Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Reflections

 IMG_9980
Does this photo say New Year's Reflection to you?
It does to me. ;-)

I found this list on a blog I don't read but stumbled upon - (in)courage. I thought it was a decent, although sometimes redundant list, so I would use it for some New Year reflection.

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection

 six months on quilt (21)

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Wow, this was easy for 2010. For 2011 - what would it be? I'm not sure. I guess I would have to answer just getting to watch my son grow, turn one, and continue to learn and change. It's still the best thing, I guess!
IMG_9747
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Getting used, still, to being a working mother. It is a challenge that has changed over the last twelve months, but it is still a challenge. And, I'm pretty sure that part isn't going to change. I love my job on most days. I'm a pretty lucky girl in that regard. But, my job has changed a lot in the past year, most notably in September and since, when my boss retired. LM's needs have changed as he left babydom and entered toddlerdom. I no longer interrupt my day three times to pump breast milk, which makes the work day easier. I no longer have to pack said breast milk in and out of the freezer and into and out of bottles for him to go to school. This part is all very much easier. But, I need to feel as if I'm doing justice to this thing called mothering and that is a very real, living, breathing challenge that never changes and is constantly changing all at the same time.
IMG_9827
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
I think for this one, I will have to say the new work I have been doing since my boss retired. I am just filling in until they figure out what they are going to do with lots of stuff at work, but for now, the new work has been interesting and fulfilling.
 IMG_0084

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
The uncertainty of the economy is still an obstacle. It is worse for many than it is for me, but because of the economy, our jobs and companies are constantly in flux and under duress. This uncertainty leads to, well, more uncertainty. We have been talking about moving. Should we move? If we move, should we consider job locations? What does the future hold? Isn't that the million dollar question!
IMG_0140
IMG_9991

IMG_3867

5. Pick three words to describe 2011.
 Boy-centered. Hot. Transition.
 IMG_8781 edited
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
Mommy. Busy. Uncertain.
IMG_9055

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).
LM. Stress. Opportunity.
 IMG_6414

8. What were the best books you read this year?
I have to say my book reading has been limited in the past year, or at least for the first half of it. But, I did read a few. I'm not sure I would put any of them on a "best" list except The Help, which come to think of it I may have read before this year. But I digress. Oh, and I did read, this year for sure, Bossypants, and I loved it. Anyone of my generation would love it too. I'm not sure how well it would translate to another generation though. Other books I read included God Is in the Manger for advent, and some baby books like What's Going On in There? and Bright from the Start as well as DiaperFree Before Three.
Then, of course, there were also, read several times, things like Clap Your Hands; The Yankee Doodle Songbook; The Little Blue Truck; Bunny Big and Small; Llama Llama Red Pajama; Goodnight Moon; and many, many more that somehow are escaping my brain right at the moment.
IMG_9108

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
 With my family - my husband, my son, my parents and in-laws.
IMG_9964

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I do think I'm doing better - getting more used to - this Mommy thing. While I'm writing this list, I see how encompassing it is - it is molding many of my answers. But, I used to stress over the balance daily more than I do now. Now it's more like weekly. Ahem.
new face collage

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I am in some ways less emotional. I feel as if I can "suck it up" better now that I'm a Mom and have to tend to the boy.  Of course, though, when it comes to the boy, I am a raving ball of emotion. Oy.
IMG_9412

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
Probably not at all except that I think about it and how I'm not growing spiritually.
IMG_9634

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Out. OUT. I am FAT. F-A-T!!! I have seriously got to find a way to change that situation. But, did you see this article in the NY Times? Depressing. 
IMG_9728

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
S and I have grown together into parenthood. I don't think we have spent enough time on couple-hood though. We need to make sure to not forget to grow in that way too. I have not grown too much with my friends, I would say. This is mainly because the boy and the job suck up much of my time. I've been thinking I need to be more deliberate about contacting friends. I've even thought it would be fun to organize a girl's weekend getaway. Perhaps that's a thing for 2012.
IMG_0075

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Professionally, the most enjoyable thing is being around live, wonderful, quality music almost every day. One day I will miss that the most, I know. Also, being able to take on some new tasks has been enjoyable. And, my co-workers really are a special group of people. At home, getting to watch my boy grow and change and thrive is the most enjoyable thing ever. And getting to share that with my S is pretty special too.
IMG_0199
IMG_0388

IMG_0428

IMG_0684

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Well, since I touched on this above, the answer is the same - the uncertainty and change and balancing motherhood. One thing is for certain - things will continue to change and I will never know the future. So, I tell myself, suck it up, sister.
IMG_1211
IMG_5024

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
I'm not sure I wasted much time this year - I really stayed on top of it to get it all done. I sort of wish I had some time to waste...I guess you could say I "waste" time writing on this blog. But, I enjoy it and it's my own personal therapy, so its not a waste. But, when I do have free time, I do write here, and since September, with regularity.
IMG_0403

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
This sounds so cliche, but it isn't - any moment I spend with my family is the BEST way I can use my time. This is how I feel when I am with them and it is the thing I enjoy most. 
IMG_5111
IMG_2337

IMG_2798

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
That whatever it is I'm doing - however it is I decide to spend my time - is the best I can do. There is always another way or another road or another answer. But I cannot spend valuable life second guessing the decisions I've made. I must forge ahead and continue to trust myself. 
 IMG_1155

DSC_7405

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.
Bird by Bird. And Enjoying It, Mostly.
IMG_2357

IMG_3277

IMG_3733

IMG_4025

IMG_4415

Happy New Year! See you soon.

Friday, December 30, 2011

And Then...

IMG_4107
A holiday program at Veda's school.
She is in black all the way to the left.

The next day in Indy we did some last minute Christmas shopping and took in a holiday program at Veda's school. Then...we got together with my Dad's side for Christmas. Here are some photos that tell the tale:

IMG_4110
The fifth grade performed. The rest of the school watched.

IMG_4112
The babies watched too.

IMG_4115
They did! They did!

IMG_4133
The fifth grader did a great job.

IMG_4135
And Grandpa got to nuzzle on LM a bit.

IMG_4140
Then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas.

LM pushed the button on that little snowman face maybe a hundred and twenty times. Or so. Torchy made the comment they didn't figure I'd ever have a child to push that button. Well, me either. But, look there he is!

IMG_4142
And this year we had extra room!

My dad has been working on this little project to bring the previous "Florida room" (a room that isn't heated or cooled) into the rest of the house. It's pretty near finished, except drywall. It was nice to have the extra room to spread out. Dad has done a really nice job on the room. 

IMG_4144
Awww, love the Daddy.

IMG_4146
He's awesome. And SOOOO fourteen.
And, seriously, a really neat kid.

IMG_4149

IMG_4155
89, 90, 91, 92...

IMG_4165
Shhh...don't tell...that's LM in a Colts hat.
He likes to root for the underdog. Hee hee.

IMG_4186
228, 229, 230, 231...

IMG_4189
Father and Son reading glasses. How sweet.
Love you Bobby!

IMG_4195
Then present mayhem began. Oh my.

IMG_4204
One thing is for sure about LM and this Christmas...
...he loved unwrapping presents - ANYONE'S present!
This was Grandpa's...

IMG_4218
Girls - scarves made by Aunt Sherri

IMG_4220
Boys - hats by Aunt Sherri!

IMG_4226
LM's gift from Grandma and Grandpa.

IMG_4230
I finally resorted to flash...and the present hits kept on coming!

IMG_4236
Our family photo for the Christmas archives...

We had a great time. The food was wonderful and so was the company. I love hanging out with my nieces and nephews and joking around with my brothers. Rick was working and couldn't make it, and I missed seeing him, but was so glad to hear about his new job. I hope it's going well for him. 

I think of these loved ones often, walk by their photos on my walls, and miss them until we meet again. I wish them all a Happy New Year. And, for goodness sakes, get thee to Texas!

See you soon!