Joy Lynn

 A lifestyle blog centered around living simply, adventuring daily, strong marriage, home improvements, and creating a life filled with lessons learned and grateful hearts.

Dear 2017

Dear 2017

It seems to me, that a lot of people didn't like you, 2017. You know what I think? I think those people are just a bunch of Debbie-downers (or they just had a crummy year). There was crappy stuff that happened (just like every year). There was a lot of sad news (just like every year). There were opposing opinions and heated discussions and violent arguments... but guess what? It happens every year. That's just a fact of LIFE and living in a world of sin.
(So if you are looking for contentedness and grace, get to know Jesus, friends.)

Anyways, between you and me, I thought you were pretty great, 2017.

The Good

I spent yet another year with the love of my life. Tom and I laughed a ton, made-up a plethora of new inside jokes, cried together, walked through a long hard season while keeping our chins up, and loved each other infinitely more than the year before. We put all our trust and faith in Christ - never perfectly - but nonetheless, we muddled through and still managed to find happiness and joy amidst the difficulties. There is no other person I would rather do life with, and I'm so grateful for his love and our shared weirdness. 

We brought home our dream pupper! You guys already know. Hondo is just the best dog in the whole world and we love him to pieces. He is unbelievably clingy and it seems like I can never escape a paw in my lap and a nose in my ear. He is everything we hoped for and more. We never tire of his hilarious antics (and if you want in on the fun, follow his popular Instagram). Read up on why he's so special to us in this post

We took our first vacation in four years (and we went BIG). We saw three incredible countries and learned a lot about other cultures while meeting some amazing people.

We found out we are expecting a baby (and beat the odds of infertility)! What an overwhelmingly welcome surprise! In a future post, I think I'll share with you the details of our infertility journey. It was such a hard trial and unless you've faced it yourself, I don't know that you'd ever understand the raw hurt and pain that it comes with. However, I feel that being even a small voice for the massive amount of people that silently face this, is the least I can do. It has opened me up to a new sense of compassion and a greater perspective outside the simple excitement most people have when they start their families without a problem.
This baby, though, is so deeply loved already. Our gratefulness to our Lord and Savior for this blessing, knows no bounds. What joy and privilege we feel! I'd say this part of 2017 was a pretty major highlight :)

We moved out of Atlanta! I know I worded that in a way that might seem like a slap in the face to Atlanta, but... people get to feel how they feel, and we are so excited to be in Nashville. It's far less crowded, it's smaller to navigate, and it's closer to our Midwest family. We were a piece to the Georgia puzzle that didn't quite fit, and our latest move has been a welcome one. More on that later.

Tom got a new job. He was ready to be in a more fulfilling role, and this job offer came at some pretty wild timing (right after our big trip, during my first trimester of pregnancy, and the transition happened over Christmas).

We sold our first home. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the house we DIYed and spent so much time making our own. We learned a lot about owning a home and the costs and work involved in it. It was a blast to have taken that on together and made such happy memories there. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. And I'll miss those giant base cabinet drawers, terribly!

We found a new house! God's timing sure is amazing. Sometimes it feels like you're in seasons where God constantly tells you "not right now" and other seasons where it's a clear "yes" or "no." Infertility was one long "not right now," but suddenly he started pouring a bunch of "yes" at us! This house was no exception. The housing market in Nashville is INSANE, but somehow we found an incredible house and got under contract on it the first week we moved here. The location, style, updates, everything... are exactly what we had been hoping for (and I cannot WAIT to share it with you!). We close in less than two weeks. Teeny spoiler alert photo below! We can't decide if it should be the office/guest room or the nursery...

Regrets

I just feel like I didn't eat enough queso.

Tough Stuff

The fog of infertility greatly affected my drive and left me feeling like I lacked an identity or had to keep such a major part of our life hush-hush (which always feels fake to me). I put up new content, but always wanted to talk about the reality of the hard things going on behind the scenes... yet, I never felt ready. Part of why I started working from home was to be accustomed to being at home once we had children, so when that didn't seem to pan out, it started to affect my overall purpose - online and elsewhere.
This new and recent season, however has greatly uplifted my spirits and excitement for the future. I cannot wait for the things to come, but I'm also greatly enjoying the present.

Oh and I got a kidney stone at 17 weeks pregnant and was in the hospital for two days. That kinda sucked. Haha..

So you know what, 2017... I'm grateful for you. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot, and loved a lot. Not every year needs to be groundbreaking and incredible. Some years need to just carry you gracefully (or hectically in our case) into the next. Some years need to teach you how to grieve, and others need to teach you how to rejoice more enthusiastically than ever before.

Some years, however, are definitely a little more memorable than others, and 2017, you've made it to the memory books for sure. 

France Travel Guide

France Travel Guide

First Trimester Recap

First Trimester Recap