This Time Last Year


It’s December!  Which means Christmas time is in full effect.  Two radio stations are playing nothing but Christmas songs and my apartment has so many tiny white lights hung up that its nearly brighter than when I have the regular lamps on.   It’s also my birthday month and for many people a time of reflection as the year comes to an end.

I’ve always loved looking back over the past 2 years or 5 years and seeing how things have changed.  Noticing all of the wonderful things that have happened.  It’s especially great to do this when you are in a rut or not quite where you thought you’d be at this point in your life.  It’s so easy to gloss over all of the great things because there might be one or two things missing.

Lately I’ve been impatient about buying a house.  All I do is day dream about buying my perfect house. I spend hours on Redfin looking at houses, calculating mortgages, figuring out what I can afford.  Do I want more land or do I want to be in a neighborhood?  The style of the house is purely New England.  If you’ve ever seen the opening credits for Who’s The Boss?, or watched The Family Stone, those are pretty much the kind of homes I’m looking to buy.

We’ve been really diligent about saving our money.  I would love to buy a new Jeep Cherokee with blue tooth but instead I put my phone on speaker and stick it in the cup holder of my 08 Mazda so that we can keep saving money. We have a nice apartment that has been a great home for us but it is dated and you never want to put money into anything that isn’t yours so we make do with what it is.  We don’t have a yard.  Oh, how I want a yard.  I need a yard. My son is 19 mo old and literally runs back and forth from his room to the dinning room, over an over.  This kid needs some space to play and go wild.

We bought our Christmas tree this past weekend.  Last year my son, Jack, was only 8 mo. old, he couldn’t walk yet and had no real interest in the tree at all.  This year he was running around the tree lot showing me the one he wanted to get.  He helped me decorate the tree.  We have different styles of course.  I like to hang the ornaments by their hooks and he prefers to throw them at the tree.  To each his own.

I came across an ornament I had made last year from a photo of my husband and Jack taking a nap together when Jack was first born.  He was so tiny.  He hardly did anything but eat and sleep.  When you have kids its really easy to look back a year or even a few months and see all the things that have changed and what they have learned.  For some reason we don’t sit back with aw and do that for ourselves as adults.  I look at Jack and can’t believe that he asked my husband the question why? for the first time the other day.  I was amazed.  “Did he just ask you why?  He’s never said that before.  He couldn’t say that yesterday.”  I couldn’t shut up about it.  He’s changing so fast and I’m so aware of each little accomplishment.  Yet for ourselves we only look at what we don’t have yet.

So as much as I want to buy my dream home it might be a good time for me to look back at what I have accomplished in the past 5 years.  Maybe we should do this for ourselves a bit more.  Spend some time focusing on the good things.  When I look back I  realize that I’m closer than ever to having my dream home, which includes my husband that I married 5 years ago, my son that came into our lives 19 mo ago.  I’ve also lived in 3 major cities in the past 5 years.  I now have a great job that I love, that is stable, and that has allowed me to save money.  5 years may sound like a long time to some people but it goes by in a flash. So if you’re looking at your life and you feel like you’re not where you thought you’d be by now, just pause, think of what has happened for you in the past 2 years or 5 years and just remember that life changes fast.  The things you dream of could be just around the corner.

Enjoy this magical season with your friends and families.  Sit by a fire.  Sing Christmas songs.  Go see lights. Open presents.  Do it all and enjoy every minute.

Happy Holidays Everyone!




5 thoughts on “This Time Last Year

  1. I love this! You’re absolutely right. If only we could love and see ourselves the way we love and see our children! We tend to focus on past and the future, while missing the gift of the present.


  2. Well said Amber! I’ve done so much reflecting over the past few years. It’s amazing and scary how much your life can change. I’ve always been a person to “live in the moment”. But there are some moments, I wish I could pause.
    I lost my dad almost two years ago. Everything seemed to shift after that. I decided I hated my career that I’ve had since becoming an adult and do what makes me happy. I proudly own a reclaimed wood furniture business with my husband now. I lost the stability of a secure job but gained freedom. I realized that life is short, it’s hard, it’s scary even. But it’s also fun, beautiful and amazing. I realized that I’m in charge of very little in this unpredictable life. So I better choose happy.
    I choose to work for my self. I choose to pick up my kids every day instead of sending them to day care. I choose to live a more simplistic life, a quieter one, so I can appreciate the important things. I choose to work hard for something I believe in.
    I often say I wish I could turn back time, just to have another day with my dad. But everything happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. I look forward to today. I cherish my past and welcome whatever comes my way.

    Merry Christmas all and I wish you New Year filled with new things!


    1. I love this! I didn’t realize those were the reason you started your own business. I love that you took the leap because life goes fast, there’s no time to waste being unhappy. Picking up your kids everyday is such a wonderful choice. I know loosing your Dad has probably been one of the hardest things you’ve ever gone through so its really nice that you were able to make a positive choice come out of such a tough time. I’m so happy for you guys!


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