In years past, I have always ended the year with reflections from the year before and intentions for the year to come. This year, I just didn't have the words on my mind to sit down and do it. Not for any other reason than we were just enjoying our break together. We had no big plans other than a few Christmas parties, but other than that, we just enjoyed time spent relaxing and being together. This has been a challenging year for me in school, and so regrouping and relaxing was at the top of my list of things to do over this break.
But I'm here now. Still don't have well formulated thoughts, but we will throw them up on here and see what comes of it. As I was thinking of ways to describe 2018, I initially felt pretty indifferent about it. It wasn't great. It wasn't bad. It just was. And then I thought to myself....how boring. Is that an accurate representation of how our year went? So I made a list of all the things that happened the past year (using pictures from social media of course because I can't remember a darn thing), and what I actually found was that our year was pretty friggen good- full of lots of memories and trips and time with friends and family, and I thought to myself how much anxiety and the busyness of life can alter our perceptions on things. It reminded me how thankful I am for the ability to document our lives with pictures and words and string together meaning from our every day lives. Perspective is everything, and I definitely need to find it on a regular basis.
Here's our year in pictures:
|Wrestling meets for Sawyer|
|Impromptu murder mystery date with this crew|
|Volleyball tournaments for Jae|
|Basketball tournaments for Carter|
|A trip of a lifetime with Shelley to the Dominican|
|An excursion day|
|lots of volleyball played during the day|
|Threepeat state qualifiers|
|Hard fought battle in the championship|
|AR Workshop with the Wolfswinkel girls|
|AR Workshop with the "Schelling" girls|
|Middle School Retreat at Hidden Acres|
|RFKC leadership retreat in the Black Hills|
|Leadership team plus spouses|
|Jaedyn's last middle school dance using the convertible borrowed to us by the generous Den Hartogs.|
|Taking said car on a date to Kulinary Kings in Rock Valley|
|Annual Shopping weekend|
|Couples weekend in Kansas City|
|Going to Wicked with Jaedyn|
|Johnny Holm in Sioux Center|
|Baseball for both Carter and Sawyer|
|Family trip to the Black Hills|
|Lots of cards|
|Trip to Denver with Sabrina and Dan to visit Shalee|
|Tandem bike rides to taco bars|
|Hard hikes with stellar views|
|Bronco stadium tour|
|Melissa's birthday celebration|
|Year 5 at Royal Family Kids Camp|
|Family date to BWW and a Canaries game|
|Adult weekend to the Ozarks|
|First day of School: Jae- 9th, Carter- 7th, Sawyer-4th|
|Jae's 15th birthday bash in Okoboji|
|Last boat ride of the season|
|Titan football for Sawyer|
|7th grade football for Carter|
|Freshman volleyball for Jae|
|Ozarks with the family|
|Old highschool friends reunite|
|Harry Potter party|
|3rd grade Halloween costume- The Price is Right|
|Cutting down the tree|
|Annual neighborhood girls's sleepover|
|RFKC Dinner and Dessert Auction|
|Jae's first high school dance|
|Christmas with the best|
|Friendsmas at Blue Mountain|
Not too shabby now that I look at it.
So what's to come for 2019? I'm sure there will be challenges. There will most certainly be lots of good, and the question is who do I want to be in 2019? What do I want life to look like?
Well, for starters. I want to make sure I'm taking care of me. My body, mind, and soul. I've done some excellent ground work in 2018- gratitude journals, listening to podcasts, reading books, and filling my feeds with people who will help me grow. Spending time in the mornings on my own- reading my devotions, meditating, taking a walk, focusing my mind on the day to come. Making time for my relationships-my family, my friends, and making room for new relationships as well. Was I perfect? Surely not. But it was a good start, and I'm excited to continue that work.
I don't have any resolutions. Resolving something means there is a problem to be fixed, and I don't want to look at myself as a problem that needs fixing, but rather showing up for myself in whatever ways I need to in order to become the best possible me in 2019. I'll continue spending that time in the morning on self care, feeding my body with things that make it feel good, moving my body in ways that allow me to feel energized and strong, refraining as much as possible from negative talk (from my self or others) about myself or others.
In 2019, I will continue show up for myself and my family. As my kids grow up, I'm finding that my role looks different to be their mom. I can no longer solve their problems by scooping them up and kissing their owies. I'm no longer "mommy" the hero. The one who can solve a problem by feeding them, changing their diaper, or putting them to sleep. I'm "mom"- the one here to listen, to offer advice or direction when necessary. To set boundaries and expectations, and follow through with consequences when needed. Hard conversations are prevalent and quite frankly talk about things that aren't necessarily the most comfortable. I play referee and maid, housekeeper and pocketbook. All without accolades or thank yous. Maybe I'll do another post on motherhood in the future, but let's be real, this parenting gig is HARD. It's hard watching your kids go through dark places and not be able to do anything but hold their hand through it. In fact, today in church, I literally cried the entire service. During one part of a song called "King of My Heart" there is a part that says "When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on." (Fast forward to about the 4 min mark) It is repeated over and over, and today I just wept. My kids are going through some dark places, and I can't fix it, and as a mama, that is hard. Dan is the only outlet I have. There is no talking about it in the midst of friends or family because these are not my stories to tell. My kids are old enough where they are able to vocalize when they need things to be kept private, and I have to respect that. So for me, this is new territory. It's hard territory.
All that said to say that 2019 will be a year of showing up not only for me, but for my husband. For my kids. Showing up, hunkering down, digging my feet in, climbing under the covers, and doing nothing more than walking the path with them. Reminding them that no matter what, I'm here. That they will never walk through the hard alone. They will always have their dad and me in their corner. And hopefully, when they think of me, they will feel home.
Where are you headed in 2019? My words for 2019 are Intentional and Show Up. What are yours? Drop me a line.