different? Could the contrast be any greater? Nope. Not really. These last two years have made all the difference in the world…


2 oliviacw { 12.15.11 at 12:49 pm }

Two years ago today, we moved my mother to a hospice. She passed away (from cancer) two days later, on December 17th. I was in mourning for her, and also for the fact that she would never see any children I might have. I had indeed gotten pregnant that spring (after 2+ years of trying) and would have been due at Thanksgiving two years ago, but that pregnancy miscarried at about 7 weeks. It was all very hard to deal with.

Today, I have a 9-month old daughter, conceived on our 3rd and final IVF cycle. We’re going to take her to have a picture with Santa this weekend – not because I care so much, but because it meant a lot to my mother to have those annual Santa photos of me and my siblings when we were children. I’ll stick it up somewhere and think of my mother when I look at it.

3 Sharon { 12.15.11 at 12:50 pm }

In regard to our family building, things have changed a lot in the past two years. This time two years ago, my husband and I had agreed to stop using medical intervention in our attempts to get pregnant and were still kicking around the idea of possibly doing DE IVF at some point in the future. Now, I am 29 weeks pregnant with twin boys conceived through our first DE IVF cycle.


Can’t wait to see how different things will be two years from now. . . .

4 Elizabeth { 12.15.11 at 12:54 pm }

Two years ago today, I was debating whether or not to POAS. So thankful for my Gabe.


5 Jonelle { 12.15.11 at 1:11 pm }

Well I’m not sure much has changed in the last two years. Two years ago DH and I had our last IUI (which didn’t work) – and we decided not to try anymore and focus on other ways of building our family. Around this time two years ago we had been in grief counseling for 3 months to help us deal with not trying anymore. In the meantime I had done something I hadn’t done in a while – I went into the baby section at Target looking for a gift for a 6 month old from Angel Tree. Also, I requested an information packet from an adoption agency.


Its been two years and we are still waiting to be matched. In that time, no surprise pregnancy, no going back to treatment. I still can’t go into the baby section at Target, but that is mostly because I’m still recovering from our failed adopiton this past Sept. But I am able to use the tools I learned in grief counseling to help me during the rough times.

6 Nikki { 12.15.11 at 1:13 pm }

2 years ago we started our journey to start our family and now we finally are awaiting the arrival of our first. It took us exactly 2 years to get the positive test. I feel like it was the best and worst 2 years of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next 2 will bring!

7 VA Blondie { 12.15.11 at 1:20 pm }

Two years ago today I was in my third trimester, only one month before Little Guy arrived. I was on rest due to tachycardia, and trying to do Christmas stuff. Looking back, I am amazed at how upbeat I sounded. I remember being fairly miserable, between trying to stay resting, the carpal tunnel in my hands, and seasonal colds on top of that.

I actually did have a post on December 15, 2009. I could not believe it!


8 Chickenpig { 12.15.11 at 1:33 pm }

Two years ago my daughter was a year and a half years old, and my twins had just turned 4. I had just started blogging, so I wrote my twins’ birth story because I didn’t have a blog when they were born.


This year I’m pregnant again, almost 9 weeks, and nervously awaiting my first OB appointment. I hope that the next two years are full of crying, poopy diapers, and milestones 🙂

9 jodifur { 12.15.11 at 1:44 pm }

December 15, 2009-how my child is risk adverse


Today, ironically, a year end wrap up post-


10 Kristin { 12.15.11 at 1:54 pm }

Well I have only been blogging for a year and a half but I started it with my 2009 journal and the last few posts in it are from December 2009. I was still going through infertility treatments, and still in a ton of pain and had not even really begun to consider adoption. Here I am two years later and adopted my son just 4 months ago! Crazy how life changes.


11 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.15.11 at 2:28 pm }

Two years ago, my MIL was still alive and cancer wasn’t part of our lives yet.



12 Illanare { 12.15.11 at 2:34 pm }

Two years ago I had got a faint positive HPT after our first (and turned out to be only) IVF, but my betas were low. I had a chest infection and was feeling very sorry for myself!

13 Rebecca { 12.15.11 at 2:34 pm }

Two years ago I was contemplating starting a blog (and did so 1 month later) as I was in the final 1 week wait of our first IUI (after having IUI cycles canceled for four months straight).

Today, I sit 12.5 weeks pregnant with twins after our first IVF hoping that *this* is the one. Back then I was sure that just *one more thing* would do it for us. Somewhere in the last two years I realized it might not happen. When I finally let go, I was ready to give it one last try with IVF and we really, really lucked out. Today I am more appreciative of this pregnancy than I think I could ever have been back then.

14 loribeth { 12.15.11 at 2:36 pm }

Bahahaha! I just looked, & my post for Dec. 16, 2009 is titled, “History repeating itself.” Which seems funny to me, given the theme of your post. ; )

Fortunately for me, history is not repeating itself in that same way this year — other than it’s now less than two workdays & two more sleeps until I see my family — including my parents’ neighbours’ daughter’s three-month-old baby girl, who is about to be spoiled rotten. ; ) A baby in the house at Christmastime — now THAT will be a big change for all of us!! — even if it’s not mine.


The biggest changes in my life over the past two years have been at work. My senior manager of 16 years retired in spring 2010 and I’m on my second senior manager since then. Also a new director, new vice-president, several new (YOUNG) coworkers, new office space, lots & lots of new procedures, etc. etc. It’s been stressful, & I most definitely feel two years older. But then again, I am also two years closer to my goal of early retirement. ; )

15 Amy { 12.15.11 at 2:38 pm }

2 years ago, I had a healthy 2-year old son, and I was grieving my 5th miscarriage: a girl with Down’s Syndrome.
Today, my 2-year old son is now 4-years old.
And I have a handsome, healthy 14-month old son.
I thought I’d never come out of the funk I was in two years ago though….

16 Justine { 12.15.11 at 3:26 pm }

It was just about two years ago I started my blog (http://ahalfbakedlife.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-dont-make-new-years-resolutions.html) interestingly enough, I set intentions for self-reflection (at the time I was already knee deep in job dissatisfaction), and for joining a community that could support me on the journey (which I have!). I’d experienced RPL, but had not yet been diagnosed with SIF. Funny how some things change (quit my job, have my second child), and yet some things really do stay the same (still casting about for my purpose!).

17 HereWeGoAJen { 12.15.11 at 3:45 pm }

Two years ago, I was blogging but that blog is now password protected. The nearest I have to two years ago on the unlocked blog is this one: http://herewegoajen.com/2010/01/ But it has been in Creme de la Creme and Blogher and all over, so it’s not that new to a lot of people.

18 Mina { 12.15.11 at 4:00 pm }

Exactly two years ago I was flipping over a clot I had passed while being 6 weeks pregnant. And I had this FB friend who was an ass and then I somehow did not bite her head off.

And now I am happy my son has recovered from his first nasty cold, he is better and he fell asleep without too much fuss, and I can just stay in bed and get ready to go to sleep myself. I am also 11 weeks pregnant again and trying to focus on the good parts in my life and not on possible negative outcomes. Many times I succeed.

I’ve come a long way, baby…

19 Mali { 12.15.11 at 4:12 pm }

Two years ago, I was blogging, but not quite out of the closet in infertility terms, even though it had been some years already since I knew I would never have children. My regular, long-term readers knew, but I rarely talked about it. Times have changed!

This is my post from the same time two years ago, after a visit to my mother in the South Island. I’m about to visit her again, and this made me smile at the thought of all the roses I’m about to see.


20 Blanche { 12.15.11 at 4:13 pm }

On my blog two years ago /today/ I changed my status on the side bar to add “BFP” after our IVF cycle was cancelled to timed intercourse thanks to poor response. The post is fittingly titled “Changes.” http://higrensandco.blogspot.com/2009/12/changes.html

Today I am chasing around the active 17 month old result of that pregnancy, and contemplating whether I have the energy to parent a 2nd child if our discussion about that, currently scheduled for January, results in that decision.

21 MeAndBaby { 12.15.11 at 4:28 pm }

Two years ago almost to the day I had just started the cycle after my 3rd loss. This would become the cycle that resulted in the twins. I was dejected and heartbroken but starting to turn the corner.

I wrote this post: http://meandbaby.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/pain-is-temporary-quitting-lasts-forever/. It’s a post I am proud of.

Thank you Mel for taking me back.

22 Jen { 12.15.11 at 4:35 pm }

Two years ago (yesterday), I was pregnant with my twin girls and was dealing with a spotting scare. I remember that day so clearly. Now my girls are 18 months old and racing around our house.

23 Jen { 12.15.11 at 4:38 pm }

Two years ago I was dealing with a spotting scare with my twins. Now my girls are 18 months old and racing around our house.

24 Mina { 12.15.11 at 4:49 pm }

I actually wrote a blog post on 12/15/09, and it basically summed up my sadness about not knowing the future and if I would ever have a baby. I wrote about my fears, and how I wish I knew what the future holds for me.


Today, I am the mom of a beautiful 13 month old boy who is the love of my life. Thank you for asking us to look back two years ago, it always helps me to reflect on the past.

25 Her Royal Fabulousness { 12.15.11 at 4:59 pm }

2 years ago DH and I had made it through an extremely hard time in our marriage. We decided it was time to TTC. I had no idea yet that I would have a miscarriage 7 months later or that I would be infertile.

I feel like a completely different person than I was 2 years ago. I feel smarter, but in a way that only comes from experiencing pain. I also feel more sure of my priorities, more sensitive to other women, and more worried that I will never have a baby.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging then. But, I do intend to be blogging 2 years from now. 🙂

26 Esperanza { 12.15.11 at 6:02 pm }

Somehow I just posted this commented on your last post “It’s complicated!” Sorry!

I love that you asked us to go back two years and see what we wrote. I do that all the time, search back through my archives to a year or two (that is as far back as my blog goes) to see where I was. It’s great for gaining perspective and is one of the things I love the most about having my blog.

Before I even looked back I knew what entires I would. This time two years ago my NTU was being botched, which sent pregnancy my anxiety into a tailspin that eventually led to me starting anti-anxiety medication for the first time in my life. (I’ve been on anti-depressents a lot but never anti-anxiety meds.) Interestingly my partner and I just had a conversation in which he told me that frequently I put my anxieties before the wellbeing of our relationship and that doing so is caustic and detrimental to us as a couple. So despite the situation changing completely (the daughter I was so anxious about losing arrived safe and sound and is nappy as we speak), things aren’t all that different. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?


27 Becky { 12.15.11 at 7:06 pm }

2 years ago I wasn’t blogging. 2 years ago I was sick of the waiting for our 2nd child. 2 years ago I was sinking into a deep, ugly funk. 2 years ago my brother called to tell me that his 2nd child had been born. 2 years ago I fell to the ground and was unable to say anything more than an unconvincing “congrats” before I hung up the phone. 2 years ago I had no idea that my sweet baby E was being conceived (if indeed he was 40 wks gestation when he was born, he was conceived the same day my niece was born). In hindsight, 2 years ago didn’t suck as I thought it did. 2 years ago was a most wonderful day. Today I’m so glad to realize that.

28 Michaela { 12.15.11 at 8:41 pm }

Unfortunately I am stuck smack dab in the middle of hell that I was in 2 years ago. Actually I think it’s worse. And if 2 more years pass and I am still in hell or if it’s gotten worse I don’t know if these sentiments will hold water.

29 Claire Purkis { 12.15.11 at 9:28 pm }

On 12/10/2009 I got my BFN after a long and drawn out first donor egg cycle that started with our ideal donor and ended with our third donor. All went well, everything was textbook, but I got a BFN. The good news is that I got my BFP the following February 2010 and currently my sweet snotty nosed little girl is sleeping in the next room, aged almost 14 months.

30 Trish { 12.15.11 at 10:52 pm }

Hmm. My post from 2 years ago actually reflects changes in the Dugger’s lives, I guess. Their 25 weeker, Josie was born, and I wrote a post about how much I despised all the judgement they were getting when she got pre-e, and how much I really hate the word “fine.”

That being said, a lot has changed for me, as well. I’m now the parent of two children. I’ve survived secondary infertility after primary infertility. Robbie now eats by mouth instead of by tube. I am now done TTC forever and ever. That’s quite a paradigm shift.
After having survived both rounds of IF and two rounds of pre-e, my feelings on pregnancy are now “OH MY GOD NO” instead of “please please please.”

31 a { 12.15.11 at 11:30 pm }

I wrote about not complaining 2 years ago.


This year, things are both better (my husband will be home for the holidays!) and worse (my FIL just passed away from the cancer). These have been some interesting years – some things are static, some things are crazy. I just try to roll with it.

32 Journey Girl { 12.16.11 at 12:02 am }

2 years ago today, my husband had commandeered the blog as I was on bed rest in our hotel in Thailand after having a transfer. Two years on that little cheeky is running around keeping me on my toes and I am preparing for try number 2 this year in Thailand. Thanks for taking me back two years, I have a big smile on my face!

33 missohkay { 12.16.11 at 12:06 am }

I have not been blogging for two years yet, but I know exactly where I stood this month two years ago. My last period before conceiving my first doomed pregnancy… i.e. none of the reasons I’m online had happened yet. Crazy – it seems a lifetime ago already.

34 sunflowerchilde (Stacey) { 12.16.11 at 1:59 am }

Two years ago, I had found out I was carrying twins about ten days earlier, after almost two years of infertility, and I was getting ready to go to Italy to spend my first Christmas with my in-laws. I had also just had my first regular OB appointment and it was so weird being treated as a normal pregnant person. And now I have my two little angels asleep across the hall. It’s been an amazing two years.


35 Tigger { 12.16.11 at 3:14 am }

A little less than 2 years ago, I was feeling guilty for deleting defunct blogs and others that I really didn’t read: http://atiggerslife.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/i-feel-bad/

A little over 2 years ago, I was worried that my sister had cancer (she didn’t): http://atiggerslife.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/my-mother-my-sister-and-me/

And now? Well, I’m back in school full-time, might be crazy, have an 8-month-old son, and…well, yeah. Busy, yet not.

36 JustHeather { 12.16.11 at 9:24 am }

I started my blog about 3,5 years ago, but I didn’t start writing regularly until just over a year and a half ago. But just over two years ago, I wrote about my job and how I still loved it a year and a half into it. I’m still at the same job and I still like it!

But I do remember some of where I was. We were still quite early on in our TTC #1 journey. I had just gone through a lap surgery for endometriosis and I was waiting for a referal to the public clinic to start IF treatments. Much and yet not much has changed since then.

37 Kir { 12.17.11 at 7:28 am }

2 yrs..wow. It’s hard to believe…and honestly lately I’m amazed at how much can happen in 2 yrs or 2 days or even 2 minutes. The world, emotions and life changing so quickly. It’s not unsettling but it is a thoughtful thing.

I have a big post scheduled for January since when the twins turn 4 they will be alive for the amount of time it toook to conceive them…for me this is a life altering thing, a measure of time that needs it’s own recognition. I know that my emotions are already running high because of it…the thought that the last 8 yrs are gone and my hopeless turned to hope and my dreams turned into little boys.

And now I am crying……thanks for a wonderful post about the passing of time.

38 Patience { 12.17.11 at 8:51 am }

I actually just wrote a post about this: http://searchingforthemissingpiece.blogspot.com/2011/12/rewind-that-darn-h-word.html
Two years ago I was so full of hope that our final IVF would work. It didn’t and months later I had a devastating miscarriage when we transferred our remaining blasts. Now we are once again hopeful was we are hope to be matched with an expectant mother in a domestic adoption. But hope scares me, and looking back at the post made me cringe a little. Part of me wishes I hadn’t looked back…

39 Jen { 12.18.11 at 2:29 am }

Seriously great post….I was anticipating political and got inspirational.:) Two years ago I was getting acupuncture in preparation for our last try. However, it was the first time we used donor eggs…and it worked. 🙂 What a perfect flashback for me. Thanks Mel. http://jenicini.blogspot.com/2009/12/stick-needle-in-it.html

40 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 12.19.11 at 12:17 am }

Two years ago I had newborn twins and I was still trying to get my sea legs with them.


41 It Is What It Is { 12.19.11 at 8:02 pm }

I am 45# lighter and 30 inches smaller than I was two years ago (YAY!). I’ve also located and have begun corresponding with my birth mother. We moved. My son is now a rambunctious 4 3/4 year old and not just shy of being 3. I’m no longer working. So MUCH has changed.

Yet, one thing is still the same and that is that we are no closer to completing our family than we were 2 years ago, albeit we are also no longer in the dark place that drove me to the Internets to start my blog almost 2 years ago.

Here is a link to my very first entry:

42 smiling scar { 12.20.11 at 5:50 pm }

wow, so true. 2 years ago I was babysitting for my donor. And her daughter gave me a coin as a thank you for taking such good care of her:) I was crying still about Italy, but the different is I know I can do this. somehow. I’ve done 2 years, obviously that is a good sign that I can do this:) Oh thank you for the reminder of how even when we fear something that is hard, it looks different from the other side.

43 Dana { 12.22.11 at 2:21 pm }

Two years ago, I was a lunatic. An absolute mess of rage and anxiety and memory loss and lost libido and depression and hot flashes and hormonal insanity brought on by premature menopause. It was about this time of the year, shortly after Christmas if I recall correctly, that a blood test confirmed the menopause and I started on a path of herbal supplements and hormone replacements that cleared the rage and most of the other mess and brought me to here – a very good place.
Two years is a very, very long time, indeed.
Also, this photo makes my heart warm.

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