Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!!! Today is the last day of 2016! Can You believe it?! Tomorrow will be the first day of 2017!! How crazy is that?! I started these monthly recaps exactly one year ago today! I started them so that we could review the recipes that I made that month, and so that I could share with you what I was into that month. I have enjoyed the time to slow down and reflect each month. I hope you have found these posts helpful and inspiring. This month – since it’s the last day of 2016 and all – I want to take the time to reflect on the year and my hopes for 2017.
But first let’s look at all the yummy foods!
What We Ate:
- Vegan Cashew Frosting
- Roasted Veggie Salad with skinny Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
- Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies
- Homemade Gluten Free Oreos
- Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Oranges
- Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Artichoke Dip
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider + Boozy Bar
- Pumpkin Sage Hummus
- Eggplant Green Curry with chicken
So much goodness in one month! My favorites were the Dark Chocolate Bark with Candied Oranges, the Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Artichoke Dip and the Slow Cooker Apple Cider + Boozy Bar!
As 2016 comes to an end I like to slow down and reflect. I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions – there’s too much expectation and pressure there – but I do think there is benefit in taking the time to look at where you’ve been and where you want to go.
When I look back on my 2016 the first thing I can’t help but think about how tough the past couple of months have been for me. If you have been following along for a while you know that Paul and I unexpectedly lost our 3 year old cat just over 2 months ago. Since that night I have struggled to feel like myself. Yes, things have gotten easier. I am not crying every morning and evening like I did the first few weeks he was gone. I no longer expect to see him in his favorite spots or to prance through the front door when I open it. But I still have moments when my grief overwhelms me. His lack of presence is still noticed. I miss how he would make me smile and laugh every single day. I miss cuddling with him on cold nights. I miss seeing him curl up under our Christmas tree.
I strive to bring the best version of myself to this blog, to be happy, upbeat, a little funny. But I also try to be open, real, and raw when it seems appropriate because I want this blog to be relatable and life like. So, there it is.
Even though the last few months have been harder for me I know there is always something to be learned from these moments. The healing process over losing Granite has not been easy but it has reminded me to find the joy in the little every day things – a good book, a hot mug of tea in the evening, hot baths, good food, time spent with loved ones, chocolate, hugs and smiles. This process has reminded me how important it is to be present and make the most of each moment. Cherish it because anything can change in a split second, unexpectedly – this is what makes life so precious. I have learned how much I need to take care of myself. Do more of the things that bring me calm, happiness, and strength and less of the things that stress me out, and anger me. Let things go, life is too short to hold on to toxic feelings. Always forgive. Be grateful for everything good in your life. Even though Granite can no longer be here to physically make us laugh Paul and I frequently reminisce about funny memories. We have made it a habit to look at cute and funny animal videos before bed – they give us comfort. As I continue to let go and heal I know I will always miss Granite in some way, but it does continue to get easier, I make strives daily – which tells me that this is a season in my life, and seasons always flow and shift. This grief is temporary.
Yes, we most likely will get another pet, we’ve talked about it. But we didn’t want to rush it, we didn’t want to get another pet and always be wishing or expecting it to be like Granite. We needed time to heal first.
I didn’t go into this post expecting to write more about Granite, I already wrote that long post the week after we lost him – but I want these moments to be open and honest with you and this is what was on my mind.
As much as Granite’s loss is still so strong because it happened only two months ago it doesn’t define my 2016. When I look further back in the year I think about all of the vacations I was fortunate enough to go on. Colorado, Minnesota lake vacation with Paul’s family, beach vacation with my family, girl’s weekend to Minneapolis, and San Antonio. Good memories spent with loved family and friends. We were gone a lot this past summer which makes me appreciate the time I will be home this winter. We’ve also celebrated weddings and new life as friends’ and family’s babies were born. We were busy but surrounded by joy.
I have continued to stay here and work on this blog, this craft. It has been a wonderful journey that I am looking forward to continuing. This blog has helped me to shine my light and find the best version of myself, even on the hard days. Thank you to everyone in my life who has supported this thing I am doing. And especially thank you to my readers out there. I really appreciate every one of you!
Onward to 2017!
Like I said I am not into the New Year’s resolutions. However, my hopes for 2017 is to take better care of myself. Make time for me when I need it. I have truly learned that you can’t be there for others unless you take care of yourself first. To let things go faster that don’t truly matter. To be mindful of how I truly feel. To be grateful for all the good in my life. Be healthy. And in challenging situations I want to ask myself: “What kind of person do I want to be?”
I know these aren’t the normal kind of goals like going to the gym more often, or finally painting the rest of the rooms in my house (okay that actually is one). Instead it is a list of who I want to be and how I want to live my life in 2017. I hope that you find inspiration from it, and a peak into my personal values. I wish you all the happiest New Year’s Eve and the best in 2017! You deserve it! Thanks again for being here with me! 🙂