Alright, gang, as we close out 2016, it’s only natural that we do some reflections on the year and take a trip down 2016 Memory Lane. Now some will say 2016 was a bit of a bust be it for political reasons or what have you. I, on the other hand, am claiming 2016 as one of the best of my life. That’s not to say it didn’t come with a bump here and there, but by and large, this was one for the books.
Let’s start with the highlight. Our wedding. I should really just end the post right there with that statement because aside from the girls’ births, it was T H E moment of my life let alone the year. Of our lives. It was our new (beautiful) beginning and truth be told, I tear up EVERY time I think about it. It was so much more than John and I committing ourselves to one another. It was the four of us becoming a family before our own families and dearest friends. The day was simply beautiful. I wish I could verbally express the joy in my heart and the overwhelming love I have for John and our family, but dangit all, the vocab will always fall short.
It’s funny the first year. Let me put it in perspective. You have more or less a bachelor who’s life is completely infiltrated by not one, not two, but three gals. Two of which are kiddos. All at once. And our home we’re renting while we’re building our dream home is how shall I put it…..C O Z Y (read: John share’s a closet with Cam, I share a second closet with John’s car in the garage, and don’t even get me started on the shoe rack in the middle of our room or the carpet…ugh the carpet). Not to mention, the aforementioned girl gang is new to the city, knows not a soul, and has to get adjusted to not only living with a man after several years of just us gals, but start a new school, make new friends, the whole she-bang–and share their mom. It was a transition fo-sho. But we made it, and I’d like to think we did so (relatively) seamlessly. The gals love their schools. Have made fabulous new friends while still maintaining their friendships back in Lex. Mom has a little gal gang of her own and is making a name for s + s here in Indy (which I absolutely L O V E my new city let me just say). And while there’s been transitional growing pains, we’re totally in our rhythm and have all adjusted beautifully. John is just a gem. A rare gem that has stepped up to the plate and knocked it outta the park. He’s a natural at this step dad thing and we are just the luckiest damn brood to have all stumbled upon one another.
Let’s touch upon the improvements moving forward as I think it’s just as important to recognize where I may need a little growth. And nothing like cohabitation to shine a damn neon light on your idiosyncrasies. So I’ll be frank with you, gang, I’ve been a one man show prior to John for several years. Calling mine and the kids’ shots and basically not really having to exercise the word compromise all that regularly (excluding motherhood…that just comes with the territory). Well hellooooo….marriage! One of the dang cornerstones of marriage is compromise and well, who in the Sam Hell knew I was such a stubborn little thing? Who am I kidding, I did. My parents did. But damnit, that’s not the point. My point is this…..I’m stubborn. As hell come to find out. I don’t take criticism well even if constructive aka I’m sensitive as all get out. I’m terrible at managing my time. I have a tendency to procrastinate…not even worthwhile things just ridiculous tedious stuff that is a no brainer to tackle at the time and ultimately ends up adding unnecessary stress to my plate. And as Chase so often likes to point out, I sound like a goon on SnapChat….sadly, sis, there’s no remedy for that. Here’s my OTHER point. It’s OK. It is OK that I, we, your partner, your best friend, your parents, whomever are FLAWED. I’m Flawed as all get out. We all are am I right? I think the beautiful thing here is this gives us all an opportunity. To be better. To function more efficiently. To be our best selves. To be optimal for our spouses, children, friends, etc. To be mentally, physically, and spiritually healthier. I LOVE this time of year because you’re more or less forced to ask yourself, “How can I improve this go around?” I like getting down to the nitty gritty….And so here’s what I’m thinking. Nothing earth shattering, but I’m gonna give it my best shot. And I think it’s beneficial if we write our goals down for an element of accountability. I’ll start with the easy ones first. I’m going to learn how to manage my time better and I already know there’s a suuuuper simple solution to this—wake up earlier!! I used to be such a morning person but alas, I no longer am; however, I remember how I more or less conquered the world in that 1-2 hours before the house woke up. This in turn would eliminate the RUSH of the rest of the day. I’ve implemented this strategy before and it works. I’m better. The kids are better. Life is better. Another solution which I’ve gotten MUCH better at—say NO. And be ok with saying NO. I’m so dang guilty of saying yes to everyone and it’s pointless because I end up being all stressed and rushy and it’s just a no brainer…exercise the “NO.” Ok on that same spectrum, tackle nonsense as it arises–don’t procrastinate. This can be as simple as unloading the car after a blog shoot and PUTTING MY STUFF AWAY. Don’t let the suitcase sit there for a week only for Type A husband to huff every time he walks past it. Because homeboy is already compromising majorly by more or less sleeping in my “closet” (remember that shoe rack I mentioned)—give the guy a break and put stuff away! Ohhh and here’s the toughy, gotta work on that stubbornness. And this dates back to childhood so this will be a challenge but similar to holding grudges, I think the only person stubbornness truly harms is you. Or me in this instance. It’s just unnecessary, pointless energy if I’m being honest. And it takes true character and strength to meet in the middle, don’t you think? I’m actually reading a book on this (it’s in the car otherwise I’d reference–stay tuned) and I’m loving it because it just challenges you to get to the root of your stubbornness. I’m all about that self help and introspection! The beauty of these resolutions is I believe they’ll help in all facets of my life….marriage, motherhood, and profession….it’s a win/win for all!
Ok, and now as I conclude…man this is a long post, what has gotten into me gang, hopefully you’re still along for the ride. I’m so dang excited about the future and what this year holds for our family. We are F I N A L L Y breaking ground this week on our home. This is exciting and a little daunting all at once. Peeps love telling us this will be a true test of our marriage but I’m quite confident me and Johnny boy have this one in the bag. Nonetheless I know patience, compromise, and big picture attitude will be clutch. Professionally, I am beyond grateful for the features and collaborations s + s had this year. From being named Indianapolis Monthly’s Best Style Blogger to Southern Living Magazine’s Blogger to Follow, there were indeed some amazing pinch me moments I’m so thankful for. Additionally, I am excited about truly challenging myself to broaden my blogging horizons, bringing y’all more diverse content be it fashion, family, home, travel, Fitness, or YouTube related. And personalizing the blog more. Admittedly I get stuck in a “Let’s Just Talk about the Fashion” rut, and I’d like to share a tad more about what’s going on with the Chappo’s from time to time if y’all are game. Last but most certainly not least, YOU guys oh goodness. Gang, a big heartfelt THANK YOU. Y’all the appreciation is through the roof. We’ve been doing this little song and dance for almost FIVE YEARS now and without you, this little slice is nada. So thank you. So very much. I wish you all a year filled with memorable moments, laughter, growth, personal achievements, opportunities, and all that wonderful goodness life has to offer. I’d love to hear your resolutions so feel free to comment below–please tell me I’ve got another stubborn cohort out there!?!? In all seriousness, I am humbled you make a pit stop here at s + s and will continue to do my darnedest to make it worth your while. Happy New Year, gang, let’s make it one for the books!