Thursday, December 31, 2015

CLOSING UP 2015

It's my annual "write about the past year "post.  We've been home from our KS/CO trip for about 3 hours, and the kiddos are all in bed, and John's at work for just a bit longer, and I'm trying to sneak it in.  In preparation for writing this post, I looked at the NYE's posts for 2012, 2013, and 2014 and got all nostalgic and sappy feeling.  The past few years have held so much change and emotion and intensity.  I also read my "Regrouping in 2015" post from January and realized that we have regrouped on some things (like reconnecting in our marriage) and other things have still gone by the wayside (I didn't redecorate a single thing in 2015).

So where does 2015 leave us?

Well, we certainly aren't as battered and bruised as we were at the end of 2014, but our wounds are still fresh.  2015 brought new pain, such as really discovering and exploring what racism is going to mean to our family and getting a front row seat to pain in the lives of those around us on many occasions this year.  We also said goodbye to our first family pet of 12 years: RIP Hope.

But, I don't want to sell 2015 short, because it held many highlights for us as well.

Lily turned six, and it seems as if every last one of her teeth intends to fall out.  I've also realized that I am a shamefully bad tooth fairy.

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Bella turned five, and we celebrated with a trip to the fair that actually turned out to be fun for everyone (sadly, this is a rarity for us these days).

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William and Violet turned two, and they have the extreme highs and lows of most toddlers.  Times two.  Twins really are a challenge - one we're hoping to survive, but the jury is still out most days.

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John and I did focus on our marriage in ways that have really paid off for us.  This included weekly date nights in the back half of the year and several adults-only trips.  I'm so thankful that God walks with us in the hard journey of a marriage, and I do not take for granted that we like each other more this New Year's Eve than we did the last one.

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- John surprised me with a shopping spree at my favorite store for Valentine's Day

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- We went chasing waterfalls in Belize to celebrate our 10 year anniversary

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-  We had a San Frantastic trip in September

And where would we be without our dear friends who helped make 2015 special?  We traveled to Branson with a huge crew for an unforgettable time.

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We also went to Dallas with our BFFs from college.

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This year, we got to see two dear families that we love welcome home adopted children.  We love Micah and Shelby with all of our hearts.

We also welcomed a new brother-in-law into our own family!

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We got to see each of our children grow and develop, and that is always such a blessing and privilege.  They are healthy and thriving, and I am so thankful.

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(photo cred to Main Street Studios)

2015 was good, because God is good, and he is using the good and the hard things to shape us into people that better reflect his glory.  We want to know him more and love him better, and we have a better understanding than ever at how much we need him to do any of that at all.  We are selfish and comfort driven, but God loves us and cares for us all the same.  I'm so thankful.

Happy New Year.

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