Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Looking forward…..

I love the start of a New Year! It seems like a new beginning…a fresh start.

quoteIMG_3327

Karen used this quote in a post and I fell in love with it.  I put it on a photo I took when I hiked last week. Thanks Karen!

I even love January! Of course it’s easier to love January when you live in Florida. We’ve had a few cold days and nights but we’ve also had lots of beautiful days to get on the trails and hike.

IMG_3539

(hiking the Florida trails by myself)

To really appreciate a ‘new year’, you need to look back and see what has happened this past year and what can be ‘improved upon’! My husband and I survived the worst year of our marriage in 2017. In January of last year, my husband woke up one morning in severe pain. Many of you will remember that I asked for your prayers. He was in pain one day…it was worse the next….and the next….until he could barely move. We had good advice from his son and found a specialist that gave him a proper diagnosis….Polymyalgia Rheumatica. With the right treatments and drugs my husband has found a way to manage his illness and a year later he can do just about everything he did before. I won’t say he never has pain but he can deal with it now. We even managed to get in 53 hikes, the same amount as the year before. Which amazed us! 

I like to write down every hike. I write where we go, what we see, the duration and temperature.

I also kept track of the books I read and ended up reading 70 books last year.

Oh, and I found a new crafting passion….altered books! I’ve made quite a few but I think I’ve lost count.

01Jan-001

I’ve probably made over 20 hardback altered books

01Jan

and twice as many little handmade books.

DSCN4539

(many of these are made out of notecards I’ve received and paper I’ve collected)

DSCN4535

So it was a year I wouldn’t want to repeat but I’m happy that we survived. I can honestly say, I’ve learned a lot and I have indeed been blessed.

I want to choose a word for this new year but can’t decide.

Do you have one you would like to share?

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

45 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

It was certainly a tough year for you, but praise God for getting you through it and that your husband has his illness under control. Don't you wonder what triggers stuff like this! I love your altered books. I keep meaning to do one. Maybe in 2018. God bless you two in this new year ahead. xo

Arlene Grimm said...

It is good to reflect on the old year while embracing the new year. I had 35 finishes in Cross Stitch which surprised me. I have been keeping a journal of my stitching and it has been a fun project. My husband did not have a good year either, what with pain etc so we are hoping 2018 is a better one in that area. I always enjoy seeing the pictures of your hikes. I am back to getting my steps in every day. It does help me to feel better!

Karen Ann said...


Sometimes the simplest collection of words can have a mountain of meaning - I love that one too - Onward!

Happy New Year, Diane - so glad to know you.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I am so glad your husband recovered from his illness and all is well now. I know you enjoy your hikes. You did great reading 70 books. I am not sure if I can find my book count for the past year. Your crafts books are wonderful, you are creative. I wish you all the best in 2018 and I look forward to you new hikes and photos. Have a happy day and week ahead.

laurie said...

I'm so glad your husband has found the way to manage this horrible disease,, and congratulations on the hiking, whatan accomplishment, I keep track of the books I read as well and I read 65 this year, some I will reread I loved so much. I did not choose a word yet,, but if I was pressed to choose I would say strength because we will need it to face some upcoming challenges.

Sandy said...

I haven't come up with a word either, but I like looking back before I look forward. I need to reflect before I can set those goals. I love that quote too. Looks like a fun hobby.

Linda said...

I’m so glad your husband is coping with his pain and condition! I pray that happens soon for my Summer.
I’m intrigued with your altered books. I’ve never seen these before. Sometimes I think I live under a rock!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am so thankful for a diagnosis and pain management for your husband. It has been a rough year but also one where new creative outlets were found. Hikes taken (not by me I must say) and Joy found. No word for the year here yet but I'm working on it. Hugs!

Jeanie said...

I think 2017 was tough for many. I'm especially glad your husband has recovered to the point where he can enjoy life and deal with the pain. I remember that time and I know it had to be very difficult to work through over the year.

All my wishes that 2018 is gloriously better!

Carla from The River said...

Hi,
You had a challenging 2017. I am so happy things are better. It is so true, how we grow stronger from a challenge. I also agree, I would not want to repeat the challenges we had as well.
Lots of love and looking forward to 2018 with you!
Congratulations on your hikes.
Love, Carla

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Happy trails, and a safe 2018

Debby Ray said...

Praise the Lord that your hubby has been able to manage his condition...God is SO good like that! I love the quote you shared too and your photo of the sky is stunning. And I just think those little books you are making are adorable! Blessings on you and yours in this new year. New Year's Hugs!!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

I'm so glad that your husband is doing better and you and he will enjoy another year together. It's good to reflect and make plans for the new year. I enjoy seeing your hikes and your amazing books. Very clever. Happy New Year! ♥

bj said...

2017 was very bittersweet for our family.
Losing Mr. Sweet was without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever had to experience....but....a new little great grandson was born just before my husband of 57 yrs died so he was blessed to see his new great grandson. So the year had sorrow and gladness for which we are thankful.
My new word for the year is DETERMINATION.

Stacey said...

Happy New Year, Diane.

Only once have we thought that we were so glad so see a year go on by! We don't want to wish for time to pass quickly but sometimes there's just a little more adversity than we like. I'm so glad your husband is able to manage his pain and that you are still living a full life!

happyone said...

A lot can be learned from the hard times. God has a way of helping us through those times to make us stronger and more compassionate so we may help others.
So glad that your husband has seen such great improvement.

Joyce Mayer said...

Happy New Year. Wow, are we in the middle on a winter blast - but from what I hear FL is getting snow and ice. Are you okay? Be safe and stay warm.

Hugs

Red Rose Alley said...

I'm glad your husband is feeling better, Diane. That's wonderful that you took so many hikes this year. I would like to get back to nature myself. Your handmade books are so charming, and I hope you continue to do those this year. I'm not one to make resolutions for the new year or even have a special word. I just try to be the best me I can. You say you've been blessed this last year. Maybe your word should be "blessed." : )

love, ~Sheri

Susie said...

Diane, You have a good heart...you know to count your blessings. I am so glad that your husband came thru that ordeal. You are a great team together. I am so amazed at the hikes you guys take. I love all the trails and bird picture you post for the rest of us. Love your new hobby. You are an artist. Blessings and hugs to you and yours, xoxo,love, Susie

Anonymous said...

Diane, has your weather gotten colder than usual? I read that it snowed in FL somewhere. I am so impressed with your hikes! WOW! I love those little books you make and I pray that this year is a healthier one for you and your husband!

Terri D said...

Your books are unique and so interesting! I always love your photos!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Thank goodness you can look back and realize that you and your dear hubby survived and are indeed blessed, Diane. I love that you write down your hikes. Your books are just darling.
Happy 2018 to you, my friend!

Cherdecor said...

I am so happy to see your post tonight. It has been a tough year for most of us, but thank the Lord, we made it through. I am so thankful that your husband got some answers and is now able to manage his pain. I always enjoy your hike, birds, and places you go. I also like your dolls and all the changes of clothing on them. I heard that there was snow in Orlando today. This weather sure is crazy! Happy New Year!

Lorrie said...

It was a tough year for you, and I'm glad to hear that you are pushing through with God's grace. Your altered books are so much fun! I keep track of books I read, but I forgot a couple of months in the summer when things were a little crazy. Hopefully I'll do better this year.
I don't have a word for this year, but I always like hearing about others'.

Danice G said...

What pretty altered books. You are so crafty. More pretty nature photos, as always. My Word for 2018 is Finish (as in all of the many quilt tops that are piling up). Happy New Year.

Janey and Co. said...

What a great post. I like the idea of recording your hikes. ..and may copy that when we get back to our Colorado house.
Sorry about your trying year. Mine went great until the very end. Lost a brother in law to Alzheimer's, my sister fell and badly injured her back,and then a much loved son in law got a devistating cancer diagnosis. So my new word for 2018 is going to be Hopeful. Janey

Jenn Jilks said...

What an interesting year!
We're pretty cold for walking. It's -10 C. today and going to -33 tonight.
I have a fire going to supplement the heat. I don't mind the cold, it's just a shock!!!!
Happy new year!

Christine said...

So uplifting to hear your great news & rejoice with you both for answered prayers!
God bless in 2018!

Tom said...

...I like January in the frozen north, but this year there just too much to love! Those altered books look interesting!

Lea said...

2017 was a rough year for us, too. I lost one of my closest friends to breast cancer, and my husband's cousin died of liver cancer.
Glad your husband's health has improved.
Enjoyed your photos!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

So glad your husband is doing well. I'm jealous of all the hiking you got to do. Happy New Year! xo

Lowcarb team member said...

Through good times and bad we seem to come through and often end up stronger.
Sending my good wishes to you and your husband for 2018.

All the best Jan

Michelle said...

I think it is easier to love January in Florida! lol I visited my parents over the Christmas break and they thought it was cold and I was in short sleeved shirts! Perspective, I suppose. We are below zero and freezing here in KY. Thanks for linking up today!

Carol Z said...

I'm not loving our January weather, but I'm loving being well and having a cozy apartment to spend these cold days. My word is health and I'm looking at it in all aspects.

handmade by amalia said...

I love this quote! And George Elliot said: You are never too old to be who you might have been. Hope rules!
Amalia
xo

BeachGypsy said...

I just love seeing all the things you make. Ilove those books, so neat! Your word should be "create" because you are so good at it! I'm so glad your hubby is doing better and you know how I love to read about your hikes and see the pictures. Is it still raining there? Mercy, we are so un-accustomed to snow and ice here, the whole city shuts down. It's awful COLD but It's so much worse up north.I cant believe we got so much snow and ice. Not seen anything like it in years.The dogs dont want to be out in it and I've started feeding the little birds. Happy new year, my friend!!

carol l mckenna said...

Glad your husband is doing well and that you are moving forward ~ lovely creations you have done ~ very productive year I would say ~ and wishing you many more,

Happy Weekend to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Helen Philipps said...

Happy New Year Diane! So glad your husband is doing so well after last year and wishing you both a very healthy and happy 2018. I love altered books and yours look lovely. xxx

Debbie said...

for you, for me and for everyone - joyful!!!

i live in new jersey and still love the winter. i love the cold, i love the 2 feet of snow we just got that is keeping me home today. i love the cozy feeling i get when i am "trapped" at home!!!

your books are wonderful, really unique and beautiful!!!

Linda Walker said...

Happy New Year Diane! Yes you certainly had a bad scare with your husband's health in 2017. Hope 2018 is a happy and healthy year for you both!!! I see lots of people are picking JOY as their word for 2018, I like that word....but I also like gratitude. I envy your weather right now, we got slammed with snow and I had to run an errand a few minutes ago and my ears were numb. It's only 8 degrees but the whipping wind makes it feel below 0. I'd give anything to be hiking in Florida right now! Take care,
xxLinda

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Happy New Year my friend! And oh I do remember holding my breath for you and your husband a year ago. I'm so glad he found the right Dr and got help ... and I'm absolutely amazed that you two got in the same number of hikes! Fantastic.

It's still kinda' cold over here in FT M -- though you can tell the people who just arrived at our resort from 'Up North' -- they think it's warm. The rest of us are practically wearing our long-johns. But it is sunny and it is getting warmer soon.

The Sketchy Reader said...

Your altered books make me so happy! I love them! I'm going to make some for special photos. I can't wait to get started on my photo challenges this year. These are an inspiration! I love your old books and ephemera!

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

Such a difficult thing for you and your husband to go through with his illness, but so thankful that a good diagnosis has helped him get through this, and go on living life! What a blessing that is. Truly there is so much to be thankful for, even in the midst of our struggles. I love your altered books! They are just darling! I think I will borrow the ring binding idea to make my gardening journal this year. Typical journals for my garden journal just don't work well. I love this idea, and it looks like so much fun to do! Blessings to you today :)

Geraldine said...

I hope it's a wonderful year for you and your family Diane. I love that quote at the beginning of post, so true.

Lots of hugs!😊

Sam I Am...... said...

I love that quote too! So glad your husband is able to mange his illness and still enjoy your hikes together. I love your altered books and I had no idea you made so many this year...amazing! My word this year is FINISH but that's not a word you would use as you finish everything you start and beautifully I might add! Happy New Year!!!