2017. What a year, am I right?
I can’t even begin to believe that we are already at New Years Eve and about to ring in a brand new year. As every year that is about to end, I – among countless others- like to take a little time and reflect on this past year and what memories and moments filled them. It’s been a tiresome year thanks to an unpopular election, tragic natural disasters, horrific violence, and unsettling claims of misconduct and sexual harassment.
However, with all of the ugliness that seemed to plague this year in particular, it’s important for us all to keep in mind that those seemingly little moments in our lives – the ones that are easy to overlook – remind us that goodness always wins.
In an effort to overcome these stories of loss, heartbreak, and tragedy, here are a few of my personal highlights from my year in 2017. Stories that share hope in the good and a hope to future memories like these in the coming year.
Women’s March Santa Barbara
When Trump won the election my heart, and I’m sure collectively among women everywhere, sank. I was unsure of what his administration would mean for the betterment of our country – but I can say I was hopeful. One experience that will forever stay with me is coming together as a newer generation to stand together for what we believe is right. I was honored to share this with my family – marching amongst thousands of other people not just in Santa Barbara, but around the world. It was a powerful moment in our nation’s history and I am proud to have been, and continue to be, a part of the movement towards progress and equality for all in this country.
The Minimalist Challenge
January was a perfect time to commit to this Minimalist Challenge. Each day of the month we were to rid our home of things that don’t give us joy or provide meaning or purpose to our lives. It started out easy, but then as each day passed we had to give up that much more. For example, January 1st we got rid of one thing. January 2nd we donated, sold, or threw away two things…and so on. By the end of the month we were getting rid of 31 things in one day! It felt great to have this motivation to clean out our home and actually donate those bags of clothes or dozens of pint glasses we never use.
Greyson’s first trip to the zoo!
Greyson visiting the Santa Barbara zoo in January.
We’ve since been back to the Santa Barbara Zoo but taking Grey for the first time was so much fun. He was only about 10 months old, but he was aware enough to recognize the different animals lurking about. At the time he was quite unsure of the larger birds, but given some time he’s come to really be fascinated by them.
By the time we took him again, about 7 months later, he couldn’t contain his excitement over each animal exhibit. And, of course, we had to go see the monkeys once more – this time with George in tow!
Celebrating Greyson’s first birthday!
Of course one of my favorite moments from 2017 has to be celebrating Greyson’s first birthday. We decided to have a beach/luau theme complete with a homemade sandcastle cake! I was also very thankful that my in-laws flew out and my sister and her family stopped by to spend this weekend with us celebrating such meaningful milestone for Grey.
As his second birthday approaches I’ve already begun to plan and think about what theme we should go with. Any favorites you can think of? I’m all ears!
My mother-in-law sent a few items of clothing that belonged to my husband when he was a baby. One of these pieces was a yellow bodysuit that he wore on his first birthday back in the early 80s and I thought it would be so cute to have Grey wear it on his first birthday too. It was a little snug on him, but it made for great photo memories!
Moving into our new home!
These Minted moving announcements were perfect!
From the moment we knew we were upgrading to the two bedroom apartments in our complex, I couldn’t wait for that weekend to arrive. Now, I still very much hate moving but unpacking and getting settled into our new place was euphoric for me. We finally had the space, Greyson got his own bedroom, and our patio views of the beach make any day seem not that bad.
But since the Thomas Fire that affected our city here in Ventura, we have a newfound sense of what’s important. With the fear of losing our home, we realized we don’t need as much space as our current apartment provides. So, we’re looking to downsize once more so that we can save a bit of money and put it towards the more meaningful things in life like our family experiences and future travel.
Call us crazy, but we have really embraced this minimalistic lifestyle and not being tied to things – especially during the fear of a fire.
The birth of Little Fox Lettering Co
Shop the new collection.
For a while I had always wanted to open up my own little online business where I could easily work from home. Having this blog has been an amazing opportunity for me to connect with new people and collaborate with some pretty great companies and brands. But, as Greyson grows up and becomes more independent I find myself with a newfound sense of doing something ‘for me.’ So, I decided to open up my own shop, Little Fox Lettering Co. I design and create handlettered prints and home goods. Although it’s been quite the sea to navigate – running a business, that is – it’s been nonetheless challenging and exciting at the same time.
Currently, all sales of the JOY Collection and other items in my shop go towards helping my family financially recover from the Thomas Fire that affected our city of Ventura. Even in little ways I am happy to be able to add to our savings and cover the costs from when we evacuated. Thank you so much in advance for supporting our family!
A celebration of three years!
In June my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We didn’t do much in terms of gifts, but rather we opted for dinner instead. It’s been quite the journey with this guy and there is none other I would do life with. He is an amazing husband, provider, and example to Greyson as a father. It’s been fun, these last three years, but I can’t wait to see what the next few years will bring us!
Rain showers in Vegas!
Loving on our friends is an understatement. We adore the people we get to choose as family and our dearest friends, and godparents to Greyson, were recently stationed at Nellis AFB. We jump at any chance to get to see them and last month we were able to spend an entire week with them and their family. From off-roading, camping near the Colorado River, gorging ourselves on all-you-can-eat sushi (our favorite new spot in town), and relaxing with wine…who could ask for a better way to spend ones time? We also got to visit our friends again for Thanksgiving this year and can’t wait for another opportunity to see them!
Heading to Europe!
One of my favorite memories from this year has been our big trip through Europe back in October. I was so excited that we would be spending the entire month abroad, but unfortunately my husband’s work trip was cut short. However, we made lemonade and spent a wonderful two weeks exploring cities such as London, Luxembourg City, and Paris. I loved being overseas and am itching to find a way back for our family. You can read all about our adventures by clicking the links above!
The Thomas Fire | #VenturaStrong
The view of California Street (our home being towards the top left past the hotel).
Words cannot describe the image that will be forever etched in my mind about the evening of December 4th. It was a night just like any other, but ended with us evacuating our home in the middle of the night with just a few provisions like diapers and snacks for Grey and the clothes on our backs. The Thomas Fire would later become the worst wildfire in California history and unfortunately our little beach town of Ventura was affected alongside our neighbors in Santa Paula, Ojai, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria. Feel free to read more about our story that evening here.
Christmas in Texas
After being evacuated and living in a hotel for three days, my in-laws offered for us to fly early and for Greyson and I to stay with them in Texas. It was a wonderful alternative to him being confined to hotels and us being unsure when the air quality was healthy for us to return home. So, we spent about a week apart, but finally my husband was able to fly out as well and work from home leading up to Christmas. But with all things considered, I am so thankful that Greyson still had an amazing holiday season despite being displaced.
I hope you all have an amazing New Years Eve and wish you all positive vibes as we enter into 2018!