At the conclusion of every year and beginning of the next, I always pray for the health of my loved ones. At the conclusion of the year, I continually find myself full of gratefulness that my loved ones are here and healthy, and at the start of the new year, my prayers typically revolve around asking God (begging God!) for another healthy year.
This year I am the most grateful for the good health for my immediate loved ones, the gift of Jillian, and my marriage.
- Immense gratefulness for our health is a given; The older I get, the more I do not take it for granted. We watched loved ones on both sides lose people very close to them this year (Jamie’s Uncle Johnny and my great-Uncle Norris), which served as a harsh reminder that every single extra day with those we love is a precious gift, and not a given.
I also had a couple of weeks after Jillian’s birth of on-and-off debilitating pain from various post-baby things, which riddled me incapable of enjoying the people and things around me because I was so consumed with the physical pain I felt. These brief bouts of severe discomfort were widely empathy-building for me in that chronic pain (pain you cannot see) is something that people around me live with every day, and their ability to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy life is outstanding. Physically I feel great as I type this, and just typing those words makes me feel fortunate (because last night I had a headache and the chills from you know where, which especially has me grateful for good health today!)
- My joy surrounding Jillian is immeasurable. I look at her face and constantly think about how she shouldn’t be here but was so meant to be! We had long-ago decided we weren’t going to have a third baby. And now that she’s here, I can’t believe I almost missed out on her. Life feels just as insane as I imagined it would be with three kids, but I couldn’t have predicted the way she would fill my heart with so much happiness and sense of completion. My love for our girls is completely equal but also very different.
Jillian will always be my miracle and a reminder that I don’t have the full control of my life that I’d desire. His plans are ultimately purposeful and just plain better. I am a firm (firm firm FIRM) believer that God gives us eyes and ears and hands and feet and a brain and the gift of DISCERNMENT to pursue making good decisions, but that ultimately, the final say is His no matter how much we push forward in another direction. And we were SO meant to have our Jillian Jamie. Thank you Jesus.
- Finally, I am grateful for Jamie. January will mark nine years of marriage for us, and we are in a better place in our relationship than we have ever been. I don’t say that to brag; I say that from a place of knowing what it feels like to walk through the mud in your marriage. We haven’t been through anything overly earth-shattering, but being long-distance from the day we met until our 13th month of marriage (hello immediate deployment) handed us some things to learn and work through. We also got married when we were barely 23 years old, so we’ve had to learn to grow together as adults as well. Those struggles of learning each other and also being apart so often have made us so much more thankful for where we are today. We know each other and each other’s love languages like the back of our hands. This has made us both much more intentional with how we show love and service to the other. The civilian life has also been the best decision we could have ever made for each other and our family. 2019 has just been a very good, solid year for us, and to say that feels good.
Other general highlights from this year include our incredible family vacation to Grand Cayman, my sister’s family spending three months in our hometown, my in-laws moving here from Texas, my parents downsizing and moving into a precious home a mile from us, and Hadley starting public Kindergarten.
I feel super optimistic about 2020. I look forward to the routines we will hopefully fall into, the travel we will embark upon, Sadie starting Pre-K in the fall, and continuing to invest in and soak up max time with the people we love.
Thank you for supporting my blog this year as I continued to navigate how to pursue this passion of mine while also being an active, present stay-at-home mom. Juggling the two was more challenging this year than ever, but I’m still here and still excited to continue working hard and creating content next year and beyond. I love you guys so much!! Thank you for being the best readers and interacting and encouraging me, my family, and my site the way you do. I appreciate you!!
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Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo