These 17 things are just a few of the highlights from 2017 and they are in no particular order.
1. Grandpa came to visit in February which was absolutely wonderful not only for me having someone to watch Leah but for Leah having someone to let her get away with things and learn new skills like putting on a belt. Having in person time with grandparents is so important and I am really grateful that Grandpa bared the travel and got down here for three weeks.
2. I was pregnant for the majority of 2017 and it was an even easier pregnancy than Leah’s and hers was an easy pregnancy. My mother said I should just keep on having babies because I am so good at it. Yikes! I might be good at it but our house is getting kind of tight and the wallet would only get tighter too if there were more little Zamudio Browns around.
3. Our son Christopher was born in September and has added an immense amount of joy and sleeplessness to our family life.
4. Grandma came to visit twice in the span of three months. She was here for Christopher’s arrival (she got here two days later but it’s pretty much the same) and she was here for my return to work for three weeks. Not only did she brave the travel but she also braved the weather and the awful climate that made her asthma flare up. We are eternally grateful to her. It was also absolutely wonderful to see Leah warm up even more to her grandma by reading with her and baking cookies.
5. Our car was broken into and completely stripped (inside our complex too) so we had to buy a new (used) car. We miss our Honda but our Hyundai has served us well so far.
6. My step-son came to live with us full-time.
7. My mother in law traveled to Europe to visit family, came back and has been around to help out a lot this year. She has been so helpful with feeding our family. Cooking with little ones is quite the task.
8. I found a wonderful donation organization called ReciDar and they pick up stuff from our place which means getting rid of things is even easier than before.
9. I got involved in two panderos which are basically a social way to save money. It involves putting money into a pot every month and each month one person from the group gets the money. Typically that means there are 12 people in a Pandero for the year and each month one person gets all the money from the pot. If each person puts in 100 soles, when it is your month to cash out you get 1100 soles. At work we had space for 14 because we also put in money in July and December when we get our bonuses. I really liked the work pandero because everyone stays on top of paying on time but the army wife one was not as well organized as it could have been.
10. Marco and I celebrated 5 years of being married legally in October.
11. Leah turned 3 years old and became a mighty fine talker.
12. We continued the tradition of going to the Lima International Book Fair in July and Leah participated in a super cute rainbow making workshop.
13. I found the website Flickr.com which gives you 1 TB of space for free to upload photos and videos. It is amazing and that is where all of my photos and videos go now to be backed up in the cloud.
14. We visited Lunahuana for the first time and Leah came home with Prurigo Infantil which is basically extreme allergic reactions to bug bites that refuse to go away. It has been a 5 month battle but we are positive we can beat it!
15. I was privileged to receive 4 baby showers for Christopher. (Leah had 4 too!) Army wives of Marco’s classmates, my choir, my co-workers, and a group of army wives from Marco’s specialty all threw them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
16. I was humbled by nature as I received the message to slow down during the first month of my baby boy’s life. It came in the form of mastitis.
17. Marco and I escaped to a New Year’s Eve party this year which was totally unexpected and a delightful event. (Also an unexpected delight was being able to fit into a dress I bought in 2008.)
Goals from 2017: Take better care of my health, spend more hands free time with my family, keep sharing stories and improve the blog, provide a better learning atmosphere for my students, and stay connected with my family.
I think all of those were achieved on some level. I could probably write a whole post about it but let’s be honest. I probably won’t be getting around to that any time soon. It is a feat in itself that I get a post up every couple of weeks. The only goal that I don’t think I achieved was improvement on the blog. I would love to do a makeover and get a logo but I have yet to get around to doing that.
Goals for 2018: I want to practice patience and positive discipline for my children, do more meal planning, stay in touch via phone and video calls with my family, and practice kindness, intention and gratitude every day.
May this year be fruitful and adventure-filled for everyone!
Update: Somehow I completely forgot about the crazy flooding that occurred in March and the week off from school we had because there was no water. Talk about being extremely grateful for water in the desert. Thank goodness it wasn’t hotter than it was. That should have definitely been on the list. I guess lack of sleep makes you forget things. Weird.