Monday, January 4, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Welcome 2016

It's almost that simple...but not quite

Days in the Life...

Thursday morning Mom and Chloe left for a coffee date to work on planning Chloe's school semester and doing some goal setting for her.

Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil were around in the afternoon.

In the evening they, along with Nana, Grandfather, and one other guest gathered at our house for dinner in honor of Christmas- wait- no- already did that... New Year's Eve.

With Uncle Phil around I always find it difficult to eat (without dying choking). That night our other guest was also a person with a great sense of humor. I was so grateful to survive the rest of 2015. Laughing is my favorite.

I think I lost my can call me Snow White. 

After eating dinner and cleaning it up together, we gathered in the living room to watch "What If..." It was really good, the target audience is not children, but the littles had no problem seeing it. 

When the movie ended we went around the room sharing our thoughts from 2015 and what we were excited about and praying about looking at 2016. Finally Grandfather prayed over us. The Enemy hates that we love each other and want and look forward to times like that where we are open with each other. Go ahead and make him angry too. You will be blessed in the process. 

The time was nearing 11:00 pm by the time we concluded our sharing time and several of us decided a second dinner would be good. The rest found the Christmas cookies. I know, with how many times we baked it's absolutely shocking that we would still have some. Totally. 

Then we watched, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," another family favorite and at least of couple of the group had yet to see it. 

And so 2015 ended and 2016 began and we told each other "happy new year" and "see you in the morning again when the sun is up." If we had not been all together, I doubt many of us would have actually made it to midnight without falling asleep. 

Friday morning the rest of the Christmas/winter decorations disappeared and the year-round ones were put in their place.

Uncle Phil and everyone except Christian and Mom did "Cize." It was fun! Especially with Uncle Phil's commentary. Doing it the second time around was easier and we were much less sore the 48 hours following as compared to the previous week. 

After much need showers and some lunch we all took family to see the little house we will be working on.

Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil ate dinner next door and then the kids watched a movie while Mom, Dad, and I went over for dessert and to visit. 

Our visit covered things from health, to raising children, to Godly influences, to our personal family favorite discussion (aside from Maui)- our next ski trip. 

The reason we love to talk about it is because we all know how unlikely it is to happen again (We went to Pagosa Springs to ski the year I was 9) and because Uncle Phil has never skied and never wants to and Mom is right there with him (although she has done it, she does not enjoy it). He comes up with all manner of reasons why not to go and what would (likely) happen if we did go and he did ski. 

Most of the adults in Mom's family really enjoy skiing, as does Dad. The littles have never done it. Christian would (probably) be a natural and therefore an expert after 30 minutes back on the slopes. Chloe is sometimes not very coordinated and would rather read a book. The one time I went skiing, I ended the day by falling at the top of the highest slope and having to ride in the emergency sled all the way down because they thought my leg was broken. 

This time the conversation got serious enough that Dad was "just for point of reference" looking up the price of lift tickets and rental equipment. They also got so far as "throwing out names" of people we know that own vacation houses up there. 

I think it would be fun! Obviously it's been a while since I was in the mountains and from pictures I've seen, it's gorgeous. I don't like the cold, at all, but I've had very limited opportunity to play in real snow. 

Skiing could be fun...maybe for a couple of hours. 

But the idea of sitting wrapped in a blanket by the fire, with the pile of books I've wanted to read for years a long while, and a mug of coffee, and a view of breathtaking, snow covered, mountains, yeah, that sounds really wonderful to me. Plus time with family in the evenings. A cherry on top would be getting to take Kate with me, however, I seriously doubt her family would be willing to part with her for so long. I really do look forward to having my own children one day, Lord willing. 

Saturday Chloe and I did baking for Sunday and most of the adults got massages next door. 

Praise report- I had almost no pain in my neck, back, and shoulders (aside from soreness from Cize) between that and my last massage a couple of weeks prior.

Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil had to head back to Dallas after lunch. *Tears* 

Mom and Dad were greeters at church and the service time has been moved from 6:30 to 6:00 so we left early. 

At home we had burgers before bed. 

Sunday morning we all were downstairs ready for the day and had eaten breakfast by 8:00 ish. So it was really 8:43. We all worked together to finish preparing the house and getting food ready for our open house/church gathering in honor of the New Year. 

By 10:00 on the dot we were all ready. Then we took a nap waiting for people to arrive. 

Over the course of the day we had 53 people through. Everyone visited and ate and the kids played outside and I got to meet the sweet little boy I'll be nannying in addition to his 2 year old sister whom I have watched several times before. 

Yup! Already in love. Definitely. 

I also learned a new game (Settlers of Catan).
And accidentally won twice even though I had no idea what I was doing.

We had a time of sharing as well.

The last people left close to 4:00ish and most everything was already done being cleaned up. At that point we crashed in the living room to talk about what Speech and Debate tournaments we want to do in the coming semester. 

Dinner was whatever we found and then we got ready for bed and watched "Do You Believe?" Wow. That movie was amazing. It was powerful. The littles found it intense (and so did I), but they could handle it (I screamed). I would watch it again, hands down, and recommend it for sure. 

Monday we all were moving by 8:00 trying to get back into a good schedule. Everyone gathered at 10:00 to do Cize together. 

Every time we have done it I have had issues with my hair falling out of it's ponytail. Today I french braided it, thinking that would surely solve my problems. Some time early on (I don't know when) my elastic went flying never to be found again and pretty soon my braid fell out completely. I give up. I'll just do it with my mane down from now on. Hopefully I wouldn't lose my balance again because of it. 

Everyone is getting better and better at the routine. It really is fun and doing it all together is awesome. We like to call ourselves "the fit family." 

In the afternoon a friend came over to do some sewing with us girls. 

Chloe is so close to getting her drivers license. She and Mom went out after dinner to get an hour in and now she just has 2 left (I believe). Ava is excited that Chloe will soon be able to take her to the library whenever she wants to go. (Because Chloe is always up for a trip to the library.) 

I've been Pondering...

Identity. We struggle with it. All of us, but especially as girls and women. This struggle began in the garden with Eve and the fall. She allowed the devil to speak lies into her life about how God viewed her and His plans for her. Now each of us shares in the battle over how we view ourselves, the worry of how others view us, and doubting God's love for us. We have forgotten that the only opinion that matters is God's and so we wrestle with doubt and fear and insecurity. 

This is an area I have experienced tremendous growth in this past year. But I was not consciously trying to become more confident. No, I was simply seeking God. The more I learned about Him, the more I began to see how He views me. And as I gained a clearer understanding of His love for me, the more sure I became of my identity in Him and therefore the more confident I became as a person. 

Please don't misunderstand me, I've not "made it", I still struggle sometimes. But those times that I do struggle I realize are the times I have allowed myself to turn away from truth and open the door to the lies of the enemy. 

Sometimes it can be hard to not want to put up a front, play a part, pretend you are someone you are not, someone you wish you were or that you think others would be more drawn to. But that is not being who God created you to be. And if you cannot be who you are, share your struggles, be open and real about what is going on in your life, then no one will be able to relate to you and you will miss the opportunity to be blessed by those who can come along side of you and encourage you and walk with you through your struggles. Not to mention, acting is hard and one day you will slip, your mask will fall off, and in the end the mess you hid will be revealed as worse than you imagined because you tried to deal with it all on your own. 

Be real. Be open. Be honest. Be comfortable with who you are knowing that you bring glory and honor to God as His masterpiece. Be confident that the work Christ has begun in you will continue until you go home. 

It's not easy, but He is faithful.

Welcome 2016, although I have no idea what you hold for me, I'm excited to see what the Lord has planned. 

Last year was so different from what I envisioned, but I grew in so many ways because of the unexpected. 

Completing Challenge III (with Classical Conversations), learning to make hard life decisions, having my first big summer job, being challenged on what I believe, resting in Maui, being flexible as Mom and Dad both navigated health challenges, balancing college work and nanny jobs, and sleeping what feels like all of December, summarizes some large things. 

But this year I also got my license, became an adult, grew in the areas of flexibility and patience, learned to embrace change and navigate transition, watched my church go through a rough time and come through closer as a body and even more aware of the hand of God, and strengthened old friendships and gained new ones. 

Many of "my plans" and for the year were not realized, but I am so glad! God's plan was SO MUCH BETTER! Certainly not easier, but I would not have changed one piece. 

So I'm thrilled to embrace a new year and look forward to the plans God has, the areas He wants me to grow, the experiences He has in store for me, the relationships He is forming, and whatever else He brings into my path, because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, whatever He has is for my good and for His glory.

That Moment When...

Dad tells someone else's child to finish their water thinking he is talking to Ava. 

Your hands are so small and the orange is so big that you can't get a good grip on it to get the zest off.

The Herd: Quoted 

"Real mayonnaise, wow, I can't believe I get real mayonnaise! I've never had that before!" -Mia getting truly excited as she reads the mayonnaise package at dinner.

"Dad, if we watch anther movie can we watch something that is actually interesting?" -Mia after we watched "What If..." (It was a little above her.) 

1 comment:

  1. I may not be as flexible or coordinates as some people, but I sure would love to try my hand, er, feet at skiing or snowboarding.

    I'll have you know, I was down on time on Sunday, early, even. 😜


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