2016, you’ve been…like an ex-boyfriend that has taught me much about myself but someone I don’t ever want to revisit. But like any relationship, it did have some lessons.

Since I’ve been terrible about journaling or keeping any sort of record, here’s what I can remember from good ol’ 2016.

January

Oscar and I booked a week-long cruise for the month of October. This was our first legitimate vacation together without the kids.

The position at my company that I’d worked so hard for finally came to fruition, and I was able to formally apply and accept my new role in the marketing department.

February

I traveled to Las Vegas for work for a conference at stay at the gorgeous Mandalay Bay hotel. This new position feels like a dream and I am intoxicated by the badass manifester vibes I exude.

I saw a Led Zeppelin cover band at The Masquerade with my Dad and it was probably one of the last times I’d visit the old Masquerade before it gets torn down and turned into apartments. (Lame.)

Oscar and I spent the weekend in Blue Ridge at my parents’ cabin with some great friends. We laughed and ate a lot of delicious food. (Friends who cook and do it well are a Godsend.)

March

March 15th – My first official day at my new gig in the marketing department. I am high with excitement.

I attended a yoga and writing workshop with Jen Pastiloff and it’s an amazing experience. I haven’t ever felt so close to a group of strangers, and vow to attend when she returns to Atlanta.

Alex turned two. We had lots of friends and family come to the house for his birthday. I was marginally stressed about having the perfect event. This was just four nights after I had a complete hostess fail hosting bunco for my monthly bunco group, and life reminded me of an important lesson: don’t sweat the small stuff.

April

I’m still adjusting to my new position at work, but realizing it’s overflowing with opportunity for me to grow and achieve more in my career.

Oscar and I go to back-to-back amazing shows at The Masquerade — Nekrogoblikon and Bane. 2016 was Bane’s final tour, and I’m so glad I got to see them.

May

More work travel sent me to Baltimore for a conference. I ate blue crabs that were by far some of the most delicious seafood I’ve ever had in my life. I’m still learning the new gig in marketing, but I make a point to strengthen those relationships and really understand all the roles my new position included.

I attended the Digital Summit with my marketing team here in Atlanta. It’s important to note that last year (2015), I took a vacation day and went alone. This year, 2/3 of my team went, and my company paid for my ticket. (#Boss moment.)

June

I turned 32. Lots of other June birthdays.

I travel to Charlotte for a training session for work. I get to spend time with my best friend and her family, and ride roller coasters at the amusement park I grew up visiting as a kid. The latter was underwhelming, but seeing my old friend was everything.

G had his evaluation meetings with Dr Golsen, the psychiatrist we contacted to give us a diagnosis for him. On the last day of the month we would find out what I guess I’d always suspected, that G is on the autism spectrum. This hits me hard, harder than I could have imagined and wanted to admit. It’s difficult for me to focus, and I spend weeks researching and scouring the internet.

July
Still scouring, still trying to find answers to questions I still don’t have answers to.
I am given the opportunity to travel to Pennsylvania for work to interview a patient, and this entire experience changes me. She is kind, genuine, and so full of life and love. I uncover a huge opportunity in this new position I am still trying to make sense of, and more opportunities for work travel are on the horizon.
August

Grayson turns 6. It seems like the hottest summer I can ever remember. It is humid and disgusting.

At the end of the month, our home gets burglarized. I still remember coming downstairs in a flurry trying to get ready for work, in search of my purse and realizing it wasn’t there. Realizing other bags weren’t there. Realizing we’d left the garage door open and someone had crept into our house while we were asleep upstairs and stole our things. It was a very expensive, very unnerving reminder to close. the. f**king. garage. door. My faith in good people is restored when a stranger looks me up after finding my purse (that the thieves tossed on the road after they took what they wanted from it) and calls me to tell me he has it and will meet me somewhere to give it back to me. He is kind, and his wife is, too.

Shortly thereafter, we upgraded to a very expensive but very thorough alarm system. The Woodstock police, as helpful as they were that day, never find the teenagers they believe stole our things. For a few weeks after that, Grayson asks if “the bad people” took anything that he is unable to find in that moment. It breaks my heart.

September

I travel for work again, this time to Phoenix. It’s a nice distraction from what just happened at home, and I enjoyed driving around a new city and meeting new people. Once again, I have the opportunity to meet another patient, just as kind, just as genuine, and willing to share his story to help other people. I fall in love with Scottsdale and am determined to make it back someday and visit the Grand Canyon.

Grayson starts weekly ABA therapy and karate classes. My anxiety and fear are through the roof thinking about how we will pay for both, but mainly ABA because it isn’t covered by insurance. But we start going once a week for two hours at a time, because want to offer him the best help out there. And I suppose, that’s what credit cards are for.

Oscar visits Chicago with his brother for RiotFest. I miss him while he’s gone, but he finally sees the original lineup of his favorite band play.

Later, I travel to Daytona Beach for work to perform more patient and surgeon interviews, and I realize both Phoenix and Daytona are HOT, but different kinds of hot. I realize I like the Phoenix kind of hot better.

October

Oscar and I go on our cruise, and it is THE SHIT. I missed our babies terribly, but I tried zip lining for the first time in Honduras, ate some of the most delicious tacos EVER, went cave tubing in Belize, and rediscovered just how beautiful Mexico is. We barely arrive home and Oscar is already planning our next trip.

November

I travel back down to Daytona for work. It’s my 6th trip in six months in my new position, but the opportunity of speaking with patients to capture and later share their story with the world is something I love doing. I find out that I have the opportunity to meet even more patients in 2017.

November is…rough for a lot of people. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the next four years will mean for me and my family. I vow that will never stop teaching my children to love and respect everyone. To educate themselves so they can do and be whatever they want to be. I vow to teach them they can love whomever they want to love, and they can do whatever sings to their soul.

We spend Thanksgiving down in Florida with my grandparents, and take G to Disney World for the first time. I realize that I’m 99.9% sure I’m a Disney princess and, despite some rough patches on either day, realize budgeting for another longer family trip to Disney is something I want to do. We discover Disney’s Disability Access Service pass for G, and it is so helpful in helping us have the best possible two days at the parks.

December

We celebrated the holidays in a warm home with clean clothes on our backs surrounded by people we love.

I also got a root canal a few days after Christmas (something I do NOT recommend–ouch) to prepare the same tooth for a crown next month. Am thankful it didn’t hurt more than it did, but sweet baby jesus the numbing needles SUCK.

Oscar celebrated his 34th trip around the sun, and I spend the day (today) thinking about this life we’ve built together, looking back at all the things in 2016, and looking forward to all the good things 2017 promises to bring.

2016 had some highs, but it also had some lows. I learned even more about myself, read more self-help books trying to understand why I am the way that I am. I don’t know why, but I struggle. Perhaps more than most. I love my children and I love Oscar, but I have a hard time being content. I don’t remember always being this way. I don’t know if my dive into self-discovery over the past few years has uncovered something that was new, or something that was always there.

I haven’t really thought about any resolutions for 2017, but I hope it will be the year I discover my “why.” Why I am here, what my true purpose is, and am I living it out? And also, finding true happiness, even in just moments, in the process.