A look back at 2018

Before I begin, I wanted to thank those of you that liked my blog posts about Paxon before and I’m sorry I left this project on the back burner for so long. If anyone at all would like throwback posts to the months of Paxon’s life I missed, please let me know and I’ll write them if there’s any interest. I have future plans for this blog, too, but I wanted to come back with a new kind of post and test the water.

As the year comes to an end, it becomes so apparent that the general consensus of 2018 is that it was hard for so many people. With the way information is always being pushed to our radar through social media, it’s no wonder the more depressing news with shock value gains more attention and the happier stories seem to get pushed to the top a lot less frequently.

In light of that, I want write purely about positive things that happened to me or to people around me this year so that I can look back at the year through rose colored glasses and find a way to be glass half full rather than my usual, less positive default. I also wanted to write about things I plan to do to start 2019 on a happier note.

To start this off, this is what my baby looked like around New Years 2018 vs New Years 2019 (also check out that iPhone 7 vs iPhone XS camera!):

This last year he’s obviously grown, but for everyone else in my family I feel like it’s been a year of growth, too. I’ve found patience I didn’t know I had and discovered how to prioritize things in my life by importance – my son being on top of that list. Micah has grown up so much, too. Whether that means professionally or as a father, I’ve been so grateful to be able to see these things firsthand.

Next on my list, what I’m going to talk about might seem like such a frivolous topic. Regardless, it made all the difference in the world to me.

Who was lucky enough to be warned about how serious postpartum hair loss is? I wasn’t. I was always told you only lost your hair if you took prenatal vitamins, but I didn’t do any of that. I think I stopped losing all my hair when Pax was maybe seven months old. Four months postpartum I was so tired of having the worlds worst head of hair that I chopped it all off and it finally started to look healthier. But it. Was. Thin. I’ve always had a really full head of hair that I didn’t think I would miss until it was gone. I was pretty much at a loss for what to do and google searches of people saying “it’ll come back!” didn’t really make me feel better.

Luckily enough, one of our dear friends, Leilani Carpenter, from Pullman came through for me and recommended a product she sells without me having to reach out and ask for it – and hear me out before you make an assumption. I’m the person that sees a huge amount of people on Facebook and Instagram trying to sell something and immediately ignores it. Through word of mouth or my own research a lot of it really is too good to be true, whether that be how successful you’re going to be selling it or how well a product works.

Monat changed my opinion of that. I don’t sell it or anything and don’t plan to and I don’t get money from saying this, however, if you’re suffering from any number of issues regarding your hair, this is something that is worth the money. It cleared my scalp of product and gave my hair a healthy lift. It also made my hair grow decently fast and I have a ton of shorter hairs that can prove how much it helped my hair come back.

I started using it towards the end of April and haven’t stopped since. If this is something you’re insecure about, I understand where you’re coming from. You don’t realize how much your hair can make a difference to your confidence. I recommend reaching out with questions if this is something you struggle with.

In 2018 my baby turned one and miraculously became a toddler what seemed like over night. Eventually I’ll make a post about his birthday and all that fun, but I felt at least a mention was necessary.

I was lucky to have an easy baby considering how he got here was a little rough. Now I have a toddler who keeps me on my toes but I’ve been loving figuring out what he needs or what he wants as he tries to navigate learning to speak. Next is to figure out why my child who would sleep for nearly 12 hours at a time has decided he really hates sleeping.

One of my fondest memories from the year is traveling down coast with my little family unit. We were dying to vacation somewhere but wanted the trip to be baby friendly.

We travelled to Ocean Shores, WA; Long Beach, WA; Seaside, OR; Tillamook, OR; Newport, OR; Lincoln City, OR; Astoria, OR; and Westport, WA. Each day we would only drive two or three hours because Pax was able to nap that long back then. One of the goals for the trip was to get a souvenir at each place that we could put in a future room for Paxon because Micah and I both love the ocean and wanted his room to be ocean themed. The other goal was to eat as much seafood as we possibly could and we definitely succeeded. I’m extremely lucky that Micah and I have a similar tastes in food because we were always excited about the same restaurants at each place and didn’t really struggle to find what would suit us both.

The biggest thing that changed for me this year was my location. We moved even further north and out of the city. It’s a long commute for Micah, but an ideal place for a family to live. Our living space at the previous place was smaller and cluttered. I was in a never ending battle with cleaning that terribly designed kitchen. There was also very little storage and so we had weird things left out strategically so we could live around them, but it was getting more and more aggravating by the day. With Pax’s new ability to walk he was always getting into new things.

I especially love our new place because there’s no stairs he has access to and it’s all baby-proofed so we can wander as he pleases with very little risk of getting into anything bad.

Where we live is a dream. I wake up every day excited to be where I’m at. It’s a good feeling to be at that kind of peace because I allow myself to be more settled here and I don’t feel the need to escape the house as much as I used to.

In September, before we moved, Micah and I came to the realization that we couldn’t bring our dog, Raven, with us to the new place. Not only was it expensive but Raven was never happy with apartment life. She spent most of her life in Wyoming doing pretty much whatever she wanted outdoors. With us, she would pace back and forth no matter how much I walked her or tried to make her comfortable. I’ve always had a dog with me so it was a hard situation to be in. I would have fought harder to keep her with us, but because of how unhappy she was it was best to find her somewhere else.

I didn’t want to give her away to a stranger or give her up at the animal shelter especially considering her age.

Facebook really does do some good every now and then and with friends sharing my post about her, someone Micah grew up around came through for us and took Raven in.

The Clarks have a wide open property that I consider to be dog heaven. The second we drove up and I met Jody and her daughter, Jordan, then saw where Raven was going to live, I felt so much peace with our decision. They are both so incredibly kind and it made me feel comfortable that Micah already knew the family. I still receive updates every now and then about Raven and she sounds like she’s perfectly settled there. It makes me so happy.

The last event on my list is Friendsgiving. My best friend from high school, Kennedy, was finally able to come up from Los Angeles and meet my son. One of our other best friends, Chad, lives in Seattle and was able to join the festivities as well. I miss both of them all the time, but now that I know how close Chad is I’m going to have to take advantage of that more often. There’s something comforting about spending time with people who knew you before you grew up and got on your own path outside of going to school. I feel like it’s so easy to pick up where we left off when I’m around them.

We’re not very traditional and ate pot roast that Micah made instead of turkey, but I kind of preferred it. I also baked an apple crumble and we had plenty to drink. I miss them both already.

As long as this already is, I just want to mention realistic resolutions I’m going to set for myself in 2019.

The first is getting out of the house with my son more. I want him to experience more toddlers his age and more fun in general. I feel like he doesn’t mind hanging with me at our place all the time, but there’s so much to do and see that will help his development in the long run that I have to push harder to do those things.

Another goal for 2019 is to write a lot more on this personal blog. I find it’s a perfect way to exercise creativity and keep family updated. Even if I’m not missed, I miss writing all the time.

Next I just really want to spend more time with my dad and brother because this last year lacked them and I miss them all the time.

The last resolution sounds stupid now that I’m writing it down, but here it goes… I need to stay on top of doctor’s appointments for myself. My son is usually updated on everything with his pediatrician, but concerning myself I just can’t put the effort in and I’m sure some other moms can relate. For me, specifically, though I go through about a week each month where I’m swollen and in terrible pain because of my fibroids. I mentally hit myself for not going to the doctor, then the week comes and goes, and the pain stops for another month. With that, the thought of going to the doctor for myself gets pushed away again. It’s a stupid cycle to be in, but trying to figure out records and faxing and all those complicated steps makes my procrastination kick on and I forget again.

As long as I’ve been dealing with this (the first bad pain I remember having was in 2011), hurting seems like it’s just a part of life even though for those few days I just want to sit on the couch with a heating blanket. I could just deal with it before I had a child, but when I feel that bad my fuse gets much shorter and since I wake up a few times at night I’m tired and snap easier. In general, I would be a better mom if I could just figure this out.

So this is me holding myself accountable by putting it out there for others to see.

I hope this wasn’t too, too long but I had a lot I wanted to say. Once I get started I can’t stop. I hope everyone has an amazing 2019 and finds happiness and success this year.


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