I remember that January felt as busy as ever, like there was no end in sight to all the things to do and places to be. I remember celebrating Skylar and Aunt Marsha’s birthdays together, 75 and 12, and being so thankful for the sweet little old soul that is our daughter. She’s her own unique little personality and I can’t quite get enough of it.
I remember the film crew that showed up 2 weeks early in the coldest week of January and how nervous I was because we had just thrown everything together and had to compromise on some things I was really hoping to do because of the weather.
I remember how excited Skylar was about Troop 934 starting in our community. Scouting was quite the learning curve for this mama but I dove in and did it anyway because, well, her excitement is contagious! It was so special to have the launch party here at the BFF. We broke all kinds of rules because we were newbies and didn’t know any better but everything turned out okay and we’ve learned a lot over the last year. I quickly learned what “all scouting all the time” really means.
I remember how excited we were for Grandma and D-Dad to finally move in down the street. It’s been an absolute treat to have them so close.
I remember packing a backpack for a quick 2 day trip to Bama in February but ended up spending 7 days in the hospital with mom. For those first 3 days in the ER and ICU, I advocated for her like I would have my own child. I remember supporting her decision to come home on Hospice. She said she was tired and I believed her. I remember wondering if she would make it until Coe’s wedding in May and she did! She wasn’t able to go but she joined us on FaceTime for the ceremony so she could watch. I’ve never seen Uncle Fletcher’s barn look so pretty. It was simply gorgeous! It was also a million degrees but there were so many thoughtful touches that I didn’t even care.
I remember our sweet friends offering to take Skylar on vacation with them for Spring Break. After all we had just been through with mom, it was literally the most perfect thing that we didn’t even know we needed. Skylar had a BLAST with some of her most favorite people and some much-needed quality time. I got a break and a chance to catch up. It was a breath of fresh air and I’ll never forget that sweet gift!
I learned that #AllScoutingAllTheTime is a legit thing. If there is something scout related, my kid wanted to do it. I remember being on the struggle bus to navigate this new culture. It felt chaotic and overwhelming but she was enjoying it immensely so I trudged on.
I remember having margaritas at Aunt Sheila’s (never again – lol!). That same weekend I told mom that I wanted to dye my hair teal and she said she thought it would look pretty. I had been wanting to do it forever and it turned out just the way I wanted. My only regret was not doing it sooner!
I remember feeling like Mike’s job was using him and taking advantage of his talents. They heaped more and more responsibility and made so many promises that never came to fruition. When I look back on this year, this is the one thing that may have frustrated me more than anything else.
I will never forget the Talent Showcase at Skylar’s homeschool co-op and her role as Ellie Mae. It was the most hysterical thing I’ve ever seen. This kid is crazy talented, especially when it comes to making people laugh. It comes quite naturally for her.
I remember loosing all but 1 of our hens to predators and illness. We actually had to go back to buying store-bought eggs for a while. Yuck! Skylar did research to compare chickens vs. ducks for school and we settled on adding ducklings. In the end, we left Tractor Supply with 8 new baby chicks. LOL! They never got their shipment for ducks and chicks were marked down to $0.50 each.
I remember buying my new Study Bible and how excited I was to start reading through the Bible chronologically for the 2nd time. The footnotes are incredibly helpful!
I remember my first trip to NYC! The food was as incredible as they say. Sadelle’s, Katz’s and Rubirosas were my faves! We loved our AirBnB and Mike was a pro at navigating the subway. As usual, Mike walked me to death on the first day and we ended up in a cemetery before the trip was over. It’s a running joke at this point.
I remember making the decision to have someone clean our house once a month. Cleaning is just not my favorite thing to do and this frees me up to do other things that I enjoy.
I remember deciding to go to counseling just for me. And when the first counselor wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, I kept digging and looking until I found the right one. My counselor incorporates the Enneagram into our sessions and it has been very enlightening. If nothing else, I keep going just to have another rational perspective to what’s happening in my life. It’s helped me to approach situations with more patience and to understand myself better.
I remember finding out that Onyx was pregnant. We used my doppler on her belly and I heard the little whooshing of puppy heartbeats. She went an entire week past her whelping date and nearly scared me to death. Turns out she was just waiting for Skylar to get home from camp. She gave us 6 beautiful black puppies and I loved the experience. I tried to savor the moments but, gosh darn it, they grow fast! One of my favorite things was being out in the yard with all of them. They were so funny and cute! I remember our last morning together and how odd it felt when they started going to their forever homes. Skylar ended up keeping the orange puppy, and named him Ace.
I remember this year’s summer solstice party because we didn’t have electricity. After a big storm it stayed off for 3 days but that didn’t stop us from partying as usual with our family and friends at the BFF. I remember Mike making the executive call to purchase a large generator and that helped so much. It was like extension cord city up in here but we made it work!
I remember Jaycee coming and taking Skylar out on Tuesdays, which gave me time to work at home uninterrupted. They did fun things like the Zoo, Nashville Shores, tie dye, and Kentucky Down Under.
I remember Skylar going to BSA camp and completing the Wilderness Merit Badge. I had zero clue that it involved a mile hike into the woods, building a shelter, and staying out there all night by herself – but she did it and did an amazing job. She was the youngest scout and the only female but we all know that she’s made for this kind of stuff! I was beyond proud of her!
I discovered that I like hiking this year and chasing waterfalls. One of my favorite things to do is take the dogs for a hike. I’m thankful that we have so many good trails here in our area.
We started back to school in September and made a pretty big deal out of Field Trip Fridays. A lot of them also tied into merit badge work for scouts. Some of my favorites were walking the loop at Couchville Pike, Lantern Lane Farms, and seeing the Governor’s Mansion decorated at Christmas. Skylar is in 7th grade this year and expressed interest in American Indians, Forestry, and Algebra. She says she wants to be a park ranger when she grows up.
Going to the fair is always a highlight of fall. I remember how much more comfortable we felt at the Wilson County Fair this year. We only rode a few rides but spent most of our time eating our way around.
October was vacation month. I remember traveling for 12 days straight. First to Las Vegas with Angie for work and we had a BLAST! I flew home repacked and flew right back out for our Bahamas Cruise. One of our ports was cancelled but we still had an amazing time on the ship and a very fun cruise director, Donkey. Our time at Blue Lagoon was my favorite. We swam with dolphins and snorkeled. I could have stayed all day. It was so much fun traveling with Mike’s family. As always, I do not take for granted that we have a great relationship with his parents and siblings. I think we genuinely all enjoy being around each other. I remember not being ready to return to reality so we spent a few days at Disney. The Halloween Party was definitely a highlight! After 12 days I was surprisingly So. Done. With. Food. but so very thankful for our ability to travel and have those experiences.
I remember discovering Robert’s Tacos and life will never be the same. The chorizo tacos on corn tortillas is my jam and I became a bit obsessive about having them every week.
Our entire family finally discovered Hamilton this year and we were hooked. I miraculously scored tickets for the show at TPAC (not til next year) but we sing the soundtrack non-stop. We found out about a sing-a-long performance called Hamiltunes and that was so much fun!
I remember that this Thanksgiving was my favorite. We went with Mike’s entire family to Gulf Shores. We had this massive house right on the beach. The weather was lovely and there was no agenda. The cousins got along so well the entire week. In fact, it was rare that I saw my kiddo. We played games and did puzzles and even tried geocaching. Just an overall lovely week indeed!
I remember going to SoundWaves for my 40th birthday and staying the night at Opryland. Turning 40 felt like home, somehow. I’ve been looking forward to this birthday for quite some time. This stage of life is just a nice place to be.
I remember that mornings drinking coffee with Onyx laying in front of the Christmas tree while I read my Bible is one of my most favorite things. It’s so peaceful and I feel content and happy.
For Christmas, we had our annual Harry Potter marathon, which is another favorite tradition. Ben even stayed and woke up with us on Christmas morning. I remember surprising Skylar with her Rudolph gift, a “bears bears” hoodie. I remember that we last-minute rang in the new year with games at the Sloan’s.
2019 was a really fun year. I LOVED all of the trips that we got to take. I was thankful that mom was stable so that I could be home with my family. I was happy that Skylar found her people and a program that was absolutely made for her. She was able to go on tons of weekend trips and experience so many things that, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to provide for her. This also provided a lot of time for Mike and I to have together, which was nice. Turning 40 was icing on the cake as we finished out this decade. I’m right where I want to be, doing what I want to do, with the people I want around me.