Happy New Year

December 31, 2018

Oh, 2018.

There were many tears, many days filled with heartache, but there were so many more good moments than there were tears. When I first looked back on 2018, I wasn't for sure what I would find. The journey of infertility, the struggles can often overwhelm my days, but as I looked back, 2018 was a beautiful, so very beautiful year.

It has been one of my best yet. Those struggles, those days of walking infertility, those days of missing my boy in Heaven, they are making me better than before. I am grateful I can see that. I don't always, but today, I do.

Here is a look back on 2018 and the moments that have made me better than before.

The start of the year brought me a trip to Provo, Utah, a place I called home for four years of my life. One of my best friends had her sweet baby boy; it gave me a reason to travel to my sweet state. Utah has been a place I've dreamt of and longed for the past few years, and I finally returned. I felt alive in Salt Lake City; I walked the streets, rode the train and laughed with friends. I renewed my faith. It was a good, good trip.

I was blessed to visit Waco, Texas twice this year. Once with my sister, Mama and Aunt Nancy in May. Then in August I returned with my husband for our fifth year anniversary. I love, love visiting Magnolia Market. Joanna Gaines is an inspiration to me. Her empire is inspiring. I am always enlightened when I go and feel creative just being there.

Plus, the cupcakes are amazing at Silos Baking Co. I highly recommend standing in the long line to try one. They are that good.

In July, I took on the opportunity to serve as editor of the Houston County Courier in Crockett, Texas. It's been a journey the past six months; I am definitely growing and becoming a better writer and editor. It's not always an easy role to serve, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve there. 

This is an ode to another year serving in the journalism field. I met Cruz again this year, along with other politicians. I started the year as the San Jacinto News-Times, then I went on to become a reporter at the Polk County Enterprise and now at the Courier. It's all within Polk County Publishing Company. In April, it will mark two years with the company. It's been a wild ride, and here is just a snapshot of one of those times.

By far, the greatest thing to come out of 2018 was Rowan's Bear. So far, we've sent out 60 bears and have raised $900. I've partnered with Birchwood Trading Co., which is such a beautiful relationship. I am so very grateful that I've been able to launch Rowan's Bear. Out of our greatest tragedies, we can find great purpose. This is mine.

In memory of Rowan's second anniversary of when I lost him, I held a balloon release in his honor. I sent a total of 24 balloons toward Heaven. Each balloon held a message to a sweet angel baby to be read in Heaven. It was such a beautiful moment. My husband, along with my father-in-law and mother-in-law, shared with me the precious release.

In October, I attended the 16th annual Remembrance Day at the Children's Park of Tyler. Two years ago I was a loss mama who was given an angel to hang on a tree; this year, I was the one taking the photographs. It was such a sweet, beautiful day. Truly one of those days I will never forget. I wrote about the day over here.

One of the fundraisers I held for Rowan's Bear were these shirts. Pictured is my husband and I. He's the very best part of my year, every year. 2018 was not easy, but we learned and we grew and our love runs deeper. I love our shirts that we made and sold through Bonfire. I'm grateful for Ryan's support and love. I truly love my little family so much. 

This was a sunset on Lake Livingston. It was a special moment where time slowed. There were many drives watching the sunset and enjoying the views in 2018. I am truly grateful for the beauty of this earth God gave to us. When I watch those sunsets, it reminds me of Heaven and my boy.

Two things I did not get photos of were the trips to the Houston Zoo and Cameron Zoo in Waco. Going to Zoos are some of my favorite things to do with Ryan. It's Whitworth thing. (: Also, trips to Galveston were spent, walks at Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas, and many other 2018 adventures.

2018 was a special and precious year for me. I am truly grateful as I look back and reflect; it was a year well lived.

As I look forward to 2019, I pray this year will be the year of a little Whitworth to bring home. I pray it's a year of more growth and more faith. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is always there for me. I am grateful for my parents and siblings. This year was filled with moments of happiness spent with them. I need more of it in 2019. I am just a blessed girl.

So, thank you 2018. You were a long year, but a good one. Here's to 2019.

Happy New Year, friends!


P.S. Some exciting news will be shared tomorrow. So, stay tuned.

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