Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting back on 2012

Here we are...the last day of 2012.  What a year it has been.  Its been full of ups, downs, highs, and lows.   We have seen huge milestones and setbacks.  It has been a really great year.  It has been a really hard year.  All in all though, we have learned a lot.  Learned about ourselves.  Learned about our abilities.  Learned about God's amazing grace, peace, strength, and love. I did not always enjoy the things I was learning, but I trust in the process. 

Here is my review of 2012

this was a pretty quiet month around our house.  Jack was playing basketball and Madeline was continuing in her dance class.  Jason had gone back to work and resumed taking college courses (he is so close to be finished, yay!)  I got to thinking about how both of the kids would be in school together come fall and decided that I wanted to be a substitute at their school.  I did all the paperwork needed and received my certification. 

This was one of those hard months for me.  This was the month that my aunt fell ill and eventually passed away.  It was very quick and took us all by surprise.  One day she was attending a Valentine's dance with her group home and the next thing she is being admitted to the hospital in septic shock.  We had a few days with her before she passed away.  Though she was not awake, I am glad we had those few days with her.  Her last day we were able to pray over her and played some of her favorite christian songs.  We did this until she took her last breath.  I am so thankful we were able to be there with her and hold her hand until that last moment. 

Life was busy again.  Jack started baseball and Madeline continued in dance classes.  Jason was busy with work and school and I was subbing on a pretty regular basis.  This month we also took the kids to Disney World.  We had decided during J's 3rd deployment that we wanted to treat all of us to a Disney vacation when he returned.  So, during spring break we went to Disney.  We had a blast!  We had made lots of memories, took lots of pictures, and came home exhausted. It was worth it though.  As soon as we got home the kids were asking when we were going back.  J and I chuckled in our exhaustion and I thought, if daddy ever deploys again we will go back when he returns....little did I know how soon that would be.

Continued on with the busy lives.  Baseball season was in full gear for Jack.  And Madeline was busy preparing for her dance recital.  We found ourselves in the constant shuffle of kids to their activity.  I would not change it for anything though.  I love watching my children have fun. 

This was the month of milestones.  Madeline had her dance recital.  She did so very good and we were so very proud of her.  Regular season baseball came to an end for Jack and he was asked to play all stars.  Madeline graduated from pre-school and was officially ready for kindergarten.  Jack completed first grade and was ready for 2nd grade. We were so proud of both of our babies! 

J received word that he was accepted into Warrant Officer Candidate school back in the spring.  He was busy, busy, busy preparing for WOCS school. This was the month he left for the basic course.   Jack was busy with all star baseball.  J and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.  Jack had a great report at the eye doctor and was free from wearing an eye patch, yay!  Madeline was loving being out of school and sleeping in late.  I decided that I was going to start a new chapter in my life.  I knew that both of the kids were going to be at school and I wanted to be there with them.  I decided to send out my resume and see if it was time for me to go back to work...after being a stay at home for 7 years.  I applied at the school the kids attended.  The wait began...I had no idea how long the wait would be....

All stars was over for Jack.  Madeline decided she no longer wanted to take dance class.  She wanted to try tumbling and cheer.  So we signed her up at a new cheer and tumble studio.  She was hooked after one class.  I think she has found her niche...for the time being anyway.  J was away at would be nearly a month before we heard his voice.  Let me tell ya, it was great to finally hear from him.  My brother got the kids an above the ground swimming pool.  We put it up at my mom's house cause we knew our puppy would have a grand ol time destroying it.  We spent most of our days at my mom's house in the pool.  It was a great time.  We did some of our back to school shopping and I still waited to hear if I was going to be working at the kids school.

This was a month of huge milestones.  J graduated from WOCS.  We were so very proud of him!  After his graduation we went on vacation.  It was so nice for us to be finally together and I know it was nice for J to have a little break.  Once we returned from vacation, it was time for the kids to go back to school.  I had a couple hard days leading up to the first day that I was really sad for my babies to be going to school.  I got all the tears out before the first day...I know, be proud of me.  As the day drew closer for the kids to go to school, I realized that it was not time for me to go back to work full time.  I was saddened, but just decided that it was not the right time for me, and I would stick with subbing.  Luckily, that has kept me very busy...not that I am not busy enough you know just being a stay at home mom... ;)   Jack turned 8 and we had a party at the arcade for him.  Jack was asked to play on a travel ball team and Madeline kept on with her tumbling and cheer class.  This month was not only full of huge milestones, we also faced some really difficult things.  I was in a pretty dark place for a little while....I still struggle with it some, but not to the extent that it had been. I shared with a few close friends what was going on and would trade nothing for their prayers, support, and encouragement during those days. 

I will be honest, I was still in a sad place.  I think most of the time, we were all just going through the motions.  I am glad we had things to keep us busy.  Jack was loving travel baseball.  We were having such a great time with it.  Madeline was learning so many new tricks at her tumbling and cheer class.  Both kids were doing great in school.  J was also doing great in school. Subbing was keeping me busy.  Life was keeping us busy, and busy is good. 

We celebrated J being home for a year from his 3rd deployment...stinks that we already knew he would be deployed a 4th time.  This month was just as busy as previous months: school, ball, tumbling, and subbing.  We traveled to some fun places for baseball.  We had such a great time!  This month the kids had a fall break.  We had family photos taken.  And we finished off the month with some trick or treating. 

Things slowed down just a little bit this month.  Baseball was over for the season.  Jack signed up to play basketball.  Madeline continued on in her tumbling and cheer class.  Everyone was doing good in school.  I was subbing a lot.  We celebrated our veteran on veteran's day.  We took the kids up to the mtn. and went hiking.  We celebrated Thanksgiving and Madeline's 6th birthday on the same day.  We also had Madeline a pottery painting party for her birthday.  Just a side note- this was the first time EVER that Jason had been to 2 of Madeline's birthdays back to back (he was home on 1st, deployed 2nd, home 3rd, deployed 4th, then home for 5th and 6th-pretty crazy huh?)  So thankful he was home :) 

Basketball is in full swing this month and Jack is doing GREAT!  We have loved watching him.  We love watching our children in all their activities.  It makes me so happy to see them enjoying themselves and learning new things.  Madeline continues to amaze me with the new tricks she is learning at cheer and tumbling.  Madeline lost her first tooth!  That was an ordeal, ha!  We celebrated Christmas and what a wonderful Christmas it was.  So thankful for the family and friends who helped make this Christmas so special.  We have so much to be thankful for.  So much to celebrate.  So much to reflect on and learn from.  This month we are also preparing to send our soldier off to his second phase of warrant officer school.  He will be gone for several months (insert sad face)  At least he will be in the states though about 10-12 hours away. I have no doubt I will have plenty to keep me busy's to being mom and dad 24/7  (insert smiley face, hehe)

So that is my reflections of 2012...these were just a few of the highlights.  As I said, I learned a lot in 2012.  I learned things I would not have chosen for myself to learn, but it is all part of the plan that God has for me and I will trust in Him and in His timing. 

So here's to new new trusting in His plan for my family.



Nancy said...

Beautiful post, to the most precious family. Happy 2013. I know I say it too often & don't get to follow through, I need some Jessica time!! Love u!

Shelly said...

This is a great post that shows what an exciting and momentous year it has been for your family. I look forward to all the updates in 2013. Happy new year! I love that family picture!