Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Snapshots of 2015

{28.5 months}

I admit I am a slow processor.  I need time and breathing room to process change and life events. For me, January is that in between time that lets me slowly wave goodbye to a whole year of living and embrace all the living a new year offers.  Yes, technically January is part of 2016, but I like to think of her more as the intermission and not the opening act.  Now that February is nearly over, it's time to start moving but first, Snapshots of 2015!  

1. I started 2015 on a roll capturing all our moments and memories with a new (to me) system called Project Life.  I got a little bogged down after our family vacation with so many pictures to choose from and ended up procrastinating way too long on ordering prints.  I'm determined to get caught back up this year and am trying to cut myself some slack in the meantime.  After all, there's always a learning curve when attempting a new big project.  Hopefully I've worked out the kinks and PL will be a practical memory keeping system for our family for years to come.  

2. We went on four fun trips last year: three of which were technically with Bryant's work but me and Sienna tagged along and had so much fun!  We went on an Alabama Road Trip during Spring Break, a Family Beach Trip to Blue Mountain Beach for Memorial Day, and squeezed in some Nashville Family Fun over Labor Day weekend.  Our last travel for the year was an 8 day trip to Dallas in October where we managed to find 8 toddler approved outings to fill our time.  We had a blast in Texas and I am hoping we get to visit again in 2016!

3. I continued writing for Missional Motherhood last year with six new posts.  You can tell what stage I was in and what I was learning by reading the titles of each blog post.  I like how writing gives you an outlet to share what's on your heart and how your soul is growing.  With having such an unpredictable schedule last year, writing for MM was the ideal ministry to be a part of since I could write during my fringe hours of the day (like Sienna's nap time).   

4. My little Reading List for 2015 was twice as big as the year before!  A couple of the books made a big impression on me and I'm sure I'll remember them for a really long time.  After reading through the OYCB four years in a row, I started a new Bible reading plan that takes three years to read through the whole Bible, one chapter a day.  I am really loving the slower pace!  I am reading the daily Bible Challenge devotionals by Steve Wiggins and I am continually blown away!  His insight into Jewish history and culture gives a fresh perspective to my reading.  

5. One book from my reading list made quite the impact on us.  And yes, the title says it all: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I had no idea that tidying could change our world inside out and upside down.  I've always been a natural organizer by default so I almost passed on the book.  Marie Kondo's concept of simpler and smaller woke up this new way of living in me.  We are about halfway through (Marie says it takes a year on average) of our household purge and LOVING the results.  Spacious drawers, half-empty cabinets, and closets that breathe are three things I thought I'd never see in this house and now I see them every day - all before breakfast.  I can't wait until we are completely finished with this tedious process of tidying up - I know it will be well worth it!  

6. Bryant got a new job this year at FedEx!  We are really excited about this new position and thankful for the timing of the job.  He had been working at a temporary position for two years and the Lord worked it out perfectly (just as He always does) that his start date came before his end date.  He has been so faithful!

{winging ceremony}

7. We celebrated 13 years of marriage this year!  The day in July that Bryant found out he got the job I told him, "Just wait.  Your first day will be on our anniversary!"  Sure enough, our anniversary fell on a Monday this year.  Thirteen is often symbolic of waiting in the Bible.  It was yet another reminder that the Lord is faithful and promises good things to those who wait on Him.

8. Sienna turned two years old this year!  On January 1st, she came blazing out of her room with two suitcases and hasn't slowed down since.  I don't think my feet have every hurt so bad in all my 36 years, but we did have a lot of fun.  We celebrated her birthday with a Pineapple Birthday Party and I was pretty proud of myself for keeping the party on the frugal side this year (thanks to Pinterest and Etsy).  It ended up being the perfect party for our Pineapple Princess and her friends!     

{New Year's Day}

9. Miles turned 8 this year.  I'm not going to lie.  There were many days that I thought about dropping him off at the nearest pet inn for an extended stay.  But as much as he can get on my nerves with that non-stop barking he sure does make our little girl happy. 

10. My one word for 2015 was SHEPHERD.  I wrote Isaiah 40:11 on the chalkboard in Sienna's playroom and must have read that verse hundreds of times over the year.  I love how the verse depicts the Lord's tender care for his sheep and especially toward mothers.  The Good Shepherd gently led our family through 2015 and carried us well.  It was a good year.  

"Like a shepherd, he tends his flock.  He gathers the lambs in his arms, carries them close to his heart, and gently leads the mother sheep." {Isaiah 40:11}

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