It’s hard to believe that in the last 6 years, this was my first to not send out a Christmas card to family and friends. 2018 rocked my world in the worst of ways, and I don’t think I can fully put into words what this year has been like for me/us.
We spent the early parts of this year with a newborn (basically, right?) and 2 young toddlers, adjusting to life as a tribe of 5 and trying to navigate the new chaos of our lives (insert eye roll here). We endured so many medical issues this year, between general (never-ending) illness, 1 minor in-office procedure, and 2 surgeries—one for each of our boys. Hailey even underwent additional testing to check her immunity; thankfully everything came back normal. We also lost our sweet pup of 14 years, Tyson, early in the year too which was not unexpected but still heartbreaking, nonetheless.
In addition to the cyclical medical rigmarole, we did have some high points: we celebrated our youngest’ 1st birthday and our oldest’ 4th birthday (back to back!), and our middle’s 3rd birthday later this year. And despite his unexpected trip to the emergency room (literally during the worst week ever!) these moments were so good for us! We are here, finally! Out of the baby stage!! There was a time early on in our latest journey where I questioned how I would handle moving away from this stage, given it’s all I’ve known for so long, but let me just reassure you: I’m fine, I’ve moved on, I’m not looking back!
I really want to take a quick moment to address all of our wonderful friends and family who traveled near and far to be with Hailey on her fourth birthday. It made for quite the special celebration for our girl! We were in the beginning/thick of our first bout of illness (Ryan getting ill the day before the party!) so I’m sorry if things seemed a little haggard and half-assed after you traveled so far. I also appreciate the grace you’ve given us for not sending out individual thank you cards in the mail, as I always do. Each item was so thoughtfully gifted! Thank you to each of you, again!
We celebrated 2 birthdays within 2 weeks of each other, feeling grateful and blessed, and less than 2 weeks later we grieved. Our hearts were broken and changed forever as we lost 3 people who became family to us over the past few years. I’ve written about my feelings on this matter recently, so I’ll let you read more here, if you so choose. Today, though, I wish our sweet Angel a happy heavenly 4th birthday. You are loved and dearly missed, sweet Tova ❤️ I know your mama is throwing you the most epic birthday bash to celebrate you in the sky.
If our hearts didn’t grieve enough, 2018 almost took Ryan’s beloved Grammy from us just a week before Christmas, too. Ryan, his mom and his brothers left us for Canada to be with her in what we thought were her final moments but as luck…the Grace of God…would have it: she came home for Christmas. Or at least left the hospital, which is a miracle in itself and we sure will take it.
Ryan had a busy year with work, and still managed to do an incredible job caring for and supporting our family with his hard work. This year, he enrolled in a 16-week course that he attended from August thru Mid-December, for 2 nights a week. It made for a huge shift in our family routine, and made things that much more challenging for us at home. And while I am so incredibly proud of him for his professional achievements, the biggest and truest testimony to him this year is the role of husband. Being that it was my most challenging year yet, in every sense of the word, he was always there to pick up where I couldn’t. Through grief, illness, depression, anger…all of it. It may have been the hardest year for me as a whole, but it sure was OUR best year yet. 5 years of marriage and this one did a number on us, but I’ve never felt stronger about our relationship as I do today.
As for me, I (clearly unknowing of how the last part of our year would turn out!) decided to invest in a piece of me that has always been fiery with passion, and started my own business again. Zyia Active with That Mom Jess is a business that has not only given me something to focus on for myself that is income-producing, but it has also given me strength and motivation to become stronger and healthier as a whole. I have such huge plans for 2019 as a whole, but I’m most excited about the business plan I’m putting together and the way things will begin to take shape quickly into the New Year! I hope you’ll come follow along and see what all the fuss is about 😘
Another shout out to all of my friends+family who have already supported my business! Being a small business owner is such a rewarding and incredible journey, but it’s also very hard. So, thank you so much for your support; and if you’ve shared Zyia with your friends, thank you x2!!
In close: while this year has been incredibly trying, it has also been a year where I’ve been the most grateful. The growth I’ve chosen, or that has been forced upon me, has given a new life perspective. Even if I haven’t been able to fully implement my learning’s, I have them. I will know when/where/how to use them just as the time is right, and although I am ready to see 2018 go, it is not without a grateful heart.
Happy New Year!