Why It Is Good To Evaluate Life: Reflecting On 2016

We all go through seasons and situations that make an impact in our lives and marriages. Circumstances that we endure can have positive or negative impacts, in some cases resulting in ways that influence us for the rest of our lives.

I believe it is important to look back through those seasons or moments we endured and evaluate them. Acknowledging what happened and the choices we made during those times can reveal things about ourselves or our spouse that perhaps we didn’t know before. Perhaps looking back will provide a perspective we never saw before or reveal something about God we never thought of. Evaluating what was endured can give understanding of who we are and what we are capable of…what God is capable of.

Looking back at our lives and evaluating the things we went through will also remind us to celebrate the good, the goals accomplished, and the gifts we were given. Its always good to celebrate and to thank God for the blessings He showers us with.

I want to encourage you to evaluate this last year with your spouse and take time to consider the hard times, what you learned through them, and celebrate the good.

At the end of each year I like to share some highlights that I experienced. 2016 was an interesting year. There were many good things to celebrate, but there were also some hardships we endured. All in all, I love that God teaches me through it. This year I believe He was teaching me to rely on Him more, to trust His timing, and to respect my husband through they way I respond to him. He also was teaching me patience, often using my role as a mother and using my children to give me opportunities to exercise the patience muscle.

January was suppose to start out with a bang! A new year with determination thrusting us forward. Instead, we discovered mold in our house! The kids had colds and I didn’t want the mold to make them worse, so we left the house until it was fixed. This really jolted my enthusiasm for the new year.

{You can read more about that here: What To Do When The New Year Doesn’t Start Off As You Expect}

Although this was a wrench in my plans for the new year, the blessing that came out of this experience was that we found our new home! One day we tried to escape our frustrations by house hunting. We hoped to buy our first home in 2016, Lord willing, so we expedited our process by driving around different neighborhoods. Thats when I saw this falling apart house and thought to myself, now that would be a cute home! 

It was in this first week of January that we found our home and began the journey to purchasing it! Again, Lord willing!

In February Olive had her first ER visit. She fell into a wall heater and burned her little hand pretty good. She got a huge blister swell up on her palm. I took her to the ER just to make sure we took care of it right. All month long we had to make sure it stayed clean and bandaged.

My mom and stepdad also made it out for a fun visit. We piled in a huge van they rented and took the kids to the zoo.

 

 

March 17th we closed escrow on our very first home!

Aaron and I were beyond thrilled even though we had no idea how challenging the next few months of renovations were going to be. Also during this time is when we launched our Family Vlog! I already had a Youtube channel going for Unveiled Wife but we thought it would be fun to share more about our family. We have had a blast sharing some of our adventures with you!

See our Vlog playlist by clicking HERE!

In April I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd baby. I planned a trip to a tulip farm for Aaron’s birthday. His gift was finding out we would soon be having another baby. Aaron was so happy with the news. Eliott and Olive were super excited too!

May was an awesome, yet challenging month. I had the opportunity to head to California with the kids to see grandparents and celebrate Olive’s 1st Birthday. However, it was challenging because I was still in my first trimester and nauseous. When I got back to Oregon, I thought the progress on our house would be a lot closer to finished. Instead, much of our plans were halted as we waited on a permit.

Then a good rain came and we were not prepared. The house was a little too exposed and the wood floors were drenched with water. Aaron ran to Costco and grabbed a bunch of towels to try and dry up the mess. He also climbed up on the roof to cover it with a huge tarp to keep the water out. The rain and wind were the worst they had been all year. Our frustrations were through the roof, but it was one of those situations we had to deal with and talk about with patients leading us. We didn’t do that perfectly, but we did reconcile both the issue and with each other.

Throughout the year I was sharing blog posts. Here are some of the articles I wrote this year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June I had the opportunity to speak at The StartUp Camp Summit in Bend with Dale Partridge and Scott Harris (From Charity Water). Although my focus is not business, I feel like I was able to relate to the entrepreneurs who came to the Summit because my husband and I built our business from the ground up, while raising a family, and found success. I gave a message about the importance of authenticity in business. I had a ton of fun doing this and after the Summit, Aaron and I went live on Facebook with Scott Harris to share about Charity Water, check it out:

July was a fun month because we got to move into our new home, we hosted a Fourth of July party, and we found out that we were having a baby boy! We did a gender reveal at the Fourth of July party using balloons. It was a perfect day!

Watch our Fixer Upper reveal: 

Also during July we took some more family photos with Allison Harp. I loved how these pictures came out, especially the portraits of the kids.

In August we packed our bags and left for a road trip from Oregon to California. We had so much fun as a family, chatting in the car for hours, visiting new places, and ending up at grandma’s house. Then we headed to Maui for a vacation that blew us away. We stayed at a resort right on the shore that was super kid friendly. Eliott still talks about that trip.

During this trip we got to meet Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke, a Christian couple who are also encouraging couples daily. You should follow them!

September was a busy month for us. As we played catch up from the work we missed while on vacation, we also launched our 31 Prayers For My Future Husband/ Future Wife books for singles, dating, and engaged couples. These resources have been a huge hit and we have already sold about 20,000 copies in just a few months. We are praising God for people willing to pray for His will for their lives and future marriages.

In October we made a weekend trip to Portland to grab a few things for the baby, such as a crib from Ikea. We also met up with a couple from our community who reached out to us for a lunch date. We sat in a small burger shop on the corner in downtown Portland and chatted about marriage. Then we took a walk around a few blocks and got to know each other even more. This couple explained the positive impact we had made on their marriage this last year! This was a huge encouragement to Aaron and I and the work we pour into our ministries.
While there, we also got to visit the Roloff Farm! This place is incredible and we can’t wait to go back when the weather is better.

I don’t remember much of November. Being 9 1/2 months pregnant, I didn’t have a ton of energy to expend. I focused on my son turning 4 and Wyatt coming. Wyatt was due on Thanksgiving and I even hoped he would be a little early, but he decided he wanted to be a December baby. But before he came we did squeeze in some time to decorate a Christmas tree. It was perfect timing.

December has been by far the best and worst month of the year. Wyatt was born on the 2nd with a fast and furious delivery. As much as he is a blessing in our lives, recovery and nursing have been challenging. I got mastitis 4 times and it was awful. I also got a sty in my eye and food poisoning. Besides my body being in pain, my heart experienced some intense emotions. I felt guilty that I laid in bed most days trying to rest, while my husband took care of Eliott and Olive. I felt like I was missing them, even though I saw them every day. My husband has been the biggest support for me and helped me during this time. I also feel like I am rounding a corner, eager to step into this new year and new role being a mom of 3. It is new to us, but we are figuring out by God’s grace.

You can read and watch Wyatt’s Birth story here.

Thank you all for being a part of this community. I appreciate you letting me share our life and marriage with you. I love being an advocate and encourager for marriage. I am hoping and praying that this next year is impactful for all of us!

Happy New Year!

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