Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 // A summary of my year


Just, wow.

2017 is gone already? Where did it go? I am pretty just it was just yesterday that I turned fourteen and 2010 was some crazy new number. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be in... 2017! And here we are, in 2018.

I thought it would be neat to write a summary of what happened in my life each month. Perhaps just for myself to read back on someday, if nothing else. So, here we go!

January - '17

Nothing too exciting happened during the first month of 2017. We were snow bound and I remember feeling quite cooped up. I got my braces on December 20th and was still trying to adjust to the metal in my mouth. My teeth ached for quite some time and I couldn't eat well.
I still worked for Mollie and loved watching Bridget grow and experience new things. That girls dimples still melt my heart.

January is also the month Josiah and I started becoming closer through our Facebook messages.
We began talking on September 14th, but it was only an occasional chat here or there until then. Let's just say, I was one tickled pink girl. *smiles*

February - '17

February was a sad month for my family, though we had some good times thrown in there too!

Near the beginning of it we planned a surprise 19th birthday party for LaKaysha. That was a lot of fun and I miss those days! Kirsten came down with her brothers and we decorated Kaysha's house from top to bottom!

A dear cousin of mine ran away the next day and our world turned upside down. It was a very hard time for us all and we grieved as though a loved one had gone to Heaven. But, this was far worse.
I would like to ask that you keep my cousin in your prayers, as well as her parents and siblings. Things have not changed and it's so hard for us all.

It was amazing, though, to see my family pull together in a hard time. We gathered together under one roof, cried, prayed, and sang Hymns to our Heavenly Father. If only my cousin could have seen how much her family loved her and how much she has hurt us.

Despite that happening, I continued to get to know Josiah and we began "Snap Chatting".
I believe it may have been during this month my Mother told me I was falling in love with Josiah. To be honest, that surprised me and I began digging deep into my heart and wondering, "Am I?"

March - '17

Hmm.... what happened in March?
First off, we made a trip over the river to visit my Auntie and Uncle. I always, always, love when we do that! And I am sad that I won't be making it to see their new house any time soon.
I began babysitting for my parents cousin occasionally and earning a little bit more money.
Grandpa Stenersen became ill and had open heart surgery.

Mommy and Daddy got tickets to fly to New Hampshire to visit him while he recovered, and I became a little envious that they would be meeting Josiah before I even did.

I fell deeper and deeper in love with that guy.

April - '17

April came in a little sad. On the night of April 1st my great-Grandpa passed away. I did not have a personal relationship with him but, he was my Grandpa. I loved him. And I hurt when he left.
Family flew in from all over the country to say goodbye and though it was under hard times, it was so good to be gathered with my "West" family once again. Listening to the singing and sound of guitars and laughter.
Uncle Jonathan flew out from South Carolina, and we loved having him for the first time in 9.5 years.

During this time, tickets were bought to fly to New Hampshire once again. This time it would be five of us. Granddaughters headed out to visit Grandpa as well. Or, that's what we said.
I also knew it was high time I finally met Josiah. I was so scared but I knew it had to be done. He had completely stolen my heart, yet I didn't know how he felt about me.
It was time I found out.

Grandpa sold the ranch and a piece of my heart was taken away. I still grieve over losing my childhood "home". I will forever miss it.

I turned twenty-one. Nothing huge happened to celebrate but I loved it just the same. My parents made me a lovely supper and I spent the day at the mall with Kaysha.
Josiah also informed me he wanted to buy me some hiking shoes for my birthday. I was shocked!

My parents met Josiah and came home with all sorts of information and "he likes you".

May - '17

May. May was the month my life changed forever.

I finished my babysitting job during that time and on the 2nd of that month I boarded a plane. With my two sisters, and two cousins, I headed to my future.
I was so nervous! Yet, excited. I remember wondering how I would be feeling when I boarded that plane to head home once again. Little did I know...

May was the month I met Josiah, finally. In person, and we spoke our first verbal words to each other.
How I remember my stomach flipped the first time our eyes met. All the little glances and smiles we shared. The memories we made. The awkward first dates and shy giggles. How fun it is falling in love!
We had now been talking for eight months...
On the night of May 19th, we became "official". In other words, we finally expressed to one another that we cared of the other. More than just friends. And we finally allowed ourselves to say, "Yes. We're dating."

The rest of May, and into June, was spent in New Hampshire. Getting to know my new boyfriend, as well as making new memories with old friends.

During that trip we visited Boston and the Pickity Place.

June - '17

On June 9th, we flew home. It was the beginning of learning how to cry for myself. Everyone knew I was very hard and cold when it came to emotions. Yeah... Josiah certainly broke that wall down a lot.

Once home, Chancy was confirmed! I can't believe my baby brother is growing up.

The temps became very hot and my days were spent hanging out with family and FaceTiming Josiah. Becoming closer and closer as a couple.

Grandma would have turned 61 on the 15th.

July - '17

July! Finally, Josiah was coming to visit me! I was so excited I couldn't breathe.
He flew in July 3rd and was here until the 13th. We had many adventures during this time. Fourth of July with my family. Visiting local places such as Saint Helens, "my mountain" and the Ape Caves.

Twas a month filled with lovely memories.

 August - '17

This month was actually quite hard. Josiah and I went through a rough patch and it was very emotional and even scary. We were apart for 58 days, the longest we've been apart, during a time we needed each other the most.
But, after all that, and how hard it was, I wouldn't change a thing. The hard times, though they seemed to separate us at the time, brought us so much closer when we reached the other side.
Without God in our lives, we never would have made it. How wonderful our Saviour is. How wonderfully His grace and forgiveness abounds.
During this time, I had to depend fully on God and I came to feel an amazing relationship with Him. 
If you are going through a rough time, hang on. It's so worth it. The other side of the hill is far more beautiful than anywhere you have been yet. I learned to hurt and cry. To express my feelings. To be more open. To forgive and to be forgiven 

Through all that, Josiah and I became closer than ever. It was then I knew. I wasn't going anywhere, and neither was he. We were bound together forever. 

During all this time, we made a trip to Tri-Cities, the beach, and a camping adventure in the mountains. 
The heat continued to rise. Forest fires burned miles and miles of earth, and the air was filled with that sickly smokey smell, and the sky was gray and stiff. 
I also cut my hair off and began to get used to short hair again! 

 September - '17

It was finally the month. The time to make a month long trip to see my boyfriend. We needed this trip so badly. Loneliness controlled our thoughts. After making it through the hard times, we need some good times.

On September 7th, Grandma had been living in Heaven for 10 years.

On September 8th, I boarded a plane and once again flew across the country. This time, alone.
Read about my adventure here.

It was a month filled with wonderful memories and bonding time.
My Grandpa did become ill during my trip, and that was emotionally trying. I am so thankful Josiah was able to be with me during that time.

My parents made an unexpected trip out there halfway through and it was so lovely to have them there with me!

Especially since the night they flew there Josiah asked me to be his wife

On September 23rd, we took to a local trail and seated beneath a beautiful sunset, he pulled that little black box from his pocket and said those four words I never thought I would ever hear,

"Will you marry me?"

October - '17 

Autumn! My very favorite season of all!
October was absolutely beautiful this year with cooler temps, blue skies, and colorful leaves gently falling to the earth.
I spent the month working for Mollie, construction cleaning, babysitting, and preparing for my upcoming wedding.
I went wedding dress shopping and found my dress at the first stop. I haven't seen it in awhile as it is being altered, and I am getting a little anxious!
We had a little bit of a time trying to find the right place to hold the ceremony, which also meant no for sure wedding date. It was somewhat stressful. But, with much praying, we finally found the place and the planning could really be done!
Invitations ordered, dress dropped off for alterations, bridesmaid dresses ordered, flower girl material found, and to top it all off, I was finishing up my last faze of orthopedic work!
I drove on the freeway for the very first time in my life during that time. It was nerve wracking but I did it! And have a few more times since then.
On October 24th, my braces came off!

November - '17

November was very busy.
I continued to work for Mollie, construction clean, and plan the wedding.
Wedding decor was made, found, borrowed, and bought.
On November 18th, Josiah flew here for the second time! It was so good to have my fiance back with me, and to be able to spend Thanksgiving with him and my family.

During this time he was able to see where we are getting married, meet more family and spend a Holiday with them, get our marriage license, visit Grandma's grave, book our honeymoon, buy his clothes for the wedding, and buy plane tickets. I also had my bridal shower during this time! Phew!

December - '17

The Christmas season came around before I was fully ready!
I scrambled around and made a few shopping trips to do my Christmas shopping.
Josiah found us an apartment and I began dreaming and brainstorming ways to make it more comfortable and homey.
Did some fun Christmas things like find our tree, go to a local Fort with my family, and go to the local Christmas Tree Lighting.

I also began packing all my shower gifts and personal items from home, with my Mom!

I had a cold during December (whats new?) and slowly got well.

It was bittersweet knowing this would be my final Christmas at home, but I am so ready to be with my best friend forever.

I also worked my last day at Mollie's. It was very hard to go and I'll admit I shed some tears. After 5.5 years of going there, I am going to miss them all so much.

Then, after all that, I closed my eyes and another year was gone.
And my, what a year.

I have learned and grown so much during 20-17. 

How to forgive and be forgiven.
To love unconditionally.
To be open with my feelings.
To trust God, fully. And believe that He see's the big picture and knows what is best.
To accept things I can't change.
How to find beauty in hard times.
To surrender my life to my Saviour.
Hang on, the best is yet to be.
A Christian mate is the best thing God has ever given. - to have someone to walk with is the biggest blessing I have ever been blessed with.
Live in the moment. Live for today.
Cherish memories and family.
Sing more.
Laugh often.
Never give up.

My prayer for 2018 is that I may continue to grow in my relationship with Christ. That I can be the best wife Josiah needs. To be a help-meet for him in this life. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
I can have joy in all things. And a blessed life in a new world.

My prayers are there for you as well. That God will grant you peace, strength, and comfort in the year to come, and all the years after that.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I remember // Christmas memories // a poem from my heart

I remember Christmas candy
In bowls of red and green
I remember "the Christmas penny"
Hidden to be unseen

I remember Grandma's Christmas globe
On the table she stood
Painted lambs and pretty trees
Made to look of wood

She sang a Christmas carol
When twined to be just right
Shepherds gathered round her feet
To behold the wondrous sight

I remember Christmas music
On the big old stereo
Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells
Sang of days long ago

I remember Christmas cookies
All laid out so neat
Bowls of colored frosting set about
A gooey mixture too sweet

I remember the Christmas Story
The one that should always be told
Grandpa's voice softly whispered
"Fear not, for behold"

"Unto you a son is given"
A line I shall always remember
Grandpa's voice etched in my mind
One I shall recall each and every December

I remember family gathered all about
Playmates of yester-years
We'd play games like "big and little"
And go against our fears

I remember Christmas dinner
Potatoes, gravy, and ham
Olives placed on each finger
Rolls and squishy candied yam

Pickles placed upon the platter
We'd wait and watch and see
Who would mistake the sweet for sour
Tossing it back to flee

I remember laughter
Love and Joy and Peace
Warmth of family filled the home
Aunt and Uncle and Niece

I remember Christmas of my childhood
Days that are forever gone
But ones I will always remember
Until the victory is won 
- Felicity Stenersen