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Full Circle

As the first leaves start to turn color you know it is the return of autumn proceeding the last leaves falling signaling winter; yes even here in Florida... Just as the seasons have a way of creeping up unexpectedly so does life. Forcing you to sit with your emotions and work through them, and eventually forcing you to move past them on to the next season. They all must come and go, and the only thing that you take from it is the lessons and your tribe. Each season in 2018 brought, an oddly messy but beautiful, close to a book, while still writing in a completely different book in another section of our library. Our seasons were drastically different; we had a full {personal} four seasons this year — none quite like the other.

SPRING: The Season of Adventure

This year started with losing Shandy's childhood dogs and adventuring into cat ownership. When Paxton, also known as tiny, found Keiko (our cat) at the time we thought we were saving her, it appears very much the other way around. Tiny loves her so much and looks forward to seeing her every morning and evening. Watching him love on her brings us as much joy as it does her. During this time we became Orlando regulars. Spring break we visited back to Disney World. Bringing everything back full circle from when Trey was sick and our pregnancy announcement with tiny. This was an emotional trip as it was an ending and a beginning all in one. We also snagged season passes to Universal and Islands of Adventures. This has been a saving grace for quick weekend trips for us and the kids. Tiny has found true love in roller coasters, and Kasen is slowly facing his fears and learning to enjoy them.

​​Dad and Mom were able to jet overseas this year, venturing in Iceland and Sweden. Thanks, Aunt Kiah, for becoming a doctor this year giving us another reason to travel. This was a great trip and look forward to doing this again with the boys one day. (Blog to come - a bit of delay sorry guys!) We ended our spring with a big JUMP. Literally, we jumped out of an airplane. After our jump, a lot of people asked: "How was it?" It was AMAZING and not at all how we expected. If anyone is considering jumping, we highly recommend it. It is a hard feeling to describe. It is nothing like a roller coaster, which we both oddly thought it would have been. The hardest, or scariest, part of the jump was going up on a plane knowing you are about to jump. Shandy describes

the jump as the Peter Pan or ET ride, where you are flying over the city and looking down below. Trey describes it as a powerful hair dryer in your face blowing drool all over you. Same jump different experience, ha! To be fair though it is probably a combination of both, Trey is accurate on his. Our spring season was a highlight for us. Traveling, seeing new things and having new experiences with our family are the priceless memories we will cherish forever.

SUMMER: The Season of GRIEF


Our summer was harsh. It felt like one set back after another. After coming off vacation, we experienced some issues in our home, nothing serious just typical house upkeep on the big-ticket items. Trey's internship became a bit more demanding and Shandy getting into the thick of her campaign pushed us into full time daycare. All of this added on a few extra expenses that we were not prepared for. And our most significant hardship that far exceeds any financial difficulty, losing Hugh, Trey's father. Following our misfortune we had a massive high, Trey received his first clean scan. However, our lows outweighed the highs. All of this happened within two weeks. A pretty intense start to our Summer...

Fortunately losing our dogs earlier this year made it a bit easier to explain to the boys what happened to grandpa, sort of. Our Summer quickly became the season of high emotions. Trey rekindled a relationship with his father almost two years ago, just to lose him permanently. While Trey was digesting losing his father, the boys were digesting losing their grandfather the same one that came into their life. Tiny had some additional grieving, forcing Shandy into a different emotional bucket. During this time family members didn't see eye to eye, things were said, and things just haven't been the same. During the chaos of dealing with Hugh leftovers, Shandy's family came into town. Having the family from Holland and Sweden here was a real blessing. It forced our focus onto entertaining and being around loved ones who weren't close to the situation. Although we probably weren't the most fun host during this time; it helped ease our minds and bring back some normalcy in our home. The boys were able to meet their cousins, watching them build a connection with the family brought us to tears and hearing how they loved them melted our hearts. The little man cried so much when he understood the family had to return to their home countries. Both boys are are counting down until the next family reunion and can't wait to see their cousins again.

AUTUMN: The Season of Civil Service

As quickly as Summer happened Autumn came with a vengeance. It was go go go all season long. Kasen found a passion for soccer and was a bit of a star this season. He ventured into second grade, so far enjoying this year more than last. We are seriously still trying to figure out how we have a second grader; that happened too fast. Little man also decided to branch into hobbies this year, ranging from tech and EVEN appears he is going to continue on the Thompson family surf tradition just not competitively. He is learning BIG life lessons; you know the ones on how to balance different friendships and understand each relationship offers different strengths.

Tiny, or Boogs as he earned another nickname this season (you can figure this one out), is now the "big kid" at his daycare. He is the BIG HELPER and most definitely a BIG kid, not a baby! He is still our same old stubborn one, yet this season he started learning consequences. Yeah that one burned. However, with now obtaining a role as being the big helper he is always looking for ways to help out.

Shandy was in full campaign mode. Trey was Mr. Mom, student, coach, employee, and biggest campaign supporter. We as a family loved/hated this season; we will call it a 70/30 split. There were plenty of days where we were drained, but getting out into the community was rewarding and always brought our emotions up. We loved every bit of the chaos and learned so much from our community. During this time we made a lot of connections and helped so many people on this short political journey. The days were long but the weeks were short. The boys got a quick education on why civil involvement is so important and are excited when the time comes to be able to vote, even if that is over ten years away. While it was not the outcome we hoped for, it was a close race. Which meant we were doing something right. Although it was a technical, lose it was still a win for our family. We power housed through a campaign, knocked on over two thousand doors, and made friendships out of it all after darkness. We can officially face anything together.

WINTER: The Season of Change

Marriage, parenting, and life is all about seasons and moving from one to the next - not getting too caught up in any one forever. As we enter our final season we are welcoming the change it is bringing for the new year. We finalized our fifth-anniversary trip. We plan to use this as a reset and a celebration all in one. This will also be our only big trip for the upcoming year. Traveling will be put on the back burner as we both are entering our last years in education. Trey is coming up on his last year of his masters and Shandy is going back for her final credits. With these upcoming changes, we are looking to the new year with a new mindset.

Looking forward to focusing on our tribe and family, strengthening both.

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'...."

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Despite our year or any year, we continue to learn more about ourselves and find new opportunities to grow. A new season is upon us, and this part of our book is different. 2018 we became cat people, traveled, lost loved ones, entered our (hopeful) last Cancer chapter, strengthened our investment in our community and loved, as well as cried, hard. We will be ending our year back where we started riding roller coasters and surrounding ourselves with loved ones. From our family to yours Happy Holidays and have an AWESOME New Year.


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