Monday, December 30, 2013

Favorites and Looking Ahead

2013 started with two little kids, and a growing pregnant belly. My word for the year was Enjoy and I can honestly say that I've remembered that word throughout our year and I feel like I've learned how to enjoy the simple things in our life. I don't have this down perfectly, but I've learned that in all circumstances, there's always something to be thankful for and that when I start counting my blessings, my perspective is transformed.


This year I learned that I'm a better Mom when I take my kids outside for adventures and I learned that it's not that hard or even that complicated to get a few little ones packed up for some fun. I learned that I can take them to beaches and explore our area and that even at these young ages, they totally love this.

This year, it was a huge blessing to watch these two crazy kids go from being a couple of fighting toddlers into two little preschoolers who love each other. Over the last year, they've grown so close and that makes my Momma heart so happy.
This year, I did lots of hanging upside down, trying to flip my breech Eliza. When nothing worked to turn her and I thought I might need to have a c-section, that was really a hard time for me. Forever I'll be thankful to my midwife, who found a Doctor who was able to successfully flip her from the outside at 37 weeks and thankfully she stayed head down.



 At 40 weeks, 4 days, I had the most amazing natural birth with her. Welcoming Eliza into our family is hands down the highlight of my year. She is a light. She is a gift and the transition from being a family of 4, to a family of 5 has been amazing.



Sure, it's been a hectic year of Mothering, but even in the chaos, there has been so much grace. Everyday, I've enjoyed this baby. I have never wished for her to get older. It's so different than it was when Judah or Paisley were a baby. With them, I worried about sleep and wondered when they'd crawl or get teeth. With her, I just want to soak up this baby phase. I truly know how quickly it passes and I don't wish it away, ever.

In 2013, we splashed in mud and learned all about making mud pies.
In 2013, I turned 29 and my Mom passed my Grandma's special picnic basket onto me. We loaded it up with real dishes and flowers and celebrated with a fancy picnic on the beach. Okay, minus the pizza. That wasn't fancy.

We sat in patches of flowers and came nose to nose with baby birds that adopted us.

We took our first swimming lessons and Paisley rode her first rides at the fair.

We camped in the backyard for the first time....don't ask about the water in the tent. That's a whole different story. And just for the record, the water happened after camping. The first camping experience was a DRY success.
We hiked to the ice caves and ate wild huckleberries.

We cooked together. A lot.
We wore Christmas jammies, even when it's not Christmas and we fell in love with wake-up smiles.
We wrote down what we're thankful for and shared with family and friends.
We got a tree and tried to intentionally have a slow December.
In 2013, we went on an anniversary date, with our baby as a third wheel. He carved our initials in a tree, while I fed Eliza and cried.

I learned this year that life is sometimes hard, complicated and so good all at the same time. Our words get the best of us and we all mess up. We hurt each other and we hurt for the people that we love. We see so much good and so much ugliness all at the same time and sometimes, it's hard to make sense of it all.

I learned this year that there's grace for the hard days and even when I think I can't do it, I actually AM doing it. I learned that it's okay to feel joy and sadness all at the same time.

2014 will be the year for digging deeper into who God created me to be and it will also be the year for answers. There are dreams that I need to start acting on, and some huge life choices like if we'll homeschool Judah or if he'll attend public school this fall. As I look ahead, I see that this year is going to be the year of answers. Answers to those questions like school choices and answers to the things inside of me that just need a place to come out and belong. I want to study to become a doula and also learn about birth photography. I'm coming to a place in my life where I realize that I'm not only a Mom, but I'm a woman with dreams and goals and that part of being a good Mommy is recognizing my own desires and allowing myself to become the best version of me.

Over the last year I've learned that it's so good to show our children that we're not only Momma, but we're also human beings who need to make the most of one life that we've been given. During this next year I'll be turning 30 and I feel like I'm stepping into more of who I am. My 20's were for doing big things like getting married, having 3 babies, buying a house and figuring out who I am, and this next year is all about embracing who God made me.

We're all different you know and for some reason, it seems like we unintentionally grab a hold of other people's dreams or focus on another woman's gifts, instead of getting to know our maker better and digging into Him, to see how He made us. This year, I want to dig deeper and be so much more alright with the way God made me, than I ever have before.

I want to be okay with my strengths and be okay with my weaknesses. I plan to chase after what God called ME to do, and not what He called someone else to do. I hope that I can learn to really play my part well and not someone else's.

Good old Dr. Seuss keeps on coming to mind and really, he describes all of this perfectly for me.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Why do we always apologize for the way we're made? So what if we're a tad disorganized or maybe a bit of a neat freak? And who cares if you aren't crafty or if maybe you're the next Martha Stewart? Maybe you love to paint, but you don't know anyone else who does. Or you like to write, but no one you know is a writer. Maybe you love staying home all day and reading with your kids, but that doesn't seem like it's important enough or maybe you want to teach your kids at home and that scares you to death. Or maybe, just maybe, you have big dreams and you feel like no one believes in you.

What I'd love in this next year is to feel any chains that hold us back from being who HE created us to be, fall away and that we (talking to myself here!), feel free to truly be who we are. Curly crazy hair, creative, not creative, messy, quiet, shy or outspoken. Maybe that in the New Year, we could focus on not apologizing for how we were made, but instead THANK Him for it.

So, there it is. That's my dream for the year. To be Me'er than Me. To not apologize for my dreams, goals or plans. To move more fully into who I am, and be okay with the fact that I'm different. Because, we're all different, and we were intentionally made different, by the ultimate Creator, who doesn't do anything by accident.

So, what are you dreaming of in the New Year? What are you afraid of chasing after? What's holding you back?
Love you guys. 
Angela

4 comments:

  1. Great post! Happy New Year! Wishing you many blessings!

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    1. Thank you Debra. Happy New Year to you as well!

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  2. Just catching up on your posts! What an awesome year. And the way Eliza is posing in your anniversary pictures just slays me! LOVE what you wrote at the end, so, so good! Embracing who we really are and running with it has got to be key. I think I left a comment once about my photog friend Keren Fenton who has been doing great things in the birth photography world. If you'd ever like an email introduction let me know. She is absolutely the sweetest, also a believer and I'm sure would love to chat or point you in some good directions.
    Yay for 2014, I think you're going to do great things : )

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I kind of felt like I bared it all here and then crickets chirped and I felt like a big fool. You made me feel a bit better so, thank you! I'd love to hear more about this friend and maybe chat with her sometime. Thank you so much!

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