A year in review – 2014

This year has been filled with so many blessings.  I’m thankful for the times I’ve shared with family and the friends who were by my side daily. Looking back now, it’s been a great year.  This is just a few of the highlights that have made my heart happy.  The happy times that got me through the hard times that came between.  Life isn’t perfect but there are perfect moments always.

January:

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I look back on January and the thing that stands out the most is football. During the hard times of my dad’s cancer treatment, football brought my family together.  It gave us something to talk about besides cancer.  It gave us something to look forward too and really helped us through a very difficult time.  The Seahawks were doing AMAZING and it was such a blessing to watch them play last January.

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Dallas turned 8 at the end of January and birthdays always make me emotional.  Dallas has the biggest heart. He’s filled with kindness and love for everyone around him. He’s an amazing big brother to Phoebe and Austin. His laugh is by far the best sound I’ve ever heard. He’s sensitive to the emotions of others and always lifts me up when I’m having a hard day. I’m so thankful that he is my son.

Dallas 8th Birthday

 

February:

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Seahawks in the Super Bowl!!!!  What an amazing day it was on February 2nd to watch my team go all the way to victory.  I loved sharing the game with my kids, my dad and my brother.  It was such a joy to watch football the entire season.

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21 years ago my dad and I cut a dollar in half on Valentines Day and wrote a note on it. He carries his in his wallet and I have mine in a special place. Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love and I can’t think of a more awesome way to celebrate love than to kick some cancer out of your body! My dad had surgery to remove his stomach and finally be cancer free! He is an overcomer!

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We ran our first 5k as a family on 2/16 and it was a joyous occasion to watch Phoebe, who was 5 at the time, run the entire race!  She absolutely shined with her determination!

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Six years ago this amazing little girl came into our lives. I had always dreamed of having a daughter and she filled my heart instantly. She’s absolutely beautiful and her heart is full of love. She is always ready to cuddle, especially with daddy. She is an amazing sister to both Austin and Dallas. She has always been small but has more determination than someone twice her size. I miss the days that she was a teeny baby and when she was a crazy toddler, saying the funniest things but I’m so excited to see the girl she’s becoming. She lives in her own world, Phoebe Town and we’re all so lucky to have her in our lives. Happy Birthday Phoebe Joy!! We love you more than you’ll ever know and we are so thankful you are in our lives!

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I ventured off on my very first solo trip without my kids.  I flew to Washington to be with my dad and my husband took care of the kids for a week by himself.  He hadn’t ever watched them longer than 6 hours before then and he did great.  I missed the kids so much but it was amazing being in Washington with my parents.

March:

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I had a fantastic trip to Washington.  I enjoyed every moment with my parents and celebrated my dad being cancer free!

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It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to my home but this visit was different.  I knew that we would be moving back there in the summer and it wasn’t as hard this time.

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My husband and I celebrated 13 years of marriage on St. Patricks Day.  My crazy love story with him started on January 2, 2001 and we took a leap of faith on March 17, 2001. Just 2.5 months after meeting each other we said “I Do!” Everyone thought we were crazy (we were) yet somehow we have made our crazy love story work. It’s been 13 years since we got married and I’m so happy we took a chance on love. It hasn’t been perfect but it’s been perfect for us! Here’s to many more adventures together, I love you my shoe mate!

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The Thunderbirds came to Luke AFB and the kids and I enjoyed watching them fly around our neighborhood.  We made several trips to the base to watch them up close.  We love the sound of jet noise!

April:

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We hiked a lot in the spring.  We knew that our time in Arizona was coming to an end and we wanted to take advantage of all we could before we left.  All 3 of the kids enjoy hiking.  Austin always amazed me with his determination because he could hike 2 miles without having to be carried.  He’s a trooper!

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It’s hard to believe that just 3 years ago this amazing kid came into our lives. I remember being in labor and still gripped with fear, wondering if having a third kid was crazy. Little did I know that Austin would come into our lives and absolutely fill it up. Austin is an amazing kid who has always paved a way for himself. He’s always trying to keep up with the older two kids. He’s determined to be big like them and doesn’t let his size or age get in his way. His personality is so awesome and he’s always cracking us up. He’s full of life and love. Words can’t describe how much he brings to our family. We all shower him with love and I’m so glad we made that crazy leap of faith and followed our hearts. Having him was one of the best things we’ve done for our family. Happy 3rd Birthday Austin Jack!!

May:

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Dallas and Phoebe finished school at the end of May.  The both did fantastic in 2nd grade and Kindergarten.  They learned so much and were a little sad to say goodbye to their school.  They knew we were moving to Washington so we had some tearful goodbyes on the last day.

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It was finally warm enough for us to enjoy our pool.  We spent many hours swimming around in May!

June:

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We started packing up for our move to Washington and what’s a mother runner to do when packing up her medals?  Put them all on and take a photo!

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We have lived in 6 different homes since being married.  Packing up this home and saying goodbye was hard for me.

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We closed the door on one chapter of our lives and opened the door to a new one.  For 5 years we lived in this home and filled it with so many memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.  We said goodbye to the house that welcomed our 3rd child, the house that two of our kids started school.  This house held the tears that I cried as I went through two deployments and the joy we shared as we celebrated holidays and everyday life.  Goodbye to the house on Rovey Ave.  You were a good house to us.

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We made it to Washington at the end of June to start a new chapter of our life.  I was so thankful to be back home.

July:

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See the Lombardi Trophy with my brother….CHECK!

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We took a trip to Ocean Shores, WA and we all froze our butts off but enjoyed the ocean.  Phoebe loves the beach as much as I do!

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We celebrated my Grandpa Jack turning 90.  I was so thankful that I was living in Washington so I can celebrate these occasions!

August: 

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I started the 21 Day Fix in August and got my nutrition in check after a summer of eating unhealthy.

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We moved into our new home and unpacked.  This is 7th home we’ve lived in since getting married.  I’m used to making a house a home.  Unpacking is second nature now.

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We have an amazing trail 1.5 miles from our house.  We go there often to ride bikes, run, walk and just be in nature.

September:

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We ran in the Seahawks 5k and had a blast!!

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Then we spent the day as tourists in Seattle.

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Dallas and Phoebe amazed me with their bravery as they started a new school.  They flourished and made me so proud!

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I finished my 21 Day Fix and got amazing results.

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I was finally able to share one of my favorite childhood traditions with my kids.  We did the Puyallup Fair and had so much fun!

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We spent a lot of time with friends and enjoyed getting outdoors at Mt. Rainier

October:

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I’ve been a Beachbody coach for 2 years but treated it like a hobby and not a business.  In August I jumped back in with both feet and really committed to helping others and helping my family become financially free.  I earned a free trip to Tennessee with my coach Amy. It was an amazing experience and made me realize that I have what it takes to achieve my goals and make this business work for me.  I’m so blessed to be helping others change their lives and changing mine at the same time.

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Halloween was so fun!  I was a little jealous that Phoebe dressed up as Elsa because that’s what I wanted to be too.

November:

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I turned 34 in November and donated blood for the 5th time in a year.  Donor blood saved my dad’s life and I’m committed to donating every 8 weeks to help others.  I feel truly blessed to be in good health.  I feel better now than I did 10 years ago.  I’m in better shape and have more confidence in myself as a person.

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Thanksgiving was spent with my family and it was a true blessing.

December: 

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Phoebe

Austin

Christmas is all about joy and I’m thankful I got to spend so much time with my 3 blessings!

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My dad gave us all the best Christmas present this year…he had a scan yesterday and he’s still CANCER FREE!!! We have a lot to celebrate and I’m so thankful to be back home in Washington this Christmas!

Last Christmas was filled with so much fear and uncertainty and this Christmas is filled with joy and hope! We all love you so much dad!

What’s not seen:

If you looked at this you might think I lived the perfect year.  From the outside that’s the way it looks but this is just a highlight reel.  What’s not shown is the struggles I’ve dealt with over this last year.  My life isn’t perfect but there are many perfect moments.  I try my hardest to focus on the moments of perfection instead of the hard times that try and swallow me up. Our family has gone through a huge change.  We’ve moved and started a new life in Washington.  I’m so thankful to be back in my home but the transition has not been an easy one.  We are still struggling to find stability.  My husband is still trying to find his forever job and I’m just struggling.  I’ve lived with so much fear in the last year.  It’s been a constant battle to overcome my fears every single day.  I’m constantly fearful of our uncertain future.

If I’ve learned anything in the last year it’s that there’s always beauty in a storm. This year has felt stormy because of all the changes but there have been so many moments of joy. There are so many blessings to be thankful for and through all the struggles there is always hope.

This song has been my anthem this year:

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In 2015….
I’m going to love without fear.
I’m going to live without fear.
I’m going to chase my dreams without fear.
I’m going to take risks without fear.
I’m going to be fearless.

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