Well, here we are. The end of 2018 and the start of a new year. I am not normally one of those people who is glad a year is over so a new one can begin. I believe people can have new beginnings any time of the year, not just on New Year’s. This year however, I have to say I am a bit glad that 2019 is starting. 2018 was full of a lot of pain, and while I don’t know if 2019 will be any different, I am willing to believe it will be. 2019 is the year we will end treatment, go home, and get our lives back, God willing.
But to completely write off 2018 as a bad year wouldn’t be fair either. Yes there were hard times, but as I remember back over the months we had so many great memories as well. James and I started the year off with a trip to Vegas. We went to Monster Jam and the Gasparilla Children’s Parade. QVC did a video/photo shoot at our house. We visited Legoland for the first time (with several trips to follow throughout the year). I ran several 5k’s, an 8k, several 10k’s, a 15k AND my first half marathon. I am blessed to have done many of those races with my amazing mom and most supportive running buddy (shoutout Ms. Romano!). The boys ran their first kid’s Gasparilla race as well. The boys played soccer and got their first medals. We made the tough decision to put our house up for sale and build a new house in a neighborhood. We rode Thomas the Train. We went to the Strawberry Festival. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Dunedin. The boys picked strawberries for the first time. Caleb had his 3rd birthday party at Dinosaur World. They had Grandparent’s day at their school. We celebrated Easter. Moved into our rental and said goodbye to our old house. Went to Busch Gardens several times. James and I saw Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett in concert. We went on our second Disney Cruise. We went swimming and spent time with friends. We watched our new house get built from the ground up. We competed in the State Bowling Tournament. The boys joined a bowling league. We went to many movies. We grew Sunflowers. We celebrated July 4th with friends. We built countless Lego sets. The boys started swim lessons. We lost our sweet dog Kasey. Tyler started VPK. We visited Lake City. The boys started T-ball. We picked out designs for our new house. And all of that happened before Caleb’s seizure on August 30th…
But then everything changed… Our world stopped, and once it started spinning again everything moved slower. It was clear what was important. Instead of losing out on the rest of our year we gained the ability to value every second with each other. Our love as a family grew. Our support system grew stronger as everyone rallied around us to either be by our side, raise money for us, or pray for Caleb. And since then we have moved to St. Jude, finished radiation treatments, and put almost a whole round of chemo behind us. And in between all of that we still managed to make memories as a family by going to Disney and Legoland, visiting The Memphis Zoo, celebrating Thanksgiving, getting Caleb Christened, going to Dinosaur World, spending a day at the park with friends, and moving into our dream home.
So, here we go 2019. What are you going to bring us this year? I hope that overall this next year will be filled triumphant moments and more great memories of our boys growing up. I hope that we will get back home by the middle of the year so we can continue making memories in our new home. I hope that we never forget the lessons we learned in 2018 about love and family. It seems silly to set official “resolutions” for myself for the coming year. But overall I am going to try to live each day the best I can. I want to be the best Mom, Wife, and Daughter and Friend I can be. I want to have faith and find peace in that fact that what will be, will be. I am along for the ride in whatever God has in store for me.
Happy New year to all my friends and family. Let’s make 2019 a great year! And to end this post, a huge picture montage (in no particular order) of our crazy, but blessed year.