Adios 2017

As the year winds down, there is much to reflect upon and much to be grateful for.

The first big event was celebrating my son’s first birthday, and thus my first full year as a parent. It was special being able to have my grandparents and my husband’s grandparents there. I know the older they get, there will be fewer birthdays they are around for, and having that memory is something I will treasure.

Soon afterwards, I had my gallbladder removed after being in intense pain for quite some time. Surgery made me incredibly anxious, though I knew it was a routine surgery for the hospital staff. It took some time to recover, and I eventually was able to feel better, though I still have some itchy scars. Definitely a better problem to have than the intense pain of a gallbladder attack.

Just a few months later my cat became unexpectedly sick and within a day I was forced to euthanize her, as there was no real way she was going to get better. Time has helped to heal most of the pain but I definitely still notice her absence, which can be difficult at times. I still talk and think about her quite a lot, and I know it is because I miss her so much. I am grateful to have had her but it definitely didn’t seem like enough time.

My sweet girl looking outside while we still lived in Washington.

Not long after this I got to go to an Army ball for the Army’s birthday, which was a very nice celebration. And one of the few times I’ve actually put on makeup and a dress this year!

While we were visiting our family during the summer, which was just a few weeks after the Army ball, I found out that I am expecting my second baby!

I have kept this a secret from most people who are not immediate family or close friends. But since I am getting close to the end I thought it would be an appropriate time to share.

We are having another little boy, and are very much looking forward to our sons being brothers. The biggest thing we have not yet agreed on is a name for him. For some reason we have struggled more with boy names than girl names, so hopefully we will figure one out by the time he arrives.

My grandparents have both faced some difficulties this year with their health. Both ended up in the hospital and then rehabilitation facilities. My grandmother stayed the longest between the two of them, but both of them finally returned home near the beginning of December. Considering we didn’t know whether they’d be around for Christmas, I am so grateful to God for pulling them through these stressful struggles.

Coming to the end of 2017, I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. It almost seems like we were just starting this year not all that long ago. I hope 2018 brings many good things, and that some of the bad things that happened in this year will be overshadowed by them.

I know that life is unpredictable. Being part of the military community has only proven to me how true this fact is. I have found that most things can be overcome, while some are more difficult to move through. But that is what life has shown me this year.

I hope that these experiences have made me a better and stronger person, and that the new normal I will soon be met with will just be another thing I will overcome, hopefully without too many tears.

I wish you all a happy 2018, and hope that whatever you are leaving behind you in this year will bring you peace. Happy New Year!


What are some of the most significant events you’ve experienced this year? What are you looking forward to the most in 2018? Sound off in the comments below!



About Mary Spangler

Mary was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently lives on Scott Air Force Base with her husband, SSG Spangler, their two sons and cat. Previous duty stations include Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Rivanna Station, Virginia, and Fort Shafter, Hawaii. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University in 2009. During her college years she also spent some time volunteering for the Student Veteran’s Association, and participated briefly in the Army ROTC program. She loves writing, music, gardening, watching documentaries and movies, cooking, hosting get-togethers, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

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