Another year has come and gone. In some ways it feels like it flew by. Other times it feels like our last New Year's was forever ago. This year has been one of general busyness. Lots of BOD and visioning meetings, FPU, confirmation, prayer meetings, etc. By May I was so glad for the summer break from most of it.
Some of the highlights of the year:
In April we had family portraits made, our first as a family of 3, and the first professional shots since our wedding almost 10 years prior.
In May I was elected to my second 3 year term on the BOD and one more year as secretary. At the end of these 3 years I will not be eligible to run for at least another year. I'm fine with it. It is a lot of responsibility but I agreed to serve as long as the Lord wants me there. As for secretary, if I am nominated again, I will decline. That's a huge task for a perfectionist and I need a break.
In June we had all sorts of graduations to go to. It was a bit overwhelming but we spent the first two weekends out of town for graduations. Madeline did pretty well, long programs can be so boring for an almost 3 year old. Looking at pictures on the ipod kept her busy during the first graduation but not so much the 2nd one. Luckily, it was so loud in there, her squealing didn't really bother anyone. We missed the 3rd as we still haven't figured out how to be in two places at once.
In July I got to see Wicked with Kay and my SIL's. It was amazing!!! I was in awe from the moment it started until it finished. It just reminded me how much I love theater and I wished I could see every show that comes to town.
In September I joined MOPs. It was terrifying. But has also turned out well. My table is 3 women, we had more but one moved, one came only once, and one never showed up. The 3 of us are able to talk so easily and I've gotten to know one of these ladies a whole lot better.
October was a whirlwind of activity. We were only home for 14 days. We went to Round Rock to watch the boys while J & J went to a wedding in Vegas. I was supposed to take Madeline's birthday portraits (which I still haven't done) but it rained so much and the place I wanted to take them at flooded out. We celebrated Madeline's 3rd birthday while in Round Rock. She got Lightening McQueen and Mater cars, and a toy tool set, or "fix-it" as she calls them. We were back from Round Rock a day before we left for vacation in Tennessee. My new favorite place to visit in the USA! It was gorgeous!! Another item off my bucket list, to see real fall foliage, not just the mostly browns and yellows we see at home. Though, somehow we got more spectacular changes at home this year as well. Anyway, Madeline had fun with Ella, who went as well. Mom and Dad had fun until Mom broke her leg. Hiking was awesome. I got to take some scenic photos that turned out really well. (I still haven't been able to print them because the computer ran out of space and we need to move all pictures to an external hard drive before I can download those pictures.) But, my goal was to take at least one photo worthy of going up on our walls. I met that challenge, now to get it up on the wall. I also got to meet a really wonderful woman who I admire so much and up until then only knew online. It was such a treat to meet her and her beautiful family.
November was much less busy but seemed to fly by all the same. I ran in the Turkey Trot again this year. My time wasn't that great, 33 minutes for a 5k but hey, I did it. And that with minimal running since October. With all the busyness (and lots of rain) I wasn't running nearly as much as I had gotten in the habit of doing this past year.
December was so busy with the Christmas concert, parties all over the place and Christmas. I had to cross some events off the list because taking care to not overdo it was more important. But I got to spend lots of time with family which is what matters. I got some awesome gifts, a Kindle (still wrestling with feeling like I'm "cheating" on books since I like actual books so much. It does have it's place though), a really nice piano keyboard and some beaded jewelry. This year was really fun to watch Madeline, more so than the past few years. We got her a "doll" house for little animal families. Once I set it up she played for hours. It was so much fun listening to her make up stories and tell the little kitty family what to do. She also got a Thomas train set which she also loves, as well as more cars, books, puzzles, and games. She has enough to keep her busy for a while so we've put away some of them and will rotate them out. New Year's Eve was quite subdued for us. I had BOD duty at church late that afternoon while Brandon was working to get invoices finished. We were supposed to watch the A&M bowl game with my parents but SIL tested positive for the flu which cancelled their plans and they remained at my parent's house. Since we had been so busy that afternoon we searched for somewhere for dinner, coming across a place we hadn't tried. It paid off, the food was wonderful and the A&M game was on. We watched the painful first half but had to leave during half time because some one was getting a little restless. We listened to the rest of the game the old fashioned way, while we stuffed, sealed and stamped 400 invoices, apparently missing watching one of the greatest comebacks ever.
Other highlights over the year were cultivating relationships and spending time with some really fun people. Also, shedding off some false images of myself and not allowing other people to dictate how I perceive myself. Realizing that I'm not this horrible person and people actually want to spend time with me.
This was also the first full year that Brandon has worked at the small business he helped found. In August his company was written up and published in the paper. And in December they brought in 4 times the amount they usually do. I have to say it was a bit scary when Brandon approached me about working for this company full time. I was concerned about it making enough for us to make ends meet. It took a while but all of their hard work seems to be paying off.
Here's to 2014. I know it will be a good year even through any rough times that may come. I look forward to growing in grace. I look forward to Madeline growing in grace. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings.