2015...where do I even begin? This has been a tough year for me. We ended 2014 on a high note and I was so excited for all that 2015 would bring. However, within just a few weeks, we received a huge shock when my father had a stroke, immediately followed by his diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer. When I heard the doctor say that he had "maybe a year" I was convinced my life was over as well. I've never been so scared in my entire life. That happened at the exact same time my dog Mally (14 years old) was diagnosed with a brain tumor and went from bad to worse. The day we put her down was one of the worst of my life, as it seemed like everything I knew and loved was falling apart. But my dad is one tough cookie - he rocked chemo and by the summer his tumors had shrunk significantly and he got a break from his treatment. However, only a month later, my mother lost everything she owned, including her pets, in a house fire that nearly took her life as well. She barely made it out and we all had a new found appreciation for life and smoke detectors. Except, exactly 4 months later, just before Thanksgiving, my grandmother's house caught fire and she wasn't as lucky. She didn't make it out and we not only lost her way too soon, but we lost her home and all the memories and mementos she was keeping for us all.
It's been a hard year, marked by significant loss, sadness, defeat and trials. But it's also been amazing and a gift to have lived through it. The dirt under my fingernails proves that I survived this year...that I hung on...that I'm still here. My dad is still here - strong and courageous and determined to spend as much time as he can with us and his grandchildren. My mother's still here, despite having lost everything twice, more faithful and devoted as ever. My babies are still here, absolutely perfect in every way. And Ryan and I are stronger than ever in our marriage and our commitment to each other. I'm so proud of us all for getting here.
Don't get me wrong, 2015 wasn't all bad - there were so many many highlights. We had an incredible week long vacation in Florida (our most fun one yet). Ryan finished his first year as Partner in his law firm and is currently staffed on a major case set for trial next year, which is great for his career. I traveled to Baltimore to visit my bestie, to Las Vegas to meet up with my SSM family, to Phoenix with Ryan for our first adults-only getaway and to Kansas City to see my little brother get married. I went down to part-time at work, attended a Taylor Swift concert, got back into running and started chipping away at that baby weight. Mac learned to fly fish and ride a bike and tell a joke. Mim went from a little chubby baby to a walking, talking, eating machine that loves to dance, snuggle and read books. Despite the setbacks, it's been a really great year too.
So, without further ado, here's Part 1 (January through June) of our 2015 Year in Review in photos...
Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow!