Thursday, January 1, 2015

Final thoughts from 2014//Family photo overload.

 As I sat and made goals in the beginning of last year, I really aspired to be a better mother, a better wife and really just a better person. Some piddly goals like, not wanting to go out to eat as often, save more money, work out... but the goal that I committed to work on tirelessly all year long came after a horrible night as a mother/monster just days after the year started and I sat down and gave My best advice to myself. (If you haven't read this, you must. It may or may not change your perspective on parenting) I have since often reminded myself to "be cool" "be calm" "be soft" and the relationship that I have with my boys has grown along with them. I have learned that losing it on them does nothing but make it worse for them and for me and I swore not to lose it anymore. It could definitely be a little easier as they are both getting a little older and able to understand things more fully, but I want to take a little credit for this. I have been working and praying so hard to be more patient with my boys and I am so grateful for every little prayer that has been answered.

As for other goals, I took my "working out" goal to an entirely new level. I realized that I was the last one taken care of at the end of the day and I needed to do something about.  I joined the gym! I have never in my life been a member at a gym or even committed to a work out routine and I not only surprised Marshall by joining and actually making it part of my daily routine, but myself!! I am proud of myself, you guys!I wake up at 5 am to do this, it is never easy- but always worth it. I remember rolling my eyes at other ladies when they would talk about going to the gym, not because I was annoyed by them, but because I was annoyed with myself-- why couldn't I do that, too? And now, I notice other ladies rolling their eyes at me... I get it... just DO IT! It's been so great.

I did pretty well on not going out to eat often in the beginning of the year, and then when I started working out, it was even better----but, then I got pregnant and I forgot about this goal completely. I have been terrible. (And I don't even care.)

Money saving goals are my favorite. I am not the best at saving- unless I have my eye on a prize, but this year I made sure to put money into accounts to be saved before I could even see it. That was a great idea. And this year, with another baby moving in, we have many plans for our home, all of which cost lots of dollars. I am limiting my spending so we can work to have the things we have been talking/dreaming about all this time.

Another year for Marshall and I has been great for us. These are the days where we start growing (old?) together. We were able to meet weekly to discuss and plan the week ahead, everything from our weekly menu, to date  nights to family nights to errands and what inventory needs to be restocked, or to get things off our chest or goals we want to achieve in the next week.
 Marshall and I have grown closer and more comfortable with each other as parents, as husband as wife as individuals. It's never easy, but it is beautiful. I am grateful to have Marshall in my life. He is my best friend, and I can't imagine him not next to me. We really do need each other to get through this wild life.

Marshall and I made an effort to take the boys out and do fun things as a family. It's not always easy to find time to do things like this with our busy schedules, and nap schedules but it always worked out and was great. On a windy day in the spring, we flew a kite in the park- this was the best! We had many a bon fire in our backyard with s'mores. We went to the corn maze.We took them up to Duluth for the day in the summer to explore a little of Duluth and to ride Thomas the Train. We visited the Children's museum and the zoos. We went to the library and sometimes to story time weekly as part of our school time routine. We took them to the state fair and rode rides, we made it to a couple toddler Tuesdays at the Mall of America, We rode the indoor carousel in the maplewood mall (more than once) We wrapped up the year going to an agricultural farm in the freezing cold, but it was fun! We worked in the yard together and worked in the home together. We love our times together as a family and even our times with other families that we have been able to spend time with,

The boys are becoming best friends before my very eyes. Ezra runs into our room in the morning, shaking us to tell us what we already know, "Eli is awake! Eli is awake!" --- "Can you go get him" and when we do he reaches his little arms toward him, squeezes him a little squeeze and kisses his little head before Eli makes his escape move. But there is love there, people! And it is adorable. They play together all day long and they are realizing how much they need each other. I am grateful to be here to watch their relationship take baby steps into a brotherly bond.

As I look back at the last year, it was a blur! But it was fantastic, I am looking forward to this new year and all that lays ahead! You never know what it will be like until you experience and go through it, and I am ready for it.

In the next few months we will be adding another little boy into our family and we are excited beyond words. We feel so blessed to be able to expand our family and to bring life into this world. 
We have felt the Lord's hand in our lives as we continue to move forward as a family and we have been very blessed. 
We wish you all a very Happy New Year.
I hope that you may continue to seek and find Joy and Truth in your year ahead.

(All photos by Paisley Ann Photography. Thank you!)