…I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and spent five months purging piles, boxes, drawers, closets, cabinets and shelves of stuff.
…I had an MRI that showed I needed hip surgery to appease the hip pain I had been having for two years.
…I had that hip surgery…and spent six weeks on crutches…and six months in recovery…and learned what it feels like to be helpless…and to be waited on day and night by my husband, my children, my friends and family. Unforgettable. So humbling.
…I worked my way through The Artist’s Way, rewriting my story by writing my pages every day, day after day, for twelve weeks.
…our third child learned to read!
…our second child learned to love reading.
…our first child went to camp for a week…her first week away from us, away from family…and had an incredible time.
…we spent seven months dreaming and planning a 5,000 mile roadtrip.
…we saw Kentucky and Illinois and Missouri and Kansas and Colorado and Wyoming and Montana and Idaho and Utah and New Mexico and Texas and Oklahoma and Arkansas and New York and Georgia and Florida and Alabama. And came home changed. Forever changed.
…we said goodbye to four of our loved ones…four family members. Too many goodbyes…too much death…too much sorrow.
…our baby turned three, marking the first time we have ever had a three year old without a younger sibling.
…Chaz and I spent five days together, just us, sans kids, for the first time in our twelve years of parenthood.
…we reconnected with cousins young and old, reminding us of the gift of family and the beauty in diversity.
…we spent Thanksgiving at the beach with dear friends and their five children.
…Husband’s three businesses evolved once again and finally, finally we saw light at the end of the tunnel.
…Devon and I continued our monthly movie tradition for our third year in a row without missing a month!
… we celebrated Christmas on a Sunday and Monday. Found out we had renters for our house on a Tuesday. And moved out of our home on a Friday. All in the same week.
2016 pummeled us. It taught us and humbled us and inspired us. It cleared the peripheral to make room for the essential. It took us to every corner of the country. And out of our home of four years. It brought new friendship. And a new appreciation for old friendships. It broke our hearts. And healed my hip. It showed us what we are capable of. And who we desire to be.
We give thanks for the gift of a new year, thanks for the life and memories and lessons of the old.
We step forward with hope in our hearts, breath in our lungs, weary smiles on our faces. May the coming year carry us all in the arms of grace and peace and gratitude.