Looking back on 2016 | Steel Cow

Looking back on 2016

Wow, I can't believe it is already the last day of 2016. I'm sure I'm not alone in this category, but time sure does fly!

As I was preparing to write my last blog post/newsletter of this year, I was planning on adding the pictures of all of the new "girls and friends" I painted this year and calling it good. But then I started looking at ALL the pictures Josh and I took this year and I realized the new paintings I did are only a fraction of Steel Cow and my life in 2016.

So, I thought I would make up for all those blog posts/newsletters I didn't write in 2016 and give you guys a glimpse into my life at the moment and during the last year. (And also show you guys why I am not very good at keeping up with blog posts - I have these two adorable little guys who are almost always with me and most of the time I am playing with them!)

In a nutshell, 2016 for me, was about life. I know that life is always about life, but for the first time probably ever, this year I actually slowed down and embraced the daily life that is so amazing. Sure, I painted when the boys slept during naps and late into the nights, and during the summer I had great babysitters during the mornings for Eddie and Harry, (so I was able to get some new paintings in), but for the most part I had a wonderful time just living and being content. I have always pushed myself, working on something or a combination of things, and have pretty much always felt like I should be doing something productive and working on bettering myself for the future at all times. I don't know if that makes much sense, but it's hard to just be when you are in this mindset.

Harry will be two in April, and until this past August he was a TERRIBLE sleeper. If he was up three times during the night, it was a good night. I was able to do this for awhile, but during the first part of this year, after many many months of this, I was pretty much destroyed on most levels of comprehension and feeling good. So, I let go of most of my drive to push through things to get things done. I seriously felt like if I tried to push myself anymore I was going to crumble.

I just gave in. If I got something done that day then great, if not, then that was great too. If I made a mistake (which I did a lot during this time), then I would apologize, not think anything of it and move on. I took more naps this year than when I was a baby (apparently I slept through the night from day one.) I didn't have the energy to plan or think of "future" things. I had my plate full with just trying to get a full night's sleep, which finally happened sometime in August. Thank goodness I had (and still have) Josh to keep Steel Cow running!

Anyway, I know this is already turning into a long blog post, and there is probably way too much information. But, during this time of not much sleep, I was able to let myself just enjoy time with my two favorite little guys, Eddie and Harry. And we have had tons of fun over the past year. And looking back through the 2016 photos this morning, I am remembering even more fun we had in 2016. It was a really great year. And I don't want to sound cliche, but little boys are only young once, and it is OH SO MUCH FUN watching these guys grow up and having so much fun being little boys. Not that I would have missed it had Harry not thrown my life upside down, but I really do think things happen for a reason and I think I needed something (my mom likes to call this a swift kick in the butt) to slow me down and enjoy the everyday.

I know this doesn't have anything much to do with Steel Cow, other than the fact that I'm writing it, but I can't help myself, here is our 2016:

We played a lot, we rode bikes a lot, we baked, golfed, painted and camped. We spent time with friends, grandparents and cousins. We traveled to Arizona, Door County, Wisconsin Dells, Florida, Illinois and Colorado. We also danced, strengthened family relationships and met new friends. We took lots of naps! We watched, poured, gardened and sang. We grew. We went on farm visits and and had tea parties. We played in the mud and played on tractors. We stuck our hands in wet cement. We took baths and played in the sprinklers. We ate. A lot. We cried, had tantrums and fights. And it was a great year.


I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you and yours. Happy New Year!



p.s. If you are interested in taking a brief look at "the girls and friends" I added this year (in case you may have missed any), here they are......


Valerie Miller
Valerie Miller