Wrapping Up a Year

The sky is painted bright stripes of pink and orange this morning. As I’ve been sitting at my desk in front of the window, contemplating how to wrap up an entire year into one blog post, the sky has warmed to a lovely orange with a hint of blue sky peeking through pink clouds. If you have to be awake before the sun comes up, this is surely the sweetest way to welcome the morning.

(hands down my favorite photo from last year)

I’m not really sure how to wrap up the last year. It was exhausting but full of fun and happiness all in the same breath. Blessings rained down on our family in big and small ways. My family moved to town, Aaron’s career took off, our boys were healthy and thriving. We have amazing friends, a warm house and got to go and do so many fun things. The boys grew in leaps and bounds before our eyes and I even got a full nights sleep before the end of the year.

Luke went from a teeny tiny baby who hadn’t even had a bite of food to a toddler who walks (runs!), talks, eats everything in sight, has many many opinions, gives the best hugs and kisses, loves books and trucks, his brother, throwing balls and eating crayons.

Jack went from a diaper-wearing toddler who slept in a crib to a full-blown kid who goes to preschool, rides a bike, puts on his own shoes, poops in the potty, tells winding hilarious stories and spends hours playing legos and cars and trains.

I look back at posts from January and February of last year and I see babies. Two little babies. And in my writing, I hear a tired, frazzled, slightly post-partum mama. We got sick a lot.

But the sun did come out and with it came a breath of fresh air. Spring brought lots of time outside. We planted our garden and got baby chicks.

The summer brought a wonderful family vacation with some of our best friends. We celebrated Luke turning one with a big party and headed to the lake for a family reunion. We even tried our hand at camping (for one night). The boys loved it and we dreamed about a few years from now when camping is a regular summer occurance.

Summer also brought my parents to town. They had talked about moving to Yakima for a couple of years but the timing had never been quite right. In June they put their house up for sale and three weeks later it was sold. After a whirlwind house hunt in Yakima, they found a house on a couple of acres outside of town and made their dreams of a hobby farm a reality.

Summer was also hard. My work-life balance had been off for a while and the frustration and stress of my situation was peaking. I knew something had to change, but there just didn’t seem like any viable options to do what I do in our small town outside of where I already worked. And then a miracle happened. And that might sound dramatic, but God knew exactly what I needed, and orchestrated the most incredible situation. There’s just no way it couldn’t have been from Him.

In August I was offered a freelance contract to work for a local hospital, doing what I love to do best; writing, telling stories, blogging and helping their team with strategic communication and fundraising. By September I was in my new setting, working half what I used to work with a team who I thoroughly enjoy. For the first time in my career I get when people say they love their job.

Jack started preschool two mornings a week and Luke started walking. Both milestones felt epic for our family. We celebrated Jack turning three with a big party at my parent’s new house. I started a women’s bible study and I pulled the boys out of daycare. Fall was busy and quiet all at the same time.

The holidays crept up quickly and in the busyness of traveling and cooking and getting together with family, both Aaron and I lost loved ones. Aaron’s beloved grandmother passed away the day before Thanksgiving and my aunt passed away just a few days after Thanksgiving. Both of their services were profound in magnifying what is important in life. In different ways, both these women deeply loved the people around them. Aaron’s grandmother was married to her husband for 61 years, raised four childen and foster children. She was a school teacher and inspired multiple family members to go into education. She was the wife and mother I aspire to be: kind, gentle, loving.

My aunt spent 24 years battling cancer. And yet, she was never ever defined by her illness. She is remembered for her love of cooking, bright colors, her love of books, fresh flowers and candles. She raised two children by herself in the midst of treatment and was beloved by her friends, colleagues and church family. She was defined by her ability to inspire others. Her service was a testament to finding joy in all the little ways life is beautiful. She is deeply missed by her friends and children.

Christmas came. It was sweet and quiet and so so lovely. Aaron and I have spent the last couple of days talking about the upcoming year and what we want out of it. The word that keeps coming up over and over again is intention.

To be intentional with each other and our boys. Intentional with friends, colleagues, work, church, finances and our own bodies. Aaron has a hard time slowing down, going from one task to another, never resting. I tend to do five things at once, never quite finishing things or completing them to the level they deserve. Both of us want to create new habits this year, ones that revolve around our family, ensuring we are treating our boys and each other with the intention they deserve.

Welcome 2012. It’s going to be a good one.

How about you? Any resolutions?

1 Response to “Wrapping Up a Year”

  1. 1 Courtney January 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Lovely recap. Happy New Year!!!!

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January 2012
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