Friday, January 2, 2015

top ten [2014]

twenty fourteen was a significant year for us. it holds a lot of firsts, memories and growth. i hope i never have a year that doesn't feel like it's propelling me forward and fortunately [2014] did just that.

top ten moments, lessons, gift counting, sanctifying opportunities for growth in no particular order.
1. marriage is so freaking hard, but oh so worth it. sixteen years in with my guy, fourteen in our marriage covenant and every year gets better. we are zero parts perfect, but one hundred parts committed to until death do us part. the most significant part of our marriage is jesus, our second is laughter. randy is ridiculous and i wouldn't change a single thing because laughing with him is my favorite thing to do.
2. we graduated from college! i mean rb but really having a spouse work full time and go to college full time is [NOT] for the faint of heart. BUT holy cow am i [PROUD] of my guy.  the guy who hated school, hated reading, graduated early just to get out of school ...and to graduate with me... not only went back to school, did awesome, earned his bachelor's degree, and like a boss landed a great job! did i mention we are discussing returning for a masters? so proud!

3. hawaii. oh yes we did and oh yes we loved it. i have this wanderlust issue and this trip did not help, because i seriously tried to convince randy to move us there.  the kids enjoyed it just a tad, too. simply stunning and so many fun and free things to do in nature...we were in heaven, except the whole expensive as heck to live there thing. (if you ever find yourself visiting oahu, i'll give you my must see list.) so many great memories made as a family and with grandparents, a treasured trip indeed.
4. i rocked a weight loss challenge at the beginning of the year. and then promptly got [LAZY]. so lazy. when i started i was stocked to finally feel ready and then after the rush of my success faded and the challenge ended i realized wanting short term results trumped long term success. and that will never get me to my end goal...healthy.  [BUT] the challenge did help me become aware of so much. to love myself at any weight, but to fight for the healthiest version of myself.  that encouragement feels pretty amazing, and spreading it around like glitter is more fun than receiving it. and most important, that every single day is a new opportunity for a fresh start.
5. volleyball for my girl was so fun and so hard. she made so many friends and learned so much about volleyball, but she also learned what it is to keep a commitment when you want to give up. i had an opportunity to be her advocate while trying to navigate where to let life lessons happen and it was all so hard and so good and i pray she never gives in when the going gets tough, but always always stands up for herself even when it's uncomfortable.
6. this guy.  watching him in his element nearly split me in half bursting with pride and falling apart because he is did that happen? he had fantastic coaches who pushed him to be a man with integrity and then a good football player.  he shined as quarterback and learned so much about team work.  he made so many friends and was mentored by some outstanding young men.  my favorite memory was seeing him get choked up at the last game because a friend who he prayed with before every game is graduating and it was his last game.
7. #bday35raok has been a highlight for me personally, but watching my kids get on board has given me so much JOY! my favorite for sure was volunteering at the compassion international sponsorship table at a shane & shanne // phil wickham concert.  i loved how they interacted with each person who came up and how it was a tangible opportunity to see how serving can impact generations. [SIXTEEN] kids were exciting.  my plan to finish before my birthday was derailed a bit with the busyness of the holidays, but it was an opportunity to let go of expectations and realize that kindness doesn't have an expiration date and should actually be a daily exercise in gratitude.
8. my girl. we are two peas in a pod to the point that we butt heads errrrday. my heart desires so deeply to be the first person she turns to, her safe place, her confidant. i know that requires two things: her own free will and relationship. i made it my mission this year to pursue her heart like never before and do my best to love her well despite both of our very fleshly personalities.  i am seeing the wall fall before my eyes and it is such a tender and precious thing to behold.  at thirteen she has one foot in adolescence and one inching towards becoming a very independent young woman and i'm doing my very best to bend to the Father's will for her and not my own. i love being her mama.
9. we added a co-op program to our  home school curriculum this semester and it has been the best investment to date.  the kids are [THRIVING] and making so many friends. between co-op and our amazing friend vena who happens to be their math teacher have saved our home school experience.  i love my kids, my kids love me, but:  a. mama needs a break from time to time b. i know the limits to my capabilities c. mama needs a break from time to time d. vena is a saint sent from heaven e. mama needs a break from time to time. i am so very thankful that each year is becoming more and more peaceful for the carlisle classroom.
10 a. micah, oh how this sweet nugget has brought us so much joy!  i have 'kept' micah for almost three years and we are ever so fond of him. our time together on a daily basis is coming to an end and it is bittersweet...i am looking forward to being able to give more time to the kids and have a more flexible schedule, but he has impacted us greatly and our days will miss his belly laugh and quick quips!  we love you buddy!

10 b. another chapter closed and that was my hobby turned side business of sewing and selling vintage items on instagram. i owe so much to so many supportive friends and family who bought, shared and encouraged me along the way, but one special lady gave me a huge push and when i closed i ended up selling over 100 of my clutches, not to mention my other vintage and handmade sales. certainly not the success kate has had, but a [HUGE] accomplishment for me and blessing to our family. it has been such a fun experience, but i am thankful for a husband who encouraged me when i needed it and gently helped me to decide when it was time to lay down the shop to concentrate on the kids and homeschooling.  i for one am so thankful to have time for creating for myself and love ones without the pressures of sewing for profit.

[2014] was good to us and we are so thankful for what God has in store for 2015.  wishing all our friends and family near and far all the very best as a new year kicks off.