It’s the last day of 2018. With the year we’ve had, a lot of people probably expect me to send 2018 packing with the proverbial middle finger.
But, I’m not. I truly can’t believe I’m saying it, but 2018 wasn’t so bad.
Sure, there was some stuff that really, really sucked. But, out of many of those junky moments (well, many of them were much longer than moments) came some really wonderful things.
Here are just a few of the reasons I’m not saying good riddance to 2018:
We really took some time to soak Emerie in.
In the beginning of the year, we knew we had just a few short months of Emerie being an only child. So, that sparked me to be a lot more intentional with our time with her. We even got to take an awesome trip to the ocean together, just the three of us.
Then, when Evan was born, being with her was almost a luxury at times, so I really soaked it in. In fact, one of my favorite times of her as a two-year-old was taking naps together at the Ronald McDonald House.
We had experiences we probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.
I’ll be the first to say that I hated living in the city. I’m just not a city girl. We did, however, get to have some awesome experiences while we were there that we likely would not have had otherwise.
One of my favorites was watching the beginning of the Chicago Marathon. The Ronald McDonald House is right at the one-mile marker, so we just went outside and got to see it. In particular, we got to see the special-needs runners before they got overtaken by the elites, and watching and cheering for them was probably one of the most joyful experiences of my year.
On top of that, generous people at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities gave us the opportunity to go on a boat cruise for our anniversary, take Emerie to the Shedd Aquarium twice, go to a Cubs game for Danny’s birthday, and see Emerie have fun every evening at the Ronald McDonald House. On top of that, Emerie got to experience the Air & Water Show, Lincoln Park Zoo (twice), the Chicago Children’s Museum (twice), the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Peggy Notebaerdt Nature Museum. There is no way we would have done all of that this year if we didn’t spend so much time downtown.
We met a whole lot of incredible people and made new friends.
It’s such a strange feeling to get discharged from the hospital and be so excited to go home, yet sad to not see all the great people you have come to enjoy seeing every day. From nurses, to doctors, to parents, to kids, we met too many amazing people to list.
I got to see my kids become siblings.
I read it about a hundred times before Evan was born, since I was feeling all the guilt about taking away Emerie’s only-child status, but seeing your kids become siblings is pretty much the best.
I learned to appreciate things in a different way.
This year, things like just being at home and hanging out in our front yard in the summer were things that I appreciated so much, because there was so much time I wasn’t sure when I would be able to have them again. This is certainly one of the greatest things of the year, and something I hope I’ll keep remembering in the years to come (without having to go through the garbage that made me more appreciative, of course, haha).
I learned so much about myself and the world around me.
I could not possibly write just one blog post about how much I’ve learned this year, but I can say with complete certainty that I’ve learned more and become more myself this year than any year before.
So, I’m bidding 2018 a fond farewell tonight full of appreciation for the gifts it held and looking forward to all the joy 2019 has in store for us!