I feel like every December you look back on your year and you feel like it was all just so monumental, that you went through so much, learned so much, grew so much. Every year feels like the absolute biggest, most impactful year, until the next. And then that becomes your biggest feat. Looking back on this year I know that when I look back in 20 years, this will still be well engraved in my mind. It’ll probably feel as raw as it does now too.

I took the biggest loses of my life this year. Felt pain that you don’t easily come back from, if you ever do at all. Pain that drains you. Pain that kills you. Life as I knew it completely changed. I learned in the biggest way who my real family and friends were, the line in the sand was drawn. As hard as that has been I have gained family and friends that are irreplaceable and help make that loss hurt a little less and for them I am so SO thankful for.

I put my relationship with God on hold this year. I know so many of you will probably cringe reading that. That’s okay, you’re allowed to. When I held my grandmas hand as she died, I prayed to God. When I held my own baby as she was sepsis, I prayed to God. During her brain surgery, everyone of Mia’s echocardiograms, when my niece was born, every time I hear a siren, when something big, little, or in between happened, I would pray to God. That’s all I knew. All I needed to know. Until it wasn’t. Pain changes people and I’ve watched the biggest Christians Gods ever seen become the most vile, living, breathing monsters besides the Satan they believe in. Some of you, really ruin it for everyone. I can’t say this is a forever thing, but it’s where I’m at right now.

Mia has grown into such a preteen this year, I feel like all the baby is out of her. It’s terrifying and magnificent all in one. We moved Mia to a new school this year and it was petrifying, after watching her struggle so badly last year we absolutely could not go through that again. Thankfully Mia has thrived at her new school, slowly began to come out of her shell, made friends, joined some clubs, killed it in her Christmas program, sponsored a hat and glove drive that literally reached hundreds, and is the kindest hearted young lady that I am so blessed to call mine. We’ve gone through a lot the last 8 years but she will forever be my first true love.

Haven, oh Haven. Every year is such an adventure with her. She has come so incredibly far this year. We have had some of our highest highs to our lowest lows. From having the Parkview police called to try and intervene in one of her most intense public meltdowns to date to watching her grow leaps and bounds scholastically in school and in ABA. With growth though comes new problems. I feel like some people assume because Haven is high on the Autism spectrum that she’s easier. Let me be clear high functioning does not equal easy. It comes with a whole new world of worries. She is ever changing therefore so are our issues. Some days are easier, but many many days are still so hard. We are now preparing for Kidnergarten which is honestly terrifying. On top of her Autism, Brain Disorder, and Immune deficiency, Haven was recently diagnosed with ADHD as well. And even on our best days it’s near impossible for all of that to mesh. I am still in such shock that Staph Scalded Skin came back with a vengeance again this year. The weeks spent at home literally Nursing my child back to health were rough. But I still have my baby. And that’s all that matters. I look forward to watching Haven grow and evolve, as scary and the future and unknown maybe.

Kevin and I spent our first full year together and boy was it a year. It takes one hell of a man to take on two little girls, one special needs, and their ever intense Momma. But this man has proven time and time again he is in it for the long haul. Our relationship is not perfect, but it is real. And every day we give it our all and give our all to our babies. We will continue to grow. He is the calm to my storm, he’s light and airy, always smiling and reminding me to do the same when I struggle to let myself get there. This man has loved me through my worst, carried me through my weak, loved these babies endlessly, and has given us any and everything our hearts desire. The girls and I are so lucky to have Kevin.

As hard as this year has been we have had so many amazing moments. Havey gave up pacis (HUGE for us and our struggle with ASD), Kev and I both moved into new careers we love, Haven has become less fearful of medical intervention slowly but surely, experienced my first DMB weekend with those I love, Haven played her first real team activity (t-ball), I helped run a campaign for a man the girls and I adore, I watched Mia shelter special needs kiddos with love every Parent wishes their child would receive. We’ve laughed a lot. We’ve cried a lot. We’ve loved a lot. We are all looking forward to next year and all that comes with it. Thanks for ridding this never ending rollercoaster with us. We love you all.

As always, be the good.