Last year can only be described as the year of travel for me. I hadn't been anywhere in a long time (penny pinching and working on paying that debt down!). But just this year I:
- Made a family trip to Branson.
- Took a girls' trip to Denver to visit my dear friend.
- Visited as a family another friend's lake house - where the kids experienced their first ever BEACH
- Exposed the kids to some relatives they had no idea existed for a wedding in Dallas.
- Had my first ever Momcation in SC visiting another dear friend.
If I stopped there, my year would be awesome - but of course I can't. There is more awesome to be shared. I also ran my first half marathon. That is a feat that is so intensely personal that I don't think I can really share it properly. Miriam ran a half marathon. The slouchy, overweight, anti-exercising, food junky...made such a radical change that not only did this become a dream...but it is now a fulfilled dream. Before becoming pregnant - I was just 17 lbs shy of losing 100 from my heaviest - and 7 lbs shy of reaching the weight I was for a majority of my high school years.
So this half-marathon accomplishment is more than physical fitness. It represents a change so powerful that really only God Himself could do.
And it represents to me, something I never thought I could do. I have been raised in a manner to set "realistic" goals for myself. So there are a whole host of things out there in a category of "I'd love to, but I'd never be able too." I'm learning that I really need to take a second look at these things. I need to categorize things as "Yes, I definitely want to do that" and "No, I'm really not interested", because clearly I can do whatever I want to do. Well - in all honesty - I can do whatever God has planned for me. Without Him, I never would have started running to begin with.
The last big thing of the year is becoming pregnant for the 4th time. Each pregnancy has seemed to be thematic with me. The theme of this one has been 'normalcy'. That may seem boring, but sometimes experiencing things the way everyone else experiences them is so absolutely fascinating.
I spent 3 months 'sick'. I use that term loosely because I never actually puked...I just felt like I was going too. I'd get motion sickness just from walking. I stopped running (and eventually exercising) because I just couldn't handle it. So that combined with severe exhaustion (which I always have), I think my first try was as close as it will probably ever get to the way most people experience it. And while I didn't enjoy the feeling, I enjoyed the experience. Unless you've ever spent most of your life on the outskirts with the inability to relate to nearly every other human being on the planet - this will be a foreign concept.
The second tri was spent pretty busy - so I didn't have time to really think about much pregnancy related stuff. I will admit, there were times I even forgot I was pregnant.
But I'm back to enjoying my normal pregnancy again. Now I've even been able to hit a new normal - I get see my belly move! I've heard of this - but because of all the extra flubber I've never really seen it. This time around, I've lost enough weight that a) it s pretty clear I'm pregnant...even the dimmest of people can see that which just thrills me and b) I frequently will sit and just watch my belly do its own thing. It is magical. Feeling the baby kick has always been my favorite part of being pregnant - but seeing the kicks just adds a whole new sensation.
For 2013 I have some things to look forward too.
First of course - the new family member that will be joining us. In all honestly, much of the rest of the year will be consumed in finding a new 'normal' as a family of 6. (And wow - that seems like such a HUGE number!) I'm so excited that we have been so blessed with all of our kids. I never dreamed I'd have a larger family (in fact, this was not my plan but God's plan!) - but I simply couldn't be happier. My kids all love and care for one another (even among common sibling problems). I just...I'm speechless at times. We don't always know what we want or need. We frequently think we do. But when we close our eyes, hand over control to the creator of the universe (you know, the being that thought ahead enough to know that we'd need things like bacteria and day/night...) and take a step completely in the dark...the results are never a let down.
My extended family is virtually non-existent. (Yes they exist. But they are not a present force in my life.) William's extended family is mostly absent. (He grew up with them, but they have since pretty well scattered.) And there are no cousins on the horizon - so my kids' extended families are (and mostly likely will remain) pretty tiny. For the kids to have one another is so very important. Life is so much sweeter when you have people you can count on - whether blood or bond.
And - God has blessed us with an awesome church family that fills in gaps that the genetic-family lacks. Really without them, I think life would look very different and my outlook would be very different.
The only other thing on my radar for the year is returning to my running. I haven't run since the last week of June. (A variety of reasons why this is...) I'm terrified I've lost it or that it will take me so long to get back to where I was that I'll get discouraged. But - running is a gift that God has blessed me with. (By gift - I don't mean I'm 'good' at it - I mean that He has somehow programmed my brain to enjoy it...so enjoying exercising is something that is pretty new for me!) I have been reminding myself I probably won't enjoy it again for 3-6 mo when I return to it. I have a pair of new running shoes waiting for me along with a brand new garmin watch that I got for Christmas. All good for motivation.
But it will be a matter of time. With the time demands of a baby, pumping, working full time and managing a household - it may be a bit before I can work a regular exercise routine back in. I guess this is my only concrete goal for 2013 - be regularly exercising again by the end of the year. It may seem so simple...but based on my experience it will be pretty difficult. And I will need to be liberal and flexible with myself about it.
After reading last year's post - I see the only thing that was actually 'done' was the half-marathon. I didn't run a New Year's race b/c I hadn't been running. Interestingly enough, the kids also didn't stay up because the ILs (which generally means no nap) were visiting. (We did let them last Friday...got bubbly juice even and we all had cheers!)
William and I ended up being the only two up to ring in the new year - and we did so playing Yahtzee on our phones. :-) Fun times! I read somewhere that New Year's is only fun during your 20s. I don't agree with this - I think fun just looks different in your 20s than it does in your 30s!