A wonderful year indeed


This post is one in a daily series to capture “all the nice things” that happen in 2017. Thank you to Cesar Abeid for the suggestion.

There’s a lot of people saying “good riddance” to 2016. These fine folks are convinced that 2016 was one of the worst years yet. But as a matter of fact, 2016 was actually an awesome year. Not just for me, but for a lot of other folks as well. There is only one difference between the folks who had an awful year and the ones who had an amazing one: perspective. My siblings and I are such different people, but there is one thing we all agree on: your year (and your life) is what you make it. 2016  saw the departure of many celebrities, and we also lost loved ones in our friend and family circle. But there were also babies born, friends made, adventures taken, and love felt all through the year. The people who left this world – we miss them, we love them, and we grieve their loss. But they are gone now, and we cannot change this. What we can do is feel the feelings that need to be felt during our grieving process, but also notice all the nice things that happen all around us every day. That’s where these posts come in – to put a smile on my face (and hopefully yours, too), and to remind me that no matter how bad a day gets, there’s still something to be celebrated within it. In that spirit, here are some nice tings that happened in my life this past year:

I was able to finally visit my family after 5 years without being able to do so.

It was so wonderful to finally be able to see my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and childhood friends again. It felt even more wonderful knowing that the reason this happened was that I decided to take my writing seriously – and earned enough for this visit in the process.

People are valuing my words – and even paying me for them

As a mom of three children six and under, most days I feel like nobody listens to me. I’ve joked with my husband that maybe the reason I enjoy writing so much is that somewhere, someone is listening to my words and valuing them – heck, some folks value them so much they pay me to write them down. That’s a pretty good feeling.

I edited a novel this summer

I’ve been editing here and there since my university days, but very rarely did I get paid for it. This year, after I started writing more online and people remembered I was an English teacher once upon a time, one thing led to another, and I started editing blog posts and some documents for people. And then I got an offer to do the final edit for a novel. Up to this point I had only ever edited nonfiction, so I was really excited to take on this gig. It was pretty awesome to get paid to read a novel. Of course it’s different than reading it for enjoyment, but I still thought it was pretty great.

I went on a 557-kilometer cycling adventure with my hubby and kiddos

Some people call us crazy, some people whisper that we’re irresponsible. We say we’re living life on our terms and enjoying the wonderful things this beautiful world has to offer. This was only the beginning of our many adventures. Stay tuned.

My 2-year-old is a pretty great source of free entertainment 

This kid can sing “let it ‘doh'” like it’s nobody’s business. She does all the actions, too. As a matter of fact, she was the inspiration for my karaoke shenanigans. And I fully intend on doing those shenanigans again this year. Because shamelessness + karaoke = awesomeness. And 2017 is going to be my most awesome year, after all.

My son is making great strides with his speech

We have a wonderful speech therapist who is helping my 4-year-old boy to catch up with his speech, and it is so wonderful to watch him grow and be able to communicate more clearly.


My 6-year-old’s smarts make me proud

K-girl is reading well above grade level and she loves books. Her math skills are pretty awesome too, and sometimes she blows me away with her ability to do math in her head. Watching her learn is a wonderful thing, and I’m so and happy to be able to be her teacher and for us to discover the world together.

I made some pretty great new friends and reconnected with some old ones

I talked to my husband this year and we finally agreed that a social person like me can’t not have a social outlet. It took me going nearly batty for that to happen, but both of us finally understood. So I joined the Kingston Sport and Social Club’s “all sorts of sports and pub social” night. To be clear, I rarely drink on the sports night, since I drive home most nights, and I’m an extremely cheap drunk. I joined the “pub social” part because I need to talk to people – preferrably uninterrupted, and about things other than childcare. So I joined this super fun club, and made some nice new friends. I also reconnected with an old buddy from my Navy days – totally unexpectedly. He’s much higher ranking than I was when I released, and it’s so much fun to see him in his “civies” – he’s a super fun guy – I mean, I already knew he was a nice guy, but now I also happen to know he’s super fun as well, when he’s not restricted by the obvious constraints of being at the unit.

I celebrated 10 years of marriage  to my university sweetheart

When we met, I was 18 and totally confused about life, adjusting to a new country, and in great need of a “shoulder to cry on,” so to speak. When we started dating, I was 19, and I still look back in amazement as to how this dude has stood by my side for such a long time. The first couple of years we were dating, I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life, and was depressed as a result. Looking back at that time now, I wouldn’t have wanted to date me. But he stood by my side, and helped me in ways that I never knew people could be helped. My husband showed me love I had never known until that point. I am so fortunate to have an honest, hard-working, patient, and understanding man by my side, and if I had to go back in time, I wouldn’t do it any differently.

There are so many more wonderful things that happened in 2016, but that’s what I can think of for now. I know that some parts of 2016 were very difficult for many – every year has these hang ups. But I invite you to look at the good things that happened as well, and to remember to be grateful for these moments. Embrace the things you can change, accept the things you can’t, and pray you have the wisdom to know the difference.

What were your most positive moments of 2016?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s beautiful image. Check out their awesome art.

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