A Look Back at 2016

I have to admit, though I stepped away from my blog earlier this year, I miss writing out my thoughts once in a while. I know I could easily utilize a personal journal, but it’s sometimes nice to share things with others. However, I’ve reached a point in my life where I really don’t have too much to say and I’ve become much more private. I’m a different person than I was when I created this little space, and while I’m happy knowing that I’ve evolved, sometimes you just outgrow things, ya know? I went back and forth with this as I was leaning towards giving blogging another go this past summer- I even purchased a new domain in my name, lol. I had plans of sharing posts about parenthood and military life- mostly just tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. After brainstorming and outlining a ton of potential posts, I woke up one morning and decided I had absolutely no desire to do this, haha. I truly do think our society is too caught up in social media and I sometimes want to delete my Facebook and Instagram accounts and completely live off the map. I’m not making excuses, but honestly, if I lived in my hometown I really think I’d do this because I’d see family and friends much more often.

Though I think social media is absolutely ridiculous with all the filters people use, the bullshit they post to make themselves feel important or better about themselves, and the drama it creates, it actually helps me stay connected with those I care about most. I’m NOT much of a social person- I can make myself be in a professional environment or when it’s mandatory, but I’m quite content with my small circle of friends and family ๐Ÿ™‚ Regardless, it’s cool (and sometimes appalling, haha) to look back on old posts and see what was going on in my life at certain times, and today I want to write the highlights of each month during 2016. It was an amazing year and I don’t want to forget it!

January-ย  I celebrated my 30th birthday being 20 weeks pregnant! Tyler and I took photos announcing that our rainbow baby was a GIRL and shared those a few days later. We had known since early November and keeping it between us for two months was hard but exciting!. On my birthday, we went out to breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants in El Paso, Ripe, then stopped at Babies R Us on our way home. I bought the cutest outfit for Savannah that I thought we’d take her home in, but baby girl ended up being a tiny little thing and it didn’t fit her until she was two months old, haha. Later that afternoon, we went to the movies to see The Reverent and I ate a big ass pretzel with cheese…my favorite! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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February- We said goodbye to El Paso after living there for over 3.5 years and PCSed to Arizona! Luckily, this move was only 5 hours away. I was still suffering from morning (all day) sickness at this time and I vividly remember laying on the mattress in our spare room feeling so nauseous while the packers packed up all of our stuff, haha. We thought this move was only going to be for seven months, but Tyler was offered an amazing opportunity that extended our stay to a full year as he had to attend an additional school for it here. Most of this month consisted of unpacking and organizing, having a garage sale, and learning our way around our new town and surrounding areas.

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March- We flew home to see family and friends and celebrate our new addition. We had our baby shower and it was a fun and relaxing week. We celebrated Tyler’s 33rd birthday and I finally felt great most of the time- my morning sickness finally subsided! Since the Cubs have their Spring Training in Mesa, we couldn’t leave the state without going to another game. Fun fact: we went to a Spring Training game a few years ago when the Cubbies played the Kansas City Royals who ended up winning the World Series that year. This year, the game we went to was at Goodyear Ballpark where they played the Cleveland Indians…and they both went on to play in the championship game against each other!

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April- April was filled with DIY projects and getting the nursery ready. I took a photography class that was offered on post to learn how to use our Nikon better….which I have yet to use consistently ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was starting to feel quite pregnant by then, but I went on daily walks and spent most of my day relaxing and going through ALL of our shit, purging a ton, and reorganizing literally every closet, cabinet, and drawer in the house. It felt so good! We also had quite a few scares this month and I started having contractions regularly, so I was told to take it easy.

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May- The absolute BEST month of the year! Savannah Claire arrived on May 24 at 1:30 A.M. after just 3 hours of labor! You can read all about her birth story HERE. I’ve never been so ecstatic and scared in my entire life, haha.

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June- This month flew by in a complete blur. My mom flew in a week after Savannah was born and was a tremendous help. I was so sleep deprived and my hormones were out of this world…it was such a surreal time. My brother and sister visited at the end of the month, and things were a little better then, but we were still learning Savannah’s cues and what the hell to do. We took Savannah to Coronado National Memorial with my mom and Tombstone with my brother and sister which was fun!

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July- Tyler’s parents and sister and family visited. I started real estate classes at the beginning of the month (Anna was just six weeks old!) and was gone three nights a week. This month honestly flew by and I don’t remember much of it…still sleep deprived and hormones trying to balance out ๐Ÿ˜‰ We learned at the end of the month that we will be PCSing to Alabama in February. I was a bit hesitant about this first- I mean, Alabama?? haha- but I know now those were ignorant thoughts. This opportunity is amazing for Tyler’s career which is most important. Plus, we will only be nine hours from home! Unless we’re stationed at Campbell or Knox (very unlikely) one day, we will never be closer to home again.

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August- Finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of things a bit! I started really putting the baby on a schedule at the beginning of the month and it helped SO much! I finished up real estate classes the end of August. Although I plan on obtaining my Alabama license as well, I have no idea if I’ll actually end up dabbling in real estate (this is a topic for another time, but 2017 will be devoted to more time focusing on myself and my career endeavors). I want to be home with Savannah as much as possible until she’s a few years old, so I’m not sure if a full-time job is right…but I also want a consistent paycheck and a routine schedule, whereas you don’t have that in real estate. Plus, I won’t know the new area AT ALL which is huge- no one is gonna want to work with an agent who’s only lived there a few months, haha. Ok, I’m rambling!

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September- This was a busy yet great month! Tyler graduated from Captain Career Course- SO proud of him! It was a short but sweet ceremony and such a great moment being there with him while holding our daughter. My dad and his girlfriend came to visit us a few days later. We went out to eat a few times, showed them around post, and visited Tombstone again. My dad has been talking about Tombstone for years, so it was awesome to have the chance to take him there. He also took Savannah swimming for the very first time! It was so cute and I’ll always remember it ๐Ÿ™‚ A few days after they left, Tyler randomly decided that we were going to take a quick trip to see the Grand Canyon. He had been there a few times before but I hadn’t, and I’d been asking him to take me ever since moving out west over four years ago. I’m glad we waited though- it was cool to visit for the first time with Savannah. She did great on the 6-7 hour car ride, and after driving around the canyon for a bit and taking some photos, we headed back down to Flagstaff for the night. It was a quick, yet memorable trip!

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October- This month was relaxing and low-key. Tyler was working long hours due to his new class and we didn’t do much which was fine by me. Savannah was Cheer Bear for Halloween (I love me some Care Bears) and I made her little costume!

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November- I flew home the first week of November. Tyler was still working really long hours and family missed Savannah, so it was great to get away for it bit. She did better than I expected on the three hour plane ride and time change, but was super weary of everyone at first. I felt so bad because she just wanted me, but Tyler and I are all she really knows- and I’m her mommy! She did lighten up as the days went on, but I’m really hoping she will start opening up as she starts seeing family and friends more often once we move. Anyways, it was a great time and I loved seeing everyone get to meet her! We celebrated Thanksgiving at home and Wrigley’s fourth birthday a few days later.

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December- This month has been spent preparing for my upcoming visit to Alabama to pick out our new home (exciting yet terrifying to finally buy!) and getting things ready for the move. Tyler has luckily had a ton of short work days/time off because of the holidays, and while we sometimes too much time together can be a bad thing for us (just being honest, haha), it’s been quite nice! He didn’t want me vocalizing this as he hates attention, but he finished graduate school a few weeks ago. I’m incredibly proud of this man. I have met very few people who are as motivated and determined as he is (not to mention intelligent, financially savvy, and hot!)- he finished his degree in just over two years and was deployed during one of them ๐Ÿ™‚ We took Savannah to see Santa Claus for the first time and she could have cared less and had a really relaxing Christmas with just the three of us!

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I don’t want it to seem like 2016 was all rainbows and butterflies because that’s definitely not the case. We’ve had some health issues that touched our family and friends. We had arguments and really low times. I had bad postpartum anxiety and finally sought help in November for it. My depression came back, but I don’t want to say it was postpartum depression because it’s something I have struggled with off and on for years, and I believed it has stemmed from figuring out who I am. Yes, I’m a wife, a mommy, a daughter, a sister, a friend, etc., but there is still something missing in my life and I was/am having a hard time with being a stay at home wife/mom. Don’t get me wrong- I’m extremely grateful that we can live comfortably off of Tyler’s income (I know some people complain about soldiers’ pay, but there are many benefits of being active duty, including the health insurance coverage!).

I want to stay at home with Savannah during her first two years or so. We don’t know if we will have any more children and I know I would regret finding full-time work when she’s so young- I LOVE being the one that’s with her all day and I’ve waited for these moments for a while. At the same time, I don’t want to be out of the workforce for too long and I want to find a career that motivates me. I’m in no way knocking women who’s only desire was to be a stay at home mom or those that worked full-time their children’s entire lives- to each their own. I hope to really focus on myself this upcoming year and find a balance personally and professionally. I never wanted to “depend” on a man financially, and that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s scary to me. While I hope things always remain the way they are, we simply cannot predict the future and I not only want to be able to contribute to our family financially, I want to know that I can be financially independent and take care of myself and Savannah without worry.

2017 will be a new slate for us and I can’t wait! A new city, Tyler’s new job, making more memories with our families, and focusing on my future endeavors will definitely keep us busy. Despite the nasty election and the loss of many famous icons, I hope this past year was touched with some good for you all. Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and safe new year!

 

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