I still cannot believe that this year is already over. It has seriously been one of the absolute fastest years I have ever experienced. It has also been one of the most stressful and anxious years as I came to learn more about myself. So, here is 2015 in review.
January 2015 came with a sense of renewal
for me. I was excited to move ahead and get myself where I wanted to be. I decided to do monthly goals this year with an overarching word
. I started to really get into my blog and think about where I wanted to take it. I decided that I was going to go against the grain, and not be an expert in anything or find a niche. I decided to “un-brand” my blog
. And, going with that sense of renewal, I decided to start defending my Mormon religion online by proclaiming that Mormons are Christians
My goal for February 2015 was to focus more on my religion
. I tried to participate more in Church, started a scripture journal and began over with the Old Testament. I shared my favorite scripture
and what Mormons believe
. We celebrated my birthday and Valentine’s Day by going to Tucanos as usual–I love
Tucanos! I also began to get chronic bronchitis that would plague me for a few months! Rhys even got very sick, and we basically spent a week sleeping on the couch and his swing, waking up multiple times during the night. His sleeping through the night was thrown out the window.
I really had a cooking bug in March and came up with quite a few recipes. I also started trying to use my DSLR to practice my food photography. My students started really trying my patience
, as well as Rhys, who was developing quite quickly. I tried to focus more on the little things
that I absolutely loved about being a parent. Justin talked about his daily life and why he loves March
. We discovered Rhys’s royal Celtic heritage
while doing genealogy. And, that chronic bronchitis was kicking my butt!
The beginning of the month was General Conference, Easter
, and Spring Break
. We were able to spend it with both my family and Justin’s. This was a busy month–at school, we were trying to do state standardized testing, SAGE, as well as other projects. During this stressful time, I was definitely thankful for my favorite students
. I had a lot of grading to do and wasn’t as consistent in content-based blogging this month. Again, that chronic bronchitis kicked my trash.
May was a very wet month–it rained almost every single day! It didn’t help my mood in addition to the chronic bronchitis, a toddler who was refusing to eat because he had discovered his agency, and my students who decided they were done trying in school this year. We made the decision to help me focus on my mental health and my job as a mother that I would not return to teaching the next year
. I thought a lot about sleep training.
I thought about children and behavior and what I like in them
. Rhys began walking! We celebrated Memorial Day weekend
by taking my dad out for traditional Japanese ramen (it was his birthday and he had served an LDS mission in Japan). We also took advantage of the weekend of no rain by going to park every day. Oh, and the rain and wind caused a tree from the city park to fall on and total our old car, leaving us with only one car. Thankfully, the city gave us more than the car was worth and we were able to pay off a lot of medical bills.
During my last week teaching, I thought a lot about what I would miss
and wouldn’t miss
about teaching. I began my transition into being a stay-at-home-mother, and it was a whole heck of a lot harder
than I thought it would be. I didn’t realize how much I had missed and appreciated those 5 hours of not taking care of a baby, even if I was dealing with preteens. My anxiety
began to reach a breaking point. For my mother’s birthday, I decided to honor her with 15 lessons she taught me
, as I have been more and more grateful for her as I am now a new mother. During Father’s Day weekend
, Rhys and I went up to Idaho with my parents to visit with my dad’s side of the family. Once again, I defended my religion when I heard the SCOTUS decision on legalizing gay marriag
Rhys turned one years old
, so I shared the tips, tricks, and hacks I learned from my year of motherhood. Justin also had a birthday
, and again, we celebrated true to form by going to Tucanos. Rhys’s favorite part was the Brazilian lemonade. I went to my doctor and got an inhaler for my chronic bronchitis and was diagnosed officially with mild asthma, as well as mild PPD and anxiety stress disorder
and was given prescriptions for all three. Both Justin and my laptops broke, so I went on a month long hiatus of blogging. We went to Bear Lake with Justin’s family
, and honestly, it was great therapy for me. We three had the times of our lives.
August was full of enjoying being a mother without the distractions of electronics, since we still hadn’t replaced our laptops. I also did a whole ton of reading. I started to get jealous
nostalgic of my teacher friends who were decorating their classrooms and preparing their curriculum. We bought a bike trailer so we could buckle in Rhys and I could bike all over, since we only had one car. We celebrated our 3rd anniversary by leaving Rhys with my parents and spending the weekend to ourselves at home. We also got our first set of family pictures,
I began tutoring a student in SAT prep, making pretty good money. I also started looking for other types of working at home situations. I joined Swagbucks, and have hardly done anything with it, and signed up with Elance, searching for some jobs. I opened up about my trial of faith
I had during the summer, and was grateful for the book One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp. Rhys and I created a routine for day to day.
Blogging-wise, I began to be a little consistent, trying to find my style in pinnable images. I also noticed all my blogger friends going to Snapchat, but I held firm in my determination to not use SnapChat
October was a very warm month for Utah. It was still in the 80s and 90’s most days. Rhys and I went on a lot of bike rides, to the park often, and spent a lot of lunches with my parents (who both work about 15 minutes from our house). Justin and I got gym memberships for Vasa and I tag-teamed with Sharlee to talk about 6 Ways to Love Your Body
. Rhys started loving “helping” me with chores so I shared some tips on how to have toddlers help with chores
. I went to a Blogging Sleepover
and felt completely renewed and content with my blog. Rhys dressed up as Luigi for Justin’s work trick-or-treating, and a doctor for our church’s trunk-or-treating. We spent Halloween with Justin’s brother’s family because our nephew was getting baptized, and we wanted Rhys to trick-or-treat with his cousins.
I started working as a virtual assistant for an online health and body coach, helping her create monthly newsletters, as well as transferring her Instagram posts to be blog posts, and creating pinnable images. I also decided to work on NaNoWriMo
since I wasn’t working. But, I sucked at it! My blog turned 6 years old
. I wrestled with my thoughts and feelings on the LDS Church’s new policy concerning children of homosexual families
. Brad Wilcox’s book, Continuous Conversion
became my all time favorite religious book. We said goodbye to my 18 year old brother for 2 years as he left to go on a 2 year proselytizing LDS mission.We spent Thanksgiving Break
with my family, eating and eating and eating and eating. Rhys also played in the snow for the first time in his life, and he loved it!
We were greated with cold weather, finally, and snow–a lot of snow. Rhys helped me to create this year’s DIY ornament
. I also helped to launch the new LDS women’s devotional and scripture study website, She Teaches Fearlessly
. I talk about our mission here
. My back and neck have been bugging me a lot and have been very painful recently. After receiving bad new about a potential new job opportunity for Justin, we made the big decision that we will not renew our renting contract for our townhome, and to move into my parent’s basement in mid-January until we feel confident about our finances again. Rhys had his first flight when we traveled to Georgia to spend Christmas with Justin’s parents. It was wonderful!
I am looking forward to next year and the adventures we will have!