2017 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?  We took another family vacation. This time down South and then South-East. We visited New Orleans for the first time, among other places.

I also started to learn Spanish through Duoling and I’m almost through the program! In the Fall, I facilitated a small group at my church for the book Making Peace with Your Past. Teaching an Art History class at my co-op was probably the most fun thing I did.

2. Did you keep your New Years resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I always resolve to try and eat healthier and exercise more. And I do a little bit better every year. (Same old, same old)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister gave birth to my angelic niece, Isla, and my friend, Gen, gave birth to her precious boy, Sebastian.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Gen’s son was born still. Since we’re several states away, I’ve been grieving, watching and praying from afar.

5. What countries did you visit? Just more of the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? Better health and more confidence!

7. What from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Receiving Gen’s text that her sweet baby no longer had a heartbeat was awful. It just seemed unreal and my mind had a hard time understanding what those words meant.

My good memories of 2017 include several vacation moments; the unexpected beauty of driftwood beach on Jekyll Island, the wonder of Hogwarts at Universal Studios, the enchantment of T.R. Pugh’s Memorial.

Of course, meeting my sweet little niece for the first time, and celebrating my nephew’s first birthday rank pretty far up there, too.

Luke turned 13 and we surprised him with a base guitar which he absolutely loved!

8. What was your biggest contribution of the year? My biggest contribution was in reaching out to others. I taught an Art History class at our co-op and facilitated a class called Making Peace with your Past at church.

9. What was your biggest failure? I wish I’d done more for my health. We’ve continued to eat well, but all year long I vowed to do another round of the GAPS diet, and it just never happened. My allergies worsened this year and Gabe is still struggling with occasional asthma so I know it needs to happen, but I just haven’t done it and I really have no excuse.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major, thank goodness, but I was sicker this year than I every have been. Not daily, but I caught several bad bugs that knocked me out for a week at a time.

11. What was the best thing you bought? This is a hard one, but I guess I’d have to say my instant pot. I’ve certainly gotten a lot of use out of it and it’s made an unpleasant chore much more bearable.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I’ve been so blessed by how Gen handled her son’s passing. It’s really been inspirational.

Chelsea is an awesome mom and I love seeing her come into her own in that regard.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I have a family member who really disappointed me. I’ll have to leave it at that.

14. Where did most of your money go? We’ve been throwing a good chunk of money at paying of the loan for our addition. Travel expenses were probably the next big-ticket item.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Vacation. Always vacation. Especially our Fall vacation where we surprised the boys with a few days at Disney and then we got to meet the new baby.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017? NeedtoBreathe put out a new album and we’ve really enjoyed it. I also love the song Do It Again by Elevation Worship. Such a good reminder when things are rough.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier. I feel like 2018 is full of possibility and I’m thrilled that I was able to actually accomplish several things in 2017
ii. thinner or fatter? Same
iii. richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Photoshop and photography. Blogging.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying.

20. How will you be spending the Winter? Learning Spanish, finishing my Udemy course, and learning/using photoshop.

22. Did you fall in love in 2017? If my niece counts, then yes. She is such a pudgy delight. Love that girl!

23. What was your favorite month of 2017? It’s a toss-up between April, when we went on our big vacation, and November, when we went on our vacation down South.

24. What was your favorite TV program? We started watching Friends again. Seriously just cannot get into any of the shows that are out there. There are a couple that look promising, but I’m waiting until they’re a couple seasons in before I give them a go. My time is too precious to waste on crappy programming.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nope. Not a hater, such a waste of time.

26. What was the best book you read? Hillbilly Elegy. It’s an awesome book and I connected with it in SO many ways.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? I’m still a big Luke Nolen fan!

28. What did you want and get? An instant pot and a new food processor. Yup, livin’ the life.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? I know a lot of people hated it, but I really loved the latest Star Wars film. It’s my favorite SW movie ever!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 37.  I cannot for the life of me remember what we did on my birthday. I think we forced the boys to go somewhere I enjoy but they don’t….like the Botanical Garden. I’m sure I had a good time and I have no doubt Ben gave me a good gift.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? More time in nature. It’s really been on my heart – it’s a yearning really. We did spend more time out hiking and exploring the Botanical Gardens, but still not as much as I would have liked.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Still lame. Just barely getting by. I just keep waiting to “lose the last 10lbs.”

33. What kept you sane? Prayer, journaling, making new friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Vaccines. The pressure is intensifying to mandate vaccines across the board.

36. Who did you miss? Chelsea. Still. Especially now that the baby is here. I so wish I could just see them whenever, but it’s hard when they live 10 hours away.

37. Who was the best new person you met? Too many to list. This has been an awesome year for new friends. I feel beyond blessed. I’ve met so many awesome ladies at my church. Trish, Ginel, Amy, Heather, and Sherri, specifically. There are several more who I really like and I’m hoping to get to know better this year.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017: Confrontation. Last year I was enlightened to the depth of my people-pleasing and I was really working to move past that. Boy howdy did this year give me plenty of opportunities to do just that.

I had several big issues come up. One was with someone I’d just met and another was with a family member. I am really proud of the way I handled both situations. I could see that I’d actually made some real progress toward shedding my people-pleasing compulsion.

In a similar fashion, I had to learn to silence my harshest critic – myself. The outcome is that, in just one year, I did or learned so many things that I’d just never been able to really commit to in the past.

39. Best quote of the year? “Maybe willingness trumps ability, and the mutuality of vulnerability and humanness heals most of all.” Doug Shirley

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