Highlights of 2016: Motherhood, Travel, Houses, & Blogging
Wow. What a year. Am I right? Not only was there a major (and controversial election), but so much has happened culturally and personally in 2016. For one thing, this has been a year of loss celebrity wise. My heart is still broken over losing Bowie, Rickman, and now Carrie Fisher and her mom Debbie Reynolds.
On a positive note, we have much to be thankful for too. Unemployment hit an all-time low since the recession, The Chicago Cubs overcame their World Series 108 year losing streak, and Africa was declared free of Ebola.
That’s pretty impressive.
Our family has also experienced some wonderful things on a personal level as well. There is, of course, always room for growth, but here are our family’s top moments of 2016:
1. I became a stay-at-home mom.
This is by far the biggest change, not just in 2016, but in my entire life. I was raised by a single mother, who worked long hours as a nurse. She somehow managed to do it all: take me to school, put me through extra-curriculars, and work a 12 hour shift with minimal help. So when I got pregnant with Ezra, I only imagined myself as becoming a working mom.
If I can be honest, I have a new found respect for my mom and working mothers everywhere. It is HARD raising a child and holding down a 9 to 5 job. After six months of working, I made the tough decision to leave a job I loved and stay home full time. However, once I accepted that I wanted to be home instead of working, I reached a level of fulfillment in my parenting journey that I never even imagined. It’s seriously one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
2. We got to see my sister-in-law get married in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
In May, David’s little sister got married! It was a beautiful destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and it was also Ezra’s first trip, lucky boy. We spent glorious time on the beach, ate delicious food, and watched two people who truly love each other say “I do.” You can’t beat that.
3. We sold our 1950’s fixer-upper house.
Originally, we thought this would be on the “worst things that happened in 2016” list, but happily ended up on our “best of” list. David and I purchased our fixer-upper shortly after our wedding in 2013. It was our pride and joy and when we first realized we should put it on the market we felt sad.
We poured our time, money, and hearts into making that house our home (you can read more about it on my old blog here), but when Ezra came along everything changed. We no longer had those same resources to finish what we started.
After the house sold, we quickly realized it was a blessing in disguise. We felt a huge burden lifted and with the money we made from the sale (we had a buyer for full asking price) we were able to pay off debt and still have a down payment for a new home.
4. We built a new house.
We have only been living here for about three weeks, but already we feel settled. I’m still trying to process the transition, but you can read a bit more about this major milestone here.
5. We paid off 75% of our debt.
I have so much to say about this, so look out for my next post where I’ll go into this a bit more. All I will say right now is that thanks to some strategic planning, due diligence, and a lot of grit, we were able to make a huge dent in our credit card and student loan debt. In fact, we’ve pretty much paid off all of it except for one of my smaller loans. Now all that’s left is the mortgage. Woohoo!
6. Ezra turned 1 year old.
Our little boy is starting to become “not so little” anymore. Just look at the difference a year can make!
He is currently 16 months old. He walks, climbs, eats solid food, has almost all of his teeth, and even though I can barely lift him now, I still insist on rocking him whenever I can. They say raising children goes by in the blink of an eye and I truly believe it.
7. I started this blog.
Let’s see, I started this blog back in October and in just a few short months it has already changed my life. It’s been a really creative, fun, and educational experience. What I love most is that it is so accessible to ANYONE. If you have an idea, product, or just want to ramble (like me), blogging gives you great platform to promote and express yourself. If you’ve been considering starting one, I say DO IT!
Even though I just started, here are some of my favorite posts from this year: