Monday, January 6, 2014

Good Bye 2013!!

As I reflect on 2013 my first thought is that it was the absolute worst year for us.  Our business, my husbands career, our finances, our security all took a BIG turn for the worse.  I won’t bore you with the details, most of you know.   It was a very sad and stressful year.

Because of this we had a major role reversal.  I returned to work at the Veterinary Hospital.  Russ stays home with the kiddos.  It has been a really hard adjustment for me, as for him.  I have dedicated the last 7 years of my life to being a stay at home Mom.  Something that I was really proud of, I still am.   The kids would always run to me first, I felt needed and wanted.  As hard as it was to give up my career, I loved every moment of it. 

When I first went back to work, the kids adjusted with no problems.  Which I have to say made me happy, but made me wonder, do they even miss me?  Hearing them run to Russ before me, kinda broke my heart.  Missing out on dance classes, school functions and some of Sawyer’s firsts really broke my heart.  But I knew we didn’t have a choice.  It was time for me to step up to the plate and do what I had to do to help out.  As I wallowed in my self pity, I realized something. 

I realized that the kids handled this adjustment so well because Russ is a wonderful father.  They feel just as safe, comfortable and happy with him, as they do with me.  I realized that I missed working.  I forgot how much I love working with people and their pets.  I realized how much of myself that I lost when I became a Mom.  I had lost myself and didn't even realize it.

I realized how much I took what I had for granted.  I realized how Russ must have felt missing out on all of those things when he was working.  He missed the first steps, the first words.  He came home to see the kids run to me before him.  He missed out on the little school functions.  So I came to terms that with everything Russ has been through this year with his career struggles, he deserves this. 

As I reflect on 2013, I also see how much I have accomplished.  I have been going to the gym, taking fitness classes and working out for well over a year now.  I have walked in 2 Susan G Komen 60 mile walks, I have ran in 2 5k’s, and 1 5K mud run.  I have lost well over 40 lbs and am down 3 pant sizes!  I started back packing again, which is something I gave up once I had kids. 

So I have to say that as stressful and sad as this year has been for me, instead of dwelling on that sadness, I put that energy into something else.  I finally realized that I can do it all.  I can be a Mom, I can take care of our little farm, I can MAKE time to exercise and backpack.  No excuses, no feeling sorry for myself.

Life is like the ocean, you need to ride out the waves.   Sometimes the ocean is calm and beautiful, other times it is stormy and rough.  Neither last forever.  It always changes.  Life has shown me who my friends are.  Life has shown me who really cares about us.  Life has brought us family who has helped us thru these tough times and I am forever grateful.  

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.  Russ and I are stronger now then ever before, and I know that wouldn't be the case if this didn't happen.  We are living in the others shoes, so it makes us fully appreciate and respect each other a little bit more then before.  I feel like we passed the biggest test that life could throw at us, and I wouldn't change it.

Peace and love.....

Christmas 2013

I say this every year, but Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year!  It's because of the excitement that the kids have.  I love our little traditions and cooking big dinners for the family.

Our week started off having Russ's cousin Bruce, his wife Jen and their 4 children stay with us for a couple of days on their way from N.C. to N.Y.  
The kids had a blast together.  Trying to get a group shot of all of them looking in the same direction while smiling, was another story.  At least Stella the dog is posing nice.

Then my Mom came into town to stay with us for a week.
Every year my Mom makes Christmas cookies and then has the kids help her decorate them.  It's something I did with my Grandma Freund when I was little, and now my kids do it with their Grammy.

Stinky the cat snoozing under the tree.

We like to take the kids to Clearbrook Park to see all of the Christmas lights.  This year Kim and Morgan met us there.  They had such a great time!

The kids all ready for our Christmas Eve party!

Awe look how nice they posed for pictures with Grammy and Pappa Bob....
Such sweeties...
(Insert sarcasm here)
Keep going down and you will see how my picture with my beautiful, happy children turned out....

Yup this is it!!  This is my group Christmas Eve photo with my beautiful children.
Quite possibly the worst family photo ever!  It's even out of focus....
But it did bring us lots of laughs.

SANTA came!!
The kids got new scooters from Santa.
Jaylee woke me up Christmas Morning screaming that Santa brought her a new scooter and then she asked that I don't run this one over with the truck...

That was the fate of her last scooter.  See what happens when we don't put things back...

Sawyer was so happy about his gift from Santa, that he had absolutely NO interest in opening other gifts.

Jaylee got the Easy Bake Oven that she has been asking for.  She's been asking for it for 2 years!
Marshall got a T-ball set, perfect since he starts T-ball this week!

It was a wonderful week!  Having all sorts of family staying with us.  Having the house full of people and kids and chaos.  Big holiday dinners, and talks around the table.  That's what makes me happy.  Spending time with the people who mean so much to us.

Peace and love....