Starting a new year can be so refreshing. I like to keep in mind that it’s not always about who you’ll be the next year, but it’s what you’ve learned from the past year that makes you who you are today. As I look towards the future, I can’t help taking a look back on the growth we’ve had as a family in 2017. I don’t know what it was about this year but it was definitely a hard one. I’m not complaining or giving a negative outlook towards the past year. I’m simply noticing the challenges we have overcome. Each day I thank God for blessing me another day with my family, another day to make better than the last, and most importantly another day to get closer to the person He intends for me to be. That task isn’t always easy, especially when faced with difficult decisions and life changing lessons.

For us as a family we have hit many milestones as a whole this year. We’ve welcomed the New Year with our son turning one, soon to be two. And being able to witness such a steady, healthy, growing process is in itself a blessing. Seeing him discover himself, expand his vocabulary, and learn new capabilities is truly astonishing. He has grown! At times I cannot get over how much he’s grown. Looking back a year ago is insane, especially when you put up a side by side photo. Being a SAHM definitely has it’s perks when you’re talking about everything you get to share with your children. With all the pros comes all the cons. This past year brought many challenges to our relationship as parents and as partners. I believe at times, stress and miscommunication played a big factor in that. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, or out of touch with one another, when you are busy and trying to make ends meet. This year has taught me to have faith, not only in my relationship with him but more importantly my relationship with God. He will provide. And I must have faith in his plan before my own. I know, as a woman and a control freak, I can get wrapped up in my own plan for life. One of the most important reminders I had this year was that my plan has nothing on God’s plan. Growth is never comfortable. And when you grow the most in this lifetime, chances are it’s when you’ve been knocked down the hardest and think you can’t get up. With Him, sooner or later you will find the strength and overcome your weakness. I realized many things this year that I had once forgotten or was unaware of the lessons importance. One of them being,

“…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

-Colossians 3:12

Looking back on 2017,  I believe I lost a sense of myself in taking care of my mind, body, and soul. It’s not something I’m proud to admit, but I’m not afraid to share it. I share to not only bring awareness, but to help people realize they are not alone. I’ve realized that people do not like to talk of where they’ve gone wrong or what they could do to better themselves as individuals. Then, most importantly, following through on those things to get you where you need to be. Being in this mindset leaves vulnerability to getting lost in depression and feeling invisible. And somehow coming to the conclusion that you aren’t doing enough or having this sense of lacking. Truth is, you are enough. This life can get pretty lonely, rough, and will break you down. But there will come a day when you will get back up. Not from focusing on how fast or how long, but from focusing on the outcome for you and your family. Thankfully, I am now refocused on not only bettering my family but also bettering myself, more than ever. I am proud to carry on this mindset into this upcoming year.

This was also my first year sharing my life on social media in detail. I must admit, it’s a whole new ballgame for me. I’m still getting use to the tricks here and there. I’m also learning something helpful or new everyday, and I’m thankful for this community because it has brought some strong, encouraging, and beautiful mothers into my life. I have gained a few friendships that I truly cherish. Learning and talking amongst other moms is extremely helpful especially being a first time mom. I can’t wait to see what this year brings and what the new trends will be.

In June we started looking for homes to move in. We kept going back and forth on location, buying, renting, and building. For those of you who do not know, we currently live in a one bedroom apartment. I’m not going to lie it can be a little crowed at times but if I’m being honest it saved us so much money in the long run. We have lived here going on a little over two years, and it was probably the best decision we could have made when we were expecting baby J to make his entrance. Fast forward to almost having a two year old, it’s safe to say we are outgrowing our little apartment. And after sitting down and figuring out the numbers, location, etcetera, we finally made the decision that building was our best bet. We signed the papers in July and have been waiting patiently since.

At the end of August Jermaine and I got into a really bad accident on the interstate highway. At the peak of rush hour, we were hit from the back while at a dead stop. The woman that hit us was going around 70 mph and quickly admitted she was texting and driving. Thankfully, Jermaine was not hurt and we came away with bumps , bruises, and one heck of a whiplash, stiffness. This accident happened shortly after signing the paperwork for the house, and I quickly felt a cloud of stress and uneasiness about the unknown. At the time, I didn’t know if or how it would affect our future. All I knew was how passionately I felt about texting and driving. Something that I’ve been guilty of doing from time to time and taught me a more intense lesson that I’ve needed to learn for a long time. A few weeks passed for us to figure out the insurance, and we were able to obtain a vehicle that put Jacob’s and my mind at ease for the safety of our family. Once again, God putting to rest a difficult and stressful situation.

Ending the year with well founded faith, goals in mind, and hopeful hearts, we are closing out 2017 as a family that survived a difficult year. I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to grow and evolve at a different pace than others. Being at peace with myself in this life of constant change is important in the pursuit of happiness. Thanking God for the lessons endured and we pray they will be remembered in forthcoming events.

This next year will be filled with new and exciting things. Our son is turning two in February and we will be trying a new church closer to our new home. Which brings me to one of the bigger things happening this year. Moving into our first home! It should be done by May and we will be moving in shortly after. We couldn’t be more grateful in being able to experience and go through this amazing process. Although it can be stressful at times I truly believe the outcome will be worth it. We will be finishing the year with other big news that will be revealed later on. I’m looking towards everything 2018 will bring!

This past year we grew in many ways, and I’m eager to see where that takes us in the following year. We are going into this year with a wiser mentality and more hopeful hearts. While we are bringing in the New Year, we are praying for peace within oneself and a triumphant year to you and your families. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!