This year was absolutely chaotic. So many things happened so fast that the whole year genuinely seems like a blur now. But how did I do? What changed? Did I make any of my goals? Important questions require answers!
This post will be a chronological but generalized overview of my year and the major events that occurred. The real question of whether or not I managed to meet my goals will be answered in Part 2.
My Co-Author Bre and I officially began working on our first book together- The Sisters Grimmoire- at the beginning of the year. The first half of the month was spent writing spells, but there was a little work done on the cover illustration as well. At one point we even had a cover illustration completed and approved (but that changed later as we ultimately ended up not liking the design).
The weather was great at the beginning of the year, too. As a result, my Husband and I had the opportunity to start hiking earlier in the year than we’d normally be able to. As a result, we tallied up two different hikes– half my goal- in a single January weekend.
In February I was invited to Robber’s Cave State Park with a friend and her hiking group. I still have plans to take my Husband there at some point as that is quite possibly one of the most beautiful trails I have ever been on in my life. Robber’s Cave State Park also rounded up my Hiking goal for the year.
Later that month I took a break from the book for personal reasons;. Most of all was the fact that there had been a lot of initial conflict between my mother and I about the Wedding, and that had carried over from 2014. To make matters more difficult for us, Oklahoma changed their Marriage Laws.
Ultimately it all resulted and my Husband and I postponing it several times- though mostly the decision was mine; I simply didn’t want to start my marriage off stressed to the teeth over a day that is ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of our relationship and the years we have ahead of us. This (and a few other factors) resulted in us deciding in February to have a shotgun wedding with a friend officiating- then set the date for March 13th.
Because I didn’t want any conflict between my Mother and I over our Wedding again, we didn’t even inform our family until roughly 2 weeks before the date we scheduled it. They weren’t happy, but the willingness they had to help us pull it together was welcomed. And the wedding went great!
My Husband and I decided on a short, super private beach ceremony with a Pagan blessing- at the spot on the lake where we got engaged- followed up by a potluck style dinner at a rental Pavilion right up the road. Sarah over at The Dragon’s Library did such a wonderful job officiating the ceremony. She was kind to work so closely with me and ensure that I got what I wanted out of it, and it was even more kind of her to drive all the way up here to officiate (which is no short trip); my Husband and I genuinely can’t thank her enough and are absolutely honored to have been the first couple she’s ever married.
I also managed to impress every guest attending by making barbecue chicken, outdoors on a grill, in a white dress, without getting a single soot stain or barbecue smudge on me. Talk about some serious skill! At the reception, though, my Mother gave us the keys to our new house- a spur of the moment purchase by my Parents (using my Father’s work injury settlement payout) in order to help out a family friend in need of cash. We’d known that we’d received the house as a gift long before the wedding since it was offered to us around the middle of 2014. Still, it was nice for it to be official finally; initially they had purchased it for themselves, but it wasn’t big enough for their needs. They considered giving it to my Sister for a bit, but it wouldn’t work for them either as she had children and it was a 1 bedroom house. So they gave it to us instead.
Our house didn’t need a whole lot of work, but it did need quite a bit before we could move in. Most notable was the fact that the bathroom needed a complete overhaul- and the sewage line needed to be replaced because it had collapsed.
It took us a while to actually get into it and start the renovations on the house, though. The first step was to figure out where we were going to get the money; we had tried to buy a house together midway through 2014, but my Husband’s original bank denied us (they weren’t a very nice bank). We’d switched banks since then, though, and our new bank had a much more lenient policy concerning loans. We managed to get approved for a $5,000 USD loan (thank you amazing credit!) and the work began just a few days before April did.
It took all of April to complete the base renovations and it was ridiculously hard work. Amazingly, though, we were in the house by early May.
May was move in month. We moved in at the beginning an had utilities on by the end of the first week. There were quite a few mishaps, though- such as the hot water heater having a leak, and no water pressure in the kitchen (fixed) or the shower (which we still haven’t fixed). There was also a problem with some electrical wiring we did during renovations deciding not to work (which we admittedly also haven’t fixed yet).
Worse, though, was the weather. The week we moved in, both Oklahoma and Texas went absolutely haywire. The flooding was so bad that we had to put a contingency plan in place in case we ended up having to evacuate. Thankfully it never got that bad in our area, but it was still difficult to get around for a while. By the time the floodwater subsided, my Husband definitely knew every available route away from our house and to work!
Midway through the month, my Husband and I also had a long talk concerning work and me continuing on as a Stay at Home Wife. We decided that I would spend the next year working on and promoting my art and authorship. It came with conditions, though: If I couldn’t bring in money at least once a month- or we needed additional finances- then it was agreed that I would begin to re-enter the work force.
Working from home worked well for a bit, but it didn’t last long. In early June- just before my birthday on the 5th- I ended up taking a job working for my mother, helping her get the store she took over back in working order.
My birthday came and went. We had had plans to go camping, but a scouting trip to the lake revealed that all of the campsites were still under water after the flooding in early May. It still made for a nice day hike, though.
By the end of June I had taken temporary leave to continue working on my book with Bree. At this point we started working on a new cover design, as well as the interior illustrations for the book. The initial stages of formatting was also underway as well.
Concerning The Sisters Grimmoire, we set up crowd sourcing to raise funds. We even had an interview with The Flounce in July. Unfortunately for reasons unknown to us they chose not to run the interview piece- and in trying to get that sorted out we ran into problems with their professionalism. But the book was funded and the content was almost completed.
On August 1st our fridge kicked the bucket and I started a rental contract with the local Rent-to-Own. After that, I went back to work with my mother because I wanted to help pay it off faster. By the end of that same month, though, I left a second time to work on the book; the deadline was approaching and I was working weeks straight at a time, leaving no time or energy to work on the book.
On September 14th, The Sisters Grimmoire was finally published! It was a bit past our deadline and the rush job meant a few more errors than we wanted, but we were honestly just happy to have it out. And with that done, I returned to work a third time with the hopes of staying on for a while. I was offered a promotion shortly afterwards and began training for a lead position. I even picked up a side job babysitting a co-workers 6 year old son twice a week- along with starting Bree and I’s second book, The Witches’ Cupboard.
In late October we adopted the newest addition to our family: A Boxer-Pit mix that we named Whisper. She’s been a genuine joy to have with us. Now if only she would get along with our male cat! Unfortunately I also started struggling heavily with my Mental Health and Energy Levels at this time; I couldn’t keep up with the demanding schedule at work due to my Mental Illnesses and Chronic Fatigue. It was beginning to severely impact my ability to work.
After fighting my Mental Health and Fatigue issues for the last month- as well as suspected sabotage from a few co-workers- I gave up, gave in, and quit for good shortly before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was a mess, by the way. My Husband’s Mother demanded that the Holiday Hosting Torch be passed to us and shared with my Husband’s brother. This brought up a lot of super negative things for me and about led to a breakdown. Finally I had to put my foot down about it and eventually cancelled it altogether. That didn’t change the fact that my Husband received a Turkey from work which I didn’t have room for in our freezer, though. As a result, I still wound up cooking a Turkey and inviting my parents over for a no-frills dinner.
No-frills was the last thing it turned out to be; I was still struggling to regain control over my Mental Health and wound stressed ten ways to Sunday over what was actually a relatively simple meal. After that I officially vowed never to do anything for a major holiday again- especially one I don’t even celebrate to begin with.
December isn’t over, yet. Christmas is this week and we’re expected to celebrate with family. Who knows how that will ultimately end up turning out? So here’s to hoping that next year will be better now that we are settled in and getting the hang of this thing called marriage and adult life!