Friday, December 29, 2017

Five on Friday – An Ode to 2017

Well friends, the time has come again to close out another year.  I have to say that I’m not having any qualms about saying goodbye to 2017.  2017 has been a year plagued by illness, heartbreaks, and trials for our family as well as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and general division of our nation as a whole.  There’s been lots of sadness and frustration this year and I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2018. 

I came across this meme on Facebook not too long ago and I died laughing because this is exactly how I feel about this year:

A few of the reasons why I’m ready to say goodbye to 2017…

It was the year that doctors thought that Olivia could possibly have some serious issues with her kidneys.  After many appointments and lots of testing, we found out that she did not.  Praise the Lord.

It was the year that B left town for business for a week in January and I had pretty much one of the worst weeks of my life.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong.  This was when all of the issues popped up with Olivia’s kidneys so I had to handle everything alone, and to top it all off she also fell on her head/neck twice that week, and both times were so bad I thought she would end up in the hospital.  Thank God for extended family who helped me get through that week without losing my sanity.

It was the year of tornados and more tornadosand the hurricane here in our city and pretty much everywhere else in Georgia.  We spent countless days this year huddled up in our safe place riding out storms.

It was the year that my allergies have raged more than ever and in turn kept me sick for almost half the year.  Literally.  In May I was sicker than I have ever been in my entire life and it ended with me having to be driven to acute care for a steroid shot because I was at the point where I couldn’t even drive myself.

It was the year where I also had lots of other health issues as well that I didn’t really get into much here on the blog – abdominal issues, some odd swelling in my extremities, exhaustion here and there, and hormonal issues, and my chronic pain was also worse than ever this year.

It was the year that I got a stomach virus for the first time in years.

It was the year that I finally had the guts to attempt to cure my chronic pain with a series of experimental procedures with a specialist in Atlanta, only to spend thousands of dollars and have my heart completely broken when it didn’t work. 

It was the year that it rained for half of our beach trip and was waaaay too warm for our fall mountain trip (minor things, but still frustrating even though we made the most of it).

It was the year that we decided to keep Olivia at her current school for one more year so she could have Jacob's old teacher who we adored, only to have the teacher quit two weeks into the school year and us regret not just moving her to Jacob's school.

It was the year that my cousin (who is my age) was diagnosed with lung and colon cancer, both in very late stages.  She is still fighting and your prayers are much appreciated.

It was the year that my uncle was hospitalized and placed in a nursing home as he is no longer fit to take care of himself due to his Alzheimer’s.

It was the year that my grandmother (mom’s mom) experienced some serious heart issues and was hospitalized on multiple occasions resulting in her having to get a pacemaker.  I’m happy to report that she is back to her lively, energetic, and spunky self!

It was the year that my other grandmother (dad’s mom) went downhill with her blindness and many other illnesses, some bad falls, and some broken bones which required surgery. 

It was the year that my step-grandmother was hospitalized for weeks with severe pneumonia.

It was the year that my aunt had to have a major heart surgery for some issues she has been having.

It was the year that my parents’ dog suffered several strokes and a major decline in health.

It was the year that numerous friends of friends and relatives died way too young.

It was the year that my supervisor was laid off which also eventually lead to me being forced out of my job that I’ve had for the last 13 years. 

It was the year that I accidentally left a boiling pot of water on the stove for too long, and it caught on fire and could have burned the house down.

It was the year of deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the deadliest mass shooting in American history.  The year that we swore in our most controversial president in history which created a great divide in our nation.  The year of a never-ending stream of sexual harassment accusations directed at our leaders and other prominent figures in our culture. 


2017 has been overwhelming to say the least.  And while nothing earth-shattering happened to our little family that we can’t overcome, the little things sure added up to cause a lot of heartbreak and general frustration.

However, there is always always good with the bad, and those are the moments that we all need to remember to cling to.  We had so many highs with our lows this year, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.   So in addition to all of the bad things in 2017, there are many things that I will always love about 2017…

It was the year that we celebrated the last birthday for Brian in his 30’s.

It was the year that we celebrated our sweet girl’s third birthday! 

It was the year that Olivia got her first haircut.

It was the year that I celebrated two years of blogging!

It was the year that I did a little experiment and grew my Instagram following by 2K in 2 Months.

It was the year that I celebrated my 35th birthday (with tornadoes, no less, but it is what it is…)

It was the year that B and I extended our pact to go on at least one date night per month and we exceeded it yet again by going on 17 dates!  A few were doctor’s appointments in Atlanta for me, but still time alone with B nonetheless.  If we don't count those, we did actually go on 12 real dates so we did meet our goal again!

It was the year that we went on several weekend getaways.

Atlanta, GA - Lego Land
LaGrange, GA - Sunflowers & Fall Stuff
The Rock, GA - Rock Ranch
Athens, GA - UGA vs. Kentucky

It was the year that we took two big family vacations as well as one vacation alone together. 

Panama City Beach, FL - Day 1 / Day 2 / Days 3 & 4 / Day 5 / Days 6 & 7 / By the Numbers
Nashville, TN - Day 1 / Days 2 & 3 / By the Numbers
Hayesville, NC - Days 1 & 2 / Days 3 & 4 / By the Numbers

It was the year that we celebrated Jacob’s sixth birthday.

It was the year that we went to six concerts, two of which are in my top five of best concerts I’ve ever been to!

It was the year that I may have been forced out of my job, but in turn got my wish of being a stay-at-home mom.

It was the year that toward the end, I finally figured out the solutions to some of my health issues that had been plaguing me and I finally, finally found someone who is helping with my chronic pain issues after six long years.  I know I haven’t yet discussed this on the blog, but I promise to address it eventually.  I just want to make sure that this is finally it. 

It was the year that we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.

It was the year that we celebrated all of the holidays better than we ever have before!

It was the year that I shared several new yummy recipes with you here on the blog.

It was the year that I hosted my first permanent link-ups and the year that I had several amazing sponsorships. 

And since this is technically supposed to be a Five on Friday post, I thought I would leave you with my top five most viewed posts that were written in 2017.  Instead of starting with one, like I usually do, I’m going to start with five and work my way to number one.  I have to keep the suspense, right?!

This post is currently at 1,670 views and I have no clue why it was the fifth most popular post of the year.  Lol.  So random!

This post is currently at 1,975 views and growing.  And it’s crazy because I just posted this a couple of weeks ago and it’s already the fourth most popular post of the year!  I guess my cute little Pinterest graphic is helping it right along.  :o)

This post is currently at 2,244 views and it’s another one that I have no idea why it was so successful.  I guess people like to read about our weekends!

This post is currently at 2,438 views and growing and I totally understand why this one is my second highest viewed post that I wrote in 2017!  I made a pretty Pinterest graphic for this post as well so I’m sure the repins are helping it along as well.

O N E – How I Grew My Instagram Following by 2K in 2Months (Without Following & Unfollowing)

And finally, this post was my most popular post of 2017 by a landslide.  It is currently at 9,877 views and still growing.  This comes as no surprise to me since 2017 was the year that everybody and their grandma started trying to make it big on Insta.

Before I go, I do have to mention that my most viewed post of all time is still my very first blog post that I ever did back in 2015 – Olivia Cate’s Pink and Gold First Birthday Party.  It’s now at 142,802 views and still going strong… thanks, Pinterest!

And finally, just for fun, here are my best nine (most liked) photos on Instagram this year:

Cheers to 2018!!  And 2017... BYE FELICIA!!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.


  1. I am so very sorry to hear about all the illnesses in your family. Cancer sucks and I am praying for your cousin, as well as your uncle (and all your other family members). My grandpa had dementia, and it's just one of the worst diseases. :( Ok, now back up to read all the good going ons!

  2. With the downs you really have had so many ups!!! I have loved following along with you and your family and can't wait to see what 2018 brings. And one more way that we are alike - I got the same necklace for Christmas - with an E of course. :)

  3. Loved following along with you this year! Thanks for being so candid and sharing so much of your life with us!

  4. It's so crazy when you actually break the year down and write it out, wow, what a year it has been for you. Lots of bad which I'm truly sorry about - I must have missed when you talked about your cousin or maybe it was really early in the year and i don't remember, but my gosh I am praying for her. You're so right though, with all the bad, you have to cling to the good otherwise you will just become miserable. I think my favorite is you getting to stay home even if it started out as an unfortunate situation. Can't wait to follow along in 2018!!

  5. Like you, I am so ready for 2017 to go!! Hope 2018 is much better for both of us!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  6. What a great look back at your year! I pray that 2018 is an amazing year. I also pray that you have finally found what is causing your chronic pain. I am so ready for 2018 and can't wait to see what it has in store.

  7. What a crazy year! I hope 2018 brings much more of the good things!

  8. 2017 was a hard year for so many, and I'm so sorry you had to weather so many trials. BUT, look how resilient you've become - and you had some fantastic times, too! Cheers to a wonderful New Year for your sweet family, friend!

  9. You've definitely had some kind of year but hoping 2018 is a great one for you!! You still had so many great moments that I was happy to share with you in this blogging community! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

  10. It's been a crazy year for sure. I hope 2018 is better and I also hope Mother Nature gets her act together. LOL!
    Loved following you along, Lindsay and I look forward to what this next year has in store for you and LSW!

  11. I am so glad you had some good to go with all the bad; I was really starting to worry for you. It's hard when life gives us more than we sometimes feel we can handle but being able to look on the positive side certainly helps. Here's hoping you all have a happy and healthy New year.

    1. Thank you so much. We definitely had a trying year, but I know that there are many people out there who have it way worse. I really do try to look at the positives because I know that overall we are truly blessed. It was just one of those years that weren't my favorite.

  12. Man, Lindsay, what a crazy year!!! I agree that 2017 was an especially hard one but I loved reading all of your happy times throughout the craziness! Cheers to a beautiful 2018! <3

    1. Thank you, Brandi! I'm wishing the same for you and your family! You have been through so much this past year... I hope that you have nothing but good things coming your way for 2018!

  13. We would like to extend the best wishes from our family to yours! May the New Year bring only good things to all of you!

  14. Wow! What a year. My 2018 be filled with joy for you friend!

  15. Hoping 2018 is the most incredible year yet for your precious family!

  16. Oh my word. What a year. Praying for an amazing 2018 for you and your family! :)


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