I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas. Sixth months was such a fun age for a first Christmas. Liam was able to sit and open his presents (also known as watching our faces and ripping off wrapping paper to play with). He was smiley and squealy all Christmas day. It was fabulous.
In the past years, I have made a photo book/scrapbook (using Shutterfly) to recap our year. I used to make paper scrapbooks, but digital works so much better for me. It has helped me let go of tangible clutter as I have our memories recorded in books. Each year, I chose a word or phrase for the books.
2011's word was new. We graduated college after student teaching. We got married. We moved to a new city and had new jobs, a new church, and new friends. It was a year where I felt the energy and electricity coursing through me. Sleep was hard; everything was so fresh and exciting.
2012 was about growth. All that newness landed me smack dab in the middle of depression. I had to work through issues from my past and present. I grew a lot during 2012. It was the year we found out we were pregnant. It was a year of learning to say "no" and not accept responsibility for everyone and everything else. It was a year of painful, slow change. I had a hard time with all the newness, and I longed for rootedness, for quiet.
2013's word was initially thrive. I felt like I was thriving again. But as I look back on the year, I think dwell is a better word. I learned to be settled. I feel like I grew into myself, better able to make decisions and better able to trust my own instincts. We moved back home--to the city that has been part of me since I was born. I learned how to say "yes" again. I learned to let go.
I never knew there was a community of people choosing one word to define the year. I saw it and thought "YES! This is what I want." So I've been tossing my one word around in my head for some time, and I think I have made a decision. But before I share it, I wanted to do some goal-setting. I wanted to define this word for myself. I wanted to see where I want to be in a year instead of letting life happen.
So I found Lara Casey's blog. She is working on a series about setting goals. And one of the first steps in goal setting is to figure out what worked in 2013. So this is my list of things I'm grateful for--of things that worked in 2013. I wanted to include pictures to share a highlight from each month as well.
Lara Casey warns not to compare your list to someone else's list. Rather we should celebrate with gratitude all the things that worked in 2013.
1. January: We shared the news that we were expecting with my husband's family and with our school. I was completely exhausted so much of the time (I only made it to a couple of my the basketball games my husband coached!).
2. February: We found out we were having a boy!
3. March: I continued to research childbirth. All throughout this time, I focused on my health and baby. I hope to do a series soon.
4. April: I kept teaching though my energy levels were lagging. I wanted to finish strong. I planned an exam that was my dream exam--having students complete binders and a writing portfolio to show their progress.
5. May: We worked on planning our move--selling our extra car, organizing. It was an overwhelming month and one in which I learned to trust God. We gave exams and graded them and then cleaned out our classrooms.
6. June: We moved, got settled in, had a baby shower, and waited for our sweet baby. We celebrated two years of marriage. His due date--June 29--rolled around with no sign of him.
7. July: Liam was born on July 5 at 2:41am. Though I was induced because my water broke, I was able to labor with no drugs, which was pretty close to the birth I hoped for (though sixteen hours was a bit rough).
8. August: Liam and I began to get into a little more of a routine. My sister left to teach in another state, which was an adjustment for us (after having so much extra help each day!).
9. September: My husband found a long-term job (rather than the short-term ones he had been doing). We were so grateful.
10. October: I loved taking Liam on fall walks and watching his personality grow each day. I became interested in Montessori and in how we were spending our days.
11. November: We celebrated Thanksgiving with all my in-laws together (which was the first time in a year and a half).
12. December: Liam and I developed even more of a routine. We celebrated Christmas with our almost six-month-old. 4
Stay tuned! We'll continue with this series as I share my one word and goals for 2014 as well as what did not work in 2013. Check out Lara Casey's series; it's not too late to start planning for this to be a fabulous year!