Farewell 2016, Happy New Year to 2017

People always warn you about certain things and it’s always hard to comprehend what they mean until you’ve walked the path. “Time will fly,” is what they tell you. And oh how quickly it does.

Looking back on 2016 there are so many things to remember and celebrate. We started the year off with a bang and Baby Jo greeted us on Leap Day. Ryan and I both took some much needed time off to soak in as much baby time as we could before she started moving and grooving on her own.

After baby break was over, we got the Janis Ann project up and out – it sold within 48 hours. We had people asking if we had any other properties to sell – it’s so flattering and reassures us that we’re doing good work. It’s also motivating us to find the means to expand Muddy River Homes.

Through the summer we took a short break to visit my family in West Virginia. I’d like to say it was an easy peasy trip, but come to find out Baby Jo hates car rides. After we got home, it was back to work, but with less sleep. Joanna wasn’t sleeping through the night and started having trouble with ear infections.

Despite the ear trouble, Jo is such a pleasant baby. She loves her big sis and Cobes can’t get enough of her new friend. It’s amazing the amount of patience Coberly extends when “Baby Joey” is pulling her hair, pinching, and nabbing toys. I know that won’t last – so it’s fun to watch for now.

With Fall, came our first rental property purchase. A small condo in St. Peters needed some attention. New kitchen, floors, and paint – we had it gone by the third showing. During this time Ryan continued the hunt for our next house, but the competition was fierce. We spent 12 weeks visiting moldy, rodent infested, and/or hoarder homes that all needed serious renovation. After a grueling search, we found the next project: Spinning Wheel.

But the last 12 weeks presented such a challenge in more ways than just our project search. Our closest friends know that at home we were still dealing with sleepless nights. Baby Joanna made it to nine months without sleeping through the night due to constant ear infections. Early December she had tubes put in and we’re already seeing an improvement in not just her, but ourselves.

We enjoyed our Christmas season and topped the year off on the 29th when we signed for the Spinning Wheel home.

Looking back on the year, we had plenty of moments to give us pause – we lost loved ones, visited the hospital too many times, and have had more “bugs” come home from daycare than we can count. But those things always seem to pale in comparison to the fun we’ve had as a family, as a couple, and as two business owners here in St. Louis.

I know everyone isn’t a fan of “resolutions” for the New Year, but I enjoy the opportunity it provides to sit back and reflect, consider how we can improve, and be mindful of God with us on this journey. Personally, I’m realigning my focus to be intentional with where I place my effort daily. I enjoy sharing our journey on this blog, and toward the end of last year – it always fell to the bottom of the list. I’m ambitious to revive it. As a couple, we’re celebrating ten years of marriage this year and we can’t wait to take time out to vacation together. As a family, we’re enjoying life with our new addition and thankful for all the support we’re surrounded with. As business owners, we’re so excited to share this next project and all the fun things 2017 has in store for us.

We hope and pray that 2017 brings you and yours new adventures.


Ashley Sturm

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