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Wrapping up 2016

It's the end of the year, which means an excellent time to reflect, to evaluate the year, and see what I learned. I've done these wrap up posts since I began the blog, and I encourage you to do the same!

Was 2016 the best year ever? Nope, not even close. But, it was a year that I did not check out and that I survived.

In January I ended up at Hyland Software, saving my mind from the law office and bringing back some joy and breathing space to my life. It was a great way to start off the year and has proven repeatedly to be the right choice.

In February we found a church, and it was great to be back among a church family, but hard because it wasn't the church family we had created in Kentucky. We'd spent years cultivating relationships, which is so challenging for me. But at least we had a start. It was also around that time that I noticed my depression getting unbearable, and I started to seek help. Much of the spring was a tangle of depression and marital struggles rolled in with Nathan's final surgery. His recovery did not go as planned, and I ended up spending a lot more time at the hospital and driving back to the ER than I hoped to.

But in April, Jace's best friend and my best friend made a trip from Kentucky to see us and celebrate Jace's fourth birthday. It was a glorious breath of fresh air to reunite with some of my people. Warmer weather let me back into my natural element: the outdoors.

In May, fully recovered, Nathan went back to work and Jace started spending 5 days a week at preschool/daycare, giving us routine, a more flexible budget, and helped our family overall. Our summer was a whirlwind of adventures with Jace: putt-putt, weekends at Mimi's house, movie dates, a road trip to Kentucky, a family vacation to Chicago, and lots and lots of s'mores.

Fall settled in, fairly warm, and mostly uneventful. My parents moved to Florida, which was harder on me than I thought, but quickly enough plans were in the works to make a trip to see them. The election left me feeling rattled, and we'll leave it at that. I will be doing my best to keep an eye on politics in 2017 without sacrificing all my energy.

December was crazy, celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary, taking a family vacation to Florida to visit my family, and of course Christmas with a four year old.

When I look at 2016 as a whole, it ended up very good. My marriage, which was in such question, is strong. I look at my family of three and I know that we are doing something right when I look at my 4 year old who talks about his friends at daycare and wants to help me in the kitchen. We were able to travel, and to me there are few things more valuable than new experiences. And I sought the help I needed, and was honest about my struggle with depression. Having depression is not an upside for the year, but figuring out how to manage it and being able to say I've survived it is.

So 2016, thank you for the lessons you taught and the opportunities you afforded.
And 2017, welcome.

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