-Zora Neale Hurston
Of all the blog posts I write each year, my end of the year posts are always my favorite to look back on. It’s amazing to see the growth and the change that occurs in a year’s time, especially when little ones are involved. And as I look back and see pictures of Cruz and all the fun we’ve had in 2013, I feel like we are nearing not only the end of a year, but the end of an era of the three of us. 2014 will start with a new baby girl in our family, a whole new adventure of a daughter, a big brother, and two parents learning the ropes of a family of four.
Last December 31, I wrote about learning to trust in God’s timing and live contentedly in my present. I was waiting to be pregnant and was questioning where God was leading me and what He was teaching me through my struggle.
Here’s what I wrote…
And I've learned through this process that as much as I try to control the timer, I can't predict what's going to be on the other end of the frame. As much as I long to snap my fingers and make the picture look exactly like the image I have in my mind, it never really works that way. I may have a timer, and I may attempt to control a piece of the outcome, but I'm usually left with something quite different than my original plan. And oftentimes, it's these pictures that I eventually love the most. The unplanned, imperfect ones that represent us at our truest.
I didn't get everything I hoped for in 2012, and as of late, it seems I'm sort of stuck in the uncontrolled lane of life, learning and growing, but longing to take over and do the driving myself. But I also know that the other end of the frame is good, and that someday, it may turn out to be just what I needed. I don't know yet because I'm living in it, but with time and retrospect, I'm sure I'll see it soon enough.
2012 was a good year for us. In many ways, it was a big year as we traveled, saw places, and took part in many wild adventures. But it was also a year of quiet, of settled, of living in this stage of our lives. In many ways, I think this year is a precursor to big changes ahead for our family --- a nesting period, so to speak. And while I'm looking ahead to starting another year in our simple house, with our simple family, and plans for another summer garden, some canning, and lots of afternoons at the pool, I'm also ready and waiting for change.
I'm not sure where the road leads in 2013, but I pray it's filled with learning, loving, and growing.
Retrospect is a powerful thing. Now, exactly one year later, we are just two weeks away from bringing a new baby into this world. I’m so thankful God gave me 2013 – a beautiful year of pregnancy, another year exploring the world with just my Cruz, of soaking up this simple life of the three of us. It was my nesting year, indeed, a year I could slow down and prepare for big changes for our family. I am so ready for 2014 and so thankful for God's upper hand in shaping my life far better than I can comprehend.
A look back on 2013 and all its glory...
January. A long, relaxing winter break and a weekend at Sesame Street Live.
February. Love for my boys and love for a newly discovered city.
March. An early Easter and a Saturday celebrating Dr. Seuss.
Spring. April showers lead to May gardens.
May. A bittersweet Mother's Day and a positive pregnancy test the very next day.
The makings of a baby bump. Due January 14, 2014.
Our summer of concerts. The Lumineers in June, the Avett Brothers in June.
July. A week road trip to the deep south. Tennessee mountains and Georgia sunsets.
August. Ring bearers, birthdays, and deep fried everything at the Iowa State Fair.
September. A baby GIRL and a babymoon to KC.
October. Our boys turns THREE!
Christmas is coming. This year's Christmas card picture.
December. Merry Everything.
It was a good one. Cheers to a new year. Happy 2014.