All in all, 2014 was an okay year for the Bauhaushold. It wasn’t stellar, and it had its fair share of challenges and trials — among which were a health scare and the wreck and subsequent insurance rigmarole (which, I’m happy to report, is resolved as of today) — but it was definitely a big improvement over 2013. The important thing is, we’re better off now than we were this time last year, and as we head into the new year I’m filled with genuine optimism for the future.

Highlights were kind of few and far between, although they weren’t nonexistent. I managed to publish a couple of books, and while they haven’t performed magnificently, they’ve helped my other books to get noticed. Our prayers surrounding said health scare were positively answered and that turned out to not be too serious, which is always worth celebrating.

If you don’t mind my turning spiritual for the space of a paragraph (and you can skip to the next one if you do), I think the biggest highlight of the year is how much we’ve both grown in our faith and in our ability to apply it. Although I still have a long way to go, God has done amazing things both for me and in me during this past year. I’ve become much more patient and able to be content and at peace regardless of my circumstances, and much less prone to self pity and the negative thought patterns that lead me to depression. When I do catch myself going down that road, I’ve learned how to pray and praise my way out of it. I also started keeping a journal of prayers, promises found in scripture, and reasons I have to be thankful, writing down all the ways that I’ve seen God move in my life, which has helped tremendously to alter my mindset and make me a more hopeful person. I haven’t been keeping up with it the last couple of months, but that’s definitely something I want to get back to doing regularly in the new year.

And then there was the new diet. Even though it got derailed during the holidays, restricting my gluten and dairy intake during the week made a world of difference in my energy levels and my ability to think clearly. I think that was mostly down to the gluten, and I’m now more convinced than ever that my hypothyroid is caused by Hashimoto’s disease (which is common in women with PCOS and has been linked with gluten intolerance). Hopefully I can get tested for that in the coming year to be 100% certain. Cutting back on dairy helped a lot with my digestion issues (and that’s all I’ll say about that). I didn’t realize how much it also made a difference to my PCOS symptoms until the holidays came and I started downing eggnog and cheese with abandon.

As for how we plan to wrap up the year, we’re still debating, but I’m hoping it will involve Chinese takeout and a cozy night in with the DVD player.

What about you guys? Has 2014 been good to you? Any special plans for New Year’s Eve?