Monday, January 9, 2017
Reflection on 2016
Yes I know it's already the 9th of January but I wanted to take the time to reflect on all that 2016 was. There was some really high highs and some really low lows that I don't want to brush over because all things affect us in ways that change us.
Lets start with the lows because it's always better to end on the highs. 2016 was a year of some hard times for some of my loved ones. Health is something many of us take for granted when the going is good. When the going gets tough it's really hard to watch those you love struggle. My sister in particular. The first 3.5 months of 2016 were filled with unknowns, worry, frustration, and defeat. Bonnie had been struggling with her health since her son was born (March of 2015). She wasn't healing, her joints were aching, she had a horrible cough, her sinuses were acting up, and so much more. No one was able to figure out what the heck was going on in her body. For the ones on the outside it felt like as soon as one thing got a bit better then the something else would go wrong. She wasn't herself because she was constantly at doctors appointments, taking days off for being sick, and you could see the worry written all over her face. It all came to a crashing/terrifying halt at the end of April. She went to visit her inlaws for the weekend and I woke up to a text message from her Saturday morning that she had been rushed to the hospital because she had been coughing up blood the night before. Cue my sheer panic and worry. It was probably the hardest week I've had in my life. I was 37 weeks pregnant so I couldn't travel and all I wanted to do was be by my sister's side. I remember being in such a state of anxiety that whole day. Bonnie was being transferred from one hospital to the next and when you hear ICU you panic. I could hear the worry in Brett's voice when I spoke to him (Bonnie was so ill she really wasn't up for talking). Things seemed to go from bad to worse so my Mom flew up to share the hospital duties with Brett. In such a scary time it was really a blessing that she wasn't in Atlanta. Being at a new place, with a slew of new doctors, and being in a hospital where all the doctors are in one place they were FINALLY able to diagnose her with an autoimmune disorder called Wegener's disease. As miserable and ill Bonnie was she was so relieved to finally know what was going on in her body because it could only go up from there. She spent just under a week in the ICU and came home to rest for four weeks off from work. Her body needed to just rest. Since then she has spent a lot of the year getting treatments and taking medicine to get herself into remission. It hasn't been easy but she has had such a positive attitude about it. I admire my sister's determination to not let this get her down. Cheers to 2017 being a better year for the Willis!
(Bonnie don't kill me for posting this)
In October of 2016 my Nana was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had her lumpectomy in December which went very well and will be starting radiation this month. She fortunately didn't have any cancer in her lymph nodes and her doctors are really positive about the treatment plan moving forward. It was not a fun time of waiting between appointments for her but she has done amazingly well through it all.
Tommy's work life had some LOWs and some Highs. He HATED his job at Pareto because his boss was just a plain jerk. He dreaded going into work every day and really was at a roadblock with what to do. The job application process was painful and frustrating. He left his finance job two years ago to go into sales and it just hasn't been what he anticipated. He was searching for jobs back in finance but with the time away from it no one was really considering him so he had to rethink his next steps. He decided to focus again on sales but in industries that he feels passionate about. Construction is something he enjoys as a hobby and so he went that route. He was hired by James Hardie in September and he is truly enjoying his work for the first time since we started dating. He is selling their interior product and spends most of his day on the road but he enjoys the pace of the work and the people on his sales team in Atlanta. I am overjoyed that he is finally doing something he enjoys. Everyone wins!
Tom (my FIL) had to go through radiation this Summer for prostate cancer which was not a fun six weeks for both him and Courtney. The side effects were not favorable and brought about some mixed emotions for all involved. Not only did he have to go through that for six weeks but he also got his knee replaced this fall. We are hoping for better health for Tom in 2017 and that he can enjoy his golf game without any other issues sidelining him.
2016 for my parents was a whirlwind of both highs and lows. With the health of my sister (low) to three weeks later Emma being born (high) to putting their house on the market while also building a house. They broke ground on their beautiful beach house in January (or end of December. I can't remember exactly!) and it was completed in August. This brought about such excitement and anticipation for selling their current house. The low was the house in East Cobb did not sell which I know caused my parents frustration and worry. They then decided to put some work into the Marietta house to now put back on the market in Spring 2017. I have VERY positive thoughts that with the upgrades they made it should sell in no time. They did a great job with the upgrades. The beach house is SO much fun and already we have made such great family memories there. This new house is going to be somewhere we are going to cherish because it is time with family. (On the upside of the Marietta house not selling---we got to spend one more Christmas in the house which was special for me)
Now moving on to the HIGHS of our year.
In 2016 we got to celebrate Collier turning ONE (my nephew), baby showers preparing for Emma, my dad turning 60, my first reunion trip with my college friends since college, finding out my best friend is expecting a little boy, births of friends kids, birthday trips for friends, a quick getaway to the Highlands in North Carolina, engagements of close friends, trips to the lake with friends, Thanksgiving trips with both of our families, Trips to Athens, Emma's baptism, Beth and Danny's engagement, Emma's first Halloween/Christmas/Thanksgiving, beach with friends and so much more. We are truly blessed beyond measure.
The highest HIGH of all in 2016 was Emma. She is the best thing that has every happened to me (besides marrying her daddy). She brings JOY into every little aspect of my day. I knew I always wanted to be a mom but this little girl has rocked my world in the best way possible. Emma is such a light and that smile can make your heart melt. Her giggles are the best things to hear and watching her love on her dad and her puppy brother are so sweet. We have only had 8 months with Emma in our lives but it's hard to even remember what it was like when she wasn't around. She is such a blessing to me and has made our home so full of love. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings with our little chunk! May 10th, 2016 changed my life for the better.
Like I said at the beginning, this year had some low LOWS but oh the very best Highs. I know my family is going to focus on the Highs from this year moving into 2017. Wishing you all a blessed year!
All our love,