Reflecting on 2017
As we entered 2018, I thought back to the past year and everything we've been through, and it was overwhelming. 2017 was a hard year for us, but during it we learned just how important we are to each other :: the honey family. I wanted to take some time to recap our big moments in 2017...
January 6 :: We sent Ben off to Washington, D.C.. I remember he pulled away in our little white Rav4, holding a huge spool of metal out the window. We had a massive plant cage that we no longer needed, and the garbage truck never took it. There was a construction site down the road that kept piling up it's scraps so we thought it'd be perfect to just drop it off with those. So off they went, Ben's dad driving the car, and Ben holding the humongous spool of metal with both of his hands through the window. No one ever did take that plant cage. Every day, as the girls and I walked to school, we walked past the metal caging and one of the girls would always say, "that's ours." It may still be there today. // As Ben drove away, the girls and I closed the door and cried together for a long time. I think we all knew that this wasn't just goodbye for a few months, this was the beginning of a lot of hard goodbyes that were just around the corner.
February 18 :: We found out we'd be moving to Anchorage, Alaska. We always knew it was an option and we even had it in our top ten list of city preferences, because it sounded like a fun adventure. We were told that no one ever gets sent to Anchorage for their first office, so we had mostly forgotten about it. When Ben told me that's where we were moving, I went into shock. I poured myself a glass of wine [with a milkshake on the side] that night and just sat in a daze.
March 16 :: Our sweet first home went on the market, and was under contract the very next day.
April 25 :: I flew to Alaska with my dad to house hunt for our new family home. We spent three long days visiting 45 different houses spread all across Anchorage and it's suburban neighboring town of Eagle River. The day that we flew home, Ben and I put an offer on one of those 45 houses and that house is now our home.
May 19 :: The girls and I boarded a plane and said our goodbyes to Atlanta - the only home my sweet babies had ever known. I bawl my eyes out still, remembering that day.
June 2 :: Ben graduated his training, and all of our nights of being separated from him were finally over. I remember thinking that even if we were moving 4,000 miles away, I was just so so happy that we would all be together again. Raynie got her ears pierced to surprise him for his graduation --- we waited in the hotel lobby for him to walk in and she just kind of looked up smiling at him until he noticed. He said, "oh my gosh!!" and Bradlee replied, "I know! I'm wearing a romper!!!!!" - probably one of the funniest and sweetest moments ever, because let's be honest, Ben would have been just as excited about Bradlee's romper as he was about Rayne's new piercings. He loves those girls so well.
June 9 :: The day we moved into our house in Alaska, Ben and I found out we were pregnant. We told the girls one week later and their joy was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
June 22 :: We lost our baby early on during that pregnancy. It was horrible - you can read about it here. The girls were my everything in those days and we all hugged each other a little bit tighter from that day on.
September 14 :: On my way to meet up with Ben for a little early-birthday date night, I decided to grab a pregnancy test and take one more test (besides the three I had already taken that week), just to make sure I was for sure not pregnant. I was shocked to see the faintest little double line on that test. I brought it with me to dinner and when Ben asked when I wanted to order to drink, I showed him the test. We were so excited to be pregnant again, but it came with it's own host of anxiety and fear, after just recently losing a baby. It also came with a LOT LOT of sickness - weeks of hardly being able to get out of bed, emotions off the charts in every direction... you can read more about that journey here.
December 27 :: We found out our little baby is a BOY and started selling our stash of hundreds of pieces of baby girl clothes. We're so excited for a little baby brother to join our family in a few months!
We moved into 2018 with a little sigh of relief. Ready to leave last year, filled with all of its goodbyes, behind us. Ready to move into a new year with, hopefully, some hellos.
We pray every year about our "word" for the year - we started doing this when Rayne was a baby, and it's been such a fun tradition for us each year. This year we landed on the word "providence" ::
the protective care of God
Not coincidentally, the name we've picked out for our baby boy (which will remain a secret unless you can get Rayne to crack, which is literally as easy as just asking her - but don't do that if you want to be surprised!) also means "providence." Providence can't really be defined outside of a spiritual meaning, as it is closely associated with belief in a God who divinely interacts in our lives. After a year filled with change, we are expectant for some stability, hoping for a sense of "home" here in Alaska, and ready to receive restoration, rest, and redemption.