Earlier this week I had a first-visit Doctor's appointment, one more step toward getting fully settled here in Michigan.

"Did you have it with a Beaumont doctor?"

"Oh no, I was in...San Diego?  No, wait.  Might have been Washington."


"You like to travel?"


"Well, I've just moved quite a bit in the past few years."

Around this time last year, I was a newly initiated member into the "2 under 2 club."  Archie had just turned a month old.  I was doing my at-home parent thing.  Tim was deep in the throws of his remote job.  We had recently determined it was going to be a lean Christmas after learning Archie's hospital bills were much higher than Ella's, and we had just sat down and made "moving to Michigan" a part of our 3-year plan.  No surprise to the Lochner clan, life was a little chaotic and foreshadowed uncertainty as we weren't exactly sure what 2016 had in store for us.

Here we are, a full 365 days later and 2016 is coming to a close.  Now, I'm a newly initiated member into the "working mom" club.  Archie has just turned one-year-old.  Tim is in yet another transitional phase at work, taking on a new venture.  We have a slightly bigger pile of presents under our tree and a tiny stack of presents were just shipped out to our beloved California friends, and we just sat down and made "moving into a house" a part of our 3-month plan (we're well into the process). No surprise to the Lochner clan, life is a little chaotic and is foreshadowing uncertainty as we aren't exactly sure what 2017 has in store  for us.

Over the past few years, I've experienced a lot of change.  But 2016 was the year I grew a little more comfortable with change.  Over the past few years, we've gone from a one bedroom place, to a two bedroom place, to a three bedroom place, to a basement.  And nothing will teach you "adaptability" like moving across the country and setting up shop in a basement as a family of 4 will.   I'll say that on the temporal, feelings level, it's been hard in every way.  I've been stretched to my limits physically, wondered if I'll ever get a good night's rest again, I've nearly fallen asleep standing up, and have ached for our own backyard.  But on the higher level of my soul and heart and internal growth, it's been nothing short of totally amazing.  I've gone from never driving to driving across the country, from seeing my best friends once every 1-2 years to once a week.  I got to experience Northern Michigan with my husband, see a Wyoming sunset, and watch my kids experience snow.  I said "yes" to be interviewed for a podcast and to going out with new people, both of which I would have run from a couple years ago.  I've gone out my way to be kind when I wasn't feeling like being kind.  I dyed my hair blonde again.  I apologized to someone I was avoiding.  I forgave.  I read books. I kept writing.

If I had one piece of advice for anyone at any point in life, it'd be do to something that seems crazy to you, whether that's taking a class you think you'll fail or traveling without an itinerary.  (Don't 'do Wild.')  Because as much as discomfort and change sucks and hurts, I've learned it's our best teacher. Getting uncomfortable over these past few years and most recently this year has led to a hilarious and cute brother/sister duo, an emergency savings, a paid off car, a cross country move, and a stronger, more united marriage.

I have nothing else to say except that once again this year was a total ride.  It was exhausting and joyful and brought an inner peace I haven't had in a very long time.  But, predictably, I'm already antsy to see what 2017 will bring as this finally feels like the year of getting settled and that feels good. We've worked so hard, and we're beginning to feel the hard-work paying off.

So, 2016, it's been a blast.  You treated us well.  Stay tuned for 2017.  House hunting, car searching, student loan paying, pre-school searching is all ahead of us.  And I'm not goin' anywhere (just so I can avoid any further confusion at the doctor's office.)


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