As I write this, I’m sitting in the hospital visiting my grandmother, Isabel. She’s 89 (she just had a birthday on December 18) and she suffered a stroke on the very last day of 2016. Instead of spending New Years Eve ushering in 2017 and celebrating my husband’s 35th birthday downtown (he’s a January 1 baby), I spent the last day of the worst year of my life in the hospital.

2016 has taken so much from me and my family. My husband and I lost our two precious baby girls five months into my pregnancy. I have since had to cope with anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms – all conditions that were previously foreign to me personally. We have had to deal with a family crisis that still needs resolution. We have watched several dear friends go through terrible crises of their own. And on the very last day of that awful year, my grandmother collapsed in my parents’ kitchen while she was getting ready to visit with extended family on New Years. She now has bleeding in her brain in two places – the front and the back – and we’re all waiting to see how she does in the next few days.

I don’t know what will happen next. I wish I did. What I do know is that my grandma is strong. Despite suffering from a stroke, she has no serious neurological deficits, and she’s still as feisty as ever, too. Already, she has tried to get up and make her escape from this place at least 3 times since I got here this afternoon.

I have never once felt strong this past year of my life. In fact, I have never felt more weak. But if 2016 has revealed anything to me about myself, it is that I am stronger than I think. We can lose so much in this world and still be strong. We can be strong all the way to the very end.

Below are my pick of inspirational and funny quotes for this month. Be strong, friends. Strength, as it turns out, is a choice.

Happy New Year!



Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. – Thomas S. Monson

This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass. –

Life is tough, my darling, but so are you. – Stephanie Bennett Henry

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – Jesus Christ

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails. – Elizabeth Edwards

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, she’s up.” – Unknown

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