Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014: Finding Contentment

I feel that 2014 was a good year for me. When I look back on it I think of  it as the year I found contentment. Even though we bought our house in 2013 it was a rough year financially, which also lead to a rough year mentally. So 2014 was like the rebound year. I think part of that rebound was to learn to let some things go and embrace the moment more.

I've  really enjoyed this past year of little kids in the house. Even though it always seems our babies grow too fast I don't miss the infant or toddler years as much as I thought. I love seeing the people my babies are becoming. Averi started kindergarten and is still one of the sweetest, loving little girls I've ever known. Her independent and helpful nature has continued to grow with school. She is such a great role model to her little sister, and Kenz adores her. I always think God sent her to me first because he knew how much I would need her as a young mom away from family.

As for Kenzi it was like discovering a new child this year. She really came into her own. I think learning to talk really gave her the opportunity to shine with her own individual personality. She was not an easy baby and with that and other things I feel like this was the year we all completely fell in love with this sassy, determined, independent little girl. This girl makes me laugh every day. She has so much spunk, and I love it. She can be a handful at times, but I would not have it any other way. She is such a miniature of myself so she gets angry or emotional easily at times, but she must know her Momma understands because whereas Averi is a huge daddy's girl Kenz is a momma's girl.

Now that they are both little girls rather than a little girl and toddler or toddler and baby, the bond these two share still never ceases to amaze me. They talked me into letting them share a room this year, and even though they definitely have their moments of mischief and occasional fights, they really are the best of friends.

As a family, we began 2014 at home but ended it with probably one of our biggest travel years in awhile. Between two trips home to Missouri, four home to Erie, PA, weekend trips to camp in West Virginia, the beach in Ocean City, a trip up to NYC finally, and our vacation to Disney World in Florida we traveled somewhere every month from April to December. Getting home to see family is probably about #1 on my priority value list so even though it never feels like enough time I am so thankful we were able to get home as much as we did. Mountains and beaches each in 2-3 hours is one of the top things I love about living in Maryland so any year that I can make use of that makes me happy. I love to check out new sights and experiences, and even though I'd been to Disney World before seeing it through the eyes of my girls who still believe in its magic is a memory I'll treasure forever. Even though the trips are a lot of work at times with kids, pets, packing up and unpacking, and budgeting, it has always been worth it to me. I love seeing the anticipation of a road trip on my kids' faces. People always ask how they travel, and I always joke that they never had a choice to be anything but good travelers. They really are good travelers thankfully.

After rotating back and forth between the two of us with getting our masters after this year we both finally have our MA +30, which has given me the opportunity to teach college courses at the local community college and Nate to pursue jobs here in the next few years in educational leadership and administration. We will hit the ten year mark this summer since we moved out here together to start this life of ours, and to have finally completed this milestone has definitely felt like a huge weight off our shoulders.

I had a personal goal to publish my own book, even though it wasn't the kind of book I wanted to publish, this past year, and make a little money off my writing. My goal was $500 and depending on how you look at it I either just missed the goal or exceeded it a little. I lost money on having the book converted to the ebook format. If I look at the cost with the ebook I'm $90 in the hole on that, but made $540 with print books and other writing income so overall I ended up at $450. I donated $125 of it, used $200 towards our Disney trip, and the other $125 went towards August, our super tight money month of the year so it probably went to something exciting like my electric bill. If you haven't gotten my book check it out here for $8.

Overall, it was a great year, and one of the greatest things that I think made this year great was I feel that I made progress on learning to just let things go and choose happy. So what are my plans or goals for 2015? I have a fictional writing project I'd like to complete, I'd like to complete our family with a hopeful third, healthy baby (perhaps a boy???), I'd like to continue to work on improving my eating habits and consistency with working out ( kind of got off track with that with the holidays here the last month or so), I'd love to see Nate get the new job he's been working towards and with that maybe I'd get my dream come true and get to teach part time.

So my New Year's resolution for this year is to just keep on keeping on with what made 2014 so great. Spend as much time as possible with the people that matter to me, let the ones that criticize and judge go, spoil my kids with time spent together and love, sneak in some dates with the man that s on this never ending adventure with me, travel and write because I simply enjoy it, and live, laugh, and love every day in 2015. I hope you have a blessed 2015 with lots of love and laughter with the ones you love.

Some of the best pics of 2014:

Spring 2014

Summer 2014


Fall 2014

Holidays 2014

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to sum up your year. It sounds like you've been super busy with travel and school!