Reflecting on 2016

What. A. Year. 

Globally and nationally the world has seen a lot of tragedies and set backs, and there are a lot of people who are ready to put this year behind them and move forward with hopes that 2017 has to be better. 

It feels almost awful to say this due to the sadness I’ve seen across the globe, and please don’t view me as someone who doesn’t see these things happen and who isn’t affected by them. My heart has been broken over and over again and I can’t count the amount of times I’ve said I’m losing faith in humanity, or even that I had lost faith. 

The 2016 year that I lived has been so full of love and joy it’s almost bursting at that have seams. 

In January 

We rang in that have helped new year as my last time under my maiden name surrounded by great friends. I had a remicade infusion. My fiance and I found an awesome new restaurant where I blessed out on eating potato nachos and a glass of wine. I didn’t worry about running to the bathroom or curl up in pain.  

In February 

There was lots of wedding planning, folding paper flowers, practicing yoga and waiting for spring.

In March 

An awful MRI experience but confirmation I was cancer free, more remicade and my first bridal shower.  Never have I felt so loved or grateful.

In April 

Another bridal shower where I was embraced and accepted into a new family, bouquet making with my tribe and another infusion. 
In May

I turned 28, celebrated our upcoming marriage with all of our couple friends and truly blessed out at the amazing bachelorette party my lovely friends threw for me. This month was full of all of my favorite things and favorite people. 

In June

I married my best friend and favorite person in the entire world standing in the rain and then danced the night away in a barn that was almost 200 years old. We adventured to California and explored the coast from San Francisco to Eureka. We saw a whale tale and beautiful scenery and got to just be together. It was absolutely perfect. June ended on a low note with some upsetting TB diagnosis but only made me stronger in the end, as hard as it was to accept. 

In July 
We had weekends full of friends and family watching fireworks, going to baseball games, dinners and festivals. 

In August 

We saw Paul McCartney in concert, had another remicade infusion and met a new doctor at an IBD center. So happy to have a good medical team on my side. We also celebrated the pregnancy of one of my oldest and dearest friends and threw her a baby shower. 

In September 

We went canoeing and had cookouts and a Baby Q, pool parties and we finished the TB treatment.  I travelled to my first IBD event as a consultant on a patient panel for Ulcerative Colitis. I got to fly to Miami and meet some of my IBD heroes in real life, and be a part of something bigger that could improve treatment and options available for those diagnosed with UC. 

In October 

We celebrated the marriage of one of my best friends to his perfect match, had another remicade infusion, introduced our dog to his brother and enjoyed some gorgeous fall weather.

In November

 I flew to Atlanta for another UC patient panel. We welcomed a baby boy, Bobby, to our tribe. We saw cranes migrating and adventured to the Upper Peninsula hunting down waterfalls for Thanksgiving weekends after 2 joyous Friends-givings.

In December 

My first IBD Twitter Chat, lots of IBD awareness, simple Christmases and a new feline addition to our household. 

I’m looking to 2017 with lots of self care, optimism and a sense of adventure. I broke my remission streak during my TB treatment but luckily was able to snap back into it quickly and have been feeling great. I will continue to do everything I can to stay here, but I know that often these things are out of my control and I can only do my best. Whatever happens.

I don’t make resolutions but I do make lists and letters of what I want to accomplish and the state of mind I want to obtain. I’m so excited for the plans I have for this year. 

What about you? How was your year? What are you most looking forward to?


Gratitude Challenge-Day 17, 18, 19

Tradition, Friendship, Book.

My best friend from high school had her first baby boy this week! She’s been in the hospital since Monday but I was able to go up there and get in some baby snuggles. It’s nice to go to the hospital for a good reason for once. ┬áIt’s crazy to me that I’m at the time of my life where all the people I grew up with are getting married and having kids of their own, I swear we were just kids doing stupid things yesterday. Anyway, I’m really glad I was healthy enough to go visit and congratulate her and her husband. I’m so excited for their new little family.

One of my favorite Traditions on my dad’s side of the family is that we do not celebrate Thanksgiving in November. We do it in February. It takes the stress out of trying to visit every family member without upsetting someone and gives us all a reason to get together again and just enjoy each others company. I’m lucky enough to be close with all of my cousins on my dad’s side, and now they’re having kids that I get to spoil too. I don’t have any brothers or sisters by birth, so these are my nieces and nephews and I just love them. It’s great to have this dedicate February Thanksgiving, and my grandparents just love having the whole family together at these times. It makes me happy to see how happy they are.

Like I said above, I don’t have any birth brothers or sisters. I do have a lot of friends though that I consider family. I don’t believe that family is blood, I find that it’s who you choose and who you have in your inner circle. I’m so blessed to have found some of my greatest friendships at this stage of my life, and to have continued some through high school that have stood the test of time through teenage years and college. Today I’m heading to Friendsgiving to celebrate with some of those people. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of them. They make me a better person.

I grew up reading. Literally. I grew up surrounded by books, and I still could get lost in book stores for hours upon hours until I’m dizzy from tilting my head sideways reading book titles and be a happy girl. I don’t really have a favorite book, but I always keep the ones that give me a book hangover. If you aren’t familiar with a book hangover, it’s when you become so involved with the story that you actually feel a part of it and when you finish the book you’re in this kind of funky state of mind for a while until you come back to reality. I love children’s books too, and I think it is SO IMPORTANT to read to children. There’s so much to benefit from reading, and I’m glad that was instilled in me from pretty much day one of my life on this planet.


What are some of your traditions or favorite books? Hope you’re all having a great weekend, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the people you are spending it with.