Monday, January 1, 2018

Hello, New Year 2018

As 2017 passes into 2018, it is a time to reflect and a time to set goals. It has been a wonderful year in so many ways but also a difficult year.  There has been a lot of changes, a lot of "new normals" for all of us, but one thing that hasn't changed is the incredible amount of love of family and friends.

Mill in Darlington


In August, Brenna, our oldest daughter, moved out into her own apartment (with a roommate) in Florida and began her studies at Full Sail University. She is in an accelerated program and will graduate in 20 months with a Bachelor of Science in Film. So far she has completed 24 credits already and is carrying a 4.0 GPA. She has adjusted to “adulting” quite well and we are very proud of her. It took me weeks and weeks to adjust to the sadness I felt when she left, but through it all I knew my pride in her would eventually overshadow the weight of her leaving. She has made it through her first hurricane, adjusted to living on her own, and is rocking her academic studies.

Just as I was adjusting to Brenna moving out, our oldest son, Tyler, moved out in October. He moved to Exton, Pennsylvania where he is living in his own apartment (with two roommates) and is attending Universal Technical Institute to become an auto mechanic. He will graduate in about 2 years as well and will have 10 certifications under his belt upon completion. He is in his third rotation of classes and is maintaining high scores. He is working at a nearby auto shop and is learning the trade not only in school, but also while earning money. He and his girlfriend, Leah, have been dating almost two years. We are so happy that he has found a career he is excited about and that he is happily settled into his routine.  We could not be more proud of him! I felt another wave of sadness and emptiness when he moved out but as expected, we all adjusted to the new normal of a half empty nest.

Our twins are growing up! They recently turned 10 and are in 4th grade. They returned to public school this year after homeschooling for two years and both are both doing very well with the transition. Zachary is into sports and played his favorite, baseball, this spring. Then, he played rugby for the first time this summer. He had tons of fun and we enjoyed watching him. He is currently in rec basketball and loves that as well. Natalie found her love this year…singing. She joined Deer Creek Youth Choir back in January and has been active in the program since. She has sung in front of hundreds of people at colleges and churches around the state. Both twins were baptized this year and we couldn’t be prouder. They are amazing kids with unique personalities. It is fun to watch them grow into the young people they are meant to be.

During all of these changes with our children, my husband was doing some transitioning of his own at work. His company went completely independent this summer and continues to grow my leaps and bounds. The growing pains this time around weren't nearly as stressful as in past years and I am thankful for his dedication and hard work every day to support us.

Y'all pretty much know how I've been through the year, but to summarize, I am still in treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections although I just received the amazing news I will begin weaning off antibiotics in a few months. This past year I struggled with a jaw infection which I had surgery for and now I discovered I have the same infection on the other side of my jaw which will require surgery again in a few weeks.  I continue to pursue art and was the Featured Artist at Arts By the Bay Gallery in May where I showed approximately 40 pieces of art.  My art was published in two publications this year, one an international art magazine, Somerset Digital Studio, and the other a local magazine, Harford’s Heart. My work was also displayed digitally at the Ruderman Inclusion Summit in Boston, Massachusetts in November. In addition, I have been writing articles about living with Lyme Disease for The Mighty, an online magazine, and have had 4 articles published. In the coming year I look forward to teaching digital art classes! Praise be to God for all the wonderful blessings in my life. I am so thankful to Him for each and every thing.

Top 9 images from my Instagram account from 2017


If you know me then you know I don't set resolutions per se, but I do choose a word to stand for the theme for the upcoming year. This year I am choosing the word "EXPLORE" for my theme. Some goals I want to set in relation to this theme is to explore more places (go places I have
n't been before), explore new ideas (take classes and read books to expand my knowledge in various areas including art) and explore more opportunities (look for new places to be published, new places to show my art, and new outlets to teach classes.). EXPLORE...I am so excited to make a large banner with this word and post it in my studio to remind me throughout the year to step out of my box, get out of my comfort zone, live life more.

Here's to a wonderful 2018!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I always try to respond to comments via email, so please be sure you add your email to your profile. Thanks!