And another year is gone! I thought it would be fun today, this last day of 2017, to look back on some of my favorite Instagram photos and to reflect on the year before we send it off. I had a hard time narrowing it down to one photo per month, so I chose two for each month instead! Here they are:
At the first of the year, I was still homeschooling my oldest kiddo and this was one of our typical school days. Eric left work early to meet us for a picnic at a local nature park. We spent a little time playing around in the education room at the visitor’s center, but the better part of the day was spent hiking the trails and climbing all over abandoned mining equipment (because there’s a lot of that in Birmingham!) and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.
The first book of 2017 perfectly sums up my vision for the year, which was to embrace simplicity and contentment and pursue a more minimal lifestyle. My minimalist game was strong early in 2017, but let’s just say I will be renewing this pursuit for 2018.
By mid-February, it was evident that we had already experienced the brunt of winter and spring came on early. We moved our classroom outside and went hiking often.
Seth turned seven, and he asked for apple pie instead of cake. So my boy got apple pie instead of cake, by golly!
This is not so much a favorite photo as it is just my first-day-in-braces selfie, and so that happened. 2017 will always be remembered as the year I got braces.
Just a boy, reading a field guide, in a stick fort, with his dog, in the woods… nothing to see here.
I’ve decided that 2017 will no longer be remembered only as the year that I got braces. Rather, it will always be the year that we spent 90% of our time outside and about half of that time in the woods. And April is the month that we spent the most time on the water, first fishing…
…and then, canoeing. This was the day we tipped our canoe over and Hawk was so scared ever after that he screamed and held on to me tightly for the last leg of the trip. He will never let us live that down!
My children act like they hate each other sometimes, but nothing bonds them together quite like imagination and wonder! It’s impossible for me to love being their mommy more than I already do, but I sure do try.
Eric and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in May. That feels huge! He brought me some gorgeous yellow roses and we did something special, like taking the kids to Applebee’s or something, because that’s how we roll.
And, that’s why you’ll rarely ever (never) see a serious portrait of my kids. Nope, never going to happen.
By the end of June, I was prepared for a new homeschool year. The lesson plans were ready, and I even hosted a picnic for local Charlotte Mason mamas at my home. I had no idea the challenges that the second half of the year would bring.
Sharing a pack of sparklers with my man, because Independence Day. Nothing says patriotism like setting things on fire with the one you love!
Eric spend several weeks in July working in Nashville, and the kids and I travelled north to visit him one weekend. We spent several days exploring the area and swimming in the hotel pool. Just yesterday, Hawk asked me when we would ever go back to Nashville and swim in the pool again, so obviously we have no regrets about this trip.
Our adventures in 2017 weren’t all in the woods! Here we are roaming the sidewalks of downtown Birmingham one evening in August. This rainbow tunnel is the coolest thing, and my children love to see it at night! Even downtown, these boys have the capacity to have fun with nature. Shortly after this picture was taken, Seth caught a frog hopping around the outskirts of Railroad Park!
And who can forget the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017? I had an unfortunately scheduled orthodontic adjustment right smack in the middle of the event, but I was able to enjoy the waning part of the eclipse afterwards. We weren’t close enough to experience darkness at totality, but it was still pretty eerie!
Hawk turned four in September, and gained a few levels of precocious as well.
September was the month that our year began to turn upside down. One week we were homeschooling in the morning and spending the afternoon in the woods, and the next week I had thrown in the towel and registered Seth in second grade at our local public school. I still have all the conflicted emotions about that, as I simply have not come to terms with the change yet.
In October, we renewed our zoo membership. I painted our master bedroom green (a color that only lasted for a few months, but that’s a story for another post!). We spent the majority of the month helping Eric’s mom move out of her home of 30 years, and it was a trying time. Most of our days were spent exploring the world with my youngest son while the big kid was in school, and trying to adjust to the new lifestyle.
I gave Eric tickets to see the Avett Brothers for his birthday, and we had our first date night of the year in late October. It was worth the wait!
In November, we said goodbye to our furbaby. Iggy was one of a kind, and it aches that he’s not with us anymore.
Two years after we first entered Narnia together, I finished reading The Last Battle to Seth, and that’s worth noting!
Though the first part of 2017 was warm, December brought a rare to us before Christmas snowfall. It’s been several years since we had five inches of fluffy snow, and we had the best time ever!
Christmas 2017 was incredible, and a perfect send-off for the year. The holiday decorations are now packed away, but I hope a little bit of the leftover magic will start off 2018 in the best way. I’m vowing to taking much better care of myself in the year to come, and looking forward to the good things a New Year will bring our family.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
What was your favorite thing about 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018? Happy New Year, my friends!