Happy New Years, friends!! I love the feeling a New Year brings…gives us a chance to reflect on the past year…what made us proud, what brought us joy, what we would change…and look forward to the year ahead…what are our goals, what are our priorities, and what is to come.
As I look back on 2018, several things come to mind…
Time and travels with our family – I am so grateful for the fun adventures we have been on with the kids. Opportunities to create community – by choosing to volunteer, we realized the value of giving our time and were grateful to meet and see so many others do the same. Aaron’s continued health – our prayers continue to be answered by his response to treatment – update below. The daily mission to choose happiness – this is a big one for me and I reflect on this one more in our goals for 2019 below. All of you – I am so grateful for you following along in this little space I have created! It is a labor of love and am so proud of how it has grown and evolved thanks to all of you!
As I look forward to 2019…
Continued time and travels with our family – we have several trips on the books – both with kids and without. Having those to look forward to always helps get me through the bleary winter months or the mundane of the every day. It warms my heart to see how the kids are beginning to place a priority on travel together as well – knowing that we must save our money for these trips and choose trips or experience for gifts instead of toys. Stay tuned for lots of fun travel here in the new year!
Choosing happiness each day – this was something I have always tried to do especially in our journey with Aaron’s illness. Each day I wake up, I have the choice to choose happiness no matter what. And some days it is so much harder than others – days when Aaron is sick and unable to help with the kids and I am feeling overwhelmed. I have the choice to choose happiness for myself and the kids, knowing that they need me more than ever during these times. And what started as a goal to keep my kids happy, turned into myself finding joy each day. Finding little areas that were a highlight of each day – some days those are big and some they are small – help keep joy present in our daily life. No matter your circumstances, you can choose whether to focus on all that is wrong and bleak, or choose to find some joy and appreciation in each day. While you may not be able to change your circumstances, you can choose how you can determine how you choose to view them and how you choose to deal with them. I want to add more of this to the blog this year and hope you all find it inspiring!
Appreciation for all we have – this is something I really want to focus on with the kids this year. It ties into choosing happiness. It can at times be difficult to appreciate our circumstances with Aaron’s health, but that is one aspect of our life and even within that, we can find appreciation for his ability to continue with a normal life. Outside of that, there are so many areas in our daily life that we need to appreciate. So often, our kids expect thing or fail to realize how fortunate they are, and I want to really call this to mind with them.
Simplicity – for me, this applies to both our home and our schedules. With some of our volunteer work this year, I found myself feeling very overwhelmed with extra commitments. I want to find a better balance with all areas – kids activities, home life, blog, volunteer work – and focus on simplicity at home. Decluttering our schedules and home life help keep me less stressed. January is big for me on decluttering our home and I want to continue this into the new year.
Focus on health, wellbeing, and growth – I am guilty of falling victim to the holiday indulgence and like the opportunity of the new year to hit the reset button. I want to focus on healthy food for our family and continued meal planning. I also want to get back on track with my work outs and plan to use this space for accountability. Stay tuned this week for more on wellbeing goals .
Aaron’s health – we continue to witness our prayers being answered with Aaron’s continued response to treatment. His battle with colon cancer began almost 8 years ago and advanced to stage 4 four years ago. For the past couple years, he has been on continuous therapy. In late summer, his therapy was changed due to progression and the growth of some small spots on his lungs. He had an updated scan yesterday, and we were happy to see that these areas are stable and have not grown or spread – meaning he is responding to this therapy. One of his labs that is a strong marker for cancer growth has returned to normal. And while we are slightly disappointed that these areas are not completely gone, we are so grateful they haven’t grown. He will continue on this therapy as long as it continues to work. Aaron has struggled a little more with side effects recently – this chemo causes severe skin irritation and sores. They went down on the dose a little and have added some medications to try to offset this and we are hopeful those work.
I wish all of you a Happy New Year and the opportunity to reflect on the past year and think ahead to the new. While you often cannot change your circumstances, you can determine how you choose to view them and how you choose to deal with them. Choose happiness in 2019!