There have only been two years in my life when EVERYTHING changed (which is saying a lot as an Army brat). One of those years, I graduated from high school, moved away to college, began chipping away at my liberal arts degree, and most importantly–met the love of my life. The other year, I graduated from college with my bachelor’s in English Literature, married the love of my life a month later, and entered life as I know it as a military wife. But if I was going to pick a runner-up year, a year that gets honorable mention in terms of change, keeping busy, and experiencing life: it would be 2017.
Two months into February 2017, my husband returned from training and we were once again a reunited family. (For any of my military readers out there–aren’t homecomings the best?) We weren’t supposed to be moving until June, but came down on orders in March to move the first week of April. That actually happened to us. (For my military readers out there–doesn’t that happen a lot? lol) So we had to pack up and leave our apartment, which was an extra big change because it was our very first home together. We travelled 500 miles (with a toddler, a lab, and a morning sick mama) to move into a house we hadn’t even been in before. Good news is, we loved the house! Fun fact: we didn’t have a choice. haha
Life in our new house, at our new duty station was great. In fact, I think we liked our location even better. (Although we will always look back fondly on our previous two years and would be more than happy to go back!) As our family excitedly awaited the arrival of our second baby, we also lived the hours of Army training life. Early mornings meant early bedtimes, and there was a lot of packing, meal prepping, and long days. We made the best of it. In fact, we made a goal to focus on our “quality” of life. That had been our goal for 2017. We knew that our free time would be limited, with pregnancy and Army training taking up so much space in our life. So we tried to squeeze every drop of value out of our weekends together that we could. I can honestly say we really, truly did.
Once the Army training came to an end (congrats to my husband on his graduation!!), life finally slowed down for us. And when I say it slowed down, I mean we had a lot of time off. More than we have ever had before. Some days it felt like we were back in college, hanging out on the weekend together–we had that much time off. And we loved every single second of it! We had spent so much of 2017 learning to make the most of our time together. And so when our break finally came, we really knew how to spend it. Our second baby came along, and our family went into full-hibernation mode, enjoying the peaceful calm that comes once the baby arrives. We spent some real, long, happy days as a threesome. And now, as a foursome!
Looking back at the year in review, I can say that it was the quality of life we shared that made 2017 so impactful. The hustle and bustle that took up so much of the year ended up being completely worth it. The pregnancy and Army training paid off. Because not only did they have the best conclusions possible (especially the pregnancy conclusion! haha) but because it was during those times that we really learned how to make the most of our life. Like I said earlier, we felt like we had to squeeze every bit of life out of the time we had together, because there wasn’t a lot of it. This year, we learned to make the most of our weekends, and even just the most out of an evening together. It was a daily practice at first, but then it became a habit. And now, I really feel like it is our lifestyle.
As 2017 comes to a close, I feel grateful. This year was filled to the brim with blessings. I’m still surprised myself when I look over the year and realize how much has changed and happened, how many prayers have been answered, and how many memories have been made. I know it’s cliche to say it was “the best Christmas ever,” but I can definitely say that the ending months of 2017 have been some of the best in my life. And while it will be bittersweet to say goodbye to 2017, I’m glad that I can pack it up inside my heart and take it with me into the new year. Or as we always say among military friends, it’s not really goodbye after all, but really just, see you later.
See you later, 2017! You were too good to me.