Looking Back and Looking Ahead 2018 ed.

design.pngJanuary is halfway done, and it’s time for me to reflect on my 2017 goals and decide on a few goals for this new “even” year!  Yay!

To be honest, the major reason I’m documenting my goals on this largely neglected blog is because unlike writing down my goals in a notebook or on a list, I can’t lose a blog post!  I know exactly where to find my resolutions, which is very helpful.

So here we go…

2017 Goals

  1. Remember my Goals – I’d say this is checked off since I improved this year by documenting my goals on last year’s blog post instead of losing my list completely.
  2. Read 12 Books – This was a definite check, I read 20 books last year!  That’s what happens when you have a baby, are awake at all hours, sleep train, live alone, and quit your job.  Let me know if you want my list!
  3. Write 36 blog posts – 36? 6? Well, I wrote at least 1… but clearly not even close to 36.
  4. Create a home out of our new house – We didn’t end up in a new house like we planned after we found out about our new family member, but I did land in a different house.  I now live in what we call the Monroe House, just down the street from my parent’s house, and a house that I have now landed in 3 times.  However, I have made it into a comfy home, so check!
  5. Have a baby and keep it healthy – CHECK!!!!!  Finlay is still alive!!!!  Partly due to my mad parenting skills, but mostly due to God’s grace and my family’s support.
  6. Fill an Art Journal – Well I crafted a new art journal…  But certainly didn’t fill it…

In summary, I’m pretty pleased with my progress on 2017’s goals!  Like I’ve mentioned before, 2017 was the hardest year of my life, for so many reasons…  Some of which I can’t even share.  But looking at what I was hoping for at the beginning of the year, and what I’ve accomplished, I can see that 2017 has taught me that I am not alone or helpless.  Many things happened to me this year, most that were completely out of my control, but as I type this post I can see many blessings.  I have a happy baby, a warm and peaceful home, and a loving family 5 minutes from my front door, I am blessed.

So what about next year?  Well here we go!

2018 Goals

  1. Read 24 books
  2. Cook my way through Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals Cookbook
  3. Switch over my cleaning and household products to non-toxic alternatives
  4. Finish my Art Journal!

I’m going to stop there for this year.  While I’m hopeful that 2018 will be less traumatic than 2017, I know that it will also be full of its own challenges.  Finlay will be mobile, my husband will come home, and we will probably move again.  As you can see, no blog related resolutions this year!  I don’t plan on ending my blogging activity, but obviously making it a goal to write more blog posts hasn’t worked for the past 5 years.  I end up writing when I feel like it, and that’s just fine.

What are your goals for 2018?


A Season for Everything

I’d have to say that there have been specific months & years in my lifetime that seem to combine several momentous occasions and life changes all together, and then there are others that seem to pass by with very little changes to remember.  Spring of 2017 will most certainly embody the former! 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m expecting a baby boy in the next month.  That by itself may be the most extreme change I have yet faced in my 32 years (well…besides being born).  I’ve moved several times, married, lived overseas, and went off to 2 very different colleges, but from what I understand, becoming a mother is something else entirely.  Am I ready???  Of course not!  Until about 8 months ago, I had my doubts that I would ever have children.  Don’t get me wrong, kids were part of the OFFICIAL plan since I married Mr. Brown almost 5 years ago, but deep down I don’t think I honestly believed it would happen.  

So there’s that…

A new baby that will forever change the course of my life. DUE May 27th 2017. 

In January, I was also aware that I would most likely say goodbye to my lovely father this year.  After fighting his way through a bout of stomach cancer a couple years ago, it came back with a vengeance before he’d had a chance to gather his strength to fight it again.  Choosing to spend the rest of his days enjoying his family and projects instead of starting another intense round of chemo treatments (that weren’t likely to succeed), Dad accepted his fate and so did we.

In mid-April, surrounded by his family and showered with love, dad breathed his last. 

I have never seen a death before, so I don’t know how these things usually go, but I was honored to be sitting beside him.  I prayed till the very end for healing, and even now catch myself wanting to ask God to change his mind and bring dad back, but I’m so grateful that I spent dad’s last days near him.  I’m so grateful that my father lived a life of integrity and showed all of us just how much he loved and appreciated us.  There was no business to resolve, or wounds to mend, and although it’s easy for me to find myself very sad about losing him, I know that it’s also ok for me to look forward to the future and be joyful.

The day my father died, another significant occasion occurred… 

My husband left for his deployment. 

Yes, with the exception of 2 weeks leave once baby Brown appears (in May hopefully!), Mr. Brown will be MIA for the rest of this year and into 2018.  Obviously the timing isn’t great…  But we’ve known for awhile that this was a possibility, and I’m trusting that our baby’s birth was actually timed out perfectly.  I never planned on mothering a baby on my own, and I’m not going to lie, I’m still not nuts about the idea, but deep down I know that I won’t be alone at all.  If I’ve learned anything from the past month, it’s that I am most certainly not alone.  In addition to luxury of trusting God with my future, I also am surrounded by loving family and friends, many of whom have made it perfectly clear that I have help and support.  That makes all the difference.  

Happy Spring everyone!  Anyone else out there expecting big changes this season?



Be Strong & Courageous!

Joshua 1 9

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or dismayed because I am with you wherever you go.

When I was thinking over possible Mother’s Day presents this month, this verse kept coming to mind.  I thought it was completely unrelated at first, and dismissed it as unhelpful distraction, but it kept popping up in my head.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really did relate to my mother.  My mother is the rock of our family, and I’ve always been amazed at the self-sacrificing strength she’s always seemed to possess.  She had 4 children, and managed to make each of us feel special and completely loved.  She encouraged us to walk our own unique paths, and to do something different than what was expected.  If you were to ask me about a time when I felt rejected or neglected by my mother, I’d have nothing to share…absolutely nothing.

But being a rock can’t be easy, especially now that we are all grown and going through our own unique struggles.  Especially now that my Dad has started chemo treatments for stomach cancer, and now that mom has her own health problems to contend with.  Each day has always brought its own challenges, and we all need strength and courage to be rocks for those around us.