2011 Year in Review

My annual year in review post!

2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? had a baby girl! Okay, that’s kind of cheating, since i have given birth before. But this girl thing is all new.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made goals again, not resolutions and accomplished about 75% of them! What I didn’t reach: read 15 books (I read like 4 – so dumb), exercising more consistently during pregnancy, memorize Ephesians and plan menus every month. I did pretty well, but this year I’m definitely working harder to meet the most important goals. And yes, I’m making goals for 2012. I love goals.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? YES. Several of my best girlfriends. Three of them right around Taylor’s due date! (and we all had girls!)

4. Did anyone close to you die? in January, Kyle’s grandma passed away. She was our last grandparent to walk through the golden gates of heaven. We miss her.

5. What countries did you visit? no countries – just states. We went to Nevada in March to ski at Lake Tahoe with our friends Rob and Rosanna! It was awesome. Otherwise, we stuck around MN a lot this year. We got a state park passport and have been trying to collect as many stamps as possible. So fun for exploring our own beautiful state.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? a consistent time in the Word and prayer.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? October 3 – Taylor’s due date AND birthday! She came right on time. lol.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?another pregnancy and safe/healthy delivery. It’s sort of huge to bring a human into the world. 🙂 I GET sort of huge too.

9. What was your biggest failure? not sticking with exercise and great eating habits while pregnant.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? the usual basic colds/sore throats, and acute sleep deprivation. oh, and heart sickness over my bestie Rosanna moving to NV. It was really hard to say goodbye.

11. What was the best thing you bought? plane tickets to Tahoe! And maternity clothes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I think I will always fill this in with Kyle. Once again, he blew me away with the grace, love and kindness he shows me and the way he cares for our family. It’s been so fun to see him father a baby girl too. I am very blessed by him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? the media and the government, as per usual.

14. Where did most of your money go? housing, food, church/missions and gasoline.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? going to Tahoe with R&R, finding out we were expecting a girl, hosting a retreat for women I love dearly and meeting Taylor!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Uncharted by Sarah Barielles or Neon Lights by Natasha Bedingfield

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? sadder. But for dumb reasons. I am so unbelievably blessed.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? reading, writing and praying. And protein.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? whining, frivolity, and judging. And carbs.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve with both our familes, Christmas morning with our little family and my parents, Christmas dinner with our parents and Kyle’s sisters hosted at our house.

21. How will you spend New Years? At home with family, delicious food and champagne.

22. What was your favorite TV program? I didn’t have a “oh my gosh I LOVE this” favorite this year, but I enjoyed The Voice, The Office and Southland.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? nope.

24. What was the best book you read? The Help. (The only novel I read this year, haha.)

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? The Black Keys

26. What did you want and got? a healthy baby and new boots. 🙂

27. What was your favorite film of this year? Recently, the Sherlock Holmes sequel. Earlier in the year, the new Jane Eyre and The Kings Speech. Brilliant. Courageous was pretty great too!

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? turned 29, enjoyed lunch with my men, paddleboated at Lake Calhoun, and had a party with friends and family in the evening. It was a lovely day!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? spending more time at the feet of my Savior.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? maternity. ‘nuf said. 😛

31. What kept you sane? my husband, planning parties and girls nights out.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I am seriously drawing a blank here. Real people in my real life are far more interesting and inspiring.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? mostly I’m just annoyed with how much the government spends to accomplish so very little.

34. Who did you miss? my best friends that live far away. and my Grandma Alice.

35. Who was the best new person you met? Several of my friends from the Crossings! They are like sisters to me, but I’d not enjoyed their company in person until this year. Also my new friend, Elise. 🙂 She’s a gem!

36. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2011: Motherhood is the hardest and most wonderful challenge I have yet faced in life, and adding another kid to the mix is even more crazy/wonderful! I need Jesus. Every day. And I became even more grateful for the amazing help and support Kyle is to me. I couldn’t do life well without him.

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christmas memories 2011

its the day after the day after Christmas. 🙂 Jack is happily playing with his new train and tracks in his bedroom wearing his new, self-described “jumping pants” from Grandma Char and Grandpa Rick. His awesome handcrafted work bench is downstairs and he wants to watch a “moomie” (Planet Earth) that Kyle got for him.

Christmas through the eyes of a 2.5 year old is far more fun than merely through my own. He made it so fun to open gifts and his repeated “Oh WOW!”‘s were priceless. On Christmas morning, we drove home from church and Jack fell asleep. He was all cute in his new puffer vest and dapper hat, clutching a stuffed teddy bear. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have snapped a picture, because I just want to remember these moments. They are slipping by more quickly than I want them to!

Jack loved moving the Advent star on our advent calendar and lighting the candles each night when we did our devotional. He said many a “Merry Kiss-mas!’ and would always say that as we said goodnight. It was great fun to give cookie plates to our neighbors and wish them a “Merry Christmas!” too. When we had a Christmas party with our friends the Sullivans and Gulbransons, Jessica made a birthday cake for Jesus and Jack LOVED singing “Happy Birthday” and blew out the candle with joy. We talked a lot about baby Jesus in the manger and the stable, in spite of the stupid dog eating our “gingerbread nativity”. I think he is “catching” that Jesus is the reason for this wonderful season.

the strangest part of the Christmas season of 2011 was that we had NO SNOW! Super odd. I can think of one, possible two other brown Minnesota Christmases I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Hopefully this remains an anomaly and not a typical event! I miss the snow. It’s the one thing that makes winter pretty. However, I am NOT complaining about the warmer temps which have accompanied the snow famine. Last year the snow and cold came early and often and stayed far past it’s welcome. We just need snow by the time we go to Lutsen to ski in February. Please and thank you, God.

We attended several different musical events this Christmas and Jackson loved them all. His favorite Christmas song was “The Little Drummer Boy”, which incidentally was MY favorite Christmas song as a tiny kid. I called it the “Pum-pum Song”. Jack especially notices violins in music or when he sees them being played. It comes out “why-o-lin” when he says it, which is totally adorable. 🙂 I wonder how young is too young to start music lessons? He is so interested in playing and singing and everything musical.

The family events were plentiful and wonderful. I’m so grateful, once again, that we live within close driving distance of both sides of our family. We made cookies and shared cookies, gave gifts and received gifts, played games and enjoyed many cups of coffee. Taylor was fawned over, held and adored. Jackson was made to laugh, giggle and said “STOP IT” when things got too exciting for him. oh silly boy. His aunts and uncles love him to bits.

Amazon Prime saved my shopping bacon this Christmas. Hooray for free two-day shipping and great prices on the stuff we wanted to give! 🙂 I got Kyle a bunch of fun little things to “fill his stocking”, since we gave each other a night at a bed and breakfast to be enjoyed at a later date. We gave Jack an IKEA rug for driving his cars and trucks on, the Planet Earth dvd’s, finger paints, bubbles, and a puffer vest. Kyle did an epic job filling my stocking – I loved it, especially the copy of White Christmas peeking out of the top. We watched that yesterday. I love that movie, schmaltz and all. 🙂

And now 2012 is around the corner. I was pondering a year ago, as I’m wont to do, and love thinking how Taylor was just a twinkle in our eye at this time in 2010. Now she’s here and we love her so much. She has this face-splitting, exuberant smile that is just contagiously beautiful. Though two kids have multiplied my work, they have also multiplied my joy. It’s so nice that God doesn’t give me one without the other. 🙂

I consider the best gifts of the year to be the ones from my Heavenly Father. My wonderful husband, Jack, our sweet new baby girl, the ability to give much to others, a warm place to sleep and so, so, SO much more. And most of all, I am grateful for the gift of a little child that grew into a man who rescued my heart and saved my soul. Merry Christmas indeed!

two months old!

I can hardly believe my baby girl is 2 months old today. The past 8 weeks have been a blur of family events and sleep deprivation. 🙂 But there have been LOTS of smiles and coos and happy moments with my sweet child. We are slowly but surely finding our groove as parents of two. Taylor is finding her spot in our family and has been learning to sleep more hours (yay! happy thing indeed!).

My Sweet T tries so hard to suck her thumb, but usually ends up with her fist. She still has some tummy issues that make life interesting sometimes, but I think she’s growing out of them gradually. She started smiling almost all the time when she’s awake a couple weeks ago, which is delightful! Her head and neck are very strong – she loves to look around and doesn’t want to miss a thing. But she’s also a little cuddle bug. She loves to sleep being held, but we’re working on her ability to put herself to sleep in her crib.

Taylor, you are such a gift to our family! Jackson loves you. Daddy loves you and I love you. Your smiles make my day so bright and cuddling you warms my heart. I’m very grateful that God has given you to us and pray that we will raise you well.

Observations from this side of the bump:

  • two has been an adjustment for sure! It takes me quite a while to get out of the house with everyone clothed, fed and pottied. 😛
  • Jack is a great big brother. He is quick to be by her side when she fusses, telling me to “Feed her, Mom!” or assuring her that “It’sokay, Tayer, momma coming!” or “More minute, Tayer – almost there,” if she is fussing in the car. He loves to put her pacifier in her mouth and give her running commentary on his activities. 🙂
  • real clothes are overrated. Yoga pants and easy access nursing shirts are where we’re at right now. As I get back in shape, I’m looking forward to getting better at staying put together more often. It’s a season, I keep telling myself!
  • dressing a girl is too much fun. The tutus and the leggings and the hairbands and the fluff. Yes, I love it.
  • I definitely have to be more intentional about schedules, planning ahead and all. I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants quite so easily.
  • I still love this motherhood thing more than I thought I would. 🙂

Happy Two Months to Taylor!