Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Look Back to 2014 - Our 10 Biggest Moments

It was a big year and I am tired.  I leave this year thankful for all it was, recognizing it was a year of abundant blessings - a new baby girl and a growing boy, two jobs that continue to challenge us and provide lots of exciting opportunities, a house that sold in five days' time, and a new one we are so excited to move in to.  But these blessings were not without battles - juggling life with two littles, selling our home and moving our belongings to a storage unit, picking up temporary residence thirty minutes from our jobs and daycare, and trying to work together and remain patient amidst deadlines and hundreds upon hundreds of house decisions.  Since August, our battle cry has been one day at a time, making the most of it all and keeping our eye on the prize - 2015 and hope for a new home and a much slower, more settled year ahead.  

Before I wipe that canvas clean and say goodbye to a grueling but good 2014, it's only fitting to look back on the big moments of our year and recall all the madness!  Here are my top ten moments of 2014...

1.) Our year started in the sweetest of ways, with one of the best days of my life.  You can't say that happens every year.  On January 13th, we welcomed Mila Carys to our world, a 6 lb. 13 oz. little sprite who looked like a baby doll and stole our hearts forever.  I watched the love of my life rock a little pink bundle and sing her Avett Brothers in the middle of the night and watched my firstborn become the big brother he was born to be.  I learned the joy of watching a sibling bond form and saw God's footprint revealed through his timing and grace.


2.)  We spent three days in July in Lincoln, NE for my cousin, John's wedding.  Cruz was ring bearer and my niece, Charly was a flower girl.  We stayed in a block of rooms right next to one another and spent the majority of the weekend chasing kids in and out of each others' hotel rooms.  It was Mila's first overnight in a place other than her crib and she was a champ.  Slept in a pack and play and stayed up well past her bedtime at the wedding reception.  Cruz proved to be the life of the party once again and danced until he passed out.  It was a really fun weekend and I won't ever forget sitting in the hotel hallway with my family, telling stories until 2 o'clock in the morning, or until we were scolded and told to go to our rooms by the hotel manager. :)

3.)  We spent a week at Disney in July and had the best time soaking up time with just Cruz while Mila was spoiled by her grandmas back home.  We belted the words to "Let It Go" with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf at the Frozen singalong, watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks in the rain, and laughed until our tummies hurt on the Buzz Lightyear Laser ride.  We sunk our toes in the sand at Cocoa Beach, had a seaside seafood boil, and played in the snow at Hollywood Studios.  Cruz recalls memories from our trip more than anything else and I look forward to the day I can take his sister to Cinderella's castle.

4.)  We broke ground on our very own custom home in August.  It's pretty surreal to watch a home built just for us form from the ground up and I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that I will soon get to move in there.  We completely underestimated all that goes into building a home and it's been one of the most stressful experiences of my life.  It's been a test of our patience and a test of our marriage, but we are seeing an end in sight and finding joy in talking about what we are most looking forward to.  I am most excited to sit in my soaker tub and cook in my kitchen, Beau is most excited to sit on our deck and play his guitar. :) 

5.)  I turned 30 years old on August 13th, in an airport traveling home from a work trip to Stanford.  Seriously flew in to Cedar Rapids at approximately 12:04 am, the day after my birthday.  It wasn't my favorite way to start a new decade of life, but probably an undeniable sign of getting older and less cool with every year.  We did celebrate the following weekend with a fun little getaway to Des Moines for a baseball game and a morning at the farmer's market.  I think I could have stayed 29 forever, but am ready to embrace my thirties and make it the best decade yet.  


6.)  Cruz turned four this year and started preschool in August.  He continues to amaze me with his go-with-the-flow attitude, especially amidst the enormous changes his little life has seen this year.  I'm not sure he knows where his home is right now, but he's happy and content no matter where he is.  Hard to believe 2015 will bring his last year of preschool before the big K.  I am determined to make it a good year for him. 

7.) We sold our home of eight years in September, five days after we stuck that 'For Sale' sign in the front yard.  Although our new house wouldn't be ready until after the new year, we wanted it on the market early to avoid the holidays, assuming it would sit for awhile.  A young family fell in love with it as much as we did and we closed in November.  It was all a whirlwind, getting it sell-ready, packing up our belongings, getting dragged along for a roller coaster closing period, and saying goodbye to the home we brought our babies to.  All stress aside, we were incredibly thankful through the whole process and hold tight to all that little gingerbread house taught us.

8.)  We officially welcomed two new nieces to the Jorgensen family in October, after a long, grueling roller coaster ride for my brother and sister-in-law.  After ten years of wanting babies of their own, they were blessed with newborn twin girls through foster care last July.  Their strength, patience, and unconditional love for their daughters is inspiring to me, and witnessing those sweet babies officially become theirs forever was an answer to so many long-awaited prayers.  Adison and Alivia are the sweetest girls and it's been such a joy being part of their lives.  I can't wait to watch them grow and am thrilled Mila will have two best friends to always hang with.

9.)  We found ourselves homeless in November and on a whim and a lot of prayers, we moved our family to Allison, Iowa to the home I grew up in.  My parents graciously accepted our chaos with their selfless, patient arms wide open and all we brought in return was sick kids and a lot of stuff!  In the last two months, we've passed around colds, strep, the stomach flu, and our most demanding baby girl who gets into everything she shouldn't!  It's crazy most of the time, but it's been a humbling experience for me as I've learned a lot about serving others before yourself.  

10.) Two weeks after moving to Mom and Dad's, Beau and I flew across the country to Washington D.C. so I could present at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference.  The timing was far from ideal and I am pretty sure I was sick with strep throat looking back, but we made the most of a few days away, ate our way through our capitol city, and explored the ins and outs of the Smithsonian.

Whew, what a year.  Ready for you, 2015.    

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Favorites - Christmas Day

Some Christmas Day favorites, mostly in pictures...

Cruz takes after his dad in the present opening department.  He tore through each one as fast as he could and for the most part, I was spot on when it came to knowing what my boy would like.  Santa came through on Cruz's Transformers request and he loved his Optimus Prime Rescue Bot trailer and Bumblebee and Heatwave sidekicks.  He also loved his Star Wars and Justice League Hot Wheels cars and his new chapter books.  My favorite reaction of the morning, though, was when he opened his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie van.  His eyes lit up like saucers and he shrieked, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??"  It was priceless!

Mila, well, she didn't really care for her presents much.  She'd rip a few shreds of paper when we forced her to sit on our lap for ten seconds, but she preferred to crawl through the mess and try out all of Cruz's new things.  She did think she was pretty big crawling up on top of the presents, looking around for all of our approval before clapping her hands and giving us her signature scrunched-face smile.  Her favorite gifts were her soft things; it's the biggest marked difference between Cruz and Mila.  Cruz always preferred anything big, bright, and noisy, while Mila girl prefers soft things she can snuggle with.  She loved her Anna and Elsa Itty Bitty dolls, her special doll I custom designed from a site on Etsy, and did give us a few good bounces on her Bounce, Sit, and Stride Elephant.  If I had a dollar for everytime someone would say, "I saw this bounce elephant toy on a commercial and it was made for Mila..."  She's going to have a hay day pushing that thing around our house! 

After a two-hour opening spree, we devoured Mom's delicious egg casserole and got ready to head to Beau's parents for the Jorgensen annual Christmas.  It was a special Christmas this year with three little Jorgensen girls to celebrate and we laughed many times at how much Cruz's world has changed at Grandma Mary's house!  They are all quite infatuated with him, though, and he likes the attention.  God was good to our family this year in the best of ways, blessing Gabe and Gina with signed adoption papers after a long year and a half wait, officially making Adison and Alivia a part of our family forever.  They are exactly where they are supposed to be. 

And then there was Gabe and Gina, surprising the big man with his very own pirate scavenger hunt in order to collect his presents.  Feeling a little bad that Cruz now has to share the limelight with three little ladies, they went all out to make quite the show for our little guy to star in.  It started with a pirate map that took him on a quest all throughout the house.  In each room, he discovered a black and white wrapped gift that added to his pirate ensemble - first, a flash pirate suit, then a sword and hook, next a fancy spy glass, and finally, a pirate treasure toy chest filled with lots of buried treasure.  Gabe even stained the clues in tea and burnt the edges to make them more authentic.  It was the sweetest thing.

We recreated familiar traditions, long john stockings followed with a prime rib dinner around the table. Cruz loved his new race track from Grandma and Mila received the most adorable hippo toy that is her new favorite.  We passed around babies, took turns spotting the girls as they climbed the stairs, and had a dance party to the Beatles while others washed dishes.  It was a good night and the kids were asleep before we turned on to Highway 3.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...