On New Year’s Eve, I sat down to reminisce over the past year and write down a few memories. The children woke up before I could finish. By nap time I had the start of what seemed to be a cold. A nap didn’t kick it and instead it grew worse. I spent most of the next three days in bed with a fever and coughing.
(Whooping cough is at “epidemic proportions” in our city. Despite having been vaccinated this fall (under the mistaken belief that it would help protect the many babies in my life), I’m fairly certain our family has succumbed too.)
Anyway, a week has passed but I finally was able to get back to the reminiscing…
photo by Your Pic Photography <3
Last winter I was fairly convinced I would never again finish dinner and feel like doing anything but laying on the couch, hoping to keep dinner down. Many of the habits I worked so hard on in 2012 fell by the wayside as I struggled on in survival mode.
Spring came. Morning sickness abated. The three miserable weeks of stomach flu were aired out in the beautiful breezes of spring. William overcame his fear of animals as we took weekly treks to a friend’s home for the kids to ride horses. Rose made huge bounds in reading [I love Phonics Pathways!] and I first heard the words that warm a mother’s heart, “Mommy, can I read you a story?”
Without even mentioning the fact that he’d helped me prepare four “failed” gardens since we got married, Joshua dug up two lovely little plots for me. The kids and I spent many happy hours digging in the dirt, watching seeds sprout and turn into towering plants, squashing bad bugs, rescuing good bugs, and then plopping fresh produce into our mouths. We dubbed the garden a smashing success, especially Rose’s little plot. Her one grape tomato plant drooped heavy all season and produced about as many tomatoes as all ten of mine. Maybe more.
The garden was in full bloom when we welcomed Edmund into the world, just 12 hours after his cousin arrived. His arrival was tempestuous, but he has filled our house with such gratitude and joy and so many adorable baby giggles. Josh and I are pretty sure he’s the happiest baby ever. [Since he’s the oldest of eleven and I’m the oldest of eight, we think we have a fairly good amount of experience!] The kids love holding Edmund, showing him their toys, and making him giggle.
Fall also brought the start of school. Adjusting to life with four has been fairly easy since Edmund’s such an easy baby. Adjusting to life with four plus school has been much more challenging. Rose is attending a two-day-a-week classical Christian school associated with our church and homeschools the rest of the week. Since I couldn’t bear not teaching her, I’m also teaching part-time those two days while my mom watches the other kids. Not only is Rose in my class, so is my “baby” sister Kathryn! Though sometimes I wonder why on earth I thought I could juggle teaching at this stage in life, I have been so grateful for the encouragement that their young minds are capable of SO much more than I dreamed possible. I’ve been amazed so many times as the students (and Will and Meg too!) catch on to things way more easily than I expected. I certainly underestimated their capacity at the beginning of the school year!
I heard rumor that it was supposed to be a really cold winter, but when we were still having picnic in t-shirts late-November, I doubted. December came and winter started in earnest: cold and early.
Will, my sister Kathryn, Rose–note to the wise: take pictures before your children are freezing cold
My little sisters got “snowed in” with us for a weekend of giggles, games, talking, movies, playing in the snow and way too many sweets. Barely had the snow melted when we were hit with another round.
One of my favorite memories from the year happened during that snowstorm. Joshua had had a long and tiring week at work. Friday rolled around and he didn’t get home for dinner until almost 9:30.
Friday night was all but over. Or so we thought. Then we decided to make the most of the time we had left and watch a Christmas comedy together. We had to skip several not-so-great parts, but I cannot remember when I last laughed so hard. After the movie was over, I went upstairs to get ready for bed. A couple minutes later, Joshua came up and asked, “Hey babe, want to go make a midnight snowman with me?”
It was actually well past 1:00, but how can a girl resist an invitation like that? Suppressing our giggles, we crept out into the softly falling snow and built the most gigantic snowman our street has probably ever seen. We couldn’t wait to witness the children’s surprise in the morning!
A new year is here now and with it a new round of snow.
Looking back on 2013, at the trials and joys, at the hard work and happy days, my heart is filled with gratitude for the goodness of God to us. May His goodness bless you this New Year!