January - I had just been admitted to the hospital for a day for high blood pressure. I was 50 pounds over my normal weight and still had a month to go. (fat) I was vomiting 1-4 times a day. (sick) I was late to work practically everyday. (o well) I was huge and had little bladder control while getting sick.(Gross) Mentally, I was spent. Anxious about being a mom. (Stress/Scared) Put on bed rest with 3 weeks to go. (Bored and fat)
February - We had 4 doctors visits. My body never prepared for delivery. February 5th was the due date...nothing. February 7th we were told to check into the hospital at 3pm!!!!(Woohoo) I was 60 pounds over my prepregnancy weight. (Super fat) I was put into labor. February 8th 9 am...I had dilated only a 1/2 inch, I puked twice, I took a shower, then was sent into surgery for a c-section. (Shakey, painful, awesome) Ellison arrived at 9:41 am. (Amazing) Praise God. We were a family of three. I felt awesome no more sickness. (Happy) Praise God. C-section recovery was great. Michael had 3 interviews!!! (Whew)
March - No news from any of the interviews. (Stress/Trusting.) I was staying home with Ellison on maternity leave. (Perfect) We hardly slept. (Exhausted) It was beautiful.
April - Michael got offered an internship in Chattanooga for the summer. (Woohoo) There was a backup plan. I went back to work. I cried and cried and cried some more. (Sad) I coached softball. Ellison slept through the night. (Rested) She smiled at us. (In awe) Michael had more interviews. (Hope)
May - No news from other interviews. (Stress) We started prepping for Chattanooga. (Really, the train town?) Michael finished his master's at A&M. (Yeah!) Ellison stayed home with Michael for three weeks while I finished teaching. (Priceless) We began to pack. (Sad) I finished teaching at Snook. (Sad/Happy)
June - We said goodbye to all our friend's in College Station (Cried/Sad/Thankful). We took our family of three on a two day roadtrip to Chattanooga. (Nervous) Ellison was awesome. (Whew) We moved into a one bedroom. (Fun) Ellison slept in the living room. (Minor but important detail to me) Chattanooga was beautiful. Ellison and I spent a week in Statesville away from Michael. First time Michael and I had been apart. (Sad but good) We applied to jobs and jobs and jobs. (Tiring) Nothing. (Stress) We worried, we prayed. (Peace, stress, peace) I spent an entire night in the bathroom because I couldn't sleep over anxiety. (Stress)
July - Family time. (Perfect) We explored Chattanooga. (Fun) We looked for jobs. (Sucked) We applied for jobs. (Uber sucked) I got a job in Raleigh, NC. (Yeah, kinda) Two weeks later, Michael got a job in Chattanooga. (WOOHOO) I quit my job. (Booyow) Michael got a job...can I say that one more time...Michael got a job!!! And a real job, one that he loved. (Thankful, Peace) Praise God. Ok...we are staying in Chattanooga. (What?) We started looking for churches. (LONG)
August - Hey, lets buy a house. (Fun) Ok. House hunt. I started to nanny for a family in Chattanooga and was able to stay with Ellison during the day. (The best) Michael passed his 2nd actuarial exam. (Raise) Ellison started solids and had her first belly laugh. (Humbled, Love)
September - We found a house. (Happy) We put in an offer. (Nauseous) They rejected. (Poop) Counteroffer. (Bam) Accept! We bought a house. (AHHHH!)
October - We moved into our house. (Yeah) Still church hunting. (Uhhh) Lonely, but enjoying family time. Ellison is beginning to crawl. (Proud) Painted Ellison's room and did a ton of yard work. (Fun)
November - Thanksgiving with the Dearman family in Statesville. (Good) Ellison is crawling like a champ.
December - Christmas in Statesville. (Perfect) Still kinda lonely, but we are working on it :). I hit my prepregnancy weight...actually 2 pounds lighter! (Booyowza)
Overall, our year in a glance looks perfect. We had our first baby, Michael got a job, and we bought a house, but it was far from that...there were trials, hidden trials, emotional trials. I only touched on all that we experienced this year. Yes, these awesome blessings from God were ever so present, but deep down there was intense anxiety and fear. We were stretched and challenged. We spent hours on hours praying for provisions for our lives; financially, physically, and mentally. Did we handle every situation perfectly? Far from it. We are sinful people, but thankful for God's grace and provision. I think this may have been the hardest year of my life thus far, but there is one and only one underlining theme that is consistent throughout it. God. He knew the plan (it wasn't mine), it was His plan (it wasn't mine), it was His perfect plan (it wasn't mine), I am thankful for His plan (because it wasn't mine), I look forward to His plan (can't even think it), I will trust where we are placed (because He is Lord).
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.