January 2016 I posted this quote from John Burroughs and it still holds true today. There's nothing more rehabilitating then being in nature. It's great to hike with friends however there's something more powerful being alone and speaking to yourself and or God or our universe.
This picture from February reconfirmed that storms pass. We have to hold on, keep our strengths within and always remember there's glimpses of calm so we can rejuvenate, recharge so we can battle that next wave because that's life. I never did believe life was meant to be easy with a flat surface. We wouldn't evolve and become who we are today if it were.
In March we discovered and started Geocaching. A fun outdoorsy sport looking for treasures!
April was my last month blogging. As a hypocrite that I can be (ha ha) I decided to end blogging and sharing my thoughts online to start a book. Well.....the book was started but I still missed sharing my thoughts. The chapter I thought I was ending, I could not. I'm not sure if it's my creature of habit combined with my love of sharing, I just couldn't stay away for long. The quote below still remains true, "Everything comes to you. In the right moment. Be Patient. Be Grateful" Patience is one of the foremost important traits one could practice.
Then in August I came back!
Within September our second oldest son came home to stay for a few months after having his femur broken at work. It was challenging physically and mentally for him. He's seen at the end of our kitchen table chalk boarding in this picture below. There was moments (again as a mother) I felt helpless that I couldn't take away his pain. This is the same son that had lung surgeries after having multiple pneumothoraxes when he was seventeen. At a young adult age he's been through lots physically and mentally. However during his stay, we had many moments of connection that I will cherish forever.
In October I found this book! "You are a BADASS" A book that I love. You can start from the beginning or flip through, you can put down and pick up again. I still carry it around in my purse and I will read when I'm waiting. Jen Sincero writes, "Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want" "Create a life you totally love" It's a great book. I love it because it's "real" Realism is how I want to continue to write without worrying about judgements.
Throughout 2016 Gerald and I tried to get out more with each other however his health started to deteriorate. Without writing a book, he feels just as bad and if not worse when this all began. He continues to have severe health concerns while we continue to wait for answers with specialists. I won't go any further about this because this is my reflection post with my pictures chosen throughout the year. No negative Nancy! Seen below is Gerald and I in November. I was all dressed up and because he wasn't well we decided to take and share pictures on our staircase. I feel pictures are so important.
At the end of the day regardless of what challenge happened, we continue to accept and love each other. Seen below in my December 2016 picture, thirteen out of our sixteen children huddled together around our upside down tree. I've learned something throughout my twenty seven years of parenting. Complaining or continually trying to change your child isn't the answer. Acceptance and forgiveness is. Until you can forgive and accept who your loved ones are, you will forever feel challenged. No support group can change what you need to change as a person.
Life is too short to procrastinate. Just live as best as you can. Seen below is my Campbell River Father and Mother whom I feel accept us for who we are. I know for myself I push the "being different" envelope. The interesting fact of that is....I feel that I'm here to do just that and to teach people to accept through me. Then to teach my family, friends and children to accept all, no matter what the circumstances are. I truly believe we are all here for a purpose. I've always known and felt mine, have you? And if you have, I hope you're also opening your envelope because our next generation needs to see it, and you need to feel purposeful.
One reason I believe we are as successful as we are raising a large family is because we aren't afraid to be ourselves. To push the envelope. Also as parents to continually learn, to accept and follow our children. Time has changed. I remember climbing trees. We had no computers. Now it's snap chat. Instagram. Facebook. Texting. If I have to snap chat and turn into a silly filter to interact with my children through these different channels I will. Keep the connections because once they're lost, it's hard to regain. I learned that one too. So my advise for 2017 is if you aren't doing so already, build on your relationships. Every one in our lives right now means something. Keep it alive. Even if you have to turn yourself into a cucumber doing so.
And just accept and remember it's not your life. You're only the director, and I've heard....we aren't the directors either.
Heading into 2017 is full of unknowns but we can only do our best. I'm not making any New Years Resolutions. I'm just going to keep open minded, to accept my children for who they are, and to continue to be that "coolest mom" ever. (As I've been told) Remember, it's all about connection. Connection begins with forgiveness (if you need to forgive) while adding acceptance and unconditional love. If "some one" because it doesn't have to be your child (ha ha) is testing your patience, practice in your mind and chant to yourself, "Its just this moment" "Its just this moment" Breathe.....relax, then respond with love. It's so true.....we don't know what tomorrow brings so try to always remember this when all else fails. My thoughts and words I try to live by AND I will continue to share with you.
May 2017 bring you peace, love, health and happiness.
This was me when I was a baby. (I love green for a reason :) No one knew back then who or what I was going to be while I learned my first steps around the age of one. Who would of known I was going to grow up and raise sixteen children and have compassion for individuals health and share our life like I have. You just never know what the future holds.......keep the faith in each other.