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Sunday, January 7, 2018

2017 In Retrospect

2017 was a pretty good year for the Sherwood Family.  Honestly I can't really think of a year that was horrible all around, although I think that 2011 probably wins for the most unsettled year.  But most years have their own share of good times and bad times, with the good times always outnumbering the bad times.  This year was no different.

It started in North Carolina.  We had just gotten there after two days of traveling and so I rang in the New Years by sleeping.  Brandon was on his way back to Dushanbe, so he rang in the New Year by eating airport food in Istanbul.  We really know how to party.

The first three months of 2017 were spent in North Carolina where finished I gestating William, delivered William, and got official documents for William.  In between all of the appointments for William, Eleanor got bladder surgery, the four oldest children took swim lessons, we caught up with friends and cousins, and everyone ate lots and lots of American convenience food.  Also, we went to the park and the library.  It was great fun for everyone.

Then we had to go back to Dushanbe.  After all, Brandon gets paid to do work at the embassy, not hang out for two months in North Carolina taking care of me, so eventually we had to return to real life.  We got home, put our life back together, and I got used to cooking my own food again before my parents showed up to come and visit us

Yes, we had just seen them for three months solid.  But, Tajikistan has a narrow window of time where it is 1. warm enough 2. green enough and 3. not too hot to visit and that window is in late April and early May.  It was the last window before we left and the first window since my parents returned from three years in Peru.  So, more togetherness.

After my parents' departure, the children and I schooled all summer long to play catch-up from all of our play time in North Carolina.  Brandon worked all day while the rest of us spent many afternoons (after school work was done) swimming in the embassy pool (after it was fixed) where Brandon could watch us from his office.  It's a hard job being a mom sometimes, but somebody has to do it.

In August we went back to the US again, a trip that only should happen once a year.  But since we were in charge of Brandon's family reunion, we didn't have much of a choice.  We spent two weeks at the beach and had a great time catching up with family, swimming in the ocean, and eating fried seafood.  The children renewed their request to please, pretty please move somewhere near the beach.  I told them that Benin has an embassy right across the street from the beach, and they said that it wouldn't count.

After getting back, it was school time again.  I never realized how much a time commitment schooling is until it was too late to not have children.  Somehow I thought that I could get out of that by homeschooling, but that is definitely not true.  Turns out that being a mom is a full time job no matter what choice you make for schooling. 

At the end of October, I spent almost two glorious weeks in London alone while getting some blood test done (which came back normal.  Even better!).  I ate, played, shopped, read, slept, and reveled in having nothing to do but entertain myself.  Life is sometimes hard, but other times it's awesome.

Two days after getting back from London, Brandon and I surprised the children with a trip to Dubai, which was equally awesome.  We ate, played, read, slept, rode waterslides, swam, and reveled in having nothing to do but entertain ourselves.  See about about life being awesome sometimes.

When we got back, it was time for the Marine Ball, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Brandon managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Missouri for his grandfather's funeral.  The children and I squeezed school in between all the partying, and celebrated our all hard work this year by taking the last week of December off. 

The children rang in the new year by going to bed (and then being woken by fireworks) and Brandon and I rang it in by staying up and reading our Christmas books.  We really know how to party.

When I look back on 2017, I will probably think of it as the Year of Traveling and the Year of Using Our Medical Insurance Fully.  Or, in other words, the Expensive Year, the year where I got to realize that money is a tool to be used and not just hoarded jealously in my bank account.  I'd rather keep it in my bank account, but I'm grateful that it was there to be used when we needed it.  With our move this summer, I'm afraid that 2018 will be the Expensive Year, Part II. 

But more importantly, 2017 was also the year where William joined our family.  He's definitely the best thing that came out of 2017, although the family reunions, trip to Dubai, and trip to London were pretty amazing, too. 

This past year will definitely be another check in the 'good year' column.  I'm looking forward to see what 2018 will bring!

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