If 2016 Had A Michelle Hunt Newsletter

It's New Year's Eve Day at the Hunt household and right this minute it's quiet.
Emily is napping, Dave's playing a video game, Cami's playing on my phone and I'm browsing Facebook-I mean writing this blog.
2016 felt really hard. I don't mean hard in the way you are all thinking: lost celebrities, politics gone wrong, murder, crime or any of that.  I mean hard in the way that you are stretched thin and working so hard you feel like you are going to explode.  I didn't explode in 2016 so I say it's a win.
Even though it felt hard, 2016 wasn't all bad. It has a lot more family time and love. Isn't that more important than all that other stuff that the internet wants to tell you is important?
Here's what's important to me from 2016:
1. Cam-Balam is amazing.
For such a hard baby, she's made up for in everything these days.  She's crazy smart and she still has such a big heart.
I unintentionally signed her up for two pre-schools this year. One locally and one on-line.  She's rocking it at both.  Her teacher at the local pre-school says she's the best reader in class and I believe it. She reads better than I did in first grade. She reads books-real books with short form words.
Beyond smarts, she's a great sister to Emily.  The age difference may be evident in a lot of areas, but Cami loves to read to Emily and have her chase her around the house.

2. Hurricane Emily swirleth.
Speaking of the local storm-presence-Emily turned a year old.  She is our cuddly little crazy.
She loves cuddling more than almost anything.  She will take her "bankie" and snuggle up on your lap or next to you to watch a show, videos on your phone or read a story.  She doesn't hold back from hugs or kisses.
Along with cuddly, she is your standard toddler and loves to pull everything off the shelves and cubbies. Toy-carnage follows in her wake.
This year she picked up walking like a champ and runs more than walks. She also talks lot, only a few understandable words at this point-mostly animals and noises.
This year we weaned off the precious binky too. Dave and I loved her in her little binky and blanky cuddle kit, but it was time to grow a little and let it go before it became awful.  The first day was rough, but she took to naps and night-time okay. During the day she had a little attitude to remind us of her resentment.

3. Surgery
Emily was born with a decent tosis in her left eye.  Her eyelid drooped pretty bad. It was so bad we were a little nervous that it would affect her vision.
After a consult with an Ophthalmologist, who agreed surgery was a good idea to correct her tosis by pulling the eyelid tighter.
It was a rough surgery for baby girl, but we made it and the tosis is better. It's not perfect, but it looks better.
We also had a follow up last month, only this time the eye sight actually seemed to be affected in the tosis eye.
We've been doing "pirate baby" practices with eye bandages for a few hours every day to encourage her to use it.

4. Dave's Promoted.  
It's no secret that Dave works hard.  He's really good at his job and management notices.
He got a promotion this year working as a Help Desk Supervisor.  The hours didn't change too much, but he is doing great work with a good team of employees who know what they are doing and aren't too bad at it. ;)
Just a month or so, his department switched the schedule for two supervisors, including Dave. He finally has weekends off.
As long as we have been together, I can't think of more than a few weeks with both of us Mon-Fri. It's been both weird and awesome.
It's opened up so much more family time and even a few more date nights than usual.

5. Friends.
My favorite part of this year by far is my new, updated friends.
I've had a really hard time making friends since I had kids.  When you work full time with kids, it can either make it hard to meet up with other women, working moms or be hard to relate to stay-at-home moms.
I took some scary steps this year and reached out to some women.  It was terrifying and made me feel so stupid and vulnerable.  I'm so grateful that they met me half-way even though I'm kinda weird and made me feel valuable and cared about. My year was so much better from their love, advice and care.

6. Genetics is hard and rewarding.
It's my second year on the Genetics team at Myriad. Working with Genetic Counselors can be so hard sometimes.
The stress level at work is much higher and I took most of the year adjusting to the different personalities.
During this time, I feel like I've made some great working relationships with some of the providers.
I love my job a lot. It's nice to have great working relationships while I'm working at helping with cancer research.  Cancer touches everyone's lives in some way and I love being able to do something about it.

7. Active and stuff with Dave.
Last year I made a goal to just be more active. No race goals, weight goals or strength goals. It was a goal I felt is achievable.
Bam! This year was better than I expected. I have been doing T25 since April and I love Shaun T with all of my aching muscles and pumping heart.  The workouts are only 25 minutes (especially since I usually skip the cool-down-but don't tell anyone) and I can do it anywhere without day care or extra costs.
I've lost weight, clothing sizes or whatever, but that doesn't matter. To me, it's always about how I feel and strong feels good.
One super great thing about T25 in the last month Dave has been doing T25 too. Being a working parent, it's hard to find the time and the energy but he's been consistent about getting up and doing it even when he's sick. I love that we are becoming an active family.

8. Disneyland
We planned our Disneyland trip more last minute than most people plan it. In July we planned an October trip to Disneyland for Cami's 5th birthday.
Disneyland made me feel so crazy though. It is both one of the greatest places on earth and the most frustrating place on earth.
I could talk about it for ages, the pros and cons.
Cami loved it though and that's what matters. Every time she met a princess, she was in a literal Disney Land-a place where only happiness, princesses and villains exist.  It's a place where Jafar isn't a bad guy, he's the greatest and the favorite next to Rapunzel.
I think it was a prefect way to spend her birthday.

9.  Book Writing
Last year I really wanted to finish my book, but I didn't. Life happens.
In case your curious. I'm writing an urban fantasy book about super heroes and genetics. Like "Heroes" with less of a soap opera. (You don't need to give me a "nerd card", I've got a few already.) ;)
I did write a lot in 2016, more than I have in the last ten years.. I finished at least half of my first draft-2 1/2 full character points of view with only 1 1/2 full characters points of view left.

That's 2016 for me, as a person. I said in a previous post that 2016 may have seemed hard, but for me, the good far surpassed the bad. I love my family so much and I love what we became in 2016.  We loved more and laughed more. 2016 will be hard to beat.


The challenges create blessings

A long time ago my older brother gave me the best advice of my life, "If you are doing everything you can, you will not be denied any of the blessings/promises."
I shared this thought at church the other day-not really seeing it and saying it more as a reminder and comforting statement.
I'm beginning to see it.
Cameron, my hardest baby and the most stubborn kid in the world. Her firm attitude is not just for what she wants to do, eat or sit. Since her first day in nursery, she has loved church. She practically counts down the days each week. Every week that I've struggled, she is there with those bright eyes asking me if we were going to church. 
When I feel alone in my choices and desires, she's been there to carry my resolve and push me.
I've tried to introduce more of the gospel in our home and there is no resistance from Cami. She embraces it as though these principles have always been there. 
She was once my biggest challenge, the biggest fight-and now she's my blessing. 



Mon 9/19/2016 2:12 PM
Heads Up: This is a very religious post. So either move on or gear up.
Since Emily was born, I've super struggled with church. If you didn't know that, cruise back through the posts and you will see and feel it in my words.
It's taken me a really long time to feel okay to even be inside a church. I've stumbled many times, picked up and stumbled for years-YEARS.  The day I finally took the sacrament again, I felt so much joy in my life again that I told myself I'd do everything I could to stay worthy of that blessing. 
I've been at it for five years to the best of my ability, but it's hard. It's really hard. I've made the clear in many posts.
Yesterday was a hard day.  I usually go to Gospel Essentials because I love the focus on the Savior and the hard basics.  Yesterday, the cancelled it because they were doing some teacher improvement class or something. 
The teacher isn't very great and I feel empty.  No spirit, no community-nothing.  I feel frustrated because I'm working so hard for the Spirit. I'm trying to keep it in my life-despite everything and it's gone.  I feel frustrated and lonely.
Technology is crazy. My friend "liked" some article by Al Carraway.  I don't love her. She strikes me as an uppity church person, who talks down to people and unconsciously sends the message, "Look how great I've become, you can too" and it's a load of garbage.
Her article, found here, was on her broken engagement and her awful feelings regarding trials. She talks about all the things she learned, which I skimmed because she was righteous when she had these trials and so it didn't feel applicable.  Then there was this section that slapped me so hard. 
"Do not let time and trials dim your faith or diminish the truthfulness of His promises to you.  Never lose confidence, His promises are so real.  There are far, far better things ahead, I promise.   God promises. That's what I love about Him, you will never be short changed from the best blessings ever.  Your prayers have been heard.  But greater are the things He has in store for you.  Receive the unexpected but profoundly greater path with the best blessings."
Initially I feel like it's easy for her to say. She hasn't experienced what I have, but that's not the point.
I could copy and paste the full last half of this article because it spoke so strongly to me.  Faith isn't easy.  Going to church every Sunday and reading your scriptures may feel hollow now, but that doesn't mean I'm forgotten, doesn't mean I'm alone. Covenants are sacred and if I'm doing my part, Heavenly Father will take care of it-take care of me.



Let's be real, sometimes things are really hard.  Sometimes little things mean the world or feels like the end of it.
Today has been really hard.  I'm not going to whine and complain about the things I struggle with.  I want to talk about the power of music.
I usually listen to podcasts at work.  If you told me five or ten years ago that I would be listening to psuedo talk radio for entertainment at work,  I would have laughed for days.  These podcasts are in no way depressing ; they are an odd collection of stories from history,  writing tips, movie reviews and audio books.
This week felt hard due to my unlisted frustrations. Twice I turned on "Pandora" at work and in less than 20 minutes,  I felt better.
One artist speaks to me more than others:Andrew McMahon.  He has a few different music projects and every one has at least one song that has held my crazy brain together.
There's "Cecilia and the Satellite" that shield to me on multiple levels as a parent and as someone s kid.
Today's song I've heard probably a hundred times from his band,  Jack's Mannequin-Swim.   It's so perfect for today.  The lyric that stuck out at grabbed my ears forcefull was "you gotta swim and swim when it hurts.... you haven't come this far too fall off the earth. "
Sometimes life isn't like stupid happy mom blogs or picture perfect moments.  Sometimes it's drifting and you are swimming to stay afloat.  In those moments, you may find what you need in a tune or a lyric.
Thanks, Andrew McMahon. Ill swim today.


Worth it moment

Yesterday was a hard day. Full time working mom with young kids burns me out.  Thursdays can be especially bad.  Emily has been teething and Cami is in full defiant,  not-listening mode.  I even sent her to time out.
Twenty minutes after bed time,  Cali
Cami starts yelling.
As usual,  her blankets are "all scrumpous".
While I'm pulling her blankets tight around her she keeps talking.
"I feel better now , mommy"
"I'm glad.  I'm sorry you had a hard time today. " I say,  thinking of the screaming, telling and 'I'm not doing that'.
"Tomorrow I can try to do better. " It's said perfectly ,  with no hesitation. "I will listen to grandma. " (she's going to my mom's for the weekend today).
I say something totally out of a book, "It's true tomorrow is a new day. "
After spending the afternoon in frustrated tears,  I needed to hear my own advice too. One day at a time.


This journey

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt


This Fight

Work has been really slow lately. It makes the days feel long and my mind more crazy.
At work, we have patient speakers come and talk to us. They tell their story to reminds us of the impact of our work and to share their experience living with a hereditary cancer syndrome.
It's very powerful to hear people empowered and taking their life back from generic predisposition.
I get something more. I remember applying/interviewing and knowing this was where I belong. I'm not here to earn a paycheck; we don't really need it.
My dad's cancer is not hereditary (as far as science can tell), but if genetic testing could save his life, I would fight for it.
Sitting in the  auditorium, I felt him. I really believe he put me here.
I'm fighting for wonderful people to live until their 90, see their kids and grandkids grow up. I can't go back in time and save my dad, but each genetic test I fight for gives knowledge and power to others.


Utah Religion

I'm about to get on my soap box and things are about to get real personal.
I am a member of The Church of Latter Day Saints. This weekend was General Conference , where twice a year we are taught in a weekend long conference by the leaders of the church.
Almost immediately following this conference, this post started to circulate among my friends and their social media

I take offense to everything about this post. Only in Utah would this be OK and draw so many tears. She is outright portraying herself as better than this man at first by appearance and second by spirit. His appearance in the conference center changed her heart. The physical appearance or presence of anyone should never be a big deal. The gospel is about equality and love. Her post shows none of that beyond her selfish recognition. Did she speak with him? Did she tell him she felt this way? I find it disturbing that her feelings weren't from her presence there, from anyone besides someone with a past. People with a past are not at church to improve your testimony or remind you of Christ.
You could argue that she was staying that physical appearance doesn't matter while he is in a holy place, but the fact that she brings it up at all shows otherwise.
I stopped going to church for a few years. The people I knew and interacted with did not seem to see what I wore and didn't care about my past choices. They cared about how I felt in the moment and the present situation I was living in.
I have a testimony of the church. I know it's true. I feel so much joy when I'm there, but when some members open their mouths, I lose it. I feel separate and aware of my imperfections. Aware of mistakes that I've repented for and aware that my dress is too frumpy.
Christ didn't see me that way and he doesn't see that man that way. My mistakes, visible or not do not matter. He sees us all as works in progress. He sees our heart and our spirit. Wake up, Utah. We're more than our visible appearance and past errors. We are the same. Let our religion be in our hearts.


The Resurrection

"Resurrection" has been on my mind this weekend.
Facebook is full of spiritual declarations , but that's not really my style and that's not why it's been on my mind.
Yesterday I trekked a 1.25 hour drive to Mapleton by myself for an extended family Easter egg hunt and lunch.
We used to make a similar drive when I was a kid out to Provo to see my grandparents. My brothers, sister and I would argue occasionally about who saw the crisp, white "Y"on the mountain.
Yesterday I caught sight of the letter and tried to point it out to Cami.
The drive there and back felt so lonely. Dave was working, of course. More than that, I missed my dad.
He used to play the alphabet game with us, pointing out any pizza sign or quilt shop to help us out. Or the cheesy dad jokes to make us giggle and roll our eyes.
Easter means I will see him again. "though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God"
The first time I heard that phrase in a general conference talk, I saw my dad. He sees God. One day, I will see him and God. Christ's resurrection connects me forever to my father and his father forever. Its love. It's easter.


Dreaming of sweet 2016

Here we are 40 days into 2016 and I haven't posted my predictions or anticipations for the year.
I ended 2015 feeling depressed, burned out and incredibly lonely. I'd like to say 2016 will be great; full of happiness and excitement- but you know, life happens.
It will hold wonderful moments , but it will be challenging.

1. Alternating Schedules: Three weeks ago Dave started a new schedule.  As a result of poor  management decisions and lay offs, he works 11am-830pm with Tuesday/Wednesday off. He gets home 20 min after the kids are in bed. Aka 3 days a week work 8 hrs making money and 6 hours trying to minimize stress, crying and life of both girls and 2 days a week I shuffle the kids through church and Saturday clean up.  By the time Dave gets home, I am nearly sleeping on the couch. Goodbye date nights out even time to watch a show together. Its awful, lonely and exhausting.
2. Preschool: Dave is taking advantage of the extra time in the morning to get Cami involved at a local preschool. She LOVES preschool. She is great with letters and numbers already, but preschool will help with structure and to help her grow. By the end of the year, she will learn so much. I hope to get her involved in some sport too. She's getting so big! 😢
3. Walking and Talking: Emily is right on target for gross motor development. She's been crawling for a while and pulls herself into standing on a few reachable furniture. She's on her way to walking very soon. She's a happy baby and doesn't say much that I can understand right now, but by the end of the year she will have some vocabulary.
4. Less one doctor, plus one: Another big  development is the removal of her helmet forever. We finally completed the helmet/shaping process. It was hard, but it was worth it. Her ratios are normal and all looks well as far as the shape off her head. I've gotten used to comments and questions about the helmet, none of which are hurtful or accusing. It's wonderful to see a much happier, albeit clumsier baby.
This year also holds a small surgery fur baby girl. The muscles in her left eyelid are loose and after her first birthday, we've got a surgery scheduled to tighten the muscles so as to not interfere with her vision in the future.
5. Genetics: Healthcare with isn't in my blood, but genetics feels like home. My job as a Genetics Patient Advocate will have ups and downs, but I don't see any big changes, promotions or layoffs in my future. I made a positive impact in the territory I work along Genetic Counselors last year and it will continue to grow. I love working with them and I love making a difference everyday.
6. Finish It: 2015 was an inspiration. I started listening to writing podcasts at work and I finished my dad's book. It's my turn. Last month I finished Part 1 of my book with four more plot lines to go. It's very rough writing, but I'm going to finish it this year-at least a draft.
7. Werk it: There have been a few years where I make goals of running races or losing "X" pounds. This year I'm not making any goals I can't guarantee. With a second kid not quite at full mobility, who is both super clumsy and cuddly; I'm not going to have the time or energy to devote to getting fit. Instead this year, I will be more active. It's a vague, but achievable goal through walks, work out programs and playing with the kids. I want my time to be valuable.
8. Extended Family: Early this year Dave's sister and brother welcomed two babies into their individual families. Stacey and Derek welcomed baby boy Beckett in January and a few weeks later Jeff and Leslie brought baby girl Isla into the family. Dave's family is growing exponentially every year, but my side will remain pretty static this year unless my baby brother makes some big plans.

This year looks boring on paper filled with the same things from past years on repeat. 2016 started on an uphill battle, let's hope we reach some great heights and catch some  breaks in our challenges.


2015 Wrap Up

2015 is about to fad away into a new year and I'm feeling delighted. This year feels like such a roller coaster.  I started out the year with high hopes and big expectations and that's always a dangerous thing to do in a new year.  Instead, 1015 was a rough year for me. I wouldn't say that our family has had anything truly awful happen. It's been no 2012, but it still felt really difficult. It's been a busy year with changes and new challenges. There weren't very many changes, but the ones we had were huge.
Without getting too fluffy, I'll get right into the list and pictures because who really cares about anything else anyway.

1. Emily: Let's start with the most obvious change of 2015. Oh hey, I had a second baby. This time last year we were convinced baby girl was going to named "Julie", but about two weeks before her birth, Emily jumped out at us.
Emily has been a wonderful addition to our family and I'm not just saying that. From day one, she's been the easiest baby.  She nursed really well for about five months. She's calm, happy and I swear her smile could melt a snowman.
Despite her great traits, she is a baby and babies have their own challenges like getting up at night and needing something (diaper change, feeding, playtime) every hour.
These days she's bouncing on her hands and knees and I know we're only few weeks away from crawling.

2. Dreams & Facts: This year I finished my dad's book. I've been working on it since shortly after his death and I finally finished it (that's about three years, people).  I really got into this year. While I was on Maternity Leave, during nap times and shoved in short periods after church I was able to get the majority of it done.
The book is a collection of personal essays, fictional works and a photo history of my dad's life. At 384 pages, it resembles almost a text book, but it was worth every hour and every penny that I put into the book.
The main reason I put it together was for my girls. My daughters will never know my dad and that makes me so crazy sad because of how awesome and amazing my dad was, especially with his kids and grandkids. As unfair as his passing was, this book represents a piece of him and his life. It's something that Cami enjoys now, if only for the pictures. Someday when things are hard for her (God forbid that ever happens), I hope she can flip open this book and have some wisdom or laughs from Grandpa Tate.

3. Genetics:  This year I got a promotion at Myriad. I've been there for about two years and I thought I might try for one this year. It helped that the hiring supervisor was one of my friends and I shared an office with her when I started.
Instead of my previous role and Patient Advocate, I'm a Genetics Patient Advocate (stand up, it's not really worth kneeling over). It's nearly the same job, but instead of working the oncology side of the testing, I'm working only with Genetic Counselors.
It's been such a good move for me. I have specific territories that I'm responsible for (Virginia and North Carolina are my big ones) and I work with the same Genetic Counselors in that area to to get insurance coverage for the genetic tests they order. I love my territory and the majority of the providers I work with are fantastic.
Yesterday I had a big moment when a test I worked really hard on completed in a short time frame in time for a patient's surgery. I called the provider and I said, "Martha, I feel like I could cry. Her test is done." I love being able to have that kind of working relationship that I can say things like that, mean it, and feel like I'm making a difference. I love my job!

4. Cam Balam:  Cami has been so awesome this year! We didn't get her into pre-school, but I'm not really worried about it. Her birthday is later in the year and I've pre-registered her for an online pre-school that my friend recommended.
The biggest thing for Cami this year is potty training.
It almost killed me. Remember this post? Real life, potty training head strong children is like a power struggle with and elephant crossed with a war general, but she did it. In the post I shared all of the tips that worked for Cami, but really it wasn't me. Cami took that and handled it. It took some time but she's got it really well, including overnight (which let's be real, I don't think I had it down until I was like six over night).
She's becoming a little girl this year. Cami loves Disney princesses, she had an especially long stint watching Snow White. Oh man, and she's the best big sister. This morning I heard Emily and as soon as I open the door I see Cami perched up on the crib, talking to Emily. There's an obvious age gap between them, but they're still so cute together.

5. Training Dave:  If only I could. I've been wanting to write that down our whole marriage (Wocka Wocka Wocka).
Okay, but really, almost Dave's entire year was spent training New Hires at work. It's been kind of nice for me because his hours are more normal and I love having him home (the girls love it more than I do).
He's implemented some new procedures at work and he's starting to see some results in the employees.
Doing all of this training kind of screwed him over in some areas, but Dave always takes it in stride.

6. Doctors: Since Emily was in the womb, she had us bouncing around. When I was pregnant, the ultrasound found cysts. After she was born, she had a flat spot on her head, which didn't seem to get better even after we did all the parenting stuff pediatricians say (rotate your baby, tickle their chins, tummy time until they throw up). Okay so that last one was an exaggeration.
We brought it up to  the pediatrician three different times before a different one said, "Hey, that's a pretty flat spot. Go see a plastic surgeon."
Okay because boobs and baby head shapes are the same?
We then went from plastic surgeon to a prosthetic surgeon who prescribed little Emily with a helmet just shy of her turning eight months.
I was scared poop-less about the helmet. I worried about her becoming delayed in her gross motor skills. I worried people would say I was a bad parent and that I didn't do enough for my children. Now, it's not a big deal. The helmet is for Emily and she doesn't mind it at all (anymore). We're still seeing doctors way too often for me.

7. Repairs: The beginning of this year brought some unexpected issues with our house. Yay for home-ownership. We only anticipated one house project this year, but we went above our goals and completed two big projects.
We started with fixing the electrical in the basement. At the beginning of 2015 a plug sparked and burned the plate so this was moved to the top of our priorities because you know, we don't want to burn our house down.
In the summer we deliberated far too long about sprinklers. It was either going to require a ton of hard, manual labor or a lot more money than we anticipated. Late July we bit the bullet and a company fixed our sprinklers in the front yard and put some in the backyard. Like I just said, it was more expensive than we anticipated, but our lives were so busy with a new baby and new responsibilities that there was no way any of us had time to hand water the yard.
It's nice to have those big house projects out of the way. The only big house project we have in our future is a fence and that's an expense that's probably at least two years away.

8. Best Friends Move On: This year Cami's best friend, Emily's future boyfriend and my best friend, who lived in our ward and neighborhood moved to Idaho. I hate it. Jessica and I would never have met if it weren't for a stressful babysitting situation. She helped with Cami when my babysitter was out for a few months. During that time we became friends. Maybe I didn't mean that much to her, but let's be real for a minute. I don't make girl friends easily. Women are caddy, braggy and unrealistic. Jessica isn't like that. We're at the same life stage with kids the same age (Cami, 4 and Vienna only five months younger; Oliver was born 3 or so months before Emily). I could complain about problems, cry when things were hard and cheer when things were awesome and I felt like she was with me in like a real sister/friend way. Her husband got a needed,new job in Idaho and vamoose, just like that no more play-dates, girl's nights or game nights (though they be few thanks to new babies). As 2015 closes, it bums me out that she's so far away.  I went three years without a good girlfriend and it's not likely to happen again anytime soon. Cami misses Vienna and I miss Jessica so much!

9. Colbin:  Zooming out beyond our immediate family; there wasn't a lot of big changes. No weddings and this year no one dear/close passed away.
In the Hunt/Larsen family we only had one big change besides Emily. Heather and Josh had baby boy Colbin in July, only a few short months after Emily. He's a cute little boy and smiles all the time. He's a perfect addition to the family.

Whew, talk about roller coaster. 2015 felt defining to me in the different parts of my life. I feel burned out and exhausted, but I hope it's because 2016 will be stronger and better.
I'll close this chapter of our lives and flip over to something new with an idea that if I want change in my life and in who I am, I need to be that change.