Happy New Year's Eve! It's hard to believe today is the last day of 2017. I typically do an outfit review at the end of each year, but this year, I wanted to go a little deeper and share five things I am particularly grateful for this past year.
1. My dad's health. My dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer in Fall 2016, and this time last year, we were awaiting him having a major surgery in January, followed by months of radiation and chemo. This is the first person close to me that I have watched battle cancer and it's been a rough road, with many ups, downs and challenges. I am so thankful to God for answering the prayers of many. It appears that his treatment is working and that he is on the road to recovery now, one year later. Going through this experience has made me more grateful for loved ones and more conscious of savoring time with them!
2. My twins. Jack and Lily turned seven two weeks ago and I can honestly say that age six has been my favorite age ever! I have enjoyed my children and parenting them more than ever this year, to the point where I truly don't want them to grow up any more! We enjoyed their first trip to Disney, numerous beach trips and countless days on the lake this year. I cannot wait to travel and explore with them more in 2018.
3. My marriage. As my has business grown and evolved, it understandably has impacted my marriage to different extents. I'm sure many of you can relate to the feeling that owning a business and/or working, plus raising kids keeps any marriage in a constant shuffle for maintaining communication and fun! 2017 has been a year where I feel like Mike and I have truly grown as a team. It's been fun to dream together, and amazing to do more work and travel together. I'm super thankful to be married to a man who loves the heck out of me and our twins, believes in me, is always willing to lend a helping hand and who is a lot of fun, too!
4. My self awareness. This might sound like a strange one, but I am grateful to feel like I have grown significantly as a person this year. If you have followed me for the past six months or so, you may recall this post. It was my most vulnerable post to date, written in response to online "haters" who publicly criticized me for all sorts of petty things. As mortifying as it was to read such cruel and judging comments by people who don't know me, it was a defining moment for me. It encouraged me to stand up for truth and to be more authentic about the "un-perfectness" of my life. I struggle with anxiety and to feel more free from the approval of other and having to "act" like I always have it all together has been amazing! The feedback and encouragement I received from hundreds of you all was truly a highlight of the year, and turned a challanging situation into one that helped me grow and change for good! My goal for 2018 is to continue to be as authentic as possible both online and in real life.
5. My friendships. This may sound cliche, but it's not. As I look back on 2017, I am truly amazed and utterly thankful for the rich friendships God has placed in my life. I am thankful for my neighborhood friends who live daily life with me as we co-parent our littles. I am thankful for my friends at Perimeter Christian School who love my family like their own. I am thankful for my blogger friends around the country who I text with daily and keep me sane in the crazy world of blogging! I am thankful for my life-long friendships far and near with whom know everything about me and can always pick up right where we last left off. The older I get, I realize true friends are a rare gift.
I see you all as my followers as my friends, too, and I'm so thankful for each of you! I have enjoyed getting to know many of you this year and looking forward to growing in friendships with you all this year.
Thank you for all of your support and love! Happy 2018! May the New Year be filled with much love, grace, peace and joy.
P.S. I have been taking some polls for new content ideas for 2018 over on Instagram and would love more ideas. Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you would like to see more of here on the blog and on social media in the new year!