2017 Highlight Reel

Another year gone. 2017 was definitely a year full of changes, firsts, new adventures, challenges and growth. I stepped out of my comfort zone, a lot. I learned to embrace change. Change is good and change is needed.  We had an eventful year, so I'm going to recap some of my favorite, and not so favorite, moments. 

I started Tracy Dawn Photography.                                                                                                   

My dream finally started to take shape this year. For as long as I can remember, photography spoke to me. I had a friend who enrolled in a photography program out of high school and I envied her. I had always been scared to put myself out there and take chances. Not this year. This year I took control and went after something I have wanted for over a decade. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. 

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Chloe turned two.

My baby. How is she two? Well, two and a half now. We threw a Two-tti Fruitti birthday party for her and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. She recognizes what a present is. Yes, she threw a little tantrum because she wanted to open them before it was time. It was her party and she could cry if she wanted to. Now she's holding conversations with me, she's extremely independent and she even helps me cook and bake. Like I said, how is she this little person already?! 


Chloe was a Flower Girl. 

Spencer's brother, Brandon, and his fiance, Melissa, got married in June and asked Chloe and our niece Harlow to be flower girls. The girls didn't make it down the aisle as planned, but they looked adorable as ever. Then there was the dance. Chloe tore up the dance floor. She made me so proud with her little dance moves. 


I had my appendix removed.

I woke up the Monday of the August long weekend and had some stomach cramps. Well, those escalated quickly. Before I knew it, I was in the fetal position in hallway, screaming out in pain and Spencer was calling his mom to come watch Chloe. He took me to the ER. Tests were done, and twelve hours later, I was admitted with an appointment to have my appendix removed the following day. Right before my surgery, Spen brought Chloe to see me. I could hear her in hallway, she was chatting up a storm and laughing. Then she saw me. She dropped her teddy bear and stood in the doorway crying. It was heart wrenching. Spen put her on my lap and she held on to me for a good five minutes. It was one of the most touching moments of my year.   


We took Chloe on a plane for the first time. 

Spen was offered a job in Kelowna. We decided to fly there and check it out for a week. I was so nervous about taking Chloe on a plane. She surprised both of us as she was so well behaved! Maybe she knew we were going to a place that would soon become our home. We enjoyed our time in Kelowna. We checked out the local Farmers Market, explored the city, took a little hike and enjoyed some time at the lake. I think that was the moment I really started to fall in love with Kelowna. 


We welcomed another niece into our family. 

We had made plans to watch Harlow (our niece) when Ashley (sister in law) goes into labor. Well lucky for us, the baby stayed put until we got home from Kelowna. The flight back to Saskatoon was delayed, we were suppose to land in Saskatoon at 9:30 pm,  but didn't get in until  12:45 am. I got the call at 7:00 am that morning. It was time. Baby was on the way. Hensley made her appearance that afternoon. Our perfect, sweet little niece. 


 We moved to Kelowna. 

Safe to say we enjoyed our time in Kelowna and decided to take a leap of faith and move. Spencer was in a rut and needed a change. To be honest, so did I. I craved something new, something adventurous. It took some convincing on my part, but ultimately Spencer knew it was something we had to do. We concluded that it would be worse to wake up one day ten years from now and regret not giving Kelowna a chance. If we didn't move I knew I would always be asking myself, "what if". So far, we're happy with our decision and we are embracing the change. It has helped us to grow individually as well as as a couple. Spencer never thought he would move away from Saskatoon. If he can embrace on change, anything is possible! 


We went to Banff. 

I was beyond sick with a cold, but still managed to get out and enjoy our time there. We were only going to stay one night, but there were severe weather warnings all along the highway to Kelowna. I was already nervous about driving through the mountains, so we stayed an extra day and I was not mad about it! We got a mini vacation on our way to our new home. 


We had to put our dog, Snu down.

This is the hardest thing we went through this year. Snu stared having seizures in July. We had her on medication, and that helped for a bit. But soon, the medication stopped working. She would have them more frequently and she was clearly not herself. She started having accidents in her kennel and didn't care to come out. We knew there was nothing we could do. She wasn't well. So, one Thursday evening we took our last drive with our beloved dog. That was one of the hardest nights of my life. I never imagined our life without her. We got Snu a couple days after we had found our we were pregnant. She was our first baby. She was Chloe's best friend. Chloe mentions her from time to time and we miss her everyday. There is a piece of our family that is missing, and nothing can change that.


We got engaged.

After the hardest week of my year, came the best. Spencer asked me to marry him. And here we are; a little over a month later. The date is set, photographer is hired and I just finished designing our save the dates. We decided on a small, intimate, backyard wedding, overlooking the Okanagan. I can't even think about it because my eyes will fill with tears. I've dreamed of these moments, getting engaged, planning a wedding. And now I'm in the middle of it and I'm trying to soak it all up. In seven months I get to marry my best friend, and nothing will beat that.


We had our first Christmas and New Years in Kelowna.

This was the first Christmas I didn't spend with my family in Yorkton. So, we started a bunch of new traditions. Some of which were; getting a Christmas tree from the tree farm, decorating it while listening to Christmas music, driving through Candy Cane lane, decorating gingerbread cookies, meeting Santa, watching Christmas movies (including a Charlie Brown Christmas on Christmas day thanks to Brandon and Melissa), got matching pj's, baked and decorated sugar cookies to leave for Santa. I'm sure the list of traditions will be added to next year, but these ones sure helped make the season a little more special. For New Years, our typical tradition remained. We played board games; well Scrabble, when Chloe went to bed. Maybe next year Chloe will be old enough and can join us for a game of Candy Land. 


And there it is. My 2017. My most memorable moments, and the most hearbreaking, all typed up on this little page.