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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013; In Review

The year 2014 came in with a blast of snow and 7* temperatures.  Nothing better to do than snuggle up in a blanket and reflect on the teachings of 2013.  I reread both New Year's blogs of 2011 and 2012 and realized I continue to learn as life progresses through the years. 

Here is my top 10 list of 2013:

10.  Having a baby changes everything.  Actually I learned this 7 years ago when we brought Cailyn home from the hospital, but on January 21, 2013 our lives changed drastically...for the better.  Lauryn brought much love and laughter into our lives this past year.  I relearned how to care for an infant and spent the entire year breastfeeding which was a huge accomplishment and a constant learning curve! Lauryn has blessed us beyond anything I could imagine.  She has intoxicated our lives with joy by giving us smiles, giggles, and looking at us with her deep brown eyes.  Our lives are busier, our bank account emptier, our home more crowded; but our hearts are fuller. 

9.  Three kids is a lot!  Making the jump from two kids to three was a big adjustment for me.  Just the other day I was overwhelmed and I looked at Eric and said, "We need another parent in this house."  Splitting your time between 3 kids is next to impossible, especially when it seems like one is constantly attached to your chest.  However I would not trade my three little dears for anything.  They give my life meaning and keep me going on my toughest days. 

8. Three kids is enough.  :)

7. Accepting the changes that occur to your body postpartum is more difficult with each child you have.  No longer do I see my early 20-something pre-baby body when I look in the mirror.  Instead I see marks across my belly showing that life once grew within me.  I appear wider and rounder and wonder if my hips will ever narrow out again.  I am still working on accepting these changes and feeling confident with myself.  My time spent working out, running, and logging my meals has helped me to realized that being healthy is so much more important than how you look.  Teaching my daughters to be active and eat healthy will take them so much further in life than teaching them to worry about how they look.  I hope to continue to grow in this realization in 2014.

6.  Sleep is important.  I have not had a full night of sleep in over a year (never slept through the night during pregnancy and have not since Lauryn has been born!)  The deprivation I have suffered has left me foggy minded and less motivated.  Take it from me-SLEEP IS IMPORTANT! Someday that cute bundle of perfection that intoxicated our lives with joy will sleep.  I hope it is in 2014!

5.  Being a big brother and big sister is hard work.  The only way I have ever experienced this is through the eyes of Cailyn and Bryce.  They have had to learn to be more patient, play by themselves, and do more for themselves in the past year.  Witnessing their screams of frustration and acts of aggression pull on my heart at times.  I know that they just want the attention they once owned.  On the other side of things I see them wanting to help with Lauryn in the best ways they know how.  At times it is overbearing which is difficult for a 5 and 6 year old to understand. As they learn to become more patient, I learn to become more patient.  They are wonderful with Lauryn and I can see she has filled up their lives just as she has mine and Eric's. 

4.   Laundry for a family of 5 is never ending.  And socks never match up.  It is a frustration that I need to let go of and yet I continue to let it stress me out. 

3.  Too many people lose sight of what is truly important.  About a week before Christmas I was visiting with a good friend.  As we talked we realized our conversation revolved around the stress of Christmas. We discussed our last minute $200 trips to Target, the chaos that comes with  traveling with young kids, and how all the little things for teachers, friends, daycare providers, and so on add up to be much more than expected. We bounced ideas off  each other and discussed the option of not getting our youngest girls anything a at all. Finally I looked at her and said, "This is sad. It shouldn't be this way. Instead of enjoying what Christmas is really about we are stressed out and missing the most important part of the season." We sat in silence for a few minutes and promised ourselves to change for the coming year.  In 2014 I hope to slow down and take time to enjoy life more.  The Christmas season should be about recognizing the coming of our Savior--Jesus!  It should be about teaching our children the true meaning of Christmas.  It should not leave us stressed and angry about not finding the perfect gift.  Many changes to make for the Christmas season of 2014. 

2.  Sometimes it is easy to lose focus and put other things before your relationship with God.  I have read many blogs and articles on the importance of putting God first, spouse next,  then children.  It is SO hard to not let your children consume your life.  In 2013 I learned that I was allowing my children to take priority.  In 2014 I want to relearn how to put God first. 

1.   Family is important.  Friends come and go.  Jobs change.  Money is not constant.  Family is everlasting.  Do not take them for granted.  Love is who you share your life with.  Love is family.

I end my 2013 blog to the cries of my 11 month old.  Hopefully I can find a way to soothe her so we can all get some sleep on this first day of 2014.  

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