For the past few years I have taken the last day of December to spend some time reflecting on the past 365 days and what they have meant to me.
I find it is so common to go through life just surviving, getting through one day at a time, but rarely do we take the time to pull back and look at the bigger picture.
I am thankful for the close of one year and the beginning of another to help me remember to be intentional and focused. And it is worth mentioning that my one word for 2018 was “Remember” and so that is partly why this is a longer letter this year. I have worked at being more mindful and noting and reminding myself of the good things God has done. It is so faith building!!
So here are some of my favourite things to REMEMBER from 2018:
We kicked off January with a fun family gathering at our house, complete with fun tunes and a dance party!
Sarah and I started our new branch of She Speaks United with our first She Prays group!
I started my new job, back at Mi-Jack Canada and it feels like home.
At the very start of February, Billy and I celebrated Valentines early and went away for a weekend in Canmore-my favourite place to retreat to the mountains! We ate Brazilian BBQ and went for a nice easy hike in the woods!
We had a hedgehog birthday party for Eddie, all the coolest hedgies were there.
On Family day we had a blast heading out to a friend’s acreage for some sledding! Coral got to ride the sled for the first time and loved it!
I taught Coral how to do beading, and she started getting really into it, teaching herself how to make moccasins!
In April, Emily published some of her poetry in a school book and we went to listen to her present it at a poetry event called Ballyhoo.
Emily moved back home for the summer, finishing her second year at Uni. And in May she was baptized at church, turned 19 and began a whole new journey with Jesus. We are so proud of how she is choosing to move forward and let Jesus work in her heart after such a struggle with so many hurts and deep grief.
Coral graduated from high school, which was such a huge accomplishment. She overcame so many obstacles to get to this point and we were so very proud! We celebrated with a lovely back yard garden tea party with all of our favourite people! Coral’s Grad dress was beautiful with some ornate appliques we had added so it would be as unique as her. She wore gorgeous moccasins she made to match her dress.
In June the girls and I attended our Brave Weekend, a women’s retreat at church. It was so powerful and impacting for us!
Beth Moore was in Calgary and Candice and I went for a girl’s weekend with Beth and the Camaro! We took the long way home, having lunch and some shopping in Canmore. It was so powerful and fun filled.
The summer was a blast!
We had an amazing trip to the Okanagan again, visiting with Billy’s sister and family. We toured wineries, went to a lovely lavender farm, played on the beach and drank coffee with a lake view every morning. It was good rest for my soul.
We had so much fun with friends. Wine nights, pool parties, visits from the Morgans, seeing old friends at Phil’s Birthday, Billy and I having an opportunity to share at church one Sunday, and a couple of nights camping in our new to us truck camper. Coral finally gets her learners license!
But the summer held two major highlights for me.
In August, Billy and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary. We celebrated by having an amazing date at a tiny, obscure pub, complete with scotch tasting. We then went to the ledge grounds and had dessert on a bench with the best view; my handsome hubby.
Our summer was cut a bit short as I went in for major surgery at the end of August. I was blessed with a hysterectomy as well as some rebuild work to right all that was done wrong 19 years ago when Emily was born. Some complications and a whole heck of a lot of pain (and thankfully, meds), and four days later I was home to begin my healing. I was off work for two months but I am slowly recovering with great hopes and expectations of a much better quality of life on the other side. My family and my friends were such a great blessing to me in that process and I am so very thankful for all the help and visitors I received!
Emily went back to school at the end of August to begin year three of her B/A degree! She was with her same roommates and was over the moon to get back to her schedule and structure. She is getting really into poetry writing and started selling little Zines!
Coral was graduated but decided to go back to the high school to upgrade one semester.
Billy and I decided to again lead a couples connect group and I decided to teach my Luke bible study again. We love spending time with people where we can center it around the word of God.
I spent the fall, mostly on the couch, healing and resting. Its tough for a #3 on the Enneagram to stay still and not be producing! I watched a lot of Neflix…but also, I wrote and read books and learned how to record and edit podcasts!
Emily and I started our new She Speaks United group, “She Writes”. (Thankfully she is doing most of the work on this one!) I started a new She Speaks United group with a whole new set of faces and hearts!
Emily and I started bullet journalling! Such a great weekly practice to get our lives organized and intentional!
Coral has fallen so in love with moccasin making and beading that she started her own business, “Big Bear Moccasins”. She goes to her first vendors fair and makes oodles of contacts and her orders flow in for Christmas! I am so proud of her for pressing into her heritage and learning about who we are. She also is learning Dene, our first nations tongue. (Side note: I took it for four years in elementary school, but remember none of it L)
In October, we invite a few friends over to help us navigate the one year anniversary of losing Elijiah. Emily shared her heart, we all talked about how awesome he was, and we remember, together. So healing.
In mid October, I make another trip to Canmore with my lovely friend Chera. We rest and relax together in the mountains, both needing some reset and renew time! It was so great to get to know her better!
In November, I have the honour of helping my amazing friend Janet launch her first book “My Tears Were for Her” with two fun events. This book will be life changing for so many and I am so proud of her!
Coral and Billy have a great hunting season, with mild weather and lots of time to connect with each other. They bring home three deer and our freezer is nicely filled!
December has been filled with FUN but also intentional. This year we celebrated advent and let ourselves soak in the wait.
Billy and I had both of our work Christmas parties the same weekend, so we made a date out of it and stayed in the city. We had a blast with a lot of friends at the Taste of Co-op-we think it will be an annual event for us going forward! We loved having a gourmet steak night with Mac’s and then a fun filled Framily Christmas eve/morning with Friesens and Shepperds. Boxing day, and the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s was spent with Cables (and a few really amazing others) at their beautiful new cabin at Gull Lake.
We had quite a year. One that was spent mostly on healing and transitions in so many things, but I am so thankful.
Thankful for grief counselling. (Most of us don’t know how to grieve in a healthy way! Help is so important!)
Thankful for the Enneagram (it has been a huge help to our family this year!!)
Thankful for friends who stay and love, even when you are messy and struggling and feel so needy.
Thankful mostly for my family. They are strong and beautiful and brave. They have faced some crazy hard things and still found a way to love and serve others. They help me be the best I can be, and I wouldn’t be the same person without them.
I am moving into 2019 with great expectations and a great new word.
“Practice”. But I will tell you more about that next year. ;)