2017 has been a year when very little happened in our lives.
If by very little you mean… bought a house, renovated it, sold our first house, had a baby girl, husband starting a new position at work, and tried our best to keep a toddler boy healthy and happy all the while.
WHAT A BREEZE.
Really though, what a year full of blessings. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be growth. Growing a baby in my belly all year up until August 30, moving into a bigger house that our family will grow in, and watching our son grow every day.
And man, has he grown in ways we didn’t expect. I enjoy sharing videos of Luke for friends and family who love to watch, but selfishly, I love to have them pop up a year or more later in the “memories.” A couple days ago, it was a video of Luke roaring like a lion from this time, last year. I remember being SO excited about that- he had only said a handful of words at that point, and all of the questionnaires indicated he should’ve been giving speeches by then. And now, while he’s not giving speeches, he has some serious, sweet, and stubborn conversations with us (“No tell Mommy no.”). He can read/recognize many words and his imagination has far exceeded a lion on a page coming to life.
I often joke it’s because his Mama and Gran Gran are teachers, but I know that’s not really it. Some kids show great athletic abilities early on, some have the talent for finding the rhythm of the song when they aren’t even 3 feet tall, or some can listen to their parents the first time, every time (not our boy’s best skill). For Luke, it looks like God has given him a terrific memory and an affection for learning thus far. We hope it stays, but even if he doesn’t care about it tomorrow, we pray he’s kind first (and cleaning up his toys happily second).
Allie is growing every single day too. Just this morning, she seemed too big for her three months sleeper that fit great yesterday. She is “the sweetest of peas” as her Daddy says.
And our new-to-us 1983 house looks much more like 2017, in large part due to my parents who painted the whole inside- walls, window frames, doorways, and built-ins. Plus, a handy husband who put his wood-working hobby to good use and we have our dream house. Next up: Painting the exterior white! (Don’t worry, we’re hiring that one out).
I used to always write things I wish stayed in the year we’re leaving. Some of those keep reappearing (Elf on the Shelf, leggings as pants, people calling in-laws their in-loves). Some of them have disappeared (where’d you go, Advocare?), but have reappeared as something else (Looking at you, ItWorks). But I decided to be more positive and write 17 of my favorite things of 2017.
(Who is this person?)
In no particular order…
1. Ain’t doin it.
Heather Land, who makes these videos, is kind of living my dream. Tell people her most giant annoyances in a sarcastic way and get away with it. I would be her co-writer for exactly zero dollars.
2. Rock and Play
I realize I may regret this when we transition Allie to her crib, but from the first night we put her in this until now, she has either slept through the night or woken up once. AND THAT IS PRICELESS. Especially when you have a constantly-energized toddler who has no sympathy for your exhaustion. So, if her good sleep has only lasted this long, praise be to God for Fisher-Price.
Luke loves this thing. We got it for a couple bucks at a yard sale. Best two dollars spent ever. No marker ink! No getting paper! Just sweet, sweet magnets.
This goes with #2, but to all new parents out there: Keep swaddling even if they fuss about it. They’ll most likely get used to it. And those little hands won’t find themselves as alarm clocks during the night when they wake themselves up.
5. 3 Day Potty Training
This one is still TBD, but so far, it’s working fairly well. Supposedly after 3 days of taking your little one to potty every 15 minutes or so, they’ll be completely trained. It did suggest we wake him up in the middle of the night to go potty, but I’m not a crazy person. Also, I’m not buying that we won’t have accidents and it’ll all be over in three days, but he has made it to the potty more than missed it, so that’s a win!
6. Selling Stuff Online
Guys, I sold a flush Mount Light we took out of the ceiling, without the box, a few weeks ago for $15. I even sold our old 1983 mantle we ripped off the wall for $80! I was floored. Give it a shot before you sit outside for eight hours hosting a yard sale. So much easier.
7. Bible Studies
I was part of a couple this year, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it and got out of both. It also gave me some adult time which as all SAHMs know, we never crave. But above all, it kept me disciplined to be in God’s Word and be held accountable with others sisters in Christ. I hope to be back in one in 2018!
Skip the expensive restaurant, just take me here. I had it for the first time a few days ago and DELICIOUS. I had a burger, onion rings, hushpuppies, and a Sprite for $5.
9. Ed Sheeran
I’m late becoming a fan rather than just listening to him on the radio, but Brett gave me his CD for Christmas and I, him. Great minds or been together over a decade, you decide.
We just got it this year (I like to be ten years late to a trend). But for a Mama who goes to bed often at 9:30 and catches up at naptime, it’s my television hero. Nothing like crying to This Is Us at 1:30 pm.
He often goes with my parents now, but I love that the Library has it for the little ones. Not gonna lie, kind of my dream job (besides being Mommy). Teaching kids for the joy of it, what a concept!
12. Dot Paints
Paint without the mess for toddlers. The end.
13. John Crist
We may have gone to another local church the day after our LifeGroup helped us move just to see him. He makes fun of Christian “stuff” and trends in just the most accurate, hilarious way. I can’t hear the song “Good, Good Father” without thinking of him first. I’m sure it’s what Chris Tomlin was going for. My favorite of his.
14. Imagination Library
This has been one of my favorites since 2015, but Allie is a part of it now, so I’m adding it this year too. Dolly Parton will always be an inspiration just for this alone. Always such a good mail day!
15. CFA app
Earn free chicken just buy scanning it when buying delicious chicken. Enough said.
I used this app with my groceries, and it has already earned me a $25 Amazon gift card. It’s basically coupons that go towards gift cards, so you earn money on food you’re buying anyway. Here’s my referral link if you’re curious.
17. Cherry Sprite
Sonic’s cherry limeade in a can. I have one everyday during Luke’s nap and I LOOK FORWARD TO IT.
2017 was so good to me, if only for all the free Chick-fil-A sandwiches I earned alone.
I pray the Lord grants us another great year in 2018. Even if it’s not, He is good. So good that I won’t sing Good, Good Father.