January 02, 2018

I see you, 2017.

November and December got away from me, as time sometimes tend to do. All of 2017 kind of did. I blogged a grand total of 15 times last year. Compare that to 32 in 2016, 44 in 2015, 43 in 2014, 49 in 2013, 205 in 2012, and three times in 2011. I wasn't going to count back through my entire blogging "career" thus far, but it was kind of addictive so I couldn't help myself. In case you lost track, that makes this my 377th presently available post on this blog. Over the last six years there have been a post or two that have been deleted or archived for the greater good but, like some of my older stuff, they probably aren't worth remembering anyway.

If you're worried that this little retrospective is the prelude to my retirement, don't be. You're still here so you're clearly still invested (bless you). Dear friend, you can take comfort knowing that I have no intention of retiring Make Mine Decaf. I, too, am still here and I'm not going anywhere.

2017 proved to be a year of chaos. I'm not one to decide on a word for the year until after the fact (mostly because I really don't care) but at one point I thought my word of the year might be "sprinkles." I used a lot of sprinkles in the first half of the year and it brought me a lot of joy. Who can't find joy in rainbow sprinkles? Serial killers, that's who.

But, no, sprinkles didn't make the final cut. "Chaos" did, though.

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions. (Except for the one year in high school I didn't eat McDonald's for an entire year and beyond. For the record, it wasn't very hard.) I find January 1st to be an arbitrary date on the calendar that doesn't really mean much. Of course everyone plans on eating better but it's hard not to after the food marathon that is December (more on that later) but, other than that, nothing really changes.

I finished off 2016 with a bold statement: Bring it, 2017. Three days later I kind of started to regret that.

It didn't matter in the end, because Molly was born healthy and screaming but there was no denying that 2017 showed up and made a point that it wasn't just going to be an arbitrary date. (I sometimes think of last year as The Year of Molly, but that's kind of unfair to Parker so we won't pursue it any further.)

Spending an entire calendar year at home with two really little kids proved to be nothing short of chaotic. There's a lot more that can be said about that, but for now just believe me when I tell you that an 18.5 month age gap (I know, I can't let go of the .5. It feels important.) is straight up chaos. Looking back I'm not sure how I did it. At times it felt like an incredibly long year, but now it all seems like a big blur of sleep deprivation and decaffeinated coffee.

I had to let go of a lot of expectations in 2017. Molly, although incredibly sweet, is just not the easy baby that Parker was. We're a week away from her first birthday and I'm still really hoping we get her sleeping through the night by then. Forget next week's cake, that would be the best belated push present ever. I'm not holding my breath.

I've learned a lot about myself as a wife, mother, and person this year. If that sounds cliched it's because it is, but kids wreck you, guys, and I'm one good cry away from pouring my heart out in a deeply sincere Instagram post that ends with a #blessed.

On that note, I feel like I should appologize for treating my IG as a blog. And for just calling it my IG. I've been prioritizing my time lately and, it may not seem like it, but when I blog it takes about an hour to get a post out. This is partially because of the novellas I write, but also because when I'm only posting once a month I feel like my content needs to be a little more thought out than it was in 2012, the year of plenty. On Instagram it's so much faster, easier, and I don't need to consciously neglect my kids while doing it. I Instagram on my phone and blog on my laptop. It's easier to hold a phone over your head and out of your toddler's reach than a computer.

This past year has been hard in a lot of ways. There's been a lot of joy, but also struggles. The year didn't start off as planned and our new baby was more complicated than I'd expected. (Apparently it wasn't my superior parenting skills that made baby Parker so easy.)  There was also tragedy and heartache, parenting woes, and minor health issues.

I made a lot of new friends, found a new rhythm in our day to day lives, and kept two tiny people (never mind Karl and I) alive and well. If survival is how you determine success, then I'd say it was a good year. It wasn't a bad year, but I'm not sorry to see the back of 2017. Onward and upward to the future, where hopefully we all get to sleep through the night and Parker learns how to give foot rubs.

The coming year is likely going to be Chaos 2.0. There are big changes heading our way and with them comes a lot of stress. I anticipate that the next six months will give me a lot of grey hair and bigger eye wrinkles. (Seriously, when did I get old enough to wrinkle?) I'm really looking forward to the last half of 2018, though, because in my mind it involves a lot of sleeping.

So cheers to 2017 for the good and the bad and the babies. Thank you and goodbye. And cheers to 2018 for exciting new things, the terrifying unknown, and the year I blog more than I ever have in Molly's life.


  1. Yay! A new post! 2018 is off to a good start already. :)
    I’m excited for what this year holds for you!

  2. So happy to see a post from you! Oh and don't stop treating IG like a blog haha. I love it.

  3. You went through a lot this year! 2017 was an intense year. I'm not sorry to see it go either. But I am so happy to see a blog post from you and I hope you keep it up.

  4. So happy to see a new post from you! 2017 was quite a year--here's to 2018!

  5. I'm glad you're not giving up the blog! I was starting to worry.

    Don't apologize for using IG as a blog, though. Sometimes it's just way more convenient.

    I can't believe Molly is almost a year already. HOW!?

  6. I call my blog's Facebook page "my Facebook," as in, "Just a minute, I'm scheduling posts to my Facebook." It's annoying to everyone, I'm sure.


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