2017 Highlight Reel

2017 was a year of the usual ups and downs but it’s hard to even remember any downs when we were blessed with such a beautiful baby halfway through. The highlights I most want to remember:

1. Being present

I worked really hard at being in the moment and present for my kids. It’s so easy to zone out in Instagram-land, but these are days I’ll never get back. We meet a lot of retired couples when we are out cruising (living on our sailboat) and they all look at my boys and say “man those were the BEST days of our lives.” I like to always think the best is still out there, but just in case they’re right…I’m holding on to each moment the best I can and *trying* not to wish these days away.

Sunrise in Hope Town…Whichever boy was up would come with me. We’d tip toe to the end of the dock, a little chilly, and snap a quick pic before hurrying back to the sleeping boy waiting in the boat
Opti sailing in Maine…what a milestone to be able to send all the kids out together in boats!! Just in time for the new baby to be born!!
Swimming lessons in the ocean. Both boys learned to swim this year, an obvious highlight for a family on the water 🌊
Paddle-boarding. Tough to motivate myself to do, but we didn’t have to go fast, we didn’t have to go far, we just had to go…and see what we could and be together
A typical Van game: playing lion
River’s first snorkeling at Sandy Cay! We were SO PROUD!
Kiddie yoga: Van barking his way through downward dog

2. Live the little things!

Being in the Bahamas for most of my pregnancy was a good lesson in this. I didn’t have the energy to do our usual program of nonstop adventure. I was forced to slow down and notice that the kids were just as happy if I let us take our time, walk slowly, count the lizards, climb on every rock wall, and just not rush adventure to adventure. Just being was enough. We had so much more fun once I stopped dragging them around and started following instead.

3. Vegan for life

This was the year I really solidified, in my mind, the reasons I’m vegan. It came down to “vegan for life”: for my life/health, for the planet’s life, for animals’ lives. Really it benefits every single creature on this planet, including my meat eating friends and family, so there is just no argument against it for me. It’s the single best decision I’ve ever made, and I can’t imagine ever going back.

4. Baby love!

We may have had nine whole months to name him, and failed, but once we finally settled on the name “Rocky” it really felt like him. He is the best baby I’ve ever met and we just all feel so incredibly lucky to call him ours.

5. Appreciating the process

Becoming vegan taught me one more thing- life really is a process and changes and growth never happen all at once. I learned to watch my thoughts and feelings and simply accept them as they are. I don’t need to stress or push myself to make big sweeping changes. Little shifts over time can really add up. These steps are important. Trust in the process, don’t rush, but also don’t be afraid to take the small steps forward. I’m really looking forward to applying this in 2018, as I continue to work towards being more present, and tweaking our family habits for the betterment of the planet. A focus that we’re really talking a lot about as a family is decreasing our waste, one small step at a time.

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