I know that it has almost turned into a cliche talking about how tough 2016 was. For me and my family it really has been tough. We have had tough years before, but we have never had a year so full of bad luck.
Oh 2016. The year that will never be forgotten. My family have struggled quite a bit this year and I pray that we don’t have another year like this one. It has been VERY tough.
The year started out well. We were optimistic and excited to seize the year of 2016 with our best spirits! We had just purchased our home a few months prior and we were just about to be able to count our second child on our 2015 tax returns! We got our first furry pet in January. He was 8 months old and he was the cutest and most perfect cat ever. He does so well with our kids and he has been such a blessing to our family. We originally named him Oscar, but he seemed to be WAY too active and crazy. The name Oscar just didn’t fit him and so we named him Sammy. So we call him anything from Sam Sam, Samuel the Lamenite, Samuel L Jackson and Sam L. Cats are the perfect pets, because they are SO easy!
In February, I came across several blogger income reports that suggested that blogging can be a big help in adding income. Derek and I were spending a lot more money fixing up the home then we had suspected and there was A LOT more to own ownership that we had suspected. So finances were tight. So that’s when Just a Girl Winging Life was born. Starting a blog was a big step for me, but I was excited and ready. It was REALLY hard to start out. I had very little computer knowledge. I was starting from scratch. I have had to learn how to code, how to build a website, I have learned about SEO and marketing. This year has been more of a learning experience rather than really a money making business. One day it will make money and that will be wonderful. This year I have been trying to build my followers. I have tried to earn extra income by testing websites and filling out surveys.
In March and April life really was going well. We were struggling with money, but we went forth in life in faith. My husband and I got off the “mini-pill” but I was still nursing A LOT and so I wasn’t getting pregnant. We thought our life was going great. It was going great. We were SO blessed. We were having a great time. I was enjoying my blog and learning how to turn my little blog into a six-figure business. My kids were both really healthy. Duke was just as fun and loving as always and Colt was just as cranky as he’s always been (but we loved him dearly).
In April my little boy turned 2 years old and we had a family get together where my brother provided a bounce house! We had so much fun!
And we also bought a new to us van! I loved having a van. We were excited to have a new van so that when we would have a third baby we wouldn’t be as cramped. And I loved being able to throw in the double stroller into the van.
And then Heavenly Father obviously thought that we might have been a little bit too comfortable. He thought maybe we were too set in our ways. The learning opportunities were about to being. 2015 was too perfect for us that 2016 was about to hit us HARD.
Up until about May my husband and I were going to a ward outside of our boundaires (same church just different building). We were going to the different ward, because the ward we were supposed to go into didn’t have a nursery. A nursery is where the toddlers go to so the adults can go and enjoy classes. In May were asked by the Bishop of our ward that we should be going to the right ward and if we did we would be blessed. So we started attending the ward in our boundaries. Hey we could always use more blessings!
But then…they did something I was not expecting. I was called to be the nursery leader. I cried. It was hard. So I was in charge of watching my children for all of church. And my children were the only kids in the nursery so I never got to enjoy church. It was hard. I was mad. I was bitter. I was depressed.
In June my husband and I were about to leave the house to get something to eat. All of a sudden my husband asked why our laundry room was all wet. LONG story short….there was a clog in the drain. It has been leaking for probably well over a year and ruining our entire sub-floor and our wall. You can read THIS POST to follow our experience with fixing water damaged floors.
In July I applied to two jobs. I wanted to be a Adjunct Professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho. It was an online teaching position where I would be able to teach a class. I have my Master’s Degree so I thought this was going to be a great opportunity. And then I also applied to be a virtual assistant. My family REALLY needed the money (we still do) and I really wanted to help my family out. But then I got news back saying that I didn’t get either job. I was SO disappointed. It hurt my feelings. It made suffer with self-doubt. Why wasn’t I good enough? Why wasn’t I what they were looking for?
During this time I was dealing with the Paper Floors Saga. You can check that whole story out in case you haven’t been following my blog. You can read about the Paper Floors HERE. Although it was my fault. My family lived in complete chaos and construction for about a month and a half.
In August my son had to go to the Emergency room during his birthday party, because he started getting bumps ALL over his head! HUGE bumps! I had no idea what was wrong and anytime there are bumps on your kids head ya panic right?! Well I sure did! We spent three hours in the hospital. Thankfully it wasn’t anything too big. It was just a viral infection where his lymph nods got swollen, but it was still so scary.
In Early September I found out I was pregnant and I was SO excited. We had been off the pill for about six months and so I was so excited to finally get pregnant (I know that’s not a long time for some women). When Derek came home I proudly told him and he was SO excited. I told my family. About three days later I started spotting. I went to the hospital and I was told that I was having a miscarriage. I was devastated.
About a week after my miscarriage my husband and I were putting in new floors in our home and I smashed my finger with the hammer and I broke my finger! I was in so much pain! I went to the urgency care the next morning so I could get some pain medication, so that my finger would stop having a horrible heartbeat. There wasn’t much I could do with a broken finger except for just take drugs and make sure I didn’t re-break it. It was hard, because I could barely change my kids and I couldn’t go anywhere by myself because I couldn’t put my kids in the carseat, because it was my index finger and it was impossible to buckle their carseats.
I got pregnant the next month. This time it felt like it was going to stick. We told my family as well as Derek’s parents. We were so excited. And two weeks after finding out I was pregnant (6 weeks along) I had another miscarriage. I was completely devastated! Why did that happen? Did I do something wrong? What did I do?
In November I went to the doctor because my jaw had been locked for awhile (can’t even put two finger in) and they asked if I wanted the flu shot and phenomena shot. I had never had the phenomena shot, but I figured…whatever. I had the WORST reaction to it. It gave me the worst allergic reaction. I was SO sick for about a week and half. I was constantly dizzy and nauseous and I felt like I was on the verge of passing out. I finally went to urgent care when my whole body broke out in a nasty red bumpy rash. It was so scary. And of course my husband was out of town. They gave me steriods. The steriods caused a severe reaction where I became insomnic (I already have insomnia so it was worse.) I pulled an all nighter.
I had to drive up to Portland on no sleep to get fitted for my TMJ doctor.
At the end of November my poor son got the stomach flu (which we later figured out was an infection). He threw up for three days and I couldn’t take it anymore. I took him to the urgency care. It was awful. The doctor had to give my son a catheter, but he was do dehydrated so they couldn’t get any urine. They gave him anti-nausea and then strapped a bag around his penis. We had to walk around the doctors until he filled the bag with enough urine to test (they were making sure he didn’t have a bladder infection). He also had to get blood work. It was incredibly horrible and awful. On the way home from the doctors I was pulling into the turn lane and the big truck in front of me stomped on his brakes way behind the car that he was following. So I had nothing to do except run right into the back of him. I wasn’t going very fast and so when I got out of the car I fully excepted to have no damage. Especially since the guy didn’t even know he got hit. He got out of the car and asked if I hit him. He didn’t even feel it. He heard it and then saw me get out. Lucky me, his trailer hitch went right into the front of my car. LOOONG story short our radiator was bent which broke the AC condenser AND the radiator fan. We had to pay $100 to get the van towed back to our home. A family friend got us back and running after putting a used (but working) radiator into our van. We drove the van pretty well for about 5 days.
Throughout all of these trials I have been suffering with TMJ where my jaw has been locked since early November. I went to the hospital because it had been locked for 24 hours. They suggested for me to get a moutgaurd from wal-mart. But then that made it worse! I had to go to Portland TMD clinic to get a professionally made mouth guard to help me. I have been in quite a bit of pain and it has been so uncomfortable. I have been given pain medication to stop the pain. But it is hard to eat anything. I can’t eat anything without pain medication, because it hurts SO bad. I have lost weight because I can’t eat very well.
And then we have been dealing with fleas! We have put liquid flea remover on kitty, we have tried flea baths, we have sprayed all of our furniture, we stripped the sheets and cleaned the mattresses, and then we even bombed the house. We finally paid for an expensive flea gel that finally came off of the cat. It was $24 for a four month supply, but it has finally brought relief to our kitty.
We finally felt life was going to start getting better and that our luck was finally changing. We got a puppy on the 21nd of December. We got to go to Corvallis and play with the Christensen family on the 22. My little sister came with me to go to the big blow up place and then Derek joined us to go to Mcdonald’s. Then on the 23rd Derek and I got to go to Portland where we had a date night at Claim Jumper (an AWESOME food joint) and then we went to the Blazers game. My parents watched the kiddos and Chelsea watched baby Odin. On Christmas EVE we had a great Christmas Eve Party with the Christensen family. Life was getting better right?!
On Christmas day we were driving and the van felt like it couldn’t get into gear. I knew it was the transmission. The day after Christmas I started driving to Walmart to get a good deal on a Christmas tree and the van just wouldn’t drive. And on the way over it the engine light went on. My heart sank. I drove to O’Riley’s where they diagnosed my van and there was 10 codes against my car and and it was all transmission related. He assured me that it was not because of my accident, but just coincidence. We have only had the car for 8 months. I know the people who sold it to us didn’t know. But they certainly won in this deal. We now have a van that is dangerous to drive, because it doesn’t drive in first or fifth gear. And so reverse is almost impossible. We don;t have money for a new car and we can’t get any money from a 20 year old van with a broken transmission. We will have to make due until we get our Tax return. Our tax return won’t go to a vacation (which we wanted). Now we are going to try to buy a MUCH newer van. We are looking at a 2015 year old van. If we had the money we would buy it RIGHT NOW!
I don’t want it to seem that I am ungrateful about my Christmas. I had a GREAT Christmas! My parents spoiled Derek and I. And the kids were SO spoiled by my parents. My parents got them stockings and a million gifts. And Grandma Debbie and Grandpa got them tons of clothes which was awesome! I got Derek a XBOX one bundle. The bundle came with the XBOX One S with a controller and Gears of War, then a wired controller, Battlefield and Ghostbusters movie. He was SO excited and very surprised. I was so happy to finally get him a gift that he would love.
Derek got me lipsense!! I was so excited! And then he also got me a laptop (which I am typing on right now). I was SUPER surprised about the laptop and I couldn’t believe that I got it. I was in complete shock ( I STILL AM IN SHOCK). I can’t get much done on my blog at night because I just want to go in my room and watch television. And so I casually asked for a laptop to help me out. And he delivered. We both bought these gifts before our car problems (hehe oops).
Now…back to complaining.
Our puppy has fleas. We have NO idea how! We have done EVERYTHING in our power and the poor guy has fleas. SO we give him a dawn bath once or twice a day, because he is too young to get an flea treatment. I just gave him a bath this morning and no fleas came off. That was really nice to see.
And then my sister-in-law mentioned his tummy being bloated. We had notice he had bad gas and was pooping everywhere. He seemed to not have any control. He would get excited and poop would come out. But we just thought it was stress. But then we decided to give him so deworming medicine. And then he started pooping out massive amounts of long spaghetti noodle worms! SO gross!!! Poor little guy.
It has been a tough year to say the least. I would rather not have another year like this one. It was really hard.
However, even though it was very difficult we also know how blessed we are.
Derek and I are SO lucky! We have what tons of people who care about us. We have two healthy babies. The two miscarriages made me appreciate my two beautiful children even more. They make me be more grateful for being able to conceive so easily, have two healthy pregnancies (minus the constant throwing up with Duke) and two BIG fat and healthy babies. I am so much more grateful for the life they live.
This year I have learned to be humble. I have learned that material things are far less important than family. Everything horrible can happen to my house, my car, my “things” and as long as nothing happens to my family I am still a lucky woman. Vans can be replaced. My children can’t. My house can be fixed, but my heart can’t if I were to lose my husband.
I have grown closer to my Heavenly Father. I have created a stronger relationship to my savior. I have read more and pray more this year than I ever have. It is hard to stay positive some days, but then I remember to keep an eternal perspective on things. In 10 years I will look back on this moment as difficult, but it won’t be the end of the world.
I am grateful for my family and the life I live.
So what does the year 2017 look like? Well hopefully better than 2016 hehe. I have created my goals/wish list. Some of my goals are goals that I might not have complete control over, but a girl can dream right?!
- By the end of 2017 I would like to make a steady income (whatever that income might be) from this little blog/business of mine.
- I want to host a successful webinar for my business blog ( 10 or more people in attendance)
- In December 2017 I would like to proudly say that I have 3000 Facebook Followers, 5000 Pinterest Followers, 1000 Instagram followers and 1000 Twitter followers.
- I would like to start Just a Girl Wining Life’s Youtube channel and begin promoting my channel and receiving followers.
- Have 2000 subscribers as the year is finalizing
- Create a successful course full of 200 + students
- Attract one brand to my site
- Get pregnant and give birth in the year 2017 (if you didn’t figure it out: this might be the one I can’t control hehe)
- Read the rest of the Book of Mormon
- Read the entire New Testament
- Paint the exterior of the home + Shed
- Create a successful Garden in our back yard
- Landscape the entire yard
- Build a fence
- Organize the garage
- Living Room Makeover
- Bathroom Makeover
Of course all of these home goals aren’t going to be based on my motivation, but will entirely be based on financial situation. Especially considering that my husband and I were going to use our tax returns to home stuff or a vacation, but instead it will go straight into a new van (how boring!).
- Get accepted to a Transcriber Business and begin. By the end of 2017 I want to make $400 a month transcribing
- Make $400 by the end of 2017 at User Testing
I know that a date on a calendar doesn’t change things. BUT I believe that people consider a new year as a new start. This year I am going to be successful. This year I am going to be somebody. This year I am going to make a stamp on this world.
I love being a mom, but I don’t feel like I am accomplishing much for myself. I feel like I am a loser. I am “just a stay at home mom” I wish I felt fulfilled by staying at home, but I don’t.
I want to than everybody for following my blogging journal. My one year mark is coming up in February and I can’t believe that I have been blogging for almost a year! That is crazy!