Home is where your story begins
2017 was a year of change, stretching, and adjustment in our family along with some big milestones! For me personally, I’d say that the biggest thing I will take from 2017 is that so often we can plan out the perfect scenario in our minds, but it’s important to be flexible and “roll with it”. More often than not, the picture in your mind isn’t the reality of how it all unravels, and thats ok! It usually ends up better than we expected, especially if we let God control the situation. In so many areas this year, I’ve been learning the lesson of flexibility, perspective, and remaining joyful regardless of how a season feels. Sometimes these lessons don’t feel great in the moment, but in hindsight, I’m usually thankful for them. I would say that as 2017 draws to a close, I’m still right in the middle of some learning points. I’m excited to continue walking through this journey in 2018 and see how it all turns out on the other side:)
Today I choose Joy
A baby changes everything:
On January 30th at 7:29 am, we welcomed our sweet little Mila girl into our family. Life as we had grown accustomed to changed in that moment, and a new normal took over. The anticipation of her arrival was so exciting but also unknown. Our family of 5 had been that way for over 12 years so as excited we were to bring her home, we also wondered how it would all sort out. It was love at first sight for every one of us. 11 months later, we can’t imagine life without her. Sure we’ve had to made adjustments and that’s ok. It’s a short lived season that we’re happy to embrace.
We had not 1, not 2,… but 4 milestone birthdays in our family this year!!
In June, Evan turned 13 and became a teenager! We’ve seen Evan change so much this year! Besides growing taller, he’s also grown in so much maturity. So many times lately I think to myself, “I really like the person he’s becoming”
Also in June, Shayna celebrated her sweet 16 and passed her “L” for driving. Shayna has always seemed like a little girl to us but this year we’ve really had to face the fact that she’s becoming a young lady. She continues to dance 5 days a week, and now even teaches a dance class. When she’s not dancing she’s usually babysitting. She is a pretty hot commodity in that area and never seems to lack a babysitting job.
In August Dion ventured “over the hill” and turned 40! Ok so this one felt really big for both of us . I remember when we were kids and I’d think “when we’re 40….” and it felt like a lifetime away. Well, it’s here! I’m married to a 40 year old man;) 40 is the new 30 thought right? Were still young at heart and having a baby in the house will solidify that! 2017 was definitely a year of adjustment and sacrifice for Dion and he took a leave from work to help at home with the baby. Its been such a gift to have him present in this first year, and he has been able to grow a bond with Mila thats really special! He’s looking forward to getting back to work in 2018 though.
Finally, to cap off the milestone birthdays, Tianna turned 21 in November. Birthdays are different when your kids get older. They have their own life, friends, and in this case Tianna doesn’t live in our town anymore. Tianna has made us so proud this year finishing her 2nd year in social work with straight A’s. It was a stressful season for her but her hard work paid off and we can’t wait to see her continue on this journey! We don’t get to see her every day but when we do, we try and make the best of it!
In July we ventured on another family road trip to California. It was the first time in several years that we had Tianna with us on a vacation, and having Mila join the family we knew that it was important to break her into our love for the open road. Being only 6 months old at the time, Mila did amazing! She is a true Usipuik at heart and we look forward to many more vacations in the future.
The Little white house
In July, we were blessed with the opportunity to purchase an investment property in our hometown of Campbell River. We’ve always seen the benefit of real estate investing and with Dion being so handy, its fun to transform a home and soak in some sweat equity. Growing up I had a best friend who lived 2 doors down from this house. I always loved the little white house on the corner, so when Dion found it for sale, I just couldn’t resist the idea of owning it. We have a few ideas for this home but for now we’ve found some great tenants who are calling it home:)
The Boys spent many sunny (and even rainy) days out in the boat this year and managed to stock up our freezer with plenty of salmon, halibut, and even prawns! Fish tacos are a regular item on the menu thanks to their fishing success! Its great to see our boat get lots of use and memories made with it. I didn’t get out on the boat this year, but hopefully next year as Mila gets older, we can have a few family adventures. Until then, the boys are bonding, and thats GOOD!
2017 brought some fun adventures, events and memories but overall it was a pretty quiet year. Naturally with a new baby, we spent a lot more time at home, and I really became more of a “home body” than I’ve ever been before. We’ve always been a family on the go from one activity to the next, trips, events, and more. This year was different, slower paced, with a lot of time for reflection. I’m not saying that every year will be like this one was, but I’m happy that we had this season. In the fall, I started blogging and growing my instagram account. The slower “at home” lifestyle lended well to this new adventure for me. I never realized how much I would enjoy writing, journalling and sharing our family highlights. Its been a fun creative outlet for me and I’m looking forward to where it might take me in this next year.
Its never too late to start something new!
A New YEAR, A New Day, and start TODAY!
I LOVED our pastors message this morning. He talked about how we can so easily plan for the future. This is good. Goals are good. But, what about today! What are you being called to do in this very moment that you could miss out on by looking too far into the future. This is a great start for me when I look at 2018. What will I choose to do today, in this moment. I’m going to try and be more intentional in the present; present over perfect perhaps. Yes, we are called to great things, and there are wonderful goals, and dreams to be accounted for. In the same breath, I don’t want to miss out on the beauty of today by looking to far into what I “think” the future will bring.
For 2018, I resolve to be PRESENT with JOY and trust that the future is well taken care of!
Goodbye 2017, and hello 2018!