Wife. Mother. Photographer. Columnist. Over Sharer. Optimist. Shopaholic. Loud talker. Even louder laugher.
I signed off to 2018 and welcomed 2019 with open arms. As it says above, in 2018 I learned that not everybody likes me. That was a hard pill for me to swallow. Even in grade school I just assumed that I didn't have enemies. I mean, in high school, I can think of one "enemy" that I had. But that was over a boy. I mean, come on. We were in high school. As an adult, I just always assumed that anybody I was around liked me fine, or at least didn't mind me. I don't think that everybody loves me, by any means. And I know my boisterous laugh and too-much-information conversations aren't everybody's cup of tea. But I just assumed, if you didn't like me, you'd get away from me. So that brings me to the hard pill to swallow this year. Not only does somebody not like me, they insulted my character and attempted to damage my livelihood. And the person is anonymous to me. So you can imagine the paranoia that ensued. Someone is watching my every move on social media and God knows where else and waiting to pounce. I can't think of anything I've done to make somebody so angry. I really worried about it and tried to Sherlock Holmes my way through the whole thing: What did I do? Who could it be? What all did they say about me? But eventually, my best friend told me, in not so subtle words, "Not everybody likes you. And you're crazy if you ever thought they did." So, I had to let it go and realize that it's okay if not everybody likes me. Granted, I'd prefer if they'd just leave the room when I'm around instead of sabotage me, but what can ya do? I also learned this year that what appears to be one way on the surface, is definitely not always what it is internally. Maybe I'm just a naive 30 something. I just assumed if you put on a sweet face and are kind to people, then that's who you are. Boy was I wrong. I've always seen the best in people and thought whatever they tell me is the honest truth. That has been another hurdle for me to get over. Life isn't what I thought it was. Not everybody is who I thought they were. Strange for me to just learn this at age 34. But at least I had 34 blissful years of being in the dark, I guess. I also lost 40 pounds this years. That was huge for me. I participated in The Biggest Loser at work, and then just kept it going. I started working out at the Y for the first time in years, and I've never felt stronger in my life. Those 40 pounds I lost also marked 100 pounds lost since having Fielder. ONE HUNDRED POUNDS. That's wild. Hooper and I started hanging out with a new core group of couple friends and we've had such a great time with them. I remember thinking in years past that I didn't need anymore friends- the ones I have are perfect for me, and I barely have time to spend with them as it is. But I was very wrong about that. New friends can be just as good as old friends. And in this case, our new friends are old friends. We've had many BINGO nights, a camping trip, pool dates, and too many dinners and get togethers to count. I'm looking forward to more. I did a lot of soul searching this year. I suppose it's because I'm done having children, and I finally started to think about myself a little more. Since Hooper and I got married, I was pregnant in every single year until the last couple. And then, of course, I was taking care of baby Fielder. Finley and Fisher are in school now, and Fielder is a very good toddler. One day I just started thinking about me, and taking care of me again. That went hand in hand with the weight loss, but it was so much more. I realized that to be the best mother that I can be, I have to be the best ME that I can be. I have to love myself in order to be a happy, loving, laughing mother to those three sweet kiddos. They deserve the best, and until I die, I'll strive to be that. In my self reflection, I spent a lot of quality time with my best friend. Our kids spent a lot of time together, and we shared so many belly laughs that I smile thinking of particular ones as I type this. During these moments, I felt more like an old version of me. A more carefree version. It was nice to feel that way again. I traded in the minivan (gasp!) and got a different vehicle. That was hard to do, but also exciting. Anybody who knows me knows how much I loved that van. But this car is lovable, also. And the payment is non-existent. So that part is extra lovable. I also started a new venture with Scout and Cellar clean crafted wine. When my friend approached me about it, I didn't want to do it. I said no more than once. Then I finally gave in and thought, "what the heck? I like wine. I like people. I can at least try." And it has been such a blessing. I've met great people through it and I've made some fun side money! I've also stepped outside of some comfort zones with it. (By the way, shameless plug here. Shop the wine at my website www.chelseahooper.com ) Another negative from 2018 was my grandfather passing away. He's been living with my parents for the last few years, and the kids have gotten to see him almost every day. His passing has been hard on everybody, but we know that he is pain free now and back with my grandmother. Still difficult to lose him, though. Through our loss, my cousins and I have become even closer. We text in a daily family text thread and haven't felt closer in years. Silver lining, of course. Anyway, 2018 was rough on me in some areas, and good to me in others. That's how every year is to everybody. I enjoyed the old version of me that came back, and I hope that version sticks around, but continues to grow in faith, love, and happiness. My New Years resolution is simple. To be better. Happy New Year.