2017 – What’s New and What’s Next??

2017 – What’s New and What’s Next??

2017 has come and gone and we are still reeling from the challenges and blessings that the year gave us. For starters, I almost lost my blog completely because of some issue trying to download WordPress on my desktop. Currently I’m using my cell phone because it’s already downloaded on here and I don’t have to worry about anything messing up. But that’s just the icing on the 2018 cake.

We survived another Disney World trip to celebrate our 6th anniversary at the end of November! It was such a fun trip this time too, with Maddie being almost 2. The only downside to the trip was that Maddie caught Hand, Foot and Mouth the last few days we were there. Other than that, our 10 day stay at Port Orleans Riverside was amazing. For being a moderate resort, it’s definitely up there with the deluxe resorts, in our opinion. I’ll write more about that soon.

After getting over Hand, Foot and Mouth, Maddie caught the flu from Ken just days after Christmas. It was a rough week, but thankfully we caught it in time to administer Tamiflu, and she was back to her normal self in less than a week. My dad also caught the flu, but from Maddie. So I was taking care of my husband, my daughter and my father. It’s been a bit hectic here in the Fountain Home.

The holidays were wonderful though and we enjoyed our time with family and with each other. This was the first year that Maddie kinda understood Santa Claus, so that was fun for me.

2017 was a crazy year. Three of my friends were pregnant and two of them delivered during 2017. One of the babies was born at 24 weeks and has had his share of setbacks, but we are hoping that he is on the right track to start getting stronger. He is one of Maddie’s future boyfriends after all! (Just kidding…kind of!)

2017 also has health problems, more specifically my brother’s battle with cancer. He is one of the strongest men I know. He continues to fight in this new year, so pray for him when you get a chance. His name is John.

My dad was also in and out of doctors’ offices in 2017, but is currently doing well. Again, 2017 was crazy.

So that brings me to 2018. What’s next for the Fountain Family??

Well, for starters, my oldest niece Amber will be welcoming her first child into the world! Yes, at the age of 30, I will be a Great Aunt for the first time. This coming week, her and her husband will find out what the gender is, so I’ll definitely be writing about that in the near future.

Also, starting Monday, I will be starting a new workout program called 80 Day Obsession. I’m actually in a coach test group with the creator of the program, Autumn Calabrese. I’ve done a program with her in the past and had great success with it. The main reason I’m choosing to do this program is because Ken and I want to have more children. I still haven’t lost “Baby weight” from having Maddie. And she’ll be 2 in February. To me, this is just unacceptable. I’m done being stagnant and I know that I will see great results with this program. Please ask me if you have questions about it! I will be documenting my journey on my blog starting Monday, so stay tuned on that!

Part of me is toying with another Disney World trip this year, but I also want to eliminate debt, not add more. So I will be focusing on getting out of credit card and loan debt this year. It’ll take a few years probably but once we get there, it will be wonderful.

Also, Ken is starting a new career this month. He is currently going to school to learn how to drive a semi. I know, crazy, but it’s something he has thought about for years and finally decided it was time. I’ll probably write a lot about that in the coming weeks.

Other than all that, my biggest goals consist of potty training and binky breaking! Maddie will be 2 in February 18th and I know I need to get working on all that. It’s going to be a lot of work, and I will probably have to actually schedule my time, especially with my fitness program, but when it’s all said and done, I think 2018 is going to be one amazing year.

In the next day or so, I’ll post a whole update about our Disney Trip and share pictures from our adventure! This trip was so different from our trip in January of 2017. I’ll share the differences between taking a 10 month old versus taking a 21 month old. It was surprising to me!!

Sorry this post was more of a brain dump than normal, but I’m still recovering from this last month or so. I promise this will get better!!

Dear Best Friends,

Dear Best Friends,

How would you define a “best friend”?

Me, Kenneth and Maddie, Christmas 2016

The dictionary defines “friend” as “one attached to another by affection or esteem” and defines “best” as “excelling all others”. I can safely say that in my lifetime, I have had many people fill this definition.

Me, Brittany and Jenny, December 3rd, 2016

To me, a best friend is someone that loves you no matter what. They know the real you and embrace it. They may not agree with everything you say, do or believe, but that doesn’t change the way they feel about you. A best friend is there with you to celebrate the good times, but also there for you when your life is falling apart. They stick up for you when others are bad-mouthing you.

Me and Christa, 2007

And I don’t believe that we choose our friends at all. I believe that God picks them for our lives. He places people in the right place at the right time in your life and that person helps you grow into who you are supposed to be. Sometimes those friends are only around a short while before God moves them on into a new chapter of their lives, leaving yours in the process. As sad as that can be, it’s all necessary for you to grow. Sometimes God keeps those people in your life because He knows how much you need that person. He picks people to put in seasons of your life to make you who you are today. I believe that with every heartbreak in my life, God had just the right people by my side to help me get over it and become stronger. I firmly believe that God had just the right people in my life to help me when I lost my mom. Those friends dropped everything they were doing to be there for me when they knew I needed them the most. I can safely say I haven’t needed my friends as much as I needed them those days but I know if I did need them, my current friends (some of which are the same from back then) would drop everything if they could and be there for me.

Me and Sherri, Senior Year Prom 2005

I believe God allowed some of my friends to come in and out of my life. Maybe we weren’t in the right place to be friends at that moment, but eventually our paths crossed again. I also believe that God has made sure that even if we don’t all live here in my hometown, that whenever we do get to see each other, it would be like no time has passed. Our lives move on with or without each other around all the time to make cameos. Most of us have gotten married and some of us have already started families of our own. We have jobs, and lives that don’t always center around each other anymore.

Me and Shelby, 2007

But none of that matters. With every new wedding, or new baby, it’s just adding to our huge group, or family. My daughter has tons of “aunts” and “uncles” that love her so much and Maddie will grow up with my friends’ kids and in ways, it’ll feel like everything has come full circle.

Me and Jimmy, 2016

So to my friends at the end of this National Best Friend Day, I say, thank you! Thank you for loving me. Thank you for always being by my side. Thank you for always having my back. Thank you for sticking up for me (even if that meant slapping someone for me). Thank you for dropping everything when my world was falling apart after mom died. Thank you for dealing with my crazy. Thank you for making my heart so much fuller. Thank you for allowing me to be in chapters of your lives and thank you for being in so many chapters of mine. I honestly cannot wait to see what God has in store for all of us, for all of my friends. Whether in the past, present or future, I’m very thankful that I can call you a best friend.

Samantha and I, 2009

We’ve gone through school together, traveled together, laughed together, cried together. We’ve been there when we’ve needed each other. We’ve been in each others’ weddings, held each others’ babies, and welcomed new significant others into our group with open arms. We’ve celebrated together and we’ve cried together. And we will continue to do so.

Me and Amber, Backstreet Boys Concert 2014

Thank you, God, for my best friends – past, present and future. Thank you for putting them in my life to help me grow and become who I am today. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alicia, Me, Claire and Jenny – Claire’s wedding – 2016
Me and Amanda, her wedding – 2010
Jenna and I – 2009