Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Look Back at 2014

Whew!  It has been a LONG time since I wrote anything.  I am back on New Years Day for a little look at my year.  Of course I will do it with a rant, a rave and reflection.

If I am honest, 2014 was full of negativity for me and from me.  I have really sat back and tried to take an honest accounting of my highs and lows.  All of my highs were due to the amazing people my children are turning into and the things my husband has accomplished.  Most of my lows were things I had failed at.  This is not to be a whiny blogger... just an honest rant on how I have been walking through my life for the past year. 

I love that my highs were about my kids and my incredible husband.  These really made me happy to reflect on.  My kids did unbelievable things this year.  Shawnie joined a band, became class president and was nominated for a leadership scholarship.  He has raised his grades and will start a month long internship at the UK radio station this January.  Emma concurred her fears and sang at Common Grounds.  Not only did she sing... she literally silenced a room full of jaded college hipsters.  Her confidence and talent literally brought me to tears.  This year we became friends.  We are still mother and daughter but we are starting to create this beautiful relationship that will only grow with time.  Kiley Grace was a freaking star this year! She surprised us by stealing the school play, joining her school choir and getting a part in a REAL play.  She is known for her dramatics but seeing her literally lit up from the inside out was a real treat for this mama.  Keegan has finally started to figure out this school thing.  Although we still struggle {keepin it real} in very serious ways, school is starting to quiet down.  His teachers are beginning to see the little kid that stole my heart 3 years ago.  I also learned this year that the ways he shows his struggle is actual confirmation that we are securely bonded and he trusts me.  This is HUGE!  Dylan is a hot mess who graduated preschool, began to read and I am happy to report, is still obsessed with me. 

My husband has taken off in the comedy world and has certainly earned the nickname "Robin Hood of Comedy".   His Stand Up for KY reminds me, with every show and every person helped by his kindness, why I fell in love with him.  He has hit some really important goals on his comedy journey.    He has found his passion and is putting it into practice daily.

All of these things are awesome.  I even acknowledge that I am part of the reason so many of these awesome things happened.  But, I am ranting because I haven't had any awesome accomplishments myself this year.  I have really sat back and tried to take an honest accounting of my highs and lows.  All of my highs were due to the amazing people my children are turning into and the things my husband has accomplished.  Most of my lows were things I had failed at.  This is not to be a whiny blogger... just an honest rant on how I have been walking through my life for the past year.

I am becoming that mom.  You know the one.  She is always running around, looking like a hot mess, with a list of a million things she needs to get done.  She is yelling at her brood of kids and throwing them some fast food as they race to the next destination.  She means well but never has the time she needs to get everything done.  This year I am really vowing to make sure that some of my highs are things I have accomplished for myself.   

I am going to rave about 2 gifts we got for Christmas that I think everyone needs to get.  This Christmas we got the "Christmas Dog".  The kids and I have begged the old husband for years to allow our dreams to come true.  He finally conceded and after searching all rescue places high and low, we finally found our new family member with a breeder {no judgement, read footnote}.  Having a dog has been ALOT more work than I could ever have imagined.  But, it has also been life changing.  One of the big reasons we wanted a dog was for our Keegan.  Keegan has needed some wins and we knew that a puppy would give him some responsibility and some positive praise that he needed.  He has loved Rosie and she has already done her job in teaching him empathy and unconditional love.  Rosie has brought some peace to our chaotic house.  Right now as I type this blog, Rosie is curled up next to me.  There is nothing more comforting than a warm puppy, who loves you unconditionally.  Our favorite Beatle lyric is "All you need is LOVE"... Rosie has given that to each one of us. Everyone should have a dog.  EVERYONE.

We also splurged and gave Shawnie a digital piano for Christmas.  We have always been huge proponents of music in our house.  Every child has learned any and all instruments of their choosing.  We have supported this with no question.  Currently, we have a drum, a violin, a keyboard, an acoustic, electric and bass guitar, harmonica, a trombone and now a digital piano. It has been one of, if not the best, gift we have given our family.  Here is why this is the best gift ever.  For the last week, we have watched approximately 5 hours of TV.  Shawnie has been playing the piano non stop and getting everyone involved in it.  Emma has sang duets with Shawnie and her dad.  They have written original songs and this howling mom has also sang a ditty or two.  It has made us all more creative, more happy and definitely more engaged.  Music has always done this.   But, now we are bringing and keeping the gift of music in our family room.  It is a huge blessing to unplug and connect.  Music has and will always do that for people.  Everyone should create music in their homes.  EVERYONE.

*Footnote: Our experience with Rescues was not totally awesome.  We found most workers more interested in saving the dogs versus making sure the dog was put in the right house.  Because we have an adopted son, we could not take ANY risks with getting the "wrong" dog and returning the new family member.  On top of that, all available dogs were large breeds.  We do not have a big yard and we have a relatively small home.  Not ideal for anyone.  We also travel a lot and a small dog can go with us {remember, we have to fit 7 people and a dog into a mini van}  Rescues are amazing and one day we may rescue, but for our first dog we decided, for all of these reasons, to go with a breeder.   Now, you can judge.

With the new year upon us, I am left to reflect on the highs and lows.  I am deciding to create a very doable list of things I will accomplish for me this year.  I do this every year.  As I am sure you all do too.    This year my list will be short  and will have little fanfare or explanation.  But, hopefully this list will help me find a little bit more  of who I am .  I want to learn how to define myself without using my kids and husband as my only identity.  I will work really hard on doing these.  Maybe I will share my efforts, failures and successes.  But, if I don't  just know I am working on them.  I sincerely hope that for those of you who are making your own list, you will work on creating a doable list that will help you define better, who you are, what you love and the talents that God gave you.  We shouldn't waste these talents and our time on earth should go towards finding ways to use these talents  everyday, with everyone, no excuses. 
My 2015 List
1. Keep a prayer journal that I write in almost every night {leaving room for exhaustion}
2. Go to the gym 3 days per week
3. Be more creative and do Creativity Sundays with Theresa
4. Keep my Wine nights every month
5. Spend a day to myself and ONLY for myself.  One day of out and out selfishness.
6. Be gentle to myself

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