I used to write in a journal. It was therapeutic for me. I haven't updated this blog in so long, and I have been stressing about it. I created this mainly for our out-of-town family and friends to keep up with us, hear stories, see pictures. I also created it so my kids could have a virtual scrapbook of their lives. And it was easier to do when the kids were babies, and they would nap for 3 hour stretches at a time - I could get it done. I don't have time like that anymore. But I also don't want to stress myself out trying to cram four months of pictures and stories into a blog entry. It's too overwhelming. And I also want to "keep it real" as the expression goes, and not just post the happy stuff. Instead I am going to use this entry like I was writing in a journal, and just release everything...
For many people in my life, 2013 was a really hard year. It was a year filled with a lot of loss and many challenges. I attended 5 funerals, and there were several others that I wasn't able to attend. Among the hardest moments, were some bright lights. My grandma turned 90, Solon's great-grandma turned 90, my Tia Billie beat cancer, babies were born, milestones were accomplished, our daily lives were filled with love. I realized as I rang in the new year, that with our lives busier than ever, filled with commitments to family, friends, church, school, and ourselves as individuals, it is so imperative to really start prioritizing what is the most important in our lives, and making each day count.
I decided against a "new year's resolution." Instead I chose two words to define my year, and make an effort each day to live up to those words. I chose "SIMPLIFY" and "CHALLENGE."
Simplify my life - remove the busy - make time for me, so I can be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend I am able to be. Only say YES to things I really want to do. Our time is so precious. Use it on things that make me happy, while being beneficial to my family.
Challenge myself - get my butt to the gym - make smart choices with food - take a class, try something new.
I would say the simplifying thing will be the hardest for me. I say YES a lot. I enjoy making others happy. It's who I am. But there are many things I was saying yes to last year, that didn't really make me that happy, so I am re-evaluating, daily.
We were hoping that 2014 would start off better than it ended, and I am just realizing that as an adult, we have to deal with some serious stuff. Losing a good friend way too soon, having a super close family member go through a huge health scare, having friends move away (some out of state, some out of the country) - I look at my kids and they don't have a care in the world. Their life revolves around FROZEN (which they have pretty much memorized by now), their school and their toys. They are so carefree.
Today was the last day of preschool for the kids. Paloma has 2 more years of preschool ahead of her, but Quincy is officially a Kindergartner. It is pretty incredible to think about his growth over the last 3 school years. He has grown TREMENDOUSLY. Looking back at those first 2 weeks, where he cried everyday, and I was so worried about what everyone thought about the mom with the crying son. "Why can't she get him to get it together?" I could feel them thinking to themselves. But we stuck with it, and fast forward 6 semesters, and he is a smart, funny, confident, leader in his class - who people flock to and look up to. It is so cool to be a witness.
And then there is Paloma who (like her mommy) was ready to start school early. She couldn't wait to join the fun. Her teachers all told me how loved she was by everyone in her class. She loved to play with EVERYONE. She didn't choose just one group, she rotated to make sure she enjoyed everyone's company. Sound familiar? =) She thrived from day one, and has grown in her confidence to be truly unique, and creatively express herself. Wonder where she gets that from? It's funny, it's like I am literally watching a video of myself as a child each time I see her in action.
Here are some of our favorite moments since my last post in December:
Christmas dinner at Mimi & Meredith's
The kids' birthday party at the park
Solon coaching Quincy's basketball team
Wine Tasting Weekend with friends in Sonoma County
Playing on the weekends with the puppies that Chulis and Che had (my parents' dogs)and watching them grow
And keeping one in the family
We enjoyed a visit from Papa Allen and Danita
And then headed to Seattle to celebrate Alynsia's 30th Birthday and visit Grandma Sasa and Tony
We spent some quality time with Eve & Owen who visited us from London!
Easter with these munchkins
Solon and I had a date night at Gammage (my Christmas present)
And finally, our kids with their teachers on the last day of school (and some friends, too)
We are so grateful for these teachers and this school that loves our kids so much. Today was certainly a bittersweet day.
There have been some really special experiences over the last few months, and I am looking forward to creating some more memories in the summer months to come.