You were many things to many people this year. For some, you are easy to say goodbye to. You will be stashed on a shelf with other moments that would like to be forgotten or at least put away for a long time. For others, you hold memories and experiences that will be revisited often. Regardless, it's time to say goodbye and welcome 2014.
I thought about how I wanted to end this year on my blog. I thought about writing a list of all the things I've learned, and then I came upon a new post written by one of my favorite bloggers over at Enjoying the Small Things, and Kelle reminded me that we are always learning.
"Be grateful for where you are. Always. But look beyond. Learn from those around you. And when you think that you have, don't check it off as a lesson learned. You're still learning. You're always still learning."-Kelle Hampton
With that being said, there are a few things that this year taught me and a few things that I'm still learning. One of which that time doesn't wait for you to be ready for it to pass. It just does. We can either choose to embrace the changes, or we can spend a lot of time regretting the time we spent not being present. I know I still have a lot of work to do in the area of being a present mom, wife and friend, but I know that I'm aware of what I need to do and strive to better myself every single day.
I'm a working mom which means the time I have away from my job is about 60 waking hours a week (give or take) including 15 of those hours being time where my kids are already in bed. Subtract those hours that I spend doing things that need to be done (groceries, cleaning, laundry, cooking, errands) and time that I spend working out or taking time for myself, and I'm left with very little time in a week where I'm given 168 hours to use.
2013, you've reminded me a few times this year that time is an entity that can't be saved up. What I don't use, I lose, so it's important to spend it wisely. The fact of the matter is that our time cannot be spent in one place. It's just not feasible, even if we wanted it that way. We need to sleep. We need to earn a living. We need to pay bills, make meals, get groceries, and clean. We also need time for ourselves. Time to build and foster relationships with people-our kids, our spouses, our friends, and our families.
You've taught me that it's important to capture moments, and I have-through blogging and taking pictures, but you've also taught me that sometimes it's okay to just be in the moment. Sometimes I need to just live and breathe and experience, and it's okay not to have any proof of that.
This year hasn't held any defining moments for my family. There were no births, weddings, deaths or broken ankles in our close knit family unit, but somehow I feel like it was defining all the same. This year, I have uprooted my beliefs in everything that I grew up believing. I have spent countless hours questioning everything I think I know. I have sorted and processed while I'm in the shower, driving in my car, lying awake in the middle of the night, and I've come up with more questions than answers to tell you the truth.
I've come to the conclusion that not having answers is okay. Questioning is good. It's what challenges us and it's the place where we grow the most. Nobody grows in their comfort zone. Life is made up of good moments and hard moments, both of which are necessary in helping stretch and grow us into becoming who we are supposed to be.
And where I am is a good place. I'm finally okay with being who I am. I'm okay with not being liked by everyone and having what some would consider radical views. I'm okay with not having it all figured out. I don't have any labels that define me. I'm constantly changing, and I'm content with being just that. Me. I have a happy, healthy family. I have friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in all the world. I love my life. The good, the bad AND the ugly.
You were good to us this year, 2013. Thank you for the memories.
|Carter's first wrestling home meet with Grandpa, Uncle Casey, Uncle Colin and Dad cheering him on. January '13|
|Our impromptu trip to Minneapolis Nickelodeon Theme Park-January '13|
|3rd annual Girls' shopping weekend in Minneapolis- April '13|
|First fire of the season- April '13|
|Superhero birthday party: Carter 7 and Sawyer-4 May '13|
|One of many four wheeler rides at Grandpa's. Mother's Day 2013|
|Enjoying Mark and Jess's wedding with Jenni and Jada in Des Moines- June 2013|
|3rd grade softball- June 2013|
|Carter T-Ball-June 2013|
|Just being themselves-Morgan Prescott and Jaedyn Summer 2013|
|Strawberry picking with the Wenthes- July 2013|
|Sibling picture on the way to Estes Park- Colorado family vacation July 2013|
|Celebrating the life of our sweet Melissa on her birthday- Barefoot Bar July 2013|
|Taking Grandpa's boat out for one last hurrah in Yankton- August 2013|
|Last picnic of Summer- August 2013|
|Our favorite vacation activity: hot tubbing- Colorado vacation July 2013|
|Yankton August 2013|
|Fall baking with Grandma- September 2013|
|Sawyer starts preschool with cousin Lili and best bud Lincoln Toering- September 2013|
|Apple orchard with the family- September 2013|
|Glow 5K run with Dawn and Melissa- September 2013|
|Dan's 28th birthday celebration with Jeff and Amanda and Casey and Amy in the Ozarks-Oct 2013|
|Pumpkin picking- October 2013|
|Mustaches-Enough said September 2013|
|Running in the Kinsey 1K..so proud! October 2013|
|Frosty returns- December 2013|
|A snow fort making kind of day!|
|Childhood wonder during the Christmas season- December 2013|
|Wolfswinkel Family Christmas Getaway- Sioux Falls, December 2013|
|Christmas Getaway to Sioux Falls, December 2013|
|Surprise field trip on the Minivan Express to see Christmas lights- December 2013|
Thank you for letting me share this space with you. Thank you for reading! Happy New Year's to you and yours!
**Not sure why some of these photos are so pixelated! Sorry!