Last year is filled with millions of moments I cherish every day. I’m fortunate to have them and have experienced them. I have countless favorite memories from 2017, so much so it’s hard to narrow them down to just a few to share! These are a few of my favorite memories from the year. Again, there are so many – but that makes me pleased to know – we lived well! Welcome to 2018 everyone! Best of luck in your endeavors and days ahead. Here we go:
One : My first ultrasound after we found out we were expecting Orion was heartwarming and incredibly moving. Branden was in Costa Rica at the time and this is the picture I sent him. I find being a mother has added such purpose to my life as well as determination to be my best and strongest self each and every day – carrying Todd and Orion was a privilege and bringing them into the world is a true honor. I will say too that having three sons, or at least I consider all of them as my own although one is not genetically, it has rooted that purpose and drive even deeper. I wouldn’t trade being a mother for anything and I love my family more than I could ever put to words.
Two : Branden got a new chair for his business clients and we were putting the recently-upholstered pads back on it. After the kiddos went to bed, we headed out our work space to start the task. It probably took us a few hours of sorting the pieces, nuts, bolts and pieces that needed to be put back on before we had it done and ready to go. But we had so many laughs and talks while putting it back together and figuring out how it worked. (Along with listening to some Chris Stapleton) The lamp that lit our work space nearly fell on my head when the cord came a little loose, hence why I’m laughing so hard in the picture. Aside from working together on a project, spending quality time with each other and letting the conversation flow with ease is something we both value greatly. I remember this night very well. It didn’t take travelling, spending money, or even leaving home – we just had fun simply being ourselves meanwhile being productive. Plus I enjoy feeling helpful and getting to lend a hand, and we appreciate our solid teamwork. At another point in time – we also made a cool bird house out of scrap wood we found in the garage on a bit of a rainy evening – absolutely love these memories.
Three : One of my successful endeavors of 2017 was starting a garden. What first started out as me looking at doing a single raised bed kit from Home Depot quickly, surprisingly, and appreciatively turned into two large cedar custom raised garden beds built by Branden, Arnie, Bishop, and I helped a little too. One day I came home from work to Branden and Bishop shoveling a large truck load of garden soil out of Big Blue and into the garden beds – which I had been unable to pick-up myself at that point in time. That love and support I think made my garden a success. I spent a good number of hours outside plucking weeds, watering, picking vegetables and even got to teach the boys a bit about gardening as I learned. I am very excited to try this again this year and do some different vegetables. There is something to be said about being self-sufficient while being able to enjoy the outdoors and teach your children along the way. This year I think we also wanted to give a rain barrel a try for a water source.
Four : Finalizing my divorce and gaining my maiden name back. This may be a strange top favorite memory to some, but to me it was a huge self-accomplishment and finally closing a chapter. I think both myself and my ex would agree we are much better co-parents than we ever were before, happier and each at more peace. This closing of a chapter was a huge sigh of relief and put a few heavy stones behind me and my family. And what can I say other than we are all doing well, healthy, and happy. The sense of self-accomplishment came from completing the process and paperwork by myself – learning many things along the way about our legal system. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment in 2017.
Five : Todd’s 2nd birthday party. Now, to see my first born growing so fast makes me feel bittersweet, bitter in the fact that he is growing so much every day – not going to be my little baby Todd forever, but sweet in seeing him hit milestone after milestone, I am so proud of him and proud to be his mom. We celebrated his 2nd birthday at home with close friends and family – and everyone made it. It was a hot, but beautiful June day. Having everyone come and show Todd such love made my heart full, and getting to see people I don’t see often enough in celebration of his 2nd birthday made it that much more meaningful. I can’t believe he will be 3 years old this year!
Six: We live pretty close to a decent sized lake and were able to get out a couple times in the kayaks last summer. There was something so soothing about being out paddling in the peaceful serenity and enjoying the tranquil surroundings. What was even better was being able to share it with my incredible guy. We paddled out a ways and the linked our kayaks together with the paddles, and just relaxed for a bit. Sharing the sunset and talking about life together was memorable for me. On the way back, Branden even jumped into the water fully clothed and swam back while I kept guard for boats since it was getting dark. It really is the simple things sometimes that mean the most. This memory is another one dear to my soul.
Seven : From coming off of a flu bug, I was concerned I may not feel well enough to go see the White Buffalo concert in Minneapolis, but it ended up being exactly what we needed! A break from our kiddos, and just be us. We had some sushi at Seven in Minneapolis and then went to the saw the absolutely incredible White Buffalo show at the Cedar Cultural Center; after, walked around Minneapolis and saw some cool sights, and had an epic breakfast the next day at Hell’s Kitchen to top it all off. This was memorable for so much more, but after we came home, we both felt more relaxed and refreshed. Definitely one of my top favorites of the year.
Eight : Bringing Orion into the world is one I feel honored about that was a huge life-changing experience for not only myself, but our whole family. He came on his due date and was 9 pounds 1 ounce, but absolutely perfect. And having my rock by my side the whole time, comforting me and keeping me calm was an important part of the experience too. Orion fills our days with smiles, laughs, and cuddles. He is teaching us all lessons on a daily basis, including his two brothers. Our family of five is my everything.