2017 ... a year in review

Its been over a year since I have blogged!! I have never taken a year off of blogging since I started this silly little thing over 10 years ago.. actually I think this year marks 12 years!!

If I think back over 12 years SO MUCH has changed!!

change is constant

my life has taken twists and turns that I never expected
if you have ever been a follower of my silly little blog then you already knew that!

so why did I stop blogging?

not that I didn't have things to say lol
I ALWAYS have something to say!!

most likely pure survival mode

if I had to pick 1 word for 2017 it was


let me clarify

I didn't have to survive my marriage ... although no marriage is perfect for me this was a difficult year for us mostly I would say for the same reason why I was in Survival mode in the first place
I didn't have to survive being a mom ... although 2017 brought a few challenges that were massive for me and when I have permission I will share with you but right now I do not have permission to talk publicly about it
I didn't have to survive through friendships .... although my reason for survival kept me from my friends for the majority of the year
I didn't have to survive as I was still immersed in grief over my dad .... although I still feel scared and like I may never fully recover

I think the major reason for my survival mode was ALL of it topped with working full time .. and not just full time but I averaged 50 hours a week from Dec 12 - May 12 and then I averaged 60 hours a week from May 12 - Oct 31

I am still tired

that was a lot!

I was NOT used to those kind of hours to say the least...and the first 3 months of the year I had 4 major colds/infections and yet only missed 2 days of work
I was NOT used to having to be a mom to a toddler, a busy toddler, a handful of teenagers with all their teenager needs, a husband even if he is a patient one, maintaining friendships and church life and be totally completely and utterly exhausted

In the midst of all this exhaustion I did have some amazing times ... my trip to England and Paris with my sister Shash and joined by our mom, cousin and 2 Aunties was AMAZING.... standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower with my sister was a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Standing in our hotel room in Paris I was overcome with emotions .... knowing our dad would be thrilled that we were traveling together .. family was everything to him ... crossing off something from my bucket list with one of the few humans that knows me the most and I love completely was healing for my soul .. the months leading up to that trip are dark months .... very dark months, months that I feel took years off my life and I am sure I have PTSD from!! again I cannot share .. yet, maybe one day, but even if I don't fully share I am sure most of you can relate to dark times for various of reasons!! dark months are awful, they can lead to dark years and are stealers of Joy and Life!

But I survived .... am still surviving!

that's what we humans do!
one step in front of the other

even if they are teeny tiny baby steps 

I am happy to say that my work hours, at least for now, are more doable! and I am scared, ok I am petrified that these May-Oct hours will be repeated when Season hits and I am scared I cannot do it again, scared of the impact of that on my family, my life, my humanity and my Joy.
I see signs it will be better .. I am working so that it will be better and it's not because I am a wimp or fragile but the balance between how much I pour of myself in to my job (cuz I am a workaholic and have extremely high expectations of myself) just does not leave enough for what I WANT to pour into my family and those I choose to give my time too. 
the balance alluded me this year

I am determined to find that balance in 2018!
so far so good

So even though I am able to smile big for the camera ... and sometimes mean it :)
and have laughs and good times
2017 just didn't bring enough down time for me to spend with the ones I love
to paint
to garden
to organize my house
to clean
to hang with friends/family
to breathe

I see the extra lines on my face

but we are still standing ... I am still standing ... even if a little crooked :)

My family is changing again this year
2 have graduated high school now
1 left in high school
1 who cannot wait to go to school! (robot school with all his robot friends .. his words)
and I wonder what 2018 will look at

1 daughter in college part time
1 daughter working full time
1 daughter in high school and learning to drive
I have more cars in my driveway then my neighbors combined!

What will life look for the 3 of us (pic above) once all the girls have finished school and move on their way .... thoughts I think and sometimes keeps me up at night

I love my life .. usually .. but I didn't love 2017

I am glad it's over

We all still love each other .. mostly :) come on lets keep it real! I didn't really love my sisters (well not all of them) until I was an adult :)

these 2 love each other! I did love watching their relationship grow this year, at only 11 months apart these 2 will be friends for life... uncle and nephew extraordinaire! They get to navigate life together and I am very thankful for that!

Here is to 2018
May you be kinder to me aka me be better to me
May you have more good memories then dark clouds
May you have better time management
more time with those I love

2018 - my word for you is COURAGE ... courage to be who I am and find balance in it all!
(photos taken by my niece in law AlyssaStuitPhotography.com https://m.facebook.com/alyssastuitphotography/ )


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