Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2018 - A Year in Review

As 2019 is looming in the future, I look back and ponder the type of year that 2018 has been for me. In noting a few things, 2018 has definitely been quiet a year for me and my family. A year full of blessings indeed. God granted me the opportunity to do a transfer to another department at the company I work for. This was a huge blessing and helped to reduce the amount of stress that was on my shoulders. It is also a much better fit for my skills and personality. Shortly after that (around February), we found out that we were pregnant and expecting baby boy #3. At first, the discovery of this had me fearful and anxious, considering just several years prior we miscarried a beautiful child - one whom we will get to meet in Heaven. Therefore, this pregnancy taught me a lot about trusting in God with not only our children, but in everything.

In July, we took a week long family vacation to Aberdeen, Washington and Ocean Shores, Washington. We even got a day trip into Fort Stevens down in Astoria, Oregon. The weather was beautiful the whole time. We went swimming in the ocean, and one of my favorite experiences was having breakfast on the beach. My husband brought along his grill and cooked us bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns for breakfast, while I sat in a camp chair and watched our kids play in the ocean. It was perfect, and still puts a smile on my face to this day. We even got to tour two classic ships with the boys. One of which was actually on the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. They both were beautiful ships to view!

Jon cooking breakfast on a beautiful sunny morning on the beach. Ocean Shores, WA.

Elijah playing in the ocean.
Tanner next to one of the ships in Grays Harbor.

The pregnancy went very well and on October 1st, Caleb Shell was born. Between the farm and my three boys, I have been staying fairly busy. I hardly get the chance to journal and use my pens. Even finding time for photography gets difficult. But in the end, it is all well worth it. Seeing my children grow up into young men makes my heart fill with joy. It was bittersweet seeing our son Elijah start Kindergarten this year. He is becoming such a well-rounded young man.

Elijah and my dog Lily posing for his fall school photos.

However, the year has not been without it's downs. During most of my pregnancy, I experienced upper abdominal pains daily. It was nothing that I couldn't handle most days, and it didn't affect the baby. Two weeks after delivering Caleb, I took a long ambulance ride to the hospital (a disadvantage of living out in the country). I experienced pain that I had never felt before that took my breath away and left in me tears and dripping sweat. Turns out I had Gallstones, which caused the discomfort I was feeling through the pregnancy and got significantly worse afterwards. This also created serious issues with my ability to eat. Therefore, a day after my birthday, I had surgery to remove my Gallbladder. Who knew having Gallstones was a great way to loose weight! Great, but not fun.

So with the surgery and issues that I had since delivering Caleb, we were unable to celebrate my birthday, my mom's birthday, and my oldest son's birthday in November. My husband was ever so thoughtful and caring and did what he could to not only be supportive and helpful during my down time, but gifted me with something I enjoy having. So, he picked up a beautiful handmade fountain pen for me at a local craft show. He knows the way to my heart, besides horses. Now all that is left is to finish the year and get ready for 2019. InCoWriMo/LetterMo in 2019 may see me passing on the opportunity to participate this time, especially with a new baby and just returning back to work. I will try to respond to the letters I already have before then, and continue to write my current pen-pals. So please accept my sincerest apologies for my delays in letter writing. I look forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for my family and this blog :).

Some additional photos from 2018...

Twin doelings born here that we hope to add to our small milk string in 2020.