This year FLEW by! We went around the table the other night at dinner and did our typical “best and hardest” where we all tell each other the best thing and the hardest thing that happened to us that day, except this time we did the entire year. Every single one of us said Raleigh for the best thing of 2016. He has been such a blessing to us all, and has brought so much joy and happiness. My friend Alison of the Alison Show said it best when she said her baby was proof that some people bless your life just by existing. That is Raleigh for me, too! Definitely worth the wait and it makes me sad how fast he is growing! He’s 6 months now, rolling, sitting up, eating anything I put in front of him, clicks his tongue and cocks his head to the side when he gives you the flirtiest smile.
Callum is 5 and has grown so much this year with Pre-K! I could’ve put him in Kindy but opted out. He has taken all the tinier kids under his wing, helps them with their letters, and is really shining with the chance to be the bigger kid and leader in his class. Callum is our entertainment for better or for worse, and we’ve had lots of parenting opportunities arise with Callum around, he stretches me to be a better parent everyday.
Hayes has loved first grade! He is the best big brother and helps me so much. He is whip smart and loves math and vocabulary. He’s reading at the top of his class but hates doing it, ha! He loves making lists and planning and really hard on himself when he makes mistakes — he is a lot like me in that way. He loves his friends and being social and is always thinking of others. I learn so much from both my boys each day!
We had Nicole shoot a few quick photos for our card this year and both Russ and I laughed when we both loved this one the most. His head was just out of the frame, but he still loved it the most because of our boys. He sacrifices so much for our family especially this year and this picture symbolizes that all too well! His construction company has grown like crazy this year and his team continues to expand so he’s working crazy hours, but still manages to be home and make my life easier whenever he can. I always nag him about taking time for himself, and one night when he finally had some time to go do whatever he wanted he decided to go cash in on some killer coupons at our local grocery store (his words.) His dedication to our family is the biggest blessing in all our lives.
Three kids has been my challenge and blessing this year. A new baby just forces you to eliminate things that are unnecessary in life. Like when you get cold and you just naturally pull your arms to your chest to keep warm, that has been this year for me. Pulling everything in tighter. I know it won’t be forever, but I am enjoying my simplified life so much! I shared this quote this a month so ago, but Glennon Doyle Melton said “You can never have enough of what you don’t need” and that rings so true for me. I don’t get any fulfillment out of scrolling Instagram or reading political opinions on Facebook so I cut all that way down. Honestly staying off my phone in general has been so huge for me. Less shopping, less of other people’s voices, more of my own. Quieting all that out has made room for my spirituality to flourish, too. I am more intentional about when I work and try an do that just on my laptop when the time is right instead of doing things here and there on my phone throughout the day.
This is in no way a sales pitch, but the Amazon Echo made it all happen for me. I tell Alexa to add things to my shopping list, to remind me to do something, to set a timer, play my music, my audio book, ask her a question I would normally google. All things I would pull out my phone for and then find myself opening all my favorite apps “just to see what’s new” and I’m down the rabbit hole. I hope that when my kids need me I am not looking at that dang phone, I am looking in their eyes. I can’t really think of all the times that wasn’t the case, it makes me feel so ashamed!
It’s almost 2017, I am almost 31 and at this point in my life I know how to foster the best in myself, in my relationships, and my focus will be going to doing what I already know is best. (I won’t bore you with the specifics) That has been the best gift of growing older, is that time-earned wisdom. To make it all happen each and every day, to reset and recommit with each stumble is my resolution!
Happy New year everyone, thank you so much for your support and friendship all these years! We are all so blessed to have you all here. Check back later for Nicole and Jenna’s as well!
Card is Candy Cane Stripes by Postable!