Just hopping on the band wagon here and reminiscing along with the best of them about my 2017. I can’t imagine anyone out there can say they had a picture perfect year, those highs and lows simply make us human. I started out the year pregnant and very sick. Several weeks of buttered toast and endless episodes of Gilmore Girls, but I triumphed. Holidays and birthdays were celebrated. Family and friends traveled to visit from out of state. More cups of coffee than I can count were consumed and many, many, maaaaaany sleepless nights are in the books. Hayden completed her first year in school and we welcomed a healthy, beautiful baby boy to complete our now family of five. Andy put in another successful year with his employer and we were lucky enough to have him home this summer for 6 weeks when Waylon arrived. We experienced the “joy” that head lice bring. Twice. And it seems like forever ago, but it was this time last year that Reid was now fully potty trained day and night and we kicked the pacifiers for good. Those little things made my sweet boy grow up instantly.
This year we had the very heavy conversation with Hayden about her birth father, her half sister and she learned the details of her adoption by Andy. There were some happy tears and some sad ones. Questions and laughter and just about every other emotion you can imagine. She handled it with grace and love and it lifted a weight that Andy and I had carried for years. We had been waiting for what seemed like the right time in life and it presented itself this year. We rekindled old relationships for it and we started new chapters with some very special people, including Hayden’s sister. Last month, during our family vacation, Hayden met her sister for the first time and I hope it’s a memory for her that will always remain special. Very often life is messy and complicated and you feel like you aren’t doing the right things. This milestone with her helped bring us light and understanding and made us feel validated that choices and decisions we’ve made for the sake of our family and children have been the right ones. There isn’t much comparable to seeing the love and connection between your children. The unspoken bond that you helped create. She gained two siblings this year, in very different ways, and that just may take the cake for 2017.
When I started this post, I had what seemed like more to say. As I write though, I find myself just looking back at this year feeling grateful. Feeling satisfied. Feeling overwhelmed in a good way with how our family grew and changed. I don’t have any resolutions for the new year. It’s more than enough to just keep chugging along and making life the very best we can. I know I can always strive to be better and I can always set goals, no matter what day it is. I plan to write more and get back to taking pictures, of more than my kids. Once Waylon was born, it felt like a roller coaster for a while. One I just couldn’t get to slow down long enough to hop off. That’s for a different post though. Everyday seemed stressful and I was anxious and everyone at home got the brute of my wrath. I can admit that I wasn’t a pleasant wife most days and I lost my temper with the kids more often than they deserved. I needed a break, Andy needed a break, the kids needed a happier mom back and some time out of the house. While our time in the northwest wasn’t a luxurious vacation, it was a much needed break from the grind. Seeing familiar faces and getting out of Alaska for a while was perfect. Not worrying about the dirty dishes, and homework and laundry that was piling up. Andy and I both agreed we needed to make it a priority to travel more. So in 5 weeks we’ll be on a plane heading to a warm sandy beach in HAWAII! I can’t think of a better way to start off the new year. For now, I’ll leave you with some more moments from this past year. Cheers everyone!