Things That Made Life Better This Year: 2018 Edition

Happy New Year! The close of this year finds us in the snow globe world of Snoqualmie Pass, a pleasant place to reflect on the many things that made this busy year beautiful.

  1. Littlest taking advantage of a fall day in our new two-kid stroller!

    Strollers: We’ve had two main strollers this year (a Graco jogger and a Phil & Ted’s Sport) and a handful of umbrella strollers that have traversed cobblestones, Seattle sidewalks and mountain trails. Both in Kandern and in Seattle, it’s been another year of walking everywhere, from grocery stores to playgrounds, libraries to playdates. I’m thankful to live in places where we can walk, for the health to do so, and the strollers that get us there with minimal hassle.

  2. Doctors & Midwives: Pregnancy has a way of making the medical world familiar for a while. I’m thankful for my genial German obstetrician and the smooth transfer of care to a midwife practice in Issaquah who saw me through to Eleanor’s October delivery.
    • A Highlight: Having the same midwife on call to deliver Eleanor who delivered Luci three years before. Our girls were her first siblings!
  3. Saying goodbye to the Duhans, some of our dear friends from Kandern.

    Hellos & Goodbyes: The adage about being thankful to have something that makes saying goodbye difficult has never felt more true than this year, when we said goodbye to a home and a whole crowd of people we loved in Germany. The goodbyes were truly sweet in that sense, knowing that we’d loved and been loved deeply in that home, and that we’d be welcomed with open arms by family here in Seattle, despite the many uncertainties that awaited us there.

  4. Four Suitcases & A Shipping Container: Moving from one continent to another, after almost eight years away, is truly a herculean undertaking. Our landlords surprised us by selling our building in March and moving just an hour from Seattle, so were able to take many of our things with them in the spring. Still, we managed to fill every suitcase we could find, and Timmy deserves all kinds of awards for transporting a toddler, a pregnant wife and half a dozen bags around the world in June.
  5. Two Homes: We’ve lived in two marvelous places this year, an apartment at the top of a German village and a house at the edge of Seattle. Both are beautiful places in their own way, both provided by God just when we needed them.
  6. Sea salt and rosemary bread: delicious!

    Sourdough Bread & A Sewing Machine: I learned to bake artisanal sourdough bread and brought out my old sewing machine to sew a quilt for baby Eleanor. In a summer and fall full of transitions, it was fun to return to an old skill and learn a new one, both activities that bring me joy and make me feel competent in this new place.

  7. Pastries: Whether a butter pretzel from Hiebers, a cinnamon Danish from my sister’s Nielsen’s pastries, or a chocolate croissant from Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle, we’ve continued to appreciate baked goods wherever we’ve been.
    • Family Favorite Pastry: Snitter from Nielsen’s
    • Most Ordered Pastry: Chocolate Croissant
    • Go-To First Trimester Snack: Hiebers Pretzel
  8. Lesser-known cousin to the thank you card, meet Luci’s hand painted “You’re Welcome” card.

    Watercolors: Painting became one of Luci’s favorite activities this fall, thanks to a gift from her Great Aunt Carol. We’ve loved painting in the morning while Dad is at work, enjoying the process of being creative together.

  9. Free Furniture: This summer, we faced the daunting task of furnishing a three-bedroom house, and were surprised and delighted by where all the furniture came from. The Dahlstrom family table and chairs returned from my sister’s former roommates’ home, who also used the opportunity to give us a loveseat. A TV donated by high school friends. Plenty of linens collected by my mom and Grandma. Though it will never look like an IKEA showroom, we’re thankful to have a home full of things that remind us of the community we’ve entered here in the Northwest.
  10. Dahlstrom sisters at the end of a busy year!

    Sisters: From time spent living near my actual sister, Holly to the joy of seeing Luci become a big sister, this has been a year of sisterhood. In addition to these, I’ve been thankful for my female friends, near and far, who are walking with me in these adventures of vocation, motherhood and relationship with Christ.

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