I like to close out every year with reflections on the past year and the upcoming year. I find it a bit therapeutic. It's taken me a few days to think about it, because this year held within its 365 days a lot more than a typical year. If I were to choose one word it would be: change. We had a year with a lot of change and transitions. Some were good, and some were quite hard.
We had to get used to not having Sid here anymore. We had to watch another mom become a widow. We had to get used to having no more dad for Matt and I and no more grandpa for our kids. Navigating that first year without a loved one is difficult, and was for sure the hardest part of 2014. We've all missed him a lot, and the dynamics of a family change when someone is no longer there. We are thankful that our hope and trust resides in the Lord. I can't imagine navigating loss without that.
While we lost Sid, we also gained a new family member: Everett. That was most definitely the highlight of 2014. The anticipation of not knowing who our next child would be was a fun one. Meeting him for the first time on March 24th was one of my favorite moments in life (as has meeting my other two children for the first time have been). We encountered a lot of change as we transitioned from a family of 4 to 5. Everett has brought much joy to our family. And while the sleepless nights and work that a baby brings are of course difficult, we have enjoyed him oh so much, because we know how quickly that first year of babyhood flies by. I've been able to savor all of the sweetness that a baby brings, without letting the hard stuff get to me. It's been fun to see my big kids have a younger sibling. They are old enough that they have been so helpful.
Another big change for me was having Ethan start first grade and be at school all day, and also have Alayna start school and be gone three mornings a week. To be honest, it was a difficult transition for me. Much harder than I anticipated. All of the sudden I found myself mourning a stage of life I will never get back. The sweet simplicity of having my kiddos home all afternoon, and having no where we had to be. Eating lunch all together and having the afternoons be ours: that stage is gone now. I found myself sad and missing the kids a lot. On the plus side I have most definitely loved still having Alayna home with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in the afternoons. I've been slowly getting used to it and adjusting, and I have LOVED when we all have days off together.
We managed to do quite a bit of fun things this year despite having a new baby. It has helped that the other two are so much older, so it's not like we've had three littles at the same time. We went to the beach several times (which was easy because Everett wasn't crawling yet), we drove to Sacramento, drove to Colorado for a week, stayed at the beach and also in the desert. And we've done lots of fun little things too :) We love family time and have been blessed with lots of quality time together as a family this past year.
My goal as I begin 2015 is pretty simple. It is to enjoy each day for what it is. I don't want to find myself always missing the past, nor dreading the future. I want to be filled with joy and contentment for the here and now, each day. Each stage of life brings changes, and things become different. However it does not mean that you cannot enjoy each day for what it is. Blessings always abound; they are always there, it's just up to us to look for them and be thankful. God is faithful through everything.