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Saturday, December 31, 2016

year in review

2016 was just so awful that I made the decision, repeatedly, not to record much of it. I have a one line a day journal that I did not fill in this year, except for maybe on the kids' birthdays - and maybe not even then. This year has been overwhelmingly hard and as the year comes to a close and everyone else is speaking out with how hard this past year was it makes me feel a little bit better to know that this has been an awful year for a lot of people - it makes me feel less alone.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on

I don't even know where to start with writing a review for this year - the year stated out with Grayson's 2nd hospitalization in twice as many months. Not a great way to start the year.  My husband lost his job at the end of the summer and we were days away from being evicted - but God provided a new job for Daniel, right in the nick of time, and we didn't have to move. Daniel had another episode of major back pain, which was super scary. Grayson had major surgery this year, which was really hard for me to deal with, but Grayson recovered so much more quickly and easily then I thought he would. He goes in for a minor surgery again on Wednesday and I'm feeling a little bit more emotionally prepared for this. I also started homeschooling this year and in the fall not only Josiah but Eli as well and that has been hard. 

One of the down-sides of not keeping track of this year has been that it makes it harder to count the wins. As I look back on this year I wonder if I have really grown at all, and it is hard to remember all the way that God has brought me.

Here are a couple that I can remember:

Grayson got sick and didn't need to be hospitalized. That was an important moment for me. It was a relief to know that he wasn't going to have to be hospitalized every single time he got a bit sick.

I got my very first ebook published on Amazon. It is a Bible Study called Along the Way that I wrote with my best friend for her small group. You can buy it for 99cents using the link above.

I sent my very first book proposal to a real live literary agent and he had some really helpful things to say about it. I expected a rejection, and that is what I got but it was the most kind hearted rejections I could ever hope for - so that was something.

I offered my photography services this year and a few friends took me up on it! (actually way more than I thought - which reminded me that I have the best friends) and it felt super-good to be reminded of why I love photography, and that I don't totally suck as a photographer. If you're interested in seeing some of my sessions here is one for my best friend and here is my favorite session of the season.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on
Both of my best friends and my little sister and I went to go see Bethel in concert. It Was Amazing.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on
I drove all the way to Midland, NC by myself to spend some time with one of my favorite authors and proved to myself that I could get out of my comfort zone - waaaaay out of my comfort zone, and not die in the process.

Untitled Here was a big win: Daniel got a pool membership to the neighborhood next to ours and all of the kids learned to swim by the end of the year. It was a terrific way to spend a really hot and kind of boring summer. Another great thing that happened over the summer was that I got to spend a lot of time with my two best friends. We hung out with our kids at the pool and just enjoyed being together and sharing our lives, and our lunches.

We also got to spend a record number of days with my side of the family! We saw them twice over the summer, once in Atlanta and once here in Augusta. We also saw all of the cousins at my oldest nephew's High School graduation. We also met up with my sister for a last minute trip to Ikea. Which was a lot of fun.

We went to Hilton Head beach for the day. Which was a lot of fun!

Next year I plan to journal more. I'm going to try the bullet journal thing - so if you have any advice or favorite blog posts about it send them my way. It would be nice to be able to remember more of the wins, even if they are small.

Here are a few favorite blog posts:
What I learned this fall - mostly I learned that you can't control what season you are in.
An invitation - day 1 of my 31 days of blog posts on the topic of choosing brave.
Brave in my smallness - where I wonder if I will ever learn to be content with where I am.
When I forget everything I have learned - mulling on the ideas of duty and delight
When my prayers are lame - thinking about Jesus and the lame man.
This post where I write honestly about what it feels like to be homeschooling right now. 
Here is our year in review in pictures:
UntitledJanuary 23, 2016 we got a morning of snow. It had all melted by the end of the day!

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We went to the zoo with my small group.

Beth turned 15!
Emma turned 13 and is now officially a teenager. 
Emma raised enough money to go to the State Capitol with her school group for Junior Georgia Youth Assembly where she wrote a bill and went through the process of trying to get it passed. She did a terrific job! I am just so proud of her.
Katie-Abigail started middle school. Emma is in her last year of middle school. Beth started high school. 
Happy Father's Day!
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Grayson's Birthday!



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