It’s 6:00 in the morning, and for the first time in…well…forever…the baby slept through the night. (Cue angels singing! Cue mothers around the world weeping!) I’m fighting off mastitis and the house is a wreck from being gone a week. If this post doesn’t get published now, while the kids are still slumbering, it never well. So here we go.
Our family is back from Christmas vacation, and you can see some of our photos over on my sister-in-law’s blog. I hope to get a recap up here soon, but I make no promises. The grand summary is: we had a fantastic time with our families. The weather was amazing (80 degrees!) and we enjoyed sweet, memorable time with those we love.
2013 was a good, good year. We entered the year with some fears and unknowns, and ended the year with a healthy and stable family life. We know to not take these things for granted. I am very grateful.
Last January I picked a word to live by in 2013–gratitude–and I marked over 365 things I’m thankful for in a small journal. I hope I can reach 1,000 “gifts” in 2014. My biggest observation from keeping a gratitude journal? I often forget what I’m thankful for! It’s very fun to read through my list and notice repeat mentions like “cuddles on the couch,” “good conversations with friends,” and “Rolos.”
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a type A planner, so it’s rare for a year to pass that I don’t set goals. Every year I complete a simple word document introduced to me by old friends from Santa Barbara, the Kearins. The document helps me complete and remember the present year, while dreaming and visioning the year ahead. 2013 was the first year I decided to break my goals down by quarter, and I’m so glad that I did. The first two quarters of 2013 I focused on writing, and the last two quarters were mostly centered on motherhood and a running goal. As I look back on 2013 I am proud of myself for accomplishing all that I did while also recognizing, accepting and even celebrating my limits.
Things I’m happy to have done in 2013
- Mentored a younger friend from church, and learned so much from her sweet spirit.
- Continued to carve out time for writing; finished my book proposal, found an agent
- Grew a baby and survived a (surprise!) unmedicated childbirth.
- Welcomed the sweetest baby boy into our family, and began caring for two young children. I’m especially proud I’ve kept them both alive and maintained my sanity. Mothering two kids is no joke.
- Got back into running shape and completed Run to Feed the Hungry 5K.
- Wrote these three top viewed posts: 10 Gift Ideas for a Brand New Mom, Dear Mom of a Newborn, and When You Feel Unlovable.
- Read 28 books –a personal record!–and learned a ton about parenting, writing, cancer, and faith.
Best Moments of 2013
- Holding sweet Owen for the first time on July 13. Nothing in 2013 can beat the moment we met our son.
- Hearing Anna’s verbal skills come alive. Her spirit brightens my life daily.
- Riding the New Orleans streetcars with Jonathan during our babymoon.
- Watching Jonathan cross the San Luis Obispo Marathon finish line. Tears!
- Seeing Anna discover the joys of the swimming pool.
- Signing a contract to work with my agent, Chris Ferebee.
- Hanging out with our friends in Santa Barbara for Nate’s wedding.
- Singing Silent Night on Christmas Eve with Jonathan by my side, Owen in his arms, and Anna tugging on my legs.
- Meeting my new nieces, Kaitlyn and Hailey, on Christmas Day.
Stuff to Do in 2014
- Be a present, patient and loving mom and wife. This one is a repeat from last year, and it’s always top priority for me.
- Find a publisher for my book, then write the remaining chapters.
- Write for an exciting new project–a new NIV devotional bible for young women published by Zondervan.
- Complete a blog redesign and start participating in a monthly “What I learned” linkup. (Before baby I averaged about 11 posts a month, and after baby I’m averaging 6-7. Maybe when Owen’s sleep habits are consistent again I’ll be back with greater frequency.)
- Vary up my exercise routine with yoga and/or Pilates once a week. (Two times a week would be ideal, but hello…those classes are pricey!)
- Spend a long weekend on the coast with Jonathan where we sleep-in and eat, emphasis on “sleep-in.”
- Spend less time online, and more time with my Kindle. My book list is miles long. If you’re trying to read more books, try creating a “Must Read in 2014” list on GoodReads. Here’s mine.
- Maybe re-do our backyard? This is still budget dependent. Jonathan made our front yard pretty in 2013 and we really enjoyed using it during the summer. Hope we can make our backyard just as lovely!
I’d love to hear some of your favorites in 2013, something you’re proud you accomplished, and maybe a few things you’re looking forward to in 2014. Write your own post and link to it in the comment section, or, simply leave a few thoughts. Happy New Year!
P.S. For the first time ever, I’ve decided to not post my annual BEST OF list. Since I’ve been blogging what I’m into each month, I figured you’ve heard enough from me about best books, music, recipes, etc. (For previous years, click here.) And for anyone needing book recommendations, hop over to my GoodReads 2013 Book List where you’ll see all my 5 star ratings from the last year.