What. A. Year.
There were plenty of good good things.
Many wonderful experiences:
For my birthday, my better half and I got to see and meet Christopher Titus.
In February, Courtney and I got to see Bon Jovi – and I was so freaking excited!
The girls and I saw Phantom of the Opera with my Mom and it was wonderful.
Courtney and I saw Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (as a “just because” surprise from him – he is the best!) and it was my favorite show I’ve ever been to.
I got to take Sara to her first real concert – to see Panic! at the Disco. It was an amazing show.
On a trip to visit my bestie, I got to pet a kangaroo! As a crazy animal lady, I was just beside myself excited about this one!
Sara and I were fortunate enough to get to see Vice President Biden up close and personal when he came to town to speak this year. We had the best day.
Sara and I also went to an awesome Women’s Conference in Hokes Bluff and got to see Kasey Van Norman (again, for me) – and two other wonderful speakers. Another fabulous day.
Courtney and I got to see Foo Fighters live and it was a blast. 🙂
Sara (my road trip buddy) and I made a quick trip to Tennessee to get my book signed and meet Katie Davis.
Those things were all really special and so much fun.
There have been other great things that I am very thankful for as well:
My bestie moved much closer and I love, love, love getting to see her more often:
Ginny and me at the Nashville Zoo
A fun outing to Mellow
I have just received my certificate to begin seeing health coaching clients and I am really looking forward to it:
Sara got into IB school and is doing so well there and we are incredibly proud of, and for, her:
I’ve gotten to spend more time with my wonderful besties here at home and I love them so:
Now that my schedule is different, I’ve been able to go back to church and begin serving and I love our church so much:
Larry and me
Our family at Christmas service
I am so incredibly thankful for my sobriety. Saying goodbye to wine is one of the best things I have ever done for myself and I thank God every day:
This year has really grown my faith in some big big ways and I am deeply grateful:
I thank God for all of the good things – and there are so many.
This year also brought a lot of HARD. Really really HARD things.
Our dear friend Ryan passed away really suddenly with complications from cancer, very shortly after he was diagnosed, and it has just broken our hearts. We all miss his terribly. I know we will see him again but it is so hard. I pray for my dear Al and Jane and Meg constantly and I still do HATE this. But I trust Him. And I do know it’s a “see you later” to Ryan – even though it sucks something fierce:
I stress fractured my left foot around January 12th of this year – the fourth metatarsal. That bone never healed. Since then, a bone in my right foot has stress fractured and healed and another bone in my left foot has up and stress fractured now. It is a hot mess:
Now. With the two broken bones.
The day I received this guy was also the day I came to really understand I would not be going back to work again:
Right now, we are in the process of dealing with disability – which is a nightmare.
And this has been such a difficult adjustment.
To go from being an independent adult to not having your own income (though I am tremendously blessed with a wonderful husband and family) is so hard. I WANT to work and contribute. Add to that being a nurse was important to me and something I loved doing.
It’s been hard to let go.
And there was all of this:
Apart from the stress fractures, my RA has just exploded this year. As such, new meds have been added. And we’ve made changes and tried new things. I’ve been a human guinea pig at times.
I lost so much hair from one combination that I had to shave my head. I am so thankful it is now growing back.
My pain varies from day to day but it is a very difficult thing.
It has definitely been hard.
Stress is a huge trigger and one big stressor this year has been handling the behaviors brought on by our oldest daughter’s Borderline Personality Disorder. We are currently working on another treatment option – that she has agreed to – and are prayerful that it will work out.
I cannot begin to say – and there have been MANY things that have happened with her I haven’t written – how much heartache some of these things have brought.
It is so so hard.
So I am praying and hoping with all my might that this new option with work out and will give her the help she needs.
And I am so ready for 2018.
But, in the good things, I intentionally left off one for last.
I realize that I AM, in fact, our friendly neighborhood crazy dog lady. There is no doubt of that.
This little dude has his own little dresser in my closet, he has his own Christmas tree, he has a car seat, he is Henry Herring, and he does what he wants:
However, there really is more to his story than the fun things – though those are awesome and I love them.
When we brought him home on August 18th, it was just over a month after I had to stop working and my anxiety attacks were really overwhelming.
Since then, he has been my constant companion.
He is here when I can’t get my pain under control and I need to hug him and cry in his fur. His constant presence has led to a major reduction in my anxiety attacks. He knows if I’m not feeling well and stays snuggled at my side.
In what can be a very lonely experience as a spoonie, taking sick days in bed with everyone else off doing things, he keeps me company and brings me joy.
I have no doubt – from the way he came to us – that God intended for him to be my little service dog.
He has been an answer to prayer and made this difficult year easier on me.
Just as God has provided this year, I know He will continue to.
I am looking forward to more good memories and new experiences as well:
Be well, everybody, Happy Sunday (and New Year!), and Who Dat!
Grace and Blessings.