Looking Back at 2017 – and 5 Things for 2018!

Yup, here we are at the end of another year, with many of us saying, thank goodness it’s over. I am a sucker for the New Year, and those who know what kind of crap befell us will understand why we are glad to send 2017 off to the fire and seriously rise from those ashes in 2018.

Having blogged now for over 9 years (gasp!), I looked back at a few of my resolutions-focused blogs and got a kick out of them. Seven years ago I was planning a garden solo and designing a deck, now we are preparing to take a much, much bigger journey.

I found one more ethereal one that I wrote which I particularly liked…and that works for every single year of life as far as I’m concerned. Feel free to borrow this for your own self if you find inspiration in it as well…

Love myself more. Be courageous. Be more of myself. Help myself by helping others. Give myself a break! Explore the world. Own my existence, my pleasure, my journey. Remind myself of my goodness. Remind others of theirs. Smile at strangers. Be grateful every single day. Observe. Take risks. Focus on what and who I love, and remember the rest will take care of itself.

Along with this, I wanted to look back at last year’s 10 Things blog post and record how things turned out…

1) The End of a Long Fucking Chapter. Yep, after 2 IUIs, 2 mock cycles, and 6 rounds with 9 blastocyst embryos, we ended nearly 3 solid years of trying to make a baby in my belly, and also saw our 2 year wait for Ethiopia end in heartache as well as they closed their doors. We then made the decision to try domestic adoption, and for the past 6 months have been waiting, waiting, waiting to be chosen by a birth mother.

2) Celebrating Five Years in Business. Heck yeah I did! As always, an interesting journey as a solopreneur that at one point made me want to walk away from it all, but ultimately at year’s end move forward in a solid direction.

3) Citizenship Process Begins! My husband’s been fingerprinted for the umpteenth time and the expected wait time is 8 months til there’s the interview/test/etc., but we have always taken this stuff with a grain of salt. His fiance visa only took 12 weeks start to finish back in 2014 (Obama era) yet for his permanent residency restrictions to be removed, it’s been a year we’ve been waiting because USCIS is now bogged down with so much garbage (Trump era). Hopefully by fall he’ll have his dual citizenship and be able to get a US Passport, vote in the 2018 midterm elections, and we can – FINALLY! – travel again (it’s a bitch at airport security as it is, and when your PR card says it’s expired and you just have a little piece of paper saying it has been extended to Jan ’18, you don’t feel super confident to leave the country, let’s just put it that way…not that we’ve had any money to go on holiday with fertility treatments and other medical bills!

4) Six Years Together / Three Years Hitched! Wheeee! Soon it’ll be 7 / 4 bay-beee!

5) Discovering My Strength. Well, my eye fucked me over and my back is still not what it was, but I’ve not given up. More on that in 2018, for sure.

6) Contributing in the Community. See #5. Not up to par this year as I’d wanted to, but I will say Dan & I had so much fun on Christmas Eve handing people $25 gift cards at the checkout line. One guy actually argued with my husband for a second as he couldn’t believe we were simply wanting to be generous – it was kind of adorable 🙂

7) Learning a New Skill. See #5 again, but with that I did learn more along with my husband about charcuterie, cured my own bacon, helped harvest honey from our hive, and in a small fit of nesting this spring, repurposed old t-shirts into baby onesies and a Goodwill jersey knit sheet into a baby sling.

8) Taking a Solo Trip. Fail. But I’m okay with it. It was a financially rough year and driving has been much more difficult on my back – still – so I’ll try again in 2018.

9) Five-Digit Mortgage. DONE! Coolest feeling ever.

10) Build More Things. Lots of cool stuff done this year. We built our duck coop and run, I designed a new breakfast nook table out of repurposed wood and Dan built it for me, and we got a gorgeous piece of red oak from SalvageWorks and made a coffee table. Next up – a house! Okay well we won’t build the house ourselves but definitely will be building the island, the dining table, and more…!

NEXT UP…2018!

Evaluating this, and thinking about the instructions I’ve given myself in each new year, there are of course the concrete things that I really really really want to achieve in the coming year beyond the usual (lose weight, become a mother, etc.):

  1. Singing Don’t Fence Me In (see above video) as we move onto a delicious piece of land near the Northern Oregon Coast, hopefully to the acreage I’ve told y’all about recently. We have gotten our ducks in a row financially, professionally and mentally to do this, and are wholly focused on building a new life away from Stumptown where we can explore the forest and play on the sand and our animals (and ourselves) can have more room to thrive!

  2. Doing the above and coming out of it WITHOUT a mortgage. We aren’t interested in a big house – in fact, the 1,500 square feet we have right now is only about half used. Yes, when/if adoption finally occurs, that will eventually be one room to use, but as far as huge rooms and the like, we’re not interested in higher utility bills and building a house where we have to shop just to fill it up with more STUFF. Sugarberry’s plan is ~1,600 square feet and while the basic plan has 2.5 baths, we’re taking the half bath out – after all, who needs 3 fucking toilets? Anyhow, while the cost to build out here is more than it is in some areas, if we are able to get even close to what the market is telling us our house is worth here in PDX, we should be able to use the profit from the house to pay for the build. Kinda rad I must say.

  3. And all the while, taking better care of myself. Back and eye issues aside, the new freakish onset of perimenopause seems to be subsiding a bit with the help of a daily black cohosh pill and a scoop of (ground) flax seed in my morning oatmeal, and with that and looking forward to the coming year, a new bit of energy that I need to continue to nurture and grow so that I can live healthier and get my physical to match my mental. I gotta keep climbing…



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