This year…man…this year. What an interesting, amazing, fun, confusing, terrible year this was. So many changes in only 365 days. I started out the year a new mom, with a wonderful husband who was working his butt off trying to finish school, a beautiful mom, a loving dad, a newlywed sister, and an almost married brother. My my, how things have changed. This year was full of firsts, a year unlike any other in my life. Jackson went from a newborn to a toddler. He started solids, and so began his love affair with food! A true Kehler/West!
He started sitting up and drinking from something besides mommy…lol. And we also cut our first teeth!
My family came out to visit, this trip was such a bittersweet one that brings tears to my eyes. I was so excited to have my family come visit, and for the last year I had been living on this farm, thinking how much my dad would love it.. When he got here he was so sick that he just wanted to go home the whole time and even ended up in the hospital while he was here. Not at all what I had expected for this visit, but still, nice to have family come see us. Jackson loves his Auntie!
This picture makes me cry because he was SO frightened of his grandpa, and had no idea how much he just wanted to love him. It broke my heart the whole time he was here...
While Grandpa, Grandma, and Auntie were here… he started crawling!!
Shortly after, he started getting SERIOUSLY silly! And that huge personality really started shining through! He also pulled up and started standing!
In March we went to California! We had a really great trip! We got to spend time with my brother Ryan and had a blast as always! And so began the changes…. on the way home from visiting us, Ryan and his fiance broke up. Not entirely heartbreaking for either party, but a shock for sure.
We went to a county fair and a concert! Jackson was such a good boy he slept during the whole concert even though it was ridiculously loud!
Now this one makes me smile :) Jackson got to spend some more time with Grandpa, and he wasn't scared anymore! This trip was really special. We don't get to see our family and friends back home very often, so it was great to just see everyone and spend quality time with them. The day we left, I remember saying goodbye to my dad…it's always hard to say goodbye and get on an airplane and fly away, but something told me this time was a little different. Something inside said to take your time, relish this hug, and tell him how much you love him. And I did…. it took me a while after my dad passed to remember this last occurrence, but when I finally did, it was a comfort to me. I know that he went knowing how much I loved him, and I know that that last hug was a good one.
In June Jackson started WALKING! Dun dun dun….and life ended…Just kidding. He had the cutest little walk! Look at those chubby legs before they thinned out from walking!
In July Jackson turned one!!! He had his FIRST birthday party and it was a blast! And I decided that I LOVE throwing parties!!! I would love to be a party planner on the side, but I have no idea how to go about that. Anyway, I had a great time planning this party and with the help of my mom, we pulled off a pretty adorable first birthday!
In August we went to Colorado! This was my first time in the state and Thomas's first time back in over ten years. We stayed at the family cabins and filled our week with nature, sightseeing, and smores! Jackson rode a horse and LOVED it!! Okay…no…he hated it, but he looked so cute riding!
He had his first BIG tumble and scared Mommy and Daddy to death! He also started taking big boy baths.
In September, I lost my dad. He had struggled for a while, so it wasn't a huge shock, but it was not expected by any means. It still seems surreal to write this even now. It's been a journey dealing with grief and overcoming the last few painful years of his life, and trying to find peace and comfort. But, I have good days and I have bad days. This last week has been especially hard with the holidays. I wasn't home this Christmas; we stayed in Houston, so it wasn't until I got a phone call from my uncle on Christmas day that it really it me. He told me how much he was missing my Grandfather, my Grandmother, and my Dad…and I realized this was the first Christmas without them. And as this year ends, it seems to be the only thing I can focus on. I just miss him a lot, I guess.
In October, Thomas turned THIRTY! And I turned 25!!! We officially both got OLD. I guess we did a lot of growing up this year!
We started going to The Little Gym early in the year, and Jackson met his two best buds, Caleb and Aaden…and I met two of the most awesome ladies in Texas! I have been so thankful for the Little Gym this year, Jackson loves it and gets to explore, and learn new things, and I get to socialize a little and make friends. Win win win. We also went trick or treating for the first time!
We went back to California for my best friend's wedding. She was the most beautiful bride I had ever seen and I was SO proud to stand up there with her! Also, we got to spend time with family…and for the first time on a visit home, I didn't feel rushed and pressured to see everyone and accommodate everyone else. I just wanted to be with my family. And so we spent lots of time with our family! And Jackson got to ride Mikey Dog!
We also got to stay at my sissy's house which is beautiful, and Jackson saw his first snow! About 2 weeks after we got home, I got a phone call from my sister, she was pregnant! It was a huge shock, but we were thrilled! It's a baby how could you not be?! After getting excited and planning a baby shower in my head and daydreaming about Jackson having a baby cousin to play with and holding that sweet baby in my arms, we found out that the baby was gone. And it broke my heart like it was my own. Fortunately, I have never dealt with miscarriage, and God willing I never will… but I feel like I did. I feel like I lost a baby too.. But, my sister was such a trooper, and her view of it seemed to make it more bearable. We know that baby is up in heaven with Grandpa, rocking in his arms and poking holes in his belly, and getting horsey rides!
My sweet hubby who has been working his butt of for the last 3 years graduated! I was/am SO incredibly proud of him for persevering and for finally finishing, and doing it all while working full time, supporting Jackson and me, and finding time to nourish our relationship and build a strong bond with our son. Two days after he graduated, he started his new job and is currently loving it!
I have Christmas photos, but they will have to wait for another night!
Overall, this year has been a beautiful mess… I've grown so much, and I feel lame saying it, but I think I really became a woman, the woman I want to be. I am SO at peace with my life, and comfortable with who I am. My life is everything I want it to be, and I have no regrets about what I am doing, or where I am. Everyday is a good day, and I take nothing for granted.. I'm the Mom I want to be, and the wife I always hoped I would be. Of course there is always room for growth, but I really am happy with everything the way it is now! I love my life and this year has made me realize it more than ever!
My New Year's Resolutions for next year are to get more serious about my couponing and saving money, to spend less on groceries while eating healthier (going to try for 5 a day!), to buy a home, and to get pregnant with baby number two! What are yours?!