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2016 YEAR IN REVIEW


A LOOK BACK AS WE MOVE FORWARD

Let's review some of the events in 2016. Well, let's be fair. The blog has been quiet for a few months so some of this that you'll read is new to you! After a three month hiatus, I am hopeful to start blogging again and posting more regularly. Ok, let's get into it!  FYI, this might be THE longest blog post I've written to date, so please bear with me.

JANUARY

After trying for another year to get pregnant, we scheduled dr appointments with a naturopathic physician for JP and I to start infertility testing. JP went first and besides being diagnosed with some food allergies, he is healthy as an ox.

FEBRUARY

We watched our 9th Super Bowl together. It was our first date and something we hold so special to our hearts.

JP celebrated his 35th birthday! We had dinner at The Blacksmith restaurant and it was amazing as usual. If you are in Bend, I'd highly recommend checking it out. We've eaten there for both of our birthdays and a couple wedding anniversaries (it is expensive, but for a special occasion it's totally worth it). I can't wait to see what this next year brings for JP. What an amazing husband and best friend he is! I couldn't be prouder! My parents also came over from Eugene to celebrate his birthday. What a special time it was all together!

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease (an autoimmune disease) which has caused all sorts of symptoms as well as hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance, and other low hormone levels. Once I was diagnosed, we began switching out all plastic products for glass. At this point, I became aware of everything I was putting on my body and in my body. Once I was cognizant of these things, I began moving towards more natural products. This is when we started a journey towards minimalism and began the purging process. You can read about my transitioning to cleaner beauty products here.

MARCH

We officially made the decision to sell our home (though we had been thinking about it for about one year) and made it our goal to list by the beginning of July. For years JP had a dream of becoming a physical therapist, so around this time we decided that we'd finally take the plunge and get him back in school this coming Fall. For a few years we had been thinking and praying about the next step for JP and his education so we finally committed to a direction. It will be a seven year journey but oh so worth it!

A uterine ultrasound was done this month which sadly revealed that the fibroids I had while pregnant a couple of years ago were growing back. I was told they are small, but there are a lot of them. The technician said something to the effect of, my body was good at growing fibroids.

We replaced our garage door.

We sold our '71 F100 4wd truck.

We sold all of our living room furniture and spent many evenings donating bags and bags of house stuff to Teen Challenge. If you'd like to see all of the items we got rid of (donated, sold, tossed), check that post out here. We really progressed with our decluttering and basically went through the house with a fine toothed comb, seeing everything we had accumulated over the years, deciding what we truly needed and what brought us joy.

We drove 21 hours straight to Denver, CO and competed in the United States Karate Association National Championship. JP won two out of his three events (Men's Kata and Men's Weapons). He also competed in Men's Sparring (I think it was his second or third time sparring ever!). I won my only event, Women's Kata. We actually ended up competing against each other in the grand champion round for Kata and both lost to a very skilled brown belt. It was a long few days for us, but what an experience!



APRIL

We hired some painters to paint the entire interior AND exterior of the house. If you'd like to read about the paint colors we chose and some of the details, let us know in the comments!



After all of the painting was done, JP went room by room and installed the new, larger moulding we had picked out. Then the painters came back in and sprayed the moulding throughout the house. So much painting!! BUT, it really is amazing how much better it looks with fresh paint.

We hired a professional landscaping company to help with yard maintenance.

Before we put the house on the market, we had a pre-home inspection just to see if there was anything we needed to be aware of and fix prior to listing the house. The report showed that everything looked good, we just needed to do a few little quick fixes.

We cancelled our smartphones! Ok, so normally I wouldn't have really mentioned this except that this became kind of a big deal. After having smart phones for years, going back in time technologically was a bit of an adjustment. We can make calls and text. That's it. And texting is pretty time consuming so most of the time I don't even bother, ha! But it does help the financial burden and we aren't so distracted with social media.

MAY

More purging!

Hannah got pretty sick this month with Pancreatitis. Poor girl. She was feeling pretty awful so we ended up taking her to the doggie emergency room. They did some X-rays and some blood tests. Ugh, it was hard to see her in so much pain. At one point she was especially sick with the runs while simultaneously vomiting, and had a huge "blowout" (at both ends) spraying all over the freshly painted bathroom walls! I found that gift before heading off to work one morning. Needless to say, I was late to work, ha! I'll tell you what, the odor was overwhelming. I can still picture it. *shiver* She was put on some heavy medications though and after about a week she was starting to feel better.

JUNE

After years of rebuilding and restoring, we finally sold our beloved '71 Ford Mustang, Mach 1. She was a beauty, though unfinished, but we knew our time with her was over. Sadly, we had invested more than we had sold her for but we had to wash our hands clean of the debt. It was bittersweet.

We travelled to Bellingham, Washington for a large family reunion at The Firs. This was the second time we had a family reunion at this location, the first time was in 1963 I believe. Regretfully, I never posted anything about it here on the blog like I had said I would. On the first day of the trip, I was actually home sick. One day prior, I had gone into Urgent Care and was diagnosed with some sort of a stomach bug that was going around. It was awful. We ended up leaving the very next day but ended up missing a get together with one of my very best girlfriends in Seattle prior to the reunion as well as the family boat tour around the beautiful San Juan Islands. We did get to enjoy a wonderful bus tour around Bellingham with stories about my Grandma and her family living, going to school, and working in the area. It has been tradition to put on a family talent show for our reunions. If I didn't write before, my dad has 52 first cousins. So, the family is large to say the very least. And the answer is no, neither JP nor I entered the talent show. We are both super shy when it comes to performing by ourselves. However, I might sing a song (with the guitar) at the next reunion in four years. We'll see. Four years should be plenty of time for me to muster up enough courage to get on stage, ha! We had such a wonderful time reuniting with family and getting to know others neither one of us had met before! My family is truly amazing. We were so blessed by the whole experience.



For Father's Day, the last day of the reunion, we took my parents out to Red Lobster outside of Seattle to celebrate the day. What a great time we had just being together and enjoying the special day.

JP and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with dinner and a movie. I still can't believe we've been together for 8 1/2 years! Since it was the day following the reunion, we wanted to relax and keep things simple. We really slept in, then we grabbed some coffee and picked up some rice bowls from Cafe Yumm before going to see the new Captain America movie in the Old Mill DistrictI am so grateful I get to spend the rest of my life with my very best friend. We have been through so many trials and tribulations challenges over the span of our marriage and I couldn't have imagined life without this husband of mine. What a blessing he is to me and to so many others.



We also celebrated JP's Dad's birthday with a surprise dinner at Marcello's in Sunriver. Another milestone birthday and it was super fun to see his face when he walked around the corner to a table full of family waiting for his arrival. Priceless!

Every Summer, my employer puts on an annual party (in lieu of a Christmas party) so we ended up going to a Bend Elks baseball game and reserving the entire BBQ deck. And guess who they played? Bellingham! The weather was super warm and the skies were crystal clear. In case you're wondering, yes, Bend won.

JULY


JP had his first college advisory meeting and then he registered for Fall classes! It is really amazing to think that he had gone to college eighteen years ago and now is going back. What a journey it has been and we feel so blessed and grateful that we have the opportunity to invest in his dreams.

We put our house on the market!  There was so much interest in the house and it sold within one month, after two separate rounds of offers. If you'd like to read more about that process and see the photos from our amazing photographer, check them out here.



JP enjoyed his annual LAN party (local area network for all of you non gamers) with a bunch of his gamer buddies. They meet up at one particular home and then try and stay up all weekend gaming. There are anywhere from 12-15 gamers in one room all connected on their desktops with their headphones and cords strung every which way. It is a sight to see. Have you seen the episode on the Big Bang Theory where Penny gets introduced to gaming and gets addicted to World of Warcraft? You know, she has the cheeto stuck in her hair? It's not as bad as that, but close.

We drove over to Eugene to celebrate a big birthday for my Dad. I'm not sure if he wants me blabbing to the world his age, but it was very special and a big milestone for him. I'm so proud of my Dad and the man he has become. He is a treasure.

AUGUST

The day before my 33rd birthday, we celebrated at The Blacksmith again. Seriously, the best food. On the day of my birthday, we went to a bbq hosted by our realtor, Melodee, who is a good friend of ours, and her extended family. We had such a great time and enjoyed everyones company and the amazing food. Oh my goodness. One of her uncles made this amazing mint glaze for the bbq chicken and it had such aaaaaah-mazing flavor.



We enjoyed the last few weeks of the Summer in our backyard before we finished packing. Photo taken on the bottom is by our realtor, Melodee Radcliffe.


SEPTEMBER

After 12+ years in construction, JP quit his job and went back to school after an 18 year gap from college. After this first term back in school, JP earned all A's in his courses and I couldn't be more proud of him. He has worked so hard getting back into the swing of school and studying and whatnot. Very exciting.

The home appraisal was kind of nerve racking but it turned out very well and then our house closed!

We moved into our brand new one bedroom, 450 sqft apartment about a week before the house closed. It was nice to move and then do some last minute cleaning and such before we had to turn in our keys. The timing of the closing couldn't have been any more perfect. We're so thankful for God's provision. If you'd like to see an apartment tour, comment below to let us know!



We knew that once JP went back to school, we'd want to sell our Maxima. It was a fantastic vehicle and we really enjoyed it over the last year, but, let's be honest, it was too nice for the college parking lot. The gas mileage wasn't as great as we had hoped it would be so we started looking for other options. We also knew that once we built our tiny house and parked it on the property (out of town), we needed much better gas mileage for those long commutes.  So, JP test drove a few different Subarus to see what he liked.

OCTOBER

My parents came over to celebrate my belated birthday for the day. Due to our busy schedules, it just didn't work for us to get together any earlier. We went out to breakfast at my favorite breakfast restaurant, McKay Cottage and then hiked up to Tumalo Falls. Even though it was overcast and rainy, it was still so beautiful. What a fun time we had together. My Mom had a birthday in September so she opened her gift and we enjoyed more celebrating! Then we came back to the apartment and opened more gifts and enjoyed yummy chocolate fudge raspberry Rhapsody mousse cake with chocolate ganache from Sweet Life. Seriously, the BEST desserts on the planet. And bonus, it was all gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and still AMAZING. I have no idea how they do it, I think it must be magic.



We purchased a 2008 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport for JP. It sure is zippy and is a manual transmission so JP is loving it! It was well taken care of and we received the deal of the century, let me tell you. We also sold our Maxima and ended up selling to a dealer. We first tried craigslist but that became very frustrating and a bit stressful.

We reconnected with JP's mom and step-dad for dinner at their home and she made a really wonderful spread for us. We left with very full bellies.

We toured some 5th wheels, travel trailers, and motorhomes so that we could compare the feel with a tiny house design. The following day we met with a local tiny house builder and took a tour of one of his shells he was working on. The shell was beautifully built taking into consideration so many little details and extra touches that made it really spectacular. We toured the sleeping loft and the storage areas to get a real feel of what it would be like to live in one. In the end, we decided against a tiny home. If you'd like to learn more about how we came to that decision, let us know in the comments.

NOVEMBER

I was invited to a Stella & Dot trunk show hosted by one of my coworkers' friends. It was a fun time and I purchased some pearl stud earrings and a rose gold bracelet.

We went out to dinner with JP's Dad and step-mom at Moose Sisters. It was both of our first times and the atmosphere was great. I'd say the ambiance felt comfortable with a rustic modern aesthetic. Food and service were excellent. It was too cold to eat out on the patio but I would imagine the sunset view looking toward the cascades would be gorgeous.

We watched a lot of Oregon Duck football this year. Sadly this season became more of a learning and building up of players than anything else. Don't get me wrong though, I still bleed green and yellow.

We headed to Eugene for Thanksgiving and enjoyed spending time with family and watching the Civil War. I think we ate our body weight in food but it was totally worth it! We also went shooting the day after Thanksgiving. My Dad was more than thrilled when hubby suggested they take us ladies (Mom and I) out to the range. I was pretty terrified with the handguns (I tried maybe 3 or 4) and I actually feel much more comfortable with a rifle or AR-15. Does that sound weird?



DECEMBER

Phew! We made it to December. If you are still reading this, you are either my Mom or a diehard fan of our blog. Comment below if you made it to the end! Thank you so much for your support! Ok, let's get back into it.

One of my Great Aunts passed away right before Thanksgiving and we were able to attend her funeral. She was such a lovely, gracious, and God-fearing woman. She loved to laugh and had such a zest for life. She always told you how much she loved you and always prayed blessings over you. She was very musically talented and continued writing songs and playing the piano right up until her death (she was 94!). She will be deeply missed. After the funeral we had a reception of sorts and enjoyed spending time with extended family and friends. Afterwards we went to dinner with my parents and one of my dad's cousins (who actually flew out from Denver to attend), to Madaline's Grill and Steak House.



A week before Christmas we celebrated our annual Sibling Christmas in Eugene and visited with my brother and sister in law, my sister and brother in law and all of the nieces and nephew. We exchanged gifts for the kiddos and it was really neat to see their faces light up when they opened their packages. My mom fixed a feast of a dinner and I swear we gain weight every time we visit. I'm not complaining though, she has always shown her love through providing meals for her family. My parents really care about all of the details and both have a huge gift of hospitality.



For Christmas, we had planned to head back over to Eugene to celebrate again but unexpectedly had to stay home. I had just gotten sick again and we decided that it would be best if we didn't infect the rest of the family. We stayed indoors and watched a live Christmas Eve service online. Isn't technology amazing?

Last but not least, in December we purchased our very own RV!! So much more to come on that but we wanted to let you know that our tiny house journey has begun!

Ok guys, this post is one of the longer posts I've ever written. Hope you were able to get through it. We love and appreciate all of our readers. In the near future, I am hoping to post more about the RV demolition and our transition into living in an RV full time, so stay tuned for that. I am hoping to share a post focused specifically on my health, maybe a health update of sorts. If you have suggestions for blog posts, we'd love to hear them or if you have questions, please leave them in the comments or email us. Thanks again, and until next time guys!

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for making it to the end of this post! Hope you've enjoyed seeing a piece of our lives this past year!

    ReplyDelete

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