Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Year in Review: 2017

Merry Christmas! I usually don't blog about the happenings in my life as much as I intend to, so inspired by Michelle's delightful post, I thought it would be fun to jump on here and give a recap of this past year's adventures.

Flip flops in January? This is my kind of weather, people ;) 
This month was filled with visits to Kansas to see family and friends, writing reviews, and spending time with my husband and baby (he was about 7 months at this time). We watched the Bourne trilogy, the first few X-Men movies, went on some dates (and one of them was baby-free!), I showed baby Peter a Russian Nutcracker ballet performance that was available online, and I read books like The Summer Before the War, which was delightful! I also read this awesome blog post by a woman who lost all her hair during pregnancy. Oh, and I turned 24 years old :)

Back inside after we spent part of an afternoon singing in the rain!
Let it be known that I do not watch football, yet I found myself watching most of the Super Bowl when it aired on February 5. I was mainly interested in Lady Gaga's performance (which was such a trip down memory lane and took me back to high school dances!), but also somehow wound up watching the actual game. Weird. Another notable memory from this month is an event that two of my friends and I hosted, called "Tea with NFP." Basically, on a Saturday morning we brought little muffins, goodies, and teas to one woman's house and gave our testimonies about how knowing our fertility cycles has benefited us. It was a really awesome opportunity to spread the knowledge and message of fertility awareness, and we had a packed living room-about 20 women came!-which shocked and delighted me :) Also this month, our friends' little baby died (you can read my reflections on the funeral here). To finish off the month, we had a board game night at church, visits with friends, and lots of great playtime with Peter outside (it was a really mild winter!). I also started writing about my Great Library Adventure (I realize that I haven't blogged about it in a long time, but I promise that is something I will try to finish blogging about in the next few months).

Lenten bread baking!

Lent began on March 1, and my schedule filled with Stations of the Cross at church, writing projects, and an interview with Relevant Radio. I also spent lots of quality time watching my husband play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was lots of fun (great music, amazing visuals!). We worked on house stuff with our realtor, and started looking at different listings online. My husband went out of state on a business trip for a week, so the baby and I had tons of adventures visiting libraries, eating unhealthy food, and visiting family and friends in Kansas. I also worked through the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge for the first time, which was really awesome! I volunteered for the Oklahoma Catholic Women's Conference, which was also great. And I started re-reading Brideshead Revisited,by Evelyn Waugh, which was fantastic. I didn't really "get" that book the first time I read it, but coming back a second time I fell in love with it!! I also had a really weird dream which I posted on my Facebook page, but I'd like to share it here for y'alls enjoyment:

The best person to be stuck with when the dark forces of Middle Earth attack is Willy Wonka. At least, that's what I've determined based on my dream last night. I dreamed that I was on the campus of Franciscan University, and a bunch of orcs were roaming around viciously all over the place, and somehow after admiring a flying leap that Legolas made off a wall near the J.C. Williams Center, I got separated from my friends and found myself running into hiding with Willy Wonka. The guy was eerily calm throughout the whole ordeal and started telling me his life story, hence my conclusion that he's a good person to chill out with when life is crazy.

We greatly enjoyed our Easter waffles & Nutella :) 
Lent continued, and house hunting carried on. One evening, I had a minor meltdown with a cry of "We'll never buy a house!" since we kept visiting nice houses, but we weren't both completely on board with any house we had seen. I can be such a drama queen, guys. Anyways, one of my husband's best friends from childhood (who lives in another state) came to visit with his wife, we had some lovely get-togethers with friends, and my favorite part of the liturgical year (the Triduum) happened. We managed to hit the Easter Vigil and had a happy baby the whole time (thanks, God!). We went to a wedding (my husband's co-workers met and fell in love at their workplace-how cute it that???), I watched the wonderful Civil War show Mercy Street, we went to a family-friendly Jane Austen Regency dance, and we visited my family to celebrate the Easter season.

I went to my first coffee cupping!
In the first few days of May, we visited more houses, and as we left one neighborhood, noticed a house that was on sale which we hadn't seen online. Apparently, it had been listed a couple days before, and the pictures and location looked really good. A few days later,  our realtor got us in for a showing and that evening we put in an offer! After a few days of negotiating back and forth with the sellers, we made an offer that was accepted and thus began the stressful process of inspections, repairs, and more negotiations. While all this happened, we had gatherings with friends, I read a bunch, and we celebrated Mother's Day by watching baby birds in our apartment complex learn how to fly. We had a baby-free date to see Guardians of the Glaxy, Vol. 2, and the baby also chaperoned us on a date to a fun pizza place.


Deviled eggs for Pentecost! (since they look kind of like flames)
The month started off with a board game night at church, a Pentecost party at a friend's apartment, and lots of packing and cleaning as we prepared for the move. Our little guy turned 1 year old and two days later we closed on our first house, then we went appliance-shopping and the next morning a bunch of our friends helped us move. Life then became a whirlwind of unpacking, getting settled, exploring our new community, meeting neighbors, and relaxing as a family. I also watched the show Anzac Girls, which was about Australian nurses during WWI-it was very interesting!

Inspired by the Danish hygge lifestyle, I started climbing into "my little box of hygge"
with a blanket and a book. Naturally, the toddler immediately wanted to get in anytime
he saw me all cozy and relaxed in a box. 
I went running for the first time in years! I only went a mile, but I did it without stopping and I was pretty happy about that. Our car had lots of problems and was stuck in the shop for over a week, but in the midst of it all my family came to visit to celebrate Peter's first birthday, so that was pretty great :) My husband started showing me The Office, and while I started watching it reluctantly, I got way more into it than I ever thought I would! Peter took his first unassisted steps, I explored a tea place/Asian restaurant I had never been to, and we took an awesome family day trip to Dallas, where we saw one of our good friends from college, ate Korean BBQ for the first time, and discovered the store Daiso. It's basically a dollar store, except it's Japanese so everything is way cuter than stuff in American-based dollar stores. We went to a great board game night at church, and I continued running fairly regularly.


One of our new neighbors gave me these plants-I think they're some kind of mint?-and
they somehow seemed to survive both the hot August heat and my non-green thumb!
Our car broke down again, and then my husband went out of town with friends (I'm still grateful that the car didn't break down while he was gone!). My husband and his teammate did awesome in a video game tournament, I had a great phone call with a college friend, and the toddler started walking all over the place. We celebrated our four-year wedding anniversary, and a few days later I was out for a week with the horrible summer sickness that hit both Oklahoma and Kansas. The eclipse happened, we had a baby-free date to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming, and I bought (and played) the game Marrying Mr. Darcy for the first time! We finished off the month with a maggot infestation in our kitchen and a very awesome Confession at church :)

We had a lot of fun blowing bubbles on a rainy day :) 
On August 31, the toddler hit his head really hard, and after consulting with some mom-friends and the pediatrician, it was determined that we had to visit the E.R on September 1. I had never taken him to the E.R. before, and I never want to again. Even though it was rather quiet and Peter wound up being fine, it was just an overwhelming, exhausting, and stressful experience. The next morning, I ran my first 5k! It was awesome, and though I was pretty slow I'm very happy that I did it. The rest of the month included a visit to see my family, celebrating my husband's birthday, joining a Well Read Mom group, and the Beatification Mass for now-Blessed Stanley Rother!

Zoo trip!
I made eclairs for the first time, met an online friend in person (so much fun!) and got to hold down the fort when my husband went out of town. I finally visited the Cowboy Museum for the first time since I was a toddler, I had a really stressful dental appointment (my first dentist visit in several years), and a friend from out of town stayed the night with us. My husband was sick for several days, so we watched the entire Matrix trilogy together, and while we had to miss a wedding I had looked forward to, we had a really great time together. We went to our first fall festival as a family and then hosted more people from out-of-state for a night! 

We explored a new park and saw this cool "Love Lock Tree"!
We hosted an All Saints Day party, the toddler became obsessed with socks, and we got a couch from a friend of ours!!!!! (I discovered, after 5 months of living in a house with barely any furniture, that couches are actually pretty great) I watched The Punisher and went to the store Eighth Day Books for the first time in over ten years, and wondered why I took so long getting back there (it's such an amazing store!). We spent a fun Thanksgiving with my family, and came back to find a mouse in our house (which, thankfully, soon died). We finished off the month with a fun date to a taco place that I had never been to! 

Merry Christmas! Here we are, all bleary-eyed after Midnight Mass :) 
The month started off with AMAZING weather and we spent lots of time playing outside, which was awesome. But then it got cold, and I'm sad to say, I've only ran twice this month because I'm a wimp in cold weather. Anyways, moving on...We prepared for the release of the new Star Wars movie by re-watching The Force Awakens and staying up way too late watching Bad Lipreading Star Wars videos on Youtube, and later that week went on a baby-free date to see The Last Jedi! We registered for the upcoming Domestic Church retreat (I'll share more about this later! I'm really excited about it), and we hosted an Advent tea. We finally visited the Gospel of Life Dwelling downtown, which was pretty fantastic. We spent the first days of Christmas with my family (all of my siblings were there, which was great), played tons of board games and video games, came back to Oklahoma and let two of my brothers stay the night so they could go to a basketball game, and my husband took me on a date to the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses (which was phenomenal!!). And since we have two episodes of The Office left, I'm going to assume that we'll finish off the month of December and the year 2017 by seeing what is in store for the Halperts, Angela, and all of the other characters I've come to know and love over these paste several months :) 

Thank you all SO MUCH for following along with me through the adventures of 2017! I truly appreciate each and every one of you, and it means so much to me that there are other people out there who read my little ramblings now and then :) This has been an eventful year, full of struggles, fellowship with awesome people, big events like buying a house, and adventures like mothering a toddler. God is so good and merciful, and I am continually in awe of His blessings in all of this! I hope that you all have a very happy start to the new year, and that you have a spectacularly epic continuation of the Christmas season! 


  1. Happy 2018, AnneMarie and family! Beautiful Christmas photo, and have loved being along for the ride.

  2. This is a great post! May 2018 be even better :)

  3. I love how detailed this was!! You have a great memory! So amazing to see how much Peter has grown!

  4. What a wonderful year you had!! Enjoyed reading about it and loved the pictures. Happy 2018!! <3

    1. Thanks, Elisabeth! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you too!

  5. Peter has grown so much!
    Thanks for sharing all of these details...both the good and the bad. I hope you are richly blessed in 2018!

    1. He has-we made a photo book of baby to current day for my parents for Christmas, and it was so neat to see the large and small changes Peter has made over the past year and a half!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed this post-I loved how as I looked over the entire year, I realized the importance of keeping perspective. That struggles and rough things come, but in the grand scheme of things, there is just so much more to life. Thank you so much, and I hope you are having a great start to 2018!

  6. I haven't seen The Office in a few years, but strangely enough, Michael was in my dream last night! That show sure knew how to create memorable characters! Love the Nutella-faced baby pic, and good job writing down all of these "big" and "small" memories!