In years past (before Hunter was born) I use to write up a nice long newsy Christmas letter telling all our family and friends all the exciting adventures we had over the past year. These adventures included travels, work accomplishments, race reports from half marathons and triathlons, grad school achievements, and for Brian of course hunting and fishing successes. Since becoming a mom I just didn’t feel I had time to write a year end recap let alone print it out on fancy paper (why does my printer always seem to run out of ink in December?) and fold and mail the letter along with the perfect holiday photo card. Plus I didn’t think that there was anything too newsworthy to write about. But, as I sit back and reflect on the past 365 days there are so many little things I am thankful for, I don’t think I could possibly capture them all in a one page letter, nor do I think that everyone would care to read about them!
Being a parent causes you to be busy in such a different way than before children. In 2014 Hunter turned 2 and Everly turned 1. People with young children, or those who have had children close together can probably relate and know exactly what my 2014 entailed. Honestly, many days seemed to blur together and I often feel like I am in the movie “Groundhog Day” where I keep doing the same things over and over again. The seemingly endless loads of laundry, constantly saying, “Be kind, use your manners, wash your hands, be gentle with your sister.” Diapers! Oh the diapers! Mealtime battles and trying to get out the door in a timely manner are just some of my daily doings.
But then there are the victories that seem so momentous! Like the 2 year old staying dry, wearing undies for a whole week! Or the baby who finally sleeps through the night. Of course their are the daily occurrences that simply melt my heart and make me wish I had cameras recording my kids all the time. Like Everly’s smile when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Hunter’s excitement over the first snow fall. Hunter giving Everly a sweet kiss on the head. Everly standing up on her own and looking so proud of herself! The things Hunter says and remembers are so entertaining to me. I often wonder, “where does he come up with these things?” And watching Everly evolve from a tiny newborn to this independant little mover and shaker has been so much fun.
I could not reflect upon 2014 without mentioning the huge loss of my father who past away in February. I continue to grieve the lack of his presence in my life and lives of my children. He was, and would have been such a great grandpa! I take comfort in believing that we will one day be united again in heaven and try to keep his memory alive for Hunter and Everly.
Gone are the days of 10 mile runs as a I train for my 2nd half marathon of the year, or hours spent in front of the computer writing a master’s thesis, or experimenting in the kitchen with the latest recipe I found on a blog. The farthest we traveled this year was Washburn, WI (which was pretty far with two kids!), I am happy to tell you that I finally started exercising again even if it is only a couple of times a week for 30 minutes, and my favorite things to cook lately are whatever I can get my kids to eat. Sometimes I look back think about how vastly different my life is now but I love it, I truly do. I may not love every single moment but this is really a wonderful life, sleepless nights and all. I am truly blessed to have those two little rays of sunshine that greet me each morning with smiles on their faces and let me snuggle and kiss them good night. I have a husband who supports me and loves our children to the core of his being. Truly God has given me so much and I am so thankful! I can only imagine what 2015 will bring for our family. I am looking forward to what new adventures God has in store for us. Peace and blessings to you as you celebrate the holiday season!