What A Year

One year ago today….

I woke up to the sound of the ocean and what seemed to be millions of robots outside of my camper. Ricky, my dog, sat impatiently at the door to our little pop-up camper waiting for the opportunity to see what was causing the sound.

I got up, put on a t-shirt and made my way towards the door. Elisa was still asleep and my kids were as well. It was a bit chilly in the camper (had to be expected when you camp on New Year’s Eve) but still comfortable.

I opened the door to find these weird looking birds everywhere. Ricky bolted out of the camper doorway, causing the birds to scatter in all directions. I could hear the ocean but could not see it. The campground that we were staying at was surrounded by a large sand dune that prevented us from actually seeing what we could hear all night long.

We had left the cooler sitting on the picnic table at our campsite. I opened the lid and pulled out a rootbeer that was lying on top of the ice. I know, I know…. You’re not supposed to drink soda in the morning. However, it was actually closer to noon than it was morning so it’s okay.

I put Ricky on his leash and we made our way across the campground towards the closest dune. From the top, I lost myself. This definitely was not Illinois. In my perfect world, I would live along the side of the sea. It’s so beautiful. It’s both peaceful and chaotic at the same time. I had a seat on the top of the dune. Ricky sat down next to me and I just took it in.

We spent New Year’s Eve on Padre Island off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas. This was listed as one of the top 5 winter camping locations where the temperature is supposed to stay in the low 70’s. We hauled our little pop-up camper on a 22 hour trip to this island to find that a cold front had dropped the temperature down into the low 60’s and it was rainy. This was not ideal for camping but we would make do.


The water was a little cold for swimming but the island was great regardless.

That was a year ago today.

How crazy has this past year been?

Little did I know, as I was sitting on the beach dreaming of what it would be like to live somewhere other than a corn field, that I was less than 90 days from being given that exact opportunity.

This past year has been crazy. Back in March, I started this blog which now has a little over 100 posts. In April, we moved to Virginia to settle into a new (yet not so new) job. We’ve been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a beach trip. We’ve been to Virginia Beach with Scott Kiser and his family. We’ve explored multiple civil war sites around Virginia. We’ve been back to Illinois 4 times to visit. I have continued on in my education, pursuing my MA in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.

We have definitely been on the go this year.

You can do quite a bit over 365 days.

Next year, we are already planning two separate trips to Washington DC, a family vacation to New York City as well as a few trips back to Illinois.

2016 was a good year for the Strange family. Will 2017 be even better? Only time will tell.

What about you? What did 2016 bring for your family? Drop a line in the comments block below and let me know.

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