Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reflecting on 2011, And Hopes for 2012.

Happy New Year for 2012! Sunrise from Coral Cove Park.
(photo credit Captain Kimo on Flickr)

I realize I am late to the game on the whole "reflect on the past year" thing, but I have been dragging my feet getting back to life as normal, so everything else has suffered, including blogging. Hopefully yall won't tire out of all of my Christmas/New Years posts. And I promise, I'm almost done with them :) This should be the last one actually.

A lot has happened over the past year. If I had to say definitively, I'd say in many regards this was the hardest year of my life. Much of what has transpired I've not blogged about publicly, in an effort to respect all parties involved. But trust me when I say that I wish upon no one some of the things that have happened. In light of that statement, I don't regret the past year. As hard as it was to go through some of the trials we have faced, I have grown more than I had ever imagined. My faith has been tested, my resolve has been pressed, and yet still, God has shown His hand in all things. I guess that's why I was sensitive to all of the facebook status' and tweets about wishing away 2011. I think Laura Story hits the nail on the head when she questions "what if our blessings come through raindrops, what if our healing comes from tears". Isn't it true that some of the hardest things we face produce the most growth in our lives? If I hadn't faced the things of 2011, I wouldn't be the person I am heading into 2012. So while I don't wish to go through those things again, I am glad that the hard times have brought refining moments, and I think as believers in Christ that is something that we all should long for, regardless of how we are refined.

Looking into 2012, I don't have super high expectations of myself or my family. Perhaps I should, but I just feel like with the stage of life we're in-- 2 kids 3 and under, a husband working a full-time job and attending school to finish his MBA (8 more weeks left!!!)-- that if we survive this year unscathed I will consider it an accomplishment, much like I did for 2011. There are a few small things that I'd like to hang my hat on going into 2013. I'm not sure I will call them New Years Resolutions, but they are definite goals of mine.
  • Drop the Dr. Pepper. And all sodas for that matter. I've done a pretty good job of cutting out high fructose corn syrup from our diets. But when I am stressed, my go-to destresser is straight up Dr. Pepper. Not the best for me, especially when I drink it by the liters, which has been becoming more common as the stress really piled on towards the end of 2011. I honestly think that my excessive soda drinking was the culprit of my kidney infection, and since I hate to be in pain (and that was by far the worst pain that I had felt in my life), I'm going to try and drop the Dr. P. Of course, everyone needs a break every now and then, which is why I am allowing myself to drink ONE Dr. Pepper on Sundays.
  • Feed the boys healthier foods. Drew and I eat pretty healthy for the most part. But when I deal with 2 picky toddler eaters, it's sometimes so much easier to skip the food drama and just pop  some nuggets in the oven and call it a day. I'm really going to try and have healthier, easy options that we will all love. I'll be making my own nuggets from now on, and am also looking into getting really adventurous and making green smoothies for them as well :)
  • Continue working on my anger and patience. It's no secret that I struggle with both immensely. I plan on continuing to release those things to God and allowing Him to make me into a new creation. 
  • Serve more. I tend to lag on the service area because I am so wrapped up in my own busy life. Not that I have a ton of extra time to serve, but I want to make myself available to my friends and be the one that people can call on... I don't really feel that way right now and want to be more conscious about laying down my wants for other's needs.
  • Potty train Brayden. I'm not going to lie, out of all of the parenting things I have faced thus far in this journey, potty training scares me the most. He'll be 3 in April, and he's shown signs of being ready FOREVER, so my 2012 goal is to have him potty trained. Hopefully by summer, but I'm not pressuring him or myself. I know our wallets will thank me when I am done. Having 2 in diapers is a budget KILLER.
I have a couple of other smaller things that I am hoping for, but for the most part, the ones you see listed above are my biggies. If you are a prayer warrior, I'd love it if you prayed for me... that I would be diligent in seeing through to the end. I can't wait to see what 2012 brings to our family, and as always, I can't wait to share with you on the journey!

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