Goodbye, 2017!

2017

 

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.

 

 

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Round-Up: December 2017

Round-Up: December 2017

“Landscape sketched from memory, heavens and land entwine / Rapidly the scene is set, exquisitely divine. / Pine trees reaching tall and proud, like statues standing still. / There is no wind to speak of, more an icy winter chill.”  

— Suzanne Bates

I began this blog post as a summary of the month, like I usually do.  But three or four sentences in, my post was quickly spiraling into an assessment of my blog.  And then a fond look back on my year of blogging.  Then I found myself revisiting how blogging went for all of 2016.  Then I realized I was completely off-topic. And so now here we are.

I feel like that happened a lot this month.  I’d have something on my mind, and it would float away from me.  Words wouldn’t be spoken, or I would remember what I wanted to say two or three hours later.  I’d have intentions to do something, and somehow that thing would never materialize.  I would mentally create a list, and completely forget about those things for days.  It was kind of frustrating.  It was kind of fun.  It was pretty much December 2017 for me.

Maybe this year wore me out?  I don’t think so.  But I do think that my mommy-brain has gone into hyper-drive.  My focus is kind of all over the place, but my heart feels really settled.  It feels completely focused.  Mostly on my life.  Especially on my family.  This month was one of my favorites.

This is how I basically spent my month:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  She was baptized at the beginning of this month.  SO happy for her. <3
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Rigatoni, crab pot pie, and Instant Pot salmon and tilapia.  (<-Christmas gift!!!)
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  TOUGHER than it sounds…she keeps finding things I need to hide.
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was my favorite.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.   I looked at a Dickens-inspired statue.  Does that count?
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies…one of my favorite Christmas traditions!
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I finished the stocking but not the turban.  Still working on it…
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! The photo was a Christmas miracle, but we got them all sent out. haha
  9. Wrap presents.  I might have had to wrap a few on Christmas Eve.  But we did it!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  Some of my favorite 2017 memories!

But I can’t really cheer myself on for doing 9/10 of my to-do list items.  Like I mentioned earlier, I specifically gave myself the easiest, lightest to-do list in the history of to-do lists.  I don’t think I should have even called this a to-do list.  Although, maybe it’s good that I thought of it that way.  Because it’s so easy to think everything we have to do is all the unfun things, and we forget how truly necessary the fun ones really are.  At least I struggle with that.  Anyway, this month, I’m thrilled that I did almost my entire list, because they were fun things that I really wanted to do.  And January will come with more adulting than the last four months combined, so I was blest with the chance to take time off and smell the snow.  flowers.  the spanish moss.  the Christmas tree?  Moving on…

I don’t feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to 2017, or even just December 2017.  So I will save that for my end-of-the-year post.  But I guess for now I will just enjoy my last few days of December 2017, and will see you in my yearly round-up.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas!

I hope that your Christmas Eve was full of exciting anticipation, and that your Christmas morning was filled with peace and joy.  I truly hope that as Christmas continues on, your days continue on to get merrier and brighter!  I didn’t get a chance to blog on Christmas, but I thought of my readers and of wanting wish you all a merry Christmas.  Thank goodness there are twelve days of Christmas.  They have saved me in more than one way!  And saving, so fitting–that really is what Christmas is all about.  Saving up the memories you make.  Saving up to buy gifts for others.  Honoring He Who came to Save us all.

I’d just like to take a moment to wish you a Merry Christmas!

“May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.”
– Ada V. Hendricks

 

~ Merry Christmas, 2017! ~

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Happy Thanksgiving, 2017!

Happy Thanksgiving, 2017

 

I know I haven’t been posting lately…but I couldn’t think of a better way to “get back on my blog” with a post wishing all my readers a happy thanksgiving.  I’m so grateful for your readership!  I know it goes without saying…but a blog doesn’t exist without readers.  So thank you for coming back so often to read and to support this place!

Without taking up more of your time on this holiday– Happy Thanksgiving, 2017 style!

And PS: thanks for being so patient and understanding about my absence.  I was taking off time for my little growing family.  But you should see some new posts popping up here and there during the holidays.  Maybe not as frequent as usual, but I’ll be around.  I hope you will be too!

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October 2017

October 2017 - my to-do list!

” O hushed October morning mild, / Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; / Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild, / Should waste them all.” – Robert Frost

It’s October!  For so long, I didn’t really like this month…it’s cold…it’s in the way of Thanksgiving and Christmas…it’s full of scary decorations in all the stores.  But for some reason, this October I’m totally getting into the spirit of fall!  Maybe it’s because I’m in the south and so September didn’t really feel like the fall.  Or maybe it’s because my baby will be here soon, that October 2017 is full of good feelings and anticipation.  Whatever the reason is, I’m just happy to be excited for this month!  And excited for getting my to-do list done:

  1. House clean my blog  – I have some irrelevant content that I want to sweep up and trash.
  2. Write my guest blog post – I still need to do this.  It’s been on my list for a while.
  3. Finish my baby tutu – I’m working on the top ruffle, and then need to do the bottom one and the waistband!
  4. Read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – For my book club.  And for me.
  5. Complete my baby diary – You guys, I’ve made so much progress.  I just need a FINAL push to get this done!
  6. Buy some clearance fall decor – I never really stocked up, and don’t feel like doing it at full price!
  7. Sign up for a class or study phone photography tips – Mostly for blogging, but also just for us.
  8. Spend Halloween with my family –  I don’t even like Halloween, but we’ve been married for 4 and never spent one together!

Is it bad my to-do list is shorter than normal?  It’s just that last month I made an ambitious list and got like none of it done.  So I’m trying to be a bit more realistic.  And I also don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, as I really want to enjoy this fall and special time!  For some reason, I haven’t been as “productive” lately when it comes to checking off my lists, but I’ve been having really happy and productive days.  So it kinda balances itself out in the end I guess!  Anyway, what’s on your October 2017 t0-do list?  I would love to know, so leave a comment below!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back soon for my next post.  (Spoiler: It’s a revelation of the baby mobile I’ve been working on!) See you soon!

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