2013 recap

well, everybody's doing it, so i think i'm going to join in too.

a look back at 2013...

we kicked of the year with a potential job transfer for my husband, which would move us back to seattle. by march we were preparing for our big move cross-country, and in april we said good-bye to our beloved CLE.  after almost 8 years, God said it was time to go back.  back to where it all began.

as we waited for our cleveland house to sell, the kids and i made our temporary home in spokane, wa with my parents, while aaron spent his weekdays in seattle working and his weekends in spokane (about 250 miles one-way trip for him) with us.

gibson, emma, leilani and i celebrated birthdays at ibu and grandpa's house.  gibson and emma both got to pick out their very own birthday cake with ibu.  i didn't get to pick mine, but emma designed one for me, which was very sweet. and little leilani celebrated her first birthday with a yummy birthday brownie cake, which she devoured.

when daddy was back on the weekends we enjoyed being able to explore the area.  some favorites included hanging out at lake couer d'alene, strawberry picking, the carousel ride, doing the caber toss at the spokane highland games, and an afternoon at wonderland family fun center for some mini golfing. it was a funny feeling to be back in the city where i spent my high school years, but this time with a family.  kind of a weird nostalgia...if that even makes sense.

after 5 months of trying to sell our house, it was clear that God did not want that home sold.  although we had been enjoying the time exploring spokane and having our kids get to know their ibu and grandpa better, it was time to take an alternate approach with our home so that our family can be re-united again. 

within 2 weeks of deciding to rent the place, we found someone.  it was an answer to our prayers.  even though things didn't work out how we imagined it, i firmly believe it worked out the way God had planned it.  and God's plans for us, based on our past experiences, have turned out to be the best plans for us, even if it isn't always easy.

in september, we were all finally living under the same roof again.  we found a little house to rent that overlooks lake washington, and i admit that it's a pretty sweet view out there (minus the telephone lines).  what a treat to be back in seattle and living in a place with a lake view...a girl can get spoiled that way.

i think everyone was happy to finally have access to all their stuff, and be able to sleep in our own beds again.  the kids are back to their usual antics, and i think we are slowly settling in. 

we have had fun exploring the city with our kids, and being able to hang out with my sisters and brother.  there have been so many great memories made already, and i'm sure there will be more to come.

i guess 2013 gave us what we've always had every year...ups and downs.  granted some years may be tougher than others, but i think the past few years for us have been tough.  thankfully, we don't have to let the tough parts in our lives over-shadow our experience of a whole year.  each year, we can find moments of joy and happiness, and those are the ones i want to cling to.  i don't want to forget the challenging parts either, because those experiences have helped shape me into the person i am at this point in time.  BUT, the joyful moments (big and small) are the ones i will cherish and remember most: happy faces, giggles of delight, snuggles, kisses, dates with my man, the shower of blessings we received from our friends during our moving process, one step closer to becoming debt-free, baby feet, coffee, chocolates, sushi, a certain little boy that likes to join us in bed in the wee hours of the morning, family time, silly time, church, and warm socks.

so farewell, au revoir, auf widersehen, adios, and ciao 2013.  thanks for the memories, but now it's time to look ahead...

happy new year, everyone! 


merry christmas!

there is much to rejoice and be joyful for!

love and hugs from our family.  merry christmas!


i can't wait until christmas is over

there.  i said it.  it's out.  i know, it sounds very scrooge-like, doesn't it?

it's christmas eve. i remember as a kid feeling so excited when december 24th rolled around, because the next day was the day that i got to finally dig into the pile of presents under the tree.  now, the truth is, i can't help but look forward to christmas being over.

well...that's how i feel some days.  the holiday season is probably the most challenging time of year for our family.  every year.  for maybe the past 10 years.

once the month of december starts, i pretty much don't see my husband until christmas.  we pretty much write-off the month of december.  i mean, i get it.  he's in a job where the busiest time of year just happens to be christmas time (kind of like accountants have their busiest time during tax season). but it can get hard.  yes, there's the hard part of single-parenting it for 2 weeks, and the lack of sleep (mostly for aaron), and watching the kids only see their dad one or two days a week for 2 weeks straight, and not really being able to make any holiday plans, and being totally beat by the time christmas rolls around so that you don't want to do anything but sit around in your pajama pants and eat cookies all day.  and of course this year, my husband gets to work christmas day.  what a treat! and you wonder why i can't wait until christmas is over.

but whatever.  we can make plans for family gatherings another day (i like thanksgiving because we get to share a big feast with our extended family).  the kids are very understanding, and post-christmas they get to see him more often again.  and who says we have to do the present opening stuff on the 25th?  that isn't what defines christmas anyway. 

no, that's not really the hard part.  the hardest part is keeping myself from becoming bitter, grumpy, and turning into a full-blown grinchy scrooge.  those holiday songs about christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, gathering with family, blah, blah, blah.  i really can't relate anymore.  it's busy, exhausting and trying.  every year.  how can i think it's the most wonderful time of the year full of happiness and cheer?  my husband is working on christmas not because he is saving lives, helping people in need or serving the community.  he's working on christmas day because he is serving the needs of others who must have their christmas presents on christmas day otherwise it will be ruined forever.

see, right there, that kind of attitude, is what i have to watch for every year.  fight it off.  repel it with an anti-scrooge repellent.  but i feel it trying to creep in.  every year, i sense it trying to get its foot in the door all sneaky-like.  and if i'm not careful, it will let itself in and completely consume me.  then i really will turn into scrooge-grinch lady.

after writing this out, i now see how i've managed to keep from being bitter about christmas.  no, it's not the anti-scrooge repellent.  it's because i have hope.  as a family, we celebrate christmas because it is the birth of jesus.  god, who humbled himself to take on human form so that he can grow up for the sole purpose of sacrificing his own life for us.  no matter who we are or what we've done. no matter how much i've screwed up, i can be confident in the fact that god will forgive me and loves me...to the point that he gave up his life for me.  how can i be grumpy, when i think about that?  christmas is just the beginning of the celebration. 

i'm not going to lie, some days are still going to suck, and i'll probably find myself looking forward to christmas being over, but i know what makes our christmas wonderful.  i can still find little bits of joy scattered through out the holiday season, because i have hope and peace thanks to god and his work in me. 

we have been preparing our hearts all month long, and tomorrow we celebrate.  big or small, all day, half the day...it doesn't really matter.  go have yourself a merry little christmas.  because i sure will.

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