2018 Reflections

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And just like that, 2018 has come to a close.

Oh friends, what a year this has been. For me, it has been one of the best years of my life, and yet I know that for others, it may have been the most painful. Before I go on, I want to acknowledge that. If there is anything that infertility has taught me, it’s that perspective+empathy is a winning combination for tact and compassion. I know I’m not perfectly tactful all the time, and not perfectly compassionate, but I hope that I’ve become better at it. I have been on the side of doling out grace (as we all have!) when people do and say tactless things. Thoughtless things. When they unknowingly (or knowingly) broach a subject that will illicit hurt. I try to remember the perspective I’ve gained, and try to be gentler with my words. I write a little less adamantly these days, because I think fewer opinions are black and white.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have an awful lot of opinions… haha!

But I guess the path of two years of infertility, followed by the birth of our precious baby boy, has taught me to be a little kinder, a little more guarded, and yet be willing to open up when the moment and people are right.

Receiving messages from readers and followers who have been touched by infertility, or motherhood topics, or are traveling to Iceland, or love Bernese Mountain Dogs, continues to be my favorite part of having this little space online. I love connecting with people and I hope my words offer hope or guidance or even just a good story. As I looked over a couple messages I received over the last month, I read one to Tom and said, “You know, sometimes I just want to close up shop, and let blogging end here while I stay at home with Silas. But it’s these messages that make it worth it. I know I have people who read and never reach out, and that’s okay… but it sure would encourage me to keep going if this happened more regularly!” and we laughed and that’s when I decided to dust off my editing page again.

I really hope those of you out there, who still bother to come by this little space, enjoy the far and in-between writings of this Tennessee momma. In the new year, I plan on making Joy Lynn a place I come back to regularly again. Though I must admit, the last seven and a half months with my boy have been absolutely blissful. Tiring. But blissful. All that to say - please reach out if the mood strikes. I promise I don’t bite! Message me on Instagram, Facebook, or email me here.

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Now, on to reflections of this year:

As you can guess, it was one that was overwhelmingly baby-focused. As I was rocking my not-so-little 19lb baby to sleep, tonight, I hugged him tightly, and realized how quickly it all goes. I realized this is the last night I would lay down my baby in the year he was born. In the year I became a momma. (Can you tell I’ve become a giant sap since becoming a mother?! haha). Though, I’m so looking forward to 2019 and enjoying the spring and summer with a toddler instead of a newborn.

This year, I’ve learned that…

  • no good comes of comparing your parenting choices with someone else’s.

  • all babies are different.

  • with a new baby, comes a new level of communication with your spouse.

  • you have got to have a sense of humor for every stage and season of life or you’ll go crazy and be miserable.

  • overly serious people are not our kind of people .

  • Hondo’s Instagram is so extra… it’s our favorite thing.

  • you really do know your baby and the less you doubt that, the happier you’ll all be.

  • breastfeeding is incredible, but also REALLY time consuming. Pretty sure it’s been my full-time job the last 7+ months.

  • hobbies matter! My baking and photography are getting picked up more often and I’m so glad for it.

  • marriage after a baby is pretty awesome.

  • making time for yourself as not just a mom, but an individual, is important, but sometimes hard to come by. You gotta be creative!

  • finding a baby carrier you love makes a huuuuuge difference.

  • traveling with a baby is not pleasant.

  • even though so much has changed, Tom and I still bring on the sass and it cracks us up on the daily.


There’s not much more I can really say to reflect on this year, besides reiterating how extraordinarily blessed we feel. Tom and I literally fight over whose turn it is to hold Silas on the regular and that alone probably sums up our feels as new parents. We’re a couple of saps, and we have no shame about it. We are completely smitten.

We are so grateful for God’s grace and forgiveness and promise of salvation, we are grateful for our Silas boy (and Hondo!), and we are grateful for one another. If we walked into 2019 with nothing else, we would be as richly blessed.

Happy New Year, my friends.

And thank YOU all for continuing to drop in even while I’ve been taking this time. I love interacting with you on Instagram, and if you have any topics in the meantime that you’d like me to take on in 2019 PLEASE DON’T BE SHY! Would you like me to review anything? Bake anything? Compare any products? Write about Nashville? See more house posts or photos? Minimalism? Marriage topics? Hondo guest posts? (haha kidding) Monthly updates? Favorite products lately? Come on - lemme hear it! It’ll help me get the ball rolling! :)

As always, much love,

Joy

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