There's been a lot more quiet than I planned for this holiday season.
The week before the Christmas—the week I was supposed to get EVERYTHING done—the little girls got the flu. And it was the worst I've seen in my 10 years of parenting. We couldn't leave the house. I got NOTHING done.
And, at some point, I got the flu, too.
Our Christmas, though still great, was stripped down; our kids were a little less themselves.
I had high hopes for a festive new year's celebration. Then, JB and I were sucker punched with a his/hers stomach bug. We toasted the night with sparkling ginger ale and managed to stay up as late as the kids.
There isn't much that slows me down. I don't need a lot of sleep and I normally have a lot of energy. Or at least that's what I tell myself. Apparently, my body was trying to tell me something different.
Quiet is good. I don't give myself enough of it.
This morning, I'm thinking about how I'd like to move forward.
And I'm starting by looking back.
I wrote a post about lunch boxes and so began an unexpected journey of sharing ideas and photos. It's been a great year of filling the Bentos and being inspired to do better.
When I read the posts from this month, I see two of my favourites. And I see that I evolved as a parent and writer. I found new perspective and understanding. Our boy taught us a lot this year; he made us better parents.
I don't realize that I'm getting too comfortable in my comfy zone, until I jump out of it. And jump I did (and grapevine and groove). What an exhilarating and memorable moment. I can't wait to do it again.
Music is such a balm for me. My itunes collection is a treasure. Since landing in the blogging world, I've discovered so many new artists (please keep posting) and it inspired me to start sharing. I launched a new category called REPEATER. Tune in and turn it up.
After meeting this speaker, I absolutely knew I had to share his message with all of you. I approached Michael Reist, asked him to read some of my work, and then asked if he would help me give his newest book to you. He said yes (!). And so, this post was written and you received it with so much heart that it still brings me to tears.
This month started with the discovery of my first strand of grey hair. But I didn't let that slow me down. We hit the road for another amazing road trip (we take them every single summer, no matter how many babies we have). I also partnered with Yummy Mummy Club for a project I could put my heart into—with three daughters to raise, strong female role models are essential. We are surrounded by many.
Back-to-school and back to Bentos. A time for new beginnings and a time to say good bye. I wrote about closing a chapter of babyhood and it was featured on Todaysparent.com. The elation I felt at seeing my byline on their website definitely helped to soothe the sadness I felt about letting go.
BLISSDOM! And, as expected, I learned and learned some more. Heck, I even took a picture beside a guy whose voice I would love to challenge to a voice-off (What, you don't know about my awesome radio voice? I'm putting a Vlog on my to-do list). I want this space to give: familiarity, comfort, perspective. I am working hard to make that happen and putting myself in a room filled with bloggers was wise.
A middle-of-the-night wake-up call. Somehow (thank the stars, the moon, the milky way), I am parenting with someone who makes the right decisions when I can't. And he did. I knew this night would stay with me always, but the story from Newtown weeks later burned it into my heart.
On the 12th, I accepted a fun challenge from a fellow blogger. I documented one of our days in 12 photos. I posted it that night and 12 hours later, I heard the news from Sandy Hook Elementary. When I go back and look at those photos, I feel something I can't entirely describe. But there's gratitude. Definitely gratitude.
I like to picture my 2013-self sitting at a decluttered desk, wearing a look of creative determination. I like to imagine the ways I might reach each of you and maybe cross your hearts. Thank you for looking back at my first year in this space; I hope you'll stay with me as I move ahead.