See ya never, 2019!

2019 was such a hard year for me, and it’s almost surreal to think that it is actually coming to close and the punches might stop. However, as I reflect on all of the brokenness, tears, loss, and hardship, and see how much it definitely outweighed the good, (as cliche as it sounds) I can’t help but look back at the happy times we did get to have this year and remind myself how important it is to find joy in the hardship, to find joy in the little things.

Here’s my reflection on the final year of the 2010 decade…

January: Got to see my very favorite artist, Eric Church! He never gets old.

February: Saw NEEDTOBREATHE for the second time, who we are absolutely obsessed with! This time was extra special as it was an all acoustic show… so beautiful!

March: Moved in together + celebrated my birthday! Joe got me an extra special promise ring and some beautiful diamond earrings, along with some other things. I really don’t deserve him. Our family and friends came over for Famous Dave’s BBQ that evening. Tough times as my grandpa was in and out of the hospital.

April/May: End of April/Beginning of May was such a tragic time for me/us/my family. I can’t even tell you how much it means to me to have Joe by my side through it ALL, holding me while I cried and broke down on the bathroom floor and comforting me when I was terrified of what’s to come. A lot of other people would’ve ran for the woods (and honestly, I wouldn’t have blamed em), but not Joe. It never even crossed his mind.

In May, we also got to take some killer pictures when we looked killer good 😉 at Joe’s cousin’s wedding.

June: June brought a desperately needed week of vacation with my family in Branson. It was extra exciting as this was Joe’s first year tagging along, but also *so* bittersweet, knowing deep down that it would be the last year/vacation we all got to take together. So many memories I hold onto even tighter now, knowing the years to come will never be the same…. Grandma driving the jet ski, Alivia squished in between Uncle Scott and Emily on her very first jet ski ride yelling “bye mommy!” across the lake, the unbelievable magic show, the pouring rain outside the escape rooms, the night (the adults) had a little extra to drink (especially grandma!!) and we all sat around and laughed and cried, sharing old stories together (we even got grandpa + grandma to do a shot of peach Crown whiskey!), and lastly, dancing, playing darts, and singing our hearts out to karaoke at the infamous “Cheeky Monkey Bar” (our cousin’s bar actually!).

July: Joseph’s birthday! And a quick, weekend trip to Colorado for a wedding. My first fully Russian wedding. The couple was an hour late to the service, but the reception was so fancy. Downtown Denver was extraordinary and I even found a restaurant named “Lola”! ❤ The weather was beautiful and the sight of mountains is always good for the soul.

August: Car accident 😦 No injuries and minor damage!

September: Our whole world knocked upside down through my grandparent’s health. One of the hardest months of our lives. Prayed so hard for powerful doctors, extra time, and strength. And you know what? God provided them all.

Celebrated our favorites – David + Sara at their wedding! Such a special moment before the wedding, when we are able to let Michael talk to David via facetime. Technology is really cool, sometimes.

Oh! And Joe and I got to go apple picking for the first time. And we loved it. It was *so* hot, but worth it. We will definitely be going back next year, but will be wearing longer pants for sure because let me tell ya…! Long grass and short socks do not go together. Yeesh.

October: Haha. Some good laughs this month. Livi turned THREE, the boys had some funny masks on Halloween, and of course, the biggest laugh of em all…. ICE CREAM CRUISE – the SRT gave us a heck of a time getting started in the morning. However, we made it up there…. only to have the clutch go out when we were trying to leave and had to come back with a trailer to haul it back. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Ah, the memories…. the weather was beautiful tho! I even got a sunburn!

November: was full of lots of family time on both sides, especially as we lost and laid to rest Joe’s cousin, Ilya. The realities of life and death and the full circle it brings hit us again.

December: was such a busy month and honestly, it was so hard to get into the “holiday spirit” this year. However, we did have some special moments. One of my favorites – getting to put up our first tree (and decorations) in our first home. So special.

We also moved! So bittersweet as we, overall, really loved our first apartment and will always cherish the memories we have from it. I hope that if you ever got to check it out or spend time with us there, that you felt loved and accepted and made fun memories of  your own as well. And I hope and pray that our new home can also be a place of love and acceptance and exciting times for everyone who walks through the door. We absolutely love our new place and are very pleased with our move and so thankful that God continues to bless in not only the little things, but the big things too. 🙂

Here’s to 2020 – a new decade and a much needed fresh start.


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