Every year in December when the upcoming calendar change to a new year is looming, I begin to think about what the year has brought me, or taken away. Either way, I feel the need to rate the year, give it a percentage in my head and decide whether I’m happy to send it sailing or sad to watch it leave.

This year I’m cautiously optimistic (December isn’t over yet). But, I can honestly say that at this time last year I was ready to begin 2015 with a vengeance. 2014 was an extremely tough year for myself and my family and I wanted it over. My parents, brother and sisters, in-laws, and my husband and son had many moments of loss over the course of the year.

We lost my uncle that May to a sickness that made him take his own life. Watching my Dad struggle with his passing, trying to come to terms with the loss of his brother and friend, was excruciating for my family and me, sometimes, it still is now.

Then, just a few weeks later, my husband lost his Grandpa, who’s funeral ended up being the same day as our son’s tonsillectomy, which had been rescheduled 3 times already, the 2nd time for my uncle’s funeral. I was already stressed about having my almost 2 year old have such an invasive procedure at such a young age. (Seriously, tonsillectomy’s under the age of 2 are a scary business with lots of things that can go wrong.) So, thank the Lord for my Mom, who got up early and drove the 2 ½ hours to be with me at the hospital and help with every little thing I needed as I comforted my son until my husband could be there later in the day. My mom is a saint, for real. She watched the movie “All About John Deere: For Kids” on repeat for nearly 8 hours! I’m not kidding…someone get her a medal. Stat!

Then, (I know…there’s more) just a few weeks later we lost my Grandma, my Mom’s mother and my last living Grandparent and we were heartbroken. She’d been in the nursing home for over a year and she wasn’t herself anymore but it shook us still. She was a steadfast person in my life growing up. Being a widow for 27 years, she was one of the most independent women I knew, until she couldn’t anymore. Losing her was tough, but seeing her lose her independence was tougher, so in the end, we said goodbye to her knowing she was going to get to meet my Grandpa who she had missed for so long.

So there we were, entering the fall and ready for the year and all of its sad and awful memories to turn and begin a new chapter in 2015 when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. My husband, family and I were ecstatic. I began estimating my due date and dreaming of having a baby in the late spring without having to endure another hot summer as I had with my oldest who was born at the end of July.

Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed, again. 2014 was not being kind to us.

I miscarried at a day shy of 8 weeks and I was devastated, to say the least. So many questions ran through my head. “Why me? What did I do to make this happen? Would this be my future, fighting to have a healthy pregnancy? How do I grieve when it was just my family that knew?”

Going through a miscarriage is something that I could never explain. The moment my OBGYN told me that there was no heartbeat and we had lost the baby, I was speechless. I had gone straight to my doctor’s office as soon as I knew something was wrong and beat my husband there since he had over an hour to travel to get back from his job. So there I was, alone, though my doctor and nurse were in the room with me. And I got angry, very angry. Isn’t there a limit of the sadness one should be allowed to feel in a year’s time? When does it end?

The hard and true answer; it doesn’t. My husband and I were lucky. We missed that baby with all of our hearts but were astounded to find out that we were pregnant again before then end of the year. We turned the page into 2015 on an optimistic note…praying with everything we had that this baby would be healthy. We were given the best gift when we had our second son on June 20, 2015. He is a wonderful baby who just reached his half birthday this month.

I was a very anxious mother with my first, and maybe it’s because I had been through it once before, but with my 2nd I’ve relaxed. I truly believe that part of my ability to relax with babe 2 was because I know he has a little angel watching over him, one that is all his. We were destined to have him come into our life, and for whatever reason that I’ll never begin to understand, we had to endure a lot of sadness to feel the joy we got to feel holding him in our arms in 2015.

So, 2015 has looked up. It has had its ups-and-downs. We’ve experienced extreme joy and some frustration. Life has thrown us lots of curve balls this year but we are together, we are happy and we have each other, so in my book we’ve kicked 2015’s butt. I’d give it a good 75%. (I don’t give out A’s and B’s easily.)

2014 got a 5% if that tells you anything.

So entering 2016, I’m making no resolutions. They never last anyway. Instead, I’m going in with an open-mind and a grateful heart, ready to take anything coming my way and make it great. With the change from 2014 to 2015, I know anything is possible. And I intend to make 2016 my first 99%.

Sara Baker

I'm a midwest living, full-time working Mama who takes life and its craziness day by day and loves every minute of it. My 2 little Baker boys, Breck and Crew, and my 3rd Baker boy, my husband Tyler, are my world. In our life, everything is busy and crazy and wonderful and I wouldn't have it any other way!