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2017 | A Look Back, a Year in Review

DSC_8173z Before we take a look back, can we take a moment to come to terms with the fact that it is December already! Holy moly! I’ll admit there were times I thought this year would never end. There were times when it was 100% survival mode. But now my jaw is on the floor realizing that 2017 has come and gone. I can’t even wrap my head around saying 2018. Mind blown.

2017 was tough. And to put this in perspective, we’ve done tough. We’ve done me working 60-80 hour weeks with Michael as a full-time (20 credits) college student. We’ve done the army. We’ve worked through pain before. There is pain, and then there is selling a 3600 sq ft house with six children ALL BY YOURSELF. I would welcome any army training times two before I do that again.

The year started with us wrapping up the sale of our Texas home, contracting some horrific survivable version of the ebola virus, and packing our whole home in two days. I do regret not taking a photo at the time, but Michael has a small tolerance for my invasions of his privacy to begin with. To sum up how our year started let’s throwback to the closing on our home. Michael had to bring a puke bucket to closing. Thankfully he made it through, but when he got down to the downtown streets of Austin all bets were off and he was on all fours heaving on the sidewalk. It was one tiny part hilarious, but only because I had survived my turn while waking every hour to take care of the musical chairs of vomiting children all by myself. But, I knew better than to photograph this event.

Now, on one hand, this is a horrible way to start a year. But on the other, starting a year like this means it can only get better. Or at least if you overlook the God-awful horrid experience we had with our movers who charged us 7,000$ over our quote AND managed to destroy 1/3 of our shipment.

But we made it. By the skin of our teeth, exhausted, and still nauseated, but we made it. And even though we left the house at dusk, we were determined to get the hell away from Austin. But then something magical happened. We began healing. We began recovering. The worst was over and we were on our way to something new.


And we embraced the adventure. We explored new places. And we soaked up seven days of family time inside a small SUV with six children and a dog. And when we got to our final destination still homeless, we upped the ante and took the adventure to Alaska. This allowed us to breathe comfortably while we tried to find a new home. And honest to God there is something so magical about being there.



BrodyJRust.jpg, PippenJRust.jpg

And even though it felt like it would last a lifetime, we made it. We bought a house and we were on our way back to really officially kick off our new adventure this time, in our new state of California–The land of the overpriced housing and asshole drivers.


And we moved into our tiny fixer-upper. And we spent the next four months in a chapter titled, “and we remodelled”. We tore down an expansive hideous lava rock wall. We tore down a dividing wall from our kitchen/dining room, we ripped out cabinets and ancient built-ins, installed new cabinets, ran new electrical, painted, ripped out old carpet, installed new built-ins, and sadly we are nowhere close to complete with any of it, but it’s a work in progress and we’re slowly chipping away at the list and making it our little den for our growing family.

And while it’s nowhere near complete and it feels like we are so far from the finish line, it’s so helpful to take a look back. We are soaking it up. We are making memories and trying to remember our goals and intentions we set for ourselves. We wanted to slow down. So, we took a break from the projects and just started living. We signed up for new experiences. The girls started riding horses once a week. We tried to discover someplace new every month. We watched as many football games as we could. We played. We saw elephant seals for the first time. I started documenting our lives better, I started printing our photos. I started taking better care of myself and started a workout routine. And we baked, oh gosh we baked– cookies, bread, cake, you name it, we baked. But most of all we tried our best to find balance.







CampbellMRust.jpg, BrodyJRust.jpg, PippenJRust.jpg


CampbellMRust.jpg, BrodyJRust.jpg, PippenJRust.jpg



And we also tried to celebrate imperfections. We let go of excuses and tried to indulge. We made new traditions. And I hope that’s a tradition we can keep up with! This has been a WILD 2017…. but it’s been a good one. From my tribe to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Bring it on 2018!


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