Sincerely, Shantelle

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Witty one-liner goes here

It feels like last week that I was closing out the year 2016! I can't believe we're back to that point again. This year was a pretty interesting one, to say the least.

When I look back, I don't feel like I have a lot of writeable moments. Everything feels so small in the grand scheme of things. Here are some of them...

  • In January, our 8-year-old was mainstreamed and she has done PHENOMENAL since! Her teachers, counselors, and therapists trusted my mom gut that she was ready and helped to ensure she was set up with enough supports for success when the time came. The same month, I also started attending my first playgroup, which led to me making a new mom friend whom I thoroughly enjoy the company of. Bonus is that our kids' birthdays are two weeks apart. She also gets me...and that makes my introverted self happy.
  • In April, my (then) boyfriend proposed to me!! After 5 years of dating, it was about damn time haha!! It took me by complete surprise and was definitely one of the best things that happened in the year.
  • In May, our little man turned 1! It was such a quick first year of his life, such a whirlwind. In the blink of an eye, we pass milestones left and right. He's such a happy, energetic little thing and we only hope to continue to foster nothing by positivity and growth in him (and our daughter, too).
  • In July, our daughter had her first birthday party where multiple kids from her class came! The joy in her eyes from seeing the benefits of friendship made me realize that all of the specialized education she had had since kindergarten paid off and led to this moment and her being prepared for handling social situations like a BOSS! This is one of the benefits of being mainstreamed--an increased social circle. I love the friends she has made and the positivity that they all bring out in one another.
  • In August, my (then) fiancé and I decided to go ahead and plan a wedding for this year!! It was all done in secret, with the help of a few of our closest friends. The thrill of it all was such a rush, looking back.
  • In September my (then) fiancé took his first international trip. That was certainly a big feat for him...but for me, it felt so accomplished to pull off two weeks alone with the kids while managing to keep everyone alive and well. My sources will not allow me to reveal the quantity of wine bottles that were consumed during this time to ensure this though....
  • In October, I finally married my best friend! It was a low-key wedding, on the most beautiful New England fall day in the history of like...ever. I was so proud to get to show off all the clothing I made, as well. Definitely the highlight of the entire year with its own blog posts here, here, and here!
  • In November (4 days after we got married, to be exact), my husband lost his job. Instead of allowing it to break us down or cause problems between us, it made us closer. We became more communicative and transparent about finances, which is great for marriage in general. Financial problems are one of the largest contributors to marital issues, and we put in all the effort we can in order to beat those odds. So far, so good. This month, I also made the commitment to myself to join a church. It's a slow going process, but I am working more on my relationship with God. I found a great place, I'm just trying to settle in. Maybe more of that next year...

There were probably several other things that happened, but I sucked at record keeping this year, so can't remember them. I'm likely to edit this post as I remember more things. Anyhoo...I'm just hoping 2018 brings me more of this joy. More love, more family (time), helps me gain clarity and focus on where I see myself as a mom and finding my way back into the academic or professional world. I want to work more on my patience and understanding, continue to strengthen my marriage, continue building upon my fragile relationship with God, remember myself...not just once I feel lost. I want to re-evaluate my desired business outcome. There's so much to learn there to set myself up for success. As always, I want to write and read more (I said this last year and droooooppppppped the ball so BAD...although I did ACTUALLY blog almost once a month).

I wish much peace and love to everyone in 2018. May your families be happy and healthy, may your hearts be full, and may all your dreams be realized. ❤️ Happy New Year, y'all!

Check out my best 9 photos of the year from Instagram!