The Highs of 2012:
Despite my worries that maybe, just maybe, Elijah would never be able to feed himself (not a real worry, of course. Just that momentary impatience waiting for a milestone to happen), he began self-feeding early in 2012. Now he uses a spoon well, drinks from sippy cups, and joins us for dinner out without much hassle. He's a pretty great eater and seems to have very few food aversions, which I love. Even his initial tactile defensiveness seems to have fallen by the wayside. By the end of 2012 he was walking with assistance (helping hands or furniture and push toys), crawling fast, communicating through sign language and sounds, and performing the majority of the hand moves for the circle time songs at school. It's been a big year.
I ran a mud run. This wasn't something that was ever on my bucket list, but ended up holding some significance this year. I learned that a mud run, like life, can have you surrounded by friends but ultimately it is still a personal journey: physically, mentally, emotionally. I finished the run with the confidence that I could tackle any obstacle and do it completely surrounded and supported by a wonderful group of friends. Plus, we got super muddy. Which is totally unique for a grown woman. Unless it's part of a spa treatment. Just sayin'...
After a long, and fairly arduous process, Christian started Kindergarten at our school of choice! Kindergarten is proving to be an exciting and occasionally challenging part of life. Christian is like a little sponge with all he is learning. Academically, he is doing great, with the social aspects as the biggest challenges. Learning to work out the social complications that school provides will be a lesson that he'll deal with...well, let's face it, ALWAYS. Might as well start now.
We also transitioned Elijah from having home-based therapy to a center-based therapy program, which has been absolutely amazing for him. He loves school, has made huge strides in the short time he has been there and his therapists absolutely adore him. I couldn't be happier that we made the switch. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the therapists who have been with us since he was an infant, but in hindsight, he was ready for something new- with the best part being the social interaction he gets with the other toddlers in the program.
I've had some professional highs as well. I celebrated one full year with my business partner and dear friend, Karen. We make a great team, and it's been a pleasure discovering where our different strengths lie and how to best use them. I'd hoped that our partnership would immediately translate into more business and improved prosperity. It isn't an immediate process, but the things we learned, grew and uncovered this year has laid the ground for some exciting things. Moving our business forward, while continuing to balance the demands of family life is our biggest challenge and yet, we are moving forward and making progress that both Karen and I are proud of. I am very excited and hopeful that the foundation we've laid this year will bear much fruit in 2013!
2012 was an incredible year for friendships. The struggles that 2011 held, shuffled down into something secure. I am so insanely blessed by the girlfriends I have, and we seem to be at a point where we are all confident and appreciative of what we have. Most of my circles cross over each other and it's a happy place. The book club I'm part of has morphed a bit from it's original beginnings, but it is bringing new and interesting people into the fold. I send out an extra special Thank you to my girlfriends for making 2012 so much FUN: Big birthday celebrations, holiday parties, carnivals, snow adventures, ice skating, mud runs, breakfast dates, cocktail hours, and lots and lots of laughing.
The final highlight from 2012 was being ready for a new dog. We brought "George" into our family at the end of the year and he is bringing so much joy into our lives. Now that we have a dog again, our home seems complete. George is especially a pleasure after getting some invaluable tips from a very talented dog trainer. Now, we have a respectful companion who will give and get lots and lots of snuggles!
My "Low" from 2012 is the loss of two friends. We lost my sweet friend, Trycia, after a 6 year battle with cancer. I think of Trycia nearly every day. I hate that she is no longer sharing her laugh with us here on earth, but I am convinced that she is dancing with the angels in heaven. We jokingly say that Trycia "photobombed" this picture during her Life Celebration at her parents house. There is just no doubt that "Trowsh" (our nickname for her) is watching over us.
Also, our friend Steve, died unexpectedly after a routine knee surgery leaving behind his amazing and beautiful wife and young son. We search for explanations "why" and there isn't much of an answer. But, Steve lived his life with a big personality and a ton of love. His loss reminds me to cherish every second.
I start each new year, like many, with a short list of resolutions...or goals, as I like to call them. I'm good with goals. I understand goals. Last year, my Resolution list was this:
1. Live with less "stuff", by purging more, setting up better organization systems and sticking to them!
2. Make more money!!
3. Face the tasks that I usually run from.
4. Stop taking things personally.
5. Take more pictures.
I can honestly say that most of these worked out...maybe with the exception of the money one. So, that one is going back on my list this year and I am determined to make progress in that area! Despite a few arguments and some redefining of what's important, I have been reducing clutter and creating better organization. My business even purchased a storage space for all of our event materials that were cluttering up both mine and Karen's garages. I've been tackling the scary, black-cloud tasks and have ticked quite a few off the list. We are almost caught up on taxes, our insurance is in full swing, and I have appointments for a mammogram and a living trust. I did well with not taking things personally. There will always be moments in question, but overall, I was able to let my things be "mine" and for others' things to be "theirs". I definitely took more pictures this year. In fact, I made quite a documentation of the year. I'm still learning how to take better pictures, but I'm improving and enjoying it along the way. I love that I can look back on a photo and have that little piece of time as a frozen memory to be cherished.
This year, I'm planning on taking some risks. So, my New Year's Resolution list for 2013 is:
1. Make more money!!!! (I've moved this to the top of the list and added two extra exclamation points. This is bound to help, I'm sure.)
2. Launch the new division of my Party business. There is a LOT to do, and more will be revealed as it's time, but there is a new division and there WILL. BE. A. LAUNCH. :)
3. Write. I am going to explore this part of my "talents". At the urging of my parents and a close friend, I am going to see if I could actually write something that might get published. I am going to try. I am going to go through the process and see what happens. If nothing else, I know there will be life lessons learned in it.
4. Work more on my spiritual practice. Daily prayer, affirmations and a firm commitment to a church community have always helped keep me centered. Yet, my humanness easily sidetracks me and I find myself getting out of the habits that benefit me most.
5. Plan for fun. Make weekly, monthly, bi-annual and annual plans for FUN. Whether it be a pedicure with a friend, a playdate with my boys, or a concert in the park, I am going to add "Fun" to my to-do list. This way, I'll spend less time feeling stressed out and in need of a break.
It takes a village, so I'm counting on so many of you to help keep me accountable. I need your support and I need your encouragement. I promise to do the same for you.
Happy New Year!
Some of my favorite moments from 2012:
My boys loving on each other. The best.
Family themed Halloween costumes
Pool bound with my baby
Watching my firstborn enjoying the pool
Celebrating a great friend's wedding with my honey
Dancing with Elijah. Enough said.
You're never too old to make your Mom a macaroni picture frame.
My boys and me at their Fifth and Second Birthday party.
Cherish the idea of a new year, new beginnings and new adventures awaiting us all...