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A Year in Review

Oh, my! Where do I start? First off, sorry for disappearing for so long! Life has been, well, life. I needed to take a little time to focus on my family and to take care of myself. But, I’m back! And I have no plans to disappear again any time soon!

Things began getting a little overwhelming about a year ago. Just shortly after I started this blog, Brandon ruptured a disk in the lower portion of his spine. A fragment of vertebrae rested on his sciatic nerve causing him to be bedridden for about two months. He then began a long road of recovery that involved lots of physical therapy and lots of restricted activity. Along with the usual care of my family, I took over full time care of family, house, and nursing Brandon and running him to various appointments. It was so hard to see him in so much pain and not be able to do much to help him. I did what I could by preparing healing foods specifically geared to help his spine and used the same essential oil pain relief balm that I had made for myself when recovering from my car accident. We also used lots of ice packs and a heating pad and used numerous pillows to try to get him as comfortable as possible.

The biggest frustration for Brandon was the feeling of helplessness and as if he was not able to provide for his family. He used up what few vacation days he had left and then took almost two months off of work without pay. At this point, we were beyond thankful that we had been eliminating debt and creating an emergency savings fund. It was exactly this type of situation that we would never have been able to survive before changing our financial mindset. Things were extremely tight and we had to do without but we were able to make it and we were so very blessed by friends and family who brought groceries, meals, and helped with things like mowing the lawn. It still brings me to tears to think of how God provided and for and blessed us through so many loving people during such a scary time, not knowing if or when Brandon would recover. He started back to work part time with weight restrictions almost 3 months after hurting his back and he is very diligent even more than a year later to keep up with his physical therapy exercises. He has to be very careful with how he uses his back but is able to live life almost completely the way he did before his injury. He just takes more breaks and doesn’t push himself past the limits he knows he has.

We were going to celebrate our 10th anniversary last June! We hadn’t really gotten away for time just to ourselves since our 5th anniversary and so we decided we would take a long weekend and just invest in each other and were very excited about it. The lack of vacation days and Brandon’s being stuck in bed caused us to cancel our reservations and we spent the time at home. While it was disappointing, getaways, fancy dinners, etc. isn’t really what it’s all about. Brandon’s injury was a great reminder to appreciate what I have and we were thankful to be together and celebrate another year of marriage.

The summer and a good portion of the fall was focused on recovery and healing. While Brandon was attending physical therapy for his back, I was also still attending PT for treatment from my car accident the year before. We slowly got to a new “normal” as the school year revved up and we jumped into co-ops and field trips and lessons. By winter, both Brandon and I were done with PT and we had begun searching for a house. It was time to move from a rental in our own place.

We found a great place for our family but the closing date kept getting pushed back. We finally moved into our new home the first week of December. We were just about to sort through the last boxes and starting to feel almost settled when my brother and his family moved in with us, less than a month after we had moved in. Suddenly there were 4 adults and 6 children, living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. For the next 5 months, things were scrunched and hectic and busy but we made it work. It was an adventure and we all found a groove eventually. There was definitely no time for blogging, though, lol.

In the beginning of April I was deeply hurt, experiencing an emotional pain I didn’t even know was possible, by people that I trusted and I am working on healing from that, wondering if I ever will. In the beginning of May I lost someone I love to cancer and there is an echoing void that doesn’t seem possible to fill. And my heart cries for the other people who love this person as well.

While the past year has been extremely hard, it has also been a year of growth and new beginnings. I have learned so much and have grown from my experiences. Our family is starting a new adventure in a new home and we are excitedly awaiting the birth of our newest family member in September! We found out we were expecting about a month and a half after moving and just a couple weeks after my brother moved in. (Another reason for my extended absence is the extreme sickness my body experiences during pregnancy. I am just finally getting back to a functional state with more good days than incapacitatingly sick days). I am looking forward to what’s to come as our family continues on our journey to a more natural and simplistic life and I am excited to share our experiences with you!

Coming up in the near future will be posts about some of the things we’ve done as a family lately, our latest projects, and how I’m planning for my most natural birth yet! While you’re waiting, you can take a peek at some of our most recent shenanigans on the facebook page. I’m excited that you’ve joined me on this adventure 🙂

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