2016: The Year I Became Abundantly Grateful

2016 has been my most chaotic year yet. I’ve had some of my highest highs and some of my lowest lows this year. I’ve learned thousands of lessons, seen new places, took a roadtrip of a lifetime and transitioned even more into my role as a mother and spouse. When I look back on this past year, I can’t help but realize how grateful I am.

I’m grateful for my amazing husband. I’m grateful that he’s my best friend and biggest supporter. He puts his foot down and tells me when I’m wrong, yet when I’m passionate about something he does everything he can to make sure I get it. Our relationship has progressed tenfold since becoming parents and I’m so grateful to have this person by my side through the good times and bad.

I’m grateful for my amazing daughter who has taught me to appreciate the little things in life again. The amount of joy she brings me when she laughs is indescribable. She’s taught me that I’m capable of SO much more than I thought I could be. My daughter has given me a new life and made me a better person. 

I’m grateful for my parents. Even though I’m 5,000 miles away, we still manage to talk several times a day. My Mom is my voice of reasoning, my best friend and the person I call almost every.single.time I’m in the car. I’m grateful to have a Dad who would do anything to help me. Even when they haven’t agreed with my actions, they’ve still loved and supported me. As I’ve become a parent I’ve understood their love for me even more. I view my parents as being some of the nicest people in the world. They always put others first and constantly are looking out for me, no matter how far away I am. I’m grateful to have such loving and selfless parents, who also were an amazing example of parents to learn from

I’m grateful for my husbands family, my in-laws. I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be when a spouse does not get along with their significant others family. I’ve seen how these struggles weigh on everyone and tear them apart. I honestly cannot express how much it means to me to not have this problem with my own in-laws. I feel blessed to have gained a second family through my husband. I’m also grateful for the amazing example they were to Matt. His parents raised him to become the man I fell in love with. The foundation they laid helped him become the amazing Dad and husband I fall more in love with everyday.

I’m also grateful for moving to Kodiak. As I’ve said before, when we received orders I did NOT want to come here. I cried. And cried. And cried some more. I hated the thought of living so far away from civilization, on a remote island and away from our family. Although preparing and moving here was stressful, once we settled I think Matt and I discovered a new peace with being in Kodiak. It’s a place where we’ve been able to fully concentrate on our own family without the everyday distractions. I’ve been able to stay home with Madison, which has been the most amazing experience. We’ve discovered how to enjoy the little moments and to create our own family fun. We’ve made great friends and have gotten involved in the community. I’ve discovered a passion for fitness and writing again. Kodiak has separated us from the normal hustle and bustle in order to fully concentrate on our own family. While we knew we would eventually be transferred here, I’m glad that it came at a time where we could slow down and fully appreciate Madison’s toddler years.

I’m grateful for the hard times because they’ve helped me appreciate the good. I’m grateful for those who have been not-so-nice because it’s showed me how I don’t want to treat others. I’ve learned lessons, cried tears and let go of some people that I love. The hard times are supposed to make us stronger and I strongly believe that they do. Without the hard times, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times. Those who are cold hearted help me appreciate and love my family and friends in my life who show me so much love.

While I’m grateful for both my parents and in-laws, I’m also grateful for what amazing grandparents they all are. Madison is such a loved little girl and has never been shown anything but complete admiration and love. The best gift you can give a child is a loving family. I am forever grateful that Madison has received just that.

Lastly, I’m grateful for the good times. The times that taught me to laugh a little louder and smile harder. These are the times that made me feel more alive and more loved. Luckily, the good times outweighed the bad and allowed me to have my most memorable year yet.

2016 has taught me a lot of lessons. But most importantly, it’s allowed me to appreciate the abundance of good and love I have in my life. My one word to describe 2016 would be grateful, because that’s exactly what I’ve become.

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