2017– A Year of Growth and Change


2017– A Year of Growth and Change


This year we have experience so many life changes, so much personal growth and overall just SO MUCH of everything. I felt like this year was not about anything small, but everything that happened to us was of epic proportion both good and bad. I thought I would break down my year for everyone and wanted to give our readers a little glimpse into our lives and how we live other than from the review perspective.

Ending a year is something that is very personal to me, it always has been. Out with the old and in with the new concepts, but also knowing how much things change in just 12 months.



We rang in the New Year a little differently than other years. I was just a few months from having a baby (he was due 3/21) and our party theme was more about comfort and having a happy 3 year old. I made some Pinterest inspired New Years treats and drinks, we popped balloons every hour and overall just had a great time.

Later that month I would learn that I had pregnancy induced hypertension by one doctor, white coat hypertension by another doctor and given medications to have them taken away. The stress was at times too much to handle and in the coming weeks I would also learn that my Grandfather was being added to hospice care. I have memories of being so tired but still going to the nursing home and visiting him as well as taking Jack. We shared laughs, I fully admit to crying and preparing myself to lose another grandparent.

January also brought a nasty stomach virus to this pregnant lady who lost 8 pounds in just a few short days. Talk about being terrified. Virginia was in widespread flu epidemic and I was told to not come into the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. I waited it out at home; sipping Gatorade and hoping that it would pass sooner rather than later.


The toughest month of the year by far… I went to bed on Saturday the 4th and woke up thinking I would be preparing Superbowl foods. Instead I had a text from my Mom and then heard Patrick’s cell phone ding as well. I knew that there was something wrong as soon as Mom answered her phone and Patrick was soon standing beside me in our kitchen. The news had come that my Grandfather had passed away in the early morning hours.

Y’all I was 31 years old at that point but I felt like a helpless child. I wanted nothing more but to bring him back, but also knew that I had the task of explaining to our son that his Pop was no longer with us and had gone to heaven. The conversations in the coming days and the funeral service are something I will never forget. Jack was devastated and just purely did not understand. He said things like “why does everyone we know go to heaven” and other statements that I had no answers for.

In February (that same week) I also learned a lot about RSV as my niece was diagnosed while visiting from Maryland. We were so scared for her.

I also had weekly stress tests for the baby, blood pressure monitoring at home, ultrasounds and blood work more often than I ever wanted.

The last week of February we were told “come in tomorrow, if the BP is still high you are having a baby”… sure enough, high again so we were sent over to the hospital. An IV was started, my BP dropped and we were sent home. (Yes you read that right… sent home after being admitted) Told to come back 3/1 where we would FOR SURE have a baby… a 37 week baby.


The morning of 3/1 was insane. The hospital called and said they didn’t have a bed for me right when we were walking out of the door to be induced. Was told to call back around 7 AM to see if there was a free bed. I was exhausted and betting money that I had not slept a full 45 minutes the night before. Excitement and pure fear had kept me awake as well as not wanting to be apart from Jack but knowing he was being cared for.

At 7 we were told to come on to the hospital. Another IV started by 7:45 and I begged for no pitocin and just asked that my water be broken and we wait 2 hours. I had this magic number in my head about 2 hours because Jack had come 2 hours after my water had been broken, but he was also only 11 days early. We were looking at a baby coming into the world 21 days before his due date.

The 2 hours came and went– no progress. The pitocin was started and immediately I felt labor kicking in. I will spare the details but will admit to having IV pain medication because at some points it was nearly unbearable. With Jack I had never had any meds at all so this was a new concept. I felt terrible for even asking for meds, but it was just too much pain to handle. At 3:15 PM we welcomed the smallest baby I have ever held in my life. 6 pounds 4 ounces full of life. We named him after my Grandfather.

My tiny baby got even smaller dropping to 5 pounds 15 ounces but he kept eating and growing developing his own personality and his own special place in our home.


My only surviving grandparent, my paternal grandmother turned 86 years old. I am super thankful she is still with us and our boys adore their Sunny (we have no idea where that name came from at all, but it stuck)


We prepared for the idea we would be soon having a 4 year old in the house. Homeschooling was pretty much decided fully at this point. I felt compelled to having our boys at home and learning a very well rounded set of topics as well as foreign language and other functional things that are needed in life. This decision left both my husband and myself feeling confident. We just knew that this was our calling.


Jack turned 4 in June and I had known before that 2 kids was enough to complete our home, but as time went on I felt more and more secure in this decision. Jack’s Paw Patrol party was a hit with several family members and close friends coming to celebrate with us. It is always so surreal for me when these milestones happen and I get so emotional.


Vacation was soon approaching and summer was in full swing. Blogging which I have not mentioned in this post much was going better than expected with having extra people in the house as well as more pets. I felt at this point even after all of these years have passed that I had found my calling. I am just meant to be a work from home mom who just so happens to have a Criminal Justice degree.


Vacation and husband turned the big 3-5. The blessings kept flowing as he was also getting into the swing of working full time for the first time in 4 years after his officer involved shooting. We were back into the swing in the world of plumbing and for the first time ever I really started to have a routine in our home and we were making our own path in this large world.


Decisions to complete our family were in full swing and I was showing more and more side effects to a birth control called Junel. I felt like I was not being heard but I knew I was not myself. Although I had a routine I was riddled with feelings of not being adequate for my family, anxiety and panic would set in over the smallest things and I just knew something was not right. I started looking into having my tubes tied until I learned that having them removed would help reduce certain types of cancer that were prevalent in my family.


Surgical consult was super simple and I got a surgery date right away. The sooner the better for me but I was of course nervous over anesthesia and the actual procedure. I will be talking more about the medication side effects and the actual surgery in the coming year. It is something that changed my whole life.

Halloween was my pre-op appointment and we took our Incredible Hulk and Baby Lion out for some treats. Surgery was the very next morning and I was soon thinking that the first of the month this year was having some sort of significant impact on my life. Just 8 months prior on the 1st of March we welcomed our last baby and her I was going into the 1st of November ending the idea of anymore children in our household.


Surgery was a breeze, getting an IV that morning not so much. My arms looked awful but my heart was content and the surgery went extremely well. I heard horror stories of people not being able to lift their arms and other complications from pain afterwards but honestly I came home and took a nap then cooked dinner for all of us. Shrimp alfredo was what I wanted and it is what I cooked. The following days I moved a little slower but the surgery was a Thursday and Patrick went back to work on Monday where I took care of both boys without help all day.  The best choice I could have made with the help of my husband EVER.

Thanksgiving was amazing as always and we celebrated everything little thing we are thankful for including the readers of this blog because lets face it without you guys I wouldn’t have much going on here.


I turned 32 this year. We celebrated bigger than we had been able to in prior years and had an amazing weekend spent together as a family.

Christmas was one of the best ever. Both boys were spoiled to pieces and I just felt overwhelmingly blessed but we also entered this season knowing that anther family member has been added to hospice care and that the end is closer than any of us would like to admit.


This year has included a lot of loss, but a lot of life as well. We are thankful, grateful and blessed every single day no matter what curveballs we are thrown but at the end of the day reflection is something that I am the most proud of. I love to sit back and think of all of the growth this year. We brought a tiny baby into this world who now weighs 26 pounds and is getting ready to walk any day now.


We send our best wishes to an amazing 2018 to each and every one of you!!

Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 12 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 12 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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