2017...the year of bed bugs, crutches, and visits to the hospital. I feel as though I may have tempted fate when I gave 2017 a bold challenge in my farewell to 2016 post. Despite its annoyances, I loved this year. I did. I saw John Legend in concert. (WHAT.) Really, WHAT. Concert goals achieved. I saw THE LION KING, meaning I crossed the first item off my bucket list. I went back to being a stay-at-home mom. Tim got a new job. We sold the first car we bought together. We got 2 new rides. We moved. Again. We paddle-boated. I got a bike. I chopped off my hair. I swung a golf club for the first time in years. Archie started talking. Ella went from 'just talking' to being a hilarious conversationalist. We flew kites. We brunched (a lot). We discovered our favorite local coffee shop. Tim's parents came for a visit. We had the dreamiest snow day. We reunited with family. We loved hard on our city.

I learned a few lessons, all of which will prove to be valuable in 2018, I'm sure. Like, we'll always make more money. After what felt like endless medical bills and needing to remedy cars that wouldn't start, I learned this year more than ever to stay calm if/when our emergency fund runs dry.

During the summer, I quit my job and took on the role of stay-at-home mom again. It was a difficult adjustment, but considering my history, I'm surprised by how much I've been content and happy in this role. Tim and I have reconciled with the fact that we might be renting for the next little while, and we're both okay with that. Who says we have to own a house by age 29 or 30? Not us. (But here's to it being a buyer's market soon!) I reunited with some family this year, which has been fulfilling in a way that I never expected.

The upside to roller coaster years like this one is they help teach us to enjoy the ride all the more. 2018 won't be as smooth-sailing as I'm already picturing it to be. It could even shape up to be more difficult than this year. Who knows? What I do know is I'm closing 2017 with more gratitude than ever before. And it's my grateful heart and reliance on God that will see me into and throughout next year.

Farewell, 2017. I won't miss you. But I'm grateful you stopped by.


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