You guys, it’s Dec 21. Which means a few things. It’s my uncle’s birthday (Happy birthday Mike!), it’s almost Christmas, and 2018 is damn near over!!! What? It feels like it just began! I was listening to the RISE Together Podcast with Dave & Rachel Hollis today and they did a 2018 Year In Review. They said the biggest change they made in 2018 was to move to a new state. Yeah, us too! But it got me thinking about 2018 and reviewing our year and wow….life changes.
Obviously, our biggest change has been where we live! A year ago, we were living in Sibley, Iowa where we had both grown up. We felt stuck but had a plan to buy a different house as ours wasn’t functional for us anymore. We’d also planned that when the youngest kid graduated, we would move to Des Moines as we both loved the city and that’s where a lot of our friends are. Well, if you’ve been following, you know that life didn’t work out the way we planned! This summer, James got an offer from another ink company we moved all the way to Arkansas. It was one of the craziest, most risky things we’ve ever done and we couldn’t be happier about it. We LOVE Arkansas. The weather is amazing. (It’s currently 47 degrees with a high of 54 today. Christmas day will be 55 degrees!!!) It will be strange to not have a white Christmas, but we’ll manage! James is liking his new job and it feels good to have a change after working for the same company for 20 years. I haven’t found a job yet but had 2 great interviews this week so I have a feeling something good will happen soon. We are living in a really nice rental home and this spring, we will have a new home to move into! The housing is amazing here and we’re looking forward to having a home we picked out together. Our home in Sibley was his before we met and he and his ex lived there for awhile. Although we made a lot of changes, it never really felt like “ours”. Also, we found out we’re NOT Chip and Joanna Gaines. A fixer upper isn’t for us!
Another huge change is that James is going to be a grandpa! His oldest daughter is going to have a baby in April. I have absolutely no idea what it is going to be like to be a stepgrandma! I definitely don’t feel like a grandma! I keep thinking it will be like being an aunt- I can spoil them, hang out with them, and give them back to their mom when they’re cranky. It’s worked for 16 years now so I see no reason to change this. That’s how I am with kids. I love doing the fun stuff but not the actual parent stuff. The idea of being a stepgrandparent took some getting used to but I’m feeling pretty good about it for now.
So after all of the changes in 2018, what happens in 2019? Well, my first priority is to get a job! Then to move into our new house and get settled. Moving twice in 7 months isn’t much fun, but this move will be much smoother! Moving 2 states away is an event. This is just moving to the next town. Much easier! In 2019, we’ll be traveling back to Iowa sometime in April to see the new baby and in June for my cousin’s wedding. We’re kicking around the idea of staying for a week in June so we can see all of our family. My niece’s horse is having a foal so I’m definitely going to want to see that too. I don’t really have any big goals for 2019 (ok, other than getting a job!).I have a few things I’d like to happen but I’m just hoping to enjoy it instead of stress so much.
When I look back at 2018, I see how far we’ve come. We started the year stressed and not happy and we’re ending it the happiest we’ve been. We have a stronger marriage and we’re a better team than we were before. I’ve had to learn to depend on James in a way that I hadn’t before which was HARD for a person who is independent. I don’t know if he’s learned anything- I’ll ask him! I’ve also learned that change is a good thing and that getting out of your comfort zone really makes you thrive. Moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone pushes your marriage to grow in ways it didn’t before. On a less serious note, I’ve learned that picking out a house with someone is easiest when you have the same taste. Luckily, we do. Our real estate agent even commented on how easy we were to work with because we didn’t argue on what was needed/wanted. When we move in, I’ll post some pics.
For now, I’m looking forward to next week. My stepkids are coming on Monday and staying through Saturday. This will be the first time we’ve seen them since we’ve moved and we’re excited to show them our new city. Also, this is the last Christmas where it will be just the 5 of us. In April, the oldest will have a baby so they probably won’t all travel at the same time as often. She and her boyfriend will probably visit with the baby and the two youngest will come as a team. It’s a bittersweet time for all of us. Everyone is excited about the changes but with change can come some feelings of grief or confusion too. James and I are going grocery shopping tomorrow and we’ve planned to make the kid’s favorites next week. Chicken noodle soup on Christmas Eve and prime rib on Christmas Day. Also, buffalo chicken dip, Oreo balls, peanut butter cups, and some other fun things. We’ll definitely be going to some of our new favorite restaurants as well. Like I’ve said, food is my love language. If I cook for you, it means I love you!
With that, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you get the time to enjoy your family or friends over the holiday and I hope all 2019 is your best year yet!
** Thank you for reading this blog in 2018!**