Goodbye. Hello.

Well, we've done it.
We've survived another year.
Another year where it felt everything was upside down most of the time. Our year was expected to be stressful, adding a baby to an already overwhelming situation can do that. As our favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan says, "Imagine you're drowning and someone hands you a baby." It is so true. So. True.

 We spent a lot of time by the water this year. Not enough in my opinion, but as often as a family of four kids under five can do with only one adult supervising most of the time.

We kept it weird. 
Dress up, barefoot, pj wearing, park going crazy people are my life.

We've had some highs and lows.
 Mostly Hazel had lows, but that's to be expected when you are two and no one does what you say. 

We had some really big moments. DUDE went to kindergarten. 'Bout killed me. 
The girls survived another year. 
We celebrated our 9 year anniversary (15 years together!!!) and still kinda like each other so that's good. 
So, Goodbye 2014. 

It was a crazy year. I am completely fine with saying goodbye to you and hello to 2015. I am so happy to say goodbye to a year that had daddy working day and night for six months and we almost never saw him. I am happy to say hello to another year to grow together as a couple and family. We will be entering a new phase as the baby turns 1 and walk away from the baby stage forever. (I really hesitate saying that because the last time I did I was already pregnant with Anne.) It may feel weird for a little to not have new babies every year, but I am so ready for sleep people. SO. READY!
I am really wanting to finish decorating the house. That's a practical goal for me. A tangible one I can do with the daddy when he has a day off. I'm really good at being bossy, so telling him where to put stuff is one of my favorite games to play! 

I am excited about our desire to foster and cultivate community again. We are leaving a stage where we always needed help and seem to find ourselves able to tackle small outings and handle it. Which means we are finally getting closer to being able to help others. We miss having friendships, plain and simple. We have been so busy trying to keep it together we haven't really entertained families in our home. We are excited to try to build relationships and maintain relationships. Especially with our kids. I want to be taking advantage of one on one time opportunities. I want to spend time with just Cora for a few hours. She would talk to me all day if I gave her the chance. I want to give her the chance. 

I am desperate for some growth in my soul. I want to change a lot of bad habits. I know that new year's resolutions are lame, that's not what I'm saying. I just want to work towards growth. I want shed off the things that weigh me down with guilt. I want to embrace who I am but move forward with who I am becoming. I want to work on the concept of a quiet and gentle spirit, and slow to anger. I want to read books again. So many good ones on my amazon wish list I'm craving to read. 

 I have every intention of implementing the following in our home:
  - a gratitude jar for every time we are ungrateful. 
  - a complaining jar for every time we have a problem with negative talk.
  - a screen free day every week. 
  - date night for the hubs and I twice a month. MANDATORY! NO EXCEPTIONS!

For myself, I am going hands free. Its a huge commitment. I have to put my mother flipping phone down! I am going to put it away and on do not disturb. I can not have distractions. These kids need me and my face not the top of my head looking at them. It's something I've been convicted by for a long long time. So, if you text me, call me, or email me...I may not respond right away. {Gasp!} It's cool. I still love you. But, I love my kids more. It's time I started acting like it.  
These are my people. This is my opus, my life's work, my masterpiece. These are my one and only responsibility. To love them. To teach them. To show them the redemptive power of our loving and gracious heavenly father. To show them that grace. To show them how to say hello to new and exciting things, even if it seems heavy and burdensome. Even if we are scared by the change or work before us. Saying hello to 2015 is going to be very big.

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