I thought I’d take some time to look back over 2017. There were lots of highs and lows, it definitely doesn’t register in my 5 worst years and probably falls into my ten best. The world felt like it was breaking apart every single day but my personal life was rich and, yes, #soblessed.
January was hectic, we had moved to this new house in October but still didn’t have beds or a couch! This month also brought the most exciting moment of the year, watching my youngest nephew enter the world. I spent some long hours in the hospital with him so his mom could rest and I will treasure that time forever. The weekend after he was born we spent the day downtown for the Women’s March. After the horror of the previous election, it was life-giving to gather with thousands of other people and make our voices heard.
February brought me lots of time to myself while the kids were in school, Jedd was spending a lot of time in Louisville, and I was exploring our new neighborhood. The highlight was coming upon several deer during a trail walk at Blue Ash Nature Park. They hung out with me for a while and it was exhilarating! Kenai turned 12 and the two of us had a nice hotel overnight and shopping trip to celebrate!
March found me keeping up with walking regularly, I had found that I loved trail walking and made time to do it several days a week. On a sad note, we adopted Sheriff Jody Mills only to have to re-home her one month later. We didn’t want to go through puppy stuff again so we thought an adult dog was a good idea but she couldn’t adjust to Moxie or the kids. I know that she went on to find a great home with a sweet couple and no kids. It helps a lot to know they found something better for her.
April was pretty nice. We were adjusting to the new house a little better and the world was warming up! We got some furniture for the deck and had lots of good times with the kids and friends.
May started off with a bang when I got to go see WellRed Comedy twice in the same week! Katie and I went up to Columbus and had a blast, even had a shot of bourbon with the boys! Then I saw them again down here with my sister and two great friends and said hi to them again with Marci. Penguin Kids used a picture of Ziva on their social media pages so that was pretty cool. The month ended on a high note as well with a visit from my in-laws, a day with my great nephew Charlee, and the end of the school year!
June was another great month! Awesome times spent with friends and family ushering in summer! Then we had a fantastic vacation in North Carolina. A trip to honor my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary. While there, I learned that Nana had taken a bad turn and probably would not live much longer. We adjusted our plans and I spent a few days in Virginia. It ended up being a very grounding and connecting experience spending time with Nana and my aunts, mom, and cousins. Ziva spent hours playing with Gabe and Griffin. While the circumstances were sad, I deeply cherish that time with family.
July started off great again with Jedd and I seeing U2’s Joshua Tree tour in Cleveland. Long drive, blistered feet, peanuts for dinner (literally) but something I’ve wanted to do since I was 13 years old. I cried through at least half the show! Don’t judge me. Elliet turned 14 FOURTEEN OMG. Ziva did her first sleep away camp and wow, that was hard (for me!) She had a great time. I hosted my first big party at the new house and had one of the best girls’ nights ever!
August was pretty chill. I turned 40 and had a big party here. I spent one night in the hospital for chest pains but the heart is healthy so that’s good. We had a pool day during the solar eclipse that was really fun, I underestimated how cool the eclipse would be!
September started on a high note, as it always does, with BS Fest! We had a great time this year, always looking forward to the next one. Jedd and I marked 15 years of marriage and Ziva turned nine, putting her in her final year of single digits! We also had a blast having Simon and Liam here for a sleepover!
October kicked our tails! We started the month with a weekend alone while the kids camped with their grandparents and it was perfect! That weekend ended with SURPRISE! two new puppies. We had been looking for a puppy for Ellie as her 14th birthday gift. She saw Demi on Petfinder and fell in love. We went to get her as a surprise but then Jedd saw her littermate, Winifred and one became two. In a sick twist of fate, we all succumbed to a hellacious stomach bug the same day we got the puppies! They are a ton of work but we love our pups. October also saw us finally selling our old house! It was very bittersweet, we have so many great memories of that home and NCH. We had an awesome cookout with friends and family as well! October was also mentally difficult, I tend to have trouble around this time of year anyway and the #metoo posts certainly added to that. I’m still struggling a bit but have had some bright lights along the way and I feel really hopeful that things are going to get better very soon. It is also good to see the ways in which I’ve been able to manage things, not always *well* but far better than I used to.
November started out okay, I was still reeling from my traditional anxiety and depression combo but I had a great overnight with my sister and the puppies were helping us feel more at home in this house. Then November 14th our friend Ezra died. It cast an even greater pall over the ensuing days, weeks, months, and still now. Shortly after he passed away I spent an overnight with my sister and some good friends. I can’t explain it here but that night brought a desperately needed healing like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It leaves my skeptic brain in a tizzy but it was powerful and amazing. Then Thanksgiving week was a lot of fun. We usually go to Raleigh and spend the week with Jedd’s parents. This year, his family came here. We had a great time playing games, being silly, and eating good food. A few days after Thanksgiving, Nana passed away. It was a long time coming and we were all prepared but it’s still the end of something really grand. She left a great legacy of saucy women and men who remove their hats upon entering the house.
December was hectic, to put it lightly. Jedd and I had a wonderful time going out to dinner and to the Over the Rhine Christmas show at Memorial Hall. The next day, our cousins came in from Illinois for the Bengals/Bears game. We lost miserably but had a blast at the game and then later back here at the house with a long night of games and drinks and general shenanigans. Nana’s memorial service was the following weekend in Virginia. Unfortunately, I came down with the flu and could not make it. I hope to visit Quantico this year where part of her ashes are interred with my grandfather. After that we had Christmas Day in Dayton and then the day after Christmas we hosted everyone here for a visit with my brother and his family. My anxiety kicked into extra high gear at the end of the week and with that and the snow, I missed my sister’s birthday party. The next day, the 30th, we had Ezra’s memorial gathering. It was a long night of great laughter and greater tears. Ezra was known for his positive energy and his desire to heal everyone through group hugs and love, art and music. I am determined to keep that alive as we move forward without him and maybe we can keep him with us in some small way.
What a year. ❤